Stray Biography

Originally formed in 1966, as the Stray, this UK band metamorphosed into a formidable hard rock act in the late 60s. Stray’s most famous line-up comprised Del Bromham (25 November 1951, Acton, London, England; guitar, vocals, keyboards), Steve Gadd (b. 27 April 1952, Shepherd’s Bush, London, England; guitar, harmonica, vocals), Gary Giles (b. 23 February 1952, London, England; bass), and Ritchie Cole (b. 10 November 1951, London, England; drums), the latter replacing original member Steve Crutchley. They were signed by Transatlantic Records soon after inception as the label sought to expand its previously folk-based roster. 1970’s Stray captured the band at the height of its powers, notably on the exciting ‘All In Your Mind’ and ‘Taking All The Good Things’. Subsequent albums followed in a similar vein but, despite a prolific output, Stray were unable to break free from the shackles of their rather limited style. They did, however, achieve momentary notoriety when briefly managed by Charlie Kray, brother of the notorious Kray twins.

Peter Dyer (guitar/vocals) replaced Gadd prior to the recording of 1975’s Houdini, but this made little impact on Stray’s dwindling fortunes. They split up in 1977, after which Bromham embarked on a short-lived solo career, recording for Gull Records, among others. A brief reunion in 1983 resulted in the Live At The Marquee album, before Bomham put the band on hiatus once again to work on other projects. He resurrected Stray in 1997 with Dusty Miller (bass) and Phil McKee (drums), and over the course of several new albums demonstrated that his guitar technique remained as sharp as ever. His playing on the live portion of 2001’s Dangerous Games was often quite stunning. In the late 60s the first wave of heavy guitar idols were usually Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. Bromham’s past work should be reappraised as he clearly slipped through the net.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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