Tear Gas

Tear Gas were a Scottish hard-rock band that released the album Piggy Go Getter on Famous/Paramount in 1970, followed by an eponymous album on Regal Zonophone in 1971. They then teamed with singer Alex Harvey in the long-running Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

Members: Zal Cleminson (guitar, vocals), Chris Glen (bass, vocals), Gilson Lavis (drums, 1969-70), Richard “Wullie” Monro (drums, tambourine, maracas, finger cymbals, vocals, 1969-70), Andy Mulvey (lead vocals, 1969-70), Eddie Campbell (organ, piano, vocals, 1970-71), David Batchelor (lead vocals, keyboards, 1970-71), Ted McKenna (drums, 1970-72), Hugh McKenna (keyboards, 1971-72)


Tear Gas released their first album, Piggy Go Getter, in 1970 on Famous Music. It features 10 songs written by vocalist David Batchelor and guitarist Zal Cleminson, including the lengthy numbers “Night Girl” and “Look What Else Is Happening.” This and the followup were produced by Tony Chapman. Keyboardist Eddie Campbell and drummer Wullie Munro left after this release.

In 1971, Tear Gas released their self-titled second album on Regal Zonophone. The Batchelor/Cleminson team wrote six of the nine songs, including “That’s What’s Real,” “I’m Glad,” “Lay It On Me,” and “The First Time.” The album also includes covers of Jethro Tull (“Love Story”) and Elvis Presley (“All Shook Up”). The band were joined on this release by cousins Ted McKenna (drums) and Hugh McKenna (keyboards).

The instrumental core of the Tear Gas lineup — Cleminson, the McKenna’s, and bassist Chris Glen — teamed with vocalist Alex Harvey in The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. SAHB released eight studio albums between 1972 and 1978, including one without Harvey. Batchelor worked as their producer.

Cleminson joined the 1979/80 lineup of Nazareth and later served as a backing player for Elkie Brooks, Midge Ure, Bonnie Tyler, and Fish. Glen and Ted McKenna later teamed in The Michael Schenker Group. Ted also played on albums by Rory Gallagher, Greg Lake, Ali Thomson, and Phenomena.

Prior to his time in Tear Gas, Hugh McKenna was briefly in psych-rockers the Stoics with Frankie Miller and James Dewar. Their one single, “Earth, Fire, Air and Water” (b/w “Search for the Sea”), appeared on RCA Victor in 1968.


Discography:

  • Piggy Go Getter (1970)
  • Tear Gas (1971)

Sources:

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