Mel Galley Impersonator

  • Has anyone come across the bloke who tells the young bands he is Mel Galley? He lives in the Notts/Derby area and collects guitars though he cant really play. Hes about Mel's age and has a west midlands accent but looks nothing like him.

    Hes harmless in that he isnt trying to rip them off apart from a few pints and a bit of adulation but i think it's so funny I had to post it. He tells them hes playing the NEC that night and all sorts hoping to impress people.

    There was one band we know who believed him and went round telling everyone they had made friends with a big rock star! Should have seen their faces when they found out!

    Hes quite a nice bloke really but I just think its hilarious!

  • You're right...he is basically harmless but that isn't always the case. Spinning a tale to get a few pints is one thing, but some of these guys will book gigs and run off with advance money...that sort of thing. I believe that back in 1974 or so, Jon Lord had some guy impersonating him in the States and he was dealing drugs....this tale is related in the booklet for the Deep Purple box set Listen, Learn, Read On. This was serious stuff that could have landed the totally innocent musician in big trouble. I would go dig the book out but it is packed away in a mountain of boxes in the dungeon (my name for the windowless room in the bottom floor of the townhouse!).

    These scam artists cause all sorts of grief and the performer has to deal with the fall out. I remember reading about a guy who was claiming to be Felix Cavaliere of the Rascals. Not only did this guy charm woman into bed and out of their money, but in one particularly cold blooded instance, he promised to introduce one of his con victims to Wayne Newton!!

    I also remember reading in Rolling Stone about 25 years ago about a guy who would put on quite a show...the accent and everything. He claimed to be a bunch of different musicians and Lou Gramm commented in the article that he couldn't believe that people would fall for a fast line like that....he says something to the effect of "I usually hear, 'Sure you are..sing something!'"

    Yours In The Funk
    Bill "Capt. Midnite" Redford


    "Cause if you fake the FUNK..your nose got to grow!" Bootsy Collins

  • I just hope this guy hasn't caused any trouble for Mel. I would hate to see Mel have to deal with a damaged reputation because some clown with a life that sucks has this twisted need to get attention.

    I couldn't sleep at night until I dug up the booklet from Listen, Learn, Read On and rechecked that story about Jon Lord. There was, in 1976, an individual claiming to be Mister Lord who was burning people on drug deals and just being a general nuisance. Apparently he sold something to a young lady who became quite ill and her brothers came to a Texas show packing heat and wanting to take vengeance on the unsuspecting keyboardist. Luckily the crew got wind of their plan and managed to corral them and even let them get a look at Jon to prove that he wasn't the man they were looking for. You can imagine how ugly that could have played out....

    I just hope this gets settled quickly!

    Yours In The Funk
    Bill "Capt. Midnite" Redford


    "Cause if you fake the FUNK..your nose got to grow!" Bootsy Collins

  • I had a keyboard player sit in with us a few months ago tell us all he was "Wayne from Rainbow." He proceeded to tell us that he'd been in the band off and on for a long time. I didn't say anything to him but I should have, because it made me angry, bands like Rainbow or Deep Purple most fans know who's been in the band and this guy has never been near Ritchie. It was stupid that he did that, because he played great and didn't need to name drop. He looked the part too, I'm sure the average bar musicians and patrons probably believe him. You can't get away with this stuff anymore, thanks to the internet.


  • Mel has just sent out some details to local press in the conman's area and also Classic Rock, Blabbermouth and The Fuze.

    If any of you can recommend other well read rock music websites he can contact it would be appreciated.

    In the mean time here are some details.

    A guy called Ken Grimley who looks nothing like Mel, he's older, shorter, fatter and bald has been pretending to be Mel in pubs, clubs and even music shops. He lives in Ripley and has been operating in the Derby and Nottingham areas. It would appear that 5 or so years ago he was pretending to be an ex roadie/studio assistant to Trapeze/Whitesnake. when he became Mel we are not sure. Mel has been getting regular messages on his page from people who think they have met him. In fact the only one he has met this year are upcoming US band
    Blanco Diablo (excellent by the way).

    He gives "advice" to young unsigned bands, hands out plectrums, wears a snake ring (cos he was in Whitesnake right!), and generally tells made up stories about what he has done/is doing. A regular tale is he is just about to go to Ritch Bitch Studios in Birmingham(they are real) to record with Tony Iommi. Another that he is off to the USA to play with old friends ZZ Top. He told one band he hadnt spoken to Glenn for 5 years but that Jon Lord is still in contact and always sends him an Xmas card. When asked to play he declines and cites "his" hand injury. This is why Mel was keen to get the video on his page.

    He has signed cd's and pictures and has his picture taken with fans. He even duped a Harley dealership i believe. When in danger of being caught out by fans who actually followed Mel's career he always leaves. tho a guy who realised he wasnt Mel got him to sign a Trapeze cd just to make him squirm knowing that they both knew he was a conman.

    When he approached Dumpy (Rustys Nuts) when he was doing a solo acoustic show recently he didnt realise that his drummer Andy was a friend of Mel's. When Dumpy said "you know my drummer" he made his excuses and left.

    In his house he has lots of guitars and even framed discs on the wall. When asked why it didnt say Mel Galley on them, his reply was that it was his stage name!

    You get the picture. This info will appear in Mels blog along with some new pics. Pass the word, especially in the UK, to everyone you know and any music sites you can think of.

    Mel thanks you all on here for your support :thumbup:

  • This guy needs one of two things; either a healthy dose of professional help from someone with a bunch of letters after their surname...or a custom made pair of cement snakeskin boots!

    And Paul..thanks again for all your tireless work on Mel's behalf to spread the word about sad little Ken Grimley. So he has a house full of guitars and framed records does he? As it was noted earlier, it is one thing to spin a story to get a few free pints, quite another to put on such an elaborate charade. And the Harley dealership...this is the where real damage could be done to Mel's good reputation especially if money was involved.

    Spread the word....let's put this clown out of business.

    Yours In The Funk
    Bill "Capt. Midnite" Redford


    "Cause if you fake the FUNK..your nose got to grow!" Bootsy Collins

  • As Wolfy knows, I had a few encounters with this fella about five years ago, and even though at that time he never claimed to be Mel, (he called himself by his real name at that time) everything he said about Trapeze, Whitesnake and the Rich Bitch recording sessions would have led anyone who knows anything about Mel's career to think that he actually was/is Mel.

    Added to which, I've spent quite a lot of time with patients on the psychiatric wards at Derby City Hospital - and their families - over the last ten years. Many of the patients are there through an imbalance of chemicals in their brain that could happen to any of us - and just as many are there through personal traumas (self-induced or externally-induced) that have contributed to their problem.

    There's definitely something going sadly wrong inside this fella's head, so ... Ken, if you're reading this.... I hope ya get treatment soon.

  • You do wonder how he has got away with impersonating Mel for so long without being challenged / named and shamed / receiving treatment? As has been said, it could become a dangerous practice.

    Something I've wanted to tell everyone for years ... my name's really Gina Lollobrigida and I'd LOVE a Sportster or Fat Boy if HD are looking in! :D

    PS There's only one Mel :thumbup:

    'You thought that you could take me for granted, but I couldn't take it no more. Better run if you see me coming ... '

  • You know, Paul, I think that this is a really serious situation.
    It may just qualify as, but if this guy is becoming
    "more Mel Galley" than he used to be, there could be an escalation
    of this guy's actions.

    He used to be a roadie, and now he's Mel Galley?
    What's next?

    I seriously think that Mel (accompanied by you, perhaps?)
    should go to the local constabulatory, and have a conversation about
    this situation with somebody who knows how sometimes "fans" don't know
    the difference between love and hate. We all know, unfortunately,
    of a few tragic examples of this happening before. And I think that
    it would be smart to have this guy's actions on record, with the police.

    Plus, how about having some print-outs made, with a photo
    of the REAL Mr. Galley, with a short explanation of what's been
    going on with this impersonator; maybe this would be a good way
    to get the word out, to the people in the local club scene.
    I hope that you and Mel will give some serious thought to my 2 suggestions.

    Yeah, yeah, I'm the famous Ax Murderer of New Jersey.
    But I ain't no impersonator / stalker.



  • Bill,
    the days of Peter Grant(Led Zep's manager) sending heavies round to hold someone by their ankles out of a 3rd story window are sadly over. If Mel were to "send the boys round" it is he who would face the charges. It would be better he is confronted by "the fan in the street" rather than anyone with a connection to Mel. that is why we want "the public" to know.


    emails have gone out to local papers in Derby and Nottingham with an up to date picture of Mel. What, if anything, they do or print is up to them. Whenever Mel is contacted on Myspace we get a bit more info so will send info to the venue "Mel" was in.

    Hopefully Classic Rock will print something. that is the best read music mag in the UK so would help a lot.

    Grimley did claim to one person that something he signed sold for £500 on ebay. I think that is just the boast of someone "living the lie". but if anyone does see stuff i would be very wary unless it is a 25 year old item.

    Mel has spoken to the police.

    Miss Lollobrigida,
    he has got away with it because Mel didnt know till the page was set up and he got these strange messages. also it is out of this area and Mel hasnt really been in the public eye since the 94 Trapeze tour. Even then that was with hardcore fans. Whitesnake was 23 years ago - when you and i were still at school!

    Grimley told one band he has been a recluse for 17 years, then in the next sentence that he was on stage with ZZ Top a few months earlier.

    :ghcp: "It's in my blood"

  • Paul,

    The comment about cement boots was a joke...and in hindsight, a tacky one at that. I am sorry that I wrote that and never should have made light about what is showing itself to be a serious situation. I would NEVER suggest that Mel, his friends or anyone who read that post resort to such strong arm tactics. Making people aware of this situation and proactive tactics on Mel's part i.e. getting the Tackeroo footage posted quickly is the most effective way to deal with Mister Grimley.

    I was wrong to make that crack and I am sorry.

    Yours In The Funk
    Bill "Capt. Midnite" Redford


    "Cause if you fake the FUNK..your nose got to grow!" Bootsy Collins

  • Can I just add to the above comments, I'd love to meet this Ken Grimley fella, maybe for a remake of the movie 'My Two Dads'! I think he owes me 35years of back calculated pocket money ;)

    I wonder how he'd react if I introduced myself to him, as his son?

    Joking aside, he really needs to be stopped before it all gets a bit out of hand

  • A buddy of mine who resembles Frank Hannon of Tesla used to get mistaken for him all the time "back in the day" (My friend now has a few extra pounds on him). One night in Hollywood at the Rainbow bar and grille, 2 girls mistakenly thought he was Hannon, took him back to their hotel room and had a threesome! Of course he wasn't going to ruin it for them!

    He has met Frank many times since and of course told him about the entire adventure. Frank's response - "I hope I was good". True story.

  • That is a cool story. The best I can do for a celebrity lookalike is that I have a pretty close resemblance to onetime New York Islanders coach Mike Milbury. I remember my brother holding up a copy of Newsday and showing me the back page...."Hey...that guy looks like me!"

    Trust me, I never would have been able to work out a threesome like Satan's buddy. I probably would have gotten my ass kicked by a group of disgruntled Islander fans! :(

    Of course, Glenn's mother thought a certain webmaster was Gary Moore...some guys have all the luck! ;) :thumbup:

    Yours In The Funk
    Bill "Capt. Midnite" Redford


    "Cause if you fake the FUNK..your nose got to grow!" Bootsy Collins

  • I guess some young'uns can't ever tell the difference nowadays. If I had anything to give to that impersonator, it would be a big huge fist to the face! :p

  • Nah..........that would mess up your knuckles.

    For something really evil: Duct tape the guy to a chair,

    and force him to listen to "Yodeling Classics."

    5 minutes aughta' do it :hi5:


  • I spoke to Mel briefly a couple of hours a go on the phone.

    He met Ken Grimley today.

    He was accompanied by a friend of his (a retired police inspector) and the crime correspondent from the Derby Evening Telegraph. Pictures were taken. Grimley even signed something "Mel Galley" before the real Mel's id was revealed.

    Not sure when the story will appear in the press.
    I will get the full story from Mel this weekend.

    Hopefully this will be the end of his Walter Mitty life.

    by the way, in case anyone passes this story on, Grimley lives in Ripley not Belper as i previously stated.

    :ghcp: "It's in my blood"

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