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trying not to show it, as Lol drove my MG Midget out of the college car park. I was missing everybody there before we even hit the road. I also remember the hood of the car flying up and smacking into the windshield and nearly killing us, then operating the wipers by hand through a crack in the soft top.”


Things were calmer in the studio, but only just. “Cut to: Eddie Offord behind the control desk at Advision Studios. A small, dark space smelling of last night’s session. A whiff of weed and Afghan coats. Very London. Very hip. There was an old Mellotron in one corner, and Giorgio big and rumbling, coming on like a hip Rasputin, and me singing in a real studio. Intimidating, impossible, the beginning of everything. When he decided to call us Frabjoy & The Runcible Spoon it was almost the end of everything.”


The song they were recording was a gentle little number called ‘To FlyAway’, but Godley continues, “It was quite a challenging session, as it was the first time I’d stepped up to the microphone.Weweremore confident for ‘I’m BesideMyself,’which had brass arranged by TonyMeehan, late of The Shadows. Grahammay have played on these sessions. Not 100% sure and I remember Keith Tippet being vaguely involved. ”


Gomelsky apparently saw the duo as the English Simon & Garfunkel, a notion with which Godley finds himself agreeing. “Yeah, I can see that. The songs we were writing back then were kinda acoustic, rural sounding stuff. When you’re that kind of age, you are consciously copying someone, and we were probably consciously copying Simon & Garfunkel. It was only later in our careers, when we didn’t really have too much time to think, that we started recording stuff that sounded like ourselves.”


As Frabjoy & The Runcible Spoon, the duo began work on an album in September ’69. Basic tracks were recorded at Strawberry Studios, with Eric Stewart on guitar and Gouldman on bass, and things were progressing so wonderfully that by the end of the month, Frabjoy & The Runcible Spoon’s debut single, ‘I’m Beside Myself ’, was on the shelves.


‘To Fly Away’ appeared on Marmalade’s 100% Proof sampler (where it was mistakenly credited to Godley & Gouldman), while the same team also convened for a Graham Gouldman cut on that album, the whimsical ‘The Late Mr Late’, about a gent whose timekeeping was so slipshod that he missed his own funeral. “We were one of many new artists on a very cool label,” Godley recalls. “We were obviously thrilled when both records


to join Kasenatz-Katz. The major purveyors of “bubblegum” music, K-K owned dozens of hit name bands (all made up of session men), and an equally large roster of staff writers who, in true Brill Building tradition, were allocated a desk and expected to simply keep the songs coming.


Manchester, I want to take all the stuff we’re recording here, and do it with my own guys back in England.’ So Strawberry got a tremendous amount of business, and those records, the early ones, were Kevin, Lol and myself, and Eric was engineering them.”


Gouldman explains, “Kasenatz-Katz decided they wanted to get legit, so they wanted someone a little more valid in their factory. Artistically, it was not a good move on my part, but there’s always good that comes out of things like that, and actually they did contribute to 10cc coming together, because I was working in New York, and I said ‘Look, I’mfed up here. I’ve got involved in this studio back in want


own


In fact, the first Kasenatz-Katz sessions took place in London, while Strawberry Studios were being properly equipped; together, the Gouldman-Stewart-Godley- Creme team wrote and played on a host of Super K Productions records, released under varying names around the world.


were released, but learned a valuable lesson when they promptly disappeared. The rest is more haze than history… sorry.”


Marmalade folded only shortly after this pair of releases, and the Frabjoy album was abandoned. Hopes that Marmalade’s parent label, Polydor, might pick up the option were raised briefly, when ‘I’m Beside Myself ’ found its way onto a Polydor compilation, but nothing came of it.


“Giorgio certainly had the right attitude,” says Godley. “I’m not sure anyone really knew what they were doing, but I think his overriding concern was to document the music that was around, and he didn’t really think the rest of it through. Full marks to him for being around, though, because nobody else was doing it. He got a lot of bands recorded that no-one else would touch.”


Bubblegum


Godley and Creme faded from viewfor a time; Gouldman, meanwhile, landed on his feet by taking up an offer to fly to NewYork


Godley: “We briefly and uncomfortably became Crazy Elephant, Ohio Express, Silver Fleet, Fighter Squadron, Festival and fuck knows who else under the production tutelage of the late Richie Cordell, brought in from NY to keep the crazy Brits in check. Crazy Brits? This was a guy who ate pickled onions straight from the jar and nothing else. I think Richie introduced spliff into our lives. Thank you Ritchie.”


The hits kept coming, though. Gouldman’s ‘Have You Ever Been To Georgia’ was a smash for many artist – including Tony Christie, another Kennedy Street act. He was also responsible for two Ohio Express hits, ‘Sausalito’ and ‘Tampa Florida’, while Freddie & The Dreamers sold a million copies of ‘Susan’s Tuba’ in France, with Gouldman writing and singing.


Godley continues, “Graham was still residing in New York at the time, [but] he was out of energy and wanted to come home and work with us. [So] it was me, Lol and Eric, and a blank canvas. Eric had the ears and technical know-how and, whilst waiting for Graham to return, we started playing around.”


Hotlegs


It was now early ’70, and Godley laughingly remembers the trio “strumming, wailing and banging anything in sight” to test the new equipment that


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