THE RANDY VANWARMER STORY
BY RANDY VANWARMER
I'm from a poor little mountain town about 40 miles from Denver, Colorado. My family was fundamentalist Christian, and we spent a lot of time in church. That was my musical background. The Beatles scared us. Our preachers wife gave me a book called "Communisim,Satan,and The Beatles" Just liking pop music was a rebellion.
When I was 12, my Dad was killed in a car accident, and when I was 15 my Mum moved us all in England. Her grandfather came from Redrush in Cornwall, and she'd been reading Daphne DuMaurier. She wanted to get away, so she moved us all to Lone, Cornwall. I lived there from 1970 to 1978. I started writing songs when I was about 16, and I took them to publishing companies in London. In those days you could walk in off the street, no appointment. One of the first people I ever played anything for was Richard Williams at Island Music.
He was doing "The Old Grey Whistle Test" I asked if there was someone who would listen to my tape , and she called downstairs, and sent me in to see Richard. He sat there and listened for half an hour with headphones. I was thinking "This is amazing". He arranged for me to go and see Island Music Publishing, run by Ian Kimmet.
Ian was encouraging and I sent stuff off to him for several years. Then he was hired by Albert Grossman to start up a Bearsville Records office in London. Ian got Albert interested in me, and thats how I got on Bearsville.
Del Newman said he'd produce my first album, and he decided to do it in Nashville. We did the tracks around Christmas 1976, then bought the tape back to London to do the vocals, the strings, and overdubs. We sent it to New York, and Warner Brothers, who distributed Bearsville, rejected it. I bought a Laker Airways ticket to New York, went to see Albert, and convinced him to let me work some more on the album. They picked "Gotta Get Out Of Here" as the A-side and let me pick "Just When I Needed You Most" as the B-side. I wrote that song when I was 19.
I'd come back to Colorado to finish high school. My girlfriend came to England with me, then left, and three months later I wrote the song. The winters in Cornwall are very conducive to writing sad songs. The turning point for it as a record came when I was at Bearsville Studios in Woodstock. Paul Butterfield, who recorded for Bearsville, took me to John Sebastian's place, and John was playing "Just When I Needed You Most' on the autoharp. I loved that sound, and he came down and played it on the record.