ARTICLE ABOUT Leo Lyons (Ten Years After) FROM New Musical Express, June 13, 1970

A name that you instantly recognize is the name of this bass-player. Not only because of his career, but also because of the fact that Leo Lyons is an easy name to remember. As a producer, Lyons has worked with a number of musical acts, including UFO, Waysted, Motörhead, Richard and Linda Thompson, and many others.
Read on!

No. 1 Bass guitarist Leo Lyons

By Roy Carr

LEO LYONS is not interested in dwelling on his past. He is far more interested in Ten Years After. Not only in terms of his ground, but also in the same period of time, which has elapsed since he took the decision at the age of 16, to become a professional musician. He has known no other than this precarious way of life.
Through the success he has now started to reap, he has managed to find a certain amount of personal contentment and fulfilment in a childhood dream of breeding horses.
On a newly acquired ranch, just outside Bedford at a place called Pavenham, he eventually hopes to breed sturdy American quarter-horses; the kind used by cowboys, but strictly for pleasure riding.
When confronted with his U.S. cavalry moustache, well shaped shoulder length hair, hide jacket, and tooled cowboy boots, Leo bears a modern day affinity to the familiar image of the old west.
As he sits conversing and quietly hand-rolling a never ending stream of licorice papered cigarettes, it becomes quite apparent that this image is not an affected one. More a natural progression, formulated from his life-long ambition and his numerous horse-riding expeditions undertaken during the group’s many stateside trips. Above all his is a likeable personality.
Besides living out of suitcases for a good part of each year, TYA have always managed to spend some free time on the West Coast of America, in order to follow their individual pursuits.
It was out there, that Leo realised to his satisfaction that people were now enjoying and appreciating the sheer physical pleasures of horse-riding. Rather than the outmoded social connotations previously associated with this pastime.
“Though in the States, there is a tremendous amount of misunderstanding and fear rife amongst all the sections of the community and age groups, the country itself is absolutely fantastic,” he revealed.
“Last September, I decided to see more of the natural beauty of the place, and so I went up into the Sierra Nevadas on horse-back with a few of my friends.”

Those solitary days that he enjoyed just relaxing and exploring the terrain had very alarming repercussions on him.
“During that time, I managed to get society in general right out of my system. When I finally got back to civilisation, I was so utterly disillusioned for about three whole weeks,” he sadly reflected.
“At first I just wanted to scream, it was that bad. Why, I asked myself, did people run around so much, or for that matter even want to make a name for themselves. But after those three weeks had passed, I found that I had been brainwashed again,” he frankly admitted.
“If I had to do it again? I’m quite sure that the same progression of mental reaction would repeat itself. When I went to see Antonioni’s `Zabriski Point,` it really mirrored just how I felt at that time. It was frightening.”
The pop world in general, be it the media of sound or vision is beset with symbolism and images. Unless you’ve got one, you’re as good as dead. Even a non-image, has been used more than once as a short term means-to-an-end.
Though perhaps, Alvin Lee has become the recognised face and virtuoso with TYA, the other three members are by no stretch of the imagination just back-up musicians.
In the early days of their acceptance in America, Leo was constantly singled out for special mention in all the reviews of their concerts.
Fast guitarists, they’d seen ’em before… but a dexterous bass player who appeared to be playing second lead with just as much speed… never.
However, success not only brought recognition, accolades and monetary rewards, but also the “knockers.” Most groups have to contend with them at one time in their career. With vitriolic fervour, they singled out TYA’s’ precision and fleetness for their mindless scrutiny.
“Sure, we’re always getting knocked, simply because it seems as though some people are getting quite hung-up on our technique and speed.
“But, this is just because we are affected by our environment and the very fast pace with which we all live. Ten Years After lead a very hectic life. Spending up to six months of each year touring the States.”

You could be excused for doubting Leo’s confessions of a jet-paced existence to the fact that he is very relaxed, thoughtful and articulate in his manner. Summing-up the occupational hazard of the “knocking-game,” he dismissed it by concluding.
“Sometimes, this can be upsetting, but it doesn’t really bother us. As a group we play what we want to play to the very best of our ability. The majority of people seem to enjoy it, as we never play to the point of self-indulgence.” A cardinal sin of which many acts are guilty.
“Indeed, we are now more dependant upon one another than before.” Referring to the knockers, he pointed out, “These people set you up and say that you are preaching to the people. Then if these same people don’t like what they hear, or think they hear, they knock you.
“What in fact we play, is really an expression of all the experiences we’ve encountered. It all comes out subconsciously in the music. Making for new ideas, I hope.”
Travel broadens the mind, or so they say, and it’s certainly made Leo one of the observers of life.
“My values are still the same. I admit that success has changed me, but only in that it has made me more aware of people.
“When you don’t have to worry about where your next meal is coming from, it gives you more time to concentrate on other matters. For I’ve experienced this.
“You know everyone without exception is guilty to some extent of not trying to see the other person’s point of view. Unfortunately, not everyone sees this.
“It’s the same when people, and in particular a group become an overnight success. They then have to try and figure out why their last disc was a hit. And most of the time they don’t know the answer, that’s when the paranoia sets in.
“Like a number of groups, Ten Years After had involuntary success. We came from what people term the underground. This doesn’t really exist any more, it’s now just a handy label for success which was originally intended for groups who were musically creative, but commercially unsuccessful.”
Almost apologetic Leo then took pains to stress, “The things what I play on bass are more truthful than what I’m inclined to say. For I have inhibitions as to what people may think.”
Frankly, I’d argue the point.

If you have a large collection of the following magazines, don`t throw them out, but contact me as I would be very interested in these: Creem, Circus, Hit Parader and Metal Edge.

If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

ARTICLE ABOUT Elton John FROM New Musical Express, June 6, 1970

Really funny to read a review of Elton`s second album. At this stage he wasn`t very well known, but gained some positive words from Mr. Evans.
Read on.

Elton John shows a big talent

By Allen Evans

ELTON JOHN (DJM, stereo DJLPS 406; 44s 9d).

THIS singer, one would think, came from America. Anyway, he sings with an authentic nasal voice, with a raw American accent. He sings songs written by himself and Bernie Turpin, which have a real transatlantic sound to them. Yet Elton was born in Pinner, Middlesex, and as far as I know has never been to America. Yet listen to his No Shoe Strings On Louise and you’ll think he’s lived in Nashville all his life.
He changes the mood on First Episode At Hienton, on which he sounds rather like Dylan or Donovan. He has a more tuneful voice than either, and probably a much greater musical knowledge, gained at the Royal Academy of Music. He plays wistful piano and harpsichord as well, and has strong backing from top instrumentalists and vocalists, including Madeline Bell, Tony Burrows and Roger Cooke. Gus Dudgeon produces and Paul Buckmaster arranges, and also plays solo cello on The Greatest Discovery.
The thought of age is given a frightening musical sound in Sixty Years On, and The Cage has a wild, rebellious sound, specially from the moog synthesizer playing of Diana Lewis. This album is quite a remarkable one, with loads of strings coming in at the proper places to give extra accent to the already dramatic music.
Other titles: Your Song, I Need You To Turn To, Take Me To The Pilot, Border Song, The King Must Die.

If you have a large collection of the following magazines, don`t throw them out, but contact me as I would be very interested in these: Creem, Circus, Hit Parader and Metal Edge.

If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

ARTICLE ABOUT King Crimson FROM New Musical Express, June 6, 1970

Journalists at the time insisted on writing “Crimso” instead of “Crimson” when writing about the band. I find it really strange – how difficult can it be writing an extra “n”?
Read on!

KING CRIMSON — biggest one man band in business

By Nick Logan

LOOKED at on one level, all that remains of the band feted as the most exciting and unique development of 1969 is two young men at work most afternoons under a tiny West London cafe — one composing and playing guitar, the other taping the music on a cassette recorder and writing lyrics.
Yet on another level these two are just a springboard for a band that can expand to a dozen or more, taking in some of the finest young musicians in the country in a concept as exciting and unique as the original ever was.
Out of the traumas that threatened to throttle the sapling King Crimson has emerged the biggest little one man band in the business. And business, going by the sales for “In The Wake Of Poseidon,” is big indeed.
Bob Fripp the music man and Pete Sinfield the words man are the two that have controlled Crimson ever since Ian McDonald, Mike Giles and Greg Lake upped to go their own way. To them fell the responsibility of keeping KC alive when to the vast majority it seemed implausible that it could re-emerge anything less than dead or maimed.
The fruits of their efforts, and of the “pool” of musicians that is now King Crimson, are there to be heard on “Poseidon” and the Sinfield/Fripp team had good cause for their smiles when we met last week at their management’s office-cum-flat in a Kensington mews.

Lot better

I mentioned the responsibility of them coming up with something as good or better than the first album and Bob Fripp cut in: “It didn’t have to be better, it had to be a lot better. There was tremendous pressure, right, because on top of everything else we had the problems of whether we should be forming a live band or not. The responsibilities were very great.”
It’s typical of them that they are already plotting the next album and Pete played what he had recorded on the cassette from that afternoon’s session under the cafe. It was a rough first cut of “King Rupert`s Escape,” the “epic” of the next set as were the title tracks from the previous albums, with Fripp laying down the basic lines. Between making coffee in the kitchen Bob would make fleeting appearances to comment over the playing: “There’ll be simpering brass here and Mantovani strings — you have to have good imagination.” How do they compose together? Bob: “It varies. Pete might have an idea for words and come along and say `My words create this mood. Can you write a melody for it?’ Or I might say `Here is a melody, how about some words?’ If in an afternoon we can create a feeling or a mood then we can go home happy. The details can be worked out later. Like today we came out with the mood for the epic.”
“In this case,” said Pete, producing the typed word sheet for “Prince Rupert’s Escape,” “I took the words along to Bob and asked what he thought.”

Mournful

Bob: “I had to find out what he meant by various lines because it wasn’t immediately obvious. We went through the lyrics line by line trying to feel whether it was happy or sad and we decided it wasn’t too happy so I wrote a mournful melody with a happy middle — the intermezzo, which is musical light relief between the acts of a tragedy.”
The musicians who’d be willing to play on the next album demonstrate the talent of the “pool” Fripp and Winfield can draw on. As well as Keith Tippett, Mike Giles, Pete Giles, Mel Collins, Gordon Haskell and Greg Lake, who were on “Poseidon,” they have Jon Hiseman, Keith Emerson and Julie Driscoll showing interest.
The “pool” works the other way as well. Pete Sinfield was asked by Greg Lake to write some lyrics for Emerson, Lake and Palmer and he’s already completed lyrics for the “Birdsong” suite that covers one side of the two-thirds completed Ian McDonald/Mike Giles album.
“We’ve also got a new toy,” announced Pete, referring to a machine called the VCS3 which they are buying from a member of the British Electronic Music Society after visiting his computer filled house on the Thames at Putney. According to Pete Sinfield, who was in computers before Crimso, the VCS3 is an English version of the Moog Synthesiser although “more versatile” and only a tenth of the cost at £330.
“You can play instruments into it and mix them with various tones to get very unusual sounds. We will get unheard of guitar sounds for instance. We can also put electric piano through it and maybe even vocals.”
Bob and Pete have booked nine weeks in the studio from August 10 and will go in with the album carefully planned out, though still leaving room for freedom. Who they use on it will depend on work commitments. It will though, says Bob, be more of the new Crimso whereas “Poseidon” was more a case of consolidating on what had gone before – “with a few hints of goodies to come, like ‘Catfood`”.
Both feel that albums are “outrageously” priced, even though their company, Island, at 37s 5d is one of the lowest on the market. They had wanted to make the next album three sided (a double with one side blank) because “there are some tracks that can’t be fitted into the story of the album.” Three sides would have enabled one extra side of unrelated material after the theme had run its course.

LP extra

Bob and Pete found however that it would have cost the same as a double album because, due to its size, the extra side would have been liable to full LP purchase tax. Instead, the extra — which Pete describes succulently as “musical Green Shield stamps” – will be an EP, thereby suffering less tax. Full cost of the two will be around 41s 6d.
If Crimso does get back on the road it will be not so much an appearance by a group as a performance of a group’s music, meaning that the “pool” would be brought into play for live gigs too.
Yet the chances of it happening are remote. “We have put it out of our minds until the next album is finished,” says Bob Fripp. “we haven’t forgotten how we suffered on the last one through having this question hanging over our heads.”


If you have a large collection of the following magazines, don`t throw them out, but contact me as I would be very interested in these: Creem, Circus, Hit Parader and Metal Edge.

If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

ARTICLE ABOUT Deep Purple FROM New Musical Express, May 30, 1970

A really positive review for Purple at this exciting time of their career.
Read on!

Hendrix successor?

Concert review by Allan McDougall

WHEN Jimi Hendrix broke up his Experience and went back to America, a huge gap was left in Britain. On-stage excitement was hard to find. But on Monday night, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, excitement returned in the shape of Deep Purple.
They played two shows to capacity audiences, and tore the place apart with their musicianship and controlled volume — which ranged from very gentle to vicious ear-splitting level.
Opening with two numbers from the forthcoming Deep Purple In Rock LP, “Speed King” and “Child In Time,” vocalist Ian Gillan’s screaming vibrato voice was all but drowned by the power of the instruments, but this is the only criticism one can find in their act, Gillan’s voice is, in fact, really a fifth instrument in the group.
Drummer Ian Paice and bass player Roger Glover then laid the riff for an old Purple favourite, “Wring That Neck,” which featured some brilliant organ playing from Jon Lord and his multi-toned Hammond, and some fine guitar work from Ritchie Blackmore. Blackmore’s technical brilliance is of the quality that you wouldn’t believe if you didn’t actually see it.
Leaping, staggering and lurching all over the half of the stage which he controls, Ritchie’s showmanship almost outclassed his musicianship.
The closing number, another old album track “Mandrake Root,” featured vocalist Gillan on conga drums. “Mandrake” built into a deafening strobe-lighted climax after which the only thing the group could possibly do would be to wreck their instruments.
Paice kicked his drums all over the stage, and Blackmore physically toppled two six-foot speaker columns over on top of his discarded guitar. It took the audience about 30 seconds to recover from their state of limp shock before giving Deep purple a much-deserved standing ovation.

If you have a large collection of the following magazines, don`t throw them out, but contact me as I would be very interested in these: Creem, Circus, Hit Parader and Metal Edge.

If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

ARTICLE ABOUT Roger Daltrey (The Who) FROM New Musical Express, May 30, 1970

These interviews conducted in the actual homes of the rock-stars at the time are actually very great. I guess that for the journalist it helps that object of interest is more relaxed when interviewed at home.
Read on!

Slowly, Who go forward step-by-step

Roger Daltrey talks to NME`s Richard Green

It`s not all that often that a carton of “Big Value Bounce,” a stereoscopic viewer, three dogs and a joke machine that utters maniacal laughs play any sort of part in an interview. On the other hand, it is as infrequently that I visit the country seat of Roger Daltrey who looks like a contestant for the title of Pop Squire Of Hurst.
Roger has been living for getting on for two years in what is described as a cottage but is, in fact, a lot larger, in deepest Buckinghamshire. Jimmy Page doesn’t live all that far away but the locals don’t seem to have been unduly affected.
As befits his quieter-than-of-late-life, Roger was up a ladder fixing the roof over a rear porch when I arrived on a sunny afternoon. He descended in his wellington boots, old jeans and shirt and suggested an excursion to the Green Man. This turned out to be an ancient local inn where Roger is well-known and very popular.

Chuckles

The landlady showed us a thing called a bag of laughs that costs two quid and emits piercing chuckles and yells. Roger and I decided it was really impersonating Kit Lambert, the Who’s co-manager.
After recovering from the shock of the machine, we talked about the new album, “Tommy,” where the Who are at today and what surprises are up their sleeves.
“We could have done a better `live’ album if we’d done it over a number of dates,” Roger admitted. “But `My Generation’ and `Magic Bus,’ are just unbelievable, complete freedom, it just flows.”
Pete Townshend had played me some of the album on tape at his home and when I mentioned this, back at Roger’s house, he replied: “It’s best heard on tapes, I’m afraid albums are on the way out. Oh, It’s so untogether today. Let’s talk about Squidgy — Tricky Dicky.
“Do you want me to play the album, I’ve heard it enough. I’d rather play Simon and Garfunkel. Let’s go without sounds.
“Let’s see what drink we’ve got… out come the dregs. What can we offer you? Cup of tea? Right, one cup of Rosey. One thing you could put right, a lot of people have said that the audience must have been dubbed on the album but it’s not been. The only thing that’s been dubbed are a few voices towards the end where they got a bit weak.”
While various people tried to control an assortment of dogs who were intent on mischief and Roger went to organise tea, I had a look round the house. It is about four hundred years old and has ridiculously low beams everywhere — it’s rumoured that it was initially designed for Jimmy Clitheroe!
Sets of books with titles like “The World Of Children” line the shelves in the lounge and loads of amps and tape equipment litter the floor. An empty carton of “Bounce” dog food was on a chair and the steroscopic viewer — a kind of three-dimensional peep show — on a cupboard.

A lot of the furniture is of the old-fashioned variety which is so much in vogue and as a contrast, Roger has added an extension to the main building to be used for a bedroom and studio.
He is digging a pond and the well is covered with an old mangle. The olde-worlde appeal of the house if offset by Roger’s shiny American sports car standing in the drive.
The car has a Woodstock sticker on it and I told Roger that the Who come over very well in the film of the festival. That pleased him, but he wasn’t so enthusiastic about the event itself.
“It was a nightmare,” he groaned. “We got there at six and we didn’t go on ’til six the next morning! It was murder — no food and no water. Oh… “
Roger’s voice on the new album sounds to me a lot stronger than before and of this view, he said “I’ve been singing like this for a long time now, we’ve just not had it on record.
“We’ve been going into the studio and I haven’t known the songs – Pete doesn’t like to do songs on stage before we record them. He’s writing songs that suit my voice better, before I had to fit my voice to the songs.
“Pete’s writing better than ever now, he went through a bad stage after ‘Tommy.’ John’s writing a lot now as well, that’s coming on well. And the recording is so much better, we’re recording at Pete’s and he digs the engineering side so much.”
Our chat was interrupted by the arrival of a pleasant young Irishman called Cecil McCartney, who brought with him his album, “Om.” He sat on the floor and immediately attracted the attention of one dog who discovered a melted bar of chocolate in his back pocket. Cecil’s pocket, not the dog’s.

Defended

Roger was gradually coming to and he sprang right on the defensive when I mentioned Pete smashing his guitar into the stage at Woodstock and then throwing it away.
“He gave it away,” he protested. “He has a game with it but he doesn’t smash it. Pete has no respect for the guitar, he uses it just as an instrument to make what he wants to do.”
Roger is, however, happy with the way things are going for the Who just now and he agrees that within the group all is a lot better. “We just know ourselves a lot better,” is the way he puts it. It’s certainly taken them a long time to find out.
The Who is a weird group in terms of advancement. Everyone knows how good it is but it takes a couple of hit singles and an album for the Who to be on everyone’s tongues.
Yet without this tangible success the Who can still go out for considerable money. There are “Who periods” and Roger knew what I meant when I mentioned them.
“‘Tommy’ was the next stepping stone from `My Generation,'” he conceded. “It took a long while but there it is. One of the basic problems of pop is there are too many analysts. They should either like it or not, if it does something to them or not. They don’t have to go into it. “I can understand people not liking `Tommy’ at all. Why not? That’s a difficult question. Mainly because… well, the actual recording of it at the time was fantastic — for us to get into something like that — but we’re past that now.
“We perform it much better on stage and it’s very hard to like the album after you’ve done it on stage. It was a real turn on before we did it on stage.

“The New York Metropolitan will be the last time we will feature it, though we may play parts of it, perhaps a bit different, other times. It’s becoming a bit of a monkey, like the breaking of the gear, people expected it.”
What, then, does Roger see as the next “stepping stone” for the Who?
“I dunno, really,” he replied. “Maybe we’ll do a five album opera on a torso called Deborah! The Who will always be a 3-D group, they always have been. That album — we’d been playing for two hours when most of it had been recorded. It was at its peak to most of the audience. The last four numbers on the album were the last four numbers of the act.
“On `Shakin’ All Over,` `My Generation’ and `Summertime Blues’ the voices can be a lot better, but to the audience it just doesn’t matter because we’re a 3-D group.
“Everytime we say we’re gonna sing `Summertime Blues` a big cheer goes up and it’s great to hear it because the voices aren’t that good by then.”
The Who are off on another American tour within the next couple of weeks or so and that should keep the Yanks happy for a while. If Pete is writing as well as Roger believes — and a track from the next album that Roger played me leads to believe that he is — then a comment that Pete made to me on the phone after our last chat may make sense after all.
Calling him about a concert, I said it was a shame that `The Seeker` wasn’t going up very fast. “It doesn’t really matter, does it?” he replied quite nonchalantly.

If you have a large collection of the following magazines, don`t throw them out, but contact me as I would be very interested in these: Creem, Circus, Hit Parader and Metal Edge.

If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!