Month: February 2019

ARTICLE ABOUT Queen FROM SOUNDS, August 17, 1974

Something different with Queen today. A very tech-oriented article that should be very interesting for hard core fans and those Queen cover bands who will want to reproduce the “sound” of Queen exactly as it was. I hope this will make things clearer for you!

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Queen with a bit of distinction

Edited by Geoff Barton

Like it or not, you have to admit that on record Queen have a pretty distinctive sound. You`ve got Brian May forcing those freaky sounds out of his custom-built guitar, and Freddie Mercury reaching some wine glass shattering notes on the vocals at times. All this, plus some expert overdubbing give Queen, as I say, an impressive recorded sound.
To reproduce this sound live is a task and a half for John Harris, the band`s sound engineer. John went to the same college as the band, and has been with them since the very beginning. That makes a total of about four years.
Queen rent their extensive sound system. It is Livewire RSC and they can squeeze an astonishing 3,500 watts out of it. The highest wattage the band used on their last British tour was 2,500 – and that was for places like the Newcastle City Hall.
But still, it`s pretty damn loud. The system incorporates JBL components with 15 inch bins and drivers on large acoustic speakers. The whole lot is held together by Quad Amps.
The band use two mixing desks. One is soley for the drums, which are mixed down and passed into the second desk which deals with the other instruments. That gives them a hell of a lot of channels to play around with.
In all, there are eight channels on the drums, which, as I say, are mixed down into a stereo pair. There are five – count `em, five – channels on vocals alone, two on bass, one on piano and three on guitar.
And that`s not all. Other pieces of equipment, such as a stereo casette machine, need channels as well.
Queen use AKG microphones, and John considers them to be very versatile.

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To reproduce their recorded sound live, the band employ the use of various special effects. They include an echoplex on Freddie Mercury`s vocals, which gives them a delayed effect when required. Brian May uses two echoplexes to produce separate repeats. Each repeat is mixed up in turn, and Brian is able to add harmonies or elaborate on lines and riffs he has already played.
“All in all, the assembly of the whole system is pretty straight forward,” says John. “The only real problem we have is when we try to group the internal balance of the drums on the one mixer. But that`s not too bad, really.”
Queen favour a two hour sound check. The check takes that long because of the number of effects the band use. These have to be checked over and over again. Any malfunction or delay in operation can be disastrous – Queen rely that much on effects.
The whole PA system is balanced equally on either side of the band – “a straight stereo split” as John says. The band are currently thinking of adding speakers to the rear of an audience, but whether this will come about remains to be seen.
Unlike Tony McPhee, John is very much concerned about hall acoustics. Apparently, with some halls there is very little he is able to do about their echo qualities.
As for good venues, well, John thinks that the Glasgow Apollo is one of the best. When Queen played the Rainbow, they experimented by putting one mixer up in the gods, and having the other one down below. John was pleased with the results, as he considers the Rainbow a very awkward place in which to get a really good sound.
He is only too aware that in venues of that size someone high up in the audience may not be able to hear, for example, the drums, whereas someone in the stalls may complain that the drums are too loud. The problem is to strike a happy medium.
To compensate for hall acoustics, Queen use a third octave graphic equaliser on the outputs of the mixing desks.

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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: Tim Hardin, Joan Baez, Mike Garson, Mike Oldfield, ELO, Pink Floyd, Herbie Hancock, Russ Ballard, Wendy Waldman, Alan Stivell, Contraband.

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 ELO FROM SOUNDS, August 17, 1974

I always liked a bit of ELO. Jeff Lynne`s often melancholy songs appeal to me. One of their albums, the fantastic concept album “Time” is one of my 10 favourite albums of all time. So, naturally, I give you this article from those golden days of the 70s.

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All`s well that ends up sliding down a wall

Resident wino Rob Mackie reports

I had seen Jeff Lynne the night before or possibly not. I recall going to the bar and asking for a glass of wine. “Ah, you`ll have to go to the wine bar for that, Sir”, he shrieked above the din that Heinz and assorted musicians were making onstage.
I strode manfully to the wine bar. “`Fraid we haven`t got any glasses, Sir”, he shouted above John Baldry`s stage vocalising (strange, I could have sworn it was Heinz). “I haven`t got a glass”, I re-shouted. “You`d better take this bottle, then”.
It was some time later that I looked up from me bottle and realised that it must have had hallucinatory substances in it. Because there, on the stage, was the Move. No really, I know they broke up years ago. But there they were, resurrected in their final pre-incarceration incarnation, playing… well I can`t quite remember what but it sounded fine, fine.
I took the remaining half of my wine bottle to safer climes, and went to get some food (they confiscated the bottle but that`s another story). It was no good, though. I kept waking up in a cold sweat expecting to see Brummy ghosts pounding out “Blackberry Way” at the bottom of my bed and putting axes through my TV set. Was this the beginning of my final disintegration? Would my future nights be punctuated with small, dead pop groups climbing out of the wallpaper to be interviewed?

VISION

Pacing up and down amid endless cups of coffee, I decided there was only one thing for it. The only way out was to confront in the sober light of day a genuine quarter of the Move, and get him to confirm or deny the meaning of this strange vision.
I wrote the four names out on four pieces of paper and threw them to the winds. The one with `Jeff Lynne` on it fell to earth on my left toe. That settled it. Bright and early the next day, I took my left toe off to see Jeff Lynne.
Well, I`m still not sure. Jeff couldn`t tell whether he`d been having a strange hallucination as well, or whether it had all happened. He muttered something about playing “some rock`n`roll and “Sliding Down A Wall”. The Old Elmore James classic popularised by John Mayall? I asked, not having heard of it.
“Well, no. I started playing this number and I was leaning up against this wall, and I found I was gradually sliding down it.” “It, er, it sounded very good to me, although I wasn`t in a very fit state to judge…” “You were in the right state to be there then, because nobody was in a fit state to play. Great party.”
I think I`m OK, I think it really happened, at any rate, the Wood-Lynne base, upon which the original ELO was erected, is definitely set to get together for a one-off single. “We never did co-write before, but we got together the other evening and got drunk and ended up writing a bit. At least it`ll put a stop to all these silly press stories about a feud between us.”
But there was a fairly long period when the mere mention of the name of R. Wood or J. Lynne in an interview with the other would bring forth `no comments` worthy of someone about to run for President, was there not? “Yeh, I s`pose it did get a bit silly at the time but we`re better pals now than ever.” But the Brummies have come over all chummy again, and all`s well that ends up sliding down a wall.

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A 100-piece ELO sounds like a winos gutter-dream too, but I`m assured that it`s happening. “It`s quite a big venture for me”, says Jeff with characteristic undersell. “Lot of blokes, but I`ve been working up to this for a long time, it`s like a whole symphony. I`ve been dying to do it for such a long time, it`s just the drag of having to write all the parts out.”
But help was at hand from the Birmingham grapevine: “I got somebody in to do it. Lou Clark who used to be with Raymond Froggatt years ago, he was his bass player, went to college and all that. It`s worked out really well, I`m pretty thrilled about it, because this is the sort of thing I always wanted for the ELO. I`ve got that depth and weight that we could never get with just two cellos and a violin.”
The new improved vaster ELO, album variety, is not going to be possible for all the live gigs, of course. But, having seen ELO on stage a few times in the past, I don`t doubt they`ll manage to make the band sound a lot bigger than it is.
The groups plans for the next few months required some regional clarification: first there`s a six-week tour of the States coming up in a couple of months, which will coincide with the new album`s release there.
But in Britain, the plan is to tour early next year, and not release the album until then, with a single coming off it as a preview to plug the gap. There`s no decision as to what the single will be yet, but you have Mr. Lynne`s word for it that “there`s no cheap, nasty rock stuff at all”, so it will be heavily orchestrated.
“Actually”, he confides, “I`d rather not put singles out at all, but in England, you have to. The record company says so.” As ELO`s four singles thus far have all been quite sizeable hits, without having startlingly huge publicity beforehand, the record company would appear to be well vindicated.

EUROPE

For Europe, there`s a different plan again, with a live album set to come out (not for Britain and the States) and a single of “Day Tripper” to be taken from it. Which could cause a lot of confusion and record importing between various continents, I would have thought. Still we`ll have to see.
Well, it`s a bit confusing to say the least, but as long as Jeff manages to remember what`s going on where… chances are pretty good that the next album might be the band`s first gold album: the sales have been building steadily, and the last, “On The Third Day” reaped the tour benefits, with 220,000 sales in the States, and 30,000 here.
How long did he take preparing this somewhat mammoth task? “I did it more or less in a week when I was at home, working more or less day and night. Drove me wife mad. The result of which is enough material to fill the album three times over, and a choice to three different themes, which is going to be the next problem.
But if all this sounds as if the Electric Fellows are becoming extremely serious and forsaking the silly symphony stage act of yore, it sounds wrong. “You`ve got to have the silliness on stage to balance things out with”, says Jeff emphatically.

SMASHED

At times, things get even sillier than he intends. “Mike Edwards got into a way of playing his cello on this bloke`s shoulders, and one day, he just sort of toppled off and landed straight on top of his cello – crack. It was right in the middle of a number, and every one just fell about laughing, because there he was with just this pile of rubble left in his hands.
“That`s the only time we actually smashed anything, but the trouble is, he`s also a phantom lead-puller. He stamps on everybody`s lead, and of course, the plug goes `Zoonk`, and shoots off somewhere behind the drums. You get something like that.
“He`s really good, and it makes it a laugh, but there was one night, he came round and pulled everybody`s lead out one by one. We were playing at the time. I think he must have been drunk or something, but he pulled all of them out, and we got backstage at the end, we said `What did you do that for?` He said `Oh, well, I fancied hearing a drum solo from Bev`.”
My, these irresponsible pop stars. What will they get up to next? Well, probably, they`ll have to go and put some vocals on. Jeff`s still got a whole collection of vocals to add to the painstakingly laid down huge orchestra, which he refers to disparagingly as `my crap vocals`. The eclectic plight of a giant mutated orchestra!

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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: Tim Hardin, Joan Baez, Mike Garson, Mike Oldfield, Russ Ballard, Pink Floyd, Herbie Hancock, Queen, Wendy Waldman, Alan Stivell, Contraband.

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 Russ Ballard FROM SOUNDS, August 17, 1974

I feel for Mr. Ballard, one of the greatest songwriters in the pop era, who never “took off” with his solo career. He deserves it more than most – just look at all those artists/bands who have covered a song that he wrote: Agnetha Fältskog, Bay City Rollers, Roger Daltrey, Kiss, Night Ranger, Rainbow, At Vance, America, Santana, Bruce Dickinson, Uriah Heep and lots, lots more….
You should definitely listen to an album of his!

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Ballad Of A Guitar Man

By Ray Telford

Way up there at the KG publicity office Russ Ballard lines up the Detroit Spinners` “I`m Coming Home”, for a second turn on a dilapidated sound system that scarcely does justice to Thom Bell`s masterful production. But even so it has Russ listening hard and he is evidently grooving on what he hears.
Earlier this year Russ announced his departure from Argent, a band who`d stuck together for four years and whose personnel had always, on the face of it, seemed indivisable. All their press interviews previously had hinted at the closeness and feeling of musical brotherhood within the group. To an outsider the policy could have read something like the band that stays together wins together and Argent were just beginning to win.
Hit singles and at least a couple of high selling albums plus a reputation for being the nicest guys seemed good enough reason for them to continue along that safe and comfortable path. A renegade in their midst was unthinkable yet here was Ballard saying he didn`t mind if there happened to be a few duff notes on his first solo album – if the overall feel was right then he was happy.
A far cry indeed from Argent`s high precision and faultless musical technology.
At this moment Russ has all but finished his album. Most of the tracks with him playing electric guitar, bass, drums and piano, are all in the can and the results he says are beyond his expectations: “After being in a band so close knit as Argent were,” he says, “and the way that everyone used to lean on each other – to come right out and do something so isolated and on my own has been an immense challenge. I always felt I could do it and as far as I`m concerned it has worked to my satisfaction.”

Whereas Argent were primarily a musical construction kit overtly concerned with the correctness and mathematics of what they were playing. Russ is trying to infuse in the new album a degree of personalised soul – a slant all his own which he eventually hopes to be recognised through.
“It`s a reaction to all I`ve been through in the past,” he tells you. “This album is just an album of songs which I hope people will remember and associate with me. This is my contribution to music, or to my kind of music, much more so than what I did with Argent. With them I was getting too involved in some ways – in ways that I knew just weren`t right for me as a musician.
“I mean, I`m not John McLaughlin and I don`t want to be playing like him. I`m not that involved in that kind of music, though I can listen to it and appreciate everything these guys are trying to do.”
Helping out on Russ`s album have been a horn section, largely made up of Gonzalez musicians, who he says have lent invaluable assistance in getting exactly what was wanted. The aim, Russ says, was to present the music with plenty of spaces.

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SATISFACTION

“There`s also strings on the album,” Russ goes on, “but they`ve been arranged in such a way that they maybe only play one extended chord at the end of a song. I`m trying to keep it from being overdone. The main thing for me is to keep it from becoming too schmaltzy. It has to be kept funky. The good thing is that all the guys who`ve been helping out have all been around a bit and if I explain to them just what I want it`s done.
“The rhythm tracks I did myself mainly because I felt I could do them to my own satisfaction. There`s been times before when I`ve said to a drummer just play it simple and straight forward and they always put in some extra fill which I didn`t want and you say `no I want it this way` and they go in again and play it the way they hear it which still isn`t what I wanted. OK so I do it myself and there`s a couple of misplaced beats but it feels right and that`s the thing that matters.”
Later this year, Russ says will see the emergence of a Russ Ballard band. The exact line-up remains fluid in his mind, though he`s aiming for bass, drums and a co-lead guitarist to enable him to switch from guitar to piano as required as a working basis.

FEELING

“Again,” Russ predicts, “it`ll be a simple thing”. It`s easy to write a piece of music which has everything going on but the hardest thing to learn is to know what to leave out. I`ve heard so many guitarists who clutter up a song simply through overplaying but I`d rather write a song with four chords in it than one with 24 chords if the one with four sounded right. It`s not something you can put into words because it has to do with feeling.
“With Argent we used to do so many overdubs to get something sounding technically correct but I`d rather it sounds human even if there are mistakes.”
Though Russ admits that recording nowadays is probably the most important selling point for a band, he also fervently believes in the power of live sets: “From a writing point of view I believe you must be on the road to come up with the real goods – for the songs to sound fresh and spontaneous etc. – but a piece of recorded music is there for ever whereas people can watch and enjoy a live gig and forget all about it in a year`s time.
“That way you have to keep proving what you`re capable of – which isn`t necessarily a bad thing.

PERFORMERS

“I think the Beatles wrote their best stuff when they were on the road. I say that because if you`re at home all the time there`s nothing to drive for. I`ve always gone for an actual performance in the music – like in some of the early Presley records there were a few duff notes but the performance was always brilliant. Again that applies to the Beatles so much – they were as much performers as they were musicians.”

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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: Tim Hardin, Joan Baez, Mike Garson, Mike Oldfield, ELO, Pink Floyd, Herbie Hancock, Queen, Wendy Waldman, Alan Stivell, Contraband.

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 Status Quo FROM SOUNDS, August 10, 1974

It is very strange, but the most successful bands of all time in the UK didn`t ever really “make it” in the USA. They tried, but ultimately they had to admit failure there. Not that it mattered much, as the rest of the world clearly loved them very much. Well, it is America`s loss, and our gain. Who wouldn`t like to have these fun, loveable guys around, turning out their catchy boogie-rock? I would.

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The simple plod along Status trail

Andy McConnell reports on Quo`s progress from a pool side in Los Angeles

“We`ll plod along steadily. Things have happened to us over the years but we get over them. We keep getting knocked down, then knocked down again but we get up again. We`ll carry on and in the end we`ll look up and suddenly realise that we`ve made it,” said Francis `Mike` Rossi from beside Status Quo`s Los Angeles hotel swim pool.
The singer / guitarist / spokesman`s comment seemed to sum up his band`s simple philosophy. After ten hard years on the road in England and Europe the band have `suddenly realised` that they have made it over there. They have had a number one and a number two album and a series of top singles in England; statistics reflected all over Europe.
Now it`s the turn of the States.
“The first tour over here was good,” said Rossi in his heavy Cockney accent. “We got good reactions and we were told by everybody that things were very promising.”
Then they were `knocked down`…
“The second was a disaster. We started off at the beginning of the year with the Fleetwood Mac that wasn`t Fleetwood Mac. It was that mock-up Fleetwood. The tour started to fall to bits right from the start. People were throwing bottles at them and demanding their money back. Everybody was having rows. Then we were supposed to do some dates with Nazareth but they didn`t come over. I caught pleurisy, Richard Parfitt got something so we packed up and went home.”
Since the first tour Quo`s popularity has soared so much in England that it must be difficult for guitarists Francis and Richard, bassist Alan Lancaster and drummer John `Spud` Coghlan to come out and tour the States as second or even third on the bill.

“Yeah, it`s hard to come out here and have to start from scratch again,” the unshaven guitarist agreed. “Over here we don`t mean a thing, but in England we have reached a point where we can ask for whatever we want; each tour is bigger and better than the last one. We can have things there that we can`t over here. It`s a difficult psychological thing.”
The band had arrived in LA the night before. They had flown over from London for the start of a six week tour, opening with Rory Gallagher at Santa Monica.
Although it`s difficult to categorise bands` music, Quo`s is a sort of London 70`s R&B, I suggested.
“Yeah, that`s a nice phrase. I like that. It`s hard to say what it is but that sorta sums it up. It`s a kinda raunchy R&B. I dunno, it`s just something we get off on,” he said admiring his rapidly tanning chest.
But Quo`s music has not always been in that bag. No way.
The band knew each other from years back. They`ve been together as a four-piece for almost ten years. Francis knew Alan from the time he was 12-years-old. They found `Spud` two years later. They met second guitarist Richard in 1965.
Under the name of The Spectors they played as support band for touring solo acts in England. Anybody from the Dixie Cups to Madeline Bell, now of Blue Mink. They toured for a short while as Traffic until Stevie Winwood`s outfit of the same name broke onto the scene.
Eventually they chose Status Quo as a name. Their first single release was a weird little number, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men”.
“It got to the top five in England, number seven over `ere and higher in all sortsa places over the world. We used to think that if we ever had a hit single all our troubles would be over,” lamented Rossi with a vague smile.

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“We thought that everything would be fine; no problems, no worries, our mums and dads would stop `aving a go at us. No chance! We were told what we should wear, told what we should say, what we should play on stage. All that old crap, yer know.”
After “Matchstick Men” the States forgot about Quo. So did England, well almost. The next single flopped. Things looked bad. The third one sold well, the fourth flopped. “We really got into a rut. Our producer had a strange urge to put strings on every track we cut.” Another single bombed.
Suddenly they got hold of a song they really liked, “Down The Dustpipe”. They got themselves back in the charts.
“We found ourselves in a situation that if we played a spot on television the night before we would pack out a gig, but things would die off towards the end of the week. There were usually 20 or 30 kids upfront screaming and trying to get hold of us while the rest of the hall was silent. The blokes would be there to get women and the women were there to get men. There was no satisfaction. We`d come off and there`d be nuffing; a couple of people would clap, that`s all. They wouldn`t know what you`d done and didn`t care either.”
So they decided to make a break. Instead of playing ballrooms and dance-halls, they started playing small clubs for either nothing or just expenses. They had another single success, with a song culled from an album. One album later they waved goodbye to a recording company they had grown to hate.
It took a year of court-cases and lawsuits to free themselves before joining a new, more sympathetic company. With the experience under their belts they recorded “Piledriver”.
“We put out “Paper Plane” from that album and everything went WHAM!” said Rossi leaning across the table. “Everything just bust wide open. Since then we`d have four smash singles on the trot in England.”
With Quo`s astonishing success, the old company jumped on the band-wagon, releasing tracks from old albums as singles and putting out their own, unapproved compilation albums.

“We had “Paper Plane”, our own single in the charts there were two singles from the other company; the “Piledriver” and the new “Hello” albums were in the album charts while the other company`s “Best Of…” and Golden Hour Of…” sets were high-flying. We were trying to keep a steady flow of material and there was this other lot flooding the shop with singles and albums. It was ridiculous.”
Since then Quo have had their new “Quo” album released in England along with the single, “Break The Rules”. The single was top ten. The album?
“We knew the album would do well,” declared Rossi draining the last of his 7 Up from the bottle. “We knew it would. But it turned out to be incredible. The first week of its release it went into the charts at number two. From then it fought it out with the Carpenters and Rick Wakeman! It`s amazing.”
Why come over to the States to start again from the bottom? Surely the last album will make enough money to keep them in plenty for a year?
“You can`t stop. You just can`t say that`s enough. We could stay in England and work away, turning out album after album and saturate things. We don`t want to do that.
“You have to come over to the States; it`s a natural thing to do. Richard said the other day `when you are in a race and you are half-a-mile in front of everybody else, you don`t stop, you keep going`. That`s what we are doing.”
What`s happening after this six-week trip, I enquired.
“We go home and try to get some things down for the new album which should be out early next year. Then we`ve got four days off, off to Sweden, Denmark and Norway then come back over here again in October,” answered Rossi.
Back to the States again? Four tours in 18 months?
“I think so. If we are really going to make a go of the States I want to do it now, not spread it over five years, coz we`ll be a bit old by then. We`ll all be 21,” he smiled with a twinkle in his eye.

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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: Bob Marley, Billy Preston, Ronnie Lane, Golden Earring, Ronnie Spector, Duane Eddy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Andy Fairweather Low, Viola Wills, Mick Jagger, Suzi Quatro, R. Dean Taylor, Johnny Bristol, Julie Driscoll, Argent, Georgia Fame, Vangelis, Greenslade.

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 Suzi Quatro FROM SOUNDS, August 10, 1974

When you think of rock in the early 70s, it is impossible not to think of little Suzi. She, along with some hit songs delivered by the mighty songwriting duo Chinn and Chapman, made real impact into the charts of that time and a lot of those songs are great to listen to even today.

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Going along with the crowd

Interview by Steve Peacock

Self-assured? She seems it. Arrogant? Sometimes. Complacent? She seems it. Together? Apparently so. Successful? What do you think?
Suzi Quatro has, in her own words, carved out her niche as a hit act and it`s giving her plenty of work and plenty of hits. That`s what she wanted, and what she`s doing now is keeping on keeping on: “After the initial rush of getting to number one with “Can The Can” – and I waited ten years for that – getting better is the rush now. Writing a better song, doing a better record, doing a better show…”
And getting a hit in her homeland. While we were talking, someone came in to tell her the new single was 74 with a bullet over there. “Just cut that out and send it to my sisters, will you?” When we`d finished talking she was still thinking about it. “74 with a bullet… hey, that`s great.”
Ten years ago Suzi Quatro started her career in America, in all girl groups. After six or so years Mickie Most asked her to come over here to record, it took them a while to sort out what they were going to do, and then… “Can The Can”. Hits have given her work, and work is what she`s doing. She`s just come back from Germany, America and Australia, next week she`s off again to Italy, America, Scandinavia, Japan, Australia, Germany, Britain – and then it`s Christmas.
When she first came over: “I was getting to know what I was all about and Mickey was getting to know what I was all about, so it took time. I had a lot of growing up to do. You`re in your own environment, and you think you`re great, then someone takes you out of your environment and you find you haven`t got any legs any more. Your lose the silly ego and just keep the stuff that really means something. You learn that just because you`re American doesn`t mean you`re any better than anybody else. America`s so different from anywhere else, and now that I`m away I can see why it is so different. We grow up very fast there. You either love America or you hate it: I think now it`s the greatest place in the world to play music, but I live here. If the taxman`s all right.”

The all-girl band thing… “It didn`t ever make any difference to me whether I played with boys or girls, then when I got this band I realised that I get along one hundred percent better with men musicians.”
It always seemed just as silly to me to insist as dogma on having all women and all men: the only possible reason being gimmick. “It is, but when we first started, we just wanted to prove something. People are telling you all the time you can`t do something so you get a bunch of strong-headed girls and they go right ahead and do it. Then when you get a little bit older you see it doesn`t make any difference.”
From relatively nowhere to number one: did she and Mickey have a Masterplan? “We`ve had one major plan that`s stuck right through our association, which was he said he liked something in me that was a natural thing and I said great, don`t ever change it, and he said he`d never change it and that was our thing. A man that`s smart enough to see the natural talent instead of trying to create something… that`s what`s so great about Mickey. He directed me and brought out what he saw as important things, but they were… well, what I am I suppose.
“I always used to wear, well not the leather jeans because I couldn`t afford it, but a leather jacket. I haven`t changed – a little bit sleeker maybe, but that`s what you do when you make it, don`t you? You dress up a little bit more. If you`re just walking about the streets they`re not paying to see you walk about the streets, if you  do a show they want to see a little bit more.”
And material? Hits from the Chinnichap factory? “We were having a really hard time trying to write a hit single. We asked Nicky and Mike to write us a song, and they came down and listened to everything we`d done, went away and came back with “Can The Can”, which I still think is one of our best ones. It worked well, they do our singles. I don`t know what they`re like with their other acts, but Mickey – because he`s got a personal interest in this act – would never let anything go out that was more a Chinnichap song then a Suzi Quatro song. The two singles I thought weren`t really us were the two that didn`t make it so much, which just goes to show that if it ain`t us it ain`t gonna make it. People aren`t as stupid as journalists say they are – very few phoney songs get up there. I think the public know a true song when they hear it.”

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A niche: she says she`s found that, and that she won`t put out some things she`s recorded because they`re too far ahead for her audience. “When you`re on the road you progress so fast that if you put out a track – like “Angel Flight” which is 10 1/2 minutes long with strings and all – everybody would be so confused. There`s a danger of progressing too far ahead in too short a time.”
Talk about journalists insulting people – how does Suzi Quatro know that a 10-minute track with strings is too far ahead for her public? “No, the kids are buying you because you put out something that they like, you got a certain sound, so because on a night on the road you might have written something ten years ahead of time, it`s not fair to put it out and confuse them. You`re living a life on the road, they`re not: they`re still at home with their record players and their radios. If I was a kid and I heard that coming from me I`d throw it down the trash can because I wouldn`t understand it. I don`t put myself above – I just live a different life, living it faster than what they`re hearing. We`re four singles and one album old to those people.
“Listen, I`ve been in the business a long time, and you`ve got to be smart enough to know… well, Mickey`s the smart one because he noticed it before we did, because you`ve still got your egos to deal with and you think whatever you do is great. He pointed out that it was too far ahead. We all listen to different kinds of music when we`re home, but when we come together on stage we play one kind of music, and that`s what we`re known for. That`s what we do.”
You don`t find it restrictive? “No. You gotta progress but you gotta do it slowly. You gotta play it cool – look at it as if you were a fan, not a musician, go along with the crowd, nothing to upset them.”

Good for a career I`m sure, but for a musician? “If I did just what a musician thinks I`d been down in a bar in Nashville somewhere singing Billie Holiday songs. And that wouldn`t get me anywhere would it? You ask any musician who`s successful, and I bet they`d tell you if it wasn`t down to that they wanted to have a successful career they`d be doing something entirely different. It`s a stupid artist that pretends they`re in it just for creativity, because it`s a job as well. Don`t you give me that peace/love bullshit.”
I wasn`t going to. But there`s a way of striking a balance. Did she find that a problem? “No I don`t. I`ve been doing this so long that I find it quite easy to look at it as a business and still keep quite happy on the creative side. If I was to die off tomorrow I`d definitely go down to some little bar and sing and get drunk every night – actually it wouldn`t be so different to what I do now, only I wouldn`t be making any money.”
She`d said earlier about roadwork, you go where your work takes you. Does she enjoy it? “I`m a nutcase about it. One day at home and I`m absolutely dying to get back on the road. I like on the road better than off the road because off the road`s boring – you get drunk or try to give yourself a false buzz somehow. Suburban ech, I hate it.”
Surely life on the road is also a false buzz. “Sure – I know it`s a fantasy but I enjoy it and I give other people enjoyment doing it. When Mick Jagger stops I`ll wait till a year after he stops and then I will. Give the next person a chance.”

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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: Bob Marley, Billy Preston, Ronnie Lane, Golden Earring, Ronnie Spector, Duane Eddy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Andy Fairweather Low, Viola Wills, Mick Jagger, Argent, R. Dean Taylor, Johnny Bristol, Julie Driscoll, Status Quo, Georgia Fame, Vangelis, Greenslade.

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

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