The Norwich band’s song was released 50 years after it was recorded

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Published:
6:54 PM January 16, 2022



Norwich-based 1960s psychedelic rockers Eyes of Blond had one of their songs released for the very first time, having been recorded over 50 years ago.

The band’s cover of the Byrds’ track “Why” has finally been released on a compilation of psychedelic music from the decade titled I think I’m getting weird.

Eyes of Blond were one of the county’s most popular bands at the time, although they did not release a single one, touring clubs and venues across Norfolk and across the country.

The Evening News even helped change the band’s name from Circuit 5, holding a competition offering £10 to the winning name, with entries sent in from as far away as Stockholm.


An Eyes of Blond promotional photo from 1969, the year “Why” was recorded.
– Credit: Archant

David Wells of Cherry Red Records, who compiled the compilation, said he discovered the band and thought they might do after seeing their name on a number of posters from 1967.

He said: “The idea for the compilation was to take an in-depth look at the UK psychedelic scene during its peak period, late 1966 to 1968.

“In addition to the big bands, I wanted to represent those artists who were part of the live scene across the country, appearing in underground clubs at the time, but who didn’t go so far as to land a record deal. and just made a couple of local demo recordings.

“A lot of that meant finding bands from posters from the 1967 era.


Cuts to Norwich band Eyes of Blond

Cuts to Norwich band Eyes of Blond
– Credit: Archant

“Eyes Of Blond played quite a few gigs during this time, and luckily they have their own website.

“I contacted the website and spoke to Phil Wade. I explained what I was doing, and he thought a rehearsal they recorded playing ‘Why’ might do the trick.

“He sent it to me and it’s done, so we took it from there.”

Mr Wade, who formed the band and was their lead singer, said it was quite strange to see the track released years later.

He said: “It seems a little strange because it was a rehearsal tape, we never went into a recording studio as Eyes of Blond, so it was all done on a Phillips four-track tape recorder.

“I built a line out on the back of guitarist Phil Dimitri’s Marshall stack so we don’t have to plug the mic into the amps.


Phil Dimitri from Eyes of Blond, taken at the Norwood Rooms in Norwich in 1970. This late photograph

Eyes of Blond guitarist Phil Dimitri in action at the Norwood Rooms in 1970.
– Credit: Archant

“‘Why’ went pretty well despite the fact that we only played it live once or twice, at that time you were making a song and developing it as you played it live.

“Someone who put the compilation together heard a one hour BBC Radio Norfolk special had done about the band and wanted to use the track ‘Land of Green Green Grass’ which was a song Phil Dimitri had written, so I had to say ‘no you can’.

“Because all the best songs we’ve done were written by him and he wants to keep them to himself.

“They had heard a snippet and thought it sounded psychedelic, but when you hear the whole thing, it really doesn’t, so I said there was ‘Why’ which I have the recording of and it’s definitely psychedelic and obviously written by David Crosby and Roger McGuinn.


This photo of the Norwich Eyes of Blond band was taken on the flat roof at the front of the Melody Roo

Eyes of Blond on the roof of the Melody Rooms in Norwich now The Talk, left to right Paul Watts, Phil Dimitri, Neil Applegate, Phil Wade.
– Credit: Archant

“It contains a brilliant Phil Dimitri guitar solo that is meant to sound like a train wreck.”

Mr Wade says the group has no future plans for reunions or other outings, with their last meeting taking place at the Walnut Tree Shades in 2015.

Currently, he hopes to reunite with one of the band’s former drummers, Michael Sullivan, whom he lost contact with after leaving the band.

Anyone who can help please contact him at: enquiries@eyesofblond.co.uk

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