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John Otway

John Otway was born on 02/10/1952 in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
In 1972, Otway released his first single the song "Gypsy" backed by "Misty Mountain".
In 1976, Otway released his debut album called "John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett". It was produced by Pete Townshend. Barrett and Otway would perform live as a duo.
In 1977, Otway would shoot to fame, when he performed on the TV show "The Old Grey Whistle Test". In his performance, Otway jumped on to a PA tower and fell over bringing down the speaker stack. In the same year, his single "Really Free" reached number 27 on the UK chart. Polydor Records signed Otway on to a five album deal on the back of the single's success.
In 1979, Otway would try an imaginative promotion which included an offer for Otway to play a house gig for anyone who had one of the three copies of his single "Frightened and Scared" which did not have vocals on it. The single would not chart.
In 1980, Otway and Barrett reached number 45 on the UK charts with "DK 50-80", the nearest Otway had to another single up till that point.
Despite the lack of chart success, Otway would develop a loyal cult following partially due to his energetic live performances. On one song called "Headbutts", Barrett would launch Otway towards a microphone to headbutt it.
In the mid-1980s, Otway would often appear on Vivian and Ki Longfellow-Stanshall's showboat the Old Profanity Showboat in Bristol.
In 1990, Otway released his autobiography called "Cor Baby, That's Really Me". The book was filled with self-deprecating humour which poked fun at his failure to get another hit single.
In the 1990s, Otway toured with Attila the Stockbroker on the "Headbutts and Halibuts" tour. He would also write a surreal rock opera with Attila the Stockbroker called "Cheryl".
In 1992, Otway appeared at Guilfest.
In 1993, Otway drew 2,500 fans to a London gig.
In 1998, he performed at the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate his birthday. It was attended by 4000 fans. He released the album "Premature Adulation" at the same time.
In 1999, Otway's fans voted for him in a BBC poll for the greatest lyric of all time. The campaign managed to get his song "Beware of the Flowers Cause I'm Sure They're Going to Get You Yeah" to number 7.
In 2002, Otway was asked what he wanted for his 50th birthday and answered that he wanted a second hit. After a poll, the song "Bunsen Burner" was selected. It was released in three different versions to encourage fans to buy more than one copy. The song reached number 9 on the UK chart giving Otway a second hit. For one of the B-sides, a cover of the song "The House of the Rising Sun" was recorded at Abbey Road Studios with 900 of his fans on backing vocals. After the second hit, Otway released his "Greatest Hits" album now that he was able to use the plural.
In 2006, Otway was going to go on a world tour. He was planning to hire his own jet and take 300 of his fans. The tour had 150 fans sign up but was cancelled as the costs of the plane increased.
In 2009, Otway and Wild Willy Barrett reunited for a UK tour.
In 2010, the sequel autobiography "I Did It Otway" was published.
In 2011, Otway and Barrett recorded the album "40-Odd Years of Otway and Barett". The album featured new recordings of old songs and a new song called "The Snowflake Effect". Otway toured as a solo act, as well as a duo with Richard Holgarth and also with a Big Band. The band includes Murray Torkildsen, Seymour, Adam Batterbee and Barry Upton.
In 2012, Otway celebrating his 60th birthday by screening the film documentary of his life called "Rock and Roll's Greatest Failure: Otway the Movie". The final scenes of the movie were filmed from the red carpet on the morning of the film. The film was fan-funded who were credited as producers.
In 2013, the documentary film was taken to the Cannes Film Festival. At the red carpet, Otway and 100 of his fans travelled to the Promenade de la Croisette and wore masks of Otway, as well as Otway's traditional outfit of black jeans and a white shirt. In June, the film had its theatrical release at Glastonbury Festival.
In 2014, Otway released the EP "A John Otway Chistma5". The lead song "OK Father Christmas" used a lyric based on the song "DK 50/80".
In 2017, Otway released the album and DVD "Montserrat" which was recorded at Olveston House, Montserrat (Sir George Martin's House) the previous year. It was funded by an online fan funding campaign.

The Music History Calendar is written by the Blues Rock artist Marshland Pete
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