EXPIRED: 09/22/11 – John Du Cann, 61, was always just on the brink of hitting the bigtime. After quitting his first band, The Sonics, the guitarist joined London’s The Attack, which released “Hi Ho Silver Lining.” It was sure to be a hit, but then Jeff Beck released the same song a few days later and stole their thunder.
Du Cann then started a psychedelic, progressive, hard rock band called Andromeda but left to join Atomic Rooster, a band derivitive of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Even after drummer Carl Palmer quit to join Emerson, Lake & Palmer Atomic Rooster’s second album, Death Walks Behind You, saw a hit, “Tomorrow Night,” reach #11 in the UK Singles Chart, carrying an otherwise uncommercial album to #12. A followup, “Devils Answer” hit #4. Du Cann & his band got on Top of the Pops and had made it..
A third album, In Hearing of Atomic Rooster, brought in a new lead singer and a new, bluesy sound. Du Cann hated it and quit. His subsequent bands Daemon, and Hard Stuff, never were as popular as the Rooster.
After some fill in work for Thin Lizzy, Du Cann wrote music for ads and jingles in England, and had, in 1979, a minor hit with Gary Numan’s “Don’t Be A Dummy,” used in a jeans TV ad. It reached only #33.
Pissed off by so much unofficial, poorly-mastered and badly-packaged Rooster compilations, for which he received no royalties, Du Cann started reissuing his own remastered Atomic Rooster compilations in the late 90s. Finally he was getting some bank for all his work nearly 30 years before.