Month: October 2015

ARTICLE ABOUT Frank Zappa FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, April 26, 1975

I didn`t know about the court case described in this article before I started to read this paper recently. I knew about his fight against the PMRC ((Parents Music Resource Center) in the mid-eighties, but didn`t know that he fought another case ten years earlier with the same theme regarding censorship. There should be more Frank Zappa`s in the world.

Have an enjoyable read!

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`What is a groupie?` asked his Lordship…

Mothers albums nestle amongst the legal papers. A stereo system has been set up in front of the judge. The scene is Law Court Seven. The topic: The Suppository Principle Of Culture. Adjacent matters of interest: dog continuity, The Groupie Papers, and the magnetic deviation of San Clemente.
Kids – be upstanding for Uncle Frank…

Pictures: Joe Stevens
Report: Mick Farren

On monday April 14 at 10.30 in the morning Bizarre Productions began to sue the Royal Albert Hall in front of Mr. Justice Mocatta. This drama took place at the Number Seven Court of the Law Courts in the Strand.
The issue was the cancellation of The Mothers Of Invention/London Philharmonic presentation of “200 Motels” originally scheduled  for February 8th, 1971, at the Albert Hall.
For those of you who don`t remember the exact details, perhaps this is the time to remind you. The Zappa concert was planned as a kind of gala two-pronged promotion, intended to boost both the movie of “200 Motels” and the Mothers` subsequent UK tour.
At the last minute, the Albert Hall cancelled Zappa`s booking and refused to allow the concert to take place. The reason they gave was that they considered parts of the script to be obscene and objectionable.
On the night of the concert, the TV news showed apparently angry protests by fans outside the Albert Hall.
Zappa and his business manager Herb Cohen (the partnership that constitutes Bizarre Productions) decided to sue. They are currently claiming damages against the management of the Albert Hall for both the financial loss caused by the cancellation and the resulting loss of important publicity.
The case took four years to come to court.

Let`s move on to the first Wednesday of the case.
Number Seven Court is a high-ceilinged room, all grey stone and aged panelling – that strange combination of Kafka and Camelot that appears to have been the Victorian ideal of justice.
Among the wigs, the thick leather-bound books and the faint air of dust in the light streaming through high-mullioned windows, Frank Zappa cuts a somewhat strange figure.
He has made some endeavours to meet the court halfway. He is wearing a conservative brown-check suit, a white shirt and what looks unnervingly like an old school tie.
The effect is hardly a total success. With his hair hanging loose, some way below his shoulders, he looks, if anything, a little reminiscent of Tiny Tim.
At the start of the afternoon session Zappa has already been on the witness stand all morning and for part of the previous day. Under examination he speaks very quietly and on a number of occasions the judge has requested that he speak up. It is obvious that this case is not going to be turned into any kind of theatrical spectacle.
Not that the proceedings are without a few surreal touches.

Mothers albums nestle among the imposing bundles of legal paper. A stereo system has been set up in front of the judge. The counsel for the defence has a large dictionary of American slang in front of him. It has a garish red, white and blue cover.
The judge has already listened to a good deal of the “200 Motels” album. He received most of it with his head sunk in his hands. He complained that he couldn`t hear the words. He refused to have the track “Penis Dimension” played in court.
Mr. Justice Mocatta had already read the lyrics and he found them objectionable.
There have been other odd touches of the kind that always seems to occur when the world of rock-and-roll confronts the very different world of law.
The judge has had problems with the terminology of rock. The word “groupie” seemed to puzzle him.
“Is a groupie a girl who is a member of a group?”
Zappa shakes his head.
“No, she is a girl who likes members of a rock-and-roll band.”
The judge has encountered other troubles.
“When I started this case, I knew very little about pop and beat music. I knew it was to do with rhythm, banging, and an infectious atmosphere. I didn`t know it was anything to do with sex or drugs.”
Zappa points out that the majority of pop music has some kind of sexual connotations.

One of the first highlights of Wednesday afternoon was when Zappa was shown one of the now-legendary posters of him sitting naked on the can. The counsel for the Albert Hall asked if the poster had been produced with his knowledge.
There was a short pause.
It hardly seemed possible that anyone could be photographed in the privacy of their own john without having knowledge of it. Zappa answered carefully. The poster had been published without his consent.
The subject was pursued no further.
One of the points of the Bizarre case is that if the Albert Hall management had objected to the lyrics, Zappa would have been both willing and able to adapt and change the words, had he been consulted. He alleged that he could have done it at very short notice.
In order to demonstrate this, Zappa`s counsel handed him a script of “200 Motels” and asked him to “render the lyrics suitable for a socially-retarded audience”.
(“A socially-retarded audience” is the term used by the Bizarre side for the kind of crowd who would find the Mothers` lyrics objectionable).
Zappa started to render. The results were startling. Lines came out like: “The places she goes/Are filled with guys from Pudsey/Waiting for a chance/To buy her Sudsy.”
This was the moment, reading in a slow deadpan voice, when Zappa the witness came closest to Zappa the performer. The judge, however, seemed confused.
“Pudsey?”
Zappa`s counsel attempted to help.
“Pudsey, Yorkshire, m`lud.”
“It`s produced some fine cricketers, I believe.”

Soon after that, Zappa completed his testimony and left the stand. He walked straight out of the court. It seemed to be a signal for most of the spectators to rush out for a smoke.
Zappa sat on a bench in the corridor. He looked tired.
“You realise I can`t say anything about the case.”
Inside, Herb Cohen is running the fiscal and logistic facts about the deal on the Albert Hall.
The long-haired legal clerks who seem to have taken time off to watch Zappa decide to go back to work. One of them expresses a very positive desire that Zappa will win.
At just after six the same evening, Joe Stevens and I walk through the gilded portals of The Dorchester in Park Lane. We have come to talk to Frank Zappa.
Up in room 640, Frank is already talking to a rival journalist. The journalist is a fairly nondescript, average rock writer.
He has a lady with him. She possesses the most amazing nipples.
As far as it is possible to judge through the knitted silk sweater, they are roughly half the gross mass of her breasts. Perhaps it`s an illusion, or maybe even a device from Frederick`s of Hollywood.
Zappa has changed out of his court clothes into pink jeans, a tan sweater, orange socks and brown slip-ons – not Gucci, however. No little chains across the tongue. (How`m I doing, Lisa?)

He looks even more tired than he did in court and sits almost motionless in a Dorchester brocade armchair. He`s obviously unhappy at the fact that the next afternoon he has to fly back to New York, and go almost directly from plane to stage to play a concert with the Mothers.
Joe and I are offered coffee.
Frank does it in a way that makes it very clear that requests for large bourbons or tequila sunrises will not be entertained. We settle for coffee, and wait politely while the rival journalist notes down Frank Zappa`s top twenty in rather slow longhand.
There is a long discussion that centres around the enema scene in Paderewski`s opera “The Devils of Loudon”. This is a prime item in Zappa`s top twenty.
Another item listed is anything by Richard Berry. It appears that Richard Berry, the man who actually wrote “Louie Louie” and recorded it as Richard Berry And The Pharaohs, sold the entire rights to the song for $5,000.
Zappa considers Berry one of the most important figures in the West Coast rhythm-and-blues scene of the Fifties. He even goes into detail:
“He heard a band playing a Latin instrumental called `Cha Cha Loco`. It had the same basic ba-ba dum, dum-dum riff. Berry scribbled some words down on a brown paper bag. That`s how `Louie Louie` was written.
“The Kingsmen later mutilated it.”
All fascinating stuff. Hardly to the point, however.
The rival journalist has finally finished and it`s time to get down.

What about the trial, Frank?
“I can`t talk about the trial.”
After having spent nine days at the Old Bailey a couple of years ago, defending myself on a criminal obscenity rap, I still have a morbid interest in the legal process, particularly where it encompasses censorship.
I ask Frank if he`d be willing to talk, off the record, about the general background of the case.
“No.”
Why? (Politely).
Zappa is very matter-of-fact.
“I don`t trust anybody.”
Just then the phone rings. Frank has a five minute conversation with his lawyer. He hangs up, and looks around the room.
“I will have to ask you all to forget anything you might have overheard.”
The turnround is fortuitous. Fate (or the GPO) forces the Twentieth Century Zen master into a position of human. We smile, and the conversation is duly forgotten.
It`s kind of hard to hold a conversation when the central topic of interest is verboten. The only answer is to take care of business and let the pearls drop where they may. I cop out and go for an awful stock opener.

Do you have any plans to play the UK?
(At least I didn`t get the answer “Play them at what?”)
“We have no plans for England at all. It is a simple matter of being unable to find suitable venues.”
It`s obvious you like to play in Britain. You sell records here, and generally make money when you tour.
“London is very important. If a person plays in England it contributes to the over-all European promotion. The media are in London. You get written about in London, and it gets translated for other European countries.”
I ask him if he has ever explored the possibilities of Alexandra Palace. I`m very fond of Alexandra Palace with its pillars and fountains.
“I understand it`s impossible to get a sound there.”
The Grateful Dead managed it with their monster sound system.
The Zappa deadpan comes down.
“I only deal with mortal equipment.”

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The conversation moves on.
The next subject is Captain Beefheart. Zappa seems pleased that this has come up.
“I can officially tell you that Don is a member of The Mothers Of Invention. He is part of our current US tour.”
Zappa consistently refers to Beefheart as Don Vliet. They`ve been friends since their teens, cruising for burgers together and singing along with the radio. It makes a touching picture.
“Don will be singing, playing harmonica, dancing and having a good time for the first time in his life.
“He had a very harrowing experience with the last band and his management. They made a fool of him. He called me up and asked for help.
“I told him that the Mothers were holding auditions on Tuesday and Thursday, and that he should come along. He flunked the first one, but the second was okay.”
All this after he`s been badmouthing you for the past three years or so?
“There really has never been any animosity on my part. He asked for help. Any idea of a feud between us is quite pointless.”
Frank becomes more animated as he starts to elaborate. It seems as though he has a real affection for Beefheart.
“The way he relates to language is unique, the way in which he brings my text to life. Of course he has problems. His memory causes him trouble. He won`t be separated from his sheets of paper that have his words written on. He clings to them for dear life.

“He also has a literacy problem. He can hardly read. He also has trouble staying on a beat. Captain Beefheart has no natural rhythm.
“He does have this thing inside him. It`s dynamic and he wants to express it. In a voice like Howlin` Wolf.”
The conversation veers from Beefheart and moves on to Howlin` Wolf. It`s a strange experience to see Frank Zappa actually talking in a tone that comes close to awe.
“The Howlin` Wolf could really get across.”
The Wolf talk goes on. Wolf anecdotes come too fast to record. Zappa also relates his persona as a Wolf fan to Beefheart and his new slide-guitar player. Beefheart`s harmonicas seem to play an essential part in the new Mothers repertoire.
The rival journalist asks if Frank is moving towards a blues thing. Frank smiles and nods. You get the feeling that it could be like no blues ever seen on the planet.

We move from Wolf and Beefheart to the general area of people like them – individuals with a unique talent, but one that can`t be pigeonholed by the entertainment industry.
“In society today those people get the worst deal. Society retards the individual. An example is Bob Dylan. When he came out with `Like A Rolling Stone` the industry reacted by creating `The Eve Of Destruction`.
“You could say that I hire the handicapped.”
Zappa goes on to define.
“I admire anyone who makes a positive statement, even if it`s moronic, I can admire the positively moronic, anyone who sits down and says this is my statement, stick it up your ass.”
I venture a Zen pupil joke.
“The suppository principle of culture?”
I get the deadpan. “That`s the kind of thing they talk about in court.”
Then, later, Zappa used the phrase himself a couple of times.
I venture an awkward question. How does Frank relate the early Zappa – the abrasive social commentator – to the present-day, very individualistic musician?
What happened to the political songs, Frank?

Zappa dismisses the whole thing very quickly. Not quickly enough to betray embarrassment, just sufficiently fast to indicate that it`s not very interesting.
He sees his songs as timeless. He`s written “Brown Shoes Don`t Make It”. He`s written “Trouble Coming Every Day”. They are still appropriate. He doesn`t need to write them again.
If you have a band with Mark and Howard in it, you find yourself documenting the trivia that form society.
“People in fifty years` time should have documentation of monsters like Cal Worthington.”
Cal Worthington is a singing cowboy used-car dealer who has immensely long TV commercials during L.A.`s late, late show.
So the groupies and the stars on Hollywood Boulevard say John Provost and Leo G. Carroll are as important as Richard Nixon?
“In a way. I have written a song about Nixon.”
Son of Orange County?
“No, another one. It`s called `Dicky`s Such An Ass-hole` or `San Clemente Magnetic Deviation`.
Magnetic deviation?
“Aviation pilots stay away from the San Clemente area. There is a deviation from the earth`s normal magnetic field around San Clemente island. That`s not actually where Nixon lives, but it`s very close.”
There`s speculation in room 640 about alien invaders sitting on San Clemente island plotting the whole dirty business. When Grand Funk tell you aerosols are going to destroy the atmosphere you`re frankly not impressed. When Zappa starts on the earth`s magnetic field, you tend to give it a little more credibility.

We make a jump to his more recent work.
It turns out that he spent the period off the road after his Rainbow accident working on his singing. He confesses that he never had much confidence in himself as “the dynamic lead singer in a rock-and-roll band”.
A lot of this experimentation took the form of fitting words to guitar licks.
So `Penguin In Bondage` is simply a set of words fitted around a riff?
Zappa pauses to light a Winston.
“`Penguin In Bondage` is a true story.”
Everything stops dead.
Would you like to relate it?
“It`s far too personal.”
The conversation goes round and round. More journalists come in. Soon everyone is vamping on each other`s action. It tends to be confusing.
Frank seems delighted. A session of “Whatever happened to” seems a painless way to ace out the competition.
What happened to Larry (Wild Man) Fischer?
“Larry Fischer is still on Sunset Strip. He still sells original songs for a dime, and my address and phone number for fifty cents. He carries his album under his arm. He wants to make another one. It ought to be called `The Cheek of Wild Man Fischer`.”

The twelve-album set that constitutes a history of The Mothers in unreleased material?
Zappa looks a little sad.
“This is a very difficult and expensive project. We currently have someone canvassing retailers. If we can get orders for five thousand, the company will release it, but it`s very difficult.”
The Groupie Papers?
Zappa looks enthusiastic. The Groupie Papers seem close to his heart.
“My secretary Pauline was transcribing them, but that stopped. Noel Redding also asked for his diaries back. Cynthia Plastercaster still lives about a hundred miles from Chicago. She`s still keeping diaries. Miss Pamela has a straight acting job. She plays the ingenue in a soap opera called `As The World Turns`. Miss Sparky, another of the G.T.O.s. wants to do a parody of the show called `As the Turd Whirls`.”
Frank warms to his subject.
“They really would make a fantastic book. There are Cynthia`s diaries. Pamela`s diaries and Noel Redding`s diaries. They start out by not knowing each other, and slowly they converge. At first they talk about each other, then they meet.
“It`s a dramatic, factual insight into the Sixties and rock hysteria.
“The main problem with putting the book into logical form is how you arrange the separate continuities.

“You have Noel. He joins Hendrix and keeps a diary, all in code, of how many girls he had and what they did. Then you have Pamela who records, at nine, how she cried when Caryl Chessman, the red light bandit, was executed and Cynthia, whose father attacked her because she had unnaturally big tits for her age.
“There`s a sequence when Pamela falls in love with Cynthia. The problem is that Cynthia isn`t the least bisexual. Pamela hocks her record-player and, without any real idea of what it`s like, goes to Chicago in the middle of winter, to get into Cynthia`s pants.
“There`s a very sad Polaroid picture of them both sitting up in bed after it has all been a terrible failure.
“Cynthia`s diaries are quite incredible. She makes strange clinical notes about who she balled, and if she casted them. There`s even notes on how she goes about locating rock stars. They would be great for Sherlock Holmes.
“Her diaries are scientific and detached, even down to the formula of her different casting materials.
“She also draws cartoons – strange and well-executed. They`re rather like Little Orphan Annie, except she`s chasing down-who`s an example?…say Paul Revere and the Raiders.
“It would make one hell of a movie.”

After that it seemed as though it was time to leave.
Journalists just kept coming. How could we top the true story of the Groupie Papers? Then, as Joe and I were making our farewells, it happened.
Frank Zappa introduced us to The Dog Continuity.
“It`s not actually so much of a Dog Continuity as a Poodle Continuity. It recurs on each record. It`s an abstract concept, much in the way that Rembrandt added brown to all his colours. That`s the level.
“On the next album it will be conceptually reduced to the word arf.”
With that, we left.
It wasn`t quite the end, though. We caught up with Frank at Dingwall`s.
He sat calmly enjoying himself, comparing it to the late Max`s Kansas City, eating one of those Dingwall`s hamburgers that for some inexplicable reason come encased in Greek bread, praising Jackie Lynton`s Grande, and telling one of the waitresses that she “had a fine walk”.

Hensley was big enough to warrant a full-page ad! Nice.

Hensley was big enough to warrant a full-page ad! Nice.

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: Steely Dan, Al Green, Pete Atkin and Clive James, Joe Walsh, Sweet, David Allan Coe, Carla Bley, Syl Johnson, The Pink Fairies.

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

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 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.

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ARTICLE ABOUT Sweet FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, April 26, 1975

This was exciting times for The Sweet, out on tour, proving themselves as a hard rock band without the songwriting help of Chinn and Chapman in the future. They proved they could write the hits themselves with the song “Fox on The Run” from the album “Desolation Boulevard” released in November 1974.
Have a nice read, and I`m sorry for the accompanying concert photo – it looked like that in the paper, so it wasn`t me shaking my camera when I took it.

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Announcement: it is now cool to say `I dig the Sweet` in mixed company

Rehabilitation by Max Bell

Rock snobbery. That`s what it is. A prevailing attitude that anything commercially successful in terms of the charts must therefore be top-twenty hype, not suitable for those who really Know About Good Music and best left to moronic boppers who actually get off on dancing and contrived, simplistic music.
Take a look at those charts and you`ll find plenty of evidence to back up such a view, the sort of records that it isn`t Cool To Like. Admittedly separating the wheat from the chaff is superficially quite easy – but just how bad is the output of bands such as Showaddywaddy, The Rubettes, First Class and The Sweet?
In fact all these groups, and probably a few more, make records which sound great on the radio and occasionally transcend the awesome and stultifying spell that Robin Nash, Blackbum and co. manage to weave in order to trivialise everything to their own special brand of bunkum.
And occasionally a classic example of the genre emerges which rightfully assumes an elevated status. Sometimes one offs having nothing to do with formula also grab the spotlight, like “MacArthur Park” or “Riders On The Storm”, but these are exceptions not norms. Excellent forty-fives are there for the listening to now, and holding the view that everything contemporary is necessarily rubbish will prove far more detrimental to rock and roll than maintaining more tolerant critical standards less clouded by blind prejudice.

In the past I`ve probably been as guilty as anyone when it comes to sneering at chart-orientated groups. I wasn`t exactly delighted at being asked to cover Sweet in Copenhagen but having done so I`m convinced that Sweet, and others like them, fill a need as relevant as that supposedly provided by artists like Rick Wakeman or ELP.
Inside the Brondby Hall are five thousand people who already have their opinion firmly entrenched and altogether they`ve paid close on thirty thousand pounds to have it reinforced.
Sweet mix their hits liberally with tracks from “Sweet F.A.” and “Desolation Boulevard” and the audience enjoys it all. It`s one thing to singalong with “Hellraiser” and “Blockbuster”, quite another to enjoy cuts like “Restless” or “Set Me Free” that indicate Sweet really do rock as hard as anyone. Mick Tucker`s drum battle against a double-screening of himself and Andy Scott`s guitar work throughout have more in common with the Spiders From Mars than The Bay City Rollers.
And that`s a fact.
Sweet`s slick presentation, volume and choice of material may not allow one to extend the comparison too far but really they`re every bit as enjoyable as, say, Slade, Queen – and a host of other bands who exist in that rarified atmosphere where their work is Taken Seriously.

When I spoke to Mick Tucker after the gig it was made abundantly clear to me that Sweet feel they are most of the way to justifying their musical existence in an arena where everyone is working towards a similar end. Sometime back they were a much despised band, accused of being just another synthetic Chinn and Chapman product. There`s some truth in that, particularly as their last two London shows (The Rainbow and Imperial College) were both unqualified disasters (owing to P.A. breakdowns which indicated a marked lack of professionalism on someone`s part).
It was therefore natural to assume that the band were inept, safe in a studio but unable to reproduce the most undemanding proof of live ability. Yet since then – with the publicised support of respected old-timers like Pete Townshend and even John Peel – the band are overcoming various barriers.
“I think we`ve achieved it in Europe, though in England there`s still a stigma that dates back to our stereotyped image of four years ago,” says Tucker. “People find it impossible to accept we have some talent even while the albums have brought that talent to the fore.
“In terms of measured success we`ve been accepted on the continent. It`s coming round now but we don`t shout `we want respect` anymore. You don`t get that until you actually lay your balls on the line and prove it.”

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The factor of such a diverse age range at their concerts resulting in the presence of so many younger people, is some cause for frustration but, according to Tucker, it`s acceptable: “They are very familiar with the albums, whereas in England the act went over the kids` heads. I think our audience will change when we`ve done something in America because the English are so cynical. We`re beginning to get encouraging feedback now. John Peel had a competition playing one of our B-sides asking who it was and the answers ranged from Gracie Fields to Led Zeppelin.
“We deliberately played colleges on our last tour to bring the act to an older audience although obviously we can`t stop younger kids from coming. And we missed out by not doing Charlton when Pete asked us.”
Last year`s break with the consistently reliable Chinn-Chapman team hasn`t done Sweet any harm – if the success of “Fox On The Run” is anything to go by. Tucker sees the change as inevitable and beneficial:
“We`d been striving for our own material as our demands got greater, particularly when they became involved with other acts. When we needed a new single they weren`t around so we went in and did it ourselves, that was it. They knew there`d be a split eventually.

“See, their strength is limited, it doesn`t lie in albums, and we were getting dead lazy relying on them. Now it`s just easier if we do it and we get a truer reflection of our sound. Before, Brian (Connolly) would be under the direction of Mike Chapman and the sound wasn`t always ours. On album we told him to do what got him off and as you can see, live it`s much rougher, less clean-sounding.”
This independence is reflected in a playing competence that most people wouldn`t to witness at a Sweet concert. Their past record may have worked against them once but they no longer shout the odds:
“We`re adequate. We`d rather let people assess our talent from coming to see us – though I suppose we are pretty good. Lots of press wrote us off, turned their backs.
“We do want to drop the singles tag because it holds you to ransom. You`re only as good as your next record.”
Surely a predicament arises here in that you`ve built a reputation on singles and yet you also want to make the transition to something more adventurous. What`s wrong with making commercial records anyhow?
“Well we did get channelled and we got fed up. But I`m not ashamed of what we used to do. In fact, I`m positive it lengthened our lifespan.”

Genesis were crawling on carpets in 1975.

Genesis were crawling on carpets in 1975.

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: Steely Dan, Al Green, Pete Atkin and Clive James, Joe Walsh, Frank Zappa, David Allan Coe, Carla Bley, Syl Johnson, The Pink Fairies.

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

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 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.

ARTICLE ABOUT Alice Cooper FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, April 19, 1975

This is certainly a strange article. First, it tells us almost as much about Detroit and Suzi Quatro as the main subject, Alice Cooper. Maybe that was a point from Mr. Murray as he most certainly didn`t like the directon that Alice was moving into. Like most fans, and as much as fans today, he clearly feels a little betrayed when a favourite artist of his suddenly moves away from what they originally represented. In Mr. Cooper`s case, it is important to understand that he now was a solo artist, despite keeping the same name as when the original Alice Cooper band played together. In effect, this was the first tour of the first album in his solo career. I like both periods of Mr. Cooper`s career – even if his solo albums are a little bit more polished than they were with the original band. And I highly recommend the album “Welcome To My Nightmare” – it is considered a classic today for good reason.
Have fun!

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Welcome to Alice Cooper`s new show. It`s good, honest music,delivered with minimal hype.*
Alice just knows you`re gonna love it.

*In a Pig`s Eye, mate.

Feature: Charles Shaar Murray
Pics: Bob Gruen

I do not believe this hotel room.
It looks as if all of Led Zeppelin had been partying it for a week. The heating`s on full blast, there`s stained sheets all over the floor, someone`s vomited in the bathroom, half-empty booze glasses, over-flowing ashtrays, torn-up magazines all over the place and an all-pervading sweaty odour of Essence of Musk.
Hmmmmm – snf snf – make that Led Zeppelin and two camels.
At that moment Room 2137 in the Sheraton-Cadillac right there in the colon of beautiful downtown Detroit (Michigan) ranks about 2,137th on the Cosmic List Of Places To Be, so there`s nothing to do but hit the bar and wait for someone to start cleaning the place up. Downstairs, the place is swarming with well-dressed spades, all of whom look like Second Div Motown acts. They all have little plastic badges pinned to their lapels (or equivalents thereof).
“Hey, Berry Gordy just checked in,” someone mutters. They do a lot of shouting in the corridors. The next day it turns out that they`re all social workers.
After all, tonight is Hometown Night. Alice Cooper, who classifies as a Favourite Son even though he spent more of his youth in Arizona than anywhere else, and Suzi Quatro, Detroit`s fave emigree, are in town tonight, and Detroit looks after its own. Alice hasn`t been on the road since `73 and Suzi`s only played one Detroit date since her reincarnation as High Priestess Of Idiot Pop and God`s Gift To The Dry-Cleaning Industry, so tonight`s concert instantly attains Event Status. Besides, no-one big`s played Detroit since Led Zep blew through a couple of months back.

Detroit is Heavytown, U.S.A. The usual litany of social evils: unemployment, mass scag use, pollution, violence, all of which are usually blamed on the spades. “I got nuthin` against them – don`t get me wrong,” rasps the limo driver. “They`re great people, ya know? But you go round to their houses and they gotta goddam Cadillac outside and it cost more than everything in the house.”
There ain`t a single black kid in the hall, though. Detroit has two music myths – Berry Gordy`s revolutionary cross-breeding of soul, MOR and wimp right alongside the pharmaceutical lunacy of the MC5-Iggy-Cooper-Grand Funk-Mitch Ryder white industrial rock thing – and never the twain shall meet.
The Detroit Olympia is kind of like a squashed-down Madison Square Gardens which means that it`s a massive toilet with a multi-tiered people gallery and a stage at one end. Into the valley of dope-smoke ride the 16,000 – and friends, these happy peaceful kids are a credit to their parents, their generation and Alice Cooper. Only a smattering of top hats and sloppily applied eye makeup, less glitter than you`d find at the average Budgie gig, and v. clean hair. The only real peculiarity is that nearly half of them wearing glasses.
Scooting backstage looking for hot teenage gossip, free booze and a chance to get in there with the pop stars, I bump into Susie Q. fully be-leathered and scampering bogwards. The band are seated morosely around the dressing room, which is not exactly overflowing with well-wishers, friends and fans. We go through the oh-what-look-who`s-`ere-orright-then-`ow-yer-doin`-`ow`s-it-goin`-man routine which is obligatory under such circumstances: Nobody says anything about pig brains. Len Tuckey`s slimmed down to touring weight and his hair is almost overwhelmingly clean.

Quatro jogs back in like a bantamweight lady wrestler warming up for the Big Fight. Folks who`ve visited her backstage immediately prior to British gigs have suggested that she hits the vodka pretty hard before meeting the public. However, this is Detroit and Susie is sober as the proverbial judge. “I just had a pee,” she announces. “`Ow was it?” grunts Tuckey, staring into his beer like he left his teeth in it. Her face lights up. “It was wun-der-fullll.”
Up front, the kids are clambering around the hall in best Notting Hill Gate adventure playground style. In England, audiences locate their seats and either stay there or gravitate to the bar. In the States, they swarm all over the place, climbing over barriers, standing on seats and generally making themselves at home. The other main difference over here is that blowing a joint during a gig (especially during intervals when the houselights are turned on) is a pretty furtive enterprise, whereas over there the children of the revolution glug their wine and toke their grass with perfect equanimity -and no-one messes with them. The police who roam the hall walk right through the clouds of smoke without even turning round.
Every so often someone fires a cap-gun, though there`s the odd diehard traditionalist who`s still into such recherche pursuits as firecrackers and sparklers. Which begs the question: if the security are allowing people in with guns – even cap guns – it means that no-one`s worried about the Coop getting shot on stage any more, which is not illogical since (a) no self-respecting nut would be seen dead at an Alice Cooper gig, and (b) he`s no more likely to get shot than Bob Hope.

Anyway, the man with the rheostat turns down the houselights and a gorgiously tacky backdrop emerges from between the twin turrets of a collapsible plastic gothic arch on the stage. The P.A., which has hitherto maintained a decorous silence, clears its throat and trolls out Elton`s “The Bitch Is Back”, while figures scuttle over the stage switching on amps and distributing guitars.
Quatro bounces on to the stage like a Mexican jumping bean and launches into “All Shook Up”, while the band chug earnestly in the background. The sound is a trifle on the thin side (particularly the guitar and bass) which could well be attributable to the well-known tradition of only allowing the support group to use two-thirds of the P.A.
In Detroit, our Suze puts on a fairly respectable rockanroll show; a no-nonsense rock set for a rock audience. She does “Your Mama Don`t Like Me”, which sounds okay live if you turn a blind ear to those unbelievably crass lyrics, and “48 Crash”, which doesn`t happen on any level at all, but the rest of the way it`s all rock standards like “Shakin` All Over (complete with Long Solos By Everybody – Quatro`s is finger-popping` good, but Tuckey`s catcheth not fire) and home-grown stuff by Tuckey and Ms Q. One of them, entitled “Michael” and cast in a vaguely similar mould to “Cat Size” (the standout cut from the “Quatro” album) is undoubtedly the best thing she`s ever done, and I start muttering “Heyyyyy -Instant Credibility!” I later find out that she wrote the song nearly a year ago, and that Chinn, Chapman and Most have been sitting on it ever since. Good taste is timeless…

…and the Youth Of Detroit are doing their adventure playground number again. Yours Truly is getting righteously climbed over – me, the idol of millions!
“Hold this joint!” snaps a feminine voice due north of my left ear. The owner thereof is a small and devastatingly agile blonde who`s having a quick clamber over a balcony. “Take a hit,” she orders authoritatively (glurk!). She casts a critical eye over the reporter`s tokemanship, sneers, “Ah, keep it!” and vanishes into the darkness.
Which sets the scene quite nicely for Alice Cooper.
The stage is loaded down with props. There`s a giant bed right in the middle of the stage and – lemme just strain my eyes a little for you right here – a massive toybox and – uh – the aforementioned plastic battlements and looming dimly in the distance, the band. When I say distance, I kid you not. If they were any further away they`d be in the parking lot.
Then it`s heads down for the dry ice. Detroit applauds. (Rock audiences always applaud dry ice). The only act that can follow dry ice is a mirror ball, or maybe even two. (Always works). The Floyd have pioneered the use of dry ice and mirror balls to the extent that the audience probably wouldn`t notice if they didn`t show up on their next tour. Still, the Coop`s above all that stuff. He`s here, folks, he`s actually here. Right there in the middle of all that dry ice, crooning the opening lines of “Welcome To My Nightmare”.

The band are now visible to the more long-sighted members of the audience. Togged out in absolutely faaabulous undertaker`s capes and top hats, will you please meet and greet Josef Chirowski (many different keyboards), Dick Wagner (lead guitar and prognathous jaws), Penti Glan (drums and alleged Finnish accent), Prakash John (bass) and Steve Hunter (more guitars).
Cooper is doing his patented prowl in more or less standard apparel. He is encased in tattered white leotards and his standard make-up. His hair looks positively insanitary, and he is earnestly attempting to resemble whatever he thinks a psychopath ought to look like.
Hello! Hooray! Let the show begin!
The first thing that becomes apparent is a weird kind of distanced effect. Normally at a rock show, whether you`re digging it or not, you become involved; you notice a sense of nearness and immediacy. You are drawn into it and unless the show is genuinely dreadful, it holds your attention for the duration. After all, you`re looking at a stage, people are doing things on it and an event of some sort is taking place before your very eyes.
Somehow, the Cooper show doesn`t really work like that. It`s more like watching a movie than a stage show – and more like watching TV than either. In performance, the stage is changed by the events taking place upon it, whereas a movie screen remains essentially the same even when someone`s pointing a projector at it and a few hundred people are watching. As Cooper gets into his show, it seems like a a recording of something that happened two months ago in rehearsal, like those 3D laser holograms that he was supposed to be getting involved in a year or so back. There is no real excitement, no sense of occasion. It`s just something to sit and watch, and you can`t even switch channels.

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Apart from “I`m Eighteen,” a medley of “Billion Dollar Babies,” “Elected”, “No More Mister Nice-Guy” and the inevitable encore of “School`s Out”, the show is basically a canter through the “Welcome To My Nightmare” album, all staged with razor-edge precision, 400 megaton special effects and a cast of thousands. Dancers flit around the set, pop up from the toy box and have periodic tussles with Alice, who portrays Steven, junior bull goose loony and trainee parenticide. When he sings “The Black Widow”, dancers in spider costumes loom from a gigantic cobweb that rises from the floor. When he sings “Only Women Bleed”, a life-size rag doll that he`s tossing around metamorphoses into a real live danseuse. At one point someone in an incredibly cheap-looking cyclops costume waddles out and shambles all over the stage.
The killer effect, though, is when a “magic screen” is used to combine film and live action, and it really looks great. You see, on the screen, Cooper running towards the camera and just as he reaches it, the real Coop slips through the screen and runs out to the front of the stage. Then the dancers do the same stunt and climax the whole deal by carrying him back through/onto the screen. Boy, does Alice give his audiences value for money!
Yet, curiously enough, the “Nightmare” show has but an iota of the power and craziness of vintage Coop. He`s got an infinitely better band, far more expensive props, far more complex effects and all manner of lavish stuff, but all that clowning around with cyclopses and spiders and so on seems far less nightmarish than the death-and-impotence theatre of “Killer” days, when he actually confronted genuine everyday demons, horrors that actually had some relevance. Now, he`s action-replaying the gimmicks of the less inspired type of horror movie, devices that have become so hackneyed through the afternoon and late late show TV with which Cooper bombards his beer-fertilized brain cells that nobody could actually get a fear buzz off them. Instead of relating the macabre to the genuine terrors of the 70s, he`s simply putting on a kiddie version of “The Rocky Horror Show”.

And nowhere – nowhere – is there a moment as apocalyptic as the set-piece in the last show when he confronted the audience with their own mindlessness by inducing them to stomp each other to get their hands on cheap posters and fake money – and then letting them see how much of themselves they`d betrayed. Now he contempts himself with the whole tawdry, meaningless “Who got thuh powuh?”/”We got thuh powuh” claptrap.
Remember when we used to speculate what the Stones` show would be like when they started playing Vegas? Or even when Alice played Vegas? Speculate no longer. The show that Alice is doing now is pure Vegas-rock. It`s unbelievably slick, empty as an upside-down milk-churn and contains instant repeats of well yawn-worn Cooper preoccupations. Just the kind of thing to watch while you`re choking on your scampi and chips. Forget Vegas, Coop – when are you playing Batley`s?
It`s really cute irony, too. Big bad Alice, the most perverse, vicious, conscienceless and demonic rock star of all is now among the most respectable. He ain`t a rock star, he will say in the morning at his Press reception, he`s an entertainer. He claims that the chickenshit-and-sawdust show he`s putting on now is giving rock validity.
But nobody storms the stage. Nobody flips out. Nobody screams out song titles. Nobody throws things. They just sit in front of the show, watch it, do their ritual encore howl and then they leave. Quietly. They have been Entertained in the best All-American tradition of the Big Big Show and they`ve gawked at the sets and grooved on the songs and then filed out like a nice little audience should.

The last time I`d seen Cooper had been at the Madison Square Gardens in New York, and an uglier, meaner and more dangerous crowd it`s never been my privilege and pleasure to sit amongst. The old-style Cooper audience, as was appropriate to the old-style Cooper show, was ornery and crazy and potentially uncontrollable. Every amphetamine fantasy of rock as subversion and bloodbath trigger come to life.
Now it`s 1975 and it`s all just family entertainment. Bring the kids! Bring the old folks! A great night out! Entertainment! “Just entertainment,” to quote the Coop himself. And maybe that`s why it was ultimately so cold and lifeless and irrelevant. words of one syllable, it was slick and tepid and it was about as exciting and dramatic as a ninety-minute monologue by Bob Harris.
The Press conference is set for 10 a.m. the following morning, which is a smart move. Most of the invited press were pretty much wiped out the previous night and are calculated therefore not to be at their sharpest by ten o`clock. Cooper, however, can function at more or less any hour of the day or night and therefore has nothing much to worry about.
Another aspect of Press conference which is calculated to work in his favour is the strange fact that there`s usually safety in numbers – for the act. When a dozen reporters are all gathered together interviewing the same act, they tend to get in each other`s way, plus they hang back on the really heavy, hostile questions in case the act is smart enough to outwit them and they get put down or outargued in front of their peers.
Not that very many rock stars are that bright, but it`s 10 a.m., room service has been too slow to get everybody their breakfasts and no-one thinks too fast with a hangover.

By ten, Cooper is curled up on a sofa in a direct line with the TV clutching a Budweiser (from which he doesn`t drink). He`s wearing a T-shirt inscribed with the legend “Goochie” (and I don`t know what it means, so don`t ask) and a really disgusting pair of crocheted trousers. The stubble is already starting to show.
Yes, he really likes the new show.
No, he`s not sure if he`ll be working with the old band.
Yes, he`s still contracted to Warner Brothers.
Yes, he did sing on Michael Bruce`s solo album.
No, he`s not concerned with politics, he`s just into entertainment.
Yes, he knows that “Department Of Youth” is “School`s Out” part two, but it just came out that way when he was writing it.
No, he hasn`t started on a new album yet.
Yes, he has started thinking about his next stage act. (Work that one out if you can. I couldn`t).
Yes, he thinks it`s great that a rock artist has cultural validity (he means himself, gang).
Yes, he`d love to work Vegas.
No, he doesn`t read.
No, he doesn`t go to the movies.
Yes, he just watches TV
And so on and so on and so on.

Alice Cooper doesn`t matter any more. He still fills halls, he still sells records, but what he is and what he does no longer has any relevance to what rock and roll has got to do if it`s going to survive as anything more than – to use the Coop`s own phrase – “just entertainment.”
What Alice – by the way, you don`t call him “Coop” any more, you call him “Boss Vinnie” (urp) – is doing is just entertainment. It`s entirely devoid of any central thesis or any governing aesthetic beyond the idea that if you put enough on a stage and keep it fast and loud and extravagant, then nobody`ll bother to ask what the point of it all is, what any of those dummies and dancers and sets are actually doing.
Hurry up and get to Vegas, Alice. You sure got no reason to stick around here with us any more.

YES is the band and Gryphon was/is their friends!

YES is the band and Gryphon was/is their friends!

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: Phil Manzanera, Curved Air, Tammy Wynette, “How to compile an album”, “An investigation into Japanese Rock”, Grand Funk, David Crosby, Hedgehog Pie, Ralph McTell.

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

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be around or upwards of 12 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Grand Funk FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, April 19, 1975

This is a great interview with the main writer, guitarist and lead singer of Grand Funk. The band is more famous in America than in Europe, but if you never heard them, check them out! Have a fun day!

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Straining and soaring against the entire Dark Ages of Rock…
…When all he really wants to do is muck out the cows `n stuff.

`Jus` wan` grow mah own vegetables.`
`I dig the doom pow-wow powdoo popapoppop poooow!`

Yes friends, just two examples of the wit and wisdom of Mark Farner, guitarist and mulcher-in-chief of GRAND FUNK.

Pitchforks at the ready. Here we go…

By Tony Stewart

Mark Farner sits rigidly upright in a hotel room, his rippling biceps folded firmly over an impressively expansive chest. If it`s possible to stand to attention in an armchair, he`s doing it.
Tell me, Mark…
(He smiles pleasantly, showing off a set of teeth so sparkling white that it looks like he`s got a mouthful of piano keys.)
…and this is a question of considerable import, since it could well affect your life-style and the very future of Grand Funk…
(He`s curious. The sharp, clear eyes squint slightly as he concentrates, and his head nods understandingly.)
…and possibly even your own appeal…
(He`s listening really hard now.)
…why did you get your hair cut?
His mouth drops open, and a look – if not of complete horror, then certainly one of total incredulity – creeps across his rugged Dan Dare features.
“Why did I get my hair cut?”
Well – yes.

After all, it was a conversation piece earlier in the day, but somehow the exact reason why Farner had boldly lopped off four feet of his famous brown locks had never been put.
Quite a number of Grand Funk fans have recently failed to recognise their hero off-stage, it`s that savage.
“Because,” Farner finally manages to answer, “I work around my farm machinery all the time and on several different occasions I would bend over, be working on some equipment, be bailing hay or something, and that tractor motor has got a helluva lot of horsepower y`know, 125 horses, and it`s turning the power take-off shaft…an` my pony tail has damn near got jerked into it.
“An` that tractor wouldn`t stop just for my head gettin` jerked into it, y`know.
“I don`t wear bell-bottom jeans at my farm either when I`m working. I use straight legged pants coz I don`t want my leg gettin` jerked into none of that equipment.
“Plus,” he continues, turning to look at his publicist, a young American chick called Lynne Goldsmith who`s the only other person present, “how much money did my hair make for charity? We auctioned it off.”

Yes, sports fans. Mark`s a farmer-boy at heart.
But would you buy a second-hand cow off him?
“That`s what I`m working for y`know,” he goes on. “That`s what I went into rock music and strived for.
“I wanted to have enough money where I could buy me a farm and do what I want to do and be my own boss an` jus` grow m`own vegetables.
“I raise my own beef, I raise my own pigs and horses. One of these days I`m jus` gonna be self-sufficient.”
So you`re “into” it, eh?
“Oh yessur. It`s in my soul, it`s in my blood. I`m one-sixteenth Indian, an` I believe it`s in my heart.
“I`ve been round the world a coupla times,” he continues, “an` I don`t want anythin` but the land, because I relate to it. I don`t worship land, an` it`s not sacred to me, but it`s essential.
“I don`t know if anybody feels the exact same way about it as I do, but I cried when they strip-mined down in West Virginia, and they ruined all the trees an` the mountains an` the countryside. They jus` went through `em, took all the coal and fuck everything else, y`know? At the price of our future and our children`s future they`re jus` makin` money an` money, an` money. Money, money, money!

“Nothin` is gonna be in the way of these guys. The bankers` bankers and the ultra-rich who`re doing this sort of thing an` makin` a livin` ain`t gonna stop, I mean, `coz they`re runnin` the World.”
You don`t use spray deodorants, do you, Mark?
“Uh-uh. Roll on.”
“About the aerosol cans? Well, because they made a study down at the University of Michigan…an` they discovered while makin` tests that the outer layer of ozone, which is in the outer layer of the earth`s atmosphere an` which filters out the ultra-violet rays from the Sun, is gettin` more thin and gettin` eat up by these gasses that they pressurise these cans with. Freton or something they call it.
“When it`s released from the can it goes out and it goes right up to the outer atmosphere, coz it`s so light, an` it`s eatin` away at the ozone.
“They predict that within five years it`s gonna have an effect on the crops, an` people will be gettin` skin cancer from laying out in the sun too long. In ten years,” he continues, beginning to get down and get with the topic, “people won`t be able to go out in the sun, they say, if the use of aerosol cans keeps up.
“So that scares me. In fact, I`m writing a song about it.”

What`ll you call it?
“`Aerosol Can.` The first verse is” – he breaks into song, clicking time with his fingers – “`The rays of the sun are gonna burn ya, hun. You can`t kill a villain with a bomb or a gun. You can`t blow him out of his dhooooes. So it`s time to choooose.`
Protest, huh?
“They listen to my music now, an` I`ve said things in song that would be political, I guess. It`s my opinion, an` people have come to me an` said, `I get behind what you`re sayin` in that song`.
“As long as those people are listenin` to the words, I`m gonna keep sayin` it, because I feel obligated to say it. An` they`ll listen to the music coz it`s a good, funky beat.
“That`s the thing behind it – the drive.
“The doom pow-pow powdoo popapoppoppooow.
“It`s gonna cook. An` people`ll be boogie-ing and they`ll be saying, `Hey, what`s he saying? Yeah! He`s right!”
Yeah. But roll-ons are stickier than sprays.
“But,” he comes back eagerly, “the stick deodorants – like Brut – are good. They don`t leave a mess under your arms.”

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On an otherwise uneventful Sunday night in Copenhagen, Grand Funk arrive at a half-full concert hall for the first date on the European leg of a five-month World tour (which includes one date at Wembley this weekend).
All is not well.
The audience is jeering and slow hand-clapping because the support band are half an hour late. Their disenchantment intensifies when the group`s equipment is removed from the rostrum and it becomes apparent they`re not going to appear at all.
This occurence does, however, allow us time to reflect on the main attraction.
Emerging as the opening act at the 1969 Atlanta Festival, Grand Funk were virtually an over-night commercial success in America – though the acclaim they have subsequently received from capacity houses throughout the states has created so little consternation in musicbiz and Press circles.
Reactions have been extreme.
On the other hand, they`ve been described as the most hideous of all Heavy Metal creations, while on the other (that of ex-manager Terry Knight) they`ve been ecstatically declared the phenomenon of the 70s.
“It has often been said,” he once solioquized, “that Art becomes great not when it is `good` or `bad`, but only when it absolutely cannot be ignored.”
He has a point, actually.

Having released 11 albums (one a double) in their seven-year existence, each of which – according to Farner – has achieved platinum status, it would be…unfair to ignore them. Though time has shown that laughing at them is another matter.
At Copenhagen I didn`t laugh. I was too bored.
This, however, was not the concensus. By the end of a dozen numbers, a film-show projected on a screen above the stage, and some rather dazzling lighting effects, the audience response was rapturous.
Farner is the only focal point. Naked to the waist, wearing a pair of red satin pants possibly on loan from a pantomime genii, he leaps about the stage athletically, guitar strapped tightly to his barrel chest.
Drummer Don Brewer enthusiastically beats time, his afro-frizz lolling over the snare as if controlled by a puppeteer, while an immobile Mel Schacher rounds out bass riffs with apparent disinterest.
To the far left of the stage Craig Frost sits between two keyboard instruments, one of which resembles a fish tank.
The sound is elementary and repetitive. The only distinguishable difference between the first three numbers, “Are You Ready?”, “Foot Stompin` Music” and “Rock And Roll Soul” is a slight variation of tempo…somewhere.
Unlike other bands in the genre (Purple, Heep, etc.), Funk seem to place very little emphasis on spontaneity or improvision, their main philosophy apparently being: Find that riff and sit on it.

Back in the hotel room Mark`s saying how important he believes the lyrics of his songs to be. I`d like to have taken him up on this, except that I couldn`t actually hear them the previous night.
“When I write a song,” he expounds, “I`m behind that son-of-a-bitch 100 per cent. I mean, there`s no doubt in my mind whether it should go on disc that way. It`s going down that way an` it`s gonna be said. If anybody tried to fuck with my words, I`d just…”
And he smacks a powerful right fist into a large left hand, drawing Lynne to laugh and a resolution on my behalf not to delve too deeply into that particular area.
His unshakeable views on this subject have caused him some difficulties within Grand Funk.
When recording “We`re An American Band”, the other members refused to use some of his material because they considered it too political. Now he intends to record his own album and use these songs.
“I just feel obligated – because I`m where I`m at, in this position. A lot of other bands have been in this position, too. Like The Beatles – they were really political. They were social conscious and a lot of people were listenin` to `em, like on that `Magical Mystery Tour`.
“It was The Beatles, though, who inspired me to go on and do this, because I said, `If I ever get in that position` – an` I had my fingers crossed – `if I ever get as big as them guys were, or even halfway near it, I`m jus` gonna keep puttin` what I believe down on record`.

“We got 11 albums,” he states proudly, “an` all of `em are gold, an` all of `em are platinum, an` they`ve all sold a million copies a piece. That`s my testimonial.”
Commercial success, I cliche loudly, doesn`t necessarily indicate quality.
“Well, when we started down at Atlanta the people felt that music,” he defends. “When we went out it was 110 degrees in the sun, and the people were jus` dyin`, but they got up and gave it back to us.
“An` that was like my inspiration from that point on. Two hundred and fifty thousand got up an` called us back for an encore. And the guy even said our name wrong when he announced us.”
But wasn`t it mostly manager Knight`s hype at that stage?
“If we were a hype it would have stopped at Atlanta, or have stopped when people said, `Hey they can`t play, it`s a hype`. If it`s a hype you can tell by what`s comin` outa bands.
“And Terry Knight didn`t create us, because it`s our original music, which he had nothin` do with at all, except to produce it – if you can call it producing.
“I`ll tell you what: when we split with Terry Knight you couldn`t have put our money and assets together and made a million dollars. We were in debt.
“I owed the government $400,000 or something like that. I just got it paid off last year.
“Like we were working in the red for a long time…until our last American tour.

“If Grand Funk broke up tomorrow I`d go back to my farm and be a farmer. I wouldn`t try to go out with nobody because there`s not that combination in the world.
“An` I don`t have to have that elaborate amount of money because I don`t live that way. Like I told you, I`m getting to the point where I`m self-sufficient.
“My number one concern is my physical condition. I wouldn`t be any good if I didn`t have myself together – fit. So I work on my farming. I wanna die old; I wanna be in good condition. I don`t wanna get fat.”
“The first time Mark had a satin pants fitting,” says Lynne Goldsmith. “He didn`t have his shirt on and the woman fitter looked at him and said, `How do you get your chest like that?`
“And Mark said, truthfully, `I shovel shit everyday`.”
“I`m staying right down here on the ground,” Farmer maintains, stoutly. “I`m not a superstar who`s got his nose up in the air and who don`t recognise anybody else. I`m just like you and her.
“You kick us all out in the street and take our clothes off and we all look the same.”
Unless you`re shovelling shit.
“I`m very grateful to the people who put me where I`m at,” he continues, his eyes glistening, “and I jus` can`t repay them enough.
“It`s like my family…and I try to help them as much as I can. I could never do enough for my parents or the people who`ve put me where I`m at.”
“Well then,” interjects Lynne immediately, “you can take me to dinner.”
“You buying?” He laughs innocently.

Cutest Bass player in the history of music?

Cutest Bass player in the history of music?

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: Phil Manzanera, Curved Air, Tammy Wynette, “How to compile an album”, “An investigation into Japanese Rock”, Alice Cooper, David Crosby, Hedgehog Pie, Ralph McTell.

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

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be around or upwards of 12 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

No article from this one – just some pictures and a bit of information.

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I will soon be back with another article for the blog, but in this edition of NME Magazine dated April 12, 1975, I didn`t find anything that triggered any lust for me to reprint anything. As this is an non-paying hobby of mine, I have to feel something for the subject – otherwise I won`t bother.

My other motivation for doing all this work is visits to my blog – it is a lot of fun to watch my stats and see all those people from all over the world reading my blog. So please tell your friends – or share my blog with others!

I also like being followed on Twitter – it gives me a lot of joy to be followed by someone, whether it is someone rather famous or if it is plain old, ordinary you. And I accept anyone asking me for a friend request on Facebook! I have made some very interesting acquaintances through that medium, and may it continue so. The only ones that I don`t accept are what is obvious fake accounts – sorry for that.

What will happen next? Well, after I am finished with NME, I will look at some of the wonderful magazines from the 80s and try to share some goodies from them. I have an enormous collection from that period in time, several different magazines in almost complete order. Some of them are still around today, and others are long gone and maybe forgotten.

So, if you would like me to keep my motivation to write this blog and share it with you for free in the future, you can do one or maybe two of these things:

  • Buy one of the magazines that I advertise for sale. (Thanks to everone that already did!).
  • Donate (Look at link on the right side of my blog)
  • Follow me on Twitter and share my posts with others
  • Follow or add me as a friend on Facebook, and share my posts with other people.
  • Discuss or post a link to my blog articles on music related forums, blogs or pages.

See you around then! 🙂

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This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Ringo Starr, Loudon Wainwright, Loretta Lynn, Patti Smith, “Can Rock lead to Schizophrenia?”, Alphonse Mouzon, Tangerine Dream, Diana Ross, Marshall Sehorn, Michael Nesmith, Roger Sutton (Nucleus).

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

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be around or upwards of 12 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.