1968. GIANT. London, England.

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

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

image image

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.

Leave a Reply