Gary Derrick talks about the birth of Odin of London

It all started in 1971, whilst watching the Royal Variety Performance on TV. I saw Donny Osmond performing, I thought I could do that. I bought a guitar, and tuition book from a friends mums catalogue, at the cost £20, paying weekly for it.

Soon I found other people to play with, playing The Beatles and Shadows songs. As time went by, we found that we had 3 guitar players and a drummer, but no bass guitar. As I was the only one who at the time had any money, I bought a bass guitar.

We then had a band. It was called Tarot. On a band outing to the Reading Festival 1978, feeling we should have been playing there by now. It was time to quit. As Tarot fell apart. I set about a new project.

A chance meeting with an old school friend Steve Connolly (the drummer from the school band) Steve knew a guitarist, who in turn knew a singer and keyboard player. We gigged for a while doing covers and a few original songs.  Derek the keyboard player liked writing tunes and I liked writing lyrics, so we set about writing a set. As time went on all the songs were originals. 

The guitarist decided to leave, (His wife did not like the idea of groupies, chance would be a fine thing.) So we had to find a replacement. Colin Tench turned up with a twin neck guitar, and John just played and impressed. We decided to keep both. Odin became a 6 piece. This gave us the chance to do more harmony guitar parts. John had been quite successful in other bands. Playing with the likes of Geno Washington, Black Widow, And some others that I can’t bring to mind. So he was great to play with, having been a pro musician. 

 The singer and drummer then became unreliable, so, had to be replaced. Cliff came to audition with some other drummers. Cliff turned up early, (he does not like being late) He started to set his kit up in the corridor, while we tried out another guy. We went out to get him, and he had put his kit away again. He said “ That guy must have got the job” We convinced him to audition anyway, we are glad we did. 

Lastly, Luke, we found from an advert in Melody Maker. His voice sounded like he had given everything all night, but it was like that all the time. The latest incarnation of Odin was complete.

We continued to play the London pub circuit and a couple of colleges. We recorded as often as time and money would allow. The songs that we played ended up on the albumThe London Tapes” 

Although Derek and myself wrote most of the tunes, we always used kick a song around until it worked. We found that if everyone had input, we got the best that we could from a song. The rest, as they say, is history……

1. Alcatraz 06:34
2. Raven 02:56
3. Eagles 04:53
4. Change 02:40
5. Dead of Night 04:51
6. Catherine 07:28
7. Alcatraz (feat. Tony Butler) 06:42
8. Gentle Friend (feat. John Culley) 03:40

The poster was hand-drawn by Anne Tench.

Odin of Lonon
Derek Sanderson  Keyboards and tunes.
Cliff Deighton, Drums 
John Culley, Guitar 
Colin Tench, Guitar 
Carl (Luke) Lucas. Vocals
Gary Derrick Bass Guitar and lyrics.

The London Tapes” is available worldwide through all quality digital retailers.