Episode Six – in session for West German Radio – 1967 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
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If they don’t seem familiar to you it could be that, despite issuing some nine singles during their tenure (1965-1974), their biggest success was in Beirut, Lebanon.
That said, Episode Six were an English rock band formed in Harrow, London in 1965. They were formed in July 1964 from two local bands, The Lightnings and the Madisons, who had all met at Harrow County School. The original line-up consisted of Roger Glover on bass, Andy Ross on vocals, siblings Sheila Carter-Dimmock on keyboards and vocals and Graham Carter-Dimmock on guitar and vocals, with guitarist Tony Lander and drummer Harvey Shield, who was later replaced by Mick Underwood. The band initially rehearsed at the Carter-Dimmocks’ family house, and initial influences came from The Beach Boys, The Lovin’ Spoonful and The Beatles.
By 1965, the band had signed a management deal with Gloria Bristow, a former employee of Helmut Gordon, original manager of what became The Who. In April of that year, the band were offered a short residency at the Arcadia Club in Frankfurt, Germany, playing from 7 pm to 3 am every night for a month, with only 15 minutes break every hour. Immediately on their return, Ross decided to get married and quit the music business, and consequently Bristow recommended Ian Gillan as a replacement. Shortly afterwards, they signed a deal with the Dick Katz / Harold Davidson Ltd agency, though the band had difficulty finding regular work through this, feeling that the agency’s attention was being diverted towards other bands. By the end of the year, however, they managed to land a deal with Pye Records. They were doing an average of twenty shows a month from July ’65 onwards and cut their first single, The Hollies’ “Put Yourself in My Place” before the end of the year. It was released in early 1966.
By 1968 the band decided they needed to update their musical style from the pop-rock they had been playing into a heavier sound, and made a start on a début album but it was never finished. In June 1969 Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord came to see Episode Six play live in London, and then offered Gillan a job in the newly formed Deep Purple. Glover helped Deep Purple out on a studio session and was also asked to join them. The pair helped Episode Six fulfill existing bookings in the short term, and then quit following their first gig with Deep Purple at the Speakeasy on 10 July.
So aside from Glover and Gillan going off to form Deep Purple, Drummer Mick Underwood left and formed Quatermass and later collaborated with Ian Gillan during his solo period.
But tonight, it’s 1967 and a touch of Sunshine Pop. Perhaps not as memorable as Deep Purple, but a stepping stone nonetheless.