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The Scaffold

The Scaffold
Origin Liverpool, England
Genres Music hall, comedy rock
Years active 1964–1977
Labels Parlophone
Warner Bros.
Associated acts Grimms
Liverpool poets
Past members Mike McGear
Roger McGough
John Gorman

The Scaffold were a comedy, poetry and music trio from Liverpool, England, consisting of Mike McGear (real name Peter Michael McCartney, the brother of Paul McCartney), Roger McGough and John Gorman.


  • Career 1
  • Discography 2
    • Singles 2.1
    • Albums 2.2
      • UK releases 2.2.1
      • US releases 2.2.2
      • Japanese releases 2.2.3
    • Discography notes 2.3
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The Scaffold performed a mixture of comic songs, comedy sketches and the poetry of McGough, as evidenced on their 1968 live album, and released a number of singles and albums on Parlophone and EMI between 1966 and 1971, with several more on Island, Warner Bros. and Bronze thereafter.

The group also wrote and sang the theme tune to the BBC comedy 'The Liver Birds' which aired from 1969–1978.

The Scaffold achieved Top 10 success in the UK with:[1]

In addition to the hit singles, The Scaffold's output included four albums: The Scaffold on Parlophone in 1968, L. the P. on Parlophone in 1969, Fresh Liver on Island in 1973, and Sold Out on WB in 1975. The Scaffold's first greatest hits album, entitled Singles As & Bs, was released on See For Miles Records in 1982. This was followed by a second greatest hits collection, the first on Compact Disc, The Scaffold: The Songs, in 1992. Three additional compilations of the band's Parlophone tracks have since been released (two of which also include the Warner Bros. “Liverpool Lou” track).

Jack Bruce, Elton John, Graham Nash and Jimi Hendrix were among the session musicians who performed on The Scaffold's early records, since none of the trio was a musician.[3] Tim Rice, who was at that time an assistant to their producer Norrie Paramor, contributed backing vocals to some of their material.

In 1970, The Scaffold appeared in a children's television series, Score with the Scaffold.

In early 1971, they provided some catchy tunes for inclusion in a television publicity campaign heralding the introduction of decimal currency to the UK. In this series of five-minute programmes, titled Decimal Five and shown on BBC1, they sang such inspired lyrics as "Give more, get change" and "Use your old coppers in sixpenny lots".

In 1972, they made a half hour musical movie called Plod based on an earlier stage production. The film was made on location in Liverpool, and included boys from the Liverpool Institute High School, earlier attended by the McCartney brothers and Beatle George Harrison.

In 1973, The Scaffold transferred to Island Records and released one album, Fresh Liver, from which no singles were released. The group then merged into the expanded line-up of Grimms with the likes of Neil Innes, Andy Roberts, Viv Stanshall, Adrian Henri and Brian Patten.

After the 1974 success of "Liverpool Lou," recorded with Paul McCartney and Wings, The Scaffold reunited for their final album, Sold Out, on Warner Bros. Records. The B-side of "Liverpool Lou", "Ten Years After on Strawberry Jam", was an instrumental composed by Paul and Linda McCartney and performed by Wings. The Scaffold moved to the Bronze Records label in 1976, and continued touring through 1977. After that the group disbanded, although there have been occasional reunion performances.

The group also reunited to record a new track for a special album, commemorating Liverpool's 2008 "European Capital of Culture" event. Michael McCartney and John Gorman represented The Scaffold in the Number One Concert in the 10,500-seater Echo Arena and received a standing ovation from the capacity audience. In 2009, the group were re-united in Ronnie Scott's London Jazz Club for a BBC TV programme. In October 2010, The Scaffold re-united for a Gala Concert in Shanghai, to celebrate the end of the Liverpool Pavilion as part of the World Expo. They shared the concert with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, OMD and the Liverpool Chinese Children's Pagoda Orchestra.

In August 2013, McGear and Gorman played to an international audience in the O2 as part of the Liverpool Music Festival. In October of 2013 and 2014, they played in the Heswall Festival.

McGear and Gorman are negotiating with promoters in Japan for appearances in Tokyo in 2015.



UK Releases

  • "2 Days Monday" / "3 Blind Jellyfish" (Parlophone R 5443) May 1966
  • "Goodbat Nightman" / "Long Strong Black Pudding" (Parlophone R 5548) Dec. 1966
  • "Thank U Very Much" / "Ide B The First" (Parlophone R 5643) Nov 1967
  • "Do You Remember?" / "Carry On Krow" (Parlophone R 5679) Mar. 1968
  • "1–2–3" / "Today" (Parlophone R 5703) June 1968
  • "Lily the Pink" / "Buttons of Your Mind" (Parlophone R 5734) Oct. 1968
  • "Charity Bubbles" / "Goose" (Parlophone R 5784) June 1969
  • "Gin Gan Goolie" / "Liver Birds" (Parlophone R 5812) Oct 1969
  • "All The Way Up" / "Please Sorry" (Parlophone R 5847) June 1970
  • "Bus Dreams" / "If I Could Start All Over Again" (Parlophone R 5866) Oct 1970
  • "Do The Albert" / "Commercial Break" (Parlophone R 5922) Oct. 1971
  • "Lily the Pink" / "Thank U Very Much" / "Do You Remember?" (EMI 2085) Nov. 1973
  • "Liverpool Lou" / "Ten Years After on Strawberry Jam" (Warner Bros K 16400) May 1974
  • "Mummy Won't Be Home For Christmas" / "The Wind Is Blowing" (Warner Bros K 16488) Dec. 1974
  • "Leaving of Liverpool" / "Pack of Cards" (Warner Bros K 16521) Mar. 1975
  • "Wouldn't It Be Funny If You Didn't Have A Nose" / "Mr. Noselighter" (Bronze BRO 33) Oct. 1976
  • "How D'You Do" / "Paper Underpants" (Bronze BRO 39) Apr. 1977
  • "Lily the Pink" / "Thank U Very Much" / "Do You Remember?" / "Gin Gan Goolie" (EMI 2690) Oct. 1977

US Releases

  • "Thank U Very Much" / "Ide B The First" (Bell 701) Jan 1968
  • "Do You Remember?" / "Carry On Krow" (Bell 724) May 1968
  • "Lily the Pink" / "Buttons of Your Mind" (Bell 747) Dec. 1968
  • "Charity Bubbles" / "Goose" (Bell B-821) Aug. 1969
  • "Jelly Covered Cloud" / "Liver Birds" (Bell B-849) 1969
  • "Liverpool Lou" / "Ten Years After on Strawberry Jam" (Warner Bros WBS 8001) July 1974

Canadian Releases

  • "Thank U Very Much" / "Ide B The First" (Capitol 72524) Feb. 1968
  • "Lily the Pink" / "Buttons of Your Mind" (Capitol 72562) 1968
  • "Liverpool Lou" / "Ten Years After on Strawberry Jam" (Warner Bros WBS 8001) July 1974


UK releases

  • McGough and McGear (Parlophone PMC 7047 [mono], PCS 7047 [stereo]) [LP] May 1968
  • The Scaffold (Parlophone PMC 7051 [mono], PCS 7051 [stereo]) [LP] July 1968
  • L. the P. (Parlophone PMC 7077 [mono], PCS 7077 [stereo]) [LP] May 1969
  • Fresh Liver (Island ILPS 9234) [LP] May 1973
  • Sold Out (Warner Bros. K 56067) [LP] Feb. 1975
  • The Scaffold Singles A's and B's (See For Miles CM 114) [LP] Oct. 1982 [Compilation, containing 22 EMI and Warner Bros tracks]
  • McGough and McGear (Parlophone PCS 7332) [LP] Apr. 1989 [Reissue of the 1968 album]
  • McGough and McGear (EMI CDP 7 91877 2) [CD] Apr. 1989 [Reissue of the 1968 album]
  • The Best of the EMI Years: The Scaffold, The Songs (EMI CDP 7 985022) [CD] Feb. 1992 [Compilation, containing 20 EMI tracks]
  • The Very Best of The Scaffold (Wise Buy WB 885572) [CD] Feb. 1998 [Compilation, containing 12 EMI and Warner Bros tracks]
  • The Scaffold at Abbey Road, 1966–1971 (EMI 7243 496435 2 9) [CD] Aug. 1998 [Compilation containing 27 EMI tracks, including 7 previously unreleased]
  • The Very Best of The Scaffold (EMI Gold 7243 5 38474 2 5) [CD] Mar. 2002 [Compilation, containing 26 EMI and Warner Bros tracks]
  • Live at The Queen Elizabeth Hall 1968 (Él ACMEM63CD) [CD] Jan. 2006 [Reissue of the 1968 album, The Scaffold]
  • Liverpool – The Number Ones Album (EMI 50999 5 19522 2 8) [CD] Feb. 2008 [Multi-artist commemorative album, including one newly recorded track by Scaffold]

US releases

  • Thank U Very Much (Bell 6018) [LP] Sept. 1968
  • McGough and McGear (Real Gone Music RGM-0025) [CD] Feb. 2012 [Reissue of the 1968 album]

Japanese releases

  • Sold Out (Muskrat RATCD 4228) [CD] Aug 2004 [Reissue of the 1975 album]
  • Fresh Liver (Island UICY 94110) [CD] May 2009 [Reissue of the 1973 album]

Discography notes

  • The album, McGough and McGear, is by Roger McGough and Mike McGear. All other releases by The Scaffold.
  • Tracks which were first released from 1973 onward show the artist as Scaffold (rather than The Scaffold).
  • See also Mike McGear Discography.
  • See also Grimms Discography.
  • There were probably other albums released in Japan. The two above are included because they have not been released on CD in the UK.
  • There has been considerable debate as to the meaning of the place, item, person or event described in the lyric of the song Thank U Very Much as the Aintree Iron. The song-writer himself, Mike McGear, has apparently refused to divulge its identity.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 483.  
  2. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 247–248.  
  3. ^ In his 1981 book "Thank U Very Much – Mike McCartney's Family Album", Mike McGear describes a later meeting with Elton John during which John advises him he used to sing background vocals for the group when he was still using his real name, Reg Dwight.
  4. ^ What and where is the "Aintree Iron" mentioned in the song Lily The Pink by The Scaffold? at

External links

  • Scaffold; Airbrushed from history? – Independent article on the history of The Scaffold. Endorsed by the band members.
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