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Henry McCullough

From: Portstewart, N.IRL

Active: 1960s onwards
Style: Guitarist

Bio:

Henry McCullough's first band was The Skyrockets showband which in 1964 spawned Gene & The Gents with Henry in the lineup. Henry played on their 1966 single before joining The People who became Eire Apparent. See the latter's entry for more details. Following his exit from Eire Apparent, McCullough joined Sweeney's Men for a few months in the summer of 1968, contributing to the original Irish folk rock experiment.

After his short stint with Sweeney's Men, McCullough accepted an invitation to join Joe Cocker's backing band The Grease Band, formed in 1966. The lineup was then McCullough (guitar), Chris Stainton (organ/guitar), Alan Spenner (bass) and Bruce Rowland (drums). After a gruelling US tour and an appearance at Woodstock (included in the film), the Grease Band split from Cocker in 1970 and signed to Harvest Records. Guitarist Neil Hubbard replaced Stainton. This is the lineup that made the band's debut self-titled LP which is excellent and recommended. It's nominally blues rock but takes in many moods and is reminiscent of the early 70s work of Man and Help Yourself. It's also often compared to Dylan and The Band. The track "Mistake No Doubt" dates from McCullough's tenure with Sweeney's Men.

Stainton remained an associate member of the band, contributing at different times, and Mick Weaver (AKA Wynder K. Frog) augmented the line-up on occasion before joining fulltime. There were further recordings made during 1970-71. McCullough, Stainton and Spenner all featured heavily on Spooky Tooth's fourth LP "The Last Puff", released in 1970. John "Pugwash" Weathers replaced Rowlands in 1971 but the band split in December 1971 when McCullough joined Paul McCartney's Wings. A compilation of unreleased Grease Band recordings appeared in 1975 titled Amazing Grease. While not as good as the debut, it's certainly worthy of attention and both albums are now available on a single CD.

McCullough was with Wings from December 1971 to August 1973, appearing on the Red Rose Speedway album (1973) and numerous singles (no writing credits as far as I know). The first of these singles was the controversial "Give Ireland Back To The Irish" which was banned by the BBC. There were more singles and touring during 1972 but a good five months of the year were spent on recording sessions for the The Red Rose Speedway album. This was was originally planned as a double and there are many unreleased recordings from this period. Other tracks originally planned for the double turned up as B-sides. Red Rose Speedway was released in April 1973. The band's most successful single to date was the "Live And Let Die" Bond theme released in June 1973, which had been recorded at the end of the Red Rose Speedway sessions the previous October. After a highly successful UK tour in support of Red Rose Speedway, McCullough (and drummer Denny Seiwell) left Wings in August 1973 before sessions for the "Band On The Run" LP. . McCullough's permanent replacement was Scottish guitarist Jimmy McCulloch (ex Thunderclap Newman and Stone The Crows and need I add no relation!). Henry went into session work for a number of years.

Henry released his solo debut LP on Dark Horse Records in 1975. Unfortunately it's a rather bland affair, pleasant but nothing special. Also of note is Marianne Faithfull's comeback LP "Faithless" (Nems 1978) on which she was backed by the Grease Band.



Solo gig at the Galway Folk Club in P.J.Slattery's pub
Salthill, Co.Galway, Thursday 20th September 1979.

McCullough toured Ireland for the last two weeks of August 1980 with an impressive backing band: Mitch Mitchell, Chris Stewart, Steve Simpson and Tim Hinkley. He later suffered a hand injury which kept him inactive for an extended period but he remerged in the late 1980s fronting his own bluesrock and and contines to perform to this day. He has achieved legendary status in Ireland, as is often described as the only Irish man to perform at the Woodstock Festival.



Solo Discography:

• Mind Your Own Business
LP - Dark Horse Records - DH 22005 - UK - 1975 - inner
LP - Dark Horse/A&M Records - SP 22005 - USA - 1975 - company inner

Notes: Produced by Henry McCullough and John Jansen for Samarrah Ray Productions.


• All Shook Up EP
12" - Tara Records - TS 32 - IRL - 1982
12" - Line Records - 6.20133 - Germany - 1982


• Hell of a Record
LP - Line Records - LILP4.000725 - Germany - May 1984
Recorded at Eiffel Tower Studios in Tulsa, Oklahoma


• Get In The Hole (Live)
CD - label? - ??? - UK - 1989


• Blue Sunset
CD - label? - ??? - UK - 1998




Chronological Discography:

Gene & The Gents - Puppet On A String / Sweet Little Sixteen
• Puppet On A String / Sweet Little Sixteen
7" - Emerald Records - MD 1024 - UK - 1966 - no PS


• see Eire Apparent discography


• see Sweeney's Men discography


• various artists - Jesus Christ Superstar
LP - Decca/MCA Records - ??? - UK - October 1970


Joe Cocker - With A Little Help Fron My Friends
LP - Regal Zonophone - LRZ 1006 - UK - May.1969
Plays on 4 tracks


Joe Cocker - Joe Cocker!
LP - Regal Zonophone - SLRZ 1011 - UK - 1970


Joe Cocker - Cocker Happy
LP - Cube/Fly - HIFLY 3 - UK - 1970


Joe Cocker - I Can't Stand A Little Rain
LP - Cube Records - HIFLY 18 - UK - 1974
Plays on 2 tracks


Joe Cocker - Jamaica Say You Will
LP - Cube Records - HIFLY 20 - UK - 1975
Plays on 1 track


Spooky Tooth - The Last Puff
LP - Island Records - ILPS 9117 - UK - July 1970



With the Grease Band in 1970 (far right)


Henry McCullough with the Grease Band :

Grease Band - Laughed at the Judge / Jesse James
7" - Harvest Records - HAR 5852 - UK - 1972 - no PS
7" - Harvest Records - 1c-062-92506 - Germany - 1972 - PS
7" - Harvest Records - 2c-062-92506 - France - 1972 - PS
7" - Harvest Records - 3c-062-92506 - Italy - 1972 - PS


Grease Band - Laughed at the Judge // All I Wanna Do / Jesse James
7" - Stateside Records - 8E 006 - 93 550 M - Portugal - 1972 - PS


Grease Band - Let It Be Gone / Mistake No Doubt
7" - Harvest Records - 3c-062-93076 - Italy - 1972 - PS


Grease Band - Mandolin Song / Willie and the Pig
7" - Harvest Records - 2c-062-93087 - France - 1972 - PS


Grease Band - All I Wanna Do / Jessie James
7" - Shelter Records - 7310 - USA - 1971
12" - Shelter Records - SPRO-6318 - USA - 1971 - DJ promo only, no PS


Grease Band - s/t
LP - Harvest Records - ??? - UK - 1971 - foc
LP - Shelter Records - SHE 8904 - US - 1971 - foc
LP - Line Records - ??? - Germany - ?? - some on white vinyl


Grease Band - New Morning / Pont Ardawe Hop
7" - Goodear Records - EAR 602 - UK - 16 May 1975
7" - Goodear/Bellaphon Records - ??? - Germany - 1975 - PS
A-side by Bob Dylan.

Grease Band - Amazing Grease
LP - Goodear Records - EAR 2902 - UK - 1975
LP - Charly Records - CR 30166 - UK - 1979
LP - Line Records - ??? - Germany - ?? - some on white vinyl
Unreleased archive recordings