Rare Bird was a progressive rock band founded in 1969. They were formed in England, but had more success in other European countries than they did at home. They are mostly remembered for the haunting, organ based track "Sympathy". It sold one million copies globally.
The band's initial line-up was as below, although there would be changes by the time they came to work on their third album. The first two members listed were a constant throughout the lifetime of the band.
Steve Gould (lead vocals & bass, rhythm guitar) - born 25 March, 1950, Battersea, South London
Dave Kaffinetti (pianos & assorted keyboards) - b. 17 April 1946, Folkestone, Kent
Graham Field (organ & assorted keyboards) - b. 3 May 1946, Beaminster, West Dorset
Mark Ashton (drums & backing vocals) - b. 23 June 1949, Bridge, Kent
The history of Rare Bird began when Graham Field placed an advertisement for a pianist in a musical periodical. He got thirty replies and formed a group called 'Lunch'. He met Dave Kaffinetti in November 1968, and together they formulated the basic ideas for Rare Bird. In August 1969, they finally found the ideal rhythm section in Steve Gould and Mark Ashton. Two weeks later, they had signed management and agency contracts, and three weeks later, were in the studio recording their debut album. With Van der Graaf Generator and The Nice, they were one of the very first bands that signed to Charisma Records, the record label that Tony Stratton-Smith had founded.
Their late 1969 release "Sympathy" got to number one in Italy, sold 500,000 copies in France and over one million globally. A 1970 cover version of the track by The Family Dogg, reached number two in the Netherlands.
Later members included Fred Kelly (Nic Potter), Ced Curtis, Paul Holland, and Paul Karas on the Epic Forest album with Andy Curtis and Fred Kelly appearing on the album Somebody's Watching. The band finally split up in the mid 1970s.