News March 2021

"Early Days"

It has come to my notice that the early days of anything can be a bit of a minefield, especially when committed by a somewhat naive dreamer, that didn't really know which way to turn. So it was with myself, when my plane landed in England from Singapore, in 1970. I was armed to the teeth with two files of poems and song lyrics that I wanted to turn into songs. Anyone interested in song writing, back in the sixties, would have heard of England's 'Tin Pan Alley' Denmark Street, in London. That was where I dragged my innocent self as soon as I had left the plane. I went knocking on Doors and eventually found a man who was quite enthusiastic about my quest and agreed to improve the demo discs that I had of some of my songs using one of the Allisons to take on the vocals.
This he did and I was quite impressed by the results. Now this did seem to me to bit of a positive step in the right direction. Before I knew it I was up to my military neck in the carnage that passed for life in Belfast. No one shot, bricked, or petrol bombed me and I left the Army soon afterwards, intended and planned months ago! I left with quite a few new song lyrics under my belt. Often positive things can emerge from chaos! Rob and I got together, soon after this, and the real song writing began in earnest.

1 Oh Jesus
  (Friend)


2 I Like It
  (Friend)




"The 'Covid' Album"

Leap forward to the present time and I have just received the latest mix of the current songs that I have been working on with Dave Lloyd. And like the way that the project is developing. These songs were laid down some time ago and I'm sure that you can all guess that this new album, perhaps we'll just call it the Covid one! Has been well and truely held up by this damn pandemic. But we will get there in the end!
And I did enjoy those lovely warm, and sunny days, that we have just experienced. But, like all false Springs, it is sure to turn cold again. But I'm quite sure that we can soon look forward to the 'Sunny Uplands' that old Boris keeps banging on about, and enjoy the real Spring, and future Summer to come. At the moment my garden is ablaze with the colour of all of the crocus's in my lawns and beds. And if that's not a sure sign of better things to come, I don't know what is!.



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News December 2020

"They say it's your birthday..."

© Paperlink cards

As I was recently browsing for a birthday card for my younger brother, in W.H.Smiths card section, I came across this fantastic Beatles Joke card! And as he, like myself, was a Beatles admirer, I knew that he would instantly pick up on the humour. And I'm sure that you will too!

"Paperback Writer"

I also thought that I would highlight the other writing, apart from song lyrics, that I get up to from time to time. I've had pieces written by myself, about my Northern Ireland experience, appear in three books. But my proudest moment has to be when the Imperial War Museum archived my two biographies on my Army brat childhood in Germany, during the fifties, and my own Military service whilst a soldier in the mid to late sixties.

This was after they had explained to me that they would not accept them if they were not of a sufficient standard. I was so pleased when they accepted them, especially the one about my Army service, as they considered it a worthwhile account of my time in 32 Heavy Regiment, Royal Artillery, and 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery.
They also were very happy to accept some of my CD albums that contained songs relating to my Northern Ireland memories.

"And so this is Christmas..."

And, are you, like me, and millions of others, looking forward to our Covid Christmas? What a complete and utter shambles 2020 has been, and I'm not exactly all that confident of 2021 either. Great noises being made in the News today about the vaccine that is about to be unleashed upon us. Let us hope that it is not all 'wishfull thinking, and hot air' and that a corner, of a kind, might be turned. 2020! A year to file away and forget!




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News September 2020

A message from Hull

I was surprised, but most pleasantly I may add! To receive a very complimentary e-mail from 'Harry and Friends', with an accompanying photograph, of a group of Hull University students, who say they have been enjoying listening to a copy of my vinyl album from 1977 called 'Come the Day'. Apparently I had given the album to Harry's Father. Of this fact, I have to confess, that I have no recollection whatsoever. Nevertheless, a heartfelt thanks to 'Harry and Friends' who definitely made this old codger very happy! Still find it fairly hard to believe that a bunch of today's young people would warm to the first solo album of a fairly inexpert guitarist, and songwriter, from over 43 years ago! Thanks everybody, you made my day!


The New Album

I suppose we could almost call this the Coronavirus album, because this damn pandemic has held up things in many ways. However, we all, myself, Brian and Dave, plod on and manage to get little bits done, here and there. About 2 months ago Dave and Brian laid down 3 more songs in the FFG studio, just outside Tewkesbury. The next stage in their development will be in the hands of our producer David Pickering Pick, as he discards his Engineer's hat and dons his Producer's one.


The FFG Sessions album

I need to draw your attention to our last album which contained a song called 'April Williams' which told the story of a young girl leaving home. The lyrics were mine and the tune was Dave Lloyd's, and because he'd written the tune he took the lyrics. One evening last week his wife turned to him and said 'I wonder what happened to April Williams' daughter?' You just cannot keep a good man down, can you? The next thing I knew I received a telephone call from Dave informing me that he had written a song about April William's daughter. I am very pleased by the outcome of all of this and just cannot wait to hear the finished song. Which I am sure will be up to Dave's usual high song writing standards.


The Seasons Turn

As always, one season ends and another one begins. Autumn is here and Winter is now not so very far away either. Time to think about hibernating again. Although I have to say that ever since this Covid nonsense reared its ugly head, I feel like I've been in permanent hibernation anyway. Farewell to you all, until the next News page update.


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News July 2020

Prince Rupert School

Prince Rupert School was a British Armed Forces Boarding school, in Wilhelmshaven, in Germany. Situated on the Baltic Coast, and catering mainly for Army and Airforce children above the age of 11, whose parents were stationed in the country. It was to be my home for almost two years from the Autumn term of 1959.
Leap forward all these decades and I am now a member of The Wilhelmshaven Association for ex pupils. We receive the school magazine 'The New Cavalier' several times a year and in the Spring Issue for this year I had a 4 page feature which described my interest in song writing.
This was thanks to one of the editors, Paul, who wrote the article, gleaning information from my website. Many thanks Paul, you did me proud!
In the same publication was a reference to a lady called Bettina Blum, from Paderborn University, who was engaged in a project to document the experiences of British Military, and their families, during the long period of time that British Forces were stationed in the country. Bettina and I have been engaged in email correspondence for a while and she also noted my songwriting pastime. So I sent her a few CD albums and she likes my songs. Many thanks for your kind words about my work Bettina, and good luck with your project on the social history of our two countries.

The New Cavalier


Another Anniversary

FFG Sessions

And yes, here is another one, worthy of note. On June the 9th 1944, which my Father always referred to as D plus 3, he and his Regiment went ashore on the beaches of Normandy. Fighting their way through France, Holland and Germany to end up on the Baltic coast at a place called Kiel. Where, some two years later, I was born.


And the Lockdown drags on!

Yes, even though our Lords and Masters are considering easing things, a little, the light at the end of the tunnel still feels a long way off yet! So, nothing further to be done to our Album in limbo. Very frustrating, for all concerned, to say the very least! Not a very happy note to end this news page with. But, as our good friend Brian would put it. 'That's what it is!'

FFG Sessions




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News May 2020

Some Anniversaries.

April 1945.

On the 14th of April 1945 Lieutenant Derrick Sington drew up to a concentration camp in North West Germany, in his little scout car, to inform the inmates that they were about to be liberated by the British Army. What he found there was beyond comprehension and description. For the camp was called Bergen Belsen. Thousands had died and thousands more were dieing from typhus and the effects of starvation. A few days later Richard Dimbleby arrived to film his remarkable documentary on the camp and the disgusting condition of the place. To be viewed by a shocked and horrified British public.

Stonefield Tramp Spotify

I was six years old when I first entered this place, in 1953, and have a vivid memory of standing before one of the huge grave mounds, whilst my Father explained to me, in great detail, what had happened here. So I was introduced, at a very young age, to the Holocaust and all that it stood for. I do believe that it had a massive effect upon me and would be instrumental in my particular choice of subject matter that I would put in to my contemporary Folk songs that I would later write. In fact, in one of my songs I actually mentioned this experience. The song was 'Born with a need to roam' from my 2012 album 'Time for a Song'.

Here are the lyrics to the very first verse of that song.

The boy stood silent, eyes wide and staring.
In the shadow of the mounds of the thousands nearby.
Scarcely believing what he was seeing.
This place where the birds never sang or flew by.

Please note the content of the last line of that verse, for it mentions one of the Belsen myths, or legends, that grew up around the story. And, oddly enough, my family and I, aged 11 at the time, were on a rare visit from Germany to the U.K. This was Christmas 1959 and we were visiting one of my Grandads in Exeter. By an odd coincidence, whilst we were there, there was a documentary on Belsen on the T.V. set. This myth was highlighted during the programme. Since then I have often read articles alluding to this and the scientific answer given, in the late fifties, was that the amount of lime spread in the burial pits just put the birds off going anywhere near the place.

Now then, in order to bring things up to date. In my own chosen paper, fairly recently, someone had written an article where they had visited the memorial site, recently, and outside the bird population was very active, singing and chirping away like there was no tomorrow! However, he did declare that once inside the former camps grounds there was nothing but silence from our feathered friends. You can make of that what you will!


Easter Saturday 1971

FFG Sessions
1971

With my long time former Army friend Rob Van Spyk, who played an Acoustic guitar and wrote tunes to my hard hitting lyrics, we entered a recording studio for the very first time to record the first ten songs that we had written. We were green as grass, the studio was fairly primitive and the man behind the glass was not exactly very helpful. But, at the end of the day we had 4 Acetates of our first songs. We tried the usual 'hawking them around the Record Companies' thing and got nowhere. But in 2016 we would release this album as a limited Vinyl edition of 250 copies. The project went on to become a remarkable success!

FFG Sessions
2016


Easter Saturday 1974

Stonefield Tramp Spotify

Exasperated by the complete lack of interest in our work, by the record companies, Rob came up with the idea of 'let's just make our own independent albums'. By now we were both living in separate towns 100 miles distant to each other. It was my idea to pull in a good friend of mine, Brian Balster, to come and join our little enterprise. He and Rob got on together very well, both as people and musicians. Rehearsals commenced, at my little cottage in the country, and a splendid time was had by all! The album 'Follow the Sun' by R.J. Van Spyk and Friends' was recorded in straight takes, over a 4 hour period, at the Acorn recording studio in the village of Stonesfield in Oxfordshire. We pressed 200 copies and quietly sold them over the next couple of years. Very quickly after this the song writing ambitions would expand and we would form our own label 'Tramp Records' and our own band 'Stonefield Tramp'

Lockdown

Stonefield Tramp Spotify

Lockdown, what lockdown? This has been no hardship to me whatsoever. For I'm most content living what's left of my life as a somewhat reclusive lone Wolf anyway. A large garden to loaf around in the sun in. My two dogs for company. What more can a man ask for? Why, it might even feel very strange when 'normality' returns to us all again. It's just great, taking the dogs for exercise, and seeing no cars or people! It feels like every day is an early Sunday morning.

The Stonefield Tramp Swan Song Album

This is the only negative thing that I can think of to this lockdown. The inability to be able to continue with this recording project. But all of these draconian restrictions will come to an end one day, and this recording project will recommence and could very well be 2021's release! And, on that happy note, farewell for now.



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News February 2020

Independence Day!

British Independence

Every since I launched this website of mine, I have always gone out of my way to avoid any political content in it. But, this time, I just could not resist the urge to mention just how very pleased I am that, on the 31st of January we finally left that shambolic, and most undemocratic, bunch of fools know as the E.U. Feels so good to get our free, and Sovereign, Nation back once again, and long may we prosper!


New Album

FFG Sessions

And it is with great pleasure that I can now launch the new album 'The FFG Sessions' by 'Balster, Friend, and Lloyd' in my website, on the music page, in both CD and Limited edition Vinyl format. Recording this album has been a sheer joy for all concerned and you will soon find out that that is well represented in the songs on this album. It is very 'Stonefield Trampish' in both texture and content. In fact, it can almost be claimed to be a Bone Fide 'Stonefield Tramp album', as we were, indeed, all founder members of that band, back in 1974, when we recorded the iconic debut album on 'Tramp Records', 'Dreaming Again'.


Streaming (Again!)

Stonefield Tramp Spotify

And, as I type these very words, Rob is being very industrious, back over the pond in the U.S.A, streaming all of the albums on the 'Tramp' label. Please keep your eye on this website for further details, as they emerge. I believe the first album to go through the process is the 1974 album 'Dreaming Again' by 'Stonefield Tramp'.

Doug's Big Country Radio Show

Stonefield Tramp Spotify

Down in deepest, darkest Devon, a friend of mine, Doug Parish, runs several radio shows, including a Hospital Radio in Exeter. He recently made 'The FFG Sessions' by 'Balster, Friend, and Lloyd' his album of the week and featured a track from that album. Many thanks for your support Doug.

Listen to this sound clip of the track "Farewell to You (My Lovely)" from 10 Counties Radio, by Balster, Friend and Lloyd
  



And finally...

Terry Friend hedgehog dreaming again

And, finally, even though this Winter has been rather mild, so far! I'm still sick to death of it and am simply longing for the 1st of May to turn up. I fully realise that one should not wish ones life away. But, at this dreary time of each year, I do envy the bears their ability to simply sleep through it all!



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News November 2019

First Remembrance Parade

Terry Friend grandson

This year my eldest Grandson Nate attended his first Remembrance Parade as a member of the Beavers. More badges on his uniform than you would have seen on mine, when I was a Wolf Cub.


Another 'Come the Day' bargain

come the day

I recently received a very supportive e mail from Mike, in Norwich, who had come across a copy of my 1977 vinyl album 'Come the Day'. Purchased for the staggering price of only £1! Some people just don't know what they have on their hands, do they? That statement, naturally, refers to the seller! And, not knowing anything about me, or my history with 'Stonefield Tramp', what attracted him to the album was the look of its cover. Well done Mike, Lady Luck was looking out for you on that particular day!


Mastering Session at FFG

FFG mastering session

Yesterday, Dave Lloyd and myself, returned from a very fruitful two day Mastering Session for our forthcoming album 'The FFG Sessions' by 'Balster, Friend, and Lloyd'. And we still managed to find time to lay down the templates for three brand new songs for next years recording project. And I shall be in London for the production Mastering Session, at Soundperformance, for this album on the 4th of December. And, all being well, the album ought to be in my website in early March next year. It's been great fun, working with Dave Lloyd and Brian Balster, on these songs over the past 18 months, or so. There is, most definitely, a 'Stonefield Tramp' flavour and texture to this project. Not surprising, when you consider it, for we were all founder members of that band, way back in 1974.


New Album Launch

reggie album

I am also very pleased to be able to promote, and release, Dave Lloyd's second solo album 'Five into One'( his first being way back in 1985) in the Music Page of this website. No Vinyl version, I'm afraid, but it is available in a limited CD version. It is on the Tramp label but the whole project was very much a solo project on Dave's part. Please note that, for this album, he has adapted the stage name of 'Reggie'. See the Music page for purchase details.


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News October 2019

Dave Lloyd's Solo Album

Terry Friend recording session

Information has been received recently, from Dave Lloyd, informing me that his solo album will soon be launched, as will his website. Please keep your eye on my website for details, for I shall be promoting his album as well.


New Album Number Two

Terry Friend recording session

On the 5th and 6th of November Dave Lloyd, Brian Balster, and myself, will be at the FFG studio in Bredon, mixing and mastering our new album 'The FFG Sessions' by 'Balster, Friend and Lloyd'. And it is my intent to attend the production mastering session at Soundperformance, in London, in late November or early December. Resulting in the launch of this album, in this web site, in the early part of 2020.


Schrodinger's Strings

FFG Studios

I was privileged to attend a gig by this very entertaining, Harp led, band at the Baldock Beer Festival, earlier this year. I mention this because they are often joined on stage by former Stonefield Tramp man Pete Kiely, who plays Mandolin. I have now put a link to this band in this website's Links page. Should you get the opportunity to see, and hear, them in action, you will most certainly find the experience both impressive and rewarding.


Autumn

FFG Studios

And here we are, Autumn again! And what I mainly like about the onset of this season is the fact that the year's gardening chores are gradually coming to an end. And, the only thing worth looking forward too, during the seemingly never ending misery of our British Winters, is that delightful three months lay off from all of those gardening chores! And, at my stage of life, going into a semi hibernating state, for three months, or so, is sheer bliss!




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News June 2019

Recording Sessions

FFG Studios

As mentioned in the last news page, in this site, the recording sessions with Brian, Dave and myself at FFG Studios went very well indeed with progress on all three of our works that are in production at the moment.


More Kind Comments

Terry Friend recording session

I received a lovely comment from Mark, over there in the U.S. A. Who stated that he thought that my 'Anno Domini' album was the best one that I had ever recorded. Thanks Mark, for that very kind and thoughtful remark. And finally, I received a lovely complimentary letter, in the post, from Chris, of Peps Records, who has taken a liking to my particular brand of song writing. He has also agreed to help me distribute Tramp records vinyl though his website. Yippee! Today Letchworth……..tomorrow the World!


Dave Lloyd's Solo Album.

Dave and David recording session at FFG Studios

As I type these very words, Dave Lloyd, and David our producer, are working away on the songs and should soon be in a position to mix and master this album. Please keep your eye on this website for further details. One suggested title for this album is 'And The Sun Will Shine Again'.


New Song

Jock Petchey

Noting recently that there is still room, on the proposed Stonefield Tramp Swan Song album, for a couple more songs, I thought that I'd trawl through my back catalogue and see what I could come up with. Came across one of the first songs I wrote, back in 1972, called 'The Ballad of Johnny T'. The simple chord progression was by myself, but the words were by my best friend, from our days in the Regiment in Germany, Jock Petchey. It did have 12 four-line verses, which I have now reduced to nine, altered the chords and thus, a new song is reborn! Sadly I have to report that Jock died, at the tender age of 32, it is in honour, and memory, of a long, and loyal friendship, of two former 'Cold War' warriors, that I intend to record this song.

And now, here we are, 'flaming June', and about time too! I was beginning to think that it was never going to warm up again. Not that I was expecting, or indeed hoping for, another Summer like last year, for they only come along about every 40 years, or so!




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News April 2019

Lazy River

Terry Friend Lazy River

I am pleased to be able to report the successful launch of my 1983 cassette album 'Lazy River' in its new CD and Limited edition Vinyl format in mid December last year. Sales are unfolding in a manner that quite meets my expectations for this vintage early eighties album. My heartfelt thanks to all of you that have purchased a copy. Copies are still available to purchase in Vinyl and CD here...


A New Songwriting Collaboration

Terry Friend recording session Terry Friend recording session

Since re-discovering our long last electric guitarist Dave Lloyd. An original founder member of Stonefield Tramp and a valued contributor to the style and texture of the bands iconic 1974 album 'Dreaming Again'. Since last year he and I have entered into a very creative song writing partnership. His Music and my Lyrics! So successful has this been that we are now currently working on enough material for three brand new albums!


FFG Recording Sessions

Lazy River Terry Friend

Of the three albums mentioned above, the first will be by Balster, Friend, and Lloyd. The second is hoped to be a Stonefield Tramp album, if we can get the remaining members of the band to join in. And the third album, which was the reason to make our way back to our beloved FFG studio in Bredon, for a two day session on the 26th and 27th of March, will be Dave Lloyds second solo album. 8 brand new songs got templated and we are also booked in to the studio again, on the 23rd and 24th of April, to allow Brian to catch up with guitar work on about 6 songs that require his input. As you can see we are all keeping very busy. And it is to be hoped that the Balster, Friend, and Lloyd album, 'The FFG Sessions' will be released in both CD and Limited edition Vinyl format at the end of this year.

And that is all for now. So glad to see the back of Winter and welcome the advent of Spring. Although the downside of that fact is it is time to get out and take care of all those gardening chores again. If you own a garden there's always something to do!


Lazy River Featured as Album of The Day

Lazy River Terry Friend Album of the Day

Lazy River Terry Friend Album of the Day

I was really pleased to find that the web-based music magazine psycedelicbabymag.com featured Lazy River as their "Album of the Day", soon after its release in January 2019.


A Little Note of Encouragment

Card Terry Friend Card Terry Friend

I was really touched to have received this little note of encouragement from a lady that has been to the series of gigs that I recently took part in. She also said to me that I was a "real folk singer." Such little encouragements go along way.



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News October/November

Mastering Session

Terry Friend Sound Performance

On Tuesday the 9th of October, I attended a mastering session in London, with Sound Performance, for the re-release of my 1983 album 'Lazy River' in Limited edition Vinyl format, and CD for the first time. Back in 1983 it was released as a Cassette run of 30 copies only, which sold out very quickly. The intention was to issue it in Vinyl, but at that time I could not afford to do so! Now I can do this and my hope is to allow those songs to reach a wider audience.

Grandad's Gang

Terry Friend Grandad

I rather like this photo of Granddad and his little Gang, all boys. Nate, who will soon be six years old, as is my lovely little Jack Russell terrier Pip. And the rather portly newcomer is the newest member of our little Gang. Ethan, who is coming up to six months old. Cannot wait to introduce the two boys to that lovely tipple known as that 'Dear old Scottish Brew'.

Recording Session

Terry Friend recording session Terry Friend recording session

On Monday the 29th of October, Dave Lloyd and I travelled down to the FFG studio in Bredon, near Tewkesbury, to meet up with Brian and beaver away on some half a dozen brand new songs for our next 'Stonefield Tramp' related album. At the moment the working title of which is 'The Bredon Barn Album'. We all worked our socks off and, under the ever watchful eye, and ear, of our producer David, these songs have got off to a great start!

Launch of new album.

Lazy River Terry Friend

Coming to this website soon will be the launch of the new album 'Lazy River'. Please keep your eye on the website for updates on the projects progress. And that little snippet now brings us up to date with everything happening in Anothercountrysong.com land. And, before you know it we shall all be putting up the Christmas decorations again!



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News - July 2018

Fifty Years Ago

Terry Friend Royal Marines mug

A span of fifty years feels like a very long time, and indeed it is! However, the memories of a certain event from April 1968 remain so vivid in my mind, that it feels like the it only occurred yesterday! I am referring to a young soldier proudly standing, on a parade ground in Lympstone, Devon, and receiving his coveted Green beret from the presenting Officer. That young soldier was me, and I had just successfully completed my Commando course with the Royal Marines. It was a feather in my cap that I have always worn with pride. I would go on to serve in 3 Commando Brigade for almost three years, resulting in a far more interesting Military experience than would otherwise had been the case, had I not chosen to raise my own 'personal accomplishment' stakes a little. Why is this mentioned? Good question, and it does deserve an answer. It was whilst I was stationed in Singapore in 1968, 1969, and 1970 that the lyrics, which kicked off my song writing ambitions, just poured out of me. It was the beginning of it all!

A 'Come the Day' album story

Terry Friend Royal Marines mug

I came across a fascinating little story concerning my 1977 album 'Come the Day' recently. In the next street to where I reside lives a chap that I have got to know quite well, over the years, as he is a very keen collector of all things Vinyl. He was at a local car boot sale and came across a copy of the album, which he purchased for £1! He noted that I had signed, and dated it, on the back of the cover to Maggie. The Maggie in question was Maggie Spong who was a member of the band that recorded that album with me. Her role being keyboards and backing vocals. I bumped into her in the late eighties, or it might well have been the early nineties, and she informed me that her brother had emigrated to New Zealand and taken her signed copy of the album with him. As you would expect she was pretty miffed about this! So I gave her another mint copy and informed her that there was interest in the album, out there in the internet, and copies were passing hands at £80 a time. If only her original copy could talk I do feel that it would have an interesting tale to tell. But, fancy it turning back up in Hertfordshire all these decades later!

FFG Studio Sessions

Terry Friend Dave Terry Friend Brian

On Tuesday, and Wednesday, the 12th and 13th of June, Brian, Dave and myself returned to the FFG studio in Bredon to continue work on the songs that we had written for the proposed Stonefield Tramp Swan Song album. Because of all of the preparation that we had done we were able to record 8 new songs, to add to the 2 that we had laid down last year, thus making 10 in all! My share in things was rather small as I only had to lay down the templates for two of my own songs. The majority of the work being done by Brian and Dave, and they both worked their socks off! We are very pleased at the way that these songs are developing and we plan a return visit in October to keep up the good work.

Summertime

Terry Friend Summertime

And I am well aware that excessive heat can be a bit of a bug bare! But let's all put such thoughts aside and enjoy this lovely Summer, whilst it lasts, for we don't get them that often! And it seems to be well on the way to being as good as the one in 1976! So, farewell to you all, untill the Autumn, when the next news page will be due.



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News - April 2018

Terry Friend Easter 2018

At long last I have finally been able to remove the winter scarf and hat, as Spring, however feebly at the moment, appears to be trying to assert itself. Apart from the devastating 'Beast from the East' which brought the usual chaos and confusion with it. No doubt bringing some rather harsh remarks of today's softies from those of us with vivid memories of the Winter of 1963. And yes, I am old enough to remember it very clearly. I actually remarked, to a friend of mine, as the gloom of a seemingly never ending season had me in its grip, that I was 'longing for the first of May'. His reply was that it sounded like a good title for a song. Now then, there's a thought!

New Grandson

Grandson Number Two

I am very pleased to be able to report the safe, and somewhat late arrival, of Grandson number two. Weighing in at eight and a half pounds, Ethan Cole Nixon arrived on Saturday the 24th of February. Apparently he is a rather noisy and angry fellow. There are times when it can be a real pleasure to remove the hearing aids!

Floor Spot at number 12

Floor Spots

I am pleased to be able to say that I am still enjoying the 4 floor spots a month that I am currently doing at Howard Hall and the Number 12 Coffee Bar in Letchworth. They are floor spots, rather than gigs, as I am standing in for my friends Allen, Paul and Mike, as they are the main act of the day. But it's all good fun and I intend to keep them up.

Stonefield Tramp Swan Song Rehearsal

On March the 12th I ventured into the great English wilderness, known to us all as Norfolk, in order to spend a couple of days with Dave Lloyd in order to go over the songs that we had both jointly written for inclusion in the proposed Stonefield Tramp album. It soon came to my attention that Dave had done considerably better with his life than I had done with mine, for my entire houses floor space would easily have fitted into the floor space of his attached conservatory! And, that first night, I kept getting lost attempting to negotiate the way to my bedroom! Needless to say, I was well looked after by he and his wife, and a lot of good work got done on the new songs. Looking forward to the two day recording session in Bredon in June.

Gardening Rears Its Head Again

I once remember seeing a joke, in my paper, about a rather fat middle aged bloke (Office Worker?) with a very glazed expression on his face sitting in an armchair, whilst his wife converses with a female friend who has just popped in. The caption of this joke being 'Oh ignore him, he's just heard his first lawn mower!' And yes, I not only heard my first lawn mower, I was actually pushing the damn thing yesterday. And, if that's not a sign of Spring, I don't know what is!


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News-December 2017

Terry Friend Roaring Success

The Acetate Album - A Roaring Success

The Acetate - Van Spyk and Friend

The Acetate Album - A Roaring Success

I'm still attempting to come to the terms that the best selling album, out of the four that were recorded by Rob, Stonefield Tramp, and myself, during the seventies, has turned out to be the Acetate album. Released some 41 years after it was first recorded. At the time we were hard up, and complete novices in the studio, and the Engineer involved was not exactly all that helpful to us! But this album has shifted a lot of copies in a very short space of time. And I am highly amused to learn that the Guersson label, which re-issued Stonefield Tramp's 1974 album 'Dreaming Again' in 2012 flatly turned down the opportunity to re-issue the Acetate album, despite receiving many requests from very keen would be buyers! They are now stocking our 2016 version in their website! How about that for a complete change in direction and attitude!


New Songs Recorded

In FFG Studios

I am also very pleased to announce that, on Wednesday the 28th of November, four members of Stonefield Tramp gathered at the lovely FFG studio in Bredon, Gloucestershire, to record two new songs. Does this mean that there may be another album in the pipeline? You bet it does! So, please keep your eye on this website for further details. By the way, the people at the recording were myself, Brian Balster, Pete Kiely and Dave Lloyd.


Howling, Screaming and Chord Bashing

I am very pleased to be able to announce, just when the world had thought that it had heard the last from me, that I have managed to get back to strumming my guitar again. Pretty rough going, at first, but I stuck out the discomfort with my shoulder and just soldiered on. So much so that I have actually written two brand new songs, and have done about six little gigs recently. There's hope for this old dog yet!

Merry Christmas from Terry Friend


And I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, and that this winter will not be as hard as predicted. And please look out for the launch of my New and updated Website in January 2018!




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News-September 2017

Anno Domini

The Acetate Album

After all of the aftermath of last years Motorbike 'accident', and the sad fact that I, after all this time, am still unable to play my guitar! Nevertheless, it is with great pleasure that I am able to announce the release of my new album Anno Domini, in this website, in both CD and Vinyl format. With the Vinyl version of this recording being found in the Collectors Corner page

Swan Song Album

And, the big burning question for me is this! Will this, indeed, be my Swan Song solo album? Deep down in my bones I do feel that it may well prove to be the case. But, if it is, I do believe that I am going out on a high, for I am very fond of this album, and all of the hard work put into it by my old friends Brian Balster, and Colin Wilson. Not forgetting our stalwart Studio Engineer and Producer David Pickering Pick, who has had the grim task of dealing with my chord bashing and particular brand of caterwauling for quite a considerable number of years now!

Autumn

As with the ticking of a clock, so to do the seasons keep on relentlessly turning. Summer's gone, and we are now in the season of mists and mellow fruit fullness. Before you know it it'll be Christmas again! Why, oh why does time have to fly by quite so fast?

Autumn Forest

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News-June 2017

Come The Day

40 Years Ago

Yes, it's hard to believe, but 40 years ago this Summer, this fledgling aspiring songwriter, had written enough songs to create his debut solo album. I could have so easily contacted my old band mates from Stonefield Tramp. But I didn't! I deliberately avoided them, as I didn't want my album to be a 'son of Dreaming Again' project. I wanted it to have a completely different atmosphere and texture from any previous work that I had been a part of. So I contacted various people from local bands Change and Quinquereme, and rehearsals commenced. We worked on the material all that summer and laid down the recording in the Autumn. At all times the atmosphere was very friendly and relaxing. And I do believe that the participants enjoyed the experience as much as I did. Hard to believe that my innocent little album, many years later, was to be a contender for the Galactic Ramble. Even though it didn't actually make it into the publication, I was so pleased to see that Stonefield Tramp's album Dreaming Again did!

Lost and Found!

During the years 2006 and 2007, when Stonefield Tramp were hard at work on their reunion album 'Full Circle', intense efforts were made to trace Dave Lloyd, electric guitarist on the 'Dreaming Again' album, but despite our combined efforts, we failed to locate him! And the fact that he had never tried to contact us, despite all of the Stonefield Tramp related stuff, out there on the internet, we assumed that he was dead! A little harsh perhaps, but it was the only logical conclusion that we could come up with. Image my intense surprise, and delight, to receive an e mail from him about a month ago, after he had stumbled across my website. Unbelievable as this may sound, he had only just, after all these years of the internet, only just decided to put Stonefield Tramp into google. I asked him if he had spent the last 20 years living under a stone, and that 'we all thought you were dead'. Needless to say, he was as pleased to find us all again, as we were pleased to discover that he was still very much alive! A reunion most definitely seemed to be on the cards.

Rob Van Spyk Stonefield Tramp Reunion Stonefield Tramp Reunion

A Series of Reunions

Three, to be precise. For by a very strange quirk of fate, Rob had decided to bring his wife and young daughter for a first visit to England. After much telephone conversations, and e mails, it was arranged that we would all meet up in Letchworth on Saturday the 3rd of June, for a slap up lunch in the Three Horseshoes pub in Norton, followed by tea and cake on my lawn. And for once, the fickle English Summer weather was kind enough to let it all take place without any mishaps, and a splendid time was had by all. Previous to the Saturday event, Rob and I met up for an alcoholic 'meet and greet' with former Stonefield Tramper Pete Kiely, who now resides in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, in Letchworth, at the Hotel where Rob's family were staying, on Friday the 2nd of June. And it naturally got the atmosphere off to a very good start for the following days little shindig. Also, at the Reunion was Dave Maughan, who was, with myself and Rob, back in 1965, a former member of Alamein Platoon, The All Arms Junior Leaders Regiment. And for those of you who kindly purchased the recent Tramp release of 'The Acetate'. It was Dave who was closeted with Rob, on that memorable day when I noticed them writing a song together. From that very small incident emerged my songwriting partnership with Rob, and the forming of Stonefield Tramp. And the rest, as they say, is history. As the old saying goes.....From little acorns, great Oak trees grow.

Anno Domini Album

Anno Domini

And, finally, after all the set backs of my accident and broken shoulder, I shall be at the FFG studio for the finale Mixing/Mastering session for this album. This will be on Wednesday the 14th of June, and the newly discovered Dave Lloyd has kindly agreed to drive me there. I expect nothing but a successful outcome, and have already booked the production Mastering session, in London at Sound Performance, for Tuesday the 11th of July. I do like to strike while the iron is hot!

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News-January 2017

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Acetate Album

The Good

As this is the start of a new year, with all that that suggests, let us commence this News page with some good news! it is always a source of joy to be involved with the launch of a new recording project. And in December 2016 Rob and I launched the new vinyl album 'The Acetate' by 'Van Spyk and Friend' in both of our websites. I am pleased to be able to report that it is doing well. Recorded in 1971, but released in 2016. Now that's a 45 year gap! I wonder if that fact would make it a contender for the Guinness book of records?

15 December 2016

The Bad

On the 15th of December I was on my way home, from my very last gardening chore of the year, with no further need to get on my motor bike for the next three months, when disaster occurred! I drove up to a red car, with a female driver, who was simply creeping along the road. As I slowed down I glanced at my speedo and noted that I was only doing 25 m.p.h. At that moment the woman in front slammed her brakes on, I immediately went into an emergency stop, otherwise I would have slammed into the back of her car and, possible, been catapulted over it. Unfortunately my bike did an instant flip, and I landed very hard in the road. And I clearly recall, as I slid up the road, praying that the two drivers behind me were switched on, and wouldn't run over me. Thankfully, they did not, otherwise I might not have been here to type these words. As for the woman that created this mess, she just drove away from the scene.

Terry Friend Sling

The Ugly

As for me, and the aftermath of all this? My arm is still in a sling, and the pain is still quite intense, but at least I have had the shattered bones in my right shoulder replaced, that was on January the 6th. I have to remain in the sling for a further 4 weeks, and I have been informed that full recovery will take 6 months. However, I have also been told that my arm and shoulder will only ever function again at 50% of what it used to be able to do. I cannot imagine being able to continue as a jobbing gardener any more. And what about the guitar playing? How is that going to be affected? It will be a long time before I'll be able to find out the real outcome of all of this. So, please, keep your fingers crossed for me.

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News-October 2016

FFG Studio View Terry Friend Brother

Anno Domini

Here we are again, Autumn already! And another British winter lurks threateningly just over the horizon, and how was your Summer? It wasn't the best that I can recall nor, indeed, was it the worst, and there was even the odd mini-heatwave to cheer us up. But it was late starting, and it seemed to pass by far too quickly for my liking! And I do so hate discarding the shorts and T Shirts for long trousers and winter Jumpers! And those two days in September at David's FFG studio were most enjoyable and rewarding. I was relegated to the Kitchen to perform the usual tea making duties whilst Brian and my brother Chaz did most of the work. And I would say that the album is progressing nicely, and has been left in the very capable hands of David to round off all of those little finishing production touches that are essential to a good album.

The Acetate Album

The Acetate

It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce the imminent release of a limited edition of 250 copies of the former 'bootlegged' recording from 1971 of the first album written, and recorded, by Rob Van Spyk and myself, formally known as 'Going Nowhere' by 'Your Friend Spyk'. And from here on to be known as 'The Acetate' by Van Spyk and Friend'. There will also be a CD version available too.

These items should be in my website in about six weeks time and the Vinyl version will be found on the Collectors Corner page. I have been made aware of various bloggs out there, and of the interest in this early work of ours, and I fully expect, that in time, this album will have the same reputation amongst the Vinyl collectors as that enjoyed by 'Stonefield Tramp's' 'Dreaming Again'.

Tee Shirts

Stonefield Tramp Tee Shirt

I am also introducing a limited edition of 100 copies only, of a 'Stonefield Tramp' T shirt. This will also be in the Collectors Corner page. So, please, shop early to avoid disappointment!

Farewell for now, and I think it's high time to get down to the local supermarket to stock up with whisky to assist in getting through the dreary months to come. And aren't they already proclaiming a bad one! That's what they said last year, and I didn't even see one little snow flake! I hope they'll be proved wrong again!

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News-June 2016

Flaming June, or so the rumour has it. Not today, it's pelting down and it's winter coat weather. A good excuse to sit indoors, with a lovely hot brew close at hand, and type out these words. One should use one's time wisely. I'm fast approaching my biblical 'three score and ten' so I am constantly reminded of just how little time I have left on this planet of ours. And will I achieve all that I wish to, with what little time there is left to me? To quote the Bard from Stratford. 'To be or not to be, that is the question'.

New Videos

I would like to apologise for the terrible quality of the last three videos, inserted into my Youtube site fairly recently, to promote the new album. However, the fault has been rectified and Pierre and I have been beavering away into the small hours of the morning to rectify the matter. You may now view them in a top quality condition. And my grateful thanks to that unknown person who gave them all a 'like' in their previous condition. I certainly hope that you will 'like' the newer versions.

New Album

FFG Studio Session

I am very pleased to be able to announce the launch of my new 'tribute' album "Once upon a song, there was a time..." by 'Balster and Friend'. Brian has been a staunch friend, and life long music collaborator, on many of my contemporary self penned albums. And, on this one in particular, he has worked his socks off for me. And his name on the cover as a joint musician was long overdue. And the idea behind this album was to give due credit to those artists who inspired us both to want to become guitarists and song writers ourselves. And it was a most enjoyable experience working on this album together.

Recording Session

A very successful recording session was held at David's FFG studio'in Bredon, on the 5th and 6th of May where Colin Wilson, from 'The Boys from Melbourne Street' band in Exeter, guested on my next album, and laid down some beautiful acoustic picking on 8 of the songs. Already, at such an early stage of development, this album is already beginning to pick up a delightful flavour and direction of its own. I eagerly await the next session, which we have pencilled in for late August or early September. This will be with Brian to enable him to add his backing vocals, harmonica and 12 string Acoustic guitar tracks.

I shall leave you all with the vain hope that we might actually, at some point, see the sun, or even actually get a Summer!

FGG Studio Colin Wilson

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