History of Blue
BLUE began life in 1973 with Hugh Nicholson, formally of 'The Scots of St James' 'The Poets' and Marmalade. Ian MacMillan of 'The Boots' The Sabres' 'White Trash' and 'Cody', plus drummer Timi Donald from 'The Pathfinders', 'Quiver' and 'White Trash'. They signed a recording agreement with Robert Stigwood's record label RSO and their debut album 'BLUE' received critical acclaim worldwide from the likes of 'Rolling Stone' magazine, Radio 1's 'John Peel' Melody Maker, Billboard and many more. 'Red Light Song', 'I Wish I Could Fly' and 'Look Around' were performed on the BBC's 'Old Grey Whistle Test'. These were followed by the turntable hit 'Little Jody' which featured a new recruit to Blue ex Stone The Crows guitarist Jimmy McCulloch, who later left to join Paul McCartney's 'Wings'.
Blue then embarked on a coast to coast US tour with replacement guitarist Robert Smith (Smiggy) playing alongside Muddy Waters, Taj Mahal, The Beach Boys.
The second album for RSO, 'Life in the Navy' was recorded and produced in San Francisco by Elliot Mazer, who had just produced the 'Harvest' album for Neil Young. Blue toured extensively in the UK and Europe promoting the album.
After this period drummer Timi Donald along with Guitarist Smiggy left the group to be replaced temporarily by drummer and percussionist Jeff Allen formally of 'East of Eden' 'The Beatstalkers' and having also performed with 'Van Morrison', 'John Martyn' and 'Mick Taylor'. Dean Ford lead singer with Marmalade helped out with vocals and harmonica on the 'John Peel Sessions'. Hugh's brother David Nicholson having played with 'The Poets' 'Matthew's Southern Comfort' came in on bass guitar and keyboards with Charlie Smith drummer of 'Dream Police' and 'Marsha Hunt's 22' replacing Jeff during the Rocket Records period.
Sir Elton John saw Blue performing at a Kiki Dee concert in Bradford, England in 1976 and signed them to his Rocket Records label. The debut album 'Another Night Time Flight' produced by Elton and Clive Franks launched Blue into the USA and UK singles charts with Hugh's composition 'Gonna Capture Your Heart'.Tours in the USA and the UK followed with Blue playing alongside KiKi Dee, Jimmy Buffet, The Small Faces, Leo Sayer and on their performance at the Reading Festival Elton joined them on-stage playing piano.
The second Rocket album 'Fools' Party' was promoted in Germany touring the country with top German group 'Lake'.
In October 1979 the group relocated to Los Angeles, parting company with Rocket Records. They continued performing at various venues throughout California including a residency at the Central Club (later The Viper Club), The Palomino,The Troubadour and The Roxy where they played alongside The Band whose guests were Dr John and Joe Cocker.
Their album 'The LA Sessions' was recorded at The Band's (The Last Waltz) Shangri-la Studios, Zuma beach, California.
In 1983 Hugh returned to the UK where he continues writing and recording.
Ian MacMillan joined Hugh on various sessions, check out their 'Heaven Avenue' album.