All Ears: Magic Alex ‘Chica Chica’
Look. I know. But it’s not like anyone reads this stuff so my almost non existent posting makes no odds. Thing is, I like doing this. I need to do it more. I hereby resolve to do it more.
So anyway, I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while. It’s funny how things catch up with you eventually. I like a bit of twitter and when @magicalex69 started following me it caught my attention. In my Maker days there was a band called Magic Alex who we rather liked.
And lo, @magicalex69 turns out to be none other than Dean Taylor, singer with Magic Alex, the band from my olden days. Imagine. They’re a band whose name frequently pops up when my old music muckers get round a table for some fizzy ones. It was a curious one because their guitarist was John Simm. Whatever happened to him eh? “Oh I know,” says Dean, “all that talent and no reward, it’s been a nightmare for him.”
He was very much on the up at the time having just put in a shift on the excellent TV series “The Lakes”. So were Magic Alex any good or was it shameless oh he’s off the telly head-turning? Don’t all rush at once to answer that. Thing was, as grubby music hacks we spent our lives hanging out with bands… full of famous people. Why on earth would we say Magic Alex were good just because him off of the telly played guitar for them?
They were good, very good, but the John Simm thing did smear the edges. They were a bunch of mates from Manchester, old school pals I think, and they were just doing what pals do. Form a band, have a laugh. It happened that one of their number was a bit famous and they leveraged that to get a bit of attention. Whatever it takes, right? I’ve seen worse crimes.
And when you take a listen, even 10 years on, tracks like “Super KK”, “Chica Chica” (see above), “Older”, “Country Feeling”, they’re all corkers. There’s little doubt they could write a tune and, importantly, to us as at any rate, they were enormously good fun. They made me honk laughing, must try dig out the original piece I wrote.
Dean pointed me in the direction of some old treasures, a few YouTube films that made me shriek with delight, but best of all I discovered there was an album. It didn’t see the light back in the day, but thankfully it finally surfaced in 2009 and is very much worth a listen a two.
The original Magic Alex, for anyone who is still reading, was a self-proclaimed electronics whizz who hung out with The Beatles. He talked a good game, or maybe it was the drugs, but he got the job of building The Beatles a new studio in the basement of the Apple building on Savile Row. His best idea wasn’t the inclusion of 72-track tape machine, but replacing the acoustic baffles around Ringo’s drums with an invisible sonic force field. Like I say, maybe it was the drugs. Google him, he’s worth reading about.