'How T'' Make It As A Rockstar' was published in 1977 by IPC Magazines [now IPC Media]. As well as much Lone Groover material, it contains comics and illustrations by Malcolm Poynter and Ian Miller. Text was by NME writers Tony Tyler and Chris Salewicz. It was Edited by Zip Lecky with Tony Benyon also credited as Assistant Ed.
While we're on the subject of forgotten artists, let's hear it for Tony Benyon and his inestimable creation 'Th' Lone Groover', which was a staple in the NME during the late 1970's.
Before 'Spinal Tap', the Groover was stumblin' through the music business, puncturing pomposity, falling on his face, desperate to succeed but hating the business, often extracting tragedy from triumph - a survivor.
There's a lot of spleen vented in these strips, which Tony B also aired at regular freeelance drinking sessions in and around Carnaby Street, where we would all regale each other with hard-luck stories of indignities suffered at the hands of editors, commissioners and publishers, art directors. Then came the humour and it was good to laugh about it all. Tony captured a lot of the energy of that time. Hoping you're out there somewhere, mon brave.
'Th' Lone Groover Express' is a 24pp showcase of Tony B's work, with much Lone Groover and other characters and comics besides. Undated.
A kind of self-portrait of the artist. Don't remember Tony with a beard but one of his distinctive trademarks was the ever-present beret.
The NME logo, graced by Th' Lone Groover, from a rare sheet of NME notepaper of the time (late 1970s) in The Generalist Archive. NME logo was subsequently redesigned by Barney Bubbles (see Previous Post).
Tony also produced Th' Lone Groover's ... Little Read Book
[London, Eel Pie Publishing. 1981. ISBN: 0906008395] and also illustrated Howzat! [NEL, 1985.Paperback. 22 by 19cm with 120 pages. ISBN: 0450409422], a humorous guide to the world of club cricket, written by Kevin Macey.
THE BEAT GOES ON: Check out the band Erk Alors on MySpace. They write: 'What in the name of the wee man does Erk Alors mean, for a start? Well, greybeards will remember The Lone Groover strip cartoon in one of the music weeklies, back when they were still newspapers, who was fond of saying “Erk alors!”
The Lone Groover is also name-checked as an influence by Johnny Heartache.
This is an obscure link to a the SA ROCK DIGEST ISSUE #210, which asks the question 'Where is Ronnie Domp?'' The Editor writes: ' Ronnie Domp is the unforgettable South African version of the "Lone Groover", a very funny and talented folkie from way back, with his trademark flat brimmed black hat. Famous for many great lines including the classic in concert ad lib "this next song is by Bob Dylan whose lyrics are pretty crap but his music's great to dance to!"
SEE PREVIOUS POSTS: