Norwich psych rockers see song released over 50 years after it was recorded

A photograph of Eyes of Blond pcitured in 1970 at the Tuckswood Festival, and ehich appeared in a Ma

Eyes of Blond pictured in 1970 at the Tuckswood Festival, from left to right - Neil Applegate, Phil Wade, Paul Watts, Phil Dimitri. - Credit: Archant

Norwich-based 1960s psychedelic rockers, Eyes of Blond, have seen one of their songs released for the very first time, after it was recorded over 50 years ago.

The band's cover of the Byrds track 'Why' has finally been released on a compilation of psychedelic music from the decade called I Think I'm Going Weird.

Eyes of Blond were one of the county's most popular bands of the time, despite not releasing a single, touring around clubs and venues across Norfolk and around the country.

The Evening News even had a hand in changing the group's name from Circuit 5, running a competition offering £10 to the winning name, with entries being sent in from as far away as Stockholm.

Eyes of Blond: The line-upof the the Norwich band that went professional in September 1969, and is

An Eyes of Blond promotional picture from 1969, the year 'Why' was recorded. - Credit: Archant

David Wells of Cherry Red Records, who compiled the compilation, said he discovered the band and thought they might fit the bill after seeing their name on a number of posters from 1967.

He said: "The idea of the compilation was to take an in-depth look at the British psychedelic scene during its peak period, late 1966 to 1968. 

"As well as the big name bands, I wanted to represent those acts who were part of the live scene up and down the country, appearing at the underground clubs of the era, but who didn’t get as far as landing a recording contract and just made one or two local demo recordings.

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"That largely meant tracking down bands from 1967-era posters. 

Cuttings about the Norwich band Eyes of Blond

Cuttings about the Norwich band Eyes of Blond - Credit: Archant

"Eyes Of Blond played quite a lot of shows during that period, and fortunately they have their own website. 

"I contacted the website and spoke to Phil Wade. I explained what I was doing, and he thought a rehearsal performance they’d taped of them playing ‘Why’ might fit the bill. 

"He sent it to me and it did, so we took it from there."

Mr Wade, who formed the band and was their lead singer, said it felt quite strange to see the track being released years later.

He said: "It does feel a bit strange, because it was a rehearsal tape, we never went into a recording studio as Eyes of Blond so it was all done on a Phillips four-track tape recorder.

"I built a line output on the back of guitarist Phil Dimitri's Marshall stack so we didn't have to mic up the amps.

Phil Dimitri from Eyes of Blond, taken at the Norwood Rooms in Norwich in 1970. This photograph late

Phil Dimitri from Eyes of Blond, taken at the Norwood Rooms in Norwich in 1970. This photograph later appeared in the Norwich Union staff magazine in early 1971. - Credit: Archant

"'Why' went pretty well despite the fact we'd only played it live one or two times, in those days you would do a song and you'd develop it as you played it live.

"Someone putting the compilation together heard a one hour special BBC Radio Norfolk had done on the band and wanted to use the track 'Land of Green Green Grass' which was a song Phil Dimitri had written, so I had to say 'no you can't'.

"Because all the best songs we did were written by him and he wants to keep them to himself.

"They'd heard a snippet and thought it sounded psychedelic but when you hear the whole thing it isn't really, so I said there is 'Why' which I've got the recording of and it's definitely psychedelic and obviously written by David Crosby and Roger McGuinn.

This picture of Norwich band Eyes of Blond was taken on the flat roof at the front of the Melody Roo

This picture of Norwich band Eyes of Blond was taken on the flat roof at the front of the Melody Rooms - now The Talk... Left to Right - Paul Watts, Phil Dimitri, Neil Applegate, Phil Wade. - Credit: Archant

"It's got a brilliant Phil Dimitri guitar solo in it which is supposed to sound like a train crash."

Mr Wade says the band does not have any future plans for reunions or further releases, with their last reunion coming at the Walnut Tree Shades in 2015.

Currently he is hoping to find one of the band's former drummers, Michael Sullivan, who he lost contact with after he left the band.

Anyone who can help is asked to contact him at: enquiries@eyesofblond.co.uk