Week of October 19, 1997

Strider

Personnel:

Gary Grainger - guitar
Jim Hawkins - bass 
Ian Kewley - keyboards, vocals
Lee Strzelczyk - bass
Tony Brock - drums, vocals
Rob Elliot - vocals
Jenny Haan - vocals

Albums: 

Exposed (GM GML 1002) 1973
Misunderstood (GM GML 1012) 1974

45s:

Higher And Higher/Ainít Got No Love (GM GMS 2) 1973
Esther's Place/Woman Blue (GM GMS 12) 1973
Seems So Easy/Arthur Hydrogen (GM GMS 23) 1974

A hard rock band. "Higher And Higher", their debut 45, was presumably the Jackie Wilson song.

Taken from the very apt (this time) Tapestry of Delights - The Comprehensive Guide to British Music of the Beat, R&B, Psychedelic and Progressive Eras 1963-1976, Vernon Joynson  ISBN1899855 041


Well ... We just about made it, even though the beers of various countries came swirling in frothy torrents, 2 feet deep, through the control room. Sometimes these floods carried the lads into oblivion, but they forged onwards with the production, for which they can thank Jimmy Horowitz and Themselves, not forgetting the sober Phil Dunne, on advice. Strider threw up and disarranged the arrangements, while Phil Dunne (again?) engineered the whole shebang with admirable fortitude. John Eaton set the tapes up in between bouts of stealing our booze. All this happened at the Marquee Studios, London, and was recorded on a 16 track something or other, that coped memorably with the event. (Especially as it was February 1973.)

Thanks: Jimmy Horowitz, The Gaff People, Jack 'back to the AC30s' Barry, Phil 'You name it I'll tell you a story about it' Dunne. 'The Mouth' Noton, and nubile young ladies all over the world. Naturally we couldn't forget old what's his name...?? err... ?... Oh, yeh!!... Martin Saville, without whom...

(Notes taken from the back of the first album, "Exposed", Warner Bros., 1973, BS2722, U.S.)

 

 


Our second album - this must be so, and a year since our first offering. A few personnel changes have come our way: Tony Brock joined us last June on drums and Rob Elliott took over lead vocals in January, so in some ways you could say this is our second first album. We crept about a bit (only a bit) here and there in the past year and tasted the beers of various cities and countries, so you may well have seen us lying on the bar floor of your local ale-house. We are grateful to Jack Barrie and the loyal supporters at the Marquee, Martin Saville, Gaffs, Rory Gallagher Band, Quo and Faces for the work; Pete Buckland, Steve MacDonald, Alex, Graham, Jack, Tom, Steve, Tony Zemaitis and Donal for the help and favours; and Timothy Lea for the confessions books that make the long car journeys seem short. Not forgetting the ever nourishing Monty Franks.

Many thanks to Jennie Haan for the backing vocals on "Misunderstood", "Seems So Easy" and "Wing Tips" (and to Gary and Lee for not singing on the whole album). This album was made with much happiness and a good few smiles and was as enjoyable as an O'Brien party or a pint of Youngs Light and Special after a tour of Europe. Mal got in the gear and Ted got in the beer.  Recorded at IBC Studios, London. Andy (I thought you said erase it) Miller was the Tape Operator (only joking). Thanks mate. Produced and Engineered by Damon Lyon-Shaw.  Nice one mate! - we are very grateful. Interference here and there from Strider.  Jennie Haan appears by kind permission of Harvest Records.

(Notes taken from the back of the second album, "Misunderstood", GM Records, 1974, GML 1012, U.K.)

 


As you can see, very little information is available about this short-lived English group from the first half of the 1970s. However, a few links of note are too apparent and can’t be ignored.

Firstly, Strider appeared on the same bill at the Reading Festival in 1973 as Rory Gallagher Band, Andy Bown, Status Quo, Leslie Duncan, Tim Hardin, and other greats. In fact, this was my first introduction to this band. The song performed by them was "Roadrunner", and was included in the "Reading 1973" LP subsequently.

Secondly, Jennie Haan appears by permission of Harvest Records for a reason: at the time, she was with another English group, Babe Ruth, fronted by Alan Shacklock, the group’s founder member, who later left and was replaced by Bernie Marsden (himself later with Whitesnake).

Tony Brock came from Spontaneous Combustion and was later in The Babys. In the 80s, he was in Rod Stewart’s backing band.

Finally, "The Gaff People" (management, presumably) would explain another link to Rod Stewart, himself under the Gaff management in the 70s through the early 80s.

Small world!

Alex Gitlin


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