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ARTICLE ABOUT Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) FROM SOUNDS, JUNE 26, 1971

Just as you thought that this blog would follow a predictable formula as you were waiting for the next article from 1976, we suddenly shake things up a little by moving backwards in time. And what better band to represent a shake up than this? Never afraid to experiment, Led Zeppelin were the masters of surprise, and Robert Plant took this element of surprise into his solo career many years later.
Enjoy this great article from 46 years ago and marvel in the fact that Robert Plant released his new album “Carry Fire” just two days ago. He is still doing it – still hungry to create! A true musician and a living legend.


Robert Plant in the talk-in

“Sometimes I wish I`d been Elvis… or Superman”

By Steve Peacock

You`ve just come from the studios. Were you recording for the fourth album?
Yes, it`s that long dragging-out thing of mixing a lot of the tracks. The intention originally was for a double album, and then we thought `well, not this time` – but then we`ve been saying `not this time` since the second album. Jimmy (Page) took all the material over to Sunset Sound in Los Angeles with a very famous producer who said it was THE studio, and did the mixes. We finished recording in February and the idea was to mix it there and get it out in March. But he brought the tapes back and they sounded terrible, so we had to start mixing all over again. It`s a drag having to do it twice, but we`re coming to the tailend of it now.

So it`s basically Jimmy who`s producing the album?
Well, we all discuss the thing, but when it comes to putting it right down he`s usually the one to do it. I`ll be there as often as I can because I know exactly what I want, but I know that if I`m not there then we know each other well enough to know exactly what we both want. But for me it`s really a case of getting to know things at the moment. I can go along there and sit for twelve hours and suggest things, but I like to be of some practical use. Still it`s only three years now that I`ve been in a position to get accustomed to recording studios. It`s growing pains that I`ve got now.


The first two albums were very hard musically, but on the third there was a lot more acoustic stuff. Is the new one following on in that sort of direction?
I don`t think there`s any set thing. We don`t get into any mould and stay there. People might want us to, and other people might not want us to, but bollocks anyway. Most of the mood for this new album was brought about in settings that we hadn`t come across before – we were living in this old falling apart mansion somewhere out in the country, I can`t quite remember where, and we had the Stones mobile truck, so the mood was… bang! like that, and we could hear the results immediately. There was no big scene about going back into the studio and doing it again because we had time to experiment, especially with drum sounds.
We did this thing called “When the Levee Breaks” which is an old Memphis Minnie number, a Kansas Joe McCoy thing, and the drums on it sounded incredible. There was a secret to it which we just stumbled across really, which was just one microphone, just one – and the revelation of finding out that one microphone did more than about 35 in a studio set the mood really; it was enthusiasm. Out of the lot I should think there are about three or four mellow things… they`re really improved a lot – there`s a thing called “Stairway To Heaven” and a thing called “Going To California”, but also there`s some nice strong stuff, some really… we don`t say `heavy` do we?


You can say heavy if you like.
Well, I don`t know whether we do. But it`s strong stuff, and its exciting, and the flame is really burning higher and higher and higher. But its probably best that we keep out of the way and quiet, and then when the album comes out we`ll wait for the torrent and the retort.

Do you think that sort of music succeeds on an album? I mean obviously it gets people going on stage and you get that feeling, but when it`s just coming out cold off an album do you think…
Yeah, but it isn`t as simple as one, two three, four and away we go – I don`t think it ever has been like that, because “Communication Breakdown” at the beginning wasn`t a one, two, three, four, and we`ll see you at the end. There`s groups who do that who are supposed to be copyists of us and things like that, but you listen to groups who are `copyists` of yourself and there`s nothing going on. I mean, to have people coming along and saying Grand Funk are the Led Zeppelin of America and they`re really knocking Zeppelin off their position – you`re going well `please stop, I think you`ve got it wrong`.


Do you really enjoy doing those acoustic things?
I do, because I manage to plonk guitar on about three numbers on this album and it means so much to me to be involved more than just vocally, to know that I`ve been able to contribute something a little more. But they can be so good because they can start off in one vein, and when you come to do them on stage they`re nearly always like a stomp type of thing, and it gets really close to the people. That`s all it is really with us, I think – just saying well, “Good evening, and if you don`t laugh and if you cry, and if you don`t shout, and if you don`t moan, and if you don`t argue, then you haven`t had your money`s worth”. There`s no story.
Everybody`s getting hung up on critics and things, but if they just let people get on with it, and let audiences pay their five bobs or seven-and-sixes or whatever we try to keep it to and just came out saying something and laughing, then whatever it might be, so long as people get something positive out of it then we`ve done our job.

Have you ever thought of doing a solo album of stuff that maybe doesn`t come out through Led Zeppelin, or are you satisfied with Led Zeppelin as a vehicle for everything you want to do?
It can be the vehicle for anything that any of us want to do. John Paul`s delving very deeply into electronic stuff now, which to begin with I thought was a bit harsh. But listening to him a bit more and watching him a bit more and knowing him a lot more… it all fits in. We don`t get on each other`s nerves, because each time we feel as if we`re going to do that we just say “See you in a week”, so every time a new idea comes up it`s chewed and chewed. That`s why people can`t expect us to keep to “Whole Lotta Love” and things like that, because somebody might arrive at a rehearsal or a session and say “How about this?”
The idea of a solo album occurs obviously, to everyone, but the thing is who else could play on it apart from me? There`d only be three other people, and that`s Bonzo and Jonesy and Jimmy, because they`re the most accustomed to what I do – vocally and everything else. I`ve sung with other people, people who I`ve admired and things like that, but there`s a thing that spurs up in me when we (Led Zeppelin) are doing something good and it gets into a good thing. I don`t mean repeating “Whole Lotta Love” every night, but there may be a section in the middle that which has never arisen before, and at that point everybody just looks around at each other and goes “Right”, and we go from there.

You do tend to do things like “Whole Lotta Love” a lot though. Is this because you really like it or because you feel it is expected of you?
Well it is expected isn`t it? But it isn`t just “Whole Lotta Love” because that lasts on stage maybe four minutes, and for the rest, the construction that comes at different parts in that four minutes, spreads it to a ten minute thing. But within that ten minute thing, there are parts where the audience are up and applauding, there are parts when they`ll maybe be quiet, and there are parts where they`re shouting their heads off. That`s how all that started really, with things like “Dazed And Confused” and “How Many More Times” – when we recorded “How Many More Times” we just didn`t know what we were going to do; we knew the basic riff, but we didn`t know “The Hunter” was going to come into it, or “Rosie” – they come on the night, or they come at the session.
I think that`s why we`re still together and we`re not bitching at each other or anything like that, because we know that wherever it is – even if it`s in Iceland – if we suddenly hit on something… you can feel it coming from behind – the bass and drums suddenly knit together and its like a big handshake between the two and they go off, and Jimmy and I`ll stay doing something else. It`s like a good jigsaw puzzle. That`s why a solo album would be useless because you wouldn`t get half of it together. You could bring in all the incredible musicians you liked – the Memphis Horns, anybody – but you wouldn`t get such a strong buzz. I wouldn`t anyway.

Do you never feel held back by what your audience expects, or do you feel that what they want is what you have to play?
Well, I don`t think that what they want is what we have to play, because we didn`t have to play “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” or “Friends” and things like that because it wasn`t expected of us was it, and we did get a bit of a knocking for it, although personally I think that album (III) is the best thing that we`ve done. But you see you can get upset momentarily by the remarks, and probably all the way through this interview you`ll get this one coming from me, but for all the people who griped and took the trouble to write gibberish to the music papers there were a lot of people who were surprised that we`d taken that much trouble to go that much farther.


Well certainly when I heard you were doing things like that I thought good, now they`ve made their name they`re going to start thinking about a wider scope of music.
It`s been there with James from the word off really, because really it was his conception and compared to mine his alternatives were numerous. I think he probably could have started doing something like that, but that probably it wouldn`t have been as largely accepted. It`s nice to have an audience and to say `Right, we want to please people` and to get the ultimate kick out of it ourselves, because really there`s very little else to get kicks out of apart from music, and the arts generally. You can`t really turn up one day and decide to do a completely acoustic album and write twelve acoustic numbers three minutes long. But it isn`t as if it has to be acoustic… on this new album the electric numbers are, in my eyes, a lot better than the ones before. They may not be as instantly commercial, but if you listen to them long enough I think there`s a lot more thought and a lot more maturity in them.


How much is Led Zeppelin as a whole aimed at a commercial market? I mean, how much does that enter your thinking when you`re writing a song or making an album or doing a stage appearance?
Well they are three vastly different things. Writing a song, all it is is that you`re in a certain mood and something starts to come out. It might never reach an audience and there are things that haven`t reached audiences. If at the end of a song it`s a gas then it`s on the LP, and if it`s a gas that we want to think about a bit longer then it`s not, or maybe there isn`t room for it on the album. Writing a song is the last place you`re going to start thinking about 2 x 20,000 people in Madison Square Garden. What was the second one?

Making an album.
Making an album is a case of making your own personal idea of what is perfection at that point. I mean with the third album, I shed a couple of tears because I was so happy with it, but a lot of people weren`t, so there`s one proof of its pudding.


You don`t conciously think `we can`t use that because…`
Oh Christ! It would be pointless me having a word with you if that was the case wouldn`t it? If that was the case I`d want to be on the front of the ——– every week (Robert did mention the name of a music paper but, ever true to the journalistic ethic that `dog doesn`t bite dog` we omitted it). I`ve seen people, mind you, who worry about the position of their guitars before they go on stage at “Top Of The Pops” – and there`s another farce. Bonzo and I went there the other night, and we went into the bar, and there were record pluggers everywhere. There was nil conversation – the whole thing stank. I`m afraid we became objectionable, because the more it went on the more I was thinking `why?`, and `When`s the train to Worcestershire?`, and `How did I get in here anyway?`, and I got in because I said I was Mickey Most anyway, and they didn`t know I wasn`t. I`m going to get shot next week now. But the whole thing typified exactly what you were saying do we think about – and we don`t. You can`t because if we did I`d have done something really silly to myself by now. That is The Business.


How about when you`re on stage, and there are all these people who`ve come to see the Led Zeppelin that they know; don`t you ever feel tempted to shock them and do something that is completely unexpected from you? Or is it very important to you to play to your audience, to play to what they want?
I don`t think you can decide when you go on stage. I mean, you can`t deny that when you`re in a position to impress then you give them all you`ve got – everything, everything that you`ve got. But the mood changes so often through three hours – you get knackered in one place or maybe your head`s spinning round and round – but there`s a part, five minutes on as it`s building to it that you suddenly get caught up, and you go right up with it and you take off somewhere.
It`s just a case of light and shade really, and the audience are there as a blackcloth to your light and shade so they can either get off on it or please themselves. There`s no premeditation – there is in the fact that “Whole Lotta Love” will come somewhere towards the end of the night – but not really otherwise.

Yes, but would you leave out “Whole Lotta Love” for instance?
No. Because a lot of people have come because they enjoy that, and they haven`t really had the time to get into “Friends” and “Celebration Day”… but “Whole Lotta Love” has to be there to get everybody in. Ah, that`s a rash statement. To get the people in who wouldn`t have come just to hear the other things.



You think that by doing “Whole Lotta Love” you can lead people to things that maybe they wouldn`t have thought of?
To give them the chance of hearing things that we reckon are worth hearing, as opposed to just the cliched… what has become our National Anthem. But don`t forget that in the past year in the eyes of the Press I`ve gone from a pre-Raphaelite f—ing entity to a Viking warrior or something – so really it would be nice for them to stop thinking about all that and just have a listen to things they might not have given a second thought to before. I`m so much more adamant now when I`m singing things like “That`s The Way” than I ever was when I recorded it, and I`ve seen people get off on the fact that I emphasise the parts that I feel need emphasising, and I feel it come back.
But then I feel it come back from “Whole Lotta Love” because it`s A climax – its not the best climax that the group will ever have, but its nice to see people climaxing in every possible way around you. Really, when people pay money – and you can`t really say that they can get away without paying money – they should be able to have every aspect, every mood every angle, for three hours YOU. Not `how does it look?`

There are times when your stage act, the way you move around, does look a bit contrived – all that stuff with mike stands. I admit its not so much now, but in the early days, like that first tour with the Liverpool Scene and Bloodwyn Pig…
Yeah, well that was the first one we ever did. At that stage I was a vocalist, full stop. What could I do when I had three people around me who were really getting it on? I got excited, and when you get excited you can round and round in circles – I mean I`ve run behind the amps and leant up against the amps and blown one because it`s been so good – but you can`t go around and have a little guide book to original poses when you`re getting excited. If I didn`t get excited I`d leave the group tomorrow. So really these pre-meditated things are just… well, I know damn well they`re not (pre-meditated) and I don`t think they look that way either. It`s just another extension of this vocal- thought – motion – audience thing – it`s the supreme contact. We`ve lost a lot over the ages of contacting one another, reaching each other through means apart from speech, and it`s not a page out of some book on erotica when I`m dancing around, it`s just `Well great!`


How do you feel now about singing a lyric like “Squeeze my lemon `till the juice runs down my leg”?
I think that was poetry at one time. In it`s original context, that Robert Johnson album, “Travellin` Riverside Blues” – I was playing the album the other night and I felt so proud of owning it, and that line “squeeze my lemon `till the juice runs down my leg” was just so indicative of that person Robert Johnson. When we recorded that it was in LA and it was a time when there was a lot of looning – and there was a lot of looning going on – and it was one of those states of mind you get into when everything`s rosy and shining, and so a lyric like that comes zooming in. It`s borrowed, admittedly, but why not? I really would like to think that someone who heard that and then saw some clever critic writing about Plant living off the far superior Robert Johnson, or whatever they have to say to keep their jobs, would go and listen to Robert Johnson as a result. But I wish I`d written that, I really do. Sometimes I wish I`d been Elvis… or Superman, or that fella in the San Franciscan cartoons who always ends up an alley with some chick with her legs up in the air.
But Robert Johnson… just him, the sympathy between guitar and vocal, the whole atmosphere of a record that was done in some back room – you can do that with John Lee Hooker and it`s 40 minutes of boredom half the time, sometimes. But this Robert Johnson thing was a complete and utter statement. He was almost the innovator of the walking bass and all that sort of thing that Tommy McClennan and Muddy Waters grew from. Tommy McClennan especially came along afterwards and said well, that`s it, that the ultimate personal blues. But “squeeze my lemon” – I wish I could think of something like that myself. But it`s not cool to do that these days, you realise that don`t you? If I`d been Elvis Presley I could have done something like that, but he cottoned on to Arthur Crudup instead. I could have just been a Robert Johnson bloke.


What do you think Led Zeppelin has achieved after three years of phenomenal success in terms of stardom, or whatever you like to call it – audience reaction?
Well I hope we`ve made the impression by now that nothing is the norm, that nothing need be the same next time. We haven`t categorised ourselves. And I don`t think we`ve thrown ourselves at the public as much as a lot of other people who say they haven`t – we don`t put ourselves in the way of glory. But three years is such a short time to start making any grand assessment. We`ve had the opportunity to be super-duper incredible stars, and we could have lived on that much more than we have done, but I think its just a case of holding back all the time because if you take the reins that are given to you, you end up destroying yourself – overdoing it, over playing it, over living it, and suddenly finding out that the things from your past don`t fit in at all with what you`re doing now. Therefore it`s much better for me to go home and be as I have been for years and years and years, then make some new being out of myself…
I haven`t set myself any sort of position, and I don`t look up to myself as being this that or the other. It`s easy to say you don`t, and do, but I think if I just carry on like this then our success will carry on for a long time, at least I hope it will. But anyway, our ability will increase and that`s the main thing. I`m not going to lose sight of dry land, I don`t think, though I`ve seen a lot of people do that.


Is it true that Led Zeppelin was originally formed by Jimmy, to kind of cash in on the market left open in America when the Yardbirds split up?
No, not really. What happened was that Jimmy didn`t want to pack up altogether, but Relfy and all that lot did, and the stuff that the Yardbirds were doing was exciting – the fact that it had been overlooked in England and that the Yardbirds had overlooked England also was by the by. The Yardbirds weren`t the biggest thing in America but they were the innovators almost of something that smelt refreshing to the American public. The ideas that Jimmy had were his own ideas, some of which he got out in the Yardbirds, some of which he didn`t. His ideas were fresh, and they excited me, and the ideas that I`d got, lyrically, didn`t have to coincide with what he was doing – they could have been totally different, and if they had been then I imagine that the group would have been different altogether.
But we came together and we had the same likes and dislikes anyway, and blah, blah, you know it all anyway because you`ve read it a million times. But the point was, had that fusion not been the way it was we might have been like anybody – Edmundo Ross if you like. It didn`t have to be the way it turned out, because you can`t tell someone how to write a song. Had I been a different kind of person or had anybody else in the group been just fractionally different, it would have been a different kettle of fish.


Yes, but would you have been asked to join the group in that case? Or did Jimmy want those sort of people to make a band that would play that sort of music?
Well you don`t think Jimmy asked me to join the group before he`d seen me work, do you? I mean he didn`t say `I`ll have you, now what can you do?`

Obviously not, but the point I`m trying to make is that it is an accepted story that the group was formed for that reason, to fill the gap left by the Yardbirds, whatever it may have developed into now.
People have said that, and it has been said by the people who say things for us, but this is where you lose the artist or the person who is directly involved. That was the case in as much as Jimmy wanted to continue as the Yardbirds were with a powerful thing. His alternatives were great and I know that at one point he probably wanted to do something at the other end of the scale, which he`d probably have done equally as well. But it wasn`t a case of filling in any gap – it was the fact that I went to Jimmy`s and because of what he had written and what he was playing the group turned out the way it did.
Had it been simply a gap to be filled it would have been easy to take every cliche, everything from the Yardbirds, everything from everybody else who was fading or messing around, and built something on it. I`ve seen a lot of groups do that – a lot of groups who are supposed to be Led Zeppelin copies – and you can take so much, but that doesn`t make you original. And I think we were (original), despite the orientations that were there, and will always be there because I have to listen to sounds and I can`t avoid it.
But we weren`t created to fill that gap primarily. Although it was my first chance of doing anything constructive with established people, apart from Alexis (Korner) and people like that, I just couldn`t have changed after all those years of battling and saying I believed in what I was doing. I had the Band of Joy, and we couldn`t get many gigs in the Midlands, and we finally made Middle Earth and things like that, so I`d been adamant that long that it would have been pointless for me just to do anything, to accept being told to do anything, just to fill that gap.
It`s a fine point and it would take me a long time, and I`d have to know you a long time, before I could get into explaining it in the finest detail, but it is something that mustn`t be just stated as a fact. Its not as simple as that.


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: Al Kooper, Leo Lyons (Ten Years After), Elton Dean, Edgar Broughton, Fat Harry, Stan Tracey, Keef Hartley, Stephen Stills, Jack Lancaster, Juicy Lucy, Heaven, The Moody Blues, Ian McDonald, J.J. Band, Natural Acoustic Band.

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:
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.



It is a pleasure to present this review of an album in the Alice Cooper catalogue that I enjoy a lot. This is definitely not the Alice Cooper of today, but the Alice Cooper that were more experimental in his musical output and was all the better for it.
As the young, but very wise, Ms. Phillips says; this is an album full of intelligent and humourous lyrics. In my personal opinion, one of the very best created in the 70s. Everyone should have this in their collection.


ALICE COOPER: Alice Cooper Goes To Hell (Warners)

By Kate Phillips

I like Alice Cooper. (You have been warned.)
I like all the grand old men of rock (Alex is another) who haven`t much of a vocal identity (and many of whom can`t sing either), who can`t really be discussed in “rock” terms at all (thank heavens) because what they are is showmen who just happen to be using it for their perpetual shows (because it just happened to be around at the time) – who don`t, in short, have to pretend to be young (yawn) and outrageous (yawn) and meaningful (double yawn); because once you`ve admitted you`re frankly corny, and sentimental, and out for a good time (a few laughs, a few shrieks, a big chorus and the audience singing along) – then you`re safe, you can`t be accused of failing to rise to any challenge (except your own) and then, if you want to imply anything a teency bit sinister, a touch naughty or subversive… well, no-one can ever be quite sure (can they?) whether you mean it or not.
Alice`s last effort, you recall, was about a Nightmare; therefore, with the calm logic of “outrage” (you have to get a bit more outrageous every time) he now moves on to an account of his descent into Hell.
Exhibit A: the back cover – slender, youthful, unprotected, black-clad figure trips down to the long white marble staircase to the infernal regions (naturally, Alice`s Hell would be reached by a white marble staircase).
The visual image (note also front cover: Alice as Devil with green face) is one of the ways he makes up for sounding like somebody different on almost every track – Lennon on the sad ones (“I`ll Never Cry”) Jagger when he bawls (“Didn`t We Meet”), Lou (backed up by Wagner and Hunter again, of course) on “I`m The Coolest”.

This last is a description of Himself by Alice`s Maker – “Everybody knows who`s really cool – Me” (“I`m The  Coolest”) – the Big Guy who`s dragged the kid down to this awful place with no TV and no Budweiser to account for his wicked life – “You`re something that never should have happened / You even make your Grandma sick” (“Go To Hell”).
Trouble is, you feel Alice can`t make himself truly Repentant enough to get out of this hole – “I`m a dirt-talkin`, beer-drinkin`, woman-chasin` minister`s son… Golly gee, it`s wrong to be so guilty” (“Guilty”) – though he argues hard enough in “Give The Kid A Break” – “Come on, you know I got what it takes / Can`t you give me a break / Sure thing kid, when hell freezes over”.
I like the first side of the album better than the second – “Go To Hell” is done with great relish, the words of “I`m The Coolest” and “Give The Kid A Break” are very funny, and “Guilty” reminds me of “I`m Eighteen” – but then, that`s judging it as an album, and I don`t think that`s the best way to look at it.
I don`t know how much of this (all or nothing) is part of Alice`s new show (the one he`s not performing in the States at the moment because he`s in bed with anaemia, poor sinner) but (as with Alex`s albums), it`s hard to listen to without imagining Alice on stage – and if you imagine that, why, even black-Pan`s-People-on-the-Osmond-show routines like “You Gotta Dance”, or the undeniably soppy “Wake Me Gently” (“I don`t wanna stay / I wanna leave / I wanna go / I wanna go home”) could be just fine. (I told you I was partisan.)
“I`m Always Chasing Rainbows” loses its sickness potential and becomes what they used to call “great theatre” and “Going Home” is an emotional finale in the best stage musical traditions.
Or in other words OKLAHOMA! (where the wind comes whistling down the plain).


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: Paul McCartney, Twiggy, Stuart Sutcliffe, The Flamin` Groovies, Ian Hunter, The Who, Eric Clapton, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Jefferson Starship, Weather Report, Roxy Music, The Crusaders, The Ramones.

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:
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.


Quite an interesting article from this band`s earliest days. These days they are everywhere, as it is high fashion to wear t-shirts with this band on it by people who have never listened to their music. It is indeed a strange world.


`Waitin` for World War III` blues

By Max Bell

Joey Ramone is wandering around the empty Roundhouse, looking vacant and clutching a brand new camera under his arm like a teddy bear substitute. A slow trickle of other Ramonites follow in his wake, yawning. Enthusiasm isn`t one of their strong points, perhaps because they look a mite nervous underneath those sub-Fifth Dimension hair cuts.
You have to admit they are pretty weird. Four guys straight out of the teenage wasteland hanging loose while waiting for the advent of World War III. Four kids who came out of Forest Hills, New York suburbia, who all wanted to fight in Vietnam but ended up playing rock `n` roll instead, “cuz there`s nothin` left on the radio ta listen to no more.”
I`m not sure if they provide what I want to hear on my radio either, their interpretation of the rock ethic being akin to having your brain pulverised by a bloody mallet, but they got spirit. Waiting for their sound check, bass player Dee Dee is already complaining about the lack of power leaving his stack and the English sound crew aren`t taking the slating too kindly. The grudge will later culminate in a screaming row between band and console at the concert.
See – The Ramones don`t take the realities of the electronic medium into account: their idea of playing is to plug in with the amps juiced to maximum level and don`t let nothin` come in the way of their fingers and your ears. They perform so it hurts. Ramone rock forbids the audience to pass pleasantries while it goes down. In return Johnny Ramone leaves the stage with gore-soaked hands most nights, flesh cut to ribbons for the sake of taking your lobes somewhere they were never intended to go.

They write songs about murders, hustling male prostitutes, and mundane nihilism. The most optimistic vignette in the Ramone lexicon is to do with sniffing glue:
“Now I wanna sniff some
Now I wanna have somethin`
to do
All the kids wanna sniff
some glue
All the kids want somethin`
to do.”
The only overtly classy thing about the Ramones is actually their manager, Danny Fields, a sweet-natured PR whose previous credits with the business include keeping Jim Morrison sober and trying to break down the curse that surrounds Iggy Stooge. Even he`s got his work cut out with this lot, though. It`s rumoured that a Ramone won`t do an interview unless Danny is present to explain the long words. Some people say that Fields has to read out their press to them as well.
This isn`t altogether fair. Guitarist Johnny and drummer Tommy, the usual spokesmen for the group, are the sort of guys who would have left school in the fourth year. It`s doubtful whether Dee Dee and Joey ever got that far. They have that kind of New York subway. Bowery boy and Queens madness graffitied all over. They sound like the characters from Top Cat: Dee Dee is Brains, Joey is Fancy, Johnny is Chu-Chu and Tommy is Benny.

Still, what they lack in normal intelligence they make up for in cleanliness which puts `em several steps closer to God than all those smelly hippy bands. When I interviewed them at the Kennedy Hotel there was a queue for the bathroom. Dee Dee is reckoned to consume three showers per day (“Nuts to da woiter shoitage”) and the only times I ever saw him he was drying his hair. They make the Dolls look positively grubby.
The room is cluttered with punk ephemera: leather belts and garbage pulp mags full of archly self-conscious interviews with Big Apple street runts trying desperately to out do each other. The Ramones are a definite part of that schtick manager Danny has several fingers in both Punk and 16, and those mags like The Bay City Rollers, so you can tell where they`re at.
Dee Dee is attempting to slip into something tight, a tee-shirt that Danny gave him with Mae West on it. He purports not to know who Miss West is, which I find easy enough to believe: “Ain`t she da ugliest chick ya ever saw?” he quips. “Dat`s why I wear it. I dunno who she is, but she sure is ugly.” The interview was conducted in the presence of Dee Dee and Johnny, and most of it plays back like the scripted version of Steinbeck`s Of Mice And Men; no prizes for guessing who Lennie is. Danny was there too to prompt his siblings.
I ask where exactly they play now, with Sire Records pushing for acceptance outside New York in an effort to manufacture the first punk outfit who are popular away from the unrepresentative environs of their home town. It`s significant that no comparable band, with the exception of Kiss, have ever made it pay out of the urban sprawl. The Punk syndrome so far has been characterised by its built-in auto-destruction, so according to the schedule The Ramones have one year in which to bank their takings before another sensation replaces them. Today your love, tomorrow Mink De Ville or Blondie.

Johnny is adamant that they are an exception to this rule: “We play outa New York too. We did a two thousand seater with Johnny Winter at Waterbury, Connecticut. That`s our biggest concert so far, and tonight.” Dee Dee:
“I had ta dodge a lotta bottles there. I wanted to get the hell out. Are the kids gonna throw things tonight? Will they like us?”
While I`m searching for an answer to this heartfelt question, Johnny inadvertently puts his elbow on the master switch for all the lights in the room. Dee Dee jumps up like a bat out hell.
Danny: “Did you did that? Who did that? Now we`ll never get the T.V. on again.”
Dee Dee grunts quietly while Johnny fiddles around with the switch. The lights come back on and Dee Dee beams. “Did I do that?”
Johnny: “The audience was old but it`s starting to get younger, the kids `re mostly…”
Dee Dee: “Nuts.”
Danny: “The kids who go to concerts at the beginning of something are living on their own anyway.”
Unlike their predecessors, The Ramones, through the cagey auspices of Fields, have secured a five year `real deal` out of Sire Records and obtained quite a bit of advance money too. With full promotion they have a substantial advantage over The Dolls on their Mercury days, and much better gear.
Dee Dee: “We spent a fortune in equipment.”
The Marshalls they`re using at the Roundhouse are rented however.
Dee Dee: “We wouldn`t use that crap.”
Johnny: “But we have the same stuff at home.”
Dee Dee: “We have the best. Before our contract we had nuthin`” (he starts to shout dangerously like Brando in On The Waterfront). “NUTHIN`.”


He returns to fondling his beer can, combing the tangles out of that cute sheep dog fringe, and staring at the T.V. which has the sound turned off.
I start going into a daze, trying to remember the facts The Ramones number on behalf of their credibility: like how Tommy was run over by a taxi-cab; how the missing link Ritchie had to be locked up in a mental institution; how they used to rip off T.V.`s and throw them off thirty storey roofs; how they give away lethal baseball bats after every gig. And how they`re still only twenty three and twenty four!
Johnny tells me about The Dolls. “They`re from a previous generation of bands, they were already breaking up when we started. Anyhow, they never really made it out of New York by going on the road. Still, we got a lot of inspiration from that scene.”
Field butts in tactfully: “Don`t write them off, they`ve reformed with a new guitarist. They could be back, and besides their importance was to provide a ready-made market for this kind of music.”
Brains raises himself from the realms of apparent slumber: “I tink dey were de best and…”
Johnny interrupts “For the audience, the clothes, those devoted followers are still there.”
Yeah but they had a lot of drug problems. Do you take drugs? I ask nosily.
Brains: “One of `em died. Dat`s a big problem.” He chuckles contentedly at this bon mot.
Danny offers me his soda water by way of an answer, but Dee Dee is still mumbling “…a nut for a manager.” He pulls up his comic shirt to reveal an ugly flesh scar about two by six with thread marks you file your nails on.
(The actual story on The Dolls at present as related to me by Sable Star (travelling with Greg Shaw, the Flamin` Groovies` manager) is that the lads are starving on government security. Meanwhile Johnny Thunders, Sable`s ex-beau along with Nickee and Dave Johansen had joined up with ex-drummer Jerry Nolan and erstwhile Television anaemic Richard Hell to colate The Heartbreakers. Confusing innit? Unfortunately their other guitarist, Walter, once of the Demons, is dying from a brain tumour.)

We move on to who writes what – all songs being credited to the band as a unit. Johnny responds cautiously: “We all write `em. We`re influenced by old hit singles: Freddy Cannon, Buddy Holly, Presley, Roy Orbison, Peter Lemonjello, and Joey likes Peter Noone. There`s more recent things – heavier rock. MC5, the Stooges (Fields also managed them a few years back and Lou Reed. He must be some kind of masochist). The album took a week to finish. Three days for the music, four for the vocals. It was cheap.”
So where does the image come from?
“That`s how we are. We`re nice too but I guess we are sick and deranged. We`re mean… uh… we try to be mean, there`s a lot of built-up hostility and, what`s the word Danny, oh frustration from life. I hope we ain`t burnin` out though. We have a lot of energy. We rest all day and sometimes it don`t get used up.”
I remind them of the follow-up to their image, the fact that they`ve been represented as dumb in the papers. Johnny says it takes intelligence to be original but Dee Dee is far more emphatic on the matter:
“We don`t go around hittin` people but we used ta. Anyhow we may not be the brightest guys on the world… but I don`t think I`m no mutant weed.”
Johnny: “People say Joey`s dumb, cos he don`t talk too much” (Dee Dee, appreciating this idiosyncrasy laughs uproariously). “We don`t sit around and look at the walls. The words on the album don`t mean nuthin`. We put `em in because they rhyme, it`s total nonsense. Same with the lyric sheet. So people could read and get familiar with good lyrics, otherwise no-one would understand them.”
See, they have no pretensions to being anything other than is obvious at first sight. Because they`ve been on the level I ask what kind of music they hate most:

Johnny: “Can we say anything, Danny?”
Danny: “Just say jazz.”
Johnny: “Oh, not as much as disco.”
Danny: “Don`t you hate jazz more than disco?”
“No, I hate disco more, but jazz is really grating.”
Dee Dee: “Jazz is like bein` dragged through the walls.”
Johnny: “In a way our music is similar to disco with the lines repeating over and over and the beat. I don`t like folk music either.”
As it`s almost time to leave for the concert I prompt Danny into telling me why he ever agreed to manage The Ramones: “It was like The Doors. After five seconds of seeing them I knew I wanted to work with Morrison, and The Ramones have that too. After five seconds I knew I was in the presence of something original. They will be playing in big places soon. Maybe a lot of people hate it but a lot of people love it and those people are going to make them big.”
Dee Dee, who is nearly falling off the edge of the bed by this time, raises his eyes momentarily from the silent screen: “I dunno about that. But I like playin` big hotels.”
On the way out to the car Joey reappeared through a crack on the door. As he stumbled out to the limo all eyes in the hotel turned towards him but he was blissfully oblivious. Fields was looking flustered by this time, particularly as it seemed to take a lifetime to load them all in the car, not usually a difficult operation. Finally it was decided that Joey was indeed too tall to squeeze with any comfort in the back seat. Danny pulls him out crossly and motions tetchily at the front door. “You sit in there Joey,” he sighs.
The driver is wondering what exactly he`s let himself in for. He`s not the only 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: Paul McCartney, Twiggy, Stuart Sutcliffe, The Flamin` Groovies, Ian Hunter, The Who, Eric Clapton, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Jefferson Starship, Weather Report, Roxy Music, The Crusaders.

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:
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.


Having a re-think here. As some of you know I will always print articles with the 5 most read bands/artists on this blog. Today these artists are in an all-time perspective: Ritchie Blackmore (Rainbow), Deep Purple, Lemmy (Hawkwind), Steve Howe and Ian Hunter.
This is part of the reason for the article printed today.
To shake things up and make it easier for other artists to be featured I will change this list from now on to be the 5 most read artist/bands in the last year, counting from whatever date that I post something. I hope this will inspire you to share articles with your favourite artists.
And the ones leading the pack right now are: David Bowie, Lemmy, Paul Kossoff (Free), Pink Floyd and Marc Bolan.


Hunter opts out of suicide plan…

Removing his shades to reveal those innermost thoughts, our man discourses on America`s problems and some of his own.

By Charles Shaar Murray

“I`m not into committin` suicide for rock and roll. I`ve thought about it on numerous occasions, but I figured, `Well, no, man…`”
Ian Hunter, upper facial sector fearlessly bared to the elements, whatever elements may be lurking in a hotel room at three in the morning (This means that he had his shades off – Ed), is simultaneously demonstrating the elegance of his sprawling technique and his skill at the noble and arcane craft of speaking coherently with a minimum of blood in his alcohol stream.
“`…if you`re going to be a miserable bastard, you might as well be a miserable bastard in relative comfort`.”
These days, Our Mister `Untah may be a bit too old and a bit too rich to maintain his membership in the International Punko Society, but when the majestically snotty head waiter barring the door of the hotel restaurant refuses to admit your genial reporter, his celebrated subject and their respective lovely wives on account of Ian is wearing a singlet and jeans, it would seem that age and money do absolutely nothing to bridge some of them old `60s gaps.
And to think that Ian once recorded Sonny Bono`s “Laugh At Me”, a song written after El Bonola got tossed out of a dumb L.A. nosheteria because of his unpruned follicles.
Talk about ironies! Talk about twist endings!
Anyway, we get served someplace else, talk about this and that, get ferociously pissed and return to the hotel to discuss the other thing; said other thing being I.H.`s nifty thought-provoking new album`s worth of toons, “All American Alien Boy.”
Those of you who haven`t yet obtained a copy thereof please rectify said omission instantaneously or sooner; you can finish this when you get back and you`ll find it a lot clearer.

“AAAB” is a living-in-America as opposed to being-a-tourist-in-America album, and like the album, Hunter`s conversation reflects his alternating delight, confusion and horror at his adopted home (“If you took all the ladies out of Bath and York and put `em in San Francisco you`d have the most magnificent place in the world, but it`s full of weirdos”).
He`ll rap on about American politics (which subject had previously aroused in him the most profound absence of interest) with, I`m afraid, more energy and lucidity than sophistication, and then toss a hand-grenade at the departing back of the topic by pointing out, “I tried to keep it light because what does a kid who lives in Warrington care about American politics?
“Everything`s different over there. The garages, the supermarkets, even the milk. They put poison in the bacon…”
I yawned. To this day I`ll swear it was the wine.
“Stop yawning when I`m talking!” responds Mr. `Untah, and proceeds to recount an occasion when your friend and mine Lester Bangs stitched him up by waiting until the assembled company “had got completely spaced and then all of a sudden out of the blue he asked, `What do you care about the poor people?` Oh, Christ. I knew exactly how that was gonna come out in print…”
Truth to tell, I`d contemplated no particular verbal ambush or journalistic mugging – but Ian had set himself up so nice. “Well, what do you care about the poor people?”
“That`s personal. I mean, if you`ve been to St. Louis and you`ve seen Martin Luther King Boulevarde in February and you`ve got any feelings at all… it`s weird, man, seeing people in light summer coats when it`s 20 below, standing around in doorways.

“They try and go into the shops where it`s warm, and they get kicked out. The dogs shiver in their sleep. I was on Martin Luther King Boulevarde just after they`d cleared part of it; they`d just put a lot of black people into a new complex, but they weren`t allowed to take their dogs and there were a lot of wild dogs hangin` about.
“It was real ironic that this was on Martin Luther King Boulevarde, which was supposed to be a tribute to him, but it was derelict. The dogs were sleeping in the gutters and shaking from the cold. What do you do with that?
“I couldn`t even write a song about it. That`s bursting into tears time because you feel like a prat that it ain`t happenin` to you, and you feel that you should go out there and give `em ten grand, but I didn`t. I`m remarkably stupid on that level, because I don`t really react until two days later. Believe me, I`m genuine about this: I really suffer for that.
“But not half as much as the people who have to live it. I mean, I live all right. If we genuinely cared for everybody who didn`t have nothin` we`d be dead within a week from the sheer agony of that carin`. It`s a weird world; very primitive, very middle ages. The word `modern` is obscene.”
I recalled talking to Bowie after his Trans-Siberian jaunt three years ago, and D.B. saying that 75 per cent of Russia`s population were still living in the 13th century.
“Well, that just about sums David Bowie up. He`s a remarkably stupid person when he`s talking on an international level, because he don`t know anythin` about anythin`.”
But he loves talking in those terms.
“I know, but he just talks through `is arse. It`s just that the word `modern` is so weird. I`ve always found that the height of pretention – `modern`. When I was workin` on demolition in Northampton, we were renovatin` a place which had been a newspaper office, and we found papers from 1812. It was just like today`s paper. They had H.P.: it was like 13 quid for a Welsh dresser and a table and four chairs and it was like two quid down, two bob a month. The prices were different, but the write-ups were exactly the same.


“They burn witches now just like they burned witches then. That`s why I observe more than participate. I ain`t got much truck with people, really…
“That`s why I`m more resigned; that`s why I can`t summon up, perhaps, the energy that Bowie would have. I could be wrong, I could be terribly wrong, but I just don`t think it`s all worth bothering about except to see that I`m all right, that I get through. I haven`t got suicidal tendencies or anything; it`s just that it`s absurd, so enjoy yourself in your own little way, `cos the crusaders of the `60s… oh, God, you oughta see `em. They`re all writin` books now. It`s pathetic!
“All the revolutionaries sayin` `Oh, we didn`t mean it. Actually we did attempt to incite a riot.` Rolling Stone was founded on the fact that they didn`t…”
Ian Hunter tells himself and others that he`s not concerned midway through a rap wherein mention of any of his recent songs leads into discussion of matters political, social, religious, economic or ethical.
He writes an album three-quarters devoted to such topics (“On the last album most of the lyrics were invented. I hate writing like that; I much prefer to have a headful of lyrics which just come out.”), is an avatar of defiant punkhood, and makes an album with only two hard-rock tracks on it, will declare himself unimpressed by the Feelgoods and The Ramones but enthuse about Sailor.

He will declare himself shocked and surprised when critics cite Dylan references when discussing “AAAB,” an album so redolent of the Zim`s mannerisms that the comparison has arisen spontaneously from every single person to whom I`ve played it; who keeps his bread (but definitely not his head) well down under them floorboards; who will self-consciously short-circuit an idea out of sheer self-deprecation even when it`s more than worth following up and then almost instantaneously become criminally self-indulgent with something that`s little more than the conceptual equivalent of a leaky bucket.
He will take himself seriously when he should be taking the piss, and bring himself down when he should keep on keepin` on.
Still, Ian Hunter has purpose, passion and perception; he has enough sophistication to know when not to be sophisticated; and he controls his ego rather than vice versa. Plus he has a conscience and a sense of humour.
After all, he ain`t committing suicide for rock and roll. Which is just as well at a time when (as Ritchie Blackmore once said) “the best lack all conviction, while the worst are filled with passionate intensity.”


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: Paul McCartney, Twiggy, Stuart Sutcliffe, The Flamin` Groovies, The Ramones, The Who, Eric Clapton, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Jefferson Starship, Weather Report, Roxy Music, The Crusaders.

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:
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.


This album was originally released in september 1975, but I guess it wasn`t released in the UK before the summer of 1976. Strange to think that in those days you couldn`t get hold of an album until it was released in your country (or pay hugely by buying it on import). As we know – these days the albums get “leaked” on the internet even before they are released. How times have changed.
A very favourable review of a album that still remains one of the greatest “guitar-oriented” albums out there. There are some really classic stuff on this one, so if you haven`t already got it – buy it! It is well worth your money.


Hell on earth and a lorry-load of dollars


By Max Bell

Once upon a time the idea of liking Ted Nugent And The Amboy Dukes was considered remarkably unhip. Poor old Ted and his boys were the butt of many a knowing jest, usually based around their supposed ineptitude and crass handling of some of rock `n ` roll`s… uh… more simple trademarks.
I always liked The Dukes myself; sure they were a rotten band, but occasionally Ted produced the goods on schedule and confounded his critics by revealing some potential lurking beneath that morass of Detroit sick grunge.
“Marriage On The Rocks”, if you ever see it, is something of a minor league classic. I picked it up for a few pesetas in a Spanish supermarket five years ago and I`ve been trying to convert the odd passer-by to its manifold merits (with nought success I might add).
Ted`s second period regeneration has been even more fruitful in terms of albums, fruitless in terms of actual success.
“Call Of The Wild” and “Tooth, Fang And Claw” are really fine examples of spreading a few ideas a long way and remarkably dense little numbers in their own way.
Recognition seemed to be a long way round the corner though until now.
Minus the Amboy Dukes moniker, but plus a host of renewed confidence, the diamond coated Nugent has finally cracked the egg and got on the good side of his public mirage. If you say you like him today no-one will show you the closet. Times change.

For those who listen “Stranglehold”, the eight-minute extravaganza opening side one, is a veritable melee of guitar prowess, killer riffs and stirring seventh wave crescendo chords.
The replacement of Vic “Bolognese” Mastrianni by Cliff Davies has added another dimension to the rhythm section, an area of Ted`s entourage which was sadly lacking sparkle previously. Here he`s left to his own devices, migration axe laid on thick and slow, moody charged energy.
He is working the same territory as John Cippolina and Gary Duncan, a vintage string of cavalry bugle call and response mechanism that leaves most competition flat on their respective floors.
The final spiel from Ted on death is a superb advert for his own madcap excess. Muscular showmanship from a man who fights off assassin squads with a burst of Gibson-drenched buckshot.
“Stormtroopin`” (Nugent`s knowledge of the English language doesn`t encompass the letter G`) continues the American high frequency signal destroyer.
Laid back is not a term often found in Ted`s handbook. Davies` heartbeat slick rock percussion, Rob Grange`s foil bass and Derek St. Holmes additional rhythm guitar all undercut the main man who makes every British flash outfit sound old and tired.
Large doses of chauvinistic macho spitfire dribble all over the disc. Lyrics about guns, arson; nothing too nasty except the vocals.

Now a H.M. group is only as good as its vocalist and here the boys fall down with the occasional thump until Nugent hauls them up again.
“Hey Baby” owes a whole lot to Free and their ilk though it lacks Rodgers and Co`s mastery of the on-off motif. They don`t so much stop and start as never let up; gets a mite wearing after a while.
“Just What The Doctor Ordered” is a similar slice of front line boogie, nothing unusual but guaranteed to get any alive audience in the world tearing down the walls.
If they`d had Nugent at Jericho the fracas could have been over immediately. He makes some acceptably horrible noises.
On the other side “Snakeskin Cowboys” (what a flair for the catchy title) is directed to the front stage murder platoons who dig this sound in the Mid West and South where Ted is already a legend.
Actually the lyrics are dreadful, but that doesn`t matter much. In the old days The Dukes battled with such philosophical problemata as “Why Is A Carrot More Orange Than An Orange” and it got them as far as zilch gulch, no paddle.
Nugent`s guitar style is all about eliciting a certain response, probably violent blood-letting hysteria, and he succeeds in unblocking most frustration taps with his standard block bar rhythm chords. The rock and roll plumber strikes again.
Nugent no longer needs to indulge in money-spinning Jack Elam leatherette guitar battles to earn his keep.
Recently the band have been supporting the largest combo in this universe, Aerosmith to you (more popular than either The Stones or Zeppelin, let me tell ya, in the States). Choice indoor gigs like an 86,000 indoor Detroit stadium. Hell on earth and a lorry load of dollars.
Prediction: by the end of this year Nugent and Bob Seger will have joined the ranks that separate small fish from huge monsters. This time he`s sharpening his teeth on broken glass.
I think you`d better get Ted Nugent before he gets you.


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: Michael Chapman, Roger McGuinn, The Beatles, ZZ Top, Bob Marley, Sly and the Family Stone, Eric Burdon Band, Genesis, Streetwalkers.

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:
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.