In July 1962 I graduated from the University of Manchester as a Bachelor of Arts with my degree in Commerce.
While at university I loved writing impromptu songs about anything that took my fancy. I figured the best way to get my songs out there was to find someone else to sing them.
That’s really why I became a music manager, and in the early sixties discovered my first act, The Heartbeats, whose name we changed to Herman and the Hermits, later to become simply Herman’s Hermits.
Songs co-written . . .
For Herman’s Hermits:
- “Your Hand In Mine” (Lisberg, Silverman) was the B-side of their debut single “I’m Into Something Good” their only #1 single in the U.K. It peaked at #13 in the U.S.A. in December 1964.
- “For Love” (Lisberg, Hopwood, Leckenby) was the B-side of their single “This Door Swings Both Ways” which reached #18 in the U.K. and #12 in the U.S.A. in August 1966.
- “What is Wrong, What is Right” (Lisberg, Hopwood, Leckenby) was the B-side of the single “East West” (Gouldman), which peaked at #33 in the U.K. and reached #27 in the U.S.A. in February 1967.
- “Busy Line” (Hopwood, Leckenby, Green, Lisberg) which was a track from their sixth album “Blaze” released in 1967 in the U.S. and Canada, although not released in the U.K. at the time.
- “Marcel’s” (Gouldman, Noone, Hopwood, Lisberg) was the B-side for “I Can Take or Leave Your Loving” which reached #11 in the U.K. and #22 in the U.S.A. in February 1968.
- “Only Last Night” (Lisberg, Silverman) is an unreleased demo recording by the original Herman and the Hermits who prior to that, back in 1962, were called “The Heartbeats”. The first line-up featured Alan Wrigley (bass) and Steve Titterington (drums) as well as stalwarts Keith Hopwood, Karl Green and Peter Noone.
For other artistes:
- “The Cost of Living” (Gouldman, Cowap, Lisberg) by Downliners Sect, which was remastered for C.D. and included as a bonus track on the Downliners Sect 2005 reissue “Rock Sect’s In“.
- “Dog Rough Dan” (Cowap, Hoffman, Lisberg) by The Measles, was the B-side to Night People and released on Columbia in Aug 1965.
- The Generation (a.k.a. Jason’s Generation) was a Manchester and Salford based band previously known as The Lobos and formed around 1965. I put them in Southern Studio (Denmark Street) in 1966 to record “It’s Up To You” / “Insurance Companies Are Very Unfair”. Mike Collier and I co-produced the session and wrote the B-side on the spot as the band had nothing else up-to-scratch to put down. The recordings were released again in 1996 (Polydor 56042) and on the compilation CD “Purple Pill Eaters” in 1988 on Paraniod Records. On this session, there was Graham Gouldman singing backing vocals, Clem Cattini (Tornados, Johnny Kidd, etc.) on drums, and Jon Lord (Deep Purple) playing keyboards. .
- In 1970, Simon and Garfunkel had an international smash on the “Bridge Over Troubled Water” album with the single of the same name at the insistence of Clive Davis from their record company, Columbia. The second single was “Cecilia” and I encouraged Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley, Lol Creme (who were later to be founder members of Hotlegs and 10cc) and Derek Lekenby (lead guitarist in Herman’s Hermits) to cover this for a quick release in Europe. The New Wave Band released “Cecilia” in Feb ’71 which didn’t chart in the UK; but neither did Simon and Garfunkel’s version!
I'm not certain but always felt Simon and Garfunkel's "Cecilia" (April 1970) inspired Hotlegs "Neanderthal Man" (June 1970). This is the first song of theirs that broke through and of course morphed into 10cc. Can you hear it?
- I never formally managed Solomon King, who hit No. 3 in the U.K. charts in 1968 with “She Wears My Ring” – whose version blows both Elvis’ and Roy Orbison’s attempts out of the ball park. But in 1972 I produced “When You’ve Gotta Go” co-written by Lynsey de Paul/Ron Roker and the B-side “Life Child” for a single on Polydor.
Around the turn of the millennium, in order to get my Green Card to live in U.S.A. I had to provide references from business associates.
The first is from Sir Tim Rice. A close friend, a gentleman, and the best of British.
The second is from Tony Wilson, Manchester’s visionary creative ambassador who kept Manchester at the top into the 80’s and 90’s.
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