Where did the name 'Galahad' come from?
However ... Sir Galahad has absolutely nothing to do with why Galahad are called Galahad!
Rather, Roy (Keyworth) was working for a fruit and vegetable delivery business in Christchurch, Dorset in the mid-80's where he spotted a supplier invoice with the heading 'Galahad Produce'. Roy was so impressed with the name that he decided to call his new band after it.
So the reality is that Galahad took their monicker from a fruit and veg grower! And to this day Roy has never seen another invoice from 'Galahad Produce' or ever come across them again. Weird ...
And having said all that :) Stu (Nicholson) ended up calling the band's record label 'Avalon Records' in keeping with the Arthurian aura of the name.
Some facts and figures...
• The band played their first gig on August 31, 1985 at Somerford Community Centre, near Christchurch, Dorset, England. They have since played well over 500 gigs in a dozen countries. The most gigs played by the band in one year was 53 back in 1987. The least number of gigs played is 0 (yes, none) in 2001 — our very own Year Zero!
• Stuart Nicholson was the last member to join the original line-up. His audition was held in Mike Hooker's front room, and was Genesis' Afterglow. Stu almost joined another local band who split within a few months!
• Unusual venues include a car showroom in Southampton to an audience of Vauxhall Astras and Cavaliers, several carnivals with the band precariously balanced on moving floats, two firework displays, two house parties and a wedding (Stu's).
• Galahad have rehearsed in over two dozen different locations including five front rooms, three youth clubs, several pubs, one village hall, a Scout hut, a church hall, a derelict theatre but only one proper rehearsal room! The village hall in question, at Holdenhurst near Bournemouth, was where the newly reformed King Crimson used to practise in the early 80s. A picture of KC rehearsing there and of the hall itself can be found in the rather glossy booklet which accompanies their Frame by Frame boxed set.
• Thus, although Galahad have only released 6 albums on CD format (not including live/best of/re-mix albums), this probably equates to about 11 albums in terms of the old two sided vinyl records or even 13 Close to the Edge's (classic Yes album that only lasts about 35 minutes!).
• The shortest recorded Galahad track is Bark in D Minor which clocks in at a mere 45 seconds and appears on the Nothing is Written album. The band's longest track is Year Zero from their album Year Zero which constitutes the whole album and lasts for about an hour!!
• Galahad has sold albums in over 50 countries including unlikely territories such as the island of Guam, Puerto Rico, all of the Baltic States, Hong Kong, Cuba and Kazakhstan. Tim Ashton (the third bass player for the band) who lived in Japan for many years even came across a Galahad section in the Fukuoka Virgin Megastore, which ironically contained two Galahad albums which have not been officially released in Japan!
• Band members past and present live on three continents: Europe, Asia and Oceania.
• Galahad has had a total of 21 full time members since its inception. BUT a total of 35 musicians and guests have played with the band either live or in the studio over the years. 6 keyboard players have graced its ranks (even more than YES!). [The Where Are They Now? page has updates on some of these past band members.]
• Spencer's first gig for Galahad was at the Academy nightclub in Boscombe, Dorset, on April 6, 1987. He was only 16 at the time and the band had to get permission for him to play!! The Academy is now called The Opera House, a world-renowned night club, home of Slinky, one of the most famous club nights in England ... not that it would be of interest to most Prog fans!!
• Galahad have performed either in part or as a whole over 60 cover versions. However, in general, cover versions have not been a part of their set since 1989!
• Stuart's hair has varied in length over the years of between 26 inches and 0.1 of an inch. Indeed, these days all the members now have short hair (some very short ... or is that receding?) and are in severe danger of becoming the world's first skinhead Prog band!!
• Galahad has travelled more than 10,000 miles whilst on tour throughout Europe. Transport used includes vans, coaches, double-decker buses, trams, cars, trains, planes, boats, taxis but no private jets or helicopters, although we once had to cancel a gig in Italy and were told by a very upset promoter that if we managed to hire a helicopter we could still get to the venue in time to play the show! Yeah right!!
• Galahad's Dreaming from the Inside 7" single (only 500 pressed) is listed in the Record Collector rare record guide (Year 2000 Millenium edition) as being worth £15 in mint condition. Stu has about a dozen left; any offers??
• Galahad songs have been played on at least 100 different radio stations throughout the World (that we know of!). In the UK the band has garnered airplay on several local British radio stations and BBC Radio One. Ironically, Galahad find it hardest to get played on their own local radio station which does virtually nothing to help expose talent from the local area!! Yet Galahad music has been played on at least a two dozen US radio stations plus stations in such far flung places as Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Turkey, Japan, Israel, Indonesia, Poland, Latvia to name but a few.
• Stuart once carried out a live long distance radio interview by phone on a Dutch radio station whilst drunk at the Munich Oktoberfest in Germany! The band also conducted a live radio interview on a Scottish radio rock show from the bar at The Seaview Public House in Parkstone, Dorset!!
• Galahad has licenced its albums/songs to other record labels in Japan, Germany, Poland, USA, France and Argentina but has never managed to obtain a recording contract with a 'major' label, which is probably why the band are still going and celebrating 27 years in existence!!
Cover versions performed by Galahad...
Pink Floyd: Comfortably Numb - Eclipse - Brain Damage
Steve Hackett: Shadow of the Heirophant - Clocks
Rush: 2112 (End Section) - Marathon
Marillion: Forgotton Sons - Garden Party - Fugazi (End Section) - Kayleigh - Lavender - Blue Angel - Slainte Mhath
Black Sabbath: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
AC/DC: Whole Lotta Rosie
Led Zeppelin: Whole Lotta Love
John Lennon: Imagine
Dire Straits: Romeo and Juliet
U2: New Years Day
Faith No More: From Out of Nowhere
MC Hammer: Don't Touch This
Holst: Mars Bringer of War
Beethoven: 9th Symphony
Bizet: The Farandol
Anyone's Daughter: Adonis
Rock and Roll Medley inc. Twist and Shout, Johnny B Goode etc.
Christmas Medley inc. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, A Spaceman Came Travelling
Various: Feed the World
E L P: Brain Salad Surgery - Fanfare for the Common Man
Greg Lake: I Believe in Father Christmas
Spartacus: Theme from The Onedin Line
Yes: Starship Trooper (End Section)
Twelfth Night: The Ceiling Speaks - Fact and Fiction - East of Eden
Queen: We Will Rock You
Motorhead: Ace of Spades (part)
Performed by Stu and Dean at their piano-and-vocal-only gigs at Whitchurch and Misters Smiths in the 2000/2001 period:
Queen: Love of My Life - Play the Game
Radiohead: High and Dry