Stretch were a 1970s British rock band that grew from the collaboration between Elmer Gantry (real name Dave Terry) and Kirby (real name Graham Gregory). Gantry was previously the frontman of Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera. Kirby was previously a member of Curved Air.
The band was put together in 1974 with help from Fleetwood Mac manager Clifford Davis and drummer Mick Fleetwood, to perform as Fleetwood Mac on a US tour because the existing Fleetwood Mac were not in a position to fulfil outstanding contractual obligations. However, Fleetwood did not join the tour as planned, and later denied any knowledge or involvement, and partway through the tour it became obvious to audiences that there was no original member of Fleetwood Mac in the band, and the tour collapsed. Bass player Paul Martinez claimed, "Mick Fleetwood pulled out at the last minute claiming not to know who we were!"
Stretch rose from the ashes of this debacle, and soon had a No. 16 hit single in November 1975 with "Why Did You Do It?", the lyric of which was a direct attack on Mick Fleetwood for his failure to join the band on the ill-fated Fleetwood Mac tour. They followed this up with an album, titled Elastique. During the recording of this album, bass player Paul Martinez was sacked, and drummer Jim Russell left before the recording of the second album You Can't Beat Your Brain for Entertainment due to musical differences. He was replaced by future Status Quo drummer Jeff Rich. Two more albums were made, but Gantry left before the last album, Forget the Past. Another blow came in 1979 when manager Davis decided to withdraw his financial input, and the band eventually split up.
In 1999 Italian DJ Gigi D'Agostino used distorted vocal samples from the first line of the song "Why Did You Do It?", in order to produce his own track Bla Bla Bla. The samples were deliberately used in a way that made the vocals make no sense.
Stretch reformed in 2007 to coincide with a "Greatest Hits" collection, and toured in support of the Jeff Healey Band.
In 2011 Stretch released their new album Unfinished Business, an 11 track recording including original songs, covers and a new version of "Why Did You Do It?"
In 2012, German producer Ferry Ultra recorded a version of "Why Did You Do It?" featuring Canadian vocalist Ashley Slater for the album "Ferry Ultra and the Homeless Funkers".
Elmer Gantry (Dave Terry) - vocals, guitar (1974-78, 2007-),
Kirby (Graham Gregory) - guitar, vocals (1974-79, 2007-),
Hiroshi Kato - guitar (1974),
Paul Martinez - bass guitar (1974-75),
Dave Evans - bass guitar (1975-76),
Steve Emery - bass guitar (1976-79),
Jim Scadding - bass guitar (2007-),
Craig Collinge - drums (1974),
Jim Russell - drums (1974-76),
Jeff Rich - drums (1976-78, 2007-09),
Nicko McBrain - drums (1978-79),
Justin Hildreth - drums (2009-),
John Wilkinson - keyboards (1974),
John Cook - keyboards (1975),
* The band that toured as Fleetwood Mac consisted of Gantry, Kirby, Martinez, Wilkinson and Collinge. The absence of a female member also contributed to audiences realising that this was not the authentic group, since Fleetwood Mac featured Christine McVie on keyboards.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license