Gonzalez were a British R&B and funk band. They became well known as a backing band for touring R&B, funk and soul stars. Their eponymous album was released in 1974 and they recorded a total of six albums before disbanding in 1986, and are best known for their 1979 single success with their worldwide disco hit, "Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet".
|Genres||R&B, funk, soul, disco|
|Associated acts||The Gass, Gloria Jones|
|Past members||Bobby Tench, Lenny Zakatek, Robert Ahwai, Godfrey McLean, Delisle Harper, Kuma Harada, Linda Taylor, Lennox Langton, Steve Waller, Glen LeFleur, Geoffrey "Bud" Beadle, Cliff Lake, Roy Davies, Mick Eve, Gordon Hunte, Chris Mercer, Colin Jackas, Bobby Stignac, Larry Steele, Viola Wills, George Chandler, Janice Hoyte, Ron Carthy, Preston Heyman, Sergio Castillo, John Giblin, Hugh Bullen, Steve Gregory|
The original band was formed by Godfrey McLean and Bobby Tench from Gass in 1970 and included other members of that band, with the line-up of Tench as vocalist and guitarist, drummer Godfrey McLean, bassist Delisle Harper and percussionist Lennox Langton. At the end of May 1970, Tench left Gonzalez to become a member of The Jeff Beck Group and the band formed a new core membership, with saxophonists Michael "Mick" Eve, Chris Mercer, Steve Gregory, Geoffrey "Bud" Beadle , keyboardist Roy Davies and guitarist Gordon Hunte. Later George Chandler, Glen LeFleur, Cliff Lake and Delisle Harper were included whilst simultaneously members of Olympic Runners. Session guitarist Cliff Lake went on to appeared with other artists such as Doris Troy, Edwin Starr, Chris Rea etc and is said to be poised to make a comeback as a singer songwriter. Vocalist Lenny Zakatek joined in 1974 and they released their first album Gonzalez (1974), which featured a heavy funk sound. This album was Queen's bassist John Deacon favourite band in the mid 1970s. Our Only Weapon is Our Music (1975) followed, released on EMI's sister label, Capitol.
In 1976 drummer Preston Heyman joined and they supported Bob Marley on his Hammersmith Odeon Shows. In 1977 Air Studios London they recorded the Gloria Jones song "Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet" which reached No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 and established a following amongst disco enthusiasts. A remix of the same song reached No. 7 on the US Club Play chart and No. 15 in the UK Singles Chart. The band's third and fourth albums, Shipwrecked and Move It to the Music, were produced by Jones. Eve, Lake and Hunte left before their single "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" (1979) was released.
In 1980 and after five years with the band Lenny Zakatek left to sing vocals with The Alan Parsons Project. The band's follow-up singles and their fifth album Watch Your Step, were not successful and the group lost its major label status. Gonzalez then worked with Pye Records and concentrated on live performances, usually backing R&B, funk and soul stars, such as Freddie King.
Roy Davies died in 1986 and Gonzalez disbanded.
More recently Mick Eve, Kuma Harada, Bud Beadle, Cliff Lake, Preston Heyman and Bobby Stignac have appeared on the London music circuit.
- Steve Waller (Steven Charles Waller) died on 2 June 2000. He had also worked with Roger Ruskin Spear, Kevin Coyne and Manfred Mann's Earth Band.
- Roy Davies died in 1986.
- Viola Wills died on 6 May 2009.
- Former drummer Sergio Castillo died 10 March 2012.
- Trumpet player Ron Carthy, deceased.
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