The Story of Clouds
by James P. Alexander
1967. A band called The Premiers has arrived in London, hoping for fame and fortune. They meet an older man, Paul, who decides to help them find their way in the music business. They have an encounter with a famous bandleader, Cyril Stapleton, who records them, but nothing comes of it, and the band decide they need to improve their sound by finding a keyboard player.
After several amusing but exasperating adventures auditioning keyboardists, they walk into a pub and accidentally find Billy, a defining moment. Billy is unpredictable, enigmatic, slightly out of control, and changes the dynamic of the band, quickly causing the more stable and conventional members to leave. Only three of the musicians are left – Billy, Ian, and Harry. They decide to go it alone as a guitarless trio, very unusual in Rock circles at that time. Billy’s best friend at this time is an as-yet unknown young man called David Bowie.
The band slowly rises in prominence, playing the Marquee club, and are signed by The Beatles manager, Brian Epstein, but Epstein dies, and the connection fizzles out, as their new manager, Robert Stigwood, is enamoured by his latest band, The Bee-Gees.
The band are cast out in the wilderness, but a young man called Terry Ellis signs them up, and they go on a long and upward journey with his new company called Chrysalis.
Life on the road is full of adventure and chaos, a roller-coaster ride that includes sexual as well as musical escapades in the UK, as well as a chaotic tour in Ireland, tours in Europe and most climactic of all, in the USA where the band perhaps reaches the climax of its career.
From there on, it’s a downward spiral, just as it seemed on the verge of stardom, the whole thing disintegrates, Billy’s personal life becomes a disaster, the band loses its way, the end comes in a dramatic night when Billy kicks his equipment off the stage and walks away, never to be seen again. Years later, at the height of his fame, David Bowie describes Billy as ‘a genius’.
This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 09 February, 2016.