A ROCK musician has finally completed a musical journey which he began more than 45 years ago.

Pete Ballam has just released Manic Machine as a follow-on to the prog-rock cult classic Heavy Rock Spectacular released by Bram Stoker in 1972.

With support from The Who’s Roger Daltrey and backing from Rolling Stones manager Tony Calder, the group looked perfectly placed to hit the big time with their mix of psychedelic, gothic-tinged rock.

Springing from the fertile prog hotbed of Dorset, which helped spawn the likes of Robert Fripp and King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, they were quickly signed up alongside bands such as Genesis and Wishbone Ash and found themselves sharing stages with the likes of Yes and Queen.

Unfortunately, their success was scuppered by band politics, and the group didn’t survive beyond its original release.

And there the story might have ended if their debut had not gone on to be something of cult classic amongst a genre of rock fans.

Now guitarist Peter – who owns one of the first Fender Jazz Basses in the UK – has finally recorded the original Bram Stoker songs he never got down on tape – plus new ones he penned when a resurrection of the original line-up looked possible in 2004 but never happened.

“I just got fed up waiting for it to happen,” says Peter, who is releasing the Manic Machine album under his own name and ‘from the Archives of Bram Stoker’.

Now aged 74, Pete admits making the album has been a bit scary at times, but it’s rekindled a desire to record more from the Bram Stoker archives.

Far from being the closing chapter to what he began in 1972, the bassist says he is already working on a follow-up – as he has no intention of making fans wait another 45 years to hear the next part of the story. See bramstokerarchives.com for more information.