Friday, 13 February 2015

Paddy, Klaus & Gibson

Paddy, Klaus & Gibson

From Thorsten Knublauch:

In the autumn of 1963, Klaus Voormann moved from Hamburg to London, where he stayed with The Beatles in their Green Street 57 apartment. The Beatles actually lived together here from circa September 1963. Paul and John moved out shortly afterwards, but George and Ringo remained there until well into the spring of 1964.
Klaus then moved along with Ringo to Whaddon House in William Mews, where George also briefly lived in another apartment. Shortly after, Klaus found a job in the advertising agency Smith & Warden and moved into his own apartment. It did not take long before he got a call from his friend Gibson Kemp from Hamburg, asking if Klaus would join his band The Eyes. Bass player Lewis Collins, today knows as an actor from the TV series “The Professionals”, had left, and they needed his successor. Gibson previously had been the direct replacement for Ringo in the Hurricanes and in 1963 went with Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes to Hamburg's Star Club after which he remained in Hamburg as a partner, and later husband of Astrid Kirchherr. Klaus grabbed Stuart Sutcliffe's Höfner bass, which he had bought from him in 1961 and went along as a bass player in the band alongside Gibson (drums), Paddy Chambers (guitar) and John Frankland (vocals, guitar). Frankland had also previously been with the Dominoes, Chambers had been in the Big Three.
One of the first gigs the band played with Voormann was an appearance in the Star-Club in Bielefeld, alternating with Pete Best in October 1964. Apart from that, they played in a number of other small clubs. With "The Eyes", Klaus released a total of four songs. For the now incredibly rare Star Club single "She"/"Peanut Butter" (Star-Club 148519) Klaus even painted the group's picture for the back cover. The Eyes' titles "Baby Baby" and "Another Saturday Night" only appeared on a sampler in the Sixties. At the end of 1964, they also backed Tony Sheridan in the Star-Club in Hamburg.

Reduced to a trio, in 1965 they went under the new name "Paddy, Klaus & Gibson" to England and quickly got in touch with the local scene. In the group's bio, Klaus was made five years younger than he actually was, during his Paddy, Klaus & Gibson days. Even today one finds the wrong year of birth 1943 in biographies of Manfred Mann.
Klaus was probably made much younger to suit the other band members, as Gibson Kemp was born in 1945. Brian Epstein became the band's manager. According to a report by the Bravo Magazine, Epstein bought out the band for DM 56,000 from their previous management by Tony Stratton-Smith. But Brian was not able to help the band – or perhaps he would not. Chambers recalls: "We got £50 a week from NEMS as a retainer whether we worked or not. And that's all we ever got because we never worked. It was a joke as far as the business was concerned."

They released three singles, but only in England: "I Wanna Know"/"I Tried" (Pye 7N 15906) was released in 1965 and "No Good Without You Baby"/"Rejected" (Pye 7N 17060) and "Teresa/Quick Before They Catch Us" (Pye 7N 17112) followed in 1966.

Unfortunately, the records were not very successful and today they are hard to find. However, the song "Quick Before They Catch Us" became the theme for a British television series and can be found today on the various soundtrack collections. Paddy, Klaus and Gibson appeared in the show “Thank Your Lucky Stars” on British television. The band broke up shortly after a tour with the Everly Brothers and Cilla Black in 1966. The disbanding was announced to the press on June 13, 1966. Paddy went to join The Escorts, he passed away in 2000.

Klaus played for a very short time with the Hollies. Since they wanted him only as a session musician and didn't consider him as a full member, he was quickly gone. In the meantime, he designed the cover for "Revolver".

Klaus then got an offer from Manfred Mann to join his band as the successor to Jack Bruce who had left to start the band "Cream" with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker. In his biography, Klaus said that he thought Paddy, Klaus & Gibson was the inspiration for Clapton to form a trio. In contemporary reports it is noted that Klaus was released on July 15, 1966 from his contract with Epstein, in order for him to join Manfred Mann. In retrospect Klaus said in an email to me about Paddy, Klaus & Gibson: "The band was a good live band, but had no good songwriter. It lacked many things that you need to be a successful band. Just playing well is not enough!”

Paddy, Klaus & Gibson - limited edition 10" release.
Paddy, Klaus & Gibson – limited edition 10 inch release! 

The orthopedist and Beatles fan Dr. Dieter Hoffmann gave himself a labour of love when he produced a 10 inch EP with all the six tracks released by Paddy, Klaus and Gibson. This is an official,  limited to 300 copies edition (in 3 vinyl colours), and with the permission of Klaus Voormann and Gibson Kemp.  The cover has the original Klaus Voormann drawing from the rare "She"/"Peanut Butter" back cover, retouched by John Frankland. The record can be ordered for € 27 including shipping, only from Dr. Hoffmann himself, by sending a mail to drdieterhoffmann@aol.com.

The well sounding EP is a great momento of this chapter of Klaus' life and is recommended to all - but hurry before it is sold out!

Full cover art

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