From Goldmine Magazine - April 5, 2002 - By Dave Thompson 


 Four years after Ten Years After’s last significant burst of activity, one of the biggest bands of the early 1970’s blues – rock explosion are lumbering up for a major return – not, this time, on the live circuit, but via a string of archival releases that really have lain in obscurity far too long. That of course is a relative term. Ask anyone who grew up in the aftermath of Woodstock, the 1969 “Mud Fest” that thrust Ten Years After into prominence, and the group straddles their memory like a colossus. Between 1970 and 1973, the band scored five Top 40 albums, including two – Ssssh and Cricklewood Green – that breached the Top 20. The anthem-mic “I’d Love To Change The World” was a top 40 single in 1971, and the band’s live reputation is a creature of the most shimmering legend.

 It is one of history’s oddest quirks that a band that hit their concert peak between 1969 and 1972 should have issued live albums only on either side of that span. The sainted “I’m Going Home” Woodstock clip not with standing, evidence of the group at the height of its powers has been nowhere to be found. Until Now!

"Ten Years After Live At The Fillmore East"  is a two CD set drawn from three of the four shows that the band played at that august venue over the last two days of February 1971.

Recorded by Eddie Kramer , the tapes were shelved only because the group’s next studio album, the aforementioned “Cricklewood Green,” was imminent. Unfortunately, the tapes were also forgotten.

Ric Lee, Ten Years After’s  powerhouse drummer, picks up the story. He is the guiding force behind the reissue, having first contacted EMI (the band’s U.K. label) simply to find out why the group’s catalogue had not yet been upgraded. “They told me they wanted to do it and asked if I could help find some bonus material – unreleased tracks and things – to flesh out the original albums,” Lee told Goldmine in a recent phone interview. “I was looking around and suddenly I came across this, an entire album which we had completely forgotten about”.

It was an astonishing find. The band is in vicious form throughout – if one wants to criticize, a couple of the tracks, from the second set of the second night are a little ragged in the vocal department, but that’s about it. For the rest of the collection, Ten Years After are at their incendiary best. “The only track that’s ever been released from these tapes is “Love Like A Man”. Lee continued. “We used it as the B-Side to the studio version of the same song, when that came out as a single.” And therein hangs a tale. “Because the studio version was edited down for the single, we thought it’d be nice to give people the full song on the B-Side. So we used the live version, which is almost ten minutes long. The thing is, because it’s so long, it had to play at 33 (and a third) RPM rather than 45 RPM. The A-Side was a regular 45 record speed, and the B-Side was 33 RPM. A few months later, we were in the south of France, in this little café´ and the single came on the jukebox. Except it was the B-Side which came on, and we just groaned, because it was playing too fast. But nobody else seemed to notice! They all got up started dancing and when the record finished, they gave us a round of applause! “We went back to the hotel still laughing about it, but a couple of nights later, back at the café´ the same thing happened again. Nobody realized that wasn’t how it was meant to sound”. It’s a sobering thought but the French people’s subsequent love for mach – 10 – punk rock might well have been born that night, from playing Ten Years After at 22 revolutions too fast.

 The Fillmore album is the standard bearer of a full scale Ten Years After reissue program, as all the original albums prepare to re-emerge. In addition, a two CD anthology wrapping up album favourites  and non - LP rarities is also set to surface, with the bands Woodstock breakthrough naturally among the expected highlights. Ensuring that credit is given where credit’s due. Ric Lee admitted that his own performance on the Woodstock soundtrack’s “I’m Going Home” may not be all that it seems. “They didn’t mike up the whole drum kit,” he recalled. “and years later, (Mountain’s Drummer) Corky Laing told me that he went in and overdubbed the bass drum for the movie and LP versions”. Amazing – one of the best – loved moments of the entire event, and the guy who helped create it wasn’t even at the Woodstock Festival. No doubt that tale will be among those that Ric Lee will be recalling once again as he embarks upon a fascinating tour of his own. “It’s a two hour lecture, talking about Ten Years After, including a slide show and music, plus a question and answer session and at the end, a drum demonstration. I’m taking it around Britain first, but I hope to be in the States with it soon.

Coinciding with the brand new Ten Years After CD of the Live Fillmore East – and the rebirth of  “The Ten Years After Story” Is Herb Staeher’s “Visual History” the full story of the ultimate rock and roll warriors. Arranged in a day by day diary format. Visual History follows Alvin Lee, Chick Churchill, Ric Lee and Leo Lyons from their very first show ever, opening for the one and only John Lee Hooker at the Marquee in June of 1967 in London, to the burst of activity surrounding the band’s 30th anniversary, the Third Reunion Tour in 1997 – 1998.

The books photos are in black and white but this in no way detracts from the thrill of discovery as you read page to page the bands long and exciting history. In fact, it makes it that much more authentic

All around, then the book is a worthy tome and a salutary lesson to all those modern pop stars who complain that they spend too long on the road. Ten Years After was hardly ever off the road. Ric Lee does remember one night when the pressure got to be too much, and Alvin Lee really couldn’t take any more. “He sat in the van, with his head in his hands, saying he didn’t think he could carry on any longer, and he wanted to leave the band. So my wife said, “Why don’t you just take a holiday, then see how you feel when you get back?”  Alvin agreed. So, we cancelled the next night’s show and two days later, he was as right as rain again”.

By Dave Thompson







The Music of – Ten Years After – 1968 – 1974

Chrysalis Music Group USA – 2-CD Promo Set

Although a deleted and rare item, it’s still not impossible to find, the going price is around  $62.79 and is an official release. This is a 22 track best of CD – Custom Printed disc complete with picture sleeve insert and title / track listing on the back inlay. This is a CD-R Acetate






July 13, 2002





The story starts as a helicopter drifts over a sea of faces and heads towards the stage. 5000,000 people, some naked, some on drugs, mostly hippies, were there to see some of the biggest names in rock and to celebrate peace and love. Man.

Many shielded their eyes as they looked into the bright August sun towards the helicopter, as they wondered who might be inside.

The helicopters had been ferrying the artists in and out all weekend long, as it was the only way. The two lane highway that led to this cow pasture in upstate New York was totally blocked for seventeen miles. Groups of youngsters had driven halfway across the country in their flower-daubed V W’s in order to get there. But the fact remains, that less than half of them actually paid for tickets.

Police stood helplessly by as the crowd, who were expected to reach 60,000 swelled, tore down fences, smoked pot, took acid, danced naked and listened to some of the best music on the planet.

Some who had already been and gone on the Friday and Saturday included, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, The Who and Jefferson Airplane. Now it was Sunday August 18, 1969 the final day of this amazing, unique event, and the guest would include Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, The Band, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.  

As the helicopter in question touched down in the backstage area, out trooped four lads from Nottingham, England called Ten Years After.

Says singer, songwriter, and guitarist Alvin Lee, “We were only there about five hours in all, and three of those  waiting around because it had been raining, the stage was soaked, and electricity was sparking.”  “It didn’t look likely that anyone would be going on stage for an hour or two so I went for a walk through the crowd and around the lake. It was the best decision I could have made, I saw the festival from the other side. ”Backstage was utter confusion, bands and managers were vying for who goes on next, and during this, the whole backstage area had run out of cigarettes so I volunteered to go and find some. “It was a different world out there, the people were fantastic. No one knew who I was but people were offering me food, drinks, joints, anything they had. They were happy to share. “I remember near the  stage entrance area there was a police car with nowhere to go. It was totally wedged in by people so the two cops were sitting on the grass smoking a joint with some of the crowd. “If you can’t beat’em join’em, a grinning cop said to me. I asked if he had any cigarettes. He said no and handed me a couple of joints. “I walked off around the lake area there were lots of naked people swimming, and it all seemed serenely natural in this setting. “It reminded me of a native Indian scene with camp fires, and barbecues, and circles of people passing round pipes, and stuff. I asked for cigarettes, and they handed me a couple of joints too. “When I eventually arrived backstage after my adventures, it was still chaos. “Have you got any cigarettes?” they asked. “No, but I’ve got  18 joints.” Alvin’s walk seems to have done the trick.  

Ten Year’s 90 minute set on that Sunday would change their lives forever. In fact, before Led Zeppelin came along, Ten Years After were Britain’s biggest selling rock band. It was a nine minute version of their encore number called “I’m Going Home” that became a festival highlight, when the ‘Woodstock’ movie was released the following year. The reason was Lee’s guitar wizardry. “I have watched it a few times since, and it’s still pretty good,” he admits today. “Of course you see the mistakes, but that was all part of it.” 

Ten Years After is: Alvin Lee on guitar and vocals; Ric Lee on  drums; Chick Churchill on keyboards; and Leo Lyons on bass guitar. The band would sell millions of records, tour the United States more than any other band in the world, and rub shoulders with rock legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and George Harrison.  

There came the country mansions, the fleet of cars, and inevitably, the sex, and the drugs, along with their rock and roll. It was a long way from Wollaton Park where Alvin grew up, with his two older sisters, Janice, and Irma.

By trade his father Sam was a builder, while his mother Doris ran a hair-dressing salon. They both played guitar. They used to do odd gigs as a cowboy trio; my mum, my dad, and my sister Janice. My dad collected ethnic blues records, prison work songs, and stuff like that. Big Bill Broonsy, and Lonnie Johnson. I grew up listening to that, and that’s where my blues came from.

Along with his parents musical influence, Alvin was swept up into the American culture of the late 1950’s including, James Dean, Bill Haley, and of course Elvis Presley. Alvin says, “It was all very romantic, and a contrast to my environment in Nottingham where you were brought up to work at Raleigh or Players.” As it turned out he would only have one “proper” job after leaving School.

Leaving Margaret Glen-Bott School, where he says he was a bit of a rebel and was regularly sent back home, for wearing “inappropriate clothing”. It was at Weller Gauge, a light engineering company that he worked for about two months, Alvin says, “I cut my fingers one day on some metal work and my Mum said, ‘you can’t stay there-you have your fingers to think about. So  they let me pack it in and concentrate on my guitar playing”.  

Alvin’s very first gig had been at the age of thirteen at the Palace Cinema in Sandiacre, which was located by the railway bridge, and has long since been demolished. At that time he was playing with Alan Upton and The Jailbreakers, right before the screening of a Brigitte Bardot movie, in which the advertisement announced, ‘Alan Upton featuring Alvin Lee, and his amazing talking guitar’. His Mum still has got the cutting”.

He joined his next band called Vince Marshall and the Square Caps, by way of another advert in the Evening Post. Alvin says, “we rehearsed for three months, played one gig at ‘All Souls Church’ in Radford, then broke up”. 

Next in line, was Ivan Jay, and The Jaycats, and Alvin says, “Ivan Jay is living in San Diego now. He’s a car racer and one of my heroes. He was a bit older than us, and we all looked up to him. He had bright blond hair, and my Mum dyed his hair pink and blue on the sides, and he had to go home on the 39 bus”.  

By the early sixties, Ivan had left, and Alvin had taken over the vocal duties, and the name was changed to the ‘Jaybirds’, playing in Nottingham at such clubs as, The Dancing Slipper, The Carousel, The Cocked Hat, and The Regal located in Ripley.  They followed the Beatles trail to Hamburg, and to the famous Star Club, located in the heart of the red light district, the Reeperbahn. Alvin says, “That’s where I learned everything about sex, drugs, and rock’n roll”.  

The Beatles, had been there and gone by the time the Jaybirds arrived, but other artists including Tony Sheridan, Cliff Bennett, and the Rebel Rousers, and The Big Three, were there performing.  

Alvin says, “I’d seen nothing like it before. The Star Club was run by gangsters. When you were playing there you got a little badge with a star on it. I’ve still got mine. It could get you in anywhere in the Reeperbahn. I was glad to get away from there alive, it was a bit hairy at times. “All these kind of gangster things were going on. Hookers used to come down to the gig at two in the morning, and pick on the young boys for a bit of fun”. Like you Alvin? “Yeah, a lot of fun actually,” he laughs, “I was there a month, but it felt like two years”.   Find below the lyrics to "Little Boy"  

The story behind Alvin’s song LITTLE BOY which he wrote as a little autobiography about a period of weeks that occurred in his teenage years. He talks about his discovery of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll in Hamburg, Germany. It seems that just for fun, the hookers would come down to the Hamburg club in the small hours of the morning and have a little fun with the cute young teenage boys, who were there. Alvin just happened to be one of the LITTLE BOYS who attracted the attention of these whores. As I have yet to find anyone who transcribed the lyrics correctly, this version is the way I heard Alvin sing it, but we’re always open to making corrections.     

The song starts:  

“I’m gonna tell the story now”, he says, “give me bass drum”. When I was a little boy, I didn’t know right from wrong, I was young and innocent, but it didn’t last too long. I went out to Germany, reefer born and all that, I aged five years in thirty weeks, now there ain’t no turning back.

(Choirs) …. 

Ooh, it ain’t a bad world, it ain’t bad all the time, No one gives, gives you no guarantee that you’re gonna like what you find.
You can’t forget the things you learn, you can’t go back in time. I live my life to gain experience, I’ve laid it on the line.
I don’t claim I’ve seen everything, but I’ve had my share. I don’t understand everything, but I know what’s fair.  

(Choirs) ….

Ooh, it ain’t a bad world, it ain’t bad all the time, No one gives, gives you no guarantee that you’re gonna like what you find.

While backing American singers on tour in the UK, like The Drifters, and The Ivy League, and with ex-roadie Chick Churchill who was from Ilkeston, joining on his Hammond as organ/keyboard player, the band also took on a new name and now became Ten Years After.  

It was in 1966, and blues rock was an emerging force in Britain, and Ten Years After were signed to ‘Decca Records’ where Jonathan King, chose Love Like A Man to be released as a single. It became their only hit in Britain, but like Led Zeppelin who came later, Ten Years After were really an album band, particularly in the USA, where Lee’s speed guitar playing earned him hero worship on a par with Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix. Alvin’s trademark ‘Red Gibson ES-335’ along with his long blond hair, with white clogs, and loons epitomised a definite kind of hippie cool.  

So that by the year 1968, Decca were pushing the band in the direction of America. It was during these early tours that the members of Ten Years After would be rubbing elbows and shoulders with the likes of Jimi Hendrix and a hurricane-voiced blues singer named Janis Joplin, who more than held up her end when it came to drugs, drinking and living her life in the world of rock ‘n’ roll excess. As Alvin tells it, “Most guitarists…Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and the like, I figured we all had about the same influences, and I knew where they were coming from, but Jimi Hendrix…

from outer space, he was a force on his own”.   

Alvin, like most others during the 1960’s was into sampling the new drug called ‘LSD’ in great quantities. Alvin recalls, “I became cosmically conscious. It did me a lot of good. As a lad, I was a bit of a tear-a-way. With the Jaybirds, we had shotguns in the van and would go around shooting poor old rabbits and crows, but it all changed, I wouldn’t kill an ant after I had LSD”.  

So by the mid 1970’s Ten Years After were feted in the USA and were selling millions of copies of record albums. Alvin bought himself a 16th-Century-Country Mansion, located in Berkshire called Hook End Manor, which included twenty rooms, and was set on fifty acres of land. It was to become the band’s headquarters, their studio and their workshop. Alvin reflects, “I built a large studio in the old barn there which was called Space Studios. It had no windows, and no clocks so it was impossible to know what time of day or night it was.

They were crazy times. We often used to spend all night in the studio, and when we came out it was already light outside, so we’d go back in for another ten hours until it got dark again”.

“The craziness went on for several years, but then it started to get too crazy. At first we just used to smoke lots of hashish, but later came the cocaine, which was totally unproductive, and a big waste of money. “We would be in the studio for three days at a time, non-stop, and I don’t think we recorded anything worth keeping during the whole two years. “Fortunately, I saw the light in time, I looked in the mirror one day, and said ‘Who the hell is that?’ I immediately went and checked in to Champneys  health farm for a complete detox”.  

After finishing off his last gram of cocaine at the front gates, Alvin submitted to a check-up. A doctor took his blood pressure, and informed the guitarist: “It looks like you’ve got here just in time.”  

In retrospect Alvin laments, “Since then I am glad to say I have swapped my clogs for trainers (sneakers), and I have my own gym and studio at home. Alvin concludes, “The drugs are just a purple haze.”  

As for Ten Years After, they would get back together in 1989 to make an album entitled ‘About Time’, along with a tour, but the fact remains, that since the mid-seventies, Alvin has concentrated more on his solo work, and with the Alvin Lee Band than devoting any time at all to his fellow band mates or with his old band,  Ten Years After.  

Alvin now lives in Malaga Spain. He says, “It’s a lovely view from my studio, I can look out and see the ocean.”

What does he do everyday? Well lets ask Alvin, “I’m still writing songs, and touring, though I haven’t played in Nottingham for a long time, but I’d like to play ‘Rock City’, I have a music publishing company, with offices still in Nottingham.” Although he has never been married, he does have one daughter named Jasmin, who is now in her twenties, and is also working in the music business as a band manager.  

Although Alvin left Nottingham at the young age of eighteen, he is now fifty seven (as of this article), and he still carries the prominent accent, and keeps in touch with his Mum Doris, who is still living in Wollaton Park. As Alvin states, “ She was always really proud, to be honest, I don’t often do interviews these days. I’m not really bothered about the history books, but my mum said ‘oh I’m so proud of you, go on, do it.”   

Alvin continues his conversation and talks about, George Harrison, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix:

Looking back, it was at Steve Paul’s Scene Club, that one Jimi Hendrix stood by and watched Ten Years After perform, as Alvin reflects, “We were doing ‘I Can’t Keep From Crying, which had a twenty minute guitar solo, and I went into it with jazz octaves, and stuff like that, he came up to me (Jimi Hendrix) and said ‘wow I’ve been thinking of doing something like that, but you beat me to it’. So there was a bit of mutual respect there.”

When they met up once again, it was at The Speakeasy in London. Alvin continues, “He (Jimi)  asked Leo Lyons if he could get up and jam, and Leo said ‘no’. I knew who he was, but I don’t think Leo did, which was a bit embarrassing. (Note:12 / 2004 Leo’s recollection of this event is much different than Alvin’s version.)  He (Jimi) did have some terrible gigs though, because he would treat his guitar in such a way, it would go dreadfully out of tune. He would come off stage and he would throw his guitars at the roadies, going raving mad. Apart from that, he was a very nice guy, very quiet. Quiet and mad, hot and cold, like all larger than life people.”  

Alvin and George Harrison became close friends and neighbours after Alvin moved in to Hook End Manor, as Alvin says, “George lived just down the road at Friar Park in Henley, and we used to jam together, and play on each others albums all the time. I remember one time he came over with Eric Clapton and Carl Radle, and I was rehearsing with my new band Ten Years Later. We had a jam session and recorded ‘Too Many Lead Guitarists Blues’. At the end I shouted ‘everybody take it’ and it turned into the loudest cacophony you’ve ever heard. George would later come over and play slide guitar on my albums. He played on ‘Real Life Blues’, ‘Talk Don’t Bother Me and ‘The Bluest Blues’. George also played on my version of the ‘Beatles’ I Want You-She’s So Heavy. He was a wonderful man, and I miss him greatly. He always used to send my mum a food hamper or flowers on her birthday.”

It’s no surprise that Alvin’s friendship with Janis Joplin was far less relaxed, as Alvin remembers it, “I think she had a thing for me, she called me baby-cakes, but I didn’t know what it meant, my ass I think…hang on my mum’s reading this. Alvin goes on, “One night when I saw her play, the audience were handing bottles up on stage to her, and she tweaked my ass, and gave me a bottle of Southern Comfort. I didn’t realise it was a strong whisky, and I drank most of it. Next thing, I woke up at five in the morning, backstage at the Fillmore East in New York City, and there was no one but a guy sweeping up.”

So had Janis got what she was after from Alvin?

Alvin’s firm reply, “No, she scared me, she was one of the boys, and far too dangerous for me at that time.”   










Fotos: Wilfling, Zill, M. Schweitzer, Gabowicz




Ten Years After’s Famous Associations

From Decca’s Tea Boy – To Famous Record Producer

Gus Dudgeon – Top Producer of the Year “With Elton John”


A Sad Ending:

On Sunday July 21, 2002 - while driving home from a party with his wife Sheila, (whom he married in 1959) Gus Dudgeon fell asleep at the wheel and drove off the M4 between Reading and Maidenhead. The car plunged down a steep embankment at a high rate of speed. The couple crashed into a drainage ditch, their Jaguar convertible landed upside down, where they both drowned. Gus was 59, they had no children.

Elton John was deeply saddened, by their death, and called Gus the greatest producer of his generation.


Gus was born on September 30, 1942 in Surrey England and educated at Hailey Bury:

            He began work at Olympic Studios off Baker Street in London, as a tea-boy, but eventually he was promoted to the  position of sound engineer and moved to Decca Recording Studio in West Hempstead. He worked with The Artwoods, Bruce Channel, Davy Graham, The Small Faces and Shirley Collins.  His early pop successes included The Zombies hit song, “She’s Not There” which went to number two in the top ten music charts in 1964, he produced everything by the Zombies there after. Then he did the famous John Mayall Blues Breakers album featuring Eric Clapton in 1966. He helped with the auditions of Tom Jones, Lulu and The Rolling Stones. His very first co-production credit came in 1967 with the debut album named after the progressive blues band  “Ten Years After”. He also did Eddie Boyd and His Blues Band album in (1967). This was followed by his production of The Bonzo Dog Band albums that included: The Doughnut in Granny’s Greenhouse (1968) and Tadpoles (1969). Gus also produced two highly successful albums for Elkie Brooks: Pearls and Pearls Two. He went on to produce the then unknown David Bowie’s hit single, “Space Oddity” with exceptional acoustic guitar accompaniment by Keith Christmas. Gus liked to point out that three of his biggest hit singles all had surreal, space travel themes. David Bowie’s  - “Space Oddity”, The Bonzo Band’s – “I’m The Urban Spaceman” (It says Produced by Paul McCartney 1969)  and Elton John’s famous hit “Rocket Man”.


 Goodbye Decca – Hello Yellow Brick Road

Gus became independent in 1968 and left Decca Records, founded his own company, and his first big production project was for EMI, doing Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band.

Then  in 1970 he began working with Elton John. The very first song that they worked on together was ironically called “Your Song”, on which Gus elaborated on the simple piano tune and added an orchestral arrangement by Paul Buckmaster. The song reached into the top ten in the United States, thus becoming Elton’s first substantial / certified hit. Gus continued working with Elton on his next several albums.

Although Gus at times, could be very critical of Elton’s work. Case in point was Elton’s 1974 album titled “Caribou”, which Gus says – “It’s a piece of crap, the sound is the worst and the songs are nowhere, the record sleeve came out wrong and the lyrics weren’t that good, the singing wasn’t all there, the playing wasn’t great and the production is just plain lousy”.

Gus Dudgeon along with Elton John, Bernie Taupin and Steve Brown founded “Rocket Records” in 1972. Gus also became the founder of “The Music Producers Guild” and in 1995 he re-mastered much of Elton’s music catalogue. It also says that Gus was the first person to use sampling in 1971 – using a tape loop of African tribal drumming…but I just watched a dvd where Sir Paul McCartney predated Gus by four years on the Beatles Sergeant Pepper Album. Paul brought in a plastic baggie full of tape loops, for George Martin to use on the sessions. 

 Ten Years After, Elton John, Chris Rea, Jennifer Rush, Elkie Brookes, XTC, Fairport Convention, The Beach Boys, Joan Armatrading and The Hollies were among the main leading artists who benefited from their association with Gus Dudgeon, who was one of Britain’s most respected and prolific record producers. While he spent many years in a branch of the music business that’s notorious for hard-nosed, cynical attitudes, Gus was much liked for his breezy blend of good humour and enthusiasm. He put the artists at ease in the stressful confines of a recording studio, yet he maintained a straight – talking, bustling style that commanded respect. If ever there was ever a person who would willingly give his time to help a struggling artist or recording engineer – it was Gus Dudgeon!

Elton John had tremendous respect for the talent of  his producer, and thus gave Gus complete freedom to craft the finished tracks as he pleased. Gus, for example did the songs: Saturday’s Alright For Fighting, Rocket Man, Crocodile Rock, Daniel, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (with Kiki Dee) and Nikita. 


From Gus Himself:

“I was terrified of ever getting on the console, but the thing I loved about it was, just the volume and actually hearing the real low end! It was like “Bloody Hell” !!!

“That’s bloody marvellous” !!! I just loved the power of the big speaker system.

I never heard anything like it”.


 About Gus Dudgeon:

He was an exceptionally charming and funny man. He was a flamboyant dresser, favouring wide striped suits, winkie - pickers, tight Levis, brooches and colored sunglasses. And while his hard work earned him a considerable fortune, a crocked accountant relived him of much of his wealth. But Gus never rested on his laurels, he was always visiting clubs on the lookout for new bands and artists that he could produce. In his early days, he was raised in the post “Goons and Monty Python era which meant that he could relate to the things that made his artists laugh. This while his career parallel the vast explosion in rock music and the expansion of the recording studio technology and audio advancements in general. When he began his work in the mid 1960’s he was limited / confined to using a four track recorder and had to endure the strictures of the pre-electronic era. Just as George Martin had done with the Beatles. At Decca there was a daily roster of bands and artists to deal with, and Gus had to work with top session men during intense three hour sessions. The music had to be sight-read and recorded “Live” in the studio, with as few takes as possible.

“There was no room for perfection” replied Gus.

David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” reached number 5 in the U.K. charts in 1969 and then reached number 1 when it was re-issued in 1975. Gus later said that he was only paid 250 pounds in advance for his work on the hit and claimed that he was owed in excess of a million pounds in unpaid royalties!!!

Among others he worked with were: Marianne Faithfull, The Strawbs, The Rolling Stones and on a project with George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Again, let it be pointed out, that Gus Dudgeon was one of Britain’s most successful record producers.


In His Free Time:

Gus was happy to spend more of his free time gardening around his 16th Centaury Surrey home. Just as he maintained his love of live music, and went to see three “Unknown” bands per week. He kept his sense of humour too, listing among his other hobbies, in the true Bonzo Dog Band style of, collecting Rhino’s.

Some of the text on this page by Chris Welch. 


At The Funereal:

The funereal service was held in Cobham, Surrey where Gus and Sheila lived.

“We have not only lost a couple who treated a very naïve country boy with great courtesy in his younger days, but also an extraordinary talent without those our early records would never have taken on the legendary status they have been so fortunate to attain. I love Gus and his loving wife, and I thank him for all that he had done for me over these many years. I would now like to offer this lost couple a song called, “High Flying Bird”. In thanks for the glorious times, and may you be in heaven together forever, Love Elton…..We’ve been missing you."        


            Foundation In His Name:

The Gus Dudgeon Foundation for the Recording Arts, was formed to preserve and promote the techniques of recording and production exemplified from his outstanding career and to give students from all walks of life the opportunity to learn and pass on these skills for future generations. The studio will provide a world class recording facility that will be available to students, academic institutions and commercial clients.


The Music Producers Guild – United Kingdom

Conceived and supported by producers and engineers who are passionate about all aspects of creating and creating music, it provides a community for us to share our collective experiences and collaborate with other like minded people.


The Gus Dudgeon Suite:

Is now the home of Gus’s MCI mixing console and his legendary 24 track, along with other studio equipment and valuable memorabilia, including some of his many prestigious Awards that represent his long and distinguished career, contributed by the Gus Dudgeon Foundation and The Music Producers Guild.




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