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Facts

or fiction?

  • British actor and singer JIMMY NAIL covered “My Friend the Sun” at a March 1998 Bristol, UK, concert
  • “Most Chappo-soundalike singers”…
    • Joe Cocker
    • Rod Stewart
    • Randy Newman
    • Jackie Lomax
    • Stevie Nicks
    • Jello Biaffra
  • Two modern-day groups that have been compared (by one reader) to Family: Radiohead and maybe, just maybe, Supergrass
  • Instruments played by Family:
    • double-necked Gibson SG EDS-1275 (Whitney)
    • Eko 12-string acoustic guitar (Whitney)
    • Fender Telecaster (Whitney, Cregan)
    • Fender Stratocaster (Whitney)
    • Dobro (Weider)
    • red/white Rickenbacker 4001 bass (Grech, Weider)
    • orange Fender Precision bass (Weider)
    • double-necked Gibson guitar/bass (Weider, Wetton, Cregan)… possibly a EBSF-1250 which was in production from 1962 to 1968.
    • VCS3 synthesizer (Poli Palmer)… developed by Electronic Music Studios, stands for “Voltage-Controlled Studio, attempt # 3”
    • Ludwig drums and Paiste cymbals (Rob Townsend)
    • Premier drum kit (Rob Townsend)
    • Marshall and Hiwatt amps
  • OTHER bands named “Family”:
    (in other words, if you are here to see them, my apologies)

    • The Family – Ron Smith at Oldiesmusic.com says that this was an oldies group from Chicago whose 1967 single “Face the Autumn”/”Much to Remember”, made #12 on the local charts!
    • Sly and the Family Stone, of course!
    • The Partridge Family… ooooh yeah
    • The Family – a Prince/Paisley Park offspring
    • Rapper Puff Daddy’s latest album with friends called Puff Daddy and The Family
  • According to Tony Ashton, the intro tape for 1973 shows was “Theme From The Big Country”
  • Dennis Mahon notes on the Official Wetton Page that John Wetton might have saved a lyric from “Spanish Tide” for future use. The line “The brightest ring around the moon will darken…” shows up in a slightly different form 10 years later in the Asia chart-hit “Only Time Will Tell”.
  • Another Wetton export: Roger Houdaille points out that in “Between Blue and Me”, the main riff of the double-lead section sounds VERY similar to a section of King Crimson’s “Fallen Angel”!
  • The leader of a British country band,The Hank Wangford Band, is actually a practising gynaecologist named of Sam Hutt. He used to have a column in 60’s hip magazine Oz, advising people about drugs, sex, diseases etc. He is the “Doctor Sam” mentioned in “Coronation”. The ‘”Jenny talking on the phone..” is Jenny Fabian, author of Groupie.
  • Check out some fake bootleg titles.
  • Yet another Cheap Trick connection! In PULSE! Bun E. Carlos listed Anyway as his No. 2 “DID” (Desert Island Disc).
  • Though he was only in the band for 12 months, John Wetton still took Family advice… Wetton and David Cross performed a short lived dual-violin jig thing at Crimson shows, until one of Wetton’s “old Family mates” gave it some criticism.
  • Roger Chapman was involved in Alan Douglas’s re-working of Jimi Hendrix tracks in the mid 70’s, and may be heard on “Stone Free Again” from CRASH LANDING. I haven’t checked my copy yet. Chapman was also planning to contribute vocals to a Noel Redding album at some point.
  • Chapman was offered a solo deal around the time of ANYWAY (1970), but waited until the late 70’s to go on his own.
  • Some classic rock/football matches took place in England way back when. Family vs. Pink Floyd was one such battle of the bands!
  • In his early Leicester days, Roger Chapman supposedly beat Englebert Humperdink in a local talent show!
  • A children’s radio program that aired many years ago in the UK featured “Larry the Lamb” and his bleating speech patterns. When Roger Chapman’s vocal style became well known is his native land, many people (including critics) couldn’t help but draw some connection between Roger and Larry the Lamb. Do we detect a major influence on a tiny singing toddler named Roger???
  • Chapman had LOVE and HATE tatooed on his knuckles in the early Family days, to emphasize their heaviness in a sea of London hippies. He has had these removed.
  • The phrase “Music in a Doll’s House” was considered by the Beatles as a title for what would be the White Album, but Family snagged it for their first LP.
  • Maligned 1969 tour of U.S. with Ten Years After ends when Chapman loses his voice and his visa. An onstage misunderstanding at the Fillmore East ends when Chapman sends a mikestand into Bill Graham. Family never achieves major U.S. success, and doesn’t return to the States for almost three years.
  • At the Festival Hall, London, a show to promote FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT featured circus performers (in the style of the album cover) during the first half of the show. This was interspersed with solo spots by each member, and the whole thing was followed by full Family set.
  • Some Family releases in other countries: “Muer de la Segunda Generacion”, “Extrana Orquestra”, “So Soy un Burro”, “Una Cancion Para Mi”, “Viejas Canciones Nuevas Canciones” and “En Mi Propio Tempo”.
  • Roger Chapman played the Father in the 1971 stage production of TOMMY at the Rainbow in London. I assume his big number was “Christmas”. It can be found as a Bonzo Dog Band bootleg, TAKRL 2956, featuring The London Symphony Orchestra, The English Chamber Choir, David Essex, Marsha Hunt, Elkie Brooke, Roger Chapman, Graham Bell, Roger Daltrey, Bill Oddie, Merry Clayton, Vivian Stanshall, Roy Wood, Jon Pertwee.
  • The final gig of October 13, 1973 was followed by a legendary Holiday Inn party. Everyone and everything was thrown in the pool, including the hotel manager, food, drinks and bubble bath. A Warner label rep sat on the bottom in scuba gear to assist those who couldn’t swim. Later on the hotel staff got their revenge with early morning alarm bells to bring the wet, exhausted partiers out into the cold.
  • In a Trouser Press interview, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen thus spoke:
    Q: “Besides your vocalist Robin Zander, who would you most like to hear sing one of your songs?”
    A: “I’d like to hear Roger Chapman sing ‘I Want You to Want Me’. I saw him in concert once, and he can make even the purest song sound totally dirty.”
  • Click here for the information on the proposed FAMILY/GENTLE GIANT CONNECTION.

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