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Categories: Blues Rock, Boogie, Hard Rock

STRETCH

Biography

Pop Rockers STRETCH have their roots in an unlikely source being one of the most notorious Rock scams to date. In late 1973 FLEETWOOD MAC manager Clifford Davis was attempting the break up of his prime act. In order to fulfill contractual obligations he assembled an all new FLEETWOOD MAC for a tour of America the following year. This band has now gone down in history as the infamous 'bogus' FLEETWOOD MAC.

The band featured ex VELVET OPERA singer Elmer Gantry (real name Dave Perry and named after a character in a Burt Lancaster movie!), CURVED AIR guitarist Kirby Gregory, former HACKENSACK bassist Paul Martinez, keyboard player John Wilkinson and erstwhile MANFRED MANN, PROCESSION and THIRD WORLD WAR drummer Craig Collinge.

There was a tenuous link to FLEETWOOD MAC as the musicians were working with former FLEETWOOD MAC guitarist DANNY KIRWAN on his solo project. Despite being all accomplished musicians they could hardly be credible as FLEETWOOD MAC.

Understandably the public were far from impressed and the outcome of the tour was a bitter legal battle in which it was judged that Davis' act was not entitled to use the group title. Nevertheless, the court case prevented the real FLEETWOOD MAC from undertaking any live work that year. Gantry, Gregory and Martinez stuck together with CURVED AIR, COLOSSEUM and JOHN MAYALL'S BLUESBREAKERS drummer Jim Russell to become STRETCH and had later hits in their own right. Keyboard were handled by former SLACK ALICE and KESTRAL man John Cook. Collinge would form SHOOT.

STRETCH scored a hit single with their debut single 'Why Did You Do It' and the future seemed bright with the 'Elastique' album's mix of Boogie, Southern Rock and balladry surprising critics. However, the band, despite becoming cult icons in the American South and Japan, could not follow it up.

The band's second album in 1976 'You Can't Beat Your Brain For Entertainment' saw the enlistment of drummer Jeff Rich, later of STATUS QUO.

Drummer Nicko McBrain of IRON MAIDEN fame, also had a stint in STRETCH performing in 1978's 'Forget The Past' album.

KIRBY GREGORY issued a solo album 'Composition' in 1978. Gregory was to create the short lived BLUE MURDER in the early 80's with ex MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP Ted McKenna.

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