Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Scaffold

The Scaffold was formed when Roger McGough (performance poet) and John Gorman met Mike “Flash Harry” McGear (aka Peter Michael McCartney and younger brother of Paul McCartney). They performed comic songs, sketches and poetry at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and were signed to Parlophone records in 1966. During the next five years they enjoyed a couple of Top Ten hits including a Number 1, Lily the Pink in 1968.

Roger McGough wrote the lyrics for most of the group's songs but it was the Mike McGear penned “Thank you very much” which gave them their first hit.

The success of the Scaffold was all the more surprising since none of them were proficient musicians. Lily the Pink was a modification of an older folk song "The Ballad Of Lydia Pinkham."

Many of the session musicians to play on Scaffold’s recording were themselves pop luminaries including: Jack Bruce (Cream), Elton John, Graham Nash (then The Hollies) and Jimi Hendrix. Even Tim Rice (then producer) sang backing vocals. At their height The Scaffold had remarkable appeal and branched into television with their own children’s’ TV series Score With the Scaffold. In 1971 the group also featured in the highly publicized campaign introducing decimal currency to the UK. By 1973 their appeal was over but they did continue to record and perform. The group merged into an expanded line-up of Grimms (the 'G' in Gorman providing the 'G' in Grimms).

In 1974 they were back in the UK pop charts with Dominic Behan’s Liverpool Lou. Released on Warner Bros the single was recorded with Paul McCartney and Wings.

The Scaffold moved to the Bronze Records label in 1976, and continued touring until 1977 when they finally disbanded. Mike McCartney continues with his photography and has had several distinguished publications.

Roger McGough still performs his poetry and has become author, radio presenter and voice over actor.

John Gorman continued as performer and appeared in several comedy films and TV series. The trio does reform for special performances and recordings.

The trio do reform for special performances and recordings.

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