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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Post 534 - Frieze - 1972 B.C.

Frieze was a curious side-track in the continuing careers of Beeb Birtles and Daryl Cotton, who came to fame as members of Zoot. After Zoot split in 1971 lead guitarist Rick Springfield launched his solo career and headed off the United States. Cotton and Birtles were approached through their management by a Melbourne advertising agency. One of the agency's national accounts was the clothing company, Frieze Brothers' Suits, who wanted to employ a pop group to help promote their products.  Beeb recalls "They wanted Darryl and me to form another group which they wanted to call Deep Frieze. The gimmick was that they wanted every guy in the band to be named after a type of material, meaning cloth material. So obviously Darryl Cotton was fine but they wanted me to call me Terry Lean and I was to have a brother called "Crimp" (as in Terylene and crimplene)."So we're sitting there thinking, hang on, we've already been through "Think Pink - Think ZOOT" and these guys are wanting us to do a similar, if not worse, thing. We promptly told them that to pursue this kind of idea; they would get laughed out of the country. Instead we talked them into doing a duo using just Darryl and myself and calling ourselves Frieze." With financial backing from Frieze, they bought a station wagon, a sound system and a tape recorder, which they used to provide pre-recorded backing for their shows and, of course, they were fitted out with a wardrobe of Frieze suits. They performed mostly in shopping malls, performing songs while male models showed off the latest Frieze suits. They played popular hits of the day including songs by Crosby, Stills & Nash and Young and they also did an Everly Brothers medley. During the latter stages of the group, they drafted in Brisbane band Burke & Wills as their backing group. Frieze lasted almost exactly one year, from June 1971 to June 1972. Their first single, a cover of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil's "Feelings" ’71 (which can be found at post # 39) , came out on Robie Porter's Sparmac label and managed to scrape into the lower reaches of the Melbourne chart. They were then signed up by the newly established Australian division of Warner Brothers Records. Frieze recorded two singles for Warner which was released during 1972; Frieze's first single for Warner had Daryl's "Try Yourself" on the A-side, backed by one of Beeb's , "You and I". The third and last Frieze single featured two songs by Daryl “Why Do Little Kids Have To Die", backed by "Jimmie and Jessie".  The duo also recorded a full album, titled 1972 B.C. (WS 20006) here for you to download, It was produced by Brian Cadd; the LP did not feature Burke & Wills; the album line-up included several of the same musicians who had recently worked with Cadd on Russell Morris' acclaimed “Bloodstone” LP, Cadd on keyboards, with guitarist Phil Manning and bassist Barry "Big Goose" Sullivan, drummer Ray Arnott , session guitarist Charlie Gould and renowned jazz and session flautist/saxophonist Graham Lyell. By mid-1972 Birtles had grown tired of act and he told Cotton and manager Jeff Joseph that he was quitting, so the duo split; in July Cotton left for the USA. Meanwhile, Jean Gair offered Birtles a job answering phones at the AMBO office for $50 a week. It was there that he took the call that changed his life, he answered the phone one day and a voice said, "Yes, I was wondering if you could help me, I'm trying to get in touch with Beeb Birtles?" The voice belonged to musician Graeham Goble, formerly of Adelaide folk-rock group Allison Gros, who wanted Beeb to join his new band Mississippi. Beeb accepted, although Goble wanted him to play guitar rather than bass. The other members of Mississippi reportedly opposed this at first but Goble threatened that he would quit if Birtles wasn't hired. The rest is history. Birtles and Goble formed a successful musical partnership that endured through Mississippi and eventually led to worldwide success with Little River Band. A big thanks once again to Graham who weaved his magic making it possible to post this LP here on the Blog. 

6 comments:

Linda Vandermeer said...

Thanks so much for this post - I've been looking for this one for a long time! You've made my weekend!

StarTrekCafe said...

hi. looking for the single from mark holden from the movie blue fire lady, if you have this or any one has this in good stereo condition, mp3, could i have it. thanks.

Ozzie Music Man said...

Hi StarTrekCafe do you know the name of the single you're after? I have a lot of Mark's single but can't seem to find one from that movie.

AussieRock said...

Thanks for this one Gary
Can't believe I didn't have it already

StarTrekCafe said...

hi. so looking for blue fire lady by mark holden.

bonnie bianco said...

what was the song daryl sang on neighbours . he sang it to madge , played by anne charleston