Thursday, August 26, 2010

UK Tour 1976

H&O 1976 UK Tour Book
Thought I might chat a little today about the 1976 UK Tour which included a recorded performance on BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test.  In September of 1975, H&O released the "Silver Album", so dubbed by fans.  The actual title of the record is "Daryl Hall & John Oates"....I am sure that you are all familiar with the over the top glam look that D & J rocked on that cover, right?  Well, Daryl and John had gone overseas to promote the album in October of '75 and again in May of '76 and while they were there "Sara Smile" began getting heavy rotation on R&B stations and eventually took off!

The band that accompanied Daryl and John on that tour was a stellar troupe of musicians that helped to form that classic Hall & Oates sound.  Daryl has mentioned as recently as last year that this line up was one of the best they've ever had.  Their sound was tight and they flowed effortlessly from one song to the next. 

H&O 1976 UK Tour Book - Inner Cover
Daryl and John were backed by Stephen Dees on Bass, Todd Sharp on Lead Guitar, Eddie Zyne on drums, David Kent on Keyboards and Charlie De Chant on Keyboards and Sax.  Interestingly enough this tour would begin Charlie's reign as the band member with H&O for the longest period of time.  He is truly an H&O staple and I for one always look forward to hearing and seeing him at shows.  He adds such a spark to that stage!

I included some pics of a tour book from that 1976 tour.  The cover boasts the "ever popular with fans" winged-star...we'd all like to think that it holds some intrinsic meaning but in actuality it was just a marketing scheme...a logo created by a staffer.  Still the silver pendants the guys, band members and crew wore fetch big dollars among hardcore fans!  Even Marcia Strassman of Welcome Back Kotter fame wore one during a brief relationship with Mr. Hall!

H&O 1976 UK Tour Book
Anyhow, back to the actual show...The first gig the guys played on this tour in the UK was the Old Grey Whistle Test which I mentioned above.  This is an awesome show which includes live versions of Camellia, Lady Rain, Laughing Boy, I'm Just A Kid, Is It A Star, She's Gone & Gino The Manager, no lip syncing here.....and remember Sara Smile wasn't a hit yet!!  In my opinion, Is It A Star takes the cake on this one...killer song with killer vocals!  If you have the opportunity to watch or listen to this show I highly recommend it....actually I recommend any audio or video from this particular won't be disappointed!!

The dates of the UK tour in 1976 are as follows:

5/18 - Old Grey Whistle Test
5/19 - Bristol - Colston Hall
5/20 - Manchester - Free Trade Hall
5/21 - Newcastle City Hall
5/22 - Oxford Polytech
5/23 - Croydon - Fairfield Hall
5/24 - Birmingham Town Hall
5/25 - Brighton Dome
5/26 - London - New Victoria Theatre
5/28 - Leeds