|Producing this album was an intense but rewarding experience. I’ve heard these guys work described as “athletic rock” and that’s just about right. I’ve uploaded a couple of samples below.
We decided we wanted a marching sound to bring in the “Rock Until You Drop” track so we mike’d up the toilet floor next to the studio and went in there and marched. It wasn’t right though. We needed a gravel pit or different footwear.
I took a coffee break to ponder the problem and then it struck me. The disposable plastic coffee cups had just that crunch factor we needed. We spread a hundred or so and stomped on them at the tempo that the track was to be. We then did several takes but had to keep replenishing the cups as they could not withstand the punishment. In the end we used the entire supply of three thousand. the next day the studio boss was well pissed off but, hey, you can’t make a cake without breaking eggs!
Rock Until You Drop (listen)
Wiped Out (listen)
These guys were so over the top that I refused to produce the album non stop. Instead I opted for a three day week to give me time to recover between sessions
Raven – fooling about during the making of “Rock Till You Drop”
Just Kidding. Surprising how many times I’ve pulled the same gag over the years. (scroll down) Must be an “…. ism”
No doubt you’ve heard the charming story of how Rene Angelil mortgaged his house to fund Celine’s career!
But did you know that Celine set out on her dream of international stardom armed with one of my songs? Ne me Plaignez Pas !
You can find this song on literally dozens of compilation CD’s
In 1982 The Searchers released my song “I Don’t Want To Be The One” on PRT as a single. It only achieved moderate chart success but went Gold on “Street Scene” a compilation album.†
There was talk of an album with PRT and another of my songs “Innocent Victim” was recorded. However, the album never materialised and the master tapes for the song mysteriously disappeared. This year the Searchers celebrate 40 years in the business and have released an all encompassing double CD to commemorate the fact. Luckily the Innocent Victim tapes were found just in time to be included on the CD. Referring to the proposed PRT album the sleeve notes for this CD state “Innocent Victim is an indicator of what might have been”
In the late seventies I was producing bands and running a record company in Wallsend (UK). At night I played in the Mick Whitaker Band. We played the Burgundy Cobbler in Whitley Bay on Tues and Wed nights. I lived in Manor Court Next door, a block of bedsits owned by the Sid McCulloch who also owned the Cobbler. So the Cobbler became my living room. A whole gang of musicians and muso type people hung out there and for a few years there was a great “Cobbler Community”.
Now here are some sounds from the recording session that spawned this line-up. It is a studio session but it is all live with no overdubs. Typical of the stuff we were playing at the cobbler. Sorry it’s in REALmedia but if I get the time I’ll dig the tracks out again and MP3 them.
The View of South Parade from my Attic Room in Manor Court
Thompson And Whitaker in the Cobbler Cupboard Dressing Room
Of Course you can’t spend your entire life just having fun so I got married (just kidding) With such proximity it was bound to happen – I married one of the Cobbler barmaids – Molly (that’s my Gran in the Picture)
Live at the Marquee Club Wardour Street.
That’s me on the far right playing keyboards. This was a blast for me because I never got to play the Marquee and this gave me the chance. Can’t remember when this was but it was knocked down soon after.
John V (left in top pic) was in Argent for many years so naturally “Hold Your Head Up” was in the set. I had not rehearsed with this band so when I arrived at the gig I asked the guys about keys for different songs and they seemed fairly uncertain about many of them. When I got down the set list to “Hold Your Head Up” I was pretty ok on that one but there is a middle section with a bunch of funny chords in it. I asked the guys to give me a rundown and none of them knew the chords.
So I go into the dressing room and say “hey John, your band don’t know the keys to half of these tunes and the definitely don’t know the middle section to Hold Your Head Up Norman (in joke) Anyway, John just looks at me and he’s white as a sheet so I thought it best not to bother him. It was a great gig though. Jon and Neil of the Tygers of Pan Tang were there and the said it was too loud for them — Rockkkkin!!
Me, Neil Sheppherd and Jon Deverill (Tygers Mk2)
My first band. Second line-up Top left to R Pete MacDonald, Jim Harle. Bottom Left to R, Robin Hird, Steve Thompson. The picture to the right is the Freemasons Arms in my hometown, Consett. it was around 1969/70 when I played my very first note in public with these guys. Jim has a website that tells the whole story with pictures and sounds. www.thebullfrogstory.com
I’ll be writing more later
Came across this pic of me in my archive. Don’t remember where or when it was taken. My brother dug it out and sent me it.
So – what excess. Well, behind me are four 4X12″ speaker cabinets driven by two amps. Clearly we had roadies in those days, I wouldn’t want to carry that lot. But that’s not the end of it. The Rickenbacker I’m playing was known as a “stereo bass” What !!!!! – Well there were two pickups and two jack outputs. So I plugged each pickup into a different amp. Stereo huh? I don’t think so!