Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Gorillas: It´s My Life / My Souls Alive 7"

The band ís understandable disenchantment with the lack of response to their best efforts led to the inevitable end of Larry Page's patronage. Nevertheless, Jesse Hector's confidence was quickly restored after he caught the attention of Ted Carroll, Dublin-born owner of the Rock On record shop in Golborne Road. Jesse had been a regular customer for a number of years, drawn in by his unlimited passion for vintage rock 'n' roll vinyl. He had befriended Ted, who was about to launch Chiswick Records as the first truly independent record label in Britain. A recording session was organised to take place in Dave Robinsonís makeshift studio, above the Hope & Anchor pub in Islington. Roger Armstrong, Ted's partner in crime at Chiswick, had volunteered as producer and a number of demos were cut, sometime in mid 1975. "Shame Shame Shame" and "Moonshine" are two killer tracks which would have made a brilliant first release but "She's My Gal," recorded later at Olympic Studios, was judged more appropriate and became the first single on Chiswick for the Gorillas, who had also decided to shorten their name in the process. Chris Townson of John's Children played drums on the session, adding a distinct British Beat feel to the overall sound, which is particularly noticeable on the wonderful "Why Wait 'Til Tomorrow," perhaps on the the greatest "unfinished" rock ballads ever recorded. Substantial press coverage followed and the band's live schedule became increasingly busy. The Gorillas had been unequivocally adopted by the punk audiences who loved their ferocious live performances at the Nashville or the Notre Dame Hall. In fact, the Gorillas seemed to act as a missing link between the more traditional, R&B orientated, so-called pub rock scene and the more violent and incisive approach the young punk bands were still trying to achieve. It was, therefore, no surprise to see the Gorillas boarding the tour bus leaving to the south of France in August 1976, along with the Damned, Eddie & The Hotrods and a few others for an appearance at the legendary Mont de Marsan Punk Festival.

1. It's My Life
2. My Souls Alive
** pw =
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