What Happened?

Eyes of Blond held a reunion at Kett's Tavern, Norwich, on October 13th 2013 at the instigation of (drummer) John Marshall – who died just over a month after the reunion. At John's funeral, Dimitri happened to mention to Phil Wade that he'd rediscovered a box of old tapes that had been in various garages and lofts, summer and winter, for over 40 years. He thought that some of the tapes might hold Eyes of Blond recordings, as well as for Dimitri's two later groups (Sun and Dimitri).

Phil was intrigued, and promised to have a look at them if Dimitri could get them to him – which he did just after Christmas.

Phil managed to get a suitable reel-to-reel tape recorder (4 track, 2 speed) and was over the moon to discover that the tapes were, on the whole, in playable condition. After playing a few, a tape was found with two Phil Dimitri original numbers – Land of Green Ginger, and Dream of the Whispering Wizard – both played by Eyes of Blond.
These were the first of many.

Where were they recorded?

The earlier recordings (1967-8) were recorded in the 'back room' at the Cellar House, Newmarket Road, Norwich. Later recordings (1969-70) were made at the Worlds End, Mulbarton, which also had a room out the back. This was our main rehearsal venue until the group disbanded in March 1971. One track A Thousand Years of Sand was recorded by engineer Granville Hornsby at the Melody Rooms (now The Talk) in Oak Street, Norwich. We'd used the cloakroom (with coats and blankets draped over the coat rails to deaden the sound) to house us with the amps and drums, with Granville using the Ladies loo for a Control Room.

Eight of the tracks were recorded live at one of our Farewell Tour concerts, probably at Halesworth or nearby, in March 1971. Jack Chaplin (keyboard player with Skinn) was the guy who did the recording.

How were they recorded?

They are very much DIY efforts using a domestic reel-to-reel tape recorder. All but three of the numbers were recorded in one track - i.e. the backing and singing were recorded at the same time. They were mono recordings.

Land of Green Ginger, Dream of the Whispering Wizard, Who Knows Where We Come From and Blow Your Cool Elijah were recorded and survive at 7½ inches per second, quarter-track. All the others were found to be 3¾ inches per second, quarter track.
Only two (Who Knows Where We Come From and Blow Your Cool Elijah) had a separate track for the vocal. All the others were completely mono. The separate tracks were accomplished by playing back the instrumental backing on track 3 through the PA, whilst recording the vocals on track 1.

The re-discovered Live tape is a copy (3¾ ips) of the tape that Phil Wade lost years ago, originally recorded on an Akai reel-to-reel deck at 7½ ips.

Quite a bit of equalisation had to be done to compensate for the loss of treble (and bass) through the age of all the tapes. Attempts to get some stereo separation have been made, and will continue.


The tapes, and the songs on them, re-ignited Dimitri's interest in playing music - after more than 35 years. He asked the other remaining members (Neil, Paul and Phil) if they'd be interested in getting together for a couple of songs to be played in Eastbourne at the end of June 2014. Dimitri was being honoured for 50 years' involvement in Martial Arts, and there was to be a dinner dance. We all fell for it, and the rest is history.