Moore:Music ®

Witch Cross • BC Sweet • Gonads • Christie

A Labour of Love

Last year, I lost a good friend and mentor. Jim Percy, my first pro bandleader, drummer, singer, entrepreneur extraordinaire, scourge of venues and agents. He was a one-off, and I learned so much from him. He was taken much too young, and when I went to see his widow, Cheryl, we talked of the album we’d made with the band – Apollo – in Copenhagen back in 1979. We only ever released it on good ol’ musicassette, and she said she’d no idea where it was. I told her I still had a copy, and I would put it onto CD for her and their sons.

When I unearthed it, I discovered it had degraded a great deal, with a multitude of drop outs and an overwhelming amount of tape hiss. So I did my best to pep it up a bit using Garage band and audacity programmes to rescue it as best I could.

I found that revisiting this album – a selection of covers from the era – drew me back to those days in a wave of nostalgia. We worked bloody hard back then, 8 x 45 minute spots a night, 5 nights a week. but we played hard too. The album eventually got us out of Denmark and into Norway, where we secured a relatively easy 4 x 45 minute spots per night!

I remember Jim having an argument with a nightclub manager when we arrived in Drammen, near Oslo. They guy was moaning about our fee, pointing out that Eastern Bloc bands would work for a fraction of the cost. (remember, in those days, Eastern bloc bands would’ve sold their own Grandmothers to gig in the West)  Jim verbally lashed the guy, leaving him in no doubt as to why we cost more. Then, after watching the outgoing Eastern bloc band’s last show, where they proceeded to annihilate an already bad song -“Physical” by Olivia Newton-John, complete with mangled eengleesh, we took the stage for the first time the following night.

Jim took the mic as we introduced ourselves and prepared for the month-long residency in this lovely Norwegian town:

“Hi, we’re Apollo from England. If anybody wants to get “Physical”, come over here and I’LL KNEE THEM IN THE NUTS!!”

The guy was, and will always be, a legend.

He also used to sing what we all referred to as “The naffers”. Easy listening songs that helped the rest of us draw breath during those marathon 8 set gigs.  Songs like “The Last Farewell”, and “Streets of London.” For me, “Streets” was synonymous with Jim, and I recorded a tribute version of it to him which I included on the ‘salvaged’ Apollo CD.

I spent some time on a re-worked cover for the album. Using the original logo which I designed at the time, and also altering and photoshopping a group promo shot. I also dug out a load of old pics from the time and memorabilia, which I made into a montage for the centre.

I’m glad I’ve saved this album. It reminds me of a younger time, and some wonderful memories, and a good friend.

 

PS: Bob or Blue, if you read this, and you’d like a copy, just leave a message!

Kev Moore

 

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March 14, 2011 - Posted by | Artwork, Home Studio, Music, Recording, Writing | , , , , , , , ,

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