Who the hell is Howard Werth?
Audience fondly remembered.
When the shock of losing Jim Morrison finally began
to abate, the remaining three Doors took the first
tentative steps of piecing the facets of their
shattered diamond back together. How to replace a singer
of the stature and charisma of Morrison was the
only problem they had to overcome. Strangely enough
they looked to England for a solution.
The late 60's and early 70's had produced a plethora of
weird and wonderful groups with equally strange
singers. Whether any of them had the required extra spark
to replace Jim remained to be seen. Rumours that
Jess Roden, Terry Reid or rock-crazy Kevin Coyne were
to join the Doors abounded but the name that seemed to
crop up the most was the unique vocal talent of a
gentleman by the name of Howard Werth.
To American Doors fans the name meant little but to
the knowledgeable English rock fan he was
synonymous with a neat little Charisma label band
The late great "uncle" Tony Stratton-Smith made them
one of his early Charisma signings along with bands of
the caliber of Van Der Graaf Generator, Capability
Brown, Lindisfarne and Genesis which made his label one
of the finest ever for introducing fresh talent to the
Formed from the ashes of a bizarre psychedelic soul
band called "The Lloyd Alexander Blues Band" in 1969
and based around a loose concept dreamt up by Howard
two years previously, their debut album attracted
little interest except for "uncle" Tony snapping them up
for Charisma. The outstanding track on this first effort was
"Maidens Cry", a "Stairway to Heaven" rip off the
cynic might say except that in 1969 when it was
released Audience were supporting Led Zeppelin and
the Zepp lads were never averse to "borrowing"
other peoples ideas. (bless 'em)
The band was based around Howard Werth's amazing
voice and his, then, unique electric nylon string
guitar technique. The driving rhythm of Trevor
Williams bass and Tony Connor's clever drum
work provided Audience with substance but it was
the unbelievable talent of Keith Gemmill's saxophones
and woodwinds that made them special. The first
"real" Audience album "Friends, Friends Friend"
was released on Charisma in 1970. (cont'd)