Streetwalkers

HISTORY

Family’s six-year career was wrapped up with a farewell album and tour in 1973, and it wasn’t long after that Roger Chapman and John “Charlie” Whitney jumped right back into the game. The main songwriters of Family obviously had more to say musically, but felt that the Family name and image had run its course. In my opinion, fans and critics associated Family with 60’s hipness, and the band’s 70’s works were heard as attempts to reclaim the heights they had reached. In the Streetwalkers period guitarist Charlie Whitney’s playing consists of a lot of slide playing (lap steel), while Roger Chapman’s voice entered a new stage. It wasn’t as self-destructive as before, but remained gruff in the style of raucous soul singing.
In the winter of 1973/1974, only months after the dissolution of Family, Chapman/Whitney completed a duo album called Streetwalkers with a loose collection of famous musical friends. The album was released in May 1974, followed by a single in June (“Roxianna”/”Crack”). A touring oufit was formed using Bob Tench on guitar, Tim Hinkley on keys, Mel Collins on sax, Ian Wallace on drums, and Phil Chen on bass. Incidentally, Whitney, Wallace and Hinckley found time to back up Tim Buckley on his 5/21/74 “Old Grey Whistle Test” session, featuring “Dolphins” and “Honey Man”. During this period keyboard player Blue Weaver appeared with them at concerts, such as the Reading Festival in the summer of 1974. Bobby Tench from The Jeff Beck Group and Hummingbird was also featured in their fluid, informal touring band line up and appeared at concerts such as in Hyde Park, London, the same year.
Some tryout gigs were performed, including one at Leicester Polytech. In August more gigs followed: the Reading festival (second on the bill, under Barclay James Harvest) and London’s Hyde Park festival. Faithful correspondent Jonathan Inglis says of this outdoor gig…
…the concert was excellent, what I can remember of it. They did a fantastic version of ‘Hangman’ still one of my favourites…
In February 1975 they put together a solid backing band, and dubbed themselves the Streetwalkers. The sound was solidified by the only member of the previous line-up that they kept: Bob Tench. The rhythm section of Jon Plotel (bassist, ex-Casablanca) and the previously unknown drummer “Nicko” McBrain lent more funk, heavy R&B, and 70’s-style hard rock to the mix. Tench, McBrain and Plotel had previously appeared on a European broadcast for the German TV show Rockpalast with Chapman and Whitney earlier the same year, billed as The Chapman Whitney Streetwalkers. In October they released Downtown Flyers (known simply as Streetwalkers in the US), and toured the UK and Europe, where they became quite popular. “Raingame”/”Miller” was released as a single. The band did not achieve the anticipated success in USA, although interest in Europe was more encouraging.
The band cut Red Card in May of 1976, but this lineup was broken up by July; “we wanted a tighter rhythm section” according to Chapman. The single for this album, “Daddy Rolling Stone”/”Hole In Your Pocket”, came out in June. The band performed at a series of concerts entitled Who Put The Boot In appearing at UK Football stadiums, during May and June 1976. The billing for these concerts included The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Little Feat, Outlaws, Widowmaker and Streetwalkers were the last act to appear before The Who performed.

On 12 June 1976 they made their first appearance for John Peel on his “Peel Sessions” recorded by BBC radio, with the line-up of Chapman, Whitney, Tench, Plotel and McBrain and would be featured by Peel once more as a “Peel session”, on March 14, 1977.

The band returned in September of 1976 with a new rhythm section (David Dowle – drums; Michael Feat – bass) and a full time keyboardist, Brian Johnstone. A short European tour before a UK debut at the Roundhouse. Chappo still had manic stage-presence, and on December 19th there was yet another legendary occurrence when he fell off the stage and broke his foot, spending Christmas on crutches. He finished the show, of course!
They put out their last studio effort Vicious But Fair in January 1977, but by then their label Vertigo had shifted their commercial emphasis to the musical trends of Punk rock and New Wave music. On April 19, 1977, they made their final appearance on Rockpalast, with a line-up which included Chapman, Whitney, Tench, keyboardist Brian Johnstone, bassist Mickey Feat and drummer David Dowle .The euphoria surrounding the band began to diminish and the potential of becoming more established in Europe evaporated and by the end of the year the Streetwalkers had disbanded. A posthumous Streetwalkers Live was released in December. It included a rough and ready compilation of poorly recorded tracks, probably released to comply with contractual obligations. In his review of this album for All Music, John Dougan mentions the poor quality of the recording and states that: “Chapman tears off a few soulful moments and it can rock”. Chappo says of the breakup: “I can only repeat what I said when Family broke up… It’s just time to start working on something new, with different guys.”
And in a 1980 article by Dave Seal for UK fanzine Nuggets , Chappo reported that the band manager, Michael Alfandary, caused a number of problems, building friction up with an originally very sympathetic record company and generally doing a counter-productive job. Roger summed up the final split concisely:
“There was no friction between the members of the band. The only friction was with the way the band was being run. It just got completely . . . boring, we just felt like we were getting on stage to play act the role. There was no point in doing it”.

Even though the sound had been remarkably different, the Streetwalkers could have easily been the next chapter of Family. It would have made for an even more diverse career.
David Dowle (drums) and Brian Johnstone (keys) went on to tour with David Coverdale’s Whitesnake from March to April 1978. Dowle stayed on through 1979. Nicko McBrain (drums) worked with Pat Travers and then went on to Iron Maiden in 1982. Bob Tench moved on to work with Van Morrison. Charlie Whitney and old Family-buddy Rob Townsend formed Axis Point for two albums. Roger Chapman began the solo career that he has continued to this day.

DISCOGRAPHY

Chapman-Whitney Streetwalkers

formatdatelabelCat. #other info
LP1974RepriseK 54017
UK issue
LP1974RepriseREP-54017German issue
LP1974RepriseRS 4569US issue
LP1974Reprise58 502French issue
CD2010MysticMYS CD 202
retitled First Cut – remastered CD edition – different track order

Downtown Flyers

formatdatelabelCat. #other info
LP1975Vertigo6360 123
UK, German issue
LP1975MercurySRM-1-1060
US issue
LP1981Vertigo6359 061
German reissue
CD2002Beat Goes OnBGOCD 542
UK reissue

Red Card  (#16 UK)

formatdatelabelCat. #other info
LP1976Vertigo9102 010
UK, Italian issue w/ red colored vinyl
LP1976MercurySRM-1-1083
US issue
CD1991RepertoireRR 4147-WP
German reissue with “Hole In My Pocket” 
CD2005 June 6Beat Goes OnBGOCD 669
with Vicious But Fair – UK reissue

Vicious But Fair

formatdatelabelCat. #other info
LP1977Vertigo9102 013
UK issue
LP1977MercurySRM-1-1135
US issue
CD1992 JuneSee For MilesSEECD 352
UK reissue – with “Downtown Flyers,” “Gypsy Moon,” “Crawfish,” “Raingame,” “Crazy Charade,” “Shotgun Messiah,” “Decadence Code,” and “Daddy Rolling Stone”
CD2005 June 6Beat Goes OnBGOCD 669
with Red Card – UK reissue

Streetwalkers Live

formatdatelabelCat. #other info
LP1977Vertigo6641 703

UK issue
CD2004Beat Goes OnBGOCD 606
UK reissue

The Best Of Streetwalkers

Tracklisting: 1. Toe Nail Draggin’ 2. Sam (Maybe He Can Come to Some Arrangement) 3. Run For Cover 4. Miller 5. Decadence Code 6. Hole in Your Pocket 7. Between Us 8. Belle Star 9. Shotgun Messiah 10. But You’re Beautiful 11. Walkin’ on Water 12. Ace O’ Spades 13. Burn It Down 14. Roll Up, Roll Up 15. Burlesque

formatdatelabelCat. #other info
CD1990Vertigo846 661-2

UK issue

BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert

formatdatelabelCat. #other info
CD1994WindsongWINCD061
UK issue

Singles

“Roxianna/Crack”

formatdatelabelCat. #other info
45″1974 June 21RepriseK14357
UK issue

“Raingame/Miller”

formatdatelabelCat. #other info
45″1975 Oct 10Vertigo6059 130
UK issue

“Daddy Rolling Stone/Hole In Your Pocket”

formatdatelabelCat. #other info
45″1976 Jun 18Vertigo6059 144UK issue
45″1976Vertigo6059 144Netherlands issue

“Chili Con Carne/But You’re Beautiful”

formatdatelabelCat. #other info
45″1977Vertigo6059 169
Netherlands issue

Other Appearances

Still Dizzy After All These Years

formatdatelabelCat. #other info
CD1998Vertigo555 202-2
incl. “Crawfish”

FEATURES


GIG LIST

17 MAY 1974 England, Birmingham, UniversityChapman/Whitney Streetwalkers Ad
w/ Jonathan Kelly’s Outside

18 MAY 1974 England, Leicester, Polytechnic
w/ Rab Noakes

19 MAY 1974 England, London, Victoria Palace
w/ Rab Noakes

27 JUN 1974 BBC SESSION “John Peel” England, London, BBC Studios

  1. Tokyo Rose/Hangman
  2. Roxianna
  3. Systematic Stealth
  4. Get Out Of My Life Woman

29 JUN 1974 England, London, Hyde Park
w/ Kevin Ayers, Nico, Kevin Coyne, Gong

06 JUL 1974 England, Buxton, Booth Farm Festival
w/ Trapeze, Badger, Greenslade, Strider, Faces, Humble Pie

11 AUG 1974 England, Torquay, Pavilion

12 AUG 1974 England, Plymouth, Guild Hall

18 AUG 1974 England, Banbury, Town Hall
w/ Unicorn

01 SEP 1974 England, Hemel, Hempstead, Pavilion

06 SEP 1974 England, Slough, Community Centre

08 SEP 1974 England, London, Chalk Farm Roundhouse
w/ Unicorn

10 SEP 1974 England, Birmingham Barbarella’s

15 SEP 1974 England, Croydon, Greyhound

24 SEP 1974 Germany, Eppelheimer Rhein-Neckar-Halle

04 OCT 1974 England, Hatfield, Polytechnic

12 OCT 1974 England, Loughborough, Loughborough University
w/ Unicorn

19 OCT 1974 England, Imperial College

15 NOV 1974 England, Salford, Salford University
w/ Thin Lizzy

[media id=17]

25 MAR 1975 TV SESSION“Rockpalast” Germany, Köln, WDR Studio-L

  1. Downtown Flyers
  2. Walking On Waters
  3. Tokyo Rose
  4. Hangman
  5. Toenail Draggin’
  6. My Friend The Sun
  7. Crawfish
  8. Burn It Down
  9. Burlesque

20 JUNE 1975 BBC SESSION“In Concert” England, London, Paris Theater

  1. Crawfish
  2. Downtown Flyers
  3. Walking On Waters
  4. Burn It Down
  5. Burlesque


16 AUG 1975 England, Aylesbury, Friars
w/ Clemen Pull

28 AUG 1975 BBC SESSION“John Peel” England, London, Maida Vale 4

  1. Burn It Down
  2. Toenail Draggin’
  3. Crawfish

07 SEP 1975 England, London, Hammersmith Odeon
w/ Dave Mason

19 SEP 1975 England, Newcastle, Mayfair Ballroom

xx OCT 1975 England, Aylesbury, Friars Club

26 OCT 1975 Denmark, Copenhagen, Falkoner Teatret
w/Black Sabbath

29 OCT 1975 Germany, Offenbach, Stadthalle w/Black Sabbath

30 OCT 1975 Germany, Munich, Circus Krone?
w/Black Sabbath

01 NOV 1975 Germany, Ludwigshafen, Friedrich-Ebert-Halle
w/Black Sabbath, ZZTop

02 NOV 1975 Germany, Dusseldorf, Phillipshalle
w/Black Sabbath, ZZTop

29 NOV 1975 Michigan, Detroit, Palace Arena

  1. Burlesque
  2. Rollin’ Stone
  3. Toenail Draggin’
  4. Walking On Waters
  5. Crawfish
  6. Burn It Down
  7. Daddy Rolling Stone

30 NOV 1975 Michigan, Detroit, Palace Arena

10 DEC 1975 New York, NY, The Bottom Line
w/ Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel

10 FEB 1976 TV BROADCAST“Old Grey Whistle Test” BBC Studios, London, UK

  1. Walking On Waters
  2. Daddy Rolling Stone

08 MAY 1976 New York, Roslyn, My Father’s Place

  1. Burlesque
  2. Walking On Waters
  3. Run For Cover
  4. Me An’ Me Horse An’ Me Rum
  5. Toenail Draggin’
  6. Burn It Down
09 MAY 1976 New York, Roslyn, My Father’s Place cancelled due to Roger Chapman’s laryngitis

10 MAY 1976 Canada, Toronto, Toronto Concert Bowl

  1. Burlesque
  2. Walking on Waters
  3. Shotgun Messiah
  4. Me An’ Me Horse An’ Me Rum
  5. Toenail Draggin’
  6. Burn It Down


31 MAY 1976 England, London, Charlton Festival
w/ The Who, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Little Feat, Outlaws

  1. Burlesque
  2. Toenail Draggin’
  3. Run For Cover
  4. Me An’ Me Horse An’ Me Rum
  5. Walking On Waters
  6. Burn It Down

02 JUNE 1976 England, Lincoln, Drill Hall

04 JUNE 1976 England, Newcastle, Mayfair Ballroom

06 JUNE 1976 Scotland, Glasgow, Celtic Football Club
w/ The Who, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Little Feat, Outlaws

07 JUNE 1976 Netherlands, Geleen, Burg, Damensportpark Pink Pop Festival
w/ Uriah Heep, Little Feat, Outlaws, Jess Roden Band

08 JUNE 1976 BBC SESSION“John Peel Show” England, London, Maida Vale 4

  1. Daddy Rolling Stone
  2. Run For Cover
  3. Me An’ Me Horse An’ Me Rum

10 JUNE 1976 England, Birmingham, Town Hall
w/ Dirty Tricks

12 JUNE 1976 Wales, Swansea, Swansea City Football Club
w/ The Who, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Little Feat, Outlaws

17 JUNE 1976 England, Manchester, Free Trade Hall

xx SEP 1976 England, London, Chalk Farm Roundhouse

15 DEC 1976 Netherlands, Amsterdam, RAI Congrescentrum
w/ Caravan, Squeeze

16 DEC 1976 Netherlands, Arnhem, Stokvishal w/ Caravan, Squeeze
17 DEC 1976 Netherlands, Kerkrade, Rodahal w/ Caravan, Squeeze

11 FEB 1977 England, Newcastle, City Hall 22 FEB 1977 England, Portsmouth, The Guild Hall

  1. Walking On Waters
  2. Crazy Charade
  3. Me An’ Me Horse An’ Me Rum
  4. Mama Was Mad
  5. Chili Con Carne
  6. My Friend The Sun
  7. Dice Man
  8. Toenail Draggin’
  9. Run For Cover
  10. Burlesque
  11. Can’t Get In
  12. Downtown Flyers

01 MAR 1977 TV BROADCAST “Old Grey Whistle Test” England, TV Centre, London

  1. Chili Con Carne

03 MAR 1977 BBC SESSION“John Peel Show” England, London

  1. Crazy Charade
  2. Mama Was Mad
  3. Chili Con Carne

05 MAR 1977 England, Birmingham, Odeon Theatre
07 MAR 1977 England, Birmingham, Odeon Theatre

11 APR 1977 BBC SESSION“John Peel Show” England, London, Maida Vale 4Streetwalkers Vicious But Fair tour poster

  1. Chili Con Carne
  2. Mama Was Mad
  3. Inside Of Me
  4. Treasure

[media id=18]
19 APR 1977 TV SESSION “Rockpalast” Germany, Köln, WDR Studio-L

  1. Toenail Draggin’
  2. Mama Was Mad
  3. Chili Con Carne
  4. Me An’ Me Horse An’ Me Rum
  5. Dice Man
  6. Crazy Charade
  7. Run For Cover
  8. Burlesque
  9. Can’t Come In

30 JUL 1977 TV BROADCAST“Star Rider” Yorkshire Television, England

  1. Chili Con Carne
  2. Me An’ Me Horse An’ Me Rum
  3. Dice Man

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