This concert review is from when Golden Earring were out touring in promotion of their album “Switch” released in March that year. One of the songs mentioned here, “Kill Me (Ce Soir)”, was covered by Iron Maiden as a B side on their 1990 single “Holy Smoke”. It shows you that Golden Earring made other songs than “Radar Love” that were of note. Check them out!


Concert Review

Golden Earring

by Max Bell

Golden Earring`s return to domestic base, fun loving Amsterdam, completed yet another highly successful European tour.
Although they`re undoubtedly Holland`s most accomplished band, the audience they pull is still largely comprised of the faithful who latched on in 1965 when Earring were just your average Continental outfit struggling to keep up with an Anglo-American monopoly on rated music.
Now it`s different. Ten years is a long time for any group to survive, and this one is only just reaching commercial fruition.
Naturally the Carre Theatre was packed but the lack of both atmosphere and spontaneous reaction to a very high energy act seemed to indicate that the Dutch aren`t going to elevate their home team to the league reserved for visiting heavies.
Something is lacking in Golden Earring`s presentation that no amount of professionalism and shellshock volume can compensate for.
The fault lies in a lack of variable material and their mistaken insistence on playing too bloody loud. Clearly balanced quadrophonic sound and razor sharp dynamics are fine, but they don`t excuse unimaginative pacing.

To their credit the visuals are neat and simple and occasionally they produce a real gem, but there`s too much indifferent jetsam floating amongst the superior ballast.
They bounced on stage like several Randolph Scotts and shot straight into “Suspicion”. Fair enough with raunchy sax and trumpet breaks plus pretty George Kooyman`s flash`n-`mean guitar.
A quick breather to get the standard formalities over and then an oldie, “She Flies On Strange Wings”. Popular number this, lots of power chords and metallic stereo riffs ricocheting round the hall.
It`s all done by mirrors of course, though I`ve got to admit that Kooymans is pretty nifty on the fretboard, and what a lovely mover!
Bit of buzz out front and they pulled “The Switch”, from the new elpee to celebrate.
It was here that I wondered why the hell my feet weren`t moving of their own accord. Although new member Robert Jan Stips contributes a meaty keyboards passage and the others shove the coda about at high-speed it`s really hard rock by numbers, throw out the bait and watch `em salivate.
Trouble is they didn`t.


Now this grouse with Earring`s patchy repertoire is enforced when they do deliver the goods, because it`s then that you realise you`re seeing three-quarters of a potentially excellent live act.
“Big Tree, Blue Sea” is a genuine ace despite the sneaking suspicion that George is working through the “guitar heroes you have loved” routine. He does it with panache however, and Barry Hay`s flute is a welcome diversion from the previous blast.
At the climax they sound like some Rattles Shocking Blue hybrid, stupid but fun.
“Kill Me (Ce Soir)” was better. Ostensibly about some geezer called Vick Timms it`s actually a vague tribute to Jim Morrison.
Long, long ago Hay copped a lot of the lizard king`s mannerisms, not to mention the black leather trousers, and got them down pretty pat (the mannerisms, not the trousers). The song builds to a point that might be gripping were it not for the magnesium flashes at the end, an unnecessary extravagance considering the context.
“Love Is A Rodeo” gets back to that old impression of deja vu; almost anachronistic lead and a definite nod to days of yore, acid and San Fran.
The horn section, another recent acquisition, returned for “Daddy`s Gonna Save My Soul”, but didn`t do anything other than add to a deafening welter of noise. If Van Gogh ever goes to Golden Earring concerts, he`s probably glad that he did pull his left ear off after all.

During “Vanilla Queen” slight tactical variations resulted in an enjoyable rocker that did not hurt. The band were super slick, tight and confident and oozing full-tilt arrogance.
Enter “Radar Love” which, surprisingly, a fair section of the crowd had shouted for all evening.
Now “Radar Love” was/is a great song and live they bring out the tension lurking behind the drum beat but when Cesar Zuiderwyk launches into his tortuously excessive and boring solo it ruins the atmosphere. Who wants to hear freaky blows at individual instruments which serve no purpose other than to show off how good or bad a musician is?
Anyway the solo is barely a development of the actual rhythm before he gets the spotlight. After the banging and clanking, he still leaps over the huge kit, which is getting to look very contrived.
Continuing that vein, Rinus Gerritsen, who`d been subdued most of the time, stuck his compulsory guide to the obscure regions of the bass guitar in the middle of “Can`t Get A Hold On Her”.
Two encores “Cool Jerk” and “Back Home” then off. They kept them hanging on in there but they sure didn`t take them all the way.
Golden Earring are positively undermining their own possibilities when they stoop to rock cliches, because apart from that lack of invention there`s a niche for them somewhere.
Quite where I couldn`t truly say.

A nice ad from the boys in Bad Company.

A nice ad from the boys in Bad Company.

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 number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Average White Band, Kenny, Ronnie Lane, Osibisa, Randy Newman, The Who, Viv Stanshall, Mike Love (Beach Boys), Dollar Brand, Greenslade.

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.

While you wait for updates…

I have made a t-shirt!

If you are that sort of crazy person that likes to wear something unique. Here is something unique for you – a t-shirt with one of the most famous traditional melodies from Norway, with Norwegian lyrics.


Many Norwegian children sing this innocent melody at school, but you can tell your friends it is a famous Norwegian satanist song that they like to sing before burning churces. ;-) Have fun!

You can order it here, and at the same time support this site:


This is an really interesting article in a lot of ways. If you are a Cooper fan and haven`t read it before – then I will highly recommend you to read through this one. This was written in the period between Alice`s “old” band and his new solo career. I think Dick Wagner`s prophesy is quite spot-on about the chances of the old band getting together again. All in all, one of the most interesting reads published on these pages about Alice, his band and associated characters.


Hey man, you with a gwoop?

Speech impediments are the thing in Los Angeles this year. There are quite a lot of naked men jumping out of bushes – whereas more sedate professional types prefer to plunge from the Continental Hyatt House Hotel roof. NICK KENT is also in evidence, pursuing the unfortunate ALICE COOPER, so read on and thrill to the extraordinary adventures of…

A Limey in LA

It`s still pretty cool to be a Limey in Los Angeles. Barely pubescent girls still ooh and aah around one, waitresses smile sweetly as nationality is established (they even goose around after hours if you have one of those arch-P. G. Wodehouse effete nodal jobs and tell them you`re a personal friend of Jimmy Page).
Usually, though, the common-or-garden L.A. Limey obsessionist will approach you thus: after ascertaining said nationality she will exclaim, “Wow, you English people are so-o far-out!” prefacing said comment with a giggly “Fantastic!” It also appears to be to the predator`s advantage to suffer from a speech defect of some sort when stating the latter; stuttering and sinal complaints are very popular out here. Hair-lips are truly “outre”.
Connie had the good fortune to be suffering from a severe lisp problem when she addressed yours truly with the aforestated magical expletives. Connie is a waitress at the Continental Hyatt House Coffee Shop (“where all the English `gwoops` go – y`know?”), about 35 and genned up to the gills with the current happenings on Sunset Boulevard.
“It`s a crazy area here, ya know that? Perverts and stuff. Like my girlfriend…only the other day…this guy jumped out of the bushes around La Cienega. He was stark naked and screaming out `Screw me! Screw me!` She screamed back `Screw you!`”…

Today, though, is special.
“This guy…a really nice man he was…respectable, a lawyer, I think. He was staying here, see – and one minute he`s in here having breakfast…very quiet…he disappears and the next thing, my friend Janis is running in to tell me he`s just jumped off the roof. He was pretty mushed up when he hit the ground”…A pause and then, matter-of-factly, “The policeman said he`s cut his wrists, too, so he must`ve wanted to die really bad, I guess.”
Another pause – too short though to nurture an actual reaction to complement the latter statement.
“Hey! You with the rock band?”
And before I could answer “yea” or “nay”, her finger pointed to a table in the corner around which were placed a couple of roadie-look-alikes, two bored-looking groupies and one moose-jawed vision of bovine denim overall that turned out to be Alvin Lee.
I shook my head vigorously.
“A writer, huh? Who you writing about then?”
Oh, Alice Cooper, I reply, nonchalantly, expecting at least another “Oh wow! Far-out!” routine to grace the answer.
Instead she turned almost sullen.
“Alice Cooper!! Whaddya writing about him for? He`s gotten fat and boring. All that horrific stuff is gonna be nowhere this year.”
Yeah, I say, but he`s got a new album out, a new band. Things are happening.

Still, I secretly had to admit she was right. I mean, here I was in a town where a guy nicknamed the “Slasher” is currently roaming around hacking up hoboes and derelicts, and now he`s just graduated to “decent folk” (according to the latest news bulletin) in apartments – a town where the L.A. Free Press openly advertises the services of pre-pubescent girls for acts of sexual deviancy in your own home” (right next to the ad. which has some rouged-up garter-belt “trick” with her legs entwined around a globe with the caption “I will hug my thighs around the universe to make you come. Phone Dee Dee…”); where there is purportedly a brothel consisting of deformed women “for your pleasure” just down the road – and I`ve been assigned to zero in on the activities of one Alice Cooper, professional teen bogie man-commodity who rips up his stage costumes with his golf clubs, stupifies himself with lethal O.D.s of T.V. and canned Budweiser, almost turned rock`n`roll at one point into a brainlessly obvious mangled boogabooga vaudeville hepped up with a bastardised brand of Dee-troit hard-rock, as wretchedly watered down from its parent form as the beer he drinks…

O.K., O.K., maybe I`m exaggerating here but, see, I was pissed off. That very morning, at probably around the same time that the guy jumped off the roof of the Hyatt House, I was straggling around the roads of “natural, organic” Laurel Canyon to find one “Horseshoe Canyon” where Cooper was supposed to currently be in residence (“in the house right next to where Mickey Dolenz lives” as everybody placed great pride in telling me). It was one of those smoulderingly warm L.A. mornings and once located in the Canyon itself I had to stagger up one of the most gruellingly steep slopes to the presumed Cooper abode.
Having made the climb, I was faced with an all-wood building which looked at first like some bloatedly de luxe sauna hut.
Stumbling finally into what turned out to be the living room, I was faced by two females in pyjamas – one being Cindy Laing, Cooper`s girlfriend, the other a co-inhabitant – a male who looked at first like a telegraph pole repairman and a bald Polak look-alike.
The latter was Cooper`s bodyguard and all of them found my sudden appearance a touch incongruous. After a couple of phone calls it was all worked out – “We`re awfully sorry, Mr. Kent, about all this. We misdirected you. Alice unfortunately is booked up with his dancing lessons all day today.” So I sat around like a dummy for maybe 20 minutes, sizing up the place – very neat and precise, gold records on the wall, copies of Vogue, Oui, Playboy “displayed” on the table in the style of a dentist`s waiting-room.

All the while Ms. Laing and her friend were sipping coffee and gabbing on ever-so-effetely as though their whole conversation was destined to appear in Andy Warhol`s Interview. Pleasantries and platitudes were tossed my way when there was a pause in said conversation which was promptly resumed again with the line – “Well shall we go riding on Sunday or not?”
Finally, a taxi came just as Ms. Laing was receiving a call from Barbie Benton, Hugh Hefner`s human kewpie doll. As I motioned to leave, I noticed that one of the house dogs – one of those heinously-small animals that tend to resemble Truman Capote in canine drag – had mounted my ankle and was masturbating against my foot.
So any way I was back at the Coffee Shop and Connie was pointing out some other guy who, she said, was one of the Cooper band. “They`re all staying here, you know. Rehearsals or something.” The guy actually looked totally unlike a rock musician. He had one of those hang-dog bruiser faces that found great difficulty in breaking into anything like a smile and I immediately took him for a roadie.
This band though – there were stories a-plenty; not so much about this new congregate but the old bunch, the five-piece who had started off in godforsaken Phoenix, Arizona in a high school band Beatles rip off called the Earwigs, changed to the Nazz and ultimately came to share (five-ways) the name “Alice Cooper” – which also just happened to be the lead singer, one Vince Furnier`s adopted stage persona.

A book has recently appeared, entitled “Billion Dollar Baby” and, written by one Bob Greene, a Chicago-based columnist/reporter, it documents the last real dates played by the original Cooper band – the Christmas 1973 American tour which both terminated the “Billion Dollar Babies” presentation as well as showcasing the material to be found on the then -just-released “Muscle Of Love” album.
The book itself is adequately written, often fairly boring but occasionally flashing insights onto rock road-life in general – and the Cooper co-operate in particular – that make it worth wading through. In heavily precised terms it spotlights: Cooper the only true professional, utterly fed up with his songs and dumb ghoulish image; Michael Bruce, adequately talented but reportedly jealous of Cooper`s spotlight; Neal Smith, callow and affected; Dennis Dunaway, an amiable but minor talent and lastly Glenn Buxton wasted to a fine degree by the time of the band`s demise.
The real stars turn out to be road manager Dave Libert and above all, Shep Gordon, Cooper`s manager – whose talents as a strategist are shown to be nothing short of phenomenal.
The book`s vivid conclusions in fact, only echo positively what folk like Bob Ezrin, Cooper producer and the third vital figure in the set-up, had stated in interviews. “Alice is the only true professional. The rest are only interested in their own egoes.” (Aside, perhaps from Bruce who had at least produced a couple of decent riffs in his time, the rest of the band had outlived their usefulness).

There was a long, fairly ominous silence after the tour. A “Greatest Hits” album released by Warners was one pointer to the situation prevelant and now the book and Cooper`s sudden solo deal and tour spelt it all out. Still, there is a determination amongst the Cooper entourage to play down the old band`s incompatibilities even though it`s been reported in rock periodicals that Alice has firmly stated he “will never play in a band with those guys again.”
Shep Gordon and Alice/Black Widow Inc. P.R. Bob Brown claim that the band will get back together, if only to see through their Warners contract. Cooper`s solo Atlantic in the States/Anchor in Europe shot is a straight-ahead once only album deal, see – purportedly the most costly deal ever for one solo album, so costly in fact that Atlantic are more than a little cagey about naming figures.
The album itself, “Welcome to my Nightmare”, has everyone in said entourage raving and drooling in its wake. Even Cindy Laing (who usually hates her boyfriend`s music) thinks it`s well, “the best thing he`s done”. What it really boils down to, though, is a plusher, more-textured, more hyper-professional Alice Cooper album. Bob Ezrin, fully recovered after a nervous breakdown caused through overwork during the making of Lou Reed`s “Berlin” album, has turned in a production job which, oddly enough, parallels his dubious triumph on “Berlin” in Alice Cooper terms.

From a single hearing though, I found the album oddly boring, it`s plush textured feel constricting most of the avenues through which Cooper and the band could have grabbed the listener with their hard rock potential.
Most of the riffs sound tardy and uninspired, bereft now as they are of the metallic garage-band veneer that the old band`s guitar sound (viz “Killer”) used to possess. The songs zip stealthily from style to style – the title track is almost cool jazz, the musicians going through their paces like primed musclemen rippling their biceps. “Devil`s Food” is plush heavy metal, “Only Women Bleed” is an extraordinary hybrid of pure Helen Reddy darkish quasi-women`s lib angst and a string-laden “Lay Lady Lay”, “Dept. Of Youth” is cute, commercial and utterly calculating in the whole “School`s Out” tradition, and “Steven” is pure Tubular Bells watery impressionism with Ezrin`s Berlin-honed appendages.
Only the final track, “Escape”, rings out with the old Cooper sound – that stalking brash mutation of a Stones type riff – and that song was actually written by Kim Fowley and the now defunct Hollywood Stars (they`re credited).
But talk about calculating! Gordon and Cooper are now in the final stages of an all-out coup that will probably take the great rock consumer masses straight to the cleaners and back. Every area is being catered to and only the best is being considered. The best dancers, the best props.
And of course the best musicians.

The best here can only mean the likes of Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter on guitars, Whitey Glan on drums, Prakash John on bass and one Jozef Chirowski on keyboards, all of whom are establishing credentials that after this tour will probably parallel the likes of Willy Weeks and Andy Newmark in white hard rock terms.
This was the band that, minus Chirowski, some genius brought in to save Lou Reed`s ass when the latter was in a state of virtual creative/physical paralysis – but, ludicrously enough, was becoming mighty popular audience-wise.
And they weren`t even billed as the Lou Reed Band! The guys, specifically Wagner and Hunter – who in particular honed out most of the arrangements that graced “Rock`n`Roll Animal” Parts 1 and 2 (“Part 2” is being released by RCA in March), who actually compounded Lou Reed-as-saleable-commodity through sheer sturdy musicianship were put on a “modest” wage and moreover treated ill by the man himself most of the time.
“He wouldn`t talk to me at all,” says Hunter. “Dick got along with him a little better but it was…well, hard, y`know.” Steve Hunter is now a highly successful session rock guitarist, a position which affords him well tailored velvet suits, neat cowboy shirts – a touch of elegance even though his buck-toothed hayloft visage gives away his origins. At the age of 19, he left a minute hill-jack community in the heart of the Midwest`s kick suburbs to go and sleep on floors in Detroit and play guitar professionally. After doing gigs with the likes of the then-ailing Chambers Brothers, he joined up with Mitch Ryder`s Detroit, a potentially remarkable band that never got anywhere – mainly due to the loser mojo tied to Detroit acts in general and the unfortunate Mitch Ryder in particular.

Bob Ezrin, then a young classically-oriented producer in Toronto, who had produced Ryder`s ill-fated band, picked up on Hunter and called him up for Alice Cooper sessions when Glen Buxton too sick to be allowed in a studio. Since then, he has worked on numerous sessions, got spot-lighted with Reed`s band, and was star-guitarist for Jack Bruce`s “Out Of The Storm” sessions (Bruce asked him to join a band that, had he taken the gig, would have prevented Mick Taylor from teaming up with Bruce. Hunter politely turned the offer down.
It was during a Cooper session that Hunter and Dick Wagner actually met. Wagner was in fact the guy I described earlier as possessing the hang-dog bruiser face. Now minus beard and with greased-back long hair, he looks more like a calloused garage owner than a rock star. He looks downright old, in fact, which could just as easily be a sign of his fatiguing mucho-dues-paying activities in rock since he led a Detroit band called The Bossmen (featuring one Mark Farner on rhythm guitar) way back when, graduating to a typical Motor City unit called The Frost whom he led and produced to fruitless avail.
Wagner is indeed calloused and bitter – bitter about the lack of attention meted to Frost while the likes of the Stooges and the MC5 were getting big write-ups in Rolling Stone and “those underground papers that wouldn`t touch us `cos we weren`t political,” slightly bitter about Grand Funk`s success.


Strangely enough, for such an obvious purist, he always dug Alice Cooper though – “First time I saw him, I knew he`d be monstrous. The band sucked as musicians but he had it”. “That`s weird,” Hunter retorts, “`cos when I saw `em, I thought `these guys`ll never make it.` I hated `em, I thought they stunk so bad. Of course now…”
Of course, now, both Wagner and Hunter are elated. This whole Cooper thing means big money, for Wagner in particular who almost smiles when he reflects upon the royalty cheques that will arrive in the wake of “Nightmare`s” release. The composing credits, see, go mostly three ways, reading “Cooper Ezrin Wagner.” Wagner likes that fine, as does Hunter. The real guitar pros. here – Hunter at least had a fighting chance of becoming a potential guitar hero but he`s not so keen on that idea. “Too limiting” he says earnestly. “I mean, look at Eric Clapton! One of the best, for sure, but he got in that position and had to turn to drugs.”
Wagner nods sagely. Both Wagner and Hunter have pat anti-drug raps which is understandable, seeing as they`re two of the 1% of musicians who`ve left drug-crazed Detroit fully intact and not rolling in the greenbacks.
So what`s life like with Cooper? “You`ve got to be realistic, see,” mutters Wagner. “I mean, you ask us why we`re doing this tour. Well, first Alice is a pleasure to work with. He`s a real pro., see. He understands what audiences want and you`ve got to respect that. You`ve got pander to `em if you want to make it big. It`s one thing being artistic and `the leader` and all, but when you take it to the people, you`ve got to be…”
“Yeah, exactly.”

Hunter nods away. Oh and by the way, that old band of Alice`s.
Wagner gets candid: “They`ll never work together again, man. Believe me.”
“It`d be like the Beatles reforming,” Hunter adds.
They`ve got their own projects. I think Michael (Bruce) might do something good. The others? Well,…”
So here is Hunter, still young and highly naive in an almost attractive way. “I just want to be a better guitarist, man. That`s all that matters” – and Wagner, bruised and ready for those cheques. They`re just thankful they`re working with a pro. Not like that Lou Reed. It was Wagner who gave Lou that arrangement…”that macabre…ah, majestic sound” for “Heroin.”
No credit, of course. “He wanted to do it the old way, originally.” And the only reason Hunter had taken the job was because he`d admired Reed so much in the Velvet Underground.
“Yeah,” adds Wagner, “but, see, Lou is another one with a problem. He`d start shooting up and just get…uh, illogical, I guess.”
So why`d you guys actually bother to work with him?
Hunter just shrugs. Wagner though looks straight at me: “It`s a living,” he says.

So eventually of course I get to see Alice. Bob Brown, his P.R., a small weasel of a guy, keeps screwing up until I get to talk to Shep Gordon who apologises profusely and some twenty minutes later comes round to drive me down to a filming rehearsal. Conversation is thoroughly genial, nothing too heavy here. The European album deal is touched upon. “Isn`t that great?” remarks Gordon. “I like Ian” (Ralfini, head of Anchor Records). “He makes such nice, tidy…clean deals.” I nod and smile cordially. Everybody is being so damn nice here. When we arrive at the rehearsal hall, the whole crew – faggot floor assistants, dumb make-up artists et al, are glowing like mothers who have just successfully given birth.
Alice Cooper is, of course, the object of said pride and concern. Cooper, despite one year of health, sport, exercise, L.A. sun and “generally getting human again…I love getting human again. It`s my greatest hobby,” looks uglier than ever, despite the tan. His chin is fairly non-existent, a beer-gut is strongly in evidence and his hair is rattier than ever.
Nothing has changed. Not even the image. The stage is set up like a graveyard with an open coffin as the centre-piece and Cooper is staggering around in red leotard and red thigh boots. Outside the main area of activity there is a mock-up black bed with fake skulls embellishing the posts.
“That`s for the opening scene,” states Gordon proudly.

The filming here today is to be used for the very opening sequence which involves a magic screen, a recent innovation-(used “only in Vegas” according to Cooper), from whence performers can materialise from the celluloid. Or something like that. Anyway this is some bloated spectacular. There`s giant black widow spiders, four dancers dressed in camp space age garb which looks at first like it was part of Mainman job-lot sale. The dancers go through a run-through and Cooper does an earnest routine, leaping from the opened coffin in such a ludicrous way, he looks like some horrific drag-queen doing a Pan`s People vamp. Anyway the make-up room is vacated and Cooper and I sit down to talk. Cooper is not overtly inspired by the idea of an interview and acts in such a way. Questions are fielded curtly. The “Billion Dollar Baby” book was “kinda accurate in a way but a lot of it was out of context really. The guy…uh, Bob, was only on the road for 15 days and those 15 days were very trying, coming as they did at the end of a whole year of touring. Nerves were frayed.”
So what`s your policy over the book?
“I don`t have any policy whatsoever.” Shep Gordon nods in agreement. Bob Brown is also in the room and it`s starting to look like open season.
So to the old group.
“That`s all been blown up – due, I`m sure, to the book. I still keep in contact with those guys. We`re still friends.”

Michael Bruce is apparently finishing off his solo album which features Jackie Lomax, Cooper session musicians Bob Dolin and Mick Mashbir, Joe Walsh and his rhythm section and Alice Cooper – on one track. “Mike phoned me up and asked me down. The track sounded good so I sang on it. That`s all. Neal Smith`s doing his album too, and if he wants any help, I`ll come through.” (Even though Cooper is quoted in “B.D.B.” at one point saying “Neal tried to write a song. He thinks it`s going to be on the album. I don`t know how we`re going to break it to him. God! It`s awful!…We`re going to keep letting him write songs for us, and not use them, and let him put out a solo album called `The Weak Link In The Super Race`.” Oh well!).
But hey, what about Glenn Buxton? How`s his health?
Cooper doesn`t find this too funny.
“I don`t know what he`s doing. I spoke to him on the phone a couple of times. I think…uh…I think he`s redecorating his house.” He shrugs.
I mention an incident that occured almost three years ago at London`s Speakeasy when a drunk Mike Bruce starting complaining about the fact that he wrote most of the riffs and melodies even when other members of the band were given credit.
“Yeah, that was true. It`s like…we started off as a high school band and we went on to keep that share-and-share-alike attitude which was ultimately…well let`s say it`s good that we`re doing our solo projects.”

Cooper meant this to be the termination of the questions about the old band and I drowsily bucked up at the mention of the new band.
“I`ve known Dick from back since the old Frost days and Whitey (Glan, the drummer) – man, I knew him when he was in The Mandala and we were backing them up as The Nazz. I`ll tell ya, I could go out onstage and do a whole set in blue jeans with the band and it`d be great because that band can stand up to any other band anywhere.”
Why don`t you then?
“Why should I? I`ve got nothing to prove. I don`t feel the need to do it, that`s why.”
Yeah but hey this theatrical stuff is getting a touch passe, no? Bowie`s dropped it and gone “superfly”.
“I admire David as a performer and I`m always intrigued by the changes he goes through. He`s into a nice Damon Runyon thing right now, I think. He looks like Damon Runyon and everything…”
Yeah, yeah but this theatre thing…
“I`m an entertainer and that`s how I entertain. Rock`n`roll is entertainment, after all. Don`t you agree?”
Well yes – but then again – and here is where I take issue on the whole Cooper “That`s Entertainment” schtick – it`s something more. Like Jagger or Jim Morrison, who were charismatic figures, not just straw hat-and-cane acts. Morrison did more than just an act…

“Yeah but Jim Morrison was unique. He was this whole Lord Byron figure or something.”
And so were you at one time. Unique, I mean. I remember seeing the back photo of “Pretties For You” and being really shocked and sort of excited. You were an original and I think in a very distinct way, you blew it. You copped out on this whole “entertainment” number.
“Hey but listen: rock`n`roll is basically entertainment. You can`t deny it. I mean, even Lenny Bruce…Lenny Bruce was just a great entertainer who said `shit` on stage first”.
That`s understating it too much. I mean, in your position, you could have changed…consciousness (by now I was listening to my own cliches and cringing even though I forged onwards). Bruce did. He didn`t just cop out and play it safe and spectacular for the bucks. I mean, all these senile old showbiz guys you hang around with the only difference between them and a bunch of old geezers hanging around a spittoon all day is that your old fellas do talk shows and probably have shares in massage parlours.
“Hey! Those guys are really sharp! And they actually respect me!! Like Jack Benny, for example, actually said to me – “Alice (he does quite an agreeable Jack Benny impersonation at this point) – I don`t know what you`ve got but everytime I open Variety I see your name everywhere”…
Hey, but did you go to his funeral, though?
“No I wouldn`t go to anybody`s funeral. Not even my mother`s”.

So why are you always creeping around mock-up graveyards howling piss `n` vinegar, you old ham?
Unfortunately I forgot to say that. Instead I started on some rap about Bob Hope being a fascist.
“Listen, Bob Hope is a really nice guy. I was doing the comedy awards with Don Ricles – know him? – and I met Bob and he was so courteous. I don`t care about his politics. I think entertainment and politics are totally different things and are dangerous when mixed up.
“Like I could be on TV and say I`d vote for so-and-so and maybe a lot of people would say – “Yeah, he`s cool, let`s vote for his choice”.
That sounds facile, Alice. Also this whole entertainment rap is too “pat”. I mean, one minute you`re drooling over Jack Benny (bless his departed soul), the next you`re talking about killer Dee-troit rock`n`roll.
“Yeah because that`s what I do. That`s the music I sound best doing. I`d do Burt Baccharach stuff but I`d never carry it off”.
So what music do you listen to, nowadays?
“I don`t listen to any music”.
Don`t you like music?
“Right. I don`t like music”.
Everybody in the room laughs at this and then stops short realising what Cooper has just said. Shep Gordon even stops playing with the hair growing out from the nape of his neck to ponder the statement. Cooper, however, stands his ground.

“Really. I don`t like music. I never come home and put on a record.
“I just watch T.V.”
In fact, throughout the whole interview, Cooper only gets animated when he talks about this 4` x 4` T.V. set he`s just bought. “Irresistible” he says, opening another can of beer.
Later that evening I found myself at the Rainbow Bar and Grill and happened to run into Cindy Laing, this time dressed in predatory black and looking like spiderwoman.
“Hey I saw your husband today” I mumble, in a failed attempt to be off-the-wall suave. She gives me a look like daggers.
“Have you ever heard the phrase “a ring in his nose and ring on my hand?”
Yeah, I reply, averting my eyes. Didn`t Savoy Brown do a song called that?
“Alice is her boyfriend” a friend corrects me.
At this embarrassing juncture I thought it might as well be worth making a complete fool of myself and maybe getting a scoop on the deal. O.K., so what`s the deal with your boyfriend and his old band then?
“Listen that is a secret. If I was blind drunk I`d probably tell you in full detail but I`m not and anyway, revealing such information would be tantamount to me being sent to a labour camp in Detroit. (Pause).

“Just write they`re the best of friends or something. That they attend each other`s Thanksgiving.”
Fired by the rebuttal, I even phoned up Bob Ezrin up there in Toronto for information. Ezrin was cynical and generally ballsy enough to come though, but he was tied up in a seven-way recording session or thereabout. “He`s recording the Johnson Family” his secretary said.
The radio back at the Hyatt House coffee shop was saying something about a blond Caucasian being released after police had suspected him of being the “Slasher” when I wandered in a couple of days after I`d concluded all my Cooper and entourage interviews. Connie the waitress came over and I just shrugged “I was right, see. I told you there`s better things to write about here.”
“Sure” I said “but it`s a living”.
It took me about five minutes before I remembered where that line came from.

A great double page spread  by Zeppelin in this paper.

A great double page spread by Zeppelin in this paper.

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 number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Lol Creme, Pilot, Ramases, David Bowie, Pub Rock Special, Charlie Parker, Genesis.

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.

ARTICLE ABOUT Peter Gabriel (Genesis) FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, March 15, 1975

This is the first post on this blog with Genesis as the main subject. A fine band, but quite different with or without the primary interview object in this article. We feel the tensions between Gabriel and the rest of the band quite clearly here. Only a few months later, Mr. Gabriel was out of the band.


Gabriel`s Cosmic Juice

(not to be taken internally)

MAX BELL attempts to form substance from negativity with philosophisin` PETE GABRIEL of GENESIS. Also contains: “The Rock Journalist As Superstar – A Post-Grad Thesis.”

Rael strolled nonchalanty out of the Manhattan subway, wiping a spray gun on his white tee-shirt. The self-elected graffiti king rolled and pouted down the sidewalk cursing the wops and blacks, the whites and chicanos who had him numbered as a nothing, the ultimate outcast.
“So you think that I`m a tough kid? Well, I am and I don`t give a shit.”
Rael is all Peter Gabriel`s creation. One hundred and one per cent virgin violence, he`d boot your teeth down the back of your throat as soon as look at you.
That such a character should evolve at all and become the subject for examination under the rock `n` roll microscope isn`t surprising. He has roots in the most obvious territory: a mixture of James Dean, Sal Mineo and Warren Beattie with a fair measure of Rod Steiger thrown in on top. A Lee Strasberg wet-dream.
But, come on – Peter Gabriel?
A nice middle-class boy. Very shy and super polite. Withdrawn to the point of anonymity. Mention the word “interview” to him and he backs off like a startled rabbit.

Trying to put him at ease required nearly all of the two days with Genesis I was allowed.
But once pinned to a schedule he`ll acquiesce meekly – the lamb lies down.
He has a problem; it`s indicated at breakfast time. As various members of the party troop into the Hilton klatsch he greets them warmly, waving a friendly hand. Trouble is, they ignore him. Not deliberately, he`s just not there.
Grinning and shrugging he returns to his porridge:
“And I`m supposed to be a communicator. Oh well.”
Onstage it`s very different. Whether he`s the “Watcher”, “Cynthia”, “Narcissus”, or “Rael”, Gabriel strides the boards like Sir Henry Irving, an acting colossus with the audience in the palm of his hand. Ironically, he unwinds only in performance, bolting straight out of that shell.

Projecting one major character is his role in “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway”, Genesis` most ambitious work to date.
The story of Rael – condemned to life on the streets; subterranean adventures in a fantasy world populated by misfits and nightmares Edgar Allen Poe would have been proud to entertain.
“I got the story last summer and tossed the idea, in synopsis form, around in the usual manner until they agreed to do the whole thing. A lot of the music was already written. There`s a few influences which I couldn`t pin down. Dreams particularly.”
Guitarist Steve Hackett seems to have a better idea of what eats Gabriel:
“Everyone has skeletons in the cupboard. Peter`s got more than most. Mine are schoolgirls, his are snakes, Adam and Eve and the destruction of the apple.”
This ain`t rock `n` roll, this is insecticide.
Corruption and sexual deviation have always played a large part in most of Gabriel`s writings – only this time it`s less oblique and you can understand the message on several levels. One very kinky sequence involves the mythical Lamia, a voluptuous monster that preys on human flesh and sucks children`s blood.

It`s an obvious allusion to oral sex, but Peter seems to have prepared for any analysis by providing ready-made Freudian suggestion:
“Actually I`d been reading Jung at that period, so it was deliberate to a certain extent. I think the main thing I was striving for was the contrast between character and fantasy. It`s the idea of him being an outcast in a totally alien situation. I identify with him to a certain extent.”
But why the title? The Lamb is something of a throwaway and hardly plays a significant part in proceedings:
“You see, the lamb isn`t a symbol, so I was a bit worried about the title. He`s a catalyst for peculiarities that take place. The result is experiences Rael wouldn`t be expected to go through because he`s the least likely person to fall into all this pansy claptrap.”
In one way Rael`s mishaps are nothing more than the grotesque extremes of real life against which he rebels – anti -conformist, anti-society, anti-establishment. The discoveries he makes are painful and mostly by default:
“It isn`t quite `I saw God in bed`, but it amounts to the same thing. Like the Lamia uncovering his hidden personality. He`s not as butch as he hoped he would be. There`s a masculine and feminine in everybody and that brings out his romantic side.”

Gabriel smiles sheepishly and continues muttering through his porridge:
“He gets to discover more possibilities in his make-up than just flesh and blood, although in physical terms there`s no way he should survive.”
The eventual outcome of Rael`s adventures isn`t quite clear. Gabriel deliberately left him in limbo in the final and cryptic “It”:
“I don`t think he`s dead. Just going through the cosmic juice, man.”
So what`s `It` about, man?
“An attempt to form substance from negatives.”
Come again?
“For example, it`s like me saying I have a six-inch diameter red ball and it isn`t blue, green or yellow and it isn`t bigger than 12 inches or smaller than nine…er…well…my reasoning is a bit out there, never mind.
“You know how they approach drama in good suspense movies. You never see what`s so terrifying because they leave it up in the air without moulding or labelling it.”

That`s better, he`s opening up now and having, at last, managed to catch the waitress` eye, he surreptitiously tips a pot of honey into his coffee:
“My stomach works before my brain. Where was I? Oh yes, the Press.”
We kicked around the possibility that the more popular a band becomes the more likely the Press are to nail the poor bastards` heads to the floor and stamp on them:
“Huh. I`m surprised to hear anyone from the N.M.E. say that because in England it`s definitely true, the only place where we didn`t get good reviews last time. They haven`t exactly been noted for their enthusiasm before, either.
“It`s obvious to me that there`s a lot more to music criticism than criticising music. The elevation of rock journalists to superstars proves that. But this concept of the musical elite isn`t accurate. Once they hear a mellotron they close up, finished.”
But haven`t Genesis always laid themselves open to allegations of pretention?
“Your paper`s exposed it if it`s there. (Laughs quietly). We`re easy to put down. You can say the characters are far-fetched, the music over ornate, that we`re riding on my costume success. There – I`ve done it for you.
“However, in maybe ten years a group will emerge to take what we do a lot further. I look upon us as an early, clumsy prototype.”

The stonewall barrier Genesis are thrown up against has always been built on the attitude that condemns anything which tries to make rock `n` roll something more…important. Surprisingly Gabriel goes along with that viewpoint:
“I don`t like the arty tag we`ve got. There`s a vitality and an earthiness, too. I`ve always disliked `culture` and the snobbery that surrounds it. I believe in getting art out of the galleries and on to the streets, something which has begun to happen in this century.
“Anyone can relate to art forms now – there doesn`t have to be a separation between culture and non-culture.”
Now hold on. What you`re saying amounts to a deflation of the so-called creative process in order to get down to the grits:
“True. Status Quo are just as cultural as Wagner`s Ring Cycle. As to the pleasure people derive from the two I don`t know, but in terms of entertainment they are the same.”
So where would we be if Shakespeare had said “enough of this Hamlet nonsense, I think I`ll write a limerick instead”?
“Er…you take your craft to the best of your ability. Maybe what we do appeals to those with complicated tastes, I dunno. In Atlanta they billed us as the `Hottest Thing To Come Out Of England`s New Intellectual Rock Movement`. Didn`t like that at all.”


It`s impossible to tell when Gabriel is being completely serious and when he`s taking the piss.
The fact that he`s intelligent enough to parody the rock circus makes me wary of that spiel about art-on-the-streets. After all, he wrote “Get `Em Out By Friday” because he said social comment was getting to be unfashionable.
While lyrically he is a gas, the humour employed in the songs is essentially English (despite the visuals) – so why should Genesis` success be greater on the Continent where they can`t possibly understand the content?
Still the putsch continues – France, Italy, Germany, Scandinavia, all taken by storm:
“I know what the N.M.E. would say. They`d say it was because they can`t understand the lyrics! I think Continentals like the exaggeration and the sense of festival, whereas the English are more reserved. People having a good time is the purpose of our gigs; that`s where fun and art coincide.”
Another aspect of Gabriel that often passes unnoticed is the tendency towards self-parody whilst wiping up the remains left by other rock stars` questionable achievements. For example, the final line of “The Lamb Lies Down”: “It`s only knock and knowall, but I like it.” In a sense completely destroying the created atmosphere:
“Well, that`s partly aimed at the Press and it`s partly a throwaway in story terms. It gets back to the thing about art. While it`s fun to be pompous and sermonise it`s still an illusion, a grand illusion. If you can retain your sense of humour and be cynical, it`s better.
“I go right inside my lyrics and laugh at them at the same time.”

Only in Britain does a refusal to take Genesis seriously border on active distrust of their motives:
“In America I find it much healthier. There`s room for different opinions and you don`t have to justify yourself when you like a band. Here you do, they make you feel guilty or something. Americans didn`t mind that I was telling them about an American. I didn`t pretend to be anything other than an observer there for short periods, I wasn`t unleashing the secrets of New York.”
Anyone who still holds the precious opinion that Genesis ain`t a rock band has their head well buried. There`s going to be a big ownup when the new show hits perfidious Albion because it`s mostly as legit as any other breed of rock being toted for the public`s edification.
Gabriel has even started borrowing from ancient Jagger and enjoys every minute of it, obviously:
“Of course – who doesn`t? Is there a man alive who hasn`t performed his Jaggerisms in front of a mirror? I know I have.”
Can`t tell if Gabriel is worried by criticism or whether he remains aloof. Particularly as he`s getting bleary-eyed again and groping for the toast:
“Sorry…” (croak, splutter) “I`m not being very…” (here my tape indicates a general running-down noise, somewhat akin to a rusty wheelchair being pushed off Beachy Head with the occupant still strapped in) “communicative.
“Although no artist enjoys being slagged, it doesn`t matter if the Press never accepts us.”
And when might that day come?
“Not until we can afford the outrageous bribes you journalists charge.”

I left Gabriel contemplating a plate of scrambled eggs, and proceeded to track down another band member. Eventually I unearthed Steve Hackett, who was delighted to natter.
Recently, the rest of the group have grown increasingly pissed off at Peter getting the lion`s share of publicity. But while they grumble in private, they`re too reserved to force the issue.
Phil Collins, The Working-Class Drummer, used to act wild. Breaking glasses and spraying toothpaste at foreign waiters.
But he`s settled down to the quiet life as well.
While the rest of us hotfooted it for a meal with the three-headed Labelle, Phil settled down for the night with a cup of Horlicks. In fact, apart from one brief appearance in the hotel lobby, no-one saw Collins until he played the show as extrovertly as usual. According to Gabriel, Phil is a much-changed man and wanders lonely as a cloud, mumbling “Nobody likes a smart-ass” to himself.
Steve Hackett, minus beard and glasses, is perhaps the most talkative and easy-going. Rather apart from the others, but aware of his right to speak out:

“On-stage, it`s true – we choose to make ourselves anonymous. But it annoys me when people think Peter did everything right down to writing all the songs and designing the stage. On the last album he wrote less of the music than us.”
Was he concerned at the lukewarm reception Genesis generally received in this country? (Even down to the level where, because of their backgrounds, it was claimed they hadn`t, indeed couldn`t, pay their dues!).
“We`ve only made it through audiences. Any Press accolade has been a by-product.
“As for that dues thing – crap. We`ve been the most available band in the world for seven years. Available to the situation where everybody thinks they own a part of us when they don`t. We`ve played to half a million people on this European tour, and we`re still bloody making it.”
For once the facts are inescapable. Genesis in Europe is THE major thing. Neither the Stones nor The Who (not even Led Zeppelin) can outdistance their box-office receipts.
Young blades and old-timers alike were agreed that the Palais Des Sports gig was the best, response-wise, that they`d ever heard in gay Paree.
Hackett points out where the poor kids have been misunderstood.
“Too often they criticise the form without being able to perceive the spirit. We use a lot of establishment ideas that others don`t. Not values but instrumentation, a lot of traditional elements.
“See, the Stones stood for everything that was negative, they were always putting down. We`re not like that.”

Hackett`s loner stance doesn`t stop him enjoying the fruits of touring, but he`s never exactly anxious to walk on stage. Before gigs his guts churn and he`s often physically sick.
Once in Detroit eight guns were removed from various members of the audience as they entered the hall:
“If I`d known that before, that would have been it. Anything like that and I`m off, I don`t want to know. We were in Leicester once and there was a bloke throwing bottles at the stage. Mike (Rutherford) just stopped playing – crunch – looked at him – y`know, really shocked – and the guy got up and smashed him in the face. So we walked off.
“I was shaken for hours.”
The question of violence affects the group in varying degrees, but performing “The Knife” (particularly in Italy and France where all major gigs become political events) brings problems. What the swarthy Mediterraneans don`t realise is that “The Knife” is a send-up of revolutionary attitudes, a satire – as in joke.
Banks, at the best of times is nervous about it all, but Rutherford, very tall and laconic, enjoys the experience in a masochistic way.

None of them are prepared to let trouble interfere with their safety. After they refused to encore in Brussels there was a riot which Rutherford reckons changed policy a lot:
“Encores don`t mean so much that we`ll watch them tear the hall apart. It`s not such a big thing after all.”
One half of Hackett would rather be playing in the Marquee on Friday night – but the other half wins every time, despite the aggravation:
“In the past I`ve had days of supreme confidence and days of supreme depression. The only key to success is persistence and, if I want something, I don`t give up.
“At school they asked me what I wanted to be. I said `famous`. In a way it hasn`t taken me by storm. It`s slightly calculated but involves a lot of emotion, too.
“I`ve got there on my own terms.”

So Genesis are going to carry on writing their self-contained vignettes and using their mellotrons.
They`re making no attempt to compromise either their intelligence or their potential. They are a group, a unit, with equal say and variable influence – though, whether they like it or not, Gabriel will always attract the most publicity because he has to. He`s the star around which the others revolve.
Then again, as lyricist and vocalist his is the personality that hits you first.
For a brief moment Gabriel-as-Rael and Rael-as-Gabriel coalesce into one person speaking with a common voice:
“I`ll tell you something. We`re not going to be a band to sit still. We`ll self-destruct before we stop running.”

A nice full-page ad from Yes.

A nice full-page ad from Yes.

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 number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Lol Creme, Pilot, Ramases, David Bowie, Pub Rock Special, Charlie Parker, Alice Cooper.

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.


John Lennon! What a guy! What can you say about this guy that hasn`t been said before? Well, I won`t even go there. I will just say that he is one of those musical geniuses that have been an important part of my life. Without him and a few others, my life would have been completely different in the way that it would have had a completely different soundtrack. As part of The Beatles and as a solo artist he made a deep impact in my and so many others lives. We still sing his songs and will continue to sing his songs for many generations to come – maybe for all time? Thank you, John!



By Lisa Robinson

Three years ago, John Ono Lennon, US resident and then-political animal, discovered that, so far the United States Government was concerned, he was persona most definitely non grata. Nixon`s Attorney General John Mitchell is said to have ordered a campaign of harassment backed up with legal proceedings designed to convince Lennon (and any others who cared to be watching) that the Land of the Free was a land limited to those who approved of Nixon`s policies – so far as foreigners went.
The official reason? That Lennon`s British drug conviction disbarred him from US residency. The actual reason? That Lennon`s political activities made him a pain in the Nixon ass.
Since then, George Harrison (also with a British drug conviction), has visited the US freely – and even went to dinner at the White House a month ago.
Lennon`s deportation order still stands. Last week, Mitchell was sentenced to two-and-a-half years` porridge for criminal activities committed while a member of the Nixon Administration. Last year, one of the police officers on whose evidence JL was originally convicted was himself sentenced for perjury (in a different drugs case). And we all know what happened to Nixon.
Lennon`s conviction still stands. Here he talks to NME in New York concerning his long fight to be treated as a normal human being by the United States Government – and of his plans for the future in case reason should not, finally, prevail.

NME: What`s the situation at present with your deportation case?
JOHN: Well, It’s hellish really, I don’t know where to start. It’s going on the same as before. In general it’s the same, for me it`s the same – they’ve taken the stance that I have to leave. They always say 30 days, but that passed months ago. They say that once a year.
It’s so complicated; It started out because I had a British conviction for possessing marijuana – which was planted by a police sergeant, which everybody in Britain knows now because the guy’s in jail – not for my case though, for somebody else’s case.
Yoko and I weren`t married then…it was a bit weird in England…I won`t even go into the whole story how we were busted -we were busted by about 20 people, there were dogs…it`s a whole film.
They busted us in the morning and they wouldn’t let us get dressed. It took them hours. There was a question in Parliament as to why so many people were needed to arrest two people. Actually in the end there was no case against Yoko.

NME: No one ever advised you to fight the thing?
JOHN: No, I was just panic stricken… I was a wreck. Aaahh! Cops! In jolly England! You know I still half believed about the good old bobby helping you down the street. And I was really nervous about Yoko, ’cause we’d just got living together, and it was all in public. I thought they’d deport her. So I copped a plea, thinking it was just a misdemeanour.
I figured, `What the hell, it’s just a hundred pounds…it’s just crazy,` and it’s been going on since 1971. The first conviction came down in 1973 when they said I had to leave the U.S. I couldn’t be a permanent resident of the United States with a British conviction.
Now all the people involved are gone; the prosecution councel and head of immigration. And we’ve just received permission to interview them, to question them about papers.
I`ve found out that Senator Strom Thurmond sent a letter to John Mitchell when he was Attorney General; Thurmond was the head of a congressional committee. Whether we’ll get our hands on that letter I don’t know, but in essence it said, `This guy’s looking to stay here and we suggest no`.
Our lawyers always said that the instructions for my case were coming from Washington, and the New York people kept insisting it was a local case. But we knew it wasn’t just a local case, and this letter from Thurmond could prove it. Just like we knew we were being wiretapped. But how do you prove that?
We knew we were being wiretapped on Bank Street. There were a helluva lot of guys coming in to fix the phones…and there were two guys outside who kept following me around in a car. I went on the Dick Cavett show and said it – this was long before Watergate – and people just thought, ‘Oh, crazy Lennon, who is gonna bother following him? What an egomaniac’… But we had been associated with Jerry Rubin and John Sinclair and little rallies, and were seen around those people… It really was like a mini-Watergate.
You know, incidentally, there was a CBS documentary I saw last week about Nazis in America – known Nazis who are here, famous Nazis who killed from 15,000 people upwards. And the guy who was prosecuting me got taken off my case and put onto this Nazi thing. On TV he said that someone in his office, in the immigration department, had stolen his file on Nazis -from the safe in his office.
That means someone in his own group is protecting these people. They’re so busy protecting them, but they’re attacking me.

NME: Why then, do you want to live here?
JOHN: Because it’s the same everywhere. Name somewhere where it’s different. It’s not as if it’s a choice between living here or in England where it’s different. It’s the same in England on a different level, and the Americans and the English are hand in glove.

NME: How frustrating is all of this to you emotionally?
JOHN: At one time it was getting to be a bug because I had to keep going to court, and court cases got to be a way of life. It was hassling me because that was when I was hanging out with Elephant’s Memory and I wanted to rock, to go out on the road. But I couldn’t do that because I always had to be in New York for something…and I was hassled.
I guess it showed in me work. Whatever happens to you happens in your work. So while on the surface I tried to make it appear as if I were making a game out of it, trying not to take it seriously, there were periods of real paranoia. Even my friends would say, ‘Come on John… what do they want with you?’
And you know, I see now that Jane Fonda is suing the governemnt for millions. When I first heard that I thought, ‘Ah-ha!’ and then ‘Uh-oh’…like if they left me alone would they be afraid I’d make a fuss and start suing afterwards? I guess it’s probably going to have to be the President who decides, a pure political decision when my paper comes up – as it does every now and then – into his consciousness.

NME: Is the President aware of all of this?
JOHN: Oh, you bet. I had a friend who visited there, right? I mean you can’t have one junkie in the White House and kick another out, can you? That’s being flippant of course, neither George nor I are junkies…
Anyway, they keep falling back on that law about misdemeanours, and it’s some trip to change the law here. Even though in England that law has been reversed…

NME: But they could get around it…
JOHN: Of course they can, because they’ve got around it for Nazis, for big dope dealers, big heroin-heavy stuff dealers. My lawyer has a list of people – hundreds of people in here who got around the law for murder, rape, double murder, heroin, every crime you can imagine.
I want to end it, but I can go on as long as they go on. It’ll probably go on until it gets to the Supreme Court.

NME: How much of your time is spent on this?
JOHN: Well, when I’m not talking about it, I think about it occasionally. I mean it’s on my list of lawsuits. I was just talking about it with Yoko last night; there seem to be an awful lot of lawsuits involved with rock and roll.

NME: There’s Allen Klein, right?
JOHN: Yes, that’s about 20. He’s suing me and Yoko and all the ex-Beatles and everybody that ever knew them… And he’s suing me individually, me collectively, any version of me you can get hold of is being sued.
But immigration is the important one. The others are all just money. I mean, if they can take Helen Reddy, they can take me…

NME: Would you want to become a U.S. citizen?
JOHN: I’m too involved with this to think about citizenship. I’d prefer to do a P. G. Wodehouse; I found out before he was knighted that he was living here, and I thought well, that’s cool. Nobody thinks P. G. Wodehouse is not English – he was English until his last breath and he lived on Long Island.
And that suits me fine. I’m English but I want to live here. And the funny thing about America is that there’s almost no such thing as an American. You go on the streets and everybody’s Italian or Irish or Israeli or English or Jamaican or Nigerian… and if you go out into the sticks you’ve got the German group or the Dutch group and the names tell you which race dominates.
It’s just a pack of Europeans living here with Africans, Indians, and Asians thrown in. Thousands of Chinese, Japanese… it’s like the old gag about the melting pot.
I always liked Liverpool and London – places like that that had a lot of different races living in them. You could go to Soho and see all kinds of races on earth and I like that, but there’s even more of a mixture here. My ideal is to be able to travel, that’s the thing I really miss most.
I miss England, Scotland, Wales, all that sentimental stuff, but I also miss France, Holland… Germany I haven’t been to those places for years. I’d like to go to South America, I’ve never been… I’d like to be based here, and just travel.

NME: Do you ever think you’ll be so overcome with all the legal hassles that you’ll get like Lenny Bruce and become obsessed with learning the law?
JOHN: No. I got obsessed with the politics for a while…but law is, well, I could never take it that seriously. At a certain point I would just see the funny side and say screw it. The worst that happens with most of these lawsuits is that they’ll take more money off of me, and the worst that would happen with immigration is that I’d have to move.

NME: Where would you move? I’ve heard rumours of Canada…?
JOHN: No…they always say that because whenever I go to Canada the Canadians ask me if I like Canada. So I say yes, I like Canada, I like Montreal and Toronto – I don’t know the rest of it…and the next minute they say I’m going to live there.
And they always ask, ‘Have you ever thought of living here?’ Well – every country I’ve ever been in I’ve thought could I live here…

NME: If you attempted to be a U.S. citizen, would it be easier, or more difficult because of your present status?
JOHN: Well, unless I get rid of this thing I can’t even consider it. I mean if I can’t get a green card, no way can I be a citizen, not with a misdemeanour. See, the law in England has changed since the time when all the rock stars were busted; that tricky law where you were responsible if the building had marijuana in it… you were responsible if you owned the building.
No possession. I never had any stuff on me. It was mysteriously found in the building, in the apartment. I think they’ve wiped the slate clean and it’s retroactive in England, but not here.

NME: What can people do about this?
JOHN: Well the English really can’t do anything, except that those who care could write to the American Embassy. The thing with politicians and ambassadors is that if they get one letter, they count it as twenty. One letter keeps them aware, it keeps them realising about it. But it’s really a bore for me and I’m sure a bore for people listening about it…

NME: Does it help when you have a hit album, keep a high profile…so to speak?
JOHN: Well you see more of me if I’ve got a product to sell, it’s as simple as that. Otherwise I`m only seen if I feel like goofing around to a few openings with friends or hanging out in the ‘rock biz`.
But when you`ve got product out you have to be seen or they’ll forget. This sort of thing reminds the powers-that-be of me and what I represent.

NME: Can that work against you?
JOHN: No…no. Because power is power, whatever power I have they’re aware of it. Power doesn’t frighten power, it makes them respect it – that’s their business. You’ve got the bomb, we’ve got the bomb. Everything’s okay. If you aint got the bomb you don’t even get a look-in.
So I’m always aware of keeping my bomb, you know? Even though I blow it a few times, I always manage to put my bomb back together again, because that power is necessary. It’s not good if I don’t put records out, and become invisible, and go away – because then they come right in and say nobody gives a damn… people have forgotten about you.


NME: Let’s just say that when and if there’s a happy ending to all of this, you know – silver lining and all – and there comes a day when you’re knighted in England, or the Academy Awards helps you back to receive a special award, what would your reaction be? Would you tell them to mess off?”
JOHN: Well, there will be a happy ending. But I have no idea what I’ll be doing when I`m 70 or 80 like Charlie Chaplin…or P.G. Wodehouse. I don’t really know Wodehouse`s story but there was something weird about him – about being captured in France by the Nazis and doing broadcasts, and I think that was one of the reasons he left, although he was forgiven.
But the real official forgiveness was when they knighted him last year, and he died happy, right? So, I’m not really interested if I get knighted when I’m 70. I’ll deal with that when it comes. I want it now – not the knighthood, just a green card and a clean passport and the cash I earn in the band in my own name. And I’ll let my music, or my art, speak for me.
If they give me knighthood at the age of seventy I’ll deal with it then. Sir John…

NME: To turn to your music for a moment, what happened at Madison Square Garden when you were to have performed with George (Harrison)? Is it true that Klein had the place staked out with subpoenas?
JOHN: Well, Klein was chasing George all over New York. George was running down back-elevators. I mean, Ringo won’t come to New York. I live here so I get ALL the papers and I’m always doing depositions. See, at the time George was doing his concerts, we were also finalising the Apple papers. And what actually happened was at the last minute I wouldn’t sign it. Actually my astrologer said it wasn’t the right time to sign it.
George got a little angry with me for not signing it, and he decided to finish the tour as he`d started it. That was cool by me, because I’d just done Elton, but I did not want to do George… because it was expected. But he probably made the right decision… I saw him afterwards, at the party.

NME: Was it true that you, or the McCartneys, were denied a backstage pass?
JOHN: Well, there was some funny business… but you know, I like him, I love him, we’re all right… I don’t really want to make a big deal about it.
The thing is just that the business was always interfering with the pleasure. It was hard to deal with each other anyway.
I`d seen a lot of Paul and Ringo in the last two or three years – Paul always comes to New York, or I see Ringo in LA – but I hadn’t seen George.
So we were trying to talk to each other after not having seen each other in three years. During that time we`d only been vaguely communicating through lawyers. We tried to communicate in the hotel, and I hung around the hotel for a few days, but it was hard.
And then I didn’t turn up on the day that I was supposed to sign this agreement. But I finally did sign it, in Disneyland. I wanted to go over it one more time. And I had already seen the concert in Nassau so I wasn’t really planning to go to Madison Square Garden anyway.
I don’t really enjoy sitting in shows, no matter whose they are, because you either have to go backstage with all that hassle or sit in front where you get all the people looking at you. I know Mick (Jagger) and everybody are always doing it, but it wears the shred out of me. Anyway, there aren`t very many people who I`d want to see in concert. I’d only go because they’re friends, you know. I prefer records, I always did. It’s like watching a painter paint – just give me the painting.

NME: Do you have any plans to perform in concerts on your own?
JOHN: Well, performing’s not my greatest kick. I had fun with Elton, but that was just because it was Elton. He was really more nervous than I was, because he was nervous for me. I think he felt, ‘Poor old bugger, maybe he’ll collapse,’ I don’t know…
It was just a weird feeling being up there alone, but I knew Elton, and I knew the band, and it was just a one-off thing. Don’t expect to see me all over the place.
I promised him if ‘Whatever Gets You Through The Night’ got to number one, I’d go one with him – little thinking that it would.
I might do odd TV, or TV specials, where I can control the thing… like in the studio. See, I like to see it, I like to HAVE something afterwards. After the concert you don’t get anything – you either get cash or a headache. I even hate live albums really, even though I’ve put a couple out.

NME: What did you think of George’s shows?
JOHN: Well, I saw the one without Ravi – he`d had a heart attack. But I don’t know… that night the band really cooked, the show I saw was a good show. My personal opinion was that even though I know what George was trying to do, I don’t think it worked with Ravi…
I mean, I’m no one to say what works and what doesn’t work really, but my personal opinion just was that he would have been better without. I think Ravi’s great, but it might have been better to keep Ravi separate. I want to see George do George. I’m with the kids… whether it’s George Beatle or George ex-Beatle.

NME: Do you think that he’s so deeply involved with the Eastern thing that he can’t separate… that was George being George? That he can`t really do the rock and roll thing effectively any more?
JOHN: Well, he’s just cut off, really. It’s easy to get cut off. If you’re surrounded by people who aren’t rocking, then you just forget what it is. And he`s so inolved in the Eastern trip… You know, if you don’t listen to the radio, know who the new artists are, the lastest records… if you switch off from that you don’t know what people listen to.
That happened to me in England. ‘Whatever Gets You Through The Night’ didn’t even crawl around in England, so I said, ‘Send me a tape of the top ten,’ and it’s nowhere like America. I was just – my God, three years… I had no idea what was going on there.
Now I get them to send it over every few months…it all seems to go boom-da-da, boom-da-da, boom-da-da…
The album did alright, it could have done better. It would help if I was more visible there, but I can’t be. And in Britain the TV is sewn up. You`ve got to be in the charts to get on TV, and you can’t get on the TV unless you’re in the charts.
The BBC came over here and filmed me. I guess they figured that the single would jump into the Top 20. But it didn’t. It fell over, so they didn’t use the film.
Now ‘Number Nine Dream’ is doing a bit better, I hear, so that gives you a clue. I think they’re going to like the rock and roll oldies album better than anything, because that’s what they seem to be playing over there. But they’re doing it a bit tongue in cheek, I think. I did it for real.

NME: Do you think that there would be tremendous excitement if you went back to England now? Hysteria?
JOHN: No. There was no hysteria when I was living there, so why should there be now? I mean the Beatles nostalgia and getting back together bit goes on as much here as it does there, maybe more… are you kidding?
I do a lot of radio when I have an album out – and all the people who call up want to know WHEN the Beatles are going to get back together, from Minnesota to Los Angeles, to New York… to the hippest and coolest, they want to know when and if and what`s it gonna be like.
All hysteria is manufactured anyway. At the ‘Sgt Pepper’ opening it was announced, ‘He’s going to be there,’ so it was bloody Beatlemania going on. I got a fright, because I didn’t really know what I was letting myself in for.
I got the deja vu, as they say, because it was bloody ‘Hard Day’s Night.’ But that’s because it had been manufactured, and it was ‘Sgt Pepper’ and they probably expected all four. Ever since George did Bangla Desh they expect everybody to come on with him.

NME: Why are there so many lawsuits?
JOHN: Ask any rockstar about lawsuits. And the more money there is, the more lawsuits there are, the bigger the artist, the more lawsuits. I mean, people sue me for anything; that bloody fan with the Instamatic who sued me for hitting her. I never touched her, never went near the girl – in the Troubadour, the famous Troubadour incident.
She sued me, and I had to pay her off to shut her up. That happens all the time, she just wanted money. People sue you if you bump into them on the street. I do admit to chasing some weird people around, but she was not in the scene….

NME: Weird people?
JOHN: Well, I was not in the best frame of mind, and I was wildly drunk. But I was nowhere near this chick, she’s got no photographs of me near her. It was my first night on Brandy Alexanders, and they tasted like milkshakes. The first thing I knew I was out of me gourd.
Of course Harry Nilsson was no help feeding them to me, saying ‘Go ahead John.’ It is true I was wildly obnoxious, but I definitely didn’t hit this woman who just wanted to get her name in the papers and a few dollars.

NME: Doesn’t all this wear you down?
JOHN: Well, I’ve come out of it. Last year, with me personal life and the Apple business, the Klein business and the immigration business… I mean, you don’t want to admit it while it’s happening that that’s what’s making you go barmy.
You’re still living every day and you think you’re just going to a party, then you end up throwing up in the toilet. Everything was excessive, and you’re not quite in control of yourself; you can’t lie back with the hangover and say now why did that happen to me…

NME: It’s surprising that it didn’t get to you more…
JOHN: Well, that was enough. I just woke up in the middle of it and thought… there’s something wrong here. I`d better straighten myself out.’ After I deal with this last batch of lawsuits, I aint gonna have anymore. I don’t know how they happen. One minute you’re talking to someone, the next minute they’re suing you.

NME: As far as your personal life is concerned, you seem ecstatic to be back here with Yoko…
JOHN: Well I am. It’s like – and this is no disrespect to anybody else I was having relationships with – but I feel like I was running around with me head off, and now I got me head back on. Yoko and I were always in touch, either on the phone or in one way or another.
I just sort of came home, is what happened. It’s like I went out to get a coffee or a newspaper somewhere and it took a year…like Sinbad. I went on a boat and went around the world and had a mad trip which I’m glad is over.
Yoko and I have known each other for nine years, which is a long friendship on any level. It was a long year, but it’s been a nine-year relationship, a seven-year marriage – maybe it was the seven-year crutch.
And apart from the pain we caused each other, it probably helped us. We knew we were getting back together, it was just a matter of when. We knew – everybody else might not have, but we did.

NME: Actually, there wasn’t that much press attention to the separation as one might have expected.
JOHN: Well, I read more about myself than you probably do, and I’ll tell you there was. I mean, they would catalogue everyone you went around with, and things like “Lennon In Florida Trip”…things like Rona Barrett. I think she wrote that Yoko was living with my ex-wife in a “strange relationship”. She was putting that around… we got the clippings and everything.
I mean that was dead wrong, because Yoko was very definitely NOT living with my ex-wife in a “very feminist relationship!” I see them all, because I’ve got a clipping service and I get all the newspapers, and you can bet your life somebody’s going to send you the clippings…

NME: Yeah, your friends…
JOHN: Yes, all your best friends let you know what’s going on. I was trying to put it round that I was gay, you know. I thought that would throw them off… dancing at all the gay clubs in Los Angeles, flirting with the boys… but it never got off the ground.

NME: I think I’ve only heard that lately about Paul..
JOHN: Oh, I’ve had him, he’s no good. (laughs).

NME: What`s this about recording with Bowie?
JOHN: Well, he was doing “Across The Universe” and I had sort of met him once in LA and met him again here. That was an old song of mine. I gave it away because we made a lousy version of it, and then Spector made an improved lousy version of it and it ended up on the “Let It Be” LP which none of us would have anything to do with.
So I just went down to Electric whatever, where he was recording, and I did whatever you do. Then he, or the guitarist, had this sort of a lick, and we made a song out of it, called “Fame”.
It’s an interesting track. So that’s the extent of it, and they’ll be on his new album – the one with “Young Americans” on it.

NME: I’d like to clear up one of those myths… about Brian Epstein “packaging” the Beatles. How true is that?
JOHN: Everything is true and not true about everything. I mean, we certainly weren’t naive. We were no more naive than he was. I mean, what was he?…He served in a record shop.
So Epstein was serving in a record shop and he had nothing to do, and saw these sort of…rockers, greasers, playing loud music and a lot of kids paying attention to it. And he thought, well “This is a business to be in,” and he liked it – he liked the look of it.
He wanted to manage us, and he told us that he thought he could manage us and we had nobody better so we said all right, you can do it.
Then he went around shopping, getting us work, and it got to a point where he said, “Look, if you cut your hair you’ll get this”… For at that time it was longer than in any of the photographs. It was generally cut or trimmed for the photographs; even in school photographs your hair was cut the day before, or when you had a holiday. Somehow your parents always managed to cut your hair.
But there were some private pictures that show it was pretty long for those days, and greased back, hanging around.
There was a lot of long hair on the teddy boys… the Tony Curtises that grew larger and larger because they never went to the hairdresser.
We were pretty greasy. Outside of Liverpool, when we went down South in our leather outfits, the dance hall promoters didn’t really like us. They thought we looked like a gang of thugs. So it got to be like Epstein said, “Look if you wear a suit…”, and everybody wanted a good suit, you know? A nice sharp, black suit man… We liked the leather and the jeans but we wanted a good suit, even to wear offstage. “Yeah, man, I’ll have a suit”.
So if you wear a suit, you’ll get this much money… all right, wear a suit. I`ll wear a suit. I’ll wear a bloody balloon if somebody’s going to pay me. I’m not in love with the leather THAT much.
He was our salesman, our front. You’ll notice that another quirk of life is – I may have read this somewhere – that self-made men usually have someone with education to front for them, to deal with all the other people with education. Now Epstein had enough education to go in and deal with the hobnobs… and it’s the same thing now. If I have a lawsuit, I have to get a lawyer.
Epstein fronted for the Beatles, and he played a great part of whatever he did. He was theatrical – that was for sure. And he believed in us. But he certainly didn’t package us the way they say he packaged us.
He was good at his job, but to an extent he wasn’t the greatest businessman. He was theatrical and he believed. But you have to look at it this way: if he was such a great packager, so clever at packaging products, whatever happened to Gerry and the Pacemakers and all the other packages? Where are they? Where are those packages? Only one package survived, the original package. It was a mutual deal. You want to manage us? Okay, we’ll let you. We ALLOW you to – we weren’t picked up off the street. We allowed him to take us.
Paul wasn’t that keen, but he’s more conservative in the way he approaches things. He even says that himself – and that’s all well and good – maybe he’ll end up with more yachts.

NME: Did you go to Allen Klein because of the Stones?
JOHN: Well, I reckoned Klein was all right because of the Stones. I thought Mick was together – see, this is the fallacy. Everyone always thinks everyone else is together. You’re together yourself or forget it.

NME: You should always go by your instincts…
JOHN: I know I’m trying to learn. It’s a hard thing to learn after being programmed for life not to use your instincts, you know.
Women use them a bit better than men. One benefit you got from slavery was that you were emotional… that’s cool. But men were supposed to make decisions or reason and intellect, so it always interfered with your instinct. But my instinct is what has always saved me from lots of dragons…

A really nice ad from Mr. Cooper.

A really nice ad from Mr. Cooper.

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 number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Labelle, Chaka Khan, Chuck Berry, Lou Reed, Uriah Heep, Jack The Lad, Richard Thompson and Linda, Elton John.

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