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The Interns

From: Portrush

Active: 1964-66


The Deputies Lineup 1964: The Interns Lineup 1965: The Interns Lineup 1965-66:


The Interns began life as The Deputies in Portrush in the early 1960s. The band wore cowboys shirts and boots. The lineup included Paul DiVito and Vincent McGonagle.

In the Spring of 1964 the Thorpe family moved to Portrush and Jeff Thorpe began to play with The Deputies. Jeff's brother Ronnie also played guitar and was already a veteran of several groups and/or showbands in Coleraine during 1960-64, playing both lead and rhythm in Doc and the Surgeons, The Embassy Swingtette and The Delta All Stars among others.

The Deputies asked Ronnie to join them for a weeks engagement during Easter 1964 and he became a full-time member a short time later, and the band later turned professional in September the same year. Paul DiVito's father Ernie, who owned a restaurant, invested in the group, providing the transport and equipment they needed for their switch to professional status. Gilbert left the band at this point, and Roy Abbott joined on lead guitar. Ronnie Thorpe switched to bass.

They played around the Derry area until new management (Manuel DiLucia) found them work further afield, including dates as far south as Clare and Limerick. They eventually graduated to the famous Martime Hotel in Belfast, where they were contracted to play in the Spring of 1965, but doing so required joining the musicians union and subsequently discovering they'd have to change their name. A Belfast group Johnny & The Deputees was already using the name. And so The Deputees from Portrush became The Interns. The name was chosen at random from the cinema listings in the Belfast Telegraph. Their manager spread the rumour that the band were medical undergraduates and the band even wore white doctors' tunics on occasion.

During 1965 they played the Martime on several occasions, supported Them several times, and on one occasion backed Murray Head, who performed in full transvestite gear. They played the summer season at the Hydro Hotel in Kilkee, with dates in nearby places like Limerick, which had a thriving beat scene. Noel McClelland left the group at the point.

During the Winter of 65/66 they played the clubs in Dublin - The 5 Club in Harcourt Street, The Club-a- GoGo, etc., and returned to The Martime, The Boathouse, The Derry Guildhall, etc, supported The Hollies at Queens University during rag week, and, at Easter 1966, rented a flat in Dun Laoghaire and played regularly at The Caroline Club. In the early summer of '66 they were filmed for RTE's The Showband Show but the material was never broadcast. They recorded a single at this point (in Lloyd Studios Belfast), a coer of Buck Owens 'Crying Time'. It was never released, as far as I know, but exists as an acetate. The band split over musical differences in July 1966.

After the split, Paul DiVito and Vincent McGonagle continued to work together in Sunshine (active by 1967). Roy Abbott and Nicko Halliwell formed The Cheese.

After a period in the RAF, Ronnie Thorpe became a teacher until his retirement. He is now an author, writing under another name.

• Crying Time / Your One And Only Man
MJB Recording And Transcription Service - BEV SP 455 - 1966 - two-sided acetate
Recorded at Lloyd Studios Belfast

Notes: The address on the label is that of manager Archie Abbott. The A-side is rather tame but the B-side is a fine take of 'Your One And Only Man'.

See also: Sunshine

Help!: We need your help to complete this entry. If you can tell us more about this band then please do! We welcome any corrections, missing details, connections to other bands, where are they now, etc. We also need photos, scans, copies of releases or live or demo recordings, and any other memorabilia gathering dust in the attic. If you can help, then please get in touch.

Thanks to Ronnie Thorpe for his help

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