The engineer mentioned in the article, Damon Lyon Shaw, lives in Dorchester, England these days and it seems that he is still a active in the music business, or at least he was in 2018. He worked as an engineer for most of his professional life, and even though he may not be the most recognised name among rock fans, he has worked on a lot of great album, among them several of the albums that Status Quo made in the 70s. Here`s to you Mr. Shaw – I hope you are rightly proud of the work you have done! Cheers!
Quo`s nifty thumper
Pete Makowski talks to John Coglan
It`s difficult to assess the qualities of a musician. Take Quo f`rinstance, good time music, the regular four beats to a bar etc. But I`m sure if Rossi and co were confronted with more complex music they`d be able to handle it with some ease.
This brings me to the band`s thumper John Coglan who is a very nifty drummer indeed. It`s his powerful percussion along with Lancaster`s driving bass that add a lot to the band`s sound. So how did John find himself in the ranks of Quo?
“When I left school, I really didn`t know what I was going to do. I thought my future was going to be in the Air Force. It was there that I first became interested in drumming. I knew a few guys who played drums and I bought a kit and a couple of us formed a band, basically playing Shadows type material. I met Francis who had a band going, they used to rent a garage and rehearse there. They had a drummer, who was okay but er… how can I put it, oh yeah, my drum kit was better than his. I had a blow with them and I joined the band.”
I asked John if there were any drummers that he was keen on in his early years. “Yeah, I really used to like Brian Bennet (The Shadows) because he was basically a technical drummer for his time. There weren`t many good drummers about then.
“I used to have a Ludwig Super Classic kit, which was one of the early ones and is really good, I`ve still got it at home. I`ve got a big Premier which I use on stage and I`m fairly happy with. I use a small Premier in the studio.”
I asked John if there was anything he was dissatisfied with in drumkits. “Yeah, the whole idea of the snare being fitted to a drum underneath is totally wrong. It`s not adequate because the strands tend to stretch, I think it`s a real primitive idea.
“Premier came out with an idea, the fixed snare, where you can release the snare at the same tension, that`s okay, but I tried it a few times at gigs but I wasn`t really satisfied with it.”
Quo are currently in the studio recording, I asked John if he was concerned about getting a good studio sound. “I`m very fussy. Our engineer, Damon Lyon Shaw, has been great in helping us develop our sound in the studio. We`ve got this new idea in how to record, by making a tunnel in the studio which makes a very big sound.”
I asked John what kind of things he practises at home.
“I don`t practice any rudiments. It`s okay to do those things but is it necessary for what Status Quo do? There are guys like Charlie Watts who`s a very basic drummer, but it fits the Rolling Stones. People say `he`s no good because he doesn`t do much` that`s rubbish, you don`t know what he can do.
“I like tidy drummers like Watts who play straight and when they do break it`s effective.”
The all round drummer`s drummer has to be Zep`s Bonzo Bonham. “He`s the guvnor. The original rock drummer and probably the most effective. The thing about a lot of young drummers that I`ve seen is that they try to play too much and it doesn`t seem to carry the band. It doesn`t kick the band up the arse. If you can play loud and technical and manage to get both things across, then you got it sussed.”
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: Humble Pie, Stephen Stills, Robin Trower, Big John Vary, Aj Webber, Rolling Stones, Syreeta Wright, Wishbone Ash, Mike McGear, Bert Jansch, Rufus, Minnie Riperton, Slade, Bob Henrit.
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