Formed by vocalist and guitarist Hamish Stuart
and saxophonist Malcolm 'Molly' Duncan
with the intention of being a Scottish Detroit Spinners
, The Average White Band (a name suggested by Bonnie Bramlett
) were enjoying success with 'Pick Up The Pieces
' and their second, eponymously titled album in 1974 when drummer Robbie McIntosh
died from an accidental heroin overdose at an LA
After installing their only black member, Steve Ferrone, AWB enjoyed hits with Cut The Cake (1975), Soul Searching (1976), Person To Person (1977) Benny And Us (a collaberation with Ben E. King, 1977) Warmer Communications (1978) Feel No Fret (1979) and Shine (1980). After releasing Cupid's In Fashion (1981), AWB split, reforming minus Stuart, Duncan, and Ferrone- in 1989 for Aftershock. Stuart became a fixture of Paul McCartney's 90s band. Although they were accused of stealing ideas from black music, AWB have influenced bands like The Brand New Heavies and have been sampled by- among others- TLC, Ice Cube and Arrested Development. They last toured to promote Soul Tattoo (1997).