Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mighty Atom Smasher launched

On this day in 2002, Robert Plant attended the launch party for a record label run by an old bandmate of his and John Bonham's from before the Led Zeppelin days.

Kevyn Gammond, a music instructor at Kidderminster College in England, set up the Mighty Atom Smasher label -- or M.A.S. Records -- as a way to help local bands in being heard.

Gammond was also known as Carlisle Egypt in 1967 and 1968, when he played guitar for a Midlands group called the Band of Joy. Plant was the singer, and Bonham was the drummer for some of that time.

Gammond also teamed up with Plant again in 1999 and 2000 in the band Priory of Brion, which spent two years playing sporadically throughout the United Kingdom and mainland Europe.

Plant became a patron of the M.A.S. Records label.

At the time of the M.A.S. Records launch, the label issued the first of a long-running series of compilations highlighting young musicians in the area.
  • That first compilation also included one surprise bonus track: a song called "Curse the Evil Woman" that was actually a previously unreleased Priory of Brion studio track recorded at Monnow Valley Studios during the summer of 2000. It was a cover of "Evil Woman," by songwriter Larry Weiss as heard on albums by the Canned Heat in 1968 and Spooky Tooth in 1969.
  • The second volume, released in November 2003, included another Priory of Brion studio outtake called "Flames," although the track was attributed to Johnny Volcano. This cover song was originally recorded by Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera.
  • A third Priory of Brion studio outtake, "Bitter Blue Morning Dew," was issued in February 2005 on the third M.A.S. compilation. It was a cover of "Morning Dew," written by Tim Rose and Bonnie Dobson. This studio recording by the Priory of Brion from 2000 predated the version of "Morning Dew" Plant and the Strange Sensation recorded for the 2002 album Dreamland.
  • That third M.A.S. compilation also included the Band of Joy's 1967 demo "Adriatic Sea View," which featured Bonham on drums and Plant on vocals with Gammond on guitar.

Incidentally, M.A.S. Records announced last month it has been preparing an eighth compilation CD. In addition, the label was presented with an award in England called Access to Music.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not surprised that Robert Plant went back to help a former bandmate, he's known for generosity and good spirit. In a world of egotists and rude people, Plant stands out as the real thing.

    If you want to see some incredible Zeppelin pictures, check out, the one of Robert with a dove is particularly good.


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