SOME OF MY CURRENT WORK
…Following on from my Rock ‘n Roll Years
Speakeasy productions was created by me in 2001. Previously London based Pandora Productions since the mid 60s, the move to the countryside and the relationship with the Speakeasy Club of the 1960s and 70s provided a continuity in the new name. Speakeasy Recordings emerged from the production company as product began to flow. Barry Collings, one of my oldest colleagues, and former Troggs booker, introduced me to Michael Infante and his outfit One Media based at Pinewood film studios. I signed an on-line distribution deal with One Media with artistic control remaining with myself. All of the product can be seen and heard on the Speakeasyrecordings site.
VALERYAN AND THE SETTLERS
Back in the 1970s I was contracted to produce many Artistes, including The Settlers. I treated it as a normal job of work for name bands, Artistes etc contributing writing where necessary, and obviously running the recording sessions –
usually quite different to the touring groups!
Then in 2010 I had a phone call from a member of the public saying she had an old tape and could I convert it to digital? I asked for details and it turned out to be Valeryan and the tape was one of my productions.
Small world. Since then I’ve arranged, produced and played on four albums with Val (as at October 2014 – a fifth and sixth are on their way) plus a single and a video. More of Val
In 1969 I was booker for Thunderclap Newman. And what a headache. Far from playing the live set for the psychedelic freaks in colleges and halls, old Andy Newman extended his eccentric piano solo into a whole set – like 1920s barrelhouse! Audiences were voting with their feet. I presented Andy with an ultimatum …….. change the set or leave the band. He chose the exit route. I had to re-form the band and complete the tour. Following this Tex Makins, Mick Eve and myself formed “Thunderclap’s Incomparables” and wrote / played a stack of material, much of which finally saw the light of day, with Pete Brown, Richard Bailey, Zoot Money, Michael Bailey, Nick Payn, Noel Norris and the late Dick Heckstall-Smith in 2005 as “Pick ‘n’ Tell” ……all of this can be heard on the Thunderclap pages click here.
I’m writing material – and digging up some old rockers that I like – for a new album I’m recording under the “Thunderclap” banner. We’ll be touring again in 2015……
WINWOOD’S PROJECT “THE OL’ FAITHFUL”
Tricia Winwood of the well known Brummie family is managing a folk trio of the above name ……..I’ve just started recording them and fine singers and players they are too. As at 1st October 2014 we’ve recorded two tracks with lots more to come.
MIKE MCNAMARA AND BIG MACS WHOLLY SOUL BAND
I’ve licensed in two albums by Mike’s band – a wonderful South Wales based ten piece soul band now in their 25th year playing authentic 60s soul. Close your eyes and it could be Sam Cooke, Otis Redding or any of the other soul greats ……..as a result Mike has presented me with the challenge of producing 12 of his self-penned songs; as at October 2014 we’re groping our way through styles, instrumentation and by the middle of 2015 we’ll be well on our way to finishing a very classy album.
You can find Big Mac’s website HERE and Speakeasyrecordings.net , as well as FB.
Aka Keith Degroot ……… I’m assembling, with the help of Keith’s wife Kim, a complete anthology and narrative about one of rock’s insiders. Mercurial, anarchistic, brilliant, charismatic Keith / Gerry has been a mate since the mid 60s and Chris Farlowe’s Thunderbirds. I’ve a long list of recordings I’m having to re-master but when it’s finished it’s something I’ll be proud of. Keith could have made it many times over but always ducked out of any project he was involved in …….c’est la vie in the music industry I’m sorry to say. Please click here for more info
MY SOCIAL LIFE
OK so I’m 69 – 70 in May 2015 diabetic neuropathic and with all sorts of other secondaries. But I rock on – I was there at the beginning and I’ll be rockin’ till I leave. The trick is to keep active – music keeps the grey matter active – especially production, but despite diabetes I stay fit and well. How?
Every summer we do endurance swimming in the Aegean – 1600 metres twice a day.
Every winter we do cross country skiing in Norway and fall over a lot
Every day at home either tend the allotment or go walking – the joy of moving from the metropolis to the countryside
All the time I’m thinking about my family – they’re all around the world – a real diaspra – but we all stay in touch – the joy of Facebook and Tumblr