The Magic Highway


An Interview with Hugh Grundy
(With Ray Chan)

Hugh GrundyThe Zombies are best remembered for their classic hits Time Of The Season and She's Not There. But by 1968, they had disbanded.
    Members Rod Argent and Chris White formed the group Argent, while enigmatic vocalist Colin Blunstone embarked on a solo career.
    As for the group's drummer Hugh Grundy? “I went to work with CBS Records as A&R (Artists and Repertoire) man, and also played on quite a few sessions, which was great fun,” he said.
    It was through this association that Hugh ended up on the Christie album in 1970. The group needed to rush out an LP to follow up on the big hit that was Yellow River, but with current band drummer Mike Blakley rusty after a six-month layoff, the decision was made to use a couple of studio musicians: Hugh and prolific percussionist Clem Cattini.
    “I wasn't specifically freelancing, but if any jobs came up, I would do them,” Hugh said.
    “What a great drummer Clem Cattini was. I got to know him a little bit while I was at CBS.”
    The songs on the album were split up between Hugh and Clem, apart from Yellow River, which, as most fans know, featured Dave Munden on the drums.
    You can hear Hugh's work on the songs I've Got A Feeling, Gotta Be Free,
Country Boy, Johnny One-Time, Coming Home Tonight and Until The Dawn.
    “My memories of Jeff are rather sketchy, but I do remember him as being enthusiastic about his music and how he wanted it recorded,” Hugh said.
    “Jeff would play the song and we would talk about what he wanted and what I could do, then we would start recording and it would evolve from there.
    “I was definitely allowed freedom to come up with my style and fills.”
    Hugh recalls that the band all played together in the studio on the songs (as opposed to adding drum tracks later on), “as was the fashion then”. He and Clem would come in on different days to record their songs for the album.
    “Of course, in my job at CBS, I listened to the finished product, and having listened to it recently, it has certainly jogged my memory,” he said.
    Hugh did not continue with session work in later years, and it was sometime before he started playing again.
    “But once the bug is in you, you can't ignore it,” he said.
    In more recent times, the Zombies have reunited to perform at a series of well-received shows. “We have achieved huge success in the USA, with the Zombies now playing (much-lauded album) Odessey and Oracle note for note and in its entirety,” Hugh said.
    “Indeed, on September 29, 2017, we are appearing at the London Palladium.”
    Hugh currently lives in Menorca, one of the Balearic Islands, happily married to wife Tracy, and with “four wonderful daughters”.
     “I haven't seen Jeff since those days, but I hope  he's well, and please pass on my best wishes.”