Month: September 2015

ARTICLE ABOUT Peter Gabriel (Genesis) FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, March 15, 1975

This is the first post on this blog with Genesis as the main subject. A fine band, but quite different with or without the primary interview object in this article. We feel the tensions between Gabriel and the rest of the band quite clearly here. Only a few months later, Mr. Gabriel was out of the band.


Gabriel`s Cosmic Juice

(not to be taken internally)

MAX BELL attempts to form substance from negativity with philosophisin` PETE GABRIEL of GENESIS. Also contains: “The Rock Journalist As Superstar – A Post-Grad Thesis.”

Rael strolled nonchalanty out of the Manhattan subway, wiping a spray gun on his white tee-shirt. The self-elected graffiti king rolled and pouted down the sidewalk cursing the wops and blacks, the whites and chicanos who had him numbered as a nothing, the ultimate outcast.
“So you think that I`m a tough kid? Well, I am and I don`t give a shit.”
Rael is all Peter Gabriel`s creation. One hundred and one per cent virgin violence, he`d boot your teeth down the back of your throat as soon as look at you.
That such a character should evolve at all and become the subject for examination under the rock `n` roll microscope isn`t surprising. He has roots in the most obvious territory: a mixture of James Dean, Sal Mineo and Warren Beattie with a fair measure of Rod Steiger thrown in on top. A Lee Strasberg wet-dream.
But, come on – Peter Gabriel?
A nice middle-class boy. Very shy and super polite. Withdrawn to the point of anonymity. Mention the word “interview” to him and he backs off like a startled rabbit.

Trying to put him at ease required nearly all of the two days with Genesis I was allowed.
But once pinned to a schedule he`ll acquiesce meekly – the lamb lies down.
He has a problem; it`s indicated at breakfast time. As various members of the party troop into the Hilton klatsch he greets them warmly, waving a friendly hand. Trouble is, they ignore him. Not deliberately, he`s just not there.
Grinning and shrugging he returns to his porridge:
“And I`m supposed to be a communicator. Oh well.”
Onstage it`s very different. Whether he`s the “Watcher”, “Cynthia”, “Narcissus”, or “Rael”, Gabriel strides the boards like Sir Henry Irving, an acting colossus with the audience in the palm of his hand. Ironically, he unwinds only in performance, bolting straight out of that shell.

Projecting one major character is his role in “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway”, Genesis` most ambitious work to date.
The story of Rael – condemned to life on the streets; subterranean adventures in a fantasy world populated by misfits and nightmares Edgar Allen Poe would have been proud to entertain.
“I got the story last summer and tossed the idea, in synopsis form, around in the usual manner until they agreed to do the whole thing. A lot of the music was already written. There`s a few influences which I couldn`t pin down. Dreams particularly.”
Guitarist Steve Hackett seems to have a better idea of what eats Gabriel:
“Everyone has skeletons in the cupboard. Peter`s got more than most. Mine are schoolgirls, his are snakes, Adam and Eve and the destruction of the apple.”
This ain`t rock `n` roll, this is insecticide.
Corruption and sexual deviation have always played a large part in most of Gabriel`s writings – only this time it`s less oblique and you can understand the message on several levels. One very kinky sequence involves the mythical Lamia, a voluptuous monster that preys on human flesh and sucks children`s blood.

It`s an obvious allusion to oral sex, but Peter seems to have prepared for any analysis by providing ready-made Freudian suggestion:
“Actually I`d been reading Jung at that period, so it was deliberate to a certain extent. I think the main thing I was striving for was the contrast between character and fantasy. It`s the idea of him being an outcast in a totally alien situation. I identify with him to a certain extent.”
But why the title? The Lamb is something of a throwaway and hardly plays a significant part in proceedings:
“You see, the lamb isn`t a symbol, so I was a bit worried about the title. He`s a catalyst for peculiarities that take place. The result is experiences Rael wouldn`t be expected to go through because he`s the least likely person to fall into all this pansy claptrap.”
In one way Rael`s mishaps are nothing more than the grotesque extremes of real life against which he rebels – anti -conformist, anti-society, anti-establishment. The discoveries he makes are painful and mostly by default:
“It isn`t quite `I saw God in bed`, but it amounts to the same thing. Like the Lamia uncovering his hidden personality. He`s not as butch as he hoped he would be. There`s a masculine and feminine in everybody and that brings out his romantic side.”

Gabriel smiles sheepishly and continues muttering through his porridge:
“He gets to discover more possibilities in his make-up than just flesh and blood, although in physical terms there`s no way he should survive.”
The eventual outcome of Rael`s adventures isn`t quite clear. Gabriel deliberately left him in limbo in the final and cryptic “It”:
“I don`t think he`s dead. Just going through the cosmic juice, man.”
So what`s `It` about, man?
“An attempt to form substance from negatives.”
Come again?
“For example, it`s like me saying I have a six-inch diameter red ball and it isn`t blue, green or yellow and it isn`t bigger than 12 inches or smaller than nine…er…well…my reasoning is a bit out there, never mind.
“You know how they approach drama in good suspense movies. You never see what`s so terrifying because they leave it up in the air without moulding or labelling it.”

That`s better, he`s opening up now and having, at last, managed to catch the waitress` eye, he surreptitiously tips a pot of honey into his coffee:
“My stomach works before my brain. Where was I? Oh yes, the Press.”
We kicked around the possibility that the more popular a band becomes the more likely the Press are to nail the poor bastards` heads to the floor and stamp on them:
“Huh. I`m surprised to hear anyone from the N.M.E. say that because in England it`s definitely true, the only place where we didn`t get good reviews last time. They haven`t exactly been noted for their enthusiasm before, either.
“It`s obvious to me that there`s a lot more to music criticism than criticising music. The elevation of rock journalists to superstars proves that. But this concept of the musical elite isn`t accurate. Once they hear a mellotron they close up, finished.”
But haven`t Genesis always laid themselves open to allegations of pretention?
“Your paper`s exposed it if it`s there. (Laughs quietly). We`re easy to put down. You can say the characters are far-fetched, the music over ornate, that we`re riding on my costume success. There – I`ve done it for you.
“However, in maybe ten years a group will emerge to take what we do a lot further. I look upon us as an early, clumsy prototype.”

The stonewall barrier Genesis are thrown up against has always been built on the attitude that condemns anything which tries to make rock `n` roll something more…important. Surprisingly Gabriel goes along with that viewpoint:
“I don`t like the arty tag we`ve got. There`s a vitality and an earthiness, too. I`ve always disliked `culture` and the snobbery that surrounds it. I believe in getting art out of the galleries and on to the streets, something which has begun to happen in this century.
“Anyone can relate to art forms now – there doesn`t have to be a separation between culture and non-culture.”
Now hold on. What you`re saying amounts to a deflation of the so-called creative process in order to get down to the grits:
“True. Status Quo are just as cultural as Wagner`s Ring Cycle. As to the pleasure people derive from the two I don`t know, but in terms of entertainment they are the same.”
So where would we be if Shakespeare had said “enough of this Hamlet nonsense, I think I`ll write a limerick instead”?
“Er…you take your craft to the best of your ability. Maybe what we do appeals to those with complicated tastes, I dunno. In Atlanta they billed us as the `Hottest Thing To Come Out Of England`s New Intellectual Rock Movement`. Didn`t like that at all.”


It`s impossible to tell when Gabriel is being completely serious and when he`s taking the piss.
The fact that he`s intelligent enough to parody the rock circus makes me wary of that spiel about art-on-the-streets. After all, he wrote “Get `Em Out By Friday” because he said social comment was getting to be unfashionable.
While lyrically he is a gas, the humour employed in the songs is essentially English (despite the visuals) – so why should Genesis` success be greater on the Continent where they can`t possibly understand the content?
Still the putsch continues – France, Italy, Germany, Scandinavia, all taken by storm:
“I know what the N.M.E. would say. They`d say it was because they can`t understand the lyrics! I think Continentals like the exaggeration and the sense of festival, whereas the English are more reserved. People having a good time is the purpose of our gigs; that`s where fun and art coincide.”
Another aspect of Gabriel that often passes unnoticed is the tendency towards self-parody whilst wiping up the remains left by other rock stars` questionable achievements. For example, the final line of “The Lamb Lies Down”: “It`s only knock and knowall, but I like it.” In a sense completely destroying the created atmosphere:
“Well, that`s partly aimed at the Press and it`s partly a throwaway in story terms. It gets back to the thing about art. While it`s fun to be pompous and sermonise it`s still an illusion, a grand illusion. If you can retain your sense of humour and be cynical, it`s better.
“I go right inside my lyrics and laugh at them at the same time.”

Only in Britain does a refusal to take Genesis seriously border on active distrust of their motives:
“In America I find it much healthier. There`s room for different opinions and you don`t have to justify yourself when you like a band. Here you do, they make you feel guilty or something. Americans didn`t mind that I was telling them about an American. I didn`t pretend to be anything other than an observer there for short periods, I wasn`t unleashing the secrets of New York.”
Anyone who still holds the precious opinion that Genesis ain`t a rock band has their head well buried. There`s going to be a big ownup when the new show hits perfidious Albion because it`s mostly as legit as any other breed of rock being toted for the public`s edification.
Gabriel has even started borrowing from ancient Jagger and enjoys every minute of it, obviously:
“Of course – who doesn`t? Is there a man alive who hasn`t performed his Jaggerisms in front of a mirror? I know I have.”
Can`t tell if Gabriel is worried by criticism or whether he remains aloof. Particularly as he`s getting bleary-eyed again and groping for the toast:
“Sorry…” (croak, splutter) “I`m not being very…” (here my tape indicates a general running-down noise, somewhat akin to a rusty wheelchair being pushed off Beachy Head with the occupant still strapped in) “communicative.
“Although no artist enjoys being slagged, it doesn`t matter if the Press never accepts us.”
And when might that day come?
“Not until we can afford the outrageous bribes you journalists charge.”

I left Gabriel contemplating a plate of scrambled eggs, and proceeded to track down another band member. Eventually I unearthed Steve Hackett, who was delighted to natter.
Recently, the rest of the group have grown increasingly pissed off at Peter getting the lion`s share of publicity. But while they grumble in private, they`re too reserved to force the issue.
Phil Collins, The Working-Class Drummer, used to act wild. Breaking glasses and spraying toothpaste at foreign waiters.
But he`s settled down to the quiet life as well.
While the rest of us hotfooted it for a meal with the three-headed Labelle, Phil settled down for the night with a cup of Horlicks. In fact, apart from one brief appearance in the hotel lobby, no-one saw Collins until he played the show as extrovertly as usual. According to Gabriel, Phil is a much-changed man and wanders lonely as a cloud, mumbling “Nobody likes a smart-ass” to himself.
Steve Hackett, minus beard and glasses, is perhaps the most talkative and easy-going. Rather apart from the others, but aware of his right to speak out:

“On-stage, it`s true – we choose to make ourselves anonymous. But it annoys me when people think Peter did everything right down to writing all the songs and designing the stage. On the last album he wrote less of the music than us.”
Was he concerned at the lukewarm reception Genesis generally received in this country? (Even down to the level where, because of their backgrounds, it was claimed they hadn`t, indeed couldn`t, pay their dues!).
“We`ve only made it through audiences. Any Press accolade has been a by-product.
“As for that dues thing – crap. We`ve been the most available band in the world for seven years. Available to the situation where everybody thinks they own a part of us when they don`t. We`ve played to half a million people on this European tour, and we`re still bloody making it.”
For once the facts are inescapable. Genesis in Europe is THE major thing. Neither the Stones nor The Who (not even Led Zeppelin) can outdistance their box-office receipts.
Young blades and old-timers alike were agreed that the Palais Des Sports gig was the best, response-wise, that they`d ever heard in gay Paree.
Hackett points out where the poor kids have been misunderstood.
“Too often they criticise the form without being able to perceive the spirit. We use a lot of establishment ideas that others don`t. Not values but instrumentation, a lot of traditional elements.
“See, the Stones stood for everything that was negative, they were always putting down. We`re not like that.”

Hackett`s loner stance doesn`t stop him enjoying the fruits of touring, but he`s never exactly anxious to walk on stage. Before gigs his guts churn and he`s often physically sick.
Once in Detroit eight guns were removed from various members of the audience as they entered the hall:
“If I`d known that before, that would have been it. Anything like that and I`m off, I don`t want to know. We were in Leicester once and there was a bloke throwing bottles at the stage. Mike (Rutherford) just stopped playing – crunch – looked at him – y`know, really shocked – and the guy got up and smashed him in the face. So we walked off.
“I was shaken for hours.”
The question of violence affects the group in varying degrees, but performing “The Knife” (particularly in Italy and France where all major gigs become political events) brings problems. What the swarthy Mediterraneans don`t realise is that “The Knife” is a send-up of revolutionary attitudes, a satire – as in joke.
Banks, at the best of times is nervous about it all, but Rutherford, very tall and laconic, enjoys the experience in a masochistic way.

None of them are prepared to let trouble interfere with their safety. After they refused to encore in Brussels there was a riot which Rutherford reckons changed policy a lot:
“Encores don`t mean so much that we`ll watch them tear the hall apart. It`s not such a big thing after all.”
One half of Hackett would rather be playing in the Marquee on Friday night – but the other half wins every time, despite the aggravation:
“In the past I`ve had days of supreme confidence and days of supreme depression. The only key to success is persistence and, if I want something, I don`t give up.
“At school they asked me what I wanted to be. I said `famous`. In a way it hasn`t taken me by storm. It`s slightly calculated but involves a lot of emotion, too.
“I`ve got there on my own terms.”

So Genesis are going to carry on writing their self-contained vignettes and using their mellotrons.
They`re making no attempt to compromise either their intelligence or their potential. They are a group, a unit, with equal say and variable influence – though, whether they like it or not, Gabriel will always attract the most publicity because he has to. He`s the star around which the others revolve.
Then again, as lyricist and vocalist his is the personality that hits you first.
For a brief moment Gabriel-as-Rael and Rael-as-Gabriel coalesce into one person speaking with a common voice:
“I`ll tell you something. We`re not going to be a band to sit still. We`ll self-destruct before we stop running.”

A nice full-page ad from Yes.

A nice full-page ad from Yes.

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: Lol Creme, Pilot, Ramases, David Bowie, Pub Rock Special, Charlie Parker, Alice Cooper.

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).
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John Lennon! What a guy! What can you say about this guy that hasn`t been said before? Well, I won`t even go there. I will just say that he is one of those musical geniuses that have been an important part of my life. Without him and a few others, my life would have been completely different in the way that it would have had a completely different soundtrack. As part of The Beatles and as a solo artist he made a deep impact in my and so many others lives. We still sing his songs and will continue to sing his songs for many generations to come – maybe for all time? Thank you, John!



By Lisa Robinson

Three years ago, John Ono Lennon, US resident and then-political animal, discovered that, so far the United States Government was concerned, he was persona most definitely non grata. Nixon`s Attorney General John Mitchell is said to have ordered a campaign of harassment backed up with legal proceedings designed to convince Lennon (and any others who cared to be watching) that the Land of the Free was a land limited to those who approved of Nixon`s policies – so far as foreigners went.
The official reason? That Lennon`s British drug conviction disbarred him from US residency. The actual reason? That Lennon`s political activities made him a pain in the Nixon ass.
Since then, George Harrison (also with a British drug conviction), has visited the US freely – and even went to dinner at the White House a month ago.
Lennon`s deportation order still stands. Last week, Mitchell was sentenced to two-and-a-half years` porridge for criminal activities committed while a member of the Nixon Administration. Last year, one of the police officers on whose evidence JL was originally convicted was himself sentenced for perjury (in a different drugs case). And we all know what happened to Nixon.
Lennon`s conviction still stands. Here he talks to NME in New York concerning his long fight to be treated as a normal human being by the United States Government – and of his plans for the future in case reason should not, finally, prevail.

NME: What`s the situation at present with your deportation case?
JOHN: Well, It’s hellish really, I don’t know where to start. It’s going on the same as before. In general it’s the same, for me it`s the same – they’ve taken the stance that I have to leave. They always say 30 days, but that passed months ago. They say that once a year.
It’s so complicated; It started out because I had a British conviction for possessing marijuana – which was planted by a police sergeant, which everybody in Britain knows now because the guy’s in jail – not for my case though, for somebody else’s case.
Yoko and I weren`t married then…it was a bit weird in England…I won`t even go into the whole story how we were busted -we were busted by about 20 people, there were dogs…it`s a whole film.
They busted us in the morning and they wouldn’t let us get dressed. It took them hours. There was a question in Parliament as to why so many people were needed to arrest two people. Actually in the end there was no case against Yoko.

NME: No one ever advised you to fight the thing?
JOHN: No, I was just panic stricken… I was a wreck. Aaahh! Cops! In jolly England! You know I still half believed about the good old bobby helping you down the street. And I was really nervous about Yoko, ’cause we’d just got living together, and it was all in public. I thought they’d deport her. So I copped a plea, thinking it was just a misdemeanour.
I figured, `What the hell, it’s just a hundred pounds…it’s just crazy,` and it’s been going on since 1971. The first conviction came down in 1973 when they said I had to leave the U.S. I couldn’t be a permanent resident of the United States with a British conviction.
Now all the people involved are gone; the prosecution councel and head of immigration. And we’ve just received permission to interview them, to question them about papers.
I`ve found out that Senator Strom Thurmond sent a letter to John Mitchell when he was Attorney General; Thurmond was the head of a congressional committee. Whether we’ll get our hands on that letter I don’t know, but in essence it said, `This guy’s looking to stay here and we suggest no`.
Our lawyers always said that the instructions for my case were coming from Washington, and the New York people kept insisting it was a local case. But we knew it wasn’t just a local case, and this letter from Thurmond could prove it. Just like we knew we were being wiretapped. But how do you prove that?
We knew we were being wiretapped on Bank Street. There were a helluva lot of guys coming in to fix the phones…and there were two guys outside who kept following me around in a car. I went on the Dick Cavett show and said it – this was long before Watergate – and people just thought, ‘Oh, crazy Lennon, who is gonna bother following him? What an egomaniac’… But we had been associated with Jerry Rubin and John Sinclair and little rallies, and were seen around those people… It really was like a mini-Watergate.
You know, incidentally, there was a CBS documentary I saw last week about Nazis in America – known Nazis who are here, famous Nazis who killed from 15,000 people upwards. And the guy who was prosecuting me got taken off my case and put onto this Nazi thing. On TV he said that someone in his office, in the immigration department, had stolen his file on Nazis -from the safe in his office.
That means someone in his own group is protecting these people. They’re so busy protecting them, but they’re attacking me.

NME: Why then, do you want to live here?
JOHN: Because it’s the same everywhere. Name somewhere where it’s different. It’s not as if it’s a choice between living here or in England where it’s different. It’s the same in England on a different level, and the Americans and the English are hand in glove.

NME: How frustrating is all of this to you emotionally?
JOHN: At one time it was getting to be a bug because I had to keep going to court, and court cases got to be a way of life. It was hassling me because that was when I was hanging out with Elephant’s Memory and I wanted to rock, to go out on the road. But I couldn’t do that because I always had to be in New York for something…and I was hassled.
I guess it showed in me work. Whatever happens to you happens in your work. So while on the surface I tried to make it appear as if I were making a game out of it, trying not to take it seriously, there were periods of real paranoia. Even my friends would say, ‘Come on John… what do they want with you?’
And you know, I see now that Jane Fonda is suing the governemnt for millions. When I first heard that I thought, ‘Ah-ha!’ and then ‘Uh-oh’…like if they left me alone would they be afraid I’d make a fuss and start suing afterwards? I guess it’s probably going to have to be the President who decides, a pure political decision when my paper comes up – as it does every now and then – into his consciousness.

NME: Is the President aware of all of this?
JOHN: Oh, you bet. I had a friend who visited there, right? I mean you can’t have one junkie in the White House and kick another out, can you? That’s being flippant of course, neither George nor I are junkies…
Anyway, they keep falling back on that law about misdemeanours, and it’s some trip to change the law here. Even though in England that law has been reversed…

NME: But they could get around it…
JOHN: Of course they can, because they’ve got around it for Nazis, for big dope dealers, big heroin-heavy stuff dealers. My lawyer has a list of people – hundreds of people in here who got around the law for murder, rape, double murder, heroin, every crime you can imagine.
I want to end it, but I can go on as long as they go on. It’ll probably go on until it gets to the Supreme Court.

NME: How much of your time is spent on this?
JOHN: Well, when I’m not talking about it, I think about it occasionally. I mean it’s on my list of lawsuits. I was just talking about it with Yoko last night; there seem to be an awful lot of lawsuits involved with rock and roll.

NME: There’s Allen Klein, right?
JOHN: Yes, that’s about 20. He’s suing me and Yoko and all the ex-Beatles and everybody that ever knew them… And he’s suing me individually, me collectively, any version of me you can get hold of is being sued.
But immigration is the important one. The others are all just money. I mean, if they can take Helen Reddy, they can take me…

NME: Would you want to become a U.S. citizen?
JOHN: I’m too involved with this to think about citizenship. I’d prefer to do a P. G. Wodehouse; I found out before he was knighted that he was living here, and I thought well, that’s cool. Nobody thinks P. G. Wodehouse is not English – he was English until his last breath and he lived on Long Island.
And that suits me fine. I’m English but I want to live here. And the funny thing about America is that there’s almost no such thing as an American. You go on the streets and everybody’s Italian or Irish or Israeli or English or Jamaican or Nigerian… and if you go out into the sticks you’ve got the German group or the Dutch group and the names tell you which race dominates.
It’s just a pack of Europeans living here with Africans, Indians, and Asians thrown in. Thousands of Chinese, Japanese… it’s like the old gag about the melting pot.
I always liked Liverpool and London – places like that that had a lot of different races living in them. You could go to Soho and see all kinds of races on earth and I like that, but there’s even more of a mixture here. My ideal is to be able to travel, that’s the thing I really miss most.
I miss England, Scotland, Wales, all that sentimental stuff, but I also miss France, Holland… Germany I haven’t been to those places for years. I’d like to go to South America, I’ve never been… I’d like to be based here, and just travel.

NME: Do you ever think you’ll be so overcome with all the legal hassles that you’ll get like Lenny Bruce and become obsessed with learning the law?
JOHN: No. I got obsessed with the politics for a while…but law is, well, I could never take it that seriously. At a certain point I would just see the funny side and say screw it. The worst that happens with most of these lawsuits is that they’ll take more money off of me, and the worst that would happen with immigration is that I’d have to move.

NME: Where would you move? I’ve heard rumours of Canada…?
JOHN: No…they always say that because whenever I go to Canada the Canadians ask me if I like Canada. So I say yes, I like Canada, I like Montreal and Toronto – I don’t know the rest of it…and the next minute they say I’m going to live there.
And they always ask, ‘Have you ever thought of living here?’ Well – every country I’ve ever been in I’ve thought could I live here…

NME: If you attempted to be a U.S. citizen, would it be easier, or more difficult because of your present status?
JOHN: Well, unless I get rid of this thing I can’t even consider it. I mean if I can’t get a green card, no way can I be a citizen, not with a misdemeanour. See, the law in England has changed since the time when all the rock stars were busted; that tricky law where you were responsible if the building had marijuana in it… you were responsible if you owned the building.
No possession. I never had any stuff on me. It was mysteriously found in the building, in the apartment. I think they’ve wiped the slate clean and it’s retroactive in England, but not here.

NME: What can people do about this?
JOHN: Well the English really can’t do anything, except that those who care could write to the American Embassy. The thing with politicians and ambassadors is that if they get one letter, they count it as twenty. One letter keeps them aware, it keeps them realising about it. But it’s really a bore for me and I’m sure a bore for people listening about it…

NME: Does it help when you have a hit album, keep a high profile…so to speak?
JOHN: Well you see more of me if I’ve got a product to sell, it’s as simple as that. Otherwise I`m only seen if I feel like goofing around to a few openings with friends or hanging out in the ‘rock biz`.
But when you`ve got product out you have to be seen or they’ll forget. This sort of thing reminds the powers-that-be of me and what I represent.

NME: Can that work against you?
JOHN: No…no. Because power is power, whatever power I have they’re aware of it. Power doesn’t frighten power, it makes them respect it – that’s their business. You’ve got the bomb, we’ve got the bomb. Everything’s okay. If you aint got the bomb you don’t even get a look-in.
So I’m always aware of keeping my bomb, you know? Even though I blow it a few times, I always manage to put my bomb back together again, because that power is necessary. It’s not good if I don’t put records out, and become invisible, and go away – because then they come right in and say nobody gives a damn… people have forgotten about you.


NME: Let’s just say that when and if there’s a happy ending to all of this, you know – silver lining and all – and there comes a day when you’re knighted in England, or the Academy Awards helps you back to receive a special award, what would your reaction be? Would you tell them to mess off?”
JOHN: Well, there will be a happy ending. But I have no idea what I’ll be doing when I`m 70 or 80 like Charlie Chaplin…or P.G. Wodehouse. I don’t really know Wodehouse`s story but there was something weird about him – about being captured in France by the Nazis and doing broadcasts, and I think that was one of the reasons he left, although he was forgiven.
But the real official forgiveness was when they knighted him last year, and he died happy, right? So, I’m not really interested if I get knighted when I’m 70. I’ll deal with that when it comes. I want it now – not the knighthood, just a green card and a clean passport and the cash I earn in the band in my own name. And I’ll let my music, or my art, speak for me.
If they give me knighthood at the age of seventy I’ll deal with it then. Sir John…

NME: To turn to your music for a moment, what happened at Madison Square Garden when you were to have performed with George (Harrison)? Is it true that Klein had the place staked out with subpoenas?
JOHN: Well, Klein was chasing George all over New York. George was running down back-elevators. I mean, Ringo won’t come to New York. I live here so I get ALL the papers and I’m always doing depositions. See, at the time George was doing his concerts, we were also finalising the Apple papers. And what actually happened was at the last minute I wouldn’t sign it. Actually my astrologer said it wasn’t the right time to sign it.
George got a little angry with me for not signing it, and he decided to finish the tour as he`d started it. That was cool by me, because I’d just done Elton, but I did not want to do George… because it was expected. But he probably made the right decision… I saw him afterwards, at the party.

NME: Was it true that you, or the McCartneys, were denied a backstage pass?
JOHN: Well, there was some funny business… but you know, I like him, I love him, we’re all right… I don’t really want to make a big deal about it.
The thing is just that the business was always interfering with the pleasure. It was hard to deal with each other anyway.
I`d seen a lot of Paul and Ringo in the last two or three years – Paul always comes to New York, or I see Ringo in LA – but I hadn’t seen George.
So we were trying to talk to each other after not having seen each other in three years. During that time we`d only been vaguely communicating through lawyers. We tried to communicate in the hotel, and I hung around the hotel for a few days, but it was hard.
And then I didn’t turn up on the day that I was supposed to sign this agreement. But I finally did sign it, in Disneyland. I wanted to go over it one more time. And I had already seen the concert in Nassau so I wasn’t really planning to go to Madison Square Garden anyway.
I don’t really enjoy sitting in shows, no matter whose they are, because you either have to go backstage with all that hassle or sit in front where you get all the people looking at you. I know Mick (Jagger) and everybody are always doing it, but it wears the shred out of me. Anyway, there aren`t very many people who I`d want to see in concert. I’d only go because they’re friends, you know. I prefer records, I always did. It’s like watching a painter paint – just give me the painting.

NME: Do you have any plans to perform in concerts on your own?
JOHN: Well, performing’s not my greatest kick. I had fun with Elton, but that was just because it was Elton. He was really more nervous than I was, because he was nervous for me. I think he felt, ‘Poor old bugger, maybe he’ll collapse,’ I don’t know…
It was just a weird feeling being up there alone, but I knew Elton, and I knew the band, and it was just a one-off thing. Don’t expect to see me all over the place.
I promised him if ‘Whatever Gets You Through The Night’ got to number one, I’d go one with him – little thinking that it would.
I might do odd TV, or TV specials, where I can control the thing… like in the studio. See, I like to see it, I like to HAVE something afterwards. After the concert you don’t get anything – you either get cash or a headache. I even hate live albums really, even though I’ve put a couple out.

NME: What did you think of George’s shows?
JOHN: Well, I saw the one without Ravi – he`d had a heart attack. But I don’t know… that night the band really cooked, the show I saw was a good show. My personal opinion was that even though I know what George was trying to do, I don’t think it worked with Ravi…
I mean, I’m no one to say what works and what doesn’t work really, but my personal opinion just was that he would have been better without. I think Ravi’s great, but it might have been better to keep Ravi separate. I want to see George do George. I’m with the kids… whether it’s George Beatle or George ex-Beatle.

NME: Do you think that he’s so deeply involved with the Eastern thing that he can’t separate… that was George being George? That he can`t really do the rock and roll thing effectively any more?
JOHN: Well, he’s just cut off, really. It’s easy to get cut off. If you’re surrounded by people who aren’t rocking, then you just forget what it is. And he`s so inolved in the Eastern trip… You know, if you don’t listen to the radio, know who the new artists are, the lastest records… if you switch off from that you don’t know what people listen to.
That happened to me in England. ‘Whatever Gets You Through The Night’ didn’t even crawl around in England, so I said, ‘Send me a tape of the top ten,’ and it’s nowhere like America. I was just – my God, three years… I had no idea what was going on there.
Now I get them to send it over every few months…it all seems to go boom-da-da, boom-da-da, boom-da-da…
The album did alright, it could have done better. It would help if I was more visible there, but I can’t be. And in Britain the TV is sewn up. You`ve got to be in the charts to get on TV, and you can’t get on the TV unless you’re in the charts.
The BBC came over here and filmed me. I guess they figured that the single would jump into the Top 20. But it didn’t. It fell over, so they didn’t use the film.
Now ‘Number Nine Dream’ is doing a bit better, I hear, so that gives you a clue. I think they’re going to like the rock and roll oldies album better than anything, because that’s what they seem to be playing over there. But they’re doing it a bit tongue in cheek, I think. I did it for real.

NME: Do you think that there would be tremendous excitement if you went back to England now? Hysteria?
JOHN: No. There was no hysteria when I was living there, so why should there be now? I mean the Beatles nostalgia and getting back together bit goes on as much here as it does there, maybe more… are you kidding?
I do a lot of radio when I have an album out – and all the people who call up want to know WHEN the Beatles are going to get back together, from Minnesota to Los Angeles, to New York… to the hippest and coolest, they want to know when and if and what`s it gonna be like.
All hysteria is manufactured anyway. At the ‘Sgt Pepper’ opening it was announced, ‘He’s going to be there,’ so it was bloody Beatlemania going on. I got a fright, because I didn’t really know what I was letting myself in for.
I got the deja vu, as they say, because it was bloody ‘Hard Day’s Night.’ But that’s because it had been manufactured, and it was ‘Sgt Pepper’ and they probably expected all four. Ever since George did Bangla Desh they expect everybody to come on with him.

NME: Why are there so many lawsuits?
JOHN: Ask any rockstar about lawsuits. And the more money there is, the more lawsuits there are, the bigger the artist, the more lawsuits. I mean, people sue me for anything; that bloody fan with the Instamatic who sued me for hitting her. I never touched her, never went near the girl – in the Troubadour, the famous Troubadour incident.
She sued me, and I had to pay her off to shut her up. That happens all the time, she just wanted money. People sue you if you bump into them on the street. I do admit to chasing some weird people around, but she was not in the scene….

NME: Weird people?
JOHN: Well, I was not in the best frame of mind, and I was wildly drunk. But I was nowhere near this chick, she’s got no photographs of me near her. It was my first night on Brandy Alexanders, and they tasted like milkshakes. The first thing I knew I was out of me gourd.
Of course Harry Nilsson was no help feeding them to me, saying ‘Go ahead John.’ It is true I was wildly obnoxious, but I definitely didn’t hit this woman who just wanted to get her name in the papers and a few dollars.

NME: Doesn’t all this wear you down?
JOHN: Well, I’ve come out of it. Last year, with me personal life and the Apple business, the Klein business and the immigration business… I mean, you don’t want to admit it while it’s happening that that’s what’s making you go barmy.
You’re still living every day and you think you’re just going to a party, then you end up throwing up in the toilet. Everything was excessive, and you’re not quite in control of yourself; you can’t lie back with the hangover and say now why did that happen to me…

NME: It’s surprising that it didn’t get to you more…
JOHN: Well, that was enough. I just woke up in the middle of it and thought… there’s something wrong here. I`d better straighten myself out.’ After I deal with this last batch of lawsuits, I aint gonna have anymore. I don’t know how they happen. One minute you’re talking to someone, the next minute they’re suing you.

NME: As far as your personal life is concerned, you seem ecstatic to be back here with Yoko…
JOHN: Well I am. It’s like – and this is no disrespect to anybody else I was having relationships with – but I feel like I was running around with me head off, and now I got me head back on. Yoko and I were always in touch, either on the phone or in one way or another.
I just sort of came home, is what happened. It’s like I went out to get a coffee or a newspaper somewhere and it took a year…like Sinbad. I went on a boat and went around the world and had a mad trip which I’m glad is over.
Yoko and I have known each other for nine years, which is a long friendship on any level. It was a long year, but it’s been a nine-year relationship, a seven-year marriage – maybe it was the seven-year crutch.
And apart from the pain we caused each other, it probably helped us. We knew we were getting back together, it was just a matter of when. We knew – everybody else might not have, but we did.

NME: Actually, there wasn’t that much press attention to the separation as one might have expected.
JOHN: Well, I read more about myself than you probably do, and I’ll tell you there was. I mean, they would catalogue everyone you went around with, and things like “Lennon In Florida Trip”…things like Rona Barrett. I think she wrote that Yoko was living with my ex-wife in a “strange relationship”. She was putting that around… we got the clippings and everything.
I mean that was dead wrong, because Yoko was very definitely NOT living with my ex-wife in a “very feminist relationship!” I see them all, because I’ve got a clipping service and I get all the newspapers, and you can bet your life somebody’s going to send you the clippings…

NME: Yeah, your friends…
JOHN: Yes, all your best friends let you know what’s going on. I was trying to put it round that I was gay, you know. I thought that would throw them off… dancing at all the gay clubs in Los Angeles, flirting with the boys… but it never got off the ground.

NME: I think I’ve only heard that lately about Paul..
JOHN: Oh, I’ve had him, he’s no good. (laughs).

NME: What`s this about recording with Bowie?
JOHN: Well, he was doing “Across The Universe” and I had sort of met him once in LA and met him again here. That was an old song of mine. I gave it away because we made a lousy version of it, and then Spector made an improved lousy version of it and it ended up on the “Let It Be” LP which none of us would have anything to do with.
So I just went down to Electric whatever, where he was recording, and I did whatever you do. Then he, or the guitarist, had this sort of a lick, and we made a song out of it, called “Fame”.
It’s an interesting track. So that’s the extent of it, and they’ll be on his new album – the one with “Young Americans” on it.

NME: I’d like to clear up one of those myths… about Brian Epstein “packaging” the Beatles. How true is that?
JOHN: Everything is true and not true about everything. I mean, we certainly weren’t naive. We were no more naive than he was. I mean, what was he?…He served in a record shop.
So Epstein was serving in a record shop and he had nothing to do, and saw these sort of…rockers, greasers, playing loud music and a lot of kids paying attention to it. And he thought, well “This is a business to be in,” and he liked it – he liked the look of it.
He wanted to manage us, and he told us that he thought he could manage us and we had nobody better so we said all right, you can do it.
Then he went around shopping, getting us work, and it got to a point where he said, “Look, if you cut your hair you’ll get this”… For at that time it was longer than in any of the photographs. It was generally cut or trimmed for the photographs; even in school photographs your hair was cut the day before, or when you had a holiday. Somehow your parents always managed to cut your hair.
But there were some private pictures that show it was pretty long for those days, and greased back, hanging around.
There was a lot of long hair on the teddy boys… the Tony Curtises that grew larger and larger because they never went to the hairdresser.
We were pretty greasy. Outside of Liverpool, when we went down South in our leather outfits, the dance hall promoters didn’t really like us. They thought we looked like a gang of thugs. So it got to be like Epstein said, “Look if you wear a suit…”, and everybody wanted a good suit, you know? A nice sharp, black suit man… We liked the leather and the jeans but we wanted a good suit, even to wear offstage. “Yeah, man, I’ll have a suit”.
So if you wear a suit, you’ll get this much money… all right, wear a suit. I`ll wear a suit. I’ll wear a bloody balloon if somebody’s going to pay me. I’m not in love with the leather THAT much.
He was our salesman, our front. You’ll notice that another quirk of life is – I may have read this somewhere – that self-made men usually have someone with education to front for them, to deal with all the other people with education. Now Epstein had enough education to go in and deal with the hobnobs… and it’s the same thing now. If I have a lawsuit, I have to get a lawyer.
Epstein fronted for the Beatles, and he played a great part of whatever he did. He was theatrical – that was for sure. And he believed in us. But he certainly didn’t package us the way they say he packaged us.
He was good at his job, but to an extent he wasn’t the greatest businessman. He was theatrical and he believed. But you have to look at it this way: if he was such a great packager, so clever at packaging products, whatever happened to Gerry and the Pacemakers and all the other packages? Where are they? Where are those packages? Only one package survived, the original package. It was a mutual deal. You want to manage us? Okay, we’ll let you. We ALLOW you to – we weren’t picked up off the street. We allowed him to take us.
Paul wasn’t that keen, but he’s more conservative in the way he approaches things. He even says that himself – and that’s all well and good – maybe he’ll end up with more yachts.

NME: Did you go to Allen Klein because of the Stones?
JOHN: Well, I reckoned Klein was all right because of the Stones. I thought Mick was together – see, this is the fallacy. Everyone always thinks everyone else is together. You’re together yourself or forget it.

NME: You should always go by your instincts…
JOHN: I know I’m trying to learn. It’s a hard thing to learn after being programmed for life not to use your instincts, you know.
Women use them a bit better than men. One benefit you got from slavery was that you were emotional… that’s cool. But men were supposed to make decisions or reason and intellect, so it always interfered with your instinct. But my instinct is what has always saved me from lots of dragons…

A really nice ad from Mr. Cooper.

A really nice ad from Mr. Cooper.

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: Labelle, Chaka Khan, Chuck Berry, Lou Reed, Uriah Heep, Jack The Lad, Richard Thompson and Linda, Elton John.

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 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.


Bands sometimes lose band members because of “musical differences”. Most of the time there are some other kind of differences than musical ones that are the cause for someone leaving. In this interview, Ken Hensley is quite frank about the reasons for sacking Gary Thain.
As we know now, Thain unfortunately had a lot of trouble with drugs. Heroin took his life at the age of 27 in December 1975. All in all, a sad story about a young life wasted too early, but when a band have a “non-functioning” member I really don`t think they have much choice. As they say; the show must go on, and in a competitive business like the music business you just don`t have the time to wait for someone to hopefully clean up their act. Tragically, when you cut someone loose from the band, it doesn`t help their survival rate in the long run, but in these situations when you have a lot of people depending on the band (Management, promoters, roadies, truck drivers and so on…), the solution may be brutal but inevitable.
Have an interesting read.


When a man`s gotta put in the boot…

It`s no use calling it anything else. Uriah Heep own up.

By Tony Stewart

The Uriah Heep management seem to have given Gary Thain, the band`s former bassist, what is commonly known as a hefty kick in the groin.
You may recall that a couple of weeks ago it was announced that Thain and Heep had “amicably” parted company, but, rather unexpectedly, the management issued another statement the following week insisting Thain had actually been sacked.
Quite why they should find such a revelation necessary is uncertain, perhaps somebody in the Heep organisation is not so very `umble.
It had been known for some time that all was not well within the Heep camp. Last autumn Thain had a public confrontation with the manager, Gerry Bron, over what Thain claimed was a lack of consideration following a severe electric shock he received on stage in Dallas.
By the time of their British tour in October, all seemed well on the Thain-Bron front, but there was now unrest among the other members of the group. Ken Hensley, their musical director, made it known he was dissatisfied with the band`s musical progress, although David Byron and Mick Box, the singer and guitarist respectively, disagreed.
Another major confrontation seemed imminent.

“That was,” Hensley now says of the article in NME which revealed the situation, “the first of a series of controversial interviews which stirred things up.”
We`re sitting in a pub just round the corner from Nova studios, where Hensley has been putting the final touches to a second solo album, which sounds promising.
“I think at the time we were talking before,” Ken continues, sucking on an eight inch cigar, “I was expressing my own very personal feelings. I felt embittered by the lack of attention paid to the music, and by all the stuff that was going on about business.
“I`d reached a situation where I was so out of my depth when it came to talking about big finance and things, that I was reacting, probably over reacting, against it. But it had also got to the point where it was no good bottling it up any more.
“I felt the business thing was taking too much priority,” he summarises, “and the music was being neglected.”
Ken goes on to say that generally there was a feeling of frustration within the band, caused by the emphasis on business affairs, and by other problems – like Gary Thain.

“We felt for some time,” Hensley states, “we were carrying Gary. He`s a great bass player, nobody would deny that…”
“He`s done the band a tremendous service musically..”
“The inconsistency of the situation was obviously getting everybody uptight. You know, four people doing five people`s job makes it that much more difficult. The unsettled atmosphere and the lack of progress was getting to everyone in a different way.
“I think the situation with Gary was desperately unfortunate because he`s not a strong person physically, and he`s felt the pressure of being on the road a lot more than anybody else. He`s come very close to cracking up at times.
“But we respected his musicianship so much that rather than doing the obvious thing and just giving him the boot and getting somebody else, we nursed the situation along, hoping it would get better.
“When that thing happened in Dallas it was rather more serious than we chose to advertise at the time, and then the subsequent increase in his personal problems just made it impossible for us to protect the situation any more. It just had to come to a head, otherwise I could see us all getting so pissed off that we`d all jack it in.”


But when Thain and Heep parted company, the band wasn`t on the road, so how could this have affected his position in the band?
“The long term effects of heavy touring programmes,” he explains reasonably, “which we had undertaken since Gary had joined, had accumulated. It was the cumulative effect of those tours that was dragging Gary down, to the point where even the simplest things were becoming a big effort for him, and he just couldn`t manage.”
It could be construed that Thain was the scapegoat, and was ousted in the belief it would pacify the feeling of frustration and unease in the band. But I doubt it.
Hensley has proved in the past to be honest, brutally so at times, and there is no reason to doubt him now. And he does mention Thain`s personal problems – “he had a lot on his mind with his girlfriend” – which diverted a lot of his devotion and attention away from the band.
“I sympathise with him 100 per cent, but I think it`s very important we made the move at the time, and I think it will turn out for the best, because I`ve been of the opinion for a long time that the band has needed a new creative catalyst, and an injection of new blood to help us find a freshness.”

He also feels the overall Heep situation has now been resolved by openly discussing problematic areas and coming to a few new conclusions.
“The result is everybody is co-operating much more closely than ever before on the new Uriah Heep album we`ve been recording.”
A certain disenchantment remains in the band though, because they`ve had to postpone work on their new set until a bass player is found, which should be sometime at the beginning of this month.
“Now,” says Ken, “we`re all pretty pissed off with the fact we`re hanging around and virtually doing nothing. But I`m sure we`ll all forget it quite quickly if we find the right guy.”
Ah yes, the lemonade touch to what was a pint of bitter, you could analogise. But don`t they regret what has happened with Gary Thain?
“No, in actual fact it`s quite the reverse,” responds Hensley unhesitantly. “Obviously we were very disappointed when we had to finally part company with Gary, because nobody wants to break up a winning combination, which is what our record sales and our concerts were proving we were, even though some of the criticism was adverse.
“But on the re-bound we now have an atmosphere of optimism. I`m trying to make it sound not too sadistic, but out of this bad situation we all feel something good`s going to come. So we`re considerably encouraged by the fact everybody`s taken it on the chin, and we`re as determined, as we`ve always been, to prove we can go on to greater things.

The Sweet were doing very well in the reader polls.

The Sweet were doing very well in the reader polls.

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: Labelle, Chaka Khan, Chuck Berry, Lou Reed, John Lennon, Jack The Lad, Richard Thompson and Linda, Elton John.

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 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.


I guess Lars Ulrich of Metallica may be one of this band`s biggest and most famous fans. Metallica recorded the Budgie song “Breadfan” as a B-side during the …And Justice for All sessions. Hopefully the original songwriters earned a bit of money from that one. Feel free to tip Mr. Ulrich about this article – I guess he would like to read it if he haven`t already!

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No birds
No booze
No glitter
No money
No…life at all is it? So what motivates bands like BUDGIE? Yes, you`ve guessed it folks – the answer is integrity

Playing In The Band

Seven years on the road. Hardly a nibble at the charts. Solid following in most parts of the country. The freedom to play what they like. Not a lot of ready.
It could be any number of bands. In fact it`s Budgie, but I thought it`d be interesting to see what life was like for the average musician; the people who are in it for the music and the performance, not for the cars and the glitter, the birds and the booze.
It started as a conversation in a pub about mistakes on stage. Burke Shelley and Tony Bourge were describing recent occasions when they`d slipped.
“Everyone does it from time to time,” said Burke, “Especially if you`ve been off the road for a few weeks recording and you just do one gig – as I did the other week.”
Burke apparently proved worthy of his name, and despite the fact that he leads the band from behind his bass he let them all change into D while he was still pumping out runs in A. “Normally the band notices it and it can spoil your entire evening for you, but you cover up so that the audience shouldn`t notice at all.”

Bourge said that the worst thing – when a band hadn`t played for a few nights – was getting halfway through a number and realising you couldn`t remember how you arranged the ending.
“It always comes back to you at the last moment. When you get there, suddenly it all clicks into place.”
It`s true that mistakes on stage are very difficult to spot because a good musician will always try to cover them up. But another musician can spot them – because he is familiar with the expressions that flit across stage when someone plays a bummer.
It`s far easier to make a mess of what you are doing, of course, when your foldback system isn`t working properly. A decent PA and adequate monitors are the biggest problem facing new bands today. Budgie have been using a Marshall set up with a small Marshall desk. But it`s not really big enough for them, and they have been thinking of buying some secondhand bass bins and adding to the desk.

A ready-made PA to suit their needs would involve them in something like £15,000, which the band just haven`t got. So what does the band get?
“We go out for between £400 and £500 a night,” says Burke. “But that has to pay for transport, expenses, road crew, maintenance and so forth. Most of the money is ploughed straight back into the band.”
In fact Burke estimates that the band members make around £50 a week, which isn`t a great deal for working something like a 12-hour day, seven days a week, come rain or shine. Burke remembers having to go on stage with a throat infection because there was a telephone bill that needed paying.
“If the audience were familiar with the songs I don`t know what they thought that night, because all I could do was grunt them out like a soul singer.”


Fifty quid a week may sound a lot of money if you`re still at school or college, but it`s not much for a musician with a wife, kids and a mortgage. Why was it, d`you think, that blue denim became so popular with bands? It wasn`t fashion so much as the fact that that was all they could afford….
The money Budgie makes from publishing is used to pay for things the band needs. There`s no income from the record sales at present because that money was given to them in the form of an advance and is long since spent.
Of course, Budgie are a little different from many bands in that they`re attempting to pay for everything themselves – the instruments, equipment and the van they own. Whereas other bands are tempted by offers from backers to set them up with good equipment.
Burke says he didn`t fancy taking the risk and finding the band tied to an agency or manager who could dictate what they did under the threat of taking their gear away.

We discussed the system in America. There, with each big town having its own vast stadium, it isn`t viable for the band to cart the sort of equipment needed from town to town. Instead they hire it on the spot and the equipment is built to suit the venue.
One major problem with gigging around concert halls is that the PA really needs to be designed for the hall. Inevitably there`ll be some halls where your PA sounds dire. Tony remembers one club in Cardiff that`s notorious for bad sound. The PA is yet to be designed to cope with it.
“I remember The Who cancelled a gig there once because the sound was so bad.”
The American answer to this problem doesn`t work in the UK to any great extent. There are PA hire companies – and very good equipment they have, too – but imagine trying to fit together gear of a standard that would sound equally good in the Hammersmith Odeon, Wembley and the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
Budgie, then, are stuck in what Burke and Tony describe as a very pleasant rut. They enjoy being on the road. They enjoy playing the music. They change the set almost entirely every year so they never get bored with what they are doing. They ignore the chart.

This last is unusual. Most bands look forward to the day when one of their records will miraculously take off. Album and publishing revenue will rocket, there will be exposure on TV, the fans will flock to see them and their appearance money can be trebled overnight.
Not so Budgie. They regard that sequence of events with the same cynicism that you do the promises made by Mrs. Jones up the road concerning her forthcoming Premium Bond win. A healthy attitude. The reality is to get to America.
Leo Sayer was commenting this week that on three gigs a week in Britain he just about breaks even, while on one gig a week in the US of A he can make a comfortable living.
The beautiful thing about bands like Budgie is their dedication. They believe in the music they`re playing and are prepared to suffer the hardships for the sake of it.


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: Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Elton John, NME`s Soul Spectacular, Adrian Gurvitz, Queen, Leo Sayer.

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.


It is nice to re-print some album reviews featuring what is now considered classic albums. Here is one more…enjoy!

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Kiss your skull goodbye…

Led Zeppelin: “Physical Graffiti” (Swan Song)

Review by Steve Clarke

If you take Led Zeppelin`s fourth album to be the definitive Zep album in the same way that “Sticky Fingers” is the definitive Stones` album – and I know that`s a contentious point – then “Physical Graffiti”, in the same way can be seen as Zeppelin`s “Exile On Main Street”, (and I don`t just mean that they`re both double albums).
Both the fourth Zeppelin album and “Sticky Fingers” saw each band hitting highs it seems unlikely they`ll ever be able to transcend.
Isn`t “Wild Horses” the ultimate Stones` ballad, doesn`t “Stairway To Heaven” represent Zeppelin at their most creative in terms of composition and musicianship? And can you see them topping the outrageous riffola of “Black Dog”, or the Stones writing a rocker that out-does “Brown Sugar”?
But “Exile On Main Street” over-flowed with peerless rock `n` roll, while just missing out on the polish that “Sticky Fingers” had. Likewise, with “Physical Graffiti” and “Led Zeppelin 4”; the former does not quite attain the perfection which the best of the earlier album does.

Coming some two years after the fifth (best forgotten) Zeppelin album, “Houses Of The Holy”, “Physical Graffiti” is confirmation that the group have lost none of their inspiration and ability, even if it did take them a long time to deliver.
The first of the two albums never lets up in its brute force right from Jimmy Page`s opening power-chorded riff of “Custard Pie”, the riff itself reminiscent of Page`s work on The Kinks early records, to Side two`s closing “Kashmir”, where the group assume the posture of a giant earnestly stepping on everything in his wake, John Bonham`s drums being truly gargantuan.
It`s not the kind of music you play before breakfast unless you wake up in a particularly aggressive mood.
“Custard Pie” has all the manic Zeppelin energy you`d expect. Page`s riff never lets up throughout the track`s four minutes twenty seconds, a clavinet complementing the riff. On top is added wah-wah, Robert Plant`s mouth-harp, and a guitar solo that unfolds itself from one speaker before enveloping the whole show.
The side`s closing 11-minute plus “In My Time Of Dying” is a dazzling display of the Led Zeppelin rock machine in full flight.

Page`s arrangement of the blues song is spacier than those of the two preceeding cuts, and his playing almost confuses the listener as to whether he`s laying down power chords, or lightning fast slide phrases.
Going through a lot of rhythm changes, the cut showcases Bonham`s bombastic drumming, and Plant`s multi-tracked vocal has been treated so that it`s as if he was singing across a canyon.
Side two continues the skull-crushing with “Houses Of The Holy”, which features a lethal bass sound, and “Trampled Underfoot” where the nagging riff gets too much to handle.
The nine minutes plus “Kashmir” brings the side to a close. The number is built around a phrase played on what is presumably a mellotron that seems to set out to mesmerise the listener.
If the first album hammers your brain into your skull, then the second record`ll let you think again. It`s by far the most imaginative of the two albums, and with numbers like “Down By The Seaside” and “Night Flight” features new facets of Zeppelin.

“Down By The Seaside”, despite its trite lyricism is a fascinating song in an uncharacteristically relaxed mood, even Bonham`s approach being lighter than usual.
Page plays a lot of Leslie-guitar fills, and just when you think the band are going to head off into one of their hell for leather breaks they slip back into the original rhythm with remarkable ease.
The preceding “Bron Yr Aur” is Page`s acoustic, finger-picking number and is likeable enough with a production that allows the guitars to fan from one speaker to the other.
Side three`s opener, “In The Light” is a Zeppelin tour de force however.
Starting out with a sustained moog phrase that sounds like a bag-pipe drone, another lighter and more melodic series of phrases are played on top, again by a moog, Plant`s vocals zoom in before a cast-iron riff appears, introduced by Page Power chords, and then the whole thing develops into prettiness with another keyboard phrase completed by one of Page`s more melodic runs.

And so onto the closing side which opens with an uncompromising rocker “Meet Me In The Morning” expertly sung by Plant with just the right amount of energy, continues with Zeppelin as the archetypal rock riff kings for “The Wanton Song”, before going into what could have been a throwaway jam, “Boogie With Stu” (Ian Stewart`s on piano), but which ends up as enormous fun, the group exposing their blues roots for “Black Country Woman”, a work-out for acoustic guitars, vocals and Bonham`s ludicrous drums where he gets away with some time-defying tricks, before closing with “Sick Again” which again sees the band as a giant rock machine putting down an incessant riff like only they know how.
There you have it, the new album by the band which you, the readers, voted the best in the world. And if that`s what you think, there`s nothing on this album that`s about to change your mind.
Hard rock lives, and how.


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: Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Elton John, NME`s Soul Spectacular, Adrian Gurvitz, Budgie, Leo Sayer, Queen.

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