|~ Cherry Beat ~|
| Characters - Relationships - Session Musicians - Songs |
~ Recording Sessions ~
Part One - Part Two - Part Three - Part Four - Part Five - Part Six - Part Seven - Part Eight
Part Nine - Part Ten - Part Eleven - Part Twelve - Part Thirteen - Part Fourteen - Part Fifteen
Part Sixteen - Part Seventeen - Part Eighteen - Part Nineteen - Part Twenty
Cherry Beat is an English Pop rock band that released music in their original incarnation between 1971 and 1982. They formed in Oxford in late 1970, and were rooted in 1950's rock and roll. Their first album was released in 1971, and was quite successful. Their second album released in 1972 was less successful, mainly due to the band's mixing 1950's rock and roll with more modern music resulting in a more diverse album.
The band were close to splitting after their second album failed to gain the same level of success that their first album had. But their producer and music supervisor at the time, Chudley Maron encouraged the band to stay together and settle on some more original styled rock and roll in order to get back to the top. The band's third album released in 1973 was an instant success. They continued to release music until 1982 when the band split.
The musical quartet consisted of Englishmen Peter McDonald (bass guitar, vocals), Samuel "Sam" Whitby (rhythm guitar, vocals), and Torquil Dohrn (lead guitar, vocals), and American Devon O'Connell (drums, vocals).
Overall Cherry Beat was considered to be slightly less successful than acts like Elvis Presley, or The Rolling Stones, as well as being considerably less successful than The Beatles. They were however, much more successful than many other bands and artists.
Peter McDonald (born 24th August 1950, Oxford, United Kingdom, Age 67) is an English musician, best known as the bass guitarist in the 1970's rock and roll band Cherry Beat. He plays a Höfner 500/1 violin bass guitar, like Paul McCartney of The Beatles. He also very much resembles Paul McCartney (and David Catlin-Birch who previously played höfner bass for the Bootleg Beatles) in his facial structure and appearance.
Peter has officially stated that his main idol is American recording artist, songwriter and musician Little Richard. Although it is perfectly clear that Paul McCartney has a strong influence on Peter, both as a person, and as a musician. Like all members of Cherry Beat, Peter did like to keep a low dosage of drugs in his life, but he admits to have increased the dosage to help him record certain types of music with certain lyrics, namely "Rainballs" which was inspired by The Beatles' psychedelic songs from their 1966 album Revolver [UK]. Peter was also not against drinking alcohol, or smoking drugs and tobacco.
An obvious difference between Paul McCartney and Peter McDonald is that Paul is left handed, but Peter is right handed. When I wrote my first draft in a book, Peter was originally going to be the rhythm guitarist, Sam the lead guitarist, and Torquil the bassist. When the concept of Cherry Beat surfaced for the third time, I made Peter the bassist to further enhance his similarities to Paul McCartney, although to avoid being that similar, I recently decided that Peter was to be right handed.
Peter is a tenor, a trait he shares with Sam. His vocal range is more or less the same as the vocal range of Paul McCartney, so he had a very impressive vocal range, with no less than a minimum of 4 octaves. His approximate vocal range is A1-C6.
Samuel "Sam" Whitby (born 24th November 1951, York, United Kingdom, Age 66) is an English musician, best known as the rhythm guitarist in the 1970's rock and roll band Cherry Beat. He is notable for being the only member of the group to have Japanese heritage instead of European, but his official nationality is British. His main idol is American guitarist, singer and songwriter Chuck Berry.
It is unclear whether any offences committed by Chuck Berry had any negative effects on the influence he had on Sam, though it is unlikely because he had no trouble in recording cover versions of songs written by Chuck Berry, long after Chuck had committed those offenses.
Sam did like to keep a low to medium dosage of drugs in his life, which reportedly have had a more significant effect on him than it had on Peter. Sam technically didn't have to take as many drugs to get the effect he wanted, but he took at least as much anyway. When Sam was younger he was a regular drinker and smoker. His dosage would be reduced over time, as he got older.
When I wrote my first draft in a book, Sam was originally going to be the lead guitarist, Peter the rhythm guitarist, and Torquil the bassist. When the concept of Cherry Beat surfaced for the third time, I made Sam the rhythm guitarist, Peter the bassist, and Torquil the lead guitarist.
Sam is the only member of Cherry Beat who is left handed. Because of this, he had a hard time trying to play on Peter's bass guitar whenever Peter needed to play a different instrument, but he managed it.
Sam is a tenor, a trait he shares with Peter. Overall, his vocal range is much the same as the vocal range of his band-mate Peter which in turn is much the same as the vocal range of Paul McCartney, though Sam was able to reach most of Roger Hodgson's higher notes, something Peter couldn't do without his voice sounding unnatural.
Torquil Dohrn (born 23rd October 1952, Liverpool, United Kingdom, Age 65) is an English musician, best known as the lead guitarist in the 1970's rock and roll band Cherry Beat. The band spend the majority of their recording sessions in the Dohrn studio, which belonged to Torquil's grandfather. Torquil came from a wealthy family of musicians. He has French ancestry and can play many instruments including brass and woodwind instruments. His main idol is American musician, and singer songwriter Buddy Holly.
Out of all the members of the band, Torquil probably took the highest dosage of drugs, although reportedly he didn't drink or smoke as frequently when he was younger. Fortunately Torquil was a quieter and less aggressive person than his fellow bandmates, and while drugs did seem to make him into a somewhat unconventional sort of person, he didn't seem to be particularly vulnerable to them.
Unfortunately Torquil would start to smoke rather excessively over some years, notably between 1998 and 2006 while trying to relieve himself from depression following his temporary break up with his wife, Charlotte Henderson. This put Torquil's health at risk, and significantly increased his likelihood of getting lung cancer later in life, as his addiction to smoking resulted in getting rather unhealthy lungs which became partially coated with tar (tobacco residue). This also caused his skin to age.
When I wrote my first draft in a book, Torquil was originally going to be the bassist, Peter the rhythm guitarist, and Sam the lead guitarist. When the concept of Cherry Beat surfaced for the third time, I made Torquil the bassist, Peter the bassist, and Sam the rhythm guitarist.
Torquil is right handed, a trait he shares with Peter and Devon. Torquil is a baritone, a trait he shares with his band-mate Devon, having a slightly deeper vocal range, timbre, and tessitura than John Lennon and George Harrison. However Torquil was capable of singing songs with a tenor register, as he had an extended upper range.
Devon O'Connell (born 16th June 1952, New York, United States, Age 66) is an American drummer, best known as the drummer in the 1970's rock and roll band Cherry Beat. He is notable for being the only original American member of the group, although like Peter and Torquil, he had some Irish heritage. His main idol is American singer songwriter Carl Perkins.
Ironically Cherry Beat only ever recorded four covers of songs written by Carl Perkins, none of which had featured Devon on lead vocals, though the master tracks of three of the covers had been recorded before Devon joined the group. Devon later recorded drum kit overdubs for those tracks after joining.
While Devon reportedly took fewer drugs than the others, he was apparently the most aggressive and resentful member of the group. Over time he grew more and more frustrated over the fact that he wasn't given the chance to sing much on the band's records, being limited to just drums and occasionally percussion. The band members grew sympathetic when Devon expressed his outrage, and he was eventually given the chance to contribute lead vocals to at least one song per album.
He also got the chance to contribute more backing vocals on albums, namely on tracks written and/or sung by Torquil. Although it took a while before he developed the independence, Devon would eventually begin contributing his own compositions, but even then he had trouble getting the other band members to record them. Devon is right handed, a trait he shares with Peter and Torquil.
Devon is a baritone, a trait he shares with his band-mate Torquil. Unlike his fellow band-mates, Devon had trouble singing songs within the tenor range, as he had trouble in reaching the high notes, something Peter and to a greater extent Sam could do quite easily, while Torquil was able to hit the low and middle notes of the tenor range easily, but struggle with the high notes, which Devon found difficult to reach, let alone struggle.
Milford Ekdahl (born 17th January 1969, New York, United States, Age 48) is an American guitarist and keyboardist, best known as the member of the 1970's rock and roll band Cherry Beat during their first reunion in 1999. He is right handed, a trait he shares with Peter, Torquil, and Devon.
Wilbur Milardo (born 21st June 1971, Redditch, Worcestershire, England, United Kingdom, Age 47) is a British keyboardist and percussionist, best known as the member of the 1970's rock and roll band Cherry Beat during their first reunion in 2001. He is the only member of the band that wasn't born at the time of the group's formation. Wilbur is right handed, a trait he shares with Peter, Torquil, and Devon.
Chudley Maron (born 14th July 1947, London, United Kingdom, Age 71) is an English producer, musician, songwriter and music supervisor. He is best known as the original producer and music supervisor of the 1970's rock and roll band Cherry Beat. Chudley is right handed, a trait he shares with Cherry Beat band members Peter, Torquil, and Devon. Chudley stepped down from his position as producer due to the disagreements between band members as to who should produce their songs, but continued his role as the band's music supervisor.
Riley Ganz (born 24th January 1949, Cornwall, United Kingdom, Age 69) is an English producer, musician, and session musician. He is best known as a longtime session musician, and a producer of the 1970's rock and roll band Cherry Beat. In 1981, he was fired by Peter McDonald after the latter became infuriated by Sam Whitby's suggestion to make Riley their sole producer. Riley's production efforts often conflicted with Peter's best production interests at heart. Peter always preferred having Chudley Maron has the band's producer, unlike Sam.
Gregory Dogan (born 11th February 1959, London, United Kingdom, Age 59) is an English producer, and musician. He is best known as a producer of the 1970's rock and roll band Cherry Beat. Greg took over from Chudley Maron and Riley Ganz. Chudley stepped down from his position as producer due to the disagreements between band members as to who should produce their songs. While Riley was fired by Peter McDonald after being infuriated by Sam Whitby's suggestion to make Riley their sole producer.
- Part One - The Band's Formation (7th January - 20th March 1971)
- Part Two - The Band's First Album (8th May - 15th October 1971)
- Part Three - The Band's Second Album (25th October 1971 - 13th June 1972)
- Part Four - The Band's Third Album (16th May 1973 - 4th January 1974)
- Part Five - The Band's Fourth Album (17th January - 21st December 1974)
- Part Six - The Band's Fifth Album (24th January - 3rd September 1975)
- Part Seven - The Band's Sixth Album (27th November 1975 - 15th December 1976)
- Part Eight - The Band's Seventh Album (29th December 1966 - 17th November 1977)
- Part Nine - The Band's Eighth Album (15th February - 13th October 1978)
- Part Ten - The Band's Ninth Album (4th January - 11th July 1979)
- Part Eleven - The Band's Tenth Album (26th July 1979 - 15th November 1980)
- Part Twelve - The Band's Eleventh Album (2nd May - 25th November 1981)
- Part Thirteen - The Band's Twelfth Album (31st December 1981 - 26th April 1982)
- Part Fourteen - Post-Band Album Releases (10th February 1985 - 24th August 1998)
- Part Fifteen - The Band's First Reunion (8th September 1998 - 10th January 2000)
- Part Sixteen - The Band's Post Reunion Live Concert (26th February 2000 - 25th August 2001)
- Part Seventeen - The Band's Second Post Reunion Live Concert (April 2003 - 25th July 2004)
- Part Eighteen - The Band's Fourteenth Album (16th November 2004 - 6th February 2006)
- Part Nineteen - The Band's Third Post Reunion Live Concert (February 2007 - 17th August 2009)
- Part Twenty - Post-Reunion Album Releases (October 2009 - TBD)