Article – Family

publicity leaflet circa Nov. 1967

On November 1st, after six months preparatory work, FAMILY arrived. The place – Sibylla’s, the audience – 150 of the most critical music men in the business: John and Cynthia Lennon, Graham Nash and Toriy Hicks (Hollies), George and Pattie Harrison, Brian Jones, Hapshash and The Coloured Coat, and The Heavy Metal Kids, and a good handful of top B.B.C. producers not to mention the top DJ’s and special people like Leslie Caron and Viviane Ventura. The party was not a publicity gig, but an experiment to see if FAMILY could turn-on such a varied group of people as they had their manager John Cilbert. The answer was an easy YES. Their lead singer is Roger Chapman who has a unique and immediately identifiable vocal quality; way back in a Leicester Ballroom he won a contest over the then unknown Gerry Dorsey- now Mr. Humperdinck. He also plays the tenor sax and writes along with lead guitarist and sitar player John Whitney. John has one of the few twin necked guitars around. Cream’s Eric Clapton once offered “as much loot as you want and all my guitars” for John’s 18 string dream. Ric Grech once played formal scenes with the Leicester Youth Symphony Orchestra, and is now wired for sound on electrified violin, cello and bass.

The great harmonica sounds, along with tenor and the seldom-used soprano sax, come from Jim King. Rob Townsend, the newest member of FAMILY, pulls the whole session together with his immaculate drumming. The sounds produced from this group are as unique and as individiualistic as the instruments they play. Their zeal and perfectionism shows up on their first release on the Liberty label, “Scene through the Eye of a Lens/Gypsy Woman,” is just a taste of things to come. Liberty Records chief, Robert Reisdorf, expects a great reaction from U.S. record buyers on its next release – Advance orders for FAMILY’s next disc are already pouring in.

The invisible half of FAMILY is film producer John Gilbert . His creative management is as individualistic as FAMILY’s music. To begin with he brought in one of the best producers in the field, Jimmy Miller (Traffic and Spencer Davis) complimenting him with Dave Mason of Traffic, who has potential as a young producer. He hired the services of Paragon as agent, management administration publicity and record promotion. John Gilbert is FAMILY’s recording manager and artistic director. He has already established himself one of Britain’s top film makers and it is now certain that entry into the world of Popular music will open out a venture as exciting and successful as his motion picture career.

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