Gigging with Them

Them 1

The first time that Graham played with Them (pictured far right) was in the mid 60s. He’d had a call from the Phil Solomon Agency in New Oxford Street saying the band needed a guitarist to cover for Billy Harrison until they found a replacement. Graham stayed with the band for a few months then left to work with Steve Marriott. “In those days everything tended to be last minute - rushing from session to session. I’d get a call from the agency, and jump onto a train, or race across town. Sometimes the guys were already on stage. Then through the stage door and someone would help me on with a jacket, grab my guitar and straight on. I’d do the gig then learn the songs properly later”. The next time Graham played with Them, two more members had left and their replacements were guys he already knew – Terry Noon, on drums who went on to manage ‘Honeybus’ and Pete Bardens on keyboards who formed ‘Peter Bs Looners’.

On one occasion, when touring with Them, Graham was having a post-gig drink with Van Morrison at The Dungeon Club in Nottingham. People always came over to chat with members of the band and one guy came up and shook hands with Van and Graham – except he wouldn’t let go of Graham’s hand. Instead he smashed it against a metal post – a serious matter for a guitarist. Graham was in agony and set about the guy. Then the guy’s mates appeared and Graham, looking around and finding himself alone, took them all on. A bouncer arrived and Graham duly punched him, then the club manager came and met with the same. Finally, a policeman joined the group, all trying to hold him down. ‘I was a punchy guy in those days’, admits Graham. When he got back to London there was a call from the Agency boss telling him, ‘we can’t book you again if you go around punching club managers’. Anyway, seems as if he was forgiven because the gigs still kept rolling in.

 

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