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Artistfacts for Wishbone Ash
Wishbone Ash started life in the West Country in the 1960s. Bass player Martin Turner was born October 1, 1947 at Torquay; he was classically trained from an early age and could sing music straight off the page; later he took up guitar, and then switched to bass. He and his brother Glenn formed The Torinoes in November 1963 playing covers. By 1966 The Torinoes had become Empty Vessels, a 3 piece; the original drummer Adrian Smith was replaced by Steve Upton who was born at Wrexham in Wales on May 24, 1946.
Later still Empty Vessels became Tanglewood. After deciding to make their career in music the band placed an ad for a lead guitarist in Melody Maker which was how they met David Turner (known as Ted) and Andy Powell. Ted Turner, who was not related to Martin, was born August 2, 1950. He came from Birmingham; Andy Powell was born at Stepney on February 19, 1950. Powell said his original hero was Bruce Welch of The Shadows.
The band played their first date as Wishbone Ash supporting Aynsley Dunbar's Retaliation at Dunstable Civic Hall on November 10, 1969. The following August they signed a 5 album deal with Decca and released their eponymous debut album on December 4. Early on in their career they picked up an influential fan, the DJ John Peel who described their music as "original, exciting and beautifully played" in the Radio Times the same month they made their TV debut.
In February 1971, they released their first single, "Blind Eye" backed by "Queen Of Torture." Like most Ash singles, it bombed.
On September 5, 1971, while they were on stage at an open air concert in Austin, Texas, a hot dog seller on the edge of the crowd was shot dead by an irate punter. This inspired the song "Rock N Roll Widow
" which appeared on their fourth album.
Although Wishbone Ash did not originate the duel lead guitar sound, they were one of the first, and certainly the most influential. It was Wishbone Ash that led Phil Lynott to use 2 lead guitarists with Thin Lizzy. Although they have produced some fine studio albums, Ash are a band that have to be seen live; nowadays some excellent footage can be found on YouTube and similar sites.
As with most bands who stand the test of time, Wishbone Ash have been through a number of line up changes. In May 1974, Laurie Wisefield replaced Ted Turner; in October 1980, John Wetton replaced Martin Turner. Martin Turner and Ted Turner rejoined the band in May 1987. In May 1998 the band were on their fifteenth line up, the backbone of the group though was always bassist Martin Turner and guitarist Andy Powell, until 2005 which saw the emergence of another Wishbone Ash; the band featuring Andy Powell continued to use the name, while Martin Turner formed a band called Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash. (thanks, Alexander Baron - London, England, for all above)