Thunderclap Newman

Band members               Related acts

- Jim Avery - bass (1969-70)

- John "Speedy" Keen (RIP 2004) - vocals, drums, rhythm

  guitar (1969-70)

- Jack McCulloch - drums (1969-70)

- Jimmy McCulloch (RIP 1979) - lead guitar (1969-70)

- Andy '"Thunderclap" Newman - keyboards (1969-70)



- John Keen (solo efforts)

- Andy Newman (solo efforts)

- Stone the Crows (Jimmy McCulloch)

- The Tomcats (John Keen)

- Wings (Jimmy McCulloch)





Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Hollywood Dreams

Company: Track

Catalog: SD 8264

Year: 1969

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: gatefold sleeve; original inner sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4665

Price: $25.00

Cost: $66.00


Singer/guitarist John 'Speedy' Keen's original brush with success was a result of his longstanding friendship with The Who's Pete Townshend.  Having  recorded Keen's 'Armenian City In The Sky' for their 'The Who Sell Out" album, Townshend subsequently encouraged Keen to form a band.  


With Townshend's support Keen promptly recruited 16 year old guitarist Jimmy McCulloch and postal engineer-cum-keyboardist Andy Newman for what was to become Thunderclap Newman.  Signed to The Who's Track Records, the trio debuted with 1969's 'Something In the Air' b/w 'Wilhelmina' (Track catalog number ) .  With the song proving an unexpected international hit, as was standard marketing procedure, Track rushed the group into the studio to record a supporting album.  


With Townshend again producing, 1969's "Hollywood Dream" epitamizes the concept of a 'lost' classic.  Keen was responsible for writing the majority of the material (the lone non-original being a cover of Dylan's 'Open the Door, Homer').  Propelled by Keen's thin and reedy voice, McCulloch crunching guitar leads and Newman's barrelhouse piano, material such as 'Hollywood # 1' and 'The Reason' is likeable and quite quirky (in a uniquely English fashion).  Released as a follow-up single Keen's strange 'Accidents' b/w 'See It All' (Track catalog number 2718) provided the band with a minor hit.  Track went on to lift two more singles from the album, though neither charted:


- 1970's 'Wild Country' b/w 'Hollywood' (Track catalog number 2095-002)

- 1970's 'The Reason' b/w 'Stormy Petrel' (Track catalog number 2094-003)


Not to sound shallow, but the absence of sales may have had something to do with the fact these guys didn't exactly look like rock stars.  Keen may have been able to pull off the 'hipster' look, but Newman looked like a slightly demented professor, while McCulloch looked like a slightly demented student.

"Hollywood Dreams" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Hollywood # 1   (John Keen) - 3:20

2.) The Reason  (John Keen) - 4:06

3.) Open the Door, Homer   (Bob Dylan) - 3:02

4.) Look Around  (John Keen) - 2:59

5.) Accidents  (John Keen) - 9:42


(side 2)

1.) Wild Country  (John Keen) - 4:16

2.) When I Think  (John Keen) - 3:06

3.) The Old Cornmill  (John Keen) - 3:58

4.) I Don't Know  (John Keen) - 3:44

5.) Hollywood Dream (Instrumental)  (Jack McCulloch - Jimmy McCulloch) - 

6.) Hollywood # 2 (John Keen) - 2:53

7.) Something In the Air  (John Keen) - 3:55




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