rock band were formed in 1967 in Bristol England by the multi-musician Dave
Arbus, the saxophonist Ron Caines,
the guitarist Geoff Nicholson, the bass player Mike Price and the drummer Stuart
They were originally called Electric Light Orchestra (nor the one that
later became famous) before changing to The Picture of Dorian Gray and later
evolving East of Eden.
The singer Al Read
joined them in the spring of 1968 and Terry Brace replaced Mike Price. Stuart Rossiter
left in the autumn and the drummer position was given to Dave Dufort. Terry
Brace, who had remained with them for just a matter of months, was replaced
by Simon York.
The group relocated
to London in 1968 where they were awarded a contract by Deram
Records but the group were still having major line-up changes when Dave Dufort left in February the next year to be replaced for
just three or four months by Bryan Appleyard who
then passed the drumsticks to Geoff Britton. Their bassist, Simon York, also didn’t
last too long as his position as bassist was passed to Andy Sneddon in June 1969. However, the changes did not
stop then releasing their debut album Mercator Projected that same year.
The next decade
came around and their next album Snafu
appeared in 1970 and reached the UK album chart Top 30. The album produced “Ramadhan” which was popular in France and made it to No. 2 on the singles
chart there. The same year the
album Jig-a-Jig came out and a
single release of the same name made it to the Top 10 in the UK chart.
1970 also saw
the departure of Dave Arbus who had his position
taken by Joe O’Donnell and both Geoff Nicholson and Ron Caines went off to join Harvest Records. The guitarist Garth Watt-Roy, who is
the brother of Norman Watt-Roy of The Blockheads, joined them around 1972. They also took on the Mellotron player Davey “Crabsticks”
Trotter and the group continued with their touring and recording through most
of the 1970s. They eventually went their own separate ways in 1978 after
releasing several more albums that were 1971’s East of Eden and New
Leaf, 1975’s Another Eden,
1976’s Here We Go Again and
It’s the Climate and 1978’s
After an 18 year
gap Dave Arbus, Geoff Nicholson and Ron Caines got back together to re-unite the group in 1996. They went on to release the albums Kalipse in 1997,
Armadillo in 2001 and Graffito in 2005. Geoff Britton and Andy Sneddon are also included in the modern line-up.