1. People Say
Recording Date: 1969
Group Members: Phil Savage (vocs), Danny Gallagher (bass gtr), Gerry Earsden (gtr), Mick Lavender (kbds), Maurice Earsden (drums)
The following text was submitted by Danny Gallagher, adapted by Greg Smith, June, 2012:
Frosty Moses originated from Birmingham circa 1968. Band members, Danny Gallagher and Phil Savage had previously played in Traction, a Birmingham band who were involved in the mid-sixties live soul music scene. Gallagher and Savage visited London and recruited Gerry Earsdon on guitar and shortly after, Mick Lavender on Hammond organ, the band started to rehearse and they were soon joined by Gerry’s brother Maurice on drums. At this stage, they had not chosen a band name. The band moved out to Snowdonia in Wales renting a cottage to write, rehearse and record. The band’s first point of contact was Pye records as vocalist, Phil Savage had connections there after having played bass guitar with Patrick Campbell-Lyons and Alex Spyropolous on Nirvana’s debut LP, Pye wanted to sign them on the spot but told them they wanted time to think about it. On returning to Birmingham the band played for an hour into a Nagra Audio recorder and managed to handle their own balancing and production skills! The finished results were then sent to Island Records.
The band was invited down to London for an audition with Island records by Chris Blackwell, who reportedly commented: “If you can reproduce what you’ve just put down on tape, you can have a contract for life!” The demo session was produced by Muff Winwood at Olympic recording Studio. The tape was then played by Chris Blackwell in his office who upon hearing the first song apparently handed the band, the keys to a new Transit van furnished with aeroplane seating! It was Chris Blackwell who then gave the band their name Frosty Moses, Island had two names, Spooky Tooth chose Spooky Tooth instead of Frosty Moses so the name was going spare at Island.
Now operating as Frosty Moses, they got a support gig at Mothers club in Birmingham where they supported King Crimson whom they allegedly “blew off the stage”. Mothers was run by a legendary local figure called Phil Myatt who had to tell the audience to quieten down and let king Crimson play and he would have Frosty Moses back next week headlining. The following week they walked out on stage and Pete Townsend was there to see what all the fuss was about. Pete Townshend (representing Track records) took a huge interest in the band, and tried to convince them to sign for Track Records with the band going to his studio to record their album and not releasing it until they were happy with it. The band refused all contracts offered to them because all contracts at this time were stacked in the company’s interest with the band having no control over their career This gig in particular again aroused the interest of various A&R scouts, booking agents and managers, but it would be Alex Wharton who would secure the band with a contract, because he was a man of the utmost integrity and knew that the issue over contracts at that time needed to change, He was happy to be part of that change and this convinced the band that this is the way to go and when contracts were drawn up to that effect, they signed. Wharton had also managed fellow Brummies, the Moody Blues and upon the advice of his friend and radio disc jockey, Kenny Everett, had gone to see Frosty Moses where he promptly signed them up. Meanwhile, the group were enjoying the attention of being head-hunted by record label bosses. Whilst other offers were steadily coming in to sign the band, they were now enjoying some prestigious treatment from such rock royalty with plenty of Champagne and hash cakes being handed around and supplied by Birmingham agent, Phil Myatt. The band turned professional with many gigs at venues such as Mothers in Birmingham, The Roundhouse in London where they were approached by Reprise Records and The Revolution where Pete Townshend was still trying to sign them! Recording sessions were now under way being produced by Alex Wharton. People Say was recorded in 1969 at Morgan Studios for their first album which was an ambitious project entitled Josephine Grey. This LP project involved three ‘movements’, these being Childhood, Teenage to Adult, Old Age, sadly, no recordings have survived. People Say was a rough mix for the band to listen to and not mixed for release and is the only known surviving recording of the band in existence unfortunately.
Although, prospects of stardom looked promising, there were dire financial problems arising in the background courtesy of their financial backer. Despite having secured a solid fan base both locally and in London, these financial problems would destroy any real chances of the band achieving the success they truly deserved. Frosty Moses disbanded shortly after and the band went their separate ways.
In memory of Phil Savage who passed away in 2012.
All recorded and photographic material copyright: D. Gallagher, P. Savage, M. Lavender, M. Earsden, G. Earsden. 2012.
All photographs kindly supplied by Danny Gallagher. 2012.
Very special thanks to: Danny Gallagher, Alex Wharton, Bob at BullsHeadBob