can a user tell me much more about the rock music of Neil Merryweather?

1 Answer

  • connie
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
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    Neil Merryweather (born Robert Neilson Lillie on December 27, 1945 in Winnipeg, Manitoba) is a Canadian rock singer, bass player and songwriter. He has recorded and performed with musicians including Steve Miller, Dave Mason, Rick James and Wilson Pickett. Merryweather began his career in Toronto during the early ‘60s performing under the name Bobby Neilson.

    [He seems to have a history of starting groups with names that have already been taken, and then having to change the name of his group! He was part of a group called The Ookpiks, changing the name to The Sikusis, then being forced to change the name again he chose The Just Us in early 1965. Later on he chose the name Group Therapy and had to change the name, so he chose The Tripp.]

    Lillie was introduced to guitarist Bruce Cockburn, formerly of the Esquires. They recruited Bobby Kris & The Imperials members Marty Fisher and Gordon MacBain. Signed to Harvey Glatt’s management, the group recorded a number of unreleased tracks in Toronto, including Cockburn’s “Flying Circus”, “She Wants To Know”, “I’m Leaving You Out” and “Mother” as well as Lillie’s “Last Hoorah” and “Elephant Song” and Fisher and MacBain’s “Where Is All The Love”. At the same sessions, the band also recorded songs by Cockburn’s former Children cohort, Bill Hawkins, such as “Merry Go Round”, “It’s A Dirty Shame” and “Little Bit Stoned”.

    After leaving The Flying Circus in March 1968, Lillie reunited with former Tripp members Ed Roth and Jimmy Livingston to form a new band. Adding ex-Fraser Loveman Group guitarist Dave Burt and drummer Gary Hall.

    The group became known as Merryweather. In the summer of 1968, the band moved to Los Angeles but Livingston dropped out before the band signed to Capitol Records. Shortly before the release of the band’s eponymous debut, produced by John Gross, Lillie changed his name to Merryweather. The group’s second (double album), Word of Mouth (released in September 1969) was recorded in Los Angeles with the same basic line-up of Merryweather, Roth, Hall and Burt, plus Steve Miller, Barry Goldberg, Charlie Musselwhite, Dave Mason, Howard Roberts and Bobby Notkoff. Although the album was reasonably successful, the group still fragmented, with Burt, Hall and Roth hooking up with Ricky James Matthews in a new group called Salt 'N' Pepper.

    Merryweather flew back to Toronto to recruit replacements, then returned with them to record an interesting album for the important blues label, Kent in early 1970. The resulting album, credited to Merryweather, ex-Ugly Ducklings drummer Robin Boers, guitarist John Richardson from Nucleus (and before that Lords of London) and ex-49th Parallel member JJ Velker attracted only limited interest, as did a follow-up album for RCA, Ivar Avenue Reunion, featuring the same basic group plus Goldberg, Musselwhite and Neil's new girlfriend, ex-CK Strong singer Lynn Carey. The Reunion LP has some very strong quitar work especially in the cut "Ride Me", but is unavailable in most instances.

    Neil Merryweather and Lynn Carey, using a pool of musicians, recorded the Vacuum Cleaner LP for RCA, then came out with a more permanent unit, Mama Lion, which recorded two albums. The first Mama Lion LP featured a controversial photo of Lynn appearing to be nursing a tiger cub. After Mama Lion disbanded, Neil Merryweather released a couple of heavy Glam Rock solo LPs on Mercuty Records: Space Rangers in 1974 and Kryptonite in 1975. Notable cuts included a cosmic glam rock version of The Byrds' "8 Miles High," and a single released from the album Hollywood Boulevard.

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