CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cheshire Life today CLICK HERE

10cc’s Graham Gouldman on recording in Stockport and life in Mottram St Andrew

PUBLISHED: 00:00 12 June 2014 | UPDATED: 12:08 12 April 2016

Graham Gouldman

Graham Gouldman

not Archant

10cc’s Graham Gouldman created some fine music at Strawberry Studio in Stockport in 1970s, and lived in Mottram St Andrew. This month he will be honoured in New York

Q. What was life like for you 50 years ago in the Manchester of the beat boom?

A. I left school when I was 17 and had already started playing in semi-professional bands in and around Manchester. But I needed to earn a living, and I got a job in an outfitter’s shop in Salford. I worked there for two years but eventually got the sack because I was having to leave work early to play with the band, and I was arriving late in the morning because we’d got in very late from wherever we were playing. The guy who owned the shop, bless him, did me the biggest favour in the world. My parents weren’t too happy I got the sack, but I was. I knew in my heart I was always going to do music anyway.

I met Harvey Lisberg, who managed me and is still associated with me to this day, who said he would pay me a retainer if I would come and write songs at his office, Kennedy Street Enterprises in Manchester. Within six months, I had a hit. Eric Stewart came in one day and we got on really well, and that started the relationship that finally became 10cc. I already knew Kevin (Godley) and Lol (Creme) who were in different bands and we all used to rehearse at the Jewish Lads’ Brigade in north Manchester.

Q. How did Strawberry Studios in Stockport end up becoming the creative hub where 10cc produced some of the most imaginative pop music ever?

A. The studio was started off by a guy called Peter Tattersall who knew Eric, and Eric asked me if I wanted to become a partner in it, which I did. We did a lot of work with other people before 10cc. Neil Sedaka was one - we did two albums with him. Its reputation grew; it was one of the only really professional studios outside London. When the studio wasn’t working, we’d go in and write songs for our own entertainment. That was the key - that we weren’t doing it for anybody else. Without the studio there would have been no 10cc, there’s no doubt about that.

Q. What are your memories of that four year period, from 1972 to 1976, when 10cc were producing songs such as I’m Not In Love, I’m Mandy Fly Me and Art For Art’s Sake?

A. It was magical. It was four people working on the same team for the same cause. There was a lot of creativity. It was a wonderful period. We couldn’t wait to get into work.

Q. That foursome parted forever when Kevin and Lol began working on other musical projects. Did a golden era finish too soon?

A. It did. Kevin and I still see a lot of each other and discuss this ad nauseam. It’s water under the bridge, but who knows what we could have achieved...but there you are.

Q. Will the four of you ever share a stage again?

A. No, I don’t think it will happen. Some of us have the will to do it, and some of us don’t. It’s a shame. I saw Lol not that long ago. We were rehearsing in the same building next to each other in London. It was really weird because they were playing Rubber Bullets and we were doing Life Is A Minstrone. I had a very nice chat with Lol and it was good to see him.

Q. Some songwriters have songs which they say take on a life of their own, almost as if they can’t believe they wrote them. Ever had that feeling?

A. There are songs that transcend other work you’ve done for some reason. At the time of writing something - say, like I’m Not In Love - you don’t think about anything other than writing it. It’s just another song. But then afterwards when you’re performing it God knows how many years after the record came out, and you’re getting exactly the same response and feeling, almost like spirituality, then it’s other-worldly. These are once-in-a-lifetime songs.

More from Out & About

Friday, November 16, 2018

It’s quite easy to bypass Congleton in favour of the nearby Pek District when searching for walking ideas, but you will be missing out on a wide ranging choice of routes.

Read more
Congleton
Friday, November 16, 2018

Former European Capital of Culture Bergen is a tasty destination, just two hours from Liverpool, writes Vijay Arogyasami.

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

This month’s walk is an easy ramble through fields around Mobberley, though you will get a noisy reminder of the modern world every few minutes

Read more
Thursday, November 8, 2018

Static caravan ownership numbers in Wales are some of the highest in the UK, we take a look at one of the most acclaimed caravan parks in the country which has become the holiday home destination of choice for the rich and famous.

Read more
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Autumn heralds a time of change for our birds. Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s Adam Linnet explains what to look out

Read more
Autumn

Liverpool has always buzzed, even in its darker days, but today it’s booming, and underpinning the resurgence are institutions with roots deep in the Merseyside soil

Read more
Liverpool
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Expect all the luxury and high standards of a 5-star service with the advantages of a personal touch.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


Local Business Directory

Property Search