Glenn Cornick: not too old to rock ‘n’ roll and certainly too young to die

Written on the 11th of September 2014

This is going to be a very short post which will basically consist of simple information and not so much of my silly babbling and rambling, because I just listened most of the stuff I’ll talk about so my knowledge about it is not precisely wide. I’m very busy lately so anyway I don’t have time to write a proper post these days. Still, this may be interesting enough for some people.

Glenn Douglas Barnard Cornick was born the 23rd April, 1947, and died a few days ago, the 28th of August. First of all, he played in some minor bands, music that is nowhere to be found these days. He was best known for being the original bassist of Jethro Tull; he played in their first three albums (for more information, click here and here), plus he’s also featured on the album Living in the Past, as some of the songs there are from before he left the band.

Ian Anderson wrote in 2001 for the remastered edition of Benefit: “he had rather grown apart from the rest of us, being more of a party animal than the rest of his book-reading, early-to-bed band-mates and the time came to part company”. I’ve read from somewhere on youtube that they kicked him out of the band because he took drugs. That could be true, as Ian Anderson was always anti-drugs (apart from alcohol and cigarettes, that is). However, I have no real proof of that, so maybe Anderson’s words are an euphemism for that or they really just grew apart and decided to part ways.

After Jethro Tull, Cornick recruited some other musicians: Jon Blackmore (guitar), Graham Williams (lead guitar), John ‘Pugwash’ Weathers (drums) and Gary Pickford Hopkins (guitar, vocals). Together, they formed Glenn Cornick’s Wild Turkey, which shortened its name to Wild Turkey and also changed a couple of its members before the release of their first album.

Battle Hymn was released in 1972. I downloaded it a few days ago and I must say I’m positively surprised. Critics apparently agreed with me (ok, whatever, I agree with them), because the album reviews were good and the band played regularly in front of fairly big audiences (up to twenty thousand people) as support to Black Sabbath. It’s basically rock music, somewhat close to hard rock at times, although my favourite song by far is Dulwich Fox, which almost reminds me of Simon & Garfunkel. Lovely little tune.

After a couple of changes in the lineup, Turkey was released in 1973 but didn’t make much of an impact, so the band disbanded. I personally think it’s a pretty decent album and the band deserved better than an early death because of lack of popularity. A long time later, in the 2000s, the band reunited and recorded a couple of live albums. Ah, nostalgia. I guess they had fun doing that.

The next step in Cornick’s career was joining the German band Karthago: he only recorded one album with them, Rock ‘n’ Roll Testament. Here are a couple of songs from the album:

After that, he formed the band Paris, which recorded two albums, Paris, in 1975, and Big Towne, 2061, in 1976. The following year, the band disbanded and Cornick moved to the United States. As with Karthago and Wild Turkey, it’s not unforgettable stuff but it’s highly enjoyable.

He died in Hilo, Hawaii, on the 28th of August 2014 due to congestive heart failure. He wasn’t too old to rock ‘n’ roll and he was certainly too young to die.


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