were formed in 1968
out of a respectable Brum band called Gravy Train.
They were fronted by soul singer Ernie Handy
and the guitarist at that time was the now late Bob Hewitt.
The other band members were drummer
Graham Mullett, bass guitarist Mick Pollard,
and Londoner Frank Wilson
who played Hammond organ.
The band were soon off to Germany where they spent most
of the year playing at army bases and clubs.
Their exciting stage act included a light show and a go-go dancer
(who later married Ernie).
The initial line-up of Velvett Fogg featured guitarist
Tony Iommi (later to make the big time with Black Sabbath).
Tony stayed in the line-up for only one gig before leaving to be replaced
temporarily by Ian Leighton - described as "a great blues guitarist"
by his friend Frank Wilson.
It was during this time that Pye Records
arranged a photo-shoot of the band for the cover
of their proposed first album (more about that later).
Material for the Velvett Fogg album would be supplied
by local songwriter/guitarist Keith Law
who became a friend of the band.
Keith was a veteran of the West Midlands music scene
having played in The Williamsons, Love and Understanding
Paint and Jardine.
Keith Law takes up the story;
"I was in the Rum Runner (Birmingham night club)
one night, when someone told me that Velvett Fogg
were looking for new material, and they introduced me to them.
I arranged to meet them at their rehearsal place, Langley Baths.
I went along the next day, and went through the following songs with them:
Yellow Cave Woman, Once Among The Trees
and Within The Night and that was it!
The next couple of days, they were in London recording".
Before recording could begin in late 1968,
Ian Leighton departed
and was replaced by guitarist/vocalist
Paul Eastment (a cousin of the band's previous guitarist
Paul Eastment was also to contribute original compositions
for the album along with
Frank Wilson, Graham Mullet
and Mick Pollard.
was released on the,
Pye label in January of 1969
By far the most controversial feature of the
Velvett Fogg album
was the record cover.
It displayed the pre-Paul Eastment line-up
inc. Ian Leighton (mid back row)
The band wore garish make-up/body-paint and costume
but also included two well-endowed young women
wearing nothing but strategically applied body paint
The girls were friends of the band
Graham Mullet, the drummer later married
the brunette who was a friend of Mick Pollard's
The artwork was designed by
Shernette Daly, creator of many covers at that time
"It was in February 1969, that I met John Peel, at 'Mothers'
a club in Birmingham's, Erdington High Street
John, who had written the sleeve notes for the 1969 album
had been playing tracks off the album constantly on his radio shows.
He was in Birmingham, visiting the club,
which was renowned for its Progressive music acts.
I was there the same evening as John, and I introduced myself.
We had a couple of pints, and discussed both his sleeve notes,
and my participation in the album.
It is a night, I will of course, remember."
In memory of the late John Peel
Along with the album,
also released a single by the group.
It was a cover of the Tornado's
classic instrumental Telstar
and was recorded by the band
as requested by Jack Dorsey
who hoped to cash in
on the publicity,
surrounding the American moon landings
taking place at that time.
Keith Law has currently 30 records released
and has written over 600 songs
including his songs for Velvett Fogg
He also wrote and performed all the songs
on the 2008
LOOK IN THE WINDOW- Jardine
and his solo album
EYES IN THE WIND
released in 2009
His latest albums are
VISIONS - 2015
THE PATH- 2015
& due in Late 2016
His songs have also been recorded by other bands
started a Brum band called
later to become
with whom he recorded a couple of albums.
He later fronted another group called Resurrection
as well as recording
with local folk singer Shirley Kent.
In the 1970's Graham Mullett
married the girl who was
on the bottom right of the album cover
In 1976 he moved to Ayrshire in Scotland
and worked as a lighting engineer
at the Gaiety Theatre in Ayr
they have both, since divorced
As far as we are aware he was living in Scotland
but now back in Birmingham
(Thanks to Ade Mathews &
Vanessa Bryan for this information)