WHO IS Mr LYNTON ?
A fairly long - but very thorough - history of this shy and humble man.
Compiled from many sources.
Born John Bertram Lynton in Shepperton, Middlesex on February 27th 1940 Jackie first began singing in his church school choir. However he got bitten by the Rock & Roll bug early on – his first idol (of whom Jackie remains a dedicated fan to this day) was Elvis – and by his late teens he was thoroughly infatuated by popular music. However, his own musical inclinations were never restricted by narrow parameters and Jackie was equally keen on standards and oldies as he was the hot hits of the era.
Back in the late 50’s Jackie and his mates used to hang out at a weekly hop at the Playhouse, a youth club in Walton on Thames where they’d sip Cokes, jive to the latest Rock & Roll releases, shape up, look hard and ogle the crumpet. Sometimes they’d even pluck up courage to chat them up. Every now and then a live group would be booked and one week a special talent show was organised at which young hopefuls were encouraged to try their luck.
Although our hero had never actually sung live in public before (and claims never to have had any great desire to do so), he was persuaded by club proprietor Dennis Cordet – to get up and have a chirp.
To young Jack’s astonishment, not only did he perform moderately well, he actually won the competition:
“…..yeah, I got up and did ‘Blue Suede Shoes’……it was about the only song I could remember all the words to. It was unbelievable, when you think about it………I was just a kid about 17 and I’d never really sung properly before. But Dennis, the bloke who ran the gaff, had heard me singing under an archway one night and he thought I sounded OK. He persuaded me to go for it….”
Jack had been backed on the talent show by the Plect-Tones, a young, local combo – their personnel included guitarist Roger Brown (who later turned up in Mike Berry’s Innocents, and would go on to be the founder member of Steeler’s Wheel in the 70’s) and future keyboards wizard Mike Pinder – with whom he began working regularly, playing clubs, pubs and dances.
Shortly afterwards they changed their name to the Teenbeats and with Cordet by now installed as their manager / agent they began to get plenty of local bookings.
Jackie soon built up a reputation as a powerful and exciting singer, eventually attracting the attention of rival agents: consequently, by the time he got around to establishing a residency at the famous Two I’s Coffee Bar in Soho he was pretty much in demand and Two I’s proprietor Tom Littlewood subsequently took over as his first professional manager.
Under Littlewoods' guidance Jackie’s career really began to motor and he quickly graduated to the Larry Parnes one nighters / package tour circuit where he worked alongside early rockers like Billy Fury, Vince Taylor & the playboys, Wee Willie Harris, Terry Dene, Lance Fortune, Screaming Lord Sutch & his Savages, Nero & the Gladiators, John Leyton, Freddie Star & the Midnighters etc. etc.
Radio sessions beckoned in the shape of programmes like Saturday club and Music with a Beat. As a real bonus Littlewood managed to score jack a recording deal with Pye’s new Piccadilly label.
His first disc – a Tony Hatch produced revival of Over The Rainbow - was an odd choice perhaps for an aspiring rocker’s first single: but as Jackie recalls
“I’ve always liked the old songs, the standards….I used to do ’em live and I always tried to do something different with them. They always went down well.”
Although this failed to chart it did pick up encouraging reviews, was viewed as a promising debut and served to lay down some guidelines for Jackie’s early recording career. As anyone who remembers seeing him in the early 60’s will readily confirm, with his off the wall set which juxtaposed heads down rockers alongside souped up arrangements of standards – Jackie was by far the most eclectic performer on the circuit and regularly upstaged the more established bill toppers. Indeed such was the impact that soon nobody wanted to follow him onstage. Hailed by New Musical Express as a “Most Promising Newcomer”, Jackie was widely tipped to crack the big time – and with his engaging personality and powerful stage performances it really did seem only a matter of time before he’d chalk up that elusive first hit. But as with one or two other equally talented members of his peer group that all important breakthrough chart record proved an impossible obstacle to negotiate.
He was given an original song to tackle for his second single: but Les Read & Johnny Worth (aka Les Vandyke)’s “Wishful Thinking” was clearly unsuitable. Sadly it summarily failed to hit the spot.
This allowed Jack to sneak in one of his customised oldies – and his first really great single “All Of Me” for his next release. Issued in August 1962 it was a landmark disc in that it marked the recording debut of Albert Lee one of the UK’s most talented and enduring blues guitarists, Albert continued to work with Jack until 1965. The single was well reviewed, and went to gather considerable radio air play that summer and autumn. Despite it selling steadily it missed the charts, although it certainly served to make people sit up and take notice.
Albert had stepped into the frame earlier in the year after the Teenbeats had split and Jackie subsequently began to working with the Two I’s house band The Jury, sharing them with fellow – Tom Littlewood protégés Vince Eager, Keith Kelly and Lance Fortune.
This superb band, initially comprising of guitarist Albert Lee (“a great bloke , fantastic guitarist….even back then no one could touch him except perhaps Big Jim Sullivan” JL.) Bob Xavier on sax (“a funny bloke always threatening to leave…he wanted to be the singer really” JL). Pat Donaldson Bass (“another really great bloke…. I worked with him again later when he was ion Head Hands & Feet”. JL). Drummer Roy Mills (“he worked with Allen Price later but after that he committed suicide. Sure he was an OK drummer but completely mad” JL).
This was the line-up who were with Jack on “All Of Me”. and although their personnel would change radically over the three years the band continued to provide backing for Jack,
Other members passing through their ranks at various stages included Bob Scholes (saxes), guitarist Dave West and Bassist Mike Brunning. Jackie’s next single was an up tempo revival of “I Believe” – potentially a real killer, but ultimately a mighty disappointment: “effin’ useless …they mixed it all wrong it sounded crap” JL,
this was in turn followed by Teddy Bears Picnic - a record still occasionally played today on BBCs Sounds of the Sixties.
“We got loads of air play on that one. I thought I was away with that one….to be honest, all the air play it got, particularly on Saturday mornings. We did an alternate version, faster…..I wonder if they ever kept it?” JL.
It was indeed a significant turntable success, generating considerable airplay – and it did show all the signs of becoming a hit. Certainly, Piccadilly re-pressed it a couple of times - which meant that it must have shifted quite a few copies: however, it presumably sold through non-chart return shops, as it never quite managed to put in an appearance in any of the published listings.
The next time out Piccadilly took the decision to pitch Jackie headlong into the Beat Boom, getting him to cover a couple of R & B standards, Chuck Berry’s “I’m Talkin’ ‘Bout You” and Lloyd Price’s “Lawdy Miss Clawdy”. However, the topside was merely a workmanlike reading, and it failed to make any impact.
Despite the absence of hit records, Jackie’s 60’s out put remains a memorable, eclectic body of work. Although the Jury had backed him on a couple of sides, he usually found himself working with the leading session muso’s of the era - guys like Big Jim Sullivan, Joe Morretti, and Jimmy Page (guitars), Herbie Flowers (bass), and either Clem Cattini or Bobbie Graham (drums) - plus each different session’s producer/arranger (usually either Tony Hatch or Les Reed) on piano. Jackie reckons he would probably have originated (i.e. “suggested”) much of the material, and the arrangements of these songs would certainly have been based on his live performances - although in one or two instances he was clearly “steered” by record company A&R policy: the most obvious example of this being his unlikely, soulful reading of Lennon/McCartney opus Little Child: “naah…that was the record company’s idea, to do a Beatles’ song. I didn’t like it…it wasn’t really up to much…it wasn’t me”
(NB: nonetheless this remains a highly-collectable artefact, being not only one of the rarest Beatle covers, but also featuring a fine solo from Jimmy Page. The BBC brought it out for an airing as recently as May 2009 on Sounds of the Sixties.
Despite his lack of chart success Jackie’s live performances had earned him a big reputation, and he continued attracting the attentions - not always wanted (“effin’ poofs - not that I’ve got anything against ‘em, mind” JL) of various Pop impresarios, and for the time being he hung on in there with Tom Littlewood.
Among others, Larry Parnes tried to woo him with promises of exotic ladies’ underwear (which I guess is just about all we dare say about that particular episode!), following which Robert Stigwood showed a brief interest, which waned when Jackie made it clear he was not interested in moving to the “States” to become “the new Joe Cocker”.
Jackie had been one of the early British Rock & Rollers to visit Hamburg, back in ’62. They’d taken to his extrovert personality and he was a big favourite out there, returning several times - although he never seems to have gone over with his full band:
“…I only ever went out with half a band, even that first trip. None of ‘em could come, and the money was lousy. I went out with just a rhythm guitarist - somebody-or-other Steele, I think, can’t remember his name - and that effin’ drummer I couldn’t effin’ stand, Roy Mills. Tony Sheridan played lead guitar with us out there, and we just used to busk it. We went out twice a year, for two months at a time, for a couple of years.”
He also recorded in Hamburg, albeit in ever-so-slightly-dodgy circumstances:
“…a geezer came up to me in the club one night and said he wanted to record me. I told him I was already signed to Pye, in England, and he said ‘that’s no problem, we’ll use a different name.’ We did around 15 or 16 tracks, all in one day…they all came out in Germany on different LP’s.”
Jackie in fact cut 16 tracks in Hamburg that day in ’64, backed by a session band which included Rikki Barnes (sax), Roy mills (drums) and Emmerdale Farm actor Fraser Hines’ brother on keyboards. And sure enough, these sides did all eventually turn up on various kraut Beat Group compilations, credited to the unlikely pseudonym “Boots Wellington & His Rubber Band”.
The sessions included a rousing version of Ray Charles’ “What’d I say”, from an LP colourfully entitled 16 Beat Groups from the Hamburg Scene, (NB: Jacko’s running mates on this LP included the Beatles, Kingsize Taylor & the dominoes, Tony Sheridan & the Beat Brother, and Alex Harvey - so he was in pretty good company!)
Following one last single for Piccadilly - a revival of “Laura” from the old Gene Tierney movie - his singing career went into limbo for a while as he concentrated on building up his painting and decorating business. But he continued to play low key gigs and during 1965 he cut a number of independently-produced sides with Ray Horricks (who’d produced Teddy Bear’s Picnic) - a couple of which were paired up on a Decca single, Three Blind Mice/Corrina Corrina - following which he signed with EMI’s Columbia label in 1966. Jackie cut three singles for Columbia, revivals of “He’ll Have To Go” and “Answer Me”, and a Tony Colton/Ray Smith original “Decision”, all produced by Mark Wirtz - but once again, as good as they were, none were able to break his chart duck.
Jack has always been a poet and writer, and he himself penned a couple of his Columbia B-sides, “Sporting Life” and “I Never Loved A Girl Like You”, the latter featuring Zoot Money on piano.
During the late 60’s Jackie had continued doubling his music work with a day job as a painter & decorator - he recalls working at John Lennon’s Weybridge mansion for many months: “Lennon used to get up about mid-day, wander into the kitchen, say ‘mornin’, painter’ to us lot, make himself a coffee, and go over to his jukebox and punch up all the old Little Richard and Chuck Berry records. One day we got there early, opened the jukebox up, and sneaked a copy of my version of ‘All Of Me’ on - in place of ‘Long Tall Sally’, or something. He got up as usual - ‘mornin’ painter’ - fixed his coffee, wandered over to the jukebox, and instead of just punching in all his usual numbers, he actually looked at the bloody things. He stood there, looking all confused, like…then he opened the lid, reached in, took my record out, looked closely at it, put it on the effin’ side, shot us lot a dirty look, and punched in all his usual stuff. Story of my effin’ life, really!”
In 1969 Jackie hooked up with former Casuals producer David Pardo (remember Jesamine?) to cut a series of covers for the European market - specifically, for Germany and Italy. During these sessions he also recorded Ennio Morricone’s The “Ballad Of Hank McCain”, the theme tune to the John Cassavetes movie Gli Intoccabili, which was released in Italy on the Joker label. A further spin-off of the sessions was a pair of obscure UK Decca singles, on which Jackie duetted with Pardo’s wife Andee Silver: in May ’70 they teamed up under the heading “Spring Fever” for My World Could Be Your World/You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (the flip a revival of the Righteous Brothers’ biggie), and a couple of months later - now renamed as Purple Heart on a cover of Bacharach & David’s (They Long To Be) Close To You. Released in August ’70, it was issued in direct opposition to the Carpenters’ US #1 and fell comprehensively by the wayside; on its flip was “Audrey”, one of Jackie’s own songs.
The “Purple Heart” billing was retained for at least one further single - certainly, for a cover of Rare Bird’s “Sympathy” (which appears only have been issued in Germany and Italy) - whilst a further trading style was “People”, under which name Jackie’s version of the Cook/Greenway song “I Am The Preacher” appeared in 1970 (he was up against a version by Deep Purple on this one!).
And really, as far as the early years, go that’s Jackie’s story just about done and dusted. Following his split with Pardo some fairly serious disillusionment set in, and he packed it all in for some eighteen months or so, returning to the building and decorating trade. But yopu can't keep a good muso down !
Inevitably - the lure of R&R proved too strong for Jack to ignore, and by the middle of ’72 he’d put a new band together “The Jackie Lynton Band” and had begun playing a few low-key pub gigs. And then suddenly, his life changed: one week he was working on a building site in Surrey and singing in the local pub a couple of nights a week; the next, he was head lining at the Fillmore East, fronting Savoy Brown:-
“ I guess it was unbelievable, really. Their manager - he remembered me from the old days - saw me singing with my band at the Greyhound, in Fulham. They’d just lost their lead singer, and he wanted me. I’d come straight off a building site, had just put a really good little band together, and didn’t really want to know. But he kept phoning, offering me the gig. I put the phone down on him at first. I’d never even heard of Savoy effin’ Brown…I just thought it was rubbish, a million times over. Then he started talking about an American tour…I was working on a building site for forty quid a week, and he went and offered me three grand for two months work. Then I had to tell my band…it broke their hearts, ‘cause we were a really tight little out fit….hadn’t been together long, just a couple of months. But you can’t turn that kinda dough down…”
The Savoy Brown Years :
And that really was how it happened. The opening with Savoy Brown had happened very suddenly - their previous album “Hellbound Train” had been a huge success, making the US Top 40, and they were about to set out on a major coast-to-coast US tour to promote the follow-up album Lion’s Share, when lead singer Dave Walker suddenly absconded to Fleetwood Mac, just weeks before the tour, leaving them without a recognised front line vocalist. For a band who needed an experienced, bluesy front man virtually overnight, Jackie was the answer to their prayers.
The album “Lions Share” had made good progress on Billboard's Top 200 Stateside yet despite an acclaimed tour in Britain to house-full notices, it somehow avoided our then Top 50 equivalent. Savoy Brown in the spring of '73 were assembling yet another aural assault for their worldwide legion of fans.
Now on the payroll Jackie was more than capable of fulfilling Walker's previous role, Jackie Lynton was billed as a British rock veteran, who by joining lead guitarist and founder-member Kim Simmonds, drummer Dave Bidwell, bassist Andy Pyle and keyboard/guitar-doubler and second vocalist Paul Raymond, had ensured Savoy Brown could maintain their favoured quintet status. However, he achieved more than that.
Kim Simmonds: "Previously to Jack joining the band, most of the writing was done by Paul and myself. But Jack has a wealth of his own material which is both original and fits so well with the music we play."
Resources were pooled, and for their next LP, to be named affectionately "Jack The Toad", Jack contributed no less than four copyrights wholly his own and joined all the other band members in scripting a fifth.
Inspiration was high, and apart from Lynton a few other innovations were introduced when they reached the studio: Kim unusually aired his larynx, taking the lead for his own "Ride On Babe"; Paul Raymond discovered the mellotron, that keyboard instrument championed by Decca/Deram labelmates, the Moody Blues; soprano saxist Stan Saltzman was included, along with additional percussion from Frank Ricotti, Ron Berg and Barry Murray - this latter also assuming production chores - and female backing harmonies came from the in-demand duo of Sue (Glover) and Sunny (Leslie). The finished product promised much.
Once recording had started, however, one cloud appeared on the horizon. Trap-rattler Bidwell had for sometime had a drug problem, as his ex-employer in Chicken Shack, Stan Webb - soon to enter Savoy Brown's story himself - recollected for author Bob Brunning's informative book "Blues - The British Connection" (Blandford Press) in 1986: "Dave was a very stubborn guy indeed. I just watched him go down the pan. I mean I was having my own problems at the time: I was drinking two bottles of vodka a day."
While his old friend Webb cured his alcohol addiction, Bidwell would not be so fortunate. He left after contributing to five of "Jack's" numbers and sadly died, another victim of the excesses of rock's lifestyle
Simmonds had pledged that in 1973 Savoy Brown would tour much of Europe as well as America, but sensibly "Jack The Toad" would premiere in the USA for openers so a buzz existed around it. It was released on June 30th, hopping straight up to 84 and setting out its stall for 14 weeks. To give a focal point to their inevitable tour, with ZZ Top, Lynton's "Coming Down Your Way" was issued as a single on July 19th, Paul Raymond's "I Can't Find You", acting as the makeweight. Sadly it didn't make the Hot 100, although radio play lists confirmed it had a good airing.
Jack became acquainted with both Manfred Mann's Earth Band and Status Quo who toured with Savoy Brown in the States. Thus started a couple of long term relationships - Colin Pattenden (of the Earth Band) is the bass guitarist in Jacks current band, while his friendship with Rick Parfitt of Quo led to an interesting writing partnership.
Sadly the Savoy Browns music just didn't make an impression on the UK charts, and after existing commitments had been fulfilled Simmonds disbanded Savoy Brown and voiced his own frustration and boredom as the main reasons for such a drastic course of action. The rest of the band regrouped in the USA as two seperate organisations - the reformed Savoy Brown and Foghat - still successful today - but our Jackie decided to return to Britain to re-start his own band.
“Going to America with Savoy Brown was effin’ amazin’. We were going on second on the bill to bands like the Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Doobie Brothers, Deep Purple, Rod Stewart & the Faces - and then we were headlining as well. Status Quo opened for us! (mind you, it was the other way round when we toured the UK supporting them). One night, even ZZ Top opened for us, in New York.”
Naturally enough, Jackie has a million and one anecdotes about his stint with the Savoy Browns.
His stay with Savoy Brown lasted some 18-months, from September ’72 to February ’74. Indeed, when Jackie left, it took two men to replace him (Miller Anderson and former Chicken Shack perennial Stan Webb) - but like so many of Rock’s staffing changes, his departure took place amid some acrimony: “Savoy Brown chucked me out in the end…I was taking over a bit too much, writing all the songs - and I wouldn’t let the Simmonds brothers (viz: their bandleader and their manager) have song writing credits for my songs. Not that it did me any good…I still never got effin’ paid!”
It indeed still rankles with Jackie that he never received writer’s royalties for any of his Savoy Brown material: and what really rubbed salt in the wound was when Three Dog Night revived one of the songs Coming Down Your Way, as the title track of a platinum-selling 1975 album.
Now back in England Jack could turn his energies back to having his own band again. He put together what would be the first of many line-ups of “The Jackie Lynton Band”, and set about establishing himself on the burgeoning Pub-Rock circuit.
He cut his first solo album later that year (guest muso’s included Rory Gallagher and assorted members of Heads, Hands & Feet) - whilst the following year, in a slice of typically lousy luck Jack missed the boat with an off-the -wall revival of “I Only Have Eyes For You”, which came out the same week as Art Garfunkel’s more traditional version (guess who got to #1!) “I reckon that’s about the best bloody thing I ever done…I was well effin’ sick about that!”.
Conversely, he had a nice little earner in the late 70’s when Quo recorded his “Again & Again” – Jackie’s homage to Chuck Berry, whom he’d supported on a highly successful mid-70’s tour.
It was during the 70’s that Jackie really started giving free reign to his earthy humour, and his gigs took on an increasingly surreal aura as he began incorporating monologues and poems into his set, alongside the self penned head down rockers that the band played with such quality. These were, of course, extremely off-colour affairs and numbers like “The Hedgehog Song” , “Aint I Lucky” and “Nice One” soon won him a new, younger audience and eventually led to a publishing deal for a book of his written works the book “If I Could Sing I’d Tell Jokes”
1974 saw him appearing on the Old Grey Whistle Test and BBC Radio 1 'In Concert', and releasing his first solo album, imaginatively entitled 'The Jackie Lynton Album'. The following year he turned up again with Albert Lee to record a 'one off single' for Bell Records. Since this time Jackie Lynton has kept his own band behind him as a vehicle for his prolific writing of songs and poetry. The result being the release of many of his own albums under the name of the “Jackie Lynton Band”.
In 1976 Jackie gathered together the former members of the Stormsville Shakers and went out on the road as Jackie Lynton's Happy Days, gathering fans with each gig. After a change of line-up in 1978, Jackie Lynton's HD Band - then shortened to The Jackie Lynton Band - were featured on two Guildford based compilation albums, before recording their debut album 'Til We're Blue In The Face'. This was the year Status Quo scored a massive hit with 'Again And Again', co-written by Jack and Rick Parfitt. Having been a long standing friend of Rick Parfitt, Jackie has been involved in co-writting other early Quo hits with Rick. Even today jack sometimes performs a song he wrote about Rick - "Ricky Rocket." Their friendship is still strong and Jackie has often been invited to do a guest spot on Quo's gigs. He fanously got up at Status Quo's 2001 Wembley Gig and sang the Beatles old hit 'I Saw Her Standing There' to a packed audience.
In 1979 Jack assembled a host of musical buddies to record his second solo album, 'No Axe To Grind'. Quo's Ricky Parfitt , Clem Clemson (Humble Pie), Paul King (Mungo Jerry, King Earl Boogie Band), Chas & Dave, Colin Pattenden (Manfred Mann's Earth Band), Chris Slade (also ex Earthband and Later with AC-DC), Drew McCulloch and a host of other added their talents to this much under-rated album.
1981-82, saw the band through two Reading festival appearances being asked back for the second time because of the rapturous reception of the first. The Lynton band have two tracks on the 'Reading Album' of the same year (amongst his loyal rock and roll fans he is probably best remembered for his outrageous rendition of his infamous "Hedgehog Song" at the Reading Festival). His next album was released in 1980 called 'A Bit Near The Mark', a double album of three live sides and one studio, highlighting the extraordinary range of Jack's talents. And what talents! Rocker, poet, actor, comedy script writer. But, mostly a rocker!
1983 saw the band taking a heavier approach with the album 'White Line' featuring the same now matured line up of Greg Terry-Short, drums; the late Graham White, lead guitar; Willie Bath, bass and Tony Leach, piano. After so many failed promises from various record companies a little disillusion set in and the long standing line up split. The drummer, Greg Terry-Short left to join Peter Green (ex Fleetwood Mac) and bass player Willie Bath and piano player Tony Leach also decided to look elsewhere.
Re-vamping the band into a three piece for a while with two new players joining, Gordon Sellar on bass and Greg Wilson on drums, (retaining Graham White who was by then the only original member) Jack continued to play London pub gigs and in 1987 released a 'Live In London' double album recording of a complete gig with the usual appearance of a few 'special guests' which Lynton fans have become accustomed to. This album has the pure essence of Lynton in full swing and captures the unutterable bawdy nature of a Jackie Lynton Band gig.
In 1994 Jackie was encouraged to return to the studio, the result being a studio album on cassette 'Sharp As A Donut' a much welcome return to the recording studio for Jackie and fans alike. 1995 saw Jackie involved with a small record company 'A New Day Records'. Record company founder David Rees helped Jackie finance his rebirth with his first CD release 'Quick As A Roof' on Dave's A New Day Label. This was a compilation of old and new material. The gig list starting to fill and his old fans came out of the woodwork, glad to be able to see their man live again. By1996 the band were gigging regularly, fans started asking when he was going to record again? So Jackie decided it was time to put another live album out, 'Alive At The Bleak House' a double CD, once again with A New Day records. A chance to hear Jackie Lynton sing cover versions of many of his favourite songs and giving them that 'Lynton Band' treatment. Dave Rees thought it was high time Jackie went back into the studio and record a studio album.
Dave Rees tells the story of how this came about:-
”As a fan of Jack's myself I've always wanted him to do this album. Jack writes some nifty tunes, he has a great band and over the years he has worked with some of the world's greatest rock guitarists. I reckoned that if anybody could get them together on one album he could. He was sceptical at first, but when I told him that Martin Barre, the legendary guitarist with rock giants Jethro Tull, was ready and willing to play on the album, he was both flattered and inspired to start work on his first all new studio album for 15 years. A call to some of his musical buddies brought together some of the finest musicians in rock; Kim Simmonds, Jack's old sparing partner from Savoy Brown, wanted to join the fun, but at the end of the day it proved to be a logistical impossibility. Next time maybe? But Rick Parfitt, Mick Moody, Mick Abrahams and Big Jim Sullivan all turned up for the sessions and two thirds of a great album were recorded. The final sessions showed the high regard with which Jackie Lynton is held within the rock community. We wanted a fresh sound for a couple of tracks. So in keeping with the literal sense of the title, a new band was put together for the sessions - and what a band! Mick Abrahams enlisted his bass player from Blodwyn Pig, Mick Summerland and Clive Bunker on drums, a founder member of Jethro Tull, plus Dick Taylor founder of some combo outfit called 'The Rolling Stones' and since then guitarist with the 'Pretty Things' joined Abrahams on lead guitar. To this line up, over dubs were added by guitarists Martin Barre and Al Hodge (from the Mechanics). Spare a thought for Lynton's own guitarist Chris Bryant a superb guitarist in his own right who also added his bit. A couple of tracks needed something extra and just as we were winding up I approached Ian Anderson, he agreed and added his magical flute playing to 'Let it Rock' and harmonica to 'You Gotta Go'. There you have it, 'Pin Board Wizards' released in 1998 an album of rare quality”.
And into the 21st century.
As with the modern way of things many musicians these days are playing in more than one band and so Jack found himself with an address book full of deps who could stand in when one of his regular musicians was off playing elsewhere. On needing a drummer he called on his old friend from the early days of the band Greg Terry-Short who started standing in on a more than regular basis. When Jack's drummer left to join another band Jack asked Greg to join the band again while he looked for a replacement. With the addition of Collin Pattenden on bass (ex Manfred Mann's Earth Band and Grahame Whites cousin) the band suddenly sounded a bit like it used to. Giving Jack the inspiration to get back in the studio and triggering some prolific song writing. Released in 2001 'Cereal Thriller' (produced and mixed by Greg Terry-Short), is a double CD offering one studio CD with original material and one X rated CD of monologues poems and jokes extracted from the Jackie Lynton archives of his four decades playing live. This was followed within eighteen months by 'Cereal Thriller 2' - featuring a mix of new songs and some standards - plus another X-rated archive disc. In 2007 he released another live album; 'Rockin' In Cornwall, Rollin' in Surrey, and in 2011 he inflicted his current offering on his long suffering fans, a studio album this time, entitled All's Fair in Love & Rock'nRoll . Jacks CDs are available on E-Bay from his wife Vanessa, who trades as "NESSO-2".
During the first part of the twenty-first century Jacks musical direction has been refining and simplifying itself into the presentation of straightforward and simple Rock'n'Roll. It is almost inevitable that change brings unrest and, in 2009, Greg left the band and was replaced by The Nashville Teens drummer, Adrian Metcalfe ("Spud"). Since Spud has been drumming with them, the band - and Jack - have continued to focus on straightforward back-to-the-roots Rock. Jack had another impetus to write The Blues in early 2012 when he and his wife Vanessa temporarily parted. Thankfully they are back together now and Vanessa still manages Jacks Facebook Page and record sales.He is also enjoying a resurgence on the Festival circuit, with appearances in 2017 at "Weyfest" and "A New Day" festivals. He is also in growing demand at Status Quo conventions around the UK both as a "guest" with bands like "John Coghlans Quo" and with his own band. In 2017 Jack enjoyed a huge boost because his old mates Chas Hodges and Dave Peacock had asked him to warm up the audiences for their 2017 tour. The Jackie Lynton Band did this at twenty seven of Chas 'n' Dave's gigs in the Autumn of 2017. It was a sell out tour, and Chas introduced the shows by assuring his public that he was in remission and was winning his fight against cancer. Sadly his remission was not to last long and he passed in September 2018. Jack appeared alongside Eric Clapton, Joe Brown, Albert Lee, Ralph McTell and many more at a memorial concert at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire on 17th December 2018.
In addition to music, Jack is one of life’s natural comedians. He has invented jokes, published poems and written comedy scripts all his career and became a successful comedy script writer (in the late 70's early 80's was writing scripts for the "Jim Davidson Show"). He also acts a bit - having been a regular 'extra' on TV shows like "Eastenders" and "The Bill" during the early 2000's. But when it all comes down to it, Jacks heart is in his music. As one of the music businesses rare genuine talents, Jackie Lynton deserves a lot higher profile than he has enjoyed, and although not having quite made It - as they say - Jackie Lynton is hugely respected amongst the famous names in rock and show business.
Jack has been performing through six decades - but you'd think he was younger from the energy he pours out to his audiences. Unlike many, he’s not tired of getting down in a hot sweaty venue and giving his audience some down to earth, from the heart, solid rock music; and more often than not, a bloody good laugh as well.
Mr Lynton is one of those talented artists who will always be a legend in Rock'n'Roll . Doomed to being described as "nearly made it" with the public, but in reality a genuine "musicians musician" who has influenced such big names (and friends) as Chas & Dave, Lemmy, Ritchie Blackmore, Big Jim Sullivan, Long John Baldry and Chris Farlowe and especially the late Rick Parfitt with whom Jack partnered to write several "Quo" songs, Jack will celebrate his seventy seventh birthday in February 2017 - but he still pounds out his rock'n'roll with all the drive of a twenty year old. Long may he continue to do so!
The bottom line is that Jackie remains a dyed-in-the-wood rocker who simply can’t stop gigging. Continually name checked by rock’s elder statesmen as a crucial early influence, he has no trouble getting big name artists to endorse his occasional albums with guest appearances, which goes to show that those in the know respect a real artist, rich or poor, famous or not! Despite his larger than life persona when on stage, one of Jacks main features is his modesty.
“Legend ?…..me?….naaaaaah that’s a load of bollocks! I like to think of myself as some sort of entertainer….I can tell a joke, carry a tune but was never gonna be a star! I probably drank too much or more probably I was just too much of a c**t”
And that’s Jack’s final word on the subject.
Jackie Lynton – Why Not Take All Of Me ? (1997)
Thanks Jancy !