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Subsequent Finale - An Israeli music story experienced through the eyes of a British 60s rock musician

Subsequent Finale - An Israeli music story experienced through the eyes of a British 60s rock musician

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Subsequent Finale - An Israeli music story experienced through the eyes of a British 60s rock musician

Lunghezza:
347 pagine
4 ore
Pubblicato:
Feb 23, 2019
ISBN:
9781386471646
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Subsequent Finale is Robb Huxley's second book in a proposed trilogy of memoirs of the years he spent in the music business. It covers a two year period of the time that he spent working in Israel with the Israeli rock group The Churchills. The absence of elegance and sophisticated ambiance in his writing is apparent in the way he tells his story in a down to earth, easy to read, plain English fashion, with nuts and bolts accounts of day to day life in Israel, intimate stories of playing in an Israeli band, the seemingly impossible task of forging a musical revolution in Israel and details of song writing and recording sessions. All in all Huxley tells it just the way it was and how he remembers it. As an added bonus included in the book is an appendix of a collection of never before seen, illustrated writings, poems and song lyrics written by Huxley together with his songwriting partner Stan Solomon who was the lead singer and front man of The Churchills. Subsequent Finale tells a unique, out of the mainstream music story and is a must read for all Churchills fans and anyone with a curiosity regarding the era of psychedelic musical history.

The Churchills were an Israeli rock band that was popular in Israel in the latter part of the 1960s and are even more so now, 50 years later. It is clear to all Israeli music lovers that during the relatively short period of time that Robb Huxley spent in Israel - 1968 to 1971 – he brought about a profound change in the sound of local pop music and laid the foundations to Israeli rock music. No other foreign musician has ever had such an impact on the music scene in Israel. The Churchills' sound reverberates in Israel to the present day. 

The Churchills were the most prominent, important and prolific rock band in Israel in the 1960s, one of the very few to create and record original music. Robb Huxley's introduction into the band was very important, as he was an experienced musician who had previously played with British band The Tornados and had studio experience, having worked with Joe Meek, who is recognized today as the greatest pioneer of all time in modern recording technology. Stan Solomon had spent some time working in a studio in Miami as assistant to the legendary Bob Crewe. 

Churchill's was the first rock album ever to be released in Israel. It was the joining of two different worlds of music, Huxley and Solomon's western sound with Mediterranean influences stemming from Gavrielov's Turkish heritage and Romano's Greek roots. The result was a revolutionary sounding blend of British style psychedelic music with a distinct Greek and Arabic flavour. The band also collaborated with the renowned classical musician Noam Sheriff on his composition "Debka", which is featured on the album. The sound of the Churchill's album still sounds remarkably fresh today, fifty years after it was recorded. It is considered one of the rarest and most valuable psychedelic era albums worldwide. 

Huxley spent four very productive years in Israel. The remarkable change he helped bring about to the Israeli sound may only have been fully appreciated by few at the time but on the several occasions that Huxley, who is now considered a legend in Israel, returned for reunion shows with The Churchills, he was welcomed by audiences fully aware of his great contribution to Israeli popular music.

Pubblicato:
Feb 23, 2019
ISBN:
9781386471646
Formato:
Libro

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Anteprima del libro

Subsequent Finale - An Israeli music story experienced through the eyes of a British 60s rock musician - Robb Huxley

Contents

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

FOREWORD ONE by Miki Gavrielov

FOREWORD TWO by Yoav Kutner

INTRODUCTION

PURPLE ASS BABOON - Israel's first ever Punk Group

THE CHURCHILLS PART 1 - Robb gets accepted to join The Churchills

THE CHURCHILLS PART 2 - The Churchills' first record release and their desire to tour Europe

THE CHURCHILLS PART 3 - The Denmark Experience

THE CHURCHILLS PART 4 - Return to Israel and the creation and recording of the Churchill’s album. First meetings with Arik Einstein

ILLUSTRATIONS

ROBB WISHES TO THANK

APPENDIX

SUBSEQUENT FINALE

An Israeli music story experienced through the eyes of a British 60s rock musician

Robb Huxley

Published 2019

All rights reserved.  © Robb Huxley 2019

No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Robb Huxley.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

Robb Huxley was born in Gloucester, England. After leaving school in 1962, he joined a local band, The Vendettas, as vocalist in 1963. After The Vendettas, Huxley moved on to join The Whirlwinds as lead singer under the name Robb Gayle. After a recording audition with Joe Meek, the Whirlwinds changed their name to The Saxons. While still semi-pro they released a single through Joe Meek in 1965; It was an instrumental Saxon War Cry. In December 1965, Joe Meek summoned The Saxons to London to work professionally as his house band, renamed The Tornados. Also known as The New Tornados. During their short association with Joe Meek, they put out two singles. Pop-Art Goes Mozart / Too Much In Love To Hear and Is That A Ship I Hear / Do You Come Here Often. Both singles were released in 1966. Nowadays Do You Come Here Often is recognized as being the first ever openly Gay song to be released on record. Almost a year after Joe Meek’s death with only Robb Huxley and Dave Watts remaining from the original line up, The Tornados left for a tour of Israel. Early in February 1968 in Tel-Aviv The Tornados disbanded, which ended Joe Meek’s succession of Tornados.

All the above was covered in Robb’s first book Do You Come Here Often? The Meeksville Connection: The Ups and Downs of a Sixties Rock Band. The second part of this planned trilogy we present to you now. It follows Robb’s musical and social ventures in Israel as he engineers a tipping point in Israeli musical history and along the way, with his fellow band members from The Churchills, contributes to one of the rarest psychedelic albums of all time…

Silver Tabbies Publishing January 2019

For Stan

To the memory of

Churchills drummer

the late Ami Trebich

FOREWORD ONE by Miki Gavrielov

I first met Robb Huxley in January of 1968 in Tel Aviv when he was a member of the British band The Tornados that was touring Israel and also knew him when he played in the band Purple Ass Baboon. Canadian singer Stan Solomon who was the lead singer in my band The Churchills at that time approached us with the idea of inviting Robb Huxley to join The Churchills. It took a lot of persistence on Stan’s behalf to convince me and the other members drummer Ami Trebich, and lead guitarist Haim Romano to accept Robb into the band and his efforts finally paid off when we all agreed to his request. Robb’s inclusion in the band took The Churchills to a new level of artistic creativity.

Up until that time The Churchills were a cover band playing the same music as all the other Israeli bands of that era. Robb was quick to introduce us to different music in the like of English Blues, Jimi Hendrix and Psychedelic, Underground music. Robb’s untiring stubbornness brought about the reality of The Churchills becoming an original rock band. His musical compositions and original songs were a big part in upgrading the band to playing a more advanced and sophisticated style of music.

Robb is a singer, guitarist and songwriter full of inspiration and music is a big part of his life and fills his whole world. His musical understanding and sensitivity are heard and felt in his songs and reflected in his life. His experiences, such as love, and personal feelings are all expressed in his musical works. I remember the times when The Churchills were on tour in Israel and in many places in the world that Robb and I would sit together and talk about music, and the influences various bands had on us as well as all the relevant things that went on in the world in those days. They were special times that we shared.

Although Rob was born in England and currently lives in the United States, he loves Eretz Israel, and many of his songs have elements that tend to oriental tones that characterize the Land of Israel. I have told him that he is more of an Israeli than an Israeli. He likes to breathe the Israeli air to feel the Israeli sun and loves the Middle Eastern atmosphere, the Israeli audiences and his many fans there. His greatest musical compositions were created during the time he lived in Israel. His book is a cultural and historical musical document that everyone must read to learn about the rock revolution that transpired in Israel in the 1960s.  

Miki Gavrielov

FOREWORD TWO by Yoav  Kutner

Yoav Kutner is an Israeli music editor, historian and, TV and radio presenter, who has significantly promoted performers ranging from Mashina to Radiohead. He is also an avid Churchills fan.

The Churchills were an Israeli rock band that was popular in Israel in the latter part of the 1960s and are even more so now, 50 years later. It is clear to all Israeli music lovers that during the relatively short period of time that Robb Huxley spent in Israel - 1968 to 1971 – he brought about a profound change in the sound of local pop music and laid the foundations to Israeli rock music. No other foreign musician has ever had such an impact on the music scene in Israel. The Churchills' sound reverberates in Israel to the present day.

The Churchills were the most prominent, important and prolific rock band in Israel in the 1960s, one of the very few to create and record original music. They started out in 1965 as a cover band and enjoyed moderate success in clubs around Tel Aviv and Ramle, but had no songwriting or recording experience. In 1968, band members Michael Gavrielov (bass), Haim Romano (lead guitar) and drummer Ami Triebich were joined by Canadian singer Stan Solomon and British singer, composer and guitarist Robb Huxley, who were visiting Israel at the time. Both decided to make Israel their home. Robb Huxley's introduction into the band was very important, as he was an experienced musician who had previously played with British band The Tornados and had studio experience, having worked with Joe Meek, who is recognized today as the greatest pioneer of all time in modern recording technology. Stan Solomon had spent some time working in a studio in Miami as assistant to the legendary Bob Crewe.

The Churchills' first single, released on CBS in 1968, featured Stan Solomon’s Talk To Me and Robb Huxley’s Too Much In Love To Hear, a track written by Huxley and previously recorded with Joe Meek as a B side to The Tornados single Pop Art Goes Mozart. The song caught the ear of Gavrielov who found it while looking through Huxley’s record collection. He suggested they re-record it as their first single. It was the first record ever released in Israel that featured a reversed backing track guitar solo (played by Huxley), which was revolutionary at the time. The release of The Churchills' first single aroused the interest of two film directors - Judd Ne’eman, who featured Huxley and Solomon’s song Sunshine Man in his film The Dress, and Jacques Katmor, who commissioned music for his movie A Woman’s Case. With the music already recorded, The Churchills' manager Yehuda Talit struck an album deal with the biggest record company in Israel, Hed Arzi. Churchill's was the first rock album ever to be released in Israel. It was the joining of two different worlds of music, Huxley and Solomon's western sound with Mediterranean influences stemming from Gavrielov's Turkish heritage and Romano’s Greek roots. The result was a revolutionary sounding blend of British style psychedelic music with a distinct Greek and Arabic flavour. The band also collaborated with the renowned classical musician Noam Sheriff on his composition Debka, which is featured on the album. The sound of the Churchill's album still sounds remarkably fresh today, fifty years after it was recorded. It is considered one of the rarest and most valuable psychedelic era albums worldwide.

One song from the Churchill's album was hugely popular in Israel: Huxley’s composition When You’re Gone, which was covered by the iconic Israeli singer Arik Einstein under the title of Achinoam Lo Yodaat. The song was featured on Einstein’s album Poozy, the first Israeli rock album ever to be recorded in Hebrew. The Churchills' collaboration with Arik Einstein brought about a demand by many other Israeli artists, and the band's members became sought after session musicians. Huxley spent four very productive years in Israel. The remarkable change he helped bring about to the Israeli sound may only have been fully appreciated by few at the time but on the several occasions that Huxley, who is now considered a legend in Israel, returned for reunion shows with The Churchills, he was welcomed by audiences fully aware of his great contribution to Israeli popular music.

Yoav Kutner

INTRODUCTION

In this modern world of computers, cell phones and the use of digital data it is possible by the click of a mouse or a tap on a screen to hear, see, read and find out almost anything that your heart desires, from the distant past right up to present day. It is comforting to know that for the moment at least one can still experience that old time feel of holding an actual book in one’s hands and flipping the pages to read the text. By using digital information my publisher and good friend Rob Humphreys makes this all possible for us so that we can tap a screen or turn a page according to our personal preferences. Personally I prefer to turn actual pages in a tangible book.

I have been told that I am the person responsible for pioneering and contributing to a major change in the direction of modern music in Israel during 1968/1969 and early 70s. Surprised, as I may be regarding that statement, and be that as it may, equal acclaim must go to my dear friend Stan Solomon. We were blessed with a very compatible appreciation for music of that era, together with a gift to create music and lyrics which today, 50 years on, are still held in high acclaim by record collectors around the world. Touch me girl and trip with me, The shadow in your eye, starts crawling through the sky, Sea is flowing over spilling onto rainbows, you’ll be in the clover I’ll stay where the grass grows, Sink into your quicksand, follow roads to nowhere, come with me to my castle, I’ll show you what I’ve got there, outstanding lyrics from the pen of Stan Solomon which incite comments from critics such as Man they don’t even write lyrics like that today, let alone back in the 60s.

We cannot forget that Stan Solomon was responsible for the production of the Churchill's album. Using what today would be a primitive method of recording limited to four tracks and hampered by the lack of co-operation from recording engineers who had never experienced recording this kind of music before, he was still able to create sounds and mixes that made this a true psychedelic album. At the same time we cannot forget the excellent Israeli musicians, Miki Gavrielov, Haim Romano and the late Ami Trebich whose contribution to the creation of the Churchill's album made it the great album it is claimed to be.

I must point out that this book is not intended to be a biography of The Churchills but merely a personal recollection of the period of time that I played with The Churchills, as I remembered it and saw it through my eyes. Time can often cloud our memories and make it difficult to always remember what happened when and where but I have tried with the best of my ability to recreate those days, in simple English just the way they were.

Robb Huxley

PURPLE ASS BABOON - Israel's first ever Punk Group

As far as February 3rd, 1968 went it was just another day in Tel-Aviv. We played a double between the Cheetah and Bat Yam. It was a very hot and sticky night with the air thick and humid. It was unbearable in the clubs; we were absolutely dripping with sweat and completely out of energy. It was hard to breathe to say the least. Although it was just another day in Tel-Aviv it was the last gig that Joe Meek’s end of the line Tornados would ever play. Exactly one year to the day that Joe Meek shot and killed Violet Shenton and then, himself the New Tornados played their final gig and faded into oblivion.

"Window shoppers can’t be found,

Nor will the Junkie Pimp be ’round,

As one might have guessed,

The street has been cleaned up,

There have been some big arrests,

The people tread to water pipes,

And pipes of snow white glass

And hair is never found upon,

That Baboon’s purple ass.

 Stan Solomon. 1968. Tel-Aviv Israel.

Events of the next ten days of February 1968 in Tel-Aviv Israel would change my direction, seal my fate and start to reshape my future in the music business. We were approached by Danny Ben-Av who offered us more work in Israel if The Tornados wanted to stay. He said all we had to do was get our visas extended and there would be plenty of work for us. I was pleased to hear this offer as I thought that it might keep the band together, but when bassist Chris Boris Lethbridge and drummer Mick Strachan flatly refused to stay no matter what, I found myself, once again in that state of fear and uncertainty being unsure as to what the future held and not knowing what road I should follow or which path I should take.

Dave Watts our organist and I talked about it and he thought that there was plenty of work to be had and it might be a good idea to stick around and see what was going on for a while. He was still not clear on what was happening with his invitation to join the Lions but suggested that we should extend our visas and check things out. At that point, I decided that I would definitely stay in Israel along with Dave and our girl singer Sonia. We agreed that to return to England to the George Cooper Organization to back shows or be somebody’s backing group while hanging on to the name of The Tornados didn’t seem that enticing. We could take it here for a while and enjoy the warm weather and try to branch out into different music and let the whole Tornados scene slip like a cloak off the shoulders of a bye gone era and be done with it. Stan Solomon The Churchills singer was glad to hear that I had decided to stay on, still expressing his desire that we should be in a band together.

On the 5th February, we went to the British Embassy and got a month’s extension on our visas. The days and nights seemed to be taking on an artificial, idyllic kind of ambience. We were not working or rehearsing of course so we all sat around and got high. Stan and I were churning out poetry and singing and playing together while Mick and Boris talked about what was the first thing they would do when they got back to England? Boris said he would head straight to see his girlfriend and I believe that was his main reason for leaving Israel.

One evening at the flat that the band shared on King David Street Stan showed up with a French girl that he had met called Danni. She was from some rich family in France and she did nothing but have a good time in Tel-Aviv while her parents paid the bill. She had a nice little flat and Stan would take me over there to visit and hang out. She didn’t get high with us, but Stan told me that she had a prescription for Dorsedin also known as Methaqualone and later in the USA as Quaaludes. They were intended to be prescribed as a sedative or a sleeping aid Stan said that she would be popping them regularly.

Boris started to ask around if anybody wanted to buy his Marshall Bass Stack. He had no difficulty in selling it and it was snapped up by an Israeli bass player. British and American musical gear was hard to get and if available was extremely expensive, due to the high Israeli taxes. Even though Boris was delighted with the excellent price he got for it, the purchaser was also delighted because he had avoided the Israeli taxes and now had the prestige of performing with a Marshall stack.

Boris also bequeathed his little record player to Stan and me which became a good companion to us through the coming months.

On February 12th, 1968, we drove Mick and Boris to Haifa where they boarded the ship for their return trip to England. Boris was taking some fake speaker cabinets back with him just in case they wanted to check to see that he was leaving with what he had brought into the country. They had recorded the items in our passports. He would ditch them at their first port of call as to avoid having to drag them all across France and back to England. Strangely enough I have little or no memory of saying goodbye to them, shaking hands, or wishing them bon voyage. Come to think of it, it was just the same as when the Holder bothers left The Tornados I really don’t remember saying goodbye, they were just suddenly gone. From that day to this I have never seen Mick Strachan again although I do know that he still lives in Cheltenham somewhere. As far as Boris goes I did get to see him once more in December of 1969 when my then future Israeli wife and I went to Gloucester to get married.

Stan Solomon summed up Mick and Boris’ departure with the following words:

Goodbye Mick and Boris.

Mick and Boris now are gone, they are back in Britain,

Their scene back home is not like ours, but some days it seems fitting.

They took my comb, shampoo and tonic, but later these were found,

Flip a cartridge in the Panasonic, and then they will be ’round.

I bet you thought it ended here, but I’ll just blow your mind,

That big, bad, hairy Boris cat was really very kind.

With arrows flying through the air at supersonic speed,

Old Boris and the quiet one, we miss you both indeed.

Stan Solomon. Tel-Aviv Israel. 1968.

Dave said that Haim Saban (The Lions’ manager) wanted to talk to us and we met him down at café Noga which was where all the managers and promoters gathered along with an array of musicians and performers. When we got into the conversation Saban revealed that he very much wanted Dave to join The Lions. He explained that Dave had told him that unless Robbie could come too, he wouldn’t be interested. Saban went on to say that he had no problem with my performing abilities but in order for me to join he would have to let somebody go from the group and that was not possible. However, he did tell me that he did have an opportunity for me in that another person was interested in putting together a band with me and a couple of Israeli musicians. His name was Shimon Feldman known colloquially as Gingie. He was the owner of The Cocos Club and I had actually seen him a few times when we had played there. Saban felt that I could get paid about the same as I was supposed to be making every week with The Tornados whether the band worked or not. It turned out to be a weekly wage of 160 Israeli Lira which was equal to 20 pounds Sterling. When I asked about the musicians, Saban said that they were from a band called The Monsters and that they had played with us in Nazareth and that their guitarist and singer had quit the band. I then remembered the kids and how I felt that they were somehow a little different, but at the same time I had serious reservations of playing with a couple of sixteen-year-old kids who were not that great as musicians but still had something about them that showed promise. It looked like Dave was going to join The Lions anyway, so I began to realize that I didn’t have much of a choice. I told Saban that I would think about it although I knew inside that I was most likely going to go along with it.

When I told Stan the news about my offer and deal he was ecstatic. Now he said, you can stay in Israel and make enough money to live on and as soon as guitarist Selwyn Lifschitz and guitarist Itzaak Klepter Churchill get called up for their service in the army I’ll get you into The Churchills. A few days later I met Gingie along with Yaki Yosha and Moti Levi from The Monsters. He outlined the deal and it was just like Saban said it was. Gingie said that we would be working in his club The Cocos, The Cheetah and various other venues around the country. He also mentioned that my two future band mates would not be getting paid. They were both living with their parents at home and didn’t have to support themselves. I didn’t think too much about that at the time, but they had to have been paid something as I don’t remember them having day jobs. In his heavy Israeli accent Gingie said that I must show Yaki the accords and to meet them the following day at his club to rehearse at a corner to three.

Yaki and Moti showed up in a cab at the flat on King David Street the next day where we put my Marshall and Gibson in the trunk and drove over to The Cocos Club. Gingie had given a key to Yaki so we let ourselves in and set up the gear. Yaki did not have a proper bass amp but was using one of Wally Garrett’s guitar amps instead. Later we decided that it would be better for him to use my Marshall 50-watt half stack for his bass as he claimed that Wally Garrett could modify the amp to be more suited to bass playing and I would play through the Garrett amp. We sat and talked to discuss the music that we would play. They were in agreement with me that they did not want to play all the same pop songs as all of the other Israeli groups and the

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