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Alex Harvey was active in the music industry from the very birth of British rock and roll. A Zelig-like figure, he won a contest to become Scotland’s Tommy Steele in the 1950s, followed the Beatles to Hamburg in the early 1960s, dabbled in Psychedelic Rock during the Summer of Love, and joined the house band of counterculture musical Hair at the close of the decade. By the time 1972 rolled around, he had been there and done that, but had never made it big. He was 37 years old and was thinking of calling it a day.
Also thinking of calling it a day were Scottish hard rockers Tear Gas. They had released two unsuccessful albums and now their singer wanted out. In a last-ditch effort to salvage something, Alex Harvey and Tear Gas’s respective managers decided to unite their respective acts. The result was Sensational.
This book examines the eight albums by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band plus Harvey’s earlier work and post-SAHB releases. It also reviews those two Tear Gas albums as well as Fourplay, the album SAHB released without Alex.
The Sensational Alex Harvey Band is Peter Gallagher’s third book in Sonicbond’s On Track series after entries for Marc Bolan, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and T. Rex and Warren Zevon. He also wrote Kiss In The 1970s for their Decades series. He is a regular contributor to the British music magazine Shindig!, and has also been published in The Dark Side, Writing Magazine, and The London Reader. His website dedicated to local tourism can be found at www.brownsignblogging.com. He lives in Glasgow, Scotland.