I recently found my old tapes in the loft, and had them
digitised (by The CopyRoom).
The 2" tapes were fine but the 1/4" tapes were in bad condition, you could
see the metal falling off like dust as they played! So please excuse the quality
of some tracks. The important thing is that the music still sounds fresh, even
32 years after recording! It's so old it's back in fashion!
- ‘Groove Tonight’ was a dance track that I did in 1980-something
(remember Disco was still big). It was the best track I did to capture that
jazzy, funky feel. You know Earth, Wind and Fire etc. It started out being called 'Get down with the Boogie Nights' but the lyrics
got changed (for the better). Bungalow Records were releasing it but 'bottled out' at the last minute.
- 'Shine On' was probably my best song and performance. I rediscovered my lead
guitar sound (100W Marshall stack) for a scorching solo halfway through that works really well (if
I say so myself) with my acoustic guitar track. I even played the piano on
- I did another track at the same time ‘Pick it up’. This I still like
too. It was an instrumental with a chant. A good dance track with the
obligatory party sounds behind.
- 'Changin’ Times' was a fun instrumental with the same stoned friends doing party
sounds ("he stepped on my toe man!")
All three tracks were recorded on 24 track analog. The Engineer was Terry Barham
and we laid down various parts at Airport studios Heathrow, Pineapple studios Notting Hill and a studio called
Jacobs in the wilds of Surrey.
These sessions are worth a listen too...
Previous to the 'Groove Tonight' sessions I recorded four other tracks with basically the
same line-up but only to demo standard on 8 track - so the sound is not quite as good. The songs are
though and I have to say my rhythm guitar was at it’s best here. The bass player was Stuart Uren
- 'Keep Dancin’' is a bit distorted at the start but is fine after the first
32 bars, bear with it
- 'Lady, Lady, Lady' has a great hook and a succinct Benny guitar solo after
the 2nd chorus
- 'Everybody get down (get funky now)' was a nice groove with some party
I had pretty much the same line-up and strategy for everything I produced. First, I wrote
the song then worked on the rhythm section. This was usually Rom Parol on drums
and a Kiwi called Lyn Edmenson on bass. We’d rehearse in Rom’s basement in Ealing
then put it down on tape at the best studio I could afford.
The vocals were done by two black brothers from Tottenham; Bernie and
Maurice. They were young but had The Style. They were also the only musicians I ever
had to pay session fees!
Horns were done by Luke Tunney. He was the top UK trumpet session guy at the time
(playing with Phil Collins and many others) and a fine pal (he never
wanted paying!). He did the horn arrangements and multi tracked the brass
section! I can’t stress how important he was to my sound. He also played most
of the synth too. He really was that good. I’d hum him a line and he would
write it down, add the harmonies
and play it like Earth Wind and Fire's horn section!
I played with some good guys. If you were one of them, get in touch!