GARY GRAINGER has
never looked back after swapping his sticks for strings as a youngster.
Born in Kilburn,
London, Gary had a brief flirtation with the drums before falling for the
sound of the guitar, and it is a love affair that has endured to this day.
“I tried the drums
but then heard the likes of Buddy Holly and Hank Marvin play guitar,” says
Gary. “There was just something about the sound they made and I knew that I
wanted to learn to play it.”
It was not long
before Gray’s ability as a musician came shining through and after honing
his skills with several groups, his career in the industry really started to
take shape in the 1970’s when he was part of a band called ‘Strider.’
They released a debut
album entitled, ‘Exposed’ and followed that with another called,
‘Misunderstood.’ The group were managed by Billy Gaff, who also looked
after The Faces, a band that included in their line-up drummer Kenney Jones
and singer Rod Stewart. Strider soon became a popular and well-respected
support act for the likes of Alex Harvey and Rory Gallagher.
They also toured with
the Faces and when Stewart left the band to persue a solo career in the States
he asked Gary to go with him as part of his new band.
“I ended up staying
in America for five years and did two world tours with Rod,” recalls Gary.
“I enjoyed playing in the band and I also enjoyed the song-writing I was
able to do while I was with him.”
Gary co-wrote with
Rod on the albums ‘Footloose and Fancy Free,’ ‘Blondes Have More Fun’
and ‘Foolish Behaviour.’ His song-writing talent also produced single
success for Stewart with hits such as, ‘Hot Legs,’ ‘I Was Only Joking’
Gary returned to
Britain in the early 1980’s and continued his song writing as he worked on
several projects with some of the industry’s biggest names including Paul
Young, B.A. Robertson, Jess Roden and Jim Capaldi. He also performed on Who
frontman Roger Daltrey’s solo album, ‘Can’t Wait to See The Movie,’
and appeared in live TV performances with the singer.
In 1991Gary formed a
band with Capaldi and Roden called ‘The Humans’ and produced an album,
which featured some excellent songs and musicians including Capaldi’s fellow
‘Traffic’ band member, Steve Winwood.
During the 90’s
Gary became involved in writing TV and radio theme music, making various
session appearences and writing for a Ringo Starr album.
Gary was asked to
play a charity gig by Kenney Jones in the summer of 2001, where he first met
“Both Robert and I
enjoyed playing the gig with Kenney and after we’d finished he asked me if I
fancied getting together to try and write some material,” says Gary. “A
couple of days later I got a call from Kenney who said he’d enjoyed the
night so much, he thought it might be a good idea for us to start a new band.
think it’s a case of third time lucky because I’d twice almost been in a
band with Kenney. First, when I went to play with Rod and Kenney almost came
with us, and then in the 1980’s we’d talked about possibly starting
something ourselves but it never quite came about.
“I’m pleased that
it’s finally happened and like everyone else in the band, I’m really
enjoying what we’re doing and the kind of music we’re creating.”