British musicians Jimmy Bilsbury (or Pilsbury), Peter Shoesmith, Ian Moncur, and Allan Wilson formed The Sabres in 1962. They played in the Manchester area for a few years and charted a single on the UK charts in 1966. Four more unsuccessful singles followed. A cover of Peter and Gordon’s Knight In Rusty Armor came out in 1966 and a cover of the Monkee’s Auntie Grizelda followed in 1967.
Their only success on the US charts came with the release of Shame, Shame. The single reached #29 on the Hot 100 in late December 1968.
Looking at the back cover of their album, one of the members looks quite a lot like a young Ozzy Osbourne. One of the members of the group was identified on the album as Mike “Oz” Osborne. In spite of the different spelling of the last name (and the fact that Ozzy was a singer, not a bass player) a lot of people (myself included) jumped to the conclusion that Ozzy had been a member of the group.
He and Oz both insist that he was not.
Oz left the Magic Lanterns and he and Jinx Dawson formed Coven with a few more musicians. Their 1969 album was Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls, but he’s still not Ozzie. The album contained a song entitled Black Sabbath, but he’s still not Ozzie. There was even a 13-minute song entitled Satanic Mass, so maybe he possibly influenced Ozzie after all. I’m just saying…
Albert Hammond also briefly joined the group in the late sixties. He was already a prolific songwriter, and after leaving the Magic Lanterns he wrote several more and even had a few solo hits himself. It Never Rains In Southern California peaked at #5 in 1972.
By 1973 all the members of the Magic Lanterns had left the group.