Kasse Mady Diabate

“... a song with a dubious title designed to corrupt the nation’s youth – and a band that boasts a warlock for a singer will not be tolerated by any decent society...’
BBC Controller, Spring 1967

“... I really think that Granny is one of the all-time great records”
John Peel

“... I produced [Granny Takes A Trip] the same week as Pink Floyd’s Arnold Layne – one night later. The two seemed part of the same world then. The London scene was greatly enriched that summer of 1967 by their contribution’
Joe Boyd

These three quotes pretty much sum up the inauspicious tale of The Purple Gang, a young jug band from Stockport who caught the attention of the London Underground music scene and hovered on the brink of success during the ‘Summer of Love’ in 1967, before a BBC ban of their debut single shattered all their hopes and dreams.

Signed to Transatlantic and with initial recordings produced by Joe Boyd, they shared stages with Pink Floyd, Cat Stevens, The Incredible String Band and others at the UFO and the legendary 14 Hour Technicolor Dream at Alexandra Palace that summer. Their debut single ‘Granny Takes A Trip’, the title inspired by a visit to the Chelsea boutique of the same name, was gathering momentum and looking set to become the soundtrack to the summer of love, when the all-powerful BBC weighed in, took issue with the word ‘trip’ in the title, and decided to make an example of The Purple Gang. The ban proved lethal, and although Granny was loved by the pirate DJs, and in particular John Peel, the band pretty much disappeared from sight.

But an iconic song will endure and so it has been with Granny Takes A Trip. Thanks to the belief and optimism of band leader and co-songwriter Chris Joe Beard, and also to the virility of the internet, the song has a achieved a cult status over the decades and now sits alongside The Kinks, Pink Floyd, Dr Strangely Strange and The Incredible String Bands on many a compilation of the era.
The extraordinary story of The Purple Gang and Granny Takes A Trip is recounted with great humour and a heartwarming lack of cynicism by Chris Joe Beard in his autobiography, Taking The Purple – The Extraordinary Story of the Purple Gang – Granny Takes A Trip ….. and all that!

Carthage Music administers copyrights worldwide for the original Purple Gang repertoire, composed by Chris Joe Beard and Geoffrey Bowyer.