So why share these articles about Argent? A band I guess people nowadays may have never heard or have forgotten?
Because there were some exceptionally great musicians in this band and they created good music that you should have a listen to. That`s why. Enjoy!
Argent: New man, live album, tour
By Bill Henderson
Argent have a new member, nineteen year old guitarist John Grimaldi from St. Albans. They are also in the process of finding a vocalist/instrumentalist.
Grimaldi was previously `unknown` – his only other group apart from a school band was a local semi-pro outfit, Flux.
“We were a jazzy-type, McLaughlin-influenced band and were on the verge of splitting up when I heard about the Argent job,” Grimaldi told SOUNDS.
“We were initially looking for a guitarist/vocalist which is why we didn`t get John when we first heard him,” explained Rod Argent, “because he was just a guitarist. We were hoping to get both in one but we were really knocked out with John. We thought we`d go on and see if we could find someone with a really good voice as well. In other words, just go through the availabilities before we decided. But we were always knocked out with him and I think he`s a real find.
“We narrowed things down to about five or six really good guitarists and when you get to that stage it`s not a question of how good a guitarist he is but how sympathetic he is musically – if you play something he can see what you`re driving at immediately. That becomes the main problem once you get to a certain standard. And that`s really why we settled on John because he had empathy with the band. Although he really has got tremendous technique; speed isn`t everything, but I think he`s probably the fastest guitarist I`ve ever heard when he wants to be.”
There has been some deal of controversy about this vacancy.
Rod: “We never, contrary to what it says in one of the trade papers last week, offered the job to another guitarist. That`s not true at all. We did say to this particular person, `do you want to come down for a blow?`, and he was going to but he decided to make a go of it with his own band. That was Bill Nelson of BeBop Deluxe.
“But the only guy we offered the job to was John. We must have tried about 150 guitarists in all, some of them well known and some of them not. And John was head and shoulders over everybody.”
So what are the immediate plans for the new Argent?
Rod: “The first thing is to record an album, at the moment we`re putting down ideas and new material. We`ve got a live album made before Russ left, coming out in August. Which is a good thing `cause it gives us time to really get an album together and release it a few months afterwards. We`ve got a tour starting, hopefully, on November 20, which we`ll have to get together for. We`ve got lots of new things to get together before the tour, like a complete new PA system which is quite exciting – there`s some more exciting new things involved with it. We`ve got a lot of new gear, I`ve got some more Moog gear and keyboard things that are being worked on at the moment.”
And the new vocalist?
“He doesn`t have to be an outstanding instrumentalist but obviously the more the better. But the main thing we want is a good high voice to blend with Jim and I. And also an instrumental texture if we need it. We were possibly thinking of a violin but it could be anything.
In the past the main trouble with us is that we had diversities within the band so that we never got going in one direction and people didn`t really know how to think of us. I think that inhibited the band as well `cause we couldn`t push forward and develop in one direction strongly and really get an identity. Which is really frustrating when you look back on the results. I want to keep all the good things that we had and be really melodic and very exciting. We`re not going to turn into an introverted band. We`re going to be forward and mature-sounding. We`ve got a much firmer direction now.”
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, Status Quo, Georgia Fame, Vangelis, Greenslade.
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