Andy Pyle

As a musician, Andy Pyle has never been far from people who went on to stardom, though he may not ever have achieved quite that level of recognition himself. He's played with star-level bands and one superstar ensemble, plus done session work on one album that was practically required listening for male teenagers in the early 1970s. A bassist who career goes back to the mid-'60s, Pyle was born in London in 1945, and reached his teens just as rock & roll was supplanting skiffle as the music of choice for British youth. As a young aspiring musician, however, he gravitated more toward the blues than to rock & roll, as demonstrated by his earliest professional gig, with Victor Brox's Blues Train, led by the future member of the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation. Next, it was on to Jensen's Moods, a band featuring British bluesman Mick Abrahams on lead guitar and vocals, and Clive Bunker on drums, which subsequently changed its name to McGregor's Engine. The latter group fell apart in late 1967 when Abrahams and Bunker went off to join Jethro Tull, but following Abrahams' departure from Tull in late 1968, he and Pyle were back together, the latter recruited by Abrahams into a new band, Blodwyn Pig. Abrahams exited after a pair of albums to form yet another new band, and eventually their sax player, Jack Lancaster, pulled together Pyle and the other survivors into what was known as Lancaster's Bombers (a play on the name of a famed WWII British plane), and then simply Lancaster.