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The Starlites

By Mike Stevenson

The Starlites were formed in 1962 comprising brothers, John and Keith Shortland on guitars and drummer Garry Whipper. During that year and 1963, they had a residency at Wallsend Fellowship House, a teenage Saturday night dance. Jacky Boots sang at one stage, however, most of the vocals were performed by the Shortland brothers. George Holloway replaced Garry Whipper in 1963.

In 1964, Dennis Costello replaced George Holloway and Mike Stevenson joined playing keyboards, guitar, steel guitar and the occasional piano accordion. The band had a regular Friday night residency in that year at the Hunter Hotel, then situated on the corner of Hunter and Market Streets Newcastle. The band would, occasionally, after finishing at The Hunter, then move to The Westminster Hotel for a later gig. Later that year, Geoff McClusky relaced Dennis Costello on drums.

In 1965, the membership again changed and Johnny Noble joined as front vocalist. The band then became known as Johnny Noble and The Mods.