Starry Eyed and Laughing

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Starry Eyed and Laughing
Origin London
Genres Rock
folk rock, pub rock
country rock
Years active 1973–1976
Labels CBS
Aurora Records
Road Goes On Forever Records
Associated acts Starry Eyed
Past members Tony Poole
Ross McGeeney
Steve Hall
Nick Brown
Iain Whitmore
Mick Wackford
Roger Kelly

Starry Eyed and Laughing were a British Rock band of the 1970s. Formed in 1973, they released two albums on CBS, recorded three Peel Sessions and undertook a US tour, before briefly evolving into Starry Eyed, and finally disbanding in 1976.


Tony Poole and Ross McGeeney were friends from the age of six, and formed a band whilst they were still at school in Bedford. "The Chymes", comprised McGeeney and Pete Warren on guitars, Poole on Bass and Mick Roope on drums.[1] On leaving school they separated, but reunited in London, and formed an acoustic duo, playing original numbers between covers of songs by Bob Dylan, The Beatles and The Byrds

They became an electric duo in May 1973, and adopted the name Starry Eyed and Laughing, from a line in Dylan's song "Chimes of Freedom", which they regularly performed.[2] They recorded some songs at a studio owned by Steve Hall, who joined on bass, and then recruited drummer Nick Brown. They became early performers on the London pub rock circuit, before Hall left and Iain Whitmore, who'd been in Patches with Leo Sayer, took over on bass. They appeared at ZigZag Magazine's fifth anniversary concert at The Roundhouse on 28 April 1974, which was recorded, but not released until 2010. Brown left and was replaced by Michael Wackford just prior to their being signed in May 1974 by CBS Records, who released a single "Money is no Friend of Mine" followed by their first album Starry Eyed and Laughing, mostly written by Poole and McGeeney and noted for its Byrds like sound[3] - Poole playing a Rickenbacker 12string, and McGeeney a Fender Telecaster in a style similar to that of Clarence White. The album, released in October 1974, also featured B. J. Cole, Peter Wood, Ray Jackson, Russ Ballard and Jeff Bannister, who'd been in The Alan Bown Set.[4] They recorded three Peel Sessions; in July 1974, February 1975 and July 1975[5]

Their second single "Nobody Home", was followed by their second album Thought Talk, in a heavier style and featuring guest appearances from Frank Ricotti, Pete Zorn and Jeff Bannister.[6] A single "Good Love" was released from this album and they toured as support to Kevin Coyne and headlined numerous gigs in London. ZigZag magazine founder Pete Frame became their manager, and the band were supposed to undertake a 110 date US tour, organised by Columbia Records to promote their new acts, but this instead became a 37-date ten-week US tour,[7] supporting a diverse range of bands including Weather Report, J Geils, Toots and the Maytals and Flo and Eddie.[1] Soon after their return to the UK, their management went bust and McGeeney parted company with the band, to be replaced by Roger Kelly for a UK tour, before appearing on German TVs Rockpalast for which McGeeney rejoined,[1] forming a three-guitar quintet, which continued until their final gig in April 1976.

Poole and McGeeney, together with Wackford, released two singles on CBS Records as Starry Eyed, produced by Flo & Eddie, "Song on the Radio" and "Saturday". before finally disbanding in 1976.

Later Careers[edit]


  • Starry Eyed and Laughing (1974) CBS (CBS 80450)
  • Thought Talk (1975) CBS (CBS 80907)


  1. ^ a b c "Band History". Starry Eyed and Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Review of All Their Best ...". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "SE&L Press". Starry Eyed and Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "Credits for Starry Eyed and Laughing)". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  5. ^ "Peel Session for Starry Eyed and Laughing". BBC. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "Credits for Thought Talk". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "SE&L History USA". Starry Eyed and Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "Ross McGeeney's album credits". Allmusic. Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  9. ^ "Michael Wackford article". Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  10. ^ "Tracklisting of That Was Now and This Is Then". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 November 2010.