ARTICLE ABOUT Paul Kossoff FROM SOUNDS, November 17, 1973

These articles with interviews done with people that died long before their time takes on even more importance today. These articles, some videos and the music is what remains. There will be no more of either. I hope you appreciate this one, and that you, like me, feel what an absolute tragedy it is that Kossoff and all those other people that did go to soon, never got the chance to share their talents with us for a longer time.


Koss – birth of a new concept

feature by Billy Walker

First out of the Free ruck is that diminutive demon of electric guitar Paul Kossoff with a new album, “Back Street Crawler”, and an overwhelming urge to get himself back on stage and playing to the people. But, as is always the case, finding the right set of musicians to work with is causing a little more problematical than the release of any album.

“Crawler” is a step towards the concept that Koss has been working on for some time now, but by no means expresses his ideas fully. It`s not an entirely “new” album either, in as much as some of the tracks have been around for about a year and therefore can`t possibly be the total expression of the concept:
“It`s like a set of things picked out from various time periods and put together,” Koss mused relaxing in a swivel chair in SOUNDS` office. “But I think it`s a bit like a skeleton, it`s touching on things to come. People seem to like it, which makes me feel really good.”
The once closely shorn Kossoff mane was back to full, flowing regence and that almost evil twinkle flashes through his eyes as before, Koss is looking better than he has for a long time and if “Crawler” is a success and the band manages to come together without too many hassles it could mean that we`ll hear him back at his best before long.
Nine years spent studying classical guitar has held Koss in good stead from many aspects but his first exposure to anything outside those confines came when he visited a club that had Mayall`s Bluesbreakers topping the bill:
“I`d stopped playing classical guitar for a while and wasn`t doing anything but then I saw Clapton.
“I couldn`t understand that sound, it was very new to me as it was to everyone else, and that`s what started me off playing again. But being a bit lazy I never sat down and copied note for note anything anyone ever did.”

But Koss has never denied the indelible impression Clapton`s playing had upon him and also that of Hendrix. In fact Hendrix more than anyone played a big part in Paul`s life, both musically and emotionally: “I went through a really weird stage, drugs and shit, and Hendrix was so in my mind all of the time and I played nothing but his records.
“I felt that I understood him and what he was doing so totally. Some of his things were very, very wild and wound up and people thought it was just freak-outs and a big noise, whereas I found out there was a meaning and idea and concept behind what he was doing.
“His songs were very emotional, very wide open and spacey, and at the same time being vulnerable and without protection he would die, and he did.” But had any of Jimi`s style or feel rubbed off on Koss? “Yeah, the depth maybe of human emotion and feelings that can be expressed in one form or another.
“It inspired me as well as took away any pre-ego about whether I was a good guitarist in what I did and made me want to better myself.” But apart from being emotionally effected by Hendrix guitar playing Koss was also forming his own forms and expressions at this time.
“The concept I have is one of an arc of sound, to try and pull out of people emotions and out of myself, aggressive, tender, soft. All the emotions are very human, they`re there and a lot of the time they`re very inhibited, especially with an audience and a lot of times in the playing, depending on the state of the player, his state of mind.
“But there`s nothing I want more than to be on the road with a good package to put over these thoughts, to get a good reaction…”


“Time Away” from the new album in part expresses this new idea that Koss is concerned with and loves to work, in the studio or out of it, with musicians that fit tightly. “Something like that (“Time Away”) just came together, I just visited John Martyn at a session and we did it. The way I was playing on that track is the way I like to express myself, I think it`s a good example, it`s a very bluesy track and just drifts.
“I very much like the movement of musicians when there is an understanding – jam is a very overused word. When you get something that is being played off the cuff, maybe something very fast, really it`s moving in slow waves of communication, rising and falling, getting into different moods, I like that very much. I also like gigging songwriting – the actual vocal expression of it, the way to present it.”
But the opposite can also be true, working with people that Koss can`t relate to can be a real disaster. “I love to record with the right people, I hate to record with the wrong people, it`s a nightmare I have to go out and leave it. But my best playing I suppose has been on things that have been very loose, but I love to play on stage, it`s really what I want to do above all.”
And with Koss ready again to express himself on stage the question once again comes back to forming a band, and the chance of having to compare these musicians with those in Free. And what of the pressures of keeping a working unit together on the road?
“I`m older and wiser and I`ve learnt a lot about people, music and other musicians. Whereas when I was with Free I knew nothing about other musicians and the way they worked. As far as finding a singer, to me there`s no one that can sing like Paul Rodgers, and I`m so used to playing with him and around him and interchanging and all that.
“Obviously I`d have to get used to a new singer but I can`t think of anyone that is emotionally of such depth and technically good. I think there are people with great voices that I would love to play with but it would be a whole new thing for me which I realise and understand, willing to accept that they do not have that depth of thought behind the intonation.”


And that`s exactly what “Back Street Crawler” has in great depth – feeling. It runs through a great assortment of emotions and Kossoff`s playing varies from the quite tightness of “Crawler” to the more loose and floating dreaminess of “Time Away”, changes in style and emotions but who does Koss really admire, in the guitar field that`s working today?
Nobody except Townshend, I love Townshend from about every angle, his playing and the great variety of mood he gets. I admire his togetherness to hold a band like the Who together, which I think he does, his performance overall, visually and musically, at the same time being perfect.”
I`ve said it many times before, and after hearing “Back Street Crawler” I see no reason to change my mind, that Koss had, and still has, the magic and musicianship to be a really outstanding British guitarist. You can`t compare one musician with another like branded beers but Koss hasn`t really been given the benefit of a good listen to by the general public.
Sure, Free fans and a few on the perifery know about him and what he can do on top form but they also remember the off nights. But lurking within Koss` tiny frame is a great flood of emotionally charged music that when the full concept is realised Paul could be mentioned in the same breath as Clapton, Page and Beck, and of course he is by some of us already.


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: Nils Lofgren, John Lennon, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Lane, Alice Cooper, Carlos Santana, Average White Band, Dale ‘Buffin’ Griffin, Magna Carta.

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 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 John Lennon FROM SOUNDS, November 17, 1973

A good one where the interview subject gets to dominate the text. I like these articles a lot. And one can only speculate if Lennon`s fate would have been completely different if he didn`t like the USA and New York so much.


Exile on Sunset Strip

Steve Peacock talks to John Lennon in Los Angeles

A mind game for you: “We announce the birth of a conceptual country, Nutopia… Nutopia has no land, no boundaries, no passports, only people.” – Yoko Ono Lennon, John Ono Lennon, New York, April 1, 1973.
“It is about – once you say it that`s it.” – John Lennon, Los Angeles, November 3, 1973.

Nutopia is the Lennons` statement on John`s immigration hassles – attempts to throw him out of the States, backed up by the knowledge that if he leaves the country at the moment, he won`t get back in.
No passports, no land, no boundaries… America? “Oh yeah, but that`s physical. That won`t go on for ever – que sera, sera. The world changes so fast you can`t keep up with it anyway, so I`m sure a little piddly thing like my immigration won`t go on for ever.
“It`s like Leonardo drawing a submarine, it`s no good saying `oh look, it`s going to take a thousand years before they build it`: that`s not the point. Nutopia was Yoko`s trip, I agree with her, so I wanted to put it on (the album sleeve) and do it as just another event, another J&Y event. We mean it, it`s not naive or anything like that, it`ll happen when it happens. If you say it enough it`ll happen – if you don`t say it it won`t.”


The exile is in Los Angeles. He went there to put some finishing touches to “Mind Games”, which is now out in America: he did a track on Ringo`s album, and he`s currently engaged in realising a fantasy – a mouldy oldies album, produced by Phil Spector. “Who do you get if you`re going to do a mouldy oldies album – Phil Spector or Sam Phillips, right? I don`t know Sam.”
Spector has been doing it in style: five electric guitarists, five rhythm guitarists, two drummers, two bass players… a veritable cast of thousands, which “changes every night as people drop out or just can`t stand the pace.” Among the cast are Leon, Steve Cropper, Jesse Ed Davies, Jim Keltner, Nino Tempo, Jim Horn, Hal Blaine: “Everybody in the goddam world, it`s the biggest band you`ve ever seen. I can hardly fight my way into the studio.”
An innocent enquiry as to Mr. Spector`s health elicits the answer that tells what it`s like: “He`s making the music sound great, which is what matters, but what kind of shape he`s in I wouldn`t like to say. He`s in his usual whatever that strange world is that he lives in, and I happen to be living in it with him. It`s really insane, there`s people running around saying `who can I tell it to, who can I tell it to… nobody`d ever believe me`.
“Los Angeles is crazy – it looks so normal when you get there, but what it is is there`s all these roomfuls of crazy people moving from room to room. In New York you feel it on the streets a bit, but here it just looks normal and you think there`s nothing happening, and then you find all this madness going on in rooms.”



The songs on the album are secrets at the moment – “someone else might do `em” – but they`re American oldies. “I only go for the best.” And yes, he knows Bowie and Bryan have just done mouldies albums: “I always leave it too late, but ours`ll be different. What happened was between tracks on every album I`ve done, I always do oldies, just play around between tracks, but I always forget the words. I must have thousands and thousands of feet of tape of me forgetting the words…”
The album will be his next release, once “Mind Games” has had its run. He finds he has little to say about that one, except that as usual he wouldn`t have released it if he didn`t like it, and he`s still too close to it to think about it objectively. It took eight weeks to record, which is long for him, and he used the same band as Yoko had for “Feeling The Space”.
OK – so we`ll listen to “Mind Games”, not talk about it. We talked about America, about living there, working there, playing games with the Government: he`s been pretty quiet recently, deliberately not giving his enemies any ammunition, and when I asked if he was planning to play live at all, he said he wasn`t making plans.
“Last time I planned it, the Government attacked me, so I`ll do it on impulse if I do it.” The Government what? “Oh, they just psyched me out – following me, tapping the `phone… I`m paranoid enough without all that.”
So was he still getting the same buzz out of living in the States – it`s been three years now? “Yeah – this is where the music is for me. I think the farthest out I`d want to go is to have a place in Massachusetts or New England or somewhere, somewhere to escape to now and then. New York is where I live – I just don`t think about it any more, I just don`t think of any alternative. It`s like coming to London from Liverpool.”
Though in view of Nutopia, did it actually matter where he was? “I think it`d only matter if I couldn`t be here when I wanted to because… I mean I don`t think I could get it on in, say, Paris – which I love – or even London. You only have to look out of your window… there`s just a vibe in the air that I like. I`d have liked to have lived in Rome in the days of the Roman Empire, not on the outskirts of the empire somewhere, and now I wanna live in New York: it`s definitely the capital of the world, and I wanna be where that is.”
Had he felt rather cocooned in England? “No – I didn`t even plan to leave. When I came to New York I wasn`t planning to live here, I was just visiting, maybe stay a few months… it just sort of happened. I`d probably be back in England a lot more if it didn`t mean that I couldn`t get back here – I`d probably be coming and going a lot more.


“Because I know it`s happening in England – I hear the music coming out of there and I hear the news, or read it, so I know England has plenty of things going on, it`s just… well, I know the English don`t like to hear it, but it is the 59th state.
“But we speak the same language and have the same culture – Heinz beans and ketchup and Doris Day and Elvis… what the hell, it`s one of the islands, just a bit farther away.
“And I like the multi-racial thing over here, it`s like living in Europe with Britain really in the Common Market, like Europe might be in 20 years or something, people coming and going all the time, crossing borders… it`s all Europeans here, and Africans, of course, but it`s really like Europe, only with the main language being English.”
No land, no boundaries, no passports, only people. Anyway, what`s next for John Lennon? “You know me, I don`t have plans. Maybe I`ll take this album on the road – if we ever finish it – maybe I`ll just rest and write some songs. There`s business things going on as usual…
“Hey, when`s Dylan going on the road? Maybe I`ll go along and play rhythm.”


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: Nils Lofgren, Paul Kossoff, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Lane, Alice Cooper, Carlos Santana, Average White Band, Dale ‘Buffin’ Griffin, Magna Carta.

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 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, November 3, 1973

Just a short review today. I think the Naz fans will like this one.


Album Review

By Jerry Gilbert

Nazareth: “Loud `n` Proud”
(Mooncrest Crest 4)

Nazareth are one of Britain`s brightest bands because they have found an immaculate compromise between genuine American Southern grit and good old English punk rock. That`s not to say that they compromise their music – far from it, but they are loud and have taken another positive step forward with another master production from Roger Glover. I heard his other proteges recently – an American band called Elf – and was highly disappointed all round, but he has certainly turned Nazareth into one of the most dynamic recording bands with his d.i.y. tenet. Like “Razamanaz”, the band have hired the Pye Mobile and recorded the whole thing virtually live in their own rehearsal room in Scotland, and as always their music is basic, earthy, and strays little beyond the demarcation lines of rock and roll. “Go Down Fighting” is almost reminiscent of Gary Glitter and were it not for the fact that they are setting themselves higher standards all the time I`m sure this would be a likely candidate for their next hit single. As it happens they will probably choose the “Turn On Your Receiver”, although my favourite is the track sandwiched between – “Not Fakin` It” which features a compelling riff from Manny Charlton that is really wasted on the song. Elsewhere they do a great version of Little Feat`s “Teenage Nervous Breakdown” and a dubious version of Dylan`s memorable “Ballad Of Hollis Brown” which is so lyrically perfect that any attempts to intensify the song tend to detract from it – or maybe I`ve just heard it too often to tolerate secondary versions. “This Flight Tonight” is a classic example where something from the singer-songwriter genre can be utilised by a rebel rousing rock band although you may care to sample “Child In The Sun”, the more reflective “other” side of Naz as featured spasmodically on “Exercises”. All in all it`s a very fine album indeed – definitely superior to “Razamanaz” but then again one can`t see the band resting on laurels at this stage in their career.

Loud Nazareth

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: Dicky Betts (Allman Brothers), Alvin Lee and Mylon Lefevre, Humble Pie, Wishbone Ash, Michael Chapman, Ringo Starr, Neil Innes, Genesis, Refugee, Steve Tilston, Groundhogs, Mike Heron, Uriah Heep.

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 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 Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep) FROM SOUNDS, November 3, 1973

A long talk-in with a great musician, songwriter and all-round nice man. A pity that some of the music press at the time didn`t understand or appreciate Heep. What a great band they were (and still are).
Have a nice, long read.


Ken Hensley Talk-In

Interview: Pete Erskine

The house shudders, the window panes rattle and the coal shifts in the grate. BOAC flight 701 is thundering over Ken Hensley`s roof top, annihilating the sound of his voice completely. The house, you`ll note, is the true rock and roller`s haven – 10 feet away from a main road that appears to be a truck drivers` drag strip, and a few hundred yards from the end of one of Heathrow`s favourite runways; as the `planes` approach you can check out the fillings in the pilots teeth.
In these tranquil rural environs Ken Hensley sits and writes songs in a large dog eared black book and on a bulky grand piano that takes up over half of the front room.
Considering, or in spite of the stick Uriah Heep have taken from the critics, Hensley is a remarkably positive and optimistic sort of person. Where he would be justified in approaching an interview sourly, using it as a mouthpiece for bitterness he would be justified in feeling, he prefers – naturally – just to take things easy;
I can`t remember a more enjoyable afternoon, anyway. Mr. Hensley is a thoroughly likeable person.

How do you feel about the continuing gap between Uriah Heep, your fans and the music press? In some ways it seems even more pronounced than that, say, of Black Sabbath.

I only get upset by the press if they write something which obviously isn`t true or which obviously isn`t an observation, it`s just an opinion…

Surely that`s all you can really give anyway, isn`t it?

No, you see I`m speaking in particular reference to a review of the Alexandra Palace concert. I`m not mentioning any names, or the name of the magazine or anything, but there were two guys there from this magazine that reviewed it and they begun by saying that what we were making was some sort of indefinable noise so that they said they couldn`t hear anything, they couldn`t tell what anything was, they didn`t know which song was which, and later on in the review they mentioned the fact that we played three or four songs from the new album and mentioned them each by name. I don`t see how they can have picked out what songs they were if they were listening to a noise. And then they made no mention of the fact that the audience was really up for it.
You know, it`s been like that all the way through our time because we`ve had to accept… listen, I like reading the press because you usually think that the people in the press are a little bit more knowledgeable about music than the general public that come to a concert, so sometimes they can be very constructive and very helpful.
But if you get 10,000 people jumping up and down in their seats appreciating you and then you get two people from the newspapers saying it was a bunch of crap without qualifying it at all. Fundamentally it`s the audience we have to please so we try and get as much feedback from them as we can.
I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, though, and in our case I like to think that maybe the press was trying to see if we could prove ourselves and withstand the sort of pressure we were under.
We knew fairly early on that it was going to be a hard struggle to convince anyone that we had something valid to say, but we set our minds to doing it rather than be set back by it… by the reviews we were getting. I think that the general sway which happened about 15 months ago from being so disastrously destructive towards the band happened about the time Gary and Lee joined the band and the time we did what I think was our first really good album, and to date probably still our best album – “Demons And Wizards” – when things started to happen for us in America it all started to take a change for the better. But, just because of that, I wouldn`t like to see anybody give us a good review if we`ve done a bad show, `cos you always know if you`ve done a good or bad show.

Do you think that`s so really? As a musician you may feel you haven`t played your best, but it still might`ve been a great show?

Yeah, but at the same time you still know purely through the atmosphere in the hall whether you`ve actually got through to the people or not. And because we`ve had to listen to audiences right from the word go – because of the press thing we`ve had to concentrate especially on what audiences have enjoyed or not enjoyed, so we`re pretty certain now whether we`ve made them happy or not.

Have the critics ever influenced you in the recording of albums, though? I mean, if they`ve pointed out what they might think is a fault are you conscious of that when you go in to cut a subsequent album?

Over the years I guess that through the criticism we`ve received in the press and through the way audiences bought albums and the way they respond to certain songs in live shows we`ve been able to assess where our strongest points are, although I still have a great desire to experiment musically, you know. I`ve got a load of different ideas that I want to try, it`s just a question of getting the time to try them and feeding them in gently.
But, if anything, that level of criticism and the audience feedback has probably helped us when we`re recording because we`ve gone in with a preconstructed idea of what`s going to be best for us to and what we ought to leave alone. I mean, if we went in the studio and did an acoustic album it`d probably be the end of the band – as much as we`d like to do something like that, we don`t have the license to do it…

Yes, because your solo album is something quite different, isn`t it?

Oh yeah, it`s a complete change. Because it`s a solo album it`s only one person you`re really listening to. I would never classify anything that the band did to a song, say, as interference, but you always get a certain amount of interpretation lost as you give it to four other people, so there`s got to be a very clear distinction about the sort of things that the band can do and the sort of things that they can`t do – or shouldn`t be asked to do, that sounds better – and having made that distinction now it`s possible for me to reserve a certain amount of material or write a song and know that it`s got to stay in the book until such times as I get to record it myself.


Does that happen more or less as time goes on – the thing that the group has a certain sound or identity, that audiences become more cemented in their tastes, making it harder to digress a bit, or is it easier because they`ve accepted you?

It`s both. It`s harder and it`s easier. That sounds like a weird way of answering the question, but it`s true. In some ways it`s harder because there are always things they want to hear and in other ways it`s easier because you`ve got such a degree of recognition that it does allow you a little license to play around. What I`ve tried to do when I`m writing is just to try feeding in something a bit different in a small way so that you`re not suddenly thirsting half an album on an audience that they`re not familiar with. It would be totally unfair and unrealistic to do that, but nevertheless the desire to change is always there and the desire to progress, so if you`ve gotta take people with you then you`ve gotta consider both things. You`ve got to consider your own musical ambitions and co-relate them with what you know an audience has in it`s mind preconceived that you`re going to play.

Did your own album – “Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf” – come about because you wanted an outlet for different material or was there also a part of you that wanted to show people that the band contained other facets? I mean, will the others follow suit?

Yeah. There are plans in the works at the moment for David to do an album and I`ve got another one all ready to do – which I hope`ll be a very distinct progression from the first one because as I said it`s a great medium for trying out musical ideas.
The first one was really basically what you said – it was an outlet for a surplus of material which wasn`t right for the band, and, at the same time, I can`t deny the fact that it did give me a chance to muck around in the studio as much as I wanted – playing all those things, and just creating songs from the beginning to the very end. It does help you to prove to yourself whether you`re going in the right direction musically or not -and from a composing point of view. It`s always nice to be reassured and that first album served as some kind of reassurance and, having established a precedent with it, I`m hoping to use the next one to air all these different musical opinions.
It`s much better that way than having to come to grief through the band. In other words trying to force all these opinions on the others and when there are five people each has his right to twenty per cent say. Even when I take a song to the band, it changes drastically, in some cases, from the way I originally wrote it.
On “Sweet Feeling” there`s a song called “If I Had The Time” and I could play you – in fact I think I will – I`ll play you the tape of the original demo that I did of that and then play the way we did it, and that`s the sort of thing that the band does to songs.
You know I can take – I don`t like to admit it, but in some cases the songs might be mediocre, but I can take an average song to the group and they`ll turn it into a really good song. So, that`s the value of having four other people around who`ve got something very positive to say musically – and something very positive to add to what`s basically just a very fundamental idea.

It must be good also because ideas you might get doing solo work can reflect back for the benefit of the group.

Oh yeah. That`s what I say. If I go into the studio and do this other album which I`m hoping is going to be fairly soon, before I start writing another one – and that goes for the chop – if I go in and do that and some of the things come off the way I think they`re going to then it could be instrumental in helping the band to go forward. This is what David will do with his album.
It`ll be great… practice, no, that`s probably the wrong word, but it conveys what I`m trying to say, it will be great practice for him as a singer to go into a studio and do somebody else`s songs, and do them in a totally different way and get into a totally different atmosphere from that with the band.
But everybody`s basic thing is to keep Uriah Heep together as long as we can and exploit it as fully as possible and if we do these other little things on the side, without being detrimental to the band`s progress, then they`ll help, I`m sure they will.
I`ve got plans to do this album with Mike Gibbs and use some small and relatively unusual line-ups on it. Mike did all the arrangements for Mike Maran`s album and I went down to play synthesiser on one track and met him, listened to some of the arrangements he`d done and they were really impressive, so my first thought – with the sort of material I had written for it – was to see if I could get to work with him. He`s the sort of guy I could learn a lot from without actually sitting down and being taught. It will be good experience for me. I want the album to be really different. I want to experiment, although I obviously won`t go too far astray because I`m the sort of person that likes to stray fairly close to the line.
I like the tried and tested path, but there`s something inside me that wants to go off at a tangent every now and then, and if you haven`t got an outlet for that it can get frustrating, but fortunately I`m working with a decent bunch of people and I`m allowed to do it, which is great. I could see it getting very ugly if I was in the sort of situation where they said “No you can`t do that” but there`s never been that sort of situation; it`s always been just ideal.


Does writing come easily, then?

Yeah. When I started writing I kind of started writing because it was in the days when, if you went to a record company they`d insist that you`d have something original to record, so it was all just a question of finding a “B” side in those days. I can remember the first song that I wrote was just really written so that we had an original “B” side and from then on it came fairly regularly and I found that the quality of the songs was improving and that`s something I`m always trying to watch `cos if they keep on getting better then I`m happy you know.
I listen to them all really carefully even before I let anyone else hear them and now I find I can write – especially getting used to writing on the road has helped a lot, I find I can write on the road as easily as when I`m here now. In fact all the stuff for my next album and a lot of the things I`ve put together for the band`s next album were actually written during the last tour and pieced together in my hotel room. I was carrying a little electric piano around, and me guitars, so that helped.
This (he says, indicating a battered black book of approximately the same dimensions as a telephone directory) was all stuff that was written on the last tour. I usually take a new book out on the road each time we go. Thoughts come in weird places – in planes and cars – and if I`ve got the book I can just scribble them down.

That`s odd – in contrast to someone like Roy Wood who says that the only time he can write is if he shuts himself away in his home.

Well, they come to me in the strangest places – showers… it`s really weird… have you ever tried writing under a shower?
I sat here this afternoon. I had a Beach Boys tape on and I had an idea for a song and it didn`t disturb me at all. I was writing away, concentrating on what I was doing and I just wasn`t aware of what was going on around me although I could`ve been… I mean Shirley was vacuuming and the Beach Boys were pounding away on the sound system.
I suppose I`ve got used to writing on the road because I`ve had no choice for three years – because that`s where we were at the beginning.
It must be nice to lock yourself away for n. months but we`re never off the road that long.

Are lyrics very important to the band or are they about equal to the importance of the music?

Well, it`s difficult to say, onstage, because one of the criticisms we`ve always received has been that, you know, our lyrics have been inaudible, but I don`t believe that`s true because it`s something we check on very carefully. You know we periodically get people to go out front and check the sound system and our overall volume to make sure we`re not obscuring things because if you sit down and spend a day writing a song with very careful words and everything in it, the last thing you want is for the band to go out and play so loud that all that hard work gets thrown down the drain.
We pay attention to lyrics at least as equally as we pay attention to music; in most cases I`d say more so. Ever since I first got introduced to the Beatles type of music and to Paul McCartney – his songwriting in particular has made me feel that lyrics are very important and I`ve therefore always tried to make them as refined as possible, at the same time not forgetting that it`s important for audiences to be able to relate to the substance of the song; the other dividing line I have is the everyday social comment type situation without trying to be too philosophical and then there`s the “Demons And Wizards” type thing which is pure imagination and which is on a different level for an audience…


I`ve seen somewhere that some sort of cult thing has grown up – especially in the States – around “Demons And Wizards”. Is this so?

Well, I suppose when you write on a subject like that, that`s so broad, it`s obvious that some people are going to interpret it the wrong way. I mean, there`s a definite meaning there.
It started with the “Wizard”, which was a dream, a recurring dream that I got so pissed off with seeing every night that I decided to put it down on paper, and then a lot of things came up like that, and there were “Rainbow”, “Demons”, “Circle Of Hands” which people chose to connect with black magic. I mean if I had the time to get into black magic, I don`t think I would… in fact, I`m such an optimist as to believe that it doesn`t actually exist, but people chose to interpret it that way and we started receiving our blueprints for spaceships and loony phone calls and it just got terribly out of hand.
At one point, early on in this last tour of America I managed to attract all the loonies there are in North America I think. I have to be the one person in the band to attract all the idiots… all the lunatics. They all come knocking on my door, handing me crushed up flowers… I could go into it for hours.

It`s mainly in the States though?

Yeah, it is `cos I mean they`re the sort of people to get into things more heavily. I`ve had letters from all over the world like that, but they have got a tendency those people, to get into things like that and to choose to interpret things their own way and if someone`s going to be fanatical about something I reckon they`re probably the most fanatical people.
I`ve tried to deny it all as emphatically as possible without, in another sense, putting the music down because people are justified in their own personal interpretations. It`ll die out in time, though…

But then it`s a compliment to you and the band that people have found so much depth in what you`re doing.

Well, yeah, but it isn`t the sort of depth I wanted them to find, but at least they`ve listened. Myself, though, I prefer to put the “Magicians Birthday” and stuff like that on a level with Alice in Wonderland or something. I know that might sound a little pretentious, but what I`m trying to say is that Alice was a product of somebody`s imagination, purely, it doesn`t relate to anything tangible at all, and that`s how those songs arose.

Have you ever picked up any ideas like that from books, though? Books like that?

No. I have got a very strong imagination, and if you have got a very strong imagination you can play all sorts of games with it, and because it`s so strong and so colourful I don`t see the harm in using it, `cos every now and then to just get away from reality without actually losing touch that it`s there and you`ve got to go back to it eventually I don`t think does anybody any harm. It`s a nice rest and a bit of relaxation for the mind.
It must be the same with artists – those who paint landscapes and those who sit and paint something they see in their mind.
I mean, to give you a further example, I have something written for the next solo album which is a story made up on a sequence of events taking place in the lives of three people and I`ve never seen these three people and I`ve certainly never witnessed the things happening that go on in the three songs.

When you were younger did you ever want to write a book or poetry?

Yes, I always wanted to write a book. I didn`t start writing poetry until about five years ago. I always wanted to write a book, but… my mind works in such a strange way. I never read any books. I`m a terrible reader. I`ll read as many books about motor racing as I can lay my hands on but I won`t sit down and read a serious novel or anything like that and so my mind said to me that I wasn`t entitled to write a book because I`d never read any; so I was never entitled to ask other people to read mine.
I have to justify it to myself. I think that after a few more years on the road I`ll certainly have a lot to write about so I`ll look forward to it.

That would be good. There`s usually a need for a good book about bands touring and the whole folklore thing about “being on the road”.

First hand, yeah. There are lots of aspects about being on the road that I think people don`t know about, or don`t begin to understand… there was one particular event we saw in New York when we were coming back from rehearsing the “In Concert” programme and we all witnessed something absolutely and terribly bizarre which is not printable and I remember Gary saying to me in the car “Wow, I think I`ll quit now, there`s just nothing left to see”.

Actually, that`s an impression I have of the band – that you all actually enjoy the lifestyle of being on the road – I mean, apart from playing and everything.

Actually, in the beginning it`s something we had to enjoy, or give up. We went out on the road so much then. After a while we started to go a bit mad and then that`s when I got sick so we realised that there was a limit. According to how tours are organised it can be real good fun or it can be a real drag and I think that if you had the commonsense to sit down well in advance and work it out properly – plus if you`ve enough status to organise it that way, then life on the road can be really good fun. I know I miss it. At the beginning of a tour we`re just like a bunch of kids.
We`re adamant about working hard. We know what we`ll be doing for the next twelve months, but also we have to take more time off than we used to, for all these various constructive reasons… and the fact that when you attain a certain status it has to be a slight mystique thing – it creates itself – and you have to maintain that too. It`s sometimes as good for you, and people… and business for you to stay away from a place as to go there.


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: Dicky Betts (Allman Brothers), Alvin Lee and Mylon Lefevre, Humble Pie, Wishbone Ash, Michael Chapman, Ringo Starr, Neil Innes, Genesis, Refugee, Steve Tilston, Groundhogs, Mike Heron.

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 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 Phil Collins (Genesis) FROM SOUNDS, November 3, 1973

This interview was obviously conducted before there was restrictions on what media could print. Later on the marketing departments of the record companies demanded too much control over what was printed. A press officer today would have had a heart attack if he saw an artist being so frank and outspoken as Collins is in this interview. Shame on you, concert goers from Bournemouth and Southampton! LOL!
OK. Here we go.


Phil: Showing off his colours

Feature by Jerry Gilbert

Three days before Genesis concluded what appeared to be a highly successful British tour, selling out two concerts at the Rainbow and earning an ovation that any artist would treasure, Phil Collins came out with this surprise announcement: “I don`t know if you get blase but we expected a little more from some places and they just didn`t live up to expectations. The Northern gigs were all good but not Bournemouth or Southampton.


“The Rainbow was also weird and I didn`t really enjoy either of those gigs although a tape I heard of the Saturday gig sounded a lot better than I remember playing it”.
He also has reservations about their new album “Selling England By The Pound”, feeling that the numbers are only beginning to find their feet onstage now. But this is a problem Genesis have always had – their cycle of event forces them to take several months off to routine a new album and then go straight into the studios to record it before embarking on a tour to promote it which is usually when those numbers come of age. But if there`s one aspect of the band that this tour has pinpointed, it is their ability to play freely, and for the first time we have seen the band split down into units of three (Tony, Phil and Mike) and two (Phil and Mike). In fact Phil has been coming to the fore more and more recently, combining a display of powerhouse drumming with back up vocals, and now his own feature spot in the programme when he sings “More Fool Me” to Mike`s guitar accompaniment.
“We took three months over the last album, and while we were doing it I was doing my own pub gigs with a band (the legendary Zocks) and we may revive that band again. I`m also cutting a single which came about when I demoed some songs for Mike (Rutherford) and Ant Phillips, who used to be in the band. I was just demoing the songs for them but Strat liked what he heard and decided to put it out as a single although I don`t yet know what name it`ll go out under.”


Phil admitted that Genesis had finally emerged as musicians rather than a bunch of guys who meticulously work out every arrangement over a period of three months and devise strange costumes, props and slides as expletives.
“Everyone has come out better musically and whether it`s born out of frustration or not I don`t know. I don`t think it was a conscious effort, it was just the way it evolved and we hope to bring a lot more things into the band – there are some more percussion things I want to bring in. I mean the more I can get into the band the better I feel and things like `I Know What I Like`, `Dancing With The Moonlight King` and `Aisle Of Plenty` have given me more pleasure playing onstage now because it used to be that somehow I`d be playing better at the soundcheck than I was onstage. We`ve wanted to sound freer, and now, with only three of us onstage, the time changes are easier to pick up.”
But what role does Phil play in the preparation of new material? “Well I come up with ideas, little riffs and things because I play piano and so ideas come out in various pieces though obviously I`m more into the arrangements and the time sequences than chord patterns and lyrics.
“With the new album I feel that the production is much better because `Foxtrot` had been a farcical situation where we had three producers and it wasn`t until we settled down with John Burns to do `Supper`s Ready` that we realised we were getting into something. He thinks that the feeling should come across more than the technique but technique is important too so this time we`ve found a compromise and shown off a few rough edges.”
Phil`s future plans also include an album with Irish singer Eugene Wallace, although right now he is more concerned with preparing for the States` tour which follows shortly. “We want to make a film of a gig for American use also perhaps a `Whistle Test`, because although this is our third visit to the States it`s only our first real tour. The first time was a gamble with a one off thing in New York and I think it was effective.”


At the beginning of next year the band want to undertake a European tour, but more important, they plan to feature a week of concerts at a major London venue – either Edmonton, Hammersmith or the Rainbow. “We could have sold out four Rainbows this time so that`s what we`ll do instead of the Wembley thing we were going to do, because the show is still maturing.
“The thing is there`s a lot to take in at one show and I`m sure there`ll be some freaks who will come all five nights.”
With such an eccentric show, could Genesis ever hope to make money from the British concert circuit? “No. We had to put our ticket prices up this time which is a sad thing to do, but it`s a vicious circle because we can`t go on playing for nothing and getting ourselves into more debt but at the same time we can`t stop doing what we are doing because that`s what the band`s all about. The financial situation is something we never think about because if we did it would depress us. We`re taking all our own stuff across to America so we`ll lose money there too.”
But Phil is adamant about one thing – Genesis will continue to show off more and more of their colours. “There`s a lot in each of us that doesn`t come out in the band. Steve should play his instrumental `Horizons` and he and Tony should do instrumental things. My song came about because we were all going to do feature spots but I was the only one who actually got it together to do something else in the band.”


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: Dicky Betts (Allman Brothers), Alvin Lee and Mylon Lefevre, Humble Pie, Wishbone Ash, Michael Chapman, Ringo Starr, Neil Innes, Ken Hensley, Refugee, Steve Tilston, Groundhogs, Mike Heron.

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 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.