Ian Thorpe, the man at the desk
Do you take the superb Amazing Blondel sound for granted? Do you ever wonder who twiddles the knobs at the back of the room? Next time you're at a gig spare a thought for sound engineer, Ian Thorpe, who will be working hard to keep John, Terry and Eddie sounding just perfect.
"After twenty three years, they've lost nothing except their hair. Ladies and gentleman, please welcome Amazing Blondel." The man acting as MC and introducing the band with such comments as, "Please turn off your mobile phones because they may interfere with John's pacemaker." is none other than Ian Thorpe. Ian is Amazing Blondel's sound engineer, roadie, tea maker, general assistant and one of their biggest fans.
The connection between Ultrasonics and Amazing Blondel is not new. They have been servicing John and Terry's equipment (Sound equipment, that is!) since the mid 'sixties. "They first came to us when John and Terry were in their first band, 'The Dimples'. We followed their career as 'Gospel Garden', 'Methuselah' and finally as Amazing Blondel." Ian recalls. "During the 'seventies they had their own Sims-Watt P.A. system which they always brought to us to service and maintain or make up new cables."
Ian has been a fan of Amazing Blondel since the early days and jumped at the chance of mixing sound for the band. "I'd kept in contact with Terry through the music business lo-cally and when he told me that they would be doing some live shows again, 1 offered to do the duo, Stewart and Harrison back sound." Ian explained. "I'd always been very envious of the original roadies and here I am, all those years later, doing the job I always wanted."
Ian is no stranger to the stage himself. An accomplished guitarist, vocalist and song writer, he has worked in several bands and been a recording artist in his own right before concentrating on his career on the other side of the microphone. "I was in a heavy rock band called 'Warlord' for a while, we played a lot around the Lincoln area. I was then in a band called 'Monroe', which was much more commercial, doing cover versions and that kind of thing." There was another Amazing Blondel connection concerning the recording of Monroe's single, 'Poor Boy'. It was recorded at the Studio Playground at Wragby in Lincolnshire, a studio co-owned by Andy Dransfield who now owns Chapel Studios near Louth where 'Restoration' was recorded.