Axis Point discography by Miguel Terol
Axis Point RCA PL 30039 (1979)
Boast of the Town RCA PL25277 (1980)
Both now on CD - BGOCD576 (BGO Records)
Axis Point #1 (around 1977- May 77)
Charlie Whitney (guitar) (from: Streetwalkers)
Charlie McCracken (bass) (from: Kevin Ayers Band)
Eddie Hardin (keyboards, vocals)
Les Binks (drums) (from: Fancy) (to: Judas Priest)
Axis Point #2 (May 77- Spring 79)
Charlie Whitney (guitar)
Charlie McCracken (bass)
Eddie Hardin (keyboards, vocals)
Rob Townsend (drums) (from: Kevin Ayers Band) (to: Dance Band)
Charlie Whitney bands:
Kevin Ayers Band
+ (from time to time) Spencer Davis Group
Eddie Hardin bands:
Spencer Davis Group
Hardin & York
Spencer Davis Group (again)
Les Binks bands:
Buzz Ford & The Classics
Kevin Ayers Band
The Dance Band
The Blues Band
The Dave Kelly Band
For additional information on this group, click here (Streetwalkers Home Page -> Axis Point)
My first encounters with Charlie McCracken took place in Germany where we (Hardin & York) toured pretty constantly, as did Charlie with Rory Gallagher's Taste. On the outside, they (Taste) were a fearsome bunch of hard-drinking Irishmen, though I soon found that Rory was very quiet and introspective, and Charlie was a very kind-mannered man, though, of course, a drinker of Olympic status.
My drinking days were only really just beginning. It was after a trip to Los Angeles where I had been to talk with Spencer about reforming the band. This time round, I wanted a bass player, and we were at a loss as to who to use; I said I'd have a look around when I get back to England. So, in principle, we had reformed and I got Roger Glover to produce the first Spencer Davis Group album, 'Living In A Back Street'. Ideally, I would have liked Roger to have joined, though he was semi-committed to Purple, but as things turned out, he was soon to leave. I never did actually ask the question, "Would you join?", so we'll never know!
Roger and myself set about looking for a bass player and went to the 'Musicians Employment Centre', a club called The Speakeasy. We only actually ever talked to Charlie. Charlie was standing at the bar looking OK, and Roger and I talked with him for a while about the SDG; he said little, other than the odd 'yeah' and 'OK'. Charlie was standing, well, leaning, between Roger and me, when suddenly he disappeared... to the floor. He was pissed beyond belief and it was there and then that Roger and I decided that he was our man! Miraculously, Charlie remembered and turned up for the first rehearsal. A brief anecdote and the 'Charlie logic': I once had a chronic hangover and the 'cure', as Charlie always called it, was to have 'a hair of the dog'. I remember him saying to me, "Get it down, son, it'll do you good!" A few hours later, my head down the toilet, he said "get it up, you'll feel better!"
Charlie Whitney was a totally different guy; I'd met him while touring with Family who were, on the whole, an unfriendly bunch, and a bit anti-social. Well, they certainly were towards me and Pete. Whitney was a long-standing 'mate' of McCracken, and they were legendary drinkers and party people. They would embark on 3-day binges that really did last 3 days and 3 nights; I never aspired to that level of skill! (More on the sagas of the two Charlies in the book). So, that is briefly how we met. Time passed and Hardin & York was put to bed for good, and Spencer had done more reunion tours than Frank Sinatra, so I figured it was time to start afresh.
By now, I was set up in a huge house in Sunningdale. I'd pissed about doing the odd recording, though missed the 'band' thing, and was also sick of the 'country squire' shit. I lived in a part of the country where there were a few other musicians doing the same 'big house' bit. There was Rod Stewart, Ringo, Chris Squire, all of The Tremeloes and a sprinkling of Marmalade. Well, I called Charlie and put the idea to him; I asked about Whitney as I'd always admired his songwriting, especially the song, 'Burlesque'. He seemed quite interested, so we got together at my house and started writing and playing and looking for a drummer. We tried quite a few, though ended up with Rob Townsend, also from Family. Then the chaos started.
Sadly, my house was located nearby a pub, and the temptation was too great for the two 'Charlies' and me. We rehearsed quite a lot and drank loads. Then I got us a deal with RCA, via my mate Jimi Boyks who also backed me on 'Wizards Convention'. The first album was recorded at Ian Gillan's studio, Kingsway Recorders, the birthplace of 'Butterfly Ball' and 'Wizards Convention'. We had no real intention of touring, though played several times: once at the Marquee and the other two in Leicester, followed by a couple of nights at Dingwalls in Camden Town, London. Things were OK but it was the 70s and the glam rock stuff was going on, and there seemed to be no room for 'pissed rock' out there. Still, the sales on the first album were good enough for RCA to go with another. The follow-up was recorded at Tittenhurst Park, formerly the home of John Lennon and now the home of Ringo. We stayed at the house for about two and a half months; why I stayed there myself I'm not sure, as I only lived round the corner. The parties there became legendary in the area! Bob Tench came down to do a bit of vocal and ended up staying till the end... He only had a T-shirt and a pair of jeans(!!), plus a guitar. The atmosphere was fantastic there, and the thought of touring became distant, in fact, we never did.
RCA began to insist that we went on the road if they were to continue, though the costs and the effort outweighed the idea. Apart from which, none of us, except Rob, needed to make daily bread anymore. Charlie and I had our songwriting royalties and enjoyed the art of just recording. We never actually "split up"; it was strange, really; we just, it seems, didn't rehearse one day and that day turned into weeks, and months, and that was that. Aside from a lot of fun, an even bigger lot of alcohol and some happy memories - that is the story of AXIS POINT.
Eddie Hardin, April 1999