In 1972, the Sensational Alex Harvey Band recorded 'Willie The Pimp' (Frank Zappa). A track from the Zappa / Beefheart collaboration "Bongo Fury". The track was released on:
and on the following re-release:
|alex harvey's big soul band: alex harvey's big soul band (1)
|alex harvey: the blues (2)
|alex harvey: roman wall blues
|alex harvey: the joker is wild (4)
(1972, lp, ger, metronome 15.429) – incl. ‘willie the pimp’ (frank zappa)
|the sensational alex harvey band: framed
|the sensational alex harvey band: next ...
|the sensational alex harvey band: the impossible dream (7)
|the sensational alex harvey band: tomorrow belongs to me (8)
|the sensational alex harvey band: live
|the sensational alex harvey band: the penthouse tapes (10)
|the sensational alex harvey band: sahb stories
|the sensational alex harvey band (without alex): fourplay (12)
|the sensational alex harvey band: rock drill
|alex harvey & the new band: the mafia stole my guitar
|the sensational alex harvey band: bbc radio 1 live in concert
|the sensational alex harvey band: live in glasgow 1993 (16)
|the sensational alex harvey band: live on the test
Marc De Bruyn
"You can call me the Sheik of Tomorrow, sleeping on the burning sand. You can call me the King of the Cowboys, 'cause everybody shakes my hand. You can call me the Softshoe Banana. You can peel away my skin. You can call me the Last of the Teenage Idols..." - "The Last of the Teenage Idols", from the album "Next".
Alex Harvey (vocals, guitar), first had a group called the "Alex Harvey Big Soul Band" (1959-1967), an outfit which played in its own right and backed artists like Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent on UK tours. At the turn of the 1960s the group took up residency at the Top Ten Club in Hamburg, Germany, and later they became popular in British blues clubs for their combination of rock, blues and humor. The Alex Harvey Big Soul Band recorded one album: "Alex Harvey's Big Soul Band" (1964, Polydor 237624) - a live one. In 1967, after endless gigging, the band split-up, and Harvey went "solo", doing mostly work in nightclubs.
A few years later (somewhere around 1971, I guess), he met Zal Cleminson (guitar, vocals), Cris Glen (bass), Hugh McKenna (keyboards) and Ted McKenna (drums), who had an unsuccessful Scottish progressive rock band called "Teargas"; the "Sensational Alex Harvey Band" was born... Fighting early audience hostility, they attracted a firm following with bravado rock, while gradually evolving to the use of rock theatricals, which included Cleminson's clown's facemask and Harvey's increasingly bizarre vaudevillian props. In 1975 they had no less than three different LPs - "Tomorrow Belongs To Me", "Next" and "Live" - charting...
Alex Harvey is no more: while in Zeebrugge, Belgium, he suffered a massive heart attack and died on February 4, 1982, just one day before his 47th birthday... I will always remember him for his eccentric cover of Tom Jones' "Delilah" (they guy deserves more credit than can be stated in these few lines).
"This Is" (release date unknown, Metronome 2001) is a reissue of "Joker Is Wild" (1972, Metronome 15429, Germany), and must probably be the first Sensational Alex Harvey Band album; sometime later they signed to the Vertigo label.
I saw the "Sensationial Alex Harvey band" open for Zappa at the Spectrum in philly 1976. Alex finally walked off stage about 20min into the show. The crowd was yelling and screaming for him to get off. I remember he said "your country is 200 years old and you act like a bunch of babys" right before he walked off. he was right!....haha Its too bad, i though he was doing a good show.