Aerosmith

ARTICLE ABOUT The A-Z of Heavy Metal FROM SOUNDS, April 26, 1975

This is a really fun one. It is also sort of a long article, so I will have to split it up in several parts.
Unfortunately I don`t have the next Sounds paper, so this will end a little bit out in the letter N.
Whatever – it is great fun to read these early impressions of this genre of music by two music journalists that have made a lifelong career out of writing about these kind of bands. Kudos to them both!
Read on!

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Rock from `eavy to `umble or
The Sounds A – Z of Heavy Metal

Foreward by Mike Flood Page

Compiled by Pete Makowski and Geoff Barton

Rolling Stone took a page and a half and still wasn`t sure, NME took eight lines and got as close to the truth, and Pete Makowski says however I do it he`ll disagree with my definition of Heavy Metal.
Besides if you want to damn someone these days, and induce cries of `Boring!` from those SOUNDS staff sober enough to yell, you`ll accuse them of being a Heavy Metal band. Visions of subhuman monsters with but one chord and a grunt between them, and enough amplification to project their sound half-way round the globe are summoned swiftly to mind. One thing is sure, nobody can agree on a definition of Heavy Metal.
What follows is of necessity an individual view. After only a few broken limbs and life-long friendships sundered we at SOUNDS settled upon the bands that we list below. At further risk to my own health, I will now set out a personal definition, and pass it to the subs before Makowski gets back from the boozer.
There isn`t even any agreement on where it all began: Pete Townshend dates his own initiation into the possibillities of the electrified guitar to the first time he heard Link Wray`s solo on `Rumble` in 1958; but there are those who will point out that Les Paul first plugged a pick-up onto his guitar sometime around 1935; and there again, claims have been made for practioners of electrified guitar existing here and there in the 1920s. Besides Pete Makowski probably thinks Rock and Roll started with Grand Funk, and Steve Peacock probably thinks Hank Marvin invented the tremelo arm. You can`t please them all.
What is certain is that by the 1950s the electric guitar had been perfected as a popular instrument by blues performers like T-Bone Walker to the point that it was ready and primed, and branded as a dangerous weapon when the first rock and rollers picked it up. From there on it developed gradually until the early 60s when a new generation of British blues guitarists, weaned on rock and roll and turning towards the blues to find something more valid than the brylcreem pap of that era, burst onto the scene.

They had grown up accepting the electric guitar, had marvelled at the echo chamber and the tremelo arm, and they began to take everything a little further. Clapton, Beck and Page – the three linchpins of the movement – all belonged at various times to the Yardbirds, and all were virtuosi. The debate still rages as to who exactly used a wah-wah pedal first, it hardly matters now. But the seeds of the later onslaught on the senses had begun.
For the crucial elements of Heavy Metal – though no band may have all of them – are these: 1) a grounding in the blues which graduates of the British Blues Boom had in abundance, which yielded the characteristic basic riff; 2) a soloist: no matter that by the time of Iron Butterfly`s `In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida` that soloist had only two notes to play. This idea became fashionable with the rise of a self-consciously `artistic` pop music in the mid-60s when Hendrix took wing and Cream arrived. Clapton has subsequently said that Hendrix opened his eyes to the possibilities of the guitar. Until he saw Hendrix play he had been a blues purist, but he reasoned if a black guy could get away with that, then what was he deliberately restricting himself for?
As is well known lesser imaginations seized upon the fifteen minute solo as an excuse to hide their inability to write enough good songs to last out a set and gave the whole thing a bad name, but not before the likes of Clapton and Hendrix had shown to what heights a guitar could soar.
3) Sheer bloody volume! It is said that a small dog unfortunate enough to wander too close to Blue Cheer`s speakers was killed instantly. “Past the pain threshold!” threatened to become the slogan of the Heavy Metal merchants in the late 60s. That they could do this was down to the rapid technological innovations of Jim Marshall, Mr Watkins and many more nameless inventors who found that as fast as they could add another stack of speakers or a fuzz-box or a few more switches and synthis to feed the guitar through some kid would find a way to use them. Reverb, feedback and a whole battery of technical effects come in here.

4) Energy: not to be confused with volume, it is an indefinable quality which can penetrate to the mind of the most doped-out, wiped-out, deranged teenager and have him (or her; mainly him) up on his feet yelling for more, and preferably tearing up the first three rows of seats as well. This often explains why some of the best exponents of the genre are constantly better live than on record.
Of course in its pristine form it couldn`t last. Nothing good ever does; so as we enter the second half of the 1970s Heavy Metal, which for sheer sonic atrocity makes the outrage of the 1950s rock and roller look more like Stone Age by comparison, has begun to break down several different ways. There always was a twofold split in Heavy Metal between the basic pounding beat which gave it its simple appeal, and the technical prowess of some of its best soloists. As it became clear that most guitarists hadn`t three minutes worth of original ideas, let alone fifteen, many bands took the easy option and cut down on improvisation to concentrate on boogie.
You know who I mean.
Others took technical sophistication to its logical extreme so as well as Black Sabbath we have John McLaughlin; for every Grand Funk there is a Carlos Santana. That`s about it, except I forgot the vocals: at their best as in the searing voice of a Robert Plant they recall the old blues shouting tradition taken into the space age; at their worst they are best forgotten.
Uh, oh… here comes Makowski again, I`m off…

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Aerosmith

Rhinestone rock and roll. Aerosmith look like the New York Dolls and play like rock and roll demons. They were formed in 1970 featuring Joe Perry (guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass), ex-drummer Steve Tyler (vocals), Joey Kramer (drums) and Brad Whitford (guitar). Tyler plus the twin spearheads of the guitars are the main focal point of this US outfit and they have achieved moderate success in the States with their two CBS albums – `Aerosmith` and `Get Your Wings Off`.

The Amboy Dukes

Who plays 150 nights a year to millions of fans? Who is able to break glass with a single note? Who is the king of feedback guitar? Why Ted Nugent of course. He and his merry bunch of Amboy Dukes have been causing havoc in America since 1965. In fact they were probably the most progressive rock band in the late Sixties with well arranged toons n` all. Now they have returned as a metallic three piece, nothing special, just loud and energetic with two albums on Zappa`s label Discrete (`Call Of The Wild` and `Tooth Fang And Claw`) Nugent – the outrageous guitar leader of the band – is still challenging everyone to a duel.

Amon Duul II

Rootless, bizarre German band, often freaky, create a crashing, eccentric wall of sound. The original Amon Duul was (more or less) a studio group that came together once a year in a studio and then broke up again. Anxious to make Duul a more permanent concern, two guys called Chris Karrer and John Weinzierl brought about the formation of II. The band have preoccupation with Lemmings (there`s a compilation album, `Lemmingmania`, currently available on UA), nonsensical lyrics, weird album covers and, more notably, tripped-out song titles: `Flesh-Coloured Anti-Aircraft Alarm`, `Hallucination Guillotine` for example. Even their wailing female vocalist is called Renate Knaup-Krotenschwantz, and you can`t say fairer than that.

Atomic Rooster

Formed when Vincent Crane and Carl Palmer left the amazing Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Palmer soon left – the first of numerous changes, but with the arrival of guitarist John Cann, Rooster had two successive hits in 1970, with a good extension of the Crazy World organ-based sound. More upheavals followed `Tomorrow Night` and `Devil`s Answer`, but through all the changes, most notably singer Chris Farlowe including a label switch from B&C to Pye, Rooster, still based around Crane, failed to recapture their early popularity.

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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: Frank Zappa, Gladys Knight, Women In Rock, Betty Wright, Steve Harley, Peter Frampton, Labelle, Peter Skellern, Ray Davies, Larry Uttal, Chris Spedding, Anne Murray, Sweet Sensation, Bernard Purdie, Mike Harding, Ronnie Lane, Yes.

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 Aerosmith FROM SOUNDS, October 19, 1974

Mr. Canty got this spot on! We would hear a lot more from them, that`s for sure. Nice one.

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Aerosmith: “Aerosmith” (CBS 65486).

Record review by Derek Canty

Rough, raunchy rock and roll. Alas it`s all been done before by countless bands. That though, is no reason why Aerosmith shouldn`t have a crack at the whip. They`re a five piece American outfit and lead singer Steven Tyler has a definite touch of the Paul Rodgers about him. The pace of the album is fast, and, pretty consistent, but slows down on track three of side one with a tune called “Dream On”. Tyler`s vocals come across superbly and the tastefully used echo on his voice, coupled with some really powerful guitar work make for a nice balance. Side two continues with three more rockers exhibiting some more of Joe Perry`s fine guitar work. The band describe their music as “R&B with a lot of arrangement and refinement”, and in the true R&B tradition they close the album with their version of “Walkin` The Dog”. I must confess to having never heard the band before, and, whilst we`re on an honest kick – I like `em. Their second album “Get Your Wings” (CBS 80015) will be released on November 29 and if it`s as good, or better than this, I think we`ll all be hearing a lot more about them.

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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: Humble Pie, Stephen Stills, Robin Trower, Big John Vary, Aj Webber, Rolling Stones, Syreeta Wright, Wishbone Ash, Mike McGear, Bert Jansch, Rufus, Minnie Riperton, John Coghlan, Bob Henrit, Slade.

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 Aerosmith FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, January 24, 1976

Lisa Robinson is pretty much spot on in every way in this article. I like the style of writing and it is a good,  honest interview with comments that gives more insight for the reader.
Enjoy this piece with a band on the rise in early `76.

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Steven Tyler feels like an old shoe…

A band called Aerosmith are currently America`s second hottest act. Is this an acceptable state of affairs?
Lisa Robinson reports.

The girl sitting next to me in the 747 out of New York for Los Angeles grabbed my arm excitedly. “Guess who`s on our plane,” she gasped… “Mick Jagger!!!”
Oh no, I thought, as I turned and, predictably enough, saw Steven Tyler settling into his seat a couple of rows back. What a perfect beginning for my piece on Aerosmith. Except that it`s too perfect… no one will ever believe me.
“You know what really pisses me off,” says Tyler later, as we somewhat drunkenly chat our way to L.A., “… this bit about me and Jagger. I don`t know, I guess I do look like him from far away, but I don`t see what that has to do with anything. I mean, for a writer to compare us… they must have nothing else to write about.”
Aerosmith (Tyler on vocals, Joe Perry lead guitar, Brad Whitford guitar, Joey Kramer drums and Tom Hamilton bass) have been together for some five years, have racked up one platinum and two gold albums (respectively “Toys In The Attic”, “Aerosmith” and “Get Your Wings”) and are currently one of America`s hottest rock properties.
And although some people in their own country may still wonder who and what they are, it`s a fair bet that they`re outselling the Bruce Springsteens of this globe hand over fist at the disc department. Then again, especially when it comes to frontman Tyler, if the men don`t know or understand, the little girls sure do.

For a while now Aerosmith have been proving themselves capable of selling out the larger venues across the U.S.A., and one remaining semi-hostile territory fell victim to the band`s charms when at a Madison Square Gardens gig with Black Sabbath the New York audience rose to them with rousing acclaim.
The party at the St. Regis Hotel following the Garden gig featured the usual clutch of New York writers hovering in attendance, and was notable for the amount of Columbia Records top brass on view. Columbia (CBS in the U.K.) know when they`ve got something hot on their hands. President Irwin Segelstein, wearing a suit, headed the record company entourage, mingling with radio promotion men, and assorted relatives of the band – all posing for the mandatory bar mitzvah photos with their respective kin.
Oh, and also Linda Blair (she of gossip columns everywhere since “The Exorcist”). Success??
“Oh listen,” says Steven Tyler next day on the plane, “I know what people are going to make out of that. I can see it now, but Linda`s really pretty cool. I liked her. She`s actually pretty smart and she knows what she`s doing.”
Chitchat aside, we get down to what I expect to be a serious discussion regarding Aerosmith, but Tyler has other plans.
I ask why he got involved with rock`n`roll in the first place.

“Tits, sex, cars…” He laughs. Finally – an Honest Rock Star???
“Well seriously, that is a part of it… but you can`t just write that. I used to have a good time on the road, but I got the grunt twice so I kind of have to lay back. I don`t have that much fun on the road anymore.
“You know, I`d like to ball everything I see. Well, not everything but at least one a day. But, since I had the grunt twice, I have to be real careful. So where`s the fun anymore?”
He pauses, then warms to the subject. “I`ll tell you what`s fun. It`s finding the right stewardess and having her take you to the back of the plane… It`s the greatest… just the very fact that you might get caught. That`s the extent of our fun on the road – waiting for it to happen, waiting for it not to happen.”
Uh, but the music? You know, chords and all that?
“Yeah, well it`s like writing a song – it`s the same thing. You hear what you sat down and tinkered with at the piano… coming through all those amps. You know… the whole building to a climax bit.
“It sounds like I`m pushing a sex number here doesn`t it?” Tyler laughs.
He changes the subject: “The people who consider us an overnight success… hah. All those people who didn`t believe in us at the beginning, we had to take more shit. Overnight success, indeed. I really hate a lot of those people, and there`s no way I can get back at them.
“But the kids know.”

Aerosmith are your basic rock `n` roll band; a bit of boogie, a little blues, garnished with vocal harmonies. The presence of a Charismatic Lead Singer also helps. Detractors have said that they`re doing nothing special other than persist. If that`s true then you would have to concede that they do it with more style than most.
The band in its present form was started in 1970 by Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton in New Hampshire. Steven Tyler, who had been in some bands previously as a drummer (The Chain Reaction, The Left Banke… Boston bands during that period of the “Bosstown Sound”), went to New Hampshire where his parents own a resort, “Trow Rico”, and joined up.
They added Brad Whitford on guitar, and decided Tyler should be lead singer. The line up was completed by Joey Kramer on drums, an old school friend of the vocalist.
Tyler claims to have listened intently to New York radio stations during his formative years, and to have used his findings as a basis for current Aerosmith material.
Finger on the pulse of teenage America, eh?
“Well, I remember the first time, I think it was in Boston, when I came out onstage and it really clicked. I knew… I knew the kids were digging what I was doing.”
Which is what? Why is Aerosmith so big??
“I can`t answer that. I can say that I think we`re really rocking out, and nobody else is doing that.
“People are getting dressed up for a masquerade, doing this, doing that… but nobody`s really going on and rocking out.”

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Aerosmith have been rocking out on the road for the better part of the past three years. Steven claims that he flies nearly every day (he even has to put three coats of moisturizer on his face to prevent in-flight skin dryness and eventual crows` feet) from one gig to another.
A recent “vacation” allowed them two weeks off to return to their homes around Boston and play with their cars. “Sometimes I think this is ruining me,” says Steven. “What… No, I don`t want to get married and have kids?? I`d make them insane, the way I`m living now. But I definitely want a little me – before I get too messed up. Because I sit in front of a colour TV, I listen to all that noise, and God knows what the decibel level onstage is, what that`s doing…
And what do I eat on the road, you know?” he looks worried.
What do his parents think of all this (Mrs. Tyler was in the front row at the Madison Square Garden show)?
“She loves it,” he smiles, “she`s always on my side. I said to her – this was way back then, just to show you what an asshole I used to be – `Mom, we`re gonna have to move out of this house, kids are gonna be all over the place`…
My father is a professional musician, he`s a piano player, teaches, plays classical. I grew up on piano, and so the whole thing came natural. It was easy to get involved with music for me.”

Discussing their albums, Steven asserts, “Everything we did, everything we`re doing, is on that first album. The last one is very smooth, the edges are all cut out, but we`re not a band that puts tracks over track, you know? Bob Ezrin heard our first album and thought we needed a lot of work. Which we did, but dig it, we`re honest. And I`ve heard from so many people that they dig our first album better than the last one, just for that very fact.
“I miss playing instruments very much… I play on the albums, a little guitar, drums here and there… but I definitely miss that when I`m touring. It`s something to do. There are a lot of dead spots up there onstage, so I just hide behind my scarves…
“It might be a little more fun if things weren`t so hectic. If we have more time to cut more albums… maybe do something live, and then really take off.”
Take off… time?
“No, take off in whatever direction.”
We`ve only picked at the lunch that`s being served, but the stewardess tells me later how impressed she was at Tyler`s politeness. “They`re usually not like that,” she confesses, and I assume she`s talking about rock stars in general.

Steven appears nervous about flying. “Hey – when is it going to happen?” he asks philosophically, “I`m on a plane every day for three years… that`s why I keep a tape recorder with me at take-off and landing. I have my finger on the button, in case my last words have to be on it.”
The jet lag has taken its toll, and although we`re supposed to finish the “interview” over dinner several hours later, neither of us is really up to it. We sit overlooking Sunset Strip, and neither of us feels like eating.
Aerosmith are due to headline at the L.A. Forum (18,000 seat capacity, sold out weeks in advance) the following night with Mott and Montrose on the bill, and Steven is exhausted already. He picks at a salad, then asks them to wrap it up so he can take it back to the hotel.
“I feel like an old shoe,” he says…
“You know, sometimes I`ll be looking out at the audience and I`ll be in the middle of a song, and I`ll just stop dead. I`ll look out at them and I`ll think… what is this? There`s one thing that keeps me doing it though: I really love it. I believe in it.”
There was something about Aerosmith at the Forum that next night that reminded me of Led Zeppelin. That band came here in the late 1960`s, played what was described as “Heavy metal rock” and nobody understood what was happening.
Nobody, that is, except the kids.
Zeppelin built a huge following… a huge following, by merely rocking out. And in these days of manufactured pre-packaged rock muzak, there is obviously a growing number of kids tired of the “laid-back” harmonies that have characterised recent American rock.

Aerosmith really has nothing to do with any Jagger/Richard – Tyler/Perry comparison, and name calling (as in “derivative”) is beside the point.
They do what they do well, they`re the second biggest rock group in America today, Steven Tyler knows what to do with a microphone, and the more I think about it, it`s very similar to what happened with Zeppelin here first time round…
And so – the Hollywood party after the Forum saw the whole L.A. sleaze/scene out in full force. Steven Tyler stood with his lady Julia and just winked. Joe Perry sat down with his wife, Alissa – who looks 18 and is extraordinarily attractive – and the whole band just looked generally tired.
The next day would take them to San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, one of those “quick West Coast jaunts”. But the highlight had to be the Forum – you don`t sell out California`s prestige arena as fast Aerosmith did and not get noticed.
Persistance, youth and attrition among the front runners, rather than any distinctive musical style or extraordinarily exciting image, seem responsible for the continued prominence of Aerosmith in the heart of the teenage rock audience, which has apparently transcended the threshold of boredom.”
– L.A. Times review of Forum concert
I seem to remember reviews like that years ago… The Who, Stones, Zeppelin. You name them, the list goes on. And still, as I said, the little girls know…
Aerosmith should be somewhere near your town for their first-ever U.K. tour in April, 1976. You can decide then.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. 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 New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Alex Harvey, Elvis Presley Fan Club Convention, Lou Reed, Howlin` Wolf, Hot Vultures.

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 15 $ (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 Aerosmith from New Musical Express, July 26, 1975

Embarrassing moments in a music critics life could be the name of a blog where this review would be one of the most prominent. The album was later ranked #229 on Rolling Stone`s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. “Walk This  Way” and the album’s title track are part of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame`s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.
The album is also their most commercially successful studio LP in the US, with eight million copies sold.
Someone liked this album, but certainly not Mr. Bell.
Have a fun read!

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Record review

Aerosmith: “Toys In The Attic” (CBS)

By Max Bell

“Toys In The Attic,” is Aerosmith`s third record. No one here knows that much about Aerosmith, except that they`re a straight-ahead Eastern seaboard band with roots in New Hampshire, Boston and Manhattan who concentrate on emulating the R&B raunch of the 60`s allied to the supposed improvements of today. That`s what it says here, anyway.
Their strength (derivative simplicity) may well turn out to be their downfall as far as sustained success goes because, though “Toys” is rifling high in the U.S. charts, we`ve already heard this brand of hard rock more than enough – to wit the recent inroads made by the likes of Queen and Golden Earring.
The title track bursts right in as if it had been playing for several minutes. A clever touch with plenty of The Who in there.
Lead singer Steve Tyler looks remarkably similar to the dreadful Freddy Mercury, but he sings O.K. so we`ll let him off. Anyway, Aerosmith keep the influences nice and obvious at first until you realise that what you`re experiencing is actually incestous deja vu.

“Uncle Salty” has failsafe boogie riffs, clean dancing beat and a dual guitar – cracked chandelier tension provided by Joe Perry and Brad Whitford. It palls after a time…like most of the songs. Jack Douglas has produced a thick, strong mix around sophisticated material but, as a whole, the experience is immediately expendable. There`s not enough deviation from a predictable norm.
So: “Walk This Way” and “Adam`s Apple” are interchangeable. Pleasant slide creations and uncomfortably fast sound level – odd bursts of high octane in all the right places. Text-book rock and wasted energy.
Where they chance their arm – like on the rude blues “Big Ten Inch Record” with its refined swooping horns and torch piano melody – they show all the distinctive markings of fair live potential, but one that still leaves nothing fancy to the imagination.

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“Sweet Emotion” has guess-the-riff chord sequences and an annoying triangle intruding in the background which only succeeded in making me check if the telephone was ringing. Things take off at last on “No More, No More” (that`s asking for it) where the opening is neatly stolen from “Rip This Joint” but trails off into a sonic burst seizure of its own that comes over into “Round And Round” (not Chuck`s version).
Tyler`s voice here has the temporary quality of a brain-vein-snapping madman. The kind of vocalist who drives the old folks nuts.
They finally blow the whole thing on the horribly gimmicky “You See Me Crying” where someone had the bright idea to slow up the tapes so one imagines one`s stereo is on the blink. The delayed-action orchestration is a dismal failure too – and anyway the original (Spirit`s “Soldier”) was better.
Maybe as a first album this would be a commendable offering but, as it`s their third, Aerosmith haven`t got a lot to shout about.
Their claims that “our music is rough and raunchy R&B with a lot of refinement”, and claims made for them that “they capture the tradition of the Stones” aren`t borne out here.
The Stones were originals of a sort. By the time you get to third-generation bands it`s reasonable to hope for slightly more than the basics – even if they are well done.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own  webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Rolling Stones, Steve Miller, Jimmy Webb, Paul McCartney, Billy Cobham, Bob Marley, Camel, Decameron.

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 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.