David Byron. An excerpt from Bron Artistes Management press release

An excerpt from Bron Artistes Management press release (1972).

David Byron 

“My mother sang in a jazz band — I guess the whole family was a typical East End family that made its own music — frequently. All the relatives played or tap-danced something. When I was five or six, I used to try to get launched into any kind of show thing around — kids TV shows, etc. My parents say I turned down a chance at drama school — I don’t believe it, because I’ve been singing and acting at parties ever since I can remember. When I was sixteen, a local band asked me to join after hearing me at a party. I did one gig, but then tried for Mick Box’s band, called the ‘Stalkers’, when they sacked their singer. I sang ‘Johnny В Goode’ and got the job. Later, Mick and I formed a band called ‘Spice’, which went for two or three years, but starved basically. You see, when we turned pro, we made even less bread! It was there that Gerry Bron came to see us. He suggested we got a keyboard man, which we did, and became a jazzy band — but it didn’t fit right. We auditioned other organists for ages. Someone suggested Ken, but we heard he was a bastard to work with. He came from Cliff Bennett’s band and the first time he played with us, we knew it was right.

“Gerry liked it, we slung out ‘Spice’ and he suggested URIAH HEEP. We didn’t like it at first, but after a few days, it sounded great.

“As singers, I like Jagger, Robert Plant, Rod Stewart, Edgar Winter and I used to dig Jess Rodin* a lot. I’m eighty per cent music and twenty per cent insane. If I couldn’t sing, I’d crawl in a hole and die, but I can and once on a stage, I can do anything I feel will entertain. I always look to see how many cigarettes are being lit during the numbers — that’s a good test”.

* There is obviously a typo in the original press release: the correct spelling is Jess Roden.

Author: Elena Stepanova

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