Listen: Wheelin’ ‘n’ Dealin’ / Sassafras Sassafras.mp3
’73 – ’74 London was in full swing Glam mode. Didn’t mean the tail end of Prog or country/boogie/blues rock had let go just yet though. Less fashion driven, although they all had their platform heels and tight velvet pants uniform down pat, you could say they were more bent on “good, solid, tasty music”. That description, lifted from a Melody Maker review of ‘Wheelin’ ‘n’ Dealin” will make you gag I know, but it’s kind of accurate.
I particularly liked all these B division bands, signed to majors yet still slogging around the London clubs, grasping for Monday/Tuesday nights at the Fulham Greyhound or Marquee, where yours truly worked picking up empty pint glasses for washing. Mind you, this was one of the greatest jobs I ever had. Would give up a lot to go back in time to do it all over again.
Sassafras had their beginnings that year, and played the Marquee a few times during my tenure, double billing with other Chrysalis acts like Wild Turkey and Bedlam mostly, as I recall it.
Not until ’75 did their career changer 7″ above see light of day…..yet I could swear they were playing it live for a while. Yes, a guilty pleasure here. I was a fan. It’s one of the bands that can conjure up mental, visual and even aromatic memories (beer stenched Marquee carpet, Cornish pasty dispenser, scotch eggs) of that great era.