When it comes to music, the Scottish people really should be proud of having such a great band as Nazareth in their midst. They were one of the most popular bands when I grew up in the 70s, and at school you either liked Nazareth or you liked Abba. There was nothing else for a while, and the imagery of Nazareth`s album covers were difficult not to notice and be impressed by as a young boy. That`s not to say that I wasn`t studying Abba`s album covers as much, looking for Agnetha…. Oh well, here is a good one with Dan McCafferty from the vaults.
Back in the USA
Proving for the second week running that he has a way with `phones, Ray Telford talks to Dan McCafferty from Florida.
As Billy Walker so succinctly put it after I`d put down the phone on Dan McCafferty who`d called from West Palm Beach, Florida, last week, “Nazareth are nice guys”. Nice guys they are too and so is Bill (he`s managed to keep that way by assiduously avoiding most of the music business assholes and as a result has maintained a reasonably normal head). He also digs Nazareth`s music to some degree which makes his observations on the Naz all the more palatable and genuine – yet another rarity in the music business.
Nazareth are now into the last week of their fourth US tour, a tour which Dan reports has won them a lot of ground with American punters even despite the fact that their last visit there ended up as a complete non event.
The last projected American tour for the band was in January of this year when they were due to support (along with S. Quo) some outfit which was going out under the name of Fleetwood Mac. It was not, of course, the real thing and rather than become part of the great Fleetwood hype Dan and the boys opted out and flew back to their Scottish homes for a few days respite before jetting it to Switzerland to finish off a new album, the recently released “Rampant”.
If Nazareth hadn`t sold so many albums as they have over the past couple of years then the ready excuse would`ve been of course that they were primarily a band to be heard live and that the magic didn`t quite become so apparent when the music was transferred onto magnetic tape, but the fact that they have sold albums in vast quantities both here and on the Continent proves that lots of people hold the band and their hard, brittle rock and roll in pretty high esteem.
As for the States… well Dan reckons it takes a few cracks at the place before you even begin to think you`re getting a foothold and this present tour he guardedly told me had achieved precisely that. The albums released in America so far, discounting “Rampant”, have been doing good business and the interest from press and the radio stations has been more than encouraging.
“All the same,” Dan needlessly informed me, “America is such a bloody big place. You can break big with the radio stations and the people in one State and maybe the neighbouring State too if you`re lucky but then there`s still the other side of the country to come to terms with.
“That`s why so many bands touring here see it as an endless round of gigs with so much hard slog you wouldn`t believe it. At least if you play just one whizz bang tour in Britain you can be sure that everybody is going to pick up on how well you`ve done. It seems like it`s more instant – that`s really the big difference.”
On the present tour Nazareth have been sharing bills with what Dan calls a string of good crowd pullers and are pleased with what they have achieved in terms of audience reaction and general musical progress. In Washington, he says, they met up with Little Feat, who apparently have not fallen apart contrary to all rumours this side of the pond.
It was one of Lowell George`s songs (Little Feat`s slide guitar player), in fact that Naz took it on themselves to record on the “Razamanaz” album and which has since become a main feature of the band`s live sets.
“It really was a great night,” confirmed Dan. “The whole thing was perfect and they certainly didn`t seem to me like a group who were about to bust up. Anybody who plays like they do really have no right to call it a day. They`re that good.”
On their return from America next week, Dan looks forward once again to being with his wife and son at their home near Dunfermline. He admits never to have had much time for the supposed trappings of a pop star`s life, and winces at the thought of having to leave his family at home while the band are on the road.
“There`s too many tense moments on a tour like this to have your wife and kids around. It wouldn`t be fair on them and it wouldn`t be fair on the band either `cause it is work. There`s no way you can call it a family way of life and luckily all our wives realise and respect that.”
The new Nazareth album, Dan happily reports is well in hand as far as suitable material goes. They had hoped to record some of the songs in America but time wasn`t on their side and so plans had to be shelved.
“We have written a few things, though we haven`t had a proper chance to rehearse them. The only chance we`ve had is to write them roughly on acoustic guitars in hotel rooms and then try them out at sound checks which isn`t really much good but the ideas are there and that`s what`s important. We`re due to come back to the States towards the end of the year and we`ll almost certainly be recording some stuff then.
“I`d like to try that studio in Florida where Clapton did his new album – there are some really nice sounds on that. Meanwhile we`re dying to get home and back to some sanity. We need to see our families again. Too right we do.”
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: The Graeme Edge Band, Robin Trower, Man, Nigel Thomas, Chris Stainton, Chilli Willi, Robert Wyatt, J.J. Cale, Dobie Gray, Roger Daltrey, Sonny Rollins, Druick and Lorange, The SHF Band.
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