ARTICLE ABOUT Suzi Quatro from New Musical Express, September 13, 1975

Here`s a girl you just can`t stop to love. Trying to build her image as a very bad girl in this and other interviews, while we all really knew that inside she was a really, really nice girl. But it`s an interesting story of a girl trying to break into a male-chauvinist business. So the story of Suzi is always an interesting one! Enjoy.

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Madcap of the Fourth or reincarnation of Attila the Hun? They couldn`t tell. It wasn`t what she said, it was…

WHAT SUZI DID

By Kate Phillips

Suzi Q, fantasy figure for the mini-libbers of the nation:
“I get all these letters from little girls telling me that they`re tough, that they swear like me, and they`re not gonna get stuck at home… and I did answer one, it was from a mother who said her daughter wanted to leave school and be like me, and could I write and tell her to finish school first. So I wrote back-”
-And told the kid to wait?
“-No. I said, if your daughter`s like I was, one year ain`t gonna make no difference. So it`s best to let her go. I know my parents could have kept me under lock and key and I`d have got out somehow and run away.”
Pretty much your standard hellcat raunch? Yup, Leatherclad Rap number 49, courtesy Chinn, Chapman and Mickie Most (image-makers to the public). But don`t give up just yet.
Why were you a rebel, Suzi?
“I wasn`t so much rebellious as a loner; and that made me rebellious in the end.
“There`s always one in a big family, and that was me, so I had to learn to take care of myself. I can remember every day of my life when I was a kid, though my teenage years are a bit hazy.
“Yes, that probably is because I was unhappy.
“I wanted more attention. I can even remember when I was three, biting my little sister`s fingers off…”

Whaaaat?
“I just hated her. She was such a pretty baby, too. And she lay with her fingers drooping over the edge of the cradle, and I crept up and just crunched them as hard as I could.
“I`m surprised they didn`t fall off. Then I ran upstairs and listened to her crying, and my mother coming in and saying `What`s wrong with this baby, she`s always crying` and I`d be up there laughing away. Isn`t that terrible?
“When I was about 11 it suddenly hit me. I went into her room late one night, sobbing. `Nancy, are ya sleeping? I`m sorry I used to bite your fingers, I`m sorry…` I was crying my eyes out, the memory has suddenly gone boom in my head.
“So anyway, when I got to the age when my parents thought they had to give me attention and protect me from the outside world, because I was growing up, I said fuck you, you never cared before…”
No, I don`t think it explains why Suzi`s a rebel; I don`t think she is a rebel, otherwise she wouldn`t still be tied up in the baby biker packaging in which her management present her.
It does explain her self-confessed need to be onstage regularly, since otherwise she gets “nervy” and bitchy without the adulation of a crowd to keep her happy. And it`s probably got something to do as well with her ritual “toughness”, which she demonstrates with naive pleasure during the course of our conversation. A nervous minion of RAK Records puts his head round the door to ask a question Suzi considers superfluous, so she sends him off with a chilly reply; and turns back with a conspiratorial smile to her audience.

“See, there, I got nasty there for a minute. I had a guy in here yesterday, shaking. He`d come in with this list of questions – `Why are you so butch?` `Why aren`t your tits bigger?` Really that stupid. I laid into him, told him he made me puke: he was trying to laugh, and pretending to write it all down, but he went out in tears.
“Of course I`m gonna behave like a bitch, if people treat me like one.”
Maybe they wouldn`t ask her silly questions, though, if she didn`t have such a silly image to live up to. Let`s get one thing straight; in spite of the fact that she`s rather small and very pretty and very charming, in her literal-minded way, it is not amazing (a) that Suzi plays bass (some girls play drums, remember?) (b) that Suzi swears (yawn) and (c) that Suzi wears leather onstage (double yawn).
If those things ever had any novelty value, it`s surely worn off by now – a suggestion backed up by the fact that none of her last few singles – “The Wild One”, “Your Mamma Won`t Like Me”, “I Bit Off More Than I Could Chew” – have done much business, and the new one, “I Maybe Too Young”, which is lyrically one of the crassest efforts so far (“I`m little Suzi, the backstreet girl/I`m gonna hang around and wait for you”) isn`t, as yet, creating any stir either.
To give Suzi her due, she`s genuinely bored with all these questions about what it`s like to be a female rock and roller. “It doesn`t matter what sex I am, but other people can`t get used to it,” she complains.

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But until she gives up her position as teeny little cute front lady for all those Big Ugly Men, and till she starts writing her own singles and singing in a way that odd things on her albums have shown her to be capable of no-one`s going to believe her protestations of sexless equality with the rest of the band, or see her as anything other than a willing doll manipulated by Chinnichap.
Nobody has got her to say a word against them yet, or to admit that her claim to have broken the rock and roll barrier for girls is as yet a false one. But sometimes she really gives herself away:
“The only time the boys in my band think about me as a woman is when it`s time to change into our stageclothes and I go off to another dressing room, or when some big heavy guys come up and they know they might have to protect me a little, `cos it might get a bit rough – but otherwise I don`t think they think about it either.”
It`s not that I think the lady`s got to sacrifice her modesty, or get herself beaten up, to achieve parity: but I do think the best thing she could do (after casting Mike and Nicky into Outer Darkness) would be to get herself a gig as one of the boys in a band – a good one – and concentrate on living down her Lulu and the Luvvers aura for a while. After that, if she actually emerged as leader in her own right – well, then all us Little Girls would really have something to inspire us.

Back to Suzi`s childhood. Her own inspiration, she says, was Elvis: “It never occurred to me that I couldn`t look up to him, just `cos I was a girl. I just said, Oh I`d love to do what he does. I was one of those kids who practised in front of the mirror with a chairback and four big rubber bands for a bass. It really worked quite good. And I`d practise facial expressions – I could match myself in the mirror and not be embarrassed, it was like watching someone else. I didn`t even care when my mother caught me at it…”
Do you use any of those expressions now?
“No, not any of them; I use such ugly expressions onstage, and people say I`m a sex symbol! They must be mad. Sexy to me is when someone`s got their leg pointed, or they`re putting their body into pretty shapes…”
But you don`t only fancy men when they pose, do you?
“No but men are different..”

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Procul Harum, Genesis, Andy Pratt, Uriah Heep, Buddy Holly.

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

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

ARTICLE ABOUT Genesis from New Musical Express, September 13, 1975

Been a busy week and I was also laid flat for a couple of days by that very dangerous (for us men at least) disease called “Winter Cold”. I was incredibly sick for a while, but now I`m feeling better. So here we go again with a post written in a very special period of time for this band. What to do without Gabriel? The journalist didn`t seem to know that the solution to this problem sat right there in front of him. Really enjoyed reading this quite funny interview. Hope you do too!

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While shock waves of the GENESIS cataclysm still re-echo around the world, we bring you this report direct from the disaster area. And drummer PHIL COLLINS, one of the few men alive today who can fully assess the situation, offers words of assurance to the many, many people who must feel that their very raison d`etre hovers on the brink.

By TONY TYLER.

So Genesis` Peter Gabriel flitted from the popular group on the Friday and by the following Monday Genesis-watchers among the plebiscite were still unaware that The Man in the Papier-mache Mask was re-affirming, in his own published words, “my bondage to cabbages.”
At the same time – and on the same Monday – news-desks on the Music Weeklies were throbbing with speculation and we-predicted-it-first-so-we`re-not-exactly-caught-bare-assed-isms.
Inky scribes scratched armpits reflectively and murmured, in a 72 pt. trance, EXODUS FROM GENESIS. (“No – too obvious. The opposition are bound to use it.”)… GABRIEL HORNS OUT (“I like it”), finally settling for GABRIEL QUITS GENESIS (“Not exactly John Donne but the point gets across, don`t it?”).
And while Gabriel was horning out or exodising or even quitting Genesis, the other four members, who`d tended to be somewhat overlooked both before and during the Announcement (not to speak of The Letter), were coolly adjusting to their amputated state and putting into effect certain contingency plans drawn up when Gabriel had told his colleagues that, yes, it was Back To The Land For Him.

When did he tell `em? One year ago. SO, PHIL Collins – neatly-bearded and athletic drummer with Genesis, crisply austere Princeling of the Paradiddle – you mean to tell us that for a solid twelvemonth you and Michael Rutherford and Steve Hackett and Tony Banks – not to speak of your record company Top Brass and your own Manager – have been living and working under the shadow of this Departure (or even Exodus?) that during the most important year of your professional lives, cramful of U.S. tours, Eurotours, lauded albums and poll victories et al (not to speak of The Rest), you guys have had this to look forward to?
You mean you`ve been grafting away like coca-leaf-chewing Bolivian peons just waiting for your lead protagonist, ringmaster of kooky effects and composer of stuccoed lyrics to be finally seduced Away From It All by… cabbages?
“Yes.”
Actually, Phil Collins is by no means a taciturn man. Nor is he a gabbler. Sort of somewhere in the middle – but by no means inhibited from letting fly with the verbals when he`s got a ready answer to the question, which he usually – but not always – has. Bless him, he`s taken a tube ride all the way to Long Acre, canvas bag over T-shirted shoulder, just to talk about things with NME. This is absolutely unconnected with the fact that he didn`t go to Public School.

“In fact, Peter first said he was going to be leaving about a year ago, just after `Lamb Lies Down`. I don`t want to go into his reasons too much – he did that himself in the Press last week – but for several reasons he decided to stay on until now.
“Actually, I was planning to leave myself at that time. I didn`t leave either. Neither am I planning to.”
At this point it`s only fair to point out certain minor but important tensions that lie around the circumstances of this interview.
NME – with its aggrieved Gasbag punters (yours sorrowfully – Genesis Freak, Accrington) to think about – is primarily (but by no means exclusively) interested in the circumstances of The Gabriel Split, Genesis` reaction, Genesis` plans (i.e., will there still be a Genesis?) – and most of all Do they Plan To Replace Gabriel And If So How Do They Propose To Swing It?
On the other hand, Genesis` management, and the group themselves, while conceding that public attention is primarily focused on the etceteras above, are also mad keen to promote an image of Unity And Optimism In The Face Of A Long-Foreseen Setback.
So near and yet so far, and so on: Could still be a great life if we don`t weaken. And anyway there`s always the solo albums.

So Phil Collins is gamely and honestly and frankly (he even said “I dunno” when I asked him why Genesis, despite loud and consistent acclaim for their elaborate stage presentation job, had never reflected this in album sales – but more on that later) fielding the Gabriel Questions and simultaneously vibing up a good deal when the conversation swivels over to his own wide-ranging musical projects (which it isn`t going to just yet because we haven`t quite finished with Peter Gabriel).
So what are you fellers going to do? I mean, Gabriel isn`t exactly a forgettable visual experience, is he? You going to secure a replacement or you going to revibe the Act? If so, how?
“Peter`s leaving isn`t the blow that some people seem to think it is,” says Collins. “Like – the Press have always seized upon Peter and sort of pushed him more than everybody else, when really-”
But he was your front man. And he did ascend heavenwards like his demiurgic namesake…and he did address the audience between numbers in a highly idiosyncratic way… and he did write an awful lot of lyrics.
“Not all of them. People have always misunderstood that. Mike and Tony write nearly as much and very much in the same style – it`s a band style of writing, not Peter`s alone; it`s a product of all of us and the fact that we`ve been together for five – ”
Count `em.
“- years. We`ve been auditioning singers just recently, in fact.”

You have? Aha! Who?
“Well, as some of them are in name bands it wouldn`t be fair to say. We`ve tried out quite a lot though. I`ll say this: they could all sing alright; it`s more a question of finding the right combination of voice, personality and stage presence.”
And?
Silence and a deep pull of coffee.
Have you found The Man?
(Sure a lot of coffee in that cup.)
Well, will you attempt to keep The Act as it was so far as you can – and therefore in effect find another PG from the substitutes` bench?
Or will you use the different circumstances, the different mix of personalities (Headmasters` Conference Schools 3, Workies 2) in order to effect certain long-yearned-for but hitherto-unattainable revibings?
In other words, are you keeping it going – if you can – or planning a New Deal?
“We`re planning a tour of England next spring or in the New Year,” says Collins. “And what people will see, I should think, will be very close to what they saw before.”

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I see – so the opportunity to break down the Meccano and construct a new model is being passed over then? You guys are going to stick with the investment? (Which is reported to be pretty substantial, and not yet really covered by albums sales. Face it, silver is OK but gold is better – and when you have a roadshow like Genesis`, absolutely bloody essential.)
In other words, you`re looking for another Peter Gabriel?
Actually, I didn`t ask that. What I did do was light a cheap cigar and pause for thought.
Genesis have been going for about five years, maybe a bit longer. For at least three-fifths of that time they`ve been a massive crowd-puller, a Punters` Delight.
In an era of Symphonic Rock bands gone spare with theatre props and Day-glo Plaster-of-Paris footlight fittings, Genesis`ve held their own with the ELPs and the Yesses, equalled and frequently surpassed the Floyds, and totally blitzed the Barclay James Harvests.
This ferociously assiduous attention to visual detail, carefully cued in with the ornately-varnished lyrics and musical patterns, has been wowing `em in the three-and-nines (pounds, that is) so effortlessly for so long that their election to the Top Slot (Stage Bands) in most major music paper dolls has become as predictable as the 3.10 tide at Wapping Dock.
And during all this they haven`t really got much richer. In fact, if Rumour is to be believed (and the Dame can be problematic alright), the bread sunk in the band by various individuals and companies totals… a fair slice.

Normally, Sympho-rock bands With The Trimmings, expensive tho` they come, can manage to sell such an excess of long-players that with the first six-month audit period the mazuma comes rolling gleefully home to Mama. It happened with ELP, with Yes, with the Fluid, with Tull … but it hasn`t happened with Genesis, whose music is certainly no worse (to say the least) and whose presentation is vastly superior (to say the least).
This is the situation: Genesis don`t sell albums. Not in sufficient quantity, that is. Not in sufficient quantity in America, that is.
Why?
“I dunno,” says Collins, and for a second he looks almost despondent. But it doesn`t last. “I know a lot of musicians don`t get off on the presentation we have,” he says. “Even though they respect us as individual musicians.”
You mean, the sight of Peter Gabriel being hoisted up to Heaven while Tony Banks plays post-psychedelic Hosannas on Hammond doesn`t seem like rock `n` roll to these insensitive guys?
“Well, no … I can understand it to a certain extent, mind you.”
(So can I – but did Genesis ever claim to be playing rock? I don`t recall it.)
MIND YOU, Phil Collins is the last bloke to be worrying about his rock credentials. In fact, his papers are in such good order that a list of his recent sessions reads like a Who`s Who of This Year`s Thing.
I`ll mention no names.

Oh, all right – Eno (new album), John Cale (new album), Dave Hentschell (film score), Eddie Howell (album), Steve Hackett and Michael Rutherford of Genesis (new albums).
Collins himself is currently rehearsing/recording/thinking about composing for no less than three albums: the new Genesis LP, an album by his own second-string interest, a band called (for the time being) Brand X; and The Phil Collins Solo Album.
First, the Genesis album, which does not feature Peter Gabriel.
“We started writing for it right after `The Lamb Lies Down`.” says Collins. “I do most of the singing, actually – there`s just the four of us. We start recording soon… and we may feature one or two singers, as guest vocalists sort of, on a few tracks. And when we next go on the road I should think the concert will be drawn from this new LP`s material.”
Out in the Spring, folks.
“The group I`ve got… well, as soon as Genesis finish rehearsing this afternoon,” (he was en route for Trident Studios as soon as our interview finished). “I`ll be turning right round and going right back in the studio with Brand X.
“They`re all mates of mine, actually.
“We play sort of loose, funky stuff. Very loose. We sound a bit like Lifetime.”

And the solo album?
“I`ll start that later this year. It`s mainly stuff that for one reason or another didn`t make its way into Brand X Songs.”
Not “suites”, or even “movements”?
“Songs.”
Great. But say, isn`t there some danger of spreading yourself – yourselves, come to think of all those other solo LPs – too thin? I mean, shouldn`t all possible musical options be going into Genesis, which could still very definitely pay off with a hit LP? Even though, as yet, it hasn`t?
“I don`t think so. Almost everything any of us write goes to Genesis as first choice. If we all like it, then it gets in the repertoire. If it doesn`t take, it ends up on a solo album. By listening to Mike`s album you`ll be able to isolate his particular contribution to Genesis more clearly, by listening to Steve`s and mine the same.”
Time moves on and studio time don`t come cheap. Tell me, Phil, why didn`t “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” Do It in the US? As heavily praised as it was? With Rael and all that spooky sociological stuff? Jungian psychology an` that?

“The trouble was it was a double,” says Collins, with the air of a man who`s thrashed this particular bone of c. out many, many times in private with others more directly concerned. “That album should have been a single and our next could`ve been a double.”
You mean it was a slightly top heavy proposition for the East Coast punters – and a no-hoper for the West Coast, where the group have been far less exposed?
“Yeah.”
A bad move, eh? Tactically, I mean?
“Yeah.”
Do you regard all this as a setback?
“No… I`ve got to say, we`re all very optimistic. It`s a challenge, a different situation.”
You`re going to hang in there, right?
“Right.”
As much like before as you can make it, huh?
“That`s right.”
And in the meantime there`s Brand X, the solo album and all that prestigious and lucrative session work?
“Right.”
Do you think it`ll come to that? You know what I mean…
“Don`t know. Can`t tell. Don`t think so. Hope it won`t. I`m sure it won`t.
“We`re all really very optimistic.”

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Procul Harum, Suzi Quatro, Andy Pratt, Uriah Heep, Buddy Holly.

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

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

ARTICLE ABOUT Rainbow from New Musical Express, August 30, 1975

Rainbow will soon return to the world`s stages, and I hope there will be an album somewhere in there too. If there is, I hope it will be received better than the very first album reviewed by New Musical Express in 1975. The reviewer was not entirely convinced. Personally, I think it was (and is) a great album even if some of the songs here were even better on their later live album.
Enjoy!

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Record Review

Ritchie Blackmore`s Rainbow
(Oyster)

By Tony Stewart

When a musician (in this case Ritchie Blackmore) decides to leave a band (in this case, Deep Purple), presumably because of musical differences, you`d expect him to adopt an approach dissimilar from that of his former band.
But not our Ritchie.
This is the same kind of metal rock, the lineup is similar (Ronnie James Dio, vocals; Gary Driscoll, drums; Craig Gruber, bass; and Mickey Lee Souls, assorted keyboards) and even the packaging sniffs of a Purple influence.
The only significant difference I can discern between the two are that (1) Rainbow are not as accomplished musicians as Purple, and (2) their breadth of vision isn`t as great.
In fact this album is duller than a March morning.
The majority of the cuts are the same old riff stews; admittedly they do it capably enough, but that hardly seems sufficient.
Out of the nine tracks, there are only two which are worth complimentary remarks. Those are the gentle melodic “Catch The Rainbow”, and the acoustically based “Temple Of The King”.

The rest are just cliched structures, such as the pounding “Man On The Silver Mountain” and “Sixteenth Century Greensleeves” where Blackmore and Dio reclaim a Uriah Heep riff which they`d borrowed from Purple originally.
And even the inclusion of The Hat`s instrumental re-working of the Yardbird`s “Still I`m Sad” does nothing for me at all.
Besides their lack of imagination in the composing department, with seven originals from the pens of The Hat and Ronnie James, the band lacks any real feeling.
With the exception of Dio.
Now he is a good singer who has a lot of passion, good phrasing and pitch (particularly on “Temple”) and puts a considerable amount of effort into the songs.
Whereas The Mad Axeman and Gruber merely illustrate their technical manoeuverability, Souls (despite the name) is recording in the studio next door and you rarely hear him, and Driscoll is what you`d describe as solid.
But it is a group album. The Hat keeps a low profile, filling out songs and taking the occasional lead, sounding, particularly on “Rainbow” and “Temple”, like Peter Green, but there are no real instances of inspired madness.
So in conclusion, all I can say is that they`re an imitation of Purple, and not a particularly good one at that.

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music), James Stewart, Chapman-Whitney Streetwalkers, Roger McGuinn, The Selling of Reading, Kursaal Flyers, Loudon Wainwright, Leo Kottke, Isley Brothers.

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

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

ARTICLE ABOUT Kiss from New Musical Express, August 23, 1975

Once more we have proof that critics really don`t know a turd from a diamond. We all read record reviews, but ultimately you have to listen to the album yourself to decide if you like it. “Rock and Roll All Nite” is one of Kiss’ most well-known songs, almost like a signature song for the band. Many of the other songs on this album are among the most popular among their fans today – songs like “She”, “C’mon and Love Me” and “Room Service” are still in high regard.
Have fun with this review!

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Record Review

KISS: “Dressed To Kill”
(Casablanca)

By Max Bell

This record has unscented anti-perspirant smeared over every groove. It doesn`t sweat, it doesn`t move, it doesn`t even make me feel particularly violent.
In other words Kiss have gone the way of all flesh and cleaned up. If this change in direction goes much further though they`ll end up dying a desultory death.
Main problem is that bossman Neil Bogart has carefully extinguished the buzzing, sub-manic, nod-out doze of “Hotter Than Hell” and substituted pristine clarity. New, but not improved… ie., “this guitar goes in that channel.” Worst of all you can actually hear the lyrics, which on a Kiss album is the last thing you want.

Seems that as soon as they made a conscious effort to reveal their I.Q.`s, Kiss lost their real claim to fame (making straightforward rock so dumb it was good). The urgency is gone, riffs are thin on the ground, and ears are still intact. Besides, it`s too hot to jump up and down.
No more deranged HM and gluttonous dual lead. There`s even a tasteful classical guitar intro to the stunningly titled “Rock Bottom”. In the barely passable league we`ve got “Two Timer”, “Getaway” and “She”, while the last single, “Rock-And-Roll All Nite” is only pleasantly retarded. Most of the time Kiss sound like a Rubettes Silverhead hybrid. About as heavy as a flimsy negligee.

I conclude that this is one of the most expendable, vapid formulations of the time-tested excursions into nowhere since Lord Rutherford tried to stick the atom back together again. And being one of the only people in this office who liked their previous two albums it comes as some disappointment to be presented with such tired, mill-grist by way of the third.
If this is progression, I don`t like it. And by the way, whoever organised the sleeve, lose ten points for getting the band names totally out of synch.

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Les Perrin, Robin Trower, Guide to Reading Festival, Judy Collins, Third World, Max Merritt, David Bowie.

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

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

ARTICLE ABOUT David Bowie from New Musical Express, August 23, 1975

David Bowie was a great loss for everyone enjoying his creative output. It makes it even more important to preserve those interviews that he made, to share among the current and future fans of his. Here is another contribution from me to the future of humanity!

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DICTATORSHIP

The Next Step?

From the set of “The Man Who Fell To Earth” David Bowie peers into our future – and sees nothing to laugh at…

Interview: Anthony O`Grady
Pics: David James

“WE THINK we’ve got an audience,” says the spokesperson in the Bowie suite. “We’re pretty sure the operator will be listening in..”
“This is the Los Angeles operator… we think we have a connection and we will not… repeat… not be listening…”
“They always say that,” says the Bowie person.
Finally…
“A big hullo to all of you people over there from all of me over here. What’s happening?” Eeeeek! It’s Dah-aaaaah-veeeed!
And what’s happening is his voice keeps fading into blurry white noise. (Telephone operators bootlegging the conversation?) As always, he speaks with an accentless clipped tone, very English but very anonymous all at the same time. The sort of voice that goes with whatever personality its owner is wearing at the time. Ziggy Stardust to Diamond Dog to Flame haired Androgynous Dandy. But it’s weird and quite ghostly when you hear it without seeing the visual effect. What you become aware of, more than anything else, is the man’s Scarlet Pimpernel-like intelligence. They seek him here, they seek him there…
For Bowie is someone who speaks out strongly, yet won’t stay pinned down to any opinion. Or indeed lifestyle. And of late his lifestyles have undergone startling changes.

Early in the year, there was the “Young Americans” album which confirmed his flirtation with American soul; it sure was a change from the surrealistic R & B of the previous “Diamond Dogs”, anyway. About the same time as “Young Americans”, he upped and left longtime manager Tony De Fries. But soon afterwards there were rumours he was planning a concert tour of Brazil. No Brazil. But he did spend some time recording Detroit street punk artiste, lggy Pop (the midget who had inspired the Bowie song, “Jean Genie”). And the next word on Bowie was he was huddled in a room drawing pentangles, burning candles, chanting spells. And then he started work on a film “The Man Who Fell To Earth”.
Definitely it was a rapid-change program.
MEANWHILE… back at the telephone receiver…
David why don’t we start talking about the “Young Americans” album?
“OK. Go Ahead.”
Um… well … the “Young Americans” track, what’s the story behind that one?
“No story. Just young Americans. It’s about a newly-wed couple who don’t know if they really like each other. Well, they do, but they don’t know if they do or don’t. It’s a bit of a predicament.

“The next track ‘Win’ was a ‘Get up off your backside’ sort of song really – a mild, precautionary sort of morality song. It was written about an impression left on me by people who don’t work very hard, or do anything much, or think very hard – like don’t blame me ’cause I’m in the habit of working hard.
“You know, it’s easy – all you got to do is win.”
The voice fades into white noise, then comes back.
“‘Fascination’? … there’s not much I can say really, it’s pretty self-explanatory. . .” And Bowie fades away … pauses … comes back. “Like over here, it’s bright young Americans, you know, the lilting phrase before the crashing crescendo. In England it’s a dirge – the days are all grey over there. It’s a bit worrying.
“Like that uncertainty stretches from where I am to where you are. There’s literally no economic confidence in any one nation in the world. There’s not one confident central source anywhere on this whole damn planet.
“It makes you want to shoot yourself – it’s very demoralising. I think we should maybe strengthen up a bit.
“I think the morals should be straightened up for a start. They’re disgusting. This whole particular period of civilisation … it’s not even decadent. We’ve never had true decadence yet. It borders on Philistine, really.

“If you, like me, believe the current morality… or the signals for each morality really… are pushed by an established power or media… well, it’s really just another way of suppressing or ridiculing the working man, so he has less to look up to in his own life.
“I mean, to put on pornographic movies in a truly free society is one thing; to put on pornographic movies in America is very dangerous because it intimidates and ridicules the average family man. He watches himself being portrayed six inches tall on TV every night, and he wakes up the next morning and he feels six inches tall, he thinks he is six inches tall…
“There’s a continual dirge of music on radio. I like music, but … conversation on radio is totally missing, there’s no gambit no motivation on the radio any more. It used to happen some years ago on FM radio but it’s totally lacking now. With the FM stations in America, if they don’t start slipping into a Top 40 format, they go broke, and are then bought by the Church. I think over 45% of the older FM stations are now owned by the church or religious organisations.
“It’s absolutely incredible the way media is used over here. With all it’s potential power and the vast implications of what could happen, it is confounding. It just repads what is padded. You have absolutely no feedback in America as to what the real situation is by listening to TV, radio, reading newspapers.
“And unfortunately, at this moment, listening to music as well. It’s a pretty sorry state.”

This is somewhat stunning from a man who has manipulated the media significantly himself.
Like many years ago, there was his coy admission of bi-sexuality that set English newspapers screaming – a story by the way that probably had little basis – Bowie has certainly denied any bi-sexual leanings since.
Then there was his prediction that a major rock star, maybe himself, would certainly die on stage within the next few years. And yet, after a year’s retirement from stage performances he returned with a wilder more frantic act yet. Scalding audiences into a frenzy.
And now, David The Guardian of Morality. One thing for sure – or rather – four or five things for sure – Bowie is a rapid change chameleon. It’s always been part of his appeal. The new Bowie though is more than a little startling. It’s almost a Saul/St. Paul type change…
“I just want to do some things I want to do,” he says. “I’ve recently gone through some pretty interesting changes” (He ain’t kidding).
“I’d like to do something that’s actively concerned with trying to clear up the mess. I have an idea, but I’d rather do it than say it. But as it is, the situation’s just nonsensical, it goes round in never decreasing circles. Rock and roll certainly hasn’t fulfilled its original promise.
“Like the original aim of Rock and Roll when it first came out was to establish an alternative media speak voice for people who had neither the power nor advantage to infiltrate any other media or carry any weight and cornily enough, people really needed Rock and Roll.

“And what we said was that we were only using Rock and Roll to express our vehement arguments against the conditions we find ourselves in, and we promise that we will do something to change the world from how it was. We will use Rock and Roll as a springboard.
“But it’s just become one more whirling deity, right? Going round that never-decreasing circle. And Rock and Roll is dead.”
Does he really believe that?
“Absolutely. It’s a toothless old woman. It’s really embarrassing.”
So what’s the next step?
“Dictatorship,” says Bowie. “There will be a political figure in the not too distant future who’ll sweep this part of the world like early Rock and Roll did.
“You probably hope I’m not right. But I am. My predictions are very accurate … always.”
Actually, Jean Dixon, the religious clairvoyant who predicted John F. Kennedy’s and Robert Kennedy’s assassinations – has predicted very much the same thing. Only thing is, Jean’s political figure rises in the East and presents a grave threat to Western democracy.
On the other hand, Jean Dixon also foretold Nixon’s Watergate troubles, but prophesied Tricky Dick would squirm through OK.
But back to Rent-An-Apocalypse…

“You’ve got to have an extreme right front come up and sweep everything off its feet and tidy everything up. Then you can get a new form of liberalism.
“There’s some form of ghost-force liberalism permeating the air in America, but it’s got to go, because it’s got no foundation at all, apart from a set of laws that were established way back in the bloody 50`s and early 60`s and have no bearing at all in the 70`s. (The Supreme Court in America was at its most liberal in the late 50`s, early 60`s.)
“So the best thing that can happen is for an extreme right Government to come. It’ll do something positive at least to the cause commotion in people and they’ll either accept the dictatorship or get rid of it.
“It’s like a kaleidoscope,” says Bowie. “No matter how many little colours you put in it, that kaleidoscope will make those colours have a pattern … and that’s what happens with TV – it doesn’t matter who puts what in the TV, by the end of the year there’s a whole format that the TV put together. The TV puts over its own plan.
“Who says the space people have got no eyes? You have – you’ve got one in every living room in the world. That’s theoretical of course…”
Not to mention very disassociated… bordering on dislocation.

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On the subject of Bowie’s own chameleon character…
“Well, I never had much luck telling people I was an actor, so I let everyone else figure it out. I don’t really want to go into any of that. It’s been chewed around and boiled around, I mean a man does what he has to do.
“Whatever thing I was doing at the time, I adopted a character for it. I’ve said that so many times now, I’m getting used to trotting it out. I might look like Zsa Zsa Gabor next month, or Marlon Brando, you never can tell, ’cause I don’t know what I will feel like then.
“If anything maybe I’ve helped establish that Rock and Roll is a pose. My statement is very pointed – except it’s very ambiguous. My statement is `Rock and Roll is walking all over everybody'”
Really?
“Yes, really. Like, I tried to do a little stretch of how it feels musically in this country, which is sort of … the relentless plastic soul, basically. That’s what the last album was.”
Would you repeat that?
“What?” says David. “The relentless plastic soul? But, Christ, that’s what decadence is … talking about one’s album. Who needs to hear another bloody artist talking about another album. Come on!…”
But it is a business. This never decreasing circle that is Rock and Roll. And talking about your albums helps sell them.

“I know,” says Bowie. “And I don’t help at all, I’m afraid. I’m not the most manageable artist in the world.”
Ex-manager Tony De Fries agrees, in case you’re wondering.
“Anyway,” continues Bowie, “I think what we’ve talked about is more interesting quite honestly, and I think it’s more interesting to you.”
That`s true.
“Actually, I want to say a few things on the album.
“Like, ‘Right’ is putting a positive drone over. People forget what the sound of Man’s instinct is – it’s a drone, a mantra. And people, say: ‘Why are so many things popular that just drone on and on’. But that’s the point really. It reaches a particular vibration, not necessarily a musical level.
“And that’s what ‘Right’ is…
“Oh, alright … let’s talk about the rest of the album. Very decadent this is [laughs]. ‘Somebody Up There Likes Me’ is a ‘Watch out mate, Hitler’s on his way back’… it’s your Rock and Roll sociological bit.
“And ‘Across The Universe’, which was a flower power sort of thing John Lennon wrote. I always thought it was fabulous, but very watery in the original, and I hammered the hell out of it. Not many people like it. I like it a lot and I think I sing very well at end of it.
“People say I used John Lennon on the track … but let me tell you … no one uses John Lennon. John just came and played on it. He was lovely.

“‘Can You Hear Me’ was written for somebody but I’m not telling you who it is. That is a real love song. I kid you not. And the end of the thing is ‘Fame’ which was more or less sung about what we’re doing now.”
Bowie seems less than bubbly about his latest collection. He is even less so about the chances of himself performing again.
“Frankly, I’ve just started this film, and after that, I’m going to do some directing. Unless I see a particular reason for going out on stage and getting involved in another dramatis personae there, then I won’t bother. It has to serve a constructive purpose.”
Ah yes, the movie, “The Man Who Fell To Earth”…
“Yeah, that’s right, it’s being made by Nick Roeg. (He did `Performance` and a film called `Don’t Look Now`.) This film’s about Howard Hughes I think. Well, it might be, might not be. I play the starring role. How about that for a piece. Isn’t he a jammy bugger that Bowie. I don’t know… in the business five minutes and he’s taking work away from veterans!”
Bowie’s been in the acting business a few years longer than five minutes. What happened about the role Liz Taylor wanted to use him for?
“No way, that was a rotten film she wanted me to do. And a rotten part. She’s finding out about it now. She’s in Russia stuck out there. The thing she’s in is called `Bluebird`, a very dry, high French fairytale with nothing to say. It`s being directed by a wonderful director.
“But the whole film stinks and I turned it down.”

Has Bowie seen “Tommy”?
“No I haven’t.”
Does he intend to?
“No I don’t.”
Really?
“Yeah. I don’t like Rock and Roll very much.”
Well what do you think of Ken Russell as a director?
“I don’t like him at all. He’s… no we’d better skip that.”
One of the things Bowie may do after “The Man Who Fell” is to produce-direct himself in an original screen play.
“I’ve done nine screen plays over the past year. I spend so much time on that damn road, and I do things like write films. I’ve got a lot to get on with. Well, I have, but I don’t know which one to do.
“I’ll probably do the one I wrote for myself and lggy Pop and Joan Stanton. I haven’t even got a title for it yet and I don’t really want to go into the story. But it’s very violent and depressing, it’s not gonna be a happy film. It’ll probably bomb miserably, I’m sure.
“I want to make it in black and white to boot. I like films made before the ’30`s – they seemed to have a lot more genuine expression.”

It could have continued for hours. The operators could have bootlegged a lot longer and Bowie himself was warmed up and running nicely. However…
“Hey,” says Bowie cheerfully. “They’re taking me away – truncheons and tommy guns – and they’re saying ‘Come with us, David’. I’ll speak to you next time I’ve got an album or something else – and we’ll talk about something else…”

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Les Perrin, Robin Trower, Guide to Reading Festival, Judy Collins, Third World, Max Merritt.

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

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