Harvest Biography 1977

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Born 12/6/41 - Manchester, England.

Following eventful childhood and adolescence, travelled around Europe playing Donegan, Leadbelly and McGee and Terry songs in open.

1965 - First performance to a seated audience in various Danish folk club.

1966 - Recorded first album The Sophisticated Beggar on modest revox. Unique guitar style already affirming itself.

1967 - Come Out Fighting Genghis Smith released. One side rest rained and lyrical, but the other harshly declamatory. The first recorded evidence of his subsequent concern with writing lengthy songs of an overtly political nature.

1968 - The first Hyde Park free concerts. Harper rapidly established himself as a favourite with the crowd, a natural communicator at large gatherings.

Folkjokeopus (1969) contains some memorable moments but 1970's Flat Baroque and Berserk was a more considerable step forward both in terms of composition and production. It includes many of Harpers best songs, features the Nice as uncredited accompanists on one track and is concluded by two minutes of the mans surreal laughing.

1971 - Stormcock his first truly satisfactory venture into a recording studio - striking use of multi-tracked voices and guitars.

Harpers association with Jimmy Page, (who has played on all his records from Stormcock onwards) and the remainder of Led Zeppelin, dates back to the Bath Festival of 1970 Hats Off To Harper on the groups third album was dedicated to him and hes toured the States with them at their request.

Gave impressive performance in the film Made with Carol White released 1972.

Following debilitating British tour in March 1972, entered hospital with serious circulation complaint.

Much delayed Lifemask album released January 1973 to great acclaim. Harpers star status now beyond question - Londons Royal Albert Hall packed out for his return concert.

February 14th 1974 appearance of Valentine LP (Soon to be found in the chart) and historical concert at Rainbow Theatre with accompanists Jimmy Page (guitar), Ronnie Lane (bass) and Keith Moon (drums), plus orchestra conducted by David Bedford.

August 31st 1974 - triumphant second round at Hyde Park with Dave Gilmour (guitar), John Paul Jones (bass), Steve Broughton (drums).

Autumn 1974 - Harper now the equal of his many famous admirers.

November 1974 - Flashes from the Archives Of Oblivion, a new live album released, Includes tracks from historic Rainbow concert. Furore over sleeve design. Roy as outrageous as ever.

April 1975 - HQ released. Received wide acclaim from the media . Roys band TRIGGER including Chris Spedding, Bill Bruford and Dave Cochran toured Britain. Album entered top 20 in British charts.

July 5th 1975 - Trigger appeared at Knebworth on the same bill as Pink Floyd.

July 1975 - Trigger disbanded. Negotiations began for release of HQ' in America. Roy writing, but out of the public eye.

February 1976 - HQ released on Chrysalis Records in America. Maximum FM airplay. Roy travelled to U.S. to help promote the album. Extended his stay and reformed Trigger and Andy Roberts replaced Chris Spedding on guitar, and John Halsey replaced Bill Bruford on drums.

April 1976 - six week tour of U.S. planned. On his return Roy is due to record his next album for Harvest.

May 1976 - First tour of U.S.A. Usual controversial scenes.

September 1976 - Roy starts to record Bullinamingvase and begins to form Chips.

February 1977 - Bullinamingvase released. First U.K. tour with Chips - Henry McCullough (guitar), Andy Roberts (guitar), Dave Cochran (bass), John Halsey (drums), Dave Lawson (keyboards).

April 1977 - Roy contracts disease from one of his sheep which, coupled with his unusual blood condition, lays him dangerously low. Chips change their name to Black Sheep to avoid confusion with not so well-known Irish show-band of the same name.

October 1977 - Second Black Sheep tour of U.K., recording completed of Commercial Break.

November 1977 - Commercial Breaks released.

Concert photography by Tony Goodall (tony [at] goodall [dot] u-net [dot] com), used with permission: Thanks Tony! Taken at "The International", Manchester, in summer 1986.