(Drew And Dy)
NOTE: This is a very early Apple acetate.
It appears as though the label design hasn't been determined yet. This is the only one of this type that I've run across.
Drew & Dy
An Apple Story
By Drew Dymond
The story of Drew & Dy is yet another little known episode of the Apple Records story.
The duo comprised Keith Drewett, born May 19 1947 and Peter Dymond, born August 2 1947. The two school friends formed their partnership in 1963,:
"We were brought together by a mutual love of Elvis and Lonnie Donegan, with a zany sense of humour. We couldn't play anything but we used to try to make up songs just by mouthing the music, just singing the words to our own tunes.
"I took a few guitar lessons in 1964 from a jazz guitarist. He was far too advanced for me, of course, but I did pick up a few basic chords, which I passed on to Drew.
"In 1965 we went on the road together and spent the summer of 1965 in Torquay, Weymouth, London, Derby, Ilfracombe, Bournemouth and other places, sleeping rough, washing up now and then, and on the beach at Torquay we heard this wonderful guitar playing and a husky voice from behind some rocks. We went to investigate and there was this man sitting and playing 'San Francisco Bay Blues.' He was John Baxter Taylor and he was a mate of Donovan's and had taught him a lot of his guitar playing. He then very obligingly taught us flat picking and open chords and as we had nothing much to do all day but practice we got quite good at playing and harmonizing together and started supplementing our income by busking.
"We came off the road and decided to try to make it in the music business, primarily as songwriters. Prior to our meeting with Paul we had had one record out of two self-penned songs on Major Minor Records. They were 'Believe Me' c/w 'Your Ma & Pa', released in April 1967.
"In May 1968 we arrived in London for an audition with a music publisher and on our way back to the station in a taxi we saw Paul McCartney in the street outside the Apple boutique in Baker Street. We stopped the taxi and ran up to Paul. We said, 'Please Mr McCartney, all the world knows you have golden ears. We don't expect you to sign us, please just listen and tell us if our songs have anything."
"He said, "Okay, calm down. Do you have a tape?"
"I think he was a little surprised, but certainly very unfazed. When we explained that we didn't have a tape, he said, "Okay, we'll have a little audition. Come on in and we'll find somewhere." There were no staff that I can remember in the boutique - and no customers. We then went in through a little side door that led directly to a staircase from the street, so we were probably round the side of the building. The clothes were surprisingly conservative. Paul was dressed in a sweater and trousers, much as he was when he did the session later.
"Paul got two people to fetch a Revox tape recorder after we had played him about six of our songs on the stairs. They came with a key and unlocked a room and set the recorder up on a table and we taped the six tunes for him. There were these other two in the room as well, but I don't remember much about them, all I could see was Paul! He smoked a cheroot, I recall. At the end of the day he said something like, "You'll be hearing from us." He then communicated by letter (which I no longer have) saying, "Dear Drew and Dy, your songs grow on all that hear them, especially 'Taurus The Bull' and 'Tales Of Frankie Rabbit', so we'll be getting together soon to do something, like record."
"The contract came by post, along with a letter from Terry Doran. We signed to Apple Records (I still have the contract) and we signed to Python Music as writers (I still have that contract, too).
"We then went to a building which was an office block. I don't know what that was, it wasn't Savile Row, we went there later. Anyhow, we went to this building in the office block and ran through the songs again with Paul. He had us write the chords down and just listened to us and made comments like, we used a lot of A minor to D7th, it's a common chord change, and I said something like 'We seem to do that in every song, we should change it a bit.' He said, 'Don't worry, it's a trademark, something for people to recognize in your songs.' I remember he opened a cupboard to get some paper and there was a stack of silver discs on the floor of the cupboard, just piled on top of each other on the floor, perhaps thirty framed silver discs. I said, 'Why aren't you displaying those?' and he said, 'There isn't space on the walls for them, we just hang the gold ones there. We get six for every record, six silver, six gold and, if we're lucky, six platinum, so we've run out of space.'
"I often wonder whether he would have given us some if we'd asked, but of course we were going to make it anyhow, so we didn't need them!
"Then we went to Apple in Savile Row. They had only just moved in there and we met their publicist. I can't remember his name, not Tony Barrow, the other one. He's very famous, a bit snobbish, Derek Taylor, we met him. I can't remember why we went to Apple but I remember being in a big office with Paul and a photo on the wall, taken from the crowd, black and white, just a hand reaching up from the stalls.
"We did the session next. We walked in at two in the afternoon. There was a big crowd outside the studio which got bigger through the night. Paul impressed me mainly by his energy. He was up and down those stairs, into the control room, we'd do a take, then back out onto the studio floor to harmonize with us. He played 'Lady Madonna' on the piano just for us, and he was terrific.
"The studio staff weren't so nice, Malcolm Toft and others. I remember them saying, 'We'll have to clean the studio out when you've gone', which I didn't understand. We were clean and no more messy than most bands would be. The drummer was overwhelmed by the whole thing and was drinking constantly. I think the bass player was Hawaiian.
"I remember Paul saying to the drummer, 'That isn't going to help' (the drink). We worked hard and at the end of the session Paul said, 'Well, I don't think we have a record, but that's not our fault, we'll do it again.'
"A drunk got into the lobby of the studio and Drew and I were quite alarmed (we were only kids, seventeen) and Paul said, 'It's okay, just a drunk,' and the staff hustled him out.
"Some record company executives came to the session. I don't know who they were, middle-aged Americans. Paul said, 'Those were really big fish', so they must have been from Capitol or somewhere. They didn't speak to us, just watched for a while from the control room. Mal Evans just said that he had come to the session because he liked our songs. Francie Schwartz was small and dark, American, she didn't speak to us but at the end of the session Paul produced a bottle of champagne and she rounded up cups and mugs and we all had a sip of champagne.
"While they were clearing away they put on 'Hey Jude'. Paul said to the staff, 'Slip on 'Hey jude'' and even though the staff had been hearing our three songs all afternoon and night (it was now about 2a.m.) they were whistling 'Hey Jude' after it had finished, and I don't blame them! We worked so hard on the session that Drew's fingers were all blistered and Paul said, 'We're making an album at the moment and we'll put something on there, a message for you' - and I suppose it was 'I've got blisters on my fingers' on 'Helter Skelter'.
"Paul sent us another letter (which I also don't have anymore) and he promised to set up another session with musicians. But then the Beatles started to break up and we were impatient to get a record out, so we went up to Apple and met a lovely lady, I don't know who she was, and she tried to talk us into staying with Apple (how I wish we had), but we were adamant, we wanted desperately to get a record out. Finally they called Paul on the phone and he said, 'Don't you want me?' and I said, 'It's not that, but how many records have you had out in the last year, 'cause we've had none.' Then he said 'Put (I can't remember the name) on the phone' and they released us from the contract and gave us the songs back. A letter came about a week later.
"That's about it, really. Drew and Dy did keep going. We had a record out on Philips, two of the songs we'd done with Apple - 'Dedicated To Love' and 'Taurus the Bull.' The record didn't do anything, then we had an album track as writers for Stardust, a Swedish group, plus a single for them, We also had a David Essex single and album track 'Goodbye First Love'. We signed to A.I.R. as writers, we signed to Mickie Most and Tony Hatch as writers, but nothing went quite right for us. We recorded three songs with President Records just as the payola scandal hit. Roy Castle was going to record one of our songs but his wife went into labour the day of the session. John Kongas did one of our songs in between two number one hits, but the producer, Graham Churchill, felt that he hadn't done a good enough job on producing it, so they didn't release it. Jose Feliciano was going to do one of our songs but his publishing company wanted to impose a terrible deal on A.I.R. for the use of our songs, so they wouldn't agree...
"The list goes on and on!
"Drew gave up music in 1973. I carried on and have a small studio in Bristol. We do songwriter's demos, local bands, I also gig with a lady partner as a Country Rock duo called Deuce. I do TV extra work now and then and Drew and I got back together in the summer of 1998 to do some tracks with a local 18-year-old singer Mike King, on some of our old songs, updated.