Budgie

ARTICLE ABOUT Budgie FROM SOUNDS, September 20, 1975

Here`s a short one for you!
Read on!

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Budgie aim low and hit hard

Concert review by Richard Belfield

There`s a fanaticism about Budgie fans which is difficult to fathom. Budgie got a standing ovation after their first number, and again after every number played during the night. Towards the end the fans swarmed over the seats like lemmings. Some even tried to give the band a standing ovation before they walked on stage but were restrained by the management of the Free Trade Hall. The shouting alone threatened to drown the best that Budgie`s tons of electronic hardware could produce.
And yet, surprisingly, Budgie are really quite ordinary. There were no great pyrotechnics from Tony Bourge`s lead guitar, Burke Shelley`s bass lines aren`t anything out of the ordinary and the lyrics are banal.
While other bands have sunk into introspection and technique, Budgie have aimed low and hit. They know their market and cater for it. There was barely a woman in sight – perhaps less than 40 in the entire building. But all the young lads came alive when Budgie appeared on stage, all frantically plucking at invisible guitars and strutting pigeon toed like Burke Shelley. It was as well the guitars were invisible – had they been real we would all have been deafened.
For this gig Budgie brought in a second guitarist, Myf Isaacs, from Wales. He hasn`t played with the band before but has played with drummer Steve Williams in the past. He`ll be playing on the rest of the tour and presumably some decision will be taken about Budgie`s future as a trio.
Budgie had problems on this gig. They couldn`t do a sound check and the monitors didn`t work. Hopefully these problems will be solved so the sound can only improve.

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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.

ARTICLE ABOUT The A-Z of Heavy Metal FROM SOUNDS (Part 2), April 26, 1975

Here I continue what I started in my last post. Hope you enjoy it. These are the bands that mattered in 1975 when they spoke about “heavy metal”. I guess most people don`t call many of these bands “metal” in 2019.
Read on!

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Rock from `eavy to `umble or
The Sounds A – Z of Heavy Metal

Compiled by Pete Makowski and Geoff Barton

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Babe Ruth

`Eek! `Screech!` Closely followed by a dull `clung!`

Bachman Turner Overdrive

Heavy Duty Rock. It all started when Randy Bachman left top selling Canadian band Guess Who. He wrote their hits (e.g `American Woman`) and eventually decided to try his hand at solo albums and producing. He got together with another ex-Guess Who member Chad Allen and his brother Rob Bachman to record an album `Brave Belt`. Reprise were interested in the product but wanted a band to go on the road and sell it. So C. F. Turner was added on bass to complete a roadworthy line up. Allen dropped out of the band before the release of the Belt`s second album, another Bachman, Timmy, joined on guitar. They recorded their third album and left Reprise to join Mercury, Brave Belt III became Bachman Turner Overdrive. After two moderately successful albums Timmy left to produce and was replaced by Great Vancouver guitarist Blair Thornton. Things began happening and by the time of the release of their third album – `Not Fragile` – they were big business. Their popularity has even spread here (You Ain`t Seen Nothin` Yet`, `Roll Down The Highway`). Their music combines all the excitement of the world`s leading rock bands, packaged neatly into one tight commercial bundle.

Bad Company

Probably one of today`s most popular `commercial` rock and roll bands. They`ve hit the jackpot from the start with their single `Can`t Get Enough Of Your Love` and album `Bad Co` and second time round their album `Straight Shooter` is selling well. Stable mates to those `eavy boys Zeppelin, Bad Co is half of Free, Paul Rodgers (vocals) and Simon Kirke (drums) – the others Paul Kossoff (unemployed) and Andy Fraser (new band just formed) – plus Mick Ralphs (guitar) ex-Mott, and former King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell.

Jeff Beck

Beck can be as vicious as the heftiest of metallurgists, soft as a pigeon`s tail feather, depending on his mood, or his band, of the moment. Compare `Cause We`ve Ended Now As Lovers` with the savagery of his playing on the likes of `Plynth` (on Cosa Nostra Beck-Ola`) and see what I mean. Neither the Yardbirds (in which Beck replaced Eric Clapton) nor the brilliant Beck Group with Stewart, Wood and Waller was exactly heavy metal, but both were vital influences on the bands that made up the first division, first generation of the emerging muscular metal groups. Beck later joined Beck, Bogert, Appice, and joined the ranks of those who had followed on the lead of the old Beck bands. As usual, the results were sometimes spectacular, sometimes very ordinary. Beck quickly outgrew his desire to out-heavy the opposition, and moved on to more melodic and intricate music.

Bedlam

`Is Bedlam the new Cream` asked one music paper, well not quite, but Bedlam did revive a thrashing rock sound that was reminiscent of the late Sixties into a 70s package – a definite British sound that never quite made it. The band was formed by ex-Jeff Beck drummer Cozy Powell who along with Dave Ball (guitar), his brother Dennis (bass) and singer Frank Aiello produced one album.

Black Oak Arkansas

The blond and bleached Jim Dandy Mangrum and Arkansan cohorts are the epitome of American raunch and roll. The band started about 13 years ago when they acquired their first bits of equipment from local schools, `they just got off probation a couple of years ago. Their success is the result of solid roadwork and an exciting live performance. On record they seem to lack that certain je-ne-sais-quoi. Their new guitarist, 20 year old So` Bean, could put a change to that.

Black Sabbath

Highly popular, originally black magic, now big league metal band, Sabbath are currently slightly more mature in approach than they were say, with their first three albums. `Warning` a track on their first album produced by Roger Bain is definitely recommended. Had a hit with `Paranoid`. Currently hibernating.

Black Widow

Came out at the same time as Black Sabbath but never quite made it. Their music was in the same genre and they took the whole Black Magic thing one step further by culminating the show with a mock sacrifice featuring chief witch Alex Sanders and his wife. Got a lot of scandal press coverage.

Blue Cheer

Probably the closest thing to a critic`s idea of a Heavy Metal band. This powerhouse trio were an American interpretation of the Cream and the Yardbirds? Their weapon was volume, energy and simplicity and in `67 they pioneered a style which has remained with us ever since. Their rendition of Cochran`s `Summertime Blues` was a Heavy Metal anthem, a classic, those bombastic powerchords, throbbing bass blues and battering percussion sent the message home. The original line up featured Paul Whaley (drums), Dick Peterson (bass) and Leigh Stephens (guitar). Stephens left the band to record some solo albums and was replaced by Randy Holden, this also marked the end of the band for most people. They never bettered their first two efforts `Vincibus Eruptium` and `Outside Inside`.

Blue Oyster Cult

Probably the most competent of recent American heavy bands. Undeniably derivative, the B. O`Cult are nevertheless great fun. Surrealist lyrics and Buck Dharma`s sizzling guitar are the two things that strike you immediately. Their current `On Your Feet Or On Your Knees` double album is the best live rock effort for years.

Edgar Broughton Band

From the Midlands, and regarded as outcasts even in their family life, `Them Broughtons` started a rock and roll band. They got famous for benefits and free gigs, for the People`s Music, for endless versions of tunes like `Out Demons Out` and `Freedom`, and they gathered an audience that included some of the most loyal and relentless head-shakers and shoulder-joggers known to the British concert hall. In some ways they were close to the Third World War kind of thing – Preachin` revolution if not violence – and they`ve had their share of busts and court cases. These days they`re more into mime and theatre than the star right heads – down – and – people`s – boogie number but the WEEMEENIT set is still strong and faithful.

Brownsville Station

“We`re just aiming for that great E chord in the sky”, says the Station`s outspoken guitarist / vocalist Cub Koda. It seems this bombshell trio found it. Their music is raucous punk rock, tight, jam-free. They scored with their teenage anthem `Smoking In The Boys Room` which also sold well here. Henry `H-Bomb` Weck (drums) and Michael Lutz (bass) completed the trio. So far they`ve had two hit albums in the States – `Yeah` and `School Punks`.

Budgie

Loud three-piece Welsh band, first formed in 1968 when bassist Burke Shelley met one-time drummer Ray Phillips in a record shop. Their first album, released in July 1971, was produced by Roger Bain. Guitarist Tony Bourge pumps out a good bludgeoning riff, their numbers `Breadfan` and `Whisky River` are as good metal as you`ll hear anywhere. Phillips (now in a band called Woman) was replaced by Pete Boot (who has since joined Sweaty Betty) and the band`s current drummer is a guy called Steve Williams. Their fourth album `In For The Kill` just made the album charts last year. Their repertoire also includes numbers with eccentric titles: `Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman`, `A Crash Course In Brain Surgery` for example. Great stuff.

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CREAM 

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Cactus

Beck, Bogert and Appice without Beck? Cactus were probably what Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice got together to flex their muscles before the formation of BB&A. Featuring Rusty Day (vocals), Jim McCarthy (guitar), they released three albums in this form between 1970 and 1972 then split. Another Cactus without the original core of the band (ie Appice and Bogert) appeared on the scene, which seemed a pointless excercise.

Climax Chicago

Out of the blues boom came a thousand bands, each one aping the city blues of America and few of them making big waves. Foghat were one (see below) and the Climax Chicago Blues Band, with the influences inherent in the name, were another. They played a lot here around 69/70, didn`t get very far, and eventually made a more than respectable living in America – easing off the blues pedal and doing that boogie-metal thing a bit more. Hence they dropped the `Blues Band` tag. It`s a familiar story.

Alice Cooper

Shockrock. The name was enough to confuse people. When Alice Cooper (alias Vincent Furnier) and his Detroit cronies (Glen Buxton, guitar, Michael Bruce, guitar, Dennis Dunaway, bass and Neal Smith, drums) appeared on the scene, no one was ready. They were so unpopular that their mass dejection inspired Frank Zappa to sign them onto his label – Straight. They released two albums, `Pretties For You` and `Easy Action` in `69, and they bombed miserably. It wasn`t until the band moved to Warners that they got the visuals of their act and the music together, this resulted with the classic `Love It To Death` album in `71, followed by US hit single `I`m Eighteen` which was proclaimed a contemporary to `My Generation`. Their show progressed from mere hangings to simulated mutilations as the years progressed, their music became more theatrical. They scored in this country with `School`s Out` in `72, followed by `Elected`. The band peaked with `Billion Dollar Babies` in `73 and retired from touring, and a year later they released `Muscle Of Love` which was the first album to receive mass appraisal on a musical level by the press. Again they remained static for a year, Cooper has returned with Lou Reed`s former band backing him and a new album and show (`Welcome To My Nightmare`). The rest of the original band, whose future with Cooper is still not definite, are in the process of recording solo ventures. Cooper`s antics have lost their initial controversial appeal. Although it`s equally theatrical, somehow it seems oddly normal in this day and age.

Cream

They came along at just the right time, they were (almost) the first, and they were magnificent. Three musicians from jazz, rock and R&B backgrounds who called themselves, and were, the Cream – the first genuine `supergroup`. In 1966 they came wailing out of nowhere with Jack Bruce howling `I Feel Free` and Eric Clapton doing things on the fretboard that most people figured was sleight of hand, while Ginger Baker`s restrained thunder provided an indespensable bottom. All of a sudden those twelve bar clichès were as viable as yesterday`s papers, and everyone craned their necks to see how long Cream could fly. It was 1966 the dawn of Flower-Power, `Revolver` had warped a good few minds and paved the way for further psychedelic excess, San Francisco was the new Liverpool, and Dylan had disappeared, for the time being at least. An audience and a generation of performers had grown through pop and wanted something more challenging. Cream gave it them in no uncertain terms. At the critical moment when pop was beginning to take itself seriously and call itself rock, along came three musical colossi, as it then seemed, who asserted without need of proof that you could play rock with all the passion and technical skill of any other music, and still create riotous excitement. Hendrix as an instrumentalist and Pete Townshend, for a while, were the only other people even in the running. Clapton, a blues purist until Hendrix opened his ears to flash and pyrotechnics, blossomed in Cream: on the old blues classics he wrought wondrous changes, and on Brown and Bruce`s originals he positively went into orbit. Bruce had a fluid lyrical bass style and a voice like a chilling gale. Baker, in the best performances he has given before or since, could even make a cowbell speak. `Fresh Cream` their first album, and the electrifying impact of their live performances revolutionised rock. They set the trend for extended soloing, which is fully explored in the live half of their double album `Wheels Of Fire`. A second album `Disraeli Gears` had appeared meanwhile containing classics such as the haunting `Strange Brew` and `Tales Of Brave Ulysses`. Tours of Britain and America followed and unanimous critical and commercial success. Then in 1969 always plagued by internal dissent, they broke up; Clapton to go to the abortive Blind Faith and then solo. Baker also to Blind Faith, then his ill-fated Airforce, and Africa for a long while before returning with the Baker-Gurvitz Army: Jack Bruce to various jazz outfits, and solo work again with poet Pete Brown`s lyrics, before a brief spell with Mountain`s Leslie West and Corky Laing, and now of course his new group with Carla Bley and Mick Taylor. For a while the Cream mantle fell upon Mountain who ploughed the Cream furrow until it was a highway. But Mountain were not alone; Cream made changes in rock that ensured it would never be the same again.

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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: Frank Zappa, Gladys Knight, Women In Rock, Betty Wright, Steve Harley, Peter Frampton, Labelle, Peter Skellern, Ray Davies, Larry Uttal, Chris Spedding, Anne Murray, Sweet Sensation, Bernard Purdie, Mike Harding, Ronnie Lane, Yes.

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.

ARTICLE ABOUT Budgie FROM SOUNDS, April 20, 1974

As winter solstice is here again, I give you this article with one of those bands that had a lot of musical output, and worked hard without ever really breaking it big in the same way other contemporary bands did. Why some succeed and others fall by the wayside is due to a lot of factors – good or bad luck is sometimes all the difference there is. Thanks to Metallica, many modern rock fans know who this band were, and I guess they finally found a sort of fame because of that. Now, if only someone really big could do the same for Lips & co. in Anvil, the world would be a better place.

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Budgie: the support is getting stronger

By Pete Makowski

Budgie – heavy metal veterans – are what could be classed as one of yer working class bands. They`ve been smoothly coasting along, steadily building a strong core of followers since the release of their first album around four years ago.
They are nowhere as rich as bands like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, but they are regarded the same in terms of energy and respected equally by their fans.
The band have recently completed recording their new album “In For The Kill” which is the first with their new drummer Peter Boot. They were looking worse for wear when I spoke to them, and when we attempted to play their album on a dire stereo system with speakers that looked and sounded like egg cartons they looked even worse: “Oh fucking hell”, moaned guitarist Tony Bourge, face buried in hands, “It can`t sound like this.”
The band have just returned from Spain and have recently been spreading their wings, if you`ll excuse the pun, across the water: “We`ve been going down well in Europe, we even had a number one in Lebanon!”, said bassist Burke Shelley: “We`re going to Germany tomorrow to do three nights at the Zoom Club.”
“Zoom Club” happens to be the title of the band`s forthcoming single, a cut down version of a track on the album. One interesting feature of the album is that the cover won`t be by Roger Dean whose illustrations have become a virtual trademark for the band. “It`s not good if you become too heavily associated with one thing, you know people associate Dean with us, Yes and Greenslade.”

Peter Bott is quite a novice to the trade: he`s played in few local bands so Budgie was quite a step forward for him. The band were originally going to use him as a “fill” until they could rehearse some other drummers who had applied for the job. But soon enough they realized that Pete was breaking in well, and they didn`t have time to rehearse anyone else. “We haven`t had any time to really sit down and relax. We`ve got a British and European tour in front of us. America is on the list as well.
“When we first started off we were playing anywhere just to get our name around. But then business gets involved and now we have to promote ourselves all over the place.”
Although the band are growing in popularity, they haven`t reached any definite peak. “I think every band hopes the next album will be their big break,” said Tony. “We make a living, enjoy what we`re doing and accept the position we`re in. If it gets any better, then it gets better. The support`s getting stronger all the time but if you get hopes up too much you could get disappointed in the end. I think we were like that when we brought our first album out – it kinda hits you, but then you begin to settle down.”
Of course their forthcoming tour of the States could put them in the big league, but they don`t want to rush it. “We want some assurance of security when we go over there”, said Burke, “we don`t like the idea of being bundled into any gig, it`s an expensive business.”
Budgie are the last band to be associated with hype so I asked Burke how he felt about the overnight wonders that have been cropping up recently. “Oh you mean bands like Queen, they`re kept in the lap of luxury so they can just go in and record whatever they want when ever they want.”

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Does that kind of pampering make Burke feel bitter? “Oh no! I wouldn`t mind if someone came to us and offered us an opportunity to spend a few months recording with wages. But if you get into this kind of self-indulgence, apathy can set in.” “It also can work the other way”, interjected Tony. “A band can take only so much. Like in the early days we would travel around in a bum van, we had bum equipment, we slept in the van on a freezing cold night. You have a certain amount of get-up-and-go in you when you first start, but as you go along your resistance begins to break down.”
“We must be getting old”, continued Burke. “I couldn`t do that now. But that`s because we`ve had six and a half years of it. But when you think of bands like Queen and Roxy Music, those bands seem to have appeared from nowhere with a nice album, with nice gear, a tour – they`ve got nothing to improve on. It doesn`t make me bitter but I just wonder if they`re really as good as they could be. Maybe they need to go through all the hard grind.”
“Both those bands Burke mentioned are good, they`ve made good albums,” said Tony, “but they had the money and that helped a lot.”
The band`s present album has been a bit of a rush job, and I asked Burke if they`d like to spend more time on the next one. “We won`t be able to, and I don`t particularly want to. You know Rory Gallagher goes in the studio and within 24 hours he`s got an album. He`s after one sound, one take, bugger the mistakes. I like to rehearse well, then go into the studio do one take, no farting about, because you seem to get a certain feel, like when you go on stage. That`s the only way to do it.”

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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: Procol Harum, King Crimson, Dr. Hook, Casablanca, Carol Grimes, Strawbs, Nektar, Ann Peebles, Graham Nash, Ace, Lesley Duncan, Rick Wakeman.

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.

ARTICLE ABOUT Budgie FROM SOUNDS, October 16, 1971

I guess this must be one of the earliest articles written about this band as their first album was released in June the same year.
It is easy to forget that this band, in their most active years between 1971 and 1982 released a total of 10 studio albums. That is quite impressive, and they are, even without a lot of sales success, a part of heavy metal history forever.

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Budgie – freaking good band

By Tom Sutton

Rodger Bain was taking a chance and being very honest when he wrote in the sleeve note of Budgie`s first album:
“They aren`t the world`s greatest composers, they`re not particularly subtle, they`re not progressive (whatever you understand that to mean) – they are a rock band, a freaking good rock band.”
Bain, whose involvement with heavy music began as producer of Black Sabbath, presumably felt compelled to defend Budgie in advance from the inevitable tag of “just another heavy band”. In fact, this Cardiff trio`s album, issued in July, drew a generally favourable reaction from the critics. Variously described as “good nasty, heavy rock” and “unpretentious rock a la Zeppelin”, it has been selling well, too, according to bass player and vocalist Burke Shelley.
Shelley, who formed the group with drummer Ray Philips following their meeting in a Cardiff music shop three years ago, feels strongly that the public still want to hear heavy groups and has no time for those dee-jays and writers who reject perfunctorily all bands who still use plenty of decibels.

SELLING EXCITEMENT

“What people want and what the press and radio think the public want are often two entirely different things,” Burke continued. “Without a doubt, just by record sales and packed concerts, it`s obvious that groups of the Black Sabbath or Deep Purple variety have a huge public following.”
Burke, Ray and lead guitarist Tony Bourge confess to aiming to sell excitement in their stage act, and they do it by means of thundering, riff-laden numbers with such irreverent titles as “Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman”, Homicidal Suicidal” and “Guts”. Their next album will go even further, with a crudely titled track “Hot As A Docker`s Armpit”.
Their first album contained two brief snatches of acoustic numbers, breathily sung by Burke. Were they planning to extend their repertoire in this direction at the expense of their rock numbers?
Burke countered: “We don`t have any preconceived ideas about continuing to play heavy, but we`ll only play what we feel like playing and I suspect that it would never be entirely acoustic. Playing good rocking music – that`s what we`ll always like best.”
Budgie`s album was recorded back in February at the fashionable Rockfield studio in the rural depths of Wales. The freedom it afforded helped, says Burke, to create a relaxed mood at the sessions. “The studio is booked by the day rather than the hour, there`s no clock in it, and you can begin and end a day`s session when you like. Everything is so amazingly casual.”
As is evident from the resulting album, Rockfield is an ideal studio for a tough rock sound and the group will be returning there to cut their second album in late November.

SIZEABLE IMPACT

In South Wales, Budgie have long had a strong following, and until shortly before the release of their album they had not ventured far out of Wales for gigs. In recent weeks they have begun working far more extensively throughout Britain and, says Burke, now feel that they are promoting their album simply by regular appearances.
The truth is that Budgie`s album has made a sizeable impact without the inbuilt promotional aid of a packed date sheet. The biggest single factor in its success, they feel, has been the wholehearted support of Luxembourg dee-jay Kid Jensen, who seems to like “adopting” new and otherwise under-exposed groups.
At the beginning of November they go to Austria, Switzerland and France for a fortnight of live dates and a couple of television spots. And there is talk of an early New Year visit to America, where both their album and first single, “Crash Course In Brain Surgery”, have just been issued by MCA.
There are plenty of influences in Budgie`s music – the obvious ones like Zeppelin and Purple, with Tony Bourge`s lead work often bringing Ritchie Blackmore to mind – and as Mr. Bain so disarmingly admits, they ain`t “progressive”. Instead they just pummel out their aggressive, speaker-splitting rock, and seem to be finding plenty of takers.
To quote Rodger Bain once again, he claims they`re probably the first British rock band “to get to grips with the heavy American giants”. And if by that he means Grand Funk Railroad, Budgie should be set to sell a good few albums in the US.

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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: Wishbone Ash, Osibisa, Canned Heat, Stealers Wheel, Sidney Bechet, Centipede, Bruce Rowland, Gong, Gaspar Lawal, Velvet Underground, John Peel, Bobby Bland, Lee Michaels, Redwing, Steeleye Span, Mick Greenwood, Stackridge.

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.

ARTICLE ABOUT Bill Bruford (Genesis) FROM New Musical Express, May 1, 1976

The very excellent drummer Bill Bruford gives the impression of being a very down to earth kind of guy in this interesting interview from the time when he kept the rhythm for Genesis.

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Portrait of the drummer as a seeker after truth not wearing a shirt

The shirt has nothing to do with it. The philosophical bit has. You are looking at a man who renounced BIG MONEY (i.e. Yes) for ART… and now shows cavalier disdain for all potential Solid Gold Drum Stool Awards. BILL BRUFORD, currently gigging with GENESIS, tells CHRIS SALEWICZ why.

Are you quite sure that you`re definitely not joining Genesis full-time?
“Yes.”
What if they asked you nicely? Would you join them then?
Bill Bruford shakes his head in a most positively negative way: “No. No, I couldn`t.”
Because it does sometimes happen that a new musician is brought in for a tour – as you have been for the Genesis US and European jaunt – and is then sussed out by the band and if they like him then he stays.
This is rather what those publicity shots of you and Genesis drummer-in-residence Phil Collins smack of to me.
“No. If Genesis asked me to join them full-time, I couldn`t because I would lose my sense of inquiry if I did. And it`s not the place for me. It does, however, get me to America which is what I want to do. It gets me playing on big stages, which I love doing, and so forth.
“But full-time? No.
“Not, incidentally, that they would want me to either. Because they also appreciate, I think, that I`d probably rock the boat too much and scream and shout and generally get in the way of their very concise idea of what they want to do.”
Right, it goes like this: Bill Bruford, top thinking person`s percussionist and the only King Crimson drummer seen to actually smile on stage, gets a call late last autumn from Phil Collins, Genesis drummer and vocalist now that the band is Gabriel-less.

Collins is in possession of Brand X, a weekend blowing band. (“Brand X is really the player`s kind of escape route from the songwriters, I think, in that playing behind the songs doesn`t entirely give Phil everything that he would like. So he forms Brand X which is a very loose group with not a terrific sense of direction about it so he can air his views elsewhere. And thereby feels all right in Genesis presumably.”)
Would Bill like to come out to play? Yes, please. Bill goes and percusses some four or five times whilst Phil Collins drums. Bill probably gets a certain sense of deja entendu when Collins gets underway: the Phil Collins drumming style has almost certainly had its evolution directed by a thorough earful of Bruford`s playing on assorted Yes records.
Surprise, surprise: Bill Bruford is now percussing and drumming with Genesis on their current tour, thus enabling Collins to take the vocal parts up at stage centre.
Did Collins have this planned all along, you may well ask. Did Bruford spot the footprint of a gigantic hound? Will the audiences at the Genesis concerts be able to tell Flora from Stork?
And so Bruford, aware that he is finally actually Doing Something that warrants a re-statement of his existence to the rock populace at large, gets himself interviewed.
Last summer, I`d bumped into him and suggested a quick C120`s worth. No way. Bill was not actually doing much of great copy-value. He felt it would be demeaning to do an interview of the “Well, I`m getting a band together, aren`t I?” nature. An awareness of the need for selling-points at such occasions is a healthy asset for any rock musician.

It must be said, however, that this Bruford-for-Genesis lark does seem to come close to proving that the man has probably driven himself into a corner by having played with first Yes and then King Crimson.
“Oh dear. The double-edged sword of the track record, that.”
And that this Genesis gig is almost too predictable.
“Well, it certainly covers the English branch of rock,” he nods, stretching out on an exceptionally fire-damaged goatskin rug (mine actually), and ruminates on his gigs since Robert Fripp called the cessation of existence of King Crimson in late summer, 1974:
“I mean, if you throw in Gong, the National Health and Roy Harper” – with all of whom Bruford has boardtrodden during the past 18 months – “that`s a reasonable cross-section of what`s happening here. And if I don`t have any great solutions at the end of that lot I don`t have any great solutions.
“Yeah, it`s funny, that. End of a seven-year twitch in a way.
However, I`m sure that the general conception of Genesis – general conception for the non-afficianado, that is – is that the band is very much in the shadow of Yes.
“Let me tell you,” Bruford scolds, as he presumes incorrectly that I`m speaking only of the US market, “as someone who`s been out on the front, that we tend to lump that kind of English thing together. Well, they don`t necessarily do that at all.
“Genesis get the same manic letters that every band gets – that I got in Yes and I got in King Crimson and I`ll doubtless get in Genesis, about `We think you`re the creators of the universe`. And `you`re the heaviest thing that`s ever happened` and all this nonsense.”

So you obviously don`t think that what they`re doing is Yes-ified?
“They don`t. They certainly don`t.
“But I know they use similar techniques in getting the music together. And – when I was in Yes – quite similar discussions went down about how the music should be created. Yeah, for the purpose of this conversation they`re much of a muchness.
“But the consumer doesn`t see it that way at all.”
Pinteresque pause. And then: “Genesis are actually a Song Group. And quite lightweight at that too. They don`t even like to be considered very `heavy` or anything like that, you know. Songwriters. Very much songwriters.”
As is perhaps half the rock world (sic), Bruford is more than a little amazed that Genesis have not only proved with “Trick Of The Tail” that Peter Gabriel is not necessarily regarded by the band`s devotees as having been synonymous with the band`s name but that they actually appear to be more popular now than they were a year ago when Gabriel remained still a member.
It seems, more than anything, that it`s the prospect of clearing his head of this country and its musical creative barrenness that impelled the percussionist to take the Genesis gig.
“It`ll be good to get back to America. Get re-energised and re-vibed,” he says. “There really is nothing here for musicians – apart from that little National Health axis – who want to play. Which is really what I want to do. I don`t really want to fart around with images and stuff, you know – I`d rather play. And I`m not gonna get a lot of very interesting gigs in England.”

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Bruford was “within pissing distance”, as he so quaintly puts it, of forming his own band last year, “but it got bogged down for various reasons – most of which stem from the fact that you`re 2,000 miles apart.”
Jeff Berlin, the bassist he was enlisting into the band, appears to epitomise the kind of musician he`s been so far unable to come across on the British music scene.
Bruford shrugs his shoulders resignedly. “He`s 22. Four years at Berkeley School Of Music. Plays anything standing on his head. Fantastic bass style. Fantastic bass technique. No complications at all. Where`s the amp? Where`s the gig? Plug me in. I`m away. I`m a jazz musician. I`m a rock musician. No problem at all. Doesn`t think about it. Get in and do it.
“But forming the band was a bit of an uphill struggle,” he laughs, “so rather than force it, I`ll stay loose, keep my nose clean and stay out of trouble.
“Watch, wait, observe and absorb.”
In effect, Bruford has opted out of the game of being a Rock Star. Contrary to what I`d somewhat naively assumed, he has not been coming close to the bread-line. There is obviously something amiss when his management company are very happy indeed that he decided not to form a band as that could have entailed a rather severe tightening of the purse strings.
As it is, there`s always a Pavlov`s Dog around who`ll fly him over the Atlantic so they can find a drummer for their second album.

Actually, Pavlovian kennel-minder supreme Sandy Pearlman is waxing orgasmic about Bruford`s abilities in the current issue of ZigZag. But he`d better watch out. Bruford likes to kiss and tell:
“What happens is you tend to do the thing on the idea that you thought it was anonymous. Or that you were just being hired to play. But, of course, you`re not – because you`re also being hired for your track record, because the group can benefit from your track record as well.
“And the next thing you know, there are journalists sitting about all the time and you`re tacked on to some sort of a group.
“And I don`t think it`s really fair that I should be used that way, you know, so I kinda resent that a bit.”
Having been part of it then having made a conscious decision to opt out of it Bruford is very well aware of what is going haywire with rock`n`roll big business – and thereby with rock`n`roll in general.
Rock`n`roll, you see, isn`t too far removed from the corporate non-thinking that infests most of the world`s financial institutions. And, of course, much that falls into the category of corporate thinking is born of paranoia that the individual decision maker – at all levels throughout the institution – may have his position jeopardised by threatening talent emerging below him.
Hence talent does not always out by any means. This is not profound thinking. Any trained sociologist should be able to tell you that.
Trained sociologist will probably neglect to consider, however, that this trait is as prevalent in the rock`n `roll business as in, say, the Houses Of Parliament.
Tell me, Bill, where are all the 19 to 22-year-old talented rock musicians?
“I think that`s been fixed by the wealthy rockers, you know, who`ve cut themselves a slice of the action and want to keep everybody else out of it – even if it`s only buying PA systems that kids can`t afford, you know.

“We`ve got a nice slice of the action and everybody else who didn`t make it before the gates closed… Well, it`s tough shit.
“There was a particularly sunny vibe when everybody was playing instruments in about 1968, 1969. And people were beginning to get rich and everybody had a record contract, you know. And that`s all ended.
“There was a very sunny few years when the Chris Squires of this world got rich. And they can count their chickens that they lived at that time – because in very few other times would they have been so lucky, I think.
“I expect I`ll go on doing the rounds playing on everybody`s records. I mean, yeah, it`s a career, isn`t it really?
“Perhaps when another five or ten years have elapsed we`ll all have a good second-wind of ideas of what to play among the 35 to 40-year olds. Perhaps I`ll do nothing until around my late 30s.
“I`m trying to hover, you see.”
Yet, of course, you created that problem by leaving Yes.
“Yeah. Deliberately so. Well, that was to avoid getting farmed out and believing that you`re great and that you don`t have to do another day`s work in your life.” When did you first become aware that that was a strong possibility?
“Of being farmed out and bought off? And rendered thoroughly inactive?” Bruford laughs.
“Oh, I dunno. After I joined Crimson. When I realised I would have maybe lost any sting I had in the bass players` commuter belt down the A30.
“It`s an old trick that: so much money about that you daren`t say anything against it.
“But I don`t have any solutions, though. I`m just hovering… trying to get around with some of the better musicians around. Like the National Health. And learn something. See if maybe they`ve got an answer because I haven`t really got an answer.”

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A full page ad in NME for Budgie. Nice one.

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: Buffy Sainte-Marie, Graham Parker, Louis Jordan, Jimi Hendrix, Horace Silver, Jimmy Castor, Nazareth, Rick Wakeman.

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).
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