The Gass

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The Gass
Also known as Gass
Origin UK
Genres Rock, Funk, Soul
Years active 1965–1971
Labels Polydor, CBS, Parlophone
Associated acts Catch My Soul
Past members Bobby Tench
Godfrey McLean
Delisle Harper
Derek Austin
Michael Piggott
Alan Roskans
Frank Clark
Humphrey Okan
Errol McLean

The Gass was a rock band[1] formed in May 1965 by Bobby Tench, Godfrey McLean, and Errol McLean. They were managed by Rik Gunnell[2] and Active Management. The band fused melodies with soul, Latin influences, blues and progressive rock often employing complex rhythms.[3]



The original line up was Bobby Tench on bass guitar (credited as Robert Tech), percussionist Errol McLean, his brother drummer and vocalist Godfrey McLean, saxophonist Humphrey Oka and guitarist Alan Roskans.[2] Tench soon became the band's vocalist and lead guitarist[4] and between 1965 and 1967 they released singles on the Parlophone[5] and CBS labels and as their music progressed the line up changed.[2] They also played at clubs and venues in U.K and at fashionable music venues in London's Soho such as The Ad Lib club,[6] The Flamingo and the Bag O'Nails. Eric Burdon sang with them at The Scotch of St James where they were employed as the house band and Jimi Hendrix jammed with them.[4] During 1968 they were supporting bands such as Led Zeppelin[7] and became the backing band for Catch My Soul-Rock Othello produced by Jack Good.[8] By this time they were known simply as Gass.


By this time the band were known simply as Gass and they released their first album Juju (1970)[9] which featured guitarist Peter Green.[2][10] and in the same year Godfrey McLean appeared on Peter Green's End of the Game (1970). Gass were also featured on the album Catch My Soul (1971),[11] which was recorded with the original cast of the UK stage production of Catch My Soul-Rock Othello.[2]

In 1971 the band recorded the single "Something's Got To Change Your Ways" which was released the Polydor label.[2] Pete Masden mentions in his book, Funk Guitar And Bass, that during this period Godfrey McLean and Tench performed at regular jam sessions with other musicians at Ronnie Scott's club. These sessions led to an embryonic line up for the fusion band Gonzalez.[12]

Post disbanding[edit]

In May 1971 Tench joined The Jeff Beck Group and Gass finally disbanded.[13] Godfrey McLean recorded with Brian Auger and The Oblivion Express.[14] Delisle Harper who was the band's bass player in a later lineup appeared with Tench on Freddie King's Burglar (1974) also Larger than Life (1975).[15] Tench later moved on to become a member of Hummingbird, Humble Pie, Streetwalkers and Van Morrison's band.

Band members[edit]


  • Robert Tench-bass, guitar, organ and vocals[2]
  • Godfrey McLean-drums, congas, vocals and percussion[2]
  • Delisle Harper-bass and percussion
  • Derek Austin-organ, piano, flute and percussion
  • Michael Piggott-violin and guitar


  • Robert Tench-bass, guitar, organ and vocals[2]
  • Godfrey McLean-drums, congas, vocals and percussion[2]
  • Alan Roskans-lead guitar[2]
  • Frank Clark-Organ
  • Humphrey Okan-Saxophone[2]
  • Errol McLean-Congas[2]



  • Catch My Soul Polydor 238 3035 (1971)[2]
  • Juju featuring Peter Green Polydor 2485 003 (1970). Re-released as Gass in the same year with the same personnel, track listing and catalogue number.[2]
  • Supergroups Vol 2 (track 1. "Black Velvet" featuring Peter Green).[2]

Singles as The Gass

  • "One Of These Days"/"I Don't Know Why" Parlophone R 5344(1965)
  • "The New Breed"/"In The City" Parlophone R 5456 (1966)
  • "Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)"/"Jitterbug Sid" CBS 2647(1967)
  • "Something's Got To Change Your Ways"/"Mr. Banana" Polydor 2058 147 (1971)[2]


  1. ^ Larkin, Colin. The Guinness encyclopedia of popular music. Guinness. p. 947. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Joynson, Vernon. The Tapestry of Delights - The Comprehensive Guide to British Music of the Beat, R&B, Psychedelic and Progressive Eras. Borderline. p. 325. 
  3. ^ "New Vitality London Management Team". Billboard Vol. 83, No. 46. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 1971-11-13. p. 52. 
  4. ^ a b Leslie Fran (2009-01-28). Interview with Bobby Tench. Blues In Britain. pp. 18, 19, 20 Vol 1 issue 94. 
  5. ^ "The Gass discography". Retrieved 2015-01-30. 
  6. ^ Cramp Nathaniel. "It Happened Here". Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  7. ^ "The University of Surrey was where Led Zeppelin first played...on 25 October 1968". Retrieved 2014-01-13. 
  8. ^ Vahimagi, Tise. "Jack Good". Retrieved 2009-04-18. 
  9. ^ "Gass album Juju". Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  10. ^ Freedland, Jan & Fitzgerald, John. "Peter Green". Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  11. ^ "Jack Good's Rock Othello-Catch My Soul". Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  12. ^ Masden, Pete. Funk Guitar And Bass. p. 55. 
  13. ^ Hjort, Chris & Hinman, Doug. Jeff's book: A Chronology of Jeff Beck's Career 1965-1980. p. 111. 
  14. ^ "Godfrey McLean". Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  15. ^ "DeLisle Harper". Retrieved 2009-01-22. 


  • Celmins, Martin. Peter Green Founder of Fleetwood Mac, forward by BB King. Sanctuary Publishing, (1998) 2nd edition. ISBN 1-86074-233-5
  • Hjort, Chris and Hinman, Doug. Jeff's book : A Chronology of Jeff Beck's Career 1965-1980 : from the Yardbirds to Jazz-Rock. Rock 'n' Roll Research Press, (2000). ISBN 0-9641005-3-3
  • Joynson, Vernon. The Tapestry of Delights - The Comprehensive Guide to British Music of the Beat, R&B, Psychedelic and Progressive Eras 1963-1976. Borderline (2006). Reprinted (2008). ISBN 1-899855-15-7
  • Larkin, Colin. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Guinness (1992). Item notes: v.2. Digitized (19 Jun 2007). ISBN 978-1-882267-02-6
  • Madsen, Pete. Funk Guitar and Bass: Know the Players, Play the Music. Backbeat (2007). ISBN 978-0-87930-894-0

External links[edit]