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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.

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ARTICLE ABOUT Frank Zappa FROM New Musical Express, April 17, 1976

Just a short one with Zappa today as he is almost always entertaining in one way or the other. Some interesting accusations in there too.

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At last the truth can be told
Frank Zappa has no underwear

By Cherry Ripe

“Wanna see the best thing I got?” Yes my friends, it`s Francis Vincent Zappa talking about his clothes.
“Now this item was given its stage debut in Hawaii – I haven`t seen any reviews yet, but I`m sure the only thing they`re gonna write is what this sucker looks like under the lights.”
It`s a skin tight tube that branches into two, which would rate as a skin-tight jumpsuit.
And you don`t wear underwear, huh?
“I don`t own any underwear.”
“Then,” he continues “for casual wear, I have these brown harem pants..” into which he casually slips for what has now turned into an impromptu private fashion parade (eat your heart out Lisa Robinson!).. “They tie at the ankles. And I have some type of impressive S & M large belt – with a large buckle, no studs. It`s understated, all sort of brown. (Aside) That may not go over in England.”
But I thought you were never going there again? “Eventually all these things go into a clip book. Then at a press conference in Bilbao somebody`s gonna pick up on something that was transmitted from Fiji… and I`ll have somebody ask me what I`ve got against black leather. The problem is they go to a clipbook and get things that were written by people like them, who went to a clipbook. There`s a bunch of these things – that I stomp on baby chickens, have a fetish about poodles.

True enough, the Police Chief in New Zealand (where he`d just come from), did go along to the show to make sure about the chickens.
“If they think I have a fetish about dogs, they are sadly mistaken. It`s not profound – it`s entertainment. Poodles serve as a convenient mechanism for conveying certain philosophical ideas that might otherwise be more difficult.
“It`s like that old saying. `Shoot low! They`re riding shetlands!`” I never heard that before. “See how old it is?”
Francis Vincent Zappa has just finished up a tour of the antipodes, with yet another incarnation of the Mothers without Beefheart. The line up is Roy Estrada, Napoleon Murphy-Brock, keyboardist Andre Lewis, and drummer Terry Bozzio. “I`m only fourteen I`m sickly and thin, trying to grow me a chin… it popped out once, my dad pushed it in. Why did he hurt me? He`s my next of kin, a Mexican!”
“The song was constructed using every kind of cliche that folk-rock brought to the world – all those stupid bass lines. And it`s sung by the drummer who has a squeaky little teenage voice. He sings on about four other songs: everybody sings.”
Yes, it certainly has a different feel from the last Mothers line up he toured with in `73. “I think the overall impact of that group would be that it was between pseudo-jazzette and cranial. And the people who were in the band at the time – with a couple of exceptions – were genuinely boring people. I mean – I don`t appreciate a band that likes to play chess in their off-stage hours. If you have to spend a lot of time with people who are interested in their chess boards and little card games and shite like that, it can drive you nuts. Eventually, in order to homogenise with the rest of the group, you gotta lay back so far that you`re walking like this..” Doing a limbo?
“Yeah. It`s the Chubby Checker Look – under the limbo bar!”

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There are three things that are important to me right now. The forty-piece-orchestra album. The guitar album. And the ten record set. The problem with that – we got the five thousand orders – is that if you deliver a double album, that still counts as one album. But if its a ten record album? I don`t feel that its right to count that as one album. Warner Brothers aren`t even sure they want to count it as a single album against my contract etcetera… that it`s maybe not commercial.”
Any chance you`d work with Flo and Eddie again?
“No!” Categorically? “Yes.”
“The means by which they chose to promote their careers at my expense, while I was sitting in a wheel chair trying to help them get a job and a record contract. I believe to be despicable, and will always think so, even though I regard Howard as a fine singer, and Mark as a great tambourine player and fat person.
“It`s like a tried and true formula for someone who`s not in the band anymore to go to a newspaper, or go on a radio station, and say how bad a person I am, because there`s someone always waiting to hear that, print it, pat the poor little bastard on the head.
“I was hearing things like I supposed to be stifling people`s careers. Flo and Eddie did that and still continues to do it. Beefheart was doing that when he was on his rampage. Alice Cooper did it to a certain extent. Wild Man Fischer did it, a girl named Sandy Hurvitz did it in New Musical Express…” Oh no..
“I have an expression I use.. It`s not as good as `Shoot Low – they`re riding shetlands,` but I try and remember this all the time – you can use it yourself – like a mantra:
“People suck.”

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You don`t see ads like this  anymore. 

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, Patrick Moraz, 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 Roger Glover (Deep Purple) FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, December 28, 1974

Just a short one to end the year of 1974 – no pictures of Roger, so you will have to be content with the words. Quite an unusual project for someone connected to Deep Purple, but life is funny that way…it isn`t always what you expect!
Have a nice read!

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Glover out of his cocoon?

…and participating in “Butterfly Ball”, of course. TONY STEWART checks out this unexpected activity by the ex-Purple bassman

“The Butterfly Ball And The Grasshopper`s Feast”, in the words of the publicity people, is (quote) “Nature`s celebration of Life”. If you`re cynical you may be inclined to regard the promotion of the book, album, cartoon film and eventual television series and/or movie as nothing more than a commercial gambit slightly more highbrow than the Wombles campaign.
But that would be a little unfair.
The hard-back book by Alan Aldridge and William Plomer has vividly colourful illustrations of the animals, insects etc that inhabit our land, a jolly story about the said ball – based on William Rosioe`s poems, first published in the 17th Century – and is of considerable educational value, with poems and detailed nature notes by Richard Fitter.
Published last year, it`s sold more than 200,000 copies and won the Whitbread Award For Children`s Literature. It has also been acclaimed by a substantial adult audience.

Now there`s an album of the same name, released recently on Purple Records with music, lyrics and production by former Deep Purple bass player Roger Glover.
Glover has not been particularly active since his split with Purple some two years ago, so why did he get involved in this rather unlikely project.
“Why does anyone do anything in business?” asks Roger rhetorically. “The people who published the book decided there was more mileage in it, and also that it could be made into a film – which was their original intention.
“It was decided that an album would create an even wider interest in the concept of the work.”
The theme, as Glover sees it, is fundamentally a message of love and peace, with a few ecological statements made both in the book and the album. It seems a far cry from Deep Purple, but Glover insists he didn`t do it just to shake off his previous image.

“I liked the idea of the book,” he emphasises.
“If you say it`s a book about loving people and forgetting your differences and joining together and having a good time and celebrating, it sounds very idealistic and a bit soppy. But I believe in it nonetheless.
“Ball” did present an opportunity for Roger to vent the frustrations he`d apparently felt with Purple. “Writing,” he explains, “was probably my biggest frustration with them, because I`ve always been a writer.
“And with `The Butterfly Ball` I had complete freedom. I started off trying to write the things people would expect from an ex-member of Deep Purple, which was wrong, because it wouldn`t have fitted the book.
“It had to fit the book, and it had to be part of something that`d maybe would become a musical or a soundtrack or whatever.

“That`s why,” he continues, “I hope it`s not dismissed as just another children`s record. There`s more there for people to listen to, I hope. I don`t think it`s entirely successful, but I`m reasonably pleased with it.”
The album is a condensation of the book, with Glover`s own lyrics replacing the poetry of Plomer but retaining the basic theme.
“Each song I`ve written stands up on its own. You don`t have to look at the book to get what you can out of the song.”
As mentioned earlier, this is really Glover`s first excursion into rock (the album is very much a rock record) since he left Deep Purple. It seems he`s been reluctant to deal with the business and the media, to the extent that he turned down the opportunity to make his own solo album.
“I didn`t really want to enter anything that was a big business venture,” he says. “I was offered enormous amounts of money to form a band and live off the name I had in Deep Purple. If I`d made a solo album immediately after leaving the band, there was every chance it would have been a gold – whatever it was like. And I resented that.”

Nice ad from the Faces.

Nice ad from the Faces.

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: Tangerine Dream, Nico, Santana, Ralph McTell, Woody Woodmansey, Alvin Lee, Gary Glitter, Edwin Starr, Keith Christmas.

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 around or upwards of 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 (Yes) FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, December 21, 1974

This may well be the article that gets my blog 10.000 views, knowing how interested Yes-fans are of reading about past and present members of the band. I will celebrate with something a little stronger than beer. Kind of a strange article this, and I never knew that Mr. Wakeman was so fond of beer. Is he still?
Have fun!

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We could have talked about his latest epic “The Compleat Works of William Shakespeare”…we were even ready to discuss his Keyboard Technique…but he preferred to talk about drinking. Accordingly, we preshent-

The RICK WAKEMAN Consumer`s Guide to Beers of the World

The management reserved rights to refuse admission to Chris Salewicz (words) and Joe Stevens (pics)…but they came in anyway

“On our rider for the tour of America – for the seven of us – we had twelve six-packs of Budweiser, two bottles of tequila, two bottles of scotch, two bottles of brandy, a bottle of grenadine and a bottle of orange juice to mix Tequila Sunrises. This is apart from all the ordinary lagers and other beers you get.
“And on the very first gig we had to send out for more at half time.”
Yes, Rick Wakeman likes the old tipple. In fact, one could go as far as to say that he regards himself as something of a connoisseur when it comes to booze. And I`m not just thinking of anything as crass as the fact that there was invariably a pint pot within reach whenever Wakeman was on stage with the Topographic Travellers – or “what Yes eat is what I bring up in the morning after a heavy night`s drinking”. No, that`s all become somewhat unnecessarily over-emphasised.

Because right now we`re going to talk about BEER – A Man`s Drink. So snuggle up close, you big butch creatures, and come on down to the Anglesea Arms, 15 Selwood Terrace, London SW7, which has been specially selected for the Rick Wakeman`s Consumers Guide to this liquid – for the quite basic reason that it`s a Free House (i.e., it`s not owned by an particular brewery) and stocks twenty-seven different brands.
Oh, then, to the first pint: Young`s Special. Wakeman dips his face into the glass and consumes roughly half of it. He seems satisfied: “Very difficult. First of the day, you see. I`ve deliberately been starving myself of liquid refreshments.
“And that first pint always does tend to taste just that little bit watery. It`s a very good bitter, although.”
It`s decided that the various beers to be tasted should be awarded star ratings with a possible maximum of ten.
The artist who is currently transforming the sensitive Arthurian legends into a musical form glugs down the final half of yet another aspect of his heritage.

Froth from the beer delicately mats together the hair of his freshly trimmed moustache.
“It`s a nine,” he declares. “Definitely a nine star out of ten rating.” And he lets forth a quaint belch before telling us that he`d cancelled studio time so that he could keep his appointment. Obviously a man who has his priorities right, is Rick Wakeman, as his reaction shows when it`s mentioned that the pub is rather absurdly crowded and that we could, if it were felt necessary, move on to somewhere with a little more room to breathe.
A look of extreme concern appears on his face: “Yeah, but the thing is they all close at eleven and the more walking about that we do the less alcoholic beverage time.
“One finds this problem a lot,” he adds, before lumbering up to the bar to personally inspect what is available. He returns with a pint of Watney`s Special!
“This, of course, though,” says Wakeman apologetically, “is the kind of beer that I was actually weaned on. Watneys provided me with my very first pint when I was thirteen years old – I can remember drinking it but I can`t remember the aftermath.
“Chemical beer does, of course, lay more heavily on the stomach.

“Now one beer which you can`t actually get there – Ind Coope…”
Ah, but one can, however, purchase Ind Coope`s Double Diamond.
This satisfies our guinea-pig: “While Double Diamond has the sweetness and the glorioso of wandering through a forest on a spring day with the sight of those first leaves and the gentle tweeting of birds…it does make you fart,” states Wakeman, almost with anguish. “Most of the band drink Double Diamond…I do find that if you drink a lot of it you tend to pebble-dash the toilet in the morning. Which can be a bit awkward especially if you`ve got a busy day ahead of you.
“I really do quite like this (Watney`s) actually,” he says a little defensively. “Because you know how you get accustomed to a taste.”
A certain gassiness about it, though.
“That doesn`t worry me because I normally drink light and bitters. I used to drink bitter all the time but I found that going from pub to pub the bitters would vary and I`d find bitters I really liked like…Well, for example I was one of the people who really liked Charringtons Bitter – I think it`s quite a pokey little beer, actually. Quite like Young`s bitter, in fact.

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“But then you might go somewhere and have Truman`s Bitter which is really….Anyway I used to play in a little dance band and one of the guys said to me `You`re mad to drink bitter all the time because you can never be assured of a good one. The way you want to make sure that you`ll always have a good pint is if you have a light and bitter because if the beer`s horrible and flat a light ale will always buck it up a bit`.
“So when I was travelling around in bands that`s what I always used to drink because it assured that the pint tasted relatively the same wherever I was.”
There is however, another answer to this admittedly perennial problem: what is known in parts of the North as a pint touch. Now this involves the slightest amount of lemonade being poured on top of the beer. Wakeman`s eyes light up: “Down where I`ve got a place in the West Country they call that a bitter dash.”

At this point, though, the arrival of a pint of every draught beer sold in the Anglesea brings an end to the discussion of the more esoteric aspects of the brew.
“Lowenbrau…,” gurgles Wakeman through a Teutonic mouthwash, “I don`t like lagers…I really don`t like lagers. I always wake up with a headache. It just spoils a good night`s drinking.
“On a star rating…Actually we haven`t graded Watney`s Special yet. On a star rating I`ll have to give an eight to the Watney`s.
“Because I do like Watney`s, you know,” he adds, perhaps noticing my displeasure. “It`s always consistent.
“Now this lager…Extremely disappointing, I`m afraid. The Lowenbrau only gets five stars.”
A pint of Double Diamond (Works Wonders) slides down Wakeman`s Deep Throat: “Always tastes to me – Double Diamond – as it… do you remember the early days at the dentists when they used to give you gas? Actually, it wasn`t so much the gas as the rubbery smell of the mask….But it always reminds me of that. So because of that I can only give it a six star rating, I`m afraid. What`s next?

“Skol!?!
“Oh, I`m afraid I`ll have to link this with the Lowenbrau,” bellows Wakeman irritably, spilling at least a third of the pint over my jeans. “Once again you get a horrendous headache. It does make you pebble-dash the toilet seat…”
Back to the ale. So the Lowenbrau and the Skol both got no more than a miserable five stars each. So much for internationalism. But what about the Ruddles County? How dedicated drinkers have been known to come from all over London to the Anglesea Arms simply for a mere taste of this rare non-chemical beer. Many would argue that Ruddles County is the very finest beer currently being brewed within these shores.
Rick Wakeman gazes at the full pint for a full five seconds before taking that precious, first swallow: “It`s bloody `orrible,” he screams, turning faintly green. “That is awful.
“That is one of the worst things I have ever tasted in my whole life.”
But it`s renowned for its quality, Rick.

“It`s like an off barley wine.
“I`ll give that a two star. And the only reason I`ll give it that is because there`s a pint of it and I might have to drink it before the night`s out.”
Try the Worthington E.
“Flat. It`s normally quite bubbly. Bit tasteless, that.”
Plainly in a tantrum after his disappointment with the Ruddles County, Wakeman awards the Worthington E the staggeringly low rating of minus three stars, though the Watney`s Red Barrel (“it`s one asset is that it`s the same wherever you go”) fares better with six stars. His comments on the Rigers weren`t exactly flattering and he refused to even attempt an assessment of its worth.
Grabbing at another pint of Young`s Special, Wakeman rinses out his mouth and departs with a crazed look on his face -loudly demanding to know the direction of the nearest Star Of India restaurant.

From the touring adverts

From the touring adverts

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: Bryan Ferry, Sparks, Gong, Rolling Stones, Big Jim Sullivan, Dizzy Gillespie, Otis Redding.

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ARTICLE ABOUT Jeff Beck FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, APRIL 8, 1972

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. If you really like this sort of thing – follow my blog! Thank you!

Jeff Beck is recognized by the musical community and critics for being one of the greatest guitarists in history. But still, there is a chance that some of you feel the same way as me – why do I read so much about him and still listen to so little of his musical output?
One of the reasons may be that Beck has not established or maintained the sustained commercial success of many of his contemporaries and bandmates.
While transcribing this article I listened to a couple of records by Jeff Beck and was pleasantly surprised. You will need to be broad-minded when listening to his music, as much of it is instrumental and progressive, but if you dig Joe satriani or even Rush (Without the helium voice of Geddy Lee) you will find some really good stuff here. Do yourself a favour – this year when Beck will celebrate his 70th birthday(!) – listen to him play!

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Beck on trial
By Tony Stewart

After a two year absence Jeff Beck is back. Currently, with two albums and a short tour, he`s testing public reaction.

A car accident several years ago resulted in guitarist Jeff Beck leaving the music scene. While with the Yardbirds he had established himself as a master of his instrument, and after the demise of that group his stature in subsequent outfits.
At one point Beck seriously considered reforming the `Birds although the idea did not materialise. But now, with a new band formed last April, Beck is back.
In this interview at his manager Ernest Chapman`s office, Beck, dressed in rough denims and drinking Guinness, talked of his seclusion, his dissatisfaction with his new group`s album, his doubts, and his hopes for their second album, due out next month. Still skinny but now 27, he was at times not exactly oozing with confidence.

Stewart: What were your reasons for leaving the music scene two years ago?

Beck: It was a forcible thing. I had an argument with the rest of the blokes in the previous group, which meant that my playing had to stop for a while anyway. Then after that I had an accident – a car crash in Surrey. I was laid up for three months.

At that time I believe you had plans to link-up with ex-members of Vanilla Fudge?

Yeah, that was the first idea. If it had worked, it would have been all right, and I would have carried on. Then I thought about it, and I didn`t want to go to live in America, which is what it would have entailed.

What did you do during the lay-off period, because after your recovery you still were in a state of retirement?

Well, I live in the country where it`s extremely quiet – in fact it`s so quiet it`s deafening – but I didn`t do anything musically except practised now and again. Just sort of idled the time away. And I built a couple of cars.

Did you feel dissatisfied with the music scene?

I don`t know really. It`s just that loud noises, and loud groups, didn`t really fit in with what I was doing – relaxing. I didn`t really go out and rave anywhere. I just played it quiet.
Then the time came when I had to look for a band, and I knew I had to look in the sort of places where there would be lots of noise and bustle, and I really didn`t relish the idea. But it had to be done, so I looked all over England. Plus I had some contacts in the States.

You say it HAD to be done. How do you mean?

Well I mean it`s the thing I can do; I can`t make a living at anything else. I could but I wouldn`t bother. You shouldn`t have to do anything you don`t want to. You should be able to make money at what you like doing and what you can do best. And this is what I can do best.

Were you feeling restless as well?

No, I didn`t bother. I wasn`t worried about anything passing me by, if that`s what you mean.

Was it a question of earning a living?

Money things are obviously a big part of it. It`s not the only part. I wouldn`t just go out and plonk, just because I was getting paid, I`d have to like it as well. And vice versa. I wouldn`t play just because I liked it.

With the reputation you`d built up as a big guitar man…

That was all out of proportion. I wasn`t really that great. It`s just that nobody was featuring a guitar as much as the Yardbirds, that`s all. They were all singing groups like the Hollies and Kinks, that sort of stuff. They all had hit songs, but nobody in the group seemed to exploit the guitar.

Even so, you did have a reputation, and when you disappeared there was more interest created. So you could have come back as a solo artist, with a back-up group, but you came back as part of a group. Why did you decide to do that?

That`s what I wanted, but the first instance in my solo career I was being projected as a solo artist by Mickie Most, which was the kiss of death for me because he tried to twist me into something that I wasn`t, i.e. like a pop singer.
Then he gave me all the usual producer chat, “you`ve got to do this, you`ve got to do that, to sell records.” And all the time I was absolutely doing the wrong thing in taking any notice of him. Because there was a market, which he didn`t know about, in America, which catered for people like me, who was almost primarily experimenting with sounds, and guitar playing.
Mickie Most had a very convincing manner. He twisted my arm, and I recorded three junk records. “Silver Lining” – that was the singing one – still has a certain magic about it, but as a song…
We were sticking all the good stuff on the B sides. Rod Stewart would get to sing on a B side and he was getting really pissed off. Quite understandably, but I wanted him to sing on the A, so that we could play something descriptive of what we were doing at the time. Eventually I convinced Mickie he was barking up the wrong tree, with me anyway. He decided he wanted to record the stuff that we liked, and he couldn`t do it. At least he didn`t have much notion of what it was all about.

Do you feel happier as part of a band?

Yeah. I don`t have enough to say as a solo artist. In other words I couldn`t sit on a stool with an electric guitar or any other guitar and entertain anyone for more than about half an hour.
But it`s not what I`d like to do anyway. I`d just like to sit back and play how I feel. That`s what I`ve been channelling my whole job for.

How did you get this band together?

The first part was the hardest – finding a drummer. Then the next part took a long time, but suddenly it all fell together. All of a sudden I had a bass player, a piano player and a singer in a space of about two months.

Did you have any firm ideas of the type of music you wanted to play?

Yeah, I just can`t switch off my style and switch on another style, I have to think of what I`ve got already. In other words, I couldn`t jump out and find a jazz drummer, or a string section, and start a totally new thing.
I don`t pretend I`m doing anything really different, but the recorded product is different. Perhaps the stage thing isn`t better.

Has your stage-style changed?

Yeah, it`s more explicit, there`s more colour in it, less violence.

When you came back did you think you were still as competent as a guitarist, or better?

Well, I had mixed feelings.
When you read things like “Beck Group back” it puts you in the hot seat. It worries you. In a way it would be better if they didn`t say anything at all – if you were just allowed to play in some small dive and make a name like that.

Do you think there`s too much superstar charisma linked with your name?

With my name? Oh, I don`t know about that. I think there`s too much of it all around the business.

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When you were rehearsing the band what sort of music did you envisage?

It was a custom-built group, a bit from here and bit from there. Max (Middleton) is no more a rock and roll pianist than I am violinist. But, he blends in some way or other, because he`s just a top-class musician. And it`s rather like having an Errol Garner with a rock and roll guitar player. Plus a funk drummer.
It`s got the basis of some good things. We just have to sort ourselves out.
I didn`t really say to myself, `I`m going to form a group which has got this that and the other in it`. I was open to any suggestions. Because I don`t think any musician can be content if he`s playing ABC – what somebody else wants.
That`s always been the way in my group. Anyone can play what he wants. But there is a certain discipline needed, otherwise it`d just be jamming all night and rambling all over the place.
When you build a song, you should build it so that anyone can play what he wants without actually messing it up.

I think your “Rough And Ready” album has more of a contemporary feel than the rock and blues you played with Stewart, Wood and co.

That change must have been absolutely accidental. “Beckola” was real thundering rock and roll, which is all it is. It`s just crude and boisterous. But as you say, there is a difference. It`s accidental. It`s just getting new players in, that`s all.

But your group also help with the writing, don`t they? (not credited on album).

Oh yeah. Nobody`s any the less the writer than the next man. At the moment, though, we`re all looking for a direction. We just hope we all get it when we`re in the same group.

Again on the album, the music is subdued and controlled, though on stage you produce a driving rock sound.

Maybe it`s just nerves at the moment. Everyone`s a bit on edge. Possibly when we relax a bit, it will sound more like the album.
I always feel that people deserve more than just to sit there and patiently listen. Maybe as a crowd that`s all they want, but I`d rather inject some energy. It may not look as if I`m injecting energy into the songs though.
The songs as songs are garbage, there`s no two ways about it. They just don`t mean anything. The words don`t mean much. They`re just stock words. But they are necessary evils, as it were.
I feel if I formed an instrumental group I`d play all I`d got to say in the first couple of tracks, unless someone wrote me a lot of tunes. But rather than that I`d rather stay in the background and wail.

Were you happy with the first album?

Oh no. I feel it should never have happened.
None of us knew each other. I mean Max didn`t know me from a bar of soap. But when we played he just picked up a really elaborate chord sequence, just off the top of his head and remembered every chord. And I thought that someone who is as clever as that, and who can put the same energy and feeling into it each time he plays is worth his weight in gold.

Was it a good thing for you to produce it?

Well, I just thought I could do as good a job as Mickie Most on this sort of album. You`ve just got to have a good producer, because sometimes you get so close to your work that you can`t see the wood from the trees.

How`s the second album which you`ve just recorded in Memphis?

That`s miles, miles better in my opinion. I wouldn`t care if it just sold half the number – I`d still be happy with the direction. The playing is really tight.

What differences do you find between the two?

Well, having a producer like Steve Cropper helped greatly. Because he`s a guitarist – and he and I both seemed to think the same while we were together in the studio; he got off on the same licks that I got on.
He has a great feel for rhythm too, and he can tell when there`s a flaw in the rhythm track, and that saves a lot of time. Whereas I`d miss it, thinking of the guitar lick, he`d say “wait a minute the bass and the drums are a slight bit out there” or whatever. And we`d sit there learning from him.
At the same time he wasn`t telling us what to play. We`d go 15 takes and he`d just pick out one, an overall track being better than one which was erratic. All in all, the new album doesn`t sound like the same band.

Is the material stronger?

Yeah, much stronger, partly because we didn`t write it. We wrote four out of nine tunes.
There`s one written by Don Nix called “Going Down”, which was recorded by Freddie King. Anyway Don Nix just came into the studio while we were recording. And he said “it`s a good tune, that”. I said “yeah it`s great”, and he said “I wrote it”. So I asked if he approved of our version and he said he did.
It really pounds along. It`s old-fashioned, but it has more go than anything I`ve ever done.
There`s an instrumental with three melodies, on which I play bottle neck. The second melody comes in half way through, and the third comes right at the end. It is quite a nice piece – very melodic, but it`s based round a simple blues sequence.

Is the band finding a direction with this album?

Oh yeah. I say yeah – but the next album might be miles different again. Still, that won`t bother me in the least. This is a really important point now, to think of the next album.

Is this when you`ll decide which way to go ultimately?

Yeah, but how I`ll decide I don`t know. We have to judge by record sales. Because when you`re in a business you`re not just messing about all day. You have to ring up and check where your sales are best, and which countries are strong.
After all, we`re playing to people. We`re not playing for our amusement really. You have to find a direction from the people. I`d never play if I thought I was upsetting anybody.

You could say the first two albums are put out to test public reaction?

Yes, that`s about it. If this one doesn`t sell anything at all it won`t stop me from playing, but it will give me an insight into what is needed. After all, you have to cater for the people who are buying records and coming to concerts.

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Quite an interesting ad for the one and only album from this British band produced by Ian Gillan of Deep Purple.

This number of the NME also contains articles/interviews with these people: Grateful Dead, Steeleye Span, Deep Purple, Quintessence, Cheech and Chong, Alexis Korner, David Clayton-Thomas, Procol Harum, Groundhogs, The Who, Jim Capaldi, Paul McCartney, The Hollies, John Peel, Bill Wellings, Judee Sill, The Temptations.

The NME this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

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