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Derv Gordon Comes Back To Demand Equal Time

Derv Gordon of The Equals performs his biggest 60's chart topper in Oakland at the 2019 Burgeer Boogaloo with So What
Crowd shot as Derv Gordon of The Equals sing "Baby Come back at Burger Boogaloo

Crowd shot as Derv Gordon of The Equals sing "Baby Come back at Burger Boogaloo

Joining the 2019 Burger Boogaloo onstage revue was Derv Gordon, the Septuagenarian original singer of London based swinging sixties two tone rockers The Equals. He is amused that an obscure novelty single he had long disregarded called “Michael and The Slipper Tree” still gets requests.

Here is Derv performing The Equals biggest hit, one that was atop the music pop charts in several countries in 1968. It was number 1 in the UK, Belgium and South Africa, and top ten across the rest of Europe and Canada, and hit the top 40 in the US.

Like fellow UK rockers of the same era, the Small Faces, the Equals also never toured the USA in their prime and many fans were excited to hear of a chance to catch some of the seminal sixties band’s under appreciated psychedelic pop rock live on stage.

With the original lineup spread asunder and after decades of bitter business dealings etc, they were not on “the best of terms”, so the Equals original vocalist has found musicians from the East Bay based band So What to back him up and they do a damned good job. Guitarist Jason Duncan is such an Equals aficionado that in the course of collecting their records, and then working on a book about the ground breaking band, he became part of the story after awhile. He began a correspondence as a fan with singer Derv Gordon that eventually evolved into a full fledged and interestingly fruitful musical partnership.

The first Derv Gordon / So What show was his US debut back in January 2017, and then 68 years old, Derv fought off a bad flu, and delivered a steamy set of sixties faves to a sold out crowd in San Francisco at the old Elbo Room. Since then they’ve developed a unique punchy foot stompin’ sound that harkens back to the Equals but with a truly hard glam & punk flavored edge. The group have now done shows on the East Coast and in Europe since then, and tightened their set up a lot too.

It is truly great to be able to see an original member of one of the most amazing, yet under rated groups of their time play songs that have laid dormant in the dustbins for decades. The Equals were one of the few multi-racial rock bands anywhere, much less in London, and were putting out records in 1965 on the President label. Derv was the lead-vocalist and his twin brother Lincoln played the bass, while Eddy Grant was the guitarist and main songwriter.  If you’ve never heard of them, you owe it to yourself to check out their back catalog from the 60’s that was ahead of its time, as it combines psychedelic soul, with an early glam rock edge and of course a Caribbean rhythmic influence too.

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