Spooky Tooth

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Spooky Tooth
Origin Carlisle, England
Genres Hard rock, psychedelic rock, roots rock, progressive rock
Years active 1967–1970, 1972–1974,
1998–1999, 2004,
2008–2009
Labels Island, CBS, A&M (U.S./Canada)
Associated acts The V.I.P.s
Past members Luther Grosvenor
Mike Harrison
Mike Kellie
Greg Ridley
Gary Wright
Andy Leigh
Henry McCullough
Alan Spenner
Chris Stainton
John Hawken
Steve Thompson
Bryson Graham
Ian Herbert
Mick Jones
Chris Stewart
Val Burke
Mike Patto
Joey Albrecht
Michael Becker
Steve Farris
Shem von Schroeck
Tom Brechtlein

Spooky Tooth was an English rock band principally active between 1967 and 1974. In recent years, the band had been re-formed on several occasions and released the album Cross Purpose (1999) and the DVD Nomad Poets (2007).

History[edit]

Prior to Spooky Tooth, four of the band’s five founding members had performed in the band Art (formerly known as The V.I.P.s). Following the dissolution of Art, the members’ of that band’s final line-up (guitarist Luke Grosvenor, vocalist Mike Harrison, drummer Mike Kellie, and bassist Greg Ridley) joined forces with American keyboardist/vocalist Gary Wright in October 1967 and formed Spooky Tooth. Wright was introduced to the members of Art by Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records.[1]

The album Spooky Two (1969) was the last album release by the original lineup. It included the songBetter by You, Better than Me“, which was covered by Judas Priest on their release Stained Class (1978).

Ridley joined Humble Pie in 1969 and was replaced by Andy Leigh for the album Ceremony (1969). The experimental nature of Ceremony received mixed reviews and following its release Wright left the band. Harrison, Grosvenor and Kellie remained and recorded the album The Last Puff, with members of Joe Cocker‘s Grease Band.

Singer Mike Harrison on stage with the band in the 1970s

In the autumn of 1970 the band embarked on a European tour that was undertaken with line-up of Harrison, Grosvenor, Kellie, keyboardist John Hawken (ex-Nashville Teens) and bassist Steve Thompson. Harrison and Wright reformed Spooky Tooth in September 1972 with a different line-up. The best known member of these line-ups was guitarist and vocalist Mick Jones. Mike Patto replaced Harrison when they recorded The Mirror (1974). They disbanded in November 1974.[2]

After Spooky Tooth[edit]

Grosvenor later played with Stealers Wheel and joined Mott the Hoople in the 1970s (replacing Mick Ralphs who left to form Bad Company), adopting the name Ariel Bender. In 2005, he founded The Ariel Bender Band, with which he still occasionally performs.[3]

Kellie later joined The Only Ones in the late 1970s also performing with them in 1980’s. The band reformed in 2007.[4]

Ridley became a member of Humble Pie. He died in 2003.

Wright began to develop an international solo career in the 1970s and had a hit with the radio-friendly “Dream Weaver“.

Harrison played and recorded with The Hamburg Blues Band and appeared on their CD Touch (2002).[5]

Harrison, Grosvenor, Ridley and Kellie reunited at points in 1997 and 1998, which resulted in an album, Cross Purpose, released in 1999.

In 2004, Harrison, Wright and Kellie were re-united as Spooky Tooth for two concerts in Germany, resulting in a DVD Nomad Poets (2007).

In 2006, Harrison released his first solo album in over thirty years, Late Starter.

In February 2008, the latest incarnation of Spooky Tooth, featuring Harrison, Wright and Kellie along with guitarist Steve Farris from Mr. Mister and Shem von Schroeck (bass), played a series of European dates. On 29 May 2009, this same lineup (with drummer Tom Brechtlein replacing Kellie) played at Island Records’ 50th Anniversary at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, before touring Germany.

In 2012, Mike Kellie started work on a solo album.[6]

Mike Kellie died on 18 January 2017 after a short illness,[7][8][9] and Mike Harrison died on 25 March 2018.[10]

Media depictions[edit]

The band was featured in the 1970 documentary Groupies.

Personnel[edit]

Members[edit]

Line-ups[edit]

1967 – 1969 1969 – 1970 1970 1970
  • Luther Grosvenor – guitar
  • Mike Harrison – vocals, keyboards
  • Mike Kellie – drums
  • Gary Wright – keyboards, vocals
  • Andy Leigh – bass
  • Luther Grosvenor – guitar
  • Mike Harrison – vocals, keyboards
  • Mike Kellie – drums
  • John Hawken – keyboards
  • Steve Thompson – bass
1970 – 1972 1972 – 1973 1973 – 1974 1974
Disbanded
  • Mike Harrison – vocals, keyboards
  • Bryson Graham – drums
  • Ian Herbert – bass
  • Mick Jones – guitar
  • Gary Wright – keyboards, vocals
  • Mike Harrison – vocals, keyboards
  • Mick Jones – guitar
  • Gary Wright – keyboards, vocals
  • Mike Kellie – drums
  • Chris Stewart – bass
  • Mick Jones – guitar
  • Gary Wright – keyboards, vocals
  • Val Burke – bass, vocals
  • Bryson Graham – drums
  • Mike Patto – vocals, keyboards
1974 – 1998 1998 – 1999 1999 – 2004 2004
Disbanded
  • Luther Grosvenor – guitar
  • Mike Harrison – vocals, keyboards
  • Mike Kellie – drums
  • Greg Ridley – bass
Disbanded
  • Mike Harrison – vocals, keyboards
  • Mike Kellie – drums
  • Joey Albrecht – guitar
  • Michael Becker – bass
  • Gary Wright – keyboards, vocals
2004 – 2008 2008 – 2009 2009
Disbanded
  • Mike Harrison – vocals, keyboards
  • Mike Kellie – drums
  • Gary Wright – keyboards, vocals
  • Steve Farris – guitar
  • Shem von Schroeck – bass
  • Mike Harrison – vocals, keyboards
  • Gary Wright – keyboards, vocals
  • Steve Farris – guitar
  • Shem von Schroeck – bass
  • Tom Brechtlein – drums

Timeline[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Compilations and live albums[edit]

  • 1975: The Best of Spooky Tooth (produced by Island Records ILPS9368-A, imported by Jem Records)
  • 1999: The Best of Spooky Tooth: That Was Only Yesterday
  • 2000: Comic Violence
  • 2001: BBC Sessions
  • 2007: Nomad Poets (DVD)
  • 2009: Lost in My Dream – An Anthology 1968–1974

Singles[edit]

  • 1969: “Feelin’ Bad” (US Bubbling Under #132)
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