Monday, June 22, 2009

Beatle People: Jackie Lomax

John Richard 'Jackie' Lomax (born 10 May 1944, Wallasey, Cheshire, England) is a British guitarist and singer/songwriter best known for his association with George Harrison and Eric Clapton.

History 1962 - 1970

In early 1962, Jackie Lomax left Dee and the Dynamites to join Merseybeat band The Undertakers. They followed the same route as The Beatles through local venues before setting out for Hamburg, Germany and finally securing a record deal. From that point onwards, they were dogged by ill-luck and lack of success. They signed with Pye Records and released four singles which only managed to place one week on the British charts between them. In 1965 they moved to America to try their luck there.

After two years in America with The Undertakers and a couple of other groups, Jackie Lomax's latest band, The Lomax Alliance, were taken back to Britain in 1967 by Brian Epstein to showcase them at the Saville Theatre in London. He arranged for a single and an album to be recorded and they signed to CBS. Epstein's untimely death ruined the plans for the band. During that period CBS released two Lomax Alliance singles and one solo Jackie Lomax single. More than enough tracks for an album were recorded but it was never released.

After Brian Epstein's death, the Beatles' new record label Apple took over responsibility for Jackie's recording career, with George Harrison becoming heavily involved on the production side. Despite having 75% of the Beatles on the record as well as Eric Clapton and Nicky Hopkins, success remained elusive. The shambles which was Apple, after the break-up of the Beatles, made matters even worse. During that period Apple released three singles--including the song "Sour Milk Sea," written by George Harrison--and the Is This What You Want? LP. By 1970, the break-up of the Beatles had badly affected Apple Records and Allen Klein was called in. Apple artists found themselves under contract to a label who had no interest in them.

History 1970 - 1977

After leaving Apple, Jackie Lomax joined a band called Heavy Jelly featuring bassist Alex Dmochowski, guitarist John Moorshead and Carlo Little (drums), who released a single on Head Records ("Chewn In"/"Time Out," Head HDS4001, 1969). During that period a Heavy Jelly LP, made up entirely of Jackie Lomax songs, was recorded but issued for promotional purposes only. It was never commercially released.

In 1971 Jackie Lomax returned to America to live and work in Woodstock, New York. He signed to Warner Bros. Records and reunited with members of the Lomax Alliance and The Undertakers. They returned to the recording studio but his efforts continued to fall on deaf ears. During this Warner period two Jackie Lomax albums were: Home Is In My Head and Three.

Disappointed with his lack of success in America, Jackie Lomax returned to Britain at the end of 1973, where he joined Badger, a progressive rock band originally formed by ex-Yes keyboard player Tony Kaye. He proceeded to turn them into the type of R&B/soul band he had used on his solo albums. The band became a vehicle for Jackie's songs and singing but was short-lived. During the period in which Jackie Lomax was a member of Badger, they released only one LP, White Lady, on Epic Records, which was produced by Allen Toussaint.

Jackie Lomax crossed the Atlantic again to resume his solo career and Capitol Records signed him in 1975. He continued playing the R&B/soul which he had perfected during his recording career but which the public stubbornly refused to embrace. Unfortunately he has been without a recording contract since he left them in 1977. During his time at Capitol, he recorded two albums, Livin' for Lovin' and Did You Ever Have That Feeling?, the second of which was released only in the USA.

Living in America 1978-2000

The 1980s were a very quiet time in the musical career of Jackie Lomax. The mid 1980s saw Jackie playing guitar and singing background vocals on demos for various artists produced by longtime friend Patrick Landreville. During this time Jackie briefly played with the short lived "Tea Bags" a group based in Los Angeles composed at various times of Brit musicians Ian Wallace, Kim Gardner, Mick Taylor, Brian Auger, Terry Reid, Peter Banks, Graham Bell, David Mansfield and others. The 1990s saw an increase in activity for Jackie. He spent periods playing with other British artists on the west coast of America and toured as the bass-player with some of the acts that were big when he first chose to play music - The Drifters, The Diamonds, The Coasters. In California, and Ventura County in particular, Jackie played live with a succession of line-ups, including Tom Petty drummer Randall Marsh, Jim Calire, Patrick Landreville, Mitch Kashmar and many other well respected musicians, as he returned to playing guitar, with a heavier emphasis on the blues side of R&B.

In 1990 he was seen in very good company on a compilation album which featured unique singers covering a wide range of songs, and he appeared on albums for other artists, both as a singer and as a guitarist. Recordings, however, were few and far between.

2001 Onwards

In 2001 Jackie Lomax completed the recording of his first solo album since 1977, The Ballad of Liverpool Slim. 2002 saw him continuing to play on the West Coast of America. In autumn of 2003, he made a triumphant return to The Cavern in Liverpool where it all began more than 40 years earlier.


* The Undertakers Unearthed 1963-65
* The Lomax Alliance and CBS Recordings 1966-1967
* Is This What You Want? 1968 #145 US
* Heavy Jelly 1970
* Home Is In My Head 1971
* Three 1972
* White Lady /Badger 1974
* Livin' For Lovin' 1976
* Did You Ever Have That Feeling? 1977
* True Voices (Various Artists) 1991
* The Ballad of Liverpool Slim 2001 & 2004


1 comment:

Jenne Bee said...

I love Jackie Lomax! A musician friend of mine knows him well and got a signed photograph for me, I also had the opportunity of meeting him not long ago, but couldn't make it. Hopefully I will get to soon. Great bio however Wallasey (on The Wirral, where I am also from) is not in Cheshire. When Jackie was born it had a Liverpool postcode so was in Merseyside. We are still classed as being in Merseyside even though in 1999 we were given CH postcode :)