Month: June 2020

ARTICLE ABOUT David Bowie FROM New Musical Express, November 15, 1969

This article was published almost at the same time that Bowie released his second album, just titled with his name but later reissued as “Space Oddity”. I tend to believe that Bowie was spot-on when he said that he never had any traumas with girls. That is unlike me and a lot of other boys who unfortunately couldn`t say the same at a young age, but then again, Bowie was extremely gifted in a lot of ways.
Read on!

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Don`t dig too deep, pleads oddity David Bowie

By Gordon Coxhill

IT looked like a piece of master planning, but it wasn’t. It looked like a monster hit, and it was. David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” inspired by a visit to the film “2001,” was released just as the world was staying up all night to watch the moon landing.
Like the modest, self-effacing young man he is, David passed the credit on to his record company, but as it was written last November, he can hardly disown his amazing foresight!
“Put it down to luck,” he said over the phone from Perth, where he was about to begin a short tour of the Haggisland. “I really am amazed at the success, of the record, even though I had confidence in it.
“I’ve been the male equivalent of the dumb blonde for a few years, and I was beginning to despair of people accepting me for my music.
“It may be fine for a male model to be told he’s a great looking guy but that doesn’t help a singer much, especially now that the pretty boy personality cult seems to be on the way out.”
Much as David takes his songwriting seriously, he is amused by pundits who examine his material looking for hidden meanings even he is totally unaware of. “My songs are all from the heart, and they are wholly personal to me, and I would like people to accept them as such.
“I dearly want to be recognised as a writer, but I would ask them not to go too deeply into my songs. As likely as not, there`s nothing there but the words and music you hear at one listening.
“I see you’ve noticed that my songs are seldom about boy and girl relationships. That’s because I’ve never had any traumas with girls.
“I like to think myself a pretty stable person, and I’ve never had a bad relationship with an intelligent girl. And if a girl isn’t intelligent, I don’t want to know.”
Although David made a very good impression on the recent Humble Pie tour, he maintains he is a songwriter first, and even denies he is a good performer.
It was my first tour,” he told me, “and I never stopped being surprised the concerts even went on. It appeared so badly organised to me, but I suppose everybody knew what they were doing.

“For me, it was nothing near an artistic success, mainly because I was limited to a twenty minute spot, and I ended up accompanying myself after a mix-up.
“I was very pleased to see that `Space Oddity’ went down well, I thought the audiences would miss the orchestral backing which was on the record.
“I throw myself on the mercy of an audience, and I really need them to respond to me. If they don’t I`m lost. But all the same, I’m determined to be an entertainer, clubs, cabaret, concerts, the lot.
“There is too much false pride within the pop scene, groups and singers decrying cabaret without ever having seen the inside of a northern nightclub.
“I just want to sing to as many people as want to hear me, and I don’t care where I do it. Mind you, I refuse to have my hair cut or change my appearance for anybody. I’m quite happy with the way I look, and people will have to accept me the way I am, or not bother at all.”
A former commercial artist, David played tenor sax with a modern jazz group, “went through the blues thing;” during which time he switched to vocalist, and then joined a traditional French mime company, where he met and worked with Marc Bolan.
“Marc has been a great influence on me, not so much with his music, but with his attitude to the pop scene. He shuts himself off from the destructive elements, and prefers to get on with his work.
“That’s how I intend to be, in fact I ran away from London a while back when people started talking about me, and didn’t come back unless it was really vital.”
Inevitably, the underground cropped up, and David had some interesting comments on the movement, “I thought when the whole thing started,” he said, “that a whole lot of new, musically-minded groups were going to appear with some meaningful music and try and spread it around. Well, we’ve got the music, and most of it is very good too, but I can’t figure out the attitude of so many of the underground groups.
“It seems to me that they have expanded their own personal little scenes to a certain extent, and then they stop, content to play to the converted. That doesn’t get them anywhere, and in the end both the audiences and the groups will get fed up with the same faces and places.
“A lot is said and written about the musical snobbery with the fans, but I think the groups are just as bad. For some reason, even the words entertainer and cabaret make them shudder.”

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Obviously, having a hit record and being able to command the money that goes with it, is going to make a few changes to Davids life, not least of all in his bank balance.
He seems to have made a good start already. “I’ve bought a big car and a nice little house which needs a lot more time and some money spent on it before it will be as I want it.
“I suppose other little things will crop up as time goes on. At the moment, I’m more concerned with remaining a 22 year old, or even going back a year to 21.
“This business might keep you young mentally but I feel almost middle-aged physically. I often regret not leading a more normal teenage life. From the time I was about 16, I never kicked a football over a common with my mates, I haven’t had to chat up a girl like an ordinary teenager for ages, and believe it or not I miss it.
“I have to try and figure out if a girl knows who I am and whether she wants me for what I am or my name. It’s a more difficult problem than it sounds, but as I was saying, I havent’ had much trouble with girls, touch wood.”
The immediate future for David looks bright, with as much live work as he wants, an LP on release this week (14), and even the prospect of his own TV show.
But the usual pressing worry about follow-ups hasn’t caught up with David yet. “Follow-up?” he queried, “but the first one’s still alive at the moment. Actually I haven’t even thought about it.
“I’m not sure if I’ve got a suitable song for another single, but even if I have, I don’t want to be one of those singers whose career depends on hit singles, and they are virtually dead for six months of the year.
“I hope to get some free time to do some writing when I return from Scotland, but even then I can’t write just because I’ve got the time. But its a bit early in life for all my ideas to have dried up, isn’t it, so I suppose I’ll come up with something.
At the moment, David seems to be the sort of person much needed in pop; full of original thought, a willingness to work, a hatred of the hard drug scene and class distinction in music and common sense enough not to let the fame and adulation surely coming his way, turn his head.
I’m sure he has been around long enough to withstand the pressures, and if he can’t, he’ll be wise enough to run.

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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!

ARTICLE ABOUT Led Zeppelin FROM New Musical Express, November 8, 1969

These old record reviews are usually one of the most popular features of this blog as many link them up in various other blogs and discussion forums on the internet. Nick Logan didn`t hate this album. He loved it a lot.
Read on!

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More Led on this LP

By Nick Logan

Led Zeppelin II (Atlantic stereo 588 198; 37s 6d)

MUSIC for the paranoic 20th Century city man – another brilliant album from the remarkable Led Zeppelin and the first in transit, so to speak, as “Led Zeppelin 1” was recorded when the group was in an embryionic state and was based largely round the ideas of Jimmy Page.
This brings out more of the group, particularly Robert Plant, and also shows that the Zeppelin isn’t confined to one groove. It can make full use of the subtle shading between the harsher, heavier doses of rock and blues.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about “Led Zeppelin II” is that the group manages to maintain the element of surprise so obvious when you first hear them.
Thank You and Ramble On, both written by Page and Plant, are softer examples of the Zeppelin style than we’ve heard on record before. The first is gentle with a Christmassy organ towards the end; the second was inspired by “Lord Of The Rings” and features acoustic and electric guitar and some soft drum-work.
Whole Lotta Love, What is And What Should Never Be, both among the best tracks, and Heartbreaker and Livin’ Lovin’ Wreck are typical pieces of hard rock Zeppelin.
Moby Dick is a showcase for some excellent drumming from John Bonham and The Lemon Song, with lines like “Squeeze my lemon till the juice runs down my leg,” is the most interesting in the set. The Page guitar and some — really throbbing bass work from John Paul Jones are among its notable features, but, with distortion and the Zeppelin veering between its heaviest and softest, it really has the lot.
Bring It On Home, featuring Plant on harmonica and in a softer vocal key, is the closer — erupting into a schizophrenic ending.
Led Zeppelin have been one of the success stories of 1969 and this extremely good album will serve to quicken their stride towards a place among the world’s top groups.

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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!

ARTICLE ABOUT King Crimson FROM New Musical Express, November 8, 1969

Well, this article should please fans of this band as this was published just about one month after the release of their first album. A real treasure from very long ago!
Read on!

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SUCCESS STAGGERS CRIMSON!

By Nick Logan

FASHIONS are pleasant but can be dangerously short-lived. In roaring out from nowhere in a matter of half a dozen months to become the fashionable Underground attraction of the day King Crimson have a problem.
“It’s very worrying,” agreed drummer Mike Giles, speaking from their manager’s Kensington mews house before the group left for its debut tour of America. “But I cannot see what on earth we can do about it.
“How much are we responsible for what has happened? We started off doing our thing and after that it was not up to us at all. People either go to see you or they don’t. If they do then word gets passed
“But there must be some value around behind the fashionability. People seem to like the group and we can only hope that they genuinely like the music.”
King Crimson’s success — their first album “In The Court Of The Crimson King” is at No. 4 in this week’s NME LP Chart — really has been staggering. Too staggering for some, notably the groups who had been slogging round the circuit only to discover King Crimson racing past them to become the biggest potential success the Underground has produced this year.
So while the majority of critics, Underground connoisseurs and musicians have been showering lavish praise in their direction “original,” “sensational,” “the new Beatles” — there has also existed a small but vociferous band of detractors.
“I think we have had our success a little too fast for some of the people who’ve been trying to make it for ages,” says Mike Giles.
But although the band could be called an overnight success, its members certainly couldn’t.
Giles, a 27-year-old who speaks with deliberation and much forethought, has been playing drums for 12 years, first in Bournemouth alongside people like Zoot Money, Peddler Roy Philips and Shadow John Rostill and then in London from 1967. Session work and various unsuccessful groups came before he formed Giles, Giles and Fripp with Robert Fripp.
Fripp himself, King Crimson’s lead guitarist, had spent three somewhat soul-destroying years playing in a resident hotel band, backing cabaret artists like Bob Monkhouse and Norman Vaughan before the “forgettable” group with Mike Giles, about which they don’t like to talk.
Ian McDonald, 23 and on alto sax, clarinet, flute and mellotron for King Crimson, is a former army bandsman who has played in all kinds of outfits from classical orchestras to wind ensembles.
Former draughtsman and member of The Gods, where he switched from lead to bass guitar, Greg Lake is now the lead vocalist while fifth member Pete Sinfield doesn’t actually play in the group but writes their lyrics and operates the famed King Crimson light show.
The group came together in January this year; first Robert and Mike, closely followed by Ian and then Greg.
Pete, a one-time computer executive, drifted in later: “I thought how bad the lights were in some clubs and I said I would build them some to give colour on stage. At the beginning I was just changing the lighting for each song but eventually I started `playing’ the lights with the music.”

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Different

All five brought different influences. Says Mike Giles: “You have got jazz from me, classics from Bob, Beatles and Dylan from Pete and Ian and heavy rock music from Greg. But the divisions aren’t really that satisfactory because we all like jazz, we all like Beatles and Dylan etcetera…”
The group rehearsed for three months in a room beneath a cafe in London’s Fulham Palace Road and made its first public appearance in April.
“There was a very hard core of people who gave us support early on,” said Mike Giles. “They spread the good word for us around the clubs and when we went out and did our first gigs we found a lot of people already knew about us.”
Their biggest stroke of luck was a booking on the Rolling Stones’ Hyde Park extravaganza. It is no meagre tribute that more than a quarter of a million Stones fans who had sat for hours on the hard ground raised howls of delight and surprise for the aggressive music of King Crimson.
Like many of their Underground contemporaries, the group has a loathing of “hype,” although Pete and Mike say it has been somewhat exaggerated.
“It was because everybody had been messed around by managers and agents,” explained Pete. “Particularly Bob, Mike and Greg who have been through every bad scene in the pop machine.”
And Mike’s definition of “hype”: “Helping one’s self without helping others at the same time. Our sort of protest about `hype’ is aimed at the `hypers,’ the ones who are still doing it.”
“What does the word pretentious mean to you?” asked Pete suddenly.
“Pretending to be something you’re not,” I replied.
“Because we’ve been called pretentious,” Pete continued, “and I can’t see it.
“I think most people are not quite sure what to make of us actually. Audiences aren’t quite sure what bits they should applaud. We may be a little bit ahead of our time. They can see there is something worthwhile but they are not sure what.”
Mike: “What do we do? Stop pushing ahead, cash in on what is simple for people to understand, or go by our own standards.

Simplicity

“I hope this doesn’t sound pretentious but another group could come along and simplify what we play and they would be away.
“There are strong feelings in the band to get into more involved music. If we did this straight away I don’t think we would have an audience for it.
“Nevertheless we enjoy what we do at the moment and believe in it, and it earns us enough money to set up the machinery to get into the music we want to in time.”
The group made its debut album three times; more through their own inability to be their own producers than for musical reasons.
Pete: “We were trying so hard. And we were rushed at the end to get it finished. It could have been much better.”
Mike: “It could have been 50 per cent better. When we started we were going to be a recording group more than a live group and it appears to have turned out the other way.
“There is a definite lack of feel on the album in some places and only about 30 per cent of the sound everybody wanted. What is missing is the presence, the harshness, the attack.
“We ideally need a sixth member of the band in the shape of a producer.”
As is so often the case when a group makes it breakthrough, King Crimson is now in America. They left last week for a two-month tour, complete with three tons of equipment including Pete Sinfield’s lights. “It will cost a fortune to send,” said Mike.

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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!

ARTICLE ABOUT Fleetwood Mac FROM New Musical Express, November 8, 1969

With combined album sales in excess of 120 million albums worldwide, this is a band that truly deserves a regular place in this blog. With their roots firmly based around blues-rock, they are a band that have lots of fans among those that prefer their rock even harder, but at the same time they have a huge crossover appeal among traditional pop audiences. Great band, great songs!
Read on!

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A tiny club or Albert Hall, it doesn`t matter to Fleetwoods

By Nick Logan

IT’S a shame in a way that Mick Fleetwood is the Fleetwood Mac drummer and not a guitarist or some other make of stand up man.
Occasional flashes of lank-haired head or a bony arm or a rampant leg flying out from behind the drum kit like the tentacles of an octopus – can’t compensate for the loss to the audience of the intelligent, agile mind, the wit and the comic ability.
“Yes come over,” said Mick after I had been trying to locate him all day. “But I`ve got to meet Peter at 5.20 for the John Mayall concert at Croydon.”
“I’ll be quick,” said I, racing out minus his address and spending a futile half hour in Kensington Church Street trying every house with a 7 in the number before having to phone back to the office for directions.
“After you’d phoned I suddenly wondered if you had the address, smiled Mick when I arrived at the top of many flights of darkened stairs, adding that he’d decided to miss the concert in order to pack for the group’s Scandinavian tour starting the next day.

Good year

All things told, 1969 has been rather a good year for Fleetwood Mac. “Albatross” No 1, “Man Of The World,” No 2 and now “Oh Well” in second place poised for the double top.
“We are very lucky as a band in that we appeal to an incredibly wide audience,” said Mick, seating himself on a deckchair(!) in a living room notable for its stripped pine furniture from Junk City and the decapitated dolls’ heads that peer down from the top of a cupboard.
“As well as the pop fans and the blues fans I know there are a lot of older people who like us. And we can play an Underground date like the Brunel University and be accepted as well.
“We have been fortunate in that people now accept that we can do anything. We are not tied to one style.
“It must be horrible to feel entrenched in a certain style, which is what could have happened to us.

Accept us

“People now take Fleetwood Mac for what they are doing at any given time — they are not going to judge one piece of music because it doesn’t fit into the type they liked before.”
After a period of cutting down on appearances to devote more time to recording — at one stage they were down to a single gig a week — the group has of late been reversing the trend.
“When we played it was such a big thing to be going on stage,” said Mick. “This band has never had that before. We found that when we had a gig coming up we were actually nervous and were planning what we’d do on stage.
“It was terrible. Now we want to work more in this country.”
Although they could limit themselves to large lucrative venues, Fleetwood Mac is sticking to a policy of working the smaller clubs… a policy that makes an interesting contrast with Jethro Tull, the other most successful product of the Underground circuit, who are now restricting their appearances to concert tours.
“We played Nottingham Boat Club recently,” said Mick. “I don’t know if you know it but it’s smaller than Klooks Kleek — just a room above a boat club. But it was a great night.”
Couldn’t it harm the group’s reputation? “We don’t mind. Usually we do it because we enjoy it, and because it’s a promoter or an audience who’ve been good to us in the past.
“The money might be very little, but it makes for a nice atmosphere. There’s usually no contract. We just say we’ll be there and we are.
“And it will always be that way. If we want to go off and play the Fishmonger’s Arms or somewhere like that then we will, because we know it will be a good time.
“With concerts, no matter how good you are, you know you have to stop some time. You have to keep to set times to do your two shows.
“At these small places you can go on all night. There is no promoter breathing down your neck. Peter might feel like a chat with the audience; Jeremy might do his impersonations. You can go on as long as you like.”
Firmly established in Britain and in most European countries, the one thing that now eludes Fleetwood Mac is success is America.
From their 12 days in Scandinavia the group returns here for less than a week before heading to the States on their third attempt to break through.

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Important

“America is very important to the growth of the band,” says Mick. “If we stayed as we are here, apart from working and getting more people to listen, there is not much further to go. We are determined to make it in America.”
On the last two visits, according to Mick, the concerts went “great” but the group suffered from lack of nationwide promotion.
“We wandered over there and everything was very small time. America is a very big place and if you don’t do things big you are not going to be heard.”
This time they will be represented by Reprise, who have done such good work in the States for Jethro Tull, and they are hoping this will turn things their way.
“It is a very big and good company,” said Mick. “And everything is supposed to be fine and ready for us to arrive. We can only hope now that we are successful as far as dates are concerned.
“But we know we have to work at it. Take Joe Cocker — when he went over there he was unknown. He spent months and months just going round the circuit, just like Cream.
“They worked for peanuts — actually going to ballrooms and asking if they could play. When they did that was all that was needed but they still had to stay there for ages and work like slaves.
“We are nowhere near well known in America, whereas groups like Jethro Tull and Ten Years After are incredibly well known.”
But although Mick states that the group will stay as long as necessary — “So that when we come away we won’t be forgotten” he adds that Fleetwood Mac won’t be deserting England.
As Peter Green said in the NME a few weeks ago there was minor dissension in the group over the suitability of “Oh Well” as a single.
“When we recorded it in the studio,” Mick explained, “everyone decided it would be the next single. Then John and I listened to it again and John had doubts and so did I.

Dissension

“Peter said that if everybody wasn’t agreed he would put it out as a solo single and that would have been a bad thing.
“I started playing it over and over again and decided it was right. John’s doubts actually weren’t that he didn’t like it, but from the point of view of it being right for a single.”
John, Mick revealed, had actually made and lost a £5 bet with Peter that “Oh Well” wouldn’t make the top ten.
This apart, Fleetwood Mac always appear a very trouble-free group. Mick agrees: “It is something that has come over the long time we’ve been together. All groups start with teething troubles but some don’t bother to work things out.
“With us it has now got to the stage where no matter how heavy the pressures get — and obviously people in the band are going to have on and off days of being pleasant just like anybody — it is all understood.
“It never gets anywhere near the horrid backbiting that gets a hold in some groups. I have been in groups like that and it is horrible.
“John, Pete and I have know each other for years. That is what made it easy when Jerry and Danny came in. It is a friendship that goes back years and years and years and has been tested over and over and over and won`t ever crumble.”

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ARTICLE ABOUT Jimi Hendrix FROM New Musical Express, April 19, 1969

Some interesting comparisons between the US and the UK in this one. Enjoy and read on!

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Jimi Hendrix shock: He wants to retire for a year!

By Alan Smith

UP the creaking stairs, past the accommodation agency, up the stairs again, then to a hardboard door in the gloom. Knock on the hardboard and wait. Footsteps. Then the strangely soft voice of jimi Hendrix — “Who’s there? Who’s there?” — and I mention my name and he opens he door and up I go.
There may be more space upstairs, but this room mainly seems to be his home… lOft x lOft, a big double bed in the middle with a canopy overhead, personal possessions, a monster dog, and the immensely affable Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, all not necessarily in that order.
It’s 3 p.m. but he pulls the curtains and blinks his eyes beneath the pastel brim of an Ascot hat and hunches down over Alley Cat and the largest circulation weekly music paper in the world.
I find Hendrix, articulate master of the guitar, wild exponent of sex and soul, a shy and introverted man away from the stage and the electric involvement of working before an audience.
If his friends were not here, watching and listening in the cramped room above the hiss of traffic on a rainy day in London’s Brook Street, I suspect he might be different. But he pours me a white wine, and one for himself, and he sits low in the seat and we talk about his affection for Britain and the way he sees his future.

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“It’s a different type of atmosphere here. People’re more mild mannered. But in the States there’s more money to be made — that’s why you have to go there. And not too many people say No specially when the money’s about ten times better.
“Emotionally, though, I dig anywhere as long as it doesn’t bore me to death. I always have music, but it’s pretty hard to say what else I need in life to turn me on. Anything, I guess (laughing)… anything!
I’m as human as anybody else, and I’m not so involved that it’s possible for me to work on and on without ever needing to take a break and forget and rest for a while. Like right, at this moment… we’ve been working solidly for about three years, and there has to come a time when you have to get away from it all.
“What I want to do is rest completely for one year. Completely. I’ll have to. Maybe something’ll happen and I’ll break my own rules, but I’ll have to try. It’s the physical and emotional toll I have to think of.”
Mitch Mitchell says he knows the feeling only too well and how so many people out there in the public don’t realise the way life can pile up on an artist, what with the food and the time changes and sometimes seeing a different country only for a few hours every day.
Noel Redding says it’s not really so bad, because Jimi and the Experience went to the States last year, and in a way it’s now just like getting on and off a bus.
Somehow we’re then talking about the advantages and disadvantages of recording in America and in this country, and Jimi returns from a temporary departure into the pages of the NME to say he has no real complaints about the quality of recording facilities in Britain. Some artists wail about it, sure. But not him.
“Mainly,” says Jimi, “it depends what kind of music you go into. You can get sixteen tracks in the States, but who needs sixteen? You need only four really, if you’re going into something straight. Only occasionally do we need more, like some of the thing’s we did on our last LP. That’s what I call expression music.”

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I ask about break-ups and Noel says he can’t see the Experience and Jimi splitting up at all.
“I’ve got my thing going with Fat Mattress,” says Noel, “and nobody’s gonna stop me doing my thing.
“Just because of Fat Matress, it doesn’t mean it’s gonna break us lot up. Why should it? The pop business is getting more free, and that’s fine by me.
“The only time you get groups coming together and then breaking up soon after, the way it’s happened recently, is when you’ve got people like Dave Mason. Dave shouldn’t be in a group. He’s not made that way.”
There is no comment on all this from Jimi Hendrix because, once again, he is back among the pages of the largest-selling weekly music paper in the world!
But I do get him to talk about the way he’d face the future if he found himself poverty-stricken tomorrow. He laughs and says he’d probably do what he’s doin’ now, but without the money.
Talking about the past, he remembers how he once played with Wilson Pickett and Ike and Tina Turner and the Isley Brothers. “Once in a while I like to listen to that soul stuff, but I don’t like to play it too much anymore. Soul isn’t adventurous enough. It’s just the one same thing.”
About himself: “I like to treat people fair until they screw you around. You can be terribly honest these days, but this tends to bring out a certain evil thing in people. Sometimes I’d like to say !?*!! to the world, but I just can’t say it because it’s not in my nature.
“I don’t know, sometimes everything makes me uptight once in a while. What I hate is this thing of society these days trying to put everything and everybody into little tight cellophane compartments.
“I hate to be in any type of compartment unless I choose it myself. The world is getting to be a drag.”
He picks up the paper and sits up with a flash of The Untamed Hendrix bristling across the ten by ten.
“I ain’t gonna be any cellophane socialite,” says The Wild Man of Pop.
“They don’t get me in any cellophane cage. Nobody cages me.”

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But what happened to their friends in “Clouds”?

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!