venerdì 26 marzo 2010


Just after the 7", CBS released a 10" version of the single, featuring the track "Go Go Honey" as an extra.
This 10" runs at 45 RPM and it looks just like a classic '50s eight-track LP.
Catalogue number is EPC A13 2422.

"HEY MARIE" 7" SINGLE (1982)

The choice for the second single dropped on a Louis Prima's very well known song.
This was cut at CBS in 1982, and featured "Scat The Riff" on the B side.

Again, the artwork concept was by Ricky.
Originally, the sleeve was conceived for "Swinging Aye" to be released as a single, but CBS rejected the idea.
This time, labels on disc are blue.
Catalogue number: EPCA 2422

CBS provided promotional singles to radios for airplay...

...and used up again all custom labels.


HOLLAND saw the release of this single with the same catalogue number as for UK, but with classic Epic labels with a large hole.
The rear sleeve is slightly different from the UK, and carries the writing "Printed in Holland" at the bottom.


Shortly before the first EP was released, Stargazers were recruited to play background music in this album, a comedy called "Tales From The Crypt".
Both sides of this album run at 33 1/3 RPM and are named "acts".
Basically, it's a spoken comedy, except for the music the band played, that underlines the change of 'scene'.
As far as I know, this was released in UK only on the Warner Bros. label.
Maybe some of Stargazers' fans didn't know about this record.
Catalogue number: K 58406. Stereo.

giovedì 25 marzo 2010


I was lucky enough to find a press kit of the first era.
This was given away as a band's biography, and came along with a couple of promotional photos by Peter Ashworth.
This two-sheet bio had some infos on every single player of the band.
Keep in mind that in the same period Stray Cats released their first official record.



- Formed in November 1980
- First gig was played at the Jubilee Hall, Maldon, Essex om 3 January 1981.
- Around 50 gigs to date, most have been rock'n'roll circuit gigs but others include the Venue in London (where the band was discovered) and the Canteen.


- Peter Gerald Davenport from Pinner, North London.
Lead guitarist/steel guitarist/pianist/composer of "Groove Baby Groove" and
"Jump Around".
- 21 years old (date of birth 6 january 1960)
- 6' tall
- Brown eyes
- Ex-civil servant.

He says he's the King of Rock'n'Roll. He used to play in a rockabilly band called The Rhythm Cats.

- Daniel John Francis Brittain from Highgate, North London.
Vocals/rhythm guitar.
Like the rest of the band, Danny writes songs.
- 20 years old (born 17 December 1961)
- 5' 11" tall
- Brown eyes
- Ex-art student.

Danny used to sing with The Barnshakers, a "rockabillyish band".

- John Christopher Gordon Wallace from Highgate, North London.
- 21 years old (date of birth 21 February 1960)
- 5' 10" tall.
- Brown eyes.
- Ex-gardener and golf teacher.

John is the son of famous baritone Ian Wallace and was briefly associated with the North London Invaders who became Madness.

- Anders Janes (half Swedish) from Pinner, Middx.
Double bass/trumpet/piano.
- 21 years old (date of birth 16 January 1960).
- 6' 4" tall.
- Brown eyes.
- Ex-computer programmer.

Anders used to play in the Rhythm Cats with Pete.

- Ricky Lee Brawn from Upper Sundon, near Luton.
- 20 years old (date of birth 1 October 1961)
- 5' 11" tall.
- Blue Eyes.
- Ex-panel beater.

Ricky used to play with Pebbledown and Nat West and a country music band called Middle Of The Road.


- Is simple, jiving, swinging rock'n'roll. The 4's and 8's that get a dance floor jumping and a party moving!


- Black tie, tuxedoes, slim bow ties, patent leather shoes with hair slicked back accordingly. No beards.


- EP (No. EPC A 1924) released 8 January 1982, consisting of two original tracks "Groove Baby Groove" and "Jump Around" and two covers "Red Light Green Light" and an instrumental which the Stargazers re-arranged and called "La Rock'n'Roll".

- Mel Smith of "Not The Nine O'Clock News" fame has written sleeve notes for the EP after working with the Stargazers on "Tales From The Crypt", a radio series written by Rory McGrath and starring Andrew Sachs, Griff Rhys Jones, Mel Smith and Chrissy Roberts. The series was broadcast on London's Capital Radio (featuring incidental music by the Stargazers) during the three weeks before Christmas.



"Groove Baby Groove" was released also as a 12" EP, with the same four tracks as the 7".
In the early '80s this format was very common, and useful for djs in the discoteque (better sound quality, as the groove on the record is larger than on a 7").
The sleeve is different, and shows a black/white picture of the band, taken from the same photo session as the 7" EP shot by Peter Ashworth, one of the top photographers known for many '80s pop/rock sleeves for many artists.
Red labels on disc, and the catalogue number is EPCA121924.

mercoledì 24 marzo 2010


This was the first record released by The Stargazers in January 1982, recorded at CBS in London.
They were signed to CBS then, a so-called "major label".
These kind of record labels usually provide radio stations and newspapers with promotional releases of records by their artists.
Upon promotion, "Groove Baby Groove" charted at n° 56 in UK the same year.

The artwork (sleeve/labels) was conceived by Ricky Lee Brawn, then made it real by a CBS artist. Ricky's concepts were applied also to the 12" version of the single.

The first ever promotional video of The Stargazers was shot for this song.
Filmed at The Royalty Ballroom in Southgate, it was directed by Julien Temple: this was also the director of The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle, the famous punk-movie in which The Sex Pistols appeared.

I found different releases of this EP: although it has the same picture sleeve, something is different in terms of quality of the paper used and labels on the disc.
The sleeve shown above is the UK release: Ricky told me that he pushed the label to realize a lanofoil-type cardboard sleeve, like those usually released in the '50s, and he personally designed the labels for the vinyl record.

All these efforts made The Stargazers' records look brilliantly in style (and put them in a cult status in the following years).

Also, there is an alternative release for UK: after CBS finished the original red "starry" labels, the EP was released as you can see below.
Labels are etched on the disc.


AUSTRALIA saw the release of the EP with a paper, colour printed sleeve.
The labels on the 7" are slightly different to UK, but in the same colour.
Note that the rear sleeve hasn't any catalogue reference on top right corner.
Catalogue number: EX 12017.

In HOLLAND this four tracker has been released with paper sleeve, as Australian one.
But the labels on the record were the classic Epic ones, with the common large hole for 7".
We'll meet these labels again.
Catalogue number is the same as UK.

First of all....

...I have to thank a great man: Ricky Lee Brawn, one of the men behind the birth of this band, The Stargazers.
As I'm trying to write what I have in mind right now, I have to say that Rick has been very helpful, easy and friendly for me in the last 13-14 years: he provided me with many infos about the band in which he was the drummer, wrote me a long letter with every line up the band had, from the heydays to the last one, and replied to every email I sent to him in the last times.

I used these informations he gave me to write an extensive feature (splitted in two issues) about The Stargazers for Jamboree magazine in 1996.
Thank you so much, Rick!

The idea to build a collectors-oriented page came to me simply because I loved Stargazers' music since my first memory of hearing something from them: it happened at a rock'n'roll party held in a place in the very centre of Milano (Italy) in 1988.
The DJ behind the desk was a great one: he was famous for his knowledge in rockabilly and rock'n'roll at that time, and when I heard "Swingin' Aye" I jumped by the deck and asked him to show me the sleeve of the current record, and he gave me this wonderful 12" colour envelope with "Watch This Space" written on.
As it was a bit dark in this place, I didn't read the band's name on the sleeve, so he gave me a light, and I'd read "The Stargazers".
That DJ was Little Victor.

The following year I went to Zurich, in a shop called "Upstairs", and bought this LP plus another one from the same band, called "Hello Everybody Jump Around".
These records had a great influence on me in terms of taste for music.
Today, I play drums with a Trixon kit from the late '50s (sadly, not a red Speedfire from 1957).