Kevin Godley (10cc) part one

Kevin Godley English singer, musician, and director (10cc, Godley & Creme, Art of Noise, Producers, Doctor Father, Hotlegs, andThe Magic Lanterns) was born 7 October 1945. Three of the founding members of 10cc were childhood friends in the Manchester area. As boys, kevin Godley and Lol Creme knew each other; Graham Gouldman and Kevin Godley attended the same secondary school; their musical passion led to playing at the local Jewish Lads’ Brigade.

Their first recorded collaboration was in 1964, when Gouldman’s band The Whirlwinds recorded the Lol Creme composition, “Baby Not Like You”, as the B-side of their only single, “Look At Me”. The Whirlwinds then changed members and name, becoming The Mockingbirds (including singer-guitarist Gouldman, bassist Bernard Basso and drummer Kevin Godley, formerly of The Sabres with Creme). The Mockingbirds recorded five singles in 1965–66 without any success, before dissolving. The guitarist in both The Whirlwinds and The Mockingbirds was Stephen Jacobson, brother of well-known writer Howard Jacobson.

In 1967, Godley and Creme reunited and recorded (“Seeing Things Green” b/w “Easy Life” on UK CBS) under the name “The Yellow Bellow Room Boom”. In 1969, Gouldman took them to a Marmalade Records recording session. The boss Giorgio Gomelsky offered them a recording contract. In September 1969, Godley & Creme recorded some basic tracks at Strawberry Studios, with Stewart on guitar and Gouldman on bass.The song, “I’m Beside Myself” b/w “Animal Song”, was issued as a single, credited to Frabjoy and Runcible Spoon. Gomelsky (an ex-manager of The Yardbirds) planned to market Godley & Creme as a duo, in the vein of Simon & Garfunkel. Solo tracks by Godley and Gouldman, With Stewart and Creme—were released in a 1969 Marmalade Records music sample album, 100 Proof. Gouldman’s track was “The Late Mr. Late”. In 1970 Godley released the song “To Fly Away” on the debut Hotlegs album, Thinks: School Stinks. Gouldman, Penned the songs “Heart Full of Soul”, “Evil Hearted You” and “For Your Love” for The Yardbirds, “Look Through Any Window” and “Bus Stop” for The Hollies and “No Milk Today”, “East West” and “Listen People” for Herman’s Hermits.

:Meanwhile guitarist Eric Stewart was a member of Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, a group that hit No.1 with “The Game of Love”. However Fontana left the band in October 1965 and, the group became known simply as The Mindbenders, with Stewart as their lead vocalist. They Released “A Groovy Kind of Love” in 1965and made an appearance in the 1967 film To Sir, with Love with “It’s Getting Harder All the Time” and “Off and Running.” In 1968, Gouldman joined Stewart in The Mindbenders, replacing bassist Bob Lang and wrote the songs, “Schoolgirl” and “Uncle Joe the Ice Cream Man” and the Mindbenders split. Following thisStewart began recording demos of new material at Inner City Studios, a Stockport studio then owned by Peter Tattersall, a former road manager for Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas. IStewart joined Tattersall as a partner in the studio, and in1968, the studio was moved to bigger premises and renamed Strawberry Studios, after The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever”.

In 1969, Gouldman also began using Strawberry to record demos of songs he was writing for Marmalade and also became a financial partner in the studios. By 1969, all four members of the original 10cc line-up were working together regularly at Strawberry Studios. American pop writer-producers Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz of Super K Productions came to England and commissioned Gouldman to write and produce formula bubblegum songs, many of which were recorded at Strawberry Studios, including the song “Sausalito”, featuring Gouldman on lead vocal, and vocal and instrumental backing by the other three future 10cc members. In 1969, Gouldman began working solely at Strawberry, rather than move constantly between Stockport, London and New York. Gouldman convinced the pair that these throwaway two-minute songs could all be written, performed and produced by him and his three colleagues, Stewart, Godley and Creme, at a fraction of the cost of hiring outside session musicians. This produced many songs for others including “There Ain’t No Umbopo” by Crazy Elephant, “When He Comes” by Fighter Squadron and “Come on Plane” by Silver Fleet (all three with lead vocals by Godley), and “Susan’s Tuba” by Freddie and the Dreamers (which was a monster hit in France and featured lead vocals by Freddie Garrity,

When the three-month production deal with Kasenetz-Katz ended, Gouldman returned to New York to work as a staff songwriter for Super K Productions. With Gouldman absent, Godley, Creme and Stewart continued recording singles including, “Neanderthal Man”, And Umbopo” under the name of Doctor Father. After Reverting to the successful band name Hotlegs, in early 1971 Godley, Creme and Stewart recorded the album Thinks: School Stinks, which included “Neanderthal Man”. They then recalled Gouldman for a short tour supporting The Moody Blues, before releasing a follow-up single “Lady Sadie” b/w “The Loser”. Philips reworked their sole album, removed “Neanderthal Man” and added “Today” and issued it as Song.

Stewart, Creme and Godley released a cover version of Paul Simon’s Cicellia in 1971 as, The New Wave Band, with former Herman’s Hermits member Derek “Lek” Leckenby on guitarThe band also colaborated with Dave Berry, Wayne Fontana, Peter Cowap and Herman’s Hermits, and doing original compositions for various UK football (soccer) teams. In 1971 they produced and played on Space Hymns, an album by New Age musician Ramases; in 1972–73 they co-produced and played on two Neil Sedaka albums, Solitaire and The Tra-La Days Are Over. The success of these albums convinced them to form a band together And they recorded the Stewart/Gouldman song, “Waterfall”, and The Godley/Creme composition “Donna” which was a Frank Zappa-influenced 1950s doo-wop parody, a sharp mix of commercial pop and irony with a chorus sung in falsetto.

Jonathan King signed them up and chose the 10cc name after having a dream in which he was standing in front of the Hammersmith Odeon in London where the boarding read “10cc The Best Band in the World”. However another claim, Suggests that the band name represented a volume of semen that was more than the average amount ejaculated by men, thus emphasising their potency or prowess. 10cc then released their first single Donna”. Their second single, was a similarly 1950s-influenced song called “Johnny Don’t Do It” and their third single “Rubber Bullets”, was a catchy satirical take on the “Jailhouse Rock” concept. These were follwed by “The Dean and I”, “Headline Hustler” and “The Worst Band in the World”. They toured in 1973, joined by second drummer Paul Burgess, before returning to Strawberry Studios in November to finish their second LP, Sheet Music, which was released in 1974 and included “The Worst Band in the World”, “The Wall Street Shuffle” & “Silly Love”. In 1975, the band split with Jonathan King a and signed with Mercury Records after manager Ric Dixon invited Head of A & R Nigel Grainger to listen to the latest album The Original Soundtrack which contained , Godley & Creme’s eight minute opus “Une Nuit A Paris (One Night in Paris), ‘Life Is A Minestrone’ & “I’m Not in Love” and featured distinctive cover art by Hipgnosis. 10cc’s fourth LP, How Dare You! Was released in 1976 And featured another Hipgnosis cover, and the songs “Art for Art’s Sake” and “I’m Mandy, Fly Me”.

Sadly by this time the once close personal and working relationships between the four members had begun to fray, and it was the last album with the original line-up. In 1976 10cc rereleased the album Hotlegs album under the new title You Didn’t Like It Because You Didn’t Think of It with two additional tracks. The title track was the epic B-side of “Neanderthal Man”, reworked as “Fresh Air for My Mama”

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