Monday, October 05, 2009

Beatle People: Grapefruit

Grapefruit was a London-based British band of the late 1960s. Their brand of music was a typical late Sixties blend of pop and rock, which they often fused with psychedelic effects such as phasers and vocoders, or classical arrangements.


They were formed in 1967 as a result of John Perry meeting Terry Doran at Apple Publishing and Terry inputting Scottish-born singer and Bass guitarist George Alexander (born Alexander Young), a member of the talented Young family that also spawned his brothers George, the rhythm guitarist and founding member of The Easybeats and also Malcolm and Angus Young, both founding members of the Australian hard rock band, AC/DC. Alexander Young had chosen to remain in Britain when the rest of the Youngs emigrated to Australia. Alexander had played with The Bobby Patrick Six, with whom he toured Germany in the mid-1960s.

Together with three former members of 'Tony Rivers & The Castaways' (namely John Perry, Geoff Swettenham and Pete Swettenham), George Alexander formed 'The Grapefruit' (the band discarded the initial 'The' soon afterwards). Terry Doran, a friend of John Lennon, became their manager, seeing some commercial potential in them. Doran arranged for the band's music publishing rights (as songwriters) to be assigned to the publishing wing of The Beatles' new company Apple and they were the signed to Apple. However the first signed band to Apple Publishing was Liverpool group Focal Point, who were signed by Doran in September 1967. Grapefruit's record career was launched in the spring of 1968, albeit not on the Beatles' own Apple label, which opened for business a few months later. They were signed to a US label Equinox, run by Terry Melcher. This was distributed in the UK by Decca Records. However, The Beatles continued to take some interest in Grapefruit, with John Lennon introducing the band to the media and inviting John Perry to join in on the recording of the hit single "Hey Jude."

Grapefruit's recording career spanned only two years, from late 1967 to the end of 1969. They released two albums (Around Grapefruit in 1968, Deep Water in 1969) and several singles, none of which made a significant impact on the charts. Their best-known track is probably the Terry Melcher-produced "Dear Delilah", which was released in early 1968, but failed to enter the UK Top 20. Toward the end of their career, Grapefruit shifted from melodic pop to a more rough, blues-influenced style of music.

Grapefruit broke up in late 1969, with Alexander remaining the most visible. Alexander joined forces with his brother George Young and his songwriting partner Harry Vanda from The Easybeats and in 1970 they recorded for the Young Blood label as Paintbox and Tramp. He also participated in sessions for Vanda and Young's Marcus Hook Roll Band.

John Lennon & Paul McCartney were co-producers on a song called "Lullabye for a Lazy Day," a song that was initially called "Circus Sgt. Pepper."


* George Alexander (b. Alexander Young, December 28, 1946, Cranhill, East End, Glasgow) - bass guitar and vocals
* John Perry (b. July 16, 1949, London) - vocals and guitar
* Geoff Swettenham (b. March 8, 1948, London) - drums
* Pete Swettenham (b. April 24, 1949, London) - guitar


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