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The V.I.P.s (band)

  (Redirected from Art (band))

The V.I.P.s were a British R&B musical ensemble formed in Carlisle, Cumberland, (North West England) in late 1963, out of an earlier outfit known as The Ramrods, who had formed in Carlisle in 1960. After a change of personnel in April 1967, the band changed their name to Art, and released the album Supernatural Fairy Tales. They also participated to a psychedelic bizarre album called Featuring The Human Host And The Heavy Metal Kids by a collective known as Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, formed by Guy Stevens and an influential British graphic design and avant-garde musical partnership between Michael English and Nigel Waymouth. The musicians involved in that project were Mike Harrison on keys and vocals, Luther Grosvenor on guitars, Greg Ridley on bass and Mike Kellie on drums, as well as performances by Stevens, English and Waymouth. It was the first time that the term heavy metal was ever used in music, even though that album had nothing to do with heavy metal music, being closer to psychedelic music. That album was published in 1967 on Liberty Records and contained only five songs from two minutes to more than 15 minutes of psychedelic and almost meditative state kind of music.

The V.I.P.s
Also known as The Vipps, Art (1967)
Origin Carlisle, England
Genres R&B, psychedelic rock
Years active 1963–1967
Labels Island, CBS, Star-Club
Associated acts Spooky Tooth
Members Mike Harrison
Greg Ridley
Frank Kenyon
Jimmy Henshaw
Luther Grosvenor
Walter Johnstone
Mike Kellie
Keith Emerson



The band members at various times were: Mike Harrison (lead vocals) (ex Dino and the Danubes, The Dakotas, The Ramrods); Greg Ridley (bass guitar) (ex Dino and the Danubes, The Dakotas); Frank Kenyon (rhythm guitar) (1963–67) (born 12 October 1945, Carlisle) (ex The Teenages, The Ramrods); Jimmy Henshaw (lead guitar) (1963–67) (born James Henshaw, 20 October 1941, in Newarthill, near Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, Scotland died 1 May 2007, Carlisle) (ex The Ramrods); Keith Emerson (organ) (ex-Gary Farr & The T-Bones) (1966–1967); Luther Grosvenor (lead guitar) (1967); Walter Johnstone (drummer) (1963–67) (born 11 March 1943, Carlisle) (ex The Teenages, The Ramrods); and Mike Kellie (drummer) (1967).

When Emerson left in early 1967 to form The Nice, Harrison, Ridley, Grosvenor and Kellie changed their name to 'Art', and released one album, Supernatural Fairy Tales, produced by Guy Stevens, covering Stephen Stills' For What It's Worth and Felix Cavaliere's Come on up. They then became Spooky Tooth. Greg Ridley then left to join Steve Marriott to form Humble Pie, who were more blues oriented. Spooky Tooth were soon joined by American keyboard player Gary Wright.



  • "She's So Good" / "Don't Keep Shouting at Me" (UK RCA, 1964)
  • "Mercy Mercy" / "That's My Woman" (U.S. only single, produced by Derek Lawrence)
  • "Wintertime" / "Anyone" (as The Vipps, CBS)
  • "I Wanna Be Free" / "Don't Let It Go" (Island)
  • "Straight Down to the Bottom" / "In a Dream" (Island)
  • "Sunshine Help Me" (Island - as 'Spooky Tooth')

Compilation albumsEdit


  • Larkin, C: The Virgin Encyclopedia of Sixties Music p18 (Muze Uk Ltd, 1997) ISBN 0-7535-0149-X

External linksEdit