ROCKY AND THE NATIVES

"Jim Leverton, Chris Godden, Andy Newmark, Geoffrey Richardson, Malcolm Barnard"
Plus the label chaps
sSound Engineer man
Unknown person whats typing
Graphics man

Jim Leverton / Bass, Guitar, Keyboards

 

After leaving school in Folkestone in 1964, Jim spent a short while as an apprentice bricklayer. It wasn’t long before he decided that his future was as a musician. He started playing left handed guitar when he was 8 years old. By the early 60’s he was already working in semi professional beat groups in and around Dover, including The Big Beats (1962-63).

By 1964 he was ready to work full time in music and joined The Burnettes from Folkestone who had Jim’s friend Noel Redding on guitar. They broke up 18 months later having released two singles. Jim soon formed a new band, also with Noel Redding, The Lonely Ones, soon changing the name to The Loving Kind (1965-67). They released three singles for Pye Records, including a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar”. Noel left the band to join The Jimi Hendrix Experience but The Loving Kind continued for a while and Jim was also working as a session musician with artists including Tom Jones, Gilbert O’Sullivan and Englebert Humperdink.

jimsteve

When Noel formed his new band Fat Mattress (1968-70) in 1968, he was reunited with Jim alongside Neil Landon (vocals) and Eric Dillon (drums). The band split after a couple of hit albums and American tours. Jim joined Juicy Lucy (1971) and left after their tour of America to take a few months rest. He was soon back though! This time briefly with Ellis (1972), fronted by former Love Affair singer Steve Ellis and including keyboard player Zoot Money. Next up came two years with Hemlock (1972-73), led by ex Keef Hartley Band guitarist/vocalist Miller Anderson. Their acclaimed album “Hemlock” was released on Deram Records in 1973 and the band toured the UK, Europe and America for a couple of years.

Jim moved on to work on a solo album for former Greaseband/Wings guitarist Henry McCullough leading to a lifelong friendship. He also gigged with singer Frankie Miller before joining Savoy Brown (1974), touring the States and releasing the album “The Boogie Brothers”. In 1975 he spent a while with Leo Sayer’s band before joining Joe Brown and the Bruvvers (1976-77) and linking up again with Zoot Money (keyboards).

In 1978 Steve Marriott, a long-time friend of Joe Brown, went to one of their gigs. He needed a bass player/vocalist, heard Jim and persuaded Jim (and Joe!) that Jim should join the new Marriott fronted band Steve Marriott& Blind Drunk (1978-79). That was the start of a long working relationship with the former Small Faces/ Humble Pie vocalist/guitarist that lasted until Steve’s untimely death in 1991. In this long period of pretty much nonstop touring, Steve and Jim were together in a succession of Marriott led bands, including Steve Marriott and Packet of Three (1980-91) . A number of live albums are still available today and capture the fantastic atmosphere and quality of those live shows across the world from London to Germany, America to Australia.

jimpacket

Jim briefly joined the reformed Blodwyn Pig (1992) and moved on to a number of temporary jobs, most notably, a short spell with The Dubliners. It was then that he first bumped into multi instrumentalist, Geoffrey Richardson who was having musical instruments renovated at the antique business run by a friend. The Jim and Geoff duo started a long and successful gigging partnership and recorded their first album “Follow Your Heart” in 1996. The title track, a great song written by Jim Leverton and Peter Arnesen, is reprised on the Jim Leverton produced Rocky and the Natives debut album “Let’s Hear it for the Old Guys” (Yard Dog Records 2013). Meanwhile, in 1995 when Richard Sinclair left Canterbury prog-rock legends Caravan, Geoffrey who had been with the band since the early 70’s suggested Jim as a replacement. Jim and Geoffrey have remained with Caravan ever since.

In 2010 Chris Godden and Malcolm Barnard, looking for the best musicians they could find for their Rocky and the Natives (2011-present) country rock project, asked Jim and Geoffrey to join them with Andy Newmark (drums) to record the first R&N album, finally completed and released amidst hectic schedules in 2013. Rocky and the Natives squeezed in a highly successful short tour in 2012. A limited number of gigs are in the planning stage and a second album is currently being written. Jim’s talent, experience and generosity have been key to getting the Rocky and the Natives show on the road.

jimhemlock