Johnny Warman - Mind Games 1977-1980

Mind Games 1977-1980

Warman first approached Ariola Hansa records with his demo tape of three songs, Head On Collision, London's Burning and Mind Games. After the tape had been played he was asked as to which language he was singing in "That's Cockney Mate!" was the reply as Warman walked out. Warman next approached Arista Records with the same demo tape and they had the songs rerecorded at Decibel Studios with Warman on vocals and rhythm guitar, Mark Arthurworry on guitar, Paul Martinez on bass and Jeff Rich on drums. When Warman returned to Arista with the rerecorded tracks they decided they were not interested in signing him but at the same time let him keep the tape he had recorded, which he would now have to pitch at other record companies. Warman contacted Barry Anthony at Ring O'Records and gave him the tapes, and in December 1977 he was called to meet Ringo Starr's manager Hilary Gerrard and was told "Ringo really loves it" and was signed to Ring O'Records for £3,000 per year and £3,000 for the publishing rights. Warman was also given two cases of beer and a Christmas tree to take home for his family.

Along with Jeff Rich and Paul Martinez, Warman recorded an album at Startling Studios at Tittenhurst Park. Warman chose the producer Vic Coppersmith-Heaven because of his liking for the sound of The Jam. They immediately went about remixing the three track "demo" tape recorded at Decibel Studios at Morgan Studios which was released as a three track single on Ring O'Records 2017 112 in January 1978, which did not chart. Warman recorded the entirety of the album Hour Glass at Startling Studio and remixed at Roundhouse Studios planned initially for release as Ring O'Records 2339 202 in 1978. During his period at Ring O'Records not only did Warman meet every other Ring O'Record artists (except John Tavener) but he also featured in the music video for Dirk And Stig's Ging Gang Gollie promotional music video. Unfortunately Ring O'Records went bankrupt and was unable to release the planned album, which was shelved for a year until released by RCA/Able in West Germany only in June 1979. The album was launched at The Planetarium in Hamburg and Hour Glass received strong reviews but failed to make any chart impact. A single was released to accompany the Hour Glass album in West Germany, the new "Golden Lions" recorded at Townhouse backed with "Tomorrow's Babies" from the album, which also failed to chart.

Undaunted by the collapse of Ring O'Records and lack of chart success Warman continued to work on his own sound a formed the group 3 Minutes, with Jeff Rich on Drums and Paul Martinez on Bass. Warman states that the band's name came to him in a dream where he was told "you shall be called Three Minutes" although now Warman jokes that the band lasted about as long. 3 Minutes toured supporting The Vapors for 29 dates and XTC for 6 dates. The group disbanded after releasing a single in 1980 on Rocket Records, XPRESS 40 "Automatic Kids"/"Future Fun" which to date was Warman's most widespread release seeing releases in Great Britain, France, West Germany, The Netherlands and Portugal. Although 3 Minutes has disbanded after only one single the door was now open at Rocket for more solo releases in 1981.

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