The Legendary Roy Wood and His Rock ‘n’ Roll Band
Roy Wood and His Band – Available for Public and Private Events Playing Roy’s hits & songs written especially for his sparkling new band!
In the ever changing world of popular music, there are certain characters who remain constant. Always present, though in many different guises, is a man whose appearance is as colourful as his music … Roy Wood!
In 1966, Roy Wood along with Carl Wayne, Bev Bevan, Ace Kefford, and Trevor Burton formed The Move, who were to become one of the most legendary, and indeed, notorious bands of the Sixties. After securing a residency at London’s Marquee Club, The Move picked up a record contract with Deram. Their first single, the Roy Wood song, Night of Fear immediately landed the band in the Top 5, which set a precedent for nine further Top 20 hits over the next five years, all written by Roy.
Controversy reigned throughout The Move’s career. Their ferociously wild live set, which included the demolition of various worldly goods, resulted in them being banned from quaking concert halls across the country. Roy Wood’s lyrics revealed an original and often curious view of the world (e.g. second Move single I Can Hear The Grass Grow) that raised many a disapproving eyebrow and the band had the dubious honour of being sued by Prime Minister Harold Wilson concerning the promotional postcard used to advertise Flowers In The Rain, the first ever record to be played on Radio One.
The Move’s No. 3 hit Fire Brigade was followed by chart topping masterpiece, Blackberry Way before personnel changes within the band led to the teaming up of Roy Wood with Jeff Lynne. Whilst The Move continued to record four more hit singles and two albums, The Electric Light Orchestra was born to accommodate Roy’s burning desire to create pop songs with heavily classical overtones.
ELO’s first single, the spine-tingling 10538 Overture, entered the charts as The Move’s final offering, California Man left the Top 10. The latter was one of rock’s finest moments and made a fitting farewell for a truly great band.
After co-writing and co-producing the first ELO album and taking the adventurous unit on the road, Roy Wood decided to look elsewhere for a fresh challenge and a new direction. Experimentation with a stage costume to represent The Move’s hit Brontosaurus eventually evolved into the delightfully fearsome “accident in a paintshop” appearance of Wizzard.
Woody seemed to have heard the band’s sound in his head and interpreted it so boldly and literally with a visual image of wildly multi-coloured hair, bizarre face paint, and a dress sense that made Ziggy Stardust look subtle! The combined sight and sound of Wizzard was stunning; what the eyes could hear, the ears could see! Wizzard roared across the pop scene like Santa Claus on a Harley Davidson, scattering a well established musical sobriety in all directions.
Debuting in the charts at No. 4 with Ball Park Incident, Wizzard followed up with two No.1’s in See My Baby Jive and Angel Fingers and a Christmas classic that still sounds today as fresh as a snowflake!
Meanwhile, Roy was enjoying hits under his own name and gave new meaning to the term “solo album” when he wrote, produced and played everything on the L.P., Boulders. Recorded at Abbey Road, it further intrigued all the pop kids who had bought the Wizzard Brew L.P. expecting a dozen more cuts like the gloriously commercial See My Baby Jive.
By the end of 1975, Roy Wood had almost single-handedly created a total of eleven band and solo hit singles, two Wizzard albums, and added a second solo album, Mustard.
The Eighties began with a flurry of activity and eventually played host to ten solo singles and a superb album, Starting Up which displayed all the originality and diversity for which Woody had become famed.
The early Nineties were spent mainly in his own studio writing and recording. However, live work called again and Roy launched the twelve piece Roy Wood Big Band. This band has now evolved into an exciting new venture, Roy Wood’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Band playing all Roy’s hits & songs written especially for his sparkling new band!
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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