Éire Apparent

Related: People, Tony & The Telstars, Skyrockets, Gene & The Gents

By John Warburg: Eire Apparent was formed as The People in early 1967, in Blackpool by Ernie Graham, Chris Stewart, Henry McCullough and Dave Lutton. Apart from McCullough, all were former members of Tony & The Telstars. McCullough had cut his teeth in two showbands, The Skyrockets and Gene & The Gents.

By the early summer the band had gone to back to Ireland - to Dublin this time, where the local scene had eventually taken off. Such was the difference in their music that within 3 months they were voted top local band. The scene was still small though and by spring of 1967 it was time to move again. This time they went straight to London - and starved again, living in a van parked in Camden Town. The bands fortunes changed in the early summer when they ran into their ex-manager Dave Robinson, who promised to get them a couple of gigs.

These were the Speakeasy Club and more importantly the UFO Club, the same night as Procol Harum, coming on after them. They soon ha about six of the top British managers knocking at their dressing room door say not to sign to anyone until you have spoken to them. In the end they were signed up within 24 hours by Mike Jeffery, who along with Chas Chandler (former bass-player with The Animals) were the managers of Jimi Hendrix and The Soft Machine. The band then changed their name again - Jeffrey wanted to exploit their Irish dimension and his wife came up with the new name - Eire Apparent.

In short order the band were doing prestigious supports at the Saville Theatre in London and Olympia in Paris and on Tues 14.11.1967 they joined what amounted to be the last great UK package tour with The Move, The Pink Floyd, The Nice, Amen Corner, The Outer Limits and, of course, Hendrix himself. This was The Jimi Hendrix Tour, their second proper UK tour. Opening night was at The Alchemical Wedding, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, West London followed by The Winter Gardens, Bournemouth, Dorset, The City Hall, Sheffield, The Empire Theatre, Liverpool, The Coventry Theatre, Coventry, Guildhall, Portsmouth, The Sophia Gardens Pavilion, Cardiff, Glamorgan, South Wales; on Frid 24.11.1967, at Colston Hall, Bristol, Somerset; on Sat 25.11.1967, at The Opera House, Blackpool, The Palace Theatre, Manchester, The Whitla Hall, Queens College, Belfast.  On Tues 28.11.1967, The Hendrix tour flew from Belfast to Gatwick. The tour continued at The Central Hall, Chatham, The Dome Brighton, Sussex, The Theatre Royal, Nottingham, City Hall, Newcastle, Green's Playhouse, Glasgow, (the final date of The Hendrix' second proper UK Tour) 

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Vocals: Ernie Graham
Lead Guitar:
Henry McCullough
2nd Guitar:
Chris Stewart
Drums: Dave Lutton
Things started to look really good for Eire Apparent and at the end of the tour the band went into the studio and cut their debut single for Track Records, 'Follow Me' / 'Here I Go Again' (Truck 604 019, Jan 1968). This was a non-hit, but 1968 proved to be their most successful year. At the beginning of Feb they flew to the States, basically as support to either Hendrix or Eric Burdon and the Animals. Their first gig was at The Anaheim Convention Centre, Anaheim, California, with both acts and The Soft Machine. Subsequently they toured with The Animals up until the end of May. Although technically the support, they built up a solid following playing to huge audiences and making a substantial amount of money.

They returned to Europe - briefly - to play at the riot torn Beat Monster Festival, in Zurich before heading back to the States and eventually joining up with Hendrix at the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium on the 17th of Aug 1968, and playing with him and The Soft Machine. They went onto play on most of his subsequent gigs until late Sep 1968 (not middle of Oct as stated in the Eire Apparent CD). Other gigs were at Curtis Hixton Hall, Tampa, Florida, The Mosque, Richmond, Virginia, The Civic Dome, Virginia Beach, California, The Bushnell Memorial, Hartford, Connecticut, Kennedy Stadium, Bridgeport, Connecticut, The Red Rocks Park, Denver, Colorado. The next day Hendrix and his band The Experience, plus Eire Apparent toured the mountains around Denver. More Hendrix / Eire Apparent / Vanilla Fudge / The Soft Machine gigs were at The Balboa Stadium, San Diego, California, The Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, Arizona and The Coliseum, Seattle, Washington.

Then something bad happened to the band, unfortunately at their next gig at The Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, Canada on Sat 7th Sept 1968, Henry McCullough was busted and basically had to leave the country to avoid doing time, but the others wanted to stay on, so effectively he had to quit the band. McCullough found his feet quick enough, joining up with Sweeney's Men, Joe Cocker and the Grease Band, Oct 1968 - Feb 1970, The Grease Band, Jun 1970 - Dec 1971, Paul McCartney's Wings, Jan 1972 - Jul 1973, The Joe Cocker Band, Jul - Aug 1974 and Frankie Miller. His replacement in Eire Apparent was taken by Mick Cox (ex The End, Alleykatz), who was flown out from England immediately. Other gigs Eire Apparent did on the Hendrix were at The Coliseum, Spokane, Washington, Oakland Coliseum, California and The Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento, California. This it the last gig I can find that Eire Apparent played on the Hendrix US tour.

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Amazing photo of members of Eire Apparent and David Tiger Taylor with Jimi Hendrix - thanks Tiger!
At the end of Oct 1968 Eire Apparent recorded the bulk of their debut album at TTG in Los Angeles, California. On Wed 30.10.1968, at Sunset-Highland Studios, Los Angeles, California, the band recorded 'Let Me Stay' (Cox), 'Magic Carpet' (Graham), 'Morning Glory' (Cox), 'Mr Guy Fawkes' (Cox) and 'Yes I Need Someone' (Stewart/Graham / M Cox / D Lutton), while 'Captive In The Sun' (M Cox), and 'The Clown' (Stewart) (Hendrix added extra magic to this track) which were recorded on Wed 30.10.1968, also at Sunset-Highland Studios, plus 'Rock 'N' Roll Band' (Taylor/Graham) recorded on 5.1.1969, at Polydor Studios, London, all with Jimi Hendrix on guitar. This last session was produced by Carlos Olms. In fact he appeared on all the tracks ('Someone Is Sure To (Want You)' (E Graham), except for 'Got To Get Away' (Graham) and '1026' (Graham/Stewart) (produced by Jack Hunt). Hendrix also produced the group's solo album, called Sun Rise (Sunrise) (Buddah 203 021, 1969), which was a crafted blend of pop and neo-psychedelia. Hendrix had produced and played on their album as a consequence of Eire Apparent touring with him in the States.

Eire Apparent's association with Hendrix, Jeffrey and Chandler was starting to draw to an end. Basically the band felt they could no longer rely on Jeffrey to find them gigs in the States. Their final involvement was as support on part of the Experience's European in Germany in Jan 1969. The gigs were at The Musikhalle, Hamburg, Germany; The Rheinhalle, Dusseldorf; The Halle Munsterland, Munster, The Deutsches Museum, Munich, The Meistersinghalle, Nuremburg, The Jahrunderhalle, Frankfurt, The Liederhalle, Stuttgart, The Wacken Halle, Strasbourg, The Konzerthaus, Vienna and The Sportpalast, Berlin.

Mick Cox was replaced by Tiger Taylor on lead guitar in Jan 1969. Most of 1969 was spent slogging round the English clubs and universities, trying to re-establish themselves in a country that had largely forgotten them. It was to prove an uphill task. In April 1969 the band recorded three tracks for a Top Gear session, 'Yes I Need Someone,' 'Highway 61' and 'Gloria.' Peter Tolson was a short time member just before they called it a day at the end of the year, finally having given up. Eire Apparent also released another single Rock 'N' Roll Band' / 'Yes I Need Someone' (Buddah 201 039, 1969). Singer Graham later joined, Clancy, Help Yourself, Aug - Nov 1971, and then recorded a solo album backed by Brinsley Schwatz. Drummer Lutton was later in T-Rex, Jan - Dec 1974, Jan 1975 - Aug 1976, Nov 1976 - Sep 1977 and Stewart was later in Poco, while Tilson went to The Pretty Things, Nov 1971 - Jun 1976, and Metropolis, Jun 1976 - Dec 1977.

Text © John Warburg

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