Band profile – from the eyes of Pete Franklin
Well it all started when my brother Mike brought home a guitar and that was it I was hooked. Some friends and I from school taught ourselves how to play drums and bass.
My first band was called Blue Cross, (don’t ask me what it meant). Paul Bertorelli, Malcolm Joseph and I played one gig for all the kids in his street actually in his Mum and Dads house, fuck me it was loud from that point I knew this is what I wanted to do a lot, incidentally we used to rehearse round my house so my Mum and Dad didn’t escape unscathed. So from nicking my brother’s guitar I progressed to buying my own guitar and I don’t think the neighbours had much sleep for a good couple of years. As I reached the age of about 18 I thought it was time to go to my first audition for a band.
My first serious band I auditioned for was Strident . We played our first gig over at Pims Park in Edmonton with Spider who were doing well at the time. I thought well it doesn’t get much better than this, I loved it! We started playing regularly down the Green Gate in Newbury Park, which had a great, crowds of people and was one hell of a rock night. I missed many days off work because of it or was it the hangovers? In fact it was after a gig down the Green Gate and a rehearsal booked the next day that caused a big argument.
The singer and I having an argument over me adjusting my guitar strap a few times, this led me to tell him to go fuck himself that prompted my exit from the band.
So it was back to the drawing board, back to the ads. My girlfriend at the time Karen spotted an ad in the Melody Maker for a rhythm guitarist so here we go again. I went round the lead guitarist’s house, arranged an audition arrived at this pokey studio in Holloway, forgot my guitar strap and had to use a piece of string from a takeaway Chinese next door. I landed the rhythm guitarist’s job and the band was called Chariot. Pretty soon we were playing gigs at one of our favourite haunts the legendary Ruskin Arms, East Ham and the Green Gate, Bethnal Green. At the time we had a singer Gez who like to have a quick spliff behind my Marshall stack before going on stage, I thought my gear was on fire with smoke billowing out from the top of my amp. This night was going to be extra special for me with a packed pub the singer throws a complete wobbler and legs it out the pub, he’s to ill to go on. Scott then scares the shit out of me by announcing I was gonna sing and so was he!! FUCK OFF it’s alright I’ll do it to Scott’s relief.
From that point onwards I then became the front man as well as playing rhythm guitarist or the band( even went singing lessons fucking lot of good that did).
Dave Constable and Mike Shannon then came on the scene. Together they signed the band to Shades records, it was around the beginning of the 80’s, sorry I can’t be more specific but there was a lot of beer being drunk at the time so things get a little blurry!
We then recorded 2 albums (The Warrior & Burning Ambition). We started to headline down the famous Marquee club, which even now I can’t believe has been knocked down (there should be a shrine to the place). We recorded a live video in 1985 at the Marquee and I think it was the last live video to be filmed there. Another highlight for us was to play Reading Rock Festival in 1987, which was recorded live by Radio 1 for Tommy Vance. Some people may still have the frisbees we threw out that day, unforgettable!
It was a busy period in 1987 with major UK tours supporting bands Manowar, Venom and Exodus, with French band Vulcain we toured all over Europe I must say we made some great friends along the way.
Unfortunately with the highs came the lows. John Smith long time bass player wanted to jack it in so when John left the feel of the band went. Jeff had reached breaking point too, so Scott and I tried to find a new bass and drums unit. This came in the form of Tony Newton and Simon Dawson.
This was the second Chariot line up, which then turned into Dirty Deeds a few years further down the line. Deeds were formed around 1990 parted company with Scott, because of musical differences. Deeds then met up with Steve Harris who helped the band out so much. We toured with Iron Maiden all over the world and UFO.
During my period with Dirty Deeds (later to become Deeds) I made three fantastic albums of which I am very proud Danger of Infection, Real World & Blown.
Then the beginning of last year Tony Newton (bass player with Deeds) wanted to try and record a solo album, this is something I wanted to do and at the same time also get all my friends to play on it. So I made contact with Jeff to play on two or three songs. I asked him if he thought John would be up for it too, John agreed so we decided as we had no idea where Scott Biaggi (former Chariot guitarist) was lets get Jeff’s guitarist from his old band in to do the job.
We all met up together to play some new songs. FUCK ME IT SOUNDS GREAT!!!!
That was it for me John, Jeff and I had the hunger to play together again and with Paul Lane replacing Scott on guitar we thought lets do a new Chariot album. Steve Price from Z-roxx, an old mate of the band rings up out of the blue and says, “do we want to re release the Chariot albums again”? (FUCK YEAH). So with the help of Majestic Rock they were unleashed again.
We are now busy recording a new album titled “Behind the Wire” Mike Shannon has released a double CD made up of the live recording of the Marquee gig with 3 extra tracks on it and some unreleased songs Scott, Tony, Simon & myself recorded under the name Chariot. It is called “What Goes Around”. Some people may have heard some of the songs, mind you we went through loads of name changes.
Current CHARIOT line-up;
Pete Franklin: vocals/rhythm guitar
John Smith: bass guitar
Jeff Braithwaite: drums
Paul Lane: lead guitar