From early days as a member of Beat combo’s The Whirlwinds and The Mockingbirds and then as a successful songwriter for the likes of Herman’s Hermits, Hollies, Jeff Beck and The Yardbirds with such memorable hits as No Milk Today, Bus Stop, Tallyman and For Your Love. I chat with Graham Gouldman on a career that culminated with the worldwide Success of 10.cc.
“As a sole songwriter in the 60’s how did you find writing with other songwriters when you got together with the guys in 10.cc?
“Well it was different because I was writing with other people, while the 60’s songs I wrote pretty much on my own, with maybe a little help from my Dad who was a songwriter himself and would help out on the lyrics, and so he was a big help, but mainly on the musical side of things I did on my own.” “ But writing with 10.cc was a completely different side, the difference between writing on your own and collaborating is when your on your own there is a pure thought process that happens because everything emulates from one mind so to speak, when you’re writing with someone else there is two of you writing plus their seems to be a third party that always seems to appear, the two individuals and then plus another individual that seems to be a part of each songwriter, it’s very strange really but also easier collaborating when you’ve got someone else coming up with ideas, especially if the chemistry is right and like what their doing it inspires you to come up with something equally as good”
“How did you all get together as a band?”
“Well I was in a band called The Mockingbirds with Kevin Godley whose best friend was Lol Crème, I knew Eric through the same offices we used in Manchester when he was with Wayne Fontana, we got friendly and I joined as a member of the Mindbenders for a short time, then Eric started up Strawberry studios and asked me if I would like to be a partner, which I did. And that’s how we got together. We worked on various projects on other people’s records like Ramases and Neil Sedaka we liked working and recording together, and we thought that we should do our own thing.
“It’s often been reported that Jonathan King has taken credit for the formation of 10.cc”
“The only credit that he can take is that he came up with the name and that we signed to his label, he had no artistic input whatsoever, nobody did. We were a completely self contained outfit, not only did we write, play and everything else but Eric Stewart was an engineer , we didn’t need anybody in the studio at all, that was one of the contributing factors to the band.”
“One of the great things about 10.cc was the fact that you could pick any subject matter for your songs”
“We often used to brag to ourselves that their wasn’t any thing we couldn’t write about”
“It wasn’t until we recorded I’m not in Love that we had consciously written a love song”
“You have started writing again with Kevin Godley, how does that feel again after all these years?”
“It’s great, it’s something I never anticipated, he phoned some time ago and obviously he had been successful in his video work and he just felt like doing some music again, I said great, I had always been a fan of Kevin’s voice and his songwriting as well, we did write together in 10.cc but not very much, so I said let’s do it but what are we gonna do it for and he said no reason and I thought that was a bloody good reason, we recorded some tracks and the chemistry was still there.”
“Do you think that their will ever be a chance of a 10.cc reunion?
“I can’t ever see it to be honest with you, although I’m a never say never type of bloke I just can’t see it happening”.
Special thanks to Peter Noble at Noble PR