While in America we took
the opportunity of meeting one of the biggest Fortunes fans in the
USA and probably the world. Meet Gary Tibbs.
A Fortunes fan from the
moment he heard This Golden Ring on KFWB Los Angeles in January 1966.
After a warm welcome in their home in Los Angeles, Gary and his wife
Argelia led us into their living room where about 8 boxes, stacked full of photo
albums and files full of clippings were waiting for us. I think I can
safely say he has got the largest, and best, Fortunes collection in the USA,
and it would probably stand out against many UK and European collections
Gary: 'It hasn't been easy (taken 40+ years), but I still
look out for the odd thing I might not have. Does anyone out there have the
Our first impression was that
Gary had to go through all these boxes to find the records of The
Fortunes, but no...these are ALL singles, LP's, EP's, cassettes, videos
and DVD's of the group. An immense collection of Fortunes memorabilia
comes out of the boxes, photos of the group taken from all over the world, but
of course also from the US, like the original photo used in the Coca Cola
campaign with the group in sixties.
Gary managed to obtain this after getting
in contact with the advertising company which was responsible for the
campaign. This is just one of the examples of the many items
he proudly showed us, and gave us an
insight into what lengths he goes to in order to add to his collection which
goes back to the sixties, with hit
lists like these from 93/KHJ BOSS Radio in LA from 1965. Gary, who in daily life is
the reverent at a church in Hollywood, is also a living Fortunes Encyclopedia.
Almost every detail about the group springs from his mind. From old and
new band members, their current whereabouts and occupations,
including all release
dates of records, books, CD's and DVD's. One Fortunes trivia after another
is shared with us and memories of how he build his collection is shared
with us enthusiastically. It's incredible to see all the different
releases of Fortunes records from all over the world. Promo singles and
LP's from the US, EP's from Australia, singles from Japan, the UK,
Holland, Belgium, Malaysia, Portugal, Canada,
Zealand, Poland, Brazil, Argentina,
Philippines, Taiwan, China, Mexico,
and possibly others which, at the moment, he can't recall off the
top of his head.
Of course there are some
special releases as Gary points out. 'On the sleeve of the single at the
left bottom you can see a mistake in the title of one of the songs. On the
sleeve it says _Everything is out of reason_, instead of _Everything is
out of season_ . Here's another remarkable one. Look at the lyrics on this
single from Japan, not at all what it is supposed to be and very funny.'
the sleeve and
see the hilarious text
A.H. 'What was so
different on "This Golden Ring" that made it so special
when you heard it and made you a Fortunes fan?'
G.T. 'The sound, the harmonies in a way I never heard it before.
It was a different, special sound.
A.H. 'Do you have a _best single_ of The Fortunes?'
G.T. 'The best single by the Fortunes is, in my opinion,
"Here It Comes Again." It is in my small list of
"perfect records''. My favorite Fortunes LP is the first one,
The Fortunes. I prefer the UK/Euro release as it has two more
tracks (14) than the USA release on the Press label. By the way,
the USA release of the first LP was supposed to have "This
Golden Ring" on it, and a few LP's have it listed on the back
cover, but the song it was to replace, "Voice Your
Choice" is actually on the vinyl and the record label.'
That's exactly what I
mean, Gary comes up with all this fantastic Fortunes trivia when
going through his collection. Every new item brings another story
and another memory. About
"Seasons In The Sun" Gary says: 'The Netherlands and
the continent of Europe were the only countries intelligent enough
to make it the hit it deserved to be. It was NOT released in
the US, but we did manage to make a hit out of Terry Jacks' DREADFUL
A.H. 'Have you ever met the guys of the band while they were here in
G.T. 'In 1966 The Fortunes came to L.A. on their USA trip to promote
"This Golden Ring." They did the local shows like
Shebang and Shivaree and were even supposed to play live at The
Hullaballoo Club on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, but it was cancelled.
Apparently the musicians union were ticked off at all the UK bands
coming over and working without joining the musicians union so they
decided to come down hard on The Fortunes (to make them an example I
guess). Thus The Fortunes were allowed to honor their TV commitments
but not play live. My only chance to see them in the original lineup
was thus killed
politics and greed!!
My wife and I met Barry in 1991, when he and his wife Pauline came
to L.A. on holiday. We went to dinner one night. It was great fun.
Barry was a great storyteller. Here is another special
photo. This one was taken by Glen Dale at the house of a producer
somewhere here in Los Angeles or The Valley, with his own camera.
Glen sent me the photo after I made contact with him in the early
1990's. He had it in his photo collection and it is the only copy in
A.H. 'Did you ever see
The Fortunes perform in Europe?'
G.T. 'I met the band in 1993 in The Netherlands. I was treated very well
by Alex and Anita Meulenbeld who took me all over The Netherlands.
As we were driving "This Golden Ring" came on a Dutch
radio station Alex was listening to. That was a great experience for
me to hear it on the radio again. It didn't do well in the US (#82
Billboard) so you never hear it here. Also Jan Slagman was very
nice. He and Alex ran the Friends of The Fortunes fan club. My wife
had a baseball cap made for me with Friends of the Fortunes
inscribed on it.' We went to Horst, in the south of The Netherlands.
A big hall, very warm and packed with people coming to see the line
up for that night, with The Fortunes as top of the bill.
I met with the guys again. It was a very pleasant, exciting but
A.H.'Weekend, you came to Europe for a weekend, just to see The
G.T. 'It was worth it and I would gladly do it again, but then with my
wife and my boys.' Gary shows us another book called " ROCK
EXPLOSION" by Harold Bronson. It features photographs of UK
artists from the archives of Michael Ochs the brother of folk singer
Phil Ochs. 'The picture on
the left was taken when Dick Clark went over to the UK for his
"Where The Action Is" TV program to promote new bands of
The British Invasion. The keyboard player in the photo is NOT Dave
Carr but a photographer who was there and was asked to stand in as
Dave was late showing up!'
Another rare item in
his collection is the single from Short 66, a single produced in
Holland by Tony Vos and "advised by The Fortunes" as the
sleeve tells us. Both Rod and Barry can be heard on the single and
seen on the sleeve.
||Audio clip Short'66
Besides the group's
records and cassettes, Gary also has lots of compilation LP's and
CD's which include tracks of The Fortunes on them, gig-posters from all
over Europe, and sheet music for most of The Fortunes songs. All
the albums are filled with clippings from various magazines like
this one called "Beat". G.T.'The magazine was called "The KRLA
was the most popular (at the time) rock radio station. The magazine
was published in other cities under the call call letters of local
stations. For example in San Francisco it was The KYA Beat. However,
the main office I think was in L.A.
Here's some other stuff from Billboard this time. It reviews the new
releases from The Fortunes.'
Gary's collection also
contains the last CD and DVD Heroes Never Die, The Making Of Heroes
Never Die and "The Fortunes Live Tour."
A.H. 'What do you think about
these last editions to the discography of the band?'
G.T. 'I really enjoyed the DVD on
the making of Heroes Never Die which, I think, is the best recording
The Fortunes have made in 20 years. There is only one track not
really up to their standard and that is "Let's Dance",
which is not really a song but more like a bunch of clichés strung
do you have any other special items in your collection which you
would like to mention?' G.T.'Well Barry Pritchard did the liner notes
for an LP by songwriter John Killigrew in the early 70's. Produced
by Peter Dello of Honeybus. The Fortunes did one of Killigrews songs on
their USA LP Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again. Barry also wrote and
produced two singles on the UK Charisma label in 1976. One was from a
group called "Snaps"
and the songs "Don't You worry/ Hard
The other was by "TOMMY
GOSS" with "Never gonna Need Your Love/I Can Hear The
Music" also from 1976. Both
sides written and produced by Barry Prichard, with Barry on backing
LP and the singles are in my collection'
A.H. Gary, thank you for
showing and sharing your collection with us all, but before we go, can you
tell us a bit more about that mysterious "Mooncrest" single you
talked about earlier?
G.T. "In 1975 The fortunes recorded
some tracks on the Mooncrest label in the UK. This label featured
"NAZARETH". The single "These Are the Good Old Days/Holy
Roller" was scheduled to be released somewhere around July of 1975.
I had a guy in the UK who actually ordered the record for me, but it
never came out. No one has ever seen a promo or even a demo though I
believe John Holman has an acetate of the A side. However, no one has
ever heard the B side which is reportedly sung by The Fortunes
keyboardist at the time, George McAllister. The story does not end
there. In January 1976 a single "These Are The Good Old days/Your
Song" was issued in Holland . "Holy Roller" remains
unissued in any form. A dealer told me that someone bought out all the
existing "Mooncrest" stock a few years back and there was no
trace of the Fortunes single in any form. So if there is anybody
out there who can help me with any information please let me know.
We will definitely stay in contact
with Gary and let all of you enjoy his huge knowledge about of The
Fortunes. Thank you Gary.
you'll find some more photos of Gary's collection. Click to enlarge.
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