CHROME and the early days
COUNT BISHOPS story begins late 1974 / early 1975 with a group
this time - spring 1975 – Ted Carroll and Roger Armstrong had decided to
start a record label. Ted was the owner of the ROCK ON stall in Soho
(London), while Roger helped him selling records by bands like Iggy And
The Stooges, The New York Dolls, The MC5, The Flaming Groovies . . .
they had a look at the list of the venues in London in the Melody Maker.
They drove down to a pub in Holloway Road to check out CHROME. What
they saw was "a tough guitar / R & B band turning some fine
boogie and rock and roll" as explains Roger Armstrong.
approached them about making a record for the – yet to be formed – new
went by and Ted and Roger continued to check out CHROME.
SPENSER, a New Yorker, just off the plane from the U.S.A. went to the
ROCK ON stall. He was keen to join a band so Roger directed him to the 3
or 4 pubs in town featuring R & B.
SPENSER (vocals and harmonica) teamed up with Zenon HIEROWSKI
(rhythm guitar), Brian TURRINGTON on bass (later with Sean TYLA, TYLA
GANG, ...) and a drummer named Dave ROTCHELLE (from The PLEASERS).
Zen being more a
rhythm guitarist, they needed another
guitarist to play lead. Mike then remembered The KINGBEES,
the group he was in before leaving America. In this band played a good
guitarist named Johnny GUITAR.
As Mike had always
kept in touch with him, it was easy to persuade him to leave America to
come to London and join CHROME. Mike only told Johnny
that they had got an amplifier reserved for him and he also talked about a
vague promise of a record deal with a label not formed yet.
No matter, Johnny have
flown right away.
recorded 4 tracks at the HOPE AND ANCHOR studio, above the famous pub
of the same name (in Upper Street, Islington, London N1). The studio was managed by
Dave ROBINSON who co-founded STIFF Records with Jake RIVIERA the following
Amongst the tracks recorded during this sessions
"Walking The Dog" (Rufus THOMAS),
"I'm A Man" (Ellas McDANIELS, aka Bo
"I Want Candy" (The STRANGELOVES), and
several attempts at
"I've Got Dreams To Remember" (Otis
But only two tracks ("I'm
A Man" and "I Want Candy") were finished and
fully mixed. Unfortunately, the band was not happy with them and they got
forgotten, then lost until Roger ARMSTRONG (co-founder of CHISWICK
Records, now ACE Records) unearthed them in 1995.
Shortly after this early 1975 studio session, CHROME disbanded.
Then, Zen and Mike made an advert in the MELODY MAKER to
recruit other musicians into Rhythm 'n' Blues to form a new band.
This add was successful as it
brought a new drummer from Australia: Paul BALBI, who had been the
drummer of BUFFALO, a hard boogie Australian group. The add also
brought a bassist (from Hatfield, England): Steve LEWINS.
The COUNT BISHOPS
were born. The name was brought by Mike; it comes from a famous New
York City street gang.
If you want to send a message, don't hesitate.
have to write my E-mail address in the "To"
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|© Herve Colombet, 2003 - 2005