David Rohl

David Rohl David Rohl was born on 12th September, 1950, in Manchester. At the age of ten, he travelled up the River Nile on King Farouk’s paddle-steamer, a trip which would have a profound influence on him. In 1967 he formed a band called the Sign Of Life, who later changed their name to Ankh, the hieroglyphic determinative for life in Ancient Egypt. Ankh recorded some demos at Stockport's Strawberry Studios with Eric Stewart and were signed up by Vertigo for an album to be produced by BBC DJ Tommy Vance. However, Vertigo declined to issue the finished product, and the band split up. Disillusioned, Rohl went to study photography at Manchester College of Art, during which time he was commissioned to photograph The Moody Blues - examples of his work can be seen on the inside of the gatefold sleeve of A Question of Balance.

Rohl then set up a new recording studio just outside Stockport. Camel Studios, in Poynton, was the birthplace of a new group, christened Mandalaband and featuring Rohl, Tony Cresswell, Vic Emerson, John Stimpson, Ashley Mulford and David Durant. The band were signed by Chrysalis and their eponymous debut album, an ambitious concept inspired by the Chinese occupation of Tibet, was released in October 1975.

David returned to engineering, at Indigo Sound in Manchester, working with such luminaries as Marc Bolan, Thin Lizzy and Barclay James Harvest, whilst the remainder of the band, with new vocalist Paul Young and additional guitarist Ian Wilson (both formerly of local band Gyro) renamed themselves Sad Café. In 1976, Rohl took over from Eric Stewart as Chief Engineer at Strawberry Studios where he produced a series of albums and singles for artists such as Barclay James Harvest, Maddy Prior, Tim Hart and Roy Hill. Chrysalis retained his services as a writer and performer during this period, and at their suggestion the Mandalaband name was retained for his next project, a series of three albums based around the theme of a fabulous gemstone with mystical properties. The first part of the trilogy, The Eye of Wendor: Prophecies, was released on Chrysalis in May 1978 and, rather than a band as such, featured a host of well-known guest musicians, including Justin Hayward, 10CC, Barclay James Harvest, Maddy Prior and members of Sad Café.

Following Woolly Wolstenholme's departure from Barclay James Harvest in 1979, he and Rohl worked together on a number of film and TV soundtrack projects such as The Talking Parcel and The Squad. Rohl subsequently left the music business to become an Egyptologist, returning to his childhood fascination with the ancient world. His first book, A Test of Time, introduced his controversial theories for a New Chronology of Ancient Egypt, and led to a three-part television documentary, Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest, shown on Channel Four in 1995, and on The Learning Channel/Discovery in the USA in spring 1996. Rohl's other books include Legend: The Genesis of Civilisation, The Lost Testament: The Five-Thousand-Year History of the People of the Bible and The Lords of Avaris: Uncovering the Legendary Origins of Western Civilisation.

David currently lives in the Marina Alta, Spain, with his wife Ditas, and is working with Woolly Wolstenholme, members of Maestoso and other musicians on a new Mandalaband project, more information about which can be found at the David Rohl MySpace page.

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