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Yes I know it’s an old chestnut but cut me some slack. Come back in a bit …
The Secret Album was recorded in conditions of discretion which have remained to this day. Some would call it absolute secrecy, but anyway it’s time Jim and I put and end to all that cloak and dagger stuff.
However, we are still not sure if the studio was ever paid for, so we don’t want to draw too much attention, you understand.
After all, we’ve survived obscurity for this long, it isn’t so terrible. Hence our marketing strategy consists of furtively passing CDs to people inside plain brown paper bags. In case of trouble and in order to spread the blame, Jim and I would like to point out that Richard Tandy was the producer and that we were immensely egged on by guitarist and vocalist Bob Daffurn (who was born with magic fingers and a left-handed guitar). Steve Wheate was also heavily complicit in the proceedings, both with encouragements and the wonderful throbbing that emanated from his drumkit.
We note that Steve has now emigated abroad, Richard has moved to Wales and Bob Daffurn works for an electricity company.
The album notes above were written in 2010 when I put together a test CD of the album. It pains me to report to you that on 10 April 2012, after a short illness, Jim Cleary died.
Well it’s true. The biggest talking point is that I was once part of the stage line up of the cosmic British band ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA (ELO), and also I was the writer of a top ten Pan-European hit (‘Hiroshima’ sung by Sandra). I did a whole bunch of work with Richard Tandy, ELO’s keyboard player, most notable being the album EARTH RISE and my name is on ELOs SECRET MESSAGES and Jeff Lynne’s ARMCHAIR THEATRE album. But all that was way back and now things have changed beyond recognition.
I’ve become a record company and a publisher too and I’m also the guy who licks the stamps and makes the tea. Phew! – As well as all that I’m down in the boiler room doing my proper job – writing, recording, playing gigs and loving every minute of it! I record all my songs at my home studio, affectionately known as ‘Grimm Doo’ (legend has it that the mixing desk used to growl at people. But that was years ago. Now I use Protools software. The desk has gone but the name ‘Grimm Doo’ remains). When I’m not doing music, I teach people to fly aeroplanes down at Wellesbourne airfield near Stratford-on-Avon. The bottom line is I am a writer – of songs mostly but also books and sermons too.