Burton performing in 2014
|Birth name||Trevor Ireson|
|Born||9 March 1944|
|Instruments||Guitar, Bass, vocals|
|Associated acts||The Move
Steve Gibbons Band
The Trevor Burton Band
Danny King & The Mayfair Set
Burton started playing guitar at a young age and was leading his own group called The Everglades by 1963. In 1964 he joined Danny King & The Mayfair Set, along with Keith Smart (drums, formerly of The Everglades), Roger Harris (keyboards), Denis Ball (bass) and vocalist King. The band cut a couple of singles but could not break outside the Birmingham area. Burton accepted an invitation from other Birmingham musicians to form The Move in January 1966, remaining with them until February 1969.
The original line-up of The Move contained singer Carl Wayne, lead guitarist/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter/singer Roy Wood, drummer Bev Bevan, bassist Ace Kefford and Burton on rhythm guitar. Wayne was the usual lead singer, but Wood (who wrote the majority of the original material at this stage), Kefford and Burton were also lead singers to some capacity. Despite a following in their native Birmingham, the fledgling band were in dire need of management and exposure to the music scene in London, so Moody Blues manager Tony Secunda, whose methods were ahead of their time, became their manager. Secunda brought the band to London and secured them a weekly residency at the famous Marquee Club, recently vacated by The Who. He dressed them up as American gangsters, staged a contract signing on topless model Liz Wilson, steered them away from their early Motown-style sound and towards a more psychedelic West Coast-influenced live sound and encouraged Wood to write more original material.
Night of Fear was the debut single by The Move, released on Deram Records and hitting No. 2 in the UK singles chart. Hit singles during Burton's tenure in the group called I Can Hear the Grass Grow, Flowers in the Rain, Fire Brigade, Wild Tiger Woman and Blackberry Way. The group's eponymous debut album was released in 1968 and it was to be the only full-length LP release by the original line-up, before Kefford quit the band after having an LSD-induced breakdown and the group carried on as a quartet, with Burton shifting to bass. According to Wayne, Kefford's departure was the beginning of the end of the band and believed that the band could've survived had Kefford been replaced by a keyboardist, but even though Blackberry Way (with Wood and Bevan's future Electric Light Orchestra bandmate Richard Tandy playing harpsichord) hit No. 1 in the UK after the relative commercial failure of Wild Tiger Woman, Burton was growing unhappy with Wood's domination and the shift into commercial pop. Although The Move initially intended to add Tandy to their line-up as a keyboardist, when Burton fractured his shoulder, Tandy switched to bass for a few gigs and TV shows, but left to join The Uglys upon Burton's recovery. However, after a fight onstage with Bevan at a show in Sweden, Burton quit the band for good to pursue a blues career. During this line-up change, Wood asked his friend Jeff Lynne, then the frontman of fellow Birmingham band The Idle Race, to join, but Lynne turned it down because he was still working towards success for The Idle Race, and so Burton was replaced on bass by Rick Price.
Burton was originally rumoured to be forming a new group with Noel Redding from The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Nothing came of this although Burton and Redding did share an apartment in London at that time. He had also jammed with members of Traffic and become a friend of Steve Winwood, and almost joined Blind Faith in 1969. He later said that he "nearly got the job on bass - Steve wanted me, I think," but Ginger Baker wanted Ric Grech instead. Burton then teamed up with Steve Gibbons who fronted the long-established Birmingham group The Uglys. Burton and Gibbons, along with Uglys' rhythm section Keith Smart and Dave Morgan, plus the keyboardist Richard Tandy created a new Birmingham supergroup to be named Balls. It is sometimes reported that the Rolling Stones' Brian Jones had been involved but it was the other Brian Jones, the saxophone player of the Undertakers, who played with the band.
Balls was managed by one-time Moody Blues/Move manager Tony Secunda. Following in the trend of Chris Blackwell's Traffic, Secunda arranged for the new group to "get it together" in the country at a rented cottage on the Berkshire Downs and also hired Traffic's record producer Jimmy Miller for the group's recording sessions. With Secunda arranging a large Malcolm McLaren style cash advance from the record company, the group started to compose and record new material while playing a few local gigs. Morgan left during the summer of 1969, to be replaced by Denny Laine, ex-singer/guitarist of The Moody Blues. But Balls split at the end of 1969, with Tandy joining The Move (for live gigs only), then Electric Light Orchestra, and Smart eventually joining Wizzard. Balls reconvened as a quartet the following summer, with Laine, Burton, former Plastic Ono Band drummer Alan White and vocalist Jackie Lomax. Lomax was soon replaced by the returning Gibbons, and ex-Spooky Tooth drummer Mike Kellie replaced White in January 1971.
The group's only release was a single that did not come out until September 1971, by which time Balls had ceased to exist. The song "Fight For My Country" was an anti-war anthem composed and sung by Burton, and included backing vocals from Steve Gibbons and Denny Laine, who played bass guitar on the track.
Raymond Froggatt and The Pink Fairies
Steve Gibbons Band
After Balls, Steve Gibbons joined the Birmingham group The Idle Race which eventually became the Steve Gibbons Band. Burton joined in April 1975, and the group enjoyed a hit single in 1976 with the Chuck Berry song, "Tulane" as well as touring America extensively.
The Trevor Burton Band
Burton left Steve Gibbons in 1983 to form his own band. They started performing twice weekly at the Red Lion in Balsall Heath, Birmingham with a line-up including sax player Steve Ajao. In 1985 the band recorded an album entitled Double Zero (BARLP1), now a collectors item, featuring Stuart Ford (slide guitar), Crumpy (bass), Tony Baylis (drums) and Ben Annon (percussion). The band has gone through a number of iterations, and at one point included former Uglys/Balls/Move/Electric Light Orchestra keyboardist Richard Tandy. By this time, they also had a new drummer, Bill Jefferson and bass player, Pez Connor. In December 2015 Trevor was inducted into The Blues Hall of Fame.
The Move resurrected
Former Move drummer Bev Bevan had been touring as "Bev Bevan's Move" since 2004, augmented on occasion by Trevor Burton. Burton joined permanently in 2007 and the Autumn 2007 tour was billed as "The Move featuring Trevor Burton and Bev Bevan".
- "The Move". 45-rpm.org.uk. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- Allmusic.com biography
- Birmingham Beatsters, Peter Frame's Rock Family Trees, Omnibus Press, 1980
- Ropek, Dan (2016). Tragic Magic. Oakamoor, Staffordshire, UK: Oakamoor Publishing. p. 121.
- Bev Bevan interview with Johnnie Walker, BBC Radio 2, 20 September 2007