The Demons/Danny and The Demons

Original info courtesy Rolf Hannet and Bob Ainsworth

Line-up #1

  • Robert Ainsworth - lead - Solid Seven
  • Lawrence Jordon - rhythm guitar
  • Ian Waller a.k.a. Big Wal - bass - Fender Precision
  • Dave Chalmers - snare drum

Line-up #2

  • Robert Ainsworth - lead
  • Lawrence Jordon - guitar
  • Ian Waller a.k.a. Big Wal - bass
  • Barry Whitwam - drums

Line-up #2

  • Derek Leckenby - lead
  • Lawrence Jordon - guitar
  • Ian Waller a.k.a. Big Wal - bass
  • Barry Whitwam - drums

Line-up #3 as Danny and The Demons

  • Brian ? - vocals
  • Derek Leckenby - lead
  • Lawrence Jordon - guitar
  • Ian Waller a.k.a. Big Wal - bass
  • Barry Whitwam - drums


Left to right Bob Ainsworth, Big Wal, Lawrence Jordan and at the front with drum, Barry Whitwam (later with Herman's Hermits).


The Demons started out with Ian 'Wal' Waller on bass (Fender Precision), Bob Ainsworth on lead guitar (Rosetti Sold Seven, later a Hofner V3) (b. Robert Ainsworth), Stuart ' Big Mel' Mellor on rhythm guitar (b. Stuart Mellor) and Dave Chalmers on snare drum (b. David Chalmers). The snare drum was borrowed from a scout. 

Chalmers was the first to leave as his father would not let him have a drum kit, so he was replaced by drummer Barry Whitwam (b. Jan Barry Whitwam, Sunday, July 21, 1946, Hospital, White House, Prestbury Village, Cheshire, UK), who was a neighbour of Mellor. Whitwam's father agreed to be the guarantee on the Truvoice Echo Chamber the band acquired on HP. This was the competitor for the Watkins copycat that the group could not afford. 

When Mellor left he was replaced by rhythm guitarist Lawrence Jordan.

When Ainsworth left he was replaced by lead guitarist Lek Leckenby (b. Derek Leckenby, Friday, May 14, 1943, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK d. Saturday, June 4, 1994, Manchester, Greater Manchester, UK, of non-Hodgkin lymphoma). 

The band was managed by Geoff Mullin (b. Geoffrey Mullin, 1945, Manchester, Lancashire, UK). They later added Brian X on lead vocals and changed their name to Danny and the Demons. Brian X was replaced by Malcolm Roberts (b. Malcolm James Roberts, Friday, March 31, 1944, Blackley, Manchester 9, Lancashire, UK d. Friday, February 7, 2003, Addlestone, near Chertsey, Surrey, UK, of a heart attack) and the group changed their name again to The Hellions (Dean West and The Hellions). Roberts became Dean West. 

Leckenby had been educated at William Hume's Grammar School in Spring Bridge Road, Whally Range, Manchester 16 and went on to do a degree course in civil engineering at Manchester University before leaving to become a professional musician. In 1961 the 18 year-old Lekenby made his first public performance at The Oasis Club at 45 - 47 Lloyd Street, Manchester. As for Whitwam, he had been to Beaver Road School, in Beaver Road, Didsbury, Manchester 20 and then gone to Ladybarn Secondary Modern School, at the junction of Parrs Wood Road & Briarfield Road in Withington, Manchester 20 and in 1959 at 13 he took up the drums. In 1960 at 14 he had made his first public performance at The Mouth Club in Manchester. 

John H.Warburg - 1/7/15 

For information, the bass guitar Wal is holding is one which he built based (no pun intended) on a Fender Precision. Lawrence's and mine are Rosetti Solid Sevens bought from Johnny Roadhouse's. I recall mine was about 15 guineas (!) I guess most of Manchester Beat fans will remember guineas - just!

Bob Ainsworth - 6/2/09

It's so long since I saw this picture that I have just noticed that I was wrong about my guitar. By this time my Solid Seven had been replaced (as anoraks will have spotted - no offence) by a Hofner V3 - one of the many Strat copies starting to appear at the time. 

Bob Ainsworth - 18/4/09

Then Brian left and was replaced by Malcolm Roberts, resulting in the name change to The Hellions or Dean West and the Hellions.

The group (Wal, Lawrence, Barry and me) started life as The Demons of which I was lead guitarist. We played instrumentals by the Shadows mainly and the Fireballs and a few original compositions.

We took on a singer eventually whose name I forget (Brian?) but I remember he was good.

Unfortunately I spent three weeks in hospital and "Lek" was found to stand in for me. When I came out I was sacked because he was a better guitarist than I was!

Bob Ainsworth - 3/2/09

Bob is forgetting that the ORIGINAL line up was Big Wal, bass; Bob Ainsworth, lead; Stuart (Big Mel) Mellor, rythym; and me, Dave Chalmers, on drum, a snare drum "borrowed" from a Scout ! My father wouldn't let me have a drum kit, thus Barry, a neighbour of Mels' was brought in.

I still remind Barry that he owes all his success to my Dad !!

Dave Chalmers - 5/11/09




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