Blonde on Blonde (rock group)

Rock group from South Wales / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Blonde on Blonde was a guitar-led psychedelic rock group from South Wales.

Quick facts: Blonde on Blonde, Origin, Genres, Years activ...
Blonde on Blonde
OriginNewport, Wales
Years active19671972
Past members
  • Ralph Denyer
  • Les Hicks
  • Richard Hopkins
  • Gareth Johnson
  • David Thomas
  • Graham Davis

The band was formed in Newport in 1967 by vocalist/guitarist Ralph Denyer, drummer Les Hicks, bassist/organist Richard Hopkins and guitarist/sitar player Gareth Johnson.[1][2] The band was named after Bob Dylan's 1966 album of the same name.

In 1968 the quartet left Wales for London, and was joined by guitarist Simon Lawrance, playing clubs such as Middle Earth and appearing on the BBC TV series How Late It Is.[1] Signing to Pye Records, they released their first album, Contrasts, produced by Barry Murray, in 1969. The album included the Robin Williamson covers "No Sleep Blues" and "I Need My Friend", and a cover of The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby". That summer they appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival.[1]

1970's Rebirth was released on Ember Records after a personnel change that saw Ralph Denyer joining Aquila and replaced by school friend David Thomas.[3] Thomas' introduction gave the band a tougher, rock-orientated sound. Their second album included Moody Blues-styled ballads ("Castles In The Sky"), progressive rock songs ("You'll Never Know Me/Release") and fuzz-guitar based rockers ("November").

In 1971 Richard Hopkins left and was replaced by Graham Davis. Blonde on Blonde's final album Reflections on a Life was released by Ember Records in 1971, but the band achieved only modest commercial success. They disbanded in early 1972.

Ralph Denyer went on to co-write The Guitar Handbook[4] with Isaac Guillory. He died in 2011.

Richard Hopkins died in late October 2022.

Les Hicks died 29 October 2022.