Alan "Bam" King

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Last seen auditioning for the part of a musically gifted hobbit in the Lord of the Rings cycle, guitarist and singer Alan "Bam" King is in at least two cases well worthy of inclusion in a potentially…
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Last seen auditioning for the part of a musically gifted hobbit in the Lord of the Rings cycle, guitarist and singer Alan "Bam" King is in at least two cases well worthy of inclusion in a potentially equally epic multi-part history of the British rock scene. In the earliest flashbacks there is not only the young King but a greenhorn George Martin, the latter producing a combo called the Action, of which King was a founding member in 1964, his rhythm guitar style blending well with fellow axeman Pete Watson. Martin at this point was working with early British Invasion outfits that typically had little or no original material. The Action were normal along these lines, specializing in cover versions of soul hits by acts such as the Temptations. Obviously, there was less chart action for the Action than other British rock acts that come to mind; critical retrospective has been kind, however, toward the fine individual and ensemble playing during the tackling of said Motown material.

In 1972, King once again formed a vital band combining a grand, enduring legacy with a short name. Ace began again with a guitar team, this time King plus Phil Harris. The addition of vocalist Paul Carrack made a huge difference and "How Long?," actually a fairly brief musical question, ascended to the top of the charts. The term pub rock was often used in association with Ace and is, along with the Yankee bar band variation, an enduring concept in rock & roll: a group that makes it "big" while retaining the essence of what it takes to rock a neighborhood bar. Drummers don't seem to have a lasting commitment to said philosophy, at least not in Ace history, changing faster than a neatnik's underwear.

It was a shift in lead singers that the band could not abide, however. When Carrack went solo in the mid-'70s, Ace went down. King subsequently made a new home for himself in the aforementioned land of kiwis and sheep. There have been reunions of some of the different bands from his legacy, events he sometimes misses because he is "stuck in New Zealand," as the reviewer of a 2006 concert by a combo known as Mighty Baby writes. King, who has done a bit of session work here and there on guitar and vocals, should not be confused with similar performers such as the Scottish vocalist Alan King of Walk on Fire.