Thunderclap Newman was a short-lived British rock band formed in 1969 by Pete Townshend of The Who and Kit Lambert, a producer and record label owner who was also one of The Who's managers. Key members included John "Speedy" Keen (vocals, drums, guitar), guitarist/bassist Jimmy McCulloch (June 4, 1953 - September 27, 1979), and Dixieland jazz pianist Andy "Thunderclap" Newman (November 21, 1942 - March 29, 2016). Keen (March 29, 1945 - March 12, 2002) wrote and sang lead vocals on the song for which the band is best known, "Something In The Air," which topped the U.K. charts in 1969. Townshend produced, recorded, arranged, and played bass guitar for the band under the name, Bijou Drains. Additional touring members included Roger Felice (drums), Ronnie Peel (bass guitar), James "Jim" Pitman-Avery (bass guitar), and McCulloch's elder brother Jack (drums).
Thunderclap Newman debuted on the U.S. Pop/Rock charts in 1969 with "Something In The Air," which became a Top 40 hit. This counterculture classic, which has been covered by numerous bands and artists over the years, was featured in "The Magic Christian" (1969) and several other movie soundtracks and has also been used extensively in British TV shows and ads. Thunderclap Newman had one other U.K. hit in 1970 with "Accidents" and released the critically acclaimed album, "Hollywood Dream," before disbanding in 1971.
In 2010, Thunderclap Newman was reformed with a new lineup consisting of original member Andy Newman and newer members Mark Brzezicki, Nick Johnson, Josh Townshend, and Tony Stubbings. The band released an album that year titled "Beyond Hollywood" and performed actively through early 2012.
- For more info on the history of Thunderclap Newman, visit thunderclapnewman.com.
- The Guardian remembers John "Speedy" Keen and Andy "Thunderclap" Newman.
- The New York Times remembers Jimmy McCulloch.
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- Something In The Air 1969
(This song was part of the soundtrack for the 1969 movie, "The Magic Christian.")
- Wilhelmina 1969
(B-side of "Something In The Air")
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