The Sensational Alex Harvey Band

Alex Harvey, from Scotland, recorded as Alex Harvey and His Soul Band in 1964. That band broke up and Alex went solo until forming a 60s psychedelic band called Giant Moth. That was a flop. In 1971 he teamed up with members of a band called Tear Gas and they called themselves, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. They consisted of Zal Cleminson (guitar), Chris Glenn, (bass), and cousins, Hugh Mckenna, (keyboards), and Ted Mckenna, (drums). Together they created a unique show that went from raunchy rock to cabaret and vaudeville music hall numbers. Harvey would act out the characters in the song. A trench coat and fedora, film noir style, for “The Man in the Jar”. He swung a bamboo cane and danced about for “Sgt. Fury”. He read from the “Book of Vambo” for “Vambo Marble Eye”. As the band played on, he would climb up to a fake brick wall and spray paint, “Vambo Rool” across it. His most hilarious bit was during "Framed". Wearing a street punk style leather jacket, he would stuff two socks into his cheeks, mocking Marlon Brando in "The Godfather" and "The Wild One". Fans of SAHB are familiar with these antics and would follow the band across Europe. In 1975 SAHB toured the USA with their well crafted show. They gained some recognition in the states, but never reached the level of fame they desired. A couple more albums and Alex Left the band. The band recorded one without him. He rejoined and quit again. The band has continued on in one form or another ever since. 

Alex Harvey died of a heart attack in 1982.

My friends and I saw The Sensational Alex Harvey Band perform at the San Francisco Civic Center on April 4, 1975. To see our photos of that concert and read our memoirs, go to -
Brit Rock By The Bay

 Alex Harvey and His Soul Band. 
Alex Harvey is bottom, center.
(Photographer is unknown) 
Alex Harvey and his Soul Band
 from "British Beat 1960-1969"
by Terry Rawlings.
© Omnibus Press 2002.
History of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, 
from "The Harmony Illustrated History of Rock"
by Mike Clifford. © Salamander Books 1986.

From "Rock Family Trees Volume 2"
by Peter Frame. © Omnibus Press 1983.
A detail from above.
Les Harvey, guitarist for
Stone The Crows, was 
electrocuted on stage and died
in May 1972. 
He was Alex Harvey's 
younger brother.
SAHB gets some 
recognition in 
the Fall of 1973.
A history of the band and Zal Cleminson
talks about Tear Gas and the death of 
Les Harvey and how it affected Alex.
Melody Maker's Band File, June 1974.
Alex is interviewed and discusses the band, 
"Vambo" and violence. 
A detailed review of the band from August 1974.
They release the album, "The 
Impossible Dream" in September 1974.
"The Impossible Dream" receives
a great review in October 12, 1974. 
The band received praise 
in the USA in this article
from April 24, 1975.

Some of the albums that make up
the history of Alex Harvey and his bands.

The song, "Framed" was originally recorded by
 Alex Harvey in 1964 by AH and his Soul Band.
Below is the first album by SAHB.
Their second album.
Their third album contained his popular version 
of "Next" by Jacques Brel and 
the wild "Vambo Marble Eye" .
The fourth album was live.
The fifth album title, "The Penthouse Tapes" 
was a satire of "The White House Tapes", 
referring to Richard Nixon's 
infamous private tapes.
Their sixth album.
Their seventh, "SAHB Stories".
The last SAHB album. 
"Fourplay" was done without Alex Harvey. 
 He is shown tied up on back cover. 
Alex Harvey's final album, 1979. He had a 
different band, but the sound was similar.
Tear Gas was the band Alex Harvey 
united with to create SAHB.
Les Harvey was in Stone The Crows with
Maggie Bell. She sang on Rod Stewart's
"Every Picture Tells a Story.".

A biography by John Neil Munro.
Copyright Polygon 2008.

Alex Harvey died of a heart attack
on February 4th, 1982.