Grapefruit (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Also known as The Grapefruit
Origin London, England
Genres Psychedelic rock, psychedelic pop, baroque pop
Years active 1967–1969; 1971
Labels Apple, Decca, Dunhill
Associated acts Tony Rivers and the Castaways, AC/DC, The Beatles, The Easybeats

Grapefruit were a London-based British band of the late 1960s. Their brand of music was a typical late 1960s blend of rock, which they often fused with psychedelic effects such as phasers and vocoders, or classical arrangements.[1]


They were formed in 1967 as a result of John Perry's meeting Terry Doran at Apple Publishing and Doran's inputting Scottish born singer and bass guitarist George Alexander (born Alexander Young), a member of the talented Young family that also spawned his brothers George, the rhythm guitarist and founding member of The Easybeats and also Malcolm and Angus Young, both founding members of the Australian hard rock band, AC/DC. Alexander Young had chosen to remain in Britain when the rest of the Youngs emigrated to Australia.[1] Alexander had played with The Bobby Patrick Six, with whom he toured Germany in the mid-1960s.

Together with three former members of Tony Rivers and the Castaways (namely John Perry, Geoff Swettenham and Pete Swettenham), George Alexander formed 'The Grapefruit' (the band discarded the initial 'The' soon afterwards). The band was named by John Lennon after his future wife, Yoko Ono's book Grapefruit.[2] Doran, a friend of Lennon, became their manager, seeing some commercial potential in them. Doran arranged for the band's music publishing rights (as songwriters) to be assigned to the publishing wing of The Beatles' new company Apple and they were the signed to Apple. However the first signed band to Apple Publishing was Liverpool group Focal Point, who were signed by Doran in September 1967. Grapefruit's record career was launched in the spring of 1968, albeit not on the Beatles' own Apple label, which opened for business a few months later.[1] They were signed to a US label Equinox, run by Terry Melcher. This was distributed in the UK by Decca Records. However, The Beatles continued to take some interest in Grapefruit, with John Lennon introducing the band to the media and inviting John Perry to join in on the recording of the hit single "Hey Jude".[3] As well as Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr of the Beatles, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Donovan, and Cilla Black attended the press launch and were photographed with the band. Jimi Hendrix and Sajid Khan were reportedly also in attendance.

Grapefruit's recording career spanned only two years, from late 1967 to the end of 1969. They released two albums (Around Grapefruit (1968) and Deep Water (1969)) and several singles, none of which made a significant impact on the charts. Their best-known track is probably the Melcher produced "Dear Delilah", which was released in early 1968, and peaked at No. 21 in the UK Singles Chart,[4] while their single "Deep Water" did crack the German Top 20, peaking at No. 19. Toward the end of their career, following the new material being written by Alexander (with some inclusions by Wale), Grapefruit shifted from melodic pop to more of a rock-based sound, referred to as soft rock in a full-page Billboard advertisement for their second album, Deep Water.

Grapefruit broke up in late 1969, with Alexander remaining the most visible. Alexander joined forces with his brother, George Young, and his songwriting partner Harry Vanda from The Easybeats and, in 1970, they recorded for the Young Blood label as Paintbox and Tramp. He also participated in sessions for Vanda and Young's Marcus Hook Roll Band.

Lennon and McCartney were co-producers of "Lullabye for a Lazy Day", a song that was initially called "Circus Sgt. Pepper".

Alexander, along with George Young and Harry Vanda, revived the Grapefruit name in 1971 issuing, "Universal Party" / "Sha Sha", but the reunion was short-lived.[1]


  • George Alexander (born Alexander Young, 28 December 1938, Cranhill, East End, Glasgow - 4 August 1997) — bass guitar and vocals
  • Mick Fowler — piano, organ and guitar[5]
  • John Perry (born Charles John Perry, 16 July 1949, London) — vocals and guitar
  • Geoff Swettenham (born 8 March 1948, London) — drums
  • Pete Swettenham (born 24 April 1949, London) — guitar
  • Malcolm Jelley (born 26 March 1951, London) - bass guitar
  • Bob Wale (born 2 October 1948, Birmingham) — vocals, lead guitar and harmonica[5]



  • Around Grapefruit (1968)[6]
  • Deep Water (1969)[7]


  • "Round Going Round" / "This Little Man" (1968)
  • "Dear Delilah" / "Dead Boot" (1968)
  • "Elevator" / "Yes" (1968)
  • "C'Mon Marianne" / "Ain't It Good" (1968)
  • "Someday Soon" / "Theme For Twiggy" (1968)
  • "Deep Water" / "Come Down To The Station" (1969)
  • "Thunder & Lightning" / "Blues In Your Head" (1969)
  • "Lady Godiva (Come Home)" / "Can't Find Me" (1970)
  • "Universal Party" / "Sha Sha" (1971)[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Unterberger, Richie. "Grapefruit - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  2. ^ [1] Archived 12 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Perry was in the background choir, and can be heard very slightly shouting into the microphone at about 2:58 runtime.
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 234. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  5. ^ a b 1993 Repertoire Record release insert
  6. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Around Grapefruit - Grapefruit : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  7. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Deep Water - Grapefruit : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 

External links[edit]