Rare Animals record goes under the hammer

TOP OF THE LOTS ... The Animals and, below, Alan Price.
TOP OF THE LOTS ... The Animals and, below, Alan Price.

A RARE 1960s recording featuring a pioneering South Tyneside musician before he hit the big time is going under the hammer this week.

The unplayed recording of the group that went on to become The Animals is set to cause huge interest among specialist music collectors.

Alan Price

Alan Price

The acetate recording of the Kon Tors, made in the 1960s at Newcastle’s Mortonsound Studios, is one of only six that were pressed and is being sold at the Anderson & Garland three-day fine arts and antiques sale which starts on Wednesday.

It was given to the vendor’s grandfather by Chas Chandler, who found fame as The Animals’ bassist and went on to manage Jimi Hendrix and Slade, before becoming the driving force behind what is now the Metro Radio Arena.

The Kon Tors were made up of Chandler, who died in 1996, Alan Price, who was raised in Jarrow, and John Steel.

They became the Alan Price Rhythm & Blues Combo before morphing into The Animals when guitarist Hilton Valentine joined.

As The Animals, the influential R&B group topped the charts in the UK and US with House of the Rising Sun – featuring Price’s haunting organ intro – and had hits in the mid-60s, including We Gotta Get Out of This Place and Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.

The Kon Tors recording features six tracks – Rain Until September, How Cruel Love Can Be, Twist Locomotion, Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Point Of No Return and Love Letters.

It was never released and it’s believed the only six copies in existence were given to members of the band.

This copy is being sold by Tom O’Connor and his grandson Alexander Davison from Gateshead.

Mr Davison said: “My grandfather was given it by Chas Chandler. From what I gather, they became acquainted when The Animals played in local working men’s clubs.

“It’s been in the washhouse for many years and it’s never been listened to. It’s a good piece of North East history for people who know, remember and like the band.”

The record, which is still in its original Mortonsound Recording paper sleeve, is expected to appeal to both North East collectors and those with an interest in 1960s music.

Fred Wyrley-Birch from Anderson & Garland said: “This is a really rare recording. Although music memorabilia associated with bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones sells for huge prices these days, this is an affordable piece for collectors that we estimate will make £100-£200.

For more information, go to www.andersonandgarland.com.

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