Nero and the Gladiators Biography (Wikipedia)
Nero & the Gladiators were a British instrumental rock and roll band in the early 1960s. The group was led by keyboard player Mike O'Neill as "Nero", and had two minor hits in the UK, "Entry of the Gladiators" and "In the Hall of the Mountain King".
O'Neill (8 July 1938 – 10 October 2013) was born in Lowton, Lancashire, and moved to London in 1958. He played in Vince Taylor's band before joining The Cabin Boys, who backed singer Colin Hicks, the younger brother of Tommy Steele. In 1959, Hicks and his band accepted an offer to tour Italy, where they had a hit with a version of "Giddy Up a Ding Dong" and appeared in a movie, Europa di Notte. At the end of the tour, Hicks opted to remain in Italy, and his backing band returned to Britain. Before they left, however, O'Neill and the group's bass player, Rod "Boots" Slade, obtained several sets of gladiator costumes, largely made of plastic, which had been used in the 1951 movie, Quo Vadis, filmed at the Cinecittà studios in Rome.
Nero and the Gladiators Tracks