Author: Geir Myklebust

ARTICLE ABOUT Dale “Buffin” Griffin (Mott The Hoople) FROM SOUNDS, September 15, 1973

Always refreshing to read an article from someone in a band that isn`t always THE interview object you usually expect. So it is with this one. From what I can read in-between the lines of this interview, Mr. Griffin was a nice and pleasant man. He was also gone too soon, taken from this world exactly a week after former collaborator David Bowie died. He was only aged 67 at the time and was diagnosed, at age 58, with early-onset Alzheimer’s  disease.

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Mott The Hoople`s BUFFIN in the Sounds Talk-In

Interview by Martin Hayman

Drummer Buffin is nice boy of Mott The Hoople. He got the name from Overend, who modified his stage name from Sniffin` Griff Griffin to “that little bugger Sniffin” because he was the youngest in the group. This was a year or two back when the group had a different lead singer and played locally around Hereford. Buffin says that he now hates the name because it makes him seem too nice. He thought of calling himself – even more unlikely – Johnny Smack but their manager of the time, Tony DeFries, was not having it. So even now Buffin has his teenage nickname.

The group has been in the studio recently. What have you been doing?

We`ve only been remixing tracks, we haven`t been putting anything down. We had to do “All The Way To Memphis” for “Top of the Pops”, nothing new.

Who has been playing saxophone?

Andy McKay came along and did it. He did the “Honaloochie Boogie” thing too.

How are you going to arrange that song on stage?

At the moment we don`t do “Honaloochie Boogie” on stage. We`ve rehearsed it but we`ve never got round to putting it in the act. For “Memphis” we just do without. We use guitar and organ to take over the sax parts.

(Here it seems the question went missing in print, but I`ll write down the answer – Blog Editor.)

Yeah, I read somewhere else that we did it, it`s weird, perhaps they were mistaking it for “Dudes”. I don`t know where they got the idea from.

Which was the original Herefordshire group?

There was Mick (Ralphs), Verden (Allen), Overend (Watts) and me, and a guy called Stan Tippins, who was then the lead singer. He`s now our tour manager. See, when we first came down to London for the audition with Island Records he`d just got his jaw busted in a fight. Hereford is not the best place to be at night on the streets. Somebody came up behind him and hit him, they didn`t like him. And that was it. I think he was glad in a way, he was feeling more and more that it wasn`t what he wanted to do: what he wanted to do wasn`t his kind of thing at all.

How do you feel about the way the group`s going now, seeing that two of the Hereford members have now left? Do you regret that?

Yeah, we`re sorry that Mick left obviously. We were very much a unit. I think though that it will be good for the group in a way. Verden leaving was a kind of relief for us and for him because he was growing away from us, and it`s difficult to be in a group where one member is not feeling part of what you`re doing. It was the same with Mick, he was wanting to do other things, he wasn`t happy because he wasn`t able to write songs, I guess because the environment wasn`t right, I don`t know. The flying thing, that was really upsetting him too. We`ve got a very tight schedule, especially on this next tour (of the States). We`re sad to lose him, he`s a very nice guitarist. The new guy is a lot more extrovert than Mick.

Are you allowed to reveal the name of this Ariel Bender yet?

We can`t really say. It`s like Harrison when he plays on other people`s albums and can`t say who he is, which is a drag. But we`ve seen a few lawsuits and we want to keep out of it if we can. But he`s working out fine – he`s very much the same kind of person as we are. There`s no personality problem. We had all sorts of mad scenes but I think Ariel is going to be great. We`ve known him for ages, and we were kicking around names for who would fit in Mick`s place – he`s very much like Mick and he`s been a mate of Mick`s for a long time. They`re from the same area.

PRESSURE

So as a unit you would not say you were being eroded by commercial pressures?

There was talk of this amazing guitarist from Colorado, a real ace but nobody`s ever heard of him, there was talk of getting him in, but we didn`t want anything but an Englishman really because we wanted to keep that thing of being an English group rather than some kind of hybrid.

Are you retaining the two additional members of the group?

Yeah, Morgan Fisher on piano and Mick Felton playing organ, they`ve worked out great.

How do they work out in terms of stage presentation, as they are not yet considered as full-fledged members of Mott?

We have the front-line three and they work farther back on the stage, on a level with me, to the side of the drum kit. It`s difficult, we don`t want to use them as completely anonymous musicians in the background, we`re trying to bring them – especially during this next tour – a bit more into the swing of things, more into the stage area. Originally we weren`t quite sure how it was going to work out, and they were going to be kept right back. But I think they`re going to become more a part – if not of the act – more a part of the stage presentation.

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It`s funny that you should go back to the two-keyboard line-up.

Basically it`s because of the Mott album, which did feature a lot of organ and piano. When Verden left, the stage act became almost entirely guitar-orientated, and we just did a couple of numbers where Ian would play piano, but that wasn`t really working out because playing piano just made him completely immobile. It caused a lot of problems because he just stuck to one side of the stage and the lights couldn`t get at him and God knows how many problems.
It`s just worked out so much better that we`ve got two separate players. And they are so very good for us. Like Morgan`s a really great character to have around and Mick Bolton looks like being a very good songwriter. He`s writing things that are very much in our vein.

So it looks like they`re going to become part of the group?

Well we`re playing things by ear as usual. We hardly ever plan things, they just seem to happen. It`s like Mick leaving, up till when we started rehearsals we didn`t know quite what was happening. Things just amble in and out. I think we`re getting a bit more business-like, we went into the last album with a will and an idea. We were very lackadaisical, Herefordshire people are a bit like that, and even though Ian isn`t Herefordshire he caught a bit of that from us. He`s steered us out of it, and think Bowie and DeFries had a lot to do with it as well.

Made you think a bit more clearly before you went into something?

Yes, and channelling out energies instead of sitting round the studio getting drunk and then putting a track down. You can`t really do that, I was never happy with the things we did like that, because it works on the night but then when you have to listen to it the next day, or listen to it on a record, it really pisses you off. “Brain Capers” was the pissed album and a lot of people really dig it, but to me it`s just a pain in the arse. I make so many mistakes on it, I`m just ashamed of it.

ROBOTS

At the end of one number you can hear me falling off the drum kit. I fell off the drum-kit into some drum-cases and I was there for about half an hour, they just left me there. That`s how the album was. We`ve got completely away from that now. We don`t sit there like robots and work it all out, but we`re bridging the gap between that and the old drunken days.
And I think with the next album will be even better, because we were a bit scared when we did that. We were still very unsure of ourselves. We were always very lazy, never bothered to work at things. We were always dreadful at rehearsals, we preferred to sit and talk about cars and things like that than start rehearsing, but now we have to do it. We`ve got such a short time to get it all right because the next tour is so important. We have to put our noses to the grindstone.
This tour is really the continuation of the last one, the break being because you have to go out of the country before you can get another visa and also we had to get in a new guitarist. What we wanted to do was stay there because it seemed such a waste coming back. It`s good in a way because it means we can promote the single.

Do you like being successful in the singles field too?

Yeah, it`s very exciting. It`s more showbizzy, doing “Top of the Pops” things. We`ve even been asked to do the “Lulu Show”, which is incredible. Thinking back a year or two there would be no question of that. I like showbiz. I like the whole thing.

You used to be such a scruffy band, even when you played the Albert Hall.

Right. We were – just dirty sweaty old rockers. We still are but the music has got more refined and there`s more to it.

Ian wrote most of the tunes for the albums recently didn`t he? That was his original function in the group.

Yes, that and we needed a lead singer with personality… Guy (Stevens) was looking for someone along the lines of a Gary Brooer-cum-Jerry Lee Lewis, which he`s sort of got really I guess. Guy`s idea was to have like a Rolling Stones-Procol Harum mix, being very involved with them, and always loving the Stones. I think he did quite well actually, because Ian turned up entirely by accident. He didn`t read the ad, we were just sitting in the studio, we`d completely given up. So he walks in, scruffy and down-at-heel, and we were all scruffy and down-at-heel, and it just seemed to work out. We didn`t know what to make of him, us four Hereford lads looking at him suspiciously, this red-haired character, because he was suspicious of us too, and that took quite a time to wear off.

REVIEWS

It`s difficult to put a band together like that, four people who have already worked together –

– especially country people, they`re very closed, tend to “keep arrselves to arrselves, them buggers from outside, don`t want none of that.” But we all understand each other pretty well now.

What sort of reception were you getting in the US?

The reviews we were getting in the States of the Felt Forum gig spent ages exploring every detail of the New York Dolls` act, and the last few lines would say “Mott the Hoople were an excellent group, played really well and the audience went mad.” They just took it for granted that we were all right. We were a bit pissed off for a start, but then we realised that they knew we were all right and were taking the Dolls apart, see what they were doing right and wrong. So it was good in a way.

How was your party afterwards?

(Laughs). It was supposed to be like quite an intimate affair at the Plaza with about two hundred people there, but about six or seven hundred turned up and it was like this (does sardine-in-a-can impersonation). We got there and they wouldn`t let us in. Ian blew his top, he was furious. They flatly refused to let us in. The place was absolutely full of liggers and hangers-on and parasites and drag-queens, just there to be seen.
You`d get people standing up next to Sly Stone hoping to be photographed. Eventually we got in and there was nothing left. They`d had all the drink, all the food, totally ripped off, there were people stealing drinks from the bars, smashing windows, fighting with the waiters. In the end they threw the whole lot out, people undressing in the streets, never seen anything like it.
We were angry to start with but then we looked round and realised they were there to be seen at the Mott the Hoople reception, which is a great compliment really. But it was great, a night of madness really. Iggy was there, covered in plaster. He broke a glass and rubbed it all over himself. He`s a total lunatic, the only thing left for him is to kill himself on stage. He`ll go the whole way one day. But he`s such a nice little bloke when he`s straight.

It must be strange for you particularly being associated with that whole punk thing.

Right, I can`t handle it very well, I tend to shrink away from it. People who are larger than life scare me a bit, I`m in awe of things like that Guy Stevens I was always in awe of. It`s wrong really, I don`t know what I`m doing in a rock and roll band really, it`s strange. The only time it comes out is on stage. It`s like a metamorphosis, you get on the stage and change. But I think a lot of rock people are like that really.

BOTHER

Were you involved in the punch-up on the stage at that McLaughlin gig?

I stood at the back and tried to look menacing! But the last tour was a really calm one, there wasn`t any bother except at the Plaza. Morgan stormed out in a fury, Iggy had an altercation with the manager and a few waiters. But apart from that it was really quite a dull tour, except that the audiences were astonishingly large. The promoters were trying to pull out, Mott the Hoople hadn`t even got an album out, how can we put them on a gig? We went on the understanding that the audiences would be small, thinking that Bowie did it first time, so it`s just a thing you have to go through.
We got there and none were smaller than two thousand and it averaged out at three or four. Philadelphia was fifteen. They`d just had Beck and Sly. Beck had pulled about seven thousand and Sly about nine and there we were with fifteen, so something must be happening. The interest just seems to be building up very fast. I don`t know if we`re being used as a substitute for the recently reclused David Bowie, but they don`t seem to be going away disappointed.

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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: Roger Daltrey, Roxy Music, Jess Roden, Billy Preston, Nick Mason, Home, Hemlock, Lou Reizner, Commander Cody, Elton John, Rolling Stones, Tony McPhee, America, Martin Carthy.

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 Johnny Winter FROM SOUNDS, August 18, 1973

A really good article with a very honest blues musician who sadly no longer is with us. He overcame what must have been a difficult childhood, being teased and probably bullied because of his albinism, to become one of America`s leading white blues guitarists. His story is a story for the big screen.

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Breaking through, breaking up, breaking back

Tales of Johnny Winter

By Laurel Dawn

His hair flavoured French vanilla, his eyes barely blue, Johnny Winter, at age 11, ate spinach (because it worked for Popeye) and Cheerios (the source of the Lone Ranger`s strength) for a solid week. Riding on self- fulfilling – prophesy – confidence, Winter headed for Harold… the kid who`d teased the young albino the most… and “beat the hell out of him”.
“That was my breakthrough,” Johnny recalls. Canned greens and tiny little o`s changed Johnny Winter from a “horrible pussy” who played with dolls into the playground`s prince.
“I`ve been this size since I was 12 years old,” he says, smiling down on his slender silhouette, “but I was the best fighter in school.”
Surely America`s most famed – and perhaps its finest – living guitarist started going through them changes long before his much publicised breakdown some two years ago.
Assuredly, Winter`s reaction to rock and roll`s rigours precipitated the tragedy. However, that reaction was equally assuredly precipitated by the early seasons of his 29 years.
“I had never had any faith in psychiatry,” Winter admits, “all that talk about how the first year of your life is the most important: I thought it was ridiculous. But, I found out,” he says with an authority few of us can claim, “that it`s true.”
“The things that happened when I was six-months-old helped me understand what caused the breakdown. Mostly, it was the world.”

CHANGES

Mostly the same world that helped Johnny acquire the meticulously stacked equipment cases which occupy nearly all the space between the living room and kitchen of his New York City apartment: a silver train metaphor.
His black satin loft bed uses a railing for its headboard. The two stories are joined by a spiral-tracked stairway. Walls, furniture – even ashtrays – all either black or white. Except for his long-train-sofa; silver leather.
Wearing denims, Johnny sits on his silver train smoking Kools, sipping Southern Comfort and revealing them changes several seasons behind him.
“I always thought the problem was people, not parents. My parents gave me all the love and affection anyone ever needed. I loved them. I still do.”
At Johnny`s birth, February of 1944, his father was overseas, with the military. His mother, then 28, was told that her son was an albino. “She didn`t even know what the word meant,” says Johnny.

SUCCESS

“She thought it meant someone who was half black and half white, a mulatto, and she knew she hadn`t been fooling around with guys – black or white. She figured, I Guess, that it just wasn`t true.”
Although Johnny`s mother did understand that he lacked normal pigmentation, she never told her husband… who did not see his son until Johnny was two years old.
Shortly after returning to the States, Johnny`s father – whom he still calls “my daddy” – left the service and became a building contractor. His success allowed the Winters to live comfortably, “upper middle class”, according to Johnny.
So, assured by doctors that “there was no chance they`d bear a second albino”, Johnny`s parents gave him a brother. Edgar and Johnny Winter are the only albinos in family clan history.
They are also two of (mercifully) few who have suffered profoundly the derision engendered by being born different. Johnny fears that his parents felt guilty. “I think, somehow, they thought it was their fault and they had to make up for it. That`s what I mean about what happens to you when you`re six months old. I don`t remember it, but I bet I picked up on that guilt feeling.
“My mother,” he continues, his voice reminiscent of a gentle cowboy, “was definitely overprotective. She used to always tell me to turn the other cheek to insults.
“But at the same time,” he remembers, the pale eyes subtly bluing, “my great grandfather was saying that if anyone messed with me, I ought to kick their ass. I think he had more influence on my life than anyone.
He started with nothing and turned it into something big. He made a lot of money and he demanded total control. He could never share responsibility; he always did everything himself. I`m exactly the same way.”
Not until he “beat the hell out of “Harold” did Johnny adhere to his mother`s grandfather`s philosophy. For all the in-between seasons, his sub-conscious festered war; rising above the taunting vs. hitting it at eye-level.

HONESTY

When his mother`s philosophy gained on its enemy, Winter played with dolls. His ability to view himself in retrospect is reflective of his generally disarming honesty.
“I think my feeling towards dolls was basically a sexual feeling,” he admits – with a grin as flashy as the silver-train sofa.
Disarming honesty contagious; we ask if his love for dolls might reflect a then unrealised need for domination? Perhaps also a sense of freedom unleashed by the dolls` sightlessness? “Wow,” says Winter, “I haven`t ever thought of that one. Yeah, you might be right.”
He flings the French vanilla strands over his shoulders. “You probably are right,” he says delightedly. But, Johnny Winter`s delight emerges not from a new insight.
Simply because he felt that no one – except his family – cared, Johnny Winter coursed from his great grandfather – induced breakthrough to his music-manufactured breakdown. Winter`s mental mechanics call bitterness the name of the road.
“I was subconsciously bitter,” he admits with dimly preceivable embarrassment. “I wanted to show those people something. I probably shouldn`t say this,” he hedges, “but regular people are stupid. I knew I could be successful; in fact, I had an insane drive to be successful.
“That`s why I had to be a great fighter in school,” he explains. “I couldn`t see well enough to play sports. And I couldn`t get a far out, fast car because I couldn`t see well enough to get a driver`s licence.”
Poor vision`s imposed limits can only have bred more bitterness. Because of the albino`s often totally unpigmented eye (the red appearance is actually only the blood vessels hidden by colour in the normally pigmented eye) so much light bombards the vision that distinguishing outlines can be difficult at best.
The condition cannot be significantly improved by glasses, but Johnny expresses hope in ongoing medical research.
Bitterness is not, however, what drove Johnny to learn guitar; music was always his medicine. Bitterness drove him to be the best. He explains: “I believed then, and I still do, that if you`re gonna be here you`ve gotta try for a lot more than you think you can get.

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MAGIC

“If I didn`t think I was the best at what I did, I couldn`t see why I should do it at all. Being the best and trying for more is the only way you can get anything,” he concludes.
And Johnny Winter got everything. That he paid dues to get it is well-documented… what happened when he got it isn`t.
The road Winter ran was essentially paved just outside of Woodstock by his introduction to the McCoys (“Hang On Sloopy”), hence, Rick Derringer. The former teenybopper “fave rave” group, save Derringer, was suffering what Winter terms “understandable psychotic depression”.
Young teenagers when they made the cover of 16 Magazine, the McCoys matured musically seemingly by magic.
They were the magicians. Successful in an era when pop musicians were usually scored by “serious” musicians, the band was simply not credible. Winter recalls with painful clarity, “those guys were great musicians, every one of them. But they couldn`t make it.
“The teenyboppers wouldn`t let them change and no one else would ever listen to them.” Seated, he hunches forward, his chin in his hands. “They had no money. What they had was worse than the blues.”
Winter had the blues too… in his hands. Managed now by Steve Paul, “Johnny was making the big time / everything was going his way”, as Edgar sang it. Derringer, working with the brothers, was at last recognised as a “serious” musician.
While the remaining McCoys idol-watched, Johnny and his “Second Winter” were frenzy-watched by thousands. In retrospective report, Winter says: “The McCoys changed the way they thought about me. I never thought I was any different from what I`d been.
“You know,” he says, “one of them started worshipping me. He asked me once if he could sit and watch me while I slept. The cat actually sat in my room for twelve hours! I woke up and there he was, just staring at me.
“The McCoys, and other people,” he continues, “wanted me to take over. They suddenly wanted to know what kind of toothpaste I used and how often I washed my hair. Every albino in the country was trying to learn guitar. I just couldn`t stand the pressure.

LONESOME

“I was weak,” Johnny openly opins. “That was the dangerous part. I`d been born a reject and suddenly I was worshipped as a God. If I wasn`t worshipped, I was hated by jealous people. Both attitudes pissed me off.
“Either way, I felt left out, lonesome. I couldn`t handle it. But, people thought that was exactly what I wanted. They thought I was trying to make myself into a superstar.”
Stars – in any genre – are surely made; but, they are created by an audience`s need. Just as America needed Sinatra or Brando, so it needed Winter. An artist is incapable of making himself a star… that is the public`s position.
However, any stratosphere-dwelling-star, the proverbial superstar, wears a special symbol. It says he or she deserves the adulation.
Winter`s blues licks are incomparable. He employs them less often now because he must emphasise what he feels is right: right – on – rock – and – roll – right – now.
“`Rock and Roll Hoochie Coo` is probably as good a rock and roll song as there is,” Winter`s ego intones. But exaggerated egos reflect intense insecurity…
“Before I committed myself,” he discloses, “I understood that I couldn`t relate to people. It`s a horrible, painful thing that people relate to stars in a way that makes it impossible to relate back.”
He cites an example: “Like Dylan,” he suggests, with quiet respect, “after all his years, he`s so paranoid, it`s hard for him to relate to anyone… especially at first.”
But, back at the fantasy factory, radios roared, stereos soared with the snow-pure clarity of Johnny Winter`s guitar. In production`s first stages, Winter was “a libertine and a hedonist.
“But,” he qualifies, “whatever your obsession is, if you get enough of it, it gets boring. It`s like if you`re really horny and you start balling fifty chicks a night, you think it will make you happy, but it bores you fast. That`s what happened to me. I got bored and jaded.”

And addicted to junk.
“I never thought junk could take me over; no one ever does,” Winter reveals. Although his attitude seems matter-of-fact, it is melancholy. “I thought I could do a little junk and I used it on-and-off for a year and a half. It never occured to me that I`d get to a point where I couldn`t stop.
“I don`t really know why I started,” Winter says, still painfully puzzled, “but it was long after junk that I realised that there was nothing left that could turn me on.
“I think the hardest part was when I realised that I couldn`t face the world without junk,” he continues. “But, I committed myself out of self-hatred, I despised myself for being addicted. I never, ever, shot-up, but I was still addicted. That`s why I took the year off.”
Drugs, it must be noted, are never the addict`s problem… they are merely a symptom of a critical cause, often a bluff at blocking out the pain`s precipitate. But, it is only the fortunate few who find the faith to fade out.
“I committed myself, like I said,” Winter repeats, “out of hate. I knew if I stayed on junk, I`d die. I suppose there are a few people who can keep doing junk and pull it off. But,” he adds, feeling full of lost friends, “most of them who tried have already died.”
“I didn`t want to die; O.D.ing and suicide are the same thing. I thought if I locked myself up for a year, I`d be away from junk, at least. I was still afraid I`d either kill myself or become a mailman.
“But I think I had a better grasp on what was going on than other musicians did; I knew I had to ask them to lock me up. But, I`m not bragging,” comments the insecure egoist, “I was scared shitless. I shook with fear that I`d never play music again.”

Found friends visited him. Delaney was one. “I`ll always love Delaney,” Johnny beams. “Maybe the public doesn`t know much about him, but the musicians do. He`s one of the best producers there is… and one of the best people.”
Lost friends didn`t. Janis was one. “Janis told me,” Johnny states, the intensity of his sorrow smouldering, “`I`m gonna end up in the gutter. I`m not a strong enough person to be a star. I`d like to get married and have kids.`” Johnny understood.
“No one would let Janis be a normal person. She couldn`t relate to people either. Janis was capable of being a wife and mother; she wasn`t for Women`s Lib. Getting married and having babies was the only way she knew to live.”
Perhaps the greatest white blues singer we`ll hear died… because, like Johnny – for a while – she “couldn`t face the world without junk.”
His hospitalisation taught Johnny – whose psyche was catalytic – to like himself. Rick Derringer puts it this way: “I know it`s hard to see/and it`s kinda hard to tell/but I`m still alive and well.” So his latest (Columbia) album proves.
Working with his long-time bass player Randy Hobbs and a young drummer named Richard Hughes – discovered by Derringer in a high school Winter-copy band – Winter has successively broken through, broken down… and broken back.
Never the proselytzer, Johnny Winter remarks, with softest simplicity: “You may be able to play on junk but I know you can`t live on junk. I`ve been everything from a Southern Baptist to an atheist.
“No one really knows what you`re supposed to be. Maybe it`s really all the same. I just think people should try to feel as good as they can all the time.”

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You won`t find ads like these anymore. From a time when they thought more instruments would be sold with help of a naked, young lady. Did they? I don`t know.

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: Justin Hayward, Allman Brothers Band, John Martyn, Mickey Jones (Man), Keith Moon, Steve Goodman, Bob Calvert, Matthew Fisher, George Wadenius, John Peel, Mick Jagger, Capability, T-Bone, Gary Brooker, Nazareth, Bread.

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 Keith Moon (The Who) FROM SOUNDS, May 5, 1973

This number of Sounds was very reduced and presented as the “Emergency edition”. This was because of what Sounds called the “May Day industrial disruption”. But still, this interview with one of the legends gone too early, Keith Moon, was still available for us to read. And it is a good one.

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Bored Side Of the Moon

Penny Valentine meets an old friend

Keith Moon, it was rumoured, was bored. Normally I wouldn`t have believed it. I mean Moon over-zealous, Moon looning, Moon causing riots across the globe? Yes – such rumours I would have believed. But Moon bored, actually BORED? No indeedy.
Still, such tales emanated from a good source. Pete Townshend in fact. There I was standing in Wardour Street at around 6 p.m. the other day (waiting to get home I assure you) when Townshend loomed in the distance, on his way to the station, and we cheerily shared a cab.
On the way we talked of many things – shoes, ships, sealing wax… and Keith Moon`s boredom. Pete, it transpired, had tried to cheer him up with tales of `only two weeks to go and we start on the next album.` But Moon had stuck firm and said, somewhat gloomily, that two weeks was a damn long time to wait for activity – or words to that effect.
Pete had taken the whole thing with humour – a man obviously well accustomed to such tales of woe within the Who, a group let`s face it who do not like inactivity at the best of times.
So when, some days later, it was set that I should parlay to Mr. Moon over a few brandies in a local pub I put it to him straight. What, I enquired, was it all about? And indeed was it a fact?
Needless to say when we got to the nitty gritty things weren`t quite as dastardly and dramatic as I had at first supposed.

“Mmm well,” and he stuffed a cigarette into a long holder with great dash – if not applomb – “I suppose I must have been when I spoke to Pete. But I do manage to stave off a lot of the boredom I could suffer when we`re not working. Like doing the film, other incidentals.
“I think it`s important to have a `hobby` outside the band. If all your energies were directed into the Who it would be very easy for the whole thing to just take you over. It`s important that there are other things going on that we can all get into so that the Who doesn`t become a chore.
“It`s also important that those things stay simply hobbies and that the Who is the utmost thing in all our minds – which, I may say, it is.”
For those of you who are the smallest bit fashion concious I feel I should, at this stage, point out that this very day Mr. Moon is looking quite resplendant. He is wearing a three piece suit (yes a suit) topped off with a very large spotted bow tie – and that cigarette holder.
He also now sports a gap in his front teeth. Very endearing when he grins, which he does a lot, and an addition which heightens his strange resemblance to the late Robert Newton (famous, you may recall, for his rousing TV performances in “Treasure Island” and a gentleman whose impersonation Moon has off to a fine art. Much “argh Jim M`lad”).
Keith is also sporting an air of some sobriety – a fact that also comes as a surprise today. The main reason being, I am informed, that he has promised to be very upright indeed when he appears later this very afternoon on Radio 4 giving a talk on “The Care of Guns”. Somehow this all adds to the amusement of the day.

Interviewing Keith Moon can be dangerous. He is extremely likeable. He is also very very funny. But unless people know him well they tend to shy away from his image of achetypal maniac, in fear that they may never be seen again once having trotted off to have words with him.
In fear, indeed, of meeting a ghastly end in some far flung public call box at his wily hands. It is this image that Moon has carried with him since the very earliest days of the Who – somehow setting the whole atmosphere of the group at large.
They have gained from it – just as they have sometimes suffered from it. Moon is not a man to be ignored. And yet he can be serious, down to earth and beguiling. He tries hard today to smother the obvious temptations to have me curling on the floor in hysterics, unable to set pen to paper. Indeed for the first quarter of an hour of our conversation he is damn near solemn.
We talk about this image of his and whether he ever feels the other side of his character is being swamped by it. His answer is brief and to the point: “I find it very difficult to be serious – put in a ready laugh there would you? (Okay Keith – ha ha ha) I always see things in a very funny way. I can see any situation at any time and see the funny side to it.
“Anyway there`s bugger all I can do about my image. I`d have to change my whole lifestyle if I wanted to do anything about it.”
We also talk about his extra-curricular Who activities – like “That`ll Be The Day”, and the yet to be seen film with Harry Nilsson. The part from “That`ll Be The Day” was especially written in by Ray Connolly – after they`d met on the set. Originally it didn`t have a line of dialogue. Then Connolly met Moon and… well words had to be found from somewhere.

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Since that film Keith has also started work on a film script – something he wants to get into much more at a later date: “I met a lot of people during filming that started me thinking about working on various other things. The thing is that within the Who I`m not as into the music side as they are, I`ve always been more involved in the visual side of the group.
“There were several suggestions that with Roger doing an album and John doing his I should do a comedy album. But I was a bit dubious about the idea. So much of what I do is purely visual.
“I just can`t imagine doing `Eight million ways of falling over` for instance, on record. I feel that might get rather lost`.”
Next week the Who go into the studios and start work on the grand double album enterprise from Pete Townshend`s brain. Maybe it`s the proximity of getting back to work that`s cheered Moon up – 18 months is a long time without something other than an arm to get your teeth into.
So bored, a little, Moon might have been. But idle? Never. Aside from the filming there are all kinds of jollies to impart – very tempting sagas they are too. And by another couple of brandies Moon is telling them with some relish.
There is the saga of the Monty Python football match, for instance. Moon`s team, it transpires, were not doing very well. Python`s mob were tromping them soundly: “I`d say the result was two goals, a try and two submissions.
“During the first half we brought all these little kids into our goal mouth. They stood looking winsomely across the pitch and everytime Python roared across we yelled `Mind the kids`. Very good, and it worked.”

During the second half Moon moved a bar, well equipped, into the goal mouth instead. This time cries of “Save the ale!” caused Python to disband in some confusion. No more goals were scored.
There is also the saga of Moon `touring` in the Australian production of “Tommy”. Aside from Graham Bell, moon was the only other original member of the Rainbow cast that accepted the invite to do a two week run in Australia. His Aussie version of Uncle Ernie apparently was something to be seen.
“Because we hadn`t worked for so long I needed the money – and also there`s a great duty free shop in Singapore, so I thought it would be a good idea. I wasn`t really looking forward to it because the last time I`d been in Australia was in `68 and it wasn`t a very happy tour.
“I`d never met such a lot of pig headed bastards and we had all these hassles with the press and the authorities. They weren`t into a lot of long haired idiots coming over and spearing the bearded clam – it upset them.
“But this time everyone was great, I did 4 TV chat shows and the whole place felt different. We were only supposed to do the show for a week but we sold out so many times it went into two. In the end I could see myself spending the rest of my life shuttling between Melbourne and Sydney.

“I think my Uncle Ernie over there was even grubbier than it was here. I really played him as a dirt-ridden old pervert – type casting you may think. In the breaks between shows I used to go into the park in my filthy old mac and straggly beard and jump out from behind the bushes. It terrified all the audience that had just come out.
“You know the only instructions I got on how to play the part for Australian audiences was from the director who came up one day and said, `Moon if you go on sober again I`ll sack you`.
“Apparently he didn`t feel I was really getting all the relish I could into the role because I was behaving myself. After that I got better.”
So Moon emerged from the `new` Australia a wiser and richer man? Well, no, not exactly. Unfortunately his returning plane to London stopped over in Singapore for a good 24 hour period. And that`s where that really good `duty free shop` lurked. And that`s where Moon lurked. And that`s why he didn`t return to London laden with wealth.
Still he had a good time. And he certainly wasn`t bored.

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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: Glencoe, Chris Wood (Traffic), Davey Johnstone, Tom McGuinness, Groundhogs, Beach Boys.

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 Peter Gabriel (Genesis) FROM SOUNDS, March 3, 1973

A lot of people like this version of Genesis a lot better than what they became later. I see them as almost two separate bands, with Gabriel they were sort of a progressive art-rock band, without him they became a more melodic rock band. Both versions of the band are fine in their own right. Enjoy this one, the last from this issue of Sounds – an issue which were full of riches to explore. On to the next one….

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Gabriel – Living out a surrealist fantasy

By Jerry Gilbert

Peter Gabriel personifies first the surrealist evil that lurks within “Clockwork Orange”, and then the sweet bizarre innocence of Lewis Carroll`s Alice.
The whole issue of camped up stage drama in A.D. 1973 is beginning to portend something patholigical, by and large. The credibility gap of the presentation and its inability to tax the real imagination – these are the problems too often encountered and too rarely overcome.
Maybe the Genesis approach has been different – perhaps they`ve gained from taking the slow winding road to the top of the hill without being sidetracked into any of the Messaenic hyperbole that so many of their contemporaries have chosen.

TANGIBLE

The band`s new stage act, I dare say, transcends just about everything that has come under the portrayal of surrealistic art in an eminently tangible rock form. The band live beyond the seven-year cycle that determines the course of rock music fads and their communicative level is on purely a fantasy level, using as its medium tragi-comedy, quasiallegory, and at its most extreme points life and death as humorous transient sequences rather than states of being.
Peter Gabriel`s visions of life and death are paradoxical; his theory is that music provides visual images – and if that music reaches the theatre then those images can be acted out. In short, you are taken on the unknown voyage of 2001 while Peter Gabriel personifies first the surrealist evil that lurks within “Clockwork Orange”, and then the sweet bizarre innocence of Lewis Carrol`s Alice.
Backstage Alice was taking off her final coat of make up, the metamorphosis revealing Peter Gabriel, suddenly the quiet, self-effacing public school boy who would at first seem the vicarious victim of such a vigorous expression as Genesis send forth except for the fact that he can handle it all superbly.
Offstage he dresses soberly and would be entirely unassuming but for the shaved forehead which would seem to indicate that he is affiliated to some weird religious order.

In the light of such a stage extravaganza did Peter feel that the “Foxtrot” album could stand up on its own merits, stripped of all the trimmings, without providing something of an anti-climax?
“Well we`ve never been entirely satisfied with the album and the music relies heavily on capturing the entire atmosphere on record – we didn`t capture the atmosphere we could have done but we can on stage with our visual presentation,” Gabriel explained.
Prior to the tour Genesis spent long hours in the Rainbow, meticulously taking their existing act and moving it slightly off-centre so that it distorts. The revamped act is little more than a series of clever nuances, save for the obvious introduction of headdresses, but the impact is immediate.
“I think we have enough visual links now that once people see the band the imagery will wash over into the record anyway,” Peter went on. “For instance, I think `Yellow Submarine` provided visual images for people listening to those songs afterwards – things like `Northern Song`.”
Does it matter that the audience are by and large unable to grasp the significance of Gabriel`s personal symbolism? He didn`t think so: “For instance, I like some of Eliot`s poetry and you can spend years looking up his symbolism and cross references if you want to and you might end up with quite a lot of assorted information, but I don`t think you get any more pleasure out of it than if you understand any of the references.”

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DETAIL

Then the serious expression gave way to a grin: “But I do like to have the detail there so that if anyone did want to spend their life rooting around the lyrics, they could find it and it would be like a little paper chase for them, you know, very unnecessary but great fun.”
`Supper`s Ready` is the composition that moves through more physical and allegorical sequences than most – pieced together as a single concept it could parallel a Bosch creation but with the added dimension of time.
“We`ve never taken anything as bulky as “Supper`s Ready` on the road before and we find that when we take things out that we`ve done a lot of work on they are generally such that you can`t hold an audience during certain sections, but what`s pleased us is that audiences on this tour have been willing to listen to all of it.”
I asked Peter whether the band felt comfortable about undertaking such a tour so soon after the one with Lindisfarne, and whether they were affected psychologically by the prospect of returning to the same venues – this time as a headline act.
“It`s only really been strange playing here in Newcastle again, but on the whole we`ve been very, very pleased, because we didn`t know how many places we could fill. We seem to have accumulated much more power than we had a few months ago.”
He explained that the band was used to headlining as they have been broken in on the European circuit. In Italy they are acclaimed as vociferously as they`re ever likely to be in England.
“With our own backcloth now it`s different – there are no speakers visible, we wanted to make the whole thing more personal but strangely very few people have remarked on it although they are usually very aware of the presence of stacks.”
This has helped to levitate the entire credibility of such a creation – the band, shielded by their backprop emerge as though on a dias, and the elimination of such eyesores as speakers assists the audience greatly in accepting their position within Genesis` ephemeral world.
“But people have become much more involved in the fantasies,” insisted Gabriel as though deeming the whole thing worthwhile. “From people who have talked to us they are becoming totally surrounded by it although other people will be left stone cold.”

EYESORES

Then Peter proceeded to outline plans for a new all-embracing project, the concept of which has already been evolved, and when it finds the right environment it`s going to remove its audience totally from any natural habitat and place them in a strange cosmic situation. He was reluctant to divulge the essence of the concept as a venue has not been determined, but the effect it is certain to create is staggering.
“At the moment we are still limited with what we can put across, but with plan x, let`s call it, we will be able to get a lot more across, built out of certain energies, and provide them with the right emphasis.”
“The thing is,” Peter went on, “we`re still not happy with the lighting situation. We had the Who`s lighting guys giving us technical advice and it can be used well as we learn more ourselves about colour.”
So presumably the Genesis road crew would shortly be expanding? “Yes, I do think this will be happening unfortunately. I don`t like the idea of having a touring troupe, but the thing is once we agree on the conception of an idea, then we don`t want to have to worry about the technical difficulties – I think it`s inevitable that the more efficient you become the more organisation you require and therefore more money.”

PLOUGH

But as far as Genesis are concerned their money is already spent. “We want to plough any money we make from gigs right back into the presentation of the show… and we want to do this ad infinitum. We want to do the very best we can on stage and make our money on the records.”
Inevitably this will lead to a dichotomy in the band`s material for they will surely visualise albums and stage productions as entirely different concepts in the future and channel their music accordingly.
“Yes, because we still primarily see ourselves as songwriters which may seem a bit strange – but it`s a writer`s approach to visuals rather than a performer`s.
“What`s important to us now is to do what we`re doing in this country in the States. Unfortunately at first that means taking what you can get including the top band pulling out your power point when they think you`re going down too well. We may decide to just take in towns where the album has done well and do them on our own.”
By May or June Genesis will be back in the recording studios; Gabriel already has some ideas worked out for it (yet to get the affirmation of the rest of the group). And judging from the frame of mind he`s in at present you`d better expect something stunning.

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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: Darryl Way (Curved Air), Sounds staff analyse David Bowie, Nazareth, Steve Marriott, Average White Band, Elton John, Geordie, Status Quo, Slade, Stackridge, Thin Lizzy, Mike Heron, Jesse Winchester.

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 Blue Oyster Cult FROM SOUNDS, March 3, 1973

The first of many Blue Oyster Cult albums got a “warm” welcome at Sounds. B.Ö.C didn`t let this stand in the way of fame and fortune and carried on to have a great career. By the way, I really don`t know why Mr. Hayman didn`t comment on the fantastic song title: “She’s as Beautiful as a Foot”. If ever there was a great song title….

Well, I`m off to Stockholm for a few days. Guess I will visit some record stores and otherwise have fun. See you around!

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Album review:

Blue Oyster Cult
(CBS 64904)

By Martin Hayman

This is the much-vaunted American band composed, I believe, of rock and roll critics – and certainly championed by them as THE underground band. Its cult appeal has been carefully fostered, and if this is what happens when the men who write the reviews get behind the instruments, then I can only say: Back to your typewriters! It`s a dense, hard, riffy music without great finesse… but then finesse is not what punk-rock is about, I suppose. Lead guitarist Donald Roeser wails away over some powerful, churning rhythms from a thick, unsubtle rhythm section. There appear to be three guitarists and it all gets a bit overbearing at times, though really there are some nice touches – “Then Came The Last Days Of May” is based on a pleasing idea and when they tone it down, give each other some room, exploit the use of space a little, then the music becomes quite acceptable. “Redeemed” is nice, with more intelligent use of dynamics, but most of the rest is undistinguished, like trying to tell the difference between being hit on the head with a ten-pound hammer and a twenty-pound hammer – either way it gets to you. This album was recorded way back in October 1971, though it has only just been released by CBS, so I would imagine most of the people who wanted it would have it by now. I don`t want to give the impression that this is a rotten album – the playing never drops below competent, but it`s the competence of slightly outdated heavy-psychedelic rock or whatever, as indicated by the hippy-trippy name. Maybe it`s meant to be a bit of a joke, and as for the bit about the critics… actually they are probably all musicians doing the best they can, but there`s a score of British bands who have got albums out who can better this. Put it down to a White Elephant Craze.

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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: Darryl Way (Curved Air), Sounds staff analyse David Bowie, Nazareth, Steve Marriott, Average White Band, Elton John, Geordie, Status Quo, Slade, Stackridge, Peter Gabriel, Mike Heron, Jesse Winchester, Thin Lizzy.

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.