BLAKLEY BOYS BATTLE
IN THE CHARTS
By David Hughes
YOU can't keep a good man down!
And if his surname
happens to be Blakley, then you can be certain he's
not going to let anything get the better of him.
Everyone knows noisy,
earthy, cheerful, kind-hearted Alan Blakley. Tremeloe
supreme and one of the very few people in showbusiness
whom no-one dislikes.
Nothing worries Al
for very long, not even when his quiet, modest,
unassuming brother Michael steps out of his shadows
to dramatically shift the Blakley spotlight .. with
a song originally intended for the Tremeloes.
Michael is drummer with Christie, and Yellow
River, poised to top the chart, was turned
down by the Tremeloes.
"Mike and I are
still the best of mates," Alan said. "I
can't even remember us having an argument in the
last 10 years!"
Mike is five years
younger than Alan, but there's no mistaking the
It's probably the
complete opposite personalities of the two which
have allowed them to remain such close friends.
Mike is everything that Al is not. Mike has been
in the business mainly for the music and enjoyment;
Alan makes no bones about being in it for the money
and the material possessions that money can buy.
The only bone of contention
is musical. "I can't stand all this so-called
progressive stuff," says Alan, "and when
Mike was with the Epics playing all sorts of heavy
music, I kept telling him it'll never do him any
"And I like all
the Tremeloes as blokes,"
Mike said. "But I've never liked their music
much. It's been getting better recently though and
I liked their last single best."
is, it was Mike's drum kit that started me playing
in the first place," says Alan. "Mum and
dad bought Mick this drum kit, and I immediately
nicked it and started playing. It wasn't until later
that I realised what a flash git I was and switched
from drums to guitar!"
At one time, the shadow
of fame seemed almost overpowering for young Mike,
and last November the Epics, then rechristened Acid
Gallery in a last-ditch attempt at the charts, finally
After over six years
as a professional drummer, Mike was forced back
into office work.
Says Alan: "I
thought that was that. In a way I was pleased. At
least he'd got his office and a steady job that
would at last bring him in some regular money."
there," says Mike, "once you've been in
the business professionally for so long you just
can't do anything else."
months ago Michael Blakley and Vic Elmes
turned their backs on a professional
career in show business after a five-year
unsuccessful bid for stardom.
But they are back
again rehearsing to promote a hit record,
thanks to a decision by the Tremeloes
not to record a song called Yellow
Michael's group Acid Gallery
split up last year, frustrated by their
lack of progress in the pop world. Both
Mike and Vic went back to work.
When the Tremeloes recorded
five different ways and decided they
didn't want it released, their publicist
Brian Longley asked the song's composer
Jeff Christie to record it himself.
Mike and Vic were asked to provide the
Mike, Vic and Jeff, known
collectively as Christie, are fully
professional again and have gone to
Exeter for two weeks to rehearse for