Robin George © FK

Robin George

Robin George has worked with many more artists and projects than most realise, and during the ‘80s he built up a name for himself as a guitar player, musician, producer, songwriter and solo artist.

Born and raised in Wolverhampton, England, Robin began playing guitar at an early age. A plastic Beatles’ guitar Christmas present from his mom and dad set him on his way when he was eight years old, then his mum, recognising his talent, bought him an acoustic guitar which he later swapped for his first electric guitar, a Watkin’s Rapier 33. He took his guitar to junior school, family parties and at 14 he was asked to join his first band. Robin was expelled from Wolverhampton Boy’s Grammar School, where he was, allegedly, the first person to be expelled for 100 years. When he started his next school it was like a new lease of life; released from the power of the cane he was encouraged to embrace the power of music and became the guitar player in assemblies and school dances. He soon rebelled and was expelled again, however!

Robin began College but was invited to tour abroad, so he ditched education without a second thought and became a journey man. His dad, an engineer, told him to get a job and if he lasted a year he would have his full support. He did it by working all day then driving to London at night to play and sing sessions in the legendary Denmark Street Studios. So, for his 21st birthday, his mom and dad bought him his beloved Gibson Les Paul Custom…he had proved himself.

After a tour of Denmark, Germany and Belgium, including US Army bases, Robin recorded his first single Too Late, featuring Dave Holland (Judas Priest), Pino Palladino (The Who) and Mo Birch (Culture Club, UB40) for the History album. Robin taught himself to engineer at this time; an influential moment in his career. The History album cover photo was taken by the great Finn Costello and featured as Kerrang’s front cover, issue 52. Finn also took the iconic cover photo for the Dangerous Music album with art and design by the renowned Andie Airfix, who also recently created the artwork for the LovePower and Peace sharing album.

Robin was working with Daniel Boone (Beautiful Sunday) who introduced Robin to the former Uriah Heep vocalist, David Byron, suggesting Robin mix Byron’s forthcoming single Every Inch of the Way. This he duly did, and they almost immediately formed The David Byron Band with Robin producing and playing guitar on the subsequent album ‘On the Rocks’. The pair worked well together, both playing and writing, and this work would sadly be David’s last recorded material.

1981 and 1982 saw Robin continue to work with Daniel Boone. He also toured and recorded with Roy Wood (The Move/ Wizard /ELO), doing both live gigs and TV shows (bootlegs exist of this live work). He also produced and sang backing vocals with Pat Hannon on Raymond Froggat’s Now and Then album. Robin engineered and recorded with Slade’s Noddy Holder as well as producing Diamond Head; the start of a long time association with the band. Pete Haycock invited Robin to join The Climax Blues Band, which he did for a short time, playing on their Sample and Hold album. He bought his BC Rich Bich 10 string from Pete, who had bought it from Slade, and this iconic guitar launched logos, album artwork, the Kerrang front cover and more. Robin still has the Bich in his guitar collection.

1983 proved just as busy, with Robin producing Witchfinder General’s Friends of Hell LP and Quartz too, before releasing the History 12″ and his Go Down Fighting single on Arista. Ted Nugent would cover this song the following year.

Robin engineered a couple of singles for Tony Clarkin of Magnum which led to him joining Magnum for their highly successful 11th Hour tour of the UK.

1984 also saw Robin produce the Debut LP for Wrathchild’s Stakk Attack and also the beginning of the Dangerous Music project leading to a deal with Bronze Records who released his acclaimed debut solo album Dangerous Music in 1985 which launched the era of techno rock. This iconic album featured, amongst others, Dave Holland (Judas Priest), Mark Stanway (Magnum) and Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott; strengthening the bond between Robin and Phil who played bass on Showdown. Robin’s groundbreaking single, Heartline, charted worldwide.

Robin’s touring band in 1985 was called Dangerous Music and featured ex Magnum drummer Kex Gorin, ex Wildlife bassist, Phil Soussan (later with Ozzy Osbourn), and keyboard player Alan Nelson. The band’s first live gig was Radio One’s In Concert recorded at the BBC’s famous Paris Studios, opening for Phil Lynott’s Grand Slam.

During the Dangerous Music tour Robin guested live with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, Simon Kerr (Free, Bad Company), Brian May (Queen) and The Who’s John Entwistle.

There were live sessions on the Tommy Vance Rock Show on Radio One; both Tommy and Alan Fluff Freeman made Heartline their record of the year, and many live TV appearances throughout Europe. Later they were joined by second guitarist Huw Lucas (ex Korea and Trouble) for a UK and European tour supporting Uli Jon Roth and REO Speedwagon with the last date being played at the legendary Hammersmith Odeon London.

Robin then worked with Stuart Copeland (The Police) which led to Stuart suggesting that he, Robin and Derek Holt (The Climax Blues Band) formed a band. Robin began writing with Derek Holt although this project never came to fruition.

1985 also saw Robin record Nineteen at London’s famous Roundhouse Studios with Phil Lynott and Paul Hardcastle. Phil asked Robin and Brian Downey to reform Thin Lizzy. The reformed Thin Lizzy was showcased live on major TV show The Tube, in what became Phil’s last appearance before his untimely passing.

Robin then formed Notorious with former Diamond Head singer, Sean Harris. The track The SWALK was Simon Bates’ record of the week for 2 consecutive weeks on Radio One. However, the ill-fated album was deleted shortly after release in America due to record company changes. However, the far superior original recordings are now released on Angel Air. Around the same time Robin was headhunted by Duran Duran, who were at the time at their peak, an offer he declined due to other commitments.

Production and writing work with Glenn Hughes (Black Sabbath/ Deep Purple) followed, initially at Robin’s studio then at Ridge Farm where Robin was lucky enough to duet on guitar with Mel Galley (Trapeze, Whitesnake) but the album never saw the light of day apart from the track Haunted, which featured in the film Highlander 2.

Robin then produced and co-wrote an album with Birmingham Metal band, Marshall Law. The Power Game album is now available on Angel Air. Robin then played several club dates with Asia; vocalist/bassist John Wetton, Carl Palmer, Phil Manzanera and Don Airey. Asia asked Robin to join the band but, again, other commitments prevented him from doing so. He was soon back touring, as Robin George’s World. He also began working with Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant; both recording and song writing. Robin’s song Red for Danger appears on Robert Plant’s Sixty-six to Timbuktu album.

At the same time Robin was writing with Uriah Heep’s Pete Goalby; their co-written song, Mona Lisa Smile has just been recorded by Estrella, as well as writing with John Wetton (Asia, King Crimson) and Pete Wingfield (Eighteen with a Bullet).

Robin produced and played guitar on We’ve Got a Fuzzbox and We’re Gonna Use it’s last single, Your Loss, My Gain. He subsequently produced You, an album for Vix Fuzzbox which was released on Angel Air in 2011.

Robin then formed Life with Diamond Head singer, Nick Tart and toured heavily around the UK, recording the Cocoon album over the course of a year in Robin’s Dangerous Music Studio in Shropshire. The band gained enough of a reputation to be offered several deals which sadly never came to pass, and they also recorded a number of sessions for BBC Radio One and live performances for TV shows. The re-mastered album Cocoon which also showcases previously unheard tracks was released by Angel Air in April 2010.

During their career the band also featured Marshall Law drummer Lee Morris (Paradise Lost), bass player Charley Charlesworth , Hammond organist Fred Skidmore from Dexy’s Midnight Runners and ex Hooters keyboard player Bill Rudolph.

Robin George’s production work continued, and he continued recording other solo albums: Rock of Ageists, Crying Diamonds and Bluesongs.

George also teamed up with UFO bassist Pete Way. They struck up a friendship while co-producing then touring the Waysted album, Back from the Dead. They subsequently decided to form Damage Control. Joining them in the project were drummer Chris Slade (AC/DC, The Firm) and Spike (The Quireboys). They released two CD’s, Damage Control and Raw. Both received many rave reviews. Raw has also been re-released by Angel Air Records.

Robin’s recent projects include producing the sharing project, LovePower and Peace, which features over sixty artists from the worlds of Rock, Blues, Soul and Pop who all donated their time and talents. 100% of all profits go directly to three worthwhile charities. A single, LovePower and Peace, was also released in aid of MacMillan’s Cancer Care. The project features, amongst others, members of Alice Cooper, AC/DC, UFO, Asia, Diamond Head, Motorhead, Uriah Heep, Duran Duran, Mott the Hoople, Marshall Law, the Climax Blues Band as well as solo artists Ruby Turner, Arthur Brown, Jaki Graham, Charlie George, Freya Copeland and Vix Fuzzbox.

Mark Sheppard (The Offering) is now in the process of remixing tracks from the Robin George and Vix album You, featuring Joy Shannon (The Beauty Marks) as well as Pete Haycock (The Climax Blues Band) and Mel Collins (King Crimson). Robin also played guitar for The Medieval Babes and JoanOvArc; the first British all girl X-Box band.

Robin has now teamed up with Pete Haycock and the core members of the LovePower and Peace sharing album to reform a true supergroup. The band also features Mel Collins (The Rolling Stones/ Eric Clapton), Charlie Morgan (Elton John/ Kate Bush), Jacquie Williams (Sister Sledge/ M People) and Charlie Charlesworth (Dangerous Music). They are currently completing their superb new album, Broke Heart Blues which is being mixed by award winning sound engineer, Klaus Bohlmann. The name of the band is Pete Haycock’s Climax Blues Band featuring Robin George.

 

www.robingeorge.co.uk

 

© the Offering / Fierce Kitten Records 2014