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History and Biography
Back to Part 1
Though Alan Jones had had enough of the music business by 1977, the remaining three members of Blackfoot Sue were not yet ready to give up their dreams of fame and fortune.


Blackfoot So it was that Sue was officially dropped from the band - that is, they became known simply as Blackfoot - at least for long enough to record and release two self-produced tracks on the MCA label (at the time, unaware of the southern American band of the same name).

The name change was a fairly straight-forward decision, as the press had often referred to the boys as “Blackfoot” or “the Blackfoots” anyway, and the band had never been entirely comfortable at being labelled with a girl’s name, despite their manager’s enthusiasm for what he had considered to be a catchy hook.

The change in musical style had come about largely due to the influence of American band Chicago’s huge hit, If You Leave Me Now. Eddie had brought back to the rest of the band a song that he had written in a similar vein, one which ultimately became the ballad When Will I See You Again, complete with strings and brass. In complete contrast, the B-side was a funky laid-back track, Lay The Real Thing On Me, featuring a smokey lead vocal by Tom and deliciously rich harmonies. Unfortunately, the single did not make a dent on the charts, which was no surprise given the turbulent state of the music scene at the time.
Blackfoot, 1977
The second incarnation: Blackfoot, 1977.
Now we got to see what was behind the moustaches the Farmer brothers had faithfully retained since their schooldays.

Liner 
Liner, ATCO promo photo... nice shirts, guys!
The third incarnation: Liner, 1979.
 
However, the band were still stubbornly determined to make their mark. With a wealth of ideas for new songs, it was a natural progression to become Liner - by their own admission, a “blue-eyed soul act” - where they were able to indulge their life-long passion for Tamla Motown. They were signed up by Atlantic Records, recording the self-titled album Liner, under the guidance of legendary record producer Arif Mardin.

Recording the album was a two stage process. The basic tracks (guitar, bass, drums and vocals) were laid down at Basing Street Studios in London, and then the operation shifted across to the east coast of America for the second and most exciting phase.

There, the recordings were augmented with strings, horns and additional backing vocals by female singers (led by Cissy Houston, mother of Whitney, a recording artist in her own right). All the signs were that the band potentially had a massive hit on their hands, but once again the fickle tide of popular music was changing. Though punk was already rapidly becoming passé, New Wave was now firmly in the ascendency.
The trip to the US had been their first, though it had long been anticipated and planned way back in the Blackfoot Sue days. With charming naivety, they had ventured out onto the streets to explore, just as they had done everywhere else in their travels, only to find their hosts utterly horrified despite their safe return to the hotel. Though remarkably lucky not to have been mugged or even worse (Eddie now speculates that any potential attackers would have suspected a set-up of some kind, with a camera crew waiting just out of shot - after all, one doesn’t expect to come across three long-haired English guys in stack heels casually wandering through areas native New Yorkers instinctively avoided!), further trials were awaiting them.

David’s hand luggage, containing his passport and personal papers, was stolen from the hotel foyer, so he was forced to miss his flight home and stay an extra night while a speedy replacement was organised. Tom and Eddie flew on home to London as scheduled, only to fall into the eager clutches of Customs and Excise at Heathrow Airport. Like Eddie, Tom had taken the opportunity while in the US to buy himself a prized guitar - however, unlike Eddie’s far more expensive, yet obviously secondhand 1952-vintage Les Paul, Tom’s bass was brand-spanking new, and with all tags intact. So it was that Tom was arrested for “tax evasion”, while Eddie was able to sail on through, the only member of the band to emerge into the arrivals lounge to greet waiting friends and family!

The release of Liner’s first single, Keep Reaching Out For Love, with Eddie on lead vocals, was delayed by the record company for a few very crucial months over the winter of 1978/79, and as a result, only just made it into the top 50. Public exposure to the song was further limited by the fact that, though the band were filmed performing it before flying off to Germany, it was not shown as scheduled due to an electrician’s strike at the BBC.

You And Me, the second single from the album, fared slightly better, becoming a minor chart hit in the UK (reaching #44) and in the US (reaching #92) in mid-1979. It saw the band appear on Top of The Pops again, undoubtedly a bittersweet moment for them (it was also fascinating for the fact that David was out front with a guitar, rather than behind the drum kit, whilst an unknown ring-in occupied the drum stool). Another feature of the filmclip was Eddie’s newly acquired "Gold Top" Les Paul, even now still his favourite guitar. Saxophonist Mel Collins, who had played on the album, was also featured in the film clip.

Liner on Top Of The Pops... featuring David on guitar, Tom with a Fender Precision, and Eddie with his Gold Top Les Paul
As well as being released on standard black vinyl in plain company sleeves, and as a variety of picture sleeves, the two singles were also released as picture disks, some of the first of their kind. Coincidentally, though the band were unaware of it, both of the singles and the album cover artwork were by Anne Meisel, creator of the arresting Blackfoot Sue Nothing To Hide cover.

A third single was released, Strange Fascination, also taken from the album, but the moment was well and truly past. As David recalled, “I remember standing at Top Of The Pops during our Liner days and seeing The Damned on one podium and Gary Numan on another and thinking to myself that there was no place for a band like ours in the trend-conscious UK market...”

Spoilers Neither Blackfoot nor Liner ever performed live - they were purely studio entities. This was not the case, however, for the band’s next reinvention, a foray into new wave (a case of "if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em"?). Renaming themselves Spoilers (in what Tom has called the band’s "Police" period), two singles were recorded and released, but neither made any impact on the charts.
These were Standing In A Line, sung by Tom, and Shy Girl, David’s first turn at lead vocals (on record, at least - he had, of course, in the Blackfoot Sue days, sometimes depped for Tom on stage, most famously in early 1972 during his brother’s extended bout of laryngitis), both released in the first half of 1980. Eddie took on the lead vocals on both the B-sides, Motorway and Crossfire respectively.
Tom
Eddie
Spoilers - Standing In A Line
Spoilers - Shy Girl
Spoilers
Spoilers (and friends)
The fourth incarnation: Spoilers (and friends)
The inevitable keyboards were supplied firstly by Alan Park, and then by John Jolliffe (brother of Steamhammer’s Steve). While the records displayed all the band members’ unquestionable consummate musicianship, Eddie described the live performances as the utter low point of the band’s career. Finding themselves playing in the support slot to a bunch of petulant seventeen-year-olds who could barely play their instruments was hardly inspirational. It was little wonder that at this point he seriously considered packing it in for good.

However, it was while they were playing a gig in Clapham that the band received an offer which seemed to be too good to be true. A member of the audience approached them, offering them gig dates at his club in the south of France.

Once they had established that he was genuine (“...at the time,” said Tom, “we thought that he was just another punter who’d had one over the eight, but he called us the next morning with a serious proposal”), they jumped at the chance, establishing themselves a residency at the club, called The Odd Spot, where their spirits were restored by performing for far more appreciative audiences while the music scene in Britain sorted itself out.

Though only the four tracks were ultimately committed to vinyl, the band were still actively writing songs, and there was at least a further album’s worth of material recorded (produced by Glynn Johns’ son Ethan). Some of those songs were ultimately reworked by the band in their next incarnation, as Outside Edge.

The owner of The Odd Spot became an enthusiatic (if unofficial) promoter for the band, handing out copies of their demo tape to all and sundry, and so it was that the next break came in the most unexpected way. A chance hearing of the tape by the MD of WEA in France (whilst he was in the dentist’s chair, no less!) led to a record deal and the eventual release of a self-titled album, Outside Edge, in France only, in 1984.

The album was co-produced by the band and their old chum Mark Wallis, who had worked on the Gun Running recording sessions, and just about everything was done by the band themselves and their friends - from the photos on the sleeve to the liner notes. The only exception was the suitably eighties-style geometric design on the front cover; on the back cover was a shot of the band taken in David’s dining room (at right).

Continuing a trend they'd begun with the Spoilers material, lead vocal duties were split between all three members of the band, though this time with David taking on the largest number of songs - half the album, in fact. “The producer liked my voice,” he noted.
Outside Edge, 1984
The fifth incarnation: Outside Edge, 1984...  
or should that be an early audition for Lord Of The Rings?  
Outside Edge The modest success of this homegrown production convinced the band to aim for the big time once again.

Quickly rounding-out their lineup to a quartet by recruiting whizz-kid keyboard player Pete Giles, they then looked to securing some top-rate management. This soon paid off, gaining them the support slot on Bryan Adam’s British tour in 1985. It was on the strength of these performances that they were offered a recording contract with Virgin’s 10 Records label.

This in turn found them travelling around Europe on a major 56 city tour as support to Manfred Mann in 1986, promoting their second album, Running Hot, which had been recorded earlier that year, with Terry Manning as producer, a hot property with a superb pedigree who had most recently made his mark with the likes of ZZ Top, Molly Hatchet and Joe Cocker.
Outside Edge, 1986
Outside Edge, 1986 version, with Pete Giles  
However, despite their new producer’s rock solid credentials, the recording sessions were not without their conflicts. The band found themselves barred from the studio after voicing their disapproval of eighties production values - programmed drum sequences were all the rage at the time, but not what a real gigging band was all about. Reduced to playing numerous games of football outside the studio, while endless tinkering was carried out inside and the production costs inexorably mounted, Tom noted that it would have been impossible to sell the number of albums required to recoup those costs!

Red-hot from this intensive gigging schedule (a soundboard recording made at the time has subsequently resurfaced as a CD known as In Concert. David recalls hearing it played back on the tour bus, and Eddie remarking, "You know, there wasn’t a single dud note!"), Outside Edge went straight on from the Manfred Mann tour to play the 1986 Reading Festival, performing a triumphant slot on the Saturday afternoon.
Reading Festival programme 1986
Checkpoint Charlie
Terry, Tom, David
filming Heartbeat Away, 1986
in the studio
Gigging in LA
Eddie Golga
Outside Edge promo tape A third album was recorded, this time with Terry Brown (Rush, Fates Warning) in the producer’s chair. Tom recalls being reluctantly convinced to take singing lessons for the first time in his life, only to be told, when subsequently fronting up for the recording sessions, that “—you sound like a choir boy! It’s just not you.” In order to get his trademark voice back in a hurry, Tom went next door and smoked his way through a packet of cigarettes, and was soon back in perfect vocal form... but the downside was that it had started him smoking again.

Advertisements were were taken out in heavy metal magazine Kerrang! announcing the album’s imminent release, and glowing reviews by all who heard it made it look as if it would be third time lucky... but once again, it was not to be. The album was shelved during drastic restructuring by the record company, which saw their label (10 Records) closed down, and its M.D., Richard Griffiths, relocated to LA. (Happily, the album finally saw release on CD in 2000, as More Edge).

Subsequently bereft of a recording contract, the band soldiered on regardless, becoming a five-piece by recruiting singer Colin Peel into their ranks (though a gifted vocalist and front-man, whose credits include stints with the likes of Praying Mantis, Peel is possibly better known as TV presenter Gaby Roslin’s former husband). His official live debut with Outside Edge occurred on March 23, 1988, at the Marquee in London, closely observed by the music press.

Trips to Dubai and France followed, and then it was on to the USA. However, while gigging in LA, it became apparent that the long musical association between the Farmer brothers and Eddie Golga had run its course. He subsequently left the band and went on to do session and production work; he is credited on the 1987 release Esquire (a project of Chris Squire’s ex-wife, Nikki), amongst other recordings. In 1989-90 he was a founder member of the band Little Wing, along with Colin Peel, also featuring Paul Gray on bass, and Jim Simpson on drums. The band went so far as to record some demos and play some gigs, but unfortunately this promising project fizzled out when Paul got an offer to get back together with The Damned. In 1992 Eddie took on the production of groove-funk metal outfit Kid Wicked’s album Non-Stop Primitive (also featuring Colin Peel on backing vocals).
Promo tape of the then unnamed third Outside Edge album, later to be released as More Edge...
Outside Edge - the 5 piece
  Big Hair days: Outside Edge, 1989
More photos
Colin in Buddy's Song, 1991Colin Peel Colin made his acting debut in the 1991 movie Buddy's Song (starring Roger Daltrey and Chesney Hawkes), playing the part of Buddy's drummer Glenn. No doubt his performance was aided by cribbing from having watched David in action behind the kit...


Colin Peel (second from left)
Chesney Hawkes at extreme right;
from Buddy's Song (1991)
BC Sweet
B.C.Sweet - David (front row, left) stubbornly refused to wear eyeliner despite intense pressure from his bandmates.
In the meantime, David Farmer quickly re-established himself on the gigging circuit by taking up the drum throne in Brian Connolly’s band B.C. Sweet. What was initially a one night dep when the then drummer was indisposed became a permanent position, and David found himself touring all over the world, including large festivals in Germany and even an Australian tour in late 1990, alongside younger brother Gary (on bass) and Steve Turner on guitar.

David also played drums on the BC Sweet album Let’s Go (released in 1995), as well as on Manfred Mann’s album Soft Vengeance. Brothers Gary and Tom also played on the sessions, on guitar and bass respectively, but ultimately Tom’s basslines weren’t used.

Being a former member of Outside Edge paid an unexpected dividend when things got a little too rowdy one temperate night during the B.C. Sweet tour of Australia. The band had been dining in a hotel rooftop restaurant in Melbourne, and after freely partaking of liquid refreshments, the swimming pool alongside began to look more and more inviting. Before too long, the band had taken the plunge, fully-clothed, and the local constabulary were duly summoned. However, to everyone’s astonishment, the policeman somehow recognised the sopping wet, bedraggled David as being the same fellow gracing the Outside Edge album sleeve in his record collection. The bemused drummer found himself signing an autograph rather than being offered some alternate and rather less comfortable accomodation for the night, and the rest of the band being grateful they had gotten off so lightly!
Dave Farmer
Gary Farmer
Steve Turner
Skeleton Crew
Skeleton Crew: Tom Farmer is second from right
Meanwhile, Tom Farmer was also involved in various musical projects, such as a band called Skeleton Crew, put together by Paul King (Mungo Jerry), and both he and David were engaged to play in a mini-tour by Electric Light Orchestra Part II (also known as OrKestra) around 1991 - 1992.

Tom, David and Eddie had actually worked with Paul King some years before, in a band called Nightshift, put together to play a combination of King’s original material and selected cover songs. However, their tenure was cut short when Outside Edge secured their record deal with Virgin, and they consequently went off to record what was to become Running Hot. The final incarnation of Skeleton Crew also included David on drums after previous incumbent of the drum throne Alan Hitt (aka Budgie) left to pursue a project of his own, but was ultimately disbanded when Paul King retired from the music business. 
BFS logo 1995 Proving that blood is thicker than water, when Gary finished his stint with BC Sweet, picking up bandmate and fellow Brummie Steve Turner along the way, he was soon drafted into a band formed by his brothers Tom and David. The collaboration was a fruitful one. Before too long, brimming over with song ideas, the foursome quickly knocked together an album’s worth of tracks in David’s basement. They fired off the resulting demo tape to an ally at Virgin Records in Sweden, but nothing more was heard of it until its surprise reappearance in 2006 (as a bootleg CD labelled Call Me, with artwork proclaiming it to be by Outside Edge!). Outside Edge (Blackfoot Sue) - Call Me
The musical chemistry was undeniable. After some lengthy deliberation, not to mention the enthusiastic encouragement of many people who had never forgotten the band’s origins, the momentous decision was made to revive the name Blackfoot Sue, almost 20 years after they had originally set it aside. In 1993, the band played their first gigs under that name. (Any resemblance between the new logo and that of the BSA is purely intentional!)

The following year the band hit the recording studios with yet another collection of songs under their belt, and this time the end result was the album Talk Radio. Initially released in Germany only in 1995, it found the band delivering a suite of powerful and classically crafted rock songs, including a remake of their hit Standing In The Road.

In 1995 and 1996, David also spent time drumming in various incarnations of Sweet, and then in 1997, he joined Tom and Gary and guitarist Alan "Al" Johnson in the gigging covers band Cry Wolf.

In 1998, a wider European distribution was brokered for the album, and it was consequently repackaged as Red On Blue, an additional track was added (Fall From Grace, recorded later) and the decision was made for the band to once again go out on the road, touring the album, playing support to Son of A Bitch (AKA Saxon).
Blackfoot Sue, Talk Radio, 1995
Blackfoot Sue, the 5 piece As this left Alan Johnson kicking his heels, with Cry Wolf temporarily on hold, he was brought in as a fifth member of Blackfoot Sue in order to augment the live sound and bring it as close to that of the CD as possible.

The two bands continued to co-exist, until, on April 30th, 1999, Blackfoot Sue were booked to play at London Astoria 2 (later known as The Mean Fiddler), in what should have been a triumphant return to the big stage. However, once again, fate intervened. The band were having a quiet pre-gig drink at a nearby pub when the unthinkable happened - only a few blocks away at the Admiral Duncan pub, in Soho, a nail bomb exploded, killing three people and injuring many others. The West End was swiftly cordoned off, with the unfortunate and inevidable consequence that most of the audience could not get through to the theatre!

 "Big Sky", top, left to right:
 David, Gary, Steve Turner; bottom: Tom, Oddie
Their ambitious plan to perform with three guitarists in the line-up had unfortunately fallen through when Gary was indisposed, so the gig went ahead with Steve Turner and Texan Pars Evrenos on guitar. Pars had joined Cry Wolf when Alan Johnson had left the band to go and pursue his own thing (to form a band with his wife Lara, a singer, and run a pub!). In fact, this was Pars’ one and only appearance as a member of Blackfoot Sue.

Though playing to a disappointingly small audience of about 400, the band nevertheless relished playing in a large venue with such a substantial sound system, finally able to do justice to the songs from the Red On Blue album, particularly band favourites like Small Town. Their roadie at the time further related that they had to pack up and get themselves and their gear out of the theatre sharpish as it turned into a gay club on the stroke of midnight!

After the tour, the band resumed playing as Cry Wolf, and Blackfoot Sue was once again put on ice...
...for now, anyway!
Tom, David, Gary and Pars can be seen performing in: the official Cry Wolf web site
Cry Wolf live
Gary Farmer, Tom Farmer, David Farmer, Pars Everenos... Cry Wolf
Visit the official Cry Wolf web site or view their latest gig list

 
Blackfoot Sue 2003 Reunion
Many thanks to Eddie Golga for the info and image!
 2003 - the Blackfoot Sue reunion

In April 2003, the four original members of Blackfoot Sue met up for the first time in 5 years. During his trip to the UK, Alan Jones met up with Eddie Golga, and the two travelled to the band’s old stamping ground, Hounslow, to see former bandmates Tom and David Farmer playing in Cry Wolf. The word is, there was much reminiscing about the "good old days", and a great time was had by all!
Left to right: Tom Farmer, David Farmer, Eddie Golga and Alan Jones...
- the one, the only, the original...

Blackfoot Sue
Eddie, Gary
Tom, Eddie
 2004 - Eddie Golga back on the stage...
In April 2004, Eddie Golga rejoined his old bandmates on the stage at The Star in South Harrow. It was the first time in over ten years that he had played alongside Tom and David Farmer, and the first time ever that he had shared the stage with Gary!
More photos
Trip diary entry
Tom, David and Eddie on stage
A long overdue return to the stage...

 2005
Blackfoot Sue 2005 Reunion
It was my privilege to be present when all four original members of Blackfoot Sue got together during a Cry Wolf gig at The Red Lion in Twickenham.
More photos
 2009 - another Blackfoot Sue reunion
Blackfoot Sue and me, 2009
Left to right: David Farmer, me the webmaster!, Eddie Golga, Tom Farmer, Alan Jones
 2013 - Eddie gigs with Cry Wolf
 2007 - BFS back on stage at long last!
It finally happened. After 30 long years, the original 4 members of Blackfoot Sue were reunited on stage.
More photos
Blackfoot Sue 2007 reunion
Left to right: Alan Jones, Tom Farmer, David Farmer, and Eddie Golga - but you knew that already, didn’t you!
Many thanks to Kate for the photo!
 2012 - Eddie guests with Cry Wolf
Cry Wolf at Egham United FC, with guest Eddie Golga on guitar
Blackfoot Sue logo

 2013 - What next????
Tom, Eddie Dave, Alan
Any comments, corrections, additions, or just wanting to get in touch?
Then drop us an email or alternatively, please sign the guestbook!
Join the Blackfoot Sue Appreciation Society on
Blackfoot Sue on Facebook
© Carol Hynson 2003-2013
The kudos section: without whom, etc!
I am indebted to Alan Jones, Eddie Golga, Tom, David and Gary Farmer and Pars Evrenos for helping to fill in the gaps. Their encouragement and assistance has been immeasureable. Thanks so much! I especially want to thank David Farmer for entrusting me with his personal collection of memorabilia. It's been quite an adventure piecing the story back together! On behalf of everyone, thank you for the music.

Many thanks also to Richard Clifford for his huge enthusiasm and for helping to promote the site. His reminiscences are both erudite and fascinating and have added a new dimension to the band’s story. Ken Stanion provided some priceless photos and some fabulous memories and deserves a huge thank you, both from me and the band.

Heartfelt thanks to Andrew Swift for the information on What kind of life ? Also to Gary Jordan, for locating and so generously sharing the long-thought-lost Standing In The Road filmclip - Gary, you have made a lot of people very, very happy!

A big thank you to Keith Brunt for his boundless enthusiasm, friendship, scans and research.

To Peter Arnold, Manfred Gellner, Tom Ross, and Strang for scans and material from their personal collections.

The photo of Skeleton Crew and vital info about Skeleton Crew, Nightshift etc were contributed by Budgie, thanks!

Thanks also to Graham Martin for the information on Firefly.

And to everyone who has provided gig photos, thanks so much! Keep rocking! We love you all!

And, of course, to you the reader, for stopping by. I hope you enjoy the site - please don’t forget to pass on any info, comments, gig dates, and photos. Every little bit helps!
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