T I M E L I N E  -  1 9 7 0 s

 

March 16th/17th 1970
Wishbone Ash record demos at West of England Sound Studios, Exeter.

 

March/April 1970
Wishbone Ash play their first overseas shows - a week long stint in Paris.

 

Spring 1970

Recording sessions for the band's first album take place at Advision, London. These recordings are eventually scrapped in favour of later recordings made at De Lane Lea. The original Advision tapes eventually re-surface 37 years later and are released as First Light.

 

May 18th 1970
Wishbone Ash support Deep Purple at Dunstable Civic Hall. Following the gig, Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore recommends the band to Purple producer Derek Lawrence. It is this connection which leads to Wishbone securing a recording contract.

 

 

August 20th 1970
Wishbone Ash sign a $250,000 advance recording contract with MCA (Decca in US).

 

September 1970
Wishbone Ash record their eponymous debut album at De Lane Lea studios, Kingsway, London with Derek Lawrence producing.

 

December 4th 1970
The debut Wishbone Ash album is released through MCA (UK) and Decca (USA), and features the songs which comprised the band's early stage act - "Blind Eye", "Lady Whiskey", "Phoenix", etc. The album peaks at no.34 on the UK album chart.

 

December 5th 1970
Wishbone Ash make their TV debut, performing "Queen of Torture" and "Errors of my Way" live in the studio for BBCTV's Disco 2 programme.

 

February 25th 1971
Wishbone Ash play their first US gig in Austin, Texas - the start of a seven week US tour.

 

May/June 1971
Wishbone Ash return to De Lane Lea for the recording of their second album. In addition, during this time, Ted Turner plays on sessions for John Lennon's Imagine album.

 

June 1971
Wishbone Ash undertake their first nationwide UK tour

 

July 29th 1971
Wishbone Ash depart for their second US tour - six weeks of shows including support slots for The Who, Ten Years After and Black Sabbath. While in the States the band receive the news that they have been voted "Best New Band" by UK music publications Sounds and Melody Maker.

 

September 1971
The second Wishbone Ash album Pilgrimage is released and features stage favourites such as Jail Bait and The Pilgrim, as well as equally worthy obscurities like Valediction and Vas Dis. The album would reach no.14 on the UK album chart.

 

January 1972
Wishbone Ash record their third album at De Lane Lea's newly opened Wembley studios. New material is debuted on a UK tour throughout Jan/Feb.

 

March 1972
Short German tour.

 

April 28th 1972
Wishbone Ash's third album Argus is released in the UK. Arguably the band's strongest release to this point (and later revered by many as being the finest of their career), the album featured references to time, history and war throughout the album's music and packaging. Tracks such as "The King Will Come", "Warrior" and "Throw Down the Sword" feature in live concert sets to this day.

 

June 3rd 1972
Wishbone Ash head for their third US tour - a trip that does not go without problems. Originally scheduled to run for six weeks, the tour is brought to a halt when, following a concert in St.Louis on June 19th, the band's equipment truck parked outside their hotel is broken into and most of their gear stolen

 

July 1972
Wishbone record a new number entitled "No Easy Road", as well as a new recording of Argus track "Blowin' Free" for a double a-side single release.

 

July/Aug 1972
Wishbone Ash return to the States to honour their outstanding commitments.

 

August 21st 1972
Wishbone Ash play a live set in the studios of WMC-FM in Memphis, Tennessee. The show is broadcast live and the band's US record company, Decca, has three of the songs - "Jailbait", "The Pilgrim" and "Phoenix" - released as a limited edition promotional album. The disc, entitled Live From Memphis, which is issued to radio stations across the States but never intended for general release, soon attracts a great deal of attention from avid fans

 

September 1972
UK festival appearances

 

November/December 1972
19 date UK tour

 

January 1973
Wishbone Ash write and rehearse new material in a rented cottage in Anglesey, North Wales.

 

February/March 1973
Recording sessions for the fourth Wishbone Ash album take place at Olympic and Apple Studios in London. After three albums produced by Derek Lawrence, the band elect to produce the album themselves.

 

March 17th/18th 1973
Wishbone Ash play two shows at London's Marquee Club and preview new material.

 

March/April 1973
US tour

 

May 11th 1973
The fourth Wishbone Ash album - titled simply Wishbone Four - is released and features a simpler musical approach than its highly successful predecessor. Although critical response was mixed the album contains some fine moments - tracks such as "Rock n'Roll Widow", "Everybody Needs a Friend" and "Doctor".

 

June 1973
Major UK tour, during which recordings are made for a proposed Wishbone Ash live album.

 

August 1973
Wishbone headline an all day event at Alexandra Palace, London, on August 6th before departing for a short US tour, running until August 23rd.

 

September 1973
Mixing of live recordings at Olympic Studios, London.

 

October 1973
Short UK tour. Support act is Home (featuring a young guitarist named Laurie Wisefield).

 

October/November 1973
US tour

 

December 1973
Wishbone Ash's long awaited double live album Live Dates is released, compiled from recordings of concerts in Reading, Croydon, Portsmouth and Newcastle. A short series of dates in France and Switzerland coincides with the live album's release, followed by another all day event at Alexandra Palace at which the band receive gold discs for Argus and silver discs for Wishbone Four

 

January 1974
US tour

 

February 21st 1974
Live concert at London's BBC studios - the show marks Ted Turner's last onstage appearance with Wishbone Ash for fourteen years.

 

March/April 1974
Wishbone Ash write and rehearse new material at Miles Copeland's London home.

 

May 2nd 1974
Ted Turner announces his decision to quit Wishbone Ash.

 

May 1974

As news of Ted's departure reaches the music press, Andy Powell performs two gigs with Renaissance at New York City's Academy of Music. However, there is another reason for Powell's trip to New York - to sound out former Home guitarist Laurie Wisefield (at that time playing in New York as part of Al Stewart's backing group) about the possibility of him replacing Ted in Wishbone Ash.

 

August 4th 1974
The new look Wishbone Ash, featuring Laurie Wisefield on guitar, depart for Miami to record their fifth studio album at Criteria Sound Studios with noted US producer Bill Szymczyk (Eagles, Joe Walsh, etc).

 

October 2nd 1974
Wishbone Ash Mk.2 makes its live debut at Plymouth Guildhall, the start of a major UK tour, coinciding with the release of Wishbone Ash's fifth studio album There's the Rub - a critically acclaimed effort which features Ash classics such as "FUBB" and "Persephone".

 

October/November 1974
European tour.

 

November 1974 -
February 1975

US tour, followed by tour of Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

 

April 1975
Following their experience of recording in the States, Wishbone Ash formulates plans to use the country as a base to work from. With this decision made all four members eventually decided to reside in the area surrounding the rustic town of Westport, Connecticut.

 

April/May 1975
US tour with Aerosmith.

 

July/August 1975
Wishbone Ash tour Europe as part of the Miles Copeland mastermindedStartrucking package tour, playing major festival and arena dates in Germany, Belgium, Holland, Spain, France, Switzerland and Austria, appearing alongside Mahavishnu Orchestra, Soft Machine, Caravan, Climax Blues Band and Rory Gallagher. The tour runs into problems when headliner Lou Reed pulls out at the eleventh hour. Promoters take advantage of Reed's non-appearance to not pay out the contracted fees and the tour is a financial disaster and results in Copeland being forced to liquidate all his companies.

 

September 19th 1975
Wishbone Ash and Miles Copeland meet at Martin Turner's home. Band and manager decide to part company and Wishbone continue with Steve Upton taking charge of the band's business affairs.

 

November 1975
Wishbone Ash record their sixth studio album at Atlantic Studios, New York City. Tom Dowd (of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Eric Clapton fame) produces the sessions, which would prove traumatic.

 

March 12th 1976
The aptly titled Locked In album is released in the UK. With a lightweight American soft rock feel, the true Wishbone Ash hallmarks are largely absent and the album is heavily criticised by fans and press alike.

 

March-May 1976
US tour featuring Graham Maitland (ex-Glencoe) augmenting the band on keyboards. These turn out to be the only shows performed to promote Locked In. The album is not toured in the UK, Europe or other territories.

 

Summer 1976
Wishbone Ash write and record their seventh studio album largely in the basement of Martin Turner's home - Laureledge in Westport, Connecticut - using mobile recording equipment. Producers Ron and Howie Albert are recruited and the music compiled makes a concerted return to the band's classic style, albeit with the influx of influences and experience they have picked up since their move to the States.

 

October 1976
Wishbone Ash undertake their second Japanese tour and preview material from the new album.

 

October-December 1976
Wishbone Ash undertake their first full scale UK tour in two years. Coinciding, their seventh studio album New England is released to mass critical and public acclaim. Featuring such highpoints as "Lorelei", "Outward Bound" and "You Rescue Me", the album marks a true return to form for Wishbone Ash and peaks at no.22 on the UK album chart. Dates in Europe follow.

 

January-May 1977
Wishbone Ash write and rehearse new material in Connecticut.

 

May 1977
MCA issue the Wishbone Ash compilation album Classic Ash. Wishbone Ash's long time concert agent John Sherry takes over the role of band manager.

 

May-July 1977

Wishbone Ash record their eighth studio album at Miami's Criteria Sound Studios with producers Ron and Howie Albert.

 

June 11th 1977
Wishbone Ash headline the Pinkpop Festival in Geleen, Holland in front of 30,000 - the band's largest crowd draw as a headline act.

 

September-October 1977
European and UK tour.

  

October 7th 1977
Wishbone Ash's eighth album Front Page News is released. Perhaps the band's most musically varied album - ranging from West Coast Americana to all out heavy rock and with orchestrations on several tracks - the release receives mixed reactions from press and fans, but nonetheless contains several true Wishbone classics such as the title track and also the single release "Goodbye Baby Hello Friend".

 

November/December 1977
US tour

 

Spring 1978
Wishbone Ash take up residence in their native UK once again, following a three years period of living and working in America.

 

June-August 1978
Wishbone Ash record their ninth studio album No Smoke Without Fire at the Music Centre, Wembley (formerly De Lane Lea). Producer of the first three Wishbone Ash albums Derek Lawrence records with the band for the first time since Argus.

 

October 6th 1978
No Smoke Without Fire is released, a limited quantity of copies are presented together with a free live 7" single. A major UK tour starts on the same day. Despite a lack of media interest in both the album and tour (the press are pre-occupied with the New Wave explosion which is sweeping the music industry at the time), Wishbone manage to retain their status as one of the UK's top concert attractions, drawing sell out crowds everywhere. The album marks a return to a more British orientated sound on tracks such as "The Way of the World" and "You See Red", and peaks at no.43 on the UK chart.

 

November 1978
Japanese tour

 

March 1979
Live in Tokyo, a collection of recordings from the November 1978 Japanese tour, is released in Japan only. The album is produced by Martin Turner.

 

March-August 1979
Wishbone Ash spend six months recording their tenth studio album at Surrey Sound Studios in Leatherhead, England. The sessions are produced by Martin Turner, John Sherry and Wishbone Ash.

 

July 1979
To bridge the gap between album releases, Wishbone release a double a-side single featuring two exclusive tracks - "Fast Johnny" and "Come On" - the latter a cover of the Chuck Berry classic.

 

November 22nd 1979
Wishbone Ash appear at the Year of the Child benefit at Wembley Empire Pool in London. The event is televised and Wishbone use the opportunity to premier tracks from their forthcoming album. The performance is the band's only concert appearance of 1979.