ARTICLE ABOUT Steve Howe from New Musical Express, November 15, 1975

Steve Howe is a very talented musician who have made just as many solo albums as he has made albums for Yes. This interview tells us the story regarding his first ever solo album called “Beginnings”. And as is customary with an artist belonging to a bigger band – we get to hear a lot about Yes too. Which is not a bad thing at all… Enjoy!

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New music and old arguments

If it cost £40,000 to make it should be good. That`s Steve Howe`s solo album we`re talking about, the mysteries of which were partially unveiled to Steve Clarke along with more revelations from the Wakeman Affair.

Steve Howe`s cats are playing in the garden of his Hampstead home. His missus has gone off to collect one of the kids from school. And inside the tastefully furnished lounge, the master of the house is making with the verbals on the Yes – Wakeman split, just in case anybody still cares.
According to Howe, Wakeman wasn`t always learning his lines properly during his latter days with Yes. Or to be more precise, when it came to rehearsing that controversial Yes twin-set “Tales From Topographic Oceans”. Rick hadn`t exactly got the music down pat.
“You see,” says a disgruntled Howe, “we`d have a rehearsal and – I hate to say this – but he wouldn`t know what to play. Sure there was a lot of the music – four 20 minute pieces where you had to know all the chords inside out. And when this started to fall apart, when various parts of numbers didn`t quite hang together, we`d have this situation where four people would be looking across at one person going, C`mon, Rick!
“Rick almost realised that he`d cut himself too big a piece of the cake. He actually hadn`t rehearsed well enough, “claims Howe,” so obviously during the `Topographic Oceans` tour he became very unhappy, with himself and with Yes.

“But this is general with Yes. To start with learning `Roundabout` was a hell of a feat. Now of course we throw it off. It`s easy. The same would have happened if we carried on playing `Topographic Oceans.` It would be just as easy as playing `Relayer` is now.
“So there was this insufficiency of actual work before the tour. We found that side two of `Topographic Oceans` needed a lot of work from Rick and he couldn`t seem to contribute it. We thought Rick`s not rehearsing! He`s off out with his promotion men from A & M (Wakeman`s record company for solo releases).
“Obviously we didn`t talk to him.
“When that tour ended it had started to be felt within that Rick was gonna leave. Then he said he wasn`t, and then Yes decided that he should leave and then Rick said one more chance and we said, `Great! One more chance! Let`s rehearse this new album (“Relayer”) with him. And then, right at the last minute, he got up and said, `No, I don`t think I can go through with it.`
“I haven`t even seen him since then. He`s never called me. He didn`t even call me to say, `Good playing with you Steve, I`m not going to play with you anymore`. There`s been no contact at all.
“Rick certainly did talk about `Topographic Oceans` a lot with us although he never mentions this in anything he says. We all agreed to do that record.
“We were all crazy to do it.

“Rick gets upset if we even mention his name in the papers, which I think is unreasonable because if I can talk about one musician I should be able to talk about anybody without feeling I should watch my words – because he hasn`t watched his words as regards me.
“He hasn`t had to call me up or apologise or anything. So I feel we`re pretty even. I don`t feel he owes me anything. I don`t think I owe him anything at all. It was a very even situation where we know he tried and we know somewhere deep down inside he lost sight of what Yes were attempting to do.”
But surely Rick`s personality/lifestyle was far removed from the Yes lifestyle of You Know What?
“Initially it wasn`t. His humour was ours completely – Python and everything. Drinking wasn`t disallowed in Yes. It`s never been disallowed. What I`m saying is, because of extremes, because Rick did take things to extremes.
“He doesn`t have any trouble holding it but during the recording of `Topographic Oceans` he started to realise that none of us wanted to indulge.
“Everybody has fun. Everybody has vices. But when they`re talking to me, if they`re not talking honestly, constructively and creatively then they can sod off for all I`m concerned.
“I don`t really blame A & M Records `cause they`re a very nice record company. But they do a lot of geeing up with Rick, a lot of looking after him. We weren`t really getting that from Atlantic at that time. It was making a gap. I don`t think it was anything we created. We were waiting for him to come into the room – but no, he was out with A & M.
“Silly trivial little things like that instigated this gulf between us.”

So (gulp), did Rick turn up blotto for Yes rehearsals, Steve? “Jon could come in totally drunk and I`d be amused,” hedges Howe. “And most probable I`d put down my guitar and find something to do. If one can make use of one`s location or one`s state of mind it`s great. But with Rick it was a little bit different. He wouldn`t say, `I can`t do anything today,` but when the next day came we said, `What`s that tune you were playing yesterday, Rick? And he didn`t know. We knew we had a problem with Rick. There was this whole feeling that we were losing touch with the real Rick. He was putting on a show for us that we wanted so much to break down. He wouldn`t admit that he was making mistakes. He couldn`t talk about it.”
In fact one of the last remembrances Howe has of Wakeman was of the time when individual members of Yes were going into Morgan studios to add over-dubs to “Topographic Oceans”. Wakeman had just completed his session and was leaving the studio when Howe walked in.
“I`d just heard strains of `What Happened To That Song` just as I`d come in the door.” Howe recollects. “Rick was leaving. He said he`s finished. I asked him whether he`d put Mellotron on the last verse. He said he hadn`t, but he had finished. And he went out the door and I listened to his track. Rick hadn`t done anything at the end at all.”
So Howe substituted guitar for Wakeman`s mellotron.

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Like I said before, Howe-Towers is in Hampstead. You know that salubrious part of London where a lot of 18th Century artists used to live, and where a lot of 20th century poseurs do live. And it`s a fairly modest abode when one considers the wealth that composing members of Yes must have collected over the years.
The carpet just avoids rubbing up against your crotch and instead of two stereo speakers, there`s four. It`s not a quad set-up though. Howe`s most recently played album, judging from the cover which rests ontop the low glass coffee table, is “Revolver”.
So you see, Steve Howe, while not living in Hefner-style opulence, isn`t short of a brown one or two. Why, his solo album – the real point of our visit – cost something like 40 grand to make. And “Topographic Oceans” clocked up 90 grand`s worth of studio time.
As a guitarist Howe knows an awesome amount, exploring many styles and going off at wild tangents one doesn`t normally associate with rock guitarists. In conversation he`s not the most economical of speakers, often coming on with an intense stream-of-consciousness type rap, fast-thinking his way from one subject to another without any prompting from your interviewer. I mean, our interview ended with Howe paying compliments to the music press. I hadn`t even brought up the subject.
But to “Beginnings”, Howe`s solo album and the first of a complete quintet of Yes solo elpees. Squire`s is next and the remaining three are promised for release early on in the new year. “Patrick and Alan are both in the final stages,” informs the guitarist, “And Jon`s well into the midst of it.” (Rumour has it that Alan White`s record is something of an R and B album, probably in contrast to the more grandiose aspirations of the other`s albums, if group contributions are anything to go by).

Howe reckons “Beginnings” is most definitely a rock album and the material (which will be featured on upcoming Yes tours) spans a wide time period. So why, really, did he make it?
“I`ve always planned to record my own material in its rawest state without any other – very helpful and objective – ideas on it. We`ve all made solo albums within the Yes context. `Topographic Oceans` was a concept that Jon and I presented to the band in the same way that I presented these songs to different performers.”
Musicians included on “Beginnings” are Moraz, White and ex-Yes drummer Bill Bruford. Howe, of course, plays guitar (and bass), sings and wrote all the material. Roger Dean (of course) designed the sleeve, it`s being marketed as a closely-affiliated Yes album.
Howe denies that the album is simply the indulgence of an affluent rock star. The theory is that every band has fans who get off on one instrument in particular, and the solo albums are aimed at those people.
Says Howe: “People who get off on the guitar should get off on this.”
He played me several tracks, and at least one of them convinced me that it is in fact Howe who is the lynch-pin of Yes. The music sounded overtly Yes-ish, although Howe`s own vocals bore no resemblance whatsoever to mountain stream purity of Anderson`s voice. (In fact they sounded a little like Jack Bruce`s).
The album was recorded over four months – longer than Howe originally envisaged. However, he had a free hand and there was no question of skimping. Eddie Offord receives a production credit, but Howe says Offord`s role wasn`t as great as it is in a Yes album, by virtue of the amount of energy Howe himself was expending.

Howe wrote his own lyrics, and, of course, he has contributed to Yes`s lyrics in the past.
“My style is quite different to Jon`s. He makes much greater use of vocabulary… he even surprises himself sometimes.
“If people who review Yes records are smart then they should be able to spot what I`ve written and what Jon`s written because we`re very different.”
It turns out that the title “Close To The Edge” itself was Howe`s idea, and he contributed extensively to the lyrics of “Topographic Oceans.”
He also came up with lyric ideas for “Relayer” – “I`d say something like `We go floating down the river`, and Jon would change that to `We go drifting down the streams` (the way it appears on the record).
“And there were my words `She won`t know what it means to me.` Jon changed that to `To Be Over`. So Jon with his creativity disguised it into something that you have to consider to be over. It was a much broader lyrical statement.”
Anderson`s lyrics have often been criticised. Howe defends them.
“If somebody says it`s a load of rubbish, I feel they`re not being true to their brains. Something like `A seasoned witch can call you from the depths of your disgrace` is an odd collection of words, yet the images fly off like sparks.
“That`s the idea. It`s better than a song that just says” – he half sings – “I went down the road and bought myself a packet of Rothmans`. With a lyric like `A seasoned witch` etc you`re considering disgrace, seasons… you`re considering a whole range of different things. To me it`s exciting, enlightening and that`s what progressive music should be about.

“I feel that `Long Tall Sally` was progressive music and can be played in a totally new way. The excitement Little Richard injected into something like “Jenny Jenny” passes on to us, and we write songs like `What Happened To This Song We Knew So Well` which is also a lyric of mine. So there you are, you have two things which aren`t that far removed.
“I feel that I could go on stage and play that number – `Jenny Jenny` or `What Happened To That Song` – and not feel that there`s that much difference. If I could live out all my fantasies like that I`d be touring with rock `n` roll bands one week and performing with brilliant guitarists like John Williams as much as I could.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With a great, big thank you to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Nils Lofgren, Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Ivor Cutler, Kiss, Spud, John Cale.

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, November 15, 1975

I think this is the only time that Kiss played as a five-man band (except that one was a woman and didn`t actually plug in and play). Kiss was starting to get really big at this time in their history, and it is reflected by both Creem and NME printing this article. Enjoy!

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`I was a Kiss (Kissette?) for a day`
Well, four minutes anyway.

Jaan Uhelszki tastes fame and madness with another bunch of American crazies.
Pix: Barry Levine

What am I going to pack to become a Kiss? I ponder over breakfast, wincing at the memory of the previous night`s show. What if that geekish bass player bites my neck, oozing red blood-goo on my unsuspecting shoulder?
Anxiety knots my stomach so much that I can`t even force a single Sugar Crisp down my throat.
Seated in seat 8A on the plane, my fear of flying is mixing badly with my apprehension. After a round of Hail Marys I look up to see Gene Simmons seated next to me, sans makeup of course, although he still makes a scene in his 7 inch platforms, cheese-colored scarf and black polish that he is presently chipping off his stubby nails.
Of all the members of the band, his appearance is the most obscured by the paint; he might just as easily be Omar Sharif or Joe Namath for that matter. Instead he was a former life guard, then a Boy-Friday at Vogue, has a B.A. in Education but secretly confesses a desire to be Bela Lugosi (and is lovingly dubbed Mr. Monster by the rest of his fellow inmates).

Kiss are essentially street snots yanked from their gangs and plugged into an amp. They were brash JD`s, tattoed and tough, who knew exactly what and who they were. Today, they still proudly display their tattoos (except Gene) but now their “colors” are a little more obvious – the paint they wear on stage.
Kiss` identities seem to be the result of some concurrent conception by Eric Van Daniken, Walt Disney, Stan Lee, and Russ Meyer.
Although they wear makeup, the classic stereotype of a flit, Kiss emerge as four macho lugs. “Hey, Uhelszki, you put out?” somebody asked.
“Room 421, Miss.” Key in hand, I rejoin the gang and anxiously ask, like an old hand, “When`s the sound check?”
“What sound check?” Gene blankly answers.
“You mean I don`t get to rehearse?” I ask nervously.
“Nah, you`ll catch on, just follow us,” says Paul.
“Yeah, but I`ve got nothing to wear…” I say with a trace of panic.
It`s 4.00 p.m., and all I have between me and showtime is Saturday afternoon TV. I`m watching Soul Train without having the slightest idea what I`m seeing, when the phone rings.

“Uhelszki?” (By this time I was one of the boys, and either called Uhelszki or kid).
“Yeah?”
“What size shoes do you wear?”
“8 1/2. Why?”
“Too bad. I thought we could snazz you up in a pair of silver boots.”
“Well, maybe I could stuff `em with Kleenex.”
“No, won`t work. Don`t worry, I`ll rummage around some more.”
I felt like I was getting ready for that Big Date – you know, the prom or Homecoming – when actually I was going to be on stage for a total of four minutes in an Ice Arena in Nowhere, Pennsylvania. But still fidgety, I kept trying on my leotard over and over, checking the image in the mirror, and feeling a lot like the motorcycle moll in Naked Under Leather. Drawing the drapes, I practiced a few classic Kiss kicks in the bathroom mirror without much success. My practice was cut short by a knock at the door, and an ominous voice: “Be in the lobby in one hour!”
The voice commanded; mine, as a mere member of the shock troops, was but to obey.
One hour later Ace shoves a bottle of cocoa butter towards me. “Here, use this. It`ll seal your pores.” I guess I looked confused, because Ace asked me, “How come you don`t know anything about putting on make-up, and you`re a chick?”

I ignore the remark and furiously pat the butter all over my naked face. “Broadway Red?” I ask, picking up a worn tube of lipstick.
“Yeah, I love it,” says Peter.
By general, consensus, Kiss have decided to make me up as a composite of all of them, just like the back cover of the Hotter Than Hell album. Now for the actual transformation.
“It`s time to make a little monster. Now watch, so you can do this,” he instructs as if he were a counselor for the Elizabeth Arden School of Beauty. “First rub Stein`s clown white all over your face. Smooth it very lightly, only using a little around the eyes.
“Okay, now sprinkle baby powder all over your face, so the base will set.” I look at Paul in the mirror and start to laugh.
“Didn`t you know we`re the clowns of rock and roll?” Paul jokes. Ace scowls at his reflection, muttering that he made “the goddamned lines too thick.” Unsatisfied, he storms out the door. Peter dabs on his last whisker, and preens in front of the mirror, caressing his lean leather thighs: “Tony Curtis, eat your heart out!”
Ace splotches a silver dot on my nose, and Peter adds his own feline touch in messy black crayon. Paul pauses over the conglomeration, and draws a smaller version of his star. Funny, somehow, I feel some kind of immunity behind the paint, a little more confidence. Maybe this rock and roll business won`t be so bad after all. Gene holds up a mirror and stands back, telling me to look at my reflection. “Don`t you feel special?” he inquires.
“No, silly,” I admit.

Now the presentation of my plugless wonder. Junior shoves a red guitar in my hands and I fumble with it. “You mean you don`t even know how to hold a guitar?” he asks increduously.
My last touch is the freak paraphernalia, and I go from person to person collecting their junk jewelry and brutish decorations. Finally I was outfitted in a studded collar, a menagerie of plastic eyeball (and other unidentified organs) rings, a metal cuff, and a studded belt whose buckle encased a tarantula.
The dressing room in all of its filthy linoleum splendor wasn`t the worst of its lot. Once inside, I`m afflicted with a bad case of modesty, and become obsessed with finding a secluded corner to change into my clothes.
Clutching my costume, I spot an empty stall and dart in relieved, bolting the door. Like a quick change artist, I tear off my teeshirt, tug at my Landlubbers and don my basic black, feeling more like a naked seal than part of Kiss. Timidly, I sneak out of the stall and approach Ace Frehley: “Hey, do you have another pair of tights I can wear? I`m freezing,” I lie.
“Yeah, but they`re size D,” says Ace.
“That`s okay.”
“But Jaan, yours look better. They`re much hotter, because you can see your skin through them. Doncha wanna look good in the pictures?”
“That`s what I was afraid of.”
“Hey, hey, if you don`t watch those legs they`re gonna get grabbed,” leers Simmons.
Embarrassed, I turn on the stage manager and shout: “Hey, how long until we go on?”
“Lookit her, give her a black outfit and make her a Kiss, and already she`s hard core,” he laughs.

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The first band is on and the crowd is a stiff. No encore. Manager Bill Aucoin sticks his head into the dressing room, shoves five backstage passes towards us, and tells us we`ve got 45 minutes until showtime. My palms have started to sweat so much that they`re beginning to obliterate the lettering on my pass, so I stick it on my right shoe, figuring the local goon squad would never believe that I was “Kiss For A Night” and give me the shove, figuring me to be just another fanatical Kiss groupie who had painted her face like her heroes, which seems to be the current fashion among the fans.
In keeping with the code of concealing the real identity of Kiss, my photographer can`t start shooting until the guys have sufficiently obscured their features. I take a spin around the backstage area which is littered with underage glitter queens of varying age and brilliance. A fourteen year old Patty Play Pal accosts me.
“You know Gene Simmons?” she drools.
“Yeah,” I reply matter-of-factly.
“Does he really do those things with his tongue?” she asks excitedly.
“I guess so,” I reply.
“Gee, I wish he`d use that tongue on me,” she says wistfully.
I return, and Kiss are in the final stages of completion, and ready to give me tips on cosmetology. I`m hesitant to let them know that the last time I put on face make-up was in the 10th grade, in the girls` loo at Southfield High School.

Like a rock and roll Casey Stenger Bill gave me an impromptu pep talk about standing up straight, not watching the audience, and looking “like you belong there.”
What he didn`t realize was I was getting a little trigger happy, and maybe even stage struck, but just in case I motioned him over to me. “I have every intention of going through with this, but when it`s time for me to go on stage, don`t give me a hand sign, just shove.”
The set seemed to take forever; I felt like I was sitting through the rock version of Gone With The Wind.
The make-up was beginning to itch unbearably. As I raised a lone fingernail to scratch, Bill Aucoin was at my side, like a trained pro, grabbing my hand. “That`s a no-no” he said, and fanned my face to relieve the irritation. “Did you know you`re on next?” he inquired.
I didn`t. From stage left I peeked at the greedy crowd, and was horrified that the stage was only inches off the floor – well 24 inches. This struck me as odd, since this is a Kiss concert and everybody knows their reputation for riling up an audience, whether it be amorous ladies intent on wrapping their arms around Ace`s mike stand, or just uncounted masses of genderless groupies who want to cop a feel.
Countdown. Then the shove, and I`m on stage, moving like I`m unremotely controlled. Forgetting completely that I am in front of 5,000 people participating as one fifth of this sadistic cheerleading squad, bobbing and gyrating instinctively, I no longer hear the music, just a noise and a beat. On cue I strut over to Simmons` mike and lean into it and sing. Singing loud without hearing myself, oblivious to everything but those four other beings on stage. Gene whispers for me to “shake it” and I loosen up a little more, until I feel like a Vegas show girl going to a go go.

Suddenly it strikes me: I like this. And I venture a look at the crowd, that clamouring hungry throng of bodies below me. All I can think at that moment is how much of all those kids resemble an unleashed pit of snakes, their outstretched arms bobbing and nodding, as if charmed by the music. I wonder if they will pick up on the hoax? But they keep screaming and cheering, so I might just as well be Peter Criss, unleashed from his drum kit, as anyone, the only difference is, I am the only Kiss with tits.
I slide over to Stanley`s mike, sneaking up behind him, and mimic his calisthenics. He whirls around and catches me, emitting a huge red crimson laugh from his painted lips. I push my unplugged guitar to one side and do an aborted version of the bump and the bossa nova, singing into Paul`s mike this time.
“I wanna rock and roll all night, and party every day!
“Oh yeah!
“I wanna rock and roll all night, and party every day!”
And right on cue, to add that last dash of drama, Junior`s beefy arms ceremoniously lift me and the guitar three feet off the stage, and I look like a furious fan who almost managed to fullfill her fantasy, but was foiled in the end. But you know something? I feel foiled; I wanted to finish the song. My song!

We trekked back to the dressing room and now, after the ordeal, my legs went marshmallow. Wanting to appear blase after my big debut, I grabbed a wooden chair and draped myself over it.
“It was hysterical!” laughed Paul. “I forgot about you, then all of a sudden I look and see you dancing, looking like Minnie Mouse.”
“You`re a perfect stage personality,” said Gene. You took over, stealing scenes like a pro. The kids thought you were a part of the show.”
Junior walked over. I was afraid of his verdict but he liked it, he liked it! “You did it! You got out there like a trouper. I gave you the sign and away you went.”
“I didn`t think they noticed…” I sputtered.
“I was watching people in the front row, and they were saying `Who is this chick. What is she doing up there? What`s going on?`” Junior continued.
The party was over, the fans dispersed, but the five of us were armed with five boxes of Kleenex and four bottles of cold cream. “You know, if we don`t get rich, I`m gonna need a padded cell,” confessed Peter.

Reprinted courtesy of “CREEM” magazine.

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Read more by and of Jaan Uhelszki here: http://jaanuhelszki.com/

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Nils Lofgren, Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Ivor Cutler, Steve Howe, Spud, John Cale.

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 Baker Gurvitz Army from New Musical Express, November 1, 1975

I must admit that this band was sort of unknown to me until I listened to one of their albums while printing this interview for the blog. And it was better than I anticipated. I knew of Ginger Baker (who doesn`t) from before and his drumming is legendary for a reason. Have fun with this one!

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`People thought we were only good for one album.
`But we made another. So there`

Yes, success is getting a little nearer every year for the BAKER GURVITZ ARMY! Report by Chris Salewicz

“The other night I was driving around Soho,” says Ginger Baker, glugging down the last of the milk that`s putting a velvet lining on his stomach, “and I`d had a couple of drinks.
“And I came across this place where there`s blue lights flashing in all directions. There must have been some extraordinary thing going on. And in front of me – in Greek Street or somewhere like that – the whole road`s blocked. I`m sorta leaning out the window and the guy gets out the back of this police car and he comes over and says, `Ah, Ginger Baker.`
“Next thing I`m signing autographs.
“Very strange.”

Which, if nothing else, would at least suggest that Baker might have a readymade market wherever he might choose to tap a drum. Considerable comfort, certainly, for those flummoxed by the relative success of the Baker Gurvitz Army`s first album and tour at the beginning of this year.
Are they, after all, just coasting the slipstream of “Toad”?
Can one South London drummer a trio of kosher East Enders and a vocalist from Bridlington transmogrify from heavy metal mutants into a class rock band and thereby attain True Credibility? Will the Baker Gurvitz Army provide the sales figures to justify their second album being the first release on the new Mountain label? Are Mountain Management, having succeeded in establishing the octogenarian Alex Harvey as a Major Star, offering themselves as the Financial Phyllosan for the Over-thirty-five Artiste Ginger, is your gig pensionable?
These are the questions on the lips of today`s Rock Generation.

Snips, one-time vocalist with the ill-fated Sharks and now nearly a year into his gig with BGA, looks up from scanning the Mayfair French restaurant`s menu and proffers some verbal: “There is a bad critical feeling about the band… but I think that a lot of people – when they reviewed that first album – thought it was a one-off. I think they thought it was something Ginger had got together with the Gurvitzes and that it would last one album and that was it. I don`t think they understood how serious it was. They thought it would be just one album and that would be it… Like Jack Bruce does.
“But it isn`t that. Because there is a second album. And we`re already on the road and we`re already at work on the third.
“So they can all go blow up a pan, can`t they?”
“I would have given the first album eight out of ten,” adds Baker. “It was a bit of a rush thing, you know. It was the first two weeks work we ever did together. The mixing was done in record time. We`d really like to have spent a lot more time mixing it.
“But it wasn`t bad. I thought it was quite nice.”
Yet the sound of the album did suggest very much a return to the sound of That Archetypal Heavy Trio. Reminds one maybe of West, Bruce and Laing. Cream with lesser musicians. You know, the Bruce band that had “Jack Bruce is clean out of ideas and also probably out of money” stamped right across it.

Are you also suffering from a creative block? Or is this the sound that pays for your studio in Nigeria?
Baker looks up out of the door of the Mayfair restaurant keeping an eye out for traffic wardens. A single member of the Baker Jensen Army is pulled up outside on a double yellow line.
Snips provides a proxy answer: “Three-piece. It was the three-piece line-up that did the last one. This is a five-piece unit that`s done this album….”
Yes, Yes. Yes – but I`m not just restricting my thoughts to your voice and Peter Lemer`s keyboards having been added to the band. I simply felt that after Ginger had been down in Nigeria for four years his musical return would have dripped with African drum sounds. Maybe I`m missing it though….
“I think it`s in my playing,” Baker nods his head at himself. “But when you`re playing….(yawns widely)…. your music`s affected by who you`re playing with. I play to what I hear…. So what you hear is a sound that`s complementing the way I play…”
So the first album was perhaps a case of clearing out your musical past?
“There`s some nice things on that record. Some nice things and ideas which are continuing to happen…”
But on a purely financial level you can`t have had many doubts that the Baker-Gurvitz Army might succeed: the band`s music, after all, just oozes Commercial Success.

“No, really it`s a matter of I wanted to play and it happened – an ohhhh-currence. Turned out quite well. Very enjoyable.”
It`s pretty violent though, isn`t it?
Baker: “Some of it.”
Snips: “We have our romantic moments. There`s romance in there. Tenderness. We know how to do a slow one as well as a fast one.
“There seems to be a fair amount of singing in it now.”
Baker: “`E`s always complaining that`e doesn`t get enough.”
And how does HE feel about the band?
“I like it…”
Compared with Sharks…
“Well… that was me playing my material. This is me being the lead singer. There`s a lot of things going on…” (If this appears hesitant and relatively noncommital then that`s what I thought too. When Baker split at the end of the meal I collared Snips. His tone had obviously been caused by the time of day: “Different. It`s a year later. The Sharks was me expressing totally myself, in this I feel more of a musician).
“I came into rock music as a complete idiot – as a guy who could play the acoustic guitar, really.

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“I`m happy within the framework of the group because I get to play live, and I`m doing my own albums” (On the Sharks` former label, Island). “As far as concerned that`s where I`ll express ME as opposed to Baker-Gurvitzing. I`m very happy with it, though.
“It`s the first time that I`ve been in the music business that I`ve been earning money, been enjoying myself and been part of some fine music that I enjoy anyway. Without hassles. Without people on my back all the time.”
You`re obviously aware that there is something of a Baker-Gurvitz anti…
“Whereas the Sharks had a good critical bias but they never made any money.” Ships speaks in blunt and gritty Yorkshire aphorisms.
Baker: “I think it`s good to get that sort of thing anyway. For me, you know.
“If everybody says `That`s great`… well…”

One of the problems with Blind Faith, of course. The initial unanimous critical fervour.
“It was great. The reason that fell apart is one person who was really responsible for that. Who must take credit for things going wrong.
“And that was Eric. Eric decided – and told us when we were on the road – that Delaney and Bonnie were a much better band.
“Now I mean Stevie… Stevie Winwood`s a lovely guy. A very quiet sort of guy. It did it in for him – in fact, it did it for most of us – being on the road. Clapton used to stand there on the side of the stage when Delaney and Bonnie were on stage and rave about it.
“Very, very weird, all that was.
“I thought the world of Eric, you know, for a long time. But like anybody could come up – like Delaney and Bonnie…
I think he found out about that when George Harrison came about. And all of a sudden they all dropped Eric like a hot potato and they were all running around George Harrison licking his boots, you know?
“But he`s a lovely guy. Fantastic guy. But he is very gullible.”

Are you disillusioned by it all – or just philosophical?
“Rather amused by it, I think.”
Because you`ve landed right back in the same rock`n`roll financial circus that you`ve spent years freeing yourself from.
“Well… yeah … But I got a lot of other things as well. To stop me from getting bored,” Baker laughs, and rubs his beard with the back of his hand as the waiter puts a plate of Dover Sole down in front of him and leans across to give Snips a gunshot-riddled grouse.
The drummer hands me a business card. “Mr. P. E. Baker,” it reads, “Trans-Sahara Trucking Company, `Greentrees`, Sandy Lane, Watford, Hertfordshire, England”.

Perhaps in gratitude for Nigeria`s having taught him polo as well as for allowing him to build his Lagos 16-track studio Ginger Baker is now about to gift Nigeria with its first Europe to Africa/Africa to Europe trucking firm. “This is really very, very exciting. We`ve got the Algerian government one hundred per cent behind us. We`ve got the Nigerian government behind us as well.
“We`re opening the overland route to Nigeria,” says this latterday George Chisholm, belching up some of his Bacardi and Coke. “We`re using the SNTR trucks and trailers – Societe Nationale Transport des Routiers. The Algerian National Transport Company.
“We`ve been working on it for years. Getting this thing together. It`s very exciting. We`ve just contacted the Algerian Air Freight Co. and they`re gonna be flying in stuff from the States.
“It`s really going amazingly well. It`s frightening, actually.
“I`m buying Mountain next year.”
Baker digs a spoon into his ice-cream: “You get the occasional odd incident. They built this great motorway in Nigeria… It`s about sixty feet in the air. When they first opened it all they put across the end was a fence about two foot high. And just put a sign saying `Branch off`. They didn`t block the road off… (laughs) … First day they opened it a guy went bombing up and he went straight off the end into a swamp.
“And they never saw him again.
“Then they thought `Well, perhaps we`d better block it off`.”

Conversation drifts into Africa and the Islam religion, and into the polygamy which Islam permits: “I thought it sounded a great idea until somebody told me about this guy who had five wives… He can`t do anything, you know. They gang up on him and they beat him up and take all his money. He`s got a remarkable character, though, because he managed to get them all pregnant at the same time… I went round there and met his wives… five chicks out here (holds right hand some distance in front of stomach) … absolutely amazing. And he was sitting there looking all pleased with himself.”
Baker prepares to split. One of the French waiters arrives with the bill: “Meester Baker – you are the best in the world.”
“Thank you very much,” said the drumming truckster. “Do we get the meal for nothing?
“Very embarrassing,” he stage-whispers. “It happens everywhere. Everywhere man. I thought when I got to Nigeria – great. Nobody knows me. I`d walked a hundred yards down the road then `Ginger! Ginger!` All over. Quite extraordinary.
“In actual fact I`m quite shy of people.”

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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: Tina Turner, Graham Nash & David Crosby, The Mika Band, Pub Rock Report 75, Melvin Franklin, The Chieftains, The Who, Hugh Banton (Van Der Graaf Generator).

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 Deep Purple from New Musical Express, November 1, 1975

Well, a fairly good review of this album and if you`re not seeing it as a Deep Purple album, but more of a funk & soul- inspired rock album, it is actually quite good. But it wasn`t meant to last. The band would soon fold for good and not re-emerge until April 1984. Enjoy!

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O Lord, why hast thou forsaken us?

DEEP PURPLE: Come Taste The Band (Purple)

Record Review by Tony Stewart

There are two points to make about this album straightaway. One is that new guitarist Tommy Bolin proves to be a considerable source of material and inspiration and has laid down as many solos in one set as other guitarists would in four.
And secondly that Jon Lord, one of the two remaining originals, is out to lunch throughout most of the set. Which could of course be indicative of disinterest… or because Bolin has the stronger musical personality and is as smart as Ritchie Blackmore when it comes to grabbing the spotlight.
For this, and more, the album is a real curiosity.
It`s probably their best since, let`s say, “In Rock”, epitomising perfectly all the name Deep Purple represented: high energy, barrel-rolling power and uncomprising rock and roll at its very best. But it`s basically the new boys who`ve produced this.
Ian Paice rows himself in once on a joint composition with Bolin and David Coverdale, and Lord teams up with Glenn Hughes for a beautifully mellow track called “This Time Around”, which makes Jon`s trip out to Munich`s Musicland Studios worthwhile after all, while the rest of the album is taken care of by (predominantly) Coverdale and Bolin, with Hughes snatching another two joint composing honours with one or the other.

So you`ve got to agree that it`s a pretty strange situation for three rookies to know more about the concept of Deep Purple than a coupla founding members obviously do.
Paice, however, does show he`s an invaluable member when it actually comes to laying down the rhythms on that kit, and he and Hughes have the kind of professional relationship (at least on record) which can only be described as Hot Shit. There is after all more power and time changing, accent-making ingenuity than ever before in a Purple line-up.
Naturally it then follows that Bolin should play a dual role. One, as “Gettin` Tighter” illustrates, to brace thick, energy-packed chords into the rhythm, and two, as a lead soloist of such tremendous talent that despite the excellent vocal harmonies of Coverdale and Hughes on the soulful “I Need Love”, he again steals the glory for his outstanding work.

This man is an absolute maniac. Not only can he bleed the licks out on an overdrive piece such as “Comin` Home”, but he can restrict what seems a naturally extrovert style (requiring quite frequently double tracking to do what he must do but which isn`t humanly possible with only one outlet) to become almost conservative. When required – as in the dramatic tension of “Drifter”, where Bolin unloops the melody line to allow Hughes and Paice to battle their way through.
And Lord dozes off in the corner.
Well he has one other moment, besides the one mentioned earlier. And that`s during “You Keep On Movin`”, where Bolin effectively cuts a path for the organ to surface and then frames the resulting solo.
Maybe Lord felt he couldn`t contribute much more, even though that one solo is truly worthwhile and something similar elsewhere would have been a welcome contrast. Yet there`s also Coverdale straining for vocal space, and justly getting it, so Lord`s obviously observing the old Too Many Cooks proverb.
Whatever. Deep Purple are alive and well. This album proves it.

Deep Come taste

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: Tina Turner, Graham Nash & David Crosby, The Mika Band, Pub Rock Report 75, Melvin Franklin, The Chieftains, The Who, Hugh Banton (Van Der Graaf Generator), Baker Gurvitz Army.

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 Steve Hackett from New Musical Express, October 25, 1975

It must be frustrating to release a solo album and all what the journalists wants to know is: “How about your other band?”
Such is life when you play in one of the biggest bands around – you will never be bigger than the band. Even though it may be up for debate whether Phil Collins became bigger than Genesis was for a little while there.
As a Norwegian, I often wonder what would have happened if our “own” Mr. Jahn Teigen had accepted the bands invitation for him to try out as a vocalist. We often speculate about this in Norway, as Teigen was a very theatrical minded person with a voice that could handle almost everything from ballads to rock to opera and so on… What if?
Enjoy this one.

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Are you ready for a concept LP about the Tarot?

You mean, you never heard of the Major Arcana?
Well, Steve Hackett has. Which means that
Steve Clarke has as well. Now it`s your turn.

Four hundred applications later and Genesis still haven`t found a replacement for Peter Gabriel.
Or have they? Seems the band`s guitarist – Steve Hackett, up at 128 Long Acre essentially to rap about his just-released solo album “Voyage Of The Acolyte” – is being a little, er, shall we say evasive about the whole affair…
“There could be someone,” he hedges, sipping at a papercupful of Long Acre coffee, perhaps thinking of Just How Many Beans He Should Spill. “We haven`t definitely decided on somebody but someone is under consideration. It wouldn`t be fair to him to build it up.”
Naturally therefore, Hackett refuses to give away the name of the prime contender, merely stating that the man is at present working with another band and it`s unlikely that any of us would have heard of him anyway.
It`s not Jon Anderson, if you know what I mean.
The main problem, it seems, in finding a replacement for Gabriel is in coming across a singer who displays a diversity of vocal styles the way Gabriel did. “We`re not looking for a replacement As Such. We`re not looking for a singer with the same vocal style. Peter had a number of different voices and it`s not easy to find a singer like that.”

How about 15 different singers?
Undeterred, Hackett says there won`t be an official announcement as to who is actually replacing Gabriel until the end of the year. Meantime, the four-piece band are heavily into recording the Next Genesis Album, each group member contributing to the material and to the singing. Is this L.P. a major departure?
No, says Hackett, it`s still recognisable as Genesis. “The number of people who`ve come in and heard it say it sounds very Genesis. It`s a popular misconception that Peter was entirely responsible for our material; whereas it was only on the last album that Peter wrote all the lyrics.
“Also, Peter used to pull humour out of the band. The rest of us are trying to do that now. It would be an awful drag if the band became bogged down entirely with serious music. In the past that was offset by Peter`s silliness.”
Hackett says that Gabriel`s going will have its biggest effect not in terms of Genesis`s music, but with regard to their stage show. Yes, they will continue to be a presentation-conscious band. And it`s possible that a number of people will augment the band on stage to make up for Gabriel.

On their last tour the slides which acted as a back-drop to the band were based entirely on Gabriel`s lyrics and Gabriel`s costumes were his own ideas. The slides were, however, designed by an Amsterdam-based artist, Geoffrey Shore, who`ll more than likely collaborate with Genesis for their next series of tours – which won`t be until Spring, O punters.
Hackett says the band are interested in using moving pictures on stage. “We wouldn`t want it to become dependent on one thing visually,” says Hackett. “It will go through as many changes as the music.
“We could never only get up onstage with three Marshall stacks and get on with it. We wouldn`t like to do that. There have been exceptions in the past when our equipment has broken down and we`ve had to go on and just play. It`s not that we`re entirely dependent on the props, it`s just that some of the music is difficult to digest and this is offset by the way we present it.”
So far there is no title for the next album, but as things look at the moment, one side will feature an entire piece while the other side will be made up of shorter songs. Hackett emphasises there`s no shortgage of material. We didn`t really think there was.

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Now to the official interview. Hackett`s own album was recorded over a month, includes material which dates back to pre-Genesis days and is by no means a guitar album.
“I feel no more close to the guitar than I do to any other instrument. On the album I dabbled around with keyboards. I hadn`t played keyboards before and it was almost like how you would compose a sentence in foreign language. I`d learn a chord shape that sounded nice. I wouldn`t be fluent but it would sound convincing.
“The only instrument I`m proficient in to any extent is the guitar.”
So why did he make the album? “That`s the hardest question of all. I didn`t feel obliged to make it. I really wanted to make an album. I`d written songs for various instruments. I`d written a song for a lady to sing” (Mike Oldfield`s sister Sally sings one song on the elpee), “I`d wanted to produce, I wanted to see if I could rely on myself. Every musician feels that. I got a lot of pleasure out of doing it.
“The thing started out as a gamble, but just about everything came off, except for a couple of things which didn`t.”
So is it a rock album? “I`d say the first track is a rock song with a few things thrown in which don`t fit in with rock. I wouldn`t say that the album owed any more to rock than any other form of music.
“I don`t know what rock music is. I`ve always associated it with Elvis Presley.
“It (the album) doesn`t have much to do with that – it`s too pastoral and yet…in places there`s that drive and urgency.

“I grew up on The Stones and Bach. I used to copy Keith Richard`s early solos note for note; at the time I didn`t know that the two bore any resemblance to each other. It makes perfect sense to me now, putting the two together in some numbers.
“I should think a rock audience would be able to get into it.
“I wouldn`t say `Tubular Bells` was rock music.”
Neither would a lot of us, old sport. Mind you, I wonder if Hackett subscribes to the point of view that symphonic-rock actually widens the boundaries of rock. “It`s a more eclectic music. It`s widening the boundaries of classical music more than rock. It`s got a really long way to go.”
Not unsurprisingly `Tubular Bells` dips into the conversation again. Hackett can understand why people liked it so much, “It`s a very pleasant album which doesn`t jar too much dynamically. If you`re holding a conversation, `Tubular Bells` wouldn`t interrupt it. If you take the most successful albums over the last two years, `Tubular Bells` and `Dark Side Of The Moon`, they don`t have those vast dynamic ranges. I don`t want to say it`s high class muzak but it`s approaching that.

“Me, I don`t feel happy making background music. I hope people will listen to my album at least once, really listen,” he emphasises. “You couldn`t hold an unbroken conversation while its playing. Neither could you to a Genesis album. We require more from an audience point of view than Mike Oldfield or the Pink Floyd both in terms of selectivity and why they listen.”
Finally the conversation reverts back to Hackett`s own album – which, as it turns out, was inspired to a certain extent by The Tarot, “I`m into it, but I`m not preaching the gospel, quote. There`s a track called `Star Of Sirius` on the album which is a very good card to get since it`s optimistic. Therefore the song is very poppy. Likewise `The Hermit` is introspective-sounding music. I wrote about the cards which came over strongest to me.
“I`m very possessive about the album, just like a parent is about a child. But not everyone`s going to dig it: there`s a universal spirit but there isn`t a universal music.”

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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: Black Sabbath, Elton John, David Bowie, Roxy Music, I Roy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Milt Jackson, Mason, Larry Coryell.

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.