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The first ever rehearsal for the Pasadena Roof Orchestra was on November 3rd 1969. John Arthy had placed an advertisement enquiring after dance band music. A lady in Manchester said she might be able to help. Later that day, a bakery van from John’s family business was travelling back down from Manchester to London somewhat overloaded, but safely transporting 2000 original arrangements from the 1920s and 1930s. The first tune on the huge pile of music, was Harry Warrens ‘Home in Pasadena’ the “roof” bit, came from the fact that in the 20s and 30s, many hotels had roof gardens and of course, roof orchestras. The bandturned professional in 1975, which coincided with an astronomical almost overnight success in Germany. It has subsequently appeared around the world, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, from Berlin to Hong Kong, via Helsinki Dublin Abu Dhabi, Istanbul all the way to the USA (five times).
Duncan began his career after training at the prestigious acting school the Webber Douglas academy in London. Music always played a big role in his performing life, and after success in BBC children’s TV (Bodger and Badger, Crosswits, Radio Roo), and an appearance in Noel Cowards ‘Easy Virtue’ at the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End, a world cruise as a founder member of the Stadium Theatre Company on the SS Canberra, the music finally took over.The first big step in the direction ofbeing permanently involved in music, was winning the post as lead singer with the world-renowned Pasadena Roof Orchestra. Duncan’s first concert was in 1989 in Guildford. In 1996 Duncan left the band, but it was only to be temporary. In 2002 he was back touring as a ‘temporary solution’ until they found a new frontman…….In 2012 he took over an active role in the management of the Orchestra’s affairs, and from 2021 is the sole owner of the whole business.