ARTICLE ABOUT The Beatles FROM New Musical Express, December 31, 1966

One of my favourite bands, and the two surviving members of the Beatles in 2020, in a paper dated exactly on the date for my first Birthday on earth. Should be read by anyone slightly interested in this phenomenon of a band.
Read on!


Andy Gray finds out the answers the pop world seeks as Paul and Ringo talk about the Beatles

“One reason we don`t want to tour any more is that when we`re on stage nobody can hear us or listen to us,” Paul McCartney told me.
He was referring to the screamers who drown out all hope of hearing the Beatles in person.
“And another reason is that our stage act hasn’t improved one bit since we started touring four years ago. The days when three guitarists and a drummer can stand up and sing and do nothing else on stage must be over.
“Stage performance as an art is going out anyway. I think the Rolling Stones had a shock when they didn’t do a bomb on their last tour. I think Mick was worried.
“Many of our tracks nowadays have big backings. We couldn’t produce the sound on stage without an orchestra. And if we were to do ourselves justice on stage now, we’d have to have at least three months to produce a brand new act. And it would probably be very unlike what you’d expect from the Beatles,” went on Paul.

Recording only

This was Paul’s answer to my query about their future touring. Of their forthcoming recordings, he said: “We feel that only through recording do people listen to us, so that is our most important form of communication. We have never thought of ourselves as one sound . . . Merseybeat wasn’t our invention. We have always changed our style as we went along and we’ve never been frightened to develop and change.
“I think this has been the reason for our continued success. We could have stopped thinking up new things and brought out ‘The Son Of Please Please Me” or ‘The Son Of Love Me Do,’ but that was not on.
“We work on one song and record it and then get tired of it. So we think up something very different. The strength of any act is doing something that you wouldn’t associate with them.
“For instance I feel that the Supremes are too alike with most of their discs. If they did something good and you said: ‘Who’s that ?’ and were told ‘The Supremes’ and you hadn’t identified it with them, you’d be pleasantly surprised. That would add strength to their appeal.
“So we keep on doing tracks which can be any style at all. We’re not limited that way, or with time any more. We take as much time as we want on a track, until we get it to our satisfaction. Before, we had a set time in the recording studio, and that was that. If it wasn`t exactly as we wanted that was too bad.
“Now we take time because we haven’t any pressing engagements like tours to limit us. All we want is to make one track better than the last. We make all ‘A’ sides and never go into the studio thinking ‘This will be our next single.’ We just make tracks, then listen to them and decide from what we have what will be a single, what will go on to an LP.”
Paul went on to give me an insight into their formula for writing hits.
“The words are written down, but the music is never, because we can’t write music. We play it to each other and soon pick it up, and fool around with it a bit. George suggests something extra, then John adds a new idea and so on until we have the music the way we want it. Then we record. Then we forget about it and get on with the next track.”
On the subject of jealousy within the group, Paul was most emphatic. “There isn’t any. Jealousy doesn’t exist. When John wanted to do a film on his own, we were all happy for him. Now that he’s done it, he has passed on to us information about all sorts of things he has learned. That way as Beatles we become richer in experience. George went to India and told us what he had learned. I wrote film music and found out other things, which I’ve passed on.


On our own

“This rumour we were splitting up was rubbish, too. One would think it is the first time any of us had done anything on his own. John wrote books on his own all along, and we all have side-lines we get on with as individuals.
“Besides, we’re all great friends and we don’t want to split up. There’s never been any talk or sign of it . . . except in the minds of others.”
Paul also let off steam about those who think they have gone “big time.”
“In ourselves we don’t feel big time at all. It`s only when people keep telling us we are big time that we even think of it. But what angers me is when some journalists say I’ve said something I haven’t and describe me as talking in my ‘natural zany beat style.’ I don’t talk in any ‘zany beat style’ . . . it’s the writer thinking that I should. They give us images and those images are usually very inaccurate.”
But Paul admitted that they had changed over the years. We had to. If you’ve got the money you don’t buy a £3 camera if you would rather have a £50 one. Our whole outlook on life is changing because our ‘circumstances have changed our surroundings. But this hasn’t done anything to disunite the Beatles. We are going to keep on making better tracks and become better entertainers – as the Beatles.”

RINGO STARR confirmed, a few hours after I spoke to Paul, that the Beatles are very much united and in no way thinking of splitting. “This idea of jealousy is in other people’s brains. We didn’t mind John doing a film on his own. We were glad he wanted to. And when the time comes, if it does, that I get a role on my own, the others will say `Good luck.’
“That’s how we are. We all work for each other’s success.”
I asked Ringo if he was going to do a film. “Nothing definite at the moment. We get scripts sent in every day, but most of them are so bad. We all get offers of parts, but until something is very good, we’re not interested.
“Same with the film we’ll do together. Until the script is to all our likings we won’t do it”
As far as live performances are concerned, Ringo’s feelings were: ” We can’t do the same act, with a couple of numbers and a couple of jokes. And on tours we’re not playing properly but nobody hears, anyway. We’d have to rehearse something new.”
Ringo also made the first reference to the fact that the Beach Boys had come out on top in the World Vocal Group section of the NME Poll.
“Good luck to them,” he said. ” I think the Poll was fine. We haven’t been doing much and it was run just at a time when the Beach Boys had something good out.
“We’re all four fans of the Beach Boys . . maybe we voted for them,” he concluded.



Coronafree times! What a blast!

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!
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ARTICLE ABOUT The Who FROM New Musical Express, December 24, 1966

A very early article with this band that recently released a new album. Nice to read this from so long time ago. Read on!


Who`s for a Merry Xmas!

By Keith Altham
Who`s for a merry Christmas, then – if we are to judge by their seasonal bounce up into the NME Top Twenty this week with “Happy Jack,” the newest composition from the bizarre pen of Pete Townshend.

Looking slightly the worse for wear due to having been full of the festive “spirit” the previous night at London’s new in-club, the Bag O’ Nails, John Entwistle was not optimistic about their prospects of a No. 1 hit when I located the group at Ryemuse recording studios last Friday.
“No chance with the Seekers’ new single,” expostulated John. “We’re always beaten to the top by the dead or the half dead. Good old Jim Reeves did it on us last time, and before that it was the singing pimple, Ken Dodd!”
Mr. Entwistle was not, apparently, convinced that this is the season of goodwill toward all men!
“I’ve got a list of people to insult written down on me sock,” obliged the bug-eyed Keith Moon, rolling up his trouser-leg to select a likely candidate. He was forestalled by being recalled to the studio to tape “Please Don’t Touch” for tonight’s “Ready, Steady, Go!” Christmas edition.
We were treated to some stereo-ed cockney from Keith in the control room, as he counted the group to start with “One, two, free.” What Pete had described as “The Who’s new sound” and was, in fact, their version of a very old rock sound, echoed about the room. They were to have recorded “Rock Around The Clock” for the show, but a change of plan was evident.


Manager Kit Lambert got RSG producer Francis Hitchens on the phone after explaining to a secretary that he just wanted a word with Francis for “the teensiest-weensiest minute” which was sufficient time for him to persuade Francis he ought to have “Please Don’t Touch” and not “Rock Around The Clock.” Which was just as well, seeing they had just recorded it!
The boys trooped back into the control room, and Pete proved informative over the origins of “Happy Jack, who lived in sand on the Isle of Man.”
“My father used to play saxophone in a band for the season on the Isle of Man when I was a kid,” said Pete. “There was no character called `Happy Jack,’ but I played on the beach a lot, and it’s just my memories of some of the weirdos who live out on the sand.”
At this point someone announced that there was a policeman in the reception complaining about someone’s car being an obstruction, so Pete strolled out and was not seen again. Which left me with that well-known pantomime team of Moon and Entwistle. What were they doing over Christmas?
“I shall buy a copy of `Mary’s Boy Child,’ stay home and pick nuts out of me cavities,” mourned John.
“I shall watch Walt Disney and buy a new copy of `The Hallelujah Chorus,’ ” breezed Mr. Moon.
“My copy’s a bit scratched,” nodded John.
Did the two jolly satirists consider Christmas too commercial now?
“I agree with whatever Paul Jones said,” announced John.
“I suppose I shall have to go out carol singing again,” moaned Keith.
Were they sorry that this was the last Christmas RSG?
“No, it was getting a drag, and anyway Cathy McGowan can always do toothpaste adverts,” said John, consolingly.
“Vicky Wickham can go into mass production,” added Keith.
“Francis Hitchens can join the Beach Boys,” capped John.


What changes would the New Year bring for the Who? And were they concerned over the possibility the Beatles might break up?
“Not as long as there are people like us — with imagination, drive and vigour — to carry on,” John replied.
“We’re planning some shock publicity pictures of the group,” confided Keith, ” to combat those meat pix of the Beatles, and the Stones photos in drag. We’ve got a big close-up of Pete having his finger nail bent backwards, and one of a one-eared Roger standing next to a self-portrait of Van Gogh.”
There was a short departure from the script when Kit Lambert announced that he wanted all the boys to draw portraits of each other for a “Top Of The Pops” film to be directed by Michael Lyndsay Hogg.
“Isn’t he an American?” said Keith, suspiciously. “And who am I drawing?”
“Roger,” said Kit.
“Thanks,” said Keith, but looked far from festive about it.
“Who am I doing?” asked John.
“Pete,” decided Kit.
“Good — he’s easy,” affirmed John.
There followed a rather puzzling story from Keith — for no apparent reason — about how he and John sat eating a Chinese meal in a Cologne restaurant recently while co-manager Chris Stamp and Pete got beaten up. “Every time they fell down to the floor they could see us ignoring it all and eating our meal a table away,” said Keith, delightedly.


Why were they attacked?
“I think it was because we’re just such good-looking boys, and they were jealous,” said Keith, innocently.
Finally John observed: “You know, some people have said that they preferred the flipside of the new single. Oh, sorry, that just slipped out!”
It transpired that John wrote the flipside, “I’ve Been Away,” which is “a waltz inspired by Victor Silvester,” he says.
As I left, Keith attempted to glue a sandwich to my overcoat with a tube of super-glue, but omitted to take the top off the tube! Moon is a must for the Christmas party this year!


The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
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ARTICLE ABOUT Steve Marriott (Small Faces) FROM New Musical Express, December 17, 1966

Small Faces was a very important band of the late 60s. Just look at their members. Marriott later formed another famous band called “Humble Pie” and other members of the Small Faces formed The Faces with Rod Stewart. McLagan even joined Rolling Stones for a little while. Important band? Absolutely, when looking at the evidence!
So I though this article might be of interest for some of you readers out there!
Read on!


Question-time with… Stevie Marriott of the Small Faces

Conducted by Norrie Drummond

STEVIE MARRIOTT, of the Small Faces, was his usual good-natured, excitable little self when I called on him to ask some questions. He answered them honestly, flapping his hands to convey a point and puffing all the time on a tipped cigarette.

Q. “My Mind’s Eye” has been criticised quite a bit recently and many people have noticed a similarity between it and the Christmas song, “Gloria In Excelsis.” How do you feel about this?

A. It’s great! Fabulous! Records are made to be criticised. We love it. “My Mind’s Eye” was originally recorded as an album track but the powers-that-be decided it should be issued as a single. Sure, we nicked it.
Someone said somewhere that the bloke who wrote the song would be turning in his grave if he heard “My Mind’s Eye” — but I’m sure he’d be leaping about. I`ll certainly be chuffed if someone revives one of our songs in a couple of hundred years.

Q. How has your songwriting progressed in the last year?

A. “Plonk” and I now find we can settle down far easier to writing. The ideas now flow much more freely. Now once we start on something we just can’t stop.
Our music is now progressing the way we want it to. But soundwise “My Mind’s Eye” is behind. It’s very pretty but it’s very near boredom.

Q. Have the Small Faces changed much as people in the past year?

A. Of course. You change all along the way. You go around in circles until you eventually come back to where you were. We’ve all changed slightly but just in little ways — not drastically.

Q. How far can the Small Faces progress as a group?

A. Musically we are progressing the way we want to. We have a great time in the recording studio. I would have beds there if I could. I certainly get a greater kick from recording than playing ballroom or concert dates.
When we started I used to love personal appearances but now I would rather be in the studio. As far as recordings are concerned the sky’s the limit.

Q. You were a child actor. Do you ever feel any desire to go back to it?

A. No, never. All those chaperones shepherding us around. We were like little prisoners. It would be different now of course but I’m quite happy doing what I’m doing now.

Q. The Small Faces have received a lot of publicity because you have walked out on concerts and TV shows. Any comments to make?

A. We have been like robots. We didn’t want to become involved in any of these things. We’ve made mistakes, but it should be different in the future.

Q. It was reported some months ago that you were to play the title-role in the musical version of Lionel Bart’s “Oliver.” Then it was announced that the Small Faces would star in a West End Christmas show at Christmas. Both these projects fell through. Then a few weeks ago it was stated that the Small Faces are to star in a film with Jayne Mansfield. What are the chances of this materialising?

A. Oh leave me alone, Norrie! You know as well as I do about these things. The Christmas show to begin with was a ridiculous idea. I knew nothing about playing Oliver until I read it in the papers. And we’ve no wish to be in a film with Jayne Mansfield. All we want to do is continue playing the way we are now.


The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
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ARTICLE ABOUT The Troggs FROM New Musical Express, December 10, 1966

I am going way back here – I know. This is probably one of the oldest music magazines that I have. Even if it is, there is some worthwhile reading in these ancient papers. Some of you may never have heard of this band, but I am sure that a whole lot of of you know their songs – like “Wild Thing” and “Love Is All Around”.
A very special setting for this interview done in Germany, only about 20 years after the second world war.
Read on!


Troggs caged in Berlin zoo

Special by Keith Altham


ERIC BURDON, who is so devoted to the birds in London’s St. James’s Park, would love it here on the twelfth floor of the Berlin Hilton. I am awakened by the sound of the pelicans in the Berlin Zoo below, the scene of the Troggs’ Press reception yesterday. Troggs are pop giants here, creating the kind of fan fervour that the Rolling Stones experienced in their early days.
Their manager Larry Page and I arrived on Saturday to find the group already installed in the hotel, where the big attraction was listening to the local AFN broadcasts beamed to U.S. Servicemen.
These include interruptions like “When you phone your girlfriend don’t talk about your work. She may not be a spy, but the man listening-in is!”
This kind of unhappy comment is a constant reminder that we are staying on an island — a city divided in half in the centre of East Germany. It’s a grim grey city of cement. Ultramodern office blocks dominate and a huge skyscraper is surmounted by a blue-and-silver neon symbol for Mercedes cars, revolving halo-like about us (you can see it in the film, “Quiller”). At night red, blue and green flickering lights cut into the blackness but something seems wrong as you look out toward the horizon.
Reg Presley drew my attention to the fact that from a line parallel to the Reichstag building and beyond, the lights went out almost to the point of a total blackout. This is the dark Eastern sector.
“Frightening, isn’t it?” said Reg. It was chilling.
The Troggs had just completed their Swedish tour with mixed feelings. They had their amplifiers changed to receive continental voltage but it transpired that Sweden is one of the few countries that retains a European system. The amplifiers blew up on the first night!
“Audiences and fans were great,” said Reg. “In Stockholm we played a club and later the manager said it was the first time in four years he had heard screaming there.”

Saturday afternoon was spent chatting in the hotel and apart from Pete Staples and I being politely ejected from the bar for not wearing ties there were no major international incidents.
The evening provided an interesting excursion to the Eden Playboy club, a lively scene where young people dance and let rip.
An interesting variation in “go go girls” was provided by the dancing frauleins, who plunge into a swimming pool (in swim costumes) as the finale to their act. They are joined almost immediately by the more well-lubricated German lads who dive in — in their suits!
The Troggs were well-feted and as guests of honour invited to throw the girls into the pool! This they did with such enthusiasm that everyone shared in the dip!
During the course of the evening Larry Page was announced as their manager and credited with composing “I Can’t Control Myself”, which amused Reg (who wrote it). A German interpretation of “Wild Thing” was played, called “Lisbeth”.
The Sunday morning Press reception in the Berlin Zoo provided onlookers with free entertainment as the Troggs posed in an animal cage while a zoo keeper offered them a hunk of raw meat!
One four-year-old young fraulein was torn to distraction between the relative merits of a grizzly bear and Pete Staples opposite, who appeared to be wearing the animal’s mother!
Pete’s new full-length fur coat (see picture) is the subject of much amusement in the group and his version of Bud Flanagan’s “Underneath The Arches”, dressed in this ensemble and strolling down the Budapest-strasse, has to be seen to be believed!
After a short meander among the zebras, monkeys and seals for the benefit of photographers, we returned to a hot meal, provided in the grounds by our hosts, the Hansa Record Company, which issues the Troggs in Germany.



Over a lunch which included such delicacies as kanoodles (dumpling-like objects of unknown origin) and goulash, Chris Britton stressed the need to keep a sense of humour to relieve tension while on these never-rest tours.
“We’ve worked up a number of good routines,” he revealed. “Pete’s `Long John Silver’ is now nothing short of a masterpiece and Ronnie does a nice ‘Wilfred Pickles’, while Reg has developed a genius for relieving moments of sheer terror — like when the amps blew up! — by underestimating the situation with a camp ‘Whoops!'”
From the zoo we shot off to the huge Deutchlanderhaller, which seats 10,000 people and is a striking contemporary version of our own Wembley Empire Pool.
“The Germans are well organised,” said Reg. “We’ve come up against same bungling in certain parts of Scandinavia, but here they get things done. We ask for something and it’s no problem. There’s no discussion, no fuss, just action. And Hans Blume, from Hansa Records, has chaperoned us about like we were his own babies.”
Also on the concert was Graham Bonney, who got to No. 1 in the German charts with “Super Girl” and stayed in for over six weeks. He had some interesting things to say about his new single as he signed pieces of paper, bare limbs and photographs thrust at him by those lucky and enterprising enough to get into rehearsals.
“I’ve just recorded a Bruce Johnston composition, `Thank You Baby’,” Graham told me.
“There’s naturally a lot of Beach Boy influence in it and Bruce himself helped produce the session for me. It should be out about the second week in January. I’m knocked out about it.
“Bruce and I became friendly while on tour here in Germany about a month ago and he agreed to help me with the song. Such a modest guy, isn’t he?” I agreed.
The concert was a storming success, with Graham Bonney, ably backed by the Remo Four, giving a swinging performance.
Then the Hollies presented their usual slick brand of musicianship and well-balanced programme — “Taste Of Honey”, Chuck Berry’s “Too Much Monkey Business”, and the Four Tops’ “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” (Which Graham Nash informed the 9,000 audience they were thinking of recording before finding it at. No. 10 in the British charts after returning from the U.S.) and “Stop, Stop, Stop”.
Next we got a group called the Boots, who stamped about a bit, with one fellow dressed up as a Martian, sporting an antenna!


Opening up with “Louie Louie” to a clap that sounded as if it had been stolen from the World Cup final — only the shout was “TROG-GUZ” and not “ENG-GLAND!” — our Troggs had the audience greeting their “I Can’t Control Myself” and “With A Girl Like You” with frenzied delight. After other songs, they ended with ” Wild Thing,” which made the crowd just that!
An announcement by a back-stage official declared that British groups were unfair to them because they request the lights dimmed. 9,000 fans voiced their disagreement and so did manager Larry Page — and that was enough to ensure the lights went down.
They went up again with any movement in the crowd and had it not been for that and poor sound balancing, which prevented the vocals reaching the back, the Deutchlandhaller would have had the kind of scene on their hands which had only previously been experienced by the Beatles and the Stones.


The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.