The Welbeck Group; a History: 9.Reconciliation and New Beginning

As 2009 drew to a close, Rachel Welbeck, the Welbeck brothers’ Mother, had a plan. She would suggest to her sons that they come along to her 60th Birthday celebrations. She said that she’d really appreciate the “old” Welbeck Group getting together to play a few songs, and of course sing “Happy Birthday”.  She did a lot of contacting and phone calls, and managed to hook up with the two other members of the Group: Colin Cornell wasn’t hard to track down. He had become a successful composer or music for films scores, and had recently signed a contract to provide the music for a re-make of a film based on Christian Rosencrantz, the mysterious but influential man who gave birth to the Rosicrucian movement. The film was to be called “The Knight of the Golden Stone”. He told Rachel that he missed the buzz of playing live, and of composing and recording sons with Danny. He would definitely be at her party!

One of Colin Cornell's inspirations for the score for the planned film on the Rosicrucians

Alex “Animal” Cooper was more difficult to track down. The Group he was with had indeed opened a gig for Rammstein, but they had been bottled off stage. It wasn’t so much the music, but that the Group he was in “Virus Scum” sung in English, and talked in between the songs in English. Perhaps a few German phrases learned might have given them a better reception!

Unsurprisingly, Rick Rocket Stein wasn’t invited. His affairs had gone from bad to worse, he had bad mouthed another producer, the hugely influential Harvey Kinski, who was known to have a hugely volatile temper. Kinski and Stein had a brawl on an NBC news show, viewed by millions, and now was shunned by the music business world. He even tried to write a book on his time managing the Welbeck Group, but it was full of bizarre accusations and recollections that had little or no basis in reality. It was roundly rejected by all publishers, and when he attempted to publish it himself, Rachel Welbeck appointed a solicitor and he was threatened with all sorts of financial unpleasantness if he published it.  It never saw the light of day!

The day of Rachel Welbeck’s birthday celebrations came, and just for old time’s sake they had it in the hall above a pub where the Group had played one of their first gigs in Herne Bay. The whole afternoon and evening went brilliantly:

“It was great to see Colin and Alex again” said Robby Welbeck- “and to cap it all, Alex had been offered, and bought, my Rickenbacker that had been stolen on the Tour. I paid him back for it of course, but it was great to be reunited with it!”

The climax of the evening was the Welbeck Group’s reunion set, consisting of only two songs (but with five encores!)

“We did “Tor of Thor”, and a song from the second album “Spirits Alive”. Then as one of the encores, tried a song that Colin and I had composed earlier in the day. We both realised that this is what we wanted. It felt like coming home. It was just right for us to try again.”

Robby said

“the comeback set at Mum’s was brilliant. I realised that I wanted the Group to reform, but first I wanted to set the record straight by a musical documentary. There had been so much said about the Welbeck Group that was a distortion of the truth. It would also give me a chance to experiment with my film maker techniques, combining live footage of the Welbeck Group, interviews, images and CGI sequences- I was really up for it!

Rachel Welbeck has the last word, as it was her party-

“It was a lovely day, and I felt that the spirit of Jess Welbeck, my husband and the boys’ father, was there smiling on us all, and saying, now go on with this… A friend of my Sister’s was at the party, an impresario, but was straight as a die, and had connections into the music business. This man, Ralph Power, was even a fan of the Welbeck Group, and said he would do them proud. He did!”