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The Long and Winding Road: The Music of Mark Ferrick and Thirteen

In November of 1976, my boyfriend, Mark Ferrick, (who was the love of my young life) left our hometown (the North Shore of Chicago), for London, to pursue a music career/record deal. For the next six years we were in and out of each others lives, from Chicago to London and back and forth again, until we both eventually ended up living (separately) in Los Angeles.

Mark never did secure a record deal in London, for himself or his band Thirteen, but in January of 1979, Mark, Guitarist Ian Mckean and Bassist Nigel Harding, went into the Studio and recorded four songs (2 A’s and 2 B’s), which were produced by Phil Cordell. The songs Your Love is Hot b/w Stoned Cold Sober received a catalog number, but weren’t released. Later that year, the songs Girls Aren’t the Same b/w Teddy Boy were released as a 7″ single on EMG Records. This was a very limited release as it was only available for sale in three European countries, through different distributors.

I haven’t written a blog post about the story of our relationship yet (because it went through a few manifestations and covered so many years) but I have had several of Mark’s songs on my YouTube Channel, for the past two years, waiting to be linked to my future blog posts.

A couple of months ago, a record company out of New York City (who were already fans of Thirteen’s long lost 7″ single), found Mark’s music on my YouTube Channel and they emailed asking if I could put them in touch with Mark and/or the band members of Thirteen, because they were interested in re-releasing the single.

I told the record company (Sing Sing Records) that unfortunately, two of the members (Mark and his younger brother Jimmy) had passed away in 1991 and 1978, respectively, and at that time, I wasn’t in contact with any of the other band members. I was in contact with Mark’s family, so I was able to get Sing Sing Records in touch with Mark’s siblings.

Thirteen - Regents Park - July 1979

Thirteen – July 1979 – Regents Park, London
F to B: Mark Ferrick, Nigel Harding, Ian Mckean, Jimmy Hyatt

Since then, permission has been granted, and Mark’s music will now finally be released to a worldwide audience.

It is a little mind blowing to have been with Mark, at the start of his journey, back in 1976, and even though he didn’t reach his dream back then, now, in 2013, due to the web, and YouTube, and fans of late 70’s music, his dream is actually coming to fruition, more than 37 years later.

I helped Mark as much as I could in the past and I’m glad I could do my small part now, to make this happen.

Coming soon: While my blog posts are about my personal experiences and are cathartic because they let me work through the demons of my old relationships, I also still have all the letters that Mark wrote me over the years, that I want to share with his family and friends. The letters detail some of the frustration he dealt with, while living in London, and also show some of the success that he had. And even though we all knew of Mark’s driving ambition to pursue his music, I even have a few (very rare), poignant letters, where he second guesses his decision to be living in London, because he realizes that he does miss the family and friends and loved ones, that he left behind in the States.

Besides my memory and Mark’s letters, the greatest source of information for my upcoming blog posts are the daily diaries I kept for all those years, which have pages and pages of stories, that start from the summer that Mark and I first met and included the two summers that I spent with him in London, while he was trying to make his music happen.

Of course I don’t pretend to have the “whole” story of what happened with Mark and his music career, but I do have our love story to tell, which started just minutes, before all this began.

PS – Thanks to Ian Mckean for the detailed recording info for this blog post.

I still have to add the A side to my YouTube Channel, but here is a link to the song Teddy Boy, by Thirteen.


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