In the early 1960s every kid wanted to be in a group. It was an escape from the impending dullness of the rest of your life and a way to let off hormonal steam. I was in 4 bands before anything remotely successful happened, and never saw any of them as a career. I was having a ball playing drums and studying to be a graphic designer and spent 8 years at art college juggling both. What I was really doing though was delaying the switch from freedom to reality, because at art college the lines between the 2 were beginning to blur and we wanted to stay part of that - we being myself and Lol Creme that is, best friend, like - minded soul and song - blurring partner.
My 1st band was GROUP 17 and, thankfully, no photos of us survived. Next up were THE SABRES (below left), a dirty R&B combo with a Thames van and me on drums, closely followed by THE MOCKINGBIRDS with GRAHAM GOULDMAN on bass, proper song - writing, a bigger van and a road crew of 1. Man, were we going places? Er...not just yet.
The day I graduated with my BA degree in 1968 Lol and I headed for London to begin our recording career for real, under the guidance of the legendary Giorgio Gomelsky. We recorded a few tracks for his MARMALADE label as Frabjoy & Runcible Spoon but the label sadly went belly up soon after. Then, round about 1969 when ex - Mindbender Eric Stewart opened STRAWBERRY STUDIOS in Stockport, he went looking for a couple of guys to help test the newly installed recording gear and we seemed to fit the bill. We hooted, strummed, banged and, before we knew what was happening, warbled our way to a UK number 2 hit entitled NEANDERTHAL MAN. We were finally in a successful band called HOTLEGS so, naturally, we bought matching sports cars and went on holiday.
On our return we tried everything, but other than releasing 2 average singles, a vaguely interesting album and supporting THE MOODY BLUES for 3 gigs, nothing hit pay dirt so HOTLEGS got cold feet and folded. Not for long though...
As Stockport was hardly the centre of the record industry there was lots of free time to fill at STRAWBERRY, so GRAHAM GOULDMAN, who had just come back from a writing stint in NY, joined forces with us and we became the house band / house producers for anything that walked through the door. Somewhere during this extended musical sweat - shop the penny dropped. We were blurring the lines even more, this was good chemistry and we played well together. Hey...why don't we form a band?
So we did and, against all odds from 1972 to 1976, 10cc had 9 hit singles, 4 hit albums and a massive amount of creative fun, with no - one telling us what to do or how to do it. Of course it had to end. The blurred lines were coming into focus and Lol and I were uncomfortable with that. Flux was our natural habitat. Our art school ethos said 'If you know how it's going to turn out, do it another way.' Success seemed to be sliding towards treadmill, so we bailed...
It was a sad time but in our heads we'd already moved on so we jumped straight into CONSEQUENCES, the aptly named triple album conceived as a test - bed for our orchestral simulator for electric guitar, THE GIZMO. It was an extraordinarily liberating 14 months, involving Peter Cook, Sarah Vaughan and a seriously anxious record company - and it didn't go well. Like many artists of that era we fell into the trap of believing we could do no wrong - but how wrong we were. CONSEQUENCES bombed so we had to start from scratch and learn how to re - blur everything.
Godley & Creme went on to make 6 albums chalking up 3 hit singles along the way. Thing is we weren't part of the perceived vanguard any more so we pretty much went off - radar, doing what we wanted, when we wanted, in pictures as well as sound.
By the time we parted company in 1989 we had blurring down to a fine art which is, if you think about it, a total contradiction.
What happened next is all over this website...