A Wavy Line
From Palomino to Bardot in a Wavy Line
. . . never mind, Jumpin Time !
"Around 1973, when Palomino split up and Mark went on to form Randy with Wally, I got down to some serious songwriting. With the help of my dear friend Lindsay Bastedo (brother of Alexandra from the TV series The Champions, Casino Royale and many other movies) we recorded my songs "Overloaded", "Strange Lady", "Go Slow", "Whiskey Kisses" and a few more tracks on his Revox tape machine.. great nights creating in his South Kensington flat .
1974-75 - now Micky OKeefe and I had remained good friends and knocked around London together (On The Town) - he heard the tracks and demanded a copy ! In the Summer of 75 I got a call from Micky telling me to get to the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane with my guitar! So I turn up,bang on the door of a suite and am greeted by the stink of grass and good company.. Micky introduced me to these guys, chopping out lines and rolling joints from Thai Sticks I'd only ever dreamed of ! They were listening to my songs, lovin' it and wanted to see if I could actually play. So I whacked out a few tunes and joined in the fun! The main man was Brian Leeson, a ducker and diver who owned the merchandising for the Bay City Rollers. That didn't impress me at all, but his charm, enthusiasm and huge supply of drugs did !!..
We got on fine and Brian became my Manager, helping me record demos: "Strangely Diamond", "HeadGear", "Old White House" etc. Then he introduced me to his friend David Walker (Utopia and Handle ) and got me a deal and a publishing contract with Dick James Music.
David got me together with Pip Williams and we recorded "Everything is Alright" at the Manor Studio, Oxford. Pip and I then did the Sunrise sessions where I met Laurie (Andrew) who was singing back vox for my songs. Well Laurie knew this Scottish guy who was pretty good too!! Ray McRiner.. After a lot of jamming, we formed Bardot.
Brian Leeson got the bullet and David Walker became Bardots manager!! Ruthless! He got us a deal with RCA and we recorded "Rockin in Rhythm", and the brink of stardom beckoned !!!
...this is the wavy line that shows how the humble but groovy Bastedo sessions led to the glamour and showbiz thing that was Bardot.."
The album shown here is "The Storm", but its working title was "Marching With Mickey".
"All the songs apart from "All Of My Ladies", "The Old White House" and "Long Vacation" were recorded in Mickey O'Keef's front room at his flat in Fulham. Just me and him.. 24 hours.. one song after another.. double tracking on Mickey's Revox. Loads of hash and coke to keep us going. You can hear my voice gradually getting more nasal!
His girlfriend was a wonderful German prostitute called Bettina, high class and popular in Mayfair and Park Lane. She helped keep us going by rolling joints and chopping out lines all night (hence the Marching Powder reference). We worked bloody hard on that set and were knackered for days after.The other songs were done at a small studio in Mayfair that Brian Leeson arranged and Mickey produced. Coke again, visit from the cops who dug what we were doing and kindly ignored the obvious evidence on the control desk!! All night again.
The guitarist was Mike Corby (left), the guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter and founder of the band The Babys. He was very proud that they were being sued for a million dollars in the U.S.A.! Brian paid him with a few grams and a Thai Stick or two.
I think it's a pretty moody set and as you know, when things are done in one sitting a lot of magic can happen.."
This interesting tidbit would have appealed to H.G. Wells: "Statistically, UFO sightings are at their greatest number during those times when Mars is closest to Earth." ~ Jeff Wayne will probably get a kick out of it too. Coincidentally, "Forever Autumn", was sung by Mr. Moody Blues, Justin Hayward.