|Atomic Rooster - Biography
|With thanks to Robin Edmondson.
|Atomic Rooster were formed during summer 1969,when
Vincent Crane and Carl
Palmer broke away from The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and
returned to England, the date of return being Friday 13th. Having broken
away from CWOAB with the idea to form their own band, Atomic Rooster,
(the name of the band being taken from a member of the U.S. band
Rhinoceros who whilst undertaking a "spiritual quest" emerged
with a personae which he named as the Atomic Rooster, a name which
obviously struck a chord with Carl and Vincent). Interestingly enough
1969 was the year of the Rooster, in the Chinese calendar.
Nick Graham was recruited for bass, vocals and
flute and the band undertook live work. The first LP, Atomic RoOoster,
was recorded during December 69 and January 70 and released during
February 70, along with the single, Friday 13th. During mid-March
70,Vincent decided to add a guitarist to the band and John
Cann was recruited into the Rooster ranks from his band Andromeda.
However as John joined, Nick departed leaving Rooster without a vocalist
or bassist. Vincent now played the bass lines on his Hammond Organ by a
combination of left hand and foot pedals, whilst John doubled up as
vocalist as well as assisting bass lines by emphasising the lower range
on his guitar. The band resumed gigging until the end of June 70 when
Carl announced his departure to ELP. Ric Parnell
helped out on drums, completing the outstanding gigs, until August 70
when a young 18 year old, Paul Hammond, was
recruited to fill the drum vacancy. The second LP, Death Walks Behind
You, was recorded and released in September 70 and the single, Tomorrow
Night, was released, eventually charting in the UK at No.12 in January
71.The band continued touring and in June 71 Pete
French was added to the band as vocalist for the recording of the
third LP, In Hearing Of, released in July 71. Prior to this a third
single, Devil's Answer, was released, reaching No 2 in the UK, in June
71. During the recording of In Hearing Of, it became clear that the band
were yet again moving in a different musical direction, away from the
harder and heavier-edged Death Walks Behind You, and by August both John
and Paul had left to form Daemon.
In August 71,Vincent, along with vocalist Pete French recruited drummer, Ric Parnell, and on guitar, Mancunian born Steve Bolton.This line up toured, including an appearance at the Oval on September 9th, a benefit gig arranged by The Who. By the end of the year, vocalist Pete French departed and was replaced by Chris Farlowe and a fourth LP, Made In England, was recorded and released along with the single, Stand By Me. The band had moved to a more funkier/soul musical direction by now. The end of 72 saw the departure of Steve Bolton and his replacement was John Goodsall, under the name of Johnny Mandala.This line up toured and recorded a fifth LP, Nice N Greasy, in 73. A single from the LP was also released, Save Me, a reworking of Friday 13th. .During 74 this line up came to an end and any gigs outstanding were completed by Vincent along with members of the band, Sam Apple Pie, the last gig being in February 75, a benefit gig for the RSPCA. At this point Vincent called time on Atomic Rooster and moved onto other things.
1979, post punk,and the arrival of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, with members of these new bands citing, as an influence, Atomic Rooster.Vincent and John (by now using his full name - John Du Cann) got together, talked about it, did some research and Rooster were back!!!.1980 saw the recording of an LP, on EMI, on the drums being the highly rated session drummer, Preston Heyman.A couple of "test the water" gigs were undertaken, to great acclaim, and dates were set for a tour. Preston was invited and undertook the drum duties, whilst the LP was released in September 80, following the single, Do You Know Who's Looking For You?(June 80).However Preston's prior session and touring commitments caught up with him and by the time of the gig at the Marquee, 23rd October 1980 Paul Hammond was once again behind the drum kit. Touring continued but EMI pulled the plug on the band, fortunately Polydor picked up the band for two singles, during 81, Play It Again (25th September 81) and End Of The Day (Feb 82). During the recording of these two singles reworked versions of Tomorrow Night and Devil's Answer were also recorded (Big John McCoy adding bass) Record label problems(again) led to the departure of John Du Cann prior to the recording of the sixth LP, Headline News, in late 82, the guitar parts were recorded by Dave (Pink Floyd) Gilmour, John Mizarolli and Bernie Torme.Tour dates in Italy and Germany were undertaken with Bernie on guitar and the odd UK dates were with John Mizarolli.Vincent had also taken on the vocals not only for the LP, Headline News, but also for live work. Headline News was released in June 83, following the single, Land Of Freedom, in May 83. Vincent called time on Atomic Rooster, again and in 85 assisted Dexy's Midnight Runners by playing piano on their LP, Don't Stand Me Down. Vincent and John were talking about making the Rooster crow again into the 90's, but Vincent's poor health intervened and, sadly, Vincent passed away on Feb14th,1989. Paul Hammond also sadly passed away, an accidental death, in 1992. John du Cann in September 2011. Sadly of the band that recorded Death Walks Behind You, all now are gone.
|*Whatever Happened to the Band?
*Vincent Crane *Carl Palmer *Nick Graham *John DuCann *Paul Hammond *Pete French*
*Chris Farlowe *Steve Bolton *Ric Parnell *John Goodsall *Preston Heyman *Bernie Torme*