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groups and rock bands from the '60s and '70s.
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CARTOONE & CHEVLONS
Note: Charlie Coffils memoir - 'Story of a 60s Drummer' can be easily found online. Check it out.
90% of the info on here comes from drummer Charlie Coffils - most of the script, the fantastic front cover of the NME from January 4 1969 and all pics below bar the Chevlons material.
Glasgow group the Chevlons (formerly Jay Anders and the Chevlons) had recorded for Pye - see the labels from a couple of their singles below.
They changed their name to Cartoone in 1967.
Chevlons pic, l-r, Derek Creigan (Bass/Lead Vocals), Mo Trowers (Rhythm guitarist/vocals), Mike Allison (Lead guitar/ vocals) & Bobbie Smith (Drums/vocals).
Jay Anders (James Anderson), the lead singer, had left by this time.
Bobbie Smith seems to have been replaced on
drums by Dougie Henderson and was then replaced himself by Charlie Coffils
when Dougie went off to the Poets in 1967 and later of course, to the Marmalade.
Thanks for the image above to David Nelson.
Through Lulu and her manager Marrion Massey, Cartoone were put in touch with Mark London the writer of Lulu's US No l ' To Sir With Love'.
London was impressed with the band and their songs and took them into a Denmark St recording studio the next day to record half a dozen songs with just guitar & vocals.
London then took the acetates to Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records who promptly signed them up for a 5 year deal on the strength of the 6 songs, and Mark London's recommendation.
Band line up here is Derek Creigan (Bass/Lead Vocals), Mike Allison (Lead guitar/ vocals), Mo Trowers (Rhythm guitarist/vocals), Charlie Coffils (Drums/vocals).
'Les was a musical genius. Pity he died so young at 24 yrs old. Who knows what he would be doing now'.
The numbers recorded for the second album show a definite change of style - gone is
the whimsy - we're dealing now with straightforward disillusion,
the bitterness of marriage gone wrong, regrets on wasted time and the wish for something new from life.
Arrangements are far more basic - the band plus keyboards and Les Harvey gives his guitar a good workout.
Brooding imagery indeed!
Despite 'Cartoone' selling 85,000 in the US, Atlantic delayed
releasing the second album and the band were also without a lead guitar
as Harvey wanted to get back to his own band and its vocalist, his girlfriend Maggie Bell.
Unable to fully function now, Cartoone were dropped by Atlantic and split up on their return to the UK - broke and doubtless more than a bit disillusioned.
Harvey apparently got a new Gibson and a fringed jacket for his efforts plus a glimpse of the big-time.
Les Harvey of course was tragically killed on stage by faulty gear in '73. Maggie Bell, perhaps ironically, would twice suffer having US recorded albums refused a release.
Of the other members Derek
Creigan continued writing and recording songs until his death in1990.
Mo Trowers passed away in Australia circa November 2004.
Mike Allison's decision to concentrate on writing paid off - he wrote a No1 song for Olivia Newton-John 'Every Face Tells A Story" and got a US Grammy for it.
He also wrote 'I'm Nearly Famous' for Cliff Richard, and wrote half of the songs on that album which sold millions.
Mike, (when we last heard)owned a recording studio in London, and helped develop new artists for major record companies.
has to be said about Derek Creigan's vocals. His warbling on Withering
Wood especially gives Craig David a run for his money
but as well as the style there's a unique quality to the voice that's just so hard to describe but here we go: -
Mid range, laid back easy, soulful, pained yet sweet and warm... no, can't do it justice, you'll just have to hear it for yourself!
The harmonies from the rest of the band - lots of oohs and aahs, bam bam bams etc that fit around him perfectly.
Dennis Sheehan who was Cartoone's roadie also
fell on his feet - he became tour
manager for U2.
Thanks again to Charlie Coffils' for all his help putting this up.
Got this far? Well we felt we should say some (a lot) more about the album. You can listen to some of the songs at: www.myspace.com/cartoone
Knick Knack Man
Wonderfully miserable song. Describes the presumed sad life of a bloke selling knick knacks on street corners for a living.
These days they flog batteries and disposable lighters instead of matches and shoe laces - and they look more cheerful!
Whistled intro and outro - fairly rare on rock/pop records - Brian Ferry must have been listening. Jimmy Page on Telecaster.
Penny for the Sun
Orchestral accompaniment but still a group number. Medium paced. Great vocal performance.
Can't tell what its about but not surprised it wasn't a hit. Good song but far too melancholy for the charts.
Jimmy page on acoustic.
Some great power chord crashes. Jimmy Page on Telecaster.
Girl of Yesterday
Impossible that Dean Ford did not hear the chorus couplet 'All my sorrows could have been avoided', 'And tomorrow would be worth waiting for'.
They knew each other - see above. Excellent orchestral arrangement. Backing vocals are repeat lyrics instead of the usual oohs and aahs.
Jimmy page on acoustic.
Can't Walk Back
One of the 'singer with backing' type numbers on the LP. Slow paced anguish of a broken love affair. Jimmy page on acoustic.
Let Me Reassure You
Upbeat rock tempo. Wa-wa guitar riff and pushes along an optimistic lyric about happy endings to fairy tales. Superb acapella ooh break in middle.
Unobtrusive touch of strings at the end.
Mr Poor Man
Back to the slow paced ballad of singer and backing. Gloomy comment on the life of a homeless destitute. Streets of London without all the maudlin pathos
. In fact Ralph McTell could have nicked the idea and lyrics from this - seems too similar in places to be co-incidental.
Cold, ragged clothes, litter blowing about, no one caring, people walking past.
Which came first I wonder? Great vocal harmonies. Jimmy Page on acoustic.
Ice Cream Dreams
'A simple tune with very simple words' - dripping with oohs and aahs again. 'Band song' with Jimmy Page on Telecaster
Doing What Mamma Said
Medium paced reflections on a break-up after having gone back to the comfort of his mum to get looked after. Prominent string backing with some brass but still a band number.
A hint of the 'To Love Somebody' in the orchestral riff at the start and end. Now that was definitely out eighteen months before this.
Jimmy page on acoustic.
Catchy Bom bom bom vocal riff around a tale of wishing wells and taking it easy. Jimmy Page on acoustic
Reflections on a Common Theme
Very personal and bitter song about a failed marriage.
On the Other Side
Jazzy swing beat. Brief scat accompaniment. Two guitar breaks from Les Harvey complete with odd bum note - great! Plenty of aahs.