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The Clockworkers were a Georgeland alternative rock band formed in 1978 in Emilypolis, Scoita. The band is most known in Georgeland and overseas for their 1990 hit "Get That Feeling", which charted in over 55 countries. The band were also known for their troubled history and regular internal disarray.

Members[]

  • Mike Earle (lead guitar, vocals) 1978-1998
  • Sid Grant (bass) 1978-1992
  • Rick Sutton (synths, guitar) 1978-1985, 1990-1998
  • David McCloskey (drums) 1978-1998
  • Elliot Newman (bass) 1992-1998
  • Colin Hobbes (synths) 1986-1991
  • Will Gater (guitar, backup vocals) 1996-1998

History[]

Formed by Earle, Grant and McCloskey while they attended the University of Emilypolis in the 1970s, the band was initially called "The Clockwork Orange" before adopting the name "Clockworkers" in 1978, from when the band 'officially' dates. Sutton was recruited from the more professional college band Uniplex and as a foursome the band played the pub and college circuit, releasing a self-labelled EP, Electric Kiss in 1982. The band were spotted by music promoter David Thoreau in January 1983 and made their first TV appearance on The Friday Live Hour on April 15, 1983. The song they played, Lost Dream was released as a single, and the band's first professional album, Broken Promises was released on July 23. The album recieved mixed reviews, but on the back of second and third singles Soul Vacuum and Ashtray, charted at #6 in Georgeland.
In 1985 the band's second album, Forever Blue was released, but failed to chart as successfully as their first. Sutton left the band after a highly-publicised row with Earle and Grant, and was replaced mid-tour by Colin Hobbes, formerly of Monkey Patrol, who formally joined the band's line-up in early 1986. Later in that year, another public row engulfed the band when Earle savaged McCloskey and Grant in a TV interview. The band announced their official split in April 1986 but, only a week later, retracted that announcement. The band then went on a tour of the United States and Europe, returning in 1987 for the release of a live album, Unplugged in Santa C, which resulted in a coutnry-wide tour. The band then took several months off to work on material for a third studio album, The Journey, which was released in July 1988. The Journey represented a return to the synth-rock sound that had shaped their early music, and charted at #8 in Georgeland and #5 in the UK. It was followed by a European tour which ended abruptly in October 1988 when Earle was found unconcious in his hotel room having overdosed on painkillers. Initially declared by the band's publicist as an 'accidental overdose', the highly-publicised incident was later revealed to have been a suicide attempt. The rest of the tour was cancelled, and Earle was treated for alcohol and tranquiliser addiction. While in rehab, Earle penned a number of songs, many of which he saved for use on the band's next album. After 'checking out' in June 1989, Earle and the rest of the band reunited to record their fourth studio album, Confessions of the Gods of War. One of the songs Earle had written in rehab was Get that Feeling, a melodic rock-ballad about drugs, alienation and loneliness that became the band's biggest-selling single. The song charted at #1 in the U.S. and the U.K., as well as Georgeland. The band toured the country, and later Australia and Japan, and on the back of the single, Confessions... became the band's only number one record. Sutton, who had left the band five years earlier, returned for these tours, his rift with Earle apparently healed.
In October 1991, Earle was accosted by reporters leaving a London nightclub while highly intoxicated, and was arrested for assaulting one of the photographers. He was released on bail and later recieved a 3-year bond for his actions. Only three months later, Grant was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, rendering him unable to continue with the band. He continued on as the band's bassist until May 1992, when on medical advice he declared he was quitting music. The two events took their toll on the band's career, which was not helped by another very public argument between Earle and Hobbes, which resulted in Hobbes' resignation from the band. A tour of North America planned for August 1992 was cancelled, and the band went on 'permanent hiatus'. During this period, Earle again attempted suicide by locking himself in his car with the engine running, but was rescued when concerned family members realised what was happening.
The band's fifth album, Without A Clue, was released in March 1994, with replacement bassist Elliot Newman. The album was not a commercial success, despite the presence of a number of memorable songs. A national tour was cancelled, and Earle announced he wanted to disband the group and concentrate on a solo tour. Despite this, the group made an appearance on Saturday Night Live in October, and played a series of American concerts throughout late 1994 and early 1995.
The band disappeared from view until August 1997, when the band's swansong, appropriately titled One Last Kiss, was released. New guitarist Will Gater, later of The Supersonic Jets, played on this album and appeared with the band as a third guitarist. The single of the same name charted in a number of countries, and the band's last public performance, on Christmas Eve 1997 at Leyton Park Stadium, was considered by many to have been the finest of their careers. This concert was broadcast on national TV and later released on VHS. A DVD release was issued in 2005.
On January 26, 1998, Mike Earle committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. His long, almost rambling suicide note made mention of the death of Kurt Cobain, who had been a close friend of Earle's, three years before.
After Earle's death, the Clockworkers formally disbanded. They reunited for a farewell concert in Earle's memory in July, with Gater acting as frontman, before formally splitting to pursue individual projects. Rick Sutton became a successful record producer, while McCloskey and Newman formed Formation, which later became the house band on The Pat Riley Show.
A compilation album, Tick Tock...The Best of the Clockworkers was released in December 2002, and was accompanied by a DVD of the band's video clips. A second compilation of B-sides and rare material, some of it previously unreleased, was released in 2004, with the title Tock Tick.

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