Alias Jonathan Gray
Links www.quireboys.com (English)
Spike (born as Jonathan Gray in Newcastle upon Tyne) sometimes also known as Spike Gray, is an English rock frontman, songwriter and vocalist most famous for his times with The Quireboys with whom he has released seven studio albums to date.
Gray grew up in Northern England, but at age 17, he moved down to London where, eventually, he would form the band The Quireboys with Guy Bailey in 1984. After various tours and singles, Spike with the Quireboys released their debut album "A Bit of What You Fancy", which went to #2 on the UK Albums Chart. The band gained significant success, but their second album "Bitter Sweet & Twisted" did not quite have the impact of the first.
After the Quireboys split up in 1993, he played in Los Angeles with a band called God's Hotel. He also sang lead vocals on a cover of Hank Williams's country classic, "Hey Good Lookin' " with C.C. DeVille from Poison for the soundtrack of the Pauly Shore movie Son in Law. Spike decided to record in other projects; the first was in 1994 with Darrell Bath of the Dogs D'Amour. The recording, called "Take Out Some Insurance", was an album of covers, featuring songs from old blues artists, and was released under the name Spike an' Darrell.
Soon after, Spike moved back to Newcastle and, in 1996, he recorded with another members of the Dogs D'Amour — this time it was frontman Tyla, with whom he recorded an album entitled "Flagrantly Yours", under the name Spike and Tyla's Hot Knives. In 1998, Spike recorded his first solo album "Blue Eyed Soul".
The Quireboys reformed in 2001 with a new line-up and have released three new albums since that time. Spike's second solo studio album, "It's a Treat to Be Alive", was released in 2005, followed by "So Called Friends" in 2008.
Spike was involved in a fracas with guitarist Michael Schenker in November 2000. This happened after a UFO show at Newcastle City Hall. Schenker later admitted he caused the brawl, and refused to blame Spike. The Quireboys have since played on the same bill as MSG, Schenker's group.
In 2007, Spike became part of Damage Control, a British supergroup formed by guitarist Robin George and UFO bassist Pete Way, along with former AC/DC drummer Chris Slade. They released a self-titled album on Cargo records which was generally well-received.
Over the years, Spike has also provided vocals for a number of songs on various US rock tribute albums, specifically: 'Don't Cry' on the tribute album to Guns N' Roses called 'Uncivil War', a cover of the Styx song 'Lady' on 'A Tribute To Styx', 'Need You Bad' on 'The World's Greatest Tribute To Ted Nugent', and the Bon Jovi ballad 'Living in Sin' on a tribute album called 'Covered Dead Or Alive'. Perhaps most bizarrely, Spike also collaborated with the US electronica artist David Madden (also sometimes known as DJ Webern and Nonnon) on a version of the song 'Rock Forever' for 'An Industrial Tribute to Judas Priest'.
Spike is known to have contributed backing vocals on the following recordings: the 'Gang Bang' EP by the Gangbang Band (also featuring members of Hanoi Rocks and The Babysitters, in a 1987 live session), the 'Company Of Wolves' album by the band of the same name (1990), 'Night of the Cadillacs' on the 'Cuts' EP by L.A. Guns (1992), the 'Rock & A Hard Place' album by Handsome Beasts (2007), and the 'Cookin' ' EP by The Diamond Dogs (2009).
This discography documents the studio albums Spike has been a part of in various projects, throughout his musical career.
- A Bit of What You Fancy - (1990) UK #2
- Bitter Sweet & Twisted - (1993) UK #31
- This Is Rock'N'Roll - (2001)
- Well Oiled - (2004)
- Homewreckers & Heartbreakers - (2008)
- Halfpenny Dancer - (2009)
- Halfpenny Dancer Live - (2010)
- Live In Glasgow - (2011)
- Beautiful Curse - (2013)
- God's Hotel - (1997)
Spike an' Darrell
- Take Out Some Insurance - (1995)
Spike and Tyla's Hot Knives
- Flagrantly Yours - (1996)
- Flagrantly Electrically Acoustically Yours - (2005)
- Damage Control - (2007)
- Blue Eyed Soul - (1998)
- It's a Treat to Be Alive - (2005)
- So-Called Friends - (2008)