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Monday, September 10, 2012

At last I can name the mystery band who came to stand for ROCK

Sorting stuff out this weekend I came upon this copy of the NME Encyclopedia of Rock. This came out in 1976 and was edited by Nick Logan, who taught me to proof-read and Bob Woffinden, who gave me the invaluable advice "don't ever use the word 'feel' as a noun". (Amazing what you remember.)

Before the internet this was the place you went if you wanted to check how many records Paul Kossoff had made or Joni Mitchell's date of birth. I tweeted about it and I clearly wasn't the only one who remembered it with great affection. Some had committed whole sections to memory. David Quantick said he taught himself to write reviews by reading it. One person could only afford the unillustrated version and used to borrow the pictorial version from the library.

Looking at it I remembered the many hours we used to spend trying to work out the identity of the group on the front. Again I wasn't the only one. Even Nick Logan didn't know. It had been the publisher's choice. The guesses came in. Budgie? Mountain? Wishbone Ash? Mahogany Rush? Rush? Can? Steve Hillage and Gong? Iron Butterfly?

I have to thank Mark Blake for giving me the correct answer. It's Quiver, an excellent group who subsequently merged with the Sutherland Brothers and had Tim Renwick and Bruce Thomas among their number.

The person who took the photograph was Robert Ellis, who also supplied the picture of Pink Floyd on the back. "It was deliberately chosen to be obscure," he told me. "They were first band on at the first show at the newly opened Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park London, supporting the Who, in November 1971. The cover of the book deceives the eye. My original photo, which I still have, shows the four members of the band."