Beatles

ARTICLE ABOUT George Harrison FROM SOUNDS, November 9, 1974

A very exciting interview with Mr. Harrison. He clearly evades some questions that are a lot tougher than what I think music journalists are allowed to ask stars of this magnitude these days. This one is really worth reading. Enjoy.

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The dark horse rears his head

After months of rumours and years of wishful thinking, George Harrison has finally hit the road. His massive tour will take in 27 American and Canadian cities for 50 concerts in under two months. It`s the longest tour ever undertaken by a former Beatle since the fragmentation of the band four years ago.
Harrison held an hour-long press conference in the Champagne Room of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel to answer any questions. The room was cram-packed with reporters, television crews and photographers. He spoke about the Beatles, together and otherwise, drugs, the up-coming tour, his newly formed Dark Horse Records, his wife Patti who is living with Eric Clapton, his personal taste in music and much more.
SOUNDS` ANDY McCONNELL was there.

Why, after all these years, have you decided to return to the States?
I`ve been back here many times. This is the first time I`ve been back to work. It`s the first time I`ve had an H-1 visa since `71.
What are the reasons for not having an H-1?
I had the same problem as John Lennon. I was busted for marijuana back in `67 by Sergeant Pilcher.
Did you have a hard time convincing the people to give you a visa?
It takes a long time, you know. A lot depends on Washington and how busy they are and they`ve been pretty busy lately. We applied for it months ago. It`s come through fine, but once the tour`s over I`ve got to get back.
What are your feelings about the up-coming tour?
I think if I had more time I`d be panic-stricken, but I don`t even have time to worry about it.
What kind of material will you be doing on the tour?
Couple of old tunes and a lot of new ones. The old tunes seem to have got slightly different arrangements. I`m gonna do “My Sweet Lord” and “Give Me Love”, but slightly different variations of them. They should be much more loose.
Will Ravi open the show?
No, I`ll be opening the show, but it`s definitely not going to be a Bangladesh Mark II, if that`s what people are thinking.
Will you be playing Britain and Europe?
I`d like to. I tried to squeeze a concert in just before Christmas although all the halls were booked out. The feeling within the band is that we should do a gig in London. They`re saying, `let`s do 12 dates, let`s tour England, let`s tour Europe`. I want to go to Japan. I want to go everywhere. This year there`s too much for me to do and not enough time to do it in.

Is there a paradox between your spiritualism and the atmosphere when you`re touring?
It is difficult, yeah. It`s good practise in a way, to be, as they say, in the world but not of the world. You can go to the Himalayas and miss it completely. Yet you can be stuck in the middle of New York and be very spiritual. I noticed some places like New York bring out a certain thing in myself while I found in places like Switzerland there were a lot of uptight people because they`re living in all this beauty, there`s no urgency in trying to find the beauty in themselves. If you`re stuck in somewhere like New York you have to look within yourself; otherwise you go crackers.
Do you have any anxieties as the tour approaches?
The main one is that I`ve lost my voice, I mean to a degree. It`s getting a bit rough and gravely. There`s a good chance the first few concerts I`m gonna come out playing instrumentals (laughing).
Do you have an album in the can?
Almost. I have a few things to do on it.
Who plays on it?
Some of the basic tracks I did last November. I had (Jim) Keltner, Ringo, Gary Wright, Klaus (Voormann). Some of the tracks I did this year with Willie Weeks, Andy Newark, Tommy Scott; the people in the band on tour with me.
What`s the album entitled?
“Dark Horse”.
Why was there such a gap between this album and “Living In The Material World”?
I`ve been busy working. I was busy being deposed. I`ve been doing some tracks of my own, did the Splinter album, finished up Ravi`s album, been to India for two months, organised the music festival from India; I`ve done a million things.

Why don`t you grant personal interviews?
There`s nothing to say, really. I`m a musician, not a talker. If you get my album it`s like “Peyton Place”, I mean it`ll tell you exactly what I`ve been doing.
When will it be released?
When I`ve finished it.
What are your hopes for your Dark Horse Records? Do you see it becoming very large?
No, no! I don`t want it to turn into a Kinney. I`d like it to be decently small.
What artists do you hope to get on it?
I don`t hope to get any in particular. To tell you the truth, I`ve been here just over a week, and if I signed all the people who gave me tapes, I`d be bigger than RCA and Kinney put together, but fortunately I don`t have time to listen to them all.
Do you pay much attention to what the critics say?
I cancelled all my newspapers five years ago, so I don`t really know what people say. If I do see a review of an album I`ll read it, although it doesn`t make too much difference what they say, because I am what I am whether they like it or not.
Are you ever amazed at how much the Beatles still mean to people today?
Not really. It`s nice. I realise the Beatles did fill a space in the `60s and all the people the Beatles mean anything to have grown up. It`s like anything; if you grow up with something you get attached to it. One of the problems in our lives is that we get attached to things. I can understand that the Beatles did nice things and it`s appreciated that people still like them.
The problem comes when they want to live in the past, when they want to hold on to something. People are afraid of change.

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Have you seen the play?
You mean `John, George, Harry, Ringo, Fred, Bert and Stigwood`? That`s been going on there but I haven`t had a chance to see it yet. I hear conflicting reports. Some people say that it`s lousy and they`re in tears because they say Brian Epstein is lousy, others say it`s fantastic, Brian comes off like an angel. I`ll have to see it when I get a day off.
Are you involved in any serious negotiations to get the Beatles back together for one night?
No, you`ve been reading Rolling Stone.
What did you think of that article?
The point is, it`s all a fantasy, the idea of putting the Beatles back together again. If we ever do that, the reason will be that we are all broke. There`s more chance that we`ll do it because we`re broke than because… and even then, to play with the Beatles… I mean, I`d rather have Willy Weeks on bass than Paul McCartney. That`s the truth, with all respect to Paul. The Beatles was like being in a box, we got to that point. It`s taken me years to be able to play with other musicians. Because we were so isolated it became very difficult playing the same tunes day in, day out.
Since I made “All Things Must Pass”, it`s just so nice for me to be able to play with other musicians, and having played with other musicians, I don`t think the Beatles were that good. I think they`re fine, you know.
Ringo`s got the best back beat I`ve ever heard. He hates drum solos. Paul is a fine bass player, he`s a bit overpowering at times. John`s gone through all his scene but he feels like me, he`s come back around. We`re all at that point. I mean, to tell you the truth, I`d join a band with John Lennon anyday, but I couldn`t join a band with Paul McCartney, but it`s nothing personal. It`s just from a musical point of view.
How did you choose the musicians in your own band?
I didn`t really choose them… so many things in my life I don`t really do; I just feel like an instrument. I knew I was doing a tour and I knew I had to have a band, but I didn`t want to commit myself to anybody, I just let things roll on. I only met Andy Newmark and Willie Weeks a few months ago. If I hadn`t met them, I wouldn`t have a rhythm section, but I believe the Lord provides me or you or all of us, if you believe that, he provides you with whatever you need.

What is your relationship with John and Paul?
It`s very good, actually. I haven`t seen John because he`s been in the States although I`ve spoken to him over the phone. He seems like he`s in great shape. I just met Paul again and everybody`s really friendly, but that doesn`t mean we`re going to form a band.
Let me change the subject… Are you getting a divorce?
No, that`s as silly as marriage.
Did you make any musical rebuttal to “Layla”?
Pardon?! How do you mean, musical… what rebuttal! That sounds nasty. Eric Clapton`s been a close friend for years. I`m very happy about it, I`m still very friendly with him.
Seriously? How can you be happy about it?
Because he`s great. I`d rather she was with him than with some dope.
What`s your attitude on drugs now?
Drugs? Got any? What drugs? Aspirin? What are you talking about? What do you define as drugs? Whisky? I don`t want to advocate them because it`s so hard to get into America.
What do you consider to be the crowning glory so far in your musical career?
As a musician? I don`t think I`ve got any yet. As an individual, just being able to sit here today and be relatively sane. That`s probably the biggest accomplishment to date.
Who are some of the contemporary artists that you admire most?
Smokey Robinson, I`m madly in love with Smokey Robinson. There`s so many of them. I like Dicky Betts. I think Ry Cooder is sensational.
What about Stones?
Yeah, the Stones, you know, they`re fine, you know; nice. I like the Stones. Variety`s the spice of life.
Can you see a time when you`ll give up being a musician?
I can see a time when I`d like to give up this kind of madness, but I`d never stop music. Everything`s based on music.

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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 Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Ken Boothe, Van Morrison, Pete Brown, Roger Glover, Pink Floyd, David Puttnam, Mott The Hoople, Bad Company, Phil Spector, Thin Lizzy, Janis Ian, Elton John.

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.

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ARTICLE ABOUT Paul McCartney FROM SOUNDS, November 20, 1971

A really interesting article printed just a few weeks before the first album that Wings released. In itself a very good band with some good tunes, but nothing less than you would expect from one of the major songwriters of this modern world. Personally I have always had a very weak spot for the Beatles, and I think they are probably THE most important group of musicians that ever was or ever will be. Yes, I am a fan of the Beatles, and anyone with just a small amount of musicality in them would and should agree.
Enjoy this interview with Sir Paul McCartney from way back.

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Trying to keep things loose

Paul McCartney talks to Steve Peacock

Paul McCartney, sitting on the control desk in EMI`s number 2 studio at Abbey Road – “I went to New York looking for the best studio in the world, but I prefer it here,” – was talking, not unnaturally, about his new band, Wings.
“The night before John said he was leaving the group and all that, we were at home and it suddenly dawned on me. `If everyone else doesn`t want to do it, I`ll get my own band, even if it`s just a little country and western thing or something like Johnny Cash, just so I can get in there and have a sing.` Because that`s all I wanted, just to play.

HIDING

Everyone did really, everyone was trying to play, but no-one wanted to do it with the Beatles.”
It`s been a long time since then, and Paul`s the only one who hasn`t yet got out on the road. John`s done it – Cambridge, Toronto, Fillmore East – George has done it – with Delaney and Bonnie, and with Ringo and all the others at Madison Square Garden. But Paul`s been hiding away. There`ve been two albums which haven`t had very good reviews, and which personally I`ve found rather lifeless, plus the odd single.

HANDHOLDS

But now there`s Wings – a band. There are no firm plans for going on the road, though at the moment they`d like to do it, but there`s an album. We listened to it at the studio – McCartney jiggling about in his seat to it, obviously delighted – and certainly to me it sounded as if after years of reaching out for handholds, McCartney had found out how to do it again.
One side rocks hard and loud, the other side moves more slowly – just like the old records, one side for jiving, the other for smooching. That`s the way he planned it. “Mumbo” is the first track, and maybe THE track. “Bip Bop” sounds a bit like the Stones` “Stray Cat Blues”.
“Love Is Strange” is the old rocker`s words set to a reggae beat, and it works, “Wild Life” is the title track, with a strong vocal, a nice guitar solo, and a sound that isn`t far away from the first Moody Blues album. Good old Denny Laine.
Side two has an overall sound that`s pretty close to the Beatles when they were close – ooh-aah backing vocals, rhythm guitars, short solos. It ends with “Dear Friend” – very slow, piano, strings. “That`s the only one that`s at all about the Beatles situation,” he says. “Throw the wine – shut up, stop messing about.” But on “Wild Life” there`s a line that refers to “a lot of political nonsense in the air.”
Later, he was talking about political nonsense, all the trouble between him and the others, between the McCartney`s and Linda`s father, John Eastman, and Allan Klein. Politics, Paul called it, and he didn`t like it. All he wanted was to be out of the whole thing, to own the copyright to his own songs, forget the Beatles, sign a piece of paper saying we`ve split up, everything`s going to be shared by four.

CRAZY

“And John said, “Yeah, but that`s like asking us to stop the bombing in Vietnam.” We eventually decided that we were all Vietnamese, so that`s all right…
“But I keep wanting to send him postcards saying `The war`s over if you want it” – tell him what he`s saying. It`s just crazy, I`m sure the truth`s a whole lot more simple than it`s made out.”
Talking about John: “John`s John. John wants to wipe everything away and start again, but in doing so he never wipes anything away. He wants it to be him and Yoko against the world, or whatever, but he`s still in with all the others, in with all the contracts and going in to the meetings and everything.
“He`s getting pissed off with it though – I sense it. I`ve had a couple of good conversations recently with just John, and I`ve felt a lot of common ground with him. And I watched him on the Parkinson show, and really a lot of the things he`s into, we`re into as well.”

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STRAIGHTS

Did he like John`s albums?
“I liked `Imagine`, I didn`t like the others much. But really, there`s so much political shit on at the moment that I tend to play them through once to see if there`s anything I can pinch.” And how does he sleep?
“I think it`s silly. If he was going to do me he could have done me, but he didn`t. That didn`t phase me one bit. `You live with straights`. Yeah, so what? Half the f-king world`s straight; I don`t wanna be surrounded by hobnailed boots. I quite like some straight people, I`ve got straight babies. `The only thing you did was Yesterday`. That doesn`t bother me. Even if that was the only thing I did, that`s not bad, that`ll do me. But it isn`t, and he bloody knows it isn`t because he`s sat in this very room and watched me do tapes, and he`s dug it.”
But back to Wings. There`s Paul, and there`s Linda, and Denny Laine, and drummer Denny Seiwell who Paul found in New York before he did “Ram”. He was auditioning drummers in a dark basement, and he asked for rock and roll beat. Denny went straight to his tom toms – all the others went to the high hat. Denny got the gig. “I play all the lead guitar on the album,” said Paul, “except for a few places where Denny (Laine) and I play in harmony. I fancy myself as a guitarist, see. He did have a solo but I took it off him.” Denny smiled.

INNOCENCE

Linda sings, writes with Paul, and plays a lot of keyboards. “I like what she does. Her style isn`t like that old, hard pro thing that`s got all the technique, but it`s like children`s drawings. That`s not a very good simile, but it`s got what children`s drawings have got… innocence.”
The album was recorded with very little rehearsal, and a lot of the basic tracks were done live in the studio – a far cry from the painstaking technical methods of something like “Ram”. Why hadn`t he done something like this before?
“Well in a way I did, but it was me playing all the instruments, and you can`t get into it in the same way. `McCartney` was more or less me testing out the studio in the house – the kids in the back, Linda cooking dinner, and me sitting down and having a play. That was just that album, and then “Ram” was just the next album. But whereas with `Ram` I tried so hard that I really wanted people to like it, with this one I don`t care so much because I like it.”
How important was it to him that people like reviewers liked his work generally? “It was a little too important to me, but obviously I hope people will like what I do, so it gets to me. With this one it might get to me a bit if it gets shitty reviews but I don`t think it`ll get to me so much. I had to rationalise things after `Ram`.”
Wings have made an album, but the idea has been to form a group – a group that won`t just make records but that`ll play together a lot, and go on the road.
“We don`t know exactly how we`re going to do that yet, except that we know we`re going to do it quietly until the band`s got the confidence to know we can play anywhere. But I don`t want to start with a big `Wings at the Albert Hall!` thing, with all the Press and business people there. The basic idea is for us to turn up at a place that we just fancy visiting at the time, and try to arrange a little gig. Do it under another name or something. If we do it the other way, then we`ve got to be THEM, and do the whole bit, and when it comes to the night we just might not fancy playing anyway.
“My best playing days were at the Cavern, lunchtime sessions, when you`d just go on stage with a cheese roll and a coke and a ciggie, and people would give you a few requests, and you`d sing them in between eating your cheese roll. That was great to me, I think we got something great going in those days – we really got a rapport there, which we never got again with an audience. And if an amp blew up or something, it didn`t matter, because we`d just pick up an acoustic and sing the Sunblest commercial or something – and they`d all join in.

NERVES

We used to do skits and things too – I used to do one on Jet Harris, stagger around looking moody and a bit drunk, playing “Diamonds”. He`d been to the Cavern once and fallen off the stage.
“That was the stage with the Beatles I thought was best, and that`s the way I`d like to be able to play again – if a few people happen to turn up to a gig then it`s usually great, but if you`re all sitting there like penguins waiting to judge me, then I`m going to be nervous, and I`m not going to enjoy it. I`m not like John, who swallows his nerves in Toronto and be sick just before he goes on – that I`m not going to go through thank you. It`s not necessary, and if it`s not necessary, I`m not going to do it.
“With this band we play good together live because nobody`s too hung up about what he`s playing. We`ll go round to Denny`s house and just sit there playing songs that we half-know. It`s good.
“We don`t want to be a media group – we don`t want to go everywhere and plug everything and have knickers with our name on them and all that. That won`t work for me now – it`s all done. It was great while it lasted but its over now.”

LOOSE

Did he really enjoy all that while it was happening?
“Yeah, it was great, obviously, and I did enjoy it, loved it, but it got to be a bit tight at the end. It was when we got to be Beatles with a big B that things began to be difficult because even if we wanted to go out and play, how the hell could we do it? We`d have had to have done a big million seater thing, and that`s why I was suggesting them that we all just go away somewhere and play, like I want to do with Wings. Ricky and the Redstreaks at Slough Town Hall or something – and everyone turns up for the Saturday night dance and finds it`s us.
“We`re all musicians, and the fun of being a musician is being able to play live to people. For us, it might be a year, it might be two years, or it might be next week. We don`t know, we might not even fancy going live in the end, and if that happens it`s all right too.
“I`m just trying to keep things loose, because life itself is loose. I don`t want to have to say `I`ll be in Slough tomorrow` on the way I feel today, because tomorrow I might not feel like it, and it`s great to be able to give yourself the evening off. Everybody talks about freedom and all that, but all you`ve got to do to have it is just to take it. You don`t have to do a Santana and tour the world or something – I`d rather have a few people annoyed that we didn`t turn up, or rather that Ricky and the Redstreaks didn`t turn up, than go through all that again. And as long as we keep that basic freedom, I don`t think we`ll go far wrong.”

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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 Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Ray Charles, Marc Bolan, Bell & Arc, Ornette Coleman, Rory Gallagher, The Who, 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: 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.