10cc: a Hot Property from Old Hotlegs

BY NOW YOU probably know that 10 c.c. are more or less a reincarnation of Hotlegs, who scored a hit around two years ago with ‘Neanderthal Man’.

One had assumed that Hotlegs had disappeared, only to be remembered as one-hit wonders, yet here they are back again with a new name, a new single ‘Donna’, and a new addition to the line-up in Graham Gouldman on bass guitar. He joins Eric Stewart (guitar), Kevin Goodley (drums) and Lol Creme (vocals, guitar).

Speaking from his Manchester-based Strawberry Studios, which he co-owns with Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart explained what happened to Hotlegs.

“The band were formed on the strength of the single, which was recorded through working in our studio.

“We did a tour with the Moody Blues, but although we went down really well and got great reviews nothing happened afterwards at all. We sat back and waited but didn’t get a single offer.

“The four of us carried on recording and also working in the studios recording and producing other people. Originally we though ‘Donna’ would make a good B-side, but Jonathan King came up here one day and heard it and said he’d like to release it as a single.

“We worked it out a little better, thought of a name for the group and released it. Personally I was totally unsure of what might happen. I thought it’d be a hit, or die a disastrous death. But to be honest I never thought it’d get as high as it did.”

Talking of Jonathan King’s apparently almost infallible ear for hit records, he continued: “He’ll probably get big-headed if I say it, but to me he knows the music business better than anybody I know. He knows exactly when to release records, how to promote them.”

Although the group are based around the studios in Manchester, Stewart doesn’t feel they’ve missed out on any opportunities by being out of London, supposedly the centre of the music business.

“We have our own studios and our own publishing company,” he explained, “and if we had a record pressing plant we’d press the records ourselves as well.

“At present our main concern is to get the record off in the States where it’s released this Friday. If it’s a success we’d like to do some concerts over there. On the tour we did as Hotlegs we had the stage set up as a studio, and we’d like to repeat that, but at present I don’t think it would work financially in Britain. So it’d be better to do it in the States first.

“Also we want to get more hit singles. Just one hit doesn’t mean anything these days. We found that out with Hotlegs, which got really screwed up.

“The whole thing was timed disastrously. We didn’t follow up the hit and we released an album something like a year later — by which time we were old news.

“I’m confident that this time we can avoid the same mistakes, but who can tell? Personally I think it’s great we’ve been given another chance.”

© James JohnsonNew Musical Express, 21 October 1972

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