Sunday, September 8, 2013

40 Year Itch: Jugglers Lying All Over the Place

Scottish funk? And...I'm out. That, apparently, was the reaction to the debut album by the Average White Band, Show Your Hand. After opening for Eric Clapton at his comeback concert at the Rainbow Theatre, the band with the self-effacing name recorded their first album. And nobody noticed.

I mean some people probably noticed Hamish Stuart's short-lived Fro. Maybe a few took offense at the album cover. But nobody noticed the very decent if derivative funk within the grooves of the record.

Except one guy. Bruce McCaskell, Clapton's manager. McCaskell took on the band and sent them to LA to record their follow-up, a future Rolling Stone Record Guide 5 Star LP called AWB which would feature the million selling #1 single "Pick Up the Pieces".

That's when the Average White Band's original label re-released the debut as Put It Where You Want It which managed to sneak  into the Top 40 in 1975.

If I'm still writing this blog next year we will visit AWB and the awful LA party in September of 1974 which the band's young drummer died of a heroin overdose. If not, AWB followed up their second album with another Top 10 album  and title cut single , Cut the Cake, before breaking up. Most of the band members became successful sidemen and session players with Stuart joining Paul McCartney for Flowers in the Dirt and subsequent tours. 

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