Leo, or Gerard Sayer as he was born, is celebrating his 70th birthday this week.
His career began initially as a songwriter and, with his writing partner David Courtney, they had ther first success in 1973 with Giving It All Away, a song they wrote for The Who frontman Roger Daltrey after the frontman showed an interest in Sayer’s work. The Daltrey track was produced by 50s and 60s hitmaker Adam Faith who also became Sayer’s manager.
Sayer’s first UK hit came in December 1973 when The Show Must Go On reached number two. His second hit was One Man Band which Daltrey recorded the original of and featured Ry Cooder on acoustic guitar. Leo amassed 18 UK hits, his biggest being the 1977 chart-topper When I Need You. His last hit was in 1986 and a version of Unchained Melody which failed to reach the top 50.
During the 90s, follow a divorce and a couple of failed projects he rana into finantial difficulties and so assembed a band and began touring to rescue the situation. In the mid-ninties he moved to Sydney, Australia becoming a legal Australian citizen in 2009.
In 2006 UK remixer Craig Dimech, under the name Meck, remixed Sayer’s 1976 hit Thunder In My Heart which Sayer loved and offered to contribute new vocals. The result was a number one hit giving him a 40 year gap between chart-topping singles.
In 1974 Sayer adopted a clown attire for his live shows saying, “We chose the pierrot because he’s the sad, lonely figure who really doesn’t want to get involved in it all. He’s the face behind me. You don’t tear the mask off the clown – you tear off the mask of me and he’s the character inside. I think he’s the little sad character which lurks inside everybody.”
Let’s enjoy The Show must Go On.