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Bev Bevan interview - Part 2

Sunday, 13 May, 2012 - Modified on Sunday, 13 May, 2012 at 9:37 pm

 

 Formed in December 1965 The Move were one of the leading British rock bands of the 1960’s scoring 9 Top 20 UK singles in 5 years. This week Bev talks about his time with the band in the 60’s.

 

Do you think the Move have been undervalued over the years?

 

I think they are, particularly with the record buying public but you can’t blame people for that because, people listen to the radio, and used to go and buy records, but if they hear things like Flowers in the Rain, Blackberry Rain, Fire Brigade they think yeah, good little pop group that. But really anyone who followed The Move from the start, when we used to work regularly with Cream, Hendrix, Pink Floyd and The Who, we were very much in that mould really and very much a rock band. We were a progressive rock band when we started out and kinda turned into this singles band type thing.

Thought lost for over 30 years, the master tapes from The Move’s shows at the Fillmore West were saved by Carl Wayne but suffered technical problems and could not be released. Thanks to advances in studio technology, Carl began restoring the tapes in 2003. Sadly Carl died in 2004 and was never able to complete the live album he believed would show how incredible The Move were as a live band. Now, with the full cooperation and permission of his wife Sue Wayne, the tapes have been painstakingly restored, remastered and released in memory of The Move’s dynamic front man and lead singer.

 

The new release of the USA tour in 1969 is a great listen and shows an incredibly versatile band?

 

Well, I know that’s 69 and was really Carl Wayne’s last performances with the band, but that is a lot more like what we were when we started out really. We were very chameleon like, we were able to change direction at any given moment. We were forever changing our image. We had a manager who was publicity mad called Tony Secunda and he was forever changing our image. We were in gangster suits as hard men for the first single ‘Night of Fear’, by the time we got to the third one, ‘Flowers in the Rain’, we were all hippies and then by ‘Fire Brigade’ we were all on motorbikes and wearing black leather! I don’t think even we knew what we were supposed to be half the time!

 

The promotional campaign for The Move’s third single ‘Flowers in the Rain’ had serious repercussions for the group. Without consulting the members of the band, manager Tony Secunda had a cartoon postcard produced showing Prime Minister Harold Wilson in bed with his secretary, Marcia Williams.

 

Tony Secunda was involved with the famous post cards featuring Harold Wilson too wasn’t he?

 

Oh yes! That was a step too far actually! He was really good for us to begin with, it was him who got us a residency at The Marquee club in London and which led inevitably to us being signed. I mean, we didn’t have to go knocking on record companies doors, they were queueing up to sign us! So, he was great at that and he did give this image that gave us great publicity, great photo’s and really put us in the public eye. But, just for the sake of publicity to upset the Prime Minister of Great Britain was just too barmy even for us! In fact, we still don’t get any royalties from ‘Flowers in the Rain’ or the B side, Roy Wood’s never had a penny in songwriting royalties which is really unfair. After that we did split with him (Secunda).

 

Wilson sued The Move for libel and the group lost the subsequent court case. As a result they had to pay all costs and all future royalties were awarded to charities of Wilson’s choice. The ruling remains in place today, even after Wilson’s death in 1995.

 

‘Flowers in the Rain’ was the first chart single played on Radio 1 when it began broadcasting at 7am on 30th September 1967, introduced by Tony Blackburn.

Do people focus too much on the Harold Wilson incident and Flowers in the Rain as first song on Radio 1 and forget the other things The Move achieved?

 

Probably. I think people within the industry realised just what a good band we were. I got to play on Paul Wellers’ ‘Wake up the Nation’ album, (Bev plays on ‘Moonshine’ and ‘Wake Up the Nation’) which was a massive hit, simply because he’s such a huge fan of The Move. And when you start talking to people there’s a lot who are big Move fans. They’re generally people who were in bands themselves around about that time, John Lennon liked The Move, McCartney did, Eric Clapton did, Pete Townshend was a fan but at the time we were a very ‘in’ group. Before we became darlings of Top of the Pops I suppose!

 

Next week we talk to Bev about his time in the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)

 

The Move – Singles Discography

 

 

Title

Release Date

Label

UK Chart Position

Night of Fear

December 1966

Deram

2

I Can Hear the Grass Grow

April 1967

Deram

5

Flowers in the Rain

September 1967

Regal Zonophone

2

Fire Brigade

February 1968

Regal Zonophone

3

Wild Tiger Woman

July 1968

Regal Zonophone

-

Blackberry Way

January 1969

Regal Zonophone

1

Curly

August 1969

Regal Zonophone

12

Brontosaurus

March 1970

Regal Zonophone

7

When Alice Comes Back to the Farm

September 1970

Fly

-

Ella James

May 1971

Harvest

-

Tonight

June 1971

Harvest

11

Chinatown

October 1971

Harvest

23

California Man

May 1972

Harvest

7

Do Ya

1974

Harvest

-

 

Brewood Music Festival takes place between Thursday 12th July and Sunday 15th July with The Move and The Manfreds headlining the Festival at St. Dominic’s School on Saturday 14th July. Tickets are available from The Swan and The Mess in Brewood and also from the Festival website – www.brewoodmusicfestival.co.uk

 

For more information on the Festival check out our ‘Things to do’ page and calendar at www.villagetimes.co.uk/things-to-do.htm.