Listen: Skin Deep / Bobbie Graham
The mere concept that Bobbie Graham, aka Bobby Graham, played drums on an estimated fifteen thousand singles is mind boggling. Seriously, we probably don’t have time in our remaining years to listen to them all, not to mention the hours it took to record them. His discography, lifted from the official website, is frustratingly short. This abridged version is possibly a good thing though. As with the various drug warnings on television nowadays, the entire song list may cause convulsions or death.
In ’64, Bobbie Graham’s session work with The Pretty Things resulted in him becoming their producer, apparently Fontana’s various in-house staff not having a grasp for the job. A&R manager Jack Baverstock had the good sense to sign him as an artist, issue a few singles, he having recently appeared in a spectacular segment of the film GONKS GO BEAT, playing the blue kit and dressed in a matching blue shirt:
Preceding the film’s release, ‘Skin Deep’ was in the stores. Possibly viewed as a corporate attempt at capitalizing on the beat group sound of the day, it’s bombastic production teeters on overkill and surf all at once. In hindsight, you can’t find a better snapshot of the colorful period.
Listen: Zoom, Widge And Wag / Bobbie Graham
Unlike most throwaway B sides, this one was clearly planned. A co-write between Bobbie Graham and Jimmy Page, ‘Zoom, Widge And Wag’ calculated the access they’d have to a full orchestra while in the studio recording ‘Skin Deep’. Released in January of ’65 meant ‘Zoom, Widge And Wag’ was clearly recorded in ’64, during which time the pair were professionally the most sought after studio team around London. Other than Big Jim Sullivan, it was Little Jim as Jimmy Page was known, who played on just about as many singles as Bobbie Graham.
‘Zoom, Widge And Wag’ spills into surf in my twisted head, not unlike it’s A side. It’s great to think back to a time when instrumentals were positioned into the mainstream. Not until electronic music became Top 40 during the late 90′s, and then in the UK and Europe, did the trend begin to resurface. The US, usually twenty years and five hours behind England when it comes to the radio, is just now surrendering to instrumental dance hits on daytime broadcasts. US programmers. What a bunch of boobs.