Chris Joe Beard/The Purple Gang
Purple Anniversary for Poynton musician!
Hard to believe but it’s now 51 years since the summer of love. So old hippies and new fans alike should be delighted at the re-release of one of the groundbreaking albums of that period. A 50th Anniversary edition of The Purple Gang Strikes was re-released on May 26 2017 and you can order online from www.propermusic.com
When Pink Floyd recorded Arnold Layne in 1967, their producer Joe Boyd was also working in an adjoining studio with The Purple Gang. Incorporating Poynton musician Chris Joe Beard and named for "the whole rhythm section" in’ Jailhouse Rock’, the band was working on its first album.
The band seemed to have a gem in Granny Takes a Trip (Listen ). Indeed, the Floyd's Syd Barrett thought it would be a hit and John Peel called it "one of the all-time great records". However, the BBC promptly banned it, even though the trip referred not to LSD but to an old lady's ambition to visit Hollywood.
With its honky-tonk piano, homemade jug taking the bass line and one of pop's great kazoo solos, Granny remains an innocent, timeless reminder of the first summer of love. This 50th Anniversary version features bonus tracks including 2 versions of the Syd Barrett song Boon Tune which he suggested to the band they should use as a follow up to Granny Takes a Trip.
Photo above: The Purple Gang at Poynton Community Centre and Folk Club circa Christmas 1970. Left to right: Gerry, Geoff, Joe, Tony and Alex (seated).
Listen to The Purple Gang perform 'Granny Takes a Trip', accompanied by images, on You Tube here. Joe's music and The Purple Gang repertoire is published by Carthage Music. (See note at bottom of page re external links).
Interest remains in the band and Joe’s book "Taking the Purple-the extraordinary story of The Purple Gang/Granny Takes a Trip and all that" received great reviews. Today, Joe plays the old and new songs with original band member Gerry Robinson and they have a new album called "We Meant No Harm".
Photo above: Chris Joe Beard (left) with Gerry Robinson (right)
Joe (photo left) also recently formed folk/pop group The Radnor Band with Sean Brennan, Andy Stark, Rosa Sheard and Mike Billington (all from the Greater Manchester area) joining Joe to also play his original music plus other material.
A respected and published songwriter, Joe also now performs solo in folk clubs and, in a 50-year Anniversary of Purple Gang, has signed another publishing contract with Joe Boyd to return and complete the circle of events. At almost 70 he remains active, enthusiastic and likes a pint.
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