Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
Psychedelic rock band formed in UK '67, led by Patrick Campbell-Lyons (b Waterford, Eire) and Alex Spyropoulos (b Greece). Songwriter Campbell-Lyons had moved to England to attend university, instead joined Second Thoughts, among whom was Chris Thomas (see his entry). They supported the High Numbers (later better known as the Who) at the Star Club in Hamburg; Campbell-Lyons and Thomas wrote 'I'm Finding It Rough', recorded by the Everly Brothers. When they split '67 Campbell-Lyons enrolled at art school on a film-making course, but met Spyropoulos and Ray Singer (later connected with Elton John); they formed Nirvana, intended to be rock-oriented but with classical leanings (including French horn and cello). They signed to Island '67 and made three classic psychedelic singles, 'Rainbow Chaser' (their only hit, top 40 UK '68), 'Pentecost Hotel' and 'Tiny Goddess', as well as LPs (later collectors' items) The Story Of Simon Simopath and All Of Us. At this point they fell out with Island boss Chris Blackwell, a story apparently documented on 'Christopher Lucifer', on their third LP Nirvana -- To Marcos III, due to appear on Island but finally on Pye '70, including session work by Spooky Tooth, Billy Bremner on guitar and backing vocalist Lesley Duncan.
Campbell-Lyons took over the name Nirvana '71, released bizarre Local Anaesthetic on Vertigo, assisted by Jade Warrior and Mel Collins; a similar lineup made Songs Of Love And Praise on Philips '72, including an inferior remake of the '68 hit. Me And My Friend '73 came out on Sovereign under his own name, while he also worked as a producer for Vertigo with Mickey Jupp, Gracious, Clear Blue Sky; in '76 he worked for Electric Records with Arthur and Aliki (Brown and Ashman) and the Cisco Kid (himself). His song 'Waterfall' represented Jamaica at the Rio Song Festival that year, sung by Jimmy Cliff; he released a single '77 on Chrysalis under the name of P. C. Lyons, also cut 'The Hero' as Erehwon for Harvest and launched his own Public Records late '70s, making concept LP The Electric Plough '81 which included an updated version of 'All Of Us' with lyrics in Latin under the title 'Habemus De Loca'; plus a synthesized single 'The Picture Of Dorian Gray' as Nirvana on the Zilch label. He had a unique eclecticism.