- World Of Music - Rock biografije
F a m i l y
Family was progressive / rock / psychedelic / blues band from
Leicester, United Kingdom.
A blues-based band with art-rock inclinations, Family was one of the more interesting
groups of hippie-era Britain. Fronted by the deft and frequently excellent
guitar playing of John "Charlie" Whitney and the raspy, whisky-and-cigarette
voice of Roger Chapman, Family was much loved in England and Europe but barely
achieved cult status in America. While bands like Jethro Tull, Ten Years After,
and the Keith Emerson-led Nice (and later Emerson, Lake, and Palmer) sold lots
of records, Family, which frequently toured with these bands, was left in the
shadows, an odd band loved by a small but rabid group of fans.
band's first official release was "Music in a Doll's House" in 1968, the roots
of the band go back as far as the early '60s, when Whitney started a rhythm & blues
/ soul band called the Farinas while at college. In 1966, Whitney met Roger
a prematurely balding singer who had a voice so powerful that, to quote Robert
Christgau, "it could kill small game at a hundred yards," and the
two began a creative partnership that would last through two bands and into
the early '80s.
With Whitney and Chapman leading the way, Family became whole
with the addition of bassist Ric Grech, saxophonist Jim King, and drummer Rob
Townsend. Within a year they were hyped as the next big thing, and under that
pressure and intense British pop press scrutiny delivered their debut record
in 1968, "Music in a Doll's House". "Doll's House" is pop music redolent of
the zeitgeist: Chapman's voice is rooted in the blues and R&B, but the
record is loaded with strings, mellotrons, acoustic guitars, horns, essentially
the trappings of post-psychedelia and early art-rock.
Almost completely ignored
in the states, "Doll's House" was a hit in Britain and Family began a string
of less art-rock, more hard rock albums that ended, as did the band, with
the release of "It's Only a Movie" in 1973.
After Family's demise, Whitney
formed the blues-rock Streetwalkers; other Family members (of which there
were quite a few in the band's tempestuous eight years) such as John Wetton
Crimson, Asia) and Jim Cregan (Rod Stewart) went off to find fame and fortune
elsewhere. Trivia buffs note: it was Ric Grech who was the first to leave
Family in 1969 to become the least well-known member of supergroup Blind
that proved to be Grech's biggest mistake, as Blind Faith imploded in a
year, and Grech (whose last notable band membership was in Traffic), long plagued
by drinking problems, died of liver failure in 1990.
Today Charlie Whitney
plays in an extremely low-key country / blues / bluegrass band called
Los Rackateeros, and Roger Chapmans solo career is flourishing. A great band,
more recognition (at least in America) than they received. Something
that a thoughtfully compiled CD retrospective might rectify. [by john dougan,
All members of Family: Roger Chapman - Outstandingly freakish vocals... Charlie
Whitney - Founding member and guitarist on every album... Jim King - Wind instruments
vocalist... Ric Grech - Bass, violin and vocals on 1st 2 albums, left 1969
(RIP 1990)... Rob Townsend - Drums... Poli Palmer - Vibes, flute, piano, synths
drums (1969-72)... John Weider - Bass, guitar and violin on 2 albums... John
Wetton - Bass, guitar and vocals on 2 albums... Jim Cregan - Bass, guitar and
vocals in last 2 lineups... Tony Ashton - Keyboards and backing vocals 1973,
FAMILY ESSENTIALS (19??
- 3 CDs?)
BEST OF FAMILY (1994)
BEST OF FAMILY (1993)
A's & B's (1992)
BBC RADIO ONE LIVE
IN CONCERT (1973, rel. 1991)
THE FAMILY (1990)
PEEL SESSIONS (1988)
FROM PAST ARCHIVES
RISE - BEST OF FAMILY
BEST OF FAMILY (1974)
IT'S ONLY A MOVIE (1973)
OLD SONGS NEW SONGS
A SONG FOR ME (1970)
FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT (1969)
MUSIC IN A DOLL'S HOUSE (1968)
Family - Weaver's Answer
Weaver of life, let me look and see
The pattern of my life gone by,
Shown on your tapestry.
Just for one second, one glance upon your loom
The flower of my childhood could have fit within this room
Does it of my youth show, tears of yesterday?
Broken hearts, within a heart, as love first came my way.
Do the lifeline patterns change as I became a man
An added aura untold blend as I asked for her hand.
Did your golden needle sew it, thread virginial white
As long as we embrace as one upon our wedding night.
Did you capture all the joys the birth of our first son?
The happiness of family made a brother for the one.
The growing of the brothers, the manliness that grew
is it there in detail? Is it their to view?
Do the sparks of life grow bright as one
by one they wed?
To live as fathers, husbands, apart from lives they've led.
Are my lover's threads cut off when aged
she laid to rest
My sorrow blacking out a space upon thou woven crest
A gathering for the last time as her coffin slowly lain
Ash to ashes, dust to dust, one day we will regain.
Does it show, does it swipe, grandchildren on my knee
But only hearing laughter when age took my sight from me.
Lastly through these last few years of loneliness maybe
Does it by sight a shooting star fade from your tapestry.
Wait there in the distance, over your loom I think I see
Could it be that after all my prayers you've answered me?
After days of wondering I see the reason why.
You kept it to this minute, for I'm about to die.
Weaver of life,
At last now I can see
The patterns of my life gone by, shown on your tapestry