Python Lee Jackson
Python Lee Jackson
In September Bentley left (and rejoined the band in 1968) and was replaced by Bob Welsh. The band's first single, "Emergency Ward" c/w their version of the Bo Diddley song "Who Do You Love", was actually a Ward Austin single featuring Python Lee Jackson as backing group. Python Lee Jackson released a cover of Major Lance’s "Um-Um–Um" c/w "Big City Lights" in December 1966 before Hardy was replaced by Duncan McGuire from Doug Parkinson's The Questions for three weeks. McGuire appeared on the band's cover of Sam and Dave’s "Hold On, I’m Coming" c/w "Your Mother Should Have Warned You" before Hardy (now going by the name Virgil East) returned for the band's first trip to Melbourne in early/mid March. While there the group performed at the Catcher from 17 to 19 March with various local bands each night.
Python Lee Jackson returned to the city for an extended stay from 30 March to 16 April. Like its predecessor, the new single was a minor hit. In April 1967 Dave MacTaggart from Adelaide band The Black Pearls replaced Virgil East. On 11 June the group appeared on Opus TV with The Loved Ones and Ray Hoff and The Offbeats. The new line-up released the band's final Australian single, "It’s a Wonder" c/w "I Keep Forgetting", in August before Welsh left to be replaced by sax player Bernie McGann. A few months later Mick Liber left and worked with Billy Thorpe and Gulliver Smith’s band, The Noyes, while former member Virgil East joined Jeff St John’s next project, Yama.
Liber's replacement was Laurie Arthur from The Strangers. The band continued to play gigs extensively, appearing at top Melbourne clubs, Sebastians (14 December) and Berties (15 December)among others. However, the end was in sight and Python Lee Jackson broke up in January 1968. Malcolm McGee then joined vocal trio The Virgil Brothers with Rob Lovett (ex The Loved Ones) and Peter Doyle (who had replaced founding member Mick Hadley from The Purple Hearts). McGee recorded two singles with the Virgil Brothers, including their Australian hit "Temptation 'Bout To Get Me", but he left the group just after they moved to the UK in late 1969 and was replaced by Danny Robinson (ex The Wild Cherries.
McGee later played with McGuire in Rush. MacTaggart reunited with Liber briefly in Billy Thorpe's band. Montgomery reunited with David Bentley in The David Bentley Trio. Around October 1968, they joined forces with Mick Liber and travelled to the UK where they revived the Python Lee Jackson name. Members in UK * David Bentley - songwriter, keyboards, vocals * David Montgomery - drums * Mick Liber - guitar * John Helman - bass * Jamie Byrne - bass * Tony Cahill - bass guitar * Gary Boyle - guitar British period Arriving in the UK in October 1968 Bentley, Liber and Montgomery, joined by former Levi Smith Clefs' bass player John Helman, played at the Vesuvio club on Tottenham Court Road. In early 1969 Python Lee Jackson worked at the Arts Lab on Drury Lane for several months where they were spotted by DJ John Peel.
In April 1969 Bentley, Liber and Montgomery, joined by Jamie Byrne from The Groove, recorded three tracks in the studio with Rod Stewart.  "In A Broken Dream" Stewart was brought in to sing on the song when Bentley informed his band mates that he didn't think his voice was right for the song. Recorded by John Peel, "In a Broken Dream" languished until 1970 when Miki Dallon, who had re-produced the track for his Youngblood label, released it. The single flopped but Dallon persevered and in 1972, the single's third release rose to number three in the UK Singles Chart and #56 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. In Europe the song became something of a classic.
It turned up on the soundtrack of films and documentaries (including the acclaimed art house movie Breaking the Waves) and became the subject of many cover versions. Rod Stewart included the song on two anthologies of previously recorded work and, in the mid 1990s, an English band, Thunder, delivered a high-octane rendering that propelled it into the UK chart for the second time. Most recently "In A Broken Dream" surfaced on the leading edge of a collection of songs recorded by British singer Kathryn Williams – along with songs by Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and Kurt Cobain. Following the recording of "In A Broken Dream" in April 1969 the group had continued to make sporadic live appearances. Time Out magazine advertised one show at the Bottleneck Club in the Railway Tavern, Stratford in London's East End on 28 June 1969. After a hiatus during which the band members explored separate projects during 1970–1972, David Bentley, Mick Liber, David Montgomery and Tony Cahill (bass), who had played drums with The Easybeats, made some recordings in 1972 with English guitarist Gary Boyle. The tracks subsequently appeared on the band's lone album alongside the earlier Rod Stewart recordings from 1969. Montgomery would also go on to briefly play drums for the American band King Harvest. Read more on Last.fm.
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