ARTICLE ABOUT Francis Rossi (Status Quo) FROM SOUNDS, March 3, 1973

Here is a long and insightful interview with one of Britain`s most successful musicians, notching up hit single after hit single. This one should be good for the Quo fanatics.
I would also like to give my regards to two very special people among those who are following my blog: hotfox63 and badfinger20 who are very actively liking my posts. Much appreciated, guys! Thank you.

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Mike Rossi in the talk in

Words by Jerry Gilbert

How did the original band get together and who was in it at that time?

It started when I was at school with Alan (Lancaster), our bass player, and we were just messing around. You start bands because you want to be a star and we had a guy on organ who could play accordion at the time and we had John who had left school and was in the Army Training Corps. This was in `61-`62 in South London and we just breezed on from there basically. We did our first gig but it all took time. I remember we used to be in this room in this organist`s house and we did “Sweets For My Sweet” by the Searchers and we were so pleased with it, and whenever we were pleased with a number we used to turn the lights out in the room and all you could see was the little red light on the organ, and we used to sit and freak over it just because the light was on it.

Which bands were around when you started out?

Johnny Kidd had “Hungry For Love” and “I`ll Never Get Over You” and things like that and there were millions of bands from Liverpool, the Big Three and all that. We started off doing sports club gigs for two or three pounds, but we had this lead guitarist… it`s funny I could never play lead guitar, I was always frightened of it… and all he could play was the intro, he couldn`t even play rhythm, so all the lead was played on organ.

Was it a difficult transformation for you to make in becoming a strident, out-front lead player?

Yeah, because I had a big thing about not being able to play lead guitar.

Was it down to ego or simply ability?

I think it was ability because it was just down to learning and it come about so slowly that I never really started playing what I call decent guitar until `68-`69. I was just dead scared of it for some reason which was a peculiar situation – I wish I`d really been into it then because I`d be so much better now.

So the line-up of the band has been virtually the same right through?

The line-up is the same, it`s just that we got another organist around `67. We did the whole Butlins thing and there we could have learnt a lot, we could have rehearsed a lot – we were strictly a rock and roll band, “Rock Around The Clock,” “Hound Dog”, every rock and roll number we did.
When we first got there they put us in the Pig and Whistle, this enormous pub and we didn`t dig that at all, so then they stuck us in the Rock and Roll Ballroom, but then the kids really didn`t want rock and roll, I don`t know why because there were so many things that we thought were tremendous.

Had you started writing at that time?

The first one to start writing was Alan, I think, but that was really early, in `62-`63. The first thing he ever wrote was “You Are My Girl”, or something like that.
We were doing various things, we did a thing called “Teenage Frankenstein” which was a rocking twelve bar thing which was really good, but there were so many words crammed into a tiny space that you could hardly sing it – I used to get really out of breath singing it but it was no good because it was rock and roll. One pop number we did was a Billy Fury thing and also a lovely “B” side that he did called “Nothing Shaking But The Leaves On The Trees.”
There was an incredible solo in it for the time and I had no chance of playing it – peculiar days those.

So you were influenced almost entirely by rock and roll?

Yes, but before “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” there was the big soul thing and you had to do “Ride Your Pony” and and things. You had to go along with it because you couldn`t get work otherwise – you couldn`t do your own stuff.

But was the general scene then much more fun to play on than it is now?

I think everything now is much more healthy, it`s really good. There was that time in `68, `69 when it got very pseudo and very cool until they realised that by trying to be cool they were being uncool.

I suppose that was the period after the hits when you went ahead and played your music regardless?

Yeah, in `69 it really was hard times. We`d been through the whole hit thing and there was no work. Record sales at that time were so bad that you could probably get to number one with about 90,000 or 100,000 sales, but today things are so much better.
People are slagging the Osmonds and that but they`re selling records and they`re making the market much wider and much more alive which is great. I`m not saying that I like the Osmonds because what they`re doing isn`t me, but they make good records. I can say “I don`t like that but it`s good.”

Why do you think Quo have suddenly come back into favour? Do you think it`s just because the press have suddenly woken up to you and that you`ve had a healthy following all along, or has there been a marked improvement in your music?

Before the single and before this album we`d built a large following and we were earning good money and pulling good crowds and before the single it had taken us a long time to build it right through little clubs into bigger clubs and bigger venues, and what with selling the single and selling the album and then the press coming along, it`s broken us… broken the band.
It`s great because everybody`s extremely happy about it, this is what we`ve been trying to do, and we hope in doing it we`ve earned respect for the band because we obviously want to be the biggest thing ever, not just for the money but for personal satisfaction.
To know that you`re liked is an incredible thing and you know when you`re on stage that it`s a great feeling to be liked, that`s why you`re doing it I think. An audience can destroy you in two seconds and make you feel really good or really bad. But it`s remarkable on stage to get that reaction.

You talk about success, but at one time success to you meant reaching number one in the singles charts. You must have been an extremely young band when you had those hits?

We were very young and very green and we didn`t know what was going on. We`d just got with Pye and in those days you were told what you should do and what you shouldn`t do and you were never allowed to be yourself. You weren`t encouraged to develop in any way, you were just a product manipulated to make money.
It was incredible – one minute you`re earning £30 a night and the next minute you`ve got a single that`s doing monstrous sales in England, number eight in America and number one nearly everywhere else and there`s millions of people you`ve never seen in your life saying what a great feller you are. You begin to wonder what`s going on and you just don`t know. It hits you like that and you end up wandering around like a zombie.

So how did you react to that success? It seems to have made you very cynical.

Well, very wary. After all the people that jumped on suddenly they were all gone. You were led to believe that you were a star, you see. I used to think that before the record I used to have this thing in the mind that a hit record would solve every problem, it would make you something you`re not, it would solve all your problems at home and this would be great. But it didn`t… all the problems were still the same, and that I really couldn`t handle at the time, but nothing else had changed, it`s just that we were selling records.
Not only that but at gigs the people didn`t know us, they just knew the record so along they`d come and you`d get two or three hundred people watching you and the rest were just at the gig.

Was your act based purely around the hit record of the day or did you have a solid working repertoire?

We weren`t ready for it at all. As I said we had to do the whole soul thing and we used to have to do those old things at gigs so that when all of a sudden we were big stars every minute of our time was taken so there was no time to rehearse, you didn`t control anything.
At the moment we control everything basically, any decision taken as a group is talked about. Yesterday on our way back from the airport we were discussing something we`d done was right or wrong – it`s funny because it`s something we wouldn`t have discussed years ago, we`d have just been starry eyed about it all.

After what you went through before, I guess you were prepared to handle the success this time.

We were prepared for it, but the greatest feeling is to know that we built a large following without a record. I suppose there must be people who come to see us on the tour who have bought the single and not the album, and are not a hundred per cent sure of what the band are doing. But now we know we`ve got the confidence in the band and its music to get across to those people.

Are you more aware of the presentation and visual aspect of your stage show?

The visual side of the band came about when… we realised we could do twelve bars, we`ve always done bluesy, boogie type things because of the old rock type things and we got to the stage where you would walk on stage, put your head down and then basically nod and you`d knock yourself out doing it. I mean there was nothing else for us – there`d be these small gigs and just a few people but gradually the gigs started to get stronger and really started to grow.
As for the nodding thing, someone once said we looked like a formation dance team as the head nodding got stronger and stronger, but the more you`re into it the more you can really go. It`s remarkable, once your head starts moving you can close off from anything, and that`s the thing that came about as a result of the three of us all standing together on stage and all going home.
But the stage thing isn`t an act and we don`t want people to expect us to go out there and put on a show as far as leaping around goes, it`s a thing that`s inside and when the whole thing`s giving you a buzz it`s great. But there have been gigs where it`s not been so good and the visual thing has been very relaxed because it`s not happening – I can`t stand to force anything.

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Part of Quo`s thing always seems to have been a very basic approach and attitude towards the audience – right down to the very conversational way in which you introduce the numbers.

It`s much easier for us – if I`m talking to an audience the way I`m talking to you it`s very hard to get. Sometimes it`s great because there`s no barriers and I can be standing to them chatting, but other nights it`s slightly more tense and I`m only half getting through. But the times when I`m just standing there talking like this and you can feel it going across is beautiful.
Sometimes the things I say are incredibly funny and the band are laughing – it`s not a thing that I plan beforehand because we don`t want it to become mechanical and contrived. Sometimes I can stand on stage and talk to the audience and it`s really great, sometimes I stand on stage and talk to the audience and it`s really dead, the talking`s nothing.

You`re still doing a lot of stuff from the “Dog” album. You must feel a little sad that it got rather glossed over at the time.

That was like a favourite thing for us. It is a shame that it was glossed over but it`s picking up again. It`d probably have picked up a lot more if it had been with Vertigo and would have got a little more exposure now because that album is still very important to us.
Like “Piledriver”, there`s a lot in there and we really dug that album. We dig “Piledriver” but that was an album that was very close to us, it`s a really nice album and we really enjoy it.
We always find it hard to put something new into the act – it`s hard to put the “Piledriver” stuff in. We put the single in to the act and “Don`t Waste My Time” off the album and it was so hard to get `em rocking just naturally without thinking about it.

So the stuff from the “Dog” album is still predominating?

To an extent. We got “Roadhouse Blues” – we do that in the encore and we`ve been doing that for a while and we thought it would be nice on the “Piledriver” album because most people know it. I think we`re going to put in the slow blues, but it`s going to be hard because you get out on stage and to do “Don`t Waste My Time” which becomes “Unspoken Words” we`ve all got to get down mentally, tearful if you like.
When we did it in the studio it was late and it was dark and we did the thing and it was almost tearful the way we did it – it was a great feeling, another feeling, so we`ve got to really get down and try and feel down on stage so we can do “Unspoken Words”. If we can do it, it`ll be beautiful.
We`ve got other things coming along – off the next album – that it`ll be nice to do, but we need to do more from “Piledriver” first.

You`re collaborating a lot with Rob Young, I see.

Well, he`s been with the band… he started out in the truck and we used to use him to play harmonica on bits and pieces. He`s very good on the business side – in fact, everybody who works with us is very much like us, the roadies, the manager, everyone is like us, we`re all very close and it`s been the same for a long time. That makes a difference to us because Bob knows as Colin (Johnson) does what we want, what we lack and what we don`t want.

The writing seems to be shared fairly evenly. Do the collaborations happen naturally or do the songs take shape around a few riffs with everyone throwing in ideas?

In the past… Alan always writes on his own and years ago he used to do things with Bob, then I started writing a lot of things with Bob… and Richie. I do quite a few things with Richie, but lately we`ve been in the dressing room either before the gig or after and we just sit and blow and lots of things come out which are future things and could be really good.
We`re aware that they`re not up yet and marvellous yet, but we find things we didn`t know we could do – rather complex things I suppose compared with the way people see us because we`re basically very simple.

Do you think that as the band have developed the tendency is towards more complex music or more simplicity? Do you think complexity is a trap you can fall into?

It`s hard to say. Arrangement wise it could get more complex. When we`re on stage we get a good driving feeling, but if we`ve got to try and show off and show how clever we are, we don`t feel anything by adding intricate arrangements. It may come along gradually because things have started to become a bit more involved, but some people feel that whatever we do, we knock it up and it`s done because it`s so basic.
But each thing we do takes a lot out of us although the end thing is pretty straight and pretty simple. I wouldn`t like to see the music get too pseudo but it could get more involved. I don`t want to lose the communication we have – I wouldn`t want to go on stage and not be too sure whether I was enjoying it. I really don`t want to go out and baffle the audience.

Which numbers are you finding you`re getting most feedback from?

“Railroad” we get a lot out of. Once we get back on for “Railroad” and “Roadhouse Blues” they`re really enthusiastic. We get a lot of shouting for “Junior`s Wailing” … and out of all of `em really. But you`ve got to be careful because… we want to put all the things in on the album… “All The Reasons” which is on the album and it`s very melodic and gentle, it`s ever so nice and we`d like to do that on stage.
We`d like to do “Big Fat Mama” which we`ve done before on stage, and we`d like to do the whole album and the “Dog” album on stage – but we got our act up to about two and a quarter hours with encores and to keep an audience going for that long is difficult because people get really tired especially if the place is packed.
If you go on for two hours we start to get dizzy spells, and if we`re like that, most of the audience are usually leaping, really going it, so they must be getting like that, so in the end you have to decide where the point comes when they`ve had enough and we`ve had enough, not to go too far and lose it. We`d love to get those things in the act, though, and we don`t want to take anything out at the moment because there are going to be a lot of people seeing us on tour who haven`t seen us before and we`ve got to get across to.
You see we want to get across to everybody no matter what age. It`d be great if everybody dug Status Quo… that`s the obvious thing and it sounds silly but… there was a couple at Stoke and they were just stood there at the front, they looked like a right old couple, really straight, and they were digging it like crazy, so it would be really nice if we can get right across.

Has the rapidity with which the album and the single have shot up the charts surprised you?

I think we were lucky that… you see we couldn`t get the release before we did because we couldn`t get out of our other contract… there was a big court thing so we would probably have got it out earlier at the time, but it came out and were just lucky it came out at the right time. It`s just gone so well. I don`t know why it`s gone all of a sudden, it`s so strange.
Basically the single was an album track and it`s a great track as far as we`re concerned and as the single sold I suppose some people thought let`s try the album and maybe that`s why the whole thing`s going. You see the following we`ve got… they`re not the kind of people who will buy something just because it`s Status Quo. Like we did “In My Chair” and that sold incredibly well with no air play and no exposure and then we had a single after that which didn`t do a carrot and that was a shame, but it was good that people didn`t go out and buy it just because it was Status Quo.
“Paper Plane” didn`t sell just because it was Status Quo, it sold because people dug it and that`s the way it should be. If we put out another single from the next album and it doesn`t sell it won`t be a great hang up because if they don`t like it, that`s fine. I don`t really like the thought of people buying it because it`s the group.

Was “Paper Plane” recorded initially as a single or an album track?

It was originally on the album and it was put out by the new record company. We needed a product and it was a taster for the album to let people know we were still around because it was a long gap and we were getting worried.
I don`t think we could sit down now and write hit singles, but we`ve got a lot of things like that that`ll be on the next album – but whether or not they`ll be singles I don`t know. There are a couple of things we can see now that would be right.

You`ve only really had one personnel change right the way through.

Yes, the organist left about three and a half years ago. He just left… decided to sling his hook. It got very tight when he left and that`s no reflection on him, but it was just obvious that the organ was holding it back a little bit.
So Roy Lyons left and we got straight back into it and went to Scotland. The next night went straight on stage and it was really great, tight and the twelve bar things were obviously better and it was lovely – it`s been really tight since then.

But how serious was it around `68-`69? Was there any likelihood of the band breaking up?

It was pretty serious but what else could we do? If we split we could only have gone to another band or go back to work which none of us particularly wanted to do. But we went through a ballad period – we used to take a tape recorder round with us – we had this single which was our last try at having a hit. It was a lovely song so we had this big taped intro running right through the song and it used to go out of tune and all sorts of problems.
We did it twice and that was it. We were doing this kind of stuff and “Junior`s Wailing” in the same act. It was so strange. That was basically it, we thought, “Right, let`s just get on with it”, and that`s just what we did.
It must have really baffled a few people but that`s where the act really sorted itself out. It`s great, everybody`s happy now, everything`s the way we want it to be and there`s no problems. The only thing we`re going to get is… you know the better you do the more you get slagged off. But it`s all a bit of fun. We`ve managed to hang on through it all, and here we are.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Darryl Way (Curved Air), Sounds staff analyse David Bowie, Nazareth, Steve Marriott, Average White Band, Elton John, Geordie, Slade, Thin Lizzy, Stackridge,  Peter Gabriel, Mike Heron, Jesse Winchester.

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: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 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.

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ARTICLE ABOUT David Bowie FROM SOUNDS, March 3, 1973

This was a really strange idea. Put the staff of Sounds in a room together and let them discuss one contemporary artist, then print it in Sounds later. Does it have value? Not so much at the time maybe, except for the fact that these people to a certain extent were closer to Bowie than most other people. Today I would say that this article have more value than when it was originally printed, as these are first-hand impressions of the man as he was seen by these writers at an early point in his career. This is what people actually thought at the time, and because of that it is quite interesting to read.
Enjoy this one.

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A new series in which Sounds` staff analyse today`s leading artists

OUTERVIEW

Bowie: Man and the mask
“Nobody knew how to handle Bowie – he was a total unknown quantity right up to `Hunky Dory` really”

Sounds writers, I assume like Sounds readers, tend to spend a fair amount of their time sitting around talking – about music and musicians as often as not. As a change from straight interviews or the single-minded bigotry of our personal opinion pieces, Jerry Gilbert (hereinafter referred to as JG) had the bright idea of recording a series of these conversations and getting them down on paper – some multi-minded bigotry for you. So, the scene is one rainy night in the Holloway Road in an otherwise deserted office, on the desk is a tape recorder, a bottle of wine, several packets of peanuts and a stack of David Bowie albums, and sprawled around it are JG, Penny Valentine (PV), Martin Hayman (MH), and myself, Steve Peacock (SP). We chose David Bowie as the first subject for these highly subjective quadrologues. We hope it provides you with some food for thought, and maybe some fuel for your letter-writing pens.

SP: The point that struck me listening to some of those earliest songs was that he seems to have projected himself totally into a certain image for that album, and the same applies to “Ziggy” – he`s put himself completely into this figment of the imagination which is Ziggy Stardust. It seems to be an approach he`s used fairly consistently.

IMAGE

PV: But he must be very upset at the moment that his image has taken over from his songs.
SP: No, I`d think he`s very pleased. What used to upset me, or annoy me, when “Ziggy” came out and all these new people started going for David Bowie, was that the guy who`d made “Hunky Dory” was getting lost somewhere back along the line.
I think that`s true still, but I think it`s his intention that David Bowie doesn`t really exist, and all that really does exist at the moment for the purposes of music and performing is this creation, this mask which at the moment is Ziggy Stardust but which is gradually being phased into Aladdin Sane or whatever comes next.
MH: So he`s operating from behind a mask, which releases his personality to do and think as he likes.
PV: But there`s still a difference between the live gigs which he did, say, three or four years ago and the live gigs he does now, as far as image is concerned, because he was just David Bowie sitting on stage with a guitar – there was no outward show except that he was pretty, basically, and perhaps a little bit vulnerable. That`s where the difference has occured so much, in the live performance.
The point about Bowie which is maybe responsible for how he is today, partly anyway, is that when he released that very first album everybody within the business thought it was an incredible album for that time because nobody had been writing those kind of songs before within that context, but he couldn`t get any commercial success – partly because he wouldn`t do many live gigs and he wouldn`t take the business seriously. Or so he said anyway.
They were really the first songs that were slightly quirky, slightly unusual in that way – even the early Beatles` things were fairly simple. I think he was the first English “pop” artist to really bring any kind of lyrical quality, and even melodic on occasions, peculiar little ideas into music. It was commercially unviable at the time and he had no real direction through a lot of his work, and I think this was half of his problem, and I think this is why he`s so strong on direction at the moment – at last he`s found “A Wav”.

But the fact about Bowie is that I think in many ways he felt very insecure for a long time because I don`t think anybody actually ever believed in him – I don`t know whether he believed in himself, but certainly there was never any direction within himself about how he would go. He would only do the odd concert, he would never do anything…
SP: You knew him at the time. Did “Space Oddity” take him by surprise when it became a hit? Because he didn`t follow it up.
PV: Yes, but you`ve got to remember that at that time he didn`t want to do any gigs – he did one tour with Humble Pie when they first started, which was a complete fiasco of a tour, and what he found was that when he sat on stage with his guitar and sang numbers like “Cygnet Committeee” for instance off that album, the audience were incredibly restless – all they wanted to hear was “Space Oddity”. And he became incredibly disillusioned in a funny way, because I think he felt that “Space Oddity” would be a kind of lever to get all his other songs heard, but because it was such a commercial proposition, far more than his other songs on the face of it…
JG: But if you can forget that “Space Oddity” was a hit, was that a stronger song than his others of that period?

FLASHY

PV: I`d say as a commercial proposition it was.
SP: I think the point comes out that his commercial success has always come with a rather flashy, rather flip and superficial kind of imagery – I mean “Cygnet Committee” didn`t make it, but “Space Oddity” did. It was a clever little story, a bit “weird” because it was about space and stuff….
MH: Spacey things were very much in vogue then, because it was about the time of Hendrix and the Byrds… it was in the air as it were.
SP: OK. Then he dived, and then came back with this mythical Ziggy Stardust figure.
MH: No, no, no – Ziggy Stardust surely was preceded by “Hunky Dory”.
SP: But “Hunky Dory” wasn`t a success commercially – it didn`t sell well at the time.
JG: Even so it did sufficient…
PV: But the thing you`ve got to remember is that up until Ziggy Stardust there were very few people who`d seen Bowie live on stage – I`d reckon that probably only five per cent or less of the audience he gets now ever saw him live up until then, and I don`t think they even knew about him until then – he was a minority appeal artist.
MH: It seems to me he`s gone from one extreme to another – from being extremely elitist with only a small band of people who were going to get into what he`s writing, to a very, very broad spectrum. It seems conscious.
PV: I have a feeling it was more very clever timing – whether on his part or not. His career went through so many peculiar patches and up until “Hunky Dory”, say, I`d seen him a lot and he never, never wanted to get involved in the business, never wanted to do gigs, couldn`t take it seriously. I don`t know how much of that was that he had no confidence in himself, which might partly be because he couldn`t get off the ground, couldn`t do any big gigs, but he always said he didn`t want to.
SP: So what do you think changed his mind?
PV: I think having a new manager.
SP: So why did he get a new manager?
PV: I don`t know what happened. I know that he was with Ken Pitman. I know that came to a halt. His argument directly after that and just before DeFries – he told me about DeFries – was that finally he found somebody who gave him confidence. I think more it gave him direction. See, nobody knew how to handle Bowie – he was a total unknown quantity, right up to “Hunky Dory” really.

DIRECTION

He had these ideas about mime and things like that, and the business as a whole couldn`t quite see him in any kind of context. It`s very difficult to find out whether suddenly he fitted in or whether he suddenly found a direction.
SP: At the time of “Hunky Dory” or just after, I felt he started consciously creating this kind of wall between him and the public David Bowie.
PV: Well yes, but since none of us have met him since it`s hard to tell which is which now. The only thing that gives you a clue – from our experience at work – is that it seems he doesn`t want to talk to anyone who might have known him earlier on and all he seems to want is somebody who will reflect the image that he has now.
JG: So why is it that a few people have suddenly become a whole lot of people – is it just the songs, is it the image…?
PV: I don`t think the actual songs have changed much over the past, say, six years, so it must be that the audience taste has changed, that the promotion`s better…
JG: The presentation`s changed completely, not the songs.
MH: I think Bowie`s appeal now is very broadly based. I mean obviously – shall we say discriminating listeners – realise that the guy`s got quality, real quality to his songs which is something that he`s always had but hasn`t been appreciated up until now, plus the image is much more broad based – this kind of hermaphroditic thing that he has means that he appeals to blokes as well as chicks. Also in a fairly broad spectrum; young kids can take it straight because he`s a beautiful character, and the 25-year-olds can appreciate that he`s got this mask and is working the business very cleverly from there, and still appreciate that he`s writing good songs.

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BALANCE

PV: The only worry I have about him actually is that at the moment – and I don`t think this is going to last because I think the image will finally die and the songs will stand up – the majority of people buying the albums are buying them because of Bowie. I don`t think the songs have the importance the image has, I don`t think the balance is there.
I think he`s being very clever in a way, getting the songs to the people, and I think eventually the importance of the image will fade slightly and the songs will be left.
JG: Do you think they will, or do you think the songs will fade too?
PV: No, I don`t think the songs will fade – well, as much as anyone can say.
If you look at him and hear him now, he`s the epitome of everything that`s happening in its strongest and most obvious way now, in the same way that Pete Townshend was the epitome of everything that was happening in its most volatile way at that time (the time of “My Generation”). I can`t quite express it, but he seems to have captured the freneticism of the kind of 1984 syndrome – I see something from the future as opposed to something that`s happening now.
JG: A sort of “Clockwork Orange” future.
PV: Yes, very much – he always reminds me of steel buildings. Very strange.
SP: But to put it another way, he`s not so much a projection of the future, as of a kind of future he`s created that wouldn`t necessarily have happened without him. He`s taken a load of elements from science fiction and all that kind of stuff and made himself into a kind of hero of that generation – and people are beginning to believe in it.

PV: The other great thing about him is that he has this sense of outrage where he outrages all but his followers – when you think how the Stones used to outrage all the adults, he brings out that same kind of response.
Half of the attraction young kids have always felt towards a hero – and you can forget all these little groups who wear make-up and all that rhubarb, they`re not heroes – is something that another generation would maybe find slightly distasteful. And I think to a great extent he`s taken a lot of his influences from what`s going down in New York, for instance, which is not particularly happening in England but which English audiences like to relate to because they love to relate to things American, to something they haven`t actually experienced but it is a kind of trend image. I think Bowie and DeFries between them decided to go out and provide a great shock factor to English rock music – it may not be so much that now, but certainly at the beginning it was; there`d never been that kind of a person up from the British rock scene, ever.
JG: Bowie`s American thing though was very strange – he had the tour set up, and he did it, and he did it really well, and then they started ploughing in these extra dates on the West Coast, until he got to San Francisco which is where I saw him on Hallowe`en. And it was the freakiest show I`d ever been to in my life – I could have sworn I saw Bowie four times before he actually got out on stage, there were people there who looked so like Bowie, but then there were hardly any people there anyway.

FREAKS

The general consensus seemed to be that San Francisco, which is supposed to be the great trend maker, has got its own freaks and it doesn`t really need imported English ones.
PV: Which is why I don`t think he could have started this whole thing in America, or in New York, but the English rock audience by and large is wanting to get in on what`s going on there but is still alienated by the distance…
I think the thing is, you see, that Bowie has at last found a place to belong, after all these years – I mean it`s been a long time he`s been ligging about, whether he took it seriously or not, for all the mitigating reasons that he didn`t get off the ground. I think at last he`s found a place he kicks off from – everyone needs a jumping-off point and I think he`s got it now.
JG: But I just think the metamorphosis might start wearing very thin very soon and I don`t think he can keep forcing a concept change without the material. I wonder whether his sort of end was after “Hunky Dory”, because I find the rift between “Hunky Dory” and “Ziggy Stardust” rather more… I mean “Hunky Dory” turned me on to David Bowie who I`d always been aware of, but “Ziggy Stardust” held me by virtue of the image but not by virtue of the songs, and the next album won`t do that for me.

CRITICAL

PV: Yes, but you`re now sitting in a critical capacity – you see things in a different way, we all do, let`s face it, and I don`t think you can say he hasn`t got a lasting quality just because it did that for you. I think the fact is that after all these years he`s got success, what he does with it is another matter, but I don`t think he`s very easily going to let it go. But the other thing is that a lot of the things he`s always wanted to do, like the mime company and things, he`s now able to do because when you get success you have the facility to do things like that.
SP: People say that, people say that the success of having hit records and being on the front pages of the papers, has allowed him to put into practice the ideas he`s always had – but I thought the Rainbow concert with the mime company was mediocre in the extreme. It didn`t take the mime far enough, it didn`t take the music far enough, the musicians were used as props, stuck under bits of scaffolding.
So does it mean that having got to this pitch of commercial success, he isn`t really able to put into practice the things he was doing before – that the commercial pressures on him make him water everything down for public consumption? I didn`t speak to anyone else who felt it wasn`t as good as it could have been – everyone I spoke to thought it was great, Bowie has brought mime to a mass audience. Yet what he`d done was to bring an apology for mime to a mass audience, and they loved it.

MH: And his policy of record releases seems to be taking him further and further away from the kind of audience he could present a mime show to – for example to me, “The Jean Genie” sounds exactly like T. Rex on a pub juke box.
PV: This is what makes me think that he`s been so influenced by Bolan, from an outward point of view, from a show point of view. They`ve been friends for an awful long time, so now you think of a guy that cannot get any success, and who`s been sort of half trying – I mean, despite the fact that he always denied he wanted to be involved. I`m sure that you don`t make records unless you want people to hear them and you want to get some kind of recognition. So he sees Bolan suddenly projecting an entirely new image to an entirely new audience – I think it had a great influence on him, far more than he`d ever admit to.
I think their careers run very parallel actually, except that T. Rex supplied a want to a very young audience and Bowie has manoeuvred his image in a slightly different way.
SP: I`d say T. Rex supplied a need whereas Bowie created a demand.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Darryl Way (Curved Air), Geordie, Nazareth, Steve Marriott, Average White Band, Elton John, Francis Rossi (Status Quo), Slade, Thin Lizzy, Stackridge, Peter Gabriel, Mike Heron, Jesse Winchester.

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: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 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.

ARTICLE ABOUT Geordie FROM SOUNDS, March 3, 1973

We are on to a very special issue of Sounds here. Looking through it I realised that I may have to write a record number of articles from this one. It is almost like an early issue of what later became the best rock magazine in the world – “Kerrang” (In the early days). So many nice articles that I`m almost drooling. And we start of with a bit of gold here – an article with the band that later lost their vocalist to what was to be one of the greatest rock bands in the world ever. But they were far away knowing anything about that at the time. Enjoy!

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Perfection`s their thing

By Ray Telford

“A good solid driving beat and lots of pure unadulterated excitement,” was the description put on the new single from Geordie in last week`s SOUNDS by one Gavin Breck in his appraisal of what records would be most likely to turn on the nation`s discotheque customers this year.
As it happens Geordie have already notched up quite a few singles sales with their debut record, “Don`t Do That”, which gained rapid approval on its release in the latter half of last year and as a result planted them firmly in the minds of lovers of no holds barred, undiluted rock.

DISILLUSIONED

The band, a four piece, comprising Vic Malcolm, guitar; Brian Johnson, vocals; Tom Hill, bass and Brian Gibson, drums; were formed by Vic in Newcastle last February. Brian says that, individually, they`d all previously played with various semi-pro lineups in Newcastle but that they`d rapidly become disillusioned with the lack of work in the area available to semi-pro groups: “Then Vic got this band together,” Brian explained, “and suddenly we seemed to be working every night of the week. The change was incredible and we were forced to learn things in literally a matter of weeks what most other bands learn in a year. The single took off very quickly, almost as soon as it was released, because the radio DJs picked up on it and that`s something, I suppose, we should be very thankful for.”

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Brian describes the group`s recent appearance with Slade at the Palladium as the most important gig of their career so far, though he admits their biggest following still centres around the Northern ballrooms and that they`ve yet to consolidate their following: “London,” says Brian, “isn`t the easiest place in the world for a band like us to break in. I know that audiences aren`t so blase as they used to be and that everyone`s into raving a bit more at gigs but the few small London gigs we have played in the last year have been nothing like what we`re used to up North.”
The bulk of Geordie`s repertoire is written by Vic Malcolm who penned both “Don`t Do That” and “All Because Of You”, the group`s new single as well as all the material due for inclusion on their debut album released next month.
The group`s straight pop approach, Brian says, is unlikely to change in favour of anything more musically complex. “When we started playing the Newcastle clubs we had to play a few numbers which weren`t ours because the audiences seemed very wary of bands who played original material but gradually we began to sneak in Vic`s songs until we got to the stage where everything we did was our own and the kids were still going wild.

EXPERIENCE

“In many ways the band is very self-critical and though most of our stuff is simple, straight down the line rock we realise that you`ve still got to keep trying for perfection. It`s something I don`t think many bands really care about but I think we`ve always been pretty conscious of it.”
Of the new single, Brian says it should have more commercial appeal than “Don`t Do That”, though it has a similar feel: “Hit singles are still the only way to get through to the biggest audiences. I think singles are also becoming more and more important to the rock business and you can see that through the number of really good ones that bands are putting out these days. The excitement that surrounds a really good hit single is quite an experience and I hope we`ll be experiencing quite a few in future.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Darryl Way (Curved Air), Sounds staff analyse David Bowie, Nazareth, Steve Marriott, Average White Band, Elton John, Francis Rossi (Status Quo), Slade, Thin Lizzy, Stackridge, Peter Gabriel, Mike Heron, Jesse Winchester.

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: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 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.

ARTICLE ABOUT Nazareth FROM SOUNDS, February 10, 1973

Nazareth were lucky enough to be reviewed by Mr. Makowski who at the time must have been a very young man. As some of you know, he has later had a great career writing for some of the biggest rock oriented magazines in the world, and here he submits one short example of why he`s considered one of the great music writers.

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Nazareth Concert review

By Peter Makowski

Right from the start, when drummer Darryl Sweet stepped on stage and began playing a series of wold but controlled rhythms on a large yellow drum kit, it was clear from the audience`s reaction that this was no ordinary night at the Marquee.
When the rest of Nazareth arrived the structure of the number gradually developed into “Night Woman”. The audience were evidently familiar with the band`s repertoire and while the first few numbers were “heavy” they still retained a fine musical quality.
The pace slowed with Ry Cooder`s “Vigilante Man”, featuring some outstanding slide from lead guitarist Manny Charlton, and the band ran through “Paper Sun”, “Woke Up This Morning”, “Alcatraz” as well as a excellent version of Don Nix`s “Going Down” and Don`s “Ruby Baby” and the highlight of the night, “Morning Dew” by Tim Hardin, handled powerfully by vocalist Dan McCafferty.
Nazareth possess all the qualities necessary to ensure a big future, constituting well balanced numbers and an exciting stage act. There`s also a strong sense of audience/band loyalty (it seems many travelled from Scotland to see the gig) and that`s a very valuable commodity these days.

 

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Dave Lambert, Beck, Bogert & Appice, Isaac Hayes, Peter Frampton, Rory Gallagher, Dusty Springfield, Syd Barrett, Stevie Wonder, Badger, Judy Sill, Jennie Hahn, Help Yourself, Ian A. Anderson, Pete Townshend.

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: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 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.

 

ARTICLE ABOUT Beck, Bogert & Appice FROM SOUNDS, February 10, 1973

I don`t know if it is this band especially or the individual members in it that attracts a lot of traffic to my blog, but I have noticed a spike in the activity when printing articles about these guys. So what could be more tempting than to share this article with you considering the response I have seen earlier? So this is a good tip for everyone – share articles on my blog with like-minded people and see more articles with your favourite band or artist re-printed here! You know it is only common sense.

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Beck band uncover the goods

By Martin Hayman

This latest tour for Beck, Bogert and Appice is their most important. The three musicians have waited long enough to make this band a reality: it`s now time to deliver the goods. The first time was more by way of an introduction and contained too much old material. The set has now been changed almost completely, and most of the old favourites from old bands have been dropped.
It was on their opening night at Dunstable`s Queensway Hall last Thursday that I caught them. They had only rehearsed for three days before the opening and a certain lack of precision was to be expected. It was a little ragged, but the overall effect is still like a sledgehammer blow. “Plynth” and “Shotgun” have gone, and “Beck`s Boogie” and “People Get Ready” was also supposed to have been dropped, but with two encores BBA were needing all the numbers they had.
As they have done for the last six months, BBA opened with “Superstition” which is the centre of considerable controversy between Beck and Stevie Wonder. BBA slow it down and thicken the sound, moving it closer to electric R & B than Wonder`s uptown funk. On the opening night the PA was rather unbalanced, resulting in a sound which favoured excessively Appice`s fantastic drumming, huge slabs of sound laid down with a metronomic backbeat.
Bogert`s bass is fast and clipped, and he handles it unlike any player I can think of off-hand. Occasionally he trades runs with Beck, each pushing the other ahead. As a trio it`s entirely convincing, each man playing off the other. In action one can well see why they ditched the singer and the keyboard: with the three of them it`s as tight as a bee`s ass.

One especially nice number in a programme which until the end contained few old songs was Don Nix`s “Sweet Surrender” with Bogert and Appice`s distinctive high harmonies and Jeff Beck playing a mellow soul/R & B guitar. Beck seems to have taken to heart Pete Townshend`s comments about single notes: he uses fat, beefy chords more now and single note runs are played in towards the song rather than out toward the audience, using the notes only as a part of the whole trio`s effect.
Beck has now also been persuaded to sing, and occasionally he stepped forward to the mike to supply some not very audible harmonies, and on “Black Cat Moan”, a more straight-ahead blues shout than most of the material, he takes lead vocal.
But my vote for the best addition to the set goes to “Lose Myself With You” with its strange, accented beat at the end, which gives the band all the opportunities they need to really work it out together. In any case the crowd was delighted to see the band again, and gave them a rousing cheer resulting in two encores, one with “People Get Ready” and the other with a sort of boogie, whether it was Jeff`s I couldn`t say, but by that time he seemed to be loosening out considerably, making the guitar bend and snarl with evident pleasure all round.
But an index of how much better it will get was given by Tim Bogert who afterwards commented disgustedly: “I thought it sucked.” Things are on the move again for BBA.

 

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Dave Lambert, Beck, Bogert & Appice, Isaac Hayes, Peter Frampton, Rory Gallagher, Dusty Springfield, Syd Barrett, Stevie Wonder, Badger, Judy Sill, Jennie Hahn, Help Yourself, Ian A. Anderson, Pete Townshend.

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: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 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.