Gordon Giltrap

Gordon Giltrap scored his only hit single in Heartsong which was also used as the theme tune to the BBC’s long running programme Holiday.

The album Perilous Journey was released on the back of the success of the single. This too was a minor hit in the U.K. peaking at no. 21 in the charts, not bad for an instrumental album although sadly nowhere near the stellar success of Tubular Bells!

The title song of his 2nd album under my tenure is Fear of the Dark:

Here’s extracts from his book Perilous Journey by Steve Pilkington:

. . . Gordon had attracted the attention of some more heavyweight management representation, in the shape of Harvey Lisberg, who had managed the likes of 10cc, Herman’s Hermits, Barclay James Harvest, Sad Cafe, Tony Christie and even, for a time in the 1960’s the Everton and England footballer Fred Pickering. Lisberg had a shared stake in the Kennedy Street Enterprises company, and his was a significant reputation with which to be associated, so, with John Miller temporarily carrying out the management duties himself at this time, Gordon signed up to become a part of the Kennedy Street stable – in the process gaining access to the very best PR men, photographers and the like.

When touring recommenced with the new line-up, the Gordon Giltrap Band found themselves playing theatre venues which he could only have dreamed of a short time earlier – Manchester Free Trade Hall, Sheffield City Hall, Liverpool Empire, Leicester De Montford Hall, Glasgow Apollo and the like. He can remember seeing the itinerary from Kennedy Street for the first time and being astonished at the fact that he was now appearing at the very same venues where really big bands of the time were playing.

Indeed, it was at one of the early shows on this particular outing when an experience happened to really hammer home to Gordon both his new position as a ‘star’, and the impact of Heartsong in particular, when he came to start the piece and immediately the audience rushed to the front of the stage. He remembers standing there playing, scarcely able to conceive of what was going on, and completely taken aback by the sheer power and appeal of the song. It was without doubt one of his pivotal career moments.

Soon after this came the aforementioned unsuccessful attempt at a follow-up with the cover of Oh Well, but an interesting aside to that recording was that there was a video filmed for the song by Hipgnosis, and directed by Storm Thorgerson. The company were attempting to branch out from sleeve design into video production, and the Oh Well video was the first one produced by them. Gordon looks back at the filming now with mixed feelings . . .

Perilous Journey written by Steve Pilkington is Gordon Giltrap’s Official Biography and is available at Wymer Publishing