The Koobas were among the better failed rock bands in England during the mid-'60s. Their peers, among the most talented group of the early British beat boom never to make it, included the Roulettes, the Chants, and the Cheynes. Favorites of the press and popular for their live shows, they somehow never managed to chart a record despite a lot of breaks that came their way, including a tour opening for the Beatles, top management representation, and a contract on EMI-Columbia. The group was formed in 1962 by guitarist/singers Stuart Leathwood and Roy Morris, drummer John Morris (who was quickly succeeded by Tony O'Reilly), and bassist Keith Ellis, all of whom were veterans of Liverpool bands such as the Thunderbeats and The Midnighters. The band, known at one point as the Kubas, did a three week engagement at the Star-Club in Hamburg in December 1963 and out of that built up a serious reputation as performers. They had a sound that was comparable to the Beatles, the Searchers, and the Mojos, as Liverpool exponents of American R&B with a strong yet lyrical attack on their guitars and convincing vocals. It wasn't until after Brian Epstein signed them a year later, however, that a recording contract (with Pye Records) came their way. They got one false start through an appearance in the movie Ferry Cross the Mersey, starring Gerry & the Pacemakers, playing one of the groups that loses a battle-of-the-bands contest, but the Koobas' footage ended up being dropped from the final cut of the film. Their debut single, "I Love Her" b/w "Magic Potion," failed to chart, as did its follow-up, despite the exposure the group received opening for the Beatles on their final British tour.