Aaron went to live in a monastery on the south coast for a couple of weeks after we split up. The monks didn't take too kindly to him when he woke everyone up at two o' clock in the morning after walking two miles from the nearest boozer with a crate of Newcastle Brown Ale. A quiet exit by Aaron followed, with a train ride to Euston Station and the first train home to Liverpool. Aaron is well and happy and living on the Wirral with his wife Brenda.
Tony and I returned to Liverpool and looked for musicians to form a backing band, which is what Kit and Chris wanted us to do. They saw us as a kind of Walker Brothers or something along those lines. We arrived at the Blue Angel and the Masterminds were playing. Joey Molland, Chris Finley and George Cassidy were in the line-up. They played well, all had a good image and stage presence, so they were invited to join our backing band. They all said 'yes' straight away. A drummer we liked was Kenny Goodlass who had been in the Kirkbys and the Escorts, so he joined. Then Kit said he wanted two drummers, so we got Kenny Mundye who had filled in for Banksie when John went missing and vanished over a lost weekend!
Our first gig was a few days later and we went down a storm as the Merseys with their Fruit Eating Bears. Chris Stamp came up with that name - no, don't ask me where on earth it came from 'cause I don't know.
'Sorrow' was discovered on the 'B' side of the McCoys' 'Fever' by a guy called Ray, who worked for Kit and Chris. He said we had to listen to it 'cause there was something about it that he thought could be turned into a great record. It was a very Neil Young type of vocal and too country and western sounding. We loved it. So I rearranged the harmonies and decided to add a strange vocal line that was sung after the main line and that was it, we knew we had a winner.
We'd got Jimmy Page, Jack Bruce and Clem Cattini to play on it in a small studio in Denmark Street. We changed it again and then got a bigger band, including John Paul Jones (Jack Bruce couldn't make it to the second session), Jimmy Page, Clem Cattini, Benny Green and many more infamous musicians and did the song live at CBS Studios in New Bond Street, London.
The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and the Troggs stopped us getting to number one but they were all classic records and we
realized that at the time. To this day I still like 'Sorrow' and have never got fed up or bored with it.
Our next record, Pete Townshend's 'So Sad About Us' was a Kit Lambert overproduced, overdone, egomaniacal catastrophe!!! Kit believed he was the new Phil Spector by this time and he clearly wasn't.
The Merseys toured many times with the Who - at least four major tours as well as one-nighters before that as the Merseybeats. We were still based on Merseyside but spent more and more time in London. We became great friends with the Who and got to hang out with them. I actually stayed with Roger for a few weeks in a flat in north London, while John Banks and Keith Moon were also great mates.
Traveling by road was pretty tiring. I remember how excited we all were when the MI was finally linked to the M6.
Traveling by rail was getting much better so we started to go by train to recording sessions as we'd be much fresher relaxing and taking it easy. I recall I first flew from Speke to Heathrow for our second recording session as we'd blown our voices on our debut in the studio and didn't want to blow it again!