There are at least three artists named The Purple Gang:
1. English 60s psychedelic pop/rock band;
2. US 60s garage band;
3. Australian 80s punk band.
1. The Purple Gang are a British rock band active intermittently since the 1960s.
Although they were associated with the London psychedelic scene, they originated in Stockport, then in Cheshire, as a jugband. The band adopted the name, The Purple Gang, when they changed their image to the well-dressed, clean-cut "gangster" style in the 1960s. In London, they engaged Joe Boyd as their record producer, and shared a studio with Pink Floyd as they recorded their first single, "Granny Takes A Trip" (named after the eponymous shop in the Kings Road). Pink Floyd were making their own first single, "Arnold Layne", at the time.
The BBC spotted the word 'trip' in the title and, assuming it to be a reference to LSD, banned the record from their airwaves. Also noticing that the band's lead singer at the time (Pete Walker) was nicknamed 'Lucifer', they said that the group "would not be tolerated by any decent society". An album, The Purple Gang Strikes was released in 1968, but failed to sell, although Pirate radio station DJs such as John Peel praised the group.
The band continued during the early 1970s, with a slightly different line-up. In 1998, the band reformed and recorded an album, Night of the Uncool, with several new songs by Joe Beard, some of which were produced by Gerry Robinson, the mandolin and harmonica player from the original 1967 line-up. From 1999, their new lead vocalist was Stuart Pevitt (born 27 December 1952, Sale, Cheshire, England). They enjoyed some commercial success in Eastern Europe; in Bulgaria and Hungary one of their singles, "Sunset Over the Mersey", entered the national charts.
In 2003, they re-released The Purple Gang Strikes on CD. It contained remixes of several of their 1967 songs, including the BBC-banned track "Granny Takes A Trip". Another track, "Madam Judge", was their reply to the latter's banning.
Most of their songs were written by their early members: guitarist Joe Beard (born Christopher John Beard, 28 November 1945, Macclesfield, Cheshire), and organist Geoff Bowyer (born Geoffrey Paul Bowyer, 1947, Leek, Staffordshire). Some other members were vocalist Pete Walker (born Peter John Walker, 1946, Hyde, North Cheshire), jug / banjo player Ank Langley (born Trevor Langley, 1946, Stockport, Cheshire) and mandolin / harmonica player Gerry Robinson (born David John Robinson, 1947, Hyde). Their musical influences and styles are varied, from country and western, through psychedelic, to rock music.
Stuart Pevitt died of cancer in 2009, aged 56.
2. The Purple Gang was formed in the San Fernando Valley, CA in 1965 maybe 1966. The band consisted of:
Harry Garfield - Keyboards and Stringed Instruments
Alan Wisdom - Guitars
Marty Tryon - Bass Guitar
Bob Korph - Vocals
Mark Langdon - Guitars
Cannot remember who the drummer was.
The band attended North Hollywood High and Grant High. Their first job was at a gas station in Van Nuys. They used to rehearse everyday on Vine Street above Barney Kessels Guitar Studio.
Their first single would have been "Answer the Phone". The only record I believe they put out was an EP.
The band dispanded in 1967 (Maybe 68). Harry went on to become the president of Universal Music. Marty played with Olivia Newton John and Mac Davis and later became the Manager of the Smother's Brothers.
Alan opened and Security Install company and now lives in Austin, TX where he has a small recording studio and still writes and records. Bob lived with June Lockehart for several years and later married and singer. Together they have a vocal school in the LA area. Mark went on to play with the Music Machine (Talk Talk)
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