The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Graham Bond Organization

The world is still full of surprises. In Japan, I found a legit (?) CD of the soundtrack of "Gonks Go Beat", a 1965 British youth film feat features Lulu...and the Graham Bond Organization. The GBO song in the film is called "Harmonica" and is great - Graham Bond, Jack Bruce, Dick Heckstall-Smith and Terry "Ginger" Baker. It's also of note that poet / lyricist Pete brown also appears in "Gonks Go Beat" as an extra. I have never seen or owned this as an LP - I knew it existed, but...there's obviously still lots of UK 60's originals I've never seen. I've had a PAL VHS of "Gonks" since about '90.

So, I start my usual thought process: Hey, is the Graham Bond Organization stuff all taken care of in the new century? You can easily find the CD of the 2 x EMI-Columbia LP's and, with a little looking, find a CD of the Klook's Kleek set (used to be spread over 2 x Byg "Rock Generation" LP's, then as Decal / Charly CD's). But what about the Decca material that comes before EMI-Columbia? I've got some songs on samplers, the Gonks O.S.T., "Waltz For A Pig" etc. - but a quick look on the cheerful internet and - BOOM! Looks like there are at least 10 - 15 Decca GBO song titles that I do not have and that aren't properly re-released. An EP, no less: "The Graham Bond ORGANization"!

I wonder why they never issued an LP (or CD!) of this rockin' material? I met Dick Heckstall-Smith in 1990 in London - at the time his book "Safest Place In The World" came out. I was introduced to him by the aforementioned Pete Brown. At the time, I got to tell him how much I loved his debut solo album "A Story Ended"; he signed my copy of his book. Mr. Heckstall-Smith passed away recently. (So did George Melly, but that's another tale!).


Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Re: George Melly

I finally got my hands on the epochal "Revolt Into Style" by Melly recently and while I loved the first 1/3 of the book, I felt it withered away by it's sloppy conclusion. But he was definitely onto something in any case. It was a book that I felt as though I could have written, albeit somewhat better. But I was 4 years old when he wrote it and I come to my intellectual conclusions with the benefit of almost 30 years of hindsight and truthfully, what Melly was doing was almost journalism. Of course, I loved "Old Codger" and "Smashing Time" was almost a euphoric high for me when I discovered it in the mid-80s. I spent many years at record shows until I finally secured the soundtrack LP! Lynn Redgrave's "I'm Still Young" production number is a masterpiece!

5:20 AM  

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