Robert Ellis

When I was a member of the Gems vocal and harmony group, we practised regularly in the Blackie building. We were fortunate enough to invite the William Leyland Agency, from Wigan, to audition us at the Blackie. They agreed and were suitably impressed with our performance. We signed a contract and the Germs were on the road.
The Black-E continued to help with musical equipment for many years. After leaving the “Gems” I formed the “Monsoon Wind Band” with Junior Spencer, John Savage, Leon Lewis, George Osu, Ray and Ronnie. It was the only black band in Liverpool at the time. I felt that I was a part of the Blackie activities.
I always recall when my two daughters came to visit the city after many years working away. I took them to the “Last Poets workshops” held at the Blackie it was an experience they will never forget and that they still talk about today. The workshops gave them a whole new perspective on life.
Going to the Pink Studio in Aigburth and recording my song “God loves all the children” and then hearing it on Radio Merseyside. This was something I had always strived for musically. I was also performing acoustically and writing songs. I knew that I wanted to produce an album so my work environment was always around artistic people.
I acquired a record deal with Westside Records Street Sounds in London. I got a lot of enjoyment in the music industry despite the harsh realities, which can be damaging. Other artists on the label included Apache Indian and Dina Carol. This was a magical experience that would help in my future career.
Finally my successful collaboration with the late Roger Christian, of the legendary Christians, is a highlight of my career. We arranged and produced an album together called “Better Friends”. It included such songs as “Don’t Cry for the World”, “Mama Don’t Like it” and “See Her”. Roger was a major loss to the music industry.