Month: May 2015

ARTICLE ABOUT Rick Wakeman (Yes) FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, December 21, 1974

This may well be the article that gets my blog 10.000 views, knowing how interested Yes-fans are of reading about past and present members of the band. I will celebrate with something a little stronger than beer. Kind of a strange article this, and I never knew that Mr. Wakeman was so fond of beer. Is he still?
Have fun!


We could have talked about his latest epic “The Compleat Works of William Shakespeare”…we were even ready to discuss his Keyboard Technique…but he preferred to talk about drinking. Accordingly, we preshent-

The RICK WAKEMAN Consumer`s Guide to Beers of the World

The management reserved rights to refuse admission to Chris Salewicz (words) and Joe Stevens (pics)…but they came in anyway

“On our rider for the tour of America – for the seven of us – we had twelve six-packs of Budweiser, two bottles of tequila, two bottles of scotch, two bottles of brandy, a bottle of grenadine and a bottle of orange juice to mix Tequila Sunrises. This is apart from all the ordinary lagers and other beers you get.
“And on the very first gig we had to send out for more at half time.”
Yes, Rick Wakeman likes the old tipple. In fact, one could go as far as to say that he regards himself as something of a connoisseur when it comes to booze. And I`m not just thinking of anything as crass as the fact that there was invariably a pint pot within reach whenever Wakeman was on stage with the Topographic Travellers – or “what Yes eat is what I bring up in the morning after a heavy night`s drinking”. No, that`s all become somewhat unnecessarily over-emphasised.

Because right now we`re going to talk about BEER – A Man`s Drink. So snuggle up close, you big butch creatures, and come on down to the Anglesea Arms, 15 Selwood Terrace, London SW7, which has been specially selected for the Rick Wakeman`s Consumers Guide to this liquid – for the quite basic reason that it`s a Free House (i.e., it`s not owned by an particular brewery) and stocks twenty-seven different brands.
Oh, then, to the first pint: Young`s Special. Wakeman dips his face into the glass and consumes roughly half of it. He seems satisfied: “Very difficult. First of the day, you see. I`ve deliberately been starving myself of liquid refreshments.
“And that first pint always does tend to taste just that little bit watery. It`s a very good bitter, although.”
It`s decided that the various beers to be tasted should be awarded star ratings with a possible maximum of ten.
The artist who is currently transforming the sensitive Arthurian legends into a musical form glugs down the final half of yet another aspect of his heritage.

Froth from the beer delicately mats together the hair of his freshly trimmed moustache.
“It`s a nine,” he declares. “Definitely a nine star out of ten rating.” And he lets forth a quaint belch before telling us that he`d cancelled studio time so that he could keep his appointment. Obviously a man who has his priorities right, is Rick Wakeman, as his reaction shows when it`s mentioned that the pub is rather absurdly crowded and that we could, if it were felt necessary, move on to somewhere with a little more room to breathe.
A look of extreme concern appears on his face: “Yeah, but the thing is they all close at eleven and the more walking about that we do the less alcoholic beverage time.
“One finds this problem a lot,” he adds, before lumbering up to the bar to personally inspect what is available. He returns with a pint of Watney`s Special!
“This, of course, though,” says Wakeman apologetically, “is the kind of beer that I was actually weaned on. Watneys provided me with my very first pint when I was thirteen years old – I can remember drinking it but I can`t remember the aftermath.
“Chemical beer does, of course, lay more heavily on the stomach.

“Now one beer which you can`t actually get there – Ind Coope…”
Ah, but one can, however, purchase Ind Coope`s Double Diamond.
This satisfies our guinea-pig: “While Double Diamond has the sweetness and the glorioso of wandering through a forest on a spring day with the sight of those first leaves and the gentle tweeting of birds…it does make you fart,” states Wakeman, almost with anguish. “Most of the band drink Double Diamond…I do find that if you drink a lot of it you tend to pebble-dash the toilet in the morning. Which can be a bit awkward especially if you`ve got a busy day ahead of you.
“I really do quite like this (Watney`s) actually,” he says a little defensively. “Because you know how you get accustomed to a taste.”
A certain gassiness about it, though.
“That doesn`t worry me because I normally drink light and bitters. I used to drink bitter all the time but I found that going from pub to pub the bitters would vary and I`d find bitters I really liked like…Well, for example I was one of the people who really liked Charringtons Bitter – I think it`s quite a pokey little beer, actually. Quite like Young`s bitter, in fact.


“But then you might go somewhere and have Truman`s Bitter which is really….Anyway I used to play in a little dance band and one of the guys said to me `You`re mad to drink bitter all the time because you can never be assured of a good one. The way you want to make sure that you`ll always have a good pint is if you have a light and bitter because if the beer`s horrible and flat a light ale will always buck it up a bit`.
“So when I was travelling around in bands that`s what I always used to drink because it assured that the pint tasted relatively the same wherever I was.”
There is however, another answer to this admittedly perennial problem: what is known in parts of the North as a pint touch. Now this involves the slightest amount of lemonade being poured on top of the beer. Wakeman`s eyes light up: “Down where I`ve got a place in the West Country they call that a bitter dash.”

At this point, though, the arrival of a pint of every draught beer sold in the Anglesea brings an end to the discussion of the more esoteric aspects of the brew.
“Lowenbrau…,” gurgles Wakeman through a Teutonic mouthwash, “I don`t like lagers…I really don`t like lagers. I always wake up with a headache. It just spoils a good night`s drinking.
“On a star rating…Actually we haven`t graded Watney`s Special yet. On a star rating I`ll have to give an eight to the Watney`s.
“Because I do like Watney`s, you know,” he adds, perhaps noticing my displeasure. “It`s always consistent.
“Now this lager…Extremely disappointing, I`m afraid. The Lowenbrau only gets five stars.”
A pint of Double Diamond (Works Wonders) slides down Wakeman`s Deep Throat: “Always tastes to me – Double Diamond – as it… do you remember the early days at the dentists when they used to give you gas? Actually, it wasn`t so much the gas as the rubbery smell of the mask….But it always reminds me of that. So because of that I can only give it a six star rating, I`m afraid. What`s next?

“Oh, I`m afraid I`ll have to link this with the Lowenbrau,” bellows Wakeman irritably, spilling at least a third of the pint over my jeans. “Once again you get a horrendous headache. It does make you pebble-dash the toilet seat…”
Back to the ale. So the Lowenbrau and the Skol both got no more than a miserable five stars each. So much for internationalism. But what about the Ruddles County? How dedicated drinkers have been known to come from all over London to the Anglesea Arms simply for a mere taste of this rare non-chemical beer. Many would argue that Ruddles County is the very finest beer currently being brewed within these shores.
Rick Wakeman gazes at the full pint for a full five seconds before taking that precious, first swallow: “It`s bloody `orrible,” he screams, turning faintly green. “That is awful.
“That is one of the worst things I have ever tasted in my whole life.”
But it`s renowned for its quality, Rick.

“It`s like an off barley wine.
“I`ll give that a two star. And the only reason I`ll give it that is because there`s a pint of it and I might have to drink it before the night`s out.”
Try the Worthington E.
“Flat. It`s normally quite bubbly. Bit tasteless, that.”
Plainly in a tantrum after his disappointment with the Ruddles County, Wakeman awards the Worthington E the staggeringly low rating of minus three stars, though the Watney`s Red Barrel (“it`s one asset is that it`s the same wherever you go”) fares better with six stars. His comments on the Rigers weren`t exactly flattering and he refused to even attempt an assessment of its worth.
Grabbing at another pint of Young`s Special, Wakeman rinses out his mouth and departs with a crazed look on his face -loudly demanding to know the direction of the nearest Star Of India restaurant.

From the touring adverts

From the touring adverts

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, Sparks, Gong, Rolling Stones, Big Jim Sullivan, Dizzy Gillespie, Otis Redding.



I admit I`m having a weakness for this band. Why? Well, I think Wikipedia says it best: “Known for their quirky approach to songwriting, Sparks’ music is often accompanied by intelligent, sophisticated, and acerbic lyrics, and an idiosyncratic, theatrical stage presence, typified in the contrast between Russell’s wide-eyed hyperactive frontman antics and Ron’s sedentary scowling. They are also noted for Russell Mael’s falsetto voice and Ron Mael’s keyboard style.”
And that is exactly why I like them. If you never heard of them – check them out on YouTube – search for their album “Kimono My House” from 1974 and enjoy!


Santa hangs around drag bars listening to Sam Cooke
Sparks make it on antibiotics, Advocaat, and adulation.

And MAX BELL tears himself away from the Baron`s presence long enough to check it all out.

Contrary to popular belief, Santa Claus – alias Saint Nicholas – is alive and well and living in Amsterdam.
But did you know that he has a coloured side-kick, too, and hangs around in drag-bars listening to Sam Cooke?
Well, he does – but just to prove that he`s as ubiquitos as ever (and that the pigment of a man`s skin affects his generosity not one jot) their images are displayed together in every shop window around.
Christmas is definitely more commercially muted in Holland than in London. The glitter and sense of exploitation are replaced by an atmosphere of sheer fantasy which permeates everything from the doll-house facades that flank the canals to the Dutch language, apparently a variation on English whereby the insertion of two extra vowels to our equivalent will make the lamest linguist fluent.
Hence telephone becomes telefoon, Great Britain translates to Groot Britagnie and so on. A notable exception to this rule of thumb is the word Sparks which should in theory be Spooks; however they compensate for that by referring to them as “The Sparks,” apparently the case throughout Scandinavia and Northern Europe.

A trip to the red-light district (sheer professional interest of course) reveals the alarming effects of inflation. Unless this is their tea break the girls ain`t exactly busy. They`re sitting propped up in flimsy negligees paring nails and sneering at wide eyed passers-by. Holland may be famous for its cakes and pastries but these tarts don`t seem too hot – though that could be lack of clothes. If you linger too long they get edgy and abusive and the fact that there are more pimps than customers doesn`t make it the healthiest area to buy tulips – not wishing to sustain third degree clog injuries our party returned to the confines of civilisation, in this case The Hotel.
Lunch with Ron and Russell Mael proves to be a time for recuperation after the hardship of a not-so-wonderful flight from Copenhagen. Most of the group are terrified of aeroplanes and a pilot demonstrating the delights of automatic right turns at thirty thousand feet couldn`t have done much for their collective digestive systems.
Only driver Jim-Jam remains as overtly cheerful as usual, chortling at the contradiction of being a coach-driver without a coach, thus able to finish work without starting it and still get paid.

Two salads and a plate of mussels later Russell revealed that they too may soon become rich by default. Apparently the distributor of publishing royalties for Doris Day in Scandinavia phoned Ron and asked him whether he was Terry Melcher as she had several million krone to get rid of quick because the tax authorities were breathing down her neck. Informed that the moniker was Mael not Melcher she said `have the money anyway` and hung up.
Of more immediate significance is the fact that the current mini-tour has been a riotous success, although the legacy of forty days continuously on the road in England means that antibiotics rather than adulation have kept body and soul together. To prove the point, Trevor White still has tonsilitis.
During the afternoon the Maels went shopping and were able to relax for the first time. Despite their sophisticated appearances Ron and Russell are, in their own words, “The world`s worst tourists.” We spent hours looking at and buying tacky souvenirs; Ron revealed he has a penchant for electric whirring toys, tin ducks and plastic food reproductions, like hamburgers, that squeak when you bite them. They also collect postcards; the poorer the taste the better, so ones of aforementioned young ladies entitled “Window Shopping In Amsterdam” were quickly snapped up as were the brothers by scores of delighted locals, though it was mostly the older ones who ventured to ask for autographs and a chat. It`s perhaps not surprising that such a wide spectrum of people know and like Sparks, particularly when Ron`s distinctive appearance and his famous stage stare (the most peculiar gimmick since Django Reinhardt`s right hand) are worth a thousand yards of lurex.

Sparks are playing a sold-out gig in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam`s version of a scaled down Albert Hall and usually reserved for classical performances. The walls are engraved with long-dead names and the management are visibly nervous. The Berlin Philharmonic may never get rushed but now the front stage is swarming and the floor is already knee deep in Amstel bottles and butt ends. For anyone who has seen the band in England, tonight`s audience is fascinating, an average age of twenty plus but very hip and getting rapidly high on a thick blanket of green smoke which puts the Roundhouse to shame.
The lights dim to pitch black and suddenly a deafening roar greets the arrival of five shadow figures. Spotlight on Mael senior jabbing the introductory notes to “Talent Is An Asset” and they`re off. It`s immediately noticeable that the acoustics are good and Russell`s voice more so. Whereas his vocals can sometimes be submerged in a welter of noise, now they`re up front all the time – and yet the music is infinitely tougher. This version of “In My Family” dispels any crap that Sparks are a “cute” band, as Trevor`s lead rips into a savage burst of feedback that sends the crowd bananas.


All the solos are now precise, and sustained, “Reinforcements” realises it`s full potential with Dinky (Diamond) driving along a fierce military beat assisted by a more than willing audience. Because of obvious language problems Russell has cut out most of the in-between raps and certain numbers are left out. The result is a breathtakingly fast pace which only enables him to relax during “Bon Voyage”, still hitting perfect high notes over ascending guitar runs that bring the melody line right out. Ian Hampton`s bass, beginning on “Achoo” recalls early 50`s instrumental. When Ron adds a decidedly idiosyncratic organ line, staring blankly into space, body hardly moving – pandemonium, during which somebody kindly throws Russell a handkerchief.

Part of Sparks` success as live performers, apart from a highly developed sense of humour, is the impression one gets of a desire to please and to work hard for effect. Russell is everywhere. Never forgetting the sections of the crowd without such a good view he plays to everyone and takes nothing for granted, hence even older tunes like “Souvenir” or “This Town” still come across freshly. Because of the speed of their act, much of Sparks` subtlety gets underwritten – but quieter numbers like “Never Turn Your Back” prove the reproducting qualities of the group, particularly on those swelling final chords. No doubt about an encore and, as with any exhilarating concert, the closing number “Here In Heaven” seems the best. After the final symphonic “Many” Dinky launches into his now immaculate solo, Russell sings `Years` and nearly ends, like the drum sticks, in the audience. Lights up but no-one wants more – you can`t improve on Total Satisfaction.

After the show the Maels hold informal court in our hotel bar, Ron and I retiring to quieter confines for a chat. Had the reaction to their leaving for a lengthy spell in the States surprised them. Was it, such a big deal?
“Not at all. Having done two tours in a year we wouldn`t be playing England anyway, until the winter of 1975. We`ll be releasing another single from `Propaganda` with a new `B` side in January, and the next album should be recorded in America – still with Muff, though we hope to have Earle Mankey, our old lead guitarist, engineering.
“What`s really exciting is that he`s working with the Beach Boys in L.A. and there`s talk of having them doing some background harmonies.” That could do Sparks a whole a lot of good as the Beach Boys` presence is bound to give them commercial credence. However, earlier in the day (at a Dutch press conference), Ron and Russell had broached the theory that the tradition of American audiences had hardly changed since Beatle days, and that the newer generation were generally so soaked in wine and downers that a band like Sparks needed to get to the fresher, more creative atmosphere of England to survive.

If that was the case how come Sparks think they`ll make it now?
Ron mulled his answer over thoughtfully: “Well, we have the advantage of being secure in Europe.”
Yes, but then none of the new-wave “sophisticated” bands have yet transferred successfully – and they`ve had that security, too…
“Humm…we do have the element of local-boys-made-good, and the English element as well, plus this is our best-ever combination. There`s a lot of, I know this sounds kinda naive, youthful spirit. We aren`t the initial thing to latch on and so we do have a reputation preceding us. It will be a shock though, going back, after the success here.”
As with all aspiring groups Sparks aren`t sure whether to play as a support band (there`s the possibility of Santana or Johnny Winter gigs!) or headline in smaller halls. Personally I don`t see how they can adopt the former policy, so well -defined is their audience. On the other hand, they must aim to sell across the board as they do in Europe. A tricky dilemma.

Ron admits that while they don`t yet have complete financial security, he enjoys the touring:
“Living in hotels means responsibilities are taken away from one, which gives me the energy to devote to writing. But it does make you a cripple in a certain way, always relying on others. It`s hard to put into perspective. I only realise the “star trip” bit when it hits me on a personal level, so I get off on the concerts and the mobbing, that`s reality now. It gets more important to have genuine reaction. I can only relate to an audience when I`m not looking at an account sheet with rows of noughts.”
Ironically the Maels have always been so forthcoming and pleasant that, unlike most rock stars, the aura of mystique is negligible: “People are sometimes disappointed when they meet us which makes it odder for them, but I enjoy all the aspects of popularity. I really believe it`s more important to have what you`re doing stronger than what you are – to keep the product first!”

Such an absence of cynicism means that Ron and Russell`s stage and private personas are more or less similar, never patronising or blase. Somehow I don`t think that will work against them because it`s so real. For example, they don`t yet realise how big they are.
Of Island`s bands in Holland, only Cat Stevens` might outsell them – and the picture is similar all over Europe. Yet despite the apprehension of cracking America, Christmas at home is an exciting prospect.
Russell seems the more homesick of the two but Ron`s dying to play with his clockwork fairground.


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, Rick Wakeman, Gong, Rolling Stones, Big Jim Sullivan, Dizzy Gillespie, Otis Redding.



Here is a nice article from the height of Status Quo`s success in the UK. It is easy to forget that underneath the band`s easy-going nature, this is the most successful rock band ever in the UK. They may play what many people would characterize as “simple boogie rock”, but they forget how genius it is to create so many catchy and popular tunes on the same formula. If it was easy – everyone would do it! These guys have my respect! Enjoy!


27 chairs broken, front row demolished, manager speechless

Ho Ho Ho. Good fun innit? All the kids are here with their booze and their toilet rolls and it looks like being another major triumph for rockanroll music. It`s STATUS QUO on the road, and JULIE WEBB was there to see the devastation.

“It gives you a sense of power when you see chairs all busted up after a gig. It sounds corny…but as long as nobody`s been hurt all those busted chairs signify a good time.”
That`s Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt talking after their Liverpool Empire gig (27 chairs broken, front row demolished, manager of venue speechless.)
At Quo gigs you can see the pathetic sight of managers beseeching audiences to “sit down,” and adding hopelessly that “No-one is allowed in the aisles at any time”, while the crowd stand on their chairs even before the band have even taken the stage.
At Sunderland – the opening date of their British tour – the manager wanted to stop the show after the first number. But was unsuccessful.
Depending on which side of the coin you look at, Status Quo are either down to earth or common as muck. Certainly they must be the bawdiest band on the road.
(They get toilet rolls thrown at them on stage – as opposed to hats or bracelets.) And they have also, for their sins been described as lame brains.

Parfitt thinks the lame brains bit is quite funny.
“We`ve had a whole lot said about us…dandruff in our hair, lame brains, Status-Quo-are-this, Status Quo are-that- but the houses are always full.
“We`ve never tried to promote an image of being an intelligent band. We just enjoy a loon.”
He thinks for a moment, then adds:
“We`re not so much lame brains – but we`ve always had this kind of humour…basically we`re a lot of scruffy rock`n`rollers.”
Before this present tour, Quo were gigging in Australia – place they alternately slag off or praise. And one thing that does apparently get up the band`s collective nose is the Aussie press.
“Funny people out there, as it happens,” says Parfitt. “The press will build up anything into a big story. Anything seems to make the front page. There was one incident when I was supposed to have had two groupies in a lift. Well, in fact it wasn`t me – it was one of the road crew – and the manager of the hotel caught him, got abused, and came at the roadie with a tin opener.

“So now there`s this big story on the front of Truth magazine and it`s all a load of bullshit because it`s supposed to be about me and it wasn`t because I wouldn`t do anything like that.”
Parfitt doesn`t consider sueing. “I just write it off as a laugh. And we had a laugh in Australia – even when we arrived after 26 hours flying. About eight in the morning it was, and we were hustled into a press room – all TV cameras and half a dozen press men out in front with microphones asking stupid questions.”
Questions like?
“Well, one bloke asked if we played better because we`d got long hair. And there were things like, `Do you take drugs`. So you just look them straight in the eye and say, `Of course we do`. They can`t really react back because you grin at them when you say it, and they don`t know if you mean it or not.”
They look back with pleasure on a TV show.
“There was this big backdrop with Status Quo written all over it, and we were doing a very silly interview. Spud (John Coghlan) pulled the backdrop down. The interviewer lost his cool a bit, and France (Rossi) started undressing me.”


If you are getting the impression that Status Quo can be destructive, you could be getting warm.
“Yeah it`s both silly and destructive sometimes. Some nights after gigs it just gets outrageous…lot of fun. When you start getting silly you want to do something to keep yourself on that level. Like, there`s a cup on the table and it`s fun to try and do a trick with it that you know isn`t going to work.
“The cup gets smashed and tea goes everywhere, and then it starts with soda syphons…”
After the Sunderland gig, at least four people got drenched by either beer or a soda syphon. Why Bother?
“It`s just the feeling of the band after a gig. It was the first night as well. There`s normally a bit of a piss up on the first night. A few drinks, chat flowing, and then it gets a bit out of hand.
“If everybody`s in the same spirit and everybody`s copped a bit…like, you might have a plate of sandwiches on your head and this bloke has been squirted with soda, then it`s fun.”

After the damages are paid for, is there any money left, one wonders?
“We make a profit in Britain. The gross of a British tour is normally fairly high, but then when everything is paid out -publicity, the hire of halls, damages, whatever – it really does cut it down in a big way. More or less by half. But we make enough out of a British tour to give ourselves a Christmas bonus.
“Financially it`s hard to say exactly where we stand because we`re putting a lot of the money into assets. Companies we`ve set up. We`re not immensely rich but we`re working for the future.
“I`d like to come out of it with a few bob. We`ve all got our houses and cars and basically that`s all we need.
“But it`s a lot of hard work – the next year is going to be ridiculous. Three American tours, hopefully Japan, Europe and a couple of albums.”
The first of those albums is nearly complete and set for release early in the new year.
“There`s ten tracks as opposed to the usual eight, and all of them should be under five minutes.”

Try to analyse Quo`s music and you run into trouble. Suffice to say wherever they play in Britain, they go down ecstatically before audiences predominently dressed in jeans, often with bottle in left hand and bog roll (ready for throwing) in the other.
Parfitt attempts to explain why the audience go wild. “I think the kids are up on their chairs because they`re a rock and roll crowd, and they know what to expect from us on stage. It`s difficult to watch us sitting down.
“We like it when they`re raring to go. It`s great to walk out on stage and see a bank of people. You can feel the electricity in the audience. We`re going on to bash out hard rock music at them, and work hard to them, and if there`s not a vibe from the audience it`s more difficult.”
On stage, Quo`s dashing and wheeling around has in the past presented problems. Rossi and Parfitt have 20-foot leads, but they still get caught up with each other.

“We`ve never had any electric shocks but we`ve often whacked one another. Once I had to follow France around the stage for five minutes because my pegs were knotted up in his hair. The roadies had to untangle us halfway through a number. I pulled half his barnet out.
“Yeah, we`ve whacked one another…but it`s great when it gets like that.”
Any real disasters?
“Well, we`ve fallen over a lot. We call that getting our wings. I remember three years ago doing a small youth club – we`d just gone on and the kids were going mad. France went dashing across the stage, turned round, fell off the stage and knocked himself out. Quite funny, as it happens.”
Everything, fortunately for Quo, has a funny side.
“It`s a kind of warm sarcasm”, says Parfitt. “We don`t think we`re rude but say there`s a bird with big tits we`ll say, nice jumper you`re wearing there.”
Like I said, depending on which side of the coin you look.

Position purely incidental.

Position purely incidental.

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: William Jellett, Mike Patto, Kilburn and the Highroads, Hank Marvin, Alvin Lee, Michael Chapman, Barry White, Sandy Roberton.

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

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be around or upwards of 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.


This interview with Jimmy Page was conducted some three months before the release of “Physical Graffiti”, a double album that went to No. 1 on the charts in the UK, USA and Canada. Led Zeppelin didn`t release any studio albums in 1974, so this release was heavily anticipated by their extremely large fan-base all over the world. And they were not disappointed – the famous song “Kashmir” was by itself worth the money anyone paid for this album.


The Graffiti of the Physical…
…and the Exploration of the Metaphysical.

A candid interview with Led Zep.
Words: Nick Kent Pics: Pennie Smith

The barley has been harvested. The heifers too have been put out to pasture, the Scalectrix sets have been pieced together and stored away for the time being…
Led Zeppelin are once again fully operative, girding their collective loins for another gargantuan American tour and celebrating a reunion after what has indisputably been their longest period of musical inactivity with a amiably sturdy set of rehearsals which started last week.
The rehearsals themselves will carry them pretty much up to the beginning of January when the group fly to Europe to showcase the new act to Dutch and Belgian audiences before letting themselves be swept away once again in a magic flurry of the Jet Lag-intended brand of “Road Fever” (the formal Zeppelin term) that constitutes the American Tour.

November 26 – a Tuesday as it happens – marked the formal return to arms, so to speak, down at Liveware, a converted theatre in an anonymous hinterland of equally anonymous Ealing. The band arrived at approximately 3.0 p.m., re-acquainted themselves with a cut-down P.A. system and in a subsequent seven-hour period commenced manfully sifting through a hefty volume of songs marked off as the new material to appear on the next Swansong Atlantic release – the first of the New Year. This is to be a double Zeppelin set titled (for no apparent reason except that it sounds good and does tie in with the consequent sleeve design – “a mechanical construction” also described by Jimmy Page with characteristic sly grin as a “peeping tom`s delight”), “Physical Graffiti”.
By 6.0 p.m. one number, “Tramped Underfoot” has been both mustered and mastered to be followed by a sprightly reacquaintance with “In My Time Of Dying”, the old gospel traditional Bob Dylan performed with such youthful fervour on his very first album.

Only this time Messrs Page and Plant have turned the harrowing old chestnut into an even more invigorating workout for electric bottle-neck, banshee vocalese and sudden dapper swerves in the 12-bar framework courtesy of a single off-the wall chord occasionally tossed into the affair like a musical handgrenade – or a sudden Bonham thrash that sets the hairs on the back of the neck a-quivering.
This after all is Led Zeppelin, the true Princes of the Heavy Metal Zone, back after what appears to have been an extrasomnabulant sojourn; while it seems the likes of such callow pretenders as Queen, teethed on self-same power chords and pulp athletics, have been edging in on the action with such success that it must have put the wind up their spiritual forefathers.
Still, the spirit is strong enough on this first rehearsal to motivate the band into a spontaneous version of “When The Levee Breaks”, the track that blitzed off the fourth album and a number the band have never actually performed outside a studio. Until now that is. Jimmy Page is thinking very seriously of renovating it for the new tour as, after all, with its bottleneck mainvein it fits like a dove-tail joint directly against the grain of “Dying”.

Subsequent valiant stabs are made at two more new numbers – “Sick Again”, which even in its skeletal form shows distinct signs of bristling out as a Zep masterwork, while there is always “Custard Pies”, a prime Zep knock-about which displays a conscious bent towards Page`s Eel Pie Island beginning.
Finally, at 9.0 p.m., regular as clockwork, Robert dusts out his best Presley grunt and the band obligingly fall into place for “Don`t Be Cruel” encoring with “Hound Dog”. Plant, right in the spirit by this time, is pushing for a third time around – “You daw-w-n`t- / ahk…uh cray-zz-uh-music. You don`t…uh…”
“Persistent isn`t he,” mutters Bonham, now more than ever resembling an amiable barrel draped in a donkey-jacket, who`s not having any of it.
So Plant makes do behind the drum-kit, banging out rimshots and the cow-bell introduction to “Honky Tonk Women”, moving his arms like a man throwing darts in a pub.
John Paul Jones counters by doing his party-piece Ramsey Lewis impersonation, ear-to-ear grin like one of those mechanical puppet organists you pay 5p to see perform sea-side medleys via a slot-machine in a sea-front amusement arcade.
The rigours of the day now make him resemble a third-year law student holding down a holiday job sorting the Christmas mail.

Only Plant and Page appear to preserve that necessary look of pop-star…”ambiance”, the former unchanged down to the last wisp of the luxurious lion`s mane of blond hair, while the latter`s guitar hero veneer is omnipresent as ever.
Page, in fact, always tends to look quite diminutive in size whenever he moves onstage – much smaller in fact than he really is, though this must have something to do with Plant`s stockier “boyo” physique paralleling his own; and then there`s always the low-slung Gibson guitar, hung almost as low as Steve Marriot`s knee-length drapery back in the Small Faces days.
Yes, so anyway there we all were in this Ealing rehearsal studio, like, and well, mind you, it has been quite a time since the name “Zeppelin” has resounded imperiously throughout the Media.
The occasional interview, that reception at the Chislehurst Caves, but otherwise it`s been pretty much relegated to the backwaters of Rolling Stone “Random Notes” and the tattle columns of those other…uh, music periodicals. And even then it`s been pretty much lean pickings.
Of course there`s always the odd morsel or so like those two that appeared recently.

I mean, Jimmy, did you see that one about Keith Richard located out in Switzerland adding organ and backing vocals to the track “Scarlet” that you, Ric Grech and Keith himself recorded down at Island`s Basing Street studios a couple of months ago, and which was supposed to be the B-side to a cut-down “Ain`t Too Proud to Beg” and here Keith was muttering something about it being donated to “a Jimmy Page album.”
“Oh dear (laughs). I think that must have been Keith putting someone on actually. I`ve certainly no plans whatsoever to record a solo album or anything like that.”
Page and Richard are old acquaintances from way back, by the way, starting when Page was brought in to help out on the first Rolling Stones album. And while we`re back in the past for a moment, there`s this piece in the current Rolling Stone that has John Entwhistle beefing about how the name “Led Zeppelin” was his invention and how he even designed the prototype for your first album cover.
“Well, I don`t know about that at all…Um-m, to start with the thing about the cover is completely wrong. We did that quite separately. The other – well, Keith Moon gave us the name. We`ve always credited him for that.

“I mean, originally there was going to be a band formed from the session for `Beck`s Bolero` – Jeff, myself, Nicky Hopkins, Aynsley Dunbar and…yes, John Paul Jones was in by that time. Maybe John Entwhistle did think of the name and told it to Keith Moon in which case I suppose he might have cause to be a bit angry. The rest of that – I don`t know about.” Page`s native paranoia at critical harassment seeps through the tone of this voice, as the legendary Zep/Rolling Stone feud, and his words momentarily take on a kind of bruised quality. This after all, has been something of an Achilles` Heel for Zeppelin and particularly Page – more probably so than ever because here they are about to release an album, a double set at that, laden with the fruits of two previous years`-worth of labour, even if the album itself took some six weeks to record. And Page himself more omnipresent than ever.
From the daring double 12-string over-dubs that graced “The Song Remains The Same” it`s come to no less than six guitars – “five in harmonies” – intertwining themselves for “Ten Years Gone”, not to mention “In The Light”, Page`s self -proclaimed piece de resistance of the album. And all for the first month of 1975.

“1974”, in Page`s own self-effacingly jocular terms “didn`t really happen, did it?”
A grin and then serious: “1975 will be better.”
From the look of things, Zeppelin are certainly committed to endowing the on-coming year with their own particular zeal. I mean, isn`t there this film of the band on tour in the States nearing the final editing stages? The oft-touted Led Zeppelin movie forever being greeted with the archetypal knowing grin when its existence is broached to one of the band or their entourage, followed by a few visibly mysterious verbal ruminations.
Stuff about “weird fantasy scenes” and such-like. Jimmy Page is more specific. Well not that specific…well, you tell them, Jimmy!
“Well to start with, the film is nearing completion, though we don`t have a title or distributor yet. I`ve yet to mix the sound-track and the final editing hasn`t been completed. I mean, but now it`s starting to get there. We`ve finally got a distinct framework.”


Direction of the movie has been handled by two different factions – the first Joe Massow whose most notable previous achievement appears to be “Wonderwall” and, more recently, Peter Clifton, who was responsible for the Jimi Hendrix “Live At Olympia” film.
As to the actual form of the film, well, most of the live footage comes from the Madison Square Gardens concerts of `73 and, yes, there are “fantasy sequences” concerning which Page is very cagey about letting anything slip.
“I mean, it would give the whole thing away, wouldn`t it. Like, I went to see `The Exorcist` and the audience was laughing at it because they knew what to expect, whereas if they`d been separated and placed in a room where an unknown film called `The Exorcist` was being screened, the last thing they`d have been doing would be laughing.
“It`s just…well for a start, the fantasy scenes do relate to individual numbers the band play. Like Robert`s bit comes in `Song Remains The Same` and `Rain Song`, Bonzo`s is in his drum solo `Moby Dick,` John`s is `No Quarter` and mine comes in `Dazed And Confused`. Mine`s a bit weird, actually…well so is everyone`s, really. They just happened that way.

Might there be a touch of the `Kenneth Angers` about your bit, then, Mr. Page? Certain oblique references to Aleister Crowley and the like making themselves manifest?
“Oh no (pause). I know what you mean of course, but…”
And the backstage footage? Might we expect candid Zeppelin equivalents to the supposed high-jinx omnipresent throughout Robert Frank`s “Cocksucker Blues”, the…um…vivid account of the Stones` `72 tour?
“Not really. I mean there are a few things…uh…like some chicks offering to give a policeman a…uh `seeing-to`”.
And so the richly-endorsed Zeppelin `road fever` legend-weaving stays firmly anonymous, even in the face of such occurrences as…well there`s that song that Frank Zappa wrote called “Mudshack” about that group who eh…and there was everyone thinking it was the Vanilla Fudge and it turned out to be…say no more.
And even since then, events even more incongruously shaped have occured, centring inevitably around Page himself. For example, 16 magazine, America`s equivalent to the likes of Popswop only-more-legendary have printed, in a style so garish only a magazine coming from L.A. could be responsible, a list of “Who the stars do-it-with” and…uh, “How they do it.”

Page, to say the least, appears to possess a particularly interesting case-history to wit – “Girls, he`s into anything and everything. Those who`ve tried say it`s an experience they`ll never forget.”
I see. Uh well, Mr. Page…
The subject to say the least is not welcomed.
“It`s something you can`t really dwell on because people think if you`re doing it, then the rest of the band are into it too and that would cause all kinds of trouble. No it`s…well all I can say is that it comes down to the term `road fever`.
“I mean I personally can`t play a gig in some godforsaken part of America to god-knows-how-many people and then return to a box. It`s just a total change of life-style, that`s all one can say really.”
But still, without dwelling perhaps on specifics, surely Page had some thoughts on the whole groupie syndrome, with particular reference, say to L.A.?
“I just view it all with amusement. Like the whole Rodney`s scene thing, which is just ridiculous. I mean, you walk in and the next thing you know there are cameras everywhere and you`re ducking under the bar to get away. I mean, Roy Harper has this photograph of me on the point of sticking a pork-pie in a girl`s face.

“Actually the last time I was in L.A., there was this incredible groupie feud which was getting down to razor-blade sandwiches. The competition thing out there is incredible and you`ve got to keep out of the middle of it or else, y`know it…it gets to you too. There`s a new song we`ve done for the album…called `Sick Again`. That about sums it up.
“But then again referring back to the road fever thing, and I mean, at the moment I`ve got to start building up my stamina because everytime I`ve toured the States I`ve returned a physical…and mental wreck. I mean, after the last tour they tried to get me put in a mental hospital. It was going to be either that or a monastery! Ultimately I just went to sleep for a month” (Laughs).
“Sleep” – plenty of it – appears to be the basic Page stamina tonic. That and food.
“This time I`m definitely going to take a `juicer` along with me. I mean, I used to be a vegetarian and that was like committing suicide in America. The last time I ended up just eating hamburgers and at the end I was just a complete mess. This time though – precautions are going to be taken.”

To change the subject then, Aleister Crowley. The great Page obsession or so we`ve been led to believe.
Roy Harper told me less than a couple of months ago that Jimmy was currently writing a book on Crowley which is in fact, untrue though Page is about to open a book-store dealing solely in books on the Occult called “The Equinox” and situated in Kensington`s Holland Street. Page again seems somewhat reluctant to talk about his studies of Crowley at any length. “It`s simply that….I don`t want to do a huge job on Crowley or anything – that doesn`t interest me in the least. I mean if people are into reading Crowley, then they will and it`ll have nothing to do with me. It`s just….well for me, it goes without saying that Crowley was grossly misunderstood.
“I began being interested in him in school after having read this ridiculous book called `The Beast` where the author hadn`t the faintest idea of what Crowley was all about and was totally condesanding (condescending? – Blog Editor) so I took it from there. But I mean, how can anyone call Crowley the world`s most evil man – and that even carried over to the thirties when Hitler was about?

“For a start, he was the only Edwardian to really embrace…not even the New Age so much as simply the 20th Century. Who else would state anything as revolutionary as something like his theory that there would eventually be an equality of the sexes, which is where we`re at right now. It`s like…there`s this incredible body of literature – I mean don`t even bother with the sex thing because that`s all such a bore anyway – and it`s like… there`s a diamond there to be found at the end and it involves a life`s study.”
Page however has made a sizeable inroad into Crowley`s work through even to the notorious forbidden books he`s studied. Not to mention the famous Loch Ness mansion that he bought some time ago.
“All I can say about that place is that there`s this incredible sense of peace and…energy moreover. It`s amazingly stimulating staying up there.”
And the case-history.
“Oh Christ don`t mention that. I mean, post-Crowley…don`t even bother with that…its history is literally littered with suicides and bankruptcies. It`s a whole local thing there. Old wive`s tales abound.”

Any acquaintances of your experienced anything perhaps unforseen?
“One couple flipped out up there (pause). It depends what you bring to the place – expectation-wise.”
The obvious connection from Crawley is to Kenneth Anger, right? Anger, the famous devotee of Crowley`s, the film director of such classic starts as “Invocation of My Demon Brother”, which Page claims extended from its 10-minute length “to seem like a lifetime” when he saw it, “Fireworks” and “Scorpio Rising.”
And now there is “Lucifer Rising”, lasting 93 minutes constantly dogged by such unforseeable circumstances as film mysteriously vanishing (or being stolen). “Lucifer Rising”, which Jimmy Page has done the sound-track for.
“I`ve always got on very well with Anger. He`s a good friend, really. He`s never been as awe-inspiring and unapproachable to me as some would probably tell you. It`s just…one day he asked me to toss some ideas around for a sound-track and I went away feeling something but never being able to really express it, until one day when it all sort of poured out and I got down immediately to recording it. Actually I saw him recently and he was playing my soundtrack against some of the rushes and it came together really nicely.”

Still it`s an even more intriguing series of connections we`re getting here. Kenneth Anger, one-time cohort of Bobby Beausaliel, who reputedly knew one Charles Manson, who again may just have known the guy in L.A. who set out to kill Page when he was passing through with the band over two years ago.
Almost scarey, that.
“I don`t want to think about that at all. I just don`t want to get into that. It`s…people thought there might have been some connection but…there`s a lunatic fringe whether they`re Christian or Satanists or whatever. It`s too risky because they are out there. It`s not a Kharmic backlash or anything like that. Definitely not. There have been lots of little magic happenings but nothing that has really perturbed me.
“But that awareness – obviously you get these magic flashbacks everywhere. On stage, in America – everywhere. What you put out you get back again all the time. The band is a good example of that simply because there`s an amazing chemistry at work there,
if only astrologically.
“Astrologically it`s very powerful indeed. Robert the perfect front man, Leo…Jagger`s a Leo, John Paul Jones and I are uh…stoic Leos (laughs), Bonzo the Gemini. It`s when you`re pushing each other to the limits that the strength of the chemistry comes out and makes itself manifest in this binding of consciousness.”
He`s right y`know. 1974 didn`t really happen, did it? 1975 will be better.

Patches in their most basic form in 1974 - later on they became more advanced, as we all know now.

Patches in their most basic form in 1974 – later on they became more advanced, as we all know now.

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: The People of Pan, The Pretty Things, Wings, Bruce Johnston, Elton John, Bad Company, Robert Fripp, Chaka Khan, David Essex, Brian Eno, Noah Howard, Mott The Hoople.

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

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be around or upwards of 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.


Here`s an great article from the period inbetween the first and second album that Bad Company did. Personally, I think those two albums are the best that they did with Paul Rodgers. The excellent song “Shooting Star” mentioned in the article may even be one of the best songs a rock band ever made.
Have a nice read!


The air was tense in the little room. The Cub Reporter felt the sweat gather on his spine and trickle into his underpants. “Two quid,” he muttered nervously. “See ya!” riposted PAUL RODGERS. “Er-pair of threes” said the Cub Reporter. “Prile of Kings,” said Rodgers, “and that makes thirty-eight pounds forty-five pee you owe me. But I`ll settle for a good feature.” The Cub Reporter was numbered and knew it. But he had no choice. The moral of this sordid tale is…

Don`t play brag with Bad Company

Steve Clarke lost £38-45. Robert Ellis won £30 – and also got paid for the pix.

“I`m very reserved. I would like to be more friendly, but it takes a while. I drink with the boys, but mostly I`m a bit of a loner. I like to keep myself to myself – I like to look at things, and I like to see `em,” says Paul Rodgers, spread out on a chair in the lounge of a Newcastle hotel, the alcohol in his head accounting for this un-customary frankness to a certain extent.
As he says himself, he`s a bit of a dark horse, and it hasn`t been unknown for people to describe Rodgers` attitude as hostile. But boozed or not, Rodgers is a lot looser these days. He doesn`t have to worry about guitarists not being able to make tours so that he himself is lumbered with the job of playing guitar for an entire tour, and he has no problems with bass players leaving the band he`s playing in.
Just ask his old colleague from Free, Simon Kirke, and he`ll tell you that the group situation in Bad Company is a whole lot different from Free.

“There`s more freedom,” says Kirke. “There`s not so much pressure – or if there is we`re more equipped to handle it. Bad Company have become very big very quickly, and there`s a parallel to what happened with Free four years ago. But we couldn`t handle it then because we were just wet-behind-the-ears kids. I`m much happier now.” Back to Rodgers: “I`m not saying that we`re all angels, and that we love each other. We argue like…but the point is we respect each other.”

Bad Company are an uncompromising, totally unglamorous and slightly sleazy bunch. They`re not into dressing up -although on stage you`ll find a hint of sequins and satin – and off-stage you`ll find Kirke scruffed up in badged denims, Boz often hung-over and slightly seedy in a well-broken-in fur-coat and Mick Ralphs always charming but casual. And for the greater part of the six-hour coach journey to Newcastle on Friday night, Rodgers had a flecked woollen hat pulled over his thick black hair. He picked up the hat at a Birmingham Woolworth`s which is hardly the kind of shop one expects leading rock stars to tog themselves out at.
Still, Rodgers says he`s totally unconscious of his rock-star-as-erotic-image status.
“I like sex as much as anyone else. I like tight pants, but I don`t try and…,” he pauses, and re-affirms his statement. “I don`t think I project myself as a sex-symbol. I just project the songs I sing.”

Bad Company`s second British tour opened at Ipswich on Thursday evening with what the band call “an OK gig”. With just one day`s rehearsing behind them, it was the first time they`d played together since mid-September when their American tour finished in Boston. The Ipswich gig was essentially a warm-up concert, and the band regard the two nights at Newcastle City Hall – the venue where it all began some eight or so months ago – as the tour`s start proper.
Rather than travelling around in limos, as is the whim of most bands of their status, a coach has been hired – and stacked with generous supplies of Newcastle Brown, one bottle of Blue Nun, bread, butter, and various sandwich fillings. The coach is scheduled to leave their King`s Road office at seven on Friday evening. As the magic hour passes, only Kirke has materialised in the office which also contains their personal manager and one Maggie Bell.

Ms Bell has a new album out in the new year called “Suicide Sal”, and on it is one of Simon Kirke`s songs, “Hold On”. Kirke says he`s not the most prolific of writers, and reckons he`s written some eight tunes in as many years, but “Hold On” took Ms Bell`s fancy. Miming the actions of a drummer, Kirke hears the Bell treatment of his song for the first time as he waits for the rest of the group to show.
“I can only write things that I feel,” says Kirke. “If I go through an emotional experience I`ll get something out of that which is why my output is very small. `Hold On` was written because I couldn`t see anything in the offing after Free. I was trying to boost myself, really.”
Ralphs and Rodgers are next to show, and Boz, hung-over after a hectic night of ligging, the last to appear.
The coach leaves at eight. Rodgers, Kirke and Ralphs play cards (and Stevie lost his wad, snigger, snigger. – Ed.) while Boz recuperates at the rear of the bus. By the time the group arrive in Newcastle, some six hours later, Boz is ready for more, and sits up drinking with the coach driver until past six in the hotel.

Other than preparing for the tour, the group have spent their recent time mixing the second Bad Company album, as yet untitled. Apart from mixing one cut, the album`s completed and should be released early in the New Year – and it`s likely a single will come out a couple of weeks beforehand.
“I think it`s different from the first album,” says Rodgers. “We`ve branched out wider. We use strings on it, which is a thing we`ve never done before. One of the things about this group is that they`re all willing to try things regardless of whether it`s the other person`s idea or not.
“Since the first album we`ve all had a chance to get to know each other. It`s a rooter album.”
Kirke says that the first album was deliberately simple right down to the cover artwork, and he sees the second album as more adventurous – while Ralphs says it`s more assertive.

Despite the group`s overwhelming success Rodgers is emphatic that Bad Company are still in their early stages, “We`re still finding chords we`ve never found before. I think we have a sound which is ours because We`re Us. I would like to think of Bad Company as a group, and not as various individuals that came from other groups. I think we have an identity, but I think we have yet to put it over.
“I don`t think we`re desperately original at all – we try to be ourselves, and we try to write about what we really think about, whether it be love, booze, the music business or Life Itself. I think there`s a lot we can say that will Interest A Lot Of Other People.
“To compare Bad Company with Free is difficult, because Free`s at an end, and we`re at a beginning. I don`t know exactly where it`s going to go, but I like where it`s going.”


And what about Free? Did Rodgers think there was some kind of jinx on the group? “That I`ll never know. There was a time when it was going so well. It seemed like it would go on forever, and it suddenly came crashing down around our ears.
“To tell you the truth, I`ll never really understand exactly what happened. But it did. I had a job accepting that, but eventually I did accept that. I said to myself, `If that`s not going to be together I`d still rather play. So here I go.` And I just went into something else, and now I`ve found satisfaction in doing what I`m doing now.
“I tell you. I admit I`ve changed a lot. I`ve changed a lot because I`ve just begun to see what it really takes to put something together, and I`ve learnt a lot. I`ve realised that I need to be part of a group where everyone in it is equal, and we`re all sparking each other off. I`m very happy with this group because everyone is very relaxed.”

On stage that night in Newcastle, Rodgers is a different person to the amiable poker-playing beer-drinker of the previous evening. He`s every bit an erotic figure, clad in tight black leather pants and white shirt that becomes un-buttoned the longer he is on stage; and his singing is as moving as ever even though it could have been a lot louder.
Opening with a new song “Deal With The Preacher”, the band are tight if rather predictable. Their raw aggression is particularly evident in the following “Rocksteady”, and Kirke, mouth agape and head cocked to one side, is on splendid form, his rudimentary drumming providing a perfect anchor for the group.
The band play three more new songs, of which Rodgers` “Shooting Star” is the most ambitious. “Feel Like Making Love” bears a lot of resemblance to the softer side of Free, and Ralphs` “Good Lovin` Gone Bad” is in the “Can`t Get Enough” tradition, with the guitarist supplying Keith Richard-type chunk chords.

Rodgers is left alone onstage for the acoustic “Seagull” – a track from the “Bad Company” LP. He switches to electric piano for a good version of “Bad Company” and stays there for the old Free number “Easy On My Soul” which has the audience taking up the chorus.
Surprisingly enough, the audience stay seated until the set`s closing “Can`t Get Enough”, and it seems as though a Bad Company audience are into listening as well as bopping. The group encore with “Movin` On” and “The Stealer”.
As Rodgers says, the group are still new and, as yet, they haven`t forged a total identity the way Free did – and I`m still left thinking Free were the better band. But it is early days and, as Rodgers points out, there is no shortage of material.
“I don`t know how many songs I`ve written in the last year, but I can say that me and Mick have an amazing amount of ideas that we put together day by day. A lot of the new album has stemmed from ideas that we both had and put together. I`m just discovering a lot about Mick, and he`s discovering a lot about me. The songs just flow between us.
“I can write a song from imagination. I can imagine a situation, and for some reason it`s a very vivid situation that I write about. On the other hand I can get really mellow.

“`Shooting Star` is the first song that I`ve written that has a definite story” (of a boy who rockets to rock stardom and who eventually dies a rock star death with a bottle of whisky and box of pills by his bedside).
“It just came to me one night, so I started singing it. I sang the first half – and I thought to myself, `Well it`s very weird to include The Beatles in lyrics`. The first line is `Johnny was a schoolboy when he heard his first Beatles` song`. I thought about it, thinking everybody`s heard of The Beatles, and has been affected by The Beatles, so I left the line in and just continued with the song.”
Rodgers goes on to say how “Seagull” came about. “I was sitting on the beach at Portsmouth. I`d been up all night, and I happened to have a guitar on me. It was autumn and the whole place was deserted. `Seagull` sprang from that.”

How about a song like “Wishing Well”?
“At the time I wrote `Wishing Well` I was very concerned about the rest of the group in Free, like Paul Kossoff and Andy Fraser. That song was for them. I wanted them to stop sitting around thinking, and start to do something.”
The conversation turns to Rodgers` love of the Blues – after all, Free were initially a blues group, and a lot of that ancestry is still evident in Bad Company. “I`m very close to the Blues. I think that it expresses a lot for a lot of people `cause it`s so simple. I hate to get too complicated about anything, especially about music.
“The simpler it is the better. I try to put an idea into such a simple form that it`s so easy to understand. Otis Redding did that. He did that track `Change Is Gonna Come`. Man, I can listen to that anytime. If I feel down, he just says it all and makes me feel good. And that`s what I`d like us to do, to make tracks as good as that. I have an ambition, and that`s to turn people on like Otis Redding turned me on.

“I don`t really think I`m the best white singer there is, but I think I`m on the right track. I think Rod Stewart is great. He`s a very different personality to me. He`s very sunny, very bright and very personal with the audience.
“I love to communicate with people but I communicate in a different way. To be honest with you – when I started, I copied Rod Stewart. That track `Rock My Plimsoul` on `Truth` really knocked me out. It still does.”
Apart from Redding and Stewart, Rodgers currently listens a lot to Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and Ann Peebles. Did he think it was necessary to suffer to sing the blues with conviction?
“I think it helps. Compared to people like Ray Charles, whatever I`ve suffered is negligible. I`ve been through fairly hard times. It`s not really a thing I like to harp on. I came down to London and I didn`t have any food or anywhere to live, and during that time I picked up on the Blues. It expressed a lot to me regardless of whether I suffered a lot or not. The emotions people go through are really very simple when they`re expressed in a song, but they`re very complicated when you`re alone with them.
“And that`s what I think music can do – express things to people, bring them out of themselves, and make them happy.”

Did anybody really buy this single for the lyrics?

Did anybody really buy this single for the lyrics?

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: The People of Pan, The Pretty Things, Wings, Bruce Johnston, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Robert Fripp, Chaka Khan, David Essex, Brian Eno, Noah Howard, Mott The Hoople.

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

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be around or upwards of 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.