Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Red Squares ‎– Red Squares Favoritter

" The streets of London and most of the rest of the Sceptered Isle may have seemed as though they were paved with gold, at least to outsiders, but by 1964 there were literally thousands of bands competing for the attention of club owners, record company executives, et al. A number of British bands, recognizing that there was demand for their sound and a living to be made outside of England, took the plunge -- the Rokes went off to Italy, the Liverpool Five headed for Asia and then the United States, and the Red Squares took off for Denmark. Formed in Boston, England, in 1964, the Red Squares were almost a retro outfit, emphasizing harmony vocals along the lines of the early Beach Boys, the Four Seasons, and the Tokens, with falsetto leads and a strong emphasis on covers of early-'60s material. Dave "Geordie" Garriock was the lead singer, but lead guitarist Ronnie Martin also handled harmonies, as did bassist Pete Mason, while Mick Rothwell (guitar) and Michael "Rik" Maloney (drums) were the non-singing members of the quintet. Finding the competition in England a little too steep -- what with better established groups like the Fortunes already laying claim to the audience for that brand of harmony vocal-based pop/rock -- the group pulled up stakes and headed for Denmark in early 1966, where there was a good deal of demand for British bands, and where early-'60s American sounds weren't considered as out-of-step as they were in England. They became stars there, hitting number one with their cover of the Four Seasons' "Sherry" and cutting an entire LP. By the middle of the year, they'd also begun experimenting with harder sounds in the instrumental department. Casting an eye back toward London, they generated a single worthy of the Who in the guise of "You Can Be My Baby" (co-authored by Ronnie Martin), which sounded as majestically overamplified and punkishly chaotic as anything coming from Mssrs. Townshend, Entwistle, Daltrey, and Moon; significantly, and perhaps not coincidentally, the Who (and particularly Keith Moon) also counted the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean among their favorite bands, so perhaps this single wasn't as much of a stretch as it might seem at first glance (or listen). In any case, this one foray into proto-psychedelic garage punk got the Red Squares a berth on Rhino Records' Nuggets II in the summer of 2001, and the biggest exposure they ever got in the United States or anywhere else much farther than the borders of Denmark."

"This British beat/soul group very poular in Denmark, where they were based. They formed in Boston, Lincolnshire in June 1964, and quickly scored a deal playing American bases over in France. In July 1965 Dave Bell returned to England and was replaced by Mick Rothwell, with Howie Gee also being recruited as an extra lead singer. 

In December 1965 Howie Gee temporarily left the group to join his girlfriend in Denmark. He found there was a big market for a group like The Red Squares in Denmark and persuaded the rest of the band to join him. Within six months they had become a big name and were breaking into Sweden. At gigs, there was fan hysteria and at one Swedish concert, the crowd completely wrecked the stage. 
In March 1966, Andy Bell went back to England to be a journalist and Howie Gee rejoined as Drummer vocalist. As The Red Squares were making their first record (Howie played on their two biggest Danish hits Sherry and People Get Ready) and just before a massive tour of Sweden, Howie was thrown out of Denmark, because he had no work permit. 
Andy Bell was asked to come back for a short while before Mick Malony took over the position of Drummer. 
In September 1966, Ronnie Martin left and was replaced by Stevie McGee. Ronnie sang with the Beatmakers (Danish) for a short while. Pete Mason also left the group, being replaced by Dennis Hastings and then Stevie McGee also left, being replaced by Jahn Teigen (ex-The Enemies). In 1969 December the group split up after a tour of Isrжl, as they had permit problems and no chance of getting back to Denmark. 
In the period of 1966-67 they were amongst the biggest idols on the Danish Pop Scene. No other group could have the idol worship they received where ever they went. Geordie was voted number two best in the world singer and the group were always in the papers and front page news of magazines. Inspired by American groupps such as The Beach Boys and The Four Seasons, they also drew inspiration from some the American black groups that were around at the time, but also wrote their own material. The Red Squares also inspired many Danish groups including The Fourways, Freedoms, Burtons and The Money Makers. 
In 1971 Geordie went to Sweden where he made four single records and an album in his own name. He came back to Denmark in 1975 and formed the group Squares. Consisting of Geordie (ld vcls), Michael Rasmussen (ld gtr, vcls), Helge Solberg (bs, vcls), later replaced by Chris Poulsen (bs, vcls), Mogens Christensen (gtr vcls), Gert Gunther (drms, vcls) replaced by Ola Juul and then Paul Callaby (ex-Shu Bi Dua). Squares broke up in the winter of 1977-78. "

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