I want to combine the two of these artists, because it was a bit of a pity that they ever split up, and even they have said that , I believe. These guys have an amazing musical history and also a quiet brilliant set of recorded works together and apart. Here are some excerpts that set up who we are dealing with and how they all came together. Graham Gouldman Gouldman was born in Broughton, Salford, Lancashire, England into a Jewish family. He played in a number of Manchester bands from 1963, including the High Spots, the Crevattes, the Planets and the Whirlwinds, which became a house band at his local Jewish Lads' Brigade. The Whirlwinds – comprising Gouldman (vocals, guitar), Maurice Sperling (vocals/drums), Bernard Basso (bass), Stephen Jacobson (guitar, bongos), Malcolm Wagner and Phil Cohen – secured a recording contract with HMV, releasing a recording of the Buddy Holly song "Look at Me", backed with "Baby Not Like You", written by Lol Creme, in June 1964. Gouldman dissolved the Whirlwinds in late 1964, and the following February formed the Mockingbirds with Jacobson, Basso, and a former member of fellow Manchester band the Sabres, Kevin Godley (drums). The Mockingbirds signed with the Columbia label, which rejected Gouldman's first offering as a single – "For Your Love" (later a major hit for the Yardbirds) – and issued two singles, "That's How (It's Gonna Stay)" (February 1965, also issued in the US on ABC Paramount) and "I Can Feel We're Parting" (May 1965). The band switched to the Immediate label for "You Stole My Love" (October 1965) and Decca for "One By One" (July 1966) and "How to Find a Lover" (October 1966). The band also began a regular warm-up spot for BBC Televisions Top of the Pops, transmitted from Manchester. He recalled: "There was one strange moment when the Yardbirds appeared on the show doing 'For Your Love', which was a song that I'd written. Everyone clamoured around them – and there I was just part of an anonymous group. I felt strange that night, hearing them play my song." In 1966–67, Gouldman recorded singles with two other bands, High Society and the Manchester Mob, both of which featured singer Peter Cowap. In March 1968, he stepped in as a temporary replacement for bassist Bob Lang in the Mindbenders, writing two of the band's final singles, "Schoolgirl" and "Uncle Joe, the Ice Cream Man". The band dissolved eight months later. Gouldman said his time with the band was depressing: "They were sliding down, they were pretty well finished by the time I joined them." Gouldman signed a management agreement with Harvey Lisberg in 1965, and while working by day in a men's outfitters shop and playing by night with his semi-professional band, he wrote a string of hit songs, many of them million sellers. Between 1965 and 1967 alone he wrote "For Your Love", "Heart Full of Soul" and "Evil Hearted You" for the Yardbirds, "Look Through Any Window" (with Charles Silverman) and "Bus Stop" for the Hollies, "Listen People", "No Milk Today" and "East West" for Herman's Hermits, "Pamela, Pamela" for Wayne Fontana, "Behind the Door" for St. Louis Union (covered by Cher), "Tallyman" for Jeff Beck and "Going Home", which was a 1967 Australian hit for Normie Rowe. He wrote briefly for publishing house Robbins Music and producer Mickie Most in 1967, and then shifted base to the Kennedy Street Enterprises show business management offices in Manchester. He remained there for four years, recalling: "It was like an office. I used to go in there every morning at 10 o'clock and stay there, working on my songs, until I finished every evening at six o'clock. It was self-discipline and I need that." A year later he released three singles as a solo artist, before recording his debut solo album, The Graham Gouldman Thing. Eric Stewart Stewart (born 20 January 1945) is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer, best known as a founding member of the rock groups The Mindbenders with whom he played from 1963 to 1968 Stewart was invited to join local band Jerry Lee and the Staggerlees, which after a year changed its name to the Emperors of Rhythm. Stewart remained with the band for two years and was at the Oasis club in Manchester in early 1963 on the evening that Wayne Fontana had an audition with a record company representative. Wayne Fontana's drummer and guitarist did not turn up for the audition, and Wayne asked Eric and drummer Ric Rothwell if they would 'sit in' for the audition. After a few minutes' rehearsal, the quartet played three well known songs of the time. Wayne Fontana was offered a record deal on condition that the musicians who played at the audition formed the band. Wayne Fontana's band was called The Jets, but due to an existing band using the name, an alternative name had to be sought – it was decided that the band would take the name "The Mindbenders", which was the name of a film on release at the time – Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders then came into being. The band initially played rhythm and blues. Stewart, Fontana and bassist Bob Lang co-wrote "Since You've Been Gone", the B-side of the band's sixth single "The Game of Love" (April 1965), which hit No.2 in the UK and No.1 in the US. Stewart and Fontana also shared the songwriting credit on "Long Time Comin'", the B-side of "It's Just a Little Bit Too Late" (June 1965). The band toured the US with Herman's Hermits in July and August 1965, producing wild scenes Stewart compared with Beatlemania. "The hotels we stayed in were under constant guard by security people and there were always girls waiting outside in the hundreds," he recalled. "They were always yanking off my glasses and pulling out tufts of hair, which was very, very painful." The Mindbenders split with Fontana in late 1965. They had a UK No. 2 hit with "A Groovy Kind of Love" in early 1966 with Stewart on vocals. They reached the top 20 later that year with "Ashes To Ashes". Stewart, who was devoting more time to songwriting, became disenchanted with the Mindbenders towards the end of its existence, realising the material they were playing was drifting further from the music for which they had gained chart success. "Because of the sort of records we'd had, everyone thought of us as a sort of ballads group, but we really weren't like that at all. I think we were probably the first of the three-piece heavy groups – but the sort of music we preferred to play was totally unacceptable to the sort of people who were prepared to book the Mindbenders", he said. The band came to an ignominious end. "There were some pretty horrid gigs", Stewart later recalled. "One night we were booked to appear at a working men's club in Cardiff and when we arrived there we found that the posters outside the club said that starring that night was some Welsh tenor 'plus support group' – which meant us. That really choked me, the fact that we'd reached the stage where they didn't even bother to put our names up on the posters." The band accepted a booking playing cabaret shows for a week, wearing white suits and red silk shirts and telling jokes between the songs. After one particularly disastrous gig the band argued and Stewart angrily declared the Mindbenders were finished. He dropped the other members off at their homes after the gig and said, "That was the end of the Mindbenders. We never saw each other again after that." Kevin Godley Godley (born 7 October 1945, Prestwich, Lancashire, England) is an English musician and music video director. He is known as the drummer of the art rock band 10cc and for his collaboration outside the band with Lol Creme. He was born into a Jewish family, and went to North Cestrian Grammar School in Altrincham. The first band he was part of was Group 17 which had its origins in the Jewish Lads Brigade (JLB). The members were Henri Shalam, Bernard Sufrin, Sydney Kaye and Jeffrey Baker. While attending art college in Manchester Godley met Lol Creme. They became part of several bands, most notably Hotlegs and 10cc. Lol Creme Creme (born 19 September 1947) is an English musician and music video director, best known for his work in 10cc. He sings and plays guitar, bass and keyboards. Creme was born in Prestwich, Lancashire, England. Like bandmates Graham Gouldman and Kevin Godley, Creme grew up in a Jewish household. While attending art school in Birmingham, he took up the nickname Lolagon and met Kevin Godley. Strawberry Studios and Bubblegum In the dying days of The Mindbenders, Stewart began recording demos of new material at Inner City Studios, a Stockport studio then owned by Peter Tattersall, a former road manager for Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas. In July 1968, Stewart joined Tattersall as a partner in the studio, where he could further hone his skills as a recording engineer. In October 1968, the studio was moved to bigger premises and renamed Strawberry Studios, after The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever". In 1969, Gouldman also began using Strawberry to record demos of songs he was writing for Marmalade. He had become much more in demand as a songwriter than as a performer. By the end of the year, he too was a financial partner in the studios. By 1969, all four members of the original 10cc line-up were working together regularly at Strawberry Studios. Around the same time, noted American bubblegum popwriter-producers Jerry Kasenetz and Jeffry Katz of Super K Productions came to England and commissioned Gouldman to write and produce formula bubblegum songs, many of which were recorded at Strawberry Studios, and were either augmented or performed entirely by varying combinations of the future 10cc line-up. Among the recordings from this period was "Sausalito", a No. 86 US hit credited to Ohio Express and released in July 1969. In fact the song featured Gouldman on lead vocal, and vocal and instrumental backing by the other three future 10cc members. In December 1969, Kasenetz and Katz agreed to a proposal by Gouldman that he work solely at Strawberry, rather than move constantly between Stockport, London and New York. Gouldman convinced the pair that these throwaway two-minute songs could all be written, performed and produced by him and his three colleagues, Stewart, Godley and Creme, at a fraction of the cost of hiring outside session musicians. Kasenetz and Katz booked the studio for three months. Kevin Godley recalled: We did a lot of tracks in a very short time – it was really like a machine. Twenty tracks in about two weeks – a lot of crap really – really ****. We used to do the voices, everything – it saved 'em money. We even did the female backing vocals. The three-month project resulted in a number of tracks that appeared under various band names owned by Kasenetz-Katz, including "There Ain't No Umbopo" by Crazy Elephant, "When He Comes" by Fighter Squadron and "Come on Plane" by Silver Fleet (all three with lead vocals by Godley), and "Susan's Tuba" by Freddie and the Dreamers (which was a monster hit in France and featured lead vocals by Freddie Garrity, despite claims by some that it was Gouldman). Lol Creme remembered: "Singles kept coming out under strange names that had really been recorded by us. I've no idea how many there were, or what happened to them all." But Stewart described the Kasenetz-Katz deal as a breakthrough: "That allowed us to get the extra equipment to turn it into a real studio. To begin with they were interested in Graham's songwriting and when they heard that he was involved in a studio I think they thought the most economical thing for them to do would be to book his studio and then put him to work there – but they ended up recording Graham's songs and then some of Kevin and Lol's songs, and we were all working together." Hotlegs etc When the three-month production deal with Kasenetz-Katz ended, Gouldman returned to New York to work as a staff songwriter for Super K Productions and the remaining three continued to dabble in the studio. With Gouldman absent, Godley, Creme and Stewart continued recording singles. The first, "Neanderthal Man", released under the name Hotlegs, began life as a test of drum layering at the new Strawberry Studios mixing desk, but when released as a single by Fontana Records in July 1970, climbed to No. 2 in the UK charts and became a worldwide hit, selling more than two million copies. Around the same time, the trio released "Umbopo" under the name of Doctor Father. The song, a slower, longer and more melancholic version of the track earlier released under the name of Crazy Elephant, failed to chart. Reverting to the successful band name Hotlegs, in early 1971 Godley, Creme and Stewart recorded the album Thinks: School Stinks, which included "Neanderthal Man". They then recalled Gouldman for a short tour supporting The Moody Blues, before releasing a follow-up single "Lady Sadie" b/w "The Loser". Philips reworked their sole album, removed "Neanderthal Man" and added "Today" and issued it as Song. Stewart, Creme and Godley released another single in February 1971 under yet another name, The New Wave Band, this time with former Herman's Hermits member Derek "Lek" Leckenby on guitar. The song, a cover version of Paul Simon's "Cecilia", was one of the few tracks the band released that they had not written. It also failed to chart. The band also continued outside production work at Strawberry, working with Dave Berry, Wayne Fontana, Peter Cowap and Herman's Hermits, and doing original compositions for various UK football (soccer) teams. In 1971 they produced and played on Space Hymns, an album by New Age musician Ramases; in 1972–73 they co-produced and played on two Neil Sedaka albums, Solitaire and The Tra-La Days Are Over. The experience of working on Solitaire, which became a success for Sedaka, was enough to prompt the band to seek recognition on their own merits. Gouldman—who by 1972 was back at Strawberry Studios—said: It was Neil Sedaka's success that did it, I think. We'd just been accepting any job we were offered and were getting really frustrated. We knew that we were worth more than that, but it needed something to prod us into facing that. We were a bit choked to think that we'd done the whole of Neil's first album with him just for flat session fees when we could have been recording our own material. Stewart said the decision was made over a meal in a Chinese restaurant: "We asked ourselves whether we shouldn't pool our creative talents and try to do something with the songs that each of us was working on at the time." Once again a four-piece, the group recorded a Stewart/Gouldman song, "Waterfall", in early 1972. Stewart offered the acetate to Apple Records. He waited months before receiving a note from the label saying the song was not commercial enough to release as a single.