Author: Geir Myklebust

ARTICLE ABOUT Mott The Hoople FROM SOUNDS, April 13, 1974

I`m not especially fond of these articles where the journalist speak more to the reader than the artist, but when it is done in this style I can be very forgiving. A great for one for all the fans of Mott and Ian Hunter out there, including, but not restricted to, Joe Elliott of Def Leppard.

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Mott find a formula

As Mott`s new album, `The Hoople`, hits gold in the States Ian Hunter talks to Martin Hayman and asks “how can you go too far?”

“I was sat in the dressing room before the gig, tuning up my guitar on the automatic tuning-up machine. I was there alone. Suddenly the door flies open and I hear `Look who`s preparing to face his public then`. It was `im – Mick Jagger, and David. I say `Well you`re not doing so bad yourself after ten years` – and so it went on – it was great. I`ve always admired him. He`s the guvnor controller, really, and that`s what I try to do.”
The scene is the Hammersmith Odeon, just before Christmas last year. Mick Jagger and David Bowie are paying a backstage visit to Mott the Hoople`s lead singer and popular hero Ian Hunter. The banter continues at a laugh-a-minute; later, during the performance, the two muckers stroll around the stage, unnoticed, watching Mott`s heavy, menacing act and marvelling at the way Ian himself has joined the ranks of controllers: the select few who can put an audience exactly where they want it.

MASTERY

During the quiet “Rose”, Ariel Bender fiddles with the stone in a bracelet he`s wearing (flash bastard). It looked as though he was looking at his watch. The same stylised London accent jeers from the sidelines: “You`ve still got forty minutes to go, you lazy sods.” Such was Mott the Hoople`s mastery that even when our two spectators make their way round to the front to catch a punter`s eye view, nobody noticed them… I know, I was right there in the front row. I had eyes only for the group on the stage. But David, silly fellow, blew it when he started pinching the girl`s bums…
Fuller of themselves than they`ve ever been perhaps, the band plays on and on… the safety curtain comes down… Morgan Fisher shoves his piano under it to prevent its descent… Hunter and Bender advance forwards over the catwalk into the very audience… V-signs are flashed and punches thrown… the bouncers put up a fierce last-ditch stand but the front-row kids, Mott`s long-time “Lieutenants”, swarm on to the stage… chaos. Rock and roll madness rampant.
It will surely go down as one of the historical gigs when the annals of rock and roll are finally compiled. At the final judgement, Mott will be tried in the balance and not found wanting. It was their coming-of-age, just as surely as “All The Young Dudes” was their arrival at the age of consent. For those who have never been to a Hoople gig and know them only through their quirky, eccentric and compelling singles their huge cult following can seem incomprehensible; and even their fans here would find it hard to take in the audiences which they now draw in the US of A. For their latest and looniest album “THe Hoople”, a week after its US release, has already gone gold. It`s a mighty long way…

GORGEOUS

And did you see Mott the Hoople on Top of the Pops last week? A mild sensation, to say the least. All those gorgeous chickies dancing away to “The Golden Age Of Rock And Roll”. A pretty contrast to the band`s act, the degutted emptiness of the mime, but so like the constant swirling, relentless motion of a live gig, a perpetual flux which has been their trademark since so early on, but now, oh so much more stylised and directed, from Pete leaning back on that huge, arrow shaped bass to Ian`s flamboyant wristy gestures round the microphone. But Ian doesn`t think that much of it as a single, thinks it a bit too throwaway.
Reviewers have thought of it as another rock and roll nostalgic disc; they`re wrong. It`s about the much trampled-on 96 dBa limit proposed by Leeds Council for rock concerts. It`s Mott the Hoople`s – specifically Ian`s – comeback at those who for supposedly well-meant reasons would wish to degut the music Mott has been fighting to make for five years. It comes straight off the streets, and out of the immediate concerns of rock fans. It`s like a speech, it`s a political weapon that can be wielded only by those with the power of control.
And it`s not nostalgic. “The last five years have been much more the Golden Age of Rock and Roll than anything that went before,” says Ian in Mott`s dressing-room at TOTP. He`s right you know: so maybe there were a lot of great records cut in – whenever your favourite period happens to be – but it`s as absurd as it`s snobbish to suggest that one period has the edge over another. There are more, and greater, rock artists now than ever before; and rock and roll belongs to everybody. It can`t admit to a caste system where the oldies have the goldies and the youngsters – such a shame! – get the post-Golden Age dross. Ian`s no youngster, himself; he`s seen them come and go. He`s not hung on keeping the rock and roll he knows to himself.

OBSERVATIONS

He does not keep much at all to himself. He writes out his views of life in his songs, and inevitably has become identified with his own observations: the public face is of one who`s tough, brusque, doesn`t suffer fools easily and who has an unshakeable faith in the commonsense and good nature of the working man and woman. But the more your life becomes public property, the more tenaciously one holds on to the remaining corner of privacy.
Trudi, his long-time American girlfriend whom he married recently, is wonderful at just pricking Ian`s ego enough: enough to make him laugh a little at himself, when he gets overburdened with the things he sees and feels compelled to make public; and a very real defence, too. One time at a reception or whatever in New York, where Mott are the biggest, a girl was making mouths at Ian across the room: Trudi urged her to go speak to Ian if that was what she wished. As she engaged Ian in some (presumably suggestive) conversation, Trudi saw a flush coming over Ian`s face; whether or not it was embarrasment or anger, who knows? But the slight but vividly attractive Trudi didn`t like it: more out of solicitude than jealousy, methinks, she launched a flying kick at the rear quarters of this appalling groupie. (It was left to the down-to-earth Stan Tippins finally to eject her from the room; hell hath no fury etc.).
But enough of these intimate insights – let`s hear what Ian, of all the rock and rollers I`ve met one of the most media-conscious, has to say about the group; with comments appended by such as drummer Buffin – also with his new wife (their reception was part of the festivities of the Hammersmith gig), and sorry, his name is now Dale Griffin; by Pete Watts, spraying silver glitter on his hair and talking about cars; and Bad Company`s Mick Ralphs, who they just can`t seem to keep away.

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Our interview started with the usual criticism of the critic; on balance Ian liked our verdict, but disputed that “The Hoople” went over the top: “How can you go too far?” he asked. The album, of course, was recorded at around the time of the recent General Election campaign. It gave Ian plenty of opportunity to reflect on the political charade which the people of this country had to put up with: “I was sitting there in front of the box, watching all these actors, bad actors – and it really got up my nose. I wasn`t trying to be heavy or anything it was just the things that I observed. There are fifty-two million people in Britain and at least thirty million of them talk pub politics. But I don`t want to be defensive about the album, `cos I`ve got no need to be. I don`t want this interview to be a downer – I would like it to be an upper, `cos that`s how we feel now.”
Pressing the point I suggest that the album could well be a downer, and that even if the lyrics were only his own personal observations, the energy released by the music, by the group`s dynamic and involving stage presentation would be channelled through the slogans of the song. It`s a point which I always bring up when questioning Ian: he`s astute at evading it. You can`t have sheer power politics, the control of the masses, without a strong moral purpose, in my view. You have to direct that power, use it responsibly. In the past I`ve felt that the release of energy is purely gratuitous, and an end in itself.
“I don`t see how you can go over the top,” contends Ian. “Either it`s good or it`s bad. I don`t see it, Mott ain`t too far. As I see it, Mott ain`t a vanguard – we`re a group. I do feel a sense of responsibility when I`m writing a lyric – I don`t go out for cheap gimmicks. I think music is candy-floss really; I firmly believe in what I write, though I`m not advocating it. It`s the truth to me. It`s like Gleason says: `You can trust the music but not the artist`.”

Ian is just talking about his words here. When it comes to the total effect, the complete impression of the words and the music and the indefinable presence, the character which comes across from the inanimate wax, it`s total conviction: “We wouldn`t spend a fortune if we didn`t want to get the sound and the lyrics across. I mean I could`ve sung all the words on an acoustic backtrack and the whole thing would`ve cost two and a half quid instead of sixteen thousand.”
This is the very substantial sort of money that it takes to record Mott now: a far cry indeed from the ramshackle, all-flying-everywhere sound on their first albums. The madness is still not far away though. An incident at Advision made them less than welcome there: suffice to say that damage was done, and restitution insisted upon. “When you spend twelve hours getting a drum sound for the back-tracks and when you go in the next night and find it`s different again it does you in,” suggested Ian.
The end product is eminently satisfactory though, and figures speak for themselves. It will stand them in good stead on their next US tour; by the time you read this they will already have started. It`s eight weeks at six gigs a week, some nights with two shows. It`s starting to look like more than success, like really big business really. The problems are very real. Ian cites as the biggest single one that of keeping his voice in good shape. “The only remedy for that is a lot of sleep, ten hours a night, and keeping your trap shut, not talking. It`s not much fun.”
Did he have any idea why the Americans had taken to Mott in such a big way? Ian cites the examples of Slade and T. Rex, both of whom were trying to break in America at the same time as Mott – with more confidence and less apparent success. “I think they fell in love with the fact that we were a bunch of losers. I think we approached it with more… we persuaded them to come to us.”

Enter Dale Griffin for a word or two. “Mick (Ralphs) has been saying some funny things about Ian in the papers. What he`s been saying… it wasn`t right. What it comes down to is that Pete and I have a big say in what goes on, and Ian does the writing. There never was any preference in what material was used. I don`t know why Mick should think Ian was omnipotent in the band. There seems to be a feeling that the group is controlled by Ian, but he comes to us with his material and we sort it out. The only time we did anything that we weren`t sure about was `Whizz Kids` and in the end it worked out OK. I`ve seen the way a lot of groups work and for democracy this one is really good.”
About a quarter-hour later Mick Ralphs breezed into the room – warmly greeted by the Herefordshire contingent. He comes over to Ian and asks what the problem is, he hasn`t seen the offending piece. “Well Mick, I don`t know whether it`s just me being paranoid…” I slide off, for such conversations are the private property of musicians. Later on, Ian and Mick are sitting at the dinner table together, swopping old stories.
Mott have been offered various production deals recently. It prompts Ian to define his view of what makes success: “It`s a simple formula. A group has to have a good song, they must be able to play it well, onstage, with visuals, and in the studio. That`s what I look for. It`s as simple as that. What`s happened is that groups over the years have disappeared up their own arses looking for something original. I`ve seen groups who couldn`t play a song and they`ve taken people in.
“It`s a simple formula but it took us four years to find it; it sounds easy but it`s very difficult. And it`s much harder now than it was for Mott the Hoople at the start. My advice to young groups is work on the songs, work on the visuals, and don`t get too frightened when you first step inside a studio.”
Finally, and something by the way of a confidence, Ian told me that he`d been offered a movie part. He`d read the script, and liked it. Evidently he`s torn between accepting it, with a new dimension of glory, and his suspicion of the film industry, where he would be a beginner, a greenhorn all over again in games which are if anything less manageable than those of the rock business. “Go on,” says Trudi, with a good-natured mocking laugh, “you will.” Ian denies it; but deep down you feel he wants to really. But it`s the drive to lead really; maybe he`ll make a politician one day.

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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: Elton John, Sutherland Brothers & Quiver, Refugee, Queen, Uriah Heep, Sweet, The John Peel Column, Little Feat, Sparks, Strawbs, Ducks Deluxe, Alquin,  Dr. Feelgood, Jimmy DeWar.

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 Queen FROM SOUNDS, April 13, 1974

I don`t know what is happenning. Lately I have had a peak in the number of views on this blog, but the number of visitors have stayed the same… I can see that I have a lot of views from the USA, so someone over there must be reading this blog extremely thoroughly. Well, to that someone: It seems you enjoy this as much as the rest of us do and I hope that you will take much pleasure in this one from the days when Queen still were a fairly unknown entity.

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Queen street

Erskine does it again! This week, Queen`s drummer Roger Meddows Taylor

Gosh it would be so easy but I don`t think I can trash on a man who says he hated “Bridge Over Troubled Water” even if he does fruit about with a band who, it has been decided, are the new persona non grata.
Are Queen really that obnoxious? You tell me. I wouldn`t rightly know, never having heard them you see. I tried but the albums never arrived in time. They were despatched no doubt, strapped to the horny hindquarters of a rheumatic tortoise still making its way past Victoria Station.
So anyway, at least they`ve inspired extremes of opinion and a predominantly negative reaction from the press all of which is good for business because then the kids who buy the albums and go to the gigs can feel that they know something we don`t – and they could just be right.
A rather smug lady who figures she discovered the band has finished her interview and is flicking through the papers sneering at this week`s putdowns of her new pets and she also figures she knows something the rest of us don`t and makes quite sure everyone in the office realises it. I tell you, socially your rock clique has to be the most exciting thing since the day the paperclips arrived.
“I don`t pretend to understand the workings of the journalistic mind.” Drummer Roger Taylor`s looking svelte in felt – a black jacket with piped seams festooned with chains and silver coins. There had, it appeared, been a problem with the publicity shots. The one that you won`t be seeing on this page because it was too blurred and boring was officially approved. It had a `yes` scribbled on the back. The shots we are using instead are not approved. The smug lady shrinks in horror at the thought and my o my I`d sure like to stick one on her… Julie Andrews ain`t got nothin` on this doll.

Anyway, it`s hot and clear outside and I would much rather be cruising slowly round South London looking at office girls with trim little jugs and downy earlobes, but onward we go serving and returning the cliches like your verbal Ken Rosewalls.
“There are really only two things that hurt,” he continues, “firstly when we`re called a hype – that`s one thing we`re not. We`re making it in the old-fashioned way which is initially through selling records through playing concerts… enabling the record company to get behind you for the second album. The other thing is that they cast doubts on the musicianship which is one thing we`re really sure about… obviously we think we`re bloody good… oh yes, and we`ve also been accused of being a part of supermarket rock – which is a bit much when you write your own material.
“Considering the abuse we`ve had lately, I`m surprised that the new album has done so well. I suppose it`s basically that audiences like the band.”
Yes, I `spect it is.
“We`ve had the name for four years now, believe it or not – most people don`t – and it was Freddie`s idea. It was just a reflection of the social world we were in at the time, when he and I were working together on Kensington Market – it was good then. In those days there was a pretty eccentric crowd there, people in sombreros and a lot of them were gay and a lot of them pretended to be and it just seemed to fit in. I didn`t like the name originally and neither did Brian, but we got used to it. We thought that once we`d got established the music would become the identity more than the name…”
And how about this “New Zeppelin” tag with you in the States?
“Oh that`s happened here too, but it seems mainly an American thing. We haven`t been there yet but the first album did quite well there. Apparently we`re known to an extent on the East coast and in the South… sorry to go on about journalists but it seems to be a trait to describe any sort of band that the journalist isn`t particularly aware of in relation to other bands.

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We`ve been compared to Alice Cooper, Rod Stewart, Zeppelin, Purple… everybody, even Geordie and Nazareth. In fact, Geordie`s album was reviewed the other day and they got accused of sounding like us which made me laugh…
“There must be parallels but we`re not aware of them. Obviously we have our heroes. I personally think Zeppelin and the Who are the two best rock bands in the world. I`ve got all their albums and I`ve listened to them a lot. I still think John Bonham is one of the most underrated rock drummers, so I suppose we`ve absorbed some of that somewhere…”
The debut Queen album was universally ignored but is now selling in increasing quantities whilst “Queen II” has been universally panned and is selling in even larger quantities.
“We took so much trouble over that album, possibly too much, but when we finished we felt really proud. Immediately it got really bad reviews so I took it home to listen to again and thought Christ are they right? But after hearing it a few weeks later I still like it. I think it`s great. We`ll stick by it.
“There are a lot of things on the first album I don`t like, though, for example the drum sound. There are parts  of it which may sound contrived but it is very varied and it has lots of energy… but then I think one of the best albums last year was the “Mott” album and that had loads of inconsistencies and rough bits…”
Roger has `O` and `A` levels, a biology degree and is a former dropout from dental college. He also says he learnt from observing such luminaries as Pete Townshend and Ian Hunter who, he says, has “an interesting philosophy”. He is, Taylor adds, “far more intelligent than you might give him credit for”.
We are digressing. Could Roger see himself slipping into a Rick Wakeman lifestyle?
“To be quite honest I`d like to have a house here, one in Cornwall, a house in Greece and move back and forth between them but still be totally involved in music, but perhaps getting to that level removes the necessary paranoia that keeps you going.”
Oh yes and Roger says the stages were too small, the gigs too crowded, and in general the sound was bad on their recent British tour and I have to wonder because, as I say, I know very little about Queen, but to me it seems like rampant craziness to be starting yet another rock and roll band on the rise up the slippery pole at this point in time with all those prospects of marathon Stateside tours and continuing abuse from the press and an image which to say the least, has become a trifle hack-kneed. Although Roger claims it to be totally uncontrived although Zandra Rhodes is their stage costumier which must mean something… perhaps, as the lovely and indubitably Polish Pete Makowski says, that they are trying to straddle two markets at the same time – your progressive can-crushing and your pretty-boy teenscream, but I don`t know. It`s a nice day outside, the public bar awaits me and I have to investigate that torso of a man in his mid-40s and subsequently I have to put the cat out and mow the lawn…

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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: Elton John, Sutherland Brothers & Quiver, Refugee, Mott the Hoople, Uriah Heep, Sweet, The John Peel Column, Little Feat, Sparks, Strawbs, Ducks Deluxe, Alquin, Dr. Feelgood, Jimmy DeWar.

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 Thin Lizzy FROM SOUNDS, March 23, 1974

This one should be very interesting for all fans of both Thin Lizzy and Gary Moore. Too bad this interview wasn`t longer but we will take what we can get in relation to these artists. Enjoy.

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Lizzy: back in action

By Ray Telford

Phil Lynott, standing long and lean over the control desk at Decca`s Tollington Park studio, swapped toothy grins of approval with Gary Moore as the backing track for one of the band`s new songs ripped from the huge suspended speakers.
The sessions had been booked for work to begin on a new Thin Lizzy album. Having almost fully recovered from the swift and totally unexpected departure of guitarist Eric Bell last Christmas, Phil reckoned the best plan would be to get the band with Eric`s replacement Gary Moore back into recording as soon as possible.
Eric`s splitting from Lizzy brought with it more outcry from dedicated fans than they`d anticipated. On the previous two Lizzy albums currently available – “Shades Of A Blue Orphanage” and “Vagabonds Of The Western World” – he was seen to be fast developing a unique and refreshing approach to playing the electric guitar and his leaving, according to Phil was subtly assisted by the fact that Eric`s ideas about how things should sound were not wholly in tune with the general direction of the band.
“The thing about Eric collapsing from nervous exhaustion,” went on Phil, “was played up a bit – I mean it wasn`t so bad as it appeared to be in some of the papers. But as a musician Eric is a kind of delicate guy and it shows through in his playing – I think he was getting to feel a bit uncomfortable playing with us just before he left.”
Eric left the band after their Christmas gig in Dublin shortly after they`d begun an Irish tour. At two days` notice Gary Moore stepped in and completed the tour: “There was about two days` rehearsal with Gary,” said Phil, “and after that it really sounded a whole lot better than we`d ever dreamed it would. That Irish tour and the present English tour has got us working together pretty well.

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Gary Moore`s guitar has added a sting to Lizzy`s music that was previously missing. He employs a lot more attack than Eric Bell, a style which also happens to suit Phil`s zippy bass style a whole lot better. Before joining Thin Lizzy Gary had first made a name for himself during his time with Skid Row, an amazingly under-rated Irish trio from three years back who failed to get off the ground largely through business and management. He then formed his own Gary Moore Band who suffered a similar fate but through it all Gary`s reputation as one of the most exciting and inventive guitar players stuck fast.
“I think Gary is naturally an adaptable musician – not that he ever sacrifices his own thing because he`s too strong a player for that to happen, but as far as this band goes he`s fitted in really nicely.
“Gary`s a good writer too and the amount of ideas he`s come up with for the new album is incredible. There`s like a revitalising thing going on right now which has given everybody a bit of a lift. There`s more than enough material for this album, probably even the stuff we`ve written since Gary joined would be enough.”
Lizzy`s charts success last year with “Whisky In The Jar” Phil still reckons was a good thing for the band. Certainly it never landed them with any kind of one hit wonder tag because the single was innocently incidental, a pleasant surprise you might say which didn`t seem to affect the group`s hipper club following. Up to now the main of Lizzy`s material has come from Phil whose lyrical talents have grown considerably over the space of two albums. He sees “Vagabonds Of The Western World” as something of a transformatory experience: “At the time we were doing it it felt right and there were some good songs on the LP. We spent a lot of time thinking about how we wanted the thing to feel and getting moods right. I think it showed a little more of true potential which up to then maybe hadn`t shown through.”
The new album the band are co-producing with Nick Tauber with whom they also worked on “Vagabonds Of The Western  World”: “As things stand right now,” said Phil, “we`re happy enough about the band in the studio. The material is strong and mature enough and we`re getting it down exactly how we want it.”

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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: Marsha Hunt, Dave Dee, Robert Wyatt, Procol Harum, Golden Earring, Kilburn & The High Roads, Cat Stevens, Zzebra, Johnny Winter, Elkie Brooks, Alvin Lee, Hudson-Ford, Canton Trig.

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 Golden Earring FROM SOUNDS, March 23, 1974

Here we go again with yet another interview with Holland`s first international reknown rock`n`roll band.

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Going Dutch with Earring

By Pete Makowski

Just once in a while a band like Golden Earring unexpectedly comes along and gives the whole British music scene a hefty kick up the arse, and it comes as no surprise that Earring have finally established themselves in this country after only a few tours and one hit single, “Radar Love”.
I spoke to George Kooymans who, along with bassist Rinus Gerritson, has been in the band for around eight or nine years. “I was at school when the band began,” George recalled, “I was cutting records and touring in between classes.”
The band went through quite a few changes and finally came to their present line-up in 1967. “We were the first band in Holland to do harmonies and things like all the other bands were playing Shadow type instrumentals.”
If you ask George how many albums the band have, he`ll immediately answer, “two in this country.” They recorded quite a few in Holland but nothing they`re extremely proud of. This is not due to the songs, just the time they`re given to record.
“We never had more than five days to record an album. This is one reason why we wanted to be successful outside of Holland, because we did not make enough money to spend more time on recording.”
They joined Track about a year ago and you`ll probably know that the band have toured the country quite a few times and before they brought out “Moontan” Track released “Hearing Earring” a compilation of old material.
“That was a collection of about three albums, I didn`t like it very much. The idea of bringing out old material doesn`t appeal to me. But because we were touring, they had to bring out something.”

The fast and steady progress of the band became obvious about a year ago and soon their name became commonplace in the papers, but what many people weren`t aware of was that the band had all their money invested in the tour and their whole future depended on the success of it.
“We spent all our money on things like our quadrophonic system and paying roadies,” said Rinus, “but we just had to get out of Holland because we knew it would affect our music in the end. Our music improved a helluva lot when we went to the States and that, about six years ago, was also something we got together ourselves,” said George.
I asked Rinus how it felt starting from scratch again in Britain. “It was terrible you know, we played gigs like school dances and things like that. We`ve done all that in Holland years ago but we knew the only way to get anywhere was by doing these concerts.”
When “Moontan” was released the band were still playing the seedier places, did they feel they`d ever come up to their present level? “Well we noticed that the reaction was getting pretty good,” answered George, “and we were beginning to communicate well with our audiences.”
Then the eventful release of “Radar Love” did they know this would be their big break? “No, our company asked us to choose a single off the album and we thought that it would be the best track.”
The next single will be more commercial, specially aimed for that type of market. “Don`t the band feel this a dangerous step as their music is far from commercial? “Yeh, we don`t want to be put into classification, but I think it`s worth while bringing out a single once in a while.
“We know that we can`t depend on a permanent success just because we`ve had one hit single. That`s why I`m glad `Radar Love` didn`t get to number one, we`ve got something to work up to.

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“We`re more concerned about the album,” interrupted Barry Hay, “we`re gonna work damn hard to make a good album because that`s the audience we`re after.”
Good policy. I noticed when I went to their concerts the audiences were split into different sections. The kids who came to hear “Radar Love” and didn`t enjoy the rest of the set. The kids who came to hear the single and were completely knocked out and the already hardcore Earring fans. We`ll only find out after the tour who were the majority and I`ll put my money on Earring. I heard their new single and it follows closely the formula of the first single. A definite hit. “It takes a few hearings to get into it,” said George, “you can never really tell whether it`ll go or not.”
The band will continue to record their new album after they complete a Spanish tour, they`ll probably record a “Top Of The Pops”.
Although things seem to be rolling smoothly now, it has definitely not been an easy ride. It takes a lot of determination to stick together for so long without result, I asked George if they ever felt like splitting up in those hard days. “We did before we came to England, `cause I didn`t see any prospects and it was getting very boring and I felt like doing something else. But now there are so many things happening it`s become interesting again.”
I asked him what kind of ideas they had for the next album, “Well we`ve got a working title and we`re all writing around that concept. We all write things separately and then get it together. But right now we haven`t laid anything down except the single. We really want to cover a wide range of music because we don`t want to be labelled… I don`t like that.

The band have recently toured around Europe with the Who, did they find themselves confronted with difficult competition? “No I didn`t think it was difficult, it was quite easy, I enjoyed myself.” Will they be touring with them again? “No, I don`t think so, because er… I don`t want to say we`re the same kind of band, but we really take a lot of the people and get them exhausted and then the Who come out and they do the same sort of thing. I don`t think we`re the right type of band to tour with the Who.”
The band will soon be appearing at the Rainbow (March 24) and I asked Mr. Kooyman if he was worried at all. “No not really, we`ve played gigs bigger than that, but we do worry a bit before gigs anyway. I worried when we started the tour but it`s going well.”
The band played the same venue supporting Lou Reed, what did they think of it then? “Well you get certain kinds of people seeing certain acts and it wasn`t our audience that night. A lot of people were just coming in when we went on and a lot of people were in the bar… I didn`t like that.”
Not to worry, I think it`ll be better this time round. Don`t you agree?

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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: Marsha Hunt, Dave Dee, Robert Wyatt, Procol Harum, Thin Lizzy, Kilburn & The High Roads, Cat Stevens, Zzebra, Johnny Winter, Elkie Brooks, Alvin Lee, Hudson-Ford, Canton Trig.

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 Carl Palmer (ELP) FROM SOUNDS, January 26, 1974

This very influential drummer has played for The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Atomic Rooster, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Asia, and has really made his mark as one of the most influential drummers in the world. Reading this article you can understand why when you take into account his serious approach to his profession. This is not someone in it just for the fame, fortune and easy access to girls. A good read.

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Carl: Doing it first

Exclusive by Pete Erskine

Cracking the Manticore complex is something like breaking and entering Fort Knox with a butter knife and a pair of plastic specs. Manticore is E.L.P.`s record company. It performs the usual record company functions but with an air of dense but organised chaos and a careful screening process – on all levels – maintains a frustratingly efficient protective role.
It is, of course, only another extension of the band`s “positive” philosophy – of permitting only the good, constructive things to actually break through and reach them. It is also a part of their policy of total co-ordination and, apparently, total control – a theme that passes through almost everything they seem to be involved with from press relations to promotion to marketing to management and so on right through to the music and all the facets of touring and stage production. They are undeniably slick and undeniably it works and that`s probably what puts people off; it intimidates them, it makes them suspicious, it makes them jealous.
People I know are resentful that an operation of these proportions always wins through in terms of constant sales and popularity above lesser known, looser, but maybe just as talented outfits. The music may not be to everyone`s taste but the band`s attitude and commitment to the same is surely worthy of respect. You can write it off as ego and a lust for supremacy but there is a genuine desire to experiment and, individually, for the musicians to further their personal musical boundaries.
All of which sounds like preaching and the usual press cant, but talking to Carl Palmer earlier in the week one begins to realise the validity of the band`s approach to their work and their heavy investment in the musical ideal; being bigger and better than the competition may be good for one`s self, but it also means that the public is getting a better deal too.

“I think we got a little more showy on the American tour,” says Palmer, inspecting a tube of ointment. He has a growth on the palm of his right hand. “But it added rather than detracted from what we were doing. I mean I think visuals are really effective if they relate to what you`re doing… and not just there for their own sake, like with some of the things Alice Cooper uses.”
Contemporary ELP visuals, aside from overall group lighting and individual footlights, comprise a white baby grand, upon which Emerson rises and revolves whilst playing Chopin`s “Revolutionary”, a computer, programmed to repeat a section of “Karn Evil 9” with increasing rapidity until it dissolves with a thundercrack and belch of smoke, a revolving drum rostrum and… in a way, Carl`s custom-built stainless steel drum set. The piano is merely a humorous device, to provide contrast and to poke fun at the whole concept of gimmickry, the computer, according to Emerson, is a counter to those accusations of ELP as a “mechanical band”, in that it becomes obvious that Emerson`s rendition of the particular phrase and the computer`s are separated totally by the factor of human touch and feeling and human expression. It also is relevant to the theme, both directly lyrical, and indirectly musical, of “Karn Evil 9”. The revolving rostrum is almost purely visual, but has its practical side too – in that Carl is elevated to eye level with the other two, and, in circular stadiums, where part of the audience might be looking down on the band from the back, they, too, get a chance to see what`s going on.
“The drums were made in London,” explains Palmer, “and no drum companies were involved – mostly because they`d look at it from a commercial mass-production point of view, whereas I`m looking at it from a purely personal view, almost eliminating most of the practical aspects.
“A metalworking firm made the stainless steel shell, which is about quarter of an inch thick and this means that the total weight approaches something like two and a half tons. The thing is that it`s such a true sound, unlike a wooden shell.

“I`ve been experimenting for quite a while and I`ve found that most wooden drums were okay a few years ago but they just didn`t give that constant sound. With stainless steel, for me personally, the drums project a lot more. They have more top frequencies. I have them tuned quite tightly, unlike the heavy rock and roll drummers who go for the fat flabby sound.
“The idea for the engravings came from a hunting rifle I saw one day with a couple of foxes jumping over a fence and I thought it would make it more personalised. I left most of the actual drawings to an engraver. He drew them first and we went over them together. It adds a touch of quality. It`s very bizarre and it`s very extravagant but it is something that I`ve always wanted.
“I`ve been playing 13 years this coming March and I`ve always wanted to build my own kit. I know exactly what I want and I have the money now to afford it, so I figure why not have the Rolls-Royce drum kit?
“The biggest innovation with this kit, though is that it`s part-electric. I`ve been working on that for such a long time and was sort of let down so many times – well, not so much let down, more that the people helping me didn`t have time to take it any further. Bob Moog was very busy at the time. He gave me a prototype drum. On the floor it had five buttons which you pushed to change the sound. That was okay, but say you wanted to play all those sounds really quickly in succession you`d have to be a tap dancer.
“What I did was to transfer all the sounds I wanted to each individual drum. I`ve therefore managed to get five electronic drum sounds that are pure electronic rhythmic impulses… another drum plays a sequence, a series of 14 notes that repeat on the 14th and I managed to produce two counters. One counter plays a long bass note when you strike it while the other plays a pattern that`s a little more complicated. The whole thing operates through a simple on-off button.

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“It has to be done doesn`t it? I mean, people have left drums alone for so long. My main thing has always been to be a musical drummer; I`ve always preferred a musical approach to the basic heavy rock rhythmic playing. I can`t slate those kind of players because they`re good for what they do but I`ve always thought maybe I should use gongs and tubular bells and timps onstage… and I thought to myself that if I was going to take that approach I should have a very futuristic approach as well as developing the instrument I play.
“It just seems like a logical progression. My reason for doing it also lies with the fact that I wanted to be the first to record something on an electric drum set – which I did on `Brain Salad Surgery`.
“I don`t believe in it totally because I believe more in symphonic drumming – tuned percussion. I just have this thing in me that I like to do things first whether I believe in them 100 per cent or not. I believe in the product, but as far as drumming becoming electronic in the future, well I don`t believe that will happen; I believe it`ll be used only as an effect.
“The main thing about English drummers – they`re changing now, and I hope it`s through something I might`ve done – up to about two years ago the fact was that they`d be using, perhaps, two bass drums and a couple of small tomtoms or maybe one bass drum and a tomtom in front and one on the floor and I always thought this had to be wrong in today`s music; there can`t be enough colour there. When you think of how many notes the piano`s got and how many notes you can reproduce on the guitar yet the drummer`s got next to nothing, it doesn`t add up.
“That`s when I decided to introduce these concert tomtoms which range from a drum that`s six inches in diameter to a drum that`s 18 inches. It goes 6, 8, 10, 12 inches, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18 inches. They provide an awful lot of scope which is something that was missed over here.

“The idea originated after hearing Elvis, who I really dig. He`s got an amazing rock and roll band – true rock and roll musicians you know, with that guitarist James…”
“Burton?”
“Yes, James Burton, and an amazing drummer and I heard these, these concert tomtoms, being played on a record of his and it just freaked me out… and `Hawaii Five-O`, that series, that`s got them too. Lots of people are using them now and it`s a good thing because as a drummer I`m into being an instrument rather than a rhythmic device… hence you have to develop your instrument further and have more of it around you; my attitude to playing in this band is as a percussionist in an orchestra; that`s how I think of myself. I try and do the job of four percussionists. I`m not just into the funky stuff and I`m not just into the technical thing that I`ve always been labelled with – I`m really into the whole spectrum.
“So many drummers are into the funky thing and the technical thing but they don`t quite make the musical approach which is warranted these days…”
In fact, having seen Palmer in action at Madison Square Garden one of the first things that seemed obvious was his seeming ability to tackle an enormous range of styles and feels with equal ease. There were sections, apart from the previously recorded material – In “Tarkus” and “Take A Pebble” where the band hit into piano-orientated sections touching on old George Shearing material and Carl would tap out that fast swing… and there`s the barrelhousing “Benny The Bouncer” where he`d employ fast brushwork… and there were even odd little blues/jazz sections reminiscent of the Nice where he`d strike up a harder more funky approach. His timing and edge are both immaculate, and effortless.

“That technical thing kills me, though,” he continues, “okay it`s partly true you know. If people want to say am I a fast drummer, have I got a great technique, then, yes, it is true, right, and I don`t mind saying it, but some people have said that I`m not funky and that`s unbelievably wrong. What I`ve done, and what people haven`t seen, is to try and open up more than just being a funky drummer or just being a technical drummer. I`ve tried to push it forward and especially on this album – percussion as more of an intricate instrument rather than the knocking nails in routine.
“Like Jimi Hendrix – the reason why he made the guitar so famous was that he wasn`t simply putting it through a straight stack, he was putting it through a fuzz box and wah-wah and he`d got certain things specially made up and so on. He was trying to better the instrument and so am I – technically and in terms of playing.
“Tuition,” he adds, “has been incredibly beneficial”. I had wondered whether on the contrary, it could lead a person into thinking only along set lines, rather than broadening his experience. Palmer has two a week one at the Guild Hall and one privately round at his tutor`s house.
“It`s given me more scope musically and furthered my musical ability,” he adds. “It hasn`t inhibited me at all in anything I`ve done. Personally I think it`s a very valid thing for people not just to have classical tuition, because there are so many things you can learn that you couldn`t possibly pick up yourself, and I`ve reached the point now where I can switch on and play something musical… or anything really. I never close myself off; I try to get the most out of the things I learn and apply them at the right time. It depends on what I`m playing, but the way I`m playing at any given moment is the way I`m thinking. The minute you close yourself off to anything, you`re burning your bridges.
“The nature of my instrument tells me that to be a percussionist I need to be able to play all forms of music – to know I can back anybody at a minute`s notice… unlike people who play pianos and other kinds of instrument who probably tend to lean more on one particular line.
“Quite honestly, too, I want to be greedy about it. I want to be the best jazz drummer, the best technician, the best rock drummer and the best musical drummer.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Bob Dylan, Status Quo, Ralph McTell, Incredible String Band, Kiki Dee, Marc Bolan, Jethro Tull, Pointer Sisters.

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.