Climie Fisher: Here today and gone . . .

 |   |  1 min read

Climie Fisher: Here today and gone . . .

Climie -- or maybe it was Fisher -- almost had me. The conversation was, in the late Eighties, about why so many pop duos were turning up with little or no live experience, and why record companies were signing them.

Climie -- or Fisher -- said that, if you thought about it, the Beatles were essentially just two guys and so were the Rolling Stones: so as a record company you would sign the singer-songwriters and the other guys were just surplus. You don't need them.

And for a moment . . .

The Beatles without Harrison and Starr? The Stones without Charlie and Bill and Brian? Possible, I guess -- but they wouldn't have been the Beatles or the Stones would they? And they wouldn't have been Climie Fisher either.

These two English songwriters -- who hadn't performed live as Climie Fisher when I met them -- were just the next of the cheap duos coming down the highway at the time. But they did have a little something more going for them than Wham or Blue Mercedes (who were never heard of again).

Climie Fisher could actually craft a decent song -- witnessed by the fact that many decades on their hit Love Changes Everything (which I said sounded like they had written for Rod Stewart -- and they laughed and said they had) is still being covered and played today. It was one of a number of good songs on their Everything debut album.

They were in New Zealand on one of those promo tours where all they had to do was talk up their career -- they did that well enough -- and go out to dinner with the record company people -- which they did.

So here they were: the Lennon-McCartney/Jagger-Richards of the late Eighties, shorn free of the hangers-on who didn't write the songs . . .

They were nice enough guys and the odd thing was, they actually seemed to believe what they said.

How strange I thought later.

But I didn't think about them much -- and two years later they had split up as a "band".

Neither of them made a solo album as good as the Plastic Ono Band or Ram or Band on the Run or All Things Must Pass.

Or Ringo's Beaucoups of Blues come to think of it.

Share It

Your Comments

JP - Sep 20, 2010

Ahh, Simon Climie - after a decade of 1980's style Phil Collins production on his albums, Eric Clapton then had a couple of goodies by Russ Titelman (Journeyman & From the Cradle) then a huge string of albums produced by Simon Climie which were even worse sounding than the Collins ones.

Thank goodness Clapton's forthcoming self-titled album is produced by Clapton and Doyle Bramhall.

Though I will say the Clapton/Climie album 'TDF - Retail Therapy" has some terrific instrumental tracks. You can hear some at http://www.simonclimie.com/tdf.html

Jeremy - Sep 22, 2010

The flipside of their theory and just as amusing... In a great movie about tribute bands (called Tribute), the bass guitarist in a Journey tribute band (who thought they'd made it because they were now playing pole-dancing bars) said that even if he was in the Rolling Stones he wouldn't be playing songs he'd written, so being in a tribute band was just as good as being in the real band!

post a comment

More from this section   My Back Pages articles index

Krist Novoselic: Fast track to nowhere

Krist Novoselic: Fast track to nowhere

Some people just aren't that smart. At least that's what I thought about Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic when he tossed his bass high in the air at an MTV awards show and failed to catch it on its... > Read more

Henry Rollins: The power and the passion

Henry Rollins: The power and the passion

There are some musicians you don't want to meet. For me Neil Young is the never-again category for rudeness, and Henry Rollins just as matter of personal safety. He was a nice guy actually, but he... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: John Coltrane: Original Album Series

THE BARGAIN BUY: John Coltrane: Original Album Series

So here are just some of the problems with jazz for anyone vaguely curious. The history is too long and convoluted to get a grip on; the word "jazz" is so imprecise it means different... > Read more

Katchafire: Say What You're Thinking (EMI)

Katchafire: Say What You're Thinking (EMI)

About six years ago I first encountered Hamilton reggae band Katchafire playing in a pretty ropey provincial bar. I'd met them backstage beforehand -- actually in a room full of beer barrels --... > Read more