Alex Harvey was born on the 5th February 1935 in Kinning Park Glasgow.
Alex started out his working life doing many things from fruit porter to being a carpenter also a waiter in a restaurant and carving tombstones but the music was in his blood and he started performing in skiffle (folk music, blues and jazz) groups in 1954.
On Friday 20th May 1960 at Alloa town hall Alex and his Big Beat Band opened the evening for Johnny Gentle and his group. His Group so happened to be The Silver Beatles (John, Paul, George, Stuart Sutcliffe and Tommy Moore), This was the opening night and biggest audience of The Beatles seven day tour of Scotland with Gentle.
After leaving the Big Band Alex attempted to make it as a solo artist but with little success, In 1967 he became a member of the Pit band in the London stage musical of Hair. The band recorded a live album Hair rave up which contained a few of Harvey’s own originals.
Harvey was also instrumental in the formation of the band called Stone the crows, he introduced his younger brother Leslie “Les” Harvey to Maggie Bell. Les was electrocuted 2 years later when he touched a microphone that wasn’t earthed while performing with the band.
In August 1972 The Sensational Alex Harvey Band were formed. Alex was joined by Zal Cleminson, Chris Glen, and cousins Hugh and Ted McKenna all previous members of Tear Gas a (Progressive Rock Band), all members of the band had their own distinct stage costumes Alex with his trademark striped shirt.
On their 3rd live album aptly named “Live Album” the band recorded a cover version of the Tom Jones hit “Delilah”, the track would eventually reach Number 7 in the UK chart in 1975, The following year in 1976 they would release the studio album SAHB Stories this album would feature the single The Boston Tea Party, The Song Anthem would be a top 30 hit in Australia.
The band could have been huge but according to reports they burned out after they crammed eight albums and countless tours into a five year period. It is said that they were the inspiration for bands like AC/DC and The Sex Pistols.
Alex left the group late 1976 but re-joined for their 7th album Rock Drill, Alex toured the UK in the Autumn of 1981 before leaving the band for good.
After he left the band Alex released two more solo albums named The Mafia Stole My Guitar and Soldier on the wall, he went on tour with his solo band from 1979.
On the way home while waiting on a ferry in Zeebrugge, Belgium, Harvey collapsed and died of heart failure, a day before his 47th birthday.
Alex Harvey was a Master Mason Lodge Union No.332
Initiated 22nd June 1955, Passed 24th August 1955, Raised 16th November 1955