Paddy, Klaus & Gibson were a trio with connections, direct and indirect, to the Beatles long before they ever got together--and it is mostly because of those connections that the group is remembered. A distant offshoot of King Size Taylor and the Dominoes, they'd started out as a Liverpool-based quartet called the Eyes, who developed a following in Hamburg. Lead singer/guitarist Paddy Chambers, bassist Klaus Voormann, and drummerGibson Kemp, became Paddy, Klaus and Gibson when Eyes guitarist-singer John Frankland and saxman John Phillips exited that group's line-up on their return to Liverpool. Gibson Kemp had previously been a drummer in Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, occupying a position that Ringo Starr had filled before being asked to join the Beatles. Klaus Voormann had started the 1960's as a successful young designer, who was a friend of the Beatles during their Hamburg period (and whose girlfriend had been engaged to ex-Beatle Stu Sutcliff, and later to Gibson Kemp, and had turned to playing bass in 1964; he'd proved proficient enough at it to rate a place with a trio, where there was no hiding any deficiencies.

Once back in the port city, the trio became the first group ever managed by Tony Stratton-Smith, a former sports journalist turned talent manager and the future founder of Charisma Records (and the future manager of the Nice and Genesis). They were unusual as a trio in a period dominated by four- and five-piece bands, and Stratton-Smith got them booked into the Pickwick, an upscale nightclub where they were seen by the Beatles. Paul McCartney took a hand in producing one of the three singles they released through Pye Records, which signed them in 1965. The Beatles also persuaded Brian Epstein to acquire them for his stable artists, and Epstein duly bought out their contract from Stratton-Smith.

Unfortunately, by that time, Epstein wasn't at this most effective as a manager, and few of his clients from that period other than the Beatles fared very well. The trio was history by May of 1966. Before that, however, Voormann had designed the cover for the Beatles' Revolver album, thus ensuring him a place in the history of that band. Voormann and Kemp also knew Epstein socially, and were known to have joined the Beatles manager, dropping acid and experimented with various recreational drugs during the period around 1966. Voormann subsequently moved on to play bass in Manfred Mann, succeeding Jack Bruce in the latter spot, and also briefly passed through a couple of Hollies recording sessions. He didn't become truly well known outside of English music circles, however, until 1969, when he became the bassist with John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi