Wednesday, 22 September 2010


It could be said Robbie McIntosh was born with a touch of star quality, because in his case, he was the son of an American movie actor called Bonar Colleano. The film star was on location along at Barry Buddon, had a wee fling with one of the local lassie's, and 9 months later - Robbie!
He was brought up in Broughty Ferry as a youngster, then moved to Kincardine Street up the Hawkhill in his mid teens.
He took up drumming while at school (Harris) and found himself gigging locally while still aged 15. He was in The Sapphires and The Syndicate, but it wasn't long before he was attracting the attention of the big boys, which lead to the next step up, a residency across at The Auld Hoose in Tayport. He was also with local acts the East Coast Jazzmen and The Poor Souls, for a short time.
Robbie's first major move was when he joined Scotland's top soul band, The Senate, in 1967, an outfit that were in demand across UK and abroad.
He then followed that with a short stint in The Primitives, and then afterwards was drumming for a French group called The Piranhas. It was when he was with them, he was spotted by ace r&b organist, Brian Auger, who promptly got Robbie to join his band, Oblivion Express, a period of time which included plenty live gigs, recording sessions and TV appearances. Robbie then left the band around 1971, and after doing some session work with the likes of Steve Marriot of the Small Faces, he teamed up the the guys who would become the Average White Band in 72. Robbie is mostly remembered for his time in AWB, a time which was still relatively short, because as a consequence of downing a spiked drink at a party in L.A., he died, on this very day in 1974.
AWB's story is already well documented on the net, so no need for me to go any further.
Robbie's gravestone (above) is in Barnhill Cemetery.
The top photos are of Robbie in full flow with Brian Auger's Oblivion Express taken at the Roundhouse in London.
I have a couple of AWB tracks running elsewhere on Retro, so thought I'd delve back to the 60's when he was in The Senate. As well as going down a storm as a band in their own right, they were often called upon to back visiting r&b singers on tour from the States. One such singer was Garnet Mimms, who ended up recording a live album with the band, from which this single, below, was released in 1967, when Robbie was only 17.
It's called "As Long As I Have You", a record which has gone on to be a bit of a collectors item with the Northern Soul fraternity!
Big thanks to Mac and JG


  1. Great track and great drummer

  2. Robbie McIntosh R.I.P. Never knew too much about him until now and by god didn't he pack so much into his young life. Amazing, and a Dundee laddie to boot... Another classic Retro Dundee post. Thank You!

  3. Robbie was my step Uncle.Tho only 4 years older than me.Brill drummer.Still sadly missed
    Bill Mcintosh

  4. Robbie will always be remembered ....I was 13 years old and living in Ukiah, California.... When I had the "Cut the Cake Experience"...

  5. Still in awe of his playing and saddened every time I think of how he was taken of the greats