Beggars Opera (band)

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Beggars Opera
Genres Progressive rock
Years active 1969 (1969)–1976 (1976)
Labels Vertigo Records
Website www.beggarsopera.co.uk
Past members
  • Ricky Gardiner
  • Alan Park
  • Raymond Wilson
  • Martin Griffiths
  • Marshall Erskine
  • Gordon Sellar
  • Pete Scott
  • Linnie Paterson
  • Virginia Scott
  • Mike Travis
  • Clem Cattini

Beggars Opera were a progressive rock band from Glasgow, Scotland, formed in Glasgow in 1969 by guitarist Ricky Gardiner. The line-up consisted of Ricky Gardiner (guitar/vocals) (born Richard Gardner, in 1948, Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland), Alan Park (keyboards) (born 10 May 1951, Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland), Martin Griffiths (vocals), Marshall Erskine (bass/flute) and Raymond Wilson (drums).[1]

History[edit]

In 1970, after signing to Vertigo Records, the band recorded their first album Act One, and a single "Sarabande", which charted record in several European countries.[1] The following year, for their second album, Waters of Change, the band were joined by Virginia Scott [mellotron) and Gordon Sellar (bass) (born 13 June 1947, Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland).[1] The single "Time Machine" from that album was successful in Germany, where the band toured extensively.

Erskine left the band before they recorded their third album, Pathfinder (1972), which included a cover version of Richard Harris' hit "MacArthur Park".[1] Several other personnel changes ensued, with Pete Scott replacing Martin Griffiths in 1972, and Linnie Paterson replacing Pete Scott in 1973. By 1973's final album, Get Your Dog Off Me, Beggars Opera were reduced to a trio of Gardiner, Park and Sellar.[1]

In 1974/76 a new version of Beggars Opera recorded two albums for Jupiter Records in Germany; "Sagittary", featuring Ricky Gardiner (guitar), Pete Scott (vocals), Virginia Scott (Mellotron) (born in 1948, Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland) and Mike Travis (drums), and "Beggars Can't Be Choosers" with Clem Cattini replacing Mike Travis on drums.

Ricky Gardiner went on to play for David Bowie on the Low album, and with Iggy Pop on the Lust for Life album as well as his Idiot tour of 1976. He co-wrote "The Passenger" with Iggy Pop.

Alan Park (organist) worked with Sir Cliff Richard for many years as musical director.

Members[edit]

  • Ricky Gardiner - guitar, vocals (1969-1973, 1974-1976)
  • Alan Park - keyboards (1969-1973)
  • Raymond Wilson - drums (1969-1973)
  • Martin Griffiths - vocals (1969-1972)
  • Marshall Erskine - bass, flute (1969-1971)
  • Gordon Sellar - bass (1971-1973)
  • Pete Scott - vocals (1972-1973, 1974-1976)
  • Linnie Paterson - vocals (1973)
  • Virginia Scott - mellotron (1971-1972, 1974-1976)
  • Mike Travis - drums (1974-1975)
  • Clem Cattini - drums (1975-1976)

Lineups[edit]

1969-1971 1971-1972 1972 1972-1973
  • Marshall Erskine - bass, flute
  • Ricky Gardiner - guitar, vocals
  • Martin Griffiths - vocals
  • Alan Park - keyboards
  • Raymond Wilson - drums
  • Virginia Scott - mellotron
  • Ricky Gardiner - guitar, vocals
  • Martin Griffiths - vocals
  • Alan Park - keyboards
  • Raymond Wilson - drums
  • Gordon Sellar - bass
  • Ricky Gardiner - guitar, vocals
  • Martin Griffiths - vocals
  • Alan Park - keyboards
  • Raymond Wilson - drums
  • Gordon Sellar - bass
  • Ricky Gardiner - guitar, vocals
  • Alan Park - keyboards
  • Raymond Wilson - drums
  • Gordon Sellar - bass
  • Pete Scott - vocals
1973 1973 1973-1974 1975-1976
  • Ricky Gardiner - guitar, vocals
  • Alan Park - keyboards
  • Raymond Wilson - drums
  • Gordon Sellar - bass
  • Linnie Paterson - vocals
  • Ricky Gardiner - guitar, vocals
  • Alan Park - keyboards
  • Gordon Sellar - bass
  • Ricky Gardiner - guitar, vocals
  • Pete Scott - vocals
  • Virginia Scott - Mellotron
  • Mike Travis - drums
  • Ricky Gardiner - guitar, vocals
  • Pete Scott - vocals
  • Virginia Scott - Mellotron
  • Clem Cattini - drums

Discography[edit]

  • 1970 Act One
  • 1971 Waters of Change
  • 1972 Pathfinder
  • 1973 Get Your Dog Off Me!
  • 1974 Sagittary
  • 1975 Beggars Can't Be Choosers
  • 1980 Lifeline
  • 1996 The Final Curtain (compilation)
  • 2007 Close to My Heart
  • 2009 Touching the Edge
  • 2011 Lose a Life (EP)
  • 2011 Promise in Motion
  • 2012 Mrs. Calagari's Lighter

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e Larkin C 'Virgin Encyclopedia of Sixties Music' (Muze UK Ltd, 1997) ISBN 0-7535-0149-X) p45
Bibliography
  • Big Noise: The History of Scottish Rock 'n' Roll as Told by the People Who Made It by Martin Keilty.

External links[edit]