phonogram news, November 1977:
It doesn't take a biography to let you know that Clover, the six-piece band from San Francisco, have been together 10 years - just go and see them or take a listen to either of their two L.P.'s on the Vertigo label "Unavailable" or "Love On The Wire" (or even both!). Experience and quality simply ooses out of them.
Huey, John and Ciambotti started Clover when they were just out of High School in San Francisco around ten years ago and played their first date in July 1967 in the midst of "flower power" etc. at a time when bands were being snapped up by Record Companies for breathing never mind being as good as Clover were. Fantasy, the San Francisco label released through United Artists in the United Kingdom, signed them and on Fantasy were released two of the finest Country Rock (as it used to be classed) albums ever to grace the company's catalogue - "Clover" in 1969 and "Fourty-niner" in 1970. However, the summer of love soon came to an end and Clover, along with many other San Francisco "roots" band were left dealless and confined to their own locale. At this time - 1971 onwards - the band was playing a residency in Marin County where Sean became a permanent member of the band at the start of a long hard time for Clover when they played nothing but clubs. However, as many British bands show, playing the clubs makes you play good and good Clover definately became.
In 1976 Ace's Pete Thomas saw Clover in Los Angeles and introduced the band to Jake Riviera and Nick Lowe, both of whom were much impressed and then Nick took to jamming with them at the Palamino in L.A. where he impressed Clover with his knowledge of their first two albums which Nick had got into whilst in the Brinsleys and signed to the same label - U.A. Jake advised his then partner, Dave Robinson, to get involved and Dave engineered the signings of Clover to the U.K. end of Phonogram. On the 23rd of August, Clover arrived in the U.K. with a new record company and new management. Starting their British career by playing on Twiggy's hit album "Please Get My Name Right", they soon got onto the gig circuit and prior to recording their first album for Vertigo they had supported Linda Lewis, Lizzy, Skynyrd.
"Unavailable" was released by Vertigo in March 1977 and the single taken from it "Love, Love" only narrowly missed the charts after making the influential BBC Radio One playlist. The first album also achieved far more leading them to play their most extensive U.S tour ever taking them coast to coast through June and July this year. Returning to Britain in August, Clover recorded their second L.P. for Vertigo - again with producer Robert John Lange - at Rockfield and came up with an album which satisfied the band's desire to accurately represent heir live style on record. This album, "Love On The Wire" was released this month on top of the extensive string of dates that Clover are currently doing with Graham Parker and The Rumour.
When the GP tour is over, Clover will be heading straight back to the USA for a five month tour commencing at the beginning of December in order to promote "Love On The Wire" in the United States. And they will be taking with them their new English drummer, Kevin Wells who joined Clover earlier this year.
November 29, 1977
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