Interview with Mel Collins by Chris Groom

Mel talks Chris Groom through his musical journey in this long piece on the King Crimson “Elephant Talk” site. It also includes an excellent Mel Collins “Rock Family Tree” in the style of Pete Frame.

“In May 1973 Neil Hubbard and Alan Spenner formed Kokomo, with Dyan Birch, Frank Collins, Paddy McHugh and Tony O’Malley who had all been in a pop group called Arrival. I came in on sax and we got Terry Stannard to play drums, Jim Mullen on guitar and percussionist Jody Linscott. Kokomo have been described as a ‘white soul group’, along with people like the Average White Band and so on. We released a couple of albums for CBS, but made most of our money from constant touring and after a few line-up changes the band were really running out of steam. “

“Back to Kokomo; at the end of 1976, Joe Cocker played a few gigs with us as ‘special guest’ – he was an old mate of Neil and Alan’s from their days with the Grease Band – and in fact one of those gigs with Joe was at the Croydon Greyhound. But by January ’77 Kokomo finally decided to split up, although as you know we all still get back together again for the occasional benefit gig or just for the hell of it – they’re a lot of fun.”

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The interview was part of Chris Groom’s research for his book “Rockin’ and Around Croydon:¬†Rock, Folk, Blues and Jazz in and Around the Croydon Area 1960-1980“.