The Who

ARTICLE ABOUT Roger Daltrey (The Who) FROM SOUNDS, June 28, 1975

This is a refreshingly honest interview with the one and only frontman of the Who. This one should be read by all as Mrs. Charone conducted a really good interview here. Nice one, Barbara!
Read on!

IMG_3020

Roger rides a rock horse

Exclusive Roger Daltrey interview by Barbara Charone

It was rather bizarre actually. There was this enormous inflatible lady, red satin knickers and racy black lace. But she was headless. And there was this silver space capsule plummeting towards earth. But it wasn`t really moving. And there was a patient Roger Daltrey saying “Lola B flat”. And an even more patient Ken Russell saying “Lola A flat”. It was really rather strange.
The fantasy and illusions stop for lunch. The inflatible lady stays behind in a dingy studio at Shepperton while the rest of the less plastic crew take time out from the very last day of shooting `Lisztomania` for lunch.
Franz Liszt climbs out of the space capsule and suddenly becomes Roger Daltrey. Roger Daltrey, actor, climbs out of some fancy grey threads into some scruffy denims and becomes Roger Daltrey, rock singer. We are back to square one.
The atmosphere is decidely more realistic inside the practical but unglamorous canteen. The food is the same standard, barely edible stuff found in any cafeteria but the clientele is more attractive. People from wardrobe and makeup, directors, sultry female extras, all sorts.

ROAST CHICKEN

Roger Daltrey looks up from his roast chicken, casting an eager eye over the colourful crowd. He is very tired today, feeling the blunt edge of continuous work for the last 18 months. Not content to stay home and mind the pigs, Roger Daltrey has been busy lately.
We were talking about this dead end rock has run into. “It`s nothing to do with getting old,” says a member of the world`s only intact and unchanged rock and roll band. “It`s just learning things, growing up and becoming mature. It`s the growing up that`s anti-rock. Rock isn`t refusing to grow up, it`s the people that buy it; it`s what they want to hear. That`s what doesn`t want it to change.
“It`s still only the four people in the band. That`s why we`ve lasted because kids want to see the Who, see those four people. You can`t just turn it off, go somewhere else and expect people to put up with it.
“If the Who went onstage like the Pink Floyd, with an incredible light show, and stood there like four dead people that sounded great, our fans wouldn`t put up with that. Nothing is going to change. So what do you do?” The singer asked passionately. “What do you do?”
If you are the Who, you do a great number of things. You let the machinery unravel, slowly, allowing individual components to function without group environments, positively hoping that frustrations will disappear and the machinery emerge well oiled and more impressive than before.
While not known for their intimate comradeship offstage, the Who have seen even less of each other over the last 18 months with each member pursuing various cinematic and musical projects.
This Summer the individual components are being fused together again for the recording of the first Who album since `Quadrophenia`. Before examing the machinery in toto, let us briefly turn our attention to one energetic cog in the cycle.

“This album is very positive,” said Roger Daltrey referring to `Ride A Rock Horse`, his second solo album released next week. “The first one was a bit negative. If I`d been too positive then, it would have done the Who a lot of damage. I`m not insecure about doing a solo album now, which I was before. It`s not a matter of proving anything. It`s just that I love singing.
“It`s more the way I sing ya know?” he looked up intently making you understand instantly. “Like when I did my first album everyone said `oh Daltrey`s gone soft`. But that was just a side of me that got overshadowed in the Who. This one`s got more balls to it. It`s not wishy-washy at all. And the strings,” he says becoming excited,” aren`t any of that Mantovani stuff.”
Solo albums are a curious breed of record, alternating between the good and the not so good, sometimes sinking to new depths of tastelessness. There is no Court of King Arthur concept here, simply 10 musical songs. You remember, those catchy refrains that last a couple of minutes and are easily hummed? That`s right, songs.
“What I tried to do is get all my different influences on the album. There are little bits throughout that you can hear. One song, `Near To Surrender`, is me old soul days. It reminds me very much of an Otis Redding song, not the actual sound but the way it feels, “(emphasis on the feel).
“Little touches are thrown in all the songs. Like on `Hearts Right` there`s a solo bit that`s very Beach Boys with a little Stevie Wonder thrown in.” The singer laughs. “And `Milktrain,`” he says of a song vocally reminiscent of the Who`s `Dogs`, “reminds me of Syd Barrett, it sums up 1967, that whole flower power period.
“And `Ocean`s Away` has that water bit which is `Quadrophenia`. Of Course,” – he flashes a very large grin, eliciting looks of approval from nearby tables filled with the sultry female extras – “the Who stinks all the way through it. The Who are all over the record.”

INSPIRATION

But only in spirit and inspiration. Like his last solo album, which exposed someone named Leo Sayer to the world, Daltrey has chosen to record songs by less familiar names. This wise move achieves two purposes, simultaneously showing off Daltrey`s voice and new songwriters. Who wants yet another version of the same old songs?
“As usual I didn`t write any of the songs. But if I can`t write, at least I can expose other people because there`s so many artists that can`t get heard. I`d love the album to be a success because the people I`m trying to expose are worthy of getting a bit of success at last. Russ Ballard (who produced the album) has been around for years. He`s Mr Underated.
“I could have produced the album myself but it wouldn`t have been as good as what Russ did. Producing yourself on record is like trying to direct yourself in a film. What`s good to you isn`t necessarily the best you can do. You`ve got to get that something else.”
On the album songwriters like Paul Korda, Bugatti and Musker, Philip Goodhand-Tait, and Ballard, are exposed to an even wider public than before. As if this isn`t enough, Daltrey plans on allowing undiscovered talent to grow and mature on this record label, Goldhawke, of which his album is the first release.
“I feel very good about the record company. The Who should have been doing that a long time ago. When Track was set up those were the original intentions but it backfired.
“In the early days Track was really good. There was Hendrix and Arthur Brown. Then nothing. They lost interest in their own company which is sad. I hope that never happens to me.”
Paul Korda, who wrote three very good songs on `Ride A Rock Horse` is presently in Memphis recording an album for Goldhawke, singing like a `male Nina Simone`. And there are more extraordinary plans.

IMG_3021

“We`ve got a group of young girls,” pause for decadent giggles, “who can really sing. And we`ve got this 16-year-old girl we found doing `Lisztomania`. We were doing a scene for a live concert. All the audience were young girls, the blue knicker brigade” – pause for more decadent giggles.
“At dinner they used to get up and entertain each other. And this one girl got up without a microphone and sang `River Deep Mountain High` and I couldn`t believe it! It was incredible. So we signed her up.”
And there`s the story about the guy who works in a `bloody tailor shop` and wrote a song for Roger. In a business continually low on enthusiasm, Roger Daltrey is an enigma, constantly full of enough energy and excitement to infuse any project despite the necessary voltage. Reacquainting themselves with each other again, the Who need an electrical shock.
“The Who need to get all that energy back together as a unit. At the moment we`re having problems finding that sorta energy. I`d like to see the Who back as a good rock and roll band,” Roger says with the vengeance of a real fan. “We are having a lot of problems. I won`t try and hide the fact that we are.”
I wondered if the problems merely revolved around not working together for a long time.
“It`s that and – well the group vehicle seems to have found it`s limitations on the surface. I think once we get down to it and really do it, we`ll find new boundaries. But at the moment, it all feels a bit cramped.”
With all the recent ballyhoo about the overwhelming `Tommy` film, one could easily attribute the band`s queasy feelings about communal confinement to the film. But the problems are deeper than just a fixation with that deaf, dumb, and blind boy.

FRUSTRATION

“No, the film hasn`t affected us,” Roger says somberly. “The problems started before the film. It`s us taking ourselves too seriously. That`s the main problem. You`ve got to draw the line somewhere.
“It definitely got to the point where it wasn`t fun anymore,” he says echoing similar statements made in the Press by Pete Townshend. “And if it ain`t fun why bother?
“It doesn`t all have to be fun but I`ve always enjoyed it. But it`s really a group thing. Pete`s having terrible problems with wanting to play again, play in the situation we were playing in. To me, it`s all down to us. You`ve got to go onstage and try to get better and better. Some nights you don`t succeed but after a length of time you do get better.
“Pete seems to want to be able to get better immediately when nothing has changed. I understand his frustration `cause he doesn`t want to jump, when they say jump. But then again, it`s also entertainment.”
For a long time now, critics have suggested that while elevating them to new heights of commercial and artistic acceptance, the `Tommy` album has done nothing but hold the band back. Daltrey disagrees.
“It`s not `Tommy` that held us back. Nobody wanted to listen to what we were doing. `Who`s Next` holds up much better than `Tommy` but nobody wanted to take it seriously. Nobody wanted to give it the amount of thought they gave `Tommy`, just because it was 10 songs and no great, big, bloody thing about a spastic. It was just a bunch of songs rescued from another concept (Lifehouse).
“The whole head of the group was good at that time. We`d had the huge thing of `Tommy`. We were out there playing because we really wanted to play. No big heavy numbers. It was great,” Roger sighs in fond memory. “That was the most enjoyable period of my time with the group.
“The only thing I was down about then was a fear that the Who were getting overshadowed by the synthesiser. It didn`t happen because we took the songs onstage and did without it.
“In `Quadrophenia` we got drowned in it,” he laughs, “and funny enough `Drowned` was the only song that pulled us out. That was my main argument, you`ll never get the Who to play like machines. We`re not robots.”

Sure enough the inevitable happened. Taking `Quadrophenia` on the road without using additional musicians and destroying what made the Who great, meant using complicated tapes of backing tracks. Being a band that thrived more on emotion than mechanics, the Who would often start before the tapes and the tapes would sometimes start before the Who. On a good night they started together.
“What happened with rock and roll music is that it got caught up in technology. Even though it takes leaps and bounds when new sounds come out, nothing really changes. There`s a parallel everywhere. Only technology changes. Rock took on an enormous race between 1964 and 1974 and that`s slowing down. Suddenly it`s got nowhere to go.
“Rock isn`t going to change,” Daltrey says, old passions returning. “All you can do is keep writing the same kind of songs. You can`t let it die. So much has been done but I can`t see something new coming along. That`s why being flexible is so important.
“And, at the moment, the Who isn`t very flexible,” – he says the word like it`s made out of plastic. “That`s where we`re finding the crunch at the moment.”
This being 1975, several founding rock bands seem to be feeling that same crunch. Traffic have broken up. Punters put bets on this being the Stones` last American tour. Time off the road becomes longer than time touring. The Who are the last salvation of a dying era. Do they feel that pressure to stay together?
“I don`t give a shit about that. I don`t care whether they expect us together or not. As long as the next thing we do is 1 per cent better than `Quadrophenia` then I`ll be well satisfied. The album will be a straight album, no concepts and it will get done this Summer. We`ve attempted to start it already,” he says delicately of the fragile situation called making records.
Several weeks ago there was a lovely Saturday afternoon when the sun shone all day and temperatures were pleasantly warm. A perfect day for a rock and roll concert but the schizoid bill at the Crystal Palace Garden Party hardly excited any followers.

Instead it was a very long day of pretty much unexceptional music and so it was with much pleasure that I watched the Who that same night, on a `Second House` re-run, going through their paces at last year`s Charlton concert.
“That`s the Who,” Roger says of the days the band played live. “Either we own up and say that`s what we do or we pack up. I just don`t know.”
We sat in silence for a few minutes, cups and saucers clanging away in the background. Movie people getting ready to go back to a world of illusions. Finally I asked the dreaded question. Is no more Who a reality now?
“Yeah”, he says hesitantly, “very much more. I can accept it now. I couldn`t two years ago. And the reason I think I can accept it now is because maybe we have done as much as we can do. It`s nothing to do with existing outside the Who. I could have done that years ago; we all could have, no doubt about that.
“It`s just you get to a point where maybe,” optimistic emphasis on the maybe, “maybe you`ve just done as much as you`re ever gonna do within that framework. That`s being really honest.”
But certainly you don`t want to believe that? “I keep telling myself it isn`t true,” Roger laughs returning to his more boisterous self, shedding the serious overtones. I`ll be in there fighting till the last bloody second but like I said, I could accept it now.”
Those are harsh words coming from, perhaps, the Who`s most dedicated fan, who through the years has continually spoken of the Who as some magical society, capable of possessing extraordinary powers. All of which is very true.
Several devout Who admirers expressed surprise over the band`s recent appearance at star-studded, Hollywood-type premieres held round the world to signal the opening of the film event of the year. Some disillusioned followers didn`t understand what Ann Margret, champagne and caviar had to do with rock.
“You`ve got to go in and say this is a film, it`s just bloody show biz. You`ve got to get into that head. It`s just a laugh, nothing more serious than that.
“Those premieres did Pete a lot of harm. He got all these paranoias about who the hell is going to like the Who now. I mean our fans still like us,” Roger says sincerely, almost trying to convince Townshend even though he`s not here. “The film ain`t important at all. It`s the Who that`s important.”
It is 1975 now and the Who have grown up. But so have the audience. `Quadrophenia` completed the circle. The Who must begin another circle or abandon the vehicle.
Lunchtime was over now. Roger Daltrey had to stop being a rock singer and become an actor again. The inflatable lady still wore red satin knickers and racy black lace. The space capsule was still plummeting towards earth. I thought about the Who survival. “Lola B flat” barked Ken Russell. It was really rather strange.

IMG_3022

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!
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 John Entwistle (The Who) FROM BILLBOARD, March 15, 1975

I really enjoyed this one from Billboard. Don`t know the name of the journalist unfortunately – if anyone knows please drop me a line.
Read on.

IMG_3001

What supergroup member is currently on the road singing original versions of ’50s- flavored rock, has a personal goal of making bass guitar acceptable as a lead instrument, is working on four careers at the same time and credits his family and horror comics for his famous black sense of humor?
The answer to all of the above is John Entwistle, bass player of the Who, generally recognized as one of the  three or four most successful rock bands in the world.
All of the members have worked on various solo projects over the years, but Entwistle has been most prolific  (four LPs) and is the first to tour as a solo.
“The Who have never worked enough for me,” he says. “I like playing concerts. I like going on the road and I  like to be able to play a lot of my own material.
“What I’m doing with these oldie types of songs,” he continues, “is basically playing the music I never got to play. In England you start working in pubs and you do the top 20 of the day, which is what the Who did. So  I never got to play the old rock.”
Entwistle’s first two LPs were more in the contemporary rock vein, but with his third LP, “Rigor Mortis,” he  began penning tunes centered around old rock and mixing them with standards. The current set, “Ox,” is all original  and is considered by Entwistle a mix of tributes and parodies, the music being the tribute and the words and parody. “I’d never be so pretentious as to say I’m writing serious words,” he says. “I like funny words.
“The whole oldies thing is a kind of experiment,” he adds. “I thought I’d take myself back in time and imagine I was writing in the ’50s. Then I’d try to update it as I went along, album by album, and work my way back to the present. The band is getting so much better, though, that the next LP will be a bit more up to date.”
Entwistle admits the tour has enjoyed a kind of built-in acceptance because of his position with the Who. “We didn’t exactly have to fight our way to the top,” he smiles, “but again, people still think of me as the Who’s bassist and they really don’t know what to expect. They seem to like it anyway, even though they’re not getting ‘Magic Bus.'”

While the current album is selling well, Entwistle is also working on what he calls his real solo LP, a set without Ox behind him. He’s also writing a book, getting set to go back in the studio with the Who (who will tour again as soon as an LP is finished) and is playing bass on friends’ sessions.
“Doing things on our own has probably helped the group stay together,” he says. “In the early days, the only obvious way to do your own thing seemed to leave the band. I think I did it the hard way, by staying with the group and still going out on my own and I think that set kind of a precedent for all of us. The Who still comes first, but we’re all free to do other things.”
Entwistle is concentrating on oldies at the moment “because I play a lot of old rock records at home and there’s never enough. I get frustrated, and I feel other people must, too. As for the humor in the songs, my family has a very sick sort of English sense of humor and I’ve always read horror comics. I now have a complete set of ‘Creepy Comics.’
On the musical situation in England at the moment, Entwistle says he doesn’t like it “because you’re not selling a group now, you’re selling a song. In England they find a hit formula and stick to it. All the songs make the charts but they all sound alike. Unless the best musicians begin changing completely, I don’t see anything new coming.”
Entwistle says his big goal now “is to get the bass accepted as a lead instrument. I take leads on stage, and it can be done well. I’ve always played bass, unlike many bassists who start with guitar. I used to go to the guitar shop when I was younger and I realized there weren’t many bass players around, so I’d stand a better chance with that.”
As for the future, Entwistle will go into the studios with the Who again soon and will be doing “some writing with the Who rather than myself in mind. There’s no conflict with Pete (Townshend). He writes solely for the band and I write mainly for myself.”
And he will continue to stand like a statue on stage. “I always thought we’d look like lunatics if we all jumped around,” he says, “and besides, someone has to play. But I once got very paranoid because the kids weren’t screaming my name. One night I had a few drinks and came onstage moving and they started screaming my name. So I thought, Okay, I’ll go back to standing still. They scream at anything that moves.”

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!

 

ARTICLE ABOUT John Entwistle (The Who) FROM SOUNDS, March 1, 1975

I really liked this interview with Mr. Entwistle. Some interesting facts are revealed too. Credit to Mrs. Charone for having this great talk.
Read on!

IMG_2673

Here`s to the next punch up

Everyone knows how difficult it was to get the Mona Lisa to smile – not to mention John Entwistle. Imagine Barbara Charone`s surprise when he cracked his stone face image.

The following words on John Entwistle will not mention the usual array of adjectives heaped on the infamous Who bassist. Nowhere on this page will you find any black print that reads morose, evil, creepy or other descriptions of that ilk. Just for a refreshing change we will expose the brighter side of John Entwistle.
For starters here`s some captivating trivia bound to fascinate even the most casual Who fan. At last we can now reveal that for a long time John`s lucky numbers were 127 and 8. So troublesome is this plaguing dilemma that for more than a few years all relevant hotel room numbers and telephone exchanges revolved around those very digits. Fascinating stuff this.

BEAUTIFUL

In addition to the usual assortment of beautiful guitars, and the unusual acquisition of a suit of armour that lurks mysteriously in his front room, John Entwistle owns four automobiles none of which he is able to drive. One of the cars in question of which he has never been caught even sitting in the driver`s seat, adorns a poster enclosed in his brand new album `Mad Dog.` The dog in question also belongs to John. Sneaky way of wending our way towards Ox isn`t it?
“What keeps the Who going,” John casually remarked propped up against the bar of a Wardour Street pub, “is the freedom for everyone in the group to do individual projects. This way if the Who ever broke up, we all have our own identity. Ox makes my position in the Who that much stronger.”
Balancing precariously on that very special working relationship the four men achieve, one wonders if Entwistle`s recent show of strength will offset that integral balance?

EVASIVE

“I would never want to disturb the balance of power in the Who,” John says being purposely evasive. “But Ox was the only move I could make. In the beginning Ox might have been a plaything but not now. I always talked about going on tour with the band but nothing ever happened. Now that I`m actually on the road, I realise it`s a feasible thing, not just a side interest. Ox is a definite thing that I want to do. And I want it to carry on as long as the band stays together,” – he laughs nervously, “throughout the rest of the Who`s career. It`s my means of playing my material onstage.”
“I`ll be less frustrated and more confident going back to the Who,” John matter of factly remarked sipping slowly on a brandy and American Dry. “Before Ox I couldn`t come to the front of the stage because I got so used to leaning back against my amplifiers and looking bored. I`ll still look bored,” he says snidely, “standing in front of the stage but I can`t change that. The only time I don`t look bored is when my mouth is moving.”
Wonderful sense of humour has our John, as he sits against the bar, mouth moving, boredom disappearing as he continues assessments and predictions of the past and future.
“I know I`m supposed to be the quiet one,” he says with a moving mouth, “but I think when I go back to playing with the Who again I won`t be standing back in the shadows. I`m quite used to standing out front now. Ox hasn`t changed my style of playing but it`s altered me a lot onstage. Doing announcements is completely new to me. I doubt if anyone knows what my natural voice sounds like. Some people in England do now but in the States they`ve never really seen me talk,” he laughs at the absurdity of it all.
“I am enjoying being the frontman but it`s hard work. The hard work isn`t onstage but off; doing interviews, radio tours. I`ve got a new record company, Decca, so I thought I might as well put on a happy, smiling face for the first album cause they won`t get that much cooperation from me for the second.”
What with the Who being, well rather popular, John must have been a bit apprehensive about going out on the road without his comrades of ten years, slightly worried that the audience would bombard the stage with verbal assaults like “where`s yer mates?”
“Sure most of the people that come to see me come expecting me to do some Who stuff but nicely enough no one has shouted out we want the Who. Only one person yelled out `Magic Bus` and I told him to get stuffed. Usually the requests have been from `Whistle Rymes` or songs like `Boris The Spider` and `Heaven And Hell.`

IMG_2698

“What I really mean to do more onstage with Ox is play bass solos. At the moment I`m trying to take over from guitar and keyboard solos on bass. I did do one but you probably didn`t notice because I push a button and the volume of my guitar suddenly doubles. No one notices cause the same thing has happened to Pete for years. People always wonder how he manages to play a lead phrase with his hands on a chord swinging his arms around and notes coming out but he`s using the same sort of guitar sound.”
Anyone with ears in good working condition must have noticed through the last couple years that Entwistle`s bass mastery has mysteriously improved. On `Quadrophenia` the prominent bass parts provided more than a solid underneath.
“I changed back to playing without a plectrum. `Tommy` was done with a plectrum but when `Who`s Next` came along I changed back to fingers. By the time we got to `Quadrophenia` I was used to recording with my fingers which makes me able to play much faster.
“`Quadrophenia` was really an instrumental album and you needed to hear the bass up, which seemed to hold the numbers together. I`ve always thought the bass had been light on all our albums up to `Quadrophenia`. Before that the only one I liked the bass sound on was `Live At Leeds`.”
Right now Ox are in America. When they return the band should be well oiled, running smoothly and ripe for perhaps a charity London gig, a possible benefit for the Battersea Dogs Home. Well something like that. While he`s away Decca have released the `Mad Dog` album, a curious assortment of past rock styles done up with a combination of serious and not-so-serious intentions. But the next Ox album should feature the band as it is in concert.
“That new album really started out as a `Rigor Mortis` album and then Ox was formed. We didn`t really know what directions we were going in till we played onstage. Now that we know it`s not going to be in that rock and roll vein. Obviously we`ll play some rock numbers, even the Who do that, but it will really be down to what we get together in the free form parts, improvising.

SPECTORISH

“It`s a nice change playing with a keyboard player. In the end it wasn`t worth having the bigger band. We`ve had two lady singers when we did that `Old Grey Whistle Test` because the single has female voices on it. Yeah I suppose the `Mad Dog` track was my sorta Spectorish number. I`ve always liked overdubbing lots of instruments. Unfortunately Spector discovered it first so everything after gets named after him.”
Aside from discovering multi-instrumentation and grandiose production after Spector, life for John Entwistle is good and productive. Unlike other musicians who sit back in their easy chair watching the caretaker keep the mansion tidy, Entwistle has been extremely busy taking part in the `Tommy` soundtrack album, mixing `Odds And Sods,` playing on `Fearless Flash` a rock musical of sorts, and producing the Sharks album that never was.
“I`ve spent the last year in the studio,” he says half seriously, “I have to be busy cause I can`t stand having free time. When the Who weren`t working I could have gone to the Bahamas for a month but I go out of my way to feel ill. When I`m healthy,” he says sardonically, “I feel ill.
“What I learned from producing that Sharks album is that I`m not built to be a producer. I started getting jealous, I wanted to play not suggest!”

OPPORTUNITY

But he will get the opportunity to play soon enough when the Who forge bravely into areas unknown this Spring to record their next vinyl effort.
“I`m really looking forward to doing the next Who album because it will be a straight album,” he says mustering up mild enthusiasm but secretly excited. “This next one won`t be such hard work cause `Quadrophenia` was difficult work. Some of those numbers had impact but others felt like padding. I like to hear the material rehearsed before we record which is what happened with the last album. The market will certainly be swamped with Who product soon,” he smiles slightly. “What with solo albums from Roger and Pete, the new Who album and the `Tommy` soundtrack.
“I don`t see the Who breaking up in the next six years, I hope,” he adds softly. “Nobody wants to break the Who up, not unless things started slipping downwards and we started to lose interest. But,” he predicted ordering another brandy and American, “that wouldn`t happen for at least three years.”
If time away from each other has given Who members individual self confidence, they should be able to reunite with renewed inspiration and enthusiasm. There will always be arguments, fights and squabbles as long as there is the Who and as even the most casual Who afficiando must know by now, the band do occasionally lose their collective tempers.
“The only time I got really angry was when we did a ten week American tour and came out of it with only £100 each,” John says in a burst of nostalgic recollections. “When I found that out I cut a mattress in half with a bowie knife. Every band has the same pressures but they don`t all come out of it.
“The thing about the Who,” John astutely concluded finishing up the last of the brandy, “is even when we did have punch-ups, we`d make up and get on even better.”
Here`s to the next punch-up.

IMG_2675

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: Joe Cocker, Argent, Paul McCartney, The Troggs, Chaka Khan, Lindisfarne, Rupert Holmes, Black Oak Arkansas, Labelle, Return To Forever, Arthur Lee, Flying Burrito Brothers, Glitter Band, Andy Fraser, The Sound of Philly, Back Door, Ronnie Lane, ELO, Tom Paxton.

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 The Who FROM SOUNDS, July 20, 1974

When it comes to Rock Operas, it is difficult not to the mention the Who. Due to their success with those, they became a very visual band and that led them into the world of film. Here is a report from the set of “Tommy”.

img_2218

Jolly Roger

Penny Valentine meets the most expensive prop any film ever had, Roger Daltrey.

In about an hour`s time Roger Daltrey, attired in nothing more protective than a loin cloth that closely resembles a baby`s nappy, will be pinned inside a silver iron maiden and have over 100 butterflies crawling and fluttering all over him.
Right now it`s lunch break on the set of “Tommy”, Ken Russell`s latest extravaganza, and Daltrey – the man who humbly calls himself “the most expensive prop any film ever had” – is incongerously merry in his dressing room at the Ladbroke Grove film studios.
There aren`t too many people that, faced with the prospect of “things” crawling all over their bodies could lash into a steak with as much relish as Daltrey is now, or indeed be laughing about it at all. But then filming the Who`s prodigious musical under Russell`s extraordinary visual eye has, as I find out, been an excellent lesson in survival. Man against cameras and effects. Almost a film within a film.
It is not surprising that people report tales of Daltrey`s explosion three days into filming, when he turned round to those nearest and cried in desperation: “This is the first and bloody last film I make”. Russell likes his stars to come hardy.
First there was the saga of the filthy pond water being hosed all over Roger, complete, as it transpires, with the fish that were harmlessly lying on the pond bottom.

Then there was the moment when Daltrey was thrown on set as part of the action and unfortunately missed the mattress that was supposed to break his fall. The result of this was that Daltrey had concussion and was unconcious for seven minutes. At the end of which time our hero came round to feebly enquire: “Did you get that take, Ken?”.
The fact that Roger now boasts absolutely no hair on one arm shouldn`t worry anyone either. Just a little incident, I hear, of walking through banks of flames in a thin T-shirt.
Of course the rest of the set and crew were wrapped up in asbestos suits at the time. And Daltrey did weakly mutter, “I think I`m burning, Ken” before going into what he described as a “yoga like trance and oddly dancing over the broken glass and through the heat not feeling a thing”.
When you hear all that, and think that there`s only three of the fifteen weeks filming to go, perhaps it`s a little easier to understand why the prospect of being locked in with butterflies for a couple of days should hold no worries for Daltrey.
He`s really enjoying the process of filming – the novelty of it, the professionalism, the ability to create the role in yet another way. And he does look shatteringly well, tanned boot polish brown from the filming at “Tommy`s holiday camp”. He`s happy too that Russell is pleased with the way things are going and confident enough to offer him the starring role in his next epic on composer Franz Liszt. Certainly things couldn`t be going better for Roger Daltrey ex-sheet metal worker.

But like everything in life Daltrey`s glee is not 100 per cent infallible. Over lunch it`s apparent that all is not as well as it would appear and rumours that the Who are coming close to their millionth reported break-up is obviously having its usual effect.
For the last two years Daltrey has had this somewhat frantic desire to keep everything going at top rate all at once – of being offered chances he couldn`t turn down, but only doing them when it suited the band he clings on to like a lover. He has always jealously advocated the group`s right to be bigger and better than they`ve ever been. And it has always been Roger that has somehow tried to use the things he`s been offered outside the group to give them a kick into action when things looked like they were getting too quiet.
Today it`s questions about the next film – due to start in January – and maybe the recording of his own second solo album that seems to suddenly bring things to the fore. The fact that the progress of the Who has always been Roger`s biggest worry is not helped by the current rumours that Moon wants to go and live in America, and that Pete can`t decide whether he wants to keep going out on the road. And Daltrey really does need the Who more than maybe anyone realises. To him the band has always been his security, his jumping off board. To make films and solo albums – a rewarding and ego boosting experience though it may be – has really always taken second place to the band and the three guys in it.
The frustration at the situation right now is easy to see in Daltrey`s eyes. The fact that it`s something that has become harder to sort out privately but has to be done in the constant glare of public attention only makes the situation worse.
“Bloody news stories”, he suddenly says pushing away the half eaten steak. “Stupid bloody news stories. As far as the papers are concerned the Who have bloody well been breaking up since the day they formed. And this situation now – well it`s the same one that was going on last year. It`s just that we`re going through a difficult period. It`s not down to breaking up. Everytime the Who are a bit quiet that starts. But it`s not. It`s down to – where do we go from here?”

img_2220

And where DO they go from here?
“I think we`ve got to start thinking bigger than we have done. I think we`re going to do a TV special after this film – because once this film comes out believe me it`s going to make us important. I mean it`ll be bloody lunacy for the Who.
“But right now we need to go and record another album. A Who rock and roll album. “Quadrophenia” got blown out of all proportion. No, WE blew it out of all proportion.
“I thought `Quad` had that old Who thing but somehow it didn`t, it got lost again. It`s partly because we tried to do too much ourselves again and because we didn`t have a producer.
“And I think now`s the time we could all do a lot more in films. I mean we`ve got this one which, in Russell`s hands, is going to give us all another new dimension. I mean Moon for instance is fantastic in it. His Uncle Ernie is a bloody classic. No, I haven`t seen any of my own rushes yet, I don`t think I want to”.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand Roger…….
“Yeah, well we`ve wanted to do film things for the past four years and after this thing up and even if I do Liszt I`ll only do it if it says in the contract I can still work two days a week with the band. I mean we`ve GOT to work on the road and make more than one album a year. Otherwise it`s not the bleedin` Who, it`s a joke – like a session band.
“Look it`s not as upsetting as it could be because we`ve been through it all before and come out of it. It just gets me down when we play badly and those four nights we did in New York a couple of weeks ago weren`t good. Oh I mean the kids enjoyed it, but they`d have been happy if we`d got up there and farted. But there was only one night out of the four where we really played well and that`s just because we don`t work enough.
“Either we work or we don`t work. I`m not going on and on like this, because the Who are a bloody good band, they`re not a shit band.But we`ve got to stay on the ball. Gawd,” he sighs. “It`s at times like this that I wish the group wasn`t a name group. I wish we were small again so that we could just get on stage and gig. I think we should get out and play England in any little pissholes we can find”.

Daltrey has a habit of making you feel his frustration. Suddenly and strangely you`re getting as involved as he is, as worried that what he`s saying into a tape machine now is going to come out in cold print like a death knell. Good God y`ll what is happening here……?
But then maybe it`s not so strange. Ten years ago I looned out on Monday nights to The Scene Club to have my hand stamped in fluorescent ink and watch a band called the High Numbers. When, then, rock music was an exciting and unreliable child this band reflected it all. And that they became the Who and kept all that excitement is one of music`s more honourable hours.
Nostalgia may not be what it used to be, but the Who are definitely a band that hold a special place in everyone`s affections.
“Roger!” – the air of doom which suddenly hangs over our heads is whipped away by the entrance of the Who`s press brain, Keith Altham, bearing the trade papers. “It`s all conjecture” he says calmly. “After all how many other bands get involved in sole efforts and don`t split up. You`ve always had this “split” thing hanging over the Who right from the start – everything`ll be alright”.
Nice one Keith. Daltrey looks cheerier and starts leaping about getting ready for the afternoon`s shooting. Activily back to normal. Doug Clark comes breezing in to tell Roger he`s got to go to make up. Big next to Roger`s small brown frame, and with a creasing smile Doug is “Batman” to Daltrey`s “Robin”.

The stories start flowing again. The one about Moon getting so engrossed in his role as Uncle Ernie that where all the other actors used to filming – Oliver Reed, Jack Nicholson – could switch off their parts after a day`s work Moon couldn`t. And so Moon was Uncle Ernie morning, noon and night flashing raincoat and all.
The one about Roger having already started some background work into the life of Franz Liszt, discovering the fellow was pretty damn lary, and so christening him Franz Lust.
They reel out and we reel round some, I fear, just not printable here. But one of the best clean ones comes from Doug…
While they`ve been working in London some miles from the Daltrey manor house they`ve been staying in a penthouse on the 18th floor of a nearby hotel. One night last week, coming off set after ten hours solid slog, they staggered into the hotel in their T-shirts and jeans and went up to wash and change.
As they emerged from the penthouse lift, relates Doug, he was attacked by a frantic hotel employee who had leapt into the next lift and followed them up.
“Look here” he said grabbing Doug`s arm. “Don`t you realise that you building workers aren`t allowed up here on the 18th floor”.
Luckily the lead singer of the Who and the man about to immortalise Franz Liszt on celluloid was busy negotiating the lock on his room door and so was out of earshot.

img_2222

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: The Graeme Edge Band, Robin Trower, Man, Nigel Thomas, Chris Stainton, Chilli Willi, Robert Wyatt, J.J. Cale, Dobie Gray, Nazareth, Sonny Rollins, Druick and Lorange, The SHF Band.

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 John Bundrick FROM SOUNDS, July 13, 1974

You don`t see an article in the mainstream music press with this man too often, so it is with great pleasure that I can re-publish this one. This man have worked with, among others, Free, The Who, Johnny Nash and Bob Marley.
Enjoy yourselves while I`m away. Tonight I will travel from Oslo to London and then further on to Doncaster in the Northern part of England. After a night in a hotel there I will go on to Grimsby and Cleethorpes to watch a great game of football between MK Dons and Grimsby on Saturday. Then on Tuesday it is back to London for a short stay there before going back to Trondheim on Wednesday evening. I will try to post here while I am away. And if you should be anywhere near the locations on my journey – look me up and we`ll have a pint and a talk!

img_2215

Broken Arrows and Dark Saloons

John Bundrick (Rabbit to you folks) has been around. He`s worked with some of the hottest names in Texas as well as Johnny Nash, Suzi Quatro and the legendary Free and is currently in Kevin Ayers band. He`s travelled the world and been interviewed by Pete Makowski, not bad for a little ol` Southern boy uh? He`s also had one solo album, “Broken Arrows”, released, has another in the can and is currently working on a third, here PM finds out what makes Rabbit run…

Versatility is the keyword to Rabbit`s success… or downfall. Y`see being one of the cream session guys Rabbit`s versatility makes him compatible with any artist from say Suzi Quatro to Kevin Ayers, yet on album he can be so diverse that he feels maybe people aren`t too keen on his variation.
“I`m trying to get into my own… er bag, so`s that people can recognise me… but then again I want to keep mah versatility.”

ARCHETYPAL

In his mid twenties Rabbit`s an archetypal Texan dude, drawl an` all. His hair is permanently dishevelled, his eyes droop indicating that he`s permanently in need of sleep, his features are similar to Todd Rundgren; the toothy grin and general air of untogetherness.
Yet even at his most disorganised times – Rabbit`s music flows out of him like the brandy in his bottle neat, strong with a touch of finesse about it. Not unlike yer McCartneys and yer Rundgrens, Rabbit`s a musical magician, he seems to manipulate music into whichever form he wishes, like an artist selecting tones and contrasts, he seems to have complete command over what he`s doing.

OVER-INDULGENT

It goes without saying that Rabbit`s first album “Broken Arrows” should have been a commercial smash, although Rabbit can appreciate its lack of success. “That album was me, I had total command over it, so it might have been too over indulgent.”
Still, not to worry. Rabbit trucks on in Island studios, recording overdubbing and mixing tracks that may have originally been laid down a year ago. His whole flat is littered with tapes and cassettes with Free, Jess Roden and countless other artists he`s worked with, his life seems to consist of all night recording session and gigs.

DRINKING

Ask him what he was doing a couple of months ago and he`ll screw his face into a pained concentration and then sigh, “Shit, y`know I can`t remember… I remember getting kicked off a gig for being drunk, but I can`t remember who it was with.”
Rabbit vividly remembers his short stint with Baldry`s band on the Faces tour. “I got that job through the band`s bassist Archie Leggett, who`s an amazing character. The basic problem about the tour was that audiences only wanted to see the Faces.
“We got kicked off that tour for drinking too much, y`know Rod Stewart just came on one night and said that`s it. But bands like that shouldn`t have support acts anyway.”

img_2216

FLUIDITY

Next Rabbit lent his able keyboard playing hands to the Kevin Ayers band. “That, again, was through Archie. They were looking for a keyboard player and he suggested me.”
Rabbit refers to Ayers and Co as his “new friends”, he had never heard of Nico, Cale and is not familiar with style of music: “I found it strange, but I knew given time I could get into it. It was different, kinda freaky, so I`ve been trying to make it funky freaky, cause when I play something I like to put feeling into it.
“I really dig Eno, he`s funky. Y`know that track “Baby`s On Fire”, I`d really dig to do a funky version of that, there`s also a Cale number I`d like to do. Eno`s a really weird keyboard player, he marks out the keys on his moog for every number he does and the rest of the sounds he gets by turning all the knobs and controls… which is really amazing.
“Cale and Nico reminded me of people I knew in Texas around `69… but `74 style. Kevin`s (Ayers) attitude to life is amazing, the whole thing was so loose. It wasn`t like Free where on a bad night there`d be arguments and punch ups.
“The thing about Kevin was, that I didn`t know anything about him, before I joined. I was really surprised that he was going down so well, because I had never heard of him before. I tried to add something to the music. Ollie Halsall is good but he`s awful fucking fast… another versatile person.
“The live album`s a bit untogether, but the feel`s there. We were only together for about three days.”
Did they rehearse beforehand. “Oh sure, but that`s a different thing. We rehearsed a helluva lot, but the whole thing was relaxed. Kevin rehearses like Johnny (Nash), gets the basic thing together and lets the rest of it sort itself out.”
Another main source of Rabbit`s concentration is his new album “Dark Saloons” which has been recorded over a period of a year using different musicians, studios and facilities.
The album on first hearing is much stronger and has much more fluidity, continuation. “The album`s been ready for quite a while, but the company are looking for an angle to promote it. I think what I really need is a strong single, and to get that I think it would be better if someone else produced it. Someone who`s commercially minded.
“I`ve approached Micky Most and he`s interested, but I`ve been kinda backing out all the time. If I produced I`d just put down what I wanted but Micky`s a single maker, a hit maker and he`d know what sound to get, which song would be right, I need someone with that kind of confidence to show me the way.”

UNAFFECTED

But what about on the album side, would Rabbit hand over his ticket to a reputed producer?
“Yeh, that`s what I worried about. Y`see if Micky does the single and that goes into the charts then maybe the company might want him to produce… I don`t think so, I`d like to carry on producing because that`s what I dig the most. I know I make a few mistakes, but I won`t be able to expand if I don`t carry on.
“Another thing I`m worried about is if I make it on a single level, I`ll have to somehow capture an album market.”
There`s no doubt that Rabbit is capable of writing a hit single. I mean anyone who`s produced, written and arranged songs for Johnny Nash must have a strong commercial ear.
“The last thing I heard from Johnny he was in Los Angeles and looking for strong single material. Y`see it`s singles again.
“I like the album because it sounds more like a band, tougher. The next album I want to be softer but still with a lot of bite.”
One side of the album features Johnny Nash`s band Sons Of The Jungle, orchestra conducted by Marty Ford and a Swedish band. Side two features the ripping guitar of Snuffy Walden another quality Texan musician.
“I`d really like to have Snuffy in a band or at least on a permanent recording basis. His playing adds that magical quality into my songs.”
And so Rabbit coasts along, playing sessions, recording tracks (he`s even got some songs ready for his third album) pretty unaffected by the surrounding world…
“Ah`m terrible at words”, he would sigh, “I failed English, History even Physical Education… but I passed music”. Nuff said.

img_2217

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: Back Door, Kiki Dee, Mike Heron, Marty Wilde, KoKoMo, Fusion Orchestra, The Average White Band, Kevin Coyne, Ron Wood, Bridget St. John, Chip Taylor, Eric Clapton, Gryphon, Tangerine Dream.

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.