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CONNECTIONS

An essential reference guide for anyone sad enough to play "Six Degrees of Kirsty"

Connections: G is for ...

Mel Gaynor (14) Connecting from 1989 to 1991.  Drums.

MelMel has been described as "a Funk/Rock drummer with amazing abilities". Born 29 May 1960 in London, his first band was Muscles, moving on to stints with Imagination, Light of the World, Gonzalez, Heathwave and metal act Samson.  According to Bruce Dickinson, later of Iron Maiden, "Samson worked together as this crazy, fucked up set-up, and when you took Thunderstick out of the equation and replaced him with Mel Gaynor who was in the band very briefly, Simple Mind's drummer, this phenomenal drummer, there was no excitement in it there anymore. When he played he played everything perfectly. Everything was in time, there was no mistakes, there was no danger anymore. And Thunderstick had provided that predictability so I got bored."  

Mel was already in growing demand as a session drummer, so by mutual decision he left Samson.  One of these sessions in 1982 was for Simple Minds for the New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) album.  After "giving the band a stronger and more authoritarian style", he joined Simple Minds full time to replace Mike Ogletree for the New Gold Dream tour and stayed till the early 90s.   The obvious connection leads straight to work on Kirsty's Kite and Electric Landlady albums - on Halloween, Lying down, The hardest word, Maybe it's imaginary, My way home, Innocence, Days, No victims, Tread lightly, What do pretty girls do?, The end of a perfect day, You just haven't earned it yet baby, La Fôret de Mimosas and Complainte pour Ste. Catherine;. 

Mel is rumoured to own a recording studio in London these days.  Oh, but it's worth a quick look at Mel in those far off Muscles and  Samson days!  Session work has included the Pretenders, Joan Armatrading (Secret secrets) in 1985, where he was "occasionally loud in a Phil Collins way, but never threatening.".  Also on that album was Pino Palladino, who gets around for sure.  Mel has also worked with Dominique Brethes, Martin Verdonk and Robert Palmer.  More exciting in a wildly obscure sort of way was work on Ronnie Wood's solo album at Wood's Wimbledon home studio in 1987, which was never released but also featured Johnny Marr and Kirsty on backing vocals and Bobby Womack as co-producer.

Lowell George (1) Connecting in 1995.  Songwriter.

Little Feat main man, author of Roll um easy, which Kirsty sang regularly on her live shoes in 1995.

 

Wilf Gibson (3) Connecting in 1989.  Violin.

WilfIn 1971 Gibson played in an enormous jazz orchestra led by pianist/composer Keith Tippet, and which included many luminaries from the progressive and Canterbury scenes of the time.   Among the 50+ orchestra members were Robert Wyatt and Zoot Money with Robert Fripp handling production.  The resulting album Septober Energy by Centipede is a "prog rock classic".  After working as a session musician, he joined Jeff Lynne's Electric Light Orchestra in March 1972 by answering an ad, replacing Steve Woolam.   He played in ELO's live debut in April 1972 at the Fox and Greyhound pub in Park Lane, Croydon, England. The lineup was: Jeff Lynne (vocals, guitar); Roy Wood (vocals, cello, oboe, guitar, bassoon); Bev Bevan (drums); Richard Tandy (bass); Bill Hunt (piano, French horn); Andy Craig (cello); Wilf Gibson (violin); and Hugh McDowell (cello).    

Wilf  was fired in 1973 due to asking for too much money and personality conflicts with the rest of the band. He was replaced by Mik Kaminski.  Bevan said "It's a personality clash between Jeff, myself and Wilf Gibson the violin player. It's nothing to do with the music and there's no hard feelings really. It's just that we couldn't get on with Wilf, so he will be leaving before the next American tour."   Wilf is a man of many albums, often appearing with Gavyn Wright and/or Ben Cruft.  A sample of his contributions includes the totally wonderful Kristen Hersh (Strings), Björk's (Bachelorette), Oasis  connecting with Phil Todd, Azufumi Miyazawa (Sixteenth Moon) with Sam Brown and Pino Palladino, Shola Ama with Craig Armstrong, Martin Barre, Mike Scott, Ser de Agua, Maria Bethania (with Mark Berrow and Dave Woodcock), Joni Mitchell (Both sides now: linking Wilf with Todd, Cruft, Wright, Woodcock, Jamie Talbot and Frank Ricotti.), Pete Atkin and Natacha Atlas.  Wilf played violin on Innocence, You and me baby and Don't come the cowboy with me, Sonny Jim!

Roy Gillard (1) Connecting in 1989.  Violin.

Roy Gillard also played on Innocence, You and me baby and Don't come the cowboy with me, Sonny Jim!.   He featured on Tanita Tikaram's Sweet Keeper in 1990, and three years later played on the soundtrack to A year in Provence.  Other work includes Paul McCartney, Anne Dudley and Swing Out Sister.  He is listed in MAS (the Musician's Answering Service).

David Gilmour (2) Connecting in 1989.  Guitar.

DavidLegendary rock guitarist, most famous of course for his work with Pink Floyd.  By 1985, following group leader Roger Waters' traumatic exit, David Gilmour had emerged as their "unofficial supremo."  You presumably are familiar with Pink Floyd, so let's not go there.   Gilmour's first band back in 1966 was Jokers Wild, "19, in jeans, checked shirt and a Beatles haircut, hoisting a guitar".  He was also largely responsible for Kate Bush signing to EMI, after producing demos with her between 1973 and 1975.  Two of these were Saxophone Song and The Man With The Child In His Eyes, which were included on the 1978 album The Kick Inside.  Gilmour has played periodically with Kate ever since, likewise Roy Harper, from 1975 until 1990.  

The following substantial list of credits shows his status as an in-demand player down the years, largely for his distinctive guitar (he even appeared on French and Saunders in a classic sketch digging at Ralph McTell, which used a string of top notch guitarists (let's hope their fees were small!) - Lemmy, Gary Moore, Mark King amongst others.)  1974 Unicorn, 1975 David Courtney, Sutherland Brothers & Quiver, 1976 Hawkwind , 1977 Rachid Bahri, 1982 Doll by Doll, 1983 Atomic Rooster, 1985 Arcadia, Dream Academy, Bryan Ferry, Grace Jones, Supertramp, Pete Townshend, 1986 Berlin, Liona Boyd, 1987 Dalbello, 1988 Sam Brown, John Rabbit Bundrick, Peter Cetera, 1989 Vicky Brown, Rock Aid Armenia, Warren Zevon, 1990 Blue Pearl, Elton John, Michael Kamen, Propaganda, Roe, Paul Young, 1991 All about Eve, Jools Holland, 1992 John Martyn, Jimmy Nail, 1993 Paul Rodgers, 1994 Chris Jagger and Snowy White.  

His work with Sam Brown brought him alongside Chucho Merchán, Gavyn Wright and Guy Barker.  Recently he has played with Paul McCartney on his Run Devil Run album and live shows, having earlier played on Wings' Back to the egg in 1979, Give my regards to Broad Street, Flowers in the dirt.  What makes him decide to play a session? "Either because I like the artist or I think I might learn something or they're friends of mine.  I just say to anyone that I'm working for, Send a cheque for whatever you like to the charity of your choice, though sometimes I specify Amnesty International or Greenpeace. It becomes something to do with their conscience, not mine - I'm not going to check up."  His work with Kirsty dates from the Kite era, playing electric guitar on You and me baby and No victims (especially the Guitar Mix).  The title Kite was inspired by Gilmour - asked what present he wanted for playing on the album, he replied "Just send a kite to Armenia" which she duly did, and for which he gets a Kirsty Star!

Pete Glenister (37+) Connecting from 1989 to 2000.  Songwriter & Guitar, programming.

PeteProbably the most major figure in Kirsty's career, a long standing co-writer and live show mainstay.  Pete was the co-author of Innocence, Lying down, Mother's ruin, My way home, One good thing, What do pretty girls do?, Tread lightly, Chemistry tonight, Touch me, Mambo de la Luna, In these shoes?, Não Esperando, Here comes that man again, Us Amazonians and Sun on the water.

In performance he has contributed acoustic guitar on Innocence, Free world, Mother's ruin, Days, No victims, Fifteen minutes, What do pretty girls do?, The end of a perfect day, on the BBC sessions album (What do pretty girls do?) and throughout Tropical Brainstorm.   Electric Guitar on Innocence, Free world, Mother's ruin, Don't come the cowboy, Tread lightly, What do pretty girls do?, La Fôret de Mimosas, Complainte pour Ste. Catherine;, You know it's you, Soho Square, Angel, "Can't stop killing you", Titanic Days, Big boy on a Saturday night, Just woke up, All I ever wanted, Halloween, My Affair, Lying down, He never mentioned love, We'll never pass this way again, The hardest word, Maybe it's imaginary, My way home and throughout Tropical Brainstorm in addition to programming and production work on the latest album.  

When not mucking around with Kirsty, Pete has played with various big names - he co-produced Alison Moyet's Hoodoo (and played guitar), and on her album Essex, "she sounds numb and detached in the Pet Shop Boys-like production provided by Ian Broudie and Pete Glenister".  He toured with both Alison and Terence Trent d'Arby, as well as playing on his acclaimed (at the time anyway) debut album Introducing The Hardline According To Terence Trent d'Arby.   Pete has played with zydeco legend Geraint Watkins, in the company of Nick Lowe.  For nearly two decades Watkins cast his benevolent music shadow, on stage and on record, behind many leading artists. For those in the know, his name is synonymous with wild cajun/ zydeco accordion and fierce rock 'n' roll piano.   He has been recently working with a major pop star in waiting, and no doubt feeling a lot of love in the room.

Pete also played guitar on a 12" single from Curve in 1986 (Rock-a-bye baby).  Back in 1981 he played with the Hitmen ("superior pop").  He also featured on the soundtrack to Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1992. Finally, he worked with Kate Ceberano on the song Mary Magdelene, described by her as a "jazzy Beatles-esque journey which is the timeless kind of pop that has a life of it's own. I wrote the track with a really charming guy in London named Pete Glenister who took me down Abbey Road musically. and I thought that was pretty quirky because there's never been any women who've really used the Beatles style. There's also something really wonderful about the way Mary Magdelene runs off the mouth, especially if you're describing the way you love somebody because there was no greater love".  Thanks, Kate.

He played in the band at the live tribute concert, and was joint musical director. He co-wrote a big hit for Darius Danesh (of Pop Idol fame), Colourblind.

Gerry Goffin & Carole King (1) Connecting in 1981.  Songwriters.

Kirsty covered their song Keep your hands off my baby.

Felix Gonzalez (2) Connecting in 2000.  Singer.

Another newcomer to the camp, providing backing vocals on Mambo de la Luna and In these shoes?, as well as the Cuban rap on Mambo de la Luna.

Graham Gouldman (2) Connecting in 1999.  Songwriter.

GrahamIt's over thirty years since Graham Gouldman's name first appeared on a Top 10 record. He's rarely mentioned alongside the other great survivors of the British beat boom, but his pedigree as a hit writer and artist stands comparison with the best.   As the composer of classics by the Yardbirds and the Hollies, among others, he was one of the most successful freelance writers of the 60s. Before forming 10cc with Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme, Gouldman had already written Top 10 hits like For Your Love, Look Through Any Window, Bus Stop, No Milk Today and Pamela Pamela.  He'd led two groups of would-be beat stars, the Whirlwinds and the Mockingbirds; cut a collectable solo album for RCA; and even ended up as a staff writer for the bubblegum specialists Kasenatz-Katz (creators of the Ohio Express and the 1910 Fruitgum Company) in New York.  

"My manager, Harvey Lisberg, said, "This (For Your Love) is such a great song, let's play it to the Beatles". And I said, "I think they're doing alright in the songwriting department, actually". But he still mentioned the Beatles idea to a publisher friend, who suggested that instead he should offer it to the Yardbirds, who were playing with the Beatles at a Christmas show at the Hammersmith Odeon.  I played Bus Stop to Graham Nash in the bog, because that was the only place that was quiet. He asked me to send him a tape of it, and I did - and that was another hit (for the Hollies)."   

As a founder member of 10cc, he wrote and recorded some of the landmark records of the 70s.  The most played song in the history of US radio is I'm Not in Love. Of his songwriting partnership with Eric Stewart, Gouldman says "Eric always leaned more towards Chuck Berry, whereas I was more into Burt Bacharach and Jimmy Webb. But that's what makes it work. And our writing partnership has been very successful, which is an extra glue to keep you together."  The 10cc team were assembled to fulfill some of Gouldman's late 60s pop commitments, before signing as a band to Jonathan King's UK label in 1972. Over the next four years, they became one of Britain's biggest chart names, via hits like Donna, Rubber Bullets, I'm Not In Love and Art For Art's Sake, besides concocting a series of extravagant albums.  At the height of their success, Godley and Creme quit, emerging later as a hit duo and moved on to become a top video production team. 

Gouldman and Stewart soldiered on, landing 10cc's third No. 1 single in 1978 with Dreadlock Holiday - before a car accident (Stewart) halted their progress, and their run of Top 10 singles. Gouldman and Stewart abandoned 10cc in 1983, whereupon Graham teamed up with American singer-songwriter Andrew Gold under the name of Wax, scoring another major hit in 1987 with Bridge To Your Heart

Gouldman produced the Ramones' Pleasant Dreams album in 1981: "That was bizarre. They contacted me and I said "why me"? They said, "We loved the songs you wrote in the 60s, and we think we write those kind of songs". I didn't understand that at all! I couldn't think of songs more opposite to those I'd written.  But I loved doing it."  

"I haven't done much production work since then - I got a bit fed up with it. I haven't got the patience anymore. Sometimes you want to hear a part played a certain way, and you can't help thinking you ought to be doing it yourself, not waiting for the artist to have a try and still not quite get it right. But I love playing on other people's records - like I did some work for David 'Baywatch' Hasselhoff recently, which was really a career move and a half!"   Recently Graham has been writing with Tim Rice, and has been writing for Paul Carrack, Suggs and Gary Barlow.  He met up with Kirsty on a songwriting weekend, which led to joint compositions in Things happen and Treachery.   On the live circuit Graham is getting rave reviews after teaming up with 10cc pal Rick Fenn and performing sell out weeks at both Ronnie Scott's, and London's The Green Room. This has given both Graham and Rick the 'live' bug again, and they can be seen at selected venues performing hits from Grahams repertoire including the hits of 10cc..

Chris Gower (1+) Connecting in 1979.  Trombone.

Trombone player on Desperate Character, and part of Graham Parker's Rumour Brass, along with Ray Beavis on tenor sax, "Irish" John Earle on sax and Dick Hanson on trumpet.  They featured as a unit on several albums by Shakin' Stevens.  Paul Brady used the whole Rumour Brass on his 1983 album True for you, as did Liam Sternberg on Rachel Sweet's 1979 album Fool Around.  Prior to all this malarkey, Chris was a member of minor league British rocker Jess Roden's Band in the mid seventies.  Even earlier, he may have been part of ailing Southampton based band Iguana, who largely became Roden's outfit.   He also connects via the Rumour with guitarist Martin Belmont.

David Gray  Connecting in 1993, 2002.  Singer.

Performed Walking down Madison in the live tribute concert.  He had previously supported Kirsty in a US tour in 1993.

Howard Gray (3) Connecting in 1991.  Remixer.

Remixes and additional production on Walking down Madison, My Affair and Angel.  Howard is part of the apollo four forty dance team along with brother Trevor Gray.  In a previous life, he was the engineer on Simple Minds albums, which would have brought him together with Steve Lillywhite of course.

Trevor Gray (1) Connecting in 1991.  Organ, synthesizer & programming.

Trevor contributed organ, synthesizer & programming on Walking down Madison, remixed by brother Howard Gray, who is also clearly part of apollo four forty.

Malcolm Griffiths (3) Connecting in 1989.  Trombone.

In the late 60s and early 70s, Griffiths played extensively with jazz acts like John Surman,  Mike Westbrook, Michael Gibbs, Chris McGregor and Hugh Hopper.  He was around the loosely connected group of players who gathered around Soft Machine, Lol Coxhill, Keith Tippett and other jazz-based organisations.  Throughout the 70s, Griffiths was in demand in a variety of pop acts such as Gallagher & Lyle's eponymous 1973 album, Bryan Ferry's 1974 Another time, another place, Andy Fairweather-Low's Be-Bop-n-Hola in 1976, Camel's jazzy Rain Dances in 1977, the 1981 Secret Policeman's Ball in benefit of Amnesty International, Maria Muldaur in 1985, Ray Russell and Van Morrison's Enlightenment in 1990.  Of more direct relation to Kirsty, Griffiths ventured into the Stiff scene in the late 70s, appearing on Jane Aire's 1979 album and Rachel Sweet's Fool around as well as the 1980 solo album by Paul Carrack alongside Guy Barker and Martin Belmont.  For Kite he played trombone on Fifteen minutes, Don't come the cowboy with me, Sonny Jim! and Complainte pour Ste. Catherine;.  We have been unable to trace him since.

Lee Groves (1+) Connecting in 2000.  Programming.

Credited with additional programming on Tropical Brainstorm, Lee is a mate of drummer Dave Ruffy.  He appears on Ruffy's drum sample CD.  He may well also be a contributor to the Tech-House mailing List.  Kirsty described his contribution to Tropical Brainstorm thus:  "He provides weird samples basically. We used to work for a couple of weeks and then we’d have Lee down for a day or two every two weeks to add the weird sounds and short wave. He’d sit, working away at his Little bit in the corner and it would be Like. ‘What’s Lee doing? It sounds like he’s playing video games’."  Lee is also part of the Terminalhead collective, also known as Le Rosbifs, remixers for the stars - not only Kirsty but Geri Halliwell.


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