Dear Mr. Time

Dear Mr. Time is an English symphonic-rock/psych band that released the album Grandfather on A Square Record in 1970.

Members: Chris Baker (guitar, vocals), John Clements (drums, percussion), Barry Everitt (vocals, organ, piano, harpsichord), Dave Sewell (bass, vocals), Jim Sturgeon (saxophone, flute, guitar, vocals)

Dear Mr. Time assembled in Chelmsford in September 1969, its members poached from local unrecorded bands. Guitarist/singer Chris Baker and drummer John Clements hailed from the Shoo String Band; keyboardist Barry Everitt and bassist Dave Sewell came from the John MacIntyre Collection. They became an instant live attraction on the continent, especially in France where they rivaled a nascent Wishbone Ash as the hottest new U.K. act. DMT’s set at this stage included covers of The Beatles (“Paperback Writer”) and Procol Harum (“A Salty Dog”).

Back in England, Dear Mr. Time shared stages with competing new acts (Gracious, Uriah Heep) and drew favorable comparisons. Woodwind player Jim Sturgeon joined the lineup just as labels took note of the band. Mike Weston signed Dear Mr. Time to his upstart EMI-subsidiary A Square Record and agreed to produce their album. Recordings took place at Basing Street Studios during odd hours, between the scheduled slots of larger acts (Curved Air, Free, Led Zeppelin, Traffic).

Dear Mr. Time released its singular album, Grandfather, in late 1970. The album features six songs per side, including “Birth – The Beginning,” “Out of Time,” “A Dawning Moonshine,” and “Your’s Claudia.” Conceptually, the songs trace the cradle-to-grave journey of a Lost Generation protagonist. Baker wrote all the songs except for the Everett-penned “Make Your Peace” and the group-composed “Prelude”/”Your Country Needs You?” The recording was engineered by Phill Brown (Amazing Blondel, Third World War, Jeff Beck Group, Hunter Muskett).

Though favorably received by fans, Grandfather was ill-promoted and beset with pressing errors. Dismayed with Square Record’s terms, Dear Mr. Time disbanded in early 1971. Baker and Clements resurfaced mid-decade in the backing band of ’50s pop idol Marty Wilde.

Original copies of Grandfather typically trade in the three-figure range. Between 1991 and 2008, the album received unofficial reissues on Synton (Aus.), Choice (Japan), and Sunrise (Germany). It was finally reissued from the master tapes in 2010 by archivists Wooden Hill. To capitalize on this renewed interest, three-fifths of Dear Mr. Time (Baker, Clements, Everitt) regrouped for a new album in 2015.



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