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The wall street shuffle -In praise of 10cc.

Updated on May 07, 2014

Happy Memories Of Southend Kursaal

The kursaal ballroom in southend on sea was the scene of many happy memories for me. I saw my first ever concert there on march 1st 1975, the mighty status quo. As a bonus I ended up on a live ep of theirs, albeit as one of the crowd! Not bad for a first gig! Just four weeks later on March 29th I was back at the kursaal to see 10cc who were touring their new album 'The original soundtrack' .The was the third studio Album by the band. Released in 1975 on mercury Records ( 9102 500) it charted on 22 march 1975 in the UK, reaching number 4 in the charts.This was with their original & classic line up of kevin Godley,Graham Gouldman, Lol Creme & Eric Stewart.( They were supported that night by a band called Fancy, who had a rather delectable singer called Annie Kavanah). I particularly remember that during 'The film of my Love' they used a mirror ball to great effect, the lights going everywhere & making a wonderful atmosphere. Also, as Lol creme was sitting at the piano, someone shouted out 'wally!' which was a general term of abuse in England at the time. Lol just said 'he seems to follow us around everywhere!'.


Paris Nights And Bohemian Rhapsodies....

Another highlight of the gig was 'une nuit a paris', which was an eight minute mini opera in three parts, & is thought to be a possible influence on Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.( 10cc wanted to release the song as a single but mercury records thought they must be out of their minds! 'Life is a minestrone' was chosen instead,charting in the uk in April 1975. In November 1975 queen released their magnum opus 'Bohemian Rhapsody') Also from The original soundtrack , the mirror ball was in use again as 10cc played I'm not in love, which was a no.1 in England (mercury 6008 014) & no.2 in USA (mercury 73678). The studio version of this song had about 250 vocals done on tape loops & put onto a multi-track machine to create the choral backing effect. The 'big boys don't cry' section of the song features the voice of Cathy Redfern, a receptionist at Strawberry studios that the band grabbed from the front office! Until I heard Kevin Godley speaking about this, I thought it was probably Lol Creme! Among Other favorites played that night were Rubber Bullets & The wall street shuffle. It was a great night & I wish I had a recording of it, or had thought to make a set list. I don't even have my ticket as you handed them in on the door, & I didn't think to ask for it back on the way out!


Before They Were Famous....

Before 10cc found fame, they had all been involved in earlier musical attempts.Godley,creme & Gouldman knew each other as friends in the manchester area of England. Graham Gouldman had a band called The whirlwinds, who later became The mockingbirds, which included Kevin Godley on drums. Graham Gouldman also became better known & no doubt better off, writing hits for the yardbirds ( including 'For your Love' & Evil hearted you) The Hollies (Bus stop, Look through any window) & Herman's Hermits (no milk Today).

Kevin Godley & Lol Creme recorded under the name Frabjoy & Runcible spoon. Guitarist Eric stewart was a member of wayne Fontana & the mindbenders, becoming their lead vocalist after the departure of Fontana. Graham Gouldman joined the mindbenders in 1968 as bass player. Creme, Godley & stewart recorded under the name Hotlegs, & 'Neanderthal man' charted in July 1970 in the uk(fontana 6007 019) & september 1970 USA (capitol 2886).

'Neanderthal man' was an idea that they'd come up with in the back of a taxi to test out the equipment,including the new Ampex four track machine, at a tiny demo studio in Stockport, run by Peter Tattersall. Kevin played the drums, with Lol supplying acoustic guitar. Their efforts were heard by Dick Leahy who said it was a smash & offered to release it if they finished the track. ( Dick was an A & R man working for phonogram records who was there to record a demo with Mary Hopkin. He later became music publisher to wham & George Michael ) In Kevin's own words 'some idiot pressed the erase button & wiped the whole thing, so we had to start again from scratch'.

Their renewed efforts were only prevented from being a number one in England by Elvis' 'The wonder of you' ! (NB: Eric Stewart's account of this story takes place in their own strawberry studios. Take your pick, but either way it happened in Stockport! )They also recorded under the names 'Doctor Father' & 'The new wave Band'. They often recorded at their own strawberry studios (named after The Beatles Strawberry fields forever), whether on their own projects or for others.( They backed Neil Sedaka on 'The Tra-la days are over' & 'Solitaire' ). They ultimately decided that they wanted to release their own material as a group. An acetate of the song 'Waterfall' was submitted to Apple, but there was no joy from The Beatles' label, who also turned down David Bowie. ( Waterfall later became the flip side of Rubber Bullets, released in England on the uk label, uk 36)


Sign Here Please.....!

They finally secured a deal with uk records in July 1972, the label of Jonathan King. Having listened to 'Donna', King promptly declared it a hit, & signed them. Donna is a great Doo wop pastiche, with echoes of The Beatles 'oh Darling'. The song reached no.2 in the uk, helped along by then Radio one DJ Tony Blackburn ( later to be crowned 'king of the jungle on ITV's 'I'm a celebrity get me out of here' ) featuring it as his record of the week. Their first no. 1 was 'Rubber Bullets' (uk 36 ) in 1973, with ' I'm Not In Love ' (Mercury 6008 014) in 1975 & 'Dreadlock Holiday' ( Mercury 6008 035 ) from 1978 being their other two. Surprisingly my personal favorite 'wall street shuffle' ( uk 69 ) only made no. 10. I should have bought a lot more copies of it! Whilst 'The old grey whistle test' has been described as the band's spiritual home, they were often featured on BBC1's 'Top of the pops'.


Album Releases....

The original line up of 10cc recorded the albums 10cc ( uk ukal1005 ),sheet music (uk ukal 1007 ), The original soundtrack ( Mercury 9102 500 ) & How Dare you ( Mercury 9102 501 ), after which Godley & creme departed. As of writing, the closest to a full reunion was in 1992 with 'Meanwhile'. The songs were written by Gouldman & stewart (plus one co written by Eric stewart & paul McCartney). Godley & creme sang backing vocals on the album, with 'The stars didn't show featuring Godley on lead vocals. Eric stewart & Graham Gouldman carried on as 10cc with a different line up,recording several albums including 'Deceptive Bends' & 'Bloody Tourists', whilst Kevin Godley & Lol creme had hits with 'under your thumb'' 'Cry' & 'wedding bells'.

Consequences...

Godley & Creme's album 'consequences' featured a guitar device called the 'Gizmo' ( which someone shouted out during the kursaal gig I was at!) or 'Gizmotron'. Fitted over the guitar strings, it had a wheel for each string which created a bowing effect, & saved on hiring a full orchestra! They had first used this device on the 'Sheet music' album track 'old wild men'. They had developed it with the help of John McConnell,senior lecturer in physics at manchester institute of science & technology. He felt that the sound should retain the guitar's natural decay rather than the sharp cut off that the violin or cello have. Kevin Godley said that the gizmo turned your guitar into an orchestra because it bowed the strings like playing a violin or cello.The problem was that it could be affected by atmospherics,heat & positioning. whilst it could sublimely sound like an orchestra, on a bad day it resembled a chainsaw! Like many performers it was temperamental. Kevin & Lol tried promoting it at various industry fairs, but cheap synthesizers were coming onto the market around the same time & people found them more reliable. They sometimes come up for sale in second hand shops & according to Kevin Godley they make good hedge trimmers too! Working in Golden Disc record shop in Southend On Sea when the 'consequences' album was released, I had a promotional copy of it in a box. It was a single album with highlights from the three record set. Somehow I managed to give it away!

Lights, Camera, Action !

Godley & creme were also successful in the field of video production. The first music video they directed was for their single 'An Englishman In New York', in 1979. They went on to direct over 50 music videos, including George Harrison's 'when we was fab', The police 'Every Breath you take', Duran Duran's 'Girls on Film',& Herbie Hancock's ' Rockit'. Kevin Godley co directed The Beatles' second 'reunion' single Real Love, which featured in The Beatles' Anthology series.


Art For Arts Sake....

10cc are sometimes described as an English Art Rock Band. They applied plenty of musical color to their canvas, along with witty lyrics & innovative techniques. The group were always striving to do something different,with Kevin Godley & Lol Creme being the more experimental half of the band.Fans & music lovers always looked forward to the announcement & subsequent release of a new album. They certainly gave me plenty of pleasure back in March 1975 at the Southend Kursaal, & I still enjoy listening to their music today!!

Collector's Corner

Godley & Creme's 1968 single 'Goodnight Blinkers/Hello Blinkers ( Blinkers 1215 )with die-cut sleeve will cost you £30.00

The 1969 single by Frabjoy & Runcible Spoon ' I'm Beside Myself/Animal Song' (Marmalade 598 019 ) was mainly the work of Godley & Creme. In England it currently changes hands for £30.00.


.Doctor Father consisted of Eric Stewart,Kevin Godley & Lol Creme. In 1970 they released the single ' Umbopo/Roll On'. ( Pye 17977 ) £10 in English money will secure you a copy.

The 1970 Hotlegs Album 'Thinks: School Stinks ' ( philips 6308 047 ) includes the single Neanderthal Man ( Fontana 6007 019 ), & sells for £25.00

10CC 1975 Album 'The Original Soundtrack ' ( Mercury HS 9102 500 ), half speed master edition released in the 1980s is currently worth £15.00


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    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      An excellent hub, well written and informative. Glad to read your hub, this is a thumbs up

    • wilbury steve profile image
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      Steve Webb 6 years ago from Great Wakering, England

      Hi Darlene! many thanks for your lovely comments. I really appreciate it. cheers!!

    • RunAbstract profile image

      RunAbstract 5 years ago from USA

      Another great article! I just read the article about "Bus Stop" also and would have loved to have commented on it as well, but settled for voting it up!

      Keep 'em coming!

    • wilbury steve profile image
      Author

      Steve Webb 5 years ago from Great Wakering, England

      Hi RunAbstract! glad you enjoyed 'The wall street shuffle' & many thanks for your encouraging remarks, & for voting up 'Bus Stop' as well! :>)

    Recordings To Enjoy

    The Classic 10cc Line Up

    Eric stewart,Lol creme, Graham Gouldman, Kevin Godley
    Eric stewart,Lol creme, Graham Gouldman, Kevin Godley
    1974 new musical express article on learning the guitar. Lol creme explained how they'd play a single at 33 instead of 45 rpm to work out the solo!
    1974 new musical express article on learning the guitar. Lol creme explained how they'd play a single at 33 instead of 45 rpm to work out the solo!
    The sheet music for 'I'm not in love', a no.1  single in the uk, no.2 usa
    The sheet music for 'I'm not in love', a no.1 single in the uk, no.2 usa
    A ticket for 10cc's gig at the kursaal Ballroom, southend on sea, march 29th, 1975. with thanks to the sharon Riley collection.
    A ticket for 10cc's gig at the kursaal Ballroom, southend on sea, march 29th, 1975. with thanks to the sharon Riley collection.
    A poster advertising 10cc & special guests Fancy on the same tour I saw them on, this time from Bristol colston hall April 28th,1975. Thanks to www.minestrone.org/band
    A poster advertising 10cc & special guests Fancy on the same tour I saw them on, this time from Bristol colston hall April 28th,1975. Thanks to www.minestrone.org/band
    A souvenir progamme & poster from the same tour. Thanks to www.minestrone.org/band
    A souvenir progamme & poster from the same tour. Thanks to www.minestrone.org/band

    Do The Wall Street Shuffle!

    Godley & Creme

    The Box set For Godley & Creme's Consequences Album
    The Box set For Godley & Creme's Consequences Album | Source
    A USA Audiophile album with musical excerpts from Consequences
    A USA Audiophile album with musical excerpts from Consequences | Source
    History mix is the 6th Album from Godley & Creme,featuring remixes over a 25 year period from 10CC,Doctor Father & Hotlegs
    History mix is the 6th Album from Godley & Creme,featuring remixes over a 25 year period from 10CC,Doctor Father & Hotlegs | Source

    The Gizmotron Explained !

    Listen To A Restored Gizmotron !

    The Gizmotron Demo Record

    Godley & Creme's Consequences Album

    ' In Nature There Are Neither Rewards Nor Punishments-There Are Consequences'. These words from Robert Green Ingersoll were quoted in the Album's sleevenotes.

    The Concept of the Album is mankind's last defence against an irate nature. The world is threatened by meteorological disaster, with the weather being used as a weapon in Global war. The main action takes place in the office of the drunken solicitor Mr Haig. The composer Mr Blint lives below. Haig is working out the divorce between Walter & Lulu Stapleton. Mr Pepperman is representing Lulu. Mr Blint's composing keeps interrupting them, but it's ultimately realised that only he can save them.

    English Actor Peter Cook provided most of the voices, along with his then wife Judy Huxtable, portraying grotesque stereotypes. The American Jazz singer Sarah Vaughan sings on the track 'Lost Weekend'.

    The Album cost £11, & came in a presentation Box with a 20 page Booklet.


    Consequences had it's first public listening at a church in Amsterdam, when it was played for Executives & staff of mercury & phonogram Records.

    It was reviewed in October 1977 by both New Musical Express & Sounds music papers. There was no doubt that the Gizmo/Gizmotron was the most important development for guitarists in a long time. The record itself was appreciated in some respects, but thought to be over the top,& questioned as to whether it could hold the listener's attention long enough. It has gained in popularity over the years, & it should be remembered that it was released at a time when punk Rock was very popular in England .

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