istory of Witchfinder General

Read the Official History of Witchfinder General as told by Phil Cope, along with answers to some popular questions.

Steve Kinsell and Phil Cope, (cousins), aged about 16 when WFG was just about forming - Click pic for blowup.

Steve, Phil and Rod Hawkes had been in a school band  called "Electrode" and Zeeb Parkes was the roadie, with the late Rob Hickman and singer David Potter.

Steve and Rod went to a band called Medway and Phil went to another, but in the end they all came back together and WFG was formed.

Here are some pics from their first gig ever. It was taken at The Crown, in Dudley.

Click both pics to see larger views.

And here's Johnny! The original WFG bassist.

Also a pic taken at Their first gig at the Crown, in Dudley.

Click to see larger view.

More to come as I learn it.
Stay tuned!

And sorry, no I can't devulge personal info or sources so please don't ask.
Just be happy there's a source at all.


Encyclopedia of Popular Music blerb on WFG

This Midlands-based New Wave Of British Heavy Metal group are rather better remembered for two controversial album covers than for any of their actual music. Formed in 1979 by vocalist Zeeb Parkes and guitarist Phil Cope, with a name taken from a classic horror film, the initial line-up settled with a rhythm section of Toss McCready (bass) and Steve Kinsell (drums). Their debut single, "Burning A Sinner" (also jokingly known as "Burning A Singer"), revealed a primitive, Black Sabbath-influenced doom metal style, and was quickly followed by the Soviet Invasion EP, and a track on the Heavy Metal Heroes compilation. Saxon producer Peter Hinton was drafted in for Death Penalty, recorded in three days with a session drummer - this position remained unstable - and bassist Rod Hawkes replaced the departed Kinsell and McCready. The album showed promise, although it suffered from the rushed recording process. Most attention centred on its sleeve, which featured a mock-sacrifice scene photographed in a graveyard, with a well-known topless model and friend of the band, Joanne Latham, appearing semi-nude. The subsequent publicity reached the UK tabloids, and the band attempted to repeat the formula with Friends Of Hell, with the sleeve featuring several semi-naked models daubed with theatrical blood in a similar sacrifice scene, this time photographed in front of a church. This cynical effort succeeded only in losing what little support the band had garnered, and they quickly faded.

Encyclopedia of Popular Music
Copyright Muze UK Ltd. 1989 - 2002


Black Sabbath
12 Inch EP

1971
Warner Brothers Records

Movie poster
All images are click to view.
Witchfinder General
1968 Movie release

Like Black Sabbath, Witchfinder General got their name from a classic horror movie. Although Sabbaths depiction of a witch on their album cover is much more subtle that WFG's. - See discography.

Exerp from Sounds Magazine 1983
Compliments of www.NWOBHM.com

Witchfinder General, who now sport a new rhythm section of Rod Hawkes (bass) and Derm The Germ (drums), and have recorded an album called 'Friends of hell' for release at the end of July, get into live practice with dates at;
Wigan Tiffany's July 1
Leicester Palais 6
Manchester Tiffany's 7.
(Sounds, 02/07/83)

Witchfinder General Lineup

Zeeb Parkes - Lead Vocals '79-'84

Phil Cope - Guitars '79- Present

Johnny Fisher - Bass '79-'80
Live only. Did record with the band but recording was never used.

Steve Kinsell (aka Kid Nimble aka Kid Rimple) - Drums '79-'82
Recorded Burning A Sinner and Soviet Invasion singles.

Kevin McCready (aka Toss) - Bass '81-'82 (replaced Johnny Fisher)
Recorded Burning A Sinner and Soviet Invasion singles.

Woolfy Trope (aka Phil Cope) - Bass (replaced Kevin "Toss" McCready)
Phil played the bass tracks on Death Penalty.

Rod Hawks (aka Corks and Hawk Eye) - Bass '82-Present (replaced Toss)

Graham Ditchfield - Drums '82-'83 (Replaced Kid Rimple)
Recorded Death Penalty, Friends of Hell albums and Music single.

Dermot Redmond (aka Derm the Germ) - Drums '83-Present
Live only - No studio work with the band.

Gary Martin (aka Gaz) - Vocals 2007-Present