Sunday, October 04, 2009

Boots –You Better Run

Boots –You Better Run/A to D –Young Blood YB 1018 (1970 UK)

Another sterling Mike Berry production! The single came about as the publishing company Sparta Florida owned the rights to the Young Rascals number, but the song had to be released commercially in order for the publisher to retain ownership. Mike Berry was a big Young Rascals fan and had placed How Can I Be Sure with Dusty Springfield. The band on the session were The Gregorian Chant(s) from Coventry where Mike discovered Ning and Fresh Maggots (round the corner in Nuneanton)
MB: “The name Boots came from talking with Chris Welch (Melody Maker). We were thinking up stupid names for bands and the name Boots stuck in my mind...”
Note these Boots were NOT the Boots who released a couple of singles on CBS in ’68.
It’s a cracking version of The Young Rascals classic, with some blistering lead guitar; over-saturated much in the same way as on Machine by Ning. It’s an all round rousing performance with a great lead vocal. The band composition A to D (not the Small Faces track...or was that E to D?) is a brooding underground number again with some strong but less fuzzy guitar. The talking clock is a fun touch. The tracks were probably recorded at RG Jones or Radio Luxembourg.

Hear a full version of You Better Run

Hear a full version of A to D

David Bown from The Boots (Gregorian Chant), sent in his memories and these cool shots...Thanks Dave!

Gregorian Chant just before the recording of You Better Run  left to right:
Don Wright - lead Guiar, Paul White - Drummer, Terry Bown – Bass Guitar &  David Bown lead vocals.

We were a young bunch of very enthusiastic semi pro musicians writing our own songs, playing pubs and clubs striving to make a career in music. We met Mike Berry and he arranged for us to record the Young Rascals “you better run” in the Luxembourg studio behind the Hilton Hotel. After the release of our record, ( which incidentally was the YOUNG BLOOD labels follow up to Indian Reservation by Don Fardon , Don was also from Coventry) we wanted to make music a full time career. Unfortunately at the time Paul our drummer decided he didn’t want to go pro but stay as an accountant, at which he has been very successful to this day.
So brother Terry, Don Wright & I had to find a new drummer, we firstly found a power house of a drummer from Birmingham Les Fortnam, a really well accomplished drummer (ex Bob Cats of Blue Peter 1966 fame) Les played very much in a John Bonham style and could really lay down a solid beat. Les was a great drummer, he stayed with us a few months however due to a number of things, Mike B being one of them he sadly left the band.
Les was replaced by a very young more technical Steve Palmer (young brother of Carl Palmer of ELP fame) at the same time we drifted away from Mike B and started writing and performing more of our own material and less covers. With help from John Tully “Inter City Artists” we started getting some good gigs, we changed the band’s name to Children, a bit soft this, so soon after the band’s name was changed again to Canyon. We played some great gigs around the country, supported a lot of top rock bands and were offered a few deals however nothing was ever taken up and after 18mths we split and all went our separate ways.
Don went to teachers training college, Steve joined a band called Heaven and has had a good career in music, I went back into engineering and didn’t join a band again for two yrs, the only one of the original Gregorian Chant “BOOTS” band who made a career in music as a pro was my brother Terry, he played in numerous groups both in the U.K., Germany etc and eventually lived and worked in and around the Los Angeles USA area for over 20 years

Don, Paul and I did get together again 5 years after the original band split, be it semi pro working discos and clubs in a covers band - “Dave and the Sun” Ha! what a name, this band evolved into “JOKER” and with all new members I had another short spell full time, a covers band I enjoyed being in immensely.
By the late 70’s other than Terry the three of us were playing very little and by the early eighties we had lost touch completely.

 Canyon left to right :
Terry Bown, Don Wright, Steve Palmer, David Bown - Taken on the Mott the Hoople Tour 1972

When I look back it was a shame the original band didn’t stay together and an even bigger shame that Canyon split, Don, Steve and Terry were and are three of the finest musicians I have ever seen, let alone worked with, we wrote some great songs together and its a real shame that we have no record of what we did.. Another guy I really enjoyed working with was the bass player in JOKER Rob McKenzie, he was also a great singer, when Joker split he wanted us to form a vocal duo, I wasn’t up for it at the time, I regret very much not having done that.

I suppose there are 1000’s of stories very similar to this one, I hope like me that the guys in those bands had as good a time as I did.


Eduardo Marins said...

great music Wills
thanks a lot!

David said...

Hey, I have just found thisn site, my name is David Bown and I was teh singer on these records, my brother Terry was the cool bass player, Paul White on drums and that great guitar player is Don(trousers)Wright.
Found site by mistake but so glad I did,Thanks :-)

Purepop said...

Hi David
Thanks for the comment. Did you guys record anything else?
All the best

David said...

What made you choose our record to review, you seem to be very aware of Mike Berry, why is that?

Purepop said...

Hi again David
I knew Mike back in the early 80s when I signed a publishing deal with Sparta Florida...I then later noticed his name on many singles that I love...including yours
You can contact me directly via the email link which is on my profile page

Anonymous said...

Came across all of this by accident, but glad I did. I'm Jim Ferris and was the drummer with Dave and the Sun as it transformed into Joker (what a great band)along with Dave Bown, Rob McKenzie and Don Wright.Pleased to say that I have made a career in music and now have my own drum teaching school in Exmouth Devon. Joker was a red hot covers band, though I don't think I fully realised it at the time. Although Dave and I parted company with a bit of an atmosphere, I wish him and the other lads the very best, with great memories.
Jim Ferris

Anonymous said...

Yes! I remember Gregorian Chant well. They played Nuneaton so much I thought they were from Nuneaton. Seem to remember they played in a barn near Ansley church. Very good night that was. from pattiern.

Anonymous said...

Hello, this is Paul White the drummer. The band came from Bedworth and Bulkington near to Coventry and Nuneaton. I remember the clay pigeon shoot gig in the barn near Nuneaton. Can anyone email a digital music file of you better run and a to d so I can have a copy in my computer music file?

Robin Wills said...

Paul send me an email, and I'll attach an MP3