Concert Listings

ARTICLE ABOUT Uriah Heep FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, JUNE 24, 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!

I feel a bit sad for Uriah Heep. Have they ever been fashionable? Forever doomed to be a band that`s just there, but never getting the credit they truly deserve. Still touring the world and creating records as they did at the start of the 70s.
Personally i feel that Heep is among the four originators of hard rock, and should be mentioned equally among the other three: Sabbath, Zeppelin and Purple. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame proves that it is a clueless institution with random inductees when two of the aforementioned; Deep Purple (estimated 150 million albums sold)and Uriah Heep (estimated 40 million albums sold) still isn`t inducted. But The Clash (Estimated 16 million albums sold) and Tom Waits (Estimated 2 million albums sold) is.

I rest my case your honour!

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A leap for the Heep

By James Johnson

Uriah Heep can now afford a quick smile at the expense of the heavier breed of rock critics who have sneered at the band in the past. Their new album is showing in the charts and proves that with the public at least they have quite a considerable following.
Even so, nobody could admit they`ve ever been a fashionable band. They`ve never particularly appealed to rock`s supposed intelligentsia. They`ve gone down better with the much-talked-about second generation of rock fans; fans who probably also dig Black Sabbath and Deep Purple and probably have to think twice before deciding whether they can afford this week`s gig at the local club.
Those kind of clubs, in fact, have been Uriah`s bread and butter for some time. They`ve always been a hard working band, playing the same places over and over again and drawing a few more people each time. But it needed a hit album to kill the sneers of the past once and for all.

“I think we came in at the wrong time as far as the Press were concerned,” thought guitarist Mick Box, trying to explain why they had been so often criticised. “We came in when heavy bands were going out and all the softer stuff was coming in. As we were decidedly a heavy band and promoted as such, we were going to get put down and we knew it.
“The only way for us to ride over the storm was to keep together, keep working and move forward musically.
“To be honest though, we`d always thought we`d be proved right in the end simply because despite what anybody has ever said, audiences have always been very good for us. We`ve never died a death, and when this slating was reaching a height we`d be going on and getting three encores.
“So we thought, `Who is wrong? It can`t be us.`
“Personally I don`t think the Press ever gave us a fair listen. Consciously we`ve been trying to progress from each album and I think it`s obvious if you listen.”

The band first came in for a lot of knocking at the time of their first album. It was released almost before the band had played any gigs, put on the market with a pretty appalling title, “Very `Umble and Very `Eavy”, and promoted in an enormous publicity campaign. Everybody agreed there was a whiff of hype in the air.

“Really it was taken out of our control,” said Box. “We didn`t agree with all that publicity at all but our record company at that time asked us to describe our music. We said there was heavy stuff and some lighter stuff. They went off and came back with `very `eavy, very `umble`, and when we saw the advert it was like – ugh – twinge. Even we had to admit that from the outside it looked like a hype, but it wasn`t meant to be. It was just taken that way.”

In fact Uriah Heep weren`t just an artificially created heavy group as was generally thought at the time. Each of them had been playing in groups before, and the formation of Uriah Heep was a purely natural process.
Box had previously formed a group with David Byron called Spice, and were later joined by Ken Hensley from the Gods, a group that at various times included such luminaries as Mick Taylor and Greg Lake.

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Mick Box as a young man.

“Even after we had formed the first Uriah Heep we had terrible problems finding the right bass and drummer,” said Box. “You see, we`ve never wanted any weak musicians. We`ve always wanted people with push and drive, but it took ages to find anybody. Then after a long series of changes we`ve now settled in with Lee Kerslake (drums) and Gary Thain (bass).
“It`s a really nice unit now because we`ve got five strong vocalists, five strong personalities on stage and five people who write. I think things are beginning to happen now because we`ve got five strengths to our bow.
“To me, that`s great because we really dig each other as people, and really dig each other on stage. That`s quite rare you know, because with a lot of groups it can get so bitchy, even if it`s all smiles up front.”

Do they feel they appeal to a particularly young rock audience?
“I think it`s getting younger,” replied Box. “At first we were really afraid of this, and we sat down and discussed it among ourselves. But then we thought we`re lucky because we`re still pulling in the older crowd we had before as well. They tend to sit at the back while the younger ones come down to the front and leap about. I think that`s great.
“In fact this album success has already made quite a difference to the size of our audiences already, which, of course, is very pleasing.
“We put a lot of hope into this album and I think it`s quite a big step from `Look At Yourself`, which was more of a rock thing. I feel the new one is better in every way, although we`ve always kept certain Uriah Heep ingredients.

“For instance, like it or lump it, I think our music is very honest. All our words mean something, they`re all about experiences we`ve gone through, rather than a lot of rubbish about the sky is green or the wind is brown or something.
“I feel that many groups who are classed in our category don`t worry too much about the lyrics, or even the vocals for that matter.
“Overall, we`re trying to create our own scene, something that is unique to Uriah Heep.
“And I think we`re broadening all the time. The success of this album puts us up another rung. In a way it was a sort of make or break album because by the fourth album you`ve had a chance to establish yourself. If you haven`t proved yourself by then it`s time to start worrying.”

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Some of the concerts you were able to attend in the summer of `72.

This number of the NME also contains articles/interviews with these people: Marc Bolan and T. Rex, Pentangle, Marilyn Wilson, Robert Fripp, Andrew Oldham, Glencoe, Rolling Stones, Edgar Broughton, Chi-Lites, Slade, Mama Cass, Cliff Richard.

The NME 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 10 $ (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 Yes FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, March 4, 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!

I didn`t choose to print this concert review with Yes only because I like the band. The last time I printed an article about Yes I got a lot of hits on my blog, and I really do like hits like dogs like to lick their balls. So as an gesture to the Yes fans, and a small hint to other fans – get me readers, and your favourite band or artist will be featured more prominently here.

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YES in America

They`re bringing some of the old British
mystique back to the U.S. rock scene, reports Anne Tan

The scene is the Academy of Music, fast becoming a not-very-worthy successor to the defunct and lamented Fillimore East. The first two groups have gone on and off – a rather incompetent American group called Compost and a British offering of excellent musical standard, the Mark Almond Band.

The time is late Saturday, early Sunday morning. The auditorium is quiet with the occasional restlessness of a crowd waiting for the headlining act – Yes.
The tape goes on. It`s loud and clear, the majestic strains fill the converted cinema and, in the darkness of the stage, is the sudden small glow of a hand-held flashlight – light applause goes through the audience.
The tape ends, Rick Wakeman lays down the opening chords of “Roundabout” and the stage lights go on.
The auditorium erupts into one seething crowd of ecstatic Yes fans, shrieking, applauding, stomping, whistling, some already on their feet.

TOP BILLING

Yes has arrived. Yes has reached top-billing status in the tough, cold town of New York. Yes has reached this status all over the country.
Their fourth album, “Fragile” is No. 4 in the charts. This tour is different from their previous ones. On the first, back in the late summer of 1971, they were third on the bill to Humble Pie and Jethro Tull, although ask lead guitarist Steve Howe about touring with Jethro Tull, and he sighs for the kind of rigorously supervised perfection of that tour and the kind of kinetic excitement of playing in superlarge auditoriums.
“You don`t feel closed in,” he says, “it`s free. I like playing those big halls, you feel it`s really worth it knocking yourself out to give a good show.”

LOST SOUND

But New York City doesn`t have a suitable big hall. There is Madison Square Garden, but the drawback here is that sound gets lost beyond the first twenty or thirty rows of seats. To overcome that takes a tremendous amount of money invested in equipment.
There is Carnegie Hall – usually the ultimate downfall for a group because the acoustics defy description.
Not that the Academy of Music is any great acoustic bargain. The first time I heard Yes there they played through a sound system that had been giving them problems all night and wound up being inaudible vocally, Chris Squire`s bass getting totally lost as did the lower notes of Rick Wakeman`s keyboards.
But success is its own reward. The reward of having your album high in the charts translates neatly into terms of billing.
As the top act Yes can now command the kind of public address system it wants.

Tonight, as most nights, the Academy of Music has attracted a strange audience.
There are the younger people from their sheltered homes out on Long Island who flow in for a concert, get stoned on pills, and disappear afterwards back to stable security.
There are the pleasantly mellowed heads, some of the customers of the former Fillmore East, with their hash.

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LETHAL

Finally there are what are called the ripple-and-red crowd. Reds are secconals and ripple is a kind of sweet, fruity wine, and the combination is lethal – the head is aggressive and paranoid and the vibrations of such freaks are bad. Here is the stuff of which riots are made.
There are the perpetual encore-demanders, the threateners, the hasty hecklers, the loud-mouthed yellers, and they always take up their seats towards the back, which means they get small satisfaction both aurally and visually during the concert.
Yes is playing to one of these audiences. They have clapped enthusiastically, cheered, whistled, stomped, but there is a bulk of the nasty crowd which has interrupted Steve Howe`s acoustic solos a few times.
They don`t think too much of the classical background which shows very prominently in Rick Wakeman`s keyboards solo, and Rick is labouring under the strain of an ill-tempered mellotron.
The show is over and the group holds its customary post-mortem.
Chris Squire, looking rather worried: “I don`t know about your solo, Steve, it seems the acoustic break goes on too long…you know, it brings them down too much.”
“I don`t think the acoustic numbers are quite what they meant before,” Steve says. “I mean, before they were meant to be just that, you know, a quiet break.”
They go through different ideas – maybe the possibillity of playing “The Clap” before “Mood For A Day”, although this presents technical problems.
“You see, `Mood For A Day` I play with my fingers and `The Clap` I use the plectrum, so it`s better for me to play the one with the fingers first while they are supple – but I could try it,” says Steve.
“Anyway,” Bill Bruford says, `Yours Is No Disgrace` just isn`t the right encore – it`s much too long, an encore should be just a taste of what`s gone before. In fact, I am against the whole idea of playing encores at all.”

RIOTS

You can`t get away with not playing encores. The audience can get nasty if denied them – chairs have been thrown, halls have been torn up.
Rick Wakeman sighs in the face of this fact: “Even if we played for four hours, they`d still demand an encore.”
Rick points out that “Your Move/All Good People” fits in much better at the end, it`s a great finishing song. Everyone agrees.
“You know, we`re a very conservative group,” Bill Bruford says thoughtfully. “I mean, we tend to find something that`s good and stick with it, but I think sometimes that we should change for the sake of change.”
So they go back to replanning their set.

OVERLONG

They are supposed to get up to Burlington, Vermont the next day, but the night is running overlong and the snow has been falling hard and fast all day so there is the possibility that the Vermont trip is out for the next day.
It`s exhausting. As Steve says: “I have a date sheet that shows another 33 dates, I don`t want to think about anything else.”
On this tour they are combining the West and East Coasts, with most of two weeks concentrated on the East and finishing off with dates in Los Angeles and San Diego.
This means moving equipment over vast areas of territory and the only time off is the day they fly to California.
Steve, Chris, Rick, Bill and Jon are sighing for their return to Britain and the old familiar halls where the audience is a kind of family.
If anything, America is a little pie-eyed over anything out of Britain, but Yes are bringing some of the old British mystique back into the American rock-and-roll scene.

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Some of the concerts that week around the U.K. A really exciting time for music!

This number of the NME also contains articles/interviews with these people: Don McLean, Felix Pappalardi (Mountain), Dave Cousins, Carly Simon. Denny Cordell, Bob Dylan, Tommy Hunt, Hookfoot, Gilbert O`Sullivan, Paul Williams, Greyhound, Mahalia Jackson, Chicory Tip, Curved Air.

The NME 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 10 $ (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 Frank Zappa FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, FEBRUARY 5, 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!

This edition of the New Musical Express was the first in a major change for the paper. More pages, longer articles and generally a better music magazine.
I had a really hard time choosing one interview among several great ones in this number. I could have chosen an exclusive Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead) interview or lengthy concert reviews of Elton John or Humble Pie, a great interview with Marc Bolan or also a lengthy interview done with Steve Howe from Yes. In the end i chose the one that I did because I like Frank Zappa, not only as a musician, but also for many of his viewpoints. He was a true genius, and people deserve it to themselves to be challenged by Frank Zappa, musically and politically.

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Forget the leg a while. It`s
           ZAPPA
on rock, porn and blues.
By KEITH ALTHAM

He looks a bit like an identi-kit picture of our own most infamous anarchist Guy Fawkes, this much-vaunted, often-maligned rock guitarist who more than anyone else in contemporary music personifies the cult of the Unsuper Star.
The name is Frank Zappa and here he sits in his London hotel sipping dinner in the suitably unorthodox shape of a peach melba – having already returned the wine for a surplus of cork, floating about inside the bottle – and articulating instant copy on subjects as far apart as pornography and John Sebastian.

Eric Burdon once publically referred to Frank as “the Adolph Hitler of rock”, in retaliation for Mr. Z allegedly – Zappa refutes the charges, although it sounds in character – referring to him in print as “the Charlton Heston of rock and roll!”
He gives the impression of being a man of extremes – compassion tempered with hatred – the nice mixed with a fair-sized dollop of the nasty – which makes him, unlike Sebastian, who apparently has no weeds in his garden, a believable human being.
Somehow one gets the impression that if someone had pushed John Sebastian off the stage at the Rainbow, he would have sprouted wings and flown. Not Frank. He went down like a good `un, breaking his leg, just like one of us.

I still remember the first occasion on which the Mothers of Invention`s first single was played on the thankfully-extinct “Juke Box Jury” and no one, including David Jacobs (remember him), could take them seriously. “They must be joking” was the general census of opinion, and of course, they were. But the joke was on them.
“I would say there are very few other groups who treat themselves the same way as the Mothers”, said Frank. “We can afford to laugh at ourselves, whereas I don`t think that other pop groups or artistes, in various mediums, actually take the time to consider how absurd things really are.
“It`s not a question of ridicule, but we just take a different viewpoint to the next guy. Ridicule seems like a cruel sort of thing to do. The attitude we take is that we would all be laughing together, if the other guy didn`t take it so seriously. That`s the way I look at it.”

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FLASHY YOUNG MEN

When Zappa formed the Mothers, the record company promptly refused to allow them to use that name as it appeared to have obscene connotations, and `of Invention` was tagged on to the name. At that time most of the trendy acts about were good looking young men with shining hair and flashing teeth, to wit the Dave Clark Five and Herman.
“Most of the Mothers were unattractive old men. So we immediately had a merchandising problem,” says Frank.

Their first album “Freak Out” was totally ignored by mass media, both here and in America, but it sold approximately 30,000 copies purely by word of mouth and some smart advertising by Zappa who cut their sleeve up into a jig-saw puzzle and had one piece per day, for two weeks, delivered to the reviewers.
Zappa is curiously enough, for such an anti-establishment figure, an extremely acute business man. And one of the “cutest” features of the deal he negotiated with Warner Records is that at the end of their five-year contract the group get their masters back.
“…That`s what I call a good deal,” says Frank. “You make a record, and what normally happens is that the record company owns the tapes for ever – it`s not your music anymore. I happen to like the idea of retaining my so called works of art.”

It comes as something of a surprise – somehow, anything orthodox connected with Zappa is a surprise – to find him happily married to his second wife with a son aged two and a daughter aged 4. His first marriage broke up because the young lady found it “difficult to be comfortable with the lifestyle I was involved with.” He intends his children to go through the formal state education for which he has them “well prepared”.
Zappa describes his relationship with his own parents as “cordial”, although they were disappointed he did not take up something as scientific as his father before him, who was in turn a maths teacher, a physics teacher, a meterologist, a metalurgist, a barber and then worked on ballistic missile projects.
He says: “My father wanted me to do something scientific and I was interested in chemistry, but they were frightened to get the proper equipment because I was only interested in things that blew up.
“…I don`t think there`s any reason to assume my parents should derive pleasure from what I do for a living. It`s just not their bag! They like cowboy pictures on TV…stuff like that.”

For those of you who have followed Zappa`s early work, and indeed even some of his more recent material, it should not come as too great a shock to learn he holds rhythm and blues dearest to his heart.
“The first band I ever played in was a group called the Ramblers, in which I just played drums. I used to listen to rhythm and blues a lot – Johnny Watson when he used to play guitar, Clarence `Gatemouth` Brown, the Orchids and the Nutmegs. Our repertoire consisted of early Little Richard stuff…
“I still enjoy that music, and it may seem a little absurd – but if I were in the proper circumstances, and I told the guys in the band this, I would be just as happy playing R and B. That`s because I love it, it sounds good to me. It has definite musical merit.
“Just because it could be considered to be musically illiterate in some instances by academic standards, that has no relationship to what the real value of that music is.
“The emotional quality of the music of the `50`s, and the feel of those performances – everything thay have is cheap. But the sound that comes out is just great, it inspires you. When they have the cheapest stuff they come out with a piece of art at the end.”

A greatly underrated guitarist, Zappa talking on what makes a good guitarist is interesting: “I listen for melodic and emotional content in the playing, and interesting rhythmic influences, technique and harmonic.
“Depending on what style of guitar playing it is, if it`s rock or blues-type playing, I listen for the generalised feel of what the guitar is sounding like, rather than trying to figure out whether that guy is faster than Alvin Lee or not.
“I think that generally, the criteria most pop writers use is how fast is that guitar player, it doesn`t matter a shit to them whether the guy can actually invent a melody on the spot.
“Think back over how many guitar solos you have heard over the last ten years. How many of them could you hum?
“Is there any melodic content at all? Is there any structural relationship at all between the line that`s being played, and a challenging set of chords that`s happening?”

Today there are very few if any sacred cows in Zappa`s morality, and he refuses to accept unconditionally, or standard of behaviour, advanced by the Establishment under the guise of morality. An active social conscience, he attempts to expose and explore the motives of our Society in order that we might put a few of those so-called principles into perspective.
His sense of the absurd stretches to those who most closely identify with him and even himself. Could, for instance, anything be more absurd than Ringo playing Zappa in his film “200 Motels” which deals with some of those social anachronisms?
“One of the things which worries me most about the youth of today is their inability to laugh at themselves,” says Frank.
“For example, if I appear at the Roundhouse and poke fun at that dirty old middle-aged man, it`s O.K. But if I make a reference to dirty, long-haired drug-infected hippies there`s an immediate `you can`t talk about us like that` attitude.”

Zappa commands attention by adopting a position of attack as the best form of defence, and his shock tactics usually produce the desired result – reaction.
His heart-felt shriek is `Why?` when it comes to the question of morality, and his concern is usually for the despised, or those held in contempt by a Society inbred with hypocrisy at high levels.
“I never realised groupies were a persecuted minority until Rolling Stone began writing about them as if they were dirt. Some people assume that any girl who takes her pants off for a guy in a rock and roll band must be a pig, a dog or some kind of preying mantis.
“To me, groupies are girls you meet on the road. Some are nice, some are nasty, some have a sense of humour, some have none, some are smart and some are dumb. They`re just people.”

Zappa believes, quite fervently, that obscenity is usually bred by ignorance in the mind of the individual, and his film and his music often reflect his frustration of illogical ethics. He may not be Mary Whitehouse, but he does make some kind of moral sense.
“I would say obscenity exists for the edification of people in the legal profession. People in the politics business, and people in the religion business, perpetuate a myth like that in order to gain control of certain sectors of the human consciousness.
“Outside war and certain types of physical distraction, there is no such thing as an obscene act. But then you`re just juggling a word around and making a semantic application. Ordinarily death and destruction are not considered obscene. As a matter of fact, they`re commercial!
“I can see pornography in a different light, when I look at it in the terms of radically-orientated photographs, or things you can place in that category designed for the purpose of stimulating an erotic sensation.
“Pornography is something designed to stimulate you sexually. For people who get stimulated by pictures or hot books, it serves a function in society when they do not have ready access to sexual intercourse, or find it difficult to get off on some other things. Pornography serves a function to those people, and it should be made available to them. Because those who are mal-adjusted sexually will wind up doing things like having wars, and committing murders, and doing a lot of other stuff because of repression.”

Have a look at the concert listings in the NME at the beginning of 1972. Fascinating stuff! Too bad I can`t travel back in time and enjoy some of these concerts when they happened!

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This number of the NME also contains articles/interviews with these people: Badfinger, Maggie Bell, Poco, America, Siffre, Marc Bolan, Steve Howe, Jerry Garcia, Roy Young, Elton John, Chuck Berry, Humble Pie, Strawbs, Black Sabbath, Can, Hawkwind, Rick Nelson, James Gang, Bob Ezrin, Dr. John, Grace Slick, Chi Lites and Lou Adler.

The NME 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 10 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
  3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.