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Jim Cregan (born James Cregan, 9 March 1946, Yeovil, Somerset, England) is an English rock guitarist and bassist who has played with Family, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, and Rod Stewart. He was with Stewart from 1977 to 1995. Although Family, Harley`s Cockney Rebel group, and Stewart are his most famous associations, Cregan has played with numerous bands and solo artists. He is the ex-husband of the singer Linda Lewis.
Cregan first joined with future Traffic frontman Dave Mason, in Julian Covay and the Machine in 1967. Shortly thereafter, Cregan joined a hippie-rock band called the Blossom Toes. But while their debut album, We Are Ever So Clean, was regarded as a flower power record, their second LP, If Only for a Moment (1969), went more in a heavy metal direction. Cregan sang many lead vocals and played guitar for the band, often in twin leads, which became a Blossom Toes trademark.
After working on the 1971 self-titled album from Julie Driscoll, Cregan joined Stud, a humorously misnomered band that was more folk than heavy rock. The group began as a trio featuring Cregan and the bassist and drummer from the original line-up of Rory Gallagher`s band, Taste, and soon they were joined by former Family bassist John Weider. Stud broke up after recording two albums with Weider on board; they were only released in Germany, where Stud had their largest audience.
Cregan joined Family in September 1972, replacing John Wetton on bass guitar. Cregan had never played bass before, but as a rhythm guitarist, adapted to the bass. Equally, he has not played bass since Family broke up. Right after Cregan joined Family, the band toured North America as the warm-up act for Elton John in the autumn of 1972. In 1973, Family would record two singles and an album, It`s Only a Movie, which would be their last. Family leaders Roger Chapman and Charlie Whitney felt the group had run its course, and a final tour of the United Kingdom that autumn brought the group to an end. Cregan would briefly reunite with Chapman and Whitney by contributing to the first album of their new group, Streetwalkers, and he would rejoin Chapman for a few concerts in the early 2000s.
Cregan had already undertaken a few projects by the time Family broke up. He mostly worked with his girlfriend, British soul singer Linda Lewis, whom he was later married to. Cregan appears on four of her albums, including Not A Little Girl Anymore (1975). That album gave Cregan the opportunity to work with the Tower of Power horn section
Cregan got a more permanent gig when British glam rocker Steve Harley`s Cockney Rebel backing group resigned en masse on him, forcing Harley to form a new Cockney Rebel; Cregan was enlisted as a guitarist. Ironically, after suffering what must have seemed a fatal blow to his career, Harley and his new Cockney Rebel group recorded a single that would become Harley`s biggest hit. "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)", recorded at the Abbey Road Studios, topped the UK Singles Chart in 1975. Cregan`s guitar solo was originally done as a sound check but was recorded and used on the record.
Cregan did not stay with Harley for long. In 1977, he joined Rod Stewart`s backing group and became Stewart`s right-hand man as a bandleader, co-producer and co-writer.
Cregan co-wrote many of Stewart`s hits from the late 1970s and 1980s, including "Passion" and "Tonight I`m Yours (Don`t Hurt Me)", winning an award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for outstanding songwriting for each. Cregan`s own reputation was compromised, when Stewart released his single "Forever Young" (1988). The song shared much of its melody line and many of its lyrics with the 1974 Bob Dylan song of the same name, yet the song`s authorship was co-credited to Stewart, Cregan, and fellow band member Kevin Savigar. Cregan was thus involved in a potential plagiarism case, but no such suit was ever filed. ASCAP seemed unconcerned as well, for Cregan picked up a third ASCAP "outstanding songwriting" award for his efforts in co-writing the song.
Cregan stayed with Stewart until 1995; during the early 1990s. Cregan quit after eighteen years, and he soon formed Farm Dogs with Elton John`s lyricist Bernie Taupin, which released two albums. He joined Katie Melua`s backing band, and is credited with guitar playing on her Piece by Piece album.
Cregan married Hollywood, California fashion figure Jane Booke, and they and their daughter lived in Los Angeles for many years. Recently, though, Cregan has spent more time in London. On Steve Harley`s BBC Radio 2 show in January 2004, he explained that he had grown tired of Los Angeles culture.
He recently reunited with former Family vocalist Roger Chapman, first for several shows with Chapman and more recently to produce Chapman`s solo album One More Time For Peace, which was released in the United Kingdom in April 2007. Cregan`s music is published through Fairwood Music (UK) Ltd.
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