Drew & Dy
An Apple Story
By Drew Dymond
The story of Drew & Dy is yet another little known episode of the Apple Records story.
The duo comprised Keith Drewett, born May 19 1947 and Peter Dymond, born August 2 1947. The two
school friends formed their partnership in 1963,:
"We were brought together by a mutual love of Elvis and Lonnie Donegan, with a zany sense of humour. We couldn't play anything but we used to try to make up songs just by mouthing the music, just singing the words to our own tunes.
"I took a few guitar lessons in 1964 from a jazz guitarist. He was far too advanced for me, of course, but I did pick up a few basic chords, which I passed on to Drew.
"In 1965 we went on the road together and spent the summer of 1965 in Torquay, Weymouth, London, Derby, Ilfracombe, Bournemouth and other places, sleeping rough, washing up now and then, and on the beach at Torquay we heard this wonderful guitar playing and a husky voice from behind some rocks. We went to investigate and there was this man sitting and playing 'San Francisco Bay Blues.' He was John Baxter Taylor and he was a mate of Donovan's and had taught him a lot of his guitar playing. He then very obligingly taught us flat picking and open chords and as we had nothing much to do all day but practice we got quite good at playing and
harmonizing together and started supplementing our income by busking.
"We came off the road and decided to try to make it in the music business, primarily as songwriters. Prior to our meeting with Paul we had had one record out of two self-penned songs on Major Minor Records. They were 'Believe Me' c/w 'Your Ma & Pa', released in April 1967.
"In May 1968 we arrived in London for an audition with a music publisher and on our way back to the station in a taxi we saw Paul McCartney in the street outside the Apple boutique in Baker Street. We stopped the taxi and ran up to Paul. We said, 'Please Mr McCartney, all the world knows you have golden ears. We don't expect you to sign us, please just listen and tell us if our songs have anything."
"He said, "Okay, calm down. Do you have a tape?"
"I think he was a little surprised, but certainly very unfazed. When we explained that we didn't have a tape, he said, "Okay, we'll have a little audition. Come on in and we'll find somewhere." There were no staff that I can remember in the boutique - and no customers. We then went in through a little side door that led directly to a staircase from the street, so we were probably round the side of the building. The clothes were surprisingly conservative. Paul was dressed in a sweater and trousers, much as he was when he did the session later.
"Paul got two people to fetch a Revox tape recorder after we had played him about six of our songs on the stairs. They came with a key and unlocked a room and set the recorder up on a table and we taped the six tunes for him. There were these other two in the room as well, but I don't remember much about them, all I could see was Paul! He smoked a cheroot, I recall. At the end of the day he said something like, "You'll be hearing from us." He then communicated by letter (which I no longer have) saying, "Dear Drew and Dy, your songs grow on all that hear them, especially 'Taurus The Bull' and 'Tales Of Frankie Rabbit', so we'll be getting together soon to do something, like record."
"The contract came by post, along with a letter from Terry Doran. We signed to Apple Records (I still have the contract) and we signed to Python Music as writers (I still have that contract, too).
"We then went to a building which was an office block. I don't know what that was, it wasn't Savile Row, we went there later. Anyhow, we went to this building in the office block and ran through the songs again with Paul. He had us write the chords down and just listened to us and made comments like, we used a lot of A minor to D7th, it's a common chord change, and I said something like 'We seem to do that in every song, we should change it a bit.' He said, 'Don't worry, it's a trademark, something for people to
recognize in your songs.' I remember he opened a cupboard to get some paper and there was a stack of silver discs on the floor of the cupboard, just piled on top of each other on the floor, perhaps thirty framed silver discs. I said, 'Why aren't you displaying those?' and he said, 'There isn't space on the walls for them, we just hang the gold ones there. We get six for every record, six silver, six gold and, if we're lucky, six platinum, so we've run out of space.'
"I often wonder whether he would have given us some if we'd asked, but of course we were going to make it anyhow, so we didn't need them!