Alan Murphy-Guitarist

Kate Bush

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Through John Baldry and various gigs, Alan began to make useful some contacts within the musical industry and he started to receive requests to do recording session work. One contact Alan made during this period was a drummer called Preston Heyman. With John Giblin and Jacob Magnusson – a band was formed and they went to Iceland to tour. In Iceland, they met up with John Baldry who was very popular there, and toured with him as his backing band.

From there to USA, Alan and John Giblin tried to get things going in LA and New York for 3-4 months until they “run out of money and got kicked out” returning to Iceland where they could achieve good earnings.

They eventually returned to London and Alan joined a 70s ‘progressive rock’ band called ‘Fusion Orchestra’ whose singer – Jill Saward later went on to join an all-girl band called Brandy and then gained fame with ‘Shakatak’ a chart topping pop/funk band. Jill remembers:- “He did not record with us (in Fusion Orchestra) because our deal with EMI had expired. He toured for about a year, and also co-wrote some tracks with me.”

Alan continued with the combination of session and pub work which gave him great opportunities to meet more people and further his reputation as an up-and-coming guitarist.

Whilst playing at a pub called ‘The Londoner’, Alan got a phone call from the band ‘Ace’, who had just lost their guitarist and were recording a new album in USA. Alan packed his old Gibson 335 guitar and flew to LA. Alan only spent a month with ‘Ace’ as he and guitarist Paul Carrack apparently didn’t hit it off musically. Once again he crossed paths with John Baldry who was there looking for a band, and Alan joined him along with some American musicians he’d met. They toured around USA and Canada for the next 3 years until about 1978. Alan was the bandleader and had plenty of scope for playing blues – which had always been the basis for his guitar style.

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On returning to London, Alan met up again with drummer Preston Heyman who was by now in the Kate Bush band. On Preston’s recommendation Alan was asked to audition as they were looking for a second guitarist to tour in early 1979. Alan was nervous about this audition and due to his time abroad, hadn’t even heard of her number one chart hit – “Wuthering Heights”. Alan was offered the job, mainly he felt due to Kate being impressed with the way he made ‘whale noises’!

They spent the first half of 1979 rehearsing and touring and, at the end of the tour, they started to record ‘Never for Ever’ which was the first album Alan had worked as a full time band member. This was the real beginning for Alan, although it was far removed from his previous blues playing.

There were no more tours with Kate Bush after that, plus there were long gaps between albums due to the time Kate dedicated to song writing and preparation for recording. During this spell Alan’s reputation grew further with lots of work coming in. The mainstay of his session work at this time was in the Disco field – including work with Amii Stewart. Alan was invited to other countries for recording sessions such as in Germany and Italy – this was 1980-81. Alan was still involved with the Kate Bush band and played on her next album – ‘The Dreaming’ which took about a year and a half to make.
Alan Murphy - Guitarist with Kate Bush