Lisa Robinson


This is a really good article about Queen, but at the end of it there seems to be some “filler” when we get an update on what Ian Hunter and Bernie Taupin is doing. But all that is fine when the rest of this is so good.


`I conquered New York in a maroon velour bath robe`

Actually it took a little more than that – like a satin jump suit slit two feet below the navel and four impressive Queen shows at The Beacon Theatre. Here`s the full story.

By Lisa Robinson

Things seem different this time around for Queen. No one has to ask who they are, there are even girl fans standing outside the entrance of the posh Sherry Netherland hotel where the band have a penthouse suite.
High-powered publicity people are taking care of the press, and an expensive party in their honour follows the first of four sell-out shows at New York`s Beacon Theatre.
And yet, once again, when Freddie Mercury and I sit down to do an interview, we both have the `flu. Even John Reid, manager of Queen and Elton John, can`t do anything about that…
“But last year, with our previous management, I couldn`t even talk to you in person,” Mercury laughed. “This year, I can at least sit up, and talk face-to-face… So that`s the difference.”
He coughed, seated on a couch, dressed in pink Biba (circa 1973) pyjamas and a maroon velour bathrobe.
Brian May also seemed a bit under the weather – but was fully dressed in a black velvet suit, having done an interview previously in the hotel dining room.
“There`s just so much to take in in New York,” said Freddie, explaining his touch of the `flu. Pressing further, I ask how much they feel their new management has had to do with their continuing rise: “Absolutely nothing!” laughed Freddie, then adds, “he`ll kill me…”
“I think it`s very hard to pin down, really,” says Brian. “We feel better. Some of the things that have come about because of John Reid have helped us settle down and finish the album.”

“It`s a whole new outlook,” said Freddie, “and certainly the new management has helped a great deal. It`s given us a release, and opened up whole new areas of thinking. We`ve done things that we wanted to do for a long time.
“And it`s just shown in our music in a way, and in the way we`ve come up with this new album… and subsequently it`s led to better chart places and sales… Things trigger off…”
What about the rumours of Brian leaving the band? “Oh, that,” May shrugged. “No, that was really blown out of… that happened a year before, it was never a serious thing. I got friendly with Russell and Ron Mael, live quite near them and we sort of got on well, and we talked of doing something together at some point. That was really as far as it went.
“It was at a time when Queen weren`t doing very much and they probably thought that I wasn`t doing very much but in fact it was when I was recovering from being ill. It was no big deal, you know; it was just a friendly talk. There was never any danger of my leaving Queen.”
“The only reason he`d leave Queen is to become an astronomer,” Mercury added, “not to join another band. My god” – he sneers.

“It`d be silly,” said Brian, “because we`re so fortunate in having this combination… and especially at this point when we`re just beginning to find ourselves. It`s all rubbish about that…”
Mercury: “Especially when it`s just starting to be fun.”
What do you mean, starting to be fun?
“Well, you know… we`re riding on the crest of a wave, and things have finally opened up for us. The rewards are finally beginning to show in the sense that we`re now being respected as musicians, and our songs are hitting the right kind of people. And that`s very rewarding.”
I wondered if, with the astonishing success of the single, as well as a worldwide prominence, they felt “respectable” in a way that had previously eluded them.
“We`d always had confidence in what we were doing,” Freddie answered, “and little things – like the press – didn`t really get us down. If it`s a bad review I tear it up.”
Brian: “It always hurts. I mean, even if there`s an audience of ten thousand and there`s one guy saying `rubbish`, it hurts.”

Queen performed at the Beacon Theatre here – four shows with about 3000 audience each night. Why not a larger hall?
“Well, all the places we`re playing are small halls that work well with the act at the moment,” said Brian.
“Instead of doing one big show we`re doing four small shows,” said Freddie.
How would the visuals change if there was one big show?
Mercury: “I`d just have to project further – grins, hand poised on his chest, which brings me to… ahhhh… his nails.
What shade of black is that? Black is really hard. You have to be careful… it can rot your nails.
“I know. I used to use Biba, but now I use Miners… do you know them? Do they have that here?”
No. How many coats to get it that dark?
“Only one,” he said, “and it goes on really smooth. Reminds me, I have to do them for tonight…”
We look over a photo of the group on stage… Who did your blouse, Brian?
“Zandra… I`d used some other things, but went back to her this time. I`m really pleased.”
“What about you, Freddie, are you changing clothes mid-show this time?
“I change after every number now,” he cracks. “You`re coming to a fashion show, not a concert…
We touch on the length of time the single`s been number one in Britain.
Freddie: “Slim Whitman in 1955 was Number One for 11 weeks… couple of others that have been eight weeks, nine weeks, but we`ve reached that, which in this day and age, I think is rather nice.”

Brian: “Once it got up there, and really caught fire, it just sold more and more. We couldn`t believe that people were still going out there and buying it.”
Freddie: “It sold over a million and a quarter in Britain… just outrageous. Imagine all the grandmothers groovin` to it.
“I think our music is becoming even more versatile, so we can please a pretty wide range of people. And the people who have come to see us, even in the few concerts we`ve done at home, have spanned a wide age group.”
Talking about “Night At The Opera” (record not film) Freddie explains: “Every molecule on that album is us, just the four of us, every iota. No session men, not for strings, not for anything… and we don`t try to reproduce that onstage, we present the music in a different way for stage.
“Sometimes we think about performing with more musicians, or a set… but at the moment, there`s just so much going within the four of us, that it would be a shame to latch onto something else. Because we haven`t quite burnt up our energies doing what we want to do now.”
“Maybe at some stage,” says Brian, “but at the moment the stage act`s evolved in its own right. It`s separate from the album. The songs are the same, but the treatment is so different, and that`s just what we do onstage. But for the moment it is what it is, this is not the time to do it otherwise.”


David Johansen (New York Dolls) and Freddie Mercury

I`ll say Queen`s management is classy. I arrive (with a mild flu in the midst of a snowstorm) at the Beacon Theatre and, predictably enough, find two people in my seats.
No ushers to be found anywhere, and the huge men guarding the doors refuse to help. In the midst of my plight – for I am blind as a bat unless I sit up front – manager John Reid comes to my rescue. He manages to con the 7` 4″ black man at the door (after various red tape and approval) to help me get to my seat, accompanies me down the aisle, stands there while everyone in the row is checked out, and at last manages to evict the two who have obviously trespassed.
So… sometime after “Flick Of The Wrist” and before “Killer Queen” I sit down. Well, I thought, no matter how the concert goes, John Reid gets a rave review for his performance.
“HE`S THE SEXIEST THING I EVER SAW!!”, shrieked Linda Stein sitting right in front of me. “Oh my god…” I whisper to my associate, look at his… errr… “Socks?”, he asks, not hearing me properly because of the volume.
The object of these observations was, of course, Freddie Mercury, who had the audience in the palm of his hand. Dressed in white satin, chest exposed… a flash of Flash Gordon at the wrists, he was all over the stage, down the ramp (very showbiz), at the piano, and his voice was in total control in a theatre that has had its share of sound problems.
The crowd was completely hysterical with every number; “Prophet” featured a digital delay system that was dramatically effective for Freddie`s voice… technology is wonderful when it doesn`t enslave you…
At the end of that number a cone-like silver object with flashing red lights was lowered to the stage over the drums as the band went off… and when they returned Freddie was dressed in… a black version of the satin jumpsuit, slit all the way down to there.
They went straight into “Stone Cold Crazy”. Girls were literally screaming all around.

It`s easy to see why Queen have made it here; they combine a sense of the theatrical (without the outrageous gimmicks) of the biggest American band – Kiss; have a legitimate hard rock appeal – like Aerosmith; and above all, have the added aura of being a Big British Band with the respectability of musical complexity.
While some critics here find Queen pretentious, I thought this was a stunning concert; they have a keen sense of showbiz humour that saves their songs from being too heavy, and what they do is so extreme that it defines its own terms, sort of a baroque stage show.
Meanwhile, it was freezing in the theatre. Freddie sat down at the piano for “Lap Of The Gods”, and it was time for the smoke machine… This year it worked. I`m not a big dry ice fan, but this stuff certainly is a crowd pleaser…
The lights were lavish and spectacular. The audience, who`d been on their feet for the last few numbers, went beserk for an encore…
Billie Jean King (yes, the tennis player) was standing in the back of the theatre wearing a maroon sweater and skirt and a backstage pass… (I can already see the photos… Billie Jean and Freddie… King and Queen…)
Freddie came back for the encore in the flowing white satin Zandra Rhodes top… and then “Big Spender” with the strip tease… no doubt about it, next time Queen`s here, they`ll be in Madison Square Garden if they choose to.
(I later found out that the band were annoyed because the flashpots didn`t go off: “It looks like the whole stage explodes,” Reid said, and Freddie laughed. “Every time you come and see us something goes wrong technically. Last year, the smoke machine, this year, the flashpots. Come and see us tomorrow night, it`ll be so much better…”)

At Le Pouilailler, an elegant restaurant near Lincoln centre, a magnificent buffet is set. Bottles of red and white wine are on the tables, and the bar is open and well-manned.
The party for Queen is being held in this welcome contrast to the blizzard raging outside; and everyone is here.
Bernie Taupin, Ian Hunter, Todd Rundgren, David Johansen, Ahmet Ertegun, David Nutter, John Reid, Clive Davis, Mel Posner, Steve Ross, (all the WEA brass), press – including Punk Magazine! – Paul Drew (important radio programmer who was recently slapped by Bette Midler when he told her he didn`t like her record…), Ron & Ellen Delsener – celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary, Renee Wexler, Connie Pappas, Billie Jean King, Frankie Rudge, Joe Armstrong, more, more, more.
Freddie, Roger and John arrived late, seemed tired. Brian didn`t come, he obviously was hit with a serious sore throat.
Freddie, after having a thousand photos taken (with Billie Jean King, etc. etc.) finally sits down, eats some food, throws some food at – I think – David Nutter who is wearing a Stevie Wonder backstage Madison Square Garden button on his lapel, chats with David Johansen.
We all talk about Bowie (“Send him my love,” Freddie instructed), Robert Plant (“I know he`s said nice things about me but you know, it`s really true – he always was my favourite singer,” said Fred), everyone called everyone darling and it was one of those very successful New York parties.

Ian Hunter talked about his new album: “It`s called `All American Alien Boy`, I think, and it`s amazing. I thought it would take two months to do and it only took 24 days, mixing and everything… Chris Stainton played on it with me, but he didn`t produce it. People think that, but I arranged it, wrote everything and produced it.
“I think it`s gonna surprise a lot of people, and I know that some people will think it`s a heap of shit because it`s very heavy. There are cuts on it called `Apathy`… `Religion`… no rock and roll. I had too many cuts for it so I eliminated the rock and roll ones… But I`m really writing well, and the musicians on it are incredible – David Sanborn, Cornell Dupree, this great guitarist from Reno who used to be with Edgar called Jerry Williams…
How`d you get them all together?
“Money.” He laughs.
As for missing England, Ian`s American wife Trudy says she misses it more than he does. “I had to come here to write,” claims Hunter. “I was just fresh out of words there; I needed to come some place where I would have new inspiration for lyrics.”

At another table Bernie Taupin talks of his solo album: “Oh, it`s really a good laugh,” Bernie smiled, “it`s like Bernie Taupin at the bar. The name? Well… I think it might be `Bernie And The Jets`… I`d really like to use that. And I do all these versions of other people`s songs – `Let It Be Me` with Phil Everly singing on it with me. It`s really corny, they`ll love it in England. And `Cryin Time`, Ringo sings on that with me.”
As the party ends, Freddie and I discuss a story that ran here about him. An amazing Hit Parader writer named Josephine Mori had written a piece on him that was, to put it mildly, euphoric.
Speaking of sphinxes… he was a Creature to me… a 70`s minotaur, half pop artist half Arabian Knight/Night (K or N optional with reader) – an impossible combination, like singles charts and scimitars, that somehow he could make work, the way he made another impossible combination the ether of Faerie and the heavy metal of rock music, somehow work. In a sense he was no more “real” to me than Scheherezade or the Big Bad Wolf… though in my fancy at least, he might well have been a bit of both.”
Hmmmmm… the Creature that Captured New York…


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. 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: Led Zeppelin, Tony Iommi, The Fania All-Stars, David Bowie, Sailor, Gay and Terry Woods.

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.

ARTICLE ABOUT Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, February 14, 1976

I`ve said it before and I`ll say it again: I really like the way this journalist let the interview objects speak to us readers without a lot of interruptions. Even if there is a lot of talk about corners at the end of this.
Have a good read!


Sensitive Plant pines for British soil

And occasionally New Jersey Shoulder to cry on by St. Laurent of Paris

Reporter: Lisa Robinson

Robert Plant was acting like he didn`t care.
But when I started to tell him what Mick Jagger had said about him, I detected a strong glimmer of interest in his eyes.
“Mick`s been so nice,” Robert said.
He brings you up all the time, I insisted, in a pleasant chiding way of course, things like “should I get a tambourine like Robert Plant.” And more in that vein.
“Actually,” says Plant, “I remember talking to Mick at the Plaza one night, about the sort of separatism, or lack of communication between one rock band and another.
“You know in the old days there was a constant sort of jousting for position, a definite ego number that was apparent all the way up to a certain point. I guess I realized talking to him that there isn`t all this clanship and unity between bands in this rock and roll scene.
“Then, when this accident happened, there was a giant rally round from a lot of people who I never think of that often, you know?
“Wishes and regards sent to Maureen, to us both. From people on all levels of the business, you know.
“It was a really great gesture, it brought a new validity to it somehow, just a great surge of energy. Just at the time that we were both pulling out of the worst of the accident. It was an enlightening thing.
“Maybe in times of need you do get this sort of camaraderie…”

It is obvious that the near fatal car accident suffered by Robert Plant and his family last summer in Greece has affected his life profoundly.
Whether he talks of Led Zeppelin, their new album “Presence”, possible plans for touring, or his wife and children, an awareness of what life means to him since that experience is always at the very front of his mind.
Discussing his “tax exile” status Plant was bitter. Then again, he related it to his situation.
“I really cannot believe the criticism that I`ve had hurled against me, the remarks made by people about leaving my wife when she was in hospital… all that. It`s a very sad situation, you know, to have to leave one`s own country for the sake of money.
“It makes good sense, obviously. That is the motivation for 99 1/2 per cent of the people who have done it. With me well, not only did I want to preserve some of the reward for what I`ve worked like hell for – what I sit racking my brains to try and create – but it was almost the principle of the thing.
“The government in England is almost saying, `Well, never mind, they`ll come back you know… they`re English and they`ll come home`.
“And the loneliest times… just to know that you`re a prisoner… it`s really more sad than any accident to be thrust out of your own country. If the government tried to work out a reasonable deal… but they`re adamant, and sure that `they`ll come back`. And they`re damn right… the number of times we have come so close to getting on a plane and going home. The spirit of Albion is really imbedded in everybody`s soul.”

Robert talked longingly of his farm: “That little farm is a lot of my life, and so are the two little seeds that run around it. So those are the saddening moments… but it really is the principle. If the government could lead a renovation, under reasonable terms I`d have no qualms about going back and saying okay, let`s make a deal. And I know everybody else feels the same. But it`s just this attitude of gotta get it all, gotta fill me pockets. Which is not where I`ve ever been at despite a few rather uneducated people commenting that that is all. So…I suppose when I do go home it`ll be Hallelujah and I shall kiss the soil again.”
The last time Led Zeppelin “performed” anywhere was in Jersey, at an impromptu gig egged on by Bonzo, and Plant says it was great.
“You see the possibility of playing and who can avoid it, you know? It was like rock and roll night at this dance hall that was like some place ten years gone by, in the best old English tradition.
“Guys with dickey bows and evening jackets ready to bang your head against a wall if you stepped out of line, and chairs and tables lined up in escalation. Chicks wearing suspenders and stockings and a lot of rock and roll.
“Bonzo said `C`mon man, let`s plan on going`. And I said, `look man, I can`t even walk for God`s sake, don`t embarass me. I can`t hobble across the dance floor and onto the stage.” He said we`d go through the side door and then up the back steps. And with amazing grace, that`s what I did and I found myself plunked on a stool. But I really was shy.

“Every time I went to hit a note, I stood up. Not putting any weight on my foot, but just sort of standing. Oh, there were some great photos.
“You know these guys in holiday areas with the cameras who come and take your photo and then you have to call midday the next day and show up at the pier where he will present you with whatever snaps he took the night before, and you find out how silly you looked or how drunk you in fact were for an extortionate price?
“I gave the guy a free hand to shoot like crazy, you know… shoot all these shots of Led Zeppelin in this antiquated ballroom, you know, backing this pianist. And we never even announced it. It was such an exciting experience, nobody even sat down. It was just rock and roll, but in the most basic sense of the word, it was great.
“Of course,” he continued, “I made sure that I sat almost behind Bonzo, wedged between the drums and the piano… but then I found myself edging forward just a little bit. Then, after the third number, I was wiggling the stool, past the drums and further out, you know. And it was like another flash of white light. It was great, really good. Except for we wouldn`t stop playing. They kept flashing the lights inside the place and really like, `Get them off the stage now, they`ve done enough`.
“I just talked to old Ralphsie – Mick from Bad Company – and they played the same gig.
“So this tiny weeny little dance hall is getting the pride of English musicianship for nothing. Just for the hell of playing, you know.”


Talking about how Zep came to do their new album in a mere (count `em) 18 days, Robert recalled: “I moved to Sunset Strip because the trek to rehearsals from Malibu was a bit long. And I got bored with the Hyatt (Hotel) in a shorter amount of time than it normally takes, so I knew I must be getting better.
“Then I hopped on a plane and went to Germany. After getting used to it, the studio turned out to be okay, and as soon as we came to an understanding with the machinery and the equipment, we were off.
“I think we only went out twice; we were really too tired to do anything but put our heads down. It was like 14 hours a night, 18 days.
“Jimmy worked like a Trojan, no two ways about it. It`s his energy that got this album together so quick. I mean I was not really in any physical condition to hop around with gusto inspiring the situation greatly… although I was surprised the vocals were so good. The lyrics were coming thick and fast, presenting no problems at all.
“I had no second thoughts about the lyrics, they were all reflections on the time near and before the accident and that time afterwards, that contemplative thing, so I was very determined lyrically and vocally, but Jimmy put his energy into it. He worked so hard, and the guitar playing on this album surpasses anything I`ve heard for ages and ages. Brilliant, so much life in it. It`s like hallelujah and we`re back.
“There`s one song called “Achilles Last Stand” – you know, immortal but for the heel, or for being a heel, I don`t know which. No, I mustn`t joke about it, because I am very proud of it.

“There`s one song I wrote when I was very sad and missing Maureen in Malibu, and it`s very personal. You know times go very slowly when you get up every day and you can`t even kick a ball… run and kick a roadie… even kick your drummer. So time has been the teacher and I`ve been the pupil.
“Whew, that was heavy, did I really say that?”
`Fraid so, Robert.
“It`s hard to find the words to say it, but the whole experience of doing that album was very inspiring. It`s come from a different corner altogether of us, I think it`s come from that corner called survival.
“The only time that I wondered that it might not be there anymore was because of the physical. Only because there was a time when my soul was so covered by that cloud that I really didn`t know… what`s the point… but that only lasted a few seconds every day until it finally wore off. I mean I believe that we could start another album right now. Three weeks is amazing to record and mix and walk away.”
We change the subject – the Zeppelin movie. Does Plant have aspirations to the silver screen? The next Roger Daltrey?
“To be quite honest, I don`t think that I could… I mean for us, with that movie, it was basically the gig that was filmed…”
But what about the other stuff? You riding around on a horse and all?
“How dare you… me riding around on a horse… what do you think I`m doing, advertising men`s hairdressing or something like that?”

“Well… if I act onstage, I mean it`s not a sort of dance macabre, it`s not something premeditated. It`s just an extension of me, you know. But the whole process of being involved in any sort of serious filming bores me to tears. I mean just seeing those clips, adverts for films here makes me think. When we deliver something, we do it with as much as we`ve got. If we sink to the floor after that next note, or get dizzy reaching such a high pitch, or all the dogs start barking in Brooklyn… you know, only they can hear it folks… But you know what I mean, just to sort of waddle around with a script in front of a camera, I couldn`t possibly do. The interjections between the music on the film are just enough to give it the relish it requires.”
As for future plans, Plant said that he didn`t think Zeppelin would be doing anything on our shores for at least twelve months once he was able to go back home.
“Well, as much as I can be on the road ad infinitum, I really can`t be without Maureen and the kids and the farm and that whole thing back there which I love. I`ve really got to go back. I`m not at the sort of desperation point, but it`s only fair to tour when you`ve had a lot of that which inspires you to lift yourself above… You`ve got to go home to get a little bit of fire in you to go back again. It`s like going back to your corner.”
How long?
“Well, who knows, you know. I mean I`d been away a year when I went home. I was so pleasantly thrilled and intoxicated by the atmosphere and everything. It must be the same for everybody, it must be the same for Mick, for Elton. You can only come out of your corner giving something wholesome and brilliant or good or whatever if you`ve been back in your corner to sort of shuffle around and sort of fire yourself up again.”
Twelve months?
“Well, you can look at it two ways. You can say that, but then you can say is twelve months long enough to be at home after everything I`ve been through? I could do with just sitting down with my family and just thanking the gods that I`ve got one, that I`m part of one. That doesn`t mean that I`ve lost the grease at the bottom of my shoes, it means that I`ve got to go back to my corner for a little while.”


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. 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: Queen, Tony Iommi, The Fania All-Stars, David Bowie, Sailor, Gay and Terry Woods.

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.


Lisa Robinson is pretty much spot on in every way in this article. I like the style of writing and it is a good,  honest interview with comments that gives more insight for the reader.
Enjoy this piece with a band on the rise in early `76.


Steven Tyler feels like an old shoe…

A band called Aerosmith are currently America`s second hottest act. Is this an acceptable state of affairs?
Lisa Robinson reports.

The girl sitting next to me in the 747 out of New York for Los Angeles grabbed my arm excitedly. “Guess who`s on our plane,” she gasped… “Mick Jagger!!!”
Oh no, I thought, as I turned and, predictably enough, saw Steven Tyler settling into his seat a couple of rows back. What a perfect beginning for my piece on Aerosmith. Except that it`s too perfect… no one will ever believe me.
“You know what really pisses me off,” says Tyler later, as we somewhat drunkenly chat our way to L.A., “… this bit about me and Jagger. I don`t know, I guess I do look like him from far away, but I don`t see what that has to do with anything. I mean, for a writer to compare us… they must have nothing else to write about.”
Aerosmith (Tyler on vocals, Joe Perry lead guitar, Brad Whitford guitar, Joey Kramer drums and Tom Hamilton bass) have been together for some five years, have racked up one platinum and two gold albums (respectively “Toys In The Attic”, “Aerosmith” and “Get Your Wings”) and are currently one of America`s hottest rock properties.
And although some people in their own country may still wonder who and what they are, it`s a fair bet that they`re outselling the Bruce Springsteens of this globe hand over fist at the disc department. Then again, especially when it comes to frontman Tyler, if the men don`t know or understand, the little girls sure do.

For a while now Aerosmith have been proving themselves capable of selling out the larger venues across the U.S.A., and one remaining semi-hostile territory fell victim to the band`s charms when at a Madison Square Gardens gig with Black Sabbath the New York audience rose to them with rousing acclaim.
The party at the St. Regis Hotel following the Garden gig featured the usual clutch of New York writers hovering in attendance, and was notable for the amount of Columbia Records top brass on view. Columbia (CBS in the U.K.) know when they`ve got something hot on their hands. President Irwin Segelstein, wearing a suit, headed the record company entourage, mingling with radio promotion men, and assorted relatives of the band – all posing for the mandatory bar mitzvah photos with their respective kin.
Oh, and also Linda Blair (she of gossip columns everywhere since “The Exorcist”). Success??
“Oh listen,” says Steven Tyler next day on the plane, “I know what people are going to make out of that. I can see it now, but Linda`s really pretty cool. I liked her. She`s actually pretty smart and she knows what she`s doing.”
Chitchat aside, we get down to what I expect to be a serious discussion regarding Aerosmith, but Tyler has other plans.
I ask why he got involved with rock`n`roll in the first place.

“Tits, sex, cars…” He laughs. Finally – an Honest Rock Star???
“Well seriously, that is a part of it… but you can`t just write that. I used to have a good time on the road, but I got the grunt twice so I kind of have to lay back. I don`t have that much fun on the road anymore.
“You know, I`d like to ball everything I see. Well, not everything but at least one a day. But, since I had the grunt twice, I have to be real careful. So where`s the fun anymore?”
He pauses, then warms to the subject. “I`ll tell you what`s fun. It`s finding the right stewardess and having her take you to the back of the plane… It`s the greatest… just the very fact that you might get caught. That`s the extent of our fun on the road – waiting for it to happen, waiting for it not to happen.”
Uh, but the music? You know, chords and all that?
“Yeah, well it`s like writing a song – it`s the same thing. You hear what you sat down and tinkered with at the piano… coming through all those amps. You know… the whole building to a climax bit.
“It sounds like I`m pushing a sex number here doesn`t it?” Tyler laughs.
He changes the subject: “The people who consider us an overnight success… hah. All those people who didn`t believe in us at the beginning, we had to take more shit. Overnight success, indeed. I really hate a lot of those people, and there`s no way I can get back at them.
“But the kids know.”

Aerosmith are your basic rock `n` roll band; a bit of boogie, a little blues, garnished with vocal harmonies. The presence of a Charismatic Lead Singer also helps. Detractors have said that they`re doing nothing special other than persist. If that`s true then you would have to concede that they do it with more style than most.
The band in its present form was started in 1970 by Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton in New Hampshire. Steven Tyler, who had been in some bands previously as a drummer (The Chain Reaction, The Left Banke… Boston bands during that period of the “Bosstown Sound”), went to New Hampshire where his parents own a resort, “Trow Rico”, and joined up.
They added Brad Whitford on guitar, and decided Tyler should be lead singer. The line up was completed by Joey Kramer on drums, an old school friend of the vocalist.
Tyler claims to have listened intently to New York radio stations during his formative years, and to have used his findings as a basis for current Aerosmith material.
Finger on the pulse of teenage America, eh?
“Well, I remember the first time, I think it was in Boston, when I came out onstage and it really clicked. I knew… I knew the kids were digging what I was doing.”
Which is what? Why is Aerosmith so big??
“I can`t answer that. I can say that I think we`re really rocking out, and nobody else is doing that.
“People are getting dressed up for a masquerade, doing this, doing that… but nobody`s really going on and rocking out.”


Aerosmith have been rocking out on the road for the better part of the past three years. Steven claims that he flies nearly every day (he even has to put three coats of moisturizer on his face to prevent in-flight skin dryness and eventual crows` feet) from one gig to another.
A recent “vacation” allowed them two weeks off to return to their homes around Boston and play with their cars. “Sometimes I think this is ruining me,” says Steven. “What… No, I don`t want to get married and have kids?? I`d make them insane, the way I`m living now. But I definitely want a little me – before I get too messed up. Because I sit in front of a colour TV, I listen to all that noise, and God knows what the decibel level onstage is, what that`s doing…
And what do I eat on the road, you know?” he looks worried.
What do his parents think of all this (Mrs. Tyler was in the front row at the Madison Square Garden show)?
“She loves it,” he smiles, “she`s always on my side. I said to her – this was way back then, just to show you what an asshole I used to be – `Mom, we`re gonna have to move out of this house, kids are gonna be all over the place`…
My father is a professional musician, he`s a piano player, teaches, plays classical. I grew up on piano, and so the whole thing came natural. It was easy to get involved with music for me.”

Discussing their albums, Steven asserts, “Everything we did, everything we`re doing, is on that first album. The last one is very smooth, the edges are all cut out, but we`re not a band that puts tracks over track, you know? Bob Ezrin heard our first album and thought we needed a lot of work. Which we did, but dig it, we`re honest. And I`ve heard from so many people that they dig our first album better than the last one, just for that very fact.
“I miss playing instruments very much… I play on the albums, a little guitar, drums here and there… but I definitely miss that when I`m touring. It`s something to do. There are a lot of dead spots up there onstage, so I just hide behind my scarves…
“It might be a little more fun if things weren`t so hectic. If we have more time to cut more albums… maybe do something live, and then really take off.”
Take off… time?
“No, take off in whatever direction.”
We`ve only picked at the lunch that`s being served, but the stewardess tells me later how impressed she was at Tyler`s politeness. “They`re usually not like that,” she confesses, and I assume she`s talking about rock stars in general.

Steven appears nervous about flying. “Hey – when is it going to happen?” he asks philosophically, “I`m on a plane every day for three years… that`s why I keep a tape recorder with me at take-off and landing. I have my finger on the button, in case my last words have to be on it.”
The jet lag has taken its toll, and although we`re supposed to finish the “interview” over dinner several hours later, neither of us is really up to it. We sit overlooking Sunset Strip, and neither of us feels like eating.
Aerosmith are due to headline at the L.A. Forum (18,000 seat capacity, sold out weeks in advance) the following night with Mott and Montrose on the bill, and Steven is exhausted already. He picks at a salad, then asks them to wrap it up so he can take it back to the hotel.
“I feel like an old shoe,” he says…
“You know, sometimes I`ll be looking out at the audience and I`ll be in the middle of a song, and I`ll just stop dead. I`ll look out at them and I`ll think… what is this? There`s one thing that keeps me doing it though: I really love it. I believe in it.”
There was something about Aerosmith at the Forum that next night that reminded me of Led Zeppelin. That band came here in the late 1960`s, played what was described as “Heavy metal rock” and nobody understood what was happening.
Nobody, that is, except the kids.
Zeppelin built a huge following… a huge following, by merely rocking out. And in these days of manufactured pre-packaged rock muzak, there is obviously a growing number of kids tired of the “laid-back” harmonies that have characterised recent American rock.

Aerosmith really has nothing to do with any Jagger/Richard – Tyler/Perry comparison, and name calling (as in “derivative”) is beside the point.
They do what they do well, they`re the second biggest rock group in America today, Steven Tyler knows what to do with a microphone, and the more I think about it, it`s very similar to what happened with Zeppelin here first time round…
And so – the Hollywood party after the Forum saw the whole L.A. sleaze/scene out in full force. Steven Tyler stood with his lady Julia and just winked. Joe Perry sat down with his wife, Alissa – who looks 18 and is extraordinarily attractive – and the whole band just looked generally tired.
The next day would take them to San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, one of those “quick West Coast jaunts”. But the highlight had to be the Forum – you don`t sell out California`s prestige arena as fast Aerosmith did and not get noticed.
Persistance, youth and attrition among the front runners, rather than any distinctive musical style or extraordinarily exciting image, seem responsible for the continued prominence of Aerosmith in the heart of the teenage rock audience, which has apparently transcended the threshold of boredom.”
– L.A. Times review of Forum concert
I seem to remember reviews like that years ago… The Who, Stones, Zeppelin. You name them, the list goes on. And still, as I said, the little girls know…
Aerosmith should be somewhere near your town for their first-ever U.K. tour in April, 1976. You can decide then.


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. 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: Alex Harvey, Elvis Presley Fan Club Convention, Lou Reed, Howlin` Wolf, Hot Vultures.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

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John Lennon! What a guy! What can you say about this guy that hasn`t been said before? Well, I won`t even go there. I will just say that he is one of those musical geniuses that have been an important part of my life. Without him and a few others, my life would have been completely different in the way that it would have had a completely different soundtrack. As part of The Beatles and as a solo artist he made a deep impact in my and so many others lives. We still sing his songs and will continue to sing his songs for many generations to come – maybe for all time? Thank you, John!



By Lisa Robinson

Three years ago, John Ono Lennon, US resident and then-political animal, discovered that, so far the United States Government was concerned, he was persona most definitely non grata. Nixon`s Attorney General John Mitchell is said to have ordered a campaign of harassment backed up with legal proceedings designed to convince Lennon (and any others who cared to be watching) that the Land of the Free was a land limited to those who approved of Nixon`s policies – so far as foreigners went.
The official reason? That Lennon`s British drug conviction disbarred him from US residency. The actual reason? That Lennon`s political activities made him a pain in the Nixon ass.
Since then, George Harrison (also with a British drug conviction), has visited the US freely – and even went to dinner at the White House a month ago.
Lennon`s deportation order still stands. Last week, Mitchell was sentenced to two-and-a-half years` porridge for criminal activities committed while a member of the Nixon Administration. Last year, one of the police officers on whose evidence JL was originally convicted was himself sentenced for perjury (in a different drugs case). And we all know what happened to Nixon.
Lennon`s conviction still stands. Here he talks to NME in New York concerning his long fight to be treated as a normal human being by the United States Government – and of his plans for the future in case reason should not, finally, prevail.

NME: What`s the situation at present with your deportation case?
JOHN: Well, It’s hellish really, I don’t know where to start. It’s going on the same as before. In general it’s the same, for me it`s the same – they’ve taken the stance that I have to leave. They always say 30 days, but that passed months ago. They say that once a year.
It’s so complicated; It started out because I had a British conviction for possessing marijuana – which was planted by a police sergeant, which everybody in Britain knows now because the guy’s in jail – not for my case though, for somebody else’s case.
Yoko and I weren`t married then…it was a bit weird in England…I won`t even go into the whole story how we were busted -we were busted by about 20 people, there were dogs…it`s a whole film.
They busted us in the morning and they wouldn’t let us get dressed. It took them hours. There was a question in Parliament as to why so many people were needed to arrest two people. Actually in the end there was no case against Yoko.

NME: No one ever advised you to fight the thing?
JOHN: No, I was just panic stricken… I was a wreck. Aaahh! Cops! In jolly England! You know I still half believed about the good old bobby helping you down the street. And I was really nervous about Yoko, ’cause we’d just got living together, and it was all in public. I thought they’d deport her. So I copped a plea, thinking it was just a misdemeanour.
I figured, `What the hell, it’s just a hundred pounds…it’s just crazy,` and it’s been going on since 1971. The first conviction came down in 1973 when they said I had to leave the U.S. I couldn’t be a permanent resident of the United States with a British conviction.
Now all the people involved are gone; the prosecution councel and head of immigration. And we’ve just received permission to interview them, to question them about papers.
I`ve found out that Senator Strom Thurmond sent a letter to John Mitchell when he was Attorney General; Thurmond was the head of a congressional committee. Whether we’ll get our hands on that letter I don’t know, but in essence it said, `This guy’s looking to stay here and we suggest no`.
Our lawyers always said that the instructions for my case were coming from Washington, and the New York people kept insisting it was a local case. But we knew it wasn’t just a local case, and this letter from Thurmond could prove it. Just like we knew we were being wiretapped. But how do you prove that?
We knew we were being wiretapped on Bank Street. There were a helluva lot of guys coming in to fix the phones…and there were two guys outside who kept following me around in a car. I went on the Dick Cavett show and said it – this was long before Watergate – and people just thought, ‘Oh, crazy Lennon, who is gonna bother following him? What an egomaniac’… But we had been associated with Jerry Rubin and John Sinclair and little rallies, and were seen around those people… It really was like a mini-Watergate.
You know, incidentally, there was a CBS documentary I saw last week about Nazis in America – known Nazis who are here, famous Nazis who killed from 15,000 people upwards. And the guy who was prosecuting me got taken off my case and put onto this Nazi thing. On TV he said that someone in his office, in the immigration department, had stolen his file on Nazis -from the safe in his office.
That means someone in his own group is protecting these people. They’re so busy protecting them, but they’re attacking me.

NME: Why then, do you want to live here?
JOHN: Because it’s the same everywhere. Name somewhere where it’s different. It’s not as if it’s a choice between living here or in England where it’s different. It’s the same in England on a different level, and the Americans and the English are hand in glove.

NME: How frustrating is all of this to you emotionally?
JOHN: At one time it was getting to be a bug because I had to keep going to court, and court cases got to be a way of life. It was hassling me because that was when I was hanging out with Elephant’s Memory and I wanted to rock, to go out on the road. But I couldn’t do that because I always had to be in New York for something…and I was hassled.
I guess it showed in me work. Whatever happens to you happens in your work. So while on the surface I tried to make it appear as if I were making a game out of it, trying not to take it seriously, there were periods of real paranoia. Even my friends would say, ‘Come on John… what do they want with you?’
And you know, I see now that Jane Fonda is suing the governemnt for millions. When I first heard that I thought, ‘Ah-ha!’ and then ‘Uh-oh’…like if they left me alone would they be afraid I’d make a fuss and start suing afterwards? I guess it’s probably going to have to be the President who decides, a pure political decision when my paper comes up – as it does every now and then – into his consciousness.

NME: Is the President aware of all of this?
JOHN: Oh, you bet. I had a friend who visited there, right? I mean you can’t have one junkie in the White House and kick another out, can you? That’s being flippant of course, neither George nor I are junkies…
Anyway, they keep falling back on that law about misdemeanours, and it’s some trip to change the law here. Even though in England that law has been reversed…

NME: But they could get around it…
JOHN: Of course they can, because they’ve got around it for Nazis, for big dope dealers, big heroin-heavy stuff dealers. My lawyer has a list of people – hundreds of people in here who got around the law for murder, rape, double murder, heroin, every crime you can imagine.
I want to end it, but I can go on as long as they go on. It’ll probably go on until it gets to the Supreme Court.

NME: How much of your time is spent on this?
JOHN: Well, when I’m not talking about it, I think about it occasionally. I mean it’s on my list of lawsuits. I was just talking about it with Yoko last night; there seem to be an awful lot of lawsuits involved with rock and roll.

NME: There’s Allen Klein, right?
JOHN: Yes, that’s about 20. He’s suing me and Yoko and all the ex-Beatles and everybody that ever knew them… And he’s suing me individually, me collectively, any version of me you can get hold of is being sued.
But immigration is the important one. The others are all just money. I mean, if they can take Helen Reddy, they can take me…

NME: Would you want to become a U.S. citizen?
JOHN: I’m too involved with this to think about citizenship. I’d prefer to do a P. G. Wodehouse; I found out before he was knighted that he was living here, and I thought well, that’s cool. Nobody thinks P. G. Wodehouse is not English – he was English until his last breath and he lived on Long Island.
And that suits me fine. I’m English but I want to live here. And the funny thing about America is that there’s almost no such thing as an American. You go on the streets and everybody’s Italian or Irish or Israeli or English or Jamaican or Nigerian… and if you go out into the sticks you’ve got the German group or the Dutch group and the names tell you which race dominates.
It’s just a pack of Europeans living here with Africans, Indians, and Asians thrown in. Thousands of Chinese, Japanese… it’s like the old gag about the melting pot.
I always liked Liverpool and London – places like that that had a lot of different races living in them. You could go to Soho and see all kinds of races on earth and I like that, but there’s even more of a mixture here. My ideal is to be able to travel, that’s the thing I really miss most.
I miss England, Scotland, Wales, all that sentimental stuff, but I also miss France, Holland… Germany I haven’t been to those places for years. I’d like to go to South America, I’ve never been… I’d like to be based here, and just travel.

NME: Do you ever think you’ll be so overcome with all the legal hassles that you’ll get like Lenny Bruce and become obsessed with learning the law?
JOHN: No. I got obsessed with the politics for a while…but law is, well, I could never take it that seriously. At a certain point I would just see the funny side and say screw it. The worst that happens with most of these lawsuits is that they’ll take more money off of me, and the worst that would happen with immigration is that I’d have to move.

NME: Where would you move? I’ve heard rumours of Canada…?
JOHN: No…they always say that because whenever I go to Canada the Canadians ask me if I like Canada. So I say yes, I like Canada, I like Montreal and Toronto – I don’t know the rest of it…and the next minute they say I’m going to live there.
And they always ask, ‘Have you ever thought of living here?’ Well – every country I’ve ever been in I’ve thought could I live here…

NME: If you attempted to be a U.S. citizen, would it be easier, or more difficult because of your present status?
JOHN: Well, unless I get rid of this thing I can’t even consider it. I mean if I can’t get a green card, no way can I be a citizen, not with a misdemeanour. See, the law in England has changed since the time when all the rock stars were busted; that tricky law where you were responsible if the building had marijuana in it… you were responsible if you owned the building.
No possession. I never had any stuff on me. It was mysteriously found in the building, in the apartment. I think they’ve wiped the slate clean and it’s retroactive in England, but not here.

NME: What can people do about this?
JOHN: Well the English really can’t do anything, except that those who care could write to the American Embassy. The thing with politicians and ambassadors is that if they get one letter, they count it as twenty. One letter keeps them aware, it keeps them realising about it. But it’s really a bore for me and I’m sure a bore for people listening about it…

NME: Does it help when you have a hit album, keep a high profile…so to speak?
JOHN: Well you see more of me if I’ve got a product to sell, it’s as simple as that. Otherwise I`m only seen if I feel like goofing around to a few openings with friends or hanging out in the ‘rock biz`.
But when you`ve got product out you have to be seen or they’ll forget. This sort of thing reminds the powers-that-be of me and what I represent.

NME: Can that work against you?
JOHN: No…no. Because power is power, whatever power I have they’re aware of it. Power doesn’t frighten power, it makes them respect it – that’s their business. You’ve got the bomb, we’ve got the bomb. Everything’s okay. If you aint got the bomb you don’t even get a look-in.
So I’m always aware of keeping my bomb, you know? Even though I blow it a few times, I always manage to put my bomb back together again, because that power is necessary. It’s not good if I don’t put records out, and become invisible, and go away – because then they come right in and say nobody gives a damn… people have forgotten about you.


NME: Let’s just say that when and if there’s a happy ending to all of this, you know – silver lining and all – and there comes a day when you’re knighted in England, or the Academy Awards helps you back to receive a special award, what would your reaction be? Would you tell them to mess off?”
JOHN: Well, there will be a happy ending. But I have no idea what I’ll be doing when I`m 70 or 80 like Charlie Chaplin…or P.G. Wodehouse. I don’t really know Wodehouse`s story but there was something weird about him – about being captured in France by the Nazis and doing broadcasts, and I think that was one of the reasons he left, although he was forgiven.
But the real official forgiveness was when they knighted him last year, and he died happy, right? So, I’m not really interested if I get knighted when I’m 70. I’ll deal with that when it comes. I want it now – not the knighthood, just a green card and a clean passport and the cash I earn in the band in my own name. And I’ll let my music, or my art, speak for me.
If they give me knighthood at the age of seventy I’ll deal with it then. Sir John…

NME: To turn to your music for a moment, what happened at Madison Square Garden when you were to have performed with George (Harrison)? Is it true that Klein had the place staked out with subpoenas?
JOHN: Well, Klein was chasing George all over New York. George was running down back-elevators. I mean, Ringo won’t come to New York. I live here so I get ALL the papers and I’m always doing depositions. See, at the time George was doing his concerts, we were also finalising the Apple papers. And what actually happened was at the last minute I wouldn’t sign it. Actually my astrologer said it wasn’t the right time to sign it.
George got a little angry with me for not signing it, and he decided to finish the tour as he`d started it. That was cool by me, because I’d just done Elton, but I did not want to do George… because it was expected. But he probably made the right decision… I saw him afterwards, at the party.

NME: Was it true that you, or the McCartneys, were denied a backstage pass?
JOHN: Well, there was some funny business… but you know, I like him, I love him, we’re all right… I don’t really want to make a big deal about it.
The thing is just that the business was always interfering with the pleasure. It was hard to deal with each other anyway.
I`d seen a lot of Paul and Ringo in the last two or three years – Paul always comes to New York, or I see Ringo in LA – but I hadn’t seen George.
So we were trying to talk to each other after not having seen each other in three years. During that time we`d only been vaguely communicating through lawyers. We tried to communicate in the hotel, and I hung around the hotel for a few days, but it was hard.
And then I didn’t turn up on the day that I was supposed to sign this agreement. But I finally did sign it, in Disneyland. I wanted to go over it one more time. And I had already seen the concert in Nassau so I wasn’t really planning to go to Madison Square Garden anyway.
I don’t really enjoy sitting in shows, no matter whose they are, because you either have to go backstage with all that hassle or sit in front where you get all the people looking at you. I know Mick (Jagger) and everybody are always doing it, but it wears the shred out of me. Anyway, there aren`t very many people who I`d want to see in concert. I’d only go because they’re friends, you know. I prefer records, I always did. It’s like watching a painter paint – just give me the painting.

NME: Do you have any plans to perform in concerts on your own?
JOHN: Well, performing’s not my greatest kick. I had fun with Elton, but that was just because it was Elton. He was really more nervous than I was, because he was nervous for me. I think he felt, ‘Poor old bugger, maybe he’ll collapse,’ I don’t know…
It was just a weird feeling being up there alone, but I knew Elton, and I knew the band, and it was just a one-off thing. Don’t expect to see me all over the place.
I promised him if ‘Whatever Gets You Through The Night’ got to number one, I’d go one with him – little thinking that it would.
I might do odd TV, or TV specials, where I can control the thing… like in the studio. See, I like to see it, I like to HAVE something afterwards. After the concert you don’t get anything – you either get cash or a headache. I even hate live albums really, even though I’ve put a couple out.

NME: What did you think of George’s shows?
JOHN: Well, I saw the one without Ravi – he`d had a heart attack. But I don’t know… that night the band really cooked, the show I saw was a good show. My personal opinion was that even though I know what George was trying to do, I don’t think it worked with Ravi…
I mean, I’m no one to say what works and what doesn’t work really, but my personal opinion just was that he would have been better without. I think Ravi’s great, but it might have been better to keep Ravi separate. I want to see George do George. I’m with the kids… whether it’s George Beatle or George ex-Beatle.

NME: Do you think that he’s so deeply involved with the Eastern thing that he can’t separate… that was George being George? That he can`t really do the rock and roll thing effectively any more?
JOHN: Well, he’s just cut off, really. It’s easy to get cut off. If you’re surrounded by people who aren’t rocking, then you just forget what it is. And he`s so inolved in the Eastern trip… You know, if you don’t listen to the radio, know who the new artists are, the lastest records… if you switch off from that you don’t know what people listen to.
That happened to me in England. ‘Whatever Gets You Through The Night’ didn’t even crawl around in England, so I said, ‘Send me a tape of the top ten,’ and it’s nowhere like America. I was just – my God, three years… I had no idea what was going on there.
Now I get them to send it over every few months…it all seems to go boom-da-da, boom-da-da, boom-da-da…
The album did alright, it could have done better. It would help if I was more visible there, but I can’t be. And in Britain the TV is sewn up. You`ve got to be in the charts to get on TV, and you can’t get on the TV unless you’re in the charts.
The BBC came over here and filmed me. I guess they figured that the single would jump into the Top 20. But it didn’t. It fell over, so they didn’t use the film.
Now ‘Number Nine Dream’ is doing a bit better, I hear, so that gives you a clue. I think they’re going to like the rock and roll oldies album better than anything, because that’s what they seem to be playing over there. But they’re doing it a bit tongue in cheek, I think. I did it for real.

NME: Do you think that there would be tremendous excitement if you went back to England now? Hysteria?
JOHN: No. There was no hysteria when I was living there, so why should there be now? I mean the Beatles nostalgia and getting back together bit goes on as much here as it does there, maybe more… are you kidding?
I do a lot of radio when I have an album out – and all the people who call up want to know WHEN the Beatles are going to get back together, from Minnesota to Los Angeles, to New York… to the hippest and coolest, they want to know when and if and what`s it gonna be like.
All hysteria is manufactured anyway. At the ‘Sgt Pepper’ opening it was announced, ‘He’s going to be there,’ so it was bloody Beatlemania going on. I got a fright, because I didn’t really know what I was letting myself in for.
I got the deja vu, as they say, because it was bloody ‘Hard Day’s Night.’ But that’s because it had been manufactured, and it was ‘Sgt Pepper’ and they probably expected all four. Ever since George did Bangla Desh they expect everybody to come on with him.

NME: Why are there so many lawsuits?
JOHN: Ask any rockstar about lawsuits. And the more money there is, the more lawsuits there are, the bigger the artist, the more lawsuits. I mean, people sue me for anything; that bloody fan with the Instamatic who sued me for hitting her. I never touched her, never went near the girl – in the Troubadour, the famous Troubadour incident.
She sued me, and I had to pay her off to shut her up. That happens all the time, she just wanted money. People sue you if you bump into them on the street. I do admit to chasing some weird people around, but she was not in the scene….

NME: Weird people?
JOHN: Well, I was not in the best frame of mind, and I was wildly drunk. But I was nowhere near this chick, she’s got no photographs of me near her. It was my first night on Brandy Alexanders, and they tasted like milkshakes. The first thing I knew I was out of me gourd.
Of course Harry Nilsson was no help feeding them to me, saying ‘Go ahead John.’ It is true I was wildly obnoxious, but I definitely didn’t hit this woman who just wanted to get her name in the papers and a few dollars.

NME: Doesn’t all this wear you down?
JOHN: Well, I’ve come out of it. Last year, with me personal life and the Apple business, the Klein business and the immigration business… I mean, you don’t want to admit it while it’s happening that that’s what’s making you go barmy.
You’re still living every day and you think you’re just going to a party, then you end up throwing up in the toilet. Everything was excessive, and you’re not quite in control of yourself; you can’t lie back with the hangover and say now why did that happen to me…

NME: It’s surprising that it didn’t get to you more…
JOHN: Well, that was enough. I just woke up in the middle of it and thought… there’s something wrong here. I`d better straighten myself out.’ After I deal with this last batch of lawsuits, I aint gonna have anymore. I don’t know how they happen. One minute you’re talking to someone, the next minute they’re suing you.

NME: As far as your personal life is concerned, you seem ecstatic to be back here with Yoko…
JOHN: Well I am. It’s like – and this is no disrespect to anybody else I was having relationships with – but I feel like I was running around with me head off, and now I got me head back on. Yoko and I were always in touch, either on the phone or in one way or another.
I just sort of came home, is what happened. It’s like I went out to get a coffee or a newspaper somewhere and it took a year…like Sinbad. I went on a boat and went around the world and had a mad trip which I’m glad is over.
Yoko and I have known each other for nine years, which is a long friendship on any level. It was a long year, but it’s been a nine-year relationship, a seven-year marriage – maybe it was the seven-year crutch.
And apart from the pain we caused each other, it probably helped us. We knew we were getting back together, it was just a matter of when. We knew – everybody else might not have, but we did.

NME: Actually, there wasn’t that much press attention to the separation as one might have expected.
JOHN: Well, I read more about myself than you probably do, and I’ll tell you there was. I mean, they would catalogue everyone you went around with, and things like “Lennon In Florida Trip”…things like Rona Barrett. I think she wrote that Yoko was living with my ex-wife in a “strange relationship”. She was putting that around… we got the clippings and everything.
I mean that was dead wrong, because Yoko was very definitely NOT living with my ex-wife in a “very feminist relationship!” I see them all, because I’ve got a clipping service and I get all the newspapers, and you can bet your life somebody’s going to send you the clippings…

NME: Yeah, your friends…
JOHN: Yes, all your best friends let you know what’s going on. I was trying to put it round that I was gay, you know. I thought that would throw them off… dancing at all the gay clubs in Los Angeles, flirting with the boys… but it never got off the ground.

NME: I think I’ve only heard that lately about Paul..
JOHN: Oh, I’ve had him, he’s no good. (laughs).

NME: What`s this about recording with Bowie?
JOHN: Well, he was doing “Across The Universe” and I had sort of met him once in LA and met him again here. That was an old song of mine. I gave it away because we made a lousy version of it, and then Spector made an improved lousy version of it and it ended up on the “Let It Be” LP which none of us would have anything to do with.
So I just went down to Electric whatever, where he was recording, and I did whatever you do. Then he, or the guitarist, had this sort of a lick, and we made a song out of it, called “Fame”.
It’s an interesting track. So that’s the extent of it, and they’ll be on his new album – the one with “Young Americans” on it.

NME: I’d like to clear up one of those myths… about Brian Epstein “packaging” the Beatles. How true is that?
JOHN: Everything is true and not true about everything. I mean, we certainly weren’t naive. We were no more naive than he was. I mean, what was he?…He served in a record shop.
So Epstein was serving in a record shop and he had nothing to do, and saw these sort of…rockers, greasers, playing loud music and a lot of kids paying attention to it. And he thought, well “This is a business to be in,” and he liked it – he liked the look of it.
He wanted to manage us, and he told us that he thought he could manage us and we had nobody better so we said all right, you can do it.
Then he went around shopping, getting us work, and it got to a point where he said, “Look, if you cut your hair you’ll get this”… For at that time it was longer than in any of the photographs. It was generally cut or trimmed for the photographs; even in school photographs your hair was cut the day before, or when you had a holiday. Somehow your parents always managed to cut your hair.
But there were some private pictures that show it was pretty long for those days, and greased back, hanging around.
There was a lot of long hair on the teddy boys… the Tony Curtises that grew larger and larger because they never went to the hairdresser.
We were pretty greasy. Outside of Liverpool, when we went down South in our leather outfits, the dance hall promoters didn’t really like us. They thought we looked like a gang of thugs. So it got to be like Epstein said, “Look if you wear a suit…”, and everybody wanted a good suit, you know? A nice sharp, black suit man… We liked the leather and the jeans but we wanted a good suit, even to wear offstage. “Yeah, man, I’ll have a suit”.
So if you wear a suit, you’ll get this much money… all right, wear a suit. I`ll wear a suit. I’ll wear a bloody balloon if somebody’s going to pay me. I’m not in love with the leather THAT much.
He was our salesman, our front. You’ll notice that another quirk of life is – I may have read this somewhere – that self-made men usually have someone with education to front for them, to deal with all the other people with education. Now Epstein had enough education to go in and deal with the hobnobs… and it’s the same thing now. If I have a lawsuit, I have to get a lawyer.
Epstein fronted for the Beatles, and he played a great part of whatever he did. He was theatrical – that was for sure. And he believed in us. But he certainly didn’t package us the way they say he packaged us.
He was good at his job, but to an extent he wasn’t the greatest businessman. He was theatrical and he believed. But you have to look at it this way: if he was such a great packager, so clever at packaging products, whatever happened to Gerry and the Pacemakers and all the other packages? Where are they? Where are those packages? Only one package survived, the original package. It was a mutual deal. You want to manage us? Okay, we’ll let you. We ALLOW you to – we weren’t picked up off the street. We allowed him to take us.
Paul wasn’t that keen, but he’s more conservative in the way he approaches things. He even says that himself – and that’s all well and good – maybe he’ll end up with more yachts.

NME: Did you go to Allen Klein because of the Stones?
JOHN: Well, I reckoned Klein was all right because of the Stones. I thought Mick was together – see, this is the fallacy. Everyone always thinks everyone else is together. You’re together yourself or forget it.

NME: You should always go by your instincts…
JOHN: I know I’m trying to learn. It’s a hard thing to learn after being programmed for life not to use your instincts, you know.
Women use them a bit better than men. One benefit you got from slavery was that you were emotional… that’s cool. But men were supposed to make decisions or reason and intellect, so it always interfered with your instinct. But my instinct is what has always saved me from lots of dragons…

A really nice ad from Mr. Cooper.

A really nice ad from Mr. Cooper.

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Labelle, Chaka Khan, Chuck Berry, Lou Reed, Uriah Heep, Jack The Lad, Richard Thompson and Linda, Elton John.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be around or upwards of 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.


Here is an report from the time when Queen was starting to get big, but before they were absolutely MEGA-big. Always fun to read these early interviews – hope you think so too.

IMG_0965 (1)

Freddie the M plumps for Puerto Rican rough trade

Those nasty queenies are back and proud in New York City

By Lisa Robinson

“QUEEN…oh the English Queen, well that single of theirs is really good, fantastic production. You know I thought they were quite something. They must have had quite a bit of potential apart from the immediate…they were immediately sort of acclaimed by the younger kids, so therefore there was some stigma about them. But then they put this record out and they gained so much respect. I think they`re going to turn out to be really good. I mean they`ve only been going about a year or whatever it is…”
Robert Plant, February 1975

WHAT`S THIS? The entire Avery Fisher Hall (formerly the Philharmonic) has been transformed into a high school auditorium. The scene resembles something out of “Rock Around The Clock” as thousands of Queen fans are throwing paper airplanes, jeering, stomping, lighting mini-flares and waiting for the concert to begin.
Mahogany Rush was to have opened the first of the two shows Queen were doing in New York, but they couldn`t get to the gig on time so some folk singer had to fill in, poor guy. Anyway, it was obvious that this crowd was impatient, also that they had no respect whatsoever for the Philharmonic Orchestra`s home. I wouldn`t be surprised if, after all the debris left behind, rock didn`t ever get in the hall again.
As I said, the fans were impatient. Last year Queen had been in New York at the Uris Theater with Mott; they only managed to do a month of that tour due to Brian`s hepatitis, but apparently “Sheer Heart Attack” and memories of that gig were enough to sell out a first New York show and require a second. “The nasty Queenies are back!” shouted Freddie Mercury as the band stormed onstage; Freddie in his Zandra Rhodes white satin, stalking and promenading around the stage. A fan handed him a bouquet of white flowers, kids were on their feet cheering.

Smoke is coming out at the audience and I turn to Lee Childers to ask what the name of this song is. “What`s the name of this? Are you kidding? `Smoke Gets In Your Eyes`, darling.”
Oh. It actually sounds like “Flick Of The Wrist” or “Tenement Funster” – one of those from “Sheer Heart Attack” that remind me of Bowie – but I could be wrong. Anyway, the sound is good – the entire stage production looked dramatically effective (even though the band was to complain later that there were lots of little things wrong and they couldn`t take the same kind of effects with them that they do in England…), and Freddie Mercury`s stage presence is simply overwhelming.
“Stone Cold Crazy” in particular, brings kids down to the front of the stage so that the ushers had to keep moving them back. Queen do a medley of four songs from “Sheer Heart Attack”; in addition to “Killer Queen” they perform “In The Lap Of The Gods” (with Freddie at piano) which sounds disturbingly like “Something Wonderful” from “The King & I”…All of a sudden it is apparent that the dry ice/smoke machine is not working properly. A mixture of smoke and dry ice comes rolling over the stage and nearly asphyxiates the front three rows, the rows I might add, in which all journalists have been placed. I think it is a riot, a boy in front of me puts up an umbrella. I also notice that a boy on the aisle to my left is totally nodded out…head slumped over the arm of the chair.

Freddie, by the way, has long since changed from the white Eagle top to a white satin jumpsuit split down the middle, with white cinch belt with rhinestones. About halfway through the concert he changes again (during one of Brian`s solos) into the exact same ensemble in black, with the addition of one black satin glove, the tips of the fingernails adorned with silver.
The audience is completely enthusiastic, it`s a good reception for a British band who`ve only been to the U.S. twice actually and not had a huge hit here. They came back for two encores. The first is undoubtedly one of the best songs of the evening – Cy Coleman`s “Hey Big Spender” from “Sweet Charity” – fabulous: The second is “Jailhouse Rock” – I guess Queen had to end the night on a rock note…

TWO DAYS later, I spoke with Freddie Mercury in his hotel. He had been asleep most of the day, feeling a bit taken with the `flu, and after a long bath he said he felt “as if I`d come back to life.
“I was very pleased about the concerts, the second show was even better. We did about four in a row, you see; two the night before in Boston, and I was worried where I would get the energy, to be honest. I thought the crowd was pretty amazing, much better than the last time. They were so…you know, chuffed.” (He has to explain what that means to me…).
“You know we had to come over here and do it the way we wanted to do it. Last time was a breaking-the-ice tour, but there were a few set-backs. Yet we still managed to do a month and we got a taste of America, so I think we knew what was needed this time. There`s no way you can show the public what you can do unless you headline. When you support there are so many restrictions… you don`t get your light show, your playing time, your effects. We`re not using the lights we use back home, but they`re similar things. Ideally we would take everything on the road with us, but it`s too expensive. It`s very expensive as it is, the entourage is pretty huge.”


I ask him about his clothes, but his make-up – who takes care of it?
“Well,” he smiled, “here I`ve been doing it myself. Sometimes when it`s hectic, like at the Rainbow in England, we had a special make-up lady, and that`s nice when you`re sort of doing interviews at the same time. Just to lean back and have someone else do it.”
What kind of makeup do you wear? (I thought you`d never ask Lisa…Ed.) “Oh,” he laughs, “well, what I put on is just sort of… Revlon…`Touch And Glow`…it`s very, very basic.” What colour. “It`s toasted beige, actually. Trust you to ask me!
What about the, errr…smoke machine?
“Oh, don`t talk about that! It`s a dry ice and smoke thing and you know sometimes with dry ice the heat from the lights doesn`t allow it to rise…See, this is one of the things that I`m sort of annoyed about, that we couldn`t bring over the sort of finishing touches we have at home. The light board we have at home is better, and the smoke machine, and the flares that go off at the end…I`m making excuses aren`t I?” Well…yeah, but it`s understandable. Anyway, I thought it looked dramatic, just funny that the writers were all choking in the front few rows…”Well how do you think I feel every day? I`ve got to sing through that fog!

“Another thing is, I`m having voice trouble, you must have detected that. It`s just the hazards of being on the road. My voice can only take so much, especially on the double evenings. But we only add the second ones when we sell out, and you don`t complain if you sell out.
“I heard Planty (sic: Robert) had voice trouble on their tour as well. I know what it`s like…it`s so frustrating because you want to make those high notes, and you want to tell the people that you know you can make those, but you`re singing an octave lower because you don`t want to chance it and croak. Last night there were a few phrases where I opened my mouth and nothing came out…But what can you do? You can`t hide it. And I`m taking all the pills, honey and lemon every half hour…” (So you`re not having much fun on this tour?) “Well…you know…I`m making the best of it.
“This is only the second time we`ve been here, and we`ve never been to the West Coast before.” Uh-oh. “I`m looking forward to it, I`m saving myself for that. I`ve never been to Miami either, but I`ve been told that there are all these sort of old age pensioners there, is that true? Sort of macabre, isn`t it? To imagine that they all go there to die…all of them dropping off in the sun like that…”

And so the inevitable question of How Do You Feel About The British Press, and the mumbled comparisons with Led Zeppelin?
“Well I think the press in England have come through, but I think they`re very fickle, and I tell them that to their faces. Our fans are such a wide cross-section you wouldn`t believe it. Last tour we had from the little ones, the fourteen and fifteen year olds, to the mums and dads. I think we proved our versatility with `Sheer Heart Attack`…and now daughters are sort of bringing their mums to the shows with them.
“As for Zeppelin, in the early days we were definitely compared to them…maybe the press disliked us in the earlier days because they couldn`t put their finger on us and that happened to Led Zeppelin as well. Also people say that the same sort of buzz is happening with us here in the States that happened with them their first time around. But I think now, especially at home, that we`ve been accepted as having a sound of our own, and in the press there are a lot of new bands that they say sound like us…”
Whose decision was it to do that marvellous “Big Spender” onstage? “Oh,” Freddie laughs, “it was my idea actually. I like that approach to entertainment, I like that cabaret-ish sort of thing. I adore Liza Minnelli, I think she`s a wow.

“It does appeal to me to think of doing more lavish, stage-production type things,” he says in response to my question, “but I would somehow like to combine it with the group, not divorce it from it…and that`s a difficult thing. Because I`ve got to approach the others and convince them that it`s going to work. My god, you have no idea how long it took me to convince them to do `Big Spender`…
Finally we talk about where the band is going to go that night in New York, their rare night off. I say my role as tour guide has been limited somewhat by the closing of Max`s and the generally depressing aura of the Club 82…there`s really only Lady Astor`s, Le Jardin, and – oh, I know…The Gilded Grape, I suggest. It`s fabulous, all Puerto Rican drag queens and rough trade…sailors…
“Oh, it`s definitely the Gilded Grape, then,” Freddie laughed.


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Elton John, NME`s Soul Spectacular, Adrian Gurvitz, Budgie, Leo Sayer.

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 around or upwards of 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.