Larry Wallis

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Larry Wallis
Born (1949-05-19) 19 May 1949 (age 65)
Origin England
Genres Rock, Hard rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock
Occupations Record producer, Guitarist, Songwriter
Instruments Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Years active 1968–present
Labels Stiff Records
Associated acts Shagrat
Pink Fairies
UFO
Motörhead
Website Pinkfairies.co.uk

Larry Wallis (born 19 May 1949) is an English guitarist, songwriter and producer. He is best known as a member of the Pink Fairies and an early member of Motörhead.[1][2]

Early bands[edit]

In 1968, he formed a band called The Entire Sioux Nation with Terry Nolder on vocals, Tim Taylor on bass and Paul Nichols on drums (born in 1949). The band split up in late 1969 at the same time as the Pink Fairies Mark 1 line-up of Steve Peregrin Took, Mick Farren and Twink (with girlfriend Silver Darling) parted company.

Shagrat[edit]

Twink formed Pink Fairies Mark 2 with Farren's former band The Deviants leaving Farren bandless. The original intent was for Farren and Took to form Shagrat with ex-Entire Sioux Nation members Tim Taylor and Larry Wallis. Very soon though, Farren left after having a falling-out with Took. Shagrat thus became Took's band outright. Took, Wallis and Taylor were joined by drummer Phil Lenoir, formerly of Black Cat Bones. This lineup recorded three tracks at Strawberry Studios in Stockport played one gig at the Phun City Festival in July 1970 before Taylor and Lenoir left. Took and Wallis carried on with drummer Dave Bidwell and in early 1971 the trio recorded four acoustic Took songs. All seven tracks were released in the early 1990s on limited edition vinyl and were later compiled together on the CD Lone Star in 2001 by Japanese label Captain Trip Records.[3]

Blodwyn Pig, Took and UFO[edit]

Wallis then joined Blodwyn Pig, which changed its name to Lancaster's Bombers (later shortened to Lancaster) with Jack Lancaster. They were a short-lived band although they toured supporting Yes in 1971.

In February 1972, Wallis joined UFO, but left in October 1972, after a tour by Europe. Wallis did not record with the band, although a bootlegged live recording of a UFO performance featuring Wallis is known to exist.

Sometime during 1972 Wallis recorded sessions with Steve Peregrin Took at Took’s basement flat in Mayfair. These very casual sessions contain appearances by Twink, Mick Wayne, Duncan Sanderson, and almost certainly Syd Barrett.[citation needed] Material from these sessions was released in 1995 as The Missing Link To Tyrannosaurus Rex, a posthumous Took solo album on Cleopatra Records

The Pink Fairies[edit]

In November 1972, Wallis joined the Pink Fairies, substituting for Mick Wayne. The band released an album Kings of Oblivion which contained mostly Wallis-penned tracks.[4] The band played with an extended line-up for a special gig in July 1975. Several years later, in 1982, their only live performance was released as Live at the Roundhouse 1975. In 1991, it was reissued under the name At the Roundhouse/Previously Unreleased, comprising the original live album, plus additional songs by Larry Wallis from 1984, and an EP by Twink from 1977.

Motörhead[edit]

While still a member of the Pink Fairies, in May 1975 Wallis joined a new band called Motörhead with Lemmy and Lucas Fox. In September 1975 Fox left the band and Motörhead recruited a new drummer, Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor. Wallis recorded an album with the band, On Parole. It remained unreleased until 1979 when Motörhead had established some reputation for themselves. In February 1976 Wallis was joined by "Fast" Eddie Clarke on guitar. Later in the same month Wallis left Motörhead.[2] Wallis remained with Pink Fairies, which continued as a trio, until July 1976 when they gained additional guitarist, Martin Stone. In September 1976 the band released a single, "Between The Lines"/"Spoiling For A Fight" on Stiff Records. Four months later in January 1977 the band split up. In the same month Wallis guested at a one-off gig with members of Thin Lizzy and Rat Scabies of The Damned.

Steve Took[edit]

During 1975 and 1976 Wallis did further recording work with Took although none of these sessions have been released to date. Wallis was present, by chance, at Pathway Studios on 29 November 1977 when Steve Took's Horns recorded material which would eventually be released in 2004.

Stiff Records - performer and producer[edit]

Wallis then became an in-house producer at Stiff Records. He released a solo single, "Police Car"/"On Parole" produced by Nick Lowe, and backed by two members of Eddie And The Hot Rods; bassist Paul Gray, and drummer Steve Nicol. As well as appearing on a compilation album A Bunch of Stiff Records, Wallis was part of an ad hoc line-up called The Takeaways which included: Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe and Sean Tyla. Wallis took part in the Live Stiffs Tour in 1977 and appears as 'Larry Wallis' Psychedelic Rowdies' on the album, Live Stiffs Live, that was released later that year.

Wallis also produced albums for a number of Stiff Records artists including The Adverts and Mick Farren's EP Screwed Up (November 1977) and album Vampires Stole My Lunch Money (August 1978). His song, "As Long As The Price is Right", first appeared on Dr. Feelgood's 1977 album, Be Seeing You; and a live version of the track was later issued as a single in April 1979.[5]

Farren/MC5 collaborations and his own bands[edit]

In September 1978, Wallis became a member of another Farren project Mick Farren & The Good Guys; featuring Mick Farren (vocals), Andy Colquhoun (guitar), Willy Stallybrass (harmonica), Gary Tibbs (bass) and Alan (Hawkwind) Powell (drums).

In March 1979 Wallis joined ex-MC5 band member Wayne Kramer, Andy Colquhoun and George Butler for a series of live gigs.

In February 1982 Wallis formed Larry Wallis & The Death Commandos of Love with Johnny Reverb on guitar, Big George Webley on bass and Jim Toomey on drums.

Two years later in 1984 Wallis was once again working with Mick Farren who resurrected the The Deviants name to record a live album Human Garbage featuring Mick Farren on vocals, Wayne Kramer and Wallis on guitar, Duncan Sanderson on bass and vocals, and George Butler on drums.

Pink Fairies resurrection[edit]

In 1987 the Pink Fairies were revived with Wallis on guitar and vocals, Andy Colquhoun on guitar, Duncan Sanderson on bass and vocals, and both Twink and Russell Hunter on drums. This resulted in the album Kill 'Em and Eat 'Em.[6]

Dr. Feelgood links[edit]

Around 1991 Wallis worked with Lee Brilleaux and Phil Mitchell (both from Dr. Feelgood) on the On The Bench recording, with Ian Gibbons. This led to the formation of Wallis' new band, The Redbyrds featuring Wallis (guitar, vocals), Mitchell (bass) and Chris North (drums). The Redbyrds released one 12 inch EP, Truth Justice and a Wholesome Packed Lunch.

Back in business[edit]

2002 saw the release of the first Wallis 'solo' album Death in the Guitarfternoon. A comeback gig for The Fairies was planned for The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm, London on 22 January 2007, however, this was cancelled due to Wallis having a trapped nerve in his back. It has not yet been rescheduled.

Discography[edit]

Albums with the Pink Fairies, The Deviants and Mick Farren
Albums with the 'Live Stiffs' package
As a member of Motörhead
A French Single
  • "Leather Forever" – 1980's
Albums with On The Beach
  • Escape From Oil City – 1991 album shared with Canvey Island All Stars with Lee Brilleaux and Phil Mitchell
12 inch EP as Larry Wallis and the Redbyrds
  • Truth, Justice and a Wholesome Packed Lunch – Shagrat Records, distributed by Pyg Track, 1991
Albums with The Stranglers and Friends
  • Live in Concert – 1995
Solo Albums
  • Death in the Guitarfternoon - 2002
Various Artists
  • A Bunch of Stiff Records - 1977 - one track by The Takeaways - "Food"
  • What's In the Pub in 1996 - 1995 - one track by Wallis, "Touch and Go"

Albums produced by Larry Wallis[edit]

  • Wreckless EricA Louder Silence – 1977
  • Wreckless Eric – Wreckless Eric – 1978 (Wallis also plays guitar)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thompson, Dave. "Larry Wallis - Biography". allmusic.com. Rovi. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Motorhead - Biography". allmusic.com. Rovi. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  3. ^ "Steve Took'S Shagrat With Larry Wallis - (Captain Trip Release Availability & Details)". Stevetook.mercurymoon.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  4. ^ Thompson, Dave. "Kings of Oblivion - Overview". allmusic.com. Rovi. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  5. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 290–291. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  6. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "The Pink Fairies - Biography". allmusic.com. Rovi. Retrieved 26 April 2010.