Information Emily 45 ~ A Bubbleglam Classic!

March 16, 2011

I was staggered to see and hear the rare pop~psych single 45  ‘Information Emily’ which I made in 1972 with the group Midas Mould on the internet at the site called purepop1uk.blogspot.com which is run by Robin Wills guitarist from the Barracudas and on eBay recently selling for 15 UK pounds.    

Released on March 10th 1972 on Columbia Records UK cat. No. DB 8868

This stirred lots of memories !

While I was working as  a tape operator at the Marquee Studio in 1970 I struck up a friendship with a session  guitarist called Andy Goble from Croydon and I was singing at the time so after a few meetings, beers and rehearsals we decided to form a 4 piece group called Midas Mould. Terrible name, I think it was someone who was from Oliver Cromwell’s new model army ? But I remember his mother used to make the best Sunday dinners.

The bass player was Martin Yates and his father was responsible for the design of the Esso advertising for their ‘ Put A Tiger in the Tank ‘ campaign, so he financed the band until we signed to EMI.

The song our EMI producer chose to record as the A~Side was ‘Information Emily’ which was a rip off of the Jeff Beck hit ‘ Hi Ho Silver Lining’ and was written by our guitarist Andy Goble who was a great player himself and said he was taught by Beck and was also friends with Jim McCartey who sat in on drums with us one time as we were more of a rock group live than a bubbleglam pop group.

Not sure who the drummer was on the record as we always had problems in the drum department but the lead guitar solo was double ~ tracked with a classical violin session player and we used a Hammond organ Leslie speaker to get the unique effect on the guitar. I was the not so great a singer singing those bubbleglam lyrics, the backing singer was brought into the band, a lad from Fulham by the name of Tony Carpenter who also played guitar and has been Beaky in the classic 60’s band Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich for the last 20 odd years, but we meddled by and had a great pop group adventure at EMI Abbey Road studios ! 

The highlights for me was that we recorded the single at the Beatles studio at Abbey Road, quite an experience for us and we were signed to the same label at EMI as the Yardbirds and the Jeff Beck Columbia Records.  Also I remember at one gig Jim McCarty from the Yardbirds showed up and played drums for us on our rocked up version of ‘Shapes of Things’. 

The B~Side Love Sweet Love was co~written by Glo Marcari, whose father owned Marcari’s Music Shop in Charing Cross Road in London and our EMI producer Roger Ferris who I didn’t get on with very well because of the choice of songs they wanted us to record (you need a hit record).

 The arranger and conductor on the 45 was Andrew Pryce Jackman (I think there is a small string section on the record as well) who was super good and came up with the ideas for the dual violin solo and sound of the guitar solo, he later worked with Peter Skellern, Chris Squire and Yes.

Sadly our little 45 was only played once on BBC Radio One on the Gary Taylor show and we only sold about 26 copies of the record mostly to family and friends and so the group quickly desolved and we went our separate ways, not even a photo of the band remained, but the record is now apparently a bubbleglam pop psych classic appearing on the Pop Cycles Vol. 12 download compilation and is now available as a ringtone for your cellphone. Wow! Go figure.

Flies are in your pea soup baby!


JIMI HENDRIX in LONDON

January 15, 2011

Jimi Hendrix was born on November 27th 1942 on the third stone from the sun and passed away on September 18th 1970 in London far from home. I often think that he must have been a space ~ angel visiting us from outer space because he only released three albums in four years and then all of a sudden he was gone, not there anymore, leaving behind a legacy of three brilliant albums Are You Experienced ~ Axis : Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland all way ahead of their time!

Hendrix ~ There will never be another guitar player like him!   

Flying Jimi over to England from America was a master stroke by ex~Animals bassist Chas Chandler his new manager who promised to introduce him to Eric Clapton. I don’t think that Jimi would have made such a big impact if he had stayed in the USA, but swinging London in England in 1966 was the place to be, open to new sounds, looks and ideas which Jimi had in spades.

After many rehearsals two quirky English musicians were bought in to form The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Mitch Mitchell on Drums and Noel Redding on Bass complete with new afro hair styles!

Mitch Mitchell was a powerhouse drummer similar to jazz drummer Elvin Jones and a perfect foil for Hendrix, they had a great understanding like two playful eagles soaring through the sky duelling with each other and pushing the music on and on to see how far out they could get! Meanwhile bassist Noel Redding would try to underpin the rhythm and keep it all together.

While recording their first album in London, Jimi would travel around various clubs and watering holes where England’s established musicians like Eric Clapton, Brian Jones and Eric Burdon would hang out. Jimi would get up on stage and play his new metallic feedback guitar pryrotechnics and strike fear into the hearts of the likes of Clapton, Beck, Townsend and Page.

This guy was the real blues playing deal!                      

 Jimi was a vital link back to the early blues of Robert Johnson and add to that mix his futuristic use of the whammy bar on his Fender Stratocaster and the controlled feedback to take us all on a psychedelic star~spangled roller coaster ride!                  

The debut album ‘ Are You Experienced ‘ was released in 1967 and word spread quickly about the new guitar slinger in town and all Jimi had to say was ” Move over Rover and let Jimi take over! ” and the rest is history.                                  

Check out the pure blues of ‘ Red House ‘ and the sex of ‘ Foxy Lady ‘ coming to git yer!                                                                                                                                       

Heavy stuff and tour dates took there toll as Jimi never seemed to be off the road, working at a ridiculous pace with hardly any time for recording. The second album ‘ Axis : Bold As Love ‘ wasn’t as well received as the first one but still featured some great music like ‘ Castles Made of Sand ‘ ” Little Wing ‘ and ‘If Six Were Nine ‘ which appeared on the soundtrack to ‘Easy Rider ‘. This album showed Hendrix’s lighter, gentler and more melodic side and is a beauty. 

With the release of Hendrix’s epic third album ‘ Electric Ladyland’ we heard for the first time his beautiful interpretation of Dylan’s ‘All Along the Watchtower’. A lot of people have covered Bob Dylan’s songs but Hendrix made them his own! Just listen or watch ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ which he played to a thrilled crowd at the Monterey Festival on his first visit back to the USA. 

Listen to ‘Electic Ladyland ‘ on vinyl through headphones if you get a chance, there is not a bad track on this album and this is the bar to which every other guitar player is now judged by.    

I never met Hendrix, the closest I came was while working at the Marquee Studios in 1969 at the tender age of 16 when Keith Emerson who went on to form ELP booked the studio to have a jam with Hendrix one night but Hendrix was a no~show as we all waited until 2 am. Never mind! I did have a drink with Mitch Mitchell in the early 80’s at the Fulham Greyhound and he was full of stories and was a super nice guy.                                                                                                                

While on my epic road trip across the US a few years ago I stopped off in Renton, Washington State and visited the grave where Jimi rests. As I wandered around looking for the grave one of the groundsmen approached me and said ” I know who you’re looking for!” and took me to the Hendrix plot complete with guitar inscription and next to his grandmother. One minute silence was observed.

Fly on my sweet angel, fly on through the sky!


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