Stackridge Lemon is formed from the remnants of Griptyght Thynn
by Andy Davis and Crun Walter. First experiments take place in Andy’s parent’s front room in Yatton, Somerset and later at No9 Royal York Crescent in Bristol where Crun and Andy hatch plans to revolutionise popular music. Musicians involved in this period include Bob Thompson (keyboards) and Tony Fennel (drums). Billy Blake aka Billy Sparkle, joins the band in late summer, followed by James Warren in November.
In January Mutter Slater joins the group and Peter Donovan becomes road manager. The Lemon is dropped from the band’s name. Brian Coombes, who owns a local music shop called Bristol Musical keeps band afloat with open-ended interest free loans which still haven’t been paid off! Mike Tobin becomes manager. Band plays it’s first London gig (an all-nighter) at The Temple on Feb 6. In August Mike Evans is recruted to complete the classic line-up. There were two other musicians who spent short spells in the band during this time, they were Murray Smith (guitar) and Davy Morrell (acoustic guitar). Davy stayed for one weekend, changed his name to Dave Kowalski and was never seen again. The group formed a liason with “First Lite”, a brilliantly innovative light show run by fellow Bristolians Dave Borthwick and brothers Rod and Nick Bell.The two acts complimented each so well that for a while they were promoted as a double act.and played serveral seminal gigs together.
19 Sept band play first note at first ever Glastonbury Festival (B)
20 Sept band play last note at first ever Glastonbury Festival (A)
Stackridge join John Sherry Enterprises agency in London – begin serious gigging. Barry Newman joins the set-up as sound engineer and tour manager. The top floor flat at 32 West Mall in Clifton becomes the group’s Bristol base and their accomodation problems around London are solved by the setting up of a camp in Ashdown Forrest, Kent (Complete with early version of benders). Crun leaves to take up bricklaying. The group play many shows in the north of England during Jan to May and in June embark on a UK tour supporting Wishbone Ash. On 21 sept they make their first appearance on The John Peel Show. The group t ours Denmark in Nov, and later in the year are signed to MCA Records by David Howells, (the man behind “The Rock Machine Turns You On” and inventor of the compilation album) and record first album “Stackridge”, with Fritz Friar producing at Kingsway Studios, London. They complete a busy year with a Uk tour of their own through Dec with Renaissance in support.
Crun rejoins the band. In Feb Stackridge become the first rock band to visit Northern Ireland after the start of “the troubles”, and continue non-stop tourin throughout the year. The Rhubarb Thrasher’s Society is formed. A new temporary London base is taken in Princes Sqaure, Bayswater courtesy of three generous fans. The band embark on a tour of Britain with “Wishbone Ash” and “Forever More”. (Who later form the basis of “The Average White Band”) The second album Friendliness is recorded in November with Vic Gamm co-producing at Rockfield Studios in Wales and Sound Techniques Studios, Kings Road, London. A touring pantomime “Treasure Island”, is undertaken in Dec with “The Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra” as co-stars. Crun is hospitalised with appendicitis and is replaced temporarily by Paul.
Feb 1 sees the band’s first appearance on “The Old Grey Whistle Test”. The “Almost the Greatest Show On Earth” tour takes to the road in Feb-March with Camel in support. During the tour the band top the bill at the Roundhouse, Chalk Farm. “The Man In The Bowler Hat” is recorded in Air Studios, Oxford Circus, London with producer George Martin. Later the band sign with Air Music (George Martin’s management company) and Alistair Rainsford becomes the new manager. The group tour Holland in Nov and record their own TV special; “Stackridge And Co.” for HTV. The irresistable rise of Stackrige reaches it’s zenith at the end of 1973. The groups crucial 3rd album “The Man In The Bowler Hat” entered at the Melody Maker chart at 23 on it’s second week but, like the first two albums, failed to sell in large quantities and dropped out the following week. Mike Tobin’s replacement as manager heralded a period of change to the fundamental fabric of the band, from which, for the purest, they never fully recovered.
Billy is replaced on drums by John White (who quits before first show claiming to have a wooden leg!) Peter Van Hooke temporarily fills in on drums.Mutter leaves the band. Rod Bowkett (piano) and Kieth Gemmel (sax, clarinet, flute) join, and Andy switches to drums. The band plays some live shows with this line-up but never records.James and Crun are replaced by Paul Karas (Bass) and Roy Morgan (Drums).Stackridge sign with Elton John’s Rocket Records. The fourth album “Extravaganza” is recorded at Air Studios with Tony Ashton producing.
The year starts with the “Extravaganza” tour with Shepstone and Dibbins (whom Crun has nicknamed Sheepdog and Dipstick), in support. Mutter releases solo single. Band plays Wembley Stadium concert with Elton John, Beach Boys etc. Band tours Europe with Jethro Tull. Paul Karas and Roy Morgan leave. Crun rejoins (again!) and the band (what’s left of them) go to Rockfield Studios, Monmouthshire with producer Pete Gage to start fifth album. The band and producer don’t get on. Band escape back to London in the middle of the night. Rocket Records agree to let Andy produce the rest of the album with an executive producer in attendance. “Mr Mick” is recorded at Ramport Studios, Putney.
Rocket Records butcher “Mr Mick” before releasing it. (Bastards!) In the spring Stackridge undertake a tour to promote the album with a rather makeshift line-up. The record does not sell and the band, having run out of steam, play their final show in April. Arguments about the treatment of Mr Mick reach the ears of Seymour Stein of Sire Records in New York who are due to release it in the US. He makes a gallant attempt to keep the band going by inviting Andy to New York for talks about the future. Three weeks later Andy returns to London to report. The management office, which was in Regent Street, has dissapeared, and in its place is a travel agents – there is no sign of manager Alistair Rainsford – he is never seen again. End of Stackridge. Until………..
Late in1976 Rocket Records release “Do The Stanley” compilation.
“Stackridge Live In Concert” released by Windsong.
John Sherry, Roy Morgan and guitarist Rod Lynton propose a reunion tour – possibly with Wishbone Ash and Renaissance.
Andy declines on behalf of the band.
Talks are held between original members about possible reunion and recording starts in Room At The Top studios.1997 “Stackridge – The Radio One Sessions” released by Strangefruit.
“Something For The Weekend Is Released”, featuring the line-up;
James Warren, Crun Walter, Mike Evans, Richard Stubbings, John Miller, Ian Towers and Tim Robinson.
“The Original Mr Mick” and “Live At Croperdy” are released on Dap Records.
The band’s back catalogue is released by Angel-Air Records, plus a ‘BEST OF’ compilation “Purple Spaceships Over Yatton”
and a live concert DVD “The Forbidden City” The original front-line of Andy Davis-James Warren-Mutter Slater
and Jim ‘Crun’ Walters reform & with a backing group of Glenn Tommy-Andy Marsden-Sarah Mitchell & Rachel Hall
perform a series of gigs throughout the year to critical acclaim from both National & Local media.
Stackridge will record a new album with producer Chris Hughes (Tears for Fears-Robert Plant-Paul McCartney etc.)
to be released in mid summer. With more gigs added to the date sheet & a full concert tour planned for September
plus increased interest from both the U.S.A. and Japan 2008 promises to be at last
………The year of STACKRIDGE