Day: February 18, 2014


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. If you really like this sort of thing – follow my blog! Thank you!

I feel a bit sad for Uriah Heep. Have they ever been fashionable? Forever doomed to be a band that`s just there, but never getting the credit they truly deserve. Still touring the world and creating records as they did at the start of the 70s.
Personally i feel that Heep is among the four originators of hard rock, and should be mentioned equally among the other three: Sabbath, Zeppelin and Purple. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame proves that it is a clueless institution with random inductees when two of the aforementioned; Deep Purple (estimated 150 million albums sold)and Uriah Heep (estimated 40 million albums sold) still isn`t inducted. But The Clash (Estimated 16 million albums sold) and Tom Waits (Estimated 2 million albums sold) is.

I rest my case your honour!


A leap for the Heep

By James Johnson

Uriah Heep can now afford a quick smile at the expense of the heavier breed of rock critics who have sneered at the band in the past. Their new album is showing in the charts and proves that with the public at least they have quite a considerable following.
Even so, nobody could admit they`ve ever been a fashionable band. They`ve never particularly appealed to rock`s supposed intelligentsia. They`ve gone down better with the much-talked-about second generation of rock fans; fans who probably also dig Black Sabbath and Deep Purple and probably have to think twice before deciding whether they can afford this week`s gig at the local club.
Those kind of clubs, in fact, have been Uriah`s bread and butter for some time. They`ve always been a hard working band, playing the same places over and over again and drawing a few more people each time. But it needed a hit album to kill the sneers of the past once and for all.

“I think we came in at the wrong time as far as the Press were concerned,” thought guitarist Mick Box, trying to explain why they had been so often criticised. “We came in when heavy bands were going out and all the softer stuff was coming in. As we were decidedly a heavy band and promoted as such, we were going to get put down and we knew it.
“The only way for us to ride over the storm was to keep together, keep working and move forward musically.
“To be honest though, we`d always thought we`d be proved right in the end simply because despite what anybody has ever said, audiences have always been very good for us. We`ve never died a death, and when this slating was reaching a height we`d be going on and getting three encores.
“So we thought, `Who is wrong? It can`t be us.`
“Personally I don`t think the Press ever gave us a fair listen. Consciously we`ve been trying to progress from each album and I think it`s obvious if you listen.”

The band first came in for a lot of knocking at the time of their first album. It was released almost before the band had played any gigs, put on the market with a pretty appalling title, “Very `Umble and Very `Eavy”, and promoted in an enormous publicity campaign. Everybody agreed there was a whiff of hype in the air.

“Really it was taken out of our control,” said Box. “We didn`t agree with all that publicity at all but our record company at that time asked us to describe our music. We said there was heavy stuff and some lighter stuff. They went off and came back with `very `eavy, very `umble`, and when we saw the advert it was like – ugh – twinge. Even we had to admit that from the outside it looked like a hype, but it wasn`t meant to be. It was just taken that way.”

In fact Uriah Heep weren`t just an artificially created heavy group as was generally thought at the time. Each of them had been playing in groups before, and the formation of Uriah Heep was a purely natural process.
Box had previously formed a group with David Byron called Spice, and were later joined by Ken Hensley from the Gods, a group that at various times included such luminaries as Mick Taylor and Greg Lake.


Mick Box as a young man.

“Even after we had formed the first Uriah Heep we had terrible problems finding the right bass and drummer,” said Box. “You see, we`ve never wanted any weak musicians. We`ve always wanted people with push and drive, but it took ages to find anybody. Then after a long series of changes we`ve now settled in with Lee Kerslake (drums) and Gary Thain (bass).
“It`s a really nice unit now because we`ve got five strong vocalists, five strong personalities on stage and five people who write. I think things are beginning to happen now because we`ve got five strengths to our bow.
“To me, that`s great because we really dig each other as people, and really dig each other on stage. That`s quite rare you know, because with a lot of groups it can get so bitchy, even if it`s all smiles up front.”

Do they feel they appeal to a particularly young rock audience?
“I think it`s getting younger,” replied Box. “At first we were really afraid of this, and we sat down and discussed it among ourselves. But then we thought we`re lucky because we`re still pulling in the older crowd we had before as well. They tend to sit at the back while the younger ones come down to the front and leap about. I think that`s great.
“In fact this album success has already made quite a difference to the size of our audiences already, which, of course, is very pleasing.
“We put a lot of hope into this album and I think it`s quite a big step from `Look At Yourself`, which was more of a rock thing. I feel the new one is better in every way, although we`ve always kept certain Uriah Heep ingredients.

“For instance, like it or lump it, I think our music is very honest. All our words mean something, they`re all about experiences we`ve gone through, rather than a lot of rubbish about the sky is green or the wind is brown or something.
“I feel that many groups who are classed in our category don`t worry too much about the lyrics, or even the vocals for that matter.
“Overall, we`re trying to create our own scene, something that is unique to Uriah Heep.
“And I think we`re broadening all the time. The success of this album puts us up another rung. In a way it was a sort of make or break album because by the fourth album you`ve had a chance to establish yourself. If you haven`t proved yourself by then it`s time to start worrying.”


Some of the concerts you were able to attend in the summer of `72.

This number of the NME also contains articles/interviews with these people: Marc Bolan and T. Rex, Pentangle, Marilyn Wilson, Robert Fripp, Andrew Oldham, Glencoe, Rolling Stones, Edgar Broughton, Chi-Lites, Slade, Mama Cass, Cliff Richard.

The NME this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

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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. If you really like this sort of thing – follow my blog! Thank you!

It seems to me that almost every number of NME in 1972 featured an article about Marc Bolan and T. Rex. They were, without a doubt, one of the hottest attractions around at this time in history. I chose to print this interview because it is a nice document of an extremely excited Bolan at what would  possibly be one of the happiest times in his short life. Enjoy reading, man! 😉


Bolan and America

By Ritchie Yorke

In a recent interview in New York I found Marc Bolan, a breathless young musician in such a hurry that he barely had enough time to provide me with a progress report.
Bolan is the new grand star of the American rock scene in the true English tradition and – even if only a scant few of us realise his success was not as would appear, an overnight event – his new-found fame clearly becomes him.
After a string of number one hit singles, unrivalled since the booming of the Beatles across England and Europe, Bolan has, of course, finally brought home his talents to the North American market, which hitherto had completely ignored him.
In the past couple of years, U.S. taste makers have become increasingly wary of obediently grabbing onto foreign success stories, particularly British.
As a result of this it took Yes a full 18 months to ultimately equal their U.K. triumphs in NOrth America; Slade have yet to make any impression here, despite their recent English upsurge; and although Lindisfarne are beginning to nudge the market the like of Gilbert O`Sullivan remain relatively unknown.
It would seem that the days have gone when every English musical discovery, no matter how minor, automatically broke through into the States.
Be that as it may, T. Rex (or more precisely, Marc Bolan) have finally begun to make their presence acutely felt on these shores. “Bang a Gong” (“Get It On”) made the U.S. top five (unlike earlier singles, which flopped) and the “Electric Warrior” album also made the LP Top 50.

Bolan is aware of this and more. He came onto the phone for an interview on his last visit here, and within 30 seconds, I felt like I`d known him for years. He has that sort of overwhelming manner.
“Hi man. Whew. It`s too incredible for words. Dynamite. I must admit I was surprised it happened so fast. So much is happening. I`ve just spent an hour with John Lennon. It was incredible.


“I`d been trying to get hold of him for three days to invite him to our gig at Carnegie Hall. But we just couldn`t get hold of him. I mean, they`ve got to screen the calls. There`d be 2,000 groupies ringing him up every day. I finally got to him after the concert, and I found out he had wanted to go but couldn`t get tickets.”
And how was the redoubtable Mr. Lennon? “He`s fine. Fine. I`d never met him before. But I always felt strongly towards him and his music. He was saying something that got me.
“The Carnegie Hall gig was incredible. I thought I saw Paul Simon dancing in the aisle, and when I came off, I found out it was Paul Simon. He`d just bought a ticket, man, and came in and got off on it. It`s so nice. That`s rock`n`roll, man. I hope.
“You`ll have to excuse me. I`m slightly loose at the moment. There`s just so much happening. Yeah, it was a beautiful gig at Carnegie Hall. It couldn`t have been better. On the whole tour, we`ve drawn more people than I ever expected. We had 15,000 in Philadelphia. Incredible.

“Yeah…something`s happening here for T. Rex at last. I never thought America was going to come into it. I`m happy in that it happened the way I always wanted it – just people to people. I told myself we had to come and play here before it would happen.
“We`d been here once before…in May of last year. But it was much too premature. I`d only just begun to establish the way in which I`m working now. It wasn`t ready. We really hadn`t tried it out in England, and we then made the mistake of trying it first in America. This time we came with our shit together, man.
“And the people who know their music have been getting off on it. Like Mick Jagger. Mick came along to see us in Los Angeles, and told me it was the best thing he`d seen since the last Stones` concert. He was really rockin`…everyone wants to rock. That`s what it`s all about.



I mean, as a musician – sometimes you`re bad, sometimes you`re good. Most of the time on this tour we`ve been good.
“Did you hear that we sold out the Wembley concerts in London? That really did my head in. Yet for all the crap of making it or whatever, I`m still pleased just to be able to make records. John Lennon`s the same.
“The record sales figures are becoming frightening. It just does my head in. You know they sold 500,000 copies of `Telegram Sam` in England in only two days? Two days man! And it`s still on the charts – number two I think. I didn`t know there were that many people in England. I`m pleased it`s going down the charts now. I didn`t want it to be a hit for too long.
“Hot Love” was a real freaker. It was number one in Britain when I went away for a five-week European tour. It was still number one when we got back. That was incredible.

“The American thing is incredible because we were doing well for 18 months around the world before anything happened here. We were absolutely unknown in America all that time…I don`t kid myself. Nobody knew about us except a very small cult.
“It`s all the more amazing to get these incredible sales figures when you realise that we were lucky to have sold 500 copies of the first album three years ago.
“Singles have been terribly important. So many people said I was wrong when we started making singles. I`m pleased I was right. You need the singles for flash, and the albums for substance. I mean, as far as rock`n `roll goes, that`s it. Singles and albums. Then comes movies, opera – whatever you`re into.”

I asked him if he`d managed to get into any exciting new sounds by other artists during the U.S. tour.
“There`s not a lot of good things happening at present. I did hear a group called the Persuasions, who were doing the best vocal things I`ve ever heard in my life.
“Mick Jagger turned me onto that record by Betty Wright…`Clean Up Woman`. Have you heard it? It`s nice. Obviously I like the Neil Young single.”

I wondered if the pace of it all would not start to get to him.
“No man. We love it. But we`re really worn down. I haven`t slept for a couple of days. I need some time off. We`ve just been rockin` about. It`s still a joyous thing to experience. I know it will become a bore, but now it`s still pleasureable. And I want to make the most of it.”


The advertising was great at the start of the 70s. I really like the style!

This number of the NME also contains articles/interviews with these people: Joe Cocker, Gilbert O`Sullivan, Stephen Stills, Alvin Lee, Miss Flo Bender, Chicago, Jimmy Savile, Doors, Strawbs, Tom Jones, Middle of the Road, Brenda Lee, David Cassidy, America.

The NME this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

  1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
  2. The offer should be around or upwards of 10 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
  3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.