WHEN you count the likes of Axl Rose and Chrissie Hynde amongst your fans, you know you’re doing something right, and 10CC certainly did things right.
The original band might have split up some time ago, but their music just had to be kept alive, and founder member Graham Gouldman does just that.
For a number of years, Graham has been taking his band out on the road and such is the demand, he is undertaking a 33-date tour of the UK kicking off in Sheffield today (Thursday) and ending on March 10 in Salisbury.
Formed in Stockport by Graham, Eric Stewart, Lol Crème and Kevin Godley, 10CC racked up almost a dozen Top Ten hits, which included Art For Art’s Sake, The Things We Do For Love and Life Is A Minestrone from 1972 to 1978.
Three of their hits, Rubber Bullets, Dreadlock Holiday and the sublime I’m Not In Love all topped the charts, with I’m Not In Love having received a BMI citation for five million radio plays in the US.
Not content with just having hits with 10CC, Graham penned hits for The Hollies, Herman’s Hermits and The Yardbirds, later teaming up with Andrew Gold as Wax and having a hit with Bridge To Your Heart.
But he always returns to 10CC.
“It’s the songs really,” he says, commenting on what he thinks is the enduring appeal of the band.
“Their inventiveness, music, lyrics and originality.”
However, their biggest hit was a bit different from their usual output.
Most of their songs had clever, witty lyrics with an infusion of humour, but that wasn’t the case with I’m Not on Love.
“We loved it,” he says. “But we never thought of it as a single, but we played it to everyone and they said that it would be a massive hit.”
“It’s kind of a serious one really,” he continues. “And up until then we’d avoided writing a love song as it was a bit of a cliché.”
Despite Graham saying that there was no single definitive 10CC number. he admits: “There’s something about I’m Not In Love.
“It seems to have a spirituality about it and has a hypnotic quality that affects me even today- and I’ve played it God knows how many times,” he laughs.
There’s a change to the show this time around.
In previous years, the band have played some of the hits and then in the middle of the show, there is a section where Graham plays some of the songs that he wrote for others – but this time it’s different.
“That’s right. I come on first and sing a few of songs I wrote before 10CC, and gradually bring on the rest of the band.”
“Then we go off, get changed and come back as 10CC. I’m my own support really.”
Now in his sixties, Graham still enjoys playing music.
“We are loving doing it,” he says. “And I always look forward to playing in my home town of Manchester.”
And he is still keen to produce new material.
“I’m doing things with new writers and I’ve been talking to Andrew Gold about working together again.”
“We always loved writing together.”
Joining Graham on stage as his band are: Paul Burgess on drums, Rick Fenn on guitar, Mick Wilson on vocals, keyboards and guitar, plus Mike Stevens on keyboards.
10CC will be appearing at Buxton’s Opera House on Wednesday March 23rd.
Tickets are available from the Box Office (0845 127 2190) and all the usual outlets.