I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your  own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

I haven`t printed any articles about Jethro Tull before. Time to rectify that! Have a nice read.

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Jethro and the amoebic surge…

Passion Play, the critics and beyond… Nick Logan pursues Jethro to an Alpine impasse

There are few bands more intrinsically British than Jethro Tull.
Sure, we`ve heard all those stories of how they`ve spent the past five years jet-hopping around the world, working their asses off in Europe, America, Japan, Wembley and all stations to Betelgeuse, pausing only to change Y-fronts in the Old Country. But didn`t we know all the time that they were really running an Army and Navy surplus store in Kentish Town and rerouting postcards and phony progress reports from the Santa Monica Lyceum and the Tokyo Hardrock?

Not so mes amis, I`m here to tell you: that wacky nine legged eccentric known collectively as Jethro Tull is indeed the globe-trotting cosmopolitan that the group`s travel agent`s bank balance would have us believe.
Why, aren`t we here now in wealthy cosmopolitan Switzerland watching Ian Anderson, Monsieur J. Tull incarnate, hob-nobbing with the Mayoralty of elegant Montreux – if not in fluent Francais – at least as if to the manner born. A strange sight indeed. Blackpool Baroque cheek-to-cheeking with Chalet Chic. Well I`ll go to the foot of our stairs.
But wait. There must be more to this than meets the eye…

Montreux is where J. Tull set down their nine feet when they snuck out of the U.K. back in 1972, using this strategically placed mountain-fringed resort as a centre of European operations for six months of that year.
In fact, they formed such a strong attachment for the place that, when they played a gig in the Swiss capital of Zurich last year, the band declared the event a benefit concert with proceeds to go to “the youth of Montreux.”
Something else came out of those six months in Montreux however, for here was planned and conceived the musical tractatus (henceforth known as “A Passion Play”) that united the critics of the Western World with a solidarity not witnessed since the release of “Grand Funk 1″.

Anyway, here we are in Montreux, in the restaurant of the Eurohotel, with Lake Geneva and the snow-topped Alps providing the backdrop for the presentation to the Vice-Mayor of the concert cheque for 50,000 Swiss Francs (approximately 6 1/2 grand).
A noble gesture in a business more noted for its gestures than its nobility…And also a useful occasion for the putting straight of a few things that need straightening out, which explains why Chrysalis Records have invited the press of Europe to congregate here to watch.
Or, as Tull manager Terry Ellis put it when the presentation ceremony was complete and the assembly prepared for the real event – the press conference:
“We`ve asked you here to clear up the confusion that seems to have followed the group`s decision to retire from concerts at the end of last year, to clear up any misunderstandings that the group might have split up.”

Fair enough, you might say. So what`s been going on?
Plenty, says Ian Anderson, hair shorter and swept back from an almost Pharaoesque beard.
The clatter of coffee cups is stilled.
To be specific, they`ve been making two albums – recording in London. One a group album, the other the soundtrack for the upcoming J. Tull feature film “War Child”.
No gigs planned at the moment, he says non-committedly, but they are certainly not ruled out when work on the film permits.

And of the film: “We have, for at least two years, been looking for a movie situation that we could use to get into something more subtle than the group can achieve on stage.”
The script, says Anderson when pressed further, is based on a story of his, and features two main actors apart from himself and the group. They play the parts of God and the Devil in a story that concerns “the Heaven and Hell around us.”
Wasn`t Anderson originally cast in the role of God?
Not I, says he, handling the occasion with customary aplomb. That was a misprint.
“I think Jethro have possibly been the hardest-working live group over the last five years. Not just in America but all over the world.

“And we have to play large halls most of the time. When we had the opportunity to play England last year, we chose to do two shows at Wembley rather than play lots of smaller halls over the country. We did that so we could play the show we had been playing in America, using all the lights and a lot of equipment, and generally keeping the show up to the standard it was in America.
“Unfortunately that standard doesn`t seem to have been well-received.”
Uhmm. Does one detect Mr. Anderson`s gaze turning on the small but cuddly British press contingent?
“The thing that annoyed me was that people seemed to dismiss it casually (“A Passion Play”) – whereas it was a record that took a lot of time to make and needed time to listen to. It didn`t seem that critics were prepared to take that time.
“Personally I think the music on the last album was our best-written, best-conceived – and possibly our most commercial as well – but it maybe wasn`t too easy to get into first time around.

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“I do feel,” continues Anderson against the rattle of coffee cups and the stare of TV lights, “that music ought to require the same effort from the listener as it does from the musician who plays it.
“Obviously that`s a very broad statement. It maybe doesn`t apply to people who play funky music – when they just stand there and get it on, and the audience can reciprocate at the same level. But musicians who play more structured music, or lyrics with more depth…then that requires greater attention.”
Doesn`t it require explanation as well?
“In some cases it may be very good to explain it beforehand. But I rather like the idea of offering the individual the opportunity to read into things what they will…people listen in different states of consciousness and they will, whatever you say, make their own interpretations. I would far rather put the ball firmly in their court and say, right we`ve done our bit – now, here you are.

“People seemed to object to the fact that they actually had to sit down and listen to it more than once, and to qualify the statements of their criticism – they seemed unwilling to do that to a large extent. They would rather dismiss it in a few words, which I do find unfair.
“It certainly doesn`t reward me in any way whatsoever for months of work. It`s not a very constructive criticism. Criticism ought first of all to be beneficial to the artist.
“Unfortunately criticism tends to be aimed at the audience rather than the artist and, even more unfortunately, seems to have an effect on what the public might believe, might buy, or might come to see. Because very often they seem to have no other source to turn to other than what they might read in the papers.”

At which point Terry Ellis cuts in: “If the group felt that the audience hadn`t enjoyed what they did, then I don`t think they`d be upset by any kind of criticism they got from the press. After all, they create for their audience, and if their audience doesn`t like it then that is a genuine cause for concern.”
The decision to stop touring, however, affects the audience, not the press.

Ian Anderson: “Absolutely, but that was just one of the reasons given in the press statement we made at the time – the fact that we were disappointed, hurt, by the criticism we received in the press. People do read and take notice of what is written in the papers, and it`s a little bit worrying to know that you`re going out there on stage having to face some sort of… y`know, it`s just not normal any more.
“Criticism aimed at a specific piece of music is fine if it`s constructive to the artist. I find nothing constructive in what I read, and I can only assume that it would have adversely affected public opinion if we`d have carried on this year doing odd tours in between making the movie.
“But there were other reasons, the biggest of those being that we`ve been working non-stop for five years, making records and playing tours, and for a couple of years now we have wanted the chance to do something different.”

When Terry Ellis called time-out and the assembly splintered into smaller groups, I talked to Anderson in the bar and asked him if he felt Jethro wasn`t too self-contained, too insular a unit to allow any kind of criticism through.
“Insular, yes, but we always have been, and if we`re worth anything at all, I think it`s because of that, because we keep so much to ourselves. None of us really have any social involvements outside the group…”
But doesn`t that cut off possible channels of constructive criticism from outside?
“Well, I think a lot of that criticism comes through in those brief seconds on stage when you pick out a couple of faces in the audience, y`know – or from people who write letters. In the past I`ve had really horrible letters, but I`ve never had any horrible letters about the new album. Not one bad letter.”

Among the critics who gave “A Passion Play” a unanimous roasting, there must however have been some people who genuinely felt that a fine band was misusing its talent. Or taking the wrong direction.
Would you listen to them?
“There`s no such thing as a wrong direction. There is only one direction you can take – because each album is a mirror image of how the band is thinking at the time.”
Accepted. But would he listen to that criticism?
“I would listen and discuss the thing endlessly, y`know. I would discuss it endlessly with Terry or with any of the people in the office – and they have every cause, for commercial reasons, to say, if warranted, `Look we`re a bit worried about this…
“I would listen to any critic who qualified the statements he made. But with `A Passion Play` there was more than usual adverse criticism which wasn`t qualified, which simply exhibited the attitude: `Well, okay, Tull have done their sort of epic “Thick As A Brick” thing. They`ve got that out of their system and we don`t want to go through that again.`

“What those people don`t know is that we made three sides of a double album during the time we were in Montreux, three sides of a double album which was just songs, y`know. But it didn`t have this great amoebic surge, this growth thing that playing an extended piece has.
“I think `Passion Play` was so much better than `Thick As A Brick` in musical terms, lyrically and so on. But if it`s not an accessible album, I still don`t think it warrants the kind of criticism that says, `This is clearly not a good piece of music` (derisory) – or that it waffles, or that the lyrics are obscure or whatever…”

“What pisses me off,” said Anderson later as we discussed wider areas of press criticism over coffee, “is that the next album returns closer to songs, and everybody`s going to think it was a calculated move on our part because of what happened to `Passion Play`.”
C`est la vie, mes amis.

A nice ad from Rod and the guys..

A nice ad from Rod and the guys..

This number of the NME also contains articles/interviews with these people: Ian Hunter, Alex Harvey, John Lennon, The Kinks, Bryan Ferry, Leo Sayer, Bob Dylan, ELP, Carlos Santana.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

  1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
  2. The offer should be around or upwards of 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
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ARTICLE ABOUT Kiss FROM Melody Maker, JANUARY 12, 1974

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

As the regular readers of my blog have noticed, I never print two articles from the same edition of a paper. But I have made an exception this time. Why? Because this article must be one of the first reviews of a Kiss concert in one of the large music papers of the time. Even if it doesn`t say so in the article, this review must be from December 31, 1973. In “Kisstory” there are only two documented shows at the Academy of music, this one and the one they performed January 26, 1974.
Why is this important? Because everywhere you look it says that this is the show where Gene Simmons sets his hair on fire, but the review tells another story. Very strange. You figure it out, Kiss-fans!

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Night of fear!

Chris Charlesworth is your guide for an evening`s entertainment in New York

We start at the Academy of Music on 14th street and Third Avenue, just around the beginning of the Village where four groups are scheduled to appear, all American and all what I would term “new-phase” bands.
The Academy of Music is not unlike our own Rainbow, but shabbier. It had been described to me earlier as a 3,000 seater urinal which was a little cruel but it doesn`t figure in my personal favourite venue list after last night. On the bill are Blue Oyster Cult, Iggy and the Stooges, Teenage Lust and Kiss in reverse order of appearance.

The audience are of the more bizarre category, some dressed as flashily as the bands and others resembling down and outs seeking a warm retreat for a few hours away from the cold outside.
Within two minutes of arriving a sallow looking youth has inquired whether I have any acid to sell.
At the front door there`s a search: could be for a gun.
Above the stage is the word Kiss in large illuminated letters and on it roadies are scurrying around setting up amplifiers.

Next to the bass player`s equipment are seven lit candles as if the forthcoming music had something to do with the Jewish celebration of Hanukah, or Christmas as it`s better known.
But what arrives on stage five minutes later is anything but four nice Jewish lads from the Bronx.
Kiss dress in costumes from the classic American comicbooks; bat uniforms to be precise. The bass player wears bats` wings and all four are caked in make-up: to say they were disciples of the devil would not be an understatement.
The music is both loud and heavy; pretty simple, riff based rock and roll with a very steady funky beat to it. Variation of mood is not their forte, although what they play is effective enough. There are no hitches apart from a mike that fails midway through the set.

The climax to their act is brash and spectacular and not a little borrowed from Arthur Brown. The closing number, “Firehouse,” I think, ends with clouds of dry ice puffing from amps, flashing lights all round them and a display of fire-eating by the bass player.
He even chucks a few loose flames out in the general direction of the audience and one fiery mass appears to land on an unfortunate youth`s head. He`s carried out holding his face in his hands but few seem to notice.

There`s a 20 minute delay before Teenage Lust appears, and once again we are treated to a brash, flashy group. Here the emphasis is not so much on the theatrics or dress but on the Lustettes, three very young looking girls who chant along behind the lead singer.
Dressed in black undies at the outset and changing to black hot pants suit for the remainder of the show, the Lustettes win for themselves a place in my heart. Not a particularly wholesome place, though.
In the tradition of the black singing groups from the Motown school, the Lustettes (who don`t look much older than 16) sing and dance with intricate precision, dwarfing their group for sheer interest.
Their main sing is “Teenage Lust” which opens and closes the set; the rest is a pot pourri of rock and roll.

Pic found on the net - not from the paper.

Pic found on the net – not from the paper.

Next on is Iggy and the Stooges. There are no changes since I last saw them in Los Angeles. At the Academy Iggy is contorting his features and screaming his head off behind a very basic and very noisy group.
To be fair, I should point out that Iggy gets a hero`s welcome, but his particular writhing, his unintelligible vocals and his band`s total lack of any subtlety leave me cold as ice.

But time presses and we must leave the Academy – unfortunately missing Blue Oyster Cult – for the Felt Forum, a smaller hall within the Madison Square Garden complex. Mountain, reformed and ready to blast away, are appearing. We can`t miss that.

The Mountain audience look older and more sophisticated than the 3,000 who showed up at the Academy. And the Felt Forum is a better place to go anyway.
Mountain provide the best music of the evening, demonstrating very forcibly that there`s no substitute for age and experience when it comes to rock and roll.
Maybe in two or three years the Kisses and Teenage Lusts of this world will attain the kind of maturity that Mountain have - and the musicianship that comes from instrumentalists like West and Felix Pappalardi.
It`s not strictly the same Mountain as it used to be. There are no keyboards any more, and David Perry, a black guitarist friend from Nantucket, has been added to bring the total up to four. Corky Laing remains on drums.

Mountain plays a stormer for a couple of hours; very long numbers interspersed with somewhat emotional introductions by Pappalardi who seems very happy to be back on stage with his old chum Leslie.
The highlight is a 45-minute version of “Nantucket Sleighride” which winds its way through a phenomenal bass and drum workout as well as some intricate guitar patterns by West.
For an encore they give us “Mississippi Queen” and that`s it.

Half an hour and two dollars later Stevie Wonder`s in Les Twinkie Zone, a newly opened discotheque on East 48th street.
There`s nothing really remarkable about the party except that reliable informants claim that several of the guests are actually transvestites. That many persons in women`s dresses are actually the male species isn`t hard to see.
Stevie`s fine albums are played over and over again for scores of happy dancers, and after a drink it`s time for home.

Iggy Pop

This number of Melody Maker also contains articles/interviews with these people: Leo Sayer, Robert Partridge about Jobriath, David O`List, Jacksons, Ronnie Scott, Golden Earring, Shep Gordon, Jefferson Airplane, The Soul Report (An assessment of the big names in soul.), Deke Leonard, Bob Dylan, Roar of the crowd (A survey into audience reaction in Britain), Underground Music (About buskers in London), Robin Dransfield.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

  1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
  2. The offer should be around or upwards of 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
  3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

You can`t have a credible blog with artists from the 70s without having an article on Sweet. They had a lot of success, but always seemed a bit frustrated to be known for their bubblegum-hits, mostly written by the duo of Chinn and Chapman.
The album that Brian mentions is going to be called “We`re Revolting” doesn`t exist. Instead it was called “Sweet Fanny Adams” and is an excellent hard-rock album. Highly recommended!

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Sweet Revolution

Jeff Ward talks to the band likely to raise hell in Britain`s concert halls next month.

Phallic symbols, film of a stripper, a “rape” attempt on stage, a song that warns their fans: “If we don`t f— you someone else will!” Unsubtle? Indiscreet? Well right, that`s Sweet.
Their hard `n` horny, sexist-sadist road show embarks on a full-scale British tour at the end of next month – that series of gigs before Christmas was just a warm-up, a tickler, a dummy run. It`s likely to get bigger, and…er…better?
The warm-up tour climaxed at London`s Rainbow where the show was recorded live for the soundtrack of a BBC documentary on the band to be shown on January 28 and February 1.
London witnessed for the first time the possible extent of Sweet`s overt act, which some might say was overblown low camp, but about which others are raving. Which side are you likely to be on?

Sweet devised the whole act themselves, planned the films, effects and costumes, and came up with the theatrics.
As rock `n` roll shows go it`s original in its totality, its mixed media. It`s blatant, but then they`re only underlining the vital sex drive which has always been an essential ingredient of rock music.
What`s behind it?
Singer Brian Connolly said: “Well let me tell you, the Rainbow wasn`t a planned thing on the warm-up gigs, which were to see what reaction was like. But the fans asked why we weren`t playing London.
“They knew we were doing six other places in the country and they wanted to know why a lot of them couldn`t see us in London.”

However, about the act itself, Brian admitted that if the sexual overtones appeared blatant then the band were overdoing things, though the act was “almost one hundred per cent” them, every way.
“I`m there, but I`ve never seen the act. If the sexual thing is coming over to that extreme then we must be overdoing it, but that can only be from the excitement of playing.
“Musically, it`s what we want to do. We`ve put the hits in because people deserve to hear the hits. We`ve put our tracks in because we want them in, it`s what we`re writing and what we`re into.
“Theatrics are what the group`s into. It`s not attempting to shock, we do it because musically it`s what we want to do. In this day and age do you think without the visuals they`d watch? Name me another band that`s got the older audience that doesn`t use visuals. I can`t think of any.
“The band`s getting more into rock; it`s more aggressive, the new stuff, so there`s more to come. As long as we can keep creating basically the music, of course we can keep up with the visuals. We can add more and more.

“It`s also showmanship. What is an actor but a person playing a part with scenery and lighting, creating an atmosphere? We`re creating an aggressive rock sound. The visuals are essential; to be quite honest, if all they want to do is listen they can put an album on.
“Probably they treat some of it as a laugh, which it`s meant to be. The ones we dig, I think it`ll be maybe fifty per cent of audiences, are the ones who appreciate the music. But it`s great to think that everyone`s enjoying themselves.
“I don`t think there`s a danger of us becoming too heavy, musically or visually though, because we`re all from the same sort of background and basically we can`t get away from that old rock`n`roll.
“We see faults in the act we`ve got. But when you compile an act and work it all out you can`t really, until you`ve done it several times, you can`t notice yourself where things are wrong. In fact, Mick`s drum solo is too long and he`s going to shorten it.

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Sweet`s new album, to be titled characteristically, “We`re Revolting,” should be out next month. Six of the nine tracks are completed.
“The title track is one of the three remaining to be done.
“Instead of being `sweet` we`re going to try and put over an album sleeve with the group on the front but a grotesque cartoon on the back, warts and everything. `Revolting` can mean `we`re horrible` or that we`re revolting against `Funny, Funny,` if you like.
“We`ve come a long way from that period and taken a hell of lot of criticism, slagging and downing, musically and every other way. Singlewise the musical standard has remained the same, the only difference in the last three or four singles as opposed to the first five or six being that the Sweet arranged them, they`re our ideas and our expression.
“We`re not puppets like we were on the first five, but we`re still not getting away from Chinn and Chapman`s basic ideas, basic melody. Therefore it`s still going to sound similar.”

The forthcoming tour will take in 25 venues and will be basically the same show, modified slightly in places to make the pace just that bit faster. There`ll be more equipment though, another seven-ton truck on the road. “It`ll be the same act, but with possible two or three different tracks probably from the new album. The lighting will be a lot stronger. We`ve had a lot of trouble getting explosives and things like that.
“We`re promoting the tour too, we didn`t promote the last one, we just booked it from six promoters. I think it`s the same as any band, you probably find most of the name bands promote their own now through promoters. Not only that, I suppose we`ve got four or five people working on that side of the business, we don`t have a manager for Britain, so why not promote it ourselves?

“Believe it or not, we haven`t earned a bean from 1973, not a penny, not from live gigs. I know promoting ourselves will be the remedy for this, because I know how much the promoters earned on the last seven gigs, apart from the Rainbow where we split that with the guy who`s the manager there – and it ran at a loss.”

What was popular at the start of 1974.

What was popular at the start of 1974.

This number of the NME also contains articles/interviews with these people: Leo Sayer, Robert Partridge about Jobriath, David O`List, Jacksons, Ronnie Scott, Golden Earring, Shep Gordon, Jefferson Airplane, The Soul Report (An assessment of the big names in soul.), Deke Leonard, Bob Dylan, Roar of the crowd (A survey into audience reaction in Britain), Underground Music (About buskers in London), Robin Dransfield.

The NME this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

  1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
  2. The offer should be around or upwards of 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
  3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.



I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

I think this band was one of the very best of the 70s, and they deserve more credit than I feel that they get. So here`s another interview for you!


Nazareth show their metal

Steve Clarke checks out plane paranoia and pictish pyrotechnics as Nazareth open their tour in Liverpool.

Sometimes it can be a little scary being a rock`n`roller.
Like, when you`re just three days home from an American tour which meant flying two, maybe three times a day – and now that you`re home `n` touring you still find yourself flying. And the aircraft you`re in isn`t a TWA Jumbo Jet but a 15-seater Heron with a fuselage about the size of an economy size toothpaste tube.
Promoter Peter Bowyer – you know, the fella that presents shows and gets his name at the top of the ads – says he chartered the plane for “a giggle”. But Nazareth`s Pete Agnew hasn`t shown his teeth once since he got on board. That is, until he shifts his ass and takes over the co-pilot`s seat and is still sitting there when the damn thing lands at Speke Airport, Liverpool.

Nazareth had arrived home from their third American tour – their first since breaking over here – on Monday, which gave them three days to relax and rehearse new numbers for the tour which opened on Thursday. A Top Of The Pops appearance cut the three days down to two and, what with one thing and another, they never really got down to rehearsing those new numbers. And at ten minutes past six on the coach to Liverpool Stadium drummer Darryl Sweet isn`t too sure whether there`s going to be any new numbers at all. In fact, it`s going to be all down to a rehearsal before the gig. He admits it`s a ridiculous situation but one that couldn`t really be avoided since final mixing of the new “Loud `n` Proud” album didn`t take place until six hours before the group were due to fly to New York.
According to Sweet, the album is an improvement on “Razamanaz” – a record which the group thought it would be difficult to better. Once again ex-Purple bassist Roger Glover produced the set, which contains five original compositions and three covers – Little Feat`s “Teenage Nervous Breakdown”, an 11-minute version of Dylan`s “Ballad Of Hollis Brown” – and the song which has been lifted as a single, Joni Mitchell`s “This Flight Tonight”.

Of their version of “Hollis Brown” Sweet says: “It`s the biggest thing we`ve ever tackled. For four guys it`s quite an achievement. It`s synthesised sounds without a synthesiser.” Of the album as a whole he reckons it`s easily the best thing Nazareth have recorded: “The performances individually and collectively are so much better. The numbers are great. The production is another step up as well.”
Nazareth`s recording of “This Flight Tonight” came as something of a shock to me. I mean Joni Mitchell and Nazareth are pretty strange bedfellows. But all the band dig the lady`s music, though it was guitarist Manny Charlton`s idea to do it. But didn`t they think their version might offend a few of Joni`s admirers?
“We are Joni Mitchell fans,” replies Sweet, hardly getting the words out before Agnew adds: “I don`t care if Joni Mitchell fans like it. Joni Mitchell does and that`s the main thing.”

But how come, fellas? You mean she`s told you she digs it? They answer in the affirmative, and they didn`t just meet Miss Joni once but twice at A and M`s Hollywood studios. The studios known as “The Lot” are now quite a tourist attraction as they were converted from Charlie Chaplin`s old film studio. “We were given an extensive tour. `Come and see this – this is where Charlie did this, where Charlie did that`. The guy taking us round said Joni Mitchell was in the studios and said `Come on let`s just barge in`. Of course we were a bit shy and said no, not if she`s recording. We didn`t want to interrupt anybody`s recording session. He said `No, she`s listening to play-backs – she`s already recorded. We`ll be okay`.”

Nazareth did as the man said and found Joni to be “a very straightforward, down-to-earth person”. When they told her they`d recorded one of her songs naturally the lady was interested, so two nights later the boys took along a copy of “This Flight Tonight” for her and producer Henry Lewy to listen to. The verdict? “She thoroughly enjoyed it and Henry Lewy flipped. Especially at the head-phone piece.” Sweet adds that, as with much of Nazareth`s material, the construction of “This Flight Tonight” is Roger Glover`s.
“I would say Roger`s forte is arrangement – the jig-saw work.”


In America Nazareth have yet to make a sizeable impact, although it would be untrue to say they`re a nonentity over there. Far from it. “Razamanaz” has featured in the album charts and the band are best known in the Mid-West.
Mostly though, Nazareth were opening on their tour – though they did top at three club dates. Sweet says it was their most successful tour to date and there was recognition for the “Razamanaz” numbers. Being so close personally – Sweet and Agnew have been playing together for 12 years, Agnew and McCafferty went through school together and Charlton has been with Nazareth four years – the pressures of touring America are less likely to affect Nazareth than, say, a band that has only been together for a year or so.
“So many groups get together for six months and they don`t really know each other as people and the pressures of touring the States can wreck them. We`ve all known each other for many years. We think along the same lines on most things. Democracy is the keyword when it comes to group decisions. Everything goes to the vote. If I say `no` and three say `yes` then yes is the answer,” affirms Sweet.

This British tour is Nazareth`s second this year and the band hope it will consolidate their position as a major musical force in the country. As with the last tour, the gigs are coincidental with the release of a new album and single – which means Nazareth`s management have got it pretty well sewn up.
With only an hour or so to rehearse new numbers at Liverpool Sweet is grinning like a baby when he announces: “At ten past six I told you I didn`t know whether we`d have any new numbers for tonight. It`s now quarter past eight and we`ve got four.”

Liverpool Stadium alternates between presenting wrestling promotions and rock shows. The audiences are notorious for getting a little rowdy and last time Nazareth played the stadium a whole front row of seats was demolished – which probably accounts for the “Important – no standing on the seats” notice which confronts you immediately as you walk into the stadium.
The backstage area is a typical opening-night-of-the-tour scene. The champagne flows freely and a few greetings telegram lay scattered amidst the guitar cases as the band hastily run through “This Flight Tonight” again. They`ve never played it before live and it is a pretty tricky song.
Silverhead are supporting on the tour but they fail to show. We hear their van has broken down somewhere between Devon and Liverpool.
John Lennon`s “Imagine” album is the last record on before the group, which is a pretty nice thing to play considering where we are.

But when the band come on the reaction is spontaneous. The audience – average age around 14-15 – immediately rise from their seats. McCafferty comes on last and the crowd reserve a big cheer for him. They dig Dan a lot in Liverpool. Sweet bangs out the almost-Bo Diddley rhythm and they`re into “Night Woman”.
Nazareth are the complete opposite of the sophistication and so-called decadence of Bowie or Roxy Music. They have little style or presentation, their music reflecting their earthiness. Say what you like – they don`t look like rock`n`rollers. Nazareth are the archetypal working class rock`n`roll band.
America has undoubtedly tightened them up and the Liverpool gig is the best I`ve seen them play. Their handling of the new numbers – considering the time they haven`t had to rehearse them – is a credit to the band. Even with Agnew`s harsh bass lines prominent they`ve turned “This Flight Tonight” into a boogie number, and their own two new compositions “Turn On Your Receiver” (the theme tune to Bob Harris`s Monday programme) and “Go Down Fighting” are relentless pieces of rock.

They`re not 100 per cent heavy metal though this aspect is an important part of their make-up. “Broken Down Angel”, which has the crowd singing along football-terrace fashion, is in the Rod Stewart “Maggie”/”You Wear It Well” vein.
And their version of Little Feat`s “Teenage Nervous Breakdown”, with Agnew adding back-up vocals, is once again pure rock`n`roll. For once, an encore seems really wanted and they do three numbers before returning to the dressing room. There`s more champagne this time and their co-manager Bill Fahilly – who`d make a great Falstaff if he ever found himself out of a job – proclaims triumphantly: “They played bloody great! I don`t give a damn what the Press says.” And you know what? He`s right. Besides I wouldn`t like to argue with a man that size.


Nazareth – on top of their game!

This number of the NME also contains articles/interviews with these people: Rolling Stones, Wings, David Bowie, Tony McPhee, Roxy Music, Leo Kottke, The Who, Stephen Stills, Captain America (The comic explored), Stray Dog.

The NME this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

  1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
  2. The offer should be around or upwards of 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
  3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This time I have a special treat for many of you – An interview with Producer extra-ordinaire Bob Ezrin. And WHAT an interview it is! Very revealing in many ways, and I really do hope his attitude towards “faggots” may have changed a bit since 1973.
Anyway – Bob is a favourite producer of mine, and any record he has a hand in is a potential classic. Love his extensive work with Alice Cooper and the records he produced for Kiss, Berlin, Hanoi Rocks, Kansas and Pink Floyd. Enjoy…


The Square and the Faggots

Nick Kent talks to the man behind Lou Reed and Alice

“Detachment. Yes, that`s it exactly. We were both talking about that. Lou said last night: `This album is an exercise in detachment and apathy`. I mean, that sense of detachment is something most people would give their left nuts to attain – and it just oozes out of Louis so naturally.”

Bob Ezrin`s getting excited now. He`s had maybe three hours sleep over the past 48 hours and he`s lounging around one of the control rooms in Morgan Studios, waiting for Lou Reed and the boys to appear. Outside in the restaurant, members of Black Sabbath wander around looking slightly redundant while the usual hordes of roadies sit around getting drunk.
Just over the road, Yes are working on their current worldshattering epic masterwork.
Here in Studio A, Ezrin and Reed are currently working within a deadline of maybe two weeks. That`s tolerable though, because Ezrin claims to have finally found the perfect medium for Reed`s seemingly-jaded brilliance to florish once more, and both he and Lou seem positively radiant at the immediate fruits of their relationship.

“Sure I`m acquainted with all that `Lou Reed – a shadow of his former self` stuff. I believed it myself, right up until now. But Louis has always been misunderstood, particularly by his producers. He`s not a rock`n`roller or really even a songwriter as much as he is a dramatic poet.
“When I showed the lyrics of the new songs to my wife, she immediately drew a parallel with the writer Lawrence Durrell: the way in which Durrell in a sentence captures a whole landscape, an essence, y`know….
“In one line Lou Reed can convey a whole space, a flavour, an attitude. He`s almost a 70s street consciousness version of Jack Kerouac. You know the way the record company put him out as the Phantom of Rock? That was so ridiculous, because he`s so tangible, like a James Dean image – no, not so much James Dean, more Montgomery Clift.”

Ezrin is explaining the motives surrounding his own approach to the task of producing Lou Reed. He agrees with the statement that Reed`s last two albums were badly conceived.
“I feel that both of the producers treated Lou Reed like a rock`n`roll performer, which is wrong. I mean if you put Louis in a studio with a rock`n`roll band he`ll automatically sing loud, which is disastrous because his voice isn`t suited for that.
“The one track that captured Lou Reed for me – and it was Bowie`s only real triumph during his production – was `Walk On The Wild Side`. Perfect. The backing track portrayed the street – it was perfect sub-scoring and very much subordinate to the voice, so when Louis says `the coloured girls`, they suddenly appear.
“But on `Transformer` I thought those gay consciousness songs were terribly overdone. I don`t even want to speculate on the amount of influence that was exerted on Lou in that direction, and you know what I mean by that. We weren`t there, so who`s to say what went down”.

“Louis first came to see me up in Toronto. Dennis Katz, his manager, contacted me and asked me if I was interested – which I was, though I had certain reservations.
“Anyway we talked, discussed the tunes and storylines, threw ideas around and pretty much left with a good general understanding of how we were going to treat it, which is to incorporate this whole cinematic aspect and style. A total filmic approach.

“Lou claimed that the meeting turned him onto a whole new style of writing, which was bullshit. Lou Reed always writes in the same style and it`s great. Actually the first time he played me the songs – I`ll have to admit this and I don`t think he`ll mind me saying it – they sounded so terrible I felt like just giving up and telling him to find another producer.
“But then I took the lyrics home and it just all started to piece together. Right now, rather than being a shadow of his former self I think we`ve just discovered Louis` real identity and now it`s all down to channeling it out in the right way.”

The above words probably sound incredibly glib until one becomes acquainted with the fact that Bob Ezrin currently packs a fair credibility among those-who-know (the presence of a striking array of musicians – Jack Bruce, Aynsley Dunbar, Steve Winwood et al – now working on Reed`s album has not a little to do with Ezrin`s exceptional reputation as a producer within the business).
His list of actual production credits is small and includes as many commercial failures as successes – albums like Flo and Eddie`s second effort, a one-off record from a Michigan power trio called Ursa Major and Mitch Ryder`s Detroit (a disgracefully underrated work, more than worth the effort of searching out from the reject piles) sold an almost negligible amount.

But then that`s all more than counter-balanced by the fact that Ezrin has probably been more responsible than anyone else for transforming Alice Cooper from a band of musically dire dementoids whose appeal was more or less confined to peeping toms and such characters into some of the finest and most musically viable trash on the boards.
Now there MUST be a few neat stories to be gleaned from the aforementioned shift of stylistic emphasis. Mr. Ezrin, if you please:
“The Coopers were my first ever project. I was hired by Nimbus 9 (a production company formed in Canada) basically as a management consultant, not as a producer – I did stuff like Coke jingles, never anything like a group.
“Anyway I went up to the office one day and everyone was in hysterics. The cover of `Easy Action` (Alice Cooper`s second abortive attempt at making an album) was laying around – and we were all really straight guys y`know – I mean, I was never really that much into rock`n`roll. I had arrived at it more or less through things like Simon and Garfunkel.


“Anyway we put on the album and just broke up laughing. We didn`t know if Alice Cooper was a guy or a chick and eventually it became a standing joke around the office that if anyone messed up that week we`d be forced to go and work with Alice Cooper.
A persistent Alice Cooper road manager, commissioned by manager Shep Gordon to get Jack Richardson – another Nimbus producer - for Cooper`s future recordings put the heat on Ezrin in order to get him down to see the band.
“I wasn`t interested in the least. I hated the record, but this guy made my life such hell with his persistence that I reckoned that I`d go and see `em just so they`d get off my back.
“So I went to meet them at Toronto. I walked into their hotel and….these five guys – everyone of `em is a faggot, everyone of `em and they`re all after me. I can tell. The roadmanager is a faggot, the roadies are faggots.
“I`m sitting there in my bluejeans, with my short-hair, shaking inside, man, and here`s this guy Alice Cooper – his hair is stringy and down to his shoulders, his pants are so tight I can actually see his penis through the crotch – they`re slit at the side. He`s talking with a slight lisp….
“I just could not handle it. Anyway they said, `We`re great and we want a producer`. Finally we parted company and I was like so relieved. It was such a horrendous experience – I was such a straight guy before all this started – and I just forgot”.

More harassment by the Cooper minions forced Ezrin to witness the band at Max`s Kansas City.
“After the gig I went backstage. I didn`t know why, but I just thought the show had been great, and I went up to the band and said, `I think you guys can make hit records`, and they said, `That`s good – we think you can too`. It was a nice punk start.
“Actually I was still pretty scared because I still believed they were all faggots. It was just a riff someone had decided on as an image, but I`d just had those album covers to go on before so I didn`t know better.
“Anyway I moved to Detroit into a shoddy motel – hated Detroit – and the guys just crowded into the bedroom in the morning. We started to talk and they played me tapes. THE TAPES WERE HORRIBLE. And I mean, horrible! They said, `We like this sound, can we get it in the studio`. I almost threw up.
“The first thing we ever did was `Eighteen`. Their original arrangement was eight minutes long and had a lot of excess bullshit. You see, my job was first to transform stage arrangements into record arrangements, which was something they`d never bothered to consider. Ultimately it was a great rush to hear the 2 min. 38 secs. version. I knew it would be a hit from then on.”

“Eighteen” actually did become a hit, reaching No. 18 in the American charts, and is still arguably Cooper`s best single to date, sharing that accolade with “School`s Out”.
“Love It To Death”, the album that followed, was both their first critical and financial success.
The Coopers` days as an esoteric, bizarro trash delight were over, and Ezrin was most definitely their mentor in this respect. From then on, his work in the studio became more complex and demanding. Even session guitarists were often added to beef up the Coopers` sound.
“Steve Hunter played on a lot of `Billion Dollar Babies`. He`s my favourite guitarist and if you listen, there`s just no one else who could have played lead on `Generation Landslide` or that solo in `Sick Things` but him.
“Rick Derringer played the stinging guitar solo that I buried so effectively on `Under My Wheels` and the rhythm guitar on `Yeah, Yeah, Yeah`. Derringer was the first outsider to be involved in the Coopers` recordings. Glenn (Buxton) had problems - it was a woman or something – and he was just not learning his guitar parts.
“Finally it came to an ultimatum and one day the band walked into the studios in Chicago and saw this guy tuning up. Now Derringer`s a pro – it took him 15 seconds to tune up, and it took the Coopers two hours on average to tune up in a studio. Literally.

“Anyway they all watched him just do it and they just said `Shit`. That experience gave them a far more realistic approach to music.
“Actually in the studio they`re very humble, much easier to get on with than you`d imagine, quite open to suggestions.
“Dick Wagner was another guitarist we brought in – for `My Stars` as it happens, which is pretty complex with all those chord changes. Actually Wagner and I wrote `I Love The Dead`. Alice threw some lyrics in. They bought him out so don`t print that – no, print it. He deserves it as much as anyone.
“But mostly it`s the Coopers themselves playing on the records. Alice is always there on lyrics and he can write good melodies. Mike Bruce comes up with a lot of riffs. Actually it was Glenn Buxton who worked out the chord sequence of `School`s Out`.”
And how strong is the Coopers` singles consciousness in the studios?
“Alice has a strong sense of single consciousness. The rest of the band have a very strong sense of money….Perfectionists? No, they`re doing it to make money.
“Rock isn`t art. Yeah, it is trash – good trash entertainment and a good way to get rich. I`m reconciled to that belief to the point that I don`t even want to think about it.

“Technically, what I do isn`t trash. But I have no pretense about the rest of it. I mean, the Coopers aren`t really musicians or a rock`n`roll band. You can`t say that to `em now – they`ll be very upset but primarily they`re theatre. And the trick is – to make the music theatre.
“I don`t think it`s what Alice claims – which is to bring the music up to a point where audiences don`t think of us as purely theatrical. I`m just bringing the music up to the theatre level and injecting a little bit of myself into it, a lot of myself actually but it`s just my taste.
“I think that`s what a producer`s job is – to decide what should be done and what shouldn`t be used and if the group can`t cut it you should supply it for them.
“That`s the role I`ve always played for the Coopers and I`ve always been very careful to stick with that identity.”

By now, the studio has started to fill out. Aynsley Dunbar has appeared with a dour-faced Trevor Boulder in tow while guitarist Steve `Decator Gator` Hunter stumbles in. Lou Reed himself is in attendance now, very subdued, having had no sleep the night before.
He says nothing, a Scotch in his hand, while the play-back of the previous night`s work which features a truly dynamic spontaneous jam between Mssrs. Dunbar, Hunter and Jack Bruce finishes on the track “Caroline Says”.
The track “Lady Day” comes on next and Ezrin frantically goes through an impression of all the embellishments. The sound, with heavy, almost Procol Harum-styled keyboards and a powerful chorus, is reminiscent of Kurt Weil but in a cinematic as opposed to a theatrical mode.
This feeling follows through for “Men Of Good Fortune”, a marvellous Reed song perfectly defining through the lyrics and studied vocal attitude that sense of cold detachment which has always been Lou Reed`s greatest attribute and calling-card for greatness.

The track “The Bed” may well be the stand-out achievement of `Berlin`: a tragic ballad in the epic tradition, it sounded, from the rough tape I heard, Reed`s finest individual work since he left the Velvets and a remarkable departure from anything he has been involved in before. (Throughout the playbacks, Ezrin is passionately explaining how an orchestra is going to appear at such-and-such a point while a children`s chorus will be added to certain tracks.(We`re going to use the Ronettes on the chorus of “Caroline Says”).
Reed manages a slight smile. He looks healthier than since I last met him and the music I heard from the “Berlin” sessions leads me to believe that those of us who cast Reed off as a wasted talent will need to drastically re-think our policy.


Elton John – A big star in 1973, but no official fan club? This is what happens….

This number of the NME also contains articles/interviews with these people: Mick Jagger, Nazareth, Stackridge, Keith Moon, Mott the Hoople, James Taylor and Carly Simon, Robin Trower.

This edition is sold!


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

The last time I printed an article here, a fellow with the name of Thom Hickey made a comment that among other things said that he wanted to see some articles written by a certain journalist. As some of you have noticed earlier, I like hits on my blog making my counter go “whoop”, but now it seems that I like comments too. So here it is, Mr. Hickey, a fine article by your favourite journalist covering the then new band called 10cc.


When I tell you that a POP band – a “singles band” – has put together one of the best ROCK albums in several years, you`re going to laugh in my face.
So wrote Ian MacDonald in his NME review of new album from 10cc. He`s still trying to convert the doubters.

Ying Tong Iddle Ipo

Can you afford to laugh – and miss out on 10cc?

Remember “Neanderthal Man”? You know – “I`m a Neanderthal man, you`re a Neanderthal girl, so let`s make Neanderthal love in this Neanderthal world”. T.S. Eliot has nothing on that, right?
Well, that was 10cc. Or rather, that was Hotlegs, which was three-quarters of what now is 10cc.
Lol Creme, Kevin Godley and Eric Stewart of Manchester stopped calling themselves Hotlegs a couple of years ago and joined forces with Graham Gouldman, songwriter, also of Manchester.
Having all been close friends since secondary school, it seemed the logical thing to do – and, now that the quartet are beginning to register as 10cc, the logic of the situation proceeds unabated.
They`ve had two hit singles; now they`re having a hit album; next they`re (hopefully) having a hit stage-act. No problems. No surprises. Except that 10cc are a pop-group, aren`t they? They have hit singles all the time – but hit albums? Hit stage-acts?

“I`m a Neanderthal man, you`re a Neanderthal girl, ying tong iddle i po…”
When Lol Creme and Kevin Godley were at art-school together in the mid-sixties, Graham Gouldman was writing hits for the Yardbirds and the Hollies. “We were doing the odd bit of session work at the time,” Creme recalls. “But Graham was bigtime. We were just playing about.”
When, in 1968, Godley and Creme emerged from college, Gouldman was big-timing in America, working directly for publishers and producers, while Eric Stewart was setting up the brand new Strawberry Studios at Manchester in financial partnership with Gouldman and in technical harness with engineer Pete Tattersall.
Creme and Godley went in with Stewart, contributing towards the studio`s as yet scanty equipment, and, during the course of messing about with Strawberry`s 4-track desk in 1969, “Neanderthal man” happened.

In the wake of this success the trio, now known as Hotlegs, quickly got into improving the studio and recording an album with full orchestra, “Hotlegs Think School Stinks”, re-released in slightly altered form as “Song” in 1971.
On either occasion did it raise any interest and the only thing it will probably be remembered for is the cover, the concept of which was “borrowed” by Alice Cooper for “School`s Out”.
“After that,” says Creme, “we got a bit seduced by the facilities in the studio and stopped doing our own stuff so that we could concentrate on producing other people. It wasn`t until Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues suggested we go live as a group that we snapped out of it.”
The creative lull has had its spin-off, however, in that all four of 10cc are now very experienced in production. The fruits of work on such as “The Man From Nazareth” and Rameses` “Space Hymns” can be heard on the group`s current album which is in every respect brilliantly put together while, simultaneously, representing only two weeks` studio time from the first backing-track to the final mix.

“The adrenalin was really flowing that fortnight,” Creme remembers. “Most bands get about six hours actual work done for every two days in the studio, but we were putting in sixteen solid hours a day. We worked quickly and carefully and it was very intense.”
Three weeks after “10cc” was completed, it was on the market – a superhigh production speed which the band attribute to their label`s director, Jonathan King – probably the best record executive in Britain, Creme reckons, “if not the world.”

King it was to whom the band sent “Donna”, soon after recording it with their Gouldman-augmented line-up last year. It took him only two weeks to sign and name the group and get “Donna” out on his UK imprint.
And it was largely due to his perseverance that “Rubber Bullets” overcame first a BBC ban and then the Corporation`s insistence that the record be cut by a full minute, thus depriving it of the chorus-repeat without which singles are supposed to have no commercial chance.
But the ultimate success of “Rubber Bullets” was musical, not promotional, and the fact that its comparative complexity could achieve popularity, notwithstanding the enforced elimination of its one obvious commercial device, holds great significance for both the British singles market and the rock industry as a whole.


Back at the continuing story of 10cc we find Graham Gouldman returning from the States and joining his old mates at Strawberry Studios, providing the band with a bassist and an extra voice, as well as another source of material.
“Kev and I felt we outnumbered Eric in Hotlegs,” says Lol Creme. “We felt obliged to like his stuff, which he did mostly on his own, and he ours. We were into lighter things and thinking in terms of complicated structures and orchestrations, while he was doing heavy, bluesy stuff.
“These days he`s got Graham to write with and the balance is better both for the band and for helping each other out with the composing side.
“For example, `Speed Kills` started out as a backing-track that Eric did during the Hotlegs period and which he kept adding new guitar-tracks to over the next eighteen months. It was getting heavier and heavier and we had to reinforce the studio several times!
“Eventually Kev and I did a vocal line and some lyrics to go over the top of it, and it ended up on the album.”

The first track recorded by the four-piece line-up was a Gouldman-Stewart song, “Waterfall”, originally intended to be the group`s first single (with “Donna” on the flip), but finally released as the B-side of “Rubber Bullets”.
“We weren`t quite sure what 10cc was going to be at the time,” says Godley. “After `Donna` was a hit, we put out `Johnny Don`t Do It` which was a similar 50s thing. We were thinking in terms of a formula, I suppose.
“Anyway The Shangri-Las` `Leader Of The Pack` got re-released at the same time and, dealing with virtually identical subject-matter, completely eclipsed `Johnny`. After that we had to work out what the band stood for from scratch.
“It`s hard to define what 10cc is. It`s what we do at a given moment, probably. It`s also our particular form of humour and I think it`s a reaction against the introverted `corridors-of-my-mind` stuff we`ve been getting in the last two or three years.

“And it`s not just straightforward silliness or parody, either. The quotes and allusions sometimes arise because the work of artists we admire gets so deeply embedded in our minds that we can`t help coming out sounding like, say, the Beach Boys or Stevie Wonder.
“I mean, when we get into something, we really get into it.
“Like `Rubber Bullets` wasn`t a simple parody of the Beach Boys. Obviously it`s in their musical territory, but it has its own existence. Most groups tend to sound vaguely like other groups at any given point, but that`s neither copying nor sending-up – it`s absorbing.”
“You assimilate what you like,” Creme agrees. “What comes out the other end is as much the product of happy accident and coincidence as it is of planning – although we do work things out very carefully.”

The resulting music is fresh, fast, tight and short, recalling the long lost days of `Revolver` and `Smiley Smile` when it was all down to saying it without supernumary adjectives and getting it right first time – a working atmosphere that could do with revival in the sprawling Seventies.
“Once you`re in a studio and behind a 16-track desk, there`s a great temptation to go on and on twiddling knobs and getting further and further away from the original music.
“With us, we all know each other well enough to be able to call a halt if one of us is getting carried away. I`ll tell Kev to piss off if I don`t like his ideas and vice versa.
“We have `truth sessions`. Someone`ll ring up and say: `I`m leaving`. And the others`ll say: `Oh yeah.` And they`ll call a meeting at 11 o`clock to sort out the grievances. It usually ends up with a whole string of insults and that clears the air – after which we can all get on with the job.”

As to the future, 10cc are getting their road-show together and releasing “The Dean And I”, a track from the album that`s even more subtly structured than “Rubber Bullets”, as their next single.
In their ambivalent position they`re not very sure what their audience will turn out to consist of, so they`re concentrating on making sure that the stage-act is foolproof in any situation, putting a lot of effort into duplicating the faultless sound of their recordings (“As opposed,” says Creme, wryly, “to throwing ourselves around the stage in silver lame”), and perfecting a new instrument which Godley and Creme have recently patented.
There`ll be another drummer, partly to allow Godley to do his share of the singing and partly because they like the sound of two drummers. New material, designed for the live situation, is being composed – to be recorded for their next album in a couple of months` time.

They`d like to influence a slight return to the controlled and restrained aesthetics of writing, recording, playing and producing that existed around 1966, but most of all, says Creme, “we`d like to take the competitiveness out of pop.
“We`re not trying to be better than anybody else and we don`t want to find ourselves in the situation of being compared, either favourably or otherwise, with other bands.
“Once comparisons start, the knocking starts too – and then the music gets lost. If we can help to bring entertainment back, without being trivial, then we`ll be well pleased.”
You won`t be the only ones, gentlemen.


Let`s have a quick look at the charts again….


This number of the NME also contains articles/interviews with these people: David Bowie, Pam Nestor, Eric Burdon, Status Quo, The Who, Reviews from the London Music Festival, Led Zeppelin.


The NME this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

  1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
  2. The offer should be around or upwards of 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
  3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.






I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

Sorry for the lack of updates lately. I have been very busy at work, travelling and such…but I hope to resume normal service from here on. Have fun!


Bowie-ing out at the Chateau

Charles Shaar Murray with the main man in France. Work on new projects, reports Murray, is going ahead deliciously in the dead of night.

“The future is very open-ended, actually,” said David Bowie, carefully disassociating a quarter of an inch of ash from his Gitane. “I can`t tell you much about what I`m doing because I`m not really too sure yet. There`s not much to add to what you already know.”

Bowie is perched on a chair behind the control board of the studio in the Chateau d`Herouville, about to start another day`s work on his “Pin Ups” album. He`s slightly less than immaculate: slightly stubbled, hair in disarray, face drawn and even whiter than usual, wearing a scoop-necked blue tricot and cream coloured Oxford bags.
Working togs in fact.
Superstars` finery is generally unsuited to the private labours of painstakingly assembling a rockanroll record, and the rustic elegance of the Chateau blends uneasily with such fripperies. After all, it`s buried in the French countryside half an hour out of Paris, and it`s the sort of place where you find a couple of dead daddy longlegses in your toothmug.

Work continues apace. Mick Ronson, the guitarist who launched a thousand fan letters and a similar number of plaudits from knowledgeable folks in several countries, is never seen without felt-tip pen and sheets of manuscript paper.
Even at breakfast, Ronson is working on string arrangements or dreaming up vocal harmony lines. Unlike some members of our merry cast, Ronno has not spent several hours of each night carousing in the bistros and discos of the City Of Light. In fact, he hasn`t been out of the Chateau grounds in three weeks.

Mike Garson and Trevor Bolder are long back in England, but Bowie and Ronson are putting in absurd amounts of studio time with Ken Scott, co-producer supreme. Aynsley Dunbar has completed all his percussion tracks, but he`s still around, wearing a magnificently studded and rhinestoned denim jacket with his name emblazoned on the back, and so many rings and bracelets that he clanks when you shake hands with him.

Today is Vocals Day. The instrumental tracks for the album are all but completed, barring a guitar here and some strings and a Moog there, and so it`s time for Bowie to put the lead vocals on. Apart from a meal break, he, Ronson and Scott are up in the studio well over 12 hours.
“Pin Ups” is Bowie`s tribute to the club rock of the `60s, and the items on the agenda include such classics of yesteryear as “Here Comes The Night”, “See Emily Play” and “Shapes Of Things.” He stands in the studio, hands clasped to his earphone, stopping the take if he`s dissatisfied with his intonation or phrasing.
Between takes, he prowls over to the piano and plays over his part before going for another try, bending the melody line in a slightly different direction each time, curtly snapping instructions over the studio intercom.
On “See Emily Play”, Bowie embellishes the Floyd`s old hit with a vocal device that would have Syd Barrett gurgling in sheer ecstasy. He and Ronson record their vocal harmonies over and over again at different speeds, with the same harrowing culuminative technique produced at the climax of “The Bewlay Brothers.”

Some of the songs are performed in the style of the mid-`60s, like the semi-legendary Pretty Things tune “Rosalyn” with its coarse high-energy vocal and rubbery Bo Diddley guitar.
Others get – uh – revamped. Billy Boy Arnold`s “I Wish You Would”, which had the signal honour of appearing on the first ever Yardbirds` single, gets sprucely turned out with some eerie moog work and a manic, squealing fiddle solo from a moustachioed gent called Michel, who works in a French band called Zoo.
“Can you bring the bass drum up a bit, Ken?” asks Dunbar. Scott mimes surprise.
“All right, Aynsley,” he says, “You don`t have to prove that you`re here.” Dunbar repeats his request.
“So that`s what`s keeping the beat.”
“It certainly ain`t the piano,” retorts the drummer.


At the other end of the studio, Bowie and Ronson are rehearsing yet another harmony. They go in to record it, Ronson balancing a singularly improbable white hat on top of his cans.
The backing track kicks off, and as Ronson leans into the mike to start singing, the hat falls off. With perfect coordination, he scoops it up and still comes in on time. Unfortunately, Bowie has collapsed laughing and it`s a good five minutes before he`s in a fit state to sing again.
Meanwhile, social life continues apace. The Chateau is blessed with a lame excuse for a telephone switchboard that reduces Bowie`s assistant Gloria to impotent fury and a chef of dubious eccentricity. One of his favourite tricks is to dress up as Charlie Chaplin and provide before-dinner entertainment.
For after-dinner entertainment there`s a football machine, heavily patronised by Ken Scott, engineer Andy, equipment man Pete and Aynsley Dunbar.
During-dinner entertainment generally involves badinage of varying intensity, and the two favourite butts for the humour are Stuey the bodyguard and the unfortunate Ronson, still working away with the manuscript paper.

Apart from “Pin Ups”, there are also the tapes of that last Hammersmith gig to work on. Without exception, each live track cuts its studio original completely dead, and the guest appearance of Jeff Beck on “Jean Genie” and “Around And Around” was definitely an inspiration.
When the famous retirement speech comes up on the speakers, Bowie grimaces slightly. To say that his face shows mixed emotions is definitely an understatement.
The session finally breaks up at around three in the morning. Ronson goes up to bed, still declaring his intention to write some more string parts. Bowie commandeers the piano in the dining room to work on a new song, and by eight o`clock he`s still working.
He genuinely doesn`t know how to stop. After all, there`s another album to come after the live tapes (provisionally entitled “Bowie-ing Out”) are released, and already there`s a backing track laid down for one of the songs, not to mention the production of Mick Ronson`s solo album, and the movie, and God knows what else…

One of the week`s more amusing interludes was provided by the unexpected arrival of a gentleman from one of our competitors, who made himself just a mite unpopular. “We were talking,” said Bowie, “and he had a tape-recorder concealed inside his bag. I felt like telling him to bring it out and put it on the table, but he would have been so embarrassed.” Life is indeed hard.
“Pin Ups” sounds like it`s going to be a fine album. Bowie`s abilities as a composer and as a performer have rather tended to overshadow his skills as an interpretive singer, and his affectionate look back at the rock of the `60s should bring back a lot of goodtime memories for those who were around in the heyday of the Yardbirds, the Who, the Kinks, Them, the original Pretty Things and the Floyd, and quite an eye-opener for those who weren`t.

And as an additional embellishment, there might even be a new version of “The London Boys”, a `60s Bowie tune that was a conceptual forerunner and spiritual ancestor to “All The Young Dudes”.
It may not be the latest in the basic series of Bowie albums, but it`s gonna be fun, and in rockanroll, fun is its own reward.


These were a golden time for rock operas – the charge led by Roger Daltrey and The Who!

This number of the NME also contains articles/interviews with these people: The Faces, Don Powell (Slade), Them, Strawbs, The Osmonds, Dave Greenslade, Review of the London Music Festival, The Wailers, Bill Bruford (King Crimson), Peter Green.

The NME this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

I wonder what the writer, Mr. Murray, would make of the manufactured artists of today? If he thought that Alice Cooper was “a fake” in 1973, I guess every artist would be deemed so today. Interesting article, and even though I don`t agree with all of it – here it is!


Hype Hype Hooray

Charles Shaar Murray searches for snakes in the grass at New York`s Madison Square Garden

Let`s assume, just for the purposes of argument, that you`re a sensitive soul filled with love for your fellow humans, and that you really get off on beauty and loveliness. Let us further assume that you believe that rock and roll is the key to the solution of all the ills of this earth, and that its divine mission is to dispense good vibes to all and sundry. Can music save your mortal soul? If your answer is in the affirmative, kindly leave the room, because you`re really gonna feel out at an Alice Cooper show.
From peace and love to mimed necrophilia and baby-killing in a mere six years. You just have to admire the resilience and adaptability of American rock audiences. Alice Cooper has buried Woodstock, and how you feel about Alice Cooper relates directly to how seriously you took what Emmett Grogan refers to in his vitally important book “Ringolevio” as “the love shuck.”
Did you fall for it? Did you think that Woodstock was the most important event in the history of the universe? Did you wear flowers in your hair? Forget it, because you got burned.

Did you think that the youth culture was going to spread through all levels of society, and infuse all the politicians and all the straights and all the soldiers with an overriding, all-pervading love vibration? Sucker. Who won the last American election? It sure wasn`t Alice Cooper, but it might as well have been.
Paul Kantner has pointed out that what an act brings to an audience is what the act gets back, but it ain`t quite that simple. Different bands bring out different aspects of the same audience`s collective personality, and it took Alice Cooper to bring out bloodlust, greed and general viciousness, off comes the mask. What is finally most important about Alice is not the music, or the show, but the effect that the band have on their audiences.

Let`s take it down to basics. Alice`s band are competent, but hardly inspired musicians. Their parts are simple but effective, and they`re played efficiently and cleanly, but no way are they the Mahavishnu Orchestra, or even the MC5 or the Stooges. They do what they`re supposed to, and that`s about it.
Alice himself is a better than average hard rock singer, and a less than impressive harmonica player. Their real musical strength is that they write good songs. They`ve come up with two classic singles “I`m Eighteen” and “School`s Out”, which is two more classic singles than most bands could ever produce.
Those songs are real teen anthems, expressing and crystallising feelings that are in the minds of most young people on the planet at this moment, defining and endorsing what kids feel, but haven`t really analysed or articulated. Just like “My Generation” or “Summertime Blues.” Also, you can dance to `em.

But that`s not really important. Kudos to you, Alice, and more power to your meat-axe. I really sincerely mean that, because you`re the first ever rock act whose music is the selling point for its hype.
Most bands use all the bullshit flummery of the rock sales machine to get them dollars rolling over the counter, but you, my boy, use music to sell the kids the hype. Now that`s a real achievement, and it`s that which leads me to believe that Alice Cooper is the finest flowering of American show business. P.T. Barnum, raise your hat and bow to the master. Alice Cooper is the first true McLuhanesque rock band. The message is now truly the medium. Hype is its own reward.

Remember all those bands who claimed they weren`t in it for the money when all the time they were racking up their 400-acre ranches in Woodstock? Remember how Zappa called an album “We`re Only In it For The Money” and how nobody believed him?
Well, here`s where it`s all ended up. Alice Cooper`s motif is bread, and kids, he`s going to shove it right down your throat. A snake in the shape of a dollar sign, and the whole “Billion Dollar Babies” trip showing the band awash in a sea of hard cash.

He`s in it for the money, and he`s not only owning up to it but he`s glorying in it. And you`re going to go along with it, because it`s really a lot of fun.
The whole Alice Cooper thing is the biggest practical joke in the history of rock and roll, and the funniest thing about it is that he telegraphed his punch. Alice Cooper told everybody right up front what he was going to do, and they still fell for it. It really leaves one dumbfounded with admiration.
It`s been one farce after another, and each one better than the last. First, we hear of a man calling himself Alice Cooper. A guy called Alice, huh? Faaaaabulous. Whatever next? The guy must be a faggot. Of course, he wasn`t. He`s just a good ol` beer-drinking American boy. Next, please.

Next, there`s all these rumours about live chickens getting decapitated on stage, and all the drag-murder weirdness. The first real post-Manson rock band, in fact. And all that snakes-and-gallows stuff, too. Jeezus (with a Z), what must the guy`s home life be like? Once again, back comes the reply: Naw, you`re outta your mind. He`s just a good ol` beer drinking etcetera etcetera, and anyway, he didn`t really do any of that stuff to no chickens.
So here`s this guy pretending to be a faggot psycho killer, and he`s so patently genial, good-natured and all-American that it makes you weep, but people keep falling for it by the billion. And the reason that they do so is that they desperately want to believe that Alice Cooper (whoever or whatever he is) really does carve up babies and screw corpses, and do all those unbelievable gross things that he so transparently mimes on stage.
They`ve been told a billion times that Alice Cooper is really a clean-cut kid who loves his mother, but they totally refuse to believe it.

Of course, on a certain level they do accept that it`s all just part of the show, because it makes the whole thing just that little bit safer if you know it`s a hoax. The point is that Alice`s show is as real (or as unreal) as you happen to want it to be.
If you want to enter totally into the spirit of the thing, then that`s real blood on the guillotine blade, and Alice is indeed truly reincarnated at the end of the show like some nightmarish bastard son of Jesus Christ and Mr. Punch. You pays yer money and yer takes yer proverbial choice. The catch is that you`ve already paid yer money.
But to imply that Alice is a rip-off artist would be completely invalid. Agreed, he`s taking us all for a ride, but it`s a good one, and the best con-man of all is one who pulls off his caper and still leaves his mark thinking that he`s had a good deal.
Alice Cooper is into doing anything that his audience will pay to see, which is cool, because so are many other rock acts. The difference is that they don`t admit it.


Let`s attempt to analyse whatever-it-is that Alice Cooper is selling. He must be selling something, because people, obviously enough, are buying. What we got at his recent Madison Square Garden show in New York was a neat little package of little theatrical set-pieces involving dismembered shop-window dummies, giant rampaging teeth, f`chrissakes, guillotines, and a glorious “God Bless America” finale in which a Richard Nixon lookalike is saluted before a giant American flag while the voice of Kate Smith blares patriotically over the speakers. Then they beat him up, which seems to be an unnecessary piece of pandering to the audience.
If Alice was really into shocking his audience, then they`d prove their true Americanism by taking down Nixon`s pants and kissing his arse.
The whole Cooper show is redolent with glorious examples of blatant fakery. After the guillotining sequence, the band abandon their axes but – surprise! – we hear the sound of their previous number “I Love The Dead” coming over the PA on tape. Maybe they were miming all along. Who cares? They faked everything else, so why not that?

The real tour-de-force comes when Alice harangues the audience. “Hey, I haven`t been insulted all night?” And, naturally enough, they rise to the bait, yelling “Fuck you!” or “You suck!” at the tops of their voices. “Hey, you know something?” he yells back. “You people are crazier`n I am.”
And he`s absolutely right. He throws 50-cent posters into the audience, and they trample all over each other to get at them, and the fake Alice Cooper billion dollar bills that descends from the ceiling. They prove his point, because they`re acting like pigs at his command – and for nothing. A cheap poster and a chunk of Monopoly money.
As you may have expected, all the hip rock writers were very proud of themselves for sussing that one out, so brandishing their passes, they all flocked backstage for the party, really feeling hip and cool and generally outasite.
They forgot that they were dealing with Alice Cooper. What happened was that they were ushered into a tiny dressing-room where, cursing and crunching and sweating, they forced their respective ways through a sauna sardine can to their objective – the bar. There they received a small plastic beaker full of ice and cheap champagne. They, in their own way, had reacted exactly like the audience, and just like the audience, hardly any of them realised what had been done to them.

Alice Cooper is a very, very clever man. He has perfected the hype as an art form. There are a lot of people contending for the title of The Greatest Hypist In Rock, but Alice Cooper`s off and running with the plastic glittery prizewinner`s cup. And he`s not even denying it, that`s the beautiful thing.
He`s into making money, the original billion dollar baby, and he does it so well it`s a pleasure to watch him rake it in. Alice Cooper is America`s best, truest and most appropriate culture hero, because his whole operation is in the finest tradition of American consumer culture. It`s absolutely no good sneering, “Some people will buy anything,” because Alice will probably agree with you.

Me? I really dig Alice Cooper. I wouldn`t let my copy of “Killer” out of the house, mainly because it`d probably slither down the stairs and start swallowing the cats and babies that infest the stairways of my Islington tenement. Some of his records are incredible, some of them are average and some of them are downright tedious, but that`s alright. For me, Alice`s music is secondary.
No, what I really get off on about Alice Cooper is the way he`s managed, by being fake all the way from his battered top hat to his scuffed platform boots, to reveal the cold, hard, terrifying truth about his audiences, his profession, and finally, his country.


This number of the NME also contains articles/interviews with these people: Led Zeppelin, Sutherlands/Quiver, Jethro Tull, Article about the groupies of L.A., Buddy Holly, Stealers Wheel, Bob Dylan, Johnny Winter.

The NME this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

  1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

I haven`t printed any articles about Faces or Rod Stewart before. Time to change that, as Rod was a rocker at the start of  the 70s. Quite an interesting article, especially seen in the light of today. Have a nice read!


A Mod`s Progress
The life and times, trials and tribulations of R. Stewart Esq., Folk singer

By James Johnson

Rod Stewart ruffles his hair, gazes down thoughtfully at his red patent-leather shoes. It`s early evening in an office above Wardour Street and, a floor below, the Marquee Club is just warming up for the night. Thick, muddy, distorted rock seeps up through the floorboards.
Stewart grimaces: “That guitarist doesn`t sound much good does `e?” – then pauses before continuing with a slight edge of wistfulness to his voice:
“…Yeah, I`d like to play the Marquee again – if we could get away with it.”

In some respects the early days must have been great for Rod Stewart and the Faces, when they used to play places like the Marquee. Admittedly there are few guys around who seem to enjoy the flash of success more than Stewart yet, in some ways, life must have proved much easier then. Certainly less complicated.
Just sometimes Stewart must wish he could get back to that, especially over the last six months when one could hardly blame him if he occasionally felt a little desperate.

On their last British tour the Faces were roundly criticised for sticking too closely to their old material. Then Stewart was quoted as saying he thought “Ooh La La” was a mess. And now, for whatever reasons, Ronnie Lane has left the band. So here he is tonight, forgoing an invitation to a fashion show at the Savoy to put the record straight.
“I ought to get some kind of award for being the most misquoted and most misunderstood person in 1973. I`ve been misquoted a lot lately and it can hurt, y`know. Believe me, it can hurt.”
He speaks cautiously now. Despite his brash, arrogant onstage persona he`s a guy with sensitive spots like any other; edges and sides that have sometimes been hidden behind the boozy, outgoing exterior.

Even so, tonight, he`s content with the world, and perhaps rightly so. Over the previous weekend the Faces had played a series of heartening concerts at the Edmonton Sundown. On two or three of the nights they had been ace, simply tremendous and Stewart knows it.
If the band have been through a bad patch just lately it now seems over.
He doesn`t put one completely at ease, stretching back smiling and saying “Well, what do you want to know James?” but he`s a likeable soul, a little more homespun than sometimes presented.
He sips a pint of bitter and starts to talk, firstly about Tetsu.

“It was either going to be Andy Fraser or Tetsu. Tetsu was the first we asked and he jumped at the idea. We were a bit wary at first `cos we`re really quite close to Free, not so much as friends but we really love their music and we didn`t want to bust their band up.
“But Tets reckons Paul Rodgers was great about it and we were with Simon (Kirke) a couple of nights ago and he was great about it too, so…
“It was Simon who said it`s brought the two bands together – which it has. Free`s music is maybe more of a down type of music than ours but there`s a similarity. We tried one other guy who was brilliant but not as good as Tets.
“He`s just the right shape y`know,” Stewart rubs his hand down his hip. “He`s got a tiny little rib cage and little spindly legs and his guitar kind of fits in the middle.
“The first night he came he brought some scotch with him. I don`t think he`s ever drunk so much in his life till that night. Now every time I see him there`s a bottle of scotch sticking out of his pocket.” Stewart laughs in satisfaction.
“You could say we`re getting `im well trained.”

He moves on to explain how it`s good to get some new blood in the “orchestra”, and he`s looking forward to getting Tetsu on stage.
Nevertheless he admits it won`t be quite the same again without Ronnie Lane. “There`s only one Ronnie and it`s impossible to look for another one. The guy`s a character and we`ll never replace `im.”
But hadn`t Ronnie Lane`s increasing interest in Meher Baba – and perhaps his more homely approach to life – meant a certain contradiction of life-styles within the band?
Stewart draws up his shoulders slightly. “Let`s get one point clear: we`re all parting on the best of terms. Let`s get that on record, there`s no bad feelings.
“If you look back at the interviews I`ve done since we first got together, I`ve always said Ronnie Lane is one of the best lyricists Britain`s got, and he still is. He`s got a great career ahead of him.
“I think he probably just got tired of being on the road, which I don`t really blame him for. It was just at a point, though, when the rest of us were really getting into doing it on the road. Y`know, we love it now – me, Woody, Mac and Kenny – we love being on the road. But I don`t think Ronnie did.
“On the American tour we had two rows, and that was really because we wanted Ronnie to stay and he didn`t want to. There are no bad feelings. Two little rows, y`know, that`s not bad.”


Fair enough. But, just to check it out, how about the old rumour that Rod`s thinking of leaving the band? That he doesn`t need the Faces as much as the Faces need him?
“Well, I don`t know whether they need me but I know I need them. If something was to happen I could always make my own albums, but I`d be lost without them.
“I get depressed if I don`t see the boys for a while. There`ll always be a Faces and I think I`ll always be in it. I hope so anyway. Unless they kick me out of course…”
Stewart grins.
“I don`t expect, though, to sustain the same level of success for ever. Name somebody who ever has. Everybody has to level out and I can`t expect to have another album as successful as `Every Picture Tells A Story`. That was a freak album. It sold a ridiculous amount of records.
“Yet `Gasoline Alley` was the best for me. If I could capture that again I`d be well pleased.”

Stewart says there`s a peak he`s aiming for – records and concerts that he`s totally satisfied with. “When that happens I`ll retire – I`ll knock it on the head.
“I look at it like all good footballers should – I want to retire at the top. It doesn`t tend to happen in this business and it`s sad. People just sink lower and lower and hang on to the music business.
“I want to disappear,” – he snaps his fingers – “like that.”

So what does he feel is still missing from the albums?
“Aaargh…”, his face creases, “That`s where I got misquoted last time, on `Ooh La La`. What I`m trying to say is that we can do a better album than that.”
He emphasises it. “We can do a better one and we`re going to.
“As for me own albums – the same, really. Except I`ve got to start being a bit more honest with myself – move on to songs I really want to sing.”
Such as…?
“Oh, I don`t know because last time I said that with `Amazing Grace` everybody else went ahead and did it and beat me to the punch. These days I keep the songs I want to record up my sleeve.
“Of course, having said that, the next solo album will probably turn out to be all Stewart/Wood songs. You just can`t tell.”
He taps his forehead. “It`s all up here at present. With Ronnie and things, it`s all been held back a bit.”

Is there any more he`d like to say about it? Stewart considers.
“Well, I`ll probably use the same crew…yeah, I think I`ll use the same crew. And there`s a strong possibility it could be the last one.
“In future I think we`ll combine the two – my albums and Faces albums – so I can put one hundred per cent into both. I think that`d be a good move.
“Then I`ve got this album which is a kind of `Best Of` coming out in about four weeks time which I`m really pleased with. I went to the trouble of re-mixing some of the tracks and cross-fading some of the others. I`m glad the record company had the courtesy to ask me to put it together myself.
“Then I think we`ve got a live album coming out but everybody`s doing that…” He trails off. “I don`t know…music`s so boring to talk about. It`s an active thing. Not something to sit and discuss.”

He gazes at the floor again, then perks up. “I`ve got more guitars than I know chords. Did you know that? I`ve been collecting acoustic guitars lately and I worked it out the other day that I own more guitars than I know chords.” He looks pleased.
“What else do you want to know James? Do you want to know where I`m going for a holiday?”
Where`s that?
“Suggest somewhere”.
Stewart smiles and talks about football for a while. He says he`s still allright as a player but finds it hard to get a game without attracting vast crowds who`ve come to see Rod Stewart – Rock Star. He says he can no longer combine the two lives.

In many ways Stewart is remarkably unassuming. He`ll talk about football but don`t expect any great insights into the state of the world or more etherial subjects. He`s interested but doesn`t see that he or any other artist should know more about it than anybody else.
“You`ve got to be honest and admit that the level of intelligence among rock musicians is not all that high. I`m not saying they`re all idiots, but, generally speaking, most musicians come from a working-class background so why should they particularly know what`s going on?
“You can only reflect your life and times. I think I did that with `Silicone Groan` – y`know, everybodies having it done in the States, having their tits blown up with silicone. I suppose you could say that`s social comment if you want.”

Also, Stewart is not particularly interested in the supposed new rock phenomena: decadence.
“Each to his own, y`know. I don`t think I live a particularly evil life but I don`t allow myself to get bored either. I suppose I come in between the two.
“I dunno. What is decadence? MPs getting knocked off by hookers? Good luck to them – why should we pry into it?”

How does he feel about Ian McLagan once describing him as “a bit of an old folkie at heart”?
“Yeah…that`s true. You`ll catch me at the dirtiest of folk clubs sometimes. I went to see Deroll Adams, the old banjo player, at the…where was it?…the Shakespeare the other night. Y`know I really blew it. I sort of walked in, in me yellow suit, and they were all sitting there…you know how they are.”
He grins again.
“But I`d like to play one…I wish I could do that…just get up and do `Mandolin Wind`. I`d really be nervous because it`s not something I`m one hundred per cent sure I could do. It`s a very different scene.”
He thinks for a moment. “Y`see I`ve always personally got to remember that I`m a singer of songs. I don`t need a sensation to get a crowd on their feet. I don`t have to take me trousers off or something. It`s sometimes easy to forget that.”

But doesn`t a certain amount of spectacle on stage help to sell records? “Yeah, I think maybe it half-sells them. Like, I think I`ve been flash since I left school but I do think I`ve got a pretty good voice as well. You can`t forget that.
“I mean, there was a time when I was with Beck that I used to hide behind the amplifiers and my voice hasn`t improved that much since then. It`s just audiences – and audiences, particularly in America, have brought me out of myself on stage.
“I really need an audience – the bigger the better. It`s a great boost to the ego – that`s something that everybody needs.
“Also, I need to be told how good I am. And everybody needs that.
“Unfortunately you can get in a certain position where people take you for granted and forget to tell you how good you are. That`s the point when you begin to doubt yourself.”


Did anyone ever read this ad through from start to finish? 

This number of the NME also contains articles/interviews with these people: Terry Reid, Jimi Hendrix, Paul Simon, Gilbert O`Sullivan, Fleetwood Mac, Edgar Winter, Led Zeppelin, John Entwistle, Jimmy McCullough, Marc Bolan, Nickey Barclay.

The NME this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

  1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
  2. The offer should be around or upwards of 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
  3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

I met the members of this band when I worked as a radio reporter/presenter for Radio 1. It was long after their heyday in the 70`s, this must have been at the end of the 80`s. I met them at the top of a restaurant/disco in my hometown where they had their own improvised bar full of whiskey and other “refreshments”. They were in a good mood when I came, but luckily for me Darrell Sweet (RIP) was fairly sober while conducting the interview.
Their press agent warned me beforehand that whatever I asked I had to remember they were scottish and never use the B or E word when speaking about nationality. Good advice.
Really great guys – and I really enjoyed speaking at length with Darrell. Enjoy this interview from their early days!


Nazareth – gigging fit to bust…

Steve Clarke: Liverpool

`Have you seen those chairs out there?” asks Nazareth`s Dan McCafferty, gesturing towards the demolished front two rows of Liverpool Stadium. “That`s why we don`t take our car to gigs.”
Okay he`s joking. McCafferty jokes a lot. But the point is made. Nazareth`s audiences are beginning to react in the timehonoured way. And tonight`s gig at Liverpool is no isolated incident, as the band and the scratches along their publicist`s arms will testify.
McCafferty leaves the converted boxing ring which serves for a stage at the stadium and a posse of girls pounce on him like a wild cat clawing its prey.
“It scares me a bit that guys up front might get pushed against the stage. It could have happened tonight,” says drummer Darrell Sweet, expressing fear more for the audience. Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton agrees: “The thing that worries me is that some of the kids might get crushed up front. At least I can take a few steps back. They are only kids.”

Liverpool was the 32nd of 40 gigs on what is really Nazareth`s first headlining major tour. On their last trek around the nation, they were supporting Deep Purple – a band Nazareth have often been compared with.
They share a healthy respect for one another and Purple bassist Roger Glover produced “Razamanaz”, Nazareth`s third and what`s likely to be their first hit album.
“Roger was like a member of the band. He contributed quite a lot to the actual structure of the songs. He understood us and we understood him,” says Sweet.

It`s the single from the album “Broken Down Angel,” and its subsequent rise in the charts, that accounts for the growth of crowd hysteria.
At the beginning of the tour, says Sweet, their audiences were the nucleus of Nazareth fans who had supported them from the beginning. As the single took off, audiences got younger and now consist of 12 to 18 year olds, split 50/50 between male and female.

The band`s stage act leans heavily on the last album, opening with “Night Woman” – loud and heavy with McCafferty screaming out the words.
Look around and there are heads shaking everywhere. At the end the crowd leaps up ecstatically arms stretched out and peace signs pointing towards the sky.
It`s not until Charlton squeezes out the opening notes of “Morning Dew” (not that it`s easy to recognise the Tim Rose song unless you happen to be a Nazareth freak) that the crowd rush forward.
Arms are stretched out. McCafferty goes into a teasing routine, stepping nearer then retreating just in time. At the end of a number he too stretches out his arms.


To his left, bassist Pete Agnew looks slightly ridiculous as he trots around in circles, not taking any chances with his platform soles. Charlton wears knee-high silver boots and a black Gibson which, towards the end of the set, he unhitches to swipe at the mike stand.
Sweet hides behind his huge yellow drum kit, every now and then making his way around the row of tom-toms. He`s a fine drummer.
“Broken Down Angel” has the audience out-singing the band and the set closes with “Bad Bad Boy”. McCafferty bares his chest and allows his shirt to dangle by his hips awhile before throwing it into the crowd. They encore with rock `n` roll.

Although their music offers little food for thought, it`s difficult not to like the band. They obviously enjoy what they`re doing and are only now reaping the success they deserve after two years of heavy gigging.
At one time Nazareth used to support Rory Gallagher, who himself has a reputation as Britain`s hardest working rock `n` roller. It wasn`t until Gallagher`s bassist Gerry McAvoy came to watch Nazareth on several occasions that they actually realised they were, in fact, working harder than the Gallagher band.
“Over the last 18 months, we have probably been the country`s hardest working band,” claims Sweet.

As the current tour winds its way to a close, Nazareth do admit to being a little ragged round the edges. But backstage at Liverpool they still have time to meet the fans and go through the laborious task of autograph signing.
“The kids have paid money to get in. It doesn`t take much to sign your bloody name, and we are here to make friends,” says Charlton.
After the tour the band will rest, and then cut another album. Another single from the album, possibly “Bad Bad Boy”, is on the cards, though the feeling within Nazareth is that one single from an album is enough.

They`ve already toured the States twice, last time with Ginger Baker`s Salt – not an altogether successful tour. The band don`t want to risk another American tour as unknowns, and are hoping “Broken Down Angel” will give them the necessary recognition when it`s released there.
Meanwhile, their management are surveying the aftermath of the Liverpool gig, weighing up just how much will be deducted from Nazareth`s fee. But then, it is good publicity.


Right….just so we are clear.

This number of the NME also contains articles/interviews with these people: Roxy Music, Greg Lake, Slade, Gary Glitter, Mott The Hoople, Silverhead, Clarence White, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Soft Machine.

This newspaper is sold!