Friday 25 September 2020


As a youth it always struck me as odd that whilst all the bands I was routinely listening to at the time were way younger than my dad (with quite a few being not that much older than me), there was one glaring exception: step forward Alex Harvey. Born and raised in Glasgow's infamous Gorbals and playing rock & roll in pubs from the time he could walk, Harvey's life did not, in any way, mirror that of Gordon Medd; yet they were both born nearly five years before WW2. 

"He's older than my dad" I can remember me saying on the bus down to south east London when I saw him support the Who at Charlton in 1976. "He's older than my bloody dad!" Though when he and his band burst onto the stage that afternoon and played the opening bars of Faith Healer, any thoughts I may have had regarding either Harvey's mobility, or indeed faculties, were soon dispelled.

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Faith Healer (1973)

Alex Harvey passed away in 1982. My dad had never heard of him. 


  1. The Sensational Alex Harvey Band played their first ever live gig at Aberdeen College of Education. The college had booked the band Tear Gas and they played the first half of the show when a bloke in a black and red striped shirt (think Dennis The Menace) asked if it was OK for him to play the 2nd set with Tear Gas.
    He went onstage and blew the roof off the student union with a set which featured Del Shannon's "Runaway" and "There's No Lights On The Christmas Tree Mother, They're Burning Big Louie Tonight".

    Next time I saw them was on the Old Grey Whistle Test.

  2. Don't know if you care about this, but your chosen Post Text Font makes your blog very difficult to read, though the comments font (Arial Bold, maybe) is much easier on the eyes.

  3. I was at that Aberdeen College of Education gig. Prior to the last number, Alex invited any young ladies who wished to run away with the band to form an orderly queue at the side of the stage. Halfway through the song, with no queue having formed, Alex stopped the band and urged any young men to run away with the band. Needless to say, there WAS a handful of embarassed looking girls coralled by the roadies by the end.
    Alex also punched several holes in the ceiling above the stage with his mic stand, much to the ire of the Union management.
    Rock n' Roll, Eh!