My own band called "Giant" with Tony Savva and John Boswell.

My own band called “Giant” with Tony Savva and John Boswell.

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1968. Giant. London.
After Vamp broke up I started my own band called “Giant” with Viv Prince on drums…I played lead gui­tar. Viv used to get a pre­scrip­tion for “Tinc­ture of Cannabis” from a Dr. Dun­bar in Earl’s Court. I remem­ber dip­ping our cig­a­rettes in the dark green liq­uid and bak­ing them dry in the oven.
It was around this time that I met Lucy Daniel. We stayed together in the room she was rent­ing in a house full of stu­dents in Lon­don. I remem­ber one funny night when we lay there together lis­ten­ing to her room­mate Sophie going at it all night with Al Wil­son from “Canned Heat” who were tour­ing Eng­land. They’d shown up in the early hours of the morning…stumbling around in the dark. A guy with long blonde hair…I think it was the gui­tarist Henry Ves­tine crashed on the floor. They were gone when we woke up in the morn­ing.
I needed space to put my stuff so Lucy let me use a closet I could call my own. I laid down a mat­tress which didn’t quite fit, and put card­board boxes full of my worldly pos­ses­sions around the edges. I painted a mural of a Giant with one eye on one side…I used lumi­nous paint for the eye. The band I’d started called “Giant” was man­aged by our old Sam Gopal Dream agent Alan Dale. Viv was out of the pic­ture at that point…off in Morocco or some­thing so I needed to find a drum­mer and bass player. I rented a hall with a stage in Lad­broke Grove Lon­don and placed an ad in the “Melody Maker” music paper. I was aston­ished when the appointed time came around and about sev­enty musi­cians showed up and lined up against the side of the hall…all wait­ing their turn to show me what they could do. I sat in the mid­dle front of the hall, which was full of empty seats with my feet dan­gling on the chair in front of me and lis­tened to one guy after another do his thing. I felt like a cliché yelling “Next”!!!.
One guy played drums very well so I hired him on the spot…John Boswell, he was per­sonal friends with a good bass player Tony Savva who came with a Jaguar to get us to gigs…he was also a very good vocal­ist. I actu­ally sang a bit (well, sort of) as well as play­ing lead gui­tar and B3. John Peel gave us a nice men­tion on his BBC radio show after a Round­house gig we played. I left the band soon after though…I had a lot of other things going on at that point. The man­ager had also dri­ven off with the group van after a show, leav­ing us stranded in New­cas­tle. We had argued about money of course. He’d basi­cally left us broke with no way to get back to Lon­don. Tony went to stay with friends, and John and I just started walk­ing south…with 300 miles ahead of us. For hours we walked through the night in a cold sleet…past dirty fac­to­ries still belch­ing out black smoke from the indus­trial rev­o­lu­tion era. We were flat broke and the first half of the jour­ney was through the end­less, empty wet streets of the north. The few cars that appeared in the early hours of the morn­ing just roared on by our pathetic ges­tures for them to stop…some sadis­ti­cally gave us another kind of sign. We finally reached a motor­way and found a sym­pa­thetic lorry dri­ver at a ser­vice sta­tion who picked us up and dropped us off in Lon­don in the early dawn.

I also met Jackie McAuley from Van Morrison’s band “Them” when he vis­ited one of the other stu­dents in Lucy’s apart­ment building…we hit it off and he intro­duced me to orig­i­nal Fair­port Con­ven­tion singer Judy Dyble. We later started a band called “Trader Horn” but I left for the States before the first album. “Clas­sic Rock Mag­a­zine” just inter­viewed me for a story they are doing on Judy. I had also been talk­ing to sev­eral other pos­si­ble bands as well. But Cal­i­for­nia was beck­on­ing with dreams of what might be.