Ernie Graham came into the Stiff fold in 1978, six years after releasing his critically acclaimed and now rather sought-after eponymous solo album which drew comparisons with Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Bob Dylan and The Band. But his connection with Dave Robinson went much further back. He’d been his manager during his time as lead singer for Irish psychedelic band Eire Apparent, which he’d formed in the 60s with Henry McCullough. Eire Apparent toured with the psych-greats of the day: Pink Floyd, The Move, Soft Machine and in 1967, Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix returned the favour when he guested on their 1969 album Sunrise.
But then McCullough moved on, his career later including Wings (he delivers the guitar solo on My Love), George Harrison’s Dark Horse label and legendary utterances on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon. Ernie went on to join other bands under the management of the pre-Stiff Dave Robinson – Brinsley Schwarz and Help Yourself. And, working solo, he assembled a back-up band that included Stiff stalwarts like Ian Gomm, Nick Lowe and members of the Brinsleys. On Stiff, Ernie’s cover of the Thin Lizzy song Romeo And The Lonely Girl (OFF 2) was produced by Pink Fairy Larry Wallis, featured sax from the Blockhead’s Davey Payne, and was backed by his own composition Only Time Will Tell. Ernie passed away in 2001, leaving Romeo as the last record he ever released.