Rough Diamond: info about the band

This text was published on the “Rough Diamond” LP’s inner sleeve.

At the end of June 1976 David Byron ended what had been a six and one half year association with Uriah Heep. While this termination with that band seemed outwardly abrupt, it had been brewing within his own mind for some months.

Several days later Geoff Britton, an old friend who had been a member of Wings, called to ask Byron about his immediate plans. At this point they were somewhat vague, but Geoff convinced the singer that forming a new band was the right thing to do.

The decision made, David called upon Stephen Barnett, an old friend, to guide them through the transition and become the band’s manager.

Geoff and Dave had long admired Clem Clempson’s guitar prowess as exhibited in Colosseum and Humble Pie, and decided to approach him. Clem, in the meantime, had just finished an American tour with the Steve Marriott All-Stars together with Damon Butcher, an extremely adept and unheralded keyboard player. The two of them were apparently going to form a band in Los Angeles, but decided to return to London in search of a vocalist.

When they got back, the four of them got together and after several Vodkas and an hour of blowing, decided that what they had was a very interesting cross current of musical concepts and individual ideas of portraying them, which were diverse and yet highly compatible and frequently entertaining. The identity was already beginning to come through.

Their search for the fifth member was the longest and most frustrating; they tried out virtually every bass guitarist you might have heard of and several you haven’t. But it was Willie Bath, a freind of Geoff’s and a highly experienced and respected musician who fitted in immediately.

Rough Diamond has enjoyed every minute of making this music and hope you do too.

Author: Elena Stepanova

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