Bad Company

ARTICLE ABOUT Bad Company FROM SOUNDS, November 9, 1974

Sorry about the delay of this post. Work and private commitments have taken up too much of my time lately, but I hope things will be in regular order soon. So here`s one with Paul Rodgers at the time when Bad Company ruled the world. Hope you like it!


Bad Company: work`s a four letter word

Billy Walker talks to Paul Rodgers, a few short weeks before the band`s second British tour and finds his old acquaintance more full of get up and go than he`s been for a long, long time.

It`s fitting that Paul Rodgers, PR to his friends, should be so called. Why? Because Bad Company couldn`t ask for a better public relations man than Rodgers, a guy that sells his band and its wares with every sentence he utters.
Things are of course very bouyant for Bad Co. at the moment what with all the fuss that`s been made of them both here and in the States and Rodgers reflects this with a new found ease and confidence.
Paul`s always been a lively if somewhat meandering interviewee (or is it my deadly dull questions?), slowly but surely warming to the task. His answers grow more thoughtful and expansive as time wears on and on this occasion this new found assurance keeps the rugged Rodgers` features regularly creased with smiles and croaking laughs.
Little quips like: “Yeah, but I`d better not say `ad I in case somebody else pinches it”, when dutifully asked the working title for Bad Company`s new album that`s nearing completion. Canny dudes these Northerners.
But Paul is ready to divulge that the album is in fact well under way and that, God willing, will be through by the weekend. There`ll be eight or nine tracks on this one and final details should be available when the final mixes and a few overdubs are completed.
“Si`s got a couple of tracks on this one which have turned out really nice.” Rodgers reports, but what about the deeper aspects of it, same writing team, a move forward hopefully?
“It`s pretty much as it was before, Mick and I write a few and we have our own… I think its er, I hate to say it, but I think it`s a natural development. (First knowing smile of the day.) Well, the American tour`s done us a lot of good because a couple of the numbers we`ve got on it we`ve been doing on stage so they`re nicely broken in, y`know.
“I think it`s, it`s fantastic,” Paul adds with a wild guffaw.

He does seriously feel though that this album comes a little closer to the band`s real potential and is eager to confirm that the creative juices are flowing at the oddest times. Songs were coming together from nothing in the studios and Rodgers feels that Bad Company is still only in its initial stages of development.
Some critics, myself included, felt that while their debut album was good it tended to play it safe a bit, would it be difficult to fight against the same tendency? “We probably will do what we were doing before because we know it`s right but not completely, not to the extent of doing exactly what we`ve already done.
“We didn`t fall into anything like that in the States because we were still supporting so there wasn`t really a chance to rest on our laurels and there`s also too much happening in the band to wanna do that. There`s too much we want to do, there`s not the time to sit around thinking `that`s it`, we`re too involved with the progress of the thing, the way it`s rolling on.”
The band used Jimmy Horowitz to do the strings for one of Simon Kirke`s numbers on the album, but wasn`t this a slight departure from what Bad Co. fans might expect? “Yeah, yeah I don`t think we`re attempting to do what people expect from us exactly.
“I think to a certain extent it`s what you`d expect and to a certain extent it moves away from that sharply, especially the strings, I think they`re going to surprise a few people actually.”
The driving enthusiasm that Rodgers shows nowadays is underlined by the number of times `work` comes into the conversation. There`s no looking for time off, no wanting wuick two month breaks in the Bahamas, it`s all work, talk, thought and expression. So the American tour seemed like a fruitful avenue to explore.
“Well, it was a very hard tour because we were working all the time, but it was good for us, we needed to do that to get to know each other and the playing improved from gig to gig, got more and more exciting. It`s the best tour I`ve ever done.
“It`s hard to know what to attribute it to, I think the music`s straightforward and simple and there`s not a lotta bands doing that, but I do think we have a certain kind of chemistry, you know the spirit of the band and it comes over to the audience.”

Rodgers is quick to admit that he has learnt a lot musically from fellow Bad Company Boz and Mick Ralphs, saying:
“I don`t know that much about music myself, I just guess most of the time.” and continues this blaze of modesty by saying that they knew that they had to go out for this tour of the States without any headlining dates in order to get the ball rolling. But US audiences do vary.
“The thing I like is that the general attitude to music in the States is looser, more tolerant to what you do, but basically I think it`s down to the fact that they`re bigger, the audiences are that much bigger therefore you have to do that much more to get it over.” Change your act maybe?
“You adjust to it yeah, you don`t compare, don`t say `we do this in Britain so we`ll do…`but we just lose a slow number, put in a fast one or whatever`s necessary. I think you have to be a little more raucous over there, you don`t have to be anything but to get it over you have to be a bit… say, louder, bit more forceful.
“I think American audiences like to be slightly dominated and some groups really wipe `em out, but I don`t mean that, I mean to involve them at the same time.
Tour No. 2 for Britain comes in a few weeks and there won`t be any drastic changes in the material Bad Co. offer the fans, it`ll be a combination of stuff from the old album and some fresh toons too. The likelihood of a longer set than we saw last time is on the cards too, with the new material and this closer working relationship nothing, if Rodgers` mood is read correctly, will halt Bad Co`s progress.
Still on the subject of work, Paul feels certain that the prospects of any solo venture are fast retreating, if not already disappeared since the band`s take off, “it`s all going into this band, I just don`t think it`s necessary”, he says and with the future plans including tours of Europe and Australia/Japan in the offing, looks like he could be right.
One of the main factors to the continual disharmony and final split of Paul`s former band Free was that the egos involved tended to stifle talents and encourage side-taking in the various warring factions. He`s obviously a lot happier now. Are there less ego problems within the ranks of Bad Company?


“I think we`ve all gained a lot of experience in the past four or five years and all of that`s going into the band now. When you have four people together you always have, slight ego problems because that`s a lot of the drive of a musician anyway. But there`s no problems that way.”
But Rodgers can understand `one man` band set-ups for all the hassles of the past:
“I can see that working but not in a band that I`m in because I never know exactly what I want anyway. I think to do that, you have to know what you want note for note and be prepared to enforce that, but I don`t think you get a real group feel that way.
“You all have to be part of the music, feel that you`ve contributed an equal part to it and that`s the way you get a really good band feel. When I write a song it`s really basic, the only thing I have together is the tune and the words and perhaps the beat, what everyone actually plays is down to the individual themselves, there`s no sense of `you gotta do it this way`.”
So Paul needs the strength of a band behind him, a kick up the arse? “I need to have a lot of balls and drive behind me to get me going because I`m a bit of a miserable sod really”, a slight smile showing the ever present broken front tooth, “and I get that a lot, especially from Mick who`s really dynamite on guitar, he`s developing all the time.”
And the compliments flow on, Bad Company and its existence filling Rodgers` every thought like how it feels to have `finally` made it – “being there for me means being in the band making music that is satisfying, the fact that it is also successful is a boost, so that is great. It`s a confident feeling within the band as well and I really like it.”
Does he think of success in terms of pound notes? No, no. Obviously it`s nice to earn money for what you do but that isn`t the motive behind what we`re doing at all. We don`t weigh it up in terms of X amount of dollars, we just make the album and do the best we can.”

But what of Rodgers himself, has he managed to retain his creative spark over the turbulent years of Free and into Bad Company, is the drive still very much alive within him?
“Well, I`ve always been like that for as long as I can remember. I`ve always wanted to make it and I`ve always wanted to take a look at things, try and understand them and try and put them into a song, I haven`t really thought about trying to maintain it, I just do it.
“I go around thinking about things and they pop out of my head in the form of a song. I`m quite an intense person anyway, I do too much thinking actually, I have to work things out all the time because I`m a little bit thick,” time for another foxy, bearded grin, “If I feel something quite strongly I like to put it into music.
“Yes, I suppose it is an escape, the realities are a bit of a drag I find. It`s nice if you take an audience out of itself while you`re on stage, they can forget the oil crisis or whatever… and you can yourself.”
With Bad Company obviously looking to join their stable companions Led Zeppelin in the elite rock and roll ratings the likelihood of higher ticket prices, through rising prices, cost of transportation etc, could Paul see a time when the fans will have to shell out around £5-7 (£57.50 – 80.50 in 2018 – Blog Ed.) to get into a gig?
`I think when you get that big you`re into different realms, it`s a different level to the one I think on. I`m not that conscious of how much people have paid to see the band I don`t go out and think `they`ve paid a couple of quid to see us` because I would do my best whether they`d paid three bob or three quid.
“When you get to the point of charging 6 or 7 quid I don`t know what to say about that, it`s really big business as far as I`m concerned. I suppose some people have the attitude. `If you can get that much, go get it`, I don`t exactly think it`s very moral.”
Onto the ever present question of glitter and as, by their own admission, the band`s first debut album was a put down of the glittery side of the biz, Paul`s general feeling that the more basic, soulful forms of music are fast returning, the days of the funky bands could be returning, not necessarily at the expense of other forms of music but as well as.
“I find that most stuff in the charts for me doesn`t have any bottom to it, it just misses me, it doesn`t get me off. I think there`s a lack of groups around like Joe Cocker, Cream and Jimi Hendrix – it was creative but it was also commercial, but at the same time very soulful. There`s a slight lack of soulful feeling at the moment.

“I think there`s both ends (glitter and the `Tubular Bells` brigade) but there`s no middle, no substantial, solid music… very little anyway.” But perhaps glitter and the showmanship angles were a natural reaction after the straight, `go out and play-nothing else matters` approach?
“Well, that`s the other end of the extreme, I don`t think you should purposely go out looking like you`re skint, like shitty jeans… although I like shitty jeans, I feel more relaxed – but on stage I think the audience like to think you`ve made an effort and if I go and see a group I want them to look good as well as sound good.”
Not surprisingly the theme of work returns to its ever important position, it`s so natural for Paul to be thinking about it now that it seems a shame to curtail the flow. Honouring both sides of the Atlantic`s expectations seems a daunting task, but not if you`re in BC.
“We will do a lotta work because we want to. I love Britain, we all love Britain that`s why we did our first tour here and Britain gave us a lot of confidence. Whether or not we made it bigger in the States doesn`t matter too much, without the confidence we got here we wouldn`t have gone to the States in a conquering mood, so it works both ways.
“Coming back to Britain from America we feel ready to really play here again, the two balance each other out. It`s important to make it in our own country, not from a financial point of view, it`s just a nice feeling, like your home town sort of thing.
`At the moment how it works is we have a steady output, like a working capacity, we have lots of energy and just keep moving all the time and doing things. We would hate to have any kind of layoff at the moment because we go from one thing to another album, British tour, American tour, album, British tour – it just rolls, we`re not getting bogged down by working too much.”
But how about the delicate balance of over kill or under kill, isn`t it a real danger for the band? “You need a bit of both, you can over expose yourself and you can do the opposite too, just slip from the public`s eye and people forget you or you get less exciting. It`s just a matter of timing, we just keep a steady output of work, which is what we love to do and try and keep people happy.”
Finally Rodgers freely admits to living from day to day, taking things as they come and not looking beyond the bounds of his current, almost idyllic situation with the band. Things, he feels, start to go wrong when those thoughts start to rumble a bit but doesn`t he ever wonder what his next band will be like?
“I have done up to this point, yeah, this is the band that I`ve been wondering about…


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: Ken Boothe, Van Morrison, Pete Brown, Roger Glover, Pink Floyd, David Puttnam, Mott The Hoople, George Harrison, Phil Spector, Thin Lizzy, Janis Ian, Elton John.

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:
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 Bad Company FROM SOUNDS, May 25, 1974

How I would have liked to see this band in 1974! Must have been really good! Enjoy this review instead.


Concert review from Charlton Athletic Football Ground

By Steve Peacock (?) – signed P.P.

There`s a style of strutting, brash rock band that Britain – if I may say so without sounding unduly jingoistic – does extremely well. I used to love Humble Pie for it, and there have been plenty of others: Free, the Faces on a good night, Led Zeppelin, Mott the Hoople… you know the kind of thing. Musically the roots are in American music, with particular emphasis on rivvum`n`bloose, but somehow most of the American bands I`ve seen try the same kind of approach – the Doobie Brothers, for instance – go over the top. Too much playing to the gallery, not enough playing.
Anyway, Bad Company are worthy inheritors of the tradition – four fine players with unimpeachable taste in full-blooded riffs and well-timed body blows from the soloists, who have a fine sense of stage management. They strut and posture, but it never gets into the realms of the ridiculous (at least it didn`t on Saturday), giving the band on stage just the right sense of poise and occasion without toppling over into the facade of An Act.
They`re a good band, and for a band who`ve only been together a short while they`re excellent. “Palace Of The King” was a good opener, giving everyone a chance to introduce themselves against a fairly safe background, and the rest of the set seemed well-paced. Boz and Simon Kirke provide a rhythm section that never falters yet which doesn`t play safe: it was easy to forget with Free, and you`re in danger of forgetting with the new band, just how much the music relies on Kirke`s style of drumming. Don`t.
Mick Ralphs came forward with some neat solos, but I think he still has to find his full measure of confidence within the band. Paul Rodgers was singing stronger and better than ever: it is really good to hear a band with an exceptional lead singer yet which doesn`t base its whole strength around him. Somehow the fact that the pressure`s off him more than it was Free seems to give him the scope to put much more into his singing. For me the set peaked with “Rock Steady”, “Ready For Love” and “Easy On My Soul”, but the single “Can`t Get Enough” was a rousing finale. Somehow I feel – good as they were – they are only touching the edge of their potential.


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: Goldie Zelkowitz, Curtis Knight, Simon Alexander, Steely Dan, Chris Stainton, Ronnie Lane, Elliott Murphy, Loudon Wainwright, Tim Buckley, Steve Miller, Beach Boys, Tommy Vance, Jim Simpson, Stefan Grossman, Lynsey de Paul, Mott the Hoople, Kevin Ayers,
Dave Cousins, ELP.

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:
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.


As always, when you read an article written by Nick Kent, the writing is impeccable, but maybe he should have let his interview objects be even more central to proceedings? Anyway, it is a wonder that Mr. Kent could express himself as eloquently as he does, considering he was a herion addict throughout most of the 70s. It sometimes amazes me what people of great talent is able to achieve using hard drugs. But, in the end, everyone will have to pay the price if they don`t stop before it is too late. Thankfully, Mr. Kent was one of those that survived. Read this quite interesting article by one of the most talented music journalists of the 70s.


…Well, come on then, Rodgers, act mean and nasty for the kids!

NO way. Paul Rodgers fails to live up to the horrendous tales of on-the-road booze and belligerence. He`s being a nice guy. And the rest of Bad Company? They`re being nice guys as well. Nick Kent does not even get insulted, never mind get his face smashed in. Oh well, that`s life.

The things we rock writers come up with! For my sins I recall to this day a ridiculously pompous conversation that took place between yours truly and one American scribe – now a fully paid-up member of the Rolling Stone editorial higher echelon but at this point a budding `punk terrible` working out of Detroit – where we came to the conclusion that the only valid dialectic situation left to the rock star-rock critic was to get into highly elaborate fist fights.
Whether this concept was inspired by the much-publicised fisticuffs between Bob Dylan and venerable rock eccentric A. J. Weberman or whether it was just a kind of dumb cool thing to think up at the time doesn`t really matter. Nor did, at the time anyway, the fact that both of us were yer archetypal nine-stone weakling far more adept at hiding under tables when even the vaguest whiff of violence was mooted in the air than `piling in` so to speak.
Surprisingly enough, I`ve never really found myself in a situation where I`ve been forced to declare arms against some irate musician following some less than complimentary review. The nearest, in fact, I ever came to an out-right confrontation of any sort was at an L.A. club where a drunk and offensive John Bonham (Led Zep drummer to the unitiated) poured a jug of cream and a couple of brandies over my coat, this being presumably his idea of a good `wheeze`.
I in turn found the escapade to be thoroughly unpleasant – any retaliation on my part was scarcely the order of the day seeing that Mr. Bonham is built like the proverbial shit-house door and was constantly flanked by two even more muscular than he.
All in all though, the incident did leave a rather sour complexion on my comrade`s idea of the fist-fight as viable rock dialectic, at least in my view and I quickly forgot about the whole thing.

Until, that is, the assignment. Pretty routine stuff on the surface, it was. Fly out to Jersey, land of the ageing gout-booted British tax exile thirsting for some vague replica of the Olde Country wherein to while away his retirement savings, and interview Swansong Artistes Bad Company, themselves tax exiles but in this daunting position through their mercurial ascendancy onto the pedestal of top-flight rock superstars.
All very straight-forward, but then again, Bad Company do have this reputation preceding them for a belligerent boozed-out boisterousness. Legend has it that even my oppressor M. Bonham was so shocked by their behaviour at one Atlantic Records function that he took it upon himself as co-chairman of Swansong to chastise them gravely for their hedonistic philanderings. (Now that little episode I would have liked to have witnessed).
And then again, how can I forget that touching scenario played out by Paul Rodgers, Bad Co`s leading protagonist, just one year ago. The Faces` Christmas Party it was – a civilised enough occasion, and there was I waiting to savour the sheperds pie and mixed veg laid out on this large table when who but Mr. Rodgers should appear, muttering dark curses at everyone in his booze-tinted view, and promptly lay waste the entire table in question, tossing food-stuffs here and there with nary a thought for present company.
Quite put me off my appetite, it did.

As it happens, almost all my colleagues in the business have their own P. Rodgers anecdote. One party, I recall, voted him the single most unpleasant man in rock, while Charles Shaar Murray recalls the time he witnessed our hero almost set about a Hungarian waitress for merely asking him to take his feet off a chair in the hotel restaurant.
More to the point, further reports lead one to believe that Bad Co.`s corporate ascendancy had worsened the Rodgers temperament considerably. A prominent Swansong musician/co-chairman who had freewheeled it over to the States to see his company`s band slaying `em on the East Coast last year mentioned to me a few months ago that the lead vocalist`s unwillingness to swamp his ego in with his three cohorts and become more flexible musically could cause great dissent with the Bad Co ranks.
And finally there was a Rolling Stone (what else?) piece which vividly documented the band on the tour in question seemingly immersed in a never-ending morose bacchanalia with Rodgers particularly obstreperous.
Ruminating over what I`d gleaned from reports on the Bad Co. temperament in regard to this Jersey venture, I envisaged at least some quotient of `aggro` emanating in my direction – principally from Rodgers, I presumed, who might well not like the cut of my clothes, shape of my legs etc. and would probably bottle me if I asked a question perhaps not to his liking.

Well, to remove what possible suspense which can be drawn from the writing of a piece on Bad Company, nothing like that happened at all. Photographer Pennie Smith and I arrived at the hotel to be greeted by two plates of slightly stale sandwiches and a nice-guy Welsh roadie who agreeably set about farming out members of the band for the interview. The inevitable naturally occurred – I was faced with all four members at once for most of the actual interview, a gnarling situation which totally denied any facility for the more intimate one-to-one heart-to-heart patter which usually reveals something interesting.
Instead the band palled it up and quite agreeably joked around, cooing forth platitudes about the new direction their music was taking and how their new album, “Run With The Pack” was by far their most advanced and satisfying recording.

Facing the band in toto so to speak, you really can`t help but be struck by the visual incongruities of the members. Drummer Simon Kirke, a genuinely entertaining and likable raconteur of `witty stories`, must possess the most oppressively bulging biceps in all rock history, both muscle-packed arms just crying out for a plethora of tattoos with motifs like an anchor just above the elbow and “mother” scrawled just below.
Kirke`s whole persona reminded me of Robert Plant`s whole `likely lad` style; their slightly North of the Border accents are almost identical, in fact. In total contrast, guitarist Mick Ralphs seems to have the physique of a post-adolescent teenager even though he bows to holding down an age “politely known as late 20`s.” For the years spent paying all those proverbial dues in Mott the Hoople, he still possesses the incredibly healthy wide-eyed pallor of a youth making his debut with a band at some local Hereford youth club.
Seated next to him, bass-player Boz Burrell presents even further visual incongruities. Decked out in full cow-poke regalia – the frayed denim shirt, unostentatious boots and lean black stetson, his “jazzer`s” beard makes him resemble the unlikely outcome of Acker Bilk signing on with the Eagles.
And finally there`s Paul Rodgers, short and stocky, moving from his seat to the bar like a Jersey bullock swathed in a bizarre-looking sheep-skin lined suedette bum-freezer which made his contours look all the more bizarre. His face looked remarkably haggard and a presumed lack of vitamins and hot sun made his hair look unhealthy and matted as if he`d just donned a rather shaggy doormat in lieu of a crown topper. I do recall stepping back a few paces in agitated reverence as he stomped into proceedings.

So what do we talk about, boys?
After a few obvious `ice-breaking` questions, I decided to divine the band`s opinion of the Rolling Stone piece referred to earlier.
“Well you`re a journalist, what did you think about it?” Kirke retorts amiably enough.
So I mention that – well, reading between the lines it appeared the writer felt a touch disorientated by the surroundings, didn`t seem to be enjoying himself too much and consequently wrote the article from a rather jaundiced aspect.
“The thing is” – Rodgers has just sat down – “he didn`t once mention anything about the music. There was nothing said about the music.”
Ah yes, the music. I mean, it`s more than fair that Rodgers should bring up the whole “music is the message” schtick – after all, that is his and Bad Co.`s only real claim to fame – they`re musicians, not philosophers or crusading emissaries for some worthy cause.
It`s just that talking and writing about music, particularly of the groinal variety, is basically such a prime pain in the ass, ringing forth all the same old platitudes and cliches as it does in these situations.
As it is, Bad Company have had their talents farmed into the computer-critique from more or less the first note they ever played. The definition always tends to read, “Good hard-rock band… sturdy but unambitious”, with special mention of Rodger`s very impressive vocal style and a possible merit star for Kirke`s excellent trashing abilities.


Boz Burrell – Gone, but not forgotten.

The definition wasn`t embellished further by the release of “Straight Shooter,” the second album, and one wonders if the adjectival “unambitious” won`t be underlined a little heavier with the soon-to-appear “Run With The Pack”.
After the interview formalities have been dispensed with, Burrell and Ralphs play me a cassette tape of the Olympia gig showcasing at least five new songs which in turn showcase the patented formulas that have kept the band buoyant through two albums worth of toons thus far.
The first formula is Ralphs` personal adapton of the Keith Richard-Chuck Berry block chord rocker, only this time the full-blooded thrust of “Can`t Get Enough” through to the excellent “Good Lovin` Gone Bad” is made manifest in “Sweet Little Sister”. Obvious chord changes, obvious rock-swagger rhyming lyrics – Sweet Little Sister/You know you can`t resist her/She`s got it made in the shade, borrowing not a little from the Stones` phrase-book but that doesn`t mean it doesn`t rock like a bitch.
It`s just that one can only go so far with such limited concepts, no matter how full-blooded the performance and what with everyone from Kiss and Aerosmith down to your-local-punk-band-in-Stretford or Dayton, Ohio, scraping at the bones of `70s rock`s killer riffs – the “Brown Sugar” patent, the “Sweet Jane” chord changes, “Honky Tonk Women”, you end up needing more than even Paul Rodgers` supple vocalese to supply the edge.

Rodgers, for his part, appears still overly fond of his old Free stylisation if a song like the new “Simple Man” is anything to go by. That same loping, melancholic beat, same dour brooding chords (Rodgers in `soulful mood` always sound like he`s kicking himself because he never got to write Traffic`s “40,000 Headmen” before Winwood conceived the tune), the same earnest but bland utterances.
This time we`re faced with Rodgers waxing philosophical after a fashion with these gem-like utterances for company –  “I am just a simple man/Freedom is the only word that means a thing to me.”
Well at least it`s not pretentious and for that I`d gladly take an outfit like Bad Company over the infinitely more ambitious but ultimately ill-postured Queen. It`s just that full-blooded unoriginality and jaded pretence are pretty lean pickings when your expectations settle on that high and mighty echelon both bands are poised on at present.
Bad Company, for their part, tap their feet and nod agreeably at each other. They also mention that the more `advanced` stuff on “Pack” hasn`t been fully mastered yet for stage-performance. Still, one feels just a touch cynical when Ralphs sets about defending his statement recorded in Teazers a couple of weeks back that his band reminds him of The Beatles “in a very distinct way”.
“Yeah, I read that too,” he laughs for a second and then suddenly turns serious. “No, you see what I was trying to say… by drawing that parallel is that just like The Beatles we`re able to cover all the bases. By that I mean you`ve got Paul on one side and me and there`s melody and the rockers and…. Like Lennon and McCartney had that down. They covered the whole spectrum.
“That`s what we`re aiming for and now with this new album…”

And so it goes. As it happens, Ralphs is an extremely likeable bloke. I`d interviewed him several years ago when he was floundering with Mott (this was just before the DeFries union) and I was an idealistic cub reporter and the interview quickly broke down to become an energetic chat about favourite bands and music in general.
Looking back on his Mott days, I ask him whatever happened to the “budding Neil Young” image that Ian Hunter seemed so adamant about laying on the guitarist?
Ralphs fields off the `Young` schtick by simply retorting, “Well, with me it wasn`t as bad as Hunter who was desperate to be Bob Dylan (pause). Nah, Mott was a bizarre group in that we got into this whole thing of appealing to the loon-pants head-shaking audience. Yeah, a bit like Status Quo I suppose, only…”‘
Ralphs seems adamant about disowning the whole glitter-rock trip that the Bowie association set Mott up with. Indeed, Bad Company were conceived by Ralphs and Rodgers in terms of an earthy, anti-glitter backlash.
A question concerning the managerial merits of Tony DeFries draws forth inevitable comparisons with Bowie`s own Col. Tom and Swansong svengali Peter Grant.
“Well, DeFries knew all the stuff about law side of things. But I don`t think he really had any feeling, though, for the human or… uh, artistic side of the business. With Peter, well, it`s like he`s one of the lads really.”

Burrell defines Grant`s attributes as a manager further:
“He really acts as a cushion (sic) between the band and all the politics that are bound to surround one. That is, he lets you get on with the music totally while he fields off all the lawyers, record company guys etc. that are more than ready to hold back your actual output.”
Kirke: “We hardly ever sit down and do business with him. It`s usually always a social thing when we meet.”
Bad Company and Grant set their alliance rolling with just a handshake, by the way. A gentleman`s agreement.
Events following directly in the wake of Bad Co.`s association with Swansong show a more than dramatic change in fortunes.
Kirke dismisses his earnings from Free as “a pittance… I suppose that`s what you`d call it.” He prefers not to muse over any potential “sour grapes”.
Ralphs, upon leaving Mott, was faced with departing with a debt (Mott the Hoople were in debt to upwards of £100,000 at one point, so the story goes) or breaking free, thus nixing any personal hold on royalties arising from the subsequently successful “Mott” album. He chose the latter.
And Burrell? Well, his former escapades provide the best copy of the day. A former King Crimson employee (Fripp taught him bass “parrot-fashion”) his reminiscences are scurrilous if nothing else.

“That whole period of my life was ridiculous. I mean, if I`ve done anything in my life purely for the money, that was it. I mean, I`d be singing these lyrics and suddenly I`d stop and think, `Christ, what does that mean`. I reckon Sinfield used to dig out his Roget`s Thesaurus, find the most impressive-looking words and just throw `em all in.
“And Fripp! (laughs). He`d be sitting on his stool just scowling at us. So every night for an encore we`d rush out… see, the only thing Fripp can`t play is a straight-forward blues, so for the encore the rest of the band would charge onstage and before he`d got a chance to plug in his guitar, we`d kick off with a 12-bar! (laughs).
“On the very last night, Mel (Collins) demolished a mellotron as part of the solo. He just very methodically took it to pieces, right, and Fripp turned round… it was during `Schizoid Man` … he was on his stool (collapses laughing).
“The thing is, though, it`s ridiculous when people murmur that we`re all in Bad Co. for the money. Nothing could be further from the truth. But, I mean, that Crimson gig – that was a pure pay-check thing.
“It`s a shame really. People just don`t get it straight.”

So finally to Rodgers, who, far from the mooted belligerence of yore, was amiable enough. He even talked with mild candour about his drinking binges, saying that he and the band had cut down drastically in a tone which, to the impartial observer, appeared to mean business.
Later I overhear a phone conversation where Rodgers reverently mentions that he`s soon to become a father for the second time, which could well account for this new-found serenity.
Oh, and that tax-exile schtick. It appears to be not all champagne and roses even if alcohol and cigarettes are almost half the price. Kirke at least had picked up on some nookie. He had a date, he said. Taking her to the pictures, he was. To see The Jungle Book for the second time in three days.


A really strange ad….

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: Gary Holton, Ronnie Lane, Warne Marsh, Keith Moon, Kid Strange.

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:
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 Bad Company from New Musical Express, June 21, 1975

I really like this article. A great read, even if you`re not a fan of the band. So enjoy…


Members of Bad Company…

What`s your favourite hobby?
Who`s your favourite philosopher?
How do you like it so far?

Story: Roy Carr

New York is a city of excess. It`s a metropolis where everyone goes over the top almost every night of the week, yet still manages to surface the next morning fit and well and primed to repeat the exercise at the drop of an expense account.
It is a city that occasionally nods out but never sleeps. And despite the fact that it`s currently on the verge of bankruptcy, no one is deterred from having the time of their lives. On the contrary, they`re encouraged. However, what constitutes a Good Time is open to wild conjecture.
For where else but in New York (New York) can you jam with Johnny Winter before dinner, shanghai Gary Glitter away from hosting his own cocktail party, watch pyromaniacs taking polaroids of one another while firemen fight towering infernos in the background, check-out a sniper in Brooklyn, keep at the bar at Ashley`s – The Big Apple`s favourite oasis – open until breakfast and be invited to kiss both bride and bridegroom at a reception being held by the cigarette machine!
In keeping with tradition, the bride wore white and the groom chose black. The fact that the groom was not only female but prettier than her bride was quite irrelevant. They were married and they wanted the whole world – or at least anybody buying cigarettes – to know.

Originally, the newly-weds had intended to marry later in the month and spend their honeymoon at all six Rolling Stones shows scheduled for Madison Square Garden. But, love being what it is and Bad Company fan fervour at a premium, the happy couple had first promised to love, honour and obey before dashing off to clasp the four Swan Songsters to their collective bosom(s) at the Garden that very evening.
So please zip back to 4.15 that same day. The temperature outside Madison Square Garden has reached the arm-pit humidity of 89 degrees (and still rising), the street stinks of stale cheeseburgers and the rain feels like luke-warm tea as it splashes against the greasy skin of those hapless types trying to locate a spare ticket.
Inside the cool, cavernous auditorium, last minute preparations are being made for the evening soiree.
“How`s it look?” enquiries a pensive Paul Rodgers, as he straps on his guitar and proceeds to slash out the riff of “Can`t Get enough” – the object of his undivided attention being a bandaged left hand.
“Django Reinhardt managed alright,” mumbles Boz Burrell as he cradles his bass guitar and gives Rodgers an evil grin. Bad Company are running through a soundcheck hours before achieving the unprecedented distinction of being the only other rock act ever to top the bill at New York`s 20,000 seater Madison Square Garden halfway through a second American tour in summer.

The band plays on, undeterred by this vast responsibility.
They don`t award the Purple Heart to rock musicians injured in the line of duty. If they did, Paul Rodgers would have a chestful. Seemingly, every time he hits the road, the road hits back with a vengeance.
On the last tour, an unfortunate altercation with a plate glass door transformed Rodgers` swagger into a painful limp. This time round, a door of much stronger material fractured a couple of bones in his left hand when the band breezed into Chicago, a few days ago.
“I`ll kill that bloody doctor,” snarls Rodgers as the large plaster begins to peel away, like cheap wallpaper, from his damaged flipper.
As Showco`s posse of Texas cowboys scurry around the empty arena making last minute adjustments to the tons of electronic hardware, Rodgers` handicap is made worse when his amp begins to crackle violently.
“`Ere, what`s that hum?” asks Simon Kirke.
“Special effects,” Rodgers replies sarcastically. “It costs a bloody fortune to get the equipment to do that.”
“Fancy,” mutters Mick Ralphs.

Suddenly, Rodgers` amp utters a static bark of defiance. The singer scowls. A roadie looks towards heaven and mumbles “Sheeut!” The amp is instantly replaced.
Bad Company thunder through a version of the song of the same name with all the vitality and dynamics usually reserved for a live rendition, lay down their arms and split. It may be just a soundcheck but everytime these brigands pick up their weapons they mean business.
“We know our assets,” Simon Kirke reveals later as the limo navigates the rush hour traffic. “And, more important, we know our limitations and so we never step beyond them. Only in that way can we stay on top of what we`re doing.” But of course.
Having followed Bad Company`s progress with much more than a passing interest, I`ve become aware that, following first night nerves, this little band flexes a lot of muscle. On their own turf, there are few bands (if any) who can give them a hard time.
But it`s easy to comprehend why Bad Company have cracked America on their first attempt. Despite the fact that they have the best management and about the best record distribution around, they are one of the few road bands with the ability to deliver.

And though I`m favourably disposed towards the band`s recorded output. I have to admit that they`re even better – much better – on stage.
Mick Ralphs agrees wholeheartedly with my sentiments. “We are essentially a live band,” he concedes. “If people like our records then they`re not going to be disappointed when they come along to our gigs. A lot of bands can`t deliver before an audience. We can. It doesn`t matter what goes on behind the scenes or whether your latest record is on the charts, when we walk out onto a stage, it`s all down to us. If we blow it, then we`ve only got ourselves to blame and nobody else.”
As to his own contribution to the band, Ralphs states his position. “I`m often accused of not playing enough and just because of the nature of our line-up criticised for not getting involved in that guitar hero syndrome. But I personally feel that what I contribute is sufficient within the context on this particular band.
“We`re not into that whole flash virtuoso trip. That`s not what Bad Company is all about. Basically, we`re a funky song band. Take the Stones. They`re all good musicians but they don`t have great soloists who play one solo for hours on end. They don`t need it.
“And neither do we.”


Having once worked in what he describes as being “less than a democratic musical environment”. Ralphs echoes the sentiments of his colleagues by insisting that one of the prime factors that has motivated the Company`s acceptance is that there`s absolutely no conflict of musical persuasions within their chosen format.
“We`re all pulling as hard as we possibly can in the same direction to make the best of our good fortune.”
Anyway, it`s been said that nothing succeeds like success. By the same token, success when it has been as instant as that bestowed upon Bad Company has been known to destroy equally as quickly. To their credit, Ralphs, Rodgers, Box and Kirke have been in the game long enough to appreciate when they`ve got a Good Thing Going.
As a founder member of Mott The Hoople, Mick Ralphs is acutely aware that, having spent years striving for the Big  Break, it`s so easy for a band to fall apart at the seams at a vital moment. “You only get one real chance to prove yourself and say your piece.”
He wasn`t afforded that luxury within Hoopleville. “If you don`t use that opportunity wisely and to your own advantage, then not only are you screwing up your own life but maybe the lives of others who depend on you to fulfil your obligations.

“Though it`s not always possible, a band can`t really afford to become blase, complacent and treat everything like a big laugh. Sure, you should enjoy every minute of it – but on the other hand, you should take it seriously,” he adds. “But not to the extent that you don`t enjoy it.
“People often think that all the looning on the road is superficial and a complete waste of time. It`s not. It helps you to relax and unwind. If you don`t, then the gigs will suffer.
“Being a relatively new band we`ve still got a lot to explore, but in this game you can never tell what tomorrow may bring. Once you`ve been fortunate to make a reputation for yourself, there`s a lot that you`ve got to live up to – especially as this band went to No. 1 with both first album and single. That`s all very well and good but when we troop out on stage tonight at Madison Square Garden…if we play a bum gig we can never go back there again.”
It`s Ralphs` candid opinion that not too many bands fully realise the importance of headlining a tour on the strength of chart recognition. “Though it`s only one gig, a show at the Garden not only consolidates the dozen or so gigs you`ve already done but it can dictate the success of the remainder of the tour. If you bomb out in New York or L.A. then you can forget it. You might as well pack up and go home – barring a miracle, it`s all over.”

Boz Burrell is the antithesis bass player. Once the wine begins to flow, he may come across as an old roue, but when it comes down to business Boz knows Where he would like to be At. “Things may have happened very quickly for all four of us,” he begins, “but we know how to handle the pressures. Not only have we chosen to keep a low profile, we`ve also built up an anti-reaction which personally I find to be extremely healthy in that it enables all of us to get off on each other.”
He blows the suds out of his nose and explains Bad Company`s street -corner philosophy. “When it boils down to it, Bad Company is just a raunchy little club band that knows how to adapt themselves to performing in large venues.
“Sure, you always question yourself as to whether or not you`re doing the right thing, but the reason why we all got together in the very first place was simply because we all wanted to be in the same band and we`re making sure that we enjoy it.
“With some bands just being there suffices. Now this is one thing that I`ve got against the Rolling Stones – in that just being up there on stage is enough. Well it ain`t. With Bad Company, we`ve got to try and play as best as we can every night and try and improve as we go along.”

Boz points out that he`s encountered many bands who go through life totally oblivious to audience reactions. If a gig is a bummer they automatically blame it on the crowd – when in fact the audience may have been more together than the band. He`s also aware of the responsibilities any band has towards its fans. “I don`t enjoy going to most rock shows,” he admits. “I`ve been to a couple of Mott gigs and I`ve also watched Black Sabbath perform once or twice. And, in both instances I haven`t liked the way in which they handled the crowd.
“Both have gone well over the top, whipped the kids up into a violent frenzy and then have been unable to control their mood. I mean, who wants to be bombarded with bottles? We don`t. This is something that Bad Company steer well away from. Sure, we may wind the audience up and get them excited but we don`t make them turn nasty. We underplay that particular aspect and when things get too tight we just mellow them out.
“The reason why we can do this whenever we want to is all down to Simon`s brand of timekeeping. I just love playing with Rodgers and Ralphs, but playing alongside of Si is the ultimate. I love that man. He`s like all of us, he doesn`t know shit about anything. He just plays good…he can`t help it.”

Simon Kirke wasn`t available for comment at this time. However, earlier in the day he did state that playing drums for Bad Company wasn`t the worst job that he`d ever had.


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: Can, Phil Spector, Elton John, Greenslade, Beach Boys, Elvin Jones, Alan Stivell, Uriah Heep, Jackie Wilson, Fairport Convention.

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:
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.


I have said it before and I`ll say it again: I LOVE hits on my blog, and I got a lot of visitors to my blog with that article about Yes last time. It may be that Yes fans are more fanatic than other fans, but I like their fanatism a lot. So from here on I will print every other article I find about Yes in a mutual interest between me and the Yes fans. The same goes for Kiss, Jeff Beck and a couple of other bands that have fans that obviously likes to read these old articles.
Today I am trying out the response to an article about Bad Company, I hope they have some fans out there that will want to check this out. Until next time….!


Just deliver the goods and you too can be M. Jagger

For the moment MICK (a.k.a. `Modest Mick`) RALPHS is modestly content with the way BAD COMPANY is going, but he modestly admits that the band have modest ambitions to rank with the Gods: By STEVE CLARKE.

Maybe Mick Ralphs should turn onto Krishna, maybe drop some stuff, or even throw the I Ching once in a while. He`s so unaffected, so amiable, so unassuming that it`s hard to remember he`s a bona fide rock star.
Bad Company, the band ol` Mick is a bona fide rock star in, haven`t put one foot wrong since they formed some two albums back, and now it`s got to the point where they`ve sold out the Madison Square Garden date on their upcoming second US tour.
Incidentally, it`s their first headlining visit, and for it they`ll be supported by fellow-Peter Grant managed act Maggie Bell.
And it won`t be long before their second album, “Straight Shooter”, is heading the US charts too.
Naturally Mick is chuffed with all this, but the most ebullient comment he can raise is…”I don`t like to boast”.
The group, apparently, are still very much in love with one another. And that`s not the way supergroups are supposed to evolve. Bands constructed from other fairly successful units usually never get the chance to evolve as a coherent entity- they`re too busy bitching.
But not Bad Company. “We`ve got five years at least,” says phlegmatic old Mick from the comfort of a sofa at manager Peter Grant`s office in King`s Road, Chelsea.

“We`re here to stay. We want to be up there with the Stones and The Who and the Zeps. We want to be in that league, and that takes time. You can`t just jump in. You`ve got to be able to continue to deliver the goods.
“Success? I don`t think it`s changed anybody in the group.”
But how about Paul, who did seem to be competing for some kind of bad behaviour among rock stars award around Christmas what with all that over-zealous partying at The Faces` Christmas function?
“Paul`s Paul. He`s always been his own man and he likes a good time. Because of the success we`ve had, people are ready to criticise and take more notice of him.
“I don`t think he makes a fool of himself at all. I think he`s very honest. I think he`s one of the most honest people in the business. I think if more people said what they think instead of bullshitting there`d be more progress musically.”
In actual fact, being in Bad Company has meant at least one change in Ralph`s life, and possibly two.
First, he`s in the process of buying a country cottage just the other side of Henley. Nothing too expensive, you understand. (When cornered Mick`s cryptic reply as to how much the home cost him was, “Not much”).
And second, he and his wife Nina have split up again. “I think I should blame myself for that and not the situation I`m in. I`ve always been in a group. I`ve always put the group first. I`ve always believed in that.”

Otherwise the life-style is pretty much as before. When he`s in town you won`t find him hobnobbing it with yer Stewarts and the Royalty of this world at Tramps. He`ll be at The Marquee or The Speakeasy, retreats of the more down-to-earth faction.
Mick frankly admits that money-talk makes him embarrassed. “People see your records in the charts and assume you`re a millionaire, living like a lord, and that you`ve changed as a person and cut off all your old friends.”
But surely Bad Company`s success has meant some income increase?
“I suppose it must have done,” is the reply. “But I don`t know…It`s all on paper.
“I`ve been playing guitar for about eight years and this is the first time I`ve been in a position to buy a place. I think a man of my age should have a roof over his head. I`ve been starving long enough.”
Conversation turns to the band itself. So far this year Bad Company have toured Europe, Japan and Australia and spent a couple of weeks hanging out in LA to watch their stablemates Led Zeppelin.
Then there was the release of “Straight Shooter”. “We just feel it`s the best we could do to date,” is Ralph`s comment on the album, which was preceded by the release of “Good Lovin` Gone Bad”, their second single – which, surprisingly enough, didn`t make the Top 20.


He admits to being disappointed at the record`s limited success but puts it down to the fact that people bought the album instead, and goes on to point out that the band did go to the trouble of putting a nowhere-else-to-be-found B side on the single – “Whisky Man”.
“Initially there was a dispute over what the single should be. There`s so many numbers on the album that could have been singles. We went for `Good Lovin“ `cause it seemed the most obvious and straightforward number. When we record we don`t think in terms of singles.”
As a guitarist Ralphs is realistic about his talents. “I think I`m all right. I can hold me own. You`ve gotta think that, otherwise you ain`t gonna go onstage.
“If I`ve got my own style then that`s great. I like to think I have. With this band everybody`s taking their time to develop. I see myself as more of a back-up guitarist.
“To me Keith Richard does that so well. He probably doesn`t think he`s that good but I think he`s great at what he does. I like to think I`m good at what I do in the context of Bad Company.
“I just play what`s necessary, what I feel is right. The idea of the band is to project an overall thing and not to project anyone in particular. What we want to put across is the lyric of the song and the song itself, and not deviate from that.

“I think my forte is being the guitarist in Bad Company and doing it the best I can. I think we`re all essential to each other. I think we all balance each other well.”
Paul Kossoff has accused Ralphs of taking a lot of what he played with Free and reproducing it in Bad Company. Ralphs answers Kossoff`s criticism with, “I think that`s a bit of sour grapes. I think he likes me…I`m as derivative as he is. He`s derived his style from the same people that I`ve derived mine from.
“I don`t think we`re that similar. I think we have different tones, different approaches, and we play a lot differently. He plays more lead and I tend to play more chords. If he thinks that, it`s up to him. I think he has his own style and it`s very distinctive and very good. If he says something like that he probably doesn`t mean it like that. He probably means I sound a bit like him on occasions.
“I don`t think there`s any need for the old-fashioned guitar hero. I don`t think it`s that valid anymore. But Robin Trower`s doing it. When I listen to a Robin Trower album I never hear any songs. The singer`s overshadowed by the guitar player.
“I`m a group player first and a guitar player first.
“We get more satisfaction from being a complete group, a complete entity.”

Ralphs saw his old colleague Ian Hunter at Hammersmith Odeon for the Hunter-Ronson gig on Easter Monday:
“The band`s pretty good. I think it`s deviated slightly. There`s Ian doing his thing and Ronson doing his thing. It kept pulling in different directions.
“The band is projecting those two people and it seemed that when Ian was singing Ronson looked a bit awkward and when Ronson was doing his thing Ian looked a bit awkward.
“I don`t think it`ll last that long. I think they both feel they need to be big in their own right.” He considers…”Ronson`s a great guitar player. I don`t think he should sing or write though.”
Currently the Texan band ZZ Top find themselves on to the Ralphs` turntable more than anyone else. “They`re very simple and unpretentious.”
He`s also digging Beck`s new album, Gloria Gaynor`s version of “It`s A Man`s Man`s World”, Little Feat, and Ravel – yes the French Ravel.
Meantime Ralphs has a 30-date US tour to complete and he`s raring to go. Maybe more success`ll make him arrogant, but somehow I doubt it.


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: Philip Rambow, Alex Harvey, Helen Reddy, Mickey Jupp, The Man Band, Iggy Pop, Gay and Terry Woods, Chairmen of the Board.

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:
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.