«She has become my baby! She sounds great and raises interest wherever I take her… she sounds like a historic should!»
Tom Newman was one of the more enduring talents to come out of the orbit of the psychedelic group July, but his history went back much farther than that band.
Born in 1943, he was in his early teens when rock & roll hit in England, and by the late ’50s was in a skiffle outfit called the Playboys, who turned to rock & roll and R&B during the early ’60s and took the new name, first the Thoughts and then the Tomcats, whose membership — Tony Duhig on lead guitar and vocals, Jon Fieldon percussion and vocals, Chris Jackson on drums, and Newman on lead vocals, guitar, and keyboards — later became the lineup of July.
In the interim, they hit in Spain with a series of Spanish language covers, but returned to England during the psychedelic era and adapted to the new sound with a change of name to July. That group lasted for the duration of a single and a superb and very hard-to-find album.
Following July’s breakup in 1969, Newman went on to a dual career as a session guitarist and solo recording artist, and in the early ’70s hooked up with Mike Oldfield, as co-producer/co-engineer on Tubular Bells, and was signed to Richard Branson’s Virgin Records label, for which he built Manor Studios. After a single solo studio venture there, he jumped ship from Virgin and subsequently recorded an ambitious solo album,Faerie Symphony, on which he reteamed with his former July bandmate Jon Field.
Newman founded his own studio, Argonaut, in 1976, which became his primary vehicle for his own recordings, often with Fieldand Fred Frith, although he did sign with Decca Records in 1977 to release Faerie Symphony, one of the last unabashedly progressive rock long-players to come out of England during an era when the music had definitely gone out of fashion. In the years since, Newman has followed his own star, recording material that ranges from quasi-New Age ambient sound to sing-along numbers.
Vintage ‘Historic’ Series Electro-Acoustic VE880VB