It is surely remarkable how history so often repeats itself. Back in 1994 I had written and produced a “single” for Alvin Stardust called “Taking The Easy Way”. Alvin was, what they call “deal shopping” meaning we were looking for a record company to put it out. One day I got a call from Alvin’s manager saying that he’d secured some interest and that the interest extended to an entire album. The question was, did I have more material suitable for Alvin and would I be happy to produce an album. I’d enjoyed the earlier sessions with Alvin – a true pro and so I said yes. I started sending various songs and I wrote a couple of new ones. After some to-ing and fro-ing we settled on a set of songs. Christmas was approaching so I went into pre-production in the days leading up to Christmas 1994 because Alvin had a window to cut the Album in January 1995 and then he was on tour.
Early in 1995 Alvin stayed with me in my house in Whitley Bay for three weeks whilst we cut the album. I didn’t drive then so every day we’d ride the Metro to the studio in Newcastle. We made the album but unfortunately the deal did not come off and the tracks gathered dust all these years. Alvin did call me a couple of months before he died and we talked about reviving the project. He did not mention his health and so I had no idea he was not long for this world.
Fast forward to 2018 and John Gallagher of the band Raven get’s in touch. He’s spotted that I’m cutting my own album and offered his services to guest on a track or two. Would I be interested? You betcha! I produced an album with John and his band mates around 1981 (Raven: Rock Until You Drop) that is considered a landmark album, inspiring among others Metallica.
John says he’s in the country until Jan 23rd. This rings bells with me and is reminiscent of the Alvin recordings. There was a song I wrote for Alvin’s album that would be ideal for John: Behind The Wheel. So this is to be the track and just 23 years later I go into pre-production once more in the days leading up to Christmas. I’ve been working on the track today with a terrific sense of Deja Vu.