Growing up in South London it all started when Gary started to
play around with his sister’s humble Spanish guitar. Though left
handed and unaware that guitars were 'handed' he didn’t let the fact that the instrument was a right handed
one stand in his way, and to this day plays a guitar strung for normal
right hand use – left handed, ie upside down. Few others play this way
although the late, great, blues player Albert King was similarly
On the basis of knowing no more than the riff
to Willie Dixon’s Spoonful, Gary got the job in his first band,
The Breath Of Life. Together with a bunch of local Streatham
musicians, his next band, Garfield Row, was formed …. a
semi-acoustic folk rock band who played regularly in a local pub owned
by the father of the late ex-Jethro Tull bassist, Glenn Cornick. Glenn gave the
band much encouragement, lending them some top class amps & guitars.
They eventually went their separate ways when Glenn pinched the band’s
vocalist/guitar player Jon Blackmore and Gary went on to sustain work as a musician in a
variety of bands from Blues/Rock to Folk/Rock to Soul, to playing in a
Country band at Wembley Arena, to writing/performing in Rock band
Panama Scandal. He then joined long running Blues/Rock
band, Sam Apple Pie, later known as The Vipers.
Alongside this, Gary and his old mate and songwriting partner, Steve
Gurl, landed a separate recording contract and together with the third
partner in the songwriting team, Hilary – Gary’s late ex-wife, a publishing
Dave Kelly when they both played in a band put together by
Wilgar Campbell, the ex Rory Gallagher drummer, called The Wildcats.
He then played bass on a track on Dave’s Willing album and was
suggested by Dave for the bass job when, together with Paul Jones &
Tom McGuinesss (ex of Manfred Mann), plus ex John Mayall/Eric Clapton drummer
Hughie Flint, The Blues Band first got together. The success
of The Blues Band was almost instantaneous and they were soon
playing to packed houses, releasing their first album, appearing on TV
and radio regularly, including the celebrated Euro-wide Rockpalast,
and headlining at Glastonbury. Twenty plus albums & countless tours later
the demand continues to grow for their special & personal
interpretation of the blues, thousands of excellent reviews have
appeared in a variety of publications and early editions of
their first album are now collector’s items. Still going strong, new
chapters are still to be added to their story in the 21st
with The Blues Band Gary has
continued to write and record his own material and has contributed
songs to records by other artists. His ‘pop’ side project The
Relatives released the enigmatic ‘Feud of Love’ album in 1997 although
the record had been in the making since the early ‘90s! He has also
performed with and written for The Dave Kelly Band and
Christine Collister, Dave Kelly & The Travelling Gentlemen. A couple of songs sung by Gary are a regular feature of
The Blues Band’s shows and led to Gary being asked to play solo, duo (with Tom Leary from Lindisfarne and Feast of Fiddles) and GF Band sets at festivals and clubs.
His The Official Gary Fletcher Bootleg Album
features many of the original writer’s versions
of songs that have been recorded by The Blues Band during the band’s
existence. Amongst the tracks is the original demo of his song Green Stuff, which has been a constant
in The Blues Band's live set as the band’s encore anthem, since the Ready album was released in 1980,
and has been covered by bands throughout Europe. Gary has recorded several sessions for the BBC and other radio stations in
his own right and a DVD
‘Live at The Ram Jam Club’ was released in ’06.
Spirit features a core band of
Gary on acoustic and electric guitars, his son Jack on bass, his
fellow Blues Band rhythm section partner, the superb Rob Townsend on
drums and congas and the
wonderful John Evans on lead guitar. Also featured are Bernie Marsden,
Micky Moody and Dave Kelly on guitars, Steve Simpson on mandolin,
violin and guitar and Mark Feltham and Paul Jones on harmonicas. The
so-called ‘radio’ single from the album is a track called ‘Payback’
played frequently on national and local radio at the time of it's release in 2007 and beyond.
Bob Harris was the first to play the song on Radio 2 and in the intervening years has featured Gary live in the studio on his show a number of times.
Giant From the Blue by The Gary Fletcher Band followed and features Pick Withers (ex Dire Straits) on
drums, Jack on bass and Steve Ling on lead guitar plus contributions from jazz giant Guy Barker on trumpet, Mark Feltham on harmonica and the Kokomo singers.
In Solitary as the title implies is an entirely solo album recorded 'live in the studio' i.e. no overdubs etc which features only
Gary on vocals and acoustic guitar, resonator and slide. As usual this features his original songs but for the first time this
album includes covers of 3 favourite songs - Willie Dixon's 'The Same Thing', Blind Willie Johnson's 'Nobodys Fault and Chuck Berry's 'Maybellene'.