Month: March 2018

ARTICLE ABOUT Jon Lord (Deep Purple) FROM SOUNDS, April 29, 1972

Some very interesting musings in this article with maestro Jon Lord, one of the most important organ players in the history of rock. This one should please the Deep Purple fans out there. Enjoy!

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Lord of the deep

Interview by Steve Peacock

Jon Lord was at home in Barnes, and slightly bewildered to be so. For the second time in six months, Deep Purple had to cut short an American tour, and both times for the same reason. Last time, Ian Gillan got ill, with hepatitis; this time it was Ritchie Blackmore`s turn.
“I`m trying to work out what I`ve done wrong,” said Jon. “It doesn`t seem fair that the same group gets hit twice by hepatitis in six months – both times in the middle of an American tour. It seems that every time we go there we take two steps forward and one back.”
“To me, `Machine Head` (the new album) is the apex of what we started to do with `Deep Purple In Rock`, and I don`t really think we should carry on along quite the same line I think we should try and go round a few corners with the next one.
“Some people say about the group, probably with some justification, that we don`t seem to have progressed very far since `Deep Purple In Rock`, though certainly inwardly each musician has progressed enormously – the writing talents have improved, our way of working together has improved, and we`ve got a much better working relationship between ourselves and with an audience. But where some of that justification lies is in the fact that we haven`t really deviated from the very set line, and I think it`s time we started to shoot for the stars a little bit more.”

In other words, having consolidated their position as a tight, heavy rock band, it was time to be a little more adventurous. “My feeling has always been that with our tempos – the speeds we use and the kind of rhythms we choose for our numbers, could be a little more inventive. I think we`ve sometimes underestimated the ability of our audience – the people that like us – to accept something a little bit more. Just because people like `Hard Rock`, unquote, it doesn`t mean it has to be in 4/4 or a shuffle.
The talents of the band are equal to far more than we`re doing, while not putting down what we`ve done on the last three albums, and we`ve learnt a lot in that time. But I think we could now extend our boundaries a little bit. That doesn`t mean that we should do something in 5/4 just for the sake of doing it in 5/4, but we shouldn`t throw out the possibility of using different times and styles, bent to our own style.
“I think we`ve always been a little scared of losing what we gained with `Deep Purple In Rock`, because each individual in the band had spent so long trying to achieve something, that when you eventually get there half of you is saying you should perhaps move on from there, while the other half is saying `don`t knock a good thing`. I`ve seen it happen to so many bands – the first successful thing that happens to them tends to re-write their career for them for the next year or so.”
As he said, it`s something that happens to a lot of bands, but did he tend to think in terms of what might be good for the band`s career?

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“Not any more. The trouble is that when you`ve got five people in a band you`re going to get five different ideas of what`s going to be good for the band`s career. But for instance I`d think it would be excellent for our career to show a reasonably significant movement in direction on the next album. But I usually try to think as little as possible in those terms and more in terms of what would be good for the music we play, which will eventually determine the career anyway.”
So for him, whatever promotion and things the pop business gets up to, the music will out in the end? “I think it`s the only thing that`s got to matter in the end. On the rare occasions when we have over-concerned ourselves with extra-musical considerations, I think we`ve taken a little tumble. You know, when we`ve let ourselves be co-erced or co-erced ourselves into doing things just because they`d be good for our career. I`ve often found that because it`s either destroyed something we`ve been trying to build up musically, or it`s destroyed someone`s confidence in you because you`ve gone against a couple of principles they admired you for, it`s in actual fact not helped our career. So I like to think of the music, and everything we do going towards that, and our performance on stage, and try not to be involved in anything else.
“But I hate talking about `The Music` – it always sounds a bit false to me; especially when we`ve said over and over again that we`re basically a rock and roll band, and a loud and fairly unsubtle one at that. I`d like to think we could be just accepted as that, and then if we do something that`s a natural extension of that, but perhaps, a bit surprising…”

It was, he admitted, a great temptation to go out on stage and play the things you know are going to go down well, and they`d fallen into the trap sometimes. And he, like Ritchie, had gone through a stage where he played “as many semiquavers as I could”. But they`ve both changed their ideas on that, and today Jon says he`d like to be known as “a reasonably funky organist” more than a speed king. As to the future of Purple, he says it`s really a question of using what they have:
“The thing is, I think, we`d like to stay within the structure of the band as it exists – which is a five piece rock band using organ, bass guitar, drums and voice – and use it in any way possible to increase the ability of the group to entertain.”
Like most bands, Purple had had their crises in the past, but now they seemed to be settled. “I think we`ve reached a lucky point in our lives where we can afford to take things at the right tempo, rather than that dreadful spurt we did after `Deep Purple In Rock` was big; we were working so hard then that the most simple argument could develop into `I`m going to leave` with no trouble at all. Now I think we`re a little slower coming to the boil.
“But you see the band still thoroughly enjoys playing on stage in front of an audience – there`s not one member who doesn`t feel that`s still the best moment, so I think just from that point of view the band will probably stick together. A couple of us are at the point now where we probably wouldn`t join another group if we left this one.
“But it all depends – it could last another three years, or it could last another three months; you never know when a group`s at this stage. It`s a happy unit and a successful one, so it could concievably go on for a long time, but somebody might just get to the stage where they think they`d really rather be doing something else.
“And I don`t think the group would continue if one person left – we`ve reached such a point of interdepenance. I`d be able to tell you better if it happened, but I think we`d call it a day.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Wishbone Ash, Maggie Bell, David Clayton-Thomas (Blood, Sweat & Tears), Matching Mole, Marc Bolan, Ornette Coleman, Peter Frampton, Rod Argent, Rita Coolidge, ELP, Robert Altman, Happy And Artie Traum.

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 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 Ginger Baker FROM SOUNDS, January 15, 1972

Peter Edward “Ginger” Baker may well be one of the greatest drummers in modern history. There are not many that can say that they have played with so many and varied artists and bands like him. He has been active since 1954 and knows how to play everything from rock and blues to jazz and African beats. Besides his part as a drummer in famous bands he also has a long solo career, something that is quite unusual for most drummers.
Check him out if you never heard him play.

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Ginger`s african rhythms

By Ray Telford

The musical paths chosen by Ginger Baker since the break-up of Blind Faith have been both interesting and very revealing.
Blind Faith we can forget about simply because that band and its music had little to do with the musicians concerned and in Baker`s case it was particularly obvious. Air Force, though, got nearer to the truth. Back came the thunder into his drums with the familiar unrelenting rhythm patterns which hadn`t been heard since the best Cream gigs. It was a band Ginger dearly wanted to survive and had they been still going today they`d have been coming up with some pretty amazing things but with any band that size plying the rock circuit the hassles involved must have been enormous. In the end it became too much.

RESTRICTIVE

Ginger has been quoted many times as saying that it was Phil Seaman who first turned him on to African music and last week he said it again. Ginger and Nigerian musician Fela Ransome-Kuti were giving interviews at EMI House, which turned out to be a fairly restrictive affair because of a few things going on in the room that were quite unrelated to either man`s music, but Ginger did talk about his current African projects.
It was with the release of “Atunde (We Are Here)” by Ginger Baker`s Drum Choir that the real Ginger Baker was finally brought out into the open. Shortly after the release of the album he went to Africa and he says that now he`ll be spending roughly four or five months of the year there recording Nigerian musicians at his soon to be completed Ikeja studios near Lagos.
“The studio`s about 10 miles from Lagos and it`s the only one in the whole of Africa which will concentrate on recording African musicians. I`ll be recording a lot of people who are completely unknown and who otherwise just wouldn`t get recorded at all.”

PREMIER

Ginger`s other work in Africa over the past few months has been taken up with his making a movie to be called “Ginger Baker In Africa”. Musically, Ginger explained, the film is about him playing with various African pick-up musicians and their gigs. The film has yet to be completed but he promises it`s coming along fine. There will also be an album released at the same time as the film.
Fela Ransome-Kuti is described on EMI`s publicity handout as being Nigeria`s “premier recording star”. Ginger says he first met Fela around 1960/61. At that time Ginger was playing with Alexis Korner among others and Fela was studying at the Trinity College of Music.

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FREEDOM

“He used to come along and jam with us every once in a while and it sounded good. Fela`ll be doing a lot of recording at the studios when they`re completed. He`s also going to be recording in Abbey Road studios for his first British album.”
Ginger feels the very essence of African music lies in its complete freedom: “There are parts in the film,” he says, “which show some really great jam sessions which are completetly free. It`s something you just don`t get in so-called civilisation where even music is restricted. That`s why it`s music to be played live in front of a lot of people. For this music you really need an audience… it`s part of me, it`s not really Ginger Baker playing African music, it`s just me. The same as Otis Redding played Otis Redding, Fela plays Fela and I play me.”

STRANGE

Was there ever any likelihood of a return to rock for him?
“Rock is a very strange word to me. I`ve just always played music as I see it. I never put titles to music.”
Did he then think a lot of bands going around today have been influenced by African music or soul musicians like Otis Redding?
“Otis was beautiful. I knew him. But I don`t know anything about rock groups being influenced by people like that because I don`t listen to them.”

SHAME

It is doubtful that what is loosely termed “Afro-rock” has the kind of universal appeal to turn the music into big business and it`d be a shame if it ever did. It is obviously so far from being a business proposition with Ginger Baker. He reckons that there are basically the same rhythmic patterns in everybody but the differences have come about because civilisation places much more emphasis on melody whereas in Africa the barb lies in the rhythmic patterns and time changes.
Next summer Fela will make a short tour of Britain and he`ll be joined on about seven gigs with Ginger. I don`t think there will be a tremendous change in what Baker will be playing: “It`s the way I`ve always played. There`s not much more to say than that.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Grease Band, “Ladies in Rock”, Gary Wright, Juicy Lucy, Bud Powell, John McLaughlin, T. Rex, Bobby Keyes, Charlie Whitney, Poco, Electric Flag, Pete Atkin, Isla St. Clair.

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 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 Humble Pie FROM SOUNDS, January 8, 1972

This band had more chart success after Frampton left the band and he had more success without this band, so it turned out well for them after all. One of the greatest English rock drummers also get a mention in this article.
Have a good read!

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Adding a little blues to the Pie

By Ray Telford

Humble Pie are now a band of some stature in Britain. Of course it took the super-aware American audiences to pick up on them first and start giving them the kind of respect any band needs for a healthy growth but that has seemed to be the way with most of the best of our home-grown rock bands – The Grease Band and Procol Harum being two of the more obvious examples.
Humble Pie returned from their umpteenth American tour a month before Christmas. That had been their first bunch of dates with new guitarist Dave Clempson since he took over from the talented and still under-rated Pete Frampton. In his last few months with Humble Pie, Frampton became aware of an ever increasing alienation between himself and the music he was obliged to play.
Clempson tells a similar story. Over two years he`d become some kind of guitar sensation with Colosseum but he too felt he was being drawn into musical directions which were not his cup of tea. There`s little doubt that Clempson`s departure from Colosseum did a lot to break up the band generally. Also they were a group largely out of place, sad as it may be, among contemporary British and American rock bands and I have little hesitation in guessing that this alone did much to speed up the Colosseum split.

Dave, however, has no such high flown theories. He simply speaks for himself when he says: “Before joining Colosseum I was just a happy little guitarist playing what I liked best but with Colosseum there was always something to live up to. The whole band were always consciously trying to knock people out and in the end that was what was beginning to screw me up.”
Nevertheless, it would have taken a shrewd observer indeed to predict a year ago that an instrumentalist like Clempson would one day find a home in a hard grooving band like Humble Pie. Dave hadn`t heard much of them until joining, apart from a few radio spots and a small tour of Germany they did with Colosseum two years ago. What he did hear, though, Dave liked.
Although he never had the chance to play a lot of blues in the past couple of years, Dave reckons he`ll now be able to make up for lost time.
“I`ve always thought of myself as a blues player and all the people in the band want me to play the blues and this is one reason why I`m much happier. With this band there`s no obsession about being better than anyone else which was what was happening in Colosseum. The guys in Humble Pie maybe aren`t the best at what they`re doing but we feel it and enjoy it and it just feels really natural.

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“You know, Greg (bassist Greg Ridley) is much the same as I am. He`s very paranoid about his playing. He wants me to teach him more about the technical things in music because right now he feels he needs it. He`s got amazing feel, a real natural feel, but he wants to know more about what he`s actually playing. Bass players like Jack Bruce are perfect because he has this feel born in him and he`s got a ridiculous technique.”
Taking into account his previous dissatisfaction, or even disillusionment with Colosseum, I put it to Dave that forming his own band would have been an ideal solution. He says it was a thought which he had toyed with and had even gone so far as suggesting the idea to one of his old friends from his days in Birmingham, drummer Cozy Powell, who now sits in the drum chair of the Jeff Beck Group.
“Someday I`m going to be in a band with Cozy,” Dave said determinedly. “When my first band (a useful blues band called Bakerloo) broke up I was going to get a band started with Dave Pegg and Cozy in Birmingham but then Dave joined Fairport Convention and I went to Colosseum and Cozy was also involved in a few things so it never came off. But I did think quite a lot about getting my own thing started a few times while I was with Colosseum.”
Naturally Dave`s link up with Pie presented problems but again he points out that they were things which only needed a little time to put right. He says joining was easy because they were playing the music he felt and knew best. Instrumentally, his biggest hangup was getting the hang of knowing how much to play and how much to leave out.

Dave admits to being somewhat apprehensive, though, about his replacing Pete Frampton, if not from a musical viewpoint, certainly on a personality basis. Especially in the States Frampton was much loved. Dave was worried about group images and wondered, needlessly as it turned out, if an ex-member of Colosseum was acceptable to Humble Pie audiences. The two guitar styles varied greatly but each fitted. However, the past American tour proved that audiences or appreciation had not dwindled over the departure of Frampton.
“When Pete left the band they wanted somebody who had a different style and not somebody who was going to be purely a replacement for Pete. Rick Derringer really wanted the job desperately but he played too much like Pete. They needed somebody too who could fit in along with Steve`s (Marriott) singing and rhythm guitar playing.”
Humble Pie are in the studios for the greater part of January recording their fourth album. It`ll be the first time Dave will have recorded with the band. He`s proved himself on gigs the forthcoming album will be his final test.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Sandy Denny, Mimi Farina, Josè Feliciano, T. Rex, Crowbar, Muggsy Spanier, Canned Heat, Eric Clapton, Teddy Osei, Georgie Fame, Rolling Stones.

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 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 Ian Hunter FROM SOUNDS, December 4, 1971

A very good article with this artist who represents the blue-collar, working-class more than most. This one you should enjoy.

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Mott the Hoople`s staggeringly successful live gigs has been a source of constant amazement to commentators, who have invariably been less than enthusiastic about their music. The wild scenes which occur wherever they play come in for more comment than does their music. Lead singer and piano player Ian Hunter particularly has had his fair share of criticism from people at a loss to understand his hold over audiences. Here he describes how Mott the Hoople really works and throws some light on the reasons for their fanatical following.

(No journalist credited – Blog ed.)

Where have you been on your present tour?

We`ve stuck to the North mostly. It`s an area we`ve been to, but very infrequently. It was very gratifying, especially Glasgow, places like that where we haven`t been much. It was a good buzz, it was really nice.

Where do you come from yourself?

I was born in Oswestry, Shropshire, but I lived in Northampton before I came to London. I first came down to London in late `66 or early `67. This guy called Miller Anderson lived in the next street and we were wandering around looking for work.

Was the idea for you both to get together in a band?

Yeah, we were together, you know. I used to play bass then, I didn`t play piano. We did various little gigs and got conned by various little agencies that wanted to sign you for 10 years, purely to sell you when you caught the eye of some more reputable agency.

How long did you stay together, then?

About a year. We worked in this factory together, called Friars Brothers, in Archway, and we hated every minute of it. It was dismal, I had this flat for two pounds ten a week, so you can imagine what it was like.

Were you trying to make it as musicians then?

Oh, yeah, we`d run to the phone every dinner-time, we used to get half an hour off. It was a coin-box, so it was always full and you never got any dinner, waiting to find out if this single we`d done six months previously was going to be released in Japan or not, you know… then Miller got offered the job with Keef and asked me what I was going to do – `cos we`d decided to stick together – at first I said, “Well don`t” and then I said, “Well do”. I didn`t know where I was at the time. I was completely at a loss. I didn`t want to hold him back because I thought he was really good, you know. We were very loyal to each other at the time, but he was married, he needed bread, so he went. Then I got a song-writing contract with Francis, Day and Hunter. It was a bit of a fluke, I got on 15 pound a week wages. They had done this song with a 26-piece orchestra -unfortunately for them they hadn`t asked me to sign a contract until they`d done it. By this time they`d spent God knows how much on the session, and I was working in this factory, so I turned round and said: “I don`t want to sign anything unless you give me some money”. It was really funny, I asked for three months at 15 quid a week and if they liked me, an option of another three months. I regarded it as a summer holiday. They kept me on for about a year. They thought my stuff was good, you know, but they didn`t know what to do with it. Then I got the chance with Mott.

HUSTLER

How did Mott come together? Did you meet Guy Stevens and he introduced you to the rest of the band or what?

No, Mott`s got a guitarist called Mick Ralphs, he`s a born hustler – not so much now, he`s pretty perplexed now, but he was at the time – and he hustled for the original group, which was a group called the Silence, from Hereford. He kept on going to see Guy – Jim Capaldi had put the word in, you know – but one or two things were wrong, which eventually got ironed out, and the four of them signed to Island, and they were looking for a piano player and a singer. They auditioned all these people, and didn`t get anybody they wanted, but the guy that ran the studio where they`d been auditioning knew me from me doing demos. He rang me up and I went down there afterwards – `cos I would never have had the guts to go myself, because I didn`t really play piano, C, F and G, that was about it, and I`d never sung before. It caught me at the right moment, though. I`m normally very insecure but that particular night I had nothing to lose, so I stormed down there, launched into an aggressive rendering of “Rolling Stone”, and that was that. I remember Verden, the organist, knew about half the chords, it was very strange, the guitarist looked just like the bass player, I couldn`t work it out. Guy Stevens was there – I didn`t know him then either – there was this outrageous freak hopping about. It was all very strange to me. Anyway, we met the following morning and he gave me the job.

What did you think of Mott when you first met them?

Not much, actually, it was really weird. I spent half the time thinking I was dragging the whole show along and the other half of the time I spent running after them trying to catch them up, it was a really weird sort of thing. They were country lads, you know, and there was this country-city thing. I`m city-inclined – I was brought up in the country till I was about 11, but I`m city-inclined and there was this difference in view.

Were they very much a local beat-group at the time?

Yeah, they`d been working for a little agency in Swansea, and the guy had told them, “You must do Beatles numbers or you won`t get gigs.” They were Buffalo Springfield fanatics and it just wasn`t working out for them in Swansea. We`ve been back to Swansea with Mott the Hoople and I still don`t think it really works out for them!

MADNESS

What sort of thing were you reckoning on doing when you first got together?

Originally it was a quiet group. We played all our own stuff… we had this weird sort of madness. We`ve always been schizoid, we like slow, quiet stuff, then there`s that bit of madness that you`ve got to get out, like a kind of orgasm, you don`t feel you`ve done your best unless you come off feeling knackered. Pretty much the same as we are now, but very untogether, very raw – pretty poor.
I remember the first gig we did was with Free, in Sunderland, which was like Beatlemania for them at the time, and the second was with King Crimson, and we felt like jacking after the first two gigs, but Graham, Free`s roadie, had told us it was like that for Free before, when they used to support Spooky Tooth, so not to worry. This last tour we did Graham was with Paul Rodgers, you know, he`s Peace`s roadie now, and he said we`d got it now exactly like Free had it then. I`ve always been a fan of Paul Rodgers, I think he`s perhaps the best singer in Britain at the moment, he`s got two sympathetic people with him… they`re really nice guys.

Why did you decide to do mainly a northern circuit this time round?

We`ve always been a London band – you know, anywhere north of Barnet we didn`t know what was going on. It`s not really fair. Periodically we get these letters coming in saying: “Why isn`t the band playing here, why isn`t the band playing there”, so we try to play there. We`ve done intermittent gigs in the north but not a big tour. It`s really sad, you know – I remember one of your guys did a review of a gig we did at Sheffield. Now only about eleven hundred came in at Sheffield, and he said: “Where were the missing hundreds? But when we go to Sheffield, there was about four hundred police outside, trying to hold out the people who were out of work. It was verging on riots outside the place. We were escorted into the gig – now you can imagine any head within 10 miles of there wasn`t going to go into that gig and the average kid just hasn`t got two halfpennies to rub together. It`s really bad, you know.

RIP-OFFS

Coming back to August 1969, your first song with Mott was a Dylan number. A lot was talked at the time of “Blonde on Blonde” influence. Would you acknowledge this influence?

At the time I couldn`t sing a note – it was only using my vocals to get the words across, like a lot of people do. It was just coming out that way. I didn`t have the “Blonde on Blonde” album then – I didn`t have any albums, I couldn`t afford them. I`ve since acquired the album, and I can see the parallels but they are parallels, inasmuch as the Byrds were a parallel. It`s funny how some groups seem to be called direct rip-offs, but the other groups are regarded as valid parallels. In America we were regarded as parallel. There seemed to be this thing that Dylan had gone off from “Blonde on Blonde” one way, but we had mainly come from “Blonde on Blonde” and gone another way. But in England it was passed off as a bunch of blokes trying to be like Dylan. I mean, Dylan`s a genius, he changed the world, he made music into a culture. He gave the whole rock and roll syndrome validity. I should imagine he`s an influence on nearly everybody.

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What was Guy Stevens` part in launching Mott the Hoople?

It`s weird, you know, he loves Mott the Hoople and Mott the Hoople have always loved him. He was in love with the image of Mott the Hoople, as he imagined it then. It was his image – Mott was him. He could never get it out, he`s not a musician. The first two albums were exactly how he felt at the time. There was the case of a track on “Mad Shadows” called “My Mind`s Gone”. It was really weird, `cos there was no lyric, I just looked at him and kind of sang it, but it was something that came out of his head, not mine, like a transmission thing. He was very, very forceful. Any credit that Mott got at that time was solely due to Guy Stevens. He was always a Stones` fan and a Dylan fan, and he wanted a group that was a cross between the two. That was what he was after, and we tried our best to live up to it, but we were untogether, looking back at it now. We thought we were God`s gift to groups then – always have done and still do, that`s why you don`t split up. See, Guy has an amazing head, but he doesn`t have an outlet for it. It`s all intangible, his end-product, so it`s very frustrating for him. It must come through somebody else. Mott was his transmitter, if you like. But then something else started to happen. We were getting a bit fed-up one gig because we weren`t getting the reaction we wanted, at the time when Island were getting really worried, it didn`t look like we were going to do anything, and we did a number from the first album called “You Really Got Me” and people started to jump about in the most amazing way. It amazed us. And the Overend our bass player started moving about a bit – at that time we would all stand in a row and I would sit all the way through – and then it got to “Rock `n` Roll Queen” and all of a sudden we started leaping.

This was after the first album had been released?

Oh yeah, `cos we never did a gig before the album, in fact if we`d done gigs before we did the album we`d never have done it! I remember doing the Speakeasy, and the whole Island record company was there, we died the most abysmal death. I`m sure everybody wanted to get rid of us. It`s to Island`s credit that they`ve always been amazing to us. Perhaps they`ve been a bit too good to us, spoiled us. Guy held the whole thing together – quite honestly, I never saw any hope for us. Mind you, we were all totally insecure. Perhaps that`s why the band is the way it is, we`re still insecure now.

PERFORMANCE

How do you mean, insecure?

We`ve never felt any degree of permanence since we started, and we still don`t. I mean, it`s a funny game, rock music people are fickle. You can just disappear in three months, and we don`t want that to happen. It could go either way, so you have this hungry thing, this sort of insecure feeling with Mott. Perhaps that`s why we let off so much on stage. The whole group feels temporary, and always has – as a group though, not as individuals.

When was it that you first noticed this big reaction at your gigs?

I think it was at Letchworth Youth Club, actually! It was the first time we ever got encores, you know. They went spare, and we couldn`t believe it. Then the following night, we did the same again. It was all over one weekend, it just suddenly happened. It became more like a performance, before we`d just been sitting there and laying numbers on people.

Did you realise that getting up and moving around would be so effective?

Well, I had that in me anyway. The only reason I hadn`t moved from the word go was because I felt a bit of a twit, you know. To move round the stage you can look so silly, and I didn`t want to look silly, so we took it easy. Like every night we`d come off and ask Stan – that`s the guy that organises us – “Were we overdoing it? Was it too much?” and eventually we got to know what we could do and couldn`t do on stage.

Is this what put you on to the sort of music on “Mad Shadows”?

Well, we had this degree of madness, you know, it`s still there now, on the new album. It`s a really weird band. I`ve been an advocate of the slow music, mainly because I write it, from the very beginning, and I think we`ve done some really good slow numbers – I think that Mick and myself have written some really reasonable numbers – but somehow, when we get on stage, it`s like a minor explosion, every time, you know, we just can`t help it.

Who mostly comes to see you these days?

I think we are really a working man`s band. When we started off, colleges liked us, but as we got more flamboyant, this was replaced by club audiences and then concert audiences, and they were getting younger. Now I would say our main audience is between 15 and 19. We haven`t got a T. Rex audience. This is generally thought to be so, but we don`t get thousands of screaming birds, you know? I mean we get pulled off the stage now and then, but it`s not a teenybopper thing, it`s more of a working man`s hero type thing.

Do you think you`ve angled your music to this new audience?

No, I don`t think so. Obviously you keep in certain numbers which you know will get a particularly good reaction, but that`s an immediate reaction. But there`s two reactions – the immediate one and the one on the following day, and the day after. That`s what keeps you going as a group. You can get a great reaction one night, but a guy will only book you back for the same money. There`s no follow-up.

Do you think that people are still getting good value for money when they go to rock concerts, or are they getting charged too much?

Not in general, though some promoters charge far too much for far too little. But you`re going to get that anywhere. Where there is quick money, and a lot of money, to be made, and the rock business is a large industry, you`ll get the second-hand car dealers, but it`s very temporary and very foolish, because it never works. The only people who are still running successful dances are the people who have been very honest.

Do you ever see a return to small clubs where the band is not necessarily the most important part of the evening?

The dreaded wallpaper music? I`d hate that. I want people to come and see us, I mean, that`s murder, I`ve done  it before, years ago, in Germany, that whole bit, where people come in – Whisky A Go Go kind of scene – ageing Italians with their 15-year-old birds. I never liked that, nobody wants that back. I think it`s one of the most amazing things that happened, when people actually started listening.

POSITIVE

When you`re on stage, do you get a feeling of real power over them?

Yeah, it`s a great feeling. I`ve always felt that, and providing you use it in a good way, there`s no harm. I think audiences do need leading – they`re scared to get up and do what they want to do because the people around them know them. They`re scared to appear freakish in any way. If you lead them they`ll come en bloc, let loose their inhibitions and it`s great to see that happening. Then that turns you on and you let yourself go. It`s a question of you turning them on and them turning you on in turn. That`s the general way it works on a gig.

Do you see it as releasing energy?

Well, everybody has pent-up emotions, either you kick someone in the teeth, smoke yourself silly, or you get it out some other way… I think we do have some level of responsibility to the people that come to see us. I don`t think Mott gigs are unhealthy gigs. The reactions we get must come from healthy people. We don`t get that sort of lying-on-the-ground, eyes-rolling reaction, we get a positive thing. This was the silly thing about America: they had a huge drug problem which they really believed was due to heavy rock, but it wasn`t at all. With heavy rock, you`ve got to be there, you can`t be on a different plane, you have to be there with them. So I think our reactions are healthy, and in that way I think we do a bit of good. It`s coincidental, it`s not meant that way, but it does seem to work that way.

There are other bands with strong allegiance like yourselves, Edgar Broughton, for example, who uses his popularity as a political platform. Do you ever think of trying to angle this popularity more?

No, because everybody`s level of awareness is different. You shouldn`t confuse your own level of awareness with that of a kid in Sheffield or Newcastle. You might be laying something on them in the heat of the moment that they`ll believe in the cold of the following morning. I would prefer to keep my political beliefs to myself. I sing rock and roll. I don`t criticise Edgar Broughton for doing it, but ours is a different thing altogether. I think that what you say between songs should be appertaining to what you`re doing at the time. Sometimes I`ve got a bit of a grouse – usually I just say the first thing that comes into my head on stage, and you get that off your chest, but I wouldn`t get up on any political format. It causes trouble.

You have a rather evil image on stage – with the shades and the masks and so on. Do you think it might be this that your audiences like, and if so do you find this at all worrying?

Probably so, yeah, but while they`re there get it out. But they usually walk out the door shattered, see? They`ve had an experience. They`re not going to hit anybody, they`re too knackered. They`ve got it off, that was Mott the Hoople, that was a rock group, that`s all there is to it. For instance, we have never had a punch-up at a concert, ever. If it comes over as violence, that`s what we mean at the time, but nobody would really believe it. We feel like what we are on stage, larger than life, compared with what we usually are. I feel a completely different person on stage, extremely confident – confident to the point of over-confidence. Offstage I don`t feel confident at all.

How does it come about that although you`d like to play quiet numbers, on stage you always end up playing the fast, heavy ones?

This has been the subject of endless discussion between the band and the people we`re responsible to. It`s just always been schizoid, ever since the word go. Sometimes I go through moods when I like just to play quietly – my dearest wish is to play a proper piano on stage rather than an electric, which I don`t play nearly so well. There are times when I`d like to play quietly all the way through and get a respectful reaction, but when I think about it I don`t know whether I could really do that and feel I`d done it – I always seem to have to feel not only emotionally finished but physically finished as well, it`s really strange, and the whole group are the same.

LIEUTENANTS

Verden Allen has been quoted as saying: “We don`t want to be classed just as a rock band, just playing the heavy fast things”. You`d agree with that, then?

Yeah, when we did the Albert Hall, the first five numbers of that show were all slow, but all the reviews reviewed the audience, rather than the music. Well perhaps they were being very nice and didn`t like the five numbers, but that`s what normally happens. But our tribe, our following, will always listen to the slow numbers, they`ll come up afterwards and talk about them…

… but the other night at the Rainbow, when you announced “The Journey” you said: “You`re going to hate this but we`re going to do a slow one…” Why did you say that, because the audience didn`t hate it at all?

Well, perhaps I`m paranoid about the whole thing. It could well be, it`s something we`ve had to live with for a long time. When I`m talking like that, our following usually know what I`m talking about. They know I`m not talking to them, they know that I`m talking to the fringe, people who didn`t really want to come in but thought they`d drop in. Really I`m talking to them. The kids who follow us follow us everywhere, they know us back to front. With the main following – we call them the lieutenants, you know, they`re the ones that are nearest to us and come with us nearly everywhere we go – they`re like part of the group, they come in and get changed in the dressing room like we do.

Like cheerleaders?

Yes, but they`re doing it because they get a buzz out of it, they`re not actually cheerleaders because they get out front and get into it. There`s about thirty or forty that you`ll find anywhere, then we`ve got little divisions, like in Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, where they`ll travel to a gig maybe in Middlesbrough… it`s great because when you go to a gig there are always these few people there. You know you`re going to make somebody happy that way.

Do you foresee yourselves continuing to play to audiences like that? Is there going to be a time when you`re going to have to cool out on the live gigs and get more down on record?

We`d like to do both. We`ll always be a gigging band, though. If we haven`t gigged for three or four days, Mick`s up the office panicking, he doesn`t know what to do with himself, and Buff doesn`t know what to do with himself. We can`t stand not working. It`s come about in recent months that we haven`t been able to work so much, because we usually have clauses saying we can`t play in the area for six weeks before or after. We can`t work so much, which is the thing I really miss about being a club band, `cos we used to work seven days a week, used to love it. I would like to see us go like the Who eventually, been together a long, long time, they gig, they`re happy.

In general, why do you think some bands get this fanatical following?

I don`t know, you know? I just don`t know.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Deep Purple, Rikki Farr, Bob Dylan, Nicky Hopkins, Bunk Johnson, Country Joe and the Fish, Steve Marriott, Frank Zappa, Roy Harper, Emitt Rhodes, Charlie Wills, Melanie.

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 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 Frank Zappa FROM SOUNDS, December 4, 1971

A nice interview that is actually the second part of the last one with Zappa that I posted here. Enjoy!

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Frank`s turtles in disguise

By Steve Peacock

The time is right, thinks Frank Zappa, to unleash on an unsuspecting public the long-awaited nine-album anthology of Mother`s music, together with a 30-page booklet. It`s set for release next March.
A year ago, I asked Zappa when he`d ben releasing the set, and he said: “In about five or 10 years when they assume more historical importance.” Things have obviously moved a lot faster than he`d expected.

DOCUMENTARY ANSWERS

“I think now is the time, because what with the release of “200 Motels”. I think if anybody has any questions about where things come from in that film, it would be appropriate to answer them through this set. There`s a lot of documentary stuff on it.”
The nine albums go right through from 1962 to now, and none of the material has been released before. A lot of it`s live, and about 20 per cent of it is live versions of stuff that`s been on other albums.
“There`s a lot of improvisation,” says Zappa. “The old group`s strongest point was collective improvisation, where the group itself would put together a piece on stage from nothing. There`s some good examples of that. A lot of it was recorded in Europe – there`s a bunch of stuff from the Festival Hall concert we did here in `68, some stuff from the Albert Hall in `69, quite a few American concerts, some stuff from Copenhagen. And then from the most recent Mothers there`s some things we recorded on the last tour.

BOOGIE

“Then there are examples of what our rehearsals sound like – I`ve got a tape of the original Mothers from before we recorded “Freak Out”. That`s us doing “How Could I Be Such A Fool”, on side two of the first album; and then it goes forward in time to `68 when we had a 10-piece band rehearsing a song called “Boogie For Berkley”, and the third one is the Mothers 1970 rehearsing “Fluted Transoms” – the new organised Mothers rocking out on a sort of atonal jam.”
The anthology will obviously be of great interest to people who already know the Mothers, and who`ve followed them through from the early days, but Zappa feels that an important reason for putting it out will be to give people who have only picked up on them recently a chance to find out about their history.
“The number of people who own all our albums, or who`ve heard them all, is very small. I meet people who think that “Hot Rats” was our first album, or that “Chunga`s Revenge” was our first album, and there are even people who think the Fillmore album was our first. And then there are the people who have only the “Freakout” album, and who don`t know about the others. They`re amazed when you tell them there are 13 albums.”
We got on to talking about the way the Press had treated the Mothers in general, and the film in particular. Zappa does feel a bit ill-used, especially in America, though there “200 Motels” has had better reviews than here.
“I can sympathise with somebody who earns his living as a critic – I should think that would be a very difficult thing to do, to be put in a position where you have to tell people what`s good and what`s not.”
Was that how he saw the job of reviewers?
“That`s what it usually comes down to. Most of them don`t really do the formal service of saying `this, this, and this could have been improved` – and be able to say it because they know something about the medium in a technical way. It`s usually so subjective that it doesn`t deal with technicalities at all. They don`t perform a service for the artist – it might be handy to have someone who knew what a mix was supposed to be – listen to an album and say: “I don`t like that mix because there`s not enough of this or there`s too much of that.

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REVIEWS

“But normally what happens is that the person is involved with his own job of being a writer, in expressing himself as a writer rather than being involved in what he`s writing about, and so the basic game of being a writer is to collect words that are going to provide for the reader the sensation that the person who`s writing is really hot shit. Therefore anything that looks good on paper is generally what comes out in reviews, so if it seems attractive to call “200 Motels” a home movie, well then that`s cool. But I wouldn`t say it was a home movie – you should see some of my home movies.”
How much did criticism affect him, especially put-downs based on half-grasped ideas?
“Well, it depends on the person who`s doing it, and the generalised intention behind why they might say what they say. Talking about the film, I made it for people to enjoy, so if nobody enjoys it then it affects me – I should feel I had failed in my duty as an entertainer, because it`s supposed to provide a pleasurable experience for the audience that sees it. But anyway audiences vary in their sense of humour, and it`s especially un-natural when people who write about films go to see them in the presence of other people who write about films.
“You`re there with all the other people in your trade of film writing or music writing, or whatever it is, and everyone`s there to be who he is, or do what you do, and the general attitude is `Oh, let`s see what we can enlighten the world with about this Zappa movie.` I`ve been to a lot of screenings with Press and watched the reactions, and I`ve also been to theatres where the film`s been on display for a regular audience – and there`s a big difference.

TURTLES

“But the final decision is usually left to the people who`ll go and see it when it`s on general release. They`ll either enjoy it or they won`t. It wasn`t made for critics, it was made for people, and if some day a critic decided he wants to become people, then maybe he can get off on it.”
In one way and another, the things Zappa`s thinking and talking about at the moment tend to relate to his films – this one, and the new project “Billy The Mountain” (see last week`s SOUNDS). When he gets back from this tour he has to finish off the script, music, and organisation for that, write the book for the anthology, edit live recordings they`ll be making of their British dates in December.
He`ll also be playing guitar on a few sessions that the Turtle/Mothers are doing to complete a double Turtles` album for Bizarre. Come to think of it, now Jim Pons is with them on bass, the present Mothers are almost Turtles in disguise.
“It`s fairly evenly balanced – three Turtles, three Mothers, and an Aynsley Dunbar. There`s a comedy group if ever I heard one.”
Ah, yes the comedy group. That`s something which has grown out of Press reviews – in America for a long time  the Mothers seemed to be regarded in the same way as the Barron Knights were seen here – and they stress it a lot in the film. The point is, of course, that they`re musicians who happen to enjoy being funny as well, but people seem to find this hard to accept. Even, apparently, their former bass player, Jeff Simmonds couldn`t take the combination. Was his leaving the group really as it was shown in a cartoon sequence in the film?
“It`s pretty close. He was being counselled by his girlfriend or his wife or whatever she was, that he was too heavy to be in the group. I feel sorry for Jeff because he had great comedy ability, but he has this feeling of ambivalence about being funny and being a heavy musician at the same time, and his main interest lay in being recognised as a heavy musician. He figured nobody would ever believe he was heavy if he had a sense of humour, and that opinion was being bolstered by his old lady.”
It`s a combination of approaches that the Mothers seem to have come to terms with, but did he ever feel that the comedy sometimes took away from the music?
“Only in as much as some people can`t comprehend certain musical aspects of the group, so the comedy predominates for them. I do it because there are certain things that strike me as funny, and I like to share that with people who are similarly interested. I don`t see any reason to go on stage and treat the whole thing as a solemn affair – life is too short.

HUMOUR

“There really is a lot of funny stuff, and I think we need some of that these days. Spread it around a little bit, give somebody some relief. I think a lot of people relate to the comedy and don`t even realise there`s music there – that`s why we keep referring to the Comedy Group in the film, that kind of stereotype that`s been laid on us.”
But he never felt tempted to tone down the funnies so people would get more directly to the music?
“No. I`m certainly not going to throw away the enjoyment that I have out of having humours sensations on stage in order to accommodate someone who doesn`t have a sense of humour.
“Look, if you`re going to play 22 jobs in seven weeks, you better have a sense of humour. You better.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Deep Purple, Rikki Farr, Bob Dylan, Nicky Hopkins, Bunk Johnson, Country Joe and the Fish, Steve Marriott, Ian Hunter, Roy Harper, Emitt Rhodes, Charlie Wills, Melanie.

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 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.