Yes

ARTICLE ABOUT Patrick Moraz (Yes) FROM New Musical Express, April 17, 1976

Due to the amount of readers on Yes-related articles, I chose to print this one ahead of two long articles about Sweet and ELO in the same issue. Readers are king! Enjoy!

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`Flying Saucers landed on my turntable`
– Exotic musician`s amazing claim

Patrick Moraz has dreamed a great dream. Soothsayer Steve Clarke doesn`t like the sound of it.

“What did you think of the album, by the way?” enquires this sweet-tempered European called Patrick Moraz – he of those perfectly (too perfectly?) contoured Latin features.
Yikes! – the question I was most dreading. And own up, Patrick, there`s no bloomin` “by the way” about it. He`s been itching to ask me that question right from the moment his housekeeper ushered me into the Moraz pad, a third floor job on the Bayswater/Notting Hill Gate border, just a nose away from colleague Jon Anderson`s own villa in the Gate itself.
The pad`s spacious, well-furnished in a lived-in way, and positively reeks of coffee. I`m sitting in, rather than  on, a comfy sofa in the lounge. Nearby there`s a hi-fi set, on the turn-table of which squats Moraz`s pride and joy, his first solo album, “I”.
That`s right, “I”. Not “I Ro” or “U Roy” but just “I”.
There are reasons why Patrick called this piece of now dormant vinyl “I”, and he`ll be glad to tell you all about them a little later on.
There`s also a whopping great grand piano in the room, and a couple of pairs of cans (headphones to you), and assorted tapes scattered on the floor.
The Man is a little overdressed considering it`s just turned noon and this is, afterall, His Pad. He wears a lot of leather, semi-denimed white leather pants, white boots and black leather jacket. There`s a cluster of heavy jewellery around his neck, and the Moraz wrists are not naked either.

The first time I met Patrick I was struck by his charming, courteous manner. Today is no exception, and rather than going for a quick `In and Out` interview, Moraz insists that I relax and take it easy. He asks me how I`ve been, organises some coffee, shows me some photographs he took of Chick Corea`s band when they visited Chez Moraz. He tells me there`s some projected plans for a joint-keyboard album which would feature himself, Corea and Herbie Hancock.
Time passes, the coffee is brought, Moraz really looking the part as he re-enters the room, tray in hand.
But to business. I ask a fairly unprovocative question about whether the rapid succession of Yes solo album releases is damaging to sales.
No, that doesn`t bother him. “We don`t do albums for sales,” he says with a knowing laugh. “The sales are record company business. Of course it`d have been better if the releases were more spaced. But as long as the record is out, I think whoever is interested…” the sentence fades.
And then, the Big Question, “By the way…”
That`s where you came in.
Moraz joined Yes midway through `74 and his playing has beefed up the band`s live performances no end. It`s been claimed that Moraz is a better player than either Wakeman or Emerson, and certainly Moraz doesn`t consider these two his peers, although he appreciates what they do. He has in fact jammed with Emo.
But give him players like Corea, Hancock, Oscar Peterson. For Moraz, they`re the real masters.

When it comes to Patrick`s own musical vision, outside the context of Yes, I`m not so sure. Before talking to him I`d only played side one of “I”, just once. It completely by-passed me.
To answer his question honestly and diplomatically, I tell him it confused me.
“Confused you?”
“There was so much going on.”
“Really?” he queries, coming on all concerned and earnest.
I tell him I`ll have to sit down and listen to it under more suitable conditions. He agrees.
“I think probably some of it is very instant. But did you find it confusing?”
Diversionary tactics are called for. How long did it take to record? He`s not interested in the question.
“Not long when you consider how much went into it. Have you heard it on a good system?”
Fairly good.
“Because you could listen to it on mono – even on a cassette recorder, and I think you`d get the message, the spectrum of sounds. I mixed it at a very low volume so that really anybody can listen to it.
“It`s the first time I`ve been told it`s confusing. It surprised me, you know, but as long as it`s objective.” He uses “objective” a lot – “funky” too.
The inevitable comes. “I`d like to play it to you.”
Sure.

Stylus hits vinyl, loud electronic noises emanate from the stereo speakers. Moraz becomes animated, talking his way through the album`s first side – though much of what he says is inaudible because of the loudness of the music.
We drink more coffee. It is, unsurprisingly enough, a concept album, and a cosmic concept album at that. Stall your groans. You haven`t heard half of it yet – where Moraz got the inspiration from, i.e. the story which motivated the music. The story itself is written out in flowing prose, by Patrick, on the album`s inner sleeve.
A quick precis goes like this; `I` is a building, a hotel and all who enter this building have to ascend its 900 floors (Patrick will explain about that later) and jump from the top. If, however, one discovers the key, love itself, the Big Jump is the take-off for infinity. Or something like that.
The story is, of course, an allegory for life itself. Over to you, Patrick:
“I believe so much in love,” says he, looking a shade embarrassed, “It`s so important to… It`s the message in the end.”
He tells us where he got the idea for The Story. “It came from a dream and various situations in the States when I was touring with Yes. In different hotels I was staying in, I realised a lot of situations people were in. Then I went down to South America and the story developed, more and more.
`It was a very, very strange dream which is very vivid indeed.”
Describe it. “There was the building, and going down from that building there was a bridge. Under the bridge there were some very icy waters. On the other side of the bridge there were a lot of markets with thieves and prisoners and so on. I was at the same time trying to help the people who needed help and also trying not to get conned by the crooks and thieves.

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“And then I arrived at the bridge and I was taken by… it`s crazy to say this” – Moraz breaks even, looking even more sheepish – “I was taken onboard this flying saucer…”
Streuth! Must be something in the brown rice…
“It was so vivid. It appears very crazy, but it was so strong in my mind and I had that dream a long time ago.”
Well, what can I say, man.
Wakeman was never like this.
On with the show, “I chose I because it`s the ninth letter of the alphabet which is also a symbol for life and reincarnation, and love. The building is meant to have 900 floors,” he says, laughing at the seeming absurdity of it all.
“But also I found the number nine very attractive. You know, when I joined Yes I was their ninth member and I did their ninth album, and their ninth American tour. And all these nines coming at the same time… You probably think I`m talking crazy.”
You should hear Jon Anderson sometimes…
I ask him howcum all you boys in Yes think in these, er, cosmic terms?
“In fact the way we think is very natural. We don`t search for it. That kind of dream I had was very natural.”
Were you the same before mixing with the rest of Yes?
“Yes. I had communication with people who thought in that kind of bracket. When I came to South America to do the backing tracks for this album I had very cosmic relationships with people.

“They`re very influenced there. They`re very illuminated, in a way. I think South America is a very important ship of civilisation. I can`t find the right word for it. It`s a very important… How do you say when a little child is born, you put it in a…?
Cradle?
“When he is born and you go and walk with him?”
Pram.
“Something like that. It`s a pram of civilisation and the civilisation there didn`t stay in that pram. They have a great evolution. The people are very aware and very cosmic.
“Whenever I can, I always go and live in the mountains for two or three days to get nearer to nature. I don`t attach any kind of importance to material things as such.”
Hang on, this is `76. Surely Patrick old son, you wouldn`t be able to lig about the world without…? He cuts me off, guessing my question. “No. No. No. That`s not what I mean. Beyond the needs I don`t attach much importance to material things.”
Surely “I” cost a lot of bread to produce?
“It cost more energy than it cost money,” he says typically. And I soldier on with the fact that people like drummer Andy Newmark (who appears on the album) doesn`t work for the proverbial peanuts, and that the two villas he hired in Switzerland for the duration of the recording weren`t paid for by hot air.
The question is evaded. “I`m a very economic person. As I was the album`s executive producer I watched the expenses very closely. I put an emphasis on the people participating in the album being taken care of very well. Anyway, if ever it`s money spent, it`s my money. It`s not record company money.”

As things turn out, Moraz himself doesn`t come from a wealthy family. His father was an entertainer – of just what nature Patrick never told me, although he does get to tap dance some on “I”. In fact, Moraz says his family are one of the poorest living in Switzerland, and if it hadn`t been for a Hungarian concert pianist taking the fledgling Moraz under her proverbial wing when he was just nudging his teens, he wouldn`t be where he is now.
Just delving into the man`s background a second or two, let`s say that it`s an eclectic one to be sure. On leaving his family at 17 he worked on building sites. Coming to England, he worked as a school cook and somewhere between then and now his job list takes in – and wait for this – being a male model in Hong Kong, inspecting military planes in Turkey, selling carpets, working as a photographer in Japan and Hong Kong, running an African safari, and being an import/export man.
It`s not as if Patrick Moraz has led a sheltered life.
Ah, the album. Somewhere between all this, Moraz has played me “I” in its entirety. And “different vibes,” I guess, is one way of putting it, since “I” includes everything ranging from the customary electronic wizardry, pastoral piano, more accepted rock forms, Brazilian percussion and a group of Swiss schoolkids singing an endearingly innocent theme.
While one doesn`t doubt Moraz`s sincerity for a second, my final feelings on the whole thing are (a) Moraz is putting together things which don`t belong together, (b) the vocal sections just don`t make it because the singer`s voice (John McBurnie) isn`t suitable and, (c) most importantly, Moraz is attempting to bring off something he isn`t yet capable of, and while some of the themes are attractive enough there is no over-all identity.

If only these undeniably talented players wouldn`t plunge right in at the deep end.
Still, “I” has picked up good reviews and is selling like hot cakes.
I tell him perhaps I`m not qualified to give a `valid decision` in that my knowledge of classical music is zilch. He tells me he hasn`t got much more background than I have – the point of which I don`t see, because after-all Moraz is a classically trained musician.
Not surprisingly, he says he`s trying to break the barriers, “As I`ve had the luck to be classically trained, I want to give people who haven`t had the chance to enjoy some sounds they`re probably not aware of in the context of something they are aware of.
“I`m following a movement in that respect, and my role in the music business or whatever is to give whatever I can to people. I could have done a pure, simple rock record and indulged in very simple kind of things, but there are a lot of people doing that who are very good at it – although I could do it as well cause I love to play, I love to jam, I love to communicate with people.
And finally, Yes. He says the solo albums have brought the group closer together. He describes their relationship as “very funky”. In fact as the interview comes to an end, he looks at his watch and realises he`s already late for a Yes rehearsal. The group are working on a set which will include material from all five solo albums, plus older material and new group songs.
Because of tour commitments there won`t be a Yes album until late summer at the earliest. Even Moraz thinks that would be a little too much on top of five solo elpees.

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Radio Luxembourg, Frank Zappa, Sweet, Third World, Wings, Pavlov`s Dog, Hello, Joe Walsh, ELO, Wilko Johnson, Bill Evans, Michael Pinder, John Denver.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Alan White (Yes) FROM SOUNDS, March 13, 1976

Great to read a interview with one of those people that usually miss out on the attention from music journalists. So, for once, a drummer claims the spotlight in this interview with Vivien Goldman. Miss Goldman is known as the “punk professor” but have written several books on reggae. Still only 62 years old, she lives in New York and have her own web-page for those of you who want to check her out a little more: http://viviengoldman.com/
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Can a White man sing…..?

Alan White shows Vivien Goldman where you put the vegetables if you want to make a solo album.

`Now tell me honestly, what did you really expect when you came to meet me?` The disarming question is posed as yet another Yes album hits the turntable, placed thereon by the toughened hands of Alan White, drummer in officio to Yes themselves.
Well, pal, you`ve got me there. At the time you asked me my mind went completely blank; I think basically I`d had no preconceptions about you, but in retrospect perhaps someone a little more – errrum – pretentious, and shall we say, humourless?
Because try as I might to `get into Yes`, those adjectives recur with alarming frequency.
Heavens be thanked, Alan White is another kettle of seafood entirely, being as he is a charming, mellowed-out individual with an endearing capacity of respecting the fact that you don`t dig his band, although you do dig him. Fair enough, old thing?
But each to his own, and as my papa used to say, if we all liked the same things what a dreary place the global village would be.
It don`t worry Alan none, firstly because I`m sure he`s doing very nicely thank you, what with Yes being the second-biggest selling band in the whole of South America and all that, and secondly he digs them and that`s what really matters. To elaborate in his own words, “I believe in music that Yes play, and I never get bored playing with them. That`s the whole thing about Yes music, it always keeps you interested. I`ve been playing with them since 1972 and I find Yes as incredible now as I did then.”
Can`t say fairer than that, what?

So how did you get involved with them in the first place?
“I was on tour with Joe Cocker in Europe, on the same tour with Chris Stainton`s All-Stars, and I got a phone call saying the band wanted me to join them.”
That was rather flattering surely? I meantasay, Yes weren`t exactly peanuts in 1972 either.
That aspect of things doesn`t seem to have occured to Al – he looks bewildered for a moment. “Yes, I suppose it was kind of flattering in a way, they did pick up on my playing just from hearing me on records, but it was a split decision in a way.
“I didn`t really know whether I wanted to join a band like that – a progressive band, I mean. I`d always been happy just playing the way I was, with musicians I enjoyed playing with. And the music I was playing was usually a funky kinda thing. But it was a challenge, playing with Yes.
“It took me about a year to learn to play with the band, like something always moving forward with your instrument, learning to develop the sound in a certain way, and still keeping the basic roots of your instrument in the music. It really works now.
“You`ve got to remember that I`d been very ignorant that Yes were ever around in the first days. I remember when I used to play with Terry Reid in the way, way back days I heard an album, and was very interested in the kind of things Yes were up to.
“I was living with Eddie Offord, who was Yes` producer, in London, for about a year. I never actually met them, though I went down the studios to hear them a couple of times.”

Was it very difficult to fit into such a tight unit? For example, everybody knows, that Yes are ardent vegetarians. Was there any conflict there?
“None at all, because I was a vegetarian before I ever joined up with Yes. Eddie Offord was the guy who turned Yes onto vegetarianism, and he got me into it at the same time. I feel much better for it as well. Steve Howe`s probably going to stop eating dairy foods as well… there`s a lot of energy in the band that I think comes out of their vegetarian attitude, the band can communicate on a much higher level because of it.
“If most people thought about what they were putting into their bodies (shudders with disgust/distaste) I agree with you, though, the self-discipline on its own has a lot to do with it. Steve Howe and myself own a health food shop, y`know, in Hampstead High Street, the one with the bear on the front window, Brownies`.”
Great, does that mean I get a discount? (“No.”)
The point of all this pleasant social intercourse is (yup, you`ve guessed it, isn`t it always?) Alan`s new Solo Album. It`s called `Ramshackle` and is released on the Atlantic label.
“It`s an enjoyable little collection, with a spot of this and a spot of that gracing the black wax (vinyl, actually). There`s a touch of soul, a touch of funk, a touch of Yes-ian acrobatics, and even a Touch Of Reggae. That`s not so unusual these days, but more on that point later.
And by the way, weren`t you always noted as a funk/soul drummer all through your days with Griffon (“NOT to be confused with Gryphon,” Alan points out with a delicate combination of anxiety and boredom)?

Alan comments modestly, “If you count soul as swinging and playing in 5/4 time and yet funky, I suppose I might be. But there`s a load of different things on the album, the numbers change from number to number. (Yes, he really did put it like that, but who can blame him? I mean, after a while you get tired of scrabbling around for other words that means the same as `number`.)
“I tried to get a lot of different kinds of music on the album because I like playing lots of different kinds of music.”
Does that indicate that within Yes you`ve generally got to play the same kind of music?
“Not at all, because within Yes you can express your feelings of doing something nobody`s ever done, we`re always trying to see round the corner or over the hill, trying to take your particular instrument in a new direction. It`s quite simple, I just made an album of music I really enjoyed playing with a good band.
“It`s really a drummer in a band`s album, rather than a Yes solo album. The band on the album is the kind I`ve been associated with for the past four or five years, we were all in Griffon together.”
So tell us summat about these lads, then.
The keyboards player (Kenny Craddock) came from Lindisfarne, he`s not doing too much now, sessions mostly. The guitar player`s (Peter Kirtley) last band was called Riff Raff, and he was involved with Carol Grimes for a while. Basically they`re all really good musicians that are trying to find their hole… the bassist (Colin Gibson) plays with Snafu.

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“They`re all really good friends of mine from up North. I come from Durham City. Why the accent? (a strange hybrid of Northern English and L.A.) My girlfriend comes from America and we`ve been together for a few years, and I`ve spent lots of time over there anyway. EVERYONE asks me that!” (despairing) You win some, you lose some, I guess.”
So will there be any special Alan White Band gigs to help promote `Ramshackle`?
“Unfortunately I don`t have time to gig with the band because of Yes` commitments, we`re pretty committed for the whole of next year, in fact.
“But there is talk of a Yes gig sometime with everyone doing some numbers from each of their solo albums at the end of the show – this is the third solo album from the five of us, Y`know – it would be nice, but I don`t know whether it`ll happen.
“I was having a good time living out a lot of memories from the past and really enjoying myself, believing in a certain type of music that was conceived over a number of years. I finally had the chance to let it come out to the public, and this was the first opportunity I`d had.
“It has been an ache for a few years, but Yes is my first commitment right now. In fact, at the end of the album, I really needed to get back to Yes, to the adventurous kind of music that Yes play. I`m really very happily surprised perhaps at the amount of good reaction to my album, especially as it hasn`t stuck as closely to the Yes format as Steve`s (Howe) or Chris`s (Squire).”

Do you think the drums are very differently positioned, much more prominent than they would have been had it been a Yes album?
“I`ve been told they are more prominent, but I didn`t put them there! (laughs). The person who brought them out was the engineer/producer, Bob Potter, he`s a good friend of mine, used to do the Grease Band. People usually complain that the drums aren`t loud enough on Yes records.
“One of my faults is that I always listen to the drums first, and then up through the music to the singer. But through producing an album you learn to listen to the whole unit much better. I`m not finding that I play differently now, but I`m more aware of the role drums play in a band now.
“Usually when we`re producing a Yes album there`s five pairs of hands controlling exactly what they hear their own instrument doing and putting it onto the record, and sometimes it gets all cluttered and squashed in. But through each member doing solo albums, I think that when it comes to the next album, which we`re rehearsing right now, everyone`s gonna sit back a little more, and see their own position in the music much better, it won`t be as cluttered.”
Let`s get back to album specifics for a moment. That reggae track, `Silly Woman`, how come that got on the album?
“They wanted to release that as the single, y`know, but I wouldn`t let them do it because it`s too obvious, I didn`t do it because it was in vogue. It was really because I`d spent the last two Christmases in Jamaica and really enjoyed the music, and a song came up that was appropriate for the reggae rhythm. It`s a white reggae, really.”

Did you design these macho lyrics deliberately to fit in with the reggae?
Ahh you silly woman I`m beginning to believe you can`t even see. Why aren`t you here next to me. I don`t want to mock you. I know you`re running to be free, it`s just the way you`ve been carrying on I ought to put you across my knee.
“No, they`re just a bit of fun! I didn`t write any of the lyrics, I`m not a lyricist in any way. The guy actually wrote it from personal experience (launches into an involved and highly personal story of love, betrayal, to-ing and fro-ing in young couples, winding up with `so we can`t play it when that chick`s around because it`s about the other chick.` Got that?).
And how about the `Song Of Innocence` track, taken from the poem of the same name by Wm. Blake?
“I`m not as clued in on Blake as some people but I do like him very much, I`ve read his biography and a couple of books about him. His pictures drive me round the bend (grins enthusiastically) they`re fantastic, the colours, the themes…”

And talking of pictures, how about the rather risque offering on the inner sleeve? It`s an old geezer whose visage is composed entirely of naked female bodies.
“Oh, he`s a 77-year old artist I`ve known for a long time. The original version from the 50`s is on the label, look. I own the copyright on the new one, you see he did it slightly differently. He came down to the studio and really enjoyed the music we were making, he doesn`t like knocking around with old people too much… that poem on the back of the sleeve, that`s by a poet called Tom Pickard, he`s a guy from Newcastle that everyone`s known for a long time.”
As Alan genially led me to the door of his manager`s plush golden office, we were standing on the gi-normous carpet in the shape of the Yes logo (pretty shprauntsy, that one), and was studying the pencil drawing of Alan on the white sleeve. It doesn`t look much like you, I commented (it doesn`t).
“You`re right,” said Alan, with a pleased grin, and quipped, it doesn`t really matter, does it – all that matters is what`s on the vinyl!” And on that heartfelt note, I took my leave.

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Evelyn Thomas & Ian Levine, Shaun Cassidy, Jimmy Page, Cate Brothers, Julie Tippetts, Adam Faith, Pat Travers, Deep Purple, Jesse Winchester, Phil Collins.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Steve Howe from New Musical Express, November 15, 1975

Steve Howe is a very talented musician who have made just as many solo albums as he has made albums for Yes. This interview tells us the story regarding his first ever solo album called “Beginnings”. And as is customary with an artist belonging to a bigger band – we get to hear a lot about Yes too. Which is not a bad thing at all… Enjoy!

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New music and old arguments

If it cost £40,000 to make it should be good. That`s Steve Howe`s solo album we`re talking about, the mysteries of which were partially unveiled to Steve Clarke along with more revelations from the Wakeman Affair.

Steve Howe`s cats are playing in the garden of his Hampstead home. His missus has gone off to collect one of the kids from school. And inside the tastefully furnished lounge, the master of the house is making with the verbals on the Yes – Wakeman split, just in case anybody still cares.
According to Howe, Wakeman wasn`t always learning his lines properly during his latter days with Yes. Or to be more precise, when it came to rehearsing that controversial Yes twin-set “Tales From Topographic Oceans”. Rick hadn`t exactly got the music down pat.
“You see,” says a disgruntled Howe, “we`d have a rehearsal and – I hate to say this – but he wouldn`t know what to play. Sure there was a lot of the music – four 20 minute pieces where you had to know all the chords inside out. And when this started to fall apart, when various parts of numbers didn`t quite hang together, we`d have this situation where four people would be looking across at one person going, C`mon, Rick!
“Rick almost realised that he`d cut himself too big a piece of the cake. He actually hadn`t rehearsed well enough, “claims Howe,” so obviously during the `Topographic Oceans` tour he became very unhappy, with himself and with Yes.

“But this is general with Yes. To start with learning `Roundabout` was a hell of a feat. Now of course we throw it off. It`s easy. The same would have happened if we carried on playing `Topographic Oceans.` It would be just as easy as playing `Relayer` is now.
“So there was this insufficiency of actual work before the tour. We found that side two of `Topographic Oceans` needed a lot of work from Rick and he couldn`t seem to contribute it. We thought Rick`s not rehearsing! He`s off out with his promotion men from A & M (Wakeman`s record company for solo releases).
“Obviously we didn`t talk to him.
“When that tour ended it had started to be felt within that Rick was gonna leave. Then he said he wasn`t, and then Yes decided that he should leave and then Rick said one more chance and we said, `Great! One more chance! Let`s rehearse this new album (“Relayer”) with him. And then, right at the last minute, he got up and said, `No, I don`t think I can go through with it.`
“I haven`t even seen him since then. He`s never called me. He didn`t even call me to say, `Good playing with you Steve, I`m not going to play with you anymore`. There`s been no contact at all.
“Rick certainly did talk about `Topographic Oceans` a lot with us although he never mentions this in anything he says. We all agreed to do that record.
“We were all crazy to do it.

“Rick gets upset if we even mention his name in the papers, which I think is unreasonable because if I can talk about one musician I should be able to talk about anybody without feeling I should watch my words – because he hasn`t watched his words as regards me.
“He hasn`t had to call me up or apologise or anything. So I feel we`re pretty even. I don`t feel he owes me anything. I don`t think I owe him anything at all. It was a very even situation where we know he tried and we know somewhere deep down inside he lost sight of what Yes were attempting to do.”
But surely Rick`s personality/lifestyle was far removed from the Yes lifestyle of You Know What?
“Initially it wasn`t. His humour was ours completely – Python and everything. Drinking wasn`t disallowed in Yes. It`s never been disallowed. What I`m saying is, because of extremes, because Rick did take things to extremes.
“He doesn`t have any trouble holding it but during the recording of `Topographic Oceans` he started to realise that none of us wanted to indulge.
“Everybody has fun. Everybody has vices. But when they`re talking to me, if they`re not talking honestly, constructively and creatively then they can sod off for all I`m concerned.
“I don`t really blame A & M Records `cause they`re a very nice record company. But they do a lot of geeing up with Rick, a lot of looking after him. We weren`t really getting that from Atlantic at that time. It was making a gap. I don`t think it was anything we created. We were waiting for him to come into the room – but no, he was out with A & M.
“Silly trivial little things like that instigated this gulf between us.”

So (gulp), did Rick turn up blotto for Yes rehearsals, Steve? “Jon could come in totally drunk and I`d be amused,” hedges Howe. “And most probable I`d put down my guitar and find something to do. If one can make use of one`s location or one`s state of mind it`s great. But with Rick it was a little bit different. He wouldn`t say, `I can`t do anything today,` but when the next day came we said, `What`s that tune you were playing yesterday, Rick? And he didn`t know. We knew we had a problem with Rick. There was this whole feeling that we were losing touch with the real Rick. He was putting on a show for us that we wanted so much to break down. He wouldn`t admit that he was making mistakes. He couldn`t talk about it.”
In fact one of the last remembrances Howe has of Wakeman was of the time when individual members of Yes were going into Morgan studios to add over-dubs to “Topographic Oceans”. Wakeman had just completed his session and was leaving the studio when Howe walked in.
“I`d just heard strains of `What Happened To That Song` just as I`d come in the door.” Howe recollects. “Rick was leaving. He said he`s finished. I asked him whether he`d put Mellotron on the last verse. He said he hadn`t, but he had finished. And he went out the door and I listened to his track. Rick hadn`t done anything at the end at all.”
So Howe substituted guitar for Wakeman`s mellotron.

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Like I said before, Howe-Towers is in Hampstead. You know that salubrious part of London where a lot of 18th Century artists used to live, and where a lot of 20th century poseurs do live. And it`s a fairly modest abode when one considers the wealth that composing members of Yes must have collected over the years.
The carpet just avoids rubbing up against your crotch and instead of two stereo speakers, there`s four. It`s not a quad set-up though. Howe`s most recently played album, judging from the cover which rests ontop the low glass coffee table, is “Revolver”.
So you see, Steve Howe, while not living in Hefner-style opulence, isn`t short of a brown one or two. Why, his solo album – the real point of our visit – cost something like 40 grand to make. And “Topographic Oceans” clocked up 90 grand`s worth of studio time.
As a guitarist Howe knows an awesome amount, exploring many styles and going off at wild tangents one doesn`t normally associate with rock guitarists. In conversation he`s not the most economical of speakers, often coming on with an intense stream-of-consciousness type rap, fast-thinking his way from one subject to another without any prompting from your interviewer. I mean, our interview ended with Howe paying compliments to the music press. I hadn`t even brought up the subject.
But to “Beginnings”, Howe`s solo album and the first of a complete quintet of Yes solo elpees. Squire`s is next and the remaining three are promised for release early on in the new year. “Patrick and Alan are both in the final stages,” informs the guitarist, “And Jon`s well into the midst of it.” (Rumour has it that Alan White`s record is something of an R and B album, probably in contrast to the more grandiose aspirations of the other`s albums, if group contributions are anything to go by).

Howe reckons “Beginnings” is most definitely a rock album and the material (which will be featured on upcoming Yes tours) spans a wide time period. So why, really, did he make it?
“I`ve always planned to record my own material in its rawest state without any other – very helpful and objective – ideas on it. We`ve all made solo albums within the Yes context. `Topographic Oceans` was a concept that Jon and I presented to the band in the same way that I presented these songs to different performers.”
Musicians included on “Beginnings” are Moraz, White and ex-Yes drummer Bill Bruford. Howe, of course, plays guitar (and bass), sings and wrote all the material. Roger Dean (of course) designed the sleeve, it`s being marketed as a closely-affiliated Yes album.
Howe denies that the album is simply the indulgence of an affluent rock star. The theory is that every band has fans who get off on one instrument in particular, and the solo albums are aimed at those people.
Says Howe: “People who get off on the guitar should get off on this.”
He played me several tracks, and at least one of them convinced me that it is in fact Howe who is the lynch-pin of Yes. The music sounded overtly Yes-ish, although Howe`s own vocals bore no resemblance whatsoever to mountain stream purity of Anderson`s voice. (In fact they sounded a little like Jack Bruce`s).
The album was recorded over four months – longer than Howe originally envisaged. However, he had a free hand and there was no question of skimping. Eddie Offord receives a production credit, but Howe says Offord`s role wasn`t as great as it is in a Yes album, by virtue of the amount of energy Howe himself was expending.

Howe wrote his own lyrics, and, of course, he has contributed to Yes`s lyrics in the past.
“My style is quite different to Jon`s. He makes much greater use of vocabulary… he even surprises himself sometimes.
“If people who review Yes records are smart then they should be able to spot what I`ve written and what Jon`s written because we`re very different.”
It turns out that the title “Close To The Edge” itself was Howe`s idea, and he contributed extensively to the lyrics of “Topographic Oceans.”
He also came up with lyric ideas for “Relayer” – “I`d say something like `We go floating down the river`, and Jon would change that to `We go drifting down the streams` (the way it appears on the record).
“And there were my words `She won`t know what it means to me.` Jon changed that to `To Be Over`. So Jon with his creativity disguised it into something that you have to consider to be over. It was a much broader lyrical statement.”
Anderson`s lyrics have often been criticised. Howe defends them.
“If somebody says it`s a load of rubbish, I feel they`re not being true to their brains. Something like `A seasoned witch can call you from the depths of your disgrace` is an odd collection of words, yet the images fly off like sparks.
“That`s the idea. It`s better than a song that just says” – he half sings – “I went down the road and bought myself a packet of Rothmans`. With a lyric like `A seasoned witch` etc you`re considering disgrace, seasons… you`re considering a whole range of different things. To me it`s exciting, enlightening and that`s what progressive music should be about.

“I feel that `Long Tall Sally` was progressive music and can be played in a totally new way. The excitement Little Richard injected into something like “Jenny Jenny” passes on to us, and we write songs like `What Happened To This Song We Knew So Well` which is also a lyric of mine. So there you are, you have two things which aren`t that far removed.
“I feel that I could go on stage and play that number – `Jenny Jenny` or `What Happened To That Song` – and not feel that there`s that much difference. If I could live out all my fantasies like that I`d be touring with rock `n` roll bands one week and performing with brilliant guitarists like John Williams as much as I could.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With a great, big thank you 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: Nils Lofgren, Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Ivor Cutler, Kiss, Spud, John Cale.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT YES from New Musical Express, June 7, 1975

Here is one more for the Yes crowd. I hope you enjoy this one. Have a good read.

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Warning by H.M. Government

There is no mention of brown rice on this page

Persian rugs and health food in general?
Well, OK …yeah, but not in any harmful quantity. There is, however, CHRIS SQUIRE talking about the interminable Topographical Oceans and a delicately coloured pen-picture of the Yes men on the road.

By Chris Salewicz

I`m hunting through the cartridges in the glove compartment of Chris Squire`s `63 Rolls Royce as we head out of Liverpool towards the M62 and Manchester, next town on the Yes datesheet.
There`s one cartridge in there with “Ocean Boulevard” stickered across it.
“Only trouble is,” observes Squire, speaking in that mode generally defined as the laconic, “it`s not on there – actually, it`s one half of `Tales From Topographic Oceans`.”
You droll fellow.
As a matter of fact, having now listened to that album a considerable number of times, I`ve come to terms with it to the extent of firmly believing “Requiem” (Side Four) to be the most dauntingly stimulating “live” piece Yes have yet performed.
What do you think Mr. Squire? (Bearing in mind that Patrick Moraz, who hadn`t joined the band when the album was recorded, holds this composition in the highest esteem – though his qualification, “Has the listener these days the time to listen to a piece of music that long and that complex?” probably pinpoints the critical dilemma).

“What do I think of it?…Well, it`s 80 minutes worth of music, right? Now, of that 80 I`m not saying it`s all perfect – but there`s some good bits… Overall I think it`s quite a project for any band to undertake….
“Like, if we`d spent another year on it, it could have been better, but you have to draw the line somewhere.
“`Topographic Oceans` had a lot of space in it. Which most popular records haven`t. Most popular records are action-packed to the last semi-quaver… between the heavy, important themes there were those areas that were possibly a little cloudy. Possibly people mistook that for being indefinite, as opposed to merely relaxing.
“And possibly it bored some people listening to those things.”
And of course that album was just about set-and-match for those who would damn Yes as the ultimate in Pomposity Rock. A lot of their detractors seem to find some rather suspect Great Tradition attempting to assert itself in the band`s work.
“Yeah, I know what you mean,” Squire nods as “Free Man In Paris” gets under way on the “Court And Spark” eight-track. “I can understand that annoying some people.”
…and which tends to interlink with the way the Yes health food etc `life- style` has been played up.

“Played up? Yeah. Overplayed…
“But you have to make an effort to find an alternative,” he decides, as we hit the motorway.
I`m thinking of the lack of monosodium glutamate in the band`s collective bloodstream, actually.
“It was Steve and I on the third States tour. We were in this hotel in New York and ordered a steak and they brought us the most tasteless piece of shit you`ve ever had in your life. And so we said for the rest of the tour – it was summer – we said that we`d just eat salads.
“And it kind of developed from there.”
It is perhaps unfortunate that Steve Howe`s father is a master chef.
“It`s so ridiculous because it`s just a personal food taste, and for some reason an `anti`s` developed in the press. Doesn`t really matter, though… As long as they keep on mentioning the name of the band.”
Talking of which there are those constant Press bracketings with ELP -rivals in technological ostentation.
“We don`t really have any need for Persian rugs… You know, what with having all the Rembrandts to trample about on.

“I don`t know if you`ve ever looked at Yes`s equipment, but it`s really smaller than most bands. I mean, ELP have od`d on their state gear. In fact, we`re using less equipment than we were three or four years ago.
“There`s a certain style of doing things which I think was injected into the original thing of Yes and I think the thread is still there actually.”
He eases up on the accelerator, having spotted a police XJ6 in the rear-view mirror.
“Wanting a good vocal thing and a very good rhythm section. Wanting it, in fact, so that everybody was good on their instruments.
“A democratic band, though, is what was always wanted from every member. You know, like Patrick is as important as Jon to me because with his knowledge Patrick can obviously contribute things that Jon can`t and vice-versa.”
Patrick Moraz…
One day last summer he received a suitably euphemistic phone call from manager Brian Lane requesting him to “assist on keyboards” during some Yes rehearsals. Subsequently, he removed himself from his Refugee cohorts, Lee Jackson and Brian Davison, to take care of the keyboards control-module vacated by Rick Wakeman`s fleeing paunch.

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Offstage, Moraz appears to wander through his existence in a bemused Gallic (all right, Swiss-Gallic) haze, visibly troubled by the lack of females in the band`s British audiences. However – when he leaves the Liverpool Empire via the stage door to find not a waiting car but a few hundred Scouse fans, of both sexes, who burble “Paddy!” and pin the Swiss gnome of rock against the theatre wall – the unease merely intensifies.
Indeed, it`s only during the sound-check for the first Manchester gig that Moraz appears totally contended.
As the 12-man road-crew go through their perfectionist motions (“The blue`s off there. The green`s a bit out of line…
Yeah, projector`s coming 41 and 42… What humming? WHAT`S THAT BUZZING!?”), he methodically works round his 16 keyboards and slides into a slow jam with Squire`s bass rumble.
Alan White, Jon Anderson and Steve Howe all arrive, check their instruments and split from the theatre. The unlit fibreglass giant crabs and toadstools meanwhile lend the impression of a fairground in the process of construction for a Doctor Who set.
“Originally I wanted Yes to be just The Nice with Vanilla Fudge harmonies,” Jon Anderson mentions after the gig.
I`d have seriously bitched with him over that during the Wakeman era, but the introduction of Patrick Moraz has trampled underfoot the concept of Yes as pre-packaged, Just-Add-Voltage Muzak.

Moraz has obviously injected Yes with a stylised sense of the absurd that has been the catalyst in reasserting the band as one of the foremost rock outfits this country has produced.
And that`s “rock” as in “rock `n` roll”.
At eleven the next morning in his identikit automated hotel room, an unshaven Moraz is listening to a cassette of Miles Davis` “Live Evil” on his portable Sanyo stereo. His musical tasts are apparently pretty catholic -Led Zeppelin could have been put on just as readily as Miles.
He also claims that Yes were the first rock band he ever saw perform on stage. As if in some confused need for identity-confirmation, he has slipped on a Yes T-shirt with the battered denims and Japanese printed boots (by Andy`s Of Shepherd`s Bush), lending him the appearance of some surreally butch Genet matelot.
“Yes are a very influential band,” he pronounces before dealing with an unpleasant coagulation of early morning phlegm.
But maybe a shade sterile?
“Sterile in what sense?”
Clinical.

“I tell you what: in a band like this with musicians playing the way they play… if it`s not organised it could get lost every minute. And that`s why every night after the show we talk about what happened in that number and why this didn`t happen in this number.
“It used to be like this, but I don`t think it is now – because…I mean, they had to search their way…they had to organise their music highly. Now it`s probably even more organised, but there`s more room for solos.
“Every number is played like a giant jam session really.
“Maybe Rick didn`t move much onstage,” he free-associated, pensively contemplating the Manchester rooftops, “but I move a lot because I feel it – I feel it rock – and I go with the music.
“It`s like when you make love to a chick, you know. When you find a rhythm and you can go on for hours.
“Sorry about this. This little non-musical bracket. Do you want some more tea? Do you want some toast?”

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Billy Connolly, Sailor, Rick Wakeman, Elton John, Henry Cow, Robert Wyatt, Report on New bands in New York, John Cipollina, Herb Rooney (Exciters), Status Quo, Cecil Taylor, Patti Smith and Television.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Rick Wakeman from New Musical Express, June 7, 1975

Very busy at work lately, so I am a little behind my ordinary schedule. But here is a short one that will please the Yes and Wakeman fans. In the article there is a number of 243,000 dollars mentioned – to get some sort of understanding of the relative value of this amount, this would be about $ 1,070,000 today.
Have a nice read.

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Arthur: only myself to blame…

Demoralised Wakeman spills the beans…

By Tony Tyler

Rick Wakeman picked me up outside the manufactory of King & Hutchings, Printers to the Gentry. He was driving the Rolls.
“What`s happened to the other cars?” I enquired. “Had to sell `em didn`t I?” said an ashen-faced Wakeman. “To pay for `Arthur`.”
“Tell me about it,” said I. “Let`s have a drink first,” said the chalky-visaged Rolls owner.
“First thing to emphasise,” said he, taking an uncharacteristically small sip of his light `n bitter, “is that others lost just as much money as I did.”
How much?
“Well…a lot,” said Wakeman, lighting a Tom Thumb and inhaling cautiously.
“I must emphasise,” emphasised Wakeman, “that I`m not exactly broke. Not broke. I`ve still got me assets – me companies, me synthesizers.
“I just haven`t got any cash”.

It transpires that Wakeman also lost 243,000 dollars on his recent tour of America with “Journey To The Centre Of The Earth”.
This is heavy news.
“But I gotta own up. I gotta say that I was strongly advised not to do the American tour – by Brian” (Lane) “by my accountants, by everybody who I pay to give me advice.
“I overrode `em all. It`s my ego that`s to blame.”
But no punters, Rick`s not defeated; by no means. His characteristically honest owning-up procedure is Wakeman`s own way of initiating a catharsis within himself and thus restoring his morale. He still likes his music, although he`s willing to concede that the Arthuriana semi-shambles was a severe tactical error – as was the American tour.
“I didn`t need to do that tour. By the time we got there the album (Journey To The Centre Of The Earth) “had already sold all it was going to sell and all we got was minimal sales as a result.
“I didn`t have to do this Arthur thing. I just wanted to.”
So let`s go into the fax.

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The fax are that when Wakeman announced his May concerts at Wembley, “no-one else was plannin` May concerts. The datesheet was clear. Then, all of a sudden, there`s Zeppelin, there`s Elton… and the kids don`t have that much money to spend – and we can`t put ticket prices up, no way – and they have to choose which concert they can afford.”
The original intention – when the gig was announced – was to play three evening concerts plus a matinee on the Saturday. “The whole thing cost about, say, £50,000 to put on and the extra show – the one extra show – would have given us the possibility of making a small profit. `Nough, say, to encourage us to keep it going.
“Then, when all those other shows got going, we knew we`d have to blow out the matinee.”
So you knew long before the concerts that you`d probably lose money?
“Yeah. But I was committed – and I don`t mean just financially. I`d said what I was going to do, against all the best advice, and no way could I pull out, even if I`d wanted to.
“Which I didn`t.
“There`s no-one else to blame but me.”
How`s your head?
“I`m a bit demoralised. Not destroyed. Demoralised.
“We had a meeting with the accountants. They said `First, Rick, is it possible to put on more shows without the orchestra and choir?` Well, it is. And that`s what I`m going to do.

“We`re going to Brazil.
“Pretty soon, in fact. With the six-piece band.
“And I`m getting my new album together. It`s going to be called `The Suite Of Gods` and it`ll be much closer to the `Six Wives` thing: six parts, each dedicated to a particular God of various mythologies… Zeus, Thor and so on. No orchestras. Just the six-piece.”
But he still defends “Arthur”.
“I stand by it musically. I did an incredible amount of research in order to make it work. See, I believe that people want some visual thing – not just me plonking about…”
Why not Just You Plonking About?
“Cos I`m not that sort of feller.”
So a quick summary of Rick Wakeman`s post “Henry VIII” solo career would appear to be…
“Wrote `Journey`. Recorded it. Album sold well. Was advised against going to the States. Went anyway. Lost 243,000 dollars – which I`ve only just found out about, by the way. Came back via Australia and Japan, where we did about 14 gigs in 50 days. Lost money. Back to England. Did `Arthur`. It sold well. Did the concerts. Lost money.”
So it`s Farewell Grandiosity. Hello The Simple Life, eh?
“You`re not kidding.”

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Billy Connolly, Sailor, Status Quo, Elton John, Henry Cow, Robert Wyatt, Report on New bands in New York, John Cipollina, Herb Rooney (Exciters), Chris Squire, Cecil Taylor, Patti Smith and Television.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.