How a Beach Boys fan’s big dream came true – thanks to Gidea Park
- Credit: Adrian Baker
After a successful career spanning more than four decades, a chart-topping guitarist has recalled how it feels to perform in front of audiences around the world.
Adrian Baker, who was born in Romford, had his taste of solo success with number 10 hit Sherry back in 1975.
Spurred on by his early solo success, Adrian went on to produce songs under the guise of Liquid Gold, including the number two smash hit Dance Yourself Dizzy which sold 500,000 copies in the UK
But it was after forming the Beach Boys-inspired band Gidea Park with his brother Ian and other musicians in the area that he found real success.
Since then he has recorded and produced a plethora of hit songs and been part of worldwide tours – including with the Beach Boys themselves.
Chart-topping success has become familiar for Adrian throughout his career, but it’s a feeling that doesn’t get old. “Every time I have woken up in the morning to hear my record had climbed up in the charts, the feeling has been incredible.
“To me it’s almost like winning the lottery, and not just once.”
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After Gidea Park found success with their singles Beach Boy Gold, Seasons Of Gold and California Gold in 1982, Adrian was invited to join the real Beach Boys on tour in the United States, initially as a replacement for Carl Wilson who had left for a short-lived solo career.
Upon Carl’s return the following year, Adrian stayed with the band as singer, guitarist and studio maestro.
And Gidea Park’s own version of California Girls can be heard at the beginning of the James Bond movie A View to a Kill, Roger Moore’s final film in the role.
The dad of three still keeps in touch with original band members, although two have since died.
He regards some of the band members as the “greatest friends” he has made.
Since being asked to join the Beach Boys, Adrian has toured with them on three different occasions, playing thousands of concerts over more than a decade.
He left about 12 years ago, but the 65-year-old continues to perform, having joined a California beach party band called Papa Doo Run Run.
“It was quite a relief to join the band because I was completely burned out with travel and being away from home for two thirds of the year with The Beach Boys,” Adrian said. “I now have a sensible touring schedule which gives me time to be at home.”
Despite his success, Adrian said the secret behind a chart-topping song would remain a mystery for every recording artist.
He said: “If there was a definition and secret as to writing and recording a successful song, every musician would be a millionaire!
“In my opinion, there are many different aspects to writing and recording a song.
“Do not force or try to write a hit song – the best hit songs are written from the heart and just seem to come to mind out of the blue.”
Although he still enjoys the thrill of performing live to audiences around the US, Adrian’s main passion is recording songs.
“I do enjoy playing live but my true passion is recording in my studio,” he said.
“My aim now is to produce and put together a CD set of my past endeavours in music with a discography that will archive all of my hit records and favourite album tracks.”