Our Story

Formed at Frodsham High School in 1985 as part of a school music project, we originally decided on the name ‘Compass Point’ after the famous, and much desired in the mid 1980’s, Caribbean recording studio. It sounded exotic and we had designs on being as big as Duran Duran!

Compass Point lasted all of an afternoon, although this did entail us playing TWO gigs due to the fact that the entire school couldn’t fit in the assembly hall all at once!

After this brief flirtation with local ‘fame’, in 1986 we became a four piece and changed our name to ‘Money Can’t Buy….’. The line up of Jon Clark (bass/vocals), Ste Bate (guitar), Chris Burton (drums) and Dave Ryder (keyboards) was the start of the sort of friendship that holds a special meaning at a special time in your life and the four of us set about world domination… We got off to a pretty good start too, with the support act for our first gig being fellow Frodsham pupil and resident, Gary Barlow, who at the age of 15 already had his own dreams firmly locked and loaded.

‘Gaz’ approached us after the gig, saying how he loved the fact we opened with our own song, but suggesting that we should do some cover versions instead of all our own material. What did he know! (if only we knew!)

In 1987 we recorded a 4 track EP at Pentagon Studios in Cheshire and, through the fortuitous fact that a friend’s uncle was Johnny Beerling (then the controller of Radio 1), the tape was put into the hands of the man himself… we dreamt of the future, of Top of the Pops appearances, of recording at ‘Compass Point’! We were invincible…we waited for ‘Uncle Johnny’s’ reply!

The rejection letter was very short, but encouraging!

The EP was also sent out to Chris’ extended family in the USA and, despite some late night (early hours!) airplay on local radio in Indiana, the American market remained elusive! So, with school life drawing to a close and work & university calling, we decided to call it a day and start our separate life journeys…

In 2006, the shocking news came that Jon had sadly passed away from cancer. Jon had been a strong, creative influence in life, but would become an even stronger inspiration to us in the future…

‘The End We Start From’

Fast forward to 2015 and Ste & Dave, by some strange twist of fate, find their paths crossing once again. It had been the best part of 30 years since they had last met…but it felt like yesterday. A further meeting, this time with Chris, was hastily arranged. The night we all met up for the first time in decades was an evening full of stories, nostalgia, memories of Jon, belly laughs and beers! Suggestions to play together again, like the beer, quickly flowed.

Once sober, a reunion still actually seemed like a good idea and so instruments were dusted off and Monday nights quickly became our special music nights, our escape from reality!

Things quickly fell back into place. The friendship, the sixth form humour and the music were all still there and the mission was set to write and record some new songs…

Investment was made in some new equipment and we set up our home recording studio. After a while we had the songs, but needed a band name. As everything finally turned full circle, it was really important to us that we came up with a name which gave a tip of the hat to our dear old friend and inspiration…

…So, as ‘Tall Blonde Man’, we are excited, proud and humble to now be able to share our NEW music with you! Our debut EP, ‘The End We Start From’, was released in May 2020, closely followed by the singles, ‘The Long Goodbye’ and ‘Dear Mother’, with all of our tracks being available on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, SoundCloud and Deezer…

(click on the web links below to listen)