The Story of Legay: With Legay Rogers

Legay’s first official gig was at The Casino on London Road, Leicester, in July 1966. Also on the bill were The Matadors and Mike and the Planets. The Casino, along with the Frollocking Kneecap in Market Harborough, would virtually become Legay’s second home with the band playing there on numerous occasions over the next couple of years.

The mods were an early influence on Legay both in look and sound, the songs they played being a derivative of American R&B, particularly Tamla Motown. During these early days, every available hour was spent on developing the band’s sound and visual identity, especially with regards to sourcing new material to play. Legay would take the harmonious and melodic Tamla songs and play and interpret them in a totally different way, turning up the volume but retaining the harmony and melody.

Legay Rogers, founder member and instigator of the band. (Kate Kissane-Rogers)

“Legay was the instigator of the band, he thought he was Brian Jones. He was the one who was chatting to Mac about getting something together…”

Robin Pizer

Legay dressed in what they liked to wear, usually very trendy clothes inspired in particular by Rod’s shirts which, after buying material and buttons from either a stall on Leicester Market or from Lewis’ department store, he had designed and made up by his grandmother. Eventually, Rod’s Grandmother would make shirts for each member of the band with the exception of John. Rod and John were the first ones to wear custom made shirts, even during the early mod days. All of the ideas on presentation were down to John, who designed and made his own clothes, and Rod.

“We just loved dressing up, it seemed right at the time…”

John Knapp
Backstage, 1966. (Julia Read)

In early March 1967, the band endured their first major setback when founder member Legay Rogers had to leave due to ill health. Having just finished a gig at the Boat Club in Burton on Trent, Legay complained of feeling unwell and collapsed outside. ‘Lurgy’, the founding member who gave his name to the band, never played with them again.

“We just didn’t know what to do when Legay left…”

Robin Pizer

With Legay Rogers gone, the remaining band members spent time considering their options. Friendship aside, Legay’s departure left a massive hole within the structure and make-up of the band. Not only had they lost a drummer, they had also lost a great character and showman, something which the remaining band members even today acknowledge was never recaptured.

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