Hereward Kaye composer singer song writer title
Hereward Kaye composer singer song writer title

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Golden Mile



Golden Mile CD Hereward Kaye


Golden Mile

The multinational music empire cuddled me to its corporate body with a five year, worldwide deal, insulating me from the icy bitch of existence with a ReadyBrek glow. I was on E.M.I., the Beatles label!

Suddenly I had an annual retainer to clear all my debts and five hundred pounds from Artist Development to blow on clothes. A suit was being fashioned for me from yellow shot silk. Vidal Sassoons’ dyed my hair blond.

I was waiting outside at nine the next morning to dye it back. I’m not a blond person.



A&R started talking Producers.
“David Hentschel’s interested.”
“David who?”
“Producer of Genesis.”
David had a sensitive tax situation so I was forced to record in Paris. I was given a suite at the Hilton and a twenty-four hour stretch limo. It felt a bit big, I must say, after our Ford Escort.
“Qui avez vous au derriere last semaine?” I asked chauffeur Jean Claude, sending the electronic partition up and down.
“Rod Stewart.”
I felt a bit nervous. I’d never had a chauffeur before. I didn’t know how to treat the guy. When we got to the hotel I gave him the night off. Er…wrong.

“I shall be ‘ere,” he said disappointedly, “waiting in ze foyer for when you need me.”
I bulleted up to my penthouse suite to change then sneaked down in the service lift, out the back entrance and down onto the Metro. But you soon adjust to luxury. By the end of the week I was phoning Jean Claude at three in the morning to come and open bottles of beer with his teeth!



What an imposter I felt, feet up on the mixing desk in Studio One with Thin Lizzy in the far smaller Studio Two. Howie Casey was in the booth, slaving over a hot saxophone. Howie Casey – only The Beatles’ bloody horn player! On the sofa behind me waiting their turn were drummer Dave Mattacks from Fairport Convention and the awesome Pete Wingfield. Chas ‘n Dave came in for a couple of numbers, reminiscing about the jellied eels you used to be able to get off a stall in Edmonton. It was just the kind of conversation Chas & Dave should be having. It was beautiful. Here they were, and more, to fill in the missing colours on my newly minted, paint by number songs – until now a dog eared collection of scribbles and chord symbols in notebooks, or snatches of piano and singing on back pocket cassettes full of fluff.

Then it fell to me to take back to London the giant spool of multitrack holding the masters of the four songs recorded so far.
‘Whatever you do’, cautioned David, ‘don’t put it through the X Ray machine’.
At the airport, after tipping John Claude every last penny I had in the world, I watched, traumatized, as the multitrack sailed towards the scanner. The French fuckers had forced me to put it through. I wondered how the record company would feel about me returning with a blank tape.

Pat picked me up at Gatwick and automatically I climbed in the back.
“Get out of it!” she snorted. “You can bloody drive.”


  The roster of artists stared down intimidatingly from the wall. Sixty names, mainly household. It was a rock ‘n roll call of the great and the good. Top Paul McCartney. Somebody had graffiti’d God next to his name. Underneath, Cliff. Some wag had put God next to his name too. Beneath that, Queen. It was all rock royalty. But the company was morphing fast. They had been forced to merge and in it’s aftermath, belt tighten. The roster shortened by the week and it was the lower orders getting the chop, not the golden gods at the top. Mercifully, my mastertape was musically intact and my place on the roll of honour preserved. Where? At the bottom.

Recording continued at Maison Rouge. Six weeks later, my album ‘Golden Mile’ was finished. The Head of A&R. dutifully turned up at the studio with his gangsters in tow. He took the leather upholstered Producer’s Chair and bade me pull up the tape op’s slightly less salubrious one – the one with gaffa tape in all the places where stuffing erupted. He chopped out two lines of coke, one of which I dutifully, if rather guiltily hoovered, under the accusatory glare of my wife who had never seen me do such a thing.

David Hentschel pressed play, Pat reluctantly subsided against the back wall and as the opening riff kicked in I felt a surge of utter confidence. A simple thumbs up from this music industry Nero beside me would unlock the low door in the wall of humdrum existence, beyond which lay Nirvana.

Yep, the drugs were definitely working!
Not a soul stirred during playback, not a word was spoken between tracks. The only movement was the chopping out of another two lines at the end of Side One and the beginning of Side Two.

  As the final powerchord ebbed and faded away, the gangsters unpeeled themselves from shadow and followed the Emperor out through the door. These faceless bastards held my entire career in my hands and they hadn’t had a word to say. Pat had though – she propelled herself off the back wall like a missile of retribution and gave me a mighty public bollocking for snorting coke.

Taking the stairs two at a time like a mighty rock giant I came face to face once more with the roster of artists on the first landing. Gazing upon it, I felt the deathless breeze of the Grim Reaper’s scythe across the back of my neck. In the six weeks I had been in the studio, sixty had become thirty one.
I was the one.

I reached A&R. Where was everybody? Former friends and torch bearing enthusiasts of mine had been mysteriously supplanted by lawyers.


Nero appeared in his doorway and beckoned me in.
“Great album,” he gushed, “I can honestly say it’s one of the best four albums ever delivered to me!”
He beamed. I beamed, I’ll say I did! The ReadyBrek overcoat was back on.
“Great album….” then he frowned “…with one fatal flaw. It doesn’t have a single. And until it does, we can’t market it. I was thinking, would you be willing to co write with someone else? I’ve spoken to B.A. Robertson about this one. He loves what he’s heard. He’d be delighted to help.”
“No, it’s okay,” I said lightly.
“He’s got one hell of a track record as you….”
“I can do this myself.”
“Are you sure?”
The breeze turned chill.


“Okay, I want you in the basement studio here every Monday morning, with a new song. We’ll keep going until you come up with a single.”
The more I had to write a single, the less I could. After a month of Mondays I thought I’d never write a decent song again. The only tune I could hear in my head was the toll of doom. I had two more mouths to feed now – Leon and Jody (sons of course, for the family business!) not to mention Pat’s mum Dorothy, who’d moved in with us recently.

  The option on my contract was coming up in three weeks time. Nero’s mighty thumb would swing up…or down.
I walked out the building and hitched aimlessly round the country. I needed to think. I could see which way the thumb was swinging.
A week later I was back. I hadn’t been home. I knew what I had to say. I looked the bastard in the eye.
“I want you to commit the same budget to promoting my album as you did to recording it.”
“Sixty grand?”
“I want to see if you’re really committed to putting my album across, otherwise I’m afraid I’ll have to look elsewhere” (like the vacancies board at the Job Centre).
One A&R meeting later and I had my answer.
Sadly, in the current climate, they could not commit to a marketing budget of such enormity on an unknown artist.
I’d really blown it. Now I had to go home and tell Pat.


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