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Sir Cliff Richard

By the end of that year we'd been round the world, and next was a tour of the UK. Stu Calver replaced Paul, and made his first appearance in Cliff's band, and it was the start of 9/10 years together as a team. The band by now was the best bunch of musicians I'd ever worked with, every one of them was brilliant. The late Graham Jarvis, who'd joined the band at the same time as John Perry and me, was the drummer, Mark Griffiths on bass, Mart Jenner and John Clarke on guitars (John's still with him!) Graham Todd and Alan Park were on keyboards. We had brought something unheard of, to the Cliff band of that time, ENERGY!
This wasn't too popular with Peter Gormley and David Bryce. They loved the new sound vocals that we provided, but just couldn't get their heads round people onstage appearing to enjoy themselves! Peter Gormleys' wife even told me that we were distracting people from looking at Cliff! Not much chance of that, in my experience! (A review in the Daily Mirror of Cliff's show at the Royal Albert Hall, rather controversially said that, "the three backing singers, apart from producing some superb harmonies, were a joy to watch!"). I bet that was well received at Harley House!! (Cliff's office). We didn't change though, and were there for ten years, many 'hit records', albums, thousands of gigs and five world tours!
A single that we recorded in 1977, was 'The Girls Back Home' for the Brian Bennett Band, written by Brian (the drummer of the Shadows at the time) and his son Warren . On this track I was singing lead, with John and Stu on backing vocals, and as usual I'd done the vocal arrangement, with the definite intention of doing a 'Beach Boys' on it. I wanted Cliff to sing the bass vocal, so I asked him if he'd do it and he said, yes! Cliff actually sang backing vocals for me on a whole tour once! I'd recorded an Alan Tarney song, called 'The Shape I'm In Tonight' WEAK 18092 (available on 'Tony Rivers Harmony Works' EM1003CD/Japan). Cliff suggested I sing the song every night on the British tour, and he'd go onto my backing vocal mike. You don't get an offer like that too often, so I said ok, (and I've got the photo to prove it!)
In 1981 we did a concert for a Cliff TV series that was being recorded. This was from the Hammersmith Odeon, and Cliff had Phil Everly as a very special guest. We had a great week of rehearsals with Phil Everly (I actually have most of it on tape), just hearing Cliff and Phil sing together was an experience in itself. But every evening, after the days work at Shepperton Studios, we'd all go to eat together, and this was when all the stories would come out. I'd always be asking Phil about what it was like working with all those Rock'n'Roll legends, and how did the Evs' record their vocals and stuff like that? Then it would be harmony time 'you sing this, you sing that'. Great fun, (or not, if you weren't singing!) Quite a few years later, 'All I Have To Do Is Dream', a duet with Cliff and Phil Everly (from the Hammersmith concert) and was released, and made the top 20. This was the third 'live' HIT single that I'd been on with Cliff The others were 'Daddy's Home' which reached No.2 Xmas '81 (Hammersmith again) and 'True Love Ways' which was from the 'Dressed For The Occasion' Albert Hall concert with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Shepperton, rehearsals for televised
Hammersmith Odeon concert,
with special guest' Phil Everly.
May 1st. 1981.


Gold disc, awarded for ‘Daddy's Home’
vocal arrangement from
the Hammersmith Odeon concert.

Photographs © copyright Tony Rivers