When I posted yesterday the story about my song that the Searchers recorded I forgot to mention that I was actually a member of the Searchers. Ok, just for a day but it left me with a terrific memory.
I had co-produced with John Verity a solo single with Mike Pender. He was still in the Searchers, it was to be a solo single by a Searchers member. The single was “It’s Over” written by David Valentine but John V and I made him do one of our songs “Brothers & Sisters” for the B side. Not one of our better songs and I still feel a little guilty. Check it out in the video below.
When the single was released Mike quit the Searchers and formed “ Mike Pender’s Searchers”. Anyway, he called me up one day and asked if I’d do a TV show with the band. The record relied heavily on keyboards which I had played and the band was a guitar bass and drums line-up. So I travelled to Manchester to do the TV show and that’s where I get my claim to fame of being a member of the Searchers (for a day)
The TV show was a strange affair. We all played live but it was recorded for later transmission. There was no audience but one would be dubbed later so it had to look as if the band were acknowledging an audience. It was strange to see Mike take a few paces forwards and bow into thin air with imaginary applause ringing in his ears
However, that was nothing compared to the peculiarities of what I had to do. I was playing off stage and would not be in camera shot. The band were in suits and ties Searchers style and I was in jeans and T-Shirt. However, various cameramen and dudes with clipboards found my positioning not to their liking and I was asked to move six feet back to be out of camera shot. The drummer counts the song in and we’re off… STOP !!! The stage manager declares “the keyboard player is still in shot”. So I moved further back and we go again. Only to be stopped once more – I was still in shot. So I was moved 50 feet away at the back of the studio. Now, although I had a monitor it was a bit discomforting to be playing with a band that were small figures in the distance. Anyway, off we go again. This time Mike stopped the band “Where’s the keyboards?” I had to shout back “I can’t hear the fucking count in”. I had a monitor by my side but I couldn’t hear the count in. We had to ask the drummer to shout out the count. I was rather surreal.