Alan Dee, real name Alan Donaldson, fronted a number of groups during the 1960s and 1970s including The Belmont Quintet (playing sax), The Chessmen (1964-66, coinciding with their most innovative period), Alan Dee & The Light (1966-68) and Watchtower (1968-7?). These later bands were quite poppy. Frank Boylan (of The Creatures, etc) reckons he played with so far unmentioned The Alan Dee Band sometime in the late 60s too.
After leaving The Chessmen, he formed Alan Dee & The Light a more progressive outfit than The Chessmen, with Eddie Shaw on bass and Derek Boston on drums. The music of The Light was reputedly influenced by Dylan and Motown, with slight psychedelic leanings -- similar to Brian Auger and the Trinity perhaps? Recordings were made but the band failed to secure label interest. These recordings have never been released. The band split in March 1968.
Dee & bassist Shaw returned with a new band Watchtower, a sax / organ-led band. They began with bluesy, heavier material but drifted into lighter, poppier, more accessible fare as the club scene in Dublin (and Ireland) changed at the turn of the decade. Honor Heffernan joined on vocals in the early 1970s. The band eventually split.
Eddie Shaw was later in Ned Spoone. In 1973, journalist Pat Egan reported that Dee was working with Mattie Kelligan and lead guitarist Sammy Whiteside (ex Taxi) on a new project but his eventual next step was to enter the last refuge of the scoundrel, the world of the stage musical.
In 1974 Alan appeared in Noel Pearson's production of the Rice/Webber horror Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, playing the role of Reuben. He recorded a song from the musical 'One More Angel' which was released as a single on Pearson's RAM Records. The B-side was a song from Alan's own musical Adam & Eve which was staged at the State Cinema in Phibsboro during the 1976 Dublin Theatre Festival. It starred Johnny Logan as Adam and Colm Wilkinson (ex The Action) as the Devil. A full soundtrack recording never emerged.
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