Average White Band

The Average White Band are a Scottish soul/funk sextet that debuted with the 1973 album Show Your Hand on MCA. Between 1974 and 1979, AWB released six studio albums and a live set on Atlantic. This was followed by two albums for Arista during the early 1980s. Stateside, the band are most known for the instrumental “Pick Up the Pieces,” a 1974 chart-topper from their acronymous second album.

Members: Alan Gorrie (vocals, bass, guitar), Owen “Onnie” McIntyre (guitar, vocals), Roger Ball (saxophone, keyboards, 1971-97), Malcolm Duncan (saxophone, 1971-82), Hamish Stuart (guitar, bass, vocals, 1971-82), Robbie McIntosh (drums, 1971-74), Steve Ferrone (drums, 1974-82)

The Average White Band assembled in 1972 when six acquainted Scottish musicians —  bassist/singer Alan Gorrie, guitarist/singer Hamish Stuart, guitarist Owen McIntyre, tenor saxophonist Malcolm Duncan, keyboardist/alto saxist Roger Ball, and drummer Robbie McIntosh — crossed paths at a Traffic concert in London.

Gorrie and McIntyre hailed from Scottish popsters Forever More, which issued two 1970/71 albums on RCA Victor. Stuart had cut three 1970/71 Decca singles with pop-rockers the Dream Police and played on Collection, the 1972 second album by singer/songwriter Steve Tilston.

Duncan and Ball, collectively known as the Dundee Horns, were part of the brass-rock supergroup Mogul Thrash, which cut a self-titled album on RCA in 1971. McIntosh played in the 1960s R&B/beat groups The Primitives and The Senate, which backed American soul singer Garnet Mimms on a 1967 live album on UA. He then joined Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express and drummed on their first three albums.

Just prior to forming AWB, McIntyre and McIntosh (along with ex-Van der Graaf Generator bassist Nic Potter) played on “My Ding-a-Ling,” the 1972 comeback single by ’50s rock n’ roller Chuck Berry.

When the six musicians came together, a friend witnessed their first jam session and remarked “This is too much for the average white man,” which inspired their band name.[1] The Average White Band played their first high-profile gig as the opening act for Eric Clapton‘s Rainbow Concert, held on January 13, 1973, at London’s Rainbow Theatre.


  • Show Your Hand (1973)
  • AWB (1974)
  • Cut the Cake (1975)
  • Soul Searching (1976)
  • Person to Person (live, 1976)
  • Benny and Us (1977 • Average White Band & Ben E. King)
  • Warmer Communications (1978)
  • Feel No Fret (1979)
  • Shine (1980)
  • Cupid’s in Fashion (1982)



  1. The Guardian: Average White Band: how we made Pick Up the Pieces

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *