Mountain

ARTICLE ABOUT The A-Z of Heavy Metal FROM SOUNDS (Part 4), April 26, 1975

So, as mentioned before, this concludes this series as I don`t have the next number of Sounds which ended with bands up to the letter Z.
I guess the two journalists in question here would correct a couple of things if they had the chance… among them the name of Kiss`s second album and the very strange omission of a band like Led Zeppelin in this article. They may not have been “metal” enough, but then some other bands shouldn`t be here too.
Read on!

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

Compiled by Pete Makowski and Geoff Barton

H

Hardstuff

A hard rocking unit who recorded two albums on the Purple label (`Bullet Proof` and `Bolex Demtia`) then split. The band consisted of John Cann (guitar), ex-Atomic Rooster bassist John Gustafson and Paul Hammond (drums).

Hawkwind

You know the Hawks. Been together for years, once a people`s band, latterly spaced-out cosmic trippers with a diverting light show. Heavy as an asteroid; loud as a rocket blast; entertaining as a sci-fi novel. Their albums on UA are all readily available: `Hawkwind`, `In Search Of Space` (a classic), `Doremi Fasol Latido`, `Space Ritual` and `Hall Of The Mountain Grill`. Freak hit was `Silver Machine`. Follow-up `Urban Guerilla` was almost a success, too, but got deleted because of political implications. Current effort, `Kings Of Speed`, is the plague of the SOUNDS office.

Heavy Metal Kids

Came shortly after Silverhead and had that same punk rock appeal about them. Headed by mouthpiece Gary Holton they have been progressively building a strong following although their debut album on Atlantic didn`t sell as well as expected. Since then Micky Waller (ex Jeff Beck drummer) has left to form his own band and the band have changed their name to the Kids.

Hendrix

If the Troggs took Chip Taylor`s `Wild Thing` and made it kind of sleazy, Jimi Hendrix took it and gave it a sense of menace – which is why Makowski decides to include Hendrix but exclude the Troggs from this exhaustive list. One presumes. When Hendrix was on he was magnificent – one of the few men who could take the solo guitar and make it sound so good it didn`t need another instrument within a thousand miles. He could also be unbearably tiresome, over-extending licks and riffs until they bled white. But who else could have taken `Star Spangled Banner` and made it work for young America?

Humble Pie

At one time the Pie looked like strong contenders for the rock and roll throne the Stones had been so comfortably sitting on. They had a hard rhythmic style to put them in that league. The band were formed in `68. The combination of Steve Marriott, both from huge groups of that era (the Small Faces and the Herd respectively), sealed the band`s success from the start. Ex Art and Spooky Tooth bassist Greg Ridley and Jerry Shirley completed the line up. Their move to A&M from Immediate in 1970 coincided with a transition in the band`s style, a more aggressive brutal sound. This plus their consistent roadwork led to their imminent success in States and this country (they released three albums during this period `Humble Pie`, `Rock On` and `Live At The Fillmore`). It was obvious that Frampton and Marriott were taking two opposite musical directions and this led with the departure of the former who went to form his own band – Camel, who are still recording on the A&M label. The Pie took on the guitar services of ex Bakerloo, Colosseum man Dave Clempson. The band`s sound became more basic, the `white man soul` vocals of Marriott came to the forefront and they produced one killer of an album titled `Smokin“ in `72. This was followed by three less inspiring efforts (Eat It`, `Thunderbox` and `Streets Rats`) and the band are in the process of splitting.

Hustler

Formerly Flesh, this band first made their mark at the Marquee club where they built up a strong following. The line up then consisted of Steve Haynes (vocals), Micky Lluelyn (guitar), Kenny Lyons (bass), Kenny Daughters (organ) and Tony Beard (drums). They recorded their debut album last year on the Firefly label called `High Street` produced by ex Vinegar Joe guitar player Pete Gage. Since then the band have seen the departure of Beard who has been replaced by ex Tundra man Henry Spinetti.

Hydra

Out of the same camp as the Allmans/Marshall Tucker/Wet Willie, the guitar of Spencer Kirkpatrick and vocalist Wayne Bruce make this band a powerful, up front outfit. A four piece with only one album to their credit but worth watching. A big reputation down South.

I

Iggy Pop

He emulated his heroes – Jagger and the Doors – with unrestrained and exaggerated vigour. A showman supreme, he got a band together in his Ann Arbor home town in `69. Their sheer punk rock enthusiasm made up for their lack of musical skill, but essentially they were a live band and their albums sounded empty save a couple of songs that just happened to work. They recorded two albums on Elektra (`The Stooges` produced by ex Velvet John Cale, and `Funhouse`). Later Bowie produced them (`Raw Power`) an improvement, it was hailed by critics, but Iggy mysteriously disappeared and has had an uneven career since.

Iron Butterfly

Iron Butterfly are, arguably, the most successful, as far as record sales go, of all heavy bands. Their album `In-A-Gadda-Vida` shifted an incredible amount of copies and was just about the Sixties most successful album – it was the first to be awarded a platinum disc and stayed in the US charts for 140 weeks (Butterfly sold, in all, some seven million albums in that decade). They began in San Diego in 1966 and recorded their first album `Iron Butterfly – Heavy` within a year. Six albums were released by the band and all hit the US charts. Their original line up was Erik Braunn guitar, Lee Dorman bass, Ron Bushy drums and Doug Ingle organ and vocals. Later Braunn was replaced by two guitarists, Mike Pinera and Larry Reinhardt. They were basically a heavy blues based outfit with an irritating penchant for electronic gimmickry. Ingle, the band`s leader, had an eerie vocal style which became their trademark. Butterfly have recently reformed with two original members, Braunn and Bushy, and two new members, Phil Kramer bass and vocals, Howard Reitzes keyboards and vocals. They have an album, `Scorching Beauty`, out currently on MCA. It`s marginally better/worse than anything they`ve done before, depending on which way you look at it.

J

James Gang

Formed in Cleveland, Ohio the original band consisted of Joe Walsh (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Jimmy Fox (drums) and Dale Peters (bass). The band produced a versatile range of what could be described as tasteful rock and roll. Walsh`s musical ambitions led to his departure and current solo successes after four albums (`Yer Album`, `Rides Again`, `Thirds`, `Live In Concert`). The remaining two employed the talents of Dominic Trojano for two albums (`Strait Shooter` and `Passin` Thru`), then left to record a solo album and is currently with The Guess Who. He was replaced by Denver guitarist Tommy Bolin and they have recorded two albums (`Gang Bang` and `Miami`). Now they`re a good rock band but nowhere near the standards of the original Walsh line-up.

Jo Jo Gunne

They never managed to sustain the success they had with their first single `Run, Run, Run`. The band was formed by two ex Spirit members Jay Ferguson (keyboards) and John Locke (bass). After three albums guitarist Matthew Andes left to be replaced by John Stahaley (formerly Spirit and Stahaley Brothers).

Judas Priest

Birmingham five piece who look like they could step into Sabbath`s shoes judging by the response they`ve been getting on tour. They have an album out on Gull records and are currently working on new product.

K

Kiss

Rock and roll meets Hammer films. Kiss have tried to combine glamour, horrorock, showmanship… if there was a drink comparable to their mixture of styles you`d have to have a strong stomach to hold it down. The band consists of Peter Criss (drums), Gene Simmons (guitar), Paul Stanley (guitar), Space Age Frehley (lead guitar) and they`ve recorded three albums (`Kiss`, `Nothing To Lose`, `Dressed To Kill`) on the Casablanca label.

L

Love Sculpture

Featuring Dave Edmunds and a bit bemused when their heavying-up of `Sabre Dance` was Number One here in 1967, they were “A local band that was never meant to be” according to their leader. They toured America because it was a good way to get their air fares paid, but split up when they got home. What really put the cap on it was when they found themselves topping the bill over Joe Cocker. They thought the joke had gone far enough.

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Seven piece Skynyrd have taken the States by storm over the last couple of years, their first album setting some non-Southern dudes back on their heels. Three guitars lead the Skynyrd attack but from evidence of their last (third) album they`ve taken their foot off the gas a bit.

M

Mahogany Rush

When Frank Marino was only fourteen years old, he had a bum trip. When he recovered in hospital he discovered he had suddenly acquired an adeptness for playing the guitar, he could play the solo on Garcias `Viola Blues` note for note even though he never heard it before. Then Hendrix overtook his style.

May Blitz

Headed by ex-Jeff Beck drummer Tony Newman, this band were given a lot of promo but didn`t live up to it. They recorded two albums on the Vertigo label (`May Blitz`, `2nd Of May`) and split.

MC5

`Brothers and sisters! I wanna see your hands up there! Lemme see your hands! I wanna hear some revolution out there brothers! I wanna hear a little revolution! It`s time to move! It`s time to testify! And I wanna know – are you ready to testify? Are you ready? I give a testimonial – the MC5!` So begins one of rock`s heaviest (if not the heaviest) live albums, the Motor City Five`s `Kick Out The Jams`. The band had several albums released over here on both the Elektra and Atlantic labels, but all have long since been deleted. The only MC5 material currently readily (or easily) available is a track on the `Age Of Atlantic` sampler album, `Tonight`. Brief facts: the band originated in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the early/middle Sixties; their trademark: unsubtle, unsophisticated, often barely competent metal which assaulted you (both live and on record even at the most moderate volume) with the force of a fragmentation bomb and the intensity of a dentist`s drill; they were extremely politically orientated, turning up and gigging at many a revolutionary, extremist party rally; Rob Tyner, vocalist, was (and probably still is) the epitome of the perpetually screaming, practically out of tune rock singer. The MC5 once proted Norman Mailer to write a particularly gruesome account of one of their concerts. It`s a fact not too widely known that the jingle for Noel Edmonds` jolly `Kick Out The Jams` spot in his morning show comes from the album of the same name, except that it`s cleverly censored: the MC5 scream, `and right now it`s time to – kick out the jams, mother fuckers!`, while Noel has sensibly toned this down for his listeners and inserted `brothers and sisters` for the offensive final word.

Montrose

American band featuring ex- Edgar Winter sideman and sessionist Ronnie Montrose on blistering guitar. First album, released in 1973, was a rocker from end to end. Curiously, the band (at least on the two occasions I`ve seen them) fail to match up to their recorded sounds in live performance. Original line-up: Ronnie Montrose guitar, Sam Hagar vocals, Bill Church bass, Denny Carmassi drums. Alan Fitzgerald replaced Church for the second album `Paper Money` and Hagar recently left to form his own band, Sammy Wilde And The Dust Cloud. A new vocalist has not yet been announced, though Montrose is still intact.

Mott The Hoople

Mott the Hoople were always a schizophrenic band. Being the brainchild of Guy Stevens, they couldn`t have been anything but – he wanted a group that merged the Rolling Stones with Procol Harum. So their early albums zigzagged from manic, bad tempered thrash to reflective ballads – a quality that wasn`t reflected in the anarchy of their invariably shambolic live gigs. Finally, they gave up and split up. Then Bowie, `Dudes` and success. But Mott had always been a loser band, stumbling from one crisis to the next, and they remained so – once the original line-up split (Mick Ralphs and Verden Allen moving on ultimately to Bad Company and Cheeks) and the permutations of guitarists and keyboardmen started, the rot had set in. They fizzled out with Ian Hunter unable and unwilling to carry on as the group lynchpin any more. His solo career continues with the last Mott guitarist, ex-Spider, Mick Ronson, on another schizoid course; while the Mott remnants are about to record their first album with a new (secret) singer and guitarist. The future is uncertain as ever the past was.

Mountain

If Cream had never existed it`s doubtful that Mountain would have followed. Felix Pappalardi (Cream producer and bassist in his own right) pulled together the talents of Leslie West (guitar), formerly with a band called the Vagrants, Corky Laing (drums) and Steve Knight (keyboards) and broke really big in America but couldn`t repeat the feat in Britain. Felix had a great influence on Cream in the studio and some of these themes were much evident in albums such as `Nantucket Sleighride` and `Flowers Of Evil`. The band split in 1972 and spawned West, Bruce and Laing but reformed following the WB&L collapse only to work sporadically. Best albums vie between `Nantucket` and `Climbing`.

N

Nazareth

A dynamic rock and roll four piece (Dan McCafferty, vocals, Manny Charlton, guitar, Pete Agnew, bass, Darryl Sweet, drums) from Dunfermline didn`t take off until the release of their third album `Razamanaz`. This was followed by chart appearances (`Broken Down Angel`, `This Flight Tonight`). Their next two albums (`Loud `n` Proud` and `Rampant`) sold well but their popularity waned in Britain when they concentrated their energies abroad where they are in the big league. The band have returned in powerful form with `Hair Of The Dog` which was produced by Charlton (the previous three were produced by ex-Purple man Roger Glover).

New York Dolls

`Too Much, Too Soon` was an appropriate title for their second album, the Dolls never quite seemed to make it. Visually and musically they were meant to represent New Yawk debauchery, the kid of the street sound. The band – David Johansen (vocals), Johnny Thunders (guitar), Sylvain Sylvain (bass) and Jerry Nolan (drums) – built a large following at Max`s Kansas City which captured the heart of the critics but were limited in their audience appeal (mainly confined to areas that were attracted by glitter rock).

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Frank Zappa, Gladys Knight, Women In Rock, Betty Wright, Steve Harley, Peter Frampton, Labelle, Peter Skellern, Ray Davies, Larry Uttal, Chris Spedding, Anne Murray, Sweet Sensation, Bernard Purdie, Mike Harding, Ronnie Lane, Yes.

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

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

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ARTICLE ABOUT Felix Pappalardi (Mountain) FROM SOUNDS, November 20, 1971

This interview can be difficult to read because of the lack of punctuation. But it is still an important article that I wanted to share because of Mr. Pappalardi`s early demise. Killed by his wife, Gail, in 1983, with a derringer he had given her as a gift a few months previously.
In later years, Pappalardi became known for his non-musical proclivities, which included the usual chemical experiments as well as an open marriage with Collins. Her jealousy of one particular mistress reportedly led to the argument that ended in his death, although Collins maintained that she’d shot Pappalardi accidentally while taking a firearms training session. The fact that it happened at 6:00AM didn’t dissuade jurors from handing in a surprising verdict, convicting her of criminally negligent homicide rather than murder.
Pappalardi was an American music producer, songwriter, vocalist, and bassist. He is best known to the public as the bassist and vocalist of the band Mountain, but he also produced several well-known artists, among them were Cream.
An important figure in the early rock music history, this article deserves to be found on the internet.
Have a good read.

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In the talk-in

Along with guitarist Leslie West, Felix founded Mountain back in 1969. Best known for his work with Cream, bass player / producer / arranger Pappalardi has been involved with Tim Hardin, Tom Paxton, John Sebastian, Youngbloods, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Tom Rush and many more artists, but is now totally committed to Mountain and its welfare. He lives, with his wife Gail Collins, on the island of Nantucket, off the coast of Massachusetts, which was once the centre of America`s whaling industry. The island and it`s traditions play a great part in his life and inspired the band`s last album “Nantucket Sleighride”. Mountain`s new album, released this week, is titled “Flower Of Evil”.

Interview: Billy Walker Picture: Spud Murphy

When did you first start producing?

In `63/4, I started as a studio musician arranging for people like Richie Havens, Ian and Sylvia, Tim Hardin – I spent a lot of time with Tim – Sebastian, Cass Elliott. Then in the fall of 1966 Jessie Colin Young asked me if I would produce the Youngbloods and I said sure. The very first thing we did was “Get Together” which three years later was a top five single. I finished that album and then I went to Atlantic and sort of became Armet Ertegun`s protege, he “found me” you know? We were doing projects and then he put me in the studio with Cream.

How did you initially get into session work?

I went down to the Village and began playing with all those cats down there. Paul Rothchild was a producer at the time for Elektra and was drawing from down there. John Sebastian and I became virtually a studio team and began doing that kind of work until he evolved finally and got his own band and then I was with Ian and Sylvia for a while.
Actually the thing that got me into production was that I would do an arrangement like “Morning Morning” for Richie Havens or something for Buffy Sainte Marie and when I`d be writing the arrangement I`d be hearing one thing in my head, a certain lushness, and when I`d hear the final mix it wouldn`t be there.

Mountain and Cream apart what has been your most satisfying production job?

I was pleased with the Youngbloods project as far as it went and I was pleased with my association with Tim Hardin because Hardin was very important to us all. I played bass on “If I Were A Carpenter” but Tim and I go back a couple of years before that, he was innovative and very, very influential and very important to me.

At what point did you meet up with Leslie West?

`67 right after I finished “Disraeli Gears”. I did two sides with a band called the Vagrants which Leslie was in and dug him. Our association grew throughout this time until Cream was finished and after. I did the “Goodbye” album which was Cream but it was also Cream and myself, and George Harrison in one case on “Badge”, and I got the job done somehow that`s what happened. I figured if I hadn`t have shoved for “Goodbye” to happen it never would have happened, those three studio tracks would never exist.
The live album that came out after that although it says “produced by Felix Pappalardi” I didn`t have anything to do with that. I did sanction the release of those tapes, I wasn`t in the position to sanction or not sanction them. At that time Cream was over and it was up to Stigwood.

I don`t want to dwell on Cream, but…

I don`t mind man, it`s a real part of what I`ve done and I`m naturally proud of it. From the American Press I have always been resented from my association with Cream. They`re stupid to start with, they`re as dumb as anybody could be, they don`t have the education to cope with a lot of the music that is going down they`re just dumb. They believe that music started and ended in the Delta and you and I know that`s not the story, but you can`t tell them that.
They feel that I meddled with Cream, they wanted an advanced Mayall`s Blues Breakers but I didn`t give a flying f–k what they wanted. I had a band in the studio and Jack Bruce was extremely important to that band, in fact if not the driving force musically in that band and as a producer I had to cope with what was happening there and not what I thought Rolling Stone magazine wanted. And it`s that level of education that I`m talking about that I believe exists here (in Britain) but does not exist there and never will.

How much a part do you feel you played on Cream`s final sound and direction?

Production, and the way I produce, that`s only a part of what I do. I arrange and the whole shot like “Eric play here, don`t play there” you know what I mean? He probably wouldn`t like to hear me say that but that`s where it`s at, that`s where it was at, that`s what I did and Jack and I a lot of times would work on the arrangement. For instance there was “Pressed Rat And Worthog”, Ginger`s thing, and Jack and worked on that and worked on it, and worked it into the amazing thing I thought it wound up being, the sort of thing that came out of it, like a huge orchestral sound.
That, I think, was basically resented in the States but it`s not by the people somehow it`s by these dudes that have got nothing else to do with their time but sit around and criticise, particularly Rolling Stone which I see as a local San Francisco newspaper. They give five pages on a band you`ve never heard of that`s rehearsing in their own county but Mountain comes over to Britain and does what it does and you don`t hear a word about it, they don`t like the idea.

At the time of Cream Felix Pappalardi was just a producer and the guy who played the cowbells, did you ever feel the need to get out of that and form your own band?

I knew it was inevitable, I knew it was coming. Gail and I knew it was coming for sure. I don`t like doing anything unless I feel I`m good and prepared for it. At the time I wasn`t ready to have my own band.

Do you feel that Cream`s break up speeded it along a little though?

Oh yes. I could have spent a lot more time producing Cream. I felt a certain responsibility towards them, I don`t know why. Yes, I do know why, they were a phenomenal band.

It`s been said that Mountain, and other bands including Grand Funk, were formed specifically to fill the enormous void left by Cream, how do you feel about these statements?

Well, there was a huge void left in my life. I was a substantial part of them and it was a band I wanted, I had to move on, playing with other people is all influence, it`s a constant cyclical so who knows what I brought from Cream to Mountain or what I brought to Mountain of me that I used in Cream and taken to its logical conclusion I don`t think there`s anybody who can sort all that out. But for my own self I don`t care, I`m interested primarily in improvisation, I`m interested in players as opposed to just people who play the same notes all the time.
Improvisors, players, are constantly working off, you start working off of a clichè, however else are you going to start? Every lick has been played one way or another so you start off in a time, working off a clichè until you get so far out on that limb that you work yourself into playing something you`ve never heard before which is innovation, which is new, which is the pressure and the beauty of improvisation which is really what Mountain is all about we`re a playing band. But different than Cream was a playing band because this is a band that is definitely under leadership. When Leslie`s taking a solo this band is taking care of business, behind Leslie. There`s nobody playing and saying “look at me I can play that lick better”. It`s “get behind Leslie” because he`s got to feel it.
With Cream, Eric would get into a feel and then perhaps the others would come in, he couldn`t get into a groove long enough. I think that was probably one of the huge problems, Eric was the lead horn, there was no other way to think about it, yet there was this fantastic bass player capable of lead, if it had been organised to the point where Eric would be taking care of business behind Jack, and then Jack and Ginger behind Eric, it might have worked.
On the other hand that was the result of it not being that way was part of the excitement also of Cream, this phenomenal counterpoint, constant, rhythmic and melodic. That`s all to say that Mountain is basically an improvisational unit, a playing band as much as a jazz band is a jazz band.

When you produced Leslie`s solo album “Leslie West, Mountain” did you know then that he was a musician you had to play with?

Not at the time, Mountain didn`t come together until `69, it was just after I had done Leslie`s album and then come to London to do Jack`s “Songs For A Tailor”. When I got back I decided to go on the road just to get Leslie started and then as I got out there in order to put a show together that I figured was right I began to sing, got sucked into that, fired the drummer that I originally hired to just go out and get Leslie going and then we got Corky, Steve Knight was already with the band but I knew he was right. He wasn`t a keyboard player he was a trombone player, tuba player, bass player but I needed a musician to play keyboard, I didn`t need a triple-flash on the organ. Now he`s developed, put his musicianship into the keyboard.
It was Gail`s idea that Corky joined us, we did ten days` rehearsing then September we did the Boston Tea Party and as far as I`m concerned that was the beginning of Mountain, that was when I made the commitment to them to stay with this band. Soon after we did “Climbing”, Mountain`s first album, and then a year later “Nantucket Sleighride” and up to “Flowers Of Evil” our latest album.

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Steve Knight`s organ playing, while an important part of Mountain`s sound, isn`t as prominent as many organists, will there be a time when he will be more to the front?

For instance, on “Roll Over Beethoven” his playing is fierce. His treatment of the keyboard in “Nantucket Sleighride” itself, “Animal Trainer And The Toad” and things like that is so broad and his musicianship so good that it can evolve any time, he really can. I trust it will, given time.

Did your writing partnership with Gail start before Mountain or was it brought about by the need for material for the band?

The best was to give you an example to answer that is on “Nantucket Sleighride”, “Travellin` In The Dark” was actually written in 1965 and first recorded in 1967. I thought it was right for “Nantucket Sleighride” so we did it. Gail and I had actually started writing in 1964 together, so we`ve been working on it for a long time now.

Gail also did the covers of Mountain`s three albums, were they specially designed for each album?

The actual oil painting on “Nantucket Sleighride” was also done in 1966, the original is, in fact, backwards of that shown on the album. She does all the designs and the major portion of the photography and the main portion of the visual presentation and has always done so.

In your songwriting does Gail provide the lyrics and you supply the music?

Most of the time that`s the way it is. She`s written some gorgeous melodies and I`d like to do a whole set of orchestrations for an album of them. For instance “Travellin` In The Dark” is mostly my lyric, and “Crossroader”, but without Gail I could never get it, the most important thing is being a songwriting team. Me and my old lady fight but never about that, that`s always straight ahead.

Leslie`s and Gail`s and your style are very evident in the band`s sound, his very raw and abrasive and yours more melodic, are Corky and Steve moving into writing very much, will it alter Mountain`s style?

Corky is in the process of arriving at a style. On the new album I knew what I wanted from it, I wanted a certain thing and style and knowing that I wanted what I wanted so definitely out of what was to become “Flowers Of Evil” that had it been something that Leslie didn`t dig the shit would have hit the fan. But it happened that what I was striving for, the only thing that I would accept, was something that knocked everybody out, and I think every album will be that kind of turning point for the band and if it isn`t I think it`s a waste of studio time.
It should be that important a task, it should be that much of a shake-up. “Nantucket” is different from “Climbing” and the next is going to be different from all of those and that`s what I mean by innovative so that even now when people say Mountain sound like something anybody that`s got half a brain is gonna say “either you haven`t listened to the band or you`re a fool.”

The album “Nantucket Sleighride” plainly shows your great interest in the history of whaling, were the majority of the songs written with this interest in mind?

“Travellin` In The Dark” for instance, when I`m out in Nantucket sometimes and the fog rolls in I think to myself that those dudes leaving their wives and families for three years to go around the Cape and not seeing anybody for that time, it`s a long and frightening break and all those references are there. “Nantucket Sleighride” is by no means over for me that was just the beginning of it for me, Nantucket`s my home and if I die, I`ll die there.

Mountain once played the Fillmore six times in a week, how does this sort of pressure tell on the band`s stamina?

A show now can go two hours, there was a time when Leslie would get physically sick after 55 minutes but now he`s used to it. Last Friday we did Milwaukee that went 1 hour 55 minutes. Sure we were tired and there wasn`t much happening after the show but we felt good. It`s hard, like being on an athletic team, I can`t stay up the night before and f–k around, I can`t do it because I know if I do I know I`m not going to be able to drive the band.
If Corky stays up all night with some broad and then lays back on stage and I`ve got to honk him, but if I`m not on top of him he`d run me into the ground, he`s a strong cat and only twenty-three years old. So I`ve got to take my black pill and go to sleep.

The sound you manage to achieve on bass is particularly powerful, how do you get this level of power?

I think my wattage is dangerous, I`ve got so much of it and the bass is souped up. The amps were originally experimental Hendrix amps that he originally used but I don`t know how I ended up getting them. Our guys have done some work on them and I`ve got a very powerful instrument, the pick-up itself is very powerful and my basic sound is always wide open on the amp. My amp`s always on 10, bass is completely off and treble is always full, conture`s completely full. All the dynamics are being done from my bass, so I`m playing what I`d guess you`d call completely distorted all the time, but it`s distorted with tone.

There were rumours in Britain recently that Mountain had split, was there any truth of a break or were the band resting?

There wasn`t a rumour in the States but we heard about the rumour here that I had split to write and produce. As long as I can get the people that are booking the band and “managing” the band to understand that we cannot keep on going the way we are going now under any circumstances there`s going to be a choice, either it`s going to be done my way or I`m going to quit. It`s as simple as that, I`m not going to play this game any more of three-days-a-week working in the States, so if it`s not done my way there will be no more Mountain, however I can promise you there will be a Mountain because it`s going to be done my way.

If a split did come about could you see yourself playing with anyone but Leslie?

No, Leslie`s my man, it would be a joke. It`s a once-in-a-lifetime thing and we both know that. The problem is the people who are booking and managing the band, the philosophy has got to change. When the band goes out now, and it`s getting nearly three years old, it`s time to cut that crap out of two three-week periods off a year and the rest of it on the road. Three days out on the road and four days off to recuperate so you can get yourself together for the next three days it`s just got to stop.
In other words whenever the band goes out on the road it`s got to be an occasion, I`m sick of going to cities three times a year where somebody reads an ad and says “Mountain`s in town again, well I don`t think we`ll go this time because they`ll be back in three months.” We get a fantastic audience but we`re killing ourselves. It will change, it`s just a matter of me having enough time to formulate how it`s going to be and socking it to everybody.
The Who are very bright when it comes to this sort of thing. When you have something like a Who or a Mountain you don`t put their asses out on the road like they were a bunch of whores.

On “Flowers Of Evil” the title track has a very positive story line, could you expand on it?

What that`s commenting on is the boys in America that go to Vietnam to fight that bullshit thing over there and they get hooked on smack (heroin). They`re okay for fifty dollars over there, Private First Class pay, they can stay nice and mellow for a week. They come back after their tour of duty is over and it costs them a thousand dollars for the first nine days, so what`s been happening in America is these guys are home and are spending all the money they`ve saved so they go right back to the recruiting centres and sign up for another three years and put in for Saigon so they can get back and get high.
Nixon and the Government are aware of the problem but still they`re closing Methodon centres and here are these kids that are coming back with a Jones (habit) and a half. Anyway that`s the thing that`s probably going to save Mountain because all of us have a Mountain Jones, we`re all hung up on Mountain. Leslie would be a miserable dude without Mountain and so would I.

“Nantucket Sleighride” was dedicated to Owen Coffin, could you tell me a little more about the legend that surrounds him?

The Coffin family first of all was one of the great Nantucket families one of the original owners of the island and one of the great whaling families. Owen was seventeen when he went on his fateful first and last voyage on the Essex. The two biggest disasters in Nantucket`s whaling history were the Globe and the Essex, the Globe was a mutiny and the Essex was stoved by a whale. George Pollard was the captain of the Essex and he was only twenty-eight and was Coffin`s uncle.
They were into a school of whales and the longboats were out with the harpooners doing their number, then all of a sudden, about a hundred yards off the stern of the ship, a whale was noticed heading for the mother ship (the Essex) picking up speed and then stove in the front of the boat. It came underneath the ship and wallowed off to the side, knocked semi-conscious, the captain realised he was losing his ship and began making preparations for an emergency.
They were a long way from landable land (owing to cannibals) and as they were preparing to leave the ship the whale stove in the other side, they salvaged what they could and this was in August and it was February before the last survivors were picked up. In one of the longboats there were five men and they had to resort to cannibalism finally, to sacrifice one man so that the others might live and Owen Coffin drew the short straw. He was in the longboat with his uncle George Pollard who refused to partake of him but the others did and survived.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Ray Charles, Marc Bolan, Bell & Arc, Ornette Coleman, Rory Gallagher, The Who, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Mr. Fox.

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

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