Honey Lantree – Drum Pioneer

SKF NOTE: My girlfriend’s musical tastes are predominantly “lost in the Sixties.” At home and in the car radio is most often tuned to a Sixties music satellite radio station.

I often admire the ingenuity, the individuality, of Sixties rock and pop drummers. For example, the drumming on the Honeycombs’s song “Have I the Right” – which came up on the satellite radio station two or three times recently – really helps make that single.

Who was the Honeycombs’s drummer? I didn’t know.

A quick internet search turned up Honey Lantree. Unfortunately, Mrs. Lantree is no longer with us. But, she left a memorable musical legacy. And, as these two obituaries reveal, Honey Lantree’s entry into the rock world is inspiring.

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The Guardian
Pop and rock
Honey Lantree obituary
Drummer with 1960s chart-topping group the Honeycombs
Spencer Leigh
Fri 28 Dec 2018 13.42 EST

Honey Lantree, who has died aged 75, was that rare thing in a 1960s beat group – a woman. As the drummer of the Honeycombs, who had a No 1 UK hit with Have I the Right in 1964, she disliked being dismissed as “a gimmick”, nor did she buy into the idea of being a pioneer. She just happened to be good on the drums, and that’s the way it was.

The height of Honey’s fame came in the mid-60s when, immediately after the success of Have I the Right, she became the focal point of interest in the band and a magnet for magazines, which chose mainly to write about her clothes, her hair and her looks.

When the Honeycombs split in 1967, Honey disappeared from the music scene to raise a family, but in later life returned to playing live with a reincarnated version of the group from the 80s onwards.

She was born Anne Lantree…. After attending Sidney Burnell school in Highams Park in Essex, Anne began to focus on a career as a hairdresser…. However, the owner of the salon, Martin Murray, also led an amateur group called the Sheratons. Its members would sometimes leave their instruments at his house and one day, in 1963, Anne picked up the drumsticks and found that she had a natural talent. “My jaw dropped,” said Murray, “she was in perfect time and was soon playing like a pro.”

The Guardian Obituary

The New York Times Obituary

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