Fire â€“Round The Gum Tree/Toothie Ruthie â€“London 45 -20048 (1968 US issue)
Real McCoy â€“Round The Gum Tree/ I Will â€“Target 7N 17704 (1969 IRL)
We are talking Bubblegum here and with a capital B! Fire were a trio from Hounslow featuring future Strawb Dave Lambert, they are more widely celebrated for their classic Psych/ Freakbeat number My Fatherâ€™s Name Was Dad (Decca). Mike was producing this later Fire session.
MB: Time was running out and their songs were not coming together, so I showed them this song that I knew we could finish before we ran out of time.
At 1 minute and 32 seconds you can see his point and itâ€™s also a very simple but catchy tune, even the backing vocals are sped up sounding like the Chipmunks on Helium.
MB: After we finished the session, I said to myself â€“What I have done here? â€“Iâ€™ll never work in this business again.
Later Mike received a phone callâ€¦ â€œHello Mike â€“Dick Rowe (head honcho at Decca at the time) here â€“I have to say that Round The Gum Tree is the most commercial song Iâ€™ve ever heard, we must release it and it will be a huge smashâ€
MB: I thought it was a prank call and I put the phone down on him, but rang back to check and it was actually him…
Fireâ€™s Round The Gum Tree wasnâ€™t the predicted smash, but Irish showband Real McCoy gave it another shot. Their version is longer with added Psych guitar effects and even a key change. Whatever version you prefer, this song sounds like a real hit, just a shame that it wasnâ€™t issued in the US as The 1910 Fruitgum Companyâ€¦
Click on title for edits of Fireâ€™s and Real Mccoyâ€™s versions of Round The Gum Tree