Stone the Crows

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Stone The Crows
Stone the Crows (Kralingen, 1970)
Stone the Crows (Kralingen, 1970)
Background information
OriginGlasgow, Scotland
Years active1969–1973
Past membersLeslie Harvey
Maggie Bell
Colin Allen
John McGinnis
Jim Dewar
Steve Thompson
Ronnie Leahy
Jimmy McCulloch

Stone the Crows was a blues-rock band formed in Glasgow in late 1969. They are primarily remembered for the onstage electrocution of guitarist and founding member Les Harvey.


The band were formed after Maggie Bell was introduced to Les Harvey by his elder brother Alex Harvey.[1] After playing together in the Kinning Park Ramblers, their next band Power was renamed Stone the Crows (after a British/Australian English exclamation of surprise or shock) by Led Zeppelin's manager, Peter Grant.[2] The band was co-managed by Grant and Mark London. London was associated with Lulu as the co-writer of her signature song, "To Sir With Love" and was also married to Lulu's manager, Marion Massey. London had also managed the predecessor band Cartoone, in which Peter Grant had a financial interest and featured Les Harvey on guitar.[3]

Original line-up[edit]

The band's first two albums were recorded with the original line up and Bell's vocals were described as being similar to Janis Joplin's.[4]

Second line-up and Onstage Death of Les Harvey[edit]

McGinnis and Dewar left the band in 1971 and were replaced by Ronnie Leahy and Steve Thompson.[1]

Guitarist and co-founder Les Harvey was electrocuted onstage in front of a live audience at Swansea's Top Rank Suite in May 1972. Wires to the group's equipment were reportedly damaged by the audience and although the road crew attempted to repair the damage, they overlooked a loose ground wire.[5] Harvey received a jolt of electricity as he reached for a microphone while his fingers touched the metal strings on his guitar. His body reportedly flew into the air and came to rest with his guitar in contact with the microphone stand. Bandmates who tried to rescue him reportedly got shocked themselves and it wasn't until someone kicked his guitar away[6] that medical personnel were able to render aid. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

Jimmy McCulloch would subsequently replace the main songwriter Harvey as lead guitarist, following Harvey's death.[1] After Harvey's death the band reconsidered their direction.[7]

After band breakup[edit]

Stone the Crows ultimately broke up in June 1973,[1] and Peter Grant continued to manage Maggie Bell's career. Guided by Grant, Bell subsequently recorded two solo albums, Queen of the Night (1974) and Suicide Sal (1975) and an album with the Grant-managed band Midnight Flyer (1981). Bell is also known for her session work on Rod Stewart's album Every Picture Tells a Story (1971), in particular her co-lead vocal with Stewart on the album's title track (credited as "vocal abrasives").[8] Jimmy McCulloch joined Paul McCartney's group Wings, in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1974.


Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • The BBC Sessions - Volume 1 - 1969-1970 (1998)
  • The BBC Sessions - Volume 2 - 1970-1971 (1998)
  • Live Montreux 1972 (2002)
  • Radio Sessions 1969-1972 (2009) (2CD)
  • BBC Sessions 1969-1972 (2014) (2LP)


  1. ^ a b c d Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 1142/3. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  2. ^ Welch, Chris (2002). Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin. p. 23. ISBN 0-7119-9195-2.
  3. ^ Uncredited, Led Zeppelin: Achilles Last Stand, Biography of Mark London. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  4. ^ Logan, Nick &Woffinden, Bob (eds.) The New Musical Express Book of Rock, W.H. Allen &Co. Ltd (Star), 1973, p. 489-490. ISBN 0-352-39715-2.
  5. ^ "Clipped From The Record". The Record. 1972-05-21. p. 43. Retrieved 2020-04-08.
  6. ^ "Clipped From Daily Press". Daily Press. 1972-06-18. p. 25. Retrieved 2020-04-08.
  7. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 238. CN 5585.
  8. ^ Liner notes to Rod Stewart's album Every Picture Tells a Story, Mercury Records, catalog no. SRM-609, 1971.
  9. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 534. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External links[edit]