quarta-feira, 20 de julho de 2011

Johnny Warman - From the Jungle to the New Horizons

Johnny Warman
From the Jungle to the New Horizons
New Wave Pop


From the Jungles to the New Horizons
Spirit in the Sky
Looking Back (to See If Someone's Looking Back at Me)
China's Moving (West)
I Love My Planet
(United) The State of America
Flying out of Windows
Dream, Dream, Dream

     Johnny Warman (born John Robert Waughman 1951 in Bethnal Green, London) is an English singer-songwriter best known for his 1981 album Walking Into Mirrors and the hit single "Screaming Jets".
     In the early 1970s Warman joined the group Bearded Lady (originally named Elmo's Fire) as a vocalist/rhythm guitarist with fellow members Freddy Sheriff on guitar, Chris Peel on bass, Mickey Irvine (Later replaced by Paul 'The Mouse' Martin and then Clive 'Short Bar' Brooks and finally Bryson Graham) on drums and Kim Jury and Theresa O'Neil as backing singers. Warman and Sheriff had been in school and The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme together and were brought together musically by a mutual friend named Yvonne. The group's first gig was at the Morpeth Castle, during which the only member of the audience walked out after the first song. Being managed by John Hunt and Barry Sullivan's Hunsul Enterprises very much a "Pub Rock" group, they performed at many London (as well as many other towns) venues including, The Hope And Anchor, The Brecknock, The Kensington, The Cock At Kilburn And The Lord Nelson, even being a support act for Humphrey Littleton in Fishguard. The group focused their efforts on their live act and had a solid following built up over four years, including Mickie Most who unsuccessfully tried to sign them to RAK Records three times. Chuck Berry also came to see the band. During the period in which Warman was in Bearded Lady he was often to be found frequenting the clubs of London where he was in contact with many other "scene" people including David Bowie, who referred to Warman by name, which was a true accolade for an aspiring rock star.
     The band took out on a tour of West Germany (Zoom in Frankfurt and P.N. Club in Munich) to support a German release of the single on Bellaphon/Youngblood International which was as close as the group would ever get to a world tour. Warman worked a day job to support his wife and young family (Daughters Zowie born 1973 and Tammy) but still insisted the band commit to at least four nights of rehearsals a week. One day whilst Warman was waiting for the band to pick him up in their van the other band members had decided to sell all their equipment and the van and with that the group ceased to exist. The last performance by Bearded Lady was at the Marquee Club supported by The Jam. After the collapse of Bearded Lady, Warman set out with demos in hand to get a solo deal. It was around this time that he started spelling his surname "Warman" rather than "Waughman", as both "Johnny" and "Warman" have six letters.  

     With Warman's success with the Walking Into Mirrors he took to the road including live and television performances in Sweden, West Germany, Belgium, France, Spain (Music Express), Portugal (Fiesta Fiesta), Great Britain, performing second on the bill to Ian Hunter at the New Pop Festival in Rotterdam in 1982. Rocket encouraged Warman to start work on a second Rocket album which he took to at The Manor Studios in Oxford. Warman invited back Jerry Marrota and Tony Levin as well as inviting Chris Payne of Dramatis (who at that time were Gary Numan's backing band) and Andy Clark who had just returned from backing David Bowie on tour. Warman's concept for the From The Jungle To The New Horizons album was the process from Apeman to Spaceman. The album would be a more musically complicated production than the previous Walking Into Mirrors album. Kiki Dee was invited to contribute backing vocals to (United) The State Of America and Looking Back (To See If Someone's Looking Back At Me). Although Kiki was only scheduled to work in the studio for one day she (as all the other musicians) enjoyed herself so much she stayed for three days. "Dream Dream Dream" was the lead and only single from the album being released on Rocket a month before the release on the album. Neither the single nor the album managed to make any impact in the charts and once again with the downsizing of Rocket Records Warman found himself without a record label even with all the successes of 1981/2 under his belt.

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