Graham Parker: Between You and Me (1975)

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Graham Parker: Between You and Me (1975)

It's all every well to ridicule Dick Rowe of Decca Records for turning the Beatles down after an audition in '62 ("Not to mince words, Mr Epstein, we don't like your boys' sound. Groups are out: four piece groups with guitars particularly are finished").

But if he had just addressed the music he was probably right.

The Beatles' Decca audition was hardly promising, largely because they were told to drop most of their originals and sing standards. Even so, about a third of the session time was taken up with originals (Love of the Loved, Like Dreamers Do among them) which indicated promise.

Still, guitar groups actually weren't that popular in Britain at the time (see here for the background to the pre-Beatles era) and Cliff Richard and the Shadows got by on the charisma of the frontman.

So how good a talent spotter would you be?

Here's one to take on cold: this was Graham Parker's original demo recorded at the Hope and Anchor recording studio. A fine original and when it was played on Charlie Gillett's Honky Tonk show on Radio London a record contract followed.

Yes a fine song, but who knew that it would launch a career which, in its early days, was filled with songs even more venomous than early Costello?

Would you have guessed that from Between You and Me? 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with a backstory see From the Vaults

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Chris - Apr 28, 2013

Well I found that very poignant, but remember him mostly snarling - and a sensational concert in Wellington with the Rumour in Sept 1978 - one of the best I've ever attended. "Don't Ask Me Questions" was one of the highlights - had forgotten how much it sounded like Wayne Perkins contributions to 'Black & Blue'.. and how much Dobbyn's look and sound of 1978/79 was influenced by Parker - the capped sleeved, tight fitting T-shirt on the puny chest, the tight curly hair, the tinted glasses, the way he addresses the microphone - it could be the video to Be Mine Tonight.. besides Mott the Hoople and Costello, Parker has to be thrown into the mix.

Mike - Apr 28, 2013

Chris. Your recollection is the same as mine. Great show in Wellington. Four encores - the last solo with the house lights on. Stunning show

Graham Dunster - Apr 29, 2013

Missed them here but was fortunate to see them in Sydney and even more fortunate that Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons ere supporting, they were amazing.

john v - Apr 29, 2013

University of East Anglia Norwich 1978 - one of best gigs ever - in fine form - should have ruled the world!

The Riverboat Captain - Apr 29, 2013

Talking of venom.. howsabout that spleen venting denunciation of his record company 'Mercury Poisoning'? What a track.

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