The Birth of Squeeze

(Gibson) On this day in 1974, Chris Difford placed an advertisement in a shop window: "Lyricist seeks musician for co-writing." Glen Tillbrook answered the ad. The pair went on to form Squeeze. Gibson takes a look back:

The smoky pubs in South London were a fertile breeding ground for new, young bands in the mid-'70s. And if The Kinks put North London on the map in the '60s, then those south of the river got their turn with Squeeze, 10 years later.

Nobody had caught the flavor of working class South London like Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, writers who quickly would be hailed as the new Lennon and McCartney when the hits started making radio a much better place. Squeeze, in turn, developed into one of the U.K.'s most respected and cherished bands of the past 30 years. But if Tilbrook hadn't stopped to read a few ads in the window of his local tobacconist on this day in 1973, Squeeze may never have existed.

Tilbrook recalled that historic day to U.K. newspaper The Independent: "I wasn't going to answer the ad, but my girlfriend prodded me into it. So I called the number and this rather gruff person answered and said: 'Meet me at the Three Tuns in Blackheath village at six o'clock. I'll be carrying a copy of the Evening Standard under my arm.' I went along and there was this guy with long hair, a multi-colored lurex coat and a copy of the Evening Standard under his arm. Why he didn't just tell me about the coat, I don't know. It would probably have been a bit easier to spot."

The two prototype musicians were cut from very different cloth. Tilbrook was an easy-going hippie type with a natural flair for guitar while Difford was more blue collar in style and prepared to embellish his tobacconist ad with promises of (non-existent) imminent tours and recording contracts. more on this story

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