Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

10cc:it's the Best Band in the World; One of the Hit-Making Bands of the 1970s Is Back - or at Least One Original Member Is. David Whetstone Catches Up with 10cc's Graham Gouldman

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

10cc:it's the Best Band in the World; One of the Hit-Making Bands of the 1970s Is Back - or at Least One Original Member Is. David Whetstone Catches Up with 10cc's Graham Gouldman

Article excerpt

Byline: David Whetstone

THERE was a time, just before punk engulfed the nation, when a band called 10cc was riding high.

The hits - Donna, Rubber Bullets, I'm Not In Love - just kept coming, with memorable lyrics but no obvious house style.

Whatever became of 10cc? Graham Gouldman's on the phone and he should know, having been one of the founder members of the band which came out of Manchester and released its first single in 1972, the year Liam Gallagher was born. But first a flashback.

The original 10cc line-up comprised Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley, Lol Creme and Gouldman. Gouldman was a songwriter who had turned out numbers for The Yardbirds (For Your Love reaching the Top 10 when he was just 19), The Hollies and Herman's Hermits. He had also had a spell in New York, writing for Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz, hit-making purveyors of bubblegum pop. One Gouldman song, There Ain't No Umbopo, was released in 1970 by Crazy Elephant. You just don't get band names like that any more, do you?

Gouldman and his mate, Stewart, together set up Strawberry Studios, near Manchester, to cut some more records for Kasenetz-Katz and were joined by the other pair in 1969. Having heard the Umbopo song and liked it, Neil Sedaka headed for Strawberry Studios to record two albums and the four Mancunian lads produced and played on them.

But their big break came when some of their demo tapes were heard by Jonathan King, who signed them to his own UK record label. From 1972-6 came that stream of hits, with I'm Not In Love the most successful of all, eventually earning a music industry citation for notching up more than three million plays on American radio. I had a friend who gave the single to his girlfriend.

Evidently lacking a sense of irony, she promptly dumped him' but most right-thinking people regarded it as a classic smoocher.

The name of the band, always a talking point, was not the work of the band. Gouldman says: "Jonathan King said he had a dream that he was standing outside Hammersmith Odeon and there was a billboard which said: '10cc, the Best Band in the World.' That was good enough for us."

It did cause some confusion. Gouldman is happy to verify a colleague's tale that a flustered North-East club official once introduced them as "Eye-ock". But he says his favourite misunderstanding came in America where a stage doorman called upstairs to say: "I've got the lads from Tennessee here."

So, what became of 10cc? "After Kevin and Lol left in 1976, Eric and I carried on (they had big hits with Dreadlock Holiday and Things We Do For Love). Then, in the late 70s, Eric suffered a very bad car accident. We reconvened when he got better and carried on until 1983, but then we decided to call it a day. I carried on working with Andy Gold. We had a band called Wax in the 1980s when Kevin and Lol were making music videos. …

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