ARTICLE ABOUT Marc Bolan FROM SOUNDS, November 20, 1971

There is still a lot of interest in Marc Bolan out there, even if he`s not been around for a while… In fact, in my all-time statistics for this blog, the blog article from NME dated November 11, 1972 is in 9th place when looking at the number of views on single articles.
I often wonder where he would have been today if his sudden departure from this world didn`t happen way too early. Unfortunately, we will never know.


Just a touch or sight of Bolan

Steve Peacock, on the road with T. Rex, reports from Liverpool

Marc Bolan grins and says hello, but he looks tired. In fact, all the band and their travelling entourage do, but then it`s the last night of a long tour and there are two shows to do that night.
Liverpool stadium is a boxing hall, or it was until boxers gave way to wrestlers and, on some nights, rock music. The equipment is set up on the ring, and half the stadium – behind the ring – will be empty. It`s not an ideal place for rock music, with every echoey acoustics, but then there isn`t really another good big hall in Liverpool except the Philharmonic, and they`ve stopped doing rock concerts.


The audience for the first house are filing in. They look mostly very young (it`s a 6 p.m. show) and a bit edgy – as if they`re not quite sure what to expect, nor quite what is expected of them. There`s the feeling in the air of schoolkids on an organised outing who aren`t quite sure how to behave; quick backward glances to see if someone`s going to push them back in their seats if they get up and rave.
Down at the front there`s a band of dedicated screamers – some close to tears at the frustration of being ten feet from Marc, Mickey, Steve and Bill, yet knowing that`s as close as they`re likely to get. They`re lip-biters and hand-claspers, rather than arm-stretchers. They came later.
The whole thing`s a bit tense in the first house, but it loosens up with the last few numbers. The band`s warmer then, punching out the hits and the “Summertime Blues” encore, and standing out in the audience you could feel the energy flowing. They`ve got a lot to get out, these kids, and it`s beginning to come now, but there`s still a block somewhere, and as the set ends you feel neither they nor the band quite made it.
Back in the dressing room everyone`s a bit more lively. It`s warmer in a physical sense and in atmosphere; it`s still essentially a musician`s waiting room, but this time you feel they`re building up to something, rather than hanging around, almost impatient to get out there and get it over.


The feeling`s different out in the hall too. The people coming in are still young, but a bit older than the last lot, and there are more of them. They seem more at ease, noisier, more alive. The girls gather in groups and chatter excitedly – there`s a lot of giggling – and the blokes move in in gangs, swaggering a bit, shouting to each other over the hall. Just before the lights go down, one guy stands up on his seat at the back of the hall to cheers from his mates, waves to the crowd, and drops his trousers, waving his arms around to a mime of exaggerated potency. A strange moment.
Bob Harris – the phantom autograph signer – takes the stage and gets some nice things going with the audience, starting off with the Who`s “Let`s See Action” and building through various moods to Rod Stewart`s “Maggie May”. Bob`s been doing a lot of the dates on the tour (the ones he couldn`t make B.P. Fallon did the opening spot) and later he said that he felt it was a good audience when it felt right to play Cat Stevens as well as the harder things. The electricity is building up.
Bob announces the band, and they bound on stage – Bill Legend, Steve Currie and Mickey Finn first. Pause. Then Marc. The place erupts with screams and cheers and clapping and shouts. Rock on. The joint was rockin`. The band`s playing well from the start a lot better than the first house, the people are stomping and round the stage – at the front and at the side – girls are leaning forward as far as they can, arms outstretched, trying to touch, trying to touch.



Will he notice me? Some of them scream a name, over and over again, some of them throw rings, pendants, anything, some of them have fingernails painted bright red, bright green. Will I stand out?
From the stage it`s a sea of faces and arms waving, pleading, pushing forward. It`s rare to see a couple – at the back maybe, but near the stage it`s mostly girls, with groups of blokes either dancing in the aisles or standing on their seats shaking shoulders and heads, arms up, flashing peace signs with the beat.
The band retire, and Marc sits crosslegged to sing. “Spaceball Riccochet”, “Cosmic Dancer”, “Deborah” with Mickey. Three or four times, girls make it over the edge of the stage and lurch towards Marc, grab him round the neck, hang on for dear life until they`re dragged off and gently but firmly pushed back into the crowd.


The band come back for the final push up – “Ride A White Swan”, “Hot Love”, “Get It On”. I`m beginning to get a bit scared. The bass cabinets have already been pushed over once, a spotlight has been toppled from the PA cabinets, and I`ve got visions of them tipping over on top of people. It doesn`t happen.
“You want more?” asks B.P. “Gimme a T”… and so on. They come back. “Summertime Blues” it is. It`s a good way to end – hard rocking but loose enough. You think back over the music, separating it in your mind from the whole thing, and you realise that without thinking about it you`ve been hearing some great playing.


Marc`s still out front, but his guitar playing is much less flash, much more part of the band than it used to be, and the rhythm section is really strong. Steve Currie, particularly, had been playing some excellent bass, and the combination of Bill and Mickey is just right.
Back in the dressing room, the group have gone, and so have most of the autograph collectors. Four girls are left, wandering around, confident they`ve every right to be there. They don`t say it, but you feel their attitude is “we pay their wages so…”
They`re picking over the debris on the table – empty bottles, cigarette packs, bits of paper. “Who smokes these?” One of them is holding up an empty cigarette pack. June, she`s told. “Marc`s June? Does he smoke them too?” No, we don`t think so. Disappointed, she drops it back on the table.


A really classy ad from Zeppelin. So famous they didn`t need their name in it all, just the symbols.

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: Ray Charles, Roger Daltrey, Bell & Arc, Ornette Coleman, Rory Gallagher, Paul McCartney, Felix Pappalardi, Van Morrison, Mr. Fox.

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

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.


ARTICLE ABOUT King Crimson FROM SOUNDS, November 13, 1971

I haven`t done any articles on this band before now. Not because I don`t acknowledge them or don`t like them, it is just that this one of the bands that have “passed me by”. I know they are a progressive rock band and I know that a lot of very good musicians have been in the band throughout the years. I just never got around to listen to them, even if I actually like a lot of progressive rock. Well, I think it is time to change that, and to redeem myself to the band and their fans I am now transcribing this very ancient article for you.
I hope I am forgiven for my ignorance and neglect, and that you will like this nice article.


Crimson, love and respect

By Steve Peacock

“I still can`t see how you can put a band together – or even conceive the idea of putting a group of people and making it a band, just like that,” said Fripp. “I mean, just imagine how difficult it is to find a chick you can put up with for three months, or who can put up with you. And a band`s got to stay together for at least a year to do anything.”
You hear a lot – often too much – about band`s splitting up, and the reasons they give usually come out as a variation of the “musical policy” theme. And then you talk to the people and find all kinds of undercurrents – like the drummer is a rat, or the lead guitarist wants to be a superstar, or the singer has dirty habits. Music is part of it, and the most acceptable part for quoting in pop newspapers, but more often than not it`s more a convenient excuse more than anything else. Because as Fripp was saying, the relationships within a band are as, if not more, important as the musicianship. Often, the people in a band spend more time together, and under more difficult circumstances, than they do with their families.


“Everyone has a role to play in the band as a personality, not just as a player,” he said. We were talking about how King Crimson nearly split up during their recent tour. Before Fripp arrived, Mel Collins had said: “There was the pressure of making the album (“Islands”) because it was a step for us that, at the beginning, we didn`t know whether we could make. We were all quite pleased with the album, but then we had to go straight into the tour, which was a bit…”
“Yes, that`s right. We found it wasn`t working out as well as we wanted it to. As a band we`re very demanding and have to aim for higher things all the time, and we had a few bad gigs. We were all rather frustrated, and Boz was going through a bad time with his bass playing, which obviously affected his singing as well.”


Fripp arrived later. “The reason we play together, you see, is because we want to play together, and the people involved are all fairly sensitive, so when the sensitivity is knocked on the head… if one man, myself for instance, becomes insensitive to the others, then you`ve got problems.”
Mel: “I can`t work at battle stations, as it where. I have to be in sympathy with the other people on the stand to play my best. I can see there are occasions when you can be productive when you`re uptight, but it doesn`t work for long.”



Fripp: “That`s the way the old band used to work, which is why it did a lot and then broke up. On the tour we were playing `Schizoid Man` better than ever – it was just right for that uptight feel – but it`s a very short term thing because it can`t build into anything.”
Fripp admitted that he was responsible for a lot of the recent tension, because instead of screaming at people he clammed up and sulked. “Word was laid on me,” he said slowly, and then they both burst out into helpless laughter, “that I wasn`t aware of the effect I was having on the rest of the band. In fact Mel emptied the contents of a table over Ian in the middle of the night once – instead of doing it to me, which upset Ian a bit – and Ian said that at several gigs he wanted to come over and lay one on me, and I was ready to throw the electric piano back if it happened.”


Eventually, it snapped and they talked it all out in the van one night. Mel thinks it`s probably made them stronger, as does Fripp: “There`s a sufficiently strong foundation of love and respect in the band, and common aims, to let it be talked through without a lot of personal recriminations or moody heavies or sulky sillies.”
Another problem they had, but from the outside this time, came from the audiences. “Personally I have great difficulty in relating to the adulation bit, encores and things, because I don`t think it has that much to do with the music. I suppose I`m a bit of a purist really.”
Fripp said that he`s evolved a theory that the music acted more as a catalyst for the audience to do their own performance: “The younger they are, the louder the cheering because there`s that much more energy to be released. But I think it`s fair to say we ran into a strong element of insensitivity to what we were doing – like people shouting for `Epitaph` all the time.”
How did he feel when they got a standing ovation for a bad set? “It`s a paradoxical relationship, because you can`t stand there and say `look, we just played a load of tripe, so why don`t you just piss off because you don`t know what we`re doing. You can`t do that because they might be applauding Mel, or Boz or Ian. When we all know we played a dreadful set we feel guilty, but as long as we`re not deceived it`s OK. It wouldn`t say the audience didn`t affect me, but it doesn`t affect my judgement.”


But for the moment at least, King Crimson are back together – not just in a physical sense, but in the way they relate to each other – and seem equipped to deal with outside pressures. The fast approaching American tour, said Fripp “will bring out whatever`s there, which is why it had to be sorted out before we left. If it hadn`t we would have split up without any doubt. But I think it`ll bring the band closer together now we`ve decided to pull together.
“And I think the ravers in the band will manage to get a lot more raving done than they did over here. It`s a rave culture – the facilities for raving are much greater over there.”


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: Jeremy Spencer, Grease Band, Groundhogs, John Marshall, Eddie Condon, Yes, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Francis Monkman, Edgar Broughton, Duane Allman, Colin Blunstone, Otis Redding, Dan Hicks, Arthur Brown, Gordon Giltrap, Brierley Cross.

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

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Alan White FROM SOUNDS, November 6, 1971

Apologies for all the Yes related articles at the moment. I just couldn`t pass this one up. Here is an article with well-known Yes man Alan White, conducted 8 or 9 months before he joined the band that would be his home in between solo work and session work for a lot of artists. Thought this would be interesting for a whole lot of people as he has played with a bunch of very famous people in his career.


Alan the thump and funk man

By Danny Holloway

Since his appearance with John Lennon in Toronto as part of the Plastic Ono Band, Alan White has had a hectic and enjoyable career over these last two years. He`s also become one of the most successful session drummers around and until now, Alan has been almost totally ignored by the press and public. (He wasn`t mentioned in the recent pop polls). His only recognition has come from fellow musicians, especially drummers, who are knocked out by his ability to literally “drive” the music with loads of punch and funk. His Geordie mumble was a bit difficult for my Californian ears to decipher at first, but once I got the hang of it, we settled into a long in-depth conversation covering the whole of his professional career.

When did you first start playing?

My first professional chance was when I was thirteen. I started in the workmen`s club circuit up North in a local group. We played six or seven nights a week. It was good experience I guess. All the miners would go to drink at night after work. We used to play other peoples` songs on stage. I`ll always remember, this guy came up to me after we finished playin` one night and he said, “You`ll be playing with the Beatles someday”. I always think about that. It was seven or eight years ago.

What made you choose to play drums?

I played the piano for eight years, before I played the drums. My uncle was a drummer and he got killed just after I started fooling around with some drums that my parents had bought us for Christmas. He played with dance bands and things and was really good at it. He could feel it. I just gradually built up from there. I really wanted to do something after his death because he was one of my favourite people. I still did piano lessons and that, but the piano started to fade out and the drums started to fade in. Especially since I was making money playin` drums while I was still at school.


What happened after that?

I played in that group for two and a half years or something like that and after that I left school. I then went to technical school for about two weeks and this new band I was in won a competition, down in London, at the Prince of Wales where Ringo, Cilla Black, Brian Epstein and some other person judged it. That was the first time I got involved with that scene. (The Beatles). It keeps coming into it at certain points in my life. The group was called the Downbeats and there was a lot of good groups and we just happened to win it. We did one single with Pye, but it was pretty ordinary.
After that I got asked to join a group called the Gamblers who were going to Germany and I joined because I wanted to go. They were from Newcastle. I spent about three months with them in Germany. We played seven and three quarter hours a night, six nights a week. Actually, they were Billy Fury`s backing group. It was when I was about 16 or 17 I played with them backing him for about two weeks in carbaret up north. It was really funny. He kept movin` his hands around.
The Gamblers broke up in Germany and I came back to join a group some friends of mine were starting called Happy Magazine. It`s a terrible name but two of the guys are still with me in a new group we`ve started called Alva Sefan. We did a lot of gigs in London and did all the club scene before I got asked to join Alan Price. He was the manager of Happy Magazine and he pulled me out of the band. I played with him for about a year. That band got me into playing with a big band. It had eight pieces, I really enjoyed it.


What happened to the Alan Price set?

Alan Price left and Paul Williams, now with Juicy Lucy, took it over as the Paul Williams Set which didn`t last long. Then this friend of mine called Peter and I started a band called Griffin. From then on I went into the whole thing with Balls and the Peace in Toronto happened.

How did you meet John Lennon?

I think he`d seen me play at a club or something. Terry Dornan, he`s a really good friend of mine, he was George`s right hand man. I came back and the gig had been cancelled for the weekend and we hadn`t very much money and we were all feeling down about a drag week-end with no food. I got a phone call from Apple, it was Terry Dornan and he said “Do you want to go to Canada tomorrow?” And I thought all my birthdays had come at once. And he said:
“John wants to do a gig and he wants you to do it. Eric Clapton is doing it too and Klaus Voorman, yourself and John.” It took a lot of guts to say “Yes, I`ll do it”, because I`d never played with any of them before, which is really frightening. So anyway I said “Yeah, man, I`ll do it. Better than a drag week-end at home”. (Sarcastically).


Were you confident?

This is like a different matter. We didn`t even have any rehearsal before we went on stage. We were all so nervous we were nearly sick. It was the first gig John had done in almost four years and we hadn`t rehearsed with the band, and I just met them eight hours before. In the back of the plane we ran through a basic idea of what we were going to do. I just had some sticks on the back of the seat. It was an incredible scene though. We had a convoy and had to be guarded by the police.

It must have been like becoming a Beatle?

Right. Like Beatle for a day. Nobody believed, when we got to the gig, that the Plastic Ono Band were actually going to play. We were hidden in this dressing room where they had a couple of amps and still no drums. When we were thrust out on stage, all the lights were out and the drums weren`t mine. I had to rush and see if I could get them into place and feel comfortable.
When they hit the first chord of the number, all the lights in the stadium went on. I didn`t play really incredible, nobody did on the album, because it was a “let`s have a blow” sort of thing. But there must have been sixty or seventy thousand people there.

Did you know it was being recorded?

No, not at the time. I thought the mikes were just for the P.A. system. And then, all of a sudden, it was all over. John went and freaked out with all them noises and feed-back. The atmosphere in the stadium was really strange. I don`t know how he created it, but just being him and doing something like that. Lennon, he was swinging guitars around and yelling out.


Was it all spontaneous?

Oh yeah! It was freaking me out man. I was thinkin`, “What do I do to that?” Do I kick all of my drums over or what? But, I just started freaking around a bit. Then, they left all the guitars on the floor and we all went to the back of the stage and lit a cigarette up. We just stood there and everyone stood there watching this noise. John banged the drums a bit and then we walked off and left the noise. Everyone thought we were going to come back on, but we had gone back to the dressing room, and it was ages before anybody had the nerve to turn the amps off.

What happened after that gig?

I came back with Griffin and things were a bit dodgy there. I think we all knew what was going to happen because I started getting a lot of publicity from the Plastic Ono Band thing. I got asked to do an album with Rick Grech and Denny (Laine) and Trevor (Burton). And after the album was finished, Denny and Trevor asked me if I`d fancy teaming together with them, which turned out to be an unfortunate mistake. We came together, and I started doing a lot of work with George (I did an album with Doris Troy) and a few sessions here and there with George and Ringo. The first time I met Ringo, there was some really strange vibes but after a while he`s a really nice person.


What was the situation that led you to join Air Force?

Denny was in Air Force first, and I was in Balls by then, and I got a phone call at the studio saying, “Ginger wants you and Trevor and a couple of horn players to join Air Force. Do you know any horn players?” I thought, “Yeah, I know a couple of horn players.” A couple of friends of mine named Beddy and Steve, who are now with me in Alva Sefan, and I got them into Air Force. And Trevor and I drifted into Air Force. And that lasted for about five or six gigs I think. The original Air Force band had some incredible looners in it. When I was in the band there was Graham Bond, Ginger Baker, Phil Seaman, Denny, Trevor, Rick Grech, Janette Jacobs, and Jenny, the two chick singers, and Harold McNair. All together there were thirteen pieces. In between numbers there was a mad dash for your next instrument and people all crashing into each other on stage. It was far too big a  band. Me and Trevor quit the band because it was all too hectic. And we just continued on with the Balls thing. I couldn`t see eye to eye with Denny at all. I played one gig with Balls. And I just can`t play bad music on stage. I feel guilty doing it for money.

You must have been offered a mass of session work after Lennon?

Yeah, I couldn`t do all of them. I did George Harrison`s solo album. That was really great. Did Johnny Almond`s solo album. I also did Gary Wright`s album called “Extraction”. And did a couple of sessions with Derek and the Dominos. I`ve done about eighteen or twenty albums in the two years since the Toronto thing. I`ve always done one main thing and lots of other things on the side with other people.

When did you get your band together?

Well, it was about a year ago.

When did you start playing with Terry?

It was around the same time I started my band. Before last Christmas I joined on a temporary basis because they had eight gigs to do. And I enjoyed it and they still needed a drummer, so I worked on a gig-to-gig basis just like a session guy.

Have you ever played in the States?

I`ve never actually played there. I`ve been offered to be flown over for sessions. Lots of work in L.A. I`ll go over soon, but I`m an Englishman at heart.


Do you prefer session work or playing live?

I prefer playing live actually. You get a lot of money for session work, but everything`s dragged out. I love doing it live. I get loads of feeling off that. Just get it all out of my system.

What type of bass player do you enjoy playing with?

Lee Miles (Terry Reid`s bassist) is very good. But, Colin, who`s playing with me in Alva Sefan, has got a rolling style, very clicky and he rolls through it all. I like that because I can stick the funk around it. Lee`s different, he plays funk rolls, in and out of the things I`m doing.

You have a hell of a thumping bass foot.

My right leg, yeah, everybody says that. It`s amazing that I don`t break any skins. I go through a bass drum skin about once every six or eight months. There`s a tremendous amount of feeling behind it. I don`t believe in playing unless you`re peaking all the time. There`s nothing worse than a drummer that sits back and rests on the rest of the band. You gotta be up there kicking them up the arse. That`s what they want. That`s what they need.

Do you like working with Klaus Voorman?

Yeah. He`s really tasty. He picks a lot of really nice notes. A really nice bass player. It`s a great atmosphere that surrounds the whole of that scene. John`s a very clever man.

How much were you on “Imagine”?

I was on about seven tracks. His material`s fantastic. He`s a really good person to be around.


How did “Instant Karma” come about?

Again, I just got a phone call, saying, “John wants to do a session at E.M.I.” I turned up, and Phil Spector was producing. He got incredible drum sounds on “Instant Karma”. We spent about a half an hour to an hour to get the drum sound right. I did the whole thing on the bass tom-tom with a cloth over the rhythm. And then we did those drum breaks in a completely different time which gave it a whole other thing. It was a tremendous atmosphere in the studio as well. There`s four of us playing piano on that. There`s two grand pianos with George down on one end and me up here and John on the other grand piano and Klaus playing an electric one. This is Phil Spector for you man! Phil Spector records the whole thing with tape echo.

Does he listen to the song and then paint his own picture of what it`s going to sound like?

Yeah, that`s his way of producing, but he`s a musician as well. He`s a great technician and he can appreciate sounds. Sometimes a hundred musicians play on a session.

What do you see in store for you in the future?

Alva Sefan is where I`ve always been at, this type of music with these people that I`m playing with. If it`s the last thing I do I`ll get it off the ground. We`ve been rehearsin` for a year. To me, they`re really top class musicians. I really dig them all. I`ll still do sessions but it`s just a matter of fittin` it all in. I like doin` things with the Beatles. They`re good people.


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: Lindisfarne, Buffy Sainte Marie, Savoy Brown, Kris Kristofferson, Thelonious Monk, It`s A Beautiful Day, John Morris, Judy Collins, Mike Pinder, Sam Mitchell, Bitter Withy.

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

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Rick Wakeman FROM SOUNDS, October 30, 1971

Starting the New Year with a really good article about the maestro himself, the one and only Rick Wakeman. This one should be of great interest to all those fanatic Yes fans.
And I want to wish a belated Happy New Year to you, Dear reader! May it be the best one yet.


In the talk-in

By Penny Valentine

What`s been the major difference you`ve found working with Yes as opposed to earlier bands you`ve been with?

Well, the major one has been the lack of worry. I mean with this band the only thing we have to concern ourselves with is the music itself. There are so many roadies I lose track of them, it`s staying in five-star hotels everywhere we go, knowing everything`s properly organised, knowing the stuff`s set up on stage on time. We fly anywhere north of Watford. Everything is made as easy as possible so it helps you when you go on stage to do the best job possible.
Of course the music`s different, that goes without saying, plus I`m facing an entirely different kind of audience now. With the Strawbs the music created a different atmosphere – it was very much what I`d call a listening audience. I`d say Yes is a listening audience but also a reacting audience. I mean if you`re on stage and fancy clapping your hands over your head and someone blows a rhubarb and they all just sit there, and they`re snogging in the back row – well, it doesn`t exactly inspire you to go on and leap about, which is what it`s all about anyway, enjoyment. But Yes`s audiences do respond to that kind of thing and that in turn helps you to play better.

Have you found them an easy group to get into?

Surprisingly hard really. You see it`s embarassing to play numbers you enjoy playing like “Yours Is No Disgrace” which get incredible reactions and knowing you really had nothing to do with it. That you`re not involved with that number because you weren`t there when it was originally cut. And obviously because those numbers are well known to the audiences you have to play them. You never know what`s worse – whether to stand up and take credit with the rest of the band or, when it comes to the end of the number, hide under the organ. It really is a problem. I mean you get to the end of the number and all these little girls come up to pull John`s trousers down and what do you do – apart from watch little girls pull John`s trousers down?
Personally, too, it`s not been an easy band to just slide into because we don`t really mix socially – which is good really because I don`t think music and social life mix very well. I mean we all argue after gigs anyway. The first time I met them I couldn`t believe a group could argue so much. I thought they were about to split up and thought “Oh, well, there`s a hundred pounds and a job out of the window”. But then I found that they just argue, everyone tells everyone else when they think they`ve played badly on a gig. They`re all total individuals.


Bill`s a looner. I get on very very well with him – maybe that`s because I found out he`s only six hours older than I am. I`m the kind of person that if I can`t get the right sound I get furious and stomp about – national disaster. Bill`s problem at the moment is that he`s playing a set of drums he can`t get on with and when we come on stage in the dark – you know that opening with the “Firebird Suite” – the first thing you always hear is Bill yelling “My drums are duff” and he tries to kick them and smash them to pieces.
Steve`s placid but when he says something he really means it. Fishy`s a very unique bass player, very melodic. Jon`s really a frustrated musician. I mean he`s actually never had the opportunity to technically learn an instrument, which is a shame, because he`s got such a lot of original ideas and it must be very frustrating to try to explain to people. I think the problem with me is that I`ve been told nobody knows when to take me seriously. I mean I`ll go into the studios and loon about and they`ll shout “yeah, great, leave it in”. Then I`ll say I`ve got this really good idea and play it seriously and they all fall on the floor laughing.
I set out once very religiously to do a very serious piano thing on Brahms, something I`ve always dreamed of doing which is taking part of the symphony, and playing every part of a different keyboard and we did it non stop, it took us 15 hours in the studio, and we were all knocked out. Then I found I`d made a mistake so on stage I put in a bit of Bizet instead which worked out very seriously for five or six minutes, then it reverted back to the old Hamlet ads and silent movies.

Were you very worried about the first gig you played with the band?

Well, it wasn`t until I was halfway to the theatre in Barnstaple and realised that the one thing we hadn`t done was rehearse properly. We`d taken a week off to rehearse in Barnstaple Town Hall but unfortunately they booked us into a motel which had a swimming pool and none of us were out of the pool long enough to actually rehearse together. So what had happened was that I knew all the little bits I was expected to play but I hadn`t a clue where they fitted in. Oh yes and I`d spent most of MY time in the bar – that`s a rarity isn`t it?
Anyway I thought well maybe it wouldn`t be too bad because a lot of people wouldn`t turn up at Barnstaple. I got to the theatre to find 1,500 queuing all the way round it and blocking the street up. All the numbers were about eight or nine minutes long but the boys were very clever – Fishy especially – and gave me great signals right the way through the set without making them noticeable to the audience. It got better and better after that, in fact the tour has really been incredible. Then we hit the Festival Hall which was a disasterous night for me, an amp blew up and I could see this roadie rushing around with a fire extinguisher and sparks flying but I didn`t know which keyboard was going through which amp.


Anyway, he stood there near me and I had this piano solo coming up so I muttered “I`m going on to electric piano – now,” and nothing happened at all and he said “it`s not on”. So I moved to mellotron and he muttered “the electric piano`s working now”, then the mellotron started to work then I went on to Moog and that had gone all out of tune because when the power went off it had thrown it. So I thought the diehard organ never let`s me down, never goes wrong. And I went over to it and all the top part of the bottom keyboard fell off! Then the roadie told me the piano was going again so I finished back on that and it was a complete disaster. I was very choked because I knew everyone else had played very well. And when you`ve got a number using five keyboards it`s a huge worry because you`ve always got to think what you can use as an alternative if something goes wrong.

When you were approached to join Yes did you have any reservations at all?

Well, to be honest, I`d been screwed out of so much money in the past I didn`t want to get screwed up again – not from the Strawbs – but it was a big reservation. So the first thing I said to Jon was “how much do you earn a week?”. Really horrible – and I didn`t mean it to sound like that. He told me and I said what I`d earned with the Strawbs and he said “Well it`s a f… site more than you`re getting and everything we`ve got we own.” Then I said “What plans have you got?” and he said they were going to America and I immediately said I didn`t want to go. Anyway I went home and I thought “I must be mad”. I mean someone had offered me a really good job with a band I really admired, and I was holding out. I thought “what a berk” and went back and joined immediately.



Do you ever feel that it was odd considering how little you`d done up until then that you had such an enormous reputation as a musician?

Well, how can I say this without sounding big headed? Look, I`ve always worked hard for everything I`ve got. I`ve been very, very lucky to have had great parents who helped me financially to have the best tuition I needed. But I did work hard at my music and I knew what I wanted to do. I have also been very lucky in meeting the right people – people that have tried to help me and push me forward. But the main reason it happened was the Strawb`s Queen Elizabeth Hall concert and the dear old press. They could have been really horrible but they`ve always been really nice to me, they`ve all been really nice people. I mean there are a lot of musicians I don`t like – very pretentious, and they annoy me because they think they`re really something incredible. And of course although I wasn`t out doing much on the road I was doing a lot of session work which helped me enormously. In fact I`ve just fitted three session jobs in this week.

Is that just because you can`t stop working – I mean Yes must keep you pretty busy?

I just find that I can`t sit at home – I must have something to do. I have to get up about eight in the morning, I can`t lay in bed, and I have to be doing something even if it`s practising – something you have to do because the only time we play is on stage and it`s very easy for your hands to stiffen up, especially my right hand. I don`t know, I like meeting people, I like playing, and I like sessions.


You had a straight training at the Royal College of Music and then went around with dance bands and you`re own small outfits, was that a deliberate musical policy?

Mmmm – well there was a reason behind it. My dear old dad who was a very fine musician in his younger days told me that there`s a pattern to playing music well – and if I`ve got to thank three people for everything it`s him and my two music teachers – either you start recording or whatever and then gradually come down to dance band and then loads of other smaller bands and then to lavatory attendant.
Or you do it the other way round which is what I did. I had a dance band, jazz band, an out and out pop group, trad jazz band, played in pubs and it gave me a really good grounding in all kinds of music. And it definitely helped me get into sessions because on sessions you`ve got to be able to play anything that`s put in front of you. And my classical background was sound.


But when you went into the Strawbs you hadn`t actually done anything like that before musically?

No and that`s really what attracted me to the group – because I`d never heard anything quite like it before. It was the first group I`d ever been with as a unit and the first time I really felt that was at a gig in Slough around May in 1970 and I really enjoyed it. Suddenly I had a lot of faith in the band that I hadn`t had before, and I don`t think any of the others had had either. It was really something I hadn`t felt before. The main person who`d kept me going musically was my old piano teacher Mrs. Symes who was absolutely fantastic, and my music teacher at the school, a guy called Herrera.

You did so much session work – right from David Bowie`s “Space Oddity” to real out and out pop stuff – what did it do for you as a musician?

Well, you get a certain knowledge when you`re out on the road but in the studio doing sessions it`s a nice chance to see other musicians and what they`re doing. What they`re interested in. I must admit I`ve met a lot on sessions and just can`t understand what the hell they`re doing in the business. But on the other hand I`ve met a lot who are so good I can`t understand why they haven`t had the breaks.

Do you think the time you actually split from the Strawbs you needed to leave – that the offer with Yes happened at a very convenient time for you?

How can I put it… well I desperately needed to get into another band that I could get really interested in, but it had to be the right band. I didn`t want to start my own band because I knew I`d be incapable of doing it. I wanted a band that wasn`t gigantic but that was heading in the right direction, who knew what they were doing and that were really keen and enthusiastic about working. And perhaps as well as offering me something, I could offer them something as well.


So perhaps yes it was just at the right time, the right band, and everything slotted into place. Although I must admit the first couple of weeks were hell because I had no sleep, they were working on a new album and I`d got all this other session work booked and I literally went without any sleep at all for five days.

Do you ever feel that because of that you didn`t really give that album everything you had?

Oh, no, it didn`t affect me in that way. I mean its like driving a car. I don`t know whether you`ve ever noticed but you can feel quite drunk but directly you get behind the wheel of your car you sober up instantly? Well I`m like that with music. However tired I get, you go into a studio feeling half dead. But directly somebody gives you the music or the idea you really get into it. And as soon as that`s over you collapse until the next thing comes along. I contributed to that album all I felt I could, there`s nothing else I could have done on it that I didn`t do.
On the next album obviously there`ll be more I can do. I mean it`s embarrassing when you`ve just joined a band. It`s exactly like when you`ve just joined a new organisation on the board of directors – and basically a band is like a board of directors – it comes to the first meeting and say everything everyone said you disagreed with. Well you`re not going to open your mouth and say anything in that position – the first day and the first meeting. So I`ve had to find out, and I`m sure they`ve had to do the same with me, exactly how the band have thought, what their other interests were, how they worked musically. And really that`s what`s so amazing about Yes. They`re quite remarkable musically – they have literally no musical limitations.
When I first joined I said I`d never met a band that worked so hard or got into things as much as Yes and if anything I feel that even more strongly now, I mean it`s very hard – what makes a band tick? What can mean something to person A can mean nothing to person B and a band that appeals to everybody… you`ve got to go on stage believing what you`re playing or there`s no point going on at all. On the other hand I don`t believe in going on completely poker faced and playing a set, you need a few little loons going. You can go on and play a number for 11 minutes and that`s an awful long time for an audience to keep relating to you and sometimes you can`t believe that anybody will really LISTEN to you for 11 minutes, so you put in a little joke thing in on the piano, or daft comment – anything that can relate to the audience – and Yes have all these qualities.
I think I don`t know exactly what`s going to happen to my music in this band, and if I did I wouldn`t want to because that`s half of the excitement, not knowing what`s going to happen. As regards sounds and ideas Yes have given me a lot more freedom – as regards actual playing at the moment I haven`t got so much obviously. But then these are very early days and the big joy at the moment is not knowing what`s going to happen.


We could go on stage tomorrow and die a death, but we could go on stage and they`d have to bring out the riot squads like they had to in Glasgow the other day, which was fantastic – I love audience reaction. And I never got with a band that got this sort of reaction. Not just for the people themselves but for the band as a whole. I mean you might get a band with a drummer or organist who suddenly has something inside them and he gets it off to the rest of the group or the audience. But it`s rare to get a complete band like that and that`s what is such a good one with this band.


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: Rod Stewart, Loudon Wainwright, Family, Duke Ellington, Redbone, Alice Cooper, The Who, Pink Floyd, Wings, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Chieftains.

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

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Alice Cooper FROM SOUNDS, October 30, 1971

I will end this years postings with an ancient article about one of my favourite bands/artist. Happy New Year to all the readers of this blog. I hope there will be some interesting reading for you all in 2018 too. Now I`m off to celebrate my birthday in a real rock and roll fashion. I think my friends Jack and Jim will be there!
See you later!


`Sometimes I need relief from Alice`

By Steve Peacock

Alice Cooper is a group. Alice Cooper is a performer who likes to turn press conferences at London airport into performances. Alice Cooper is also a man who sits in a hotel room, drinking Budweiser beer, and talking about the other two.
Alice Cooper had a hit single in the States and people came to see them expecting a rock group. They got assaulted by a devastating combination of hard rock and freak show outrage. Quickly, they became America`s anti-hero figures. Was this a conscious move?
“It happened, and then we became conscious of it, and we worked on it, sure. Now nobody can say anything against Alice Cooper in the States because the kids will tear the place apart, and we`ve just got more outrageous than ever, and they love it. Now we don`t have to compromise with anybody, we just get to do anything we want.”
But did he ever feel forced to be outrageous when he didn`t want to be?


“Yeah, that happens. It`s sometimes hard when you have to keep the Alice Cooper image up – sometimes you don`t feel like going out of your way to be totally nuts. Like today at the airport, we`d flown all night and I was so tired, really drawn out. But that`s only 10 per cent of the time – the rest of the time it`s always there, because that`s what we like to do, outrage people and entertain people, and that includes people you`re being interviewed by. We got some nice things going at the airport in the end.
“But I do have to have a relief from Alice every once in a while, because that`s a really overpowering personality.”
Though Alice the performer travels in the suitcase, at least to some extent, did he ever get confused between the two?
“Yeah, well that happened at the airport. I told them that wasn`t Alice there, that was me, but really I was pulling a whole psychological trick on them because it was Alice. I didn`t realise it at the time, but I got home and I realised I`d been lying. Great, I love lying. Alice is a good liar. That`s what`s so good about the whole Alice Cooper thing, you never have to answer to anybody. People say `How come you said that?` and you just say `I was lying`. Alice lies, Alice is like a little brat, travelling around lying.”
Alice the group has been around some time. In 1966, when “there were all these surf groups trying to break into the long-haired Beatle music”. They were playing the teen clubs with songs pinched from the Yardbirds, Them, the original Moody Blues (with Denny Laine), and the Pretty Things. “We used to do all kinds of obscure British stuff that was coming over… finding the weirdest things we could out of Europe to do… it was like an experiment in terror I guess.”


They used to be able to empty halls with no trouble: “We were going out of our way to be obnoxious to audiences, we used to get so drunk we couldn`t play. I`d wear a pink clown suit, and go on stage and sing two numbers and pass out, right there on stage, I was so drunk. I`d tell the audience to get out, and they would – they loved it, but they left.
“We were notorious, mostly for things we hadn`t done. People were making things up about us and writing about them, because there was a lull in the rock business at the time so they were taking Alice Cooper and making us into this anti-heroic thing. Now that whole negative thing has been changed round and we use the guerilla theatrics on a positive level. All the people that left were coming back and bringing their friends to see us, because it was something to see. And when they came back they loved it because we`d improved the music and worked on the theatrics.”
The music they`ve worked on pretty hard, rehearsing sometimes eight hours a day to get it out right, but the theatrics, says Alice, evolved. Costume ideas came from the film “Barbarella” – a space age extravaganza starring Jane Fonda. “They`re very sexual, emphasising sexual parts… thumbs, knees…” Ideas for the stage act often come from TV: “We get a lot of ideas from old musicals. Fred Astaire musicals and things that you`d never expect to work with rock music. I`m a TV addict… it`s like a source of energy, you plug in to the energy of it. I don`t even turn it off at night, I leave it on just to get the static sound, and then I wake up in the morning and there`s something on, and everything`s good again.”


Alice believes the audience is basically masochistic; they`d rather be involved, even if they`re being insulted or degraded, than be merely impressed.
“I have no responsibility at all, I really don`t care what they do. If they all go crazy and throw up at the same time or something, then that`s actually what they`re there for. They don`t go to a rock concert like they go to school, they go to have some fun and they go to be affected. They don`t want to go home and say `I saw a group last night, they were all right,` they want to go home and say, `Wait till you see what I saw tonight man, they had snakes and whips and they scared this person to death… it was great.` I`d rather go and see that kind of thing than a blues group – you can see that any night. But that kind of rock carnival, sideshow thing is something special.
“I`ve always wanted to get a flamethrower and just do the whole audience – that would be a great way to end the act. Mass murder, you`d never have to do anything else, and with all the publicity you`d sell so many albums that you could spend so much money with a lawyer that you`d probably get out of it. `I went crazy, so what!` But we`ll probably never do it, we`ll probably all commit mass suicide on stage. That`ll be the end of the act. Have somebody hired to throw a grenade and… no, no, what am I saying?”
Back in the suitcase, Alice.


I guess that if Alice reads this interview today he would wish he put a sock in it too. Just like this obscure band, Climax Chicago.

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: Rod Stewart, Loudon Wainwright, Family, Duke Ellington, Redbone, Rick Wakeman, The Who, Pink Floyd, Wings, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Chieftains.

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

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.