Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
AVERAGE WHITE BAND
UK soul/funk band formed '72 with group of Scottish musicians, named after their collective obsession with black music. Original lineup: Alan Gorrie (b 19 July '46, Perth), bass, vocals; Onnie McIntyre (b 25 Sep. '45, Lennoxtown), guitar; Robbie McIntosh (b '50; d 23 Sep. '74 LA), drums; Roger Ball (b 4 June '44, Dundee), sax, keyboards; Malcolm 'Molly' Duncan (b 24 Aug. '45, Montrose), sax; Mike Rosen, guitar, trumpet. McIntosh ex-Brian Auger; last three worked together in Mogul Thrash, later freelanced as Dundee Horns; Rosen ex-Eclection. Added Hamish Stuart (b 8 Oct. '49, Glasgow) on guitar/vocals as Rosen left: Stuart and McIntyre had been in Dream Police (late '60s Glasgow). Band caught attention warming up Eric Clapton Rainbow Theatre comeback concert Jan. '73. False start with LP Show Your Hand on MCA '73; switched to Atlantic, where famed house producer Arif Mardin made no. 1 LP AWB '74 which remains their best work: strong songs incl. disco instrumental 'Pick Up The Pieces' (no. 1 USA; no. 6 UK), cover of Isley Bros 'Work To Do'. McIntosh died in drug accident; replaced by another Auger sideman Steve Ferrone (b 25 April '50, Brighton), ironically first black member of the band. Relocated to US West Coast after Cut The Cake went gold; title track remake of 'Pieces' with vocals, just missed UK top 30 but made USA top ten, confirming success of coals-to-Newcastle approach. LPs less satisfying from then on despite recording and touring with Ben E. King (Benny And Us '77); split with Mardin following year didn't help. Brief reprise with Shine '80 (hit single 'Let's Go Around Again') prod. by David Foster; then public was confused by switch of producer to disco king Dan Hartman and guest guitarist Richie Stotts with Mohican hairstyle, recruited from New York punks Plasmatics for Cupid's In Fashion '82. Gorrie's solo LP Sleepless Nights '85 signalled the end for the band.