Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Well we now know one or two people are reading this blog so here's a list of tasks for the coming year

I'm going to get answers to some of my questions and also to some of yours, if you let this site know what they are.

First of all I have an invitation to put some questions to the great John Pac. I'll be in touch with John in due course but probably after some more research.

I've uncovered a stack of old Buzz magazines. This was the British gospel rock magazine and over the years its articles and interviews chronicle the rise and fall of a truly great band. I'll be posting some of those in the near future.

I also want to find out about the environment the band operated in and what their legacy is. In particular I want to find out more about the Grapevine label which emerged from a relatively stodgy British gospel publisher, Pilgrim, and seems to have been given its head to record music from a large number of innovative and not particularly mainstream musicians, such as Reynard.

Ultimately it released Parchment's last album Rehearsal for a Reunion but before that it was using band members in its production studios and seems to have given John Pac his entry into the music publishing business.

Much of this music is now causing excitement and involves bands few people knew about at the time. They cannot be found in the pages of Buzz, for instance. I'm looking forward to hearing samples of the music of the Dutch band Whitsuntide Easter for instance but, regrettably, it is unlikely to be through buying copies of their album which retails for several hundred pounds.

For 2007, both questions and answers are welcome!


Roel Velema said...

Please contact me. I have some comment and three pictures to upload to you of a concert of Parchment in 1973 in The Netherlands, in Sneek, Friesland.


Peter yates-Round said...

I will give you as much info as I can.


Dave said...

My name is Dave Kelly. I'm a Scottish singer/guitarist that has lived in the U.S. since the late 70s. I was privileged to have been signed to Pilgrim America (a Pilgrim label distributed through the major U.S. Christian label "Benson Records")but listed on your archive as the very last(#142) Grapevine Label release.

John Pac signed me to the label in 1980, after a referral from Malcolm Wild.
I had previously had a rather varied career, firstly being signed to the Beatle's owned Apple Records by Peter Asher in 1969, right in the middle of the Beatles breaking up and Peter Asher leaving for the US with James Taylor.
Then I got signed to Warner Brothers UK for a couple of years, thanks to a referral from Jackson Brown's guitarist David Lindley, and I began touring as the opening act for such 70s bands as Pink Floyd, Genesis, ELO, Mott the Hoople, Fairport Convention, Terry Reid, Deep Purple and the Strawbs.

I was managed initially by Jeff Dexter, the famous DJ at places like the Roundhouse and Middle Earth, who later managed the group "America". Then Mike Dolen, who also managed the Strawbs and Roxy Music. I moved to America in 1976 and was fortunate to be introduced to Stevie Wonder and began working for him during the album "Songs in the Key of Life"

I then recorded an album for US Christian label Sparrow Records under the group name of Ark. The album was called "Ark the Angels Come"-taken from a humorous line John Lennon had spoken right before the intro to Let It Be - "And now we'd like to sing Ark the Angels Come". The Ark album received an album-of-the-year award from Campus Crusade magazine in the U.S. which was amazing for the times considering it was so secular sounding.
I was then introduced to Bob Dylan, who asked me to be his right hand guy during his "Slow Train Coming" period around 1979.

John Pac met me in 1980 during a break in Dylan's touring and was absolutely fantastic as a label boss, he even allowed me to produce the album myself in studios in both the UK (The Manor) and the US and booked me ELO's string arranger as well as an awesome flute and fiddle player from Ireland.
John even let me put a solo bagpiper on the last track- Ballad of J.C.

Bob Dylan was equally generous and supplied me with his entire band from that period including Jim Keltner on drums and Tim Drummond on bass.

Unfortunately, right after the release of the album on Christmas morning, my pregnant wife died of spinal meningitis and my son who had been born prematurely died a week later on New Year's eve.

Suddenly finding myself a widower with two young children to raise, I had to cancel the tour to promote the album and in fact, haven't performed live since.
I can only say that John Pac was the most gracious and wonderful person to work with that any artist could hope to have as their A & R man, and I only regret never being able to continue the relationship and return the favor he did me in some way. I did try briefly to return to recording and performing but it was just too impossible to maintain.

If you would like a Jpeg of the album cover and a tracklisting for your Grapevine archive list please email me and I'll be happy to forward them to you.

pf said...

Dave, Thanks for getting in touch and sharing so much of your story. Would really appreciate the jpeg and the tracklisting. Information about Grapevine's last releases in 1980 seems the hardest to come by! You haven't supplied an email so I hope you pick this up. God Bless.

Dave said...

My email address is