all photos © Bill Third
Colin Cooper on lead vocals & sax, Pete Haycock on Fender Telecaster, and Derek Holt, who co-wrote the book, John Cuffley drummer, obscured by cymbal. Windswept Bill Third shows the front cover. Publisher Robert Forsyth, right, shows double page spread of my pictures of Climax Blues Band in ‘Shining On 1977-1982’ the second volume of his illustrated history of the band.
Bill Third… One thing leads to another … In 2016 Alan Esdaile kindly invited me to choose my top 12 tunes from the 60’s and 70’s for his Johnny Mason show on HCR Hastings Conquest Hospital and local radio station. To give him some background info, I sent copies of articles I’d written for trade publications like ‘‘Studio Sound’, including the first story to be filed on George Martin’s Air Studios in Montserrat in 1979. This included photos of Climax Blues Band, the first artists to record there, who were also the first to record at Air Studios in Oxford Street. Co-incidence? Serendipity? So many things happen by chance.
Alan Esdaile remembered these photos when he was contacted in 2020 by Robert Forsyth, a publisher who loves the Blues in general and is a devotee of Climax Blues Band in particular. He was preparing the first volume of an illustrated history of the band and was already looking for photographs of them performing for the second volume ‘Shining On’ covering the period 1977-1982. Being the obliging fellow he is, Alan kindly put me in touch with Robert and we met up in Hastings in November 2020. We got on well and I was happy for him to use my pictures for this publication, as was Richard the friend in Montserrat, who had also taken pictures at the studio and of the band.
In November this year I heard from Robert Forsyth that ‘Shining On’ was ready and we met on Monday 19th Dec. at Warrior Square station for him to hand over my copy in the shelter of the Rye Bakery. I was very pleased with the results, particularly the three-page display he’d made of my photos of Climax’s charity gig in the Paragon Club in the capital Plymouth, to help raise money for a local girl who needed an operation.
Robert, who has links to Hastings via ‘Hastings Rock’’, where he has DJd, is a thoughtful man and on page IX of the book he devotes a section to my song ‘Dancing Blind’, the background and the fund-raising effort for the RNIB, via billthird.bandcamp.com as well as pledging a small percentage from the sale of each copy of the book equally to Dancing Blind and Music Against Cancer.
I was pleased to be able to help Robert out, and to recall the wonderful time and interesting people my wife and I had met on Montserrat. My story for ‘Studio Sound’ proved to be the first of many for their ‘Studio Diary’ pages.