Speedy Keen History (and Rumours)
b. John Keen, 29 March 1945, Ealing, London, England. A former member of several struggling beat groups, Keen garnered considerable acclaim for his composition Armenia City In The Sky, which opened the Who's third album, THE WHO SELL OUT. The group's guitarist, Pete Townshend, nurtured this emergent talent and helped assemble Thunderclap Newman, which scored an international hit with Keen's portentous Something In The Air. The artist's first solo album, PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS, continued the promise of his early work, but a second selection, Y'KNOW WOT I MEAN?, although of interest, was less incisive. An affinity with malcontents resurfaced during the punk era when Keen produced several sessions for the influential Heartbreakers, since then he has kept a much lower profile.
THUNDERCLAP NEWMAN - UK pop group formed late '60s by singer/ drummer John "Speedy' Keen, ex-Post Office engineer, and jazz pianist Andy Newman. Latter had met Pete Townshend at art school; Keen had persuaded Who to record his "Armenia City In The Sky' on their Sell Out LP '67. Townshend put them together, played bass and added guitar prodigy Jimmy McCulloch (b 13 Aug. '53, Glasgow; d 27 Sep. '79, London); first single "Something In The Air" for Who's Track label was surprise no. 1 '69, perfect for post-psychedelic era, with wistful Keen vocal and sympathetic piano. TV showed them visually unlikely pop stars and live gigs failed to take off too, with Jim Avory on bass, Jimmy's older brother Jack on drums (to let Keen out in front); "Accidents' just missed top 40; Townshend prod. slice of psychedelia Hollywood Dream '70; they faded. Newman made solo Rainbow '72, still on Track with wide array of strange instruments; Keen made Previous Convictions '73 on Track, Y'Know Wot I Mean '75 on Island, both standard singer/songwriter material; McCulloch became journeyman guitarist with John Mayall, Stone The Crows, Blue, Wings, Dukes; died of suspected OD. Underrated group with unnecessarily short life.
Thunderclap Newman was originally formed as a side project by Pete Townshend of The Who in 1969. They had one album, Hollywood Dream and one hit, Something In The Air which went to #1 in the U.K. and #37 in the U.S., and then broke up in 1970. The band consisted of Andy Newman on keyboards, Jimmy McCulloch (who would later join Stone The Crows and Paul McCartney and Wings), John Keen on vocals and drums, and later on, Jim Avery on bass and Jack McCulloch on drums. Something In The Air was used as part of the soundtrack to the Ringo Starr/Peter Sellers 1970 film The Magic Christian (also included on the soundtrack were three songs by Badfinger) and The Strawberry Statement.
Something In The Air

Call out the instigators
Because there's something in the air
We've got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution's here, and you know it's right
And you know that it's right

We have got to get it together
We have got to get it together
Now

Lock up the streets and houses
Because there's something in the air
We've got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution's here, and you know it's right
And you know that it's right

We have got to get it together
We have got to get it together
Now

Hand out the arms and ammo
We're going to blast our way through here
We've got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution's here, and you know its right
And you know that it's right

We have got to get it together
We have got to get it together
Now
Two unfamiliar song titles registered at bmi to John David Percy Keen
They are:
Don't Drown The Dog To Kill The Flea
It's Not Mine
Click here>>>>>BMI<<<<<Click there
Speedy Keen In the sixties this guy was a songwriter and roadie for John Mayall among others. He was also the drummer in a pre-July outfit called The Tomcats for a spell. In 1969 he was in Thunderclap Newman and wrote their classic and timeless hit Something In The Air. After they split in 1970 he embarked on a solo career and his output in this capacity is highly-rated by those that know it. He also wrote The Who's Armenia City In The Sky.
They started out as a skiffle act from Ealing, called The Playboys and then became a R&B combo The Tomcats. John (Speedy) Keen was in them for a while. In 1966, The Tomcats went to Spain with a new line-up (the future July one). As Los Tomcats, they got in the Charts with four EPs, one of which was all in Spanish! They returned to the UK in 1968, still basing themselves in Ealing.
(from a newsgroup posting in 1994) "I've just recently discovered the music of Speedy Keen and could kick myself for overlooking his name all these years.  He first caught my eye as the drummer of the band Second Thought, a mid-60s band which included Patrick Campbell-Lyons of the British Nirvana."
http://www.therockandrollarchive.com/Speedy_Keen_1.html
http://www.therockandrollarchive.com/Speedy_Keen_2.html
http://www.therockandrollarhive.com/Speedy_Keen_3.html
The Speedy Keen Discography:
Album Reviews:
Speedy Keen Obituary: