Spike (musician)

Last updated

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Background information
Birth nameJonathan Gray
Also known asSpike Gray
Born (1968-02-04) 4 February 1968 (age 51)
Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England, United Kingdom
Origin Haltwhistle, Northumberland, England, United Kingdom
Genres Hard rock, blues rock, glam metal, glam punk
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, harmonica, guitar
Years activeSince 1984
LabelsVarious[ clarification needed ]
Associated acts The Quireboys
Damage Control

Jonathan Gray (born 4 February 1968), known professionally as Spike (sometimes also known as Spike Gray), is an English rock singer and songwriter, known for his times with The Quireboys with whom he has released 12 studio albums to date.



Gray was born in Newcastle upon Tyne and grew up in Northern England. At age 17, he moved down to London where, eventually, he would form the rock band The Quireboys with Guy Bailey in 1984. [1] After various tours and singles, Spike with The Quireboys released their debut album A Bit of What You Fancy (1990), which went to number two on the UK Albums Chart. The band gained significant success, but their second album Bitter Sweet & Twisted (1993) did not quite have the impact of the first.

After The Quireboys split up in 1993, he played in the United States, in Los Angeles, California, with a band called God's Hotel. He also sang lead vocals on a cover of Hank Williams's country classic "Hey Good Lookin'", with C.C. DeVille from the American glam-metal band Poison, for the soundtrack of the comedy film Son in Law (1993) that starred Pauly Shore.

Spike decided to record in other projects; the first was in 1994 with Darrell Bath of the English rock and roll band The Dogs D'Amour. The recording, Take Out Some Insurance, was an album of covers, featuring songs from old blues artists, and was released under the artist name Spike an' Darrell. [2]

Soon after, Spike moved back to Newcastle and, in 1996, he recorded with another member of The Dogs D'Amour  this time it was frontman Tyla, with whom he recorded the album Flagrantly Yours, under the artist name Spike and Tyla's Hot Knives.

In 1998, Spike recorded his first solo album Blue Eyed Soul.

The Quireboys reformed in 2001 with a new line-up and have released six new albums since that time.

Spike's second solo studio album, It's a Treat to Be Alive, was released in 2005, followed by So Called Friends in 2008.

Spike was involved in a fracas with German rock guitarist Michael Schenker in November 2000. This happened after a show at the Newcastle City Hall by the English heavy-metal and hard-rock band UFO. Schenker later admitted he caused the brawl, and refused to blame Spike. The Quireboys have since played on the same bill as the hard-rock band Michael Schenker Group.

In 2007, Spike became part of Damage Control, a British supergroup formed by guitarist Robin George, UFO bassist Pete Way and Chris Slade, former drummer with the Australian hard-rock band AC/DC. The group released a self-titled album on Cargo Records which was generally well received.

Over the years, Spike has also provided vocals for a number of songs on various American rock tribute albums, specifically: the power ballad "Don't Cry" on Uncivil War, a tribute album to the hard-rock band Guns N' Roses; a cover of the rock band Styx's song "Lady" on the album A Tribute to Styx; rock musician Ted Nugent's "Need You Bad" on the album The World's Greatest Tribute to Ted Nugent; and the rock band Bon Jovi's ballad "Living in Sin" on the album Covered Dead or Alive. Spike also collaborated with the American electronica artist David Madden (also sometimes known as DJ Webern and Nonnon) on a version of the English heavy-metal band Judas Priest's song "Rock Forever" for An Industrial Tribute to Judas Priest.

Spike is known to have contributed backing vocals on the following recordings:


This discography documents the studio albums Spike has been a part of in various projects, throughout his musical career.

The Quireboys

God's Hotel

Spike an' Darrell

  • 1995 Take Out Some Insurance

Spike and Tyla's Hot Knives

  • 1996 Flagrantly Yours
  • 2005 Flagrantly Electrically Acoustically Yours
  • 2016 The Sinister Indecisions of Frankie Gray and Jimmy Pallas

Damage Control

  • 2007 Damage Control


  • 1998 Blue Eyed Soul
  • 1998 Live in London
  • 2005 It's a Treat to Be Alive
  • 2008 So-Called Friends
  • 2014  100% Pure Frankie Miller

See also

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  1. Naughty Mickie (n.d.). "Get Ready for a Second Helping of the London Quireboys". Dabelly.com. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  2. Staff (undated). Sonny1968.de "Spike  'It's a Treat to Be Alive'. sonny1968.de. Retrieved 25 September 2013.