This month sees the third anniversary of Carl Waynes death. A tribute to Carl from many of his old friends will feature later this month on Six of The Best.
Carl Wayne had a long, successful and prolific stage career but I am not interested about how many performances of Blood Brothers that Charlie appeared in, I'm not really interested that he was the front man for The Hollies for some years either. I was disappointed that he saw himself as a cabaret artist. I remember him as the front man for what was probably one of THE bands of the 60's.
Brumbeat was what it was all about then and Charlie shared centre stage with the rest of The Move as an act rather than Carl Wayne and the........? He had tons of experience with The Vikings but he never really shook off that 'singing ballads to girls in the audience' routine that was almost 'de rigeur' for bands with front men in those earlier days. Before the Move were thought about I recall Charlie telling me he was thinking of re-naming Carl Wayne and The Vikings - 'Sweet and The Lovelies' or 'The Sweet and Lovelies', he of course being "Sweet" which was quite indicative of how he saw himself, image wise.
The Move were destined to fall apart. Once they had got over their 'honeymoon' period and had achieved their aim of success it wasn't long before discontent began to creep in and the personality backstabbing began. It isn't enough just to put together a collection of musicians and expect it to work well. The difference in tastes of music and sizes of ego were a factor right from the start.
It was an amazement to me that for a group who had the reputation for being so 'edgy' would include such material in their set i.e. "Zing go the Strings of my Heart" which some years earlier would have been a 'feature' number in a stage set at the Springfield Ballroom. They could have sat quite comfortably for many years in the company of The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane etc had their recorded material been more in the vein of 'Night of Fear' and 'I Can Hear the Grass Grow' with its thundering, descending bass riff but ended up opting for the 'poppy' side of the musical fence, i.e. 'Curly'.
It was obvious that Charlie didn't feel happy being relegated to singing bit parts in Roy's songs, the worst example being his token 'Ooh' contribution in Fire Brigade.
Still, what happens, happens. It was amazing to see The Move going from No 2 on the Bill touring with Jimi Hendrix to playing 'scampi and chips in a basket' cabaret venues. Charlie saw his future in the latter environment and that would be where he ended up for many years of his career 'singing songs to women in the audience'. I dont believe he ever knew what an incredible Rock n Roll voice and image he had because he saw himself as the driver of another musical vehicle. The B side of Blackberry Way -'Something' was a song that was written by Uglys bassist Dave Morgan, the original version was a much faster song full of gritty loud chord changes like the Small Faces, not the ballad that Charlie had changed it to at a recording session in the city, great song but wrong choice for a psychedelic group of the Move's standing. At least he didn't feel so trapped into recording Roy's stuff and being tossed a line to sing. He felt a litle more in control.
He had also seen an opportunity in TV and with his then actor girlfreind (later to be his wife) Sue Hanson, he made one appearance with a 'one liner' in the Brummie soap opera Crossroads as a milkman, I believe the character name being Colin strangely enough.
Although, following his exit from The Move, he disappeared off the popular music scene for many a year it was always possible to hear his unmistakable voice singing commercial jingles on TV and the opening song to 'Search for a Star', an early TV talent show. He also made some TV appearances on the Emu's Pink Windmill Show with Rod Hull and Emu show as the character 'Odd Job John' playing opposite the witch 'Grotbags' (Carol Lee Scott). Not very Rock n Roll you say but it made me laugh.
I was pleased to hear that he had joined mainstream music again with The Hollies, it formed some sort of compromise between Rock and cabaret and although I never went to see him with the group at least he was where he should have been all along - Centre Stage. Fronting the band, taking the lead vocal.
I was really upset to get an e-mail saying that he had passed away. I can see him in my mind now, 1968 in the Rum Runner in his psychedelic clothes surrounded by girls - Charlie the Star.
This month also saw the passing of Don Arden, music agent. He represented several Brumbeat bands and probably took most of their money too. I dont wish to speak ill of the dead so that's that.
BIRMINGHAM TOWN HALL ROCK OPENING NIGHT:
The opening night for the newly refurbished Birmingham Town Hall in October will be rockin' with an already sold out show featuring The Brum Rock "EXTRA" review. Joining the band on stage will be Robert Plant, Jasper Carrot, John Lodge, Rod Allen, Geoff Turton and Raymond Froggatt to name but a few. If you are lucky enough to have a ticket you are in for a great night of Brummie music.
THE MOVE TOUR DATES
Want to catch some upcoming Move tour dates? September sees the band with special guest Steve Gibbons at The Marquee, London Sep 5 2007. The Marquee, of course, features strongly in the Move story (also for Gibbo). Other September dates: 20 Sep Royal Spa Leamington and 27 Sep, Huntingdon Hall Worcester.
HOT GOSSIP!!! I have been whispered to that The Move will be playing a small venue gig at The Barfly in Brum on Aug 26! The place holds only 200 with the ticket price at only 12 pounds. Get yours quick.............
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