NME

ARTICLE ABOUT Genesis FROM New Musical Express, May 15, 1976

Quite incredible to think that Phil Collins as a 25-year old was on his fifth American tour. Amazing! Personally, I didn`t even know what to do with my life at that age. But I guess it is easier when you have a lot of talent, meet the right people at the right time and live in exactly the right place. And more. Because there are a lot of stars that need to align for this to happen to anyone.
Certainly an interesting article to read, so enjoy!

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Can little people rock `n` roll?

The Great Sequel to Can Public School Boys Rock`n`roll?

With reference to GENESIS, Prof. STEVE CLARKE answers a question that`s been worrying the diminutive all the world over.

It`s all a question of size, really. Seems that almost everywhere you go in America there`s the biggest something or other. Take New Orleans for instance, the deep, deep heart of Dixie, which boasts America`s, or quite possibly the world`s, biggest indoor sports complex, the Super-dome – a building that outsizes Houston`s Astro-dome by several square-feet or whatever.
Move up several states north to St Louis (the `s` is stressed), Missouri, the very centre of America itself, where the old Mississippi (itself high in longest-river chart) seems omnipresent and you`re confronted with what is apparently the world`s largest manmade structure – an absurd arch which straddles the riverfront like the perimeter of some gargantuan disembodied spoon.
The Arch is monstrously pointless, other than being a tourist attraction and symbolic of the city`s geographical position as “Gateway To The West”.
St Louis also has the world`s largest Holiday Inn complex, a minute part of which is being occupied tonight, this Thursday in late April, by Genesis, that most English of English rock bands who`re approximately two thirds of the way through their fifth American tour and not a little knackered.
And just continuing this bit about size, brings us to Phil Collins, whose amazing transformation from Drummer With The Group to Lead Singer on their last album, “A Trick Of The Tail”, represented something of a triumph for the little guy.
Collins` physical stature cuts a radical contrast with the St Louis Arch and everything (and isn`t everything?) big in America.
Moreover he`s no punk, like the other little guys in rock, but a 25 year-old musician with an extremely endearing temperament.

I remember my first, rather uncomfortable meeting with Genesis two or so years back when I wrongly came away with the impression that the boys in the band were, with the exception of Honest Phil, somewhat coldly diffident individuals. Others in the music biz would agree, saying, “Oh Phil, yeah, he`s all right.”
When I bump into Collins in a lift (or should I say elevator?) in the world`s biggest Holiday Inn complex, he`s genuinely friendly and in the absence of an on-the-road publicist (no-one`s trying to hype Genesis, never have and never will) it`s the drummer who hospitalitises me.
But to get down to business, can Phil crack it onstage as a singer, and more pertinently, as a front-man? Like I said, he is a little guy with a likeable, if basically anonymous face. Peter Gabriel, he isn`t.
Moreover, the group`s decision to have Phil sing in front of them was more one of expedience than anything else. Going back to last autumn and the recording of “A Trick Of The Tail”, Collins was down to sing a mere two acoustic songs, and as far as singing on the heavier numbers he was an unknown quantity.
Since joining the group in `71, Collins had always sang back-up to Gabriel on album and onstage – singing along live even when his vocals weren`t miked up to the PA. On Genesis`s 1973 album, “Selling England By The Pound”, he sang lead on his pretty, acoustic song “More Fool Me” which was also featured onstage.
After some 400 applicants for the job of Gabriel`s successor brought no joy, Collins thought it was about time he had a go at singing all of the album. “It was very frustrating,” he says. “I was singing and teaching them and none of them were coming up to scratch. We even went into the studio without a singer. It got to the point where we had to do `Squonk` (the album`s heaviest cut) – and I had a go. Obviously it went okay, so we went through the rest of the album.

“At that point we felt very confident. We knew that as far as the studio went we could exist as a four-piece without any hassle.”
The stage was another thing altogether, but with the encouragement of his wife, Phil suggested to the rest of Genesis that he should take care of all the vocals live. They weren`t convinced, but two months later when there was still no sign of anyone to take over on the vocal front, Collins put it to the band again.
This time they acquiesced, and the search for a drummer was on.
Enter Bill Bruford, one of our finest players, late of Yes, Roy Harper`s excellent Trigger, Pavlov`s Dog and National Health. Bruford had first played with Collins in Brand X as a percussionist alongside Collins` drumming – Collins formed Brand X about a year or so ago to play small clubs and pubs when Genesis aren`t on the road.
It was at one of the Brand X rehearsals that Bruford asked Phil how the search for a drummer was going. When Phil told him it wasn`t going well, Bruford wanted to know why he hadn`t been invited to join.
Says Collins: “I didn`t think he`d be into the gig after playing with whom he`s played with.” But after one rehearsal with Genesis, it was obvious that Bill did fit in.
Meanwhile back in St Louis, it`s just turned six in the evening and the temperature has cooled off to the lower 80s. The local FM radio has been persistently advertising a full day`s programme of Simon and Garfunkel for the coming weekend (they don`t believe in doing anything by halves) and tracks from Peter Frampton`s live album dominate the airwaves.
For Genesis it`s sound-check time and Mike Rutherford drives the band to this evening`s gig which is just a few minutes away from the world`s biggest Holiday Inn Complex. A 3,000 seater, it`s called the Ambassador Theatre, and very English it is too, with the kind of rococco splendour I hadn`t associated with American rock gigs. Suits Genesis down to a `t`, it does. It could have been air-freighted straight from London Towne. And probably was.

Genesis are not a huge act wherever they go in the States. Their biggest following is in the North-East and over the border in Canada where, after rehearsals in Texas, they opened this 30-date tour. After four warm-up dates in the Ontario area (“They knew us there, but they didn`t know any tunes,” says Collins) the tour started with two shows at Toronto`s Maple Leaf, a 9,500 seater hockey stadium.
An average sized gig for the tour, which ended in Los Angeles earlier this month, would be 3,500 with the vast majority of gigs having been sold out or almost sold out.
Collins opines thus about why Genesis are Big In Canada: “I think it`s because they follow European taste. When you`re there you could well be in Europe. I don`t actually like playing there because it`s like playing Europe. And I don`t like playing Europe.
“As far as album sales go, their penultimate “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” made the top 40 and while “A Trick Of The Tail” has done better, going to number 31 on some album charts. They haven`t as yet had a hit album in America.
This tour is very much a consolidatory exercise – “putting the full stop at the end of the sentence” as Collins puts it – and when the band return in October, they`ll be playing bigger gigs in several places.
Genesis might be a popular punters group in Canada, but the gigs there this time didn`t pick up ecstatic reviews. Over to Collins: “I thought we were really good. No way did I think we were bad, but the reviews sounded as if they were written by people who prefered the other show. They called us mediocre. Actually, I had a very down period at the beginning of the tour.
“I thought I was doing right, but I wasn`t sure because the only important feedback, apart from the audience reaction, was that I was weak. They (the press) said the music was okay, but that we`d definitely lost a singer. But in one place we knew for a fact that a paper had sent a gardening expert – I`m not joking. They sent a gardening expert to cover the show because the music correspondent was ill.

“This person reviewed the gig and I kind of started to love the idea of ignoring reviews.
“In the past I`ve always been an avid reader of our reviews. `The Lamb Lies Down` had some bad ones when we started. We played our first date in Chicago and the album hadn`t even come out yet. We got some awful reviews…
“The guy who reviewed us in Montreal this time said he was into James Brown. We expected a bad review from him and we got one.”
The Ambassador apparently isn`t sold-out, but looking around the theatre you could have fooled me. The audience is predominantly white, but there are more blacks than you`d expect for a Genesis gig, and the black guy in his late teens sitting next to me is well excited at the prospect of seeing the band.
Missouri as a state is neither north or south sociologically speaking – in the Civil War they couldn`t make up their mind which side to take and ended up on the fence.
The audience are a mixed bunch, some long-hairs, some short-hairs and there`s one guy who sits over to my left who`s most definitely got it right – with the following printed on his white T-shirt; Fuck the Bicentenary. Easily the funniest thing I`ve seen all week and in welcome contrast to the patriotic banners in the world`s biggest Holiday Inn Complex`s drug store which proclaim 200 years of freedom and democracy.
There is no support act and when Genesis take the stage around 8.30 they stay there for the next two hours and more. Collins has said that Gabriel`s departure has subconsciously lifted a weight off the band`s shoulders and everybody in the band will come over as more of a personality. And no-one is pressuring him to be another Gabriel.
And that`s how it appears as the gig gets under way, even though a little of the natural reserve common to Steve Hackett, Rutherford and Tony Banks transfers itself to the stage.

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Collins, of course, is as different a front-man from Gabriel as Paul Rodgers is from Mick Jagger (no parallels intended), other than in his voice. His phrasing is almost identical to the Big G`s, but his voice lacks the breadth and power. However, the way he makes Genesis a much more human band more than makes up for it.
Phil Collins, quite simply, makes Genesis more accessible – to this writer at least. He has presence – amazingly enough, when you consider the man physically, but whereas Gabriel was always something of an awesome figure (maybe sublime is a better word) Collins is much more touchable.
Like the rest of the band (excluding Bruford, but that`s something else again), Collins is tastefully dressed. He wears sharply pressed cream pants and a tastefully coloured T shirt. Rutherford, Banks and Hackett, the latter of whom, in a loose fitting white blouse and with pants tucked into his boots, comes on like some ever-so slightly degenerate 18th century cleric, are also tastefully dressed.
Rutherford also has stage presence now – his entire visage fixed in a splendid expression of upper-middleclass suppressed sarcasm. There`s definitely something of the John Cleese about this fellow.
What`s more, Hackett no longer sits down all the time. He stands up for at least half the set. He doesn`t move much, though. You don`t expect miracles, do you? But he does come up-front to introduce his song – the very excellent, ethereal “Entangled” from the last album.
Likewise Rutherford, who introduces some song or other.
Collins is a bodyful of energy on stage. He runs, sometimes on the spot in mock keep-fit type movements and sometimes from the mike out-front to his drum-kit, larger than Bruford`s and stage left. He scampers, leaps, scurries, feigns a ballet-dance and pirouettes all over the place. He uses hand-movements and facial expressions to bring over the point of the song.

For “Robbery Assault And Battery” he puts on a cloth cap and an oversized coat and becomes the small-time working class rogue the song portrays.
His only other costume change is a white smock which he puts on for another song, the title of which I`ve unfortunately forgotten.
Visually and musically this Genesis is excellent. Throughout their lengthy set they continually demonstrate the musical and compositional skills that have made them a first division band.
Their melodic flair comes across in songs like “White Mountain”, “Supper`s Ready” (which fulfils all its promise) and so many other songs which got lost in the pure enjoyment of it all.
The dynamics of their music is quite staggering and each musician plays his chosen instrument with a rare degree of technical prowess and taste. Nothing is overplayed or under-done. Everything is constantly creative and imaginative.
Yes, I liked them.
Slides, movies, graphics and cartoons are used throughout and are always totally in sympathy with the music. They make, say, the Floyd`s attempts at similar visual presentation techniques look silly by comparison. Ocassionally the visuals are a little too obvious, but even then acceptably so.
Apart from the numbers mentioned above, Genesis`s set also included “Dance On A Volcano”, “Squonk”, and “Los Endos” from “A Trick Of The Tail”, the title cut from “The Lamb Lies Down”, plus “Carpet Crawler” and “It” from the same album.
The latter segued into “Watcher Of The Skies” for the encore. There`s also the band`s only British hit “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)”, “Cinema Show” and “Firth Of Forth”.

Those of you who`ve bought tickets for the band`s sold-out five days at Hammersmith Odeon in June are in for the proverbial treat. Really.
Apart from the back projections, actual smoke belched from the stage for the climax of “Supper`s Ready”. That might have been a little over-done, but, `struth, at least it wasn`t dry ice.
Backstage Rutherford is quite euphoric, explaining that if he seemed a little pissed off earlier it was because the lazer wasn`t working. Laser? Isn`t that old-hat from The Who and Zeppelin? Ah, he says, the Genesis laser is different, and doesn`t merely project a static beam of light (or lights) across the auditorium. It`s much more flexible, and, they say, spectacular.
Hackett is maintaining his seemingly impregnable shyness, but when I tell him I think Genesis are a much better band for Gabriel`s going, he agrees. Gabriel sent the band a well-wishing telegram for the tour`s opening night, but still hasn`t seen them.
Banks and Rutherford are with the ladies. The excellent Bruford (damn, I`ve forgot to tell you how good he was. Still, you probably guessed) is swathed in towels, as is Collins who seems remarkably fresh after such an energetic performance.
The promoter has laid on Chinese food for all and there`s no madness. Genesis are well behaved. Didn`t you know that already? Back to the world`s largest Holiday Inn complex, where each group member retires to his own room. I go and see Phil with tape in hand. His wife and baby are in the bedroom of his suite.
Apparently his biggest worry about fronting the band was being incapable of talking to the audience, but that`s okay now. He does say he`ll keep himself just a shade more together before going on, but his new role hasn`t changed things that much at all.

“I don`t actually find it more tiring,” he says. “I`ve lost a lot of weight on this tour. Actually, I`d rather go back and play the drums than go off stage and have a drink. I`m still a drummer.
“I don`t consider myself the lead singer. I feel I have more leeway to do what I want being a drummer first, because people don`t expect a supercool, super-slick guy. They expect someone who`s just a guy and that makes it a lot easier.
“It makes me feel a lot more comfortable. I`m more excited by Genesis now `cause I can get more out of it. There were always songs that I would have loved to have sung. That`s probably why I sang along with Peter onstage. Some people might think I was sitting there plotting behind the drum-kit to get rid of the lead singer so I can take over, but that`s ridiculous.”
So does he think Genesis are a better band?
He cops out by saying, “It seems to be more musical, but maybe that`s because we`ve got Bill in the group. I have an awful lot of respect for what he does.”
Although Bruford has no thoughts of joining Genesis as a full-time member, Collins hopes he`ll be with them for their October US tour.
“I think he treats us the same way he treated Roy Harper and National Health. Bill appreciates that we`re about songs rather than techniques or solos (onstage there are few solos). I`d like to keep him into it but I realise he hasn`t got much to gain out of it. I want to make sure he`s happy musically. He seems to be.”

Collins onstage definitely becomes something of an actor and it doesn`t surprise me when he tells me that much of his childhood was spent in the theatre as a child-actor. He`s played the part of the artful dodger in Oliver, which maybe accounts for his fine performance during “Robbery Assault And Battery”.
“I`ve been on the stage in one form or other from the age of six until about 16 or 17. I feel quite comfortable in a costume like that. All the other times I feel just like a singer.
“That`s all I want to do – sing. So I try and use as much of the body and face but without actually going as far as putting anything on”.
Regarding the back-projections the group are self-critical, “We get qualms every now and then about them being like French movies, a bit electric cinema.
“Some of the film sequences weren`t as good as we hoped they`d be, things like `Entangled`, which are abstract are probably better.”
It must cost a lot to organise all that, particularly as they`re specially filmed?
“I couldn`t honestly tell you. You become immune to those sort of costs. I wouldn`t know how much a hotel room is. I don`t know how much we earn tonight. When you come to think about it, it must be somewhere between five and ten thousand dollars” – he pauses to re-collect his thoughts – “I`ve no idea… This could be a cheap gig. It could be a real expensive gig. We don`t plan to make money off our live performances. This tour might make a slight profit. Up until `The Lamb` we were writing off a debt.
“No sooner are we out of debt than there`s a tax problem. There`s no inbetween, so in effect we`ll only be as well off as we were three years ago earning 90 quid a week or something.”

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Never heard of “Strapps”, but I like their promotional material.

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Ramones, Ian Hunter, Erich Von Daniken, Eric Carmen, Elton John, Nils Lofgren, Stanley Clarke.

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

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Ian Hunter FROM New Musical Express, May 15, 1976

Here we go again with yet another Ian Hunter article. Why do you like Hunter so much, you may ask? The answer is that I don`t especially like him more than others on this blog. As some of you know, I promise to post all articles I find of the 5 most visited bands/artists of my blog. And those artists are right now: Ritchie Blackmore, Deep Purple, Lemmy, Ian Hunter and Steve Howe.
If you want the same treatment for your favourite artist, you need to get people to click on the articles with them in it. That`s all!

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IAN HUNTER: All American Alien Boy (CBS)

By Charles Shaar Murray

There exists a subtle difference between a tax exile and an expatriate.
It has more to do with the way that someone carries themselves than the reasons that sent him away. Rod Stewart is a tax exile, pure and simple, whereas John Lennon is an expatriate. Stewart sounds to have lost touch with his background without having established any real temporary root system; artistically as well as politically and geographically, he is in limbo.
On the other hand, Lennon determined from the outset that if he was gonna live in America he was sho `nuff gonna righteously live there and involve himself as fully in American cultural, social and political life as anybody else on his block; without denying his Englishness he was simultaneously going to do his damnedest to be a good American.
It ain`t for nothing that Ian Hunter shouts out “Look out Lennon here I come – land ahoy-hoy-hoy!” as he bawls himself hoarse on his way into the first chorus of the title song of “All American Alien Boy”. The slightly pretentious title proves itself nothing more than a direct summing-up of Hunter`s stance as resident rather than tourist, a stance which enables him to transcend the superficiality of the out-of-the-limo-window-I-saw generally written by jetstream Anglos buzzing through to deliver boogie to the natives, while utilising his distance from England to recollect emotion in tranquility – or vice versa.

If Lennon is one of the spectres who stalk the landscape of this album, the other Ghost Of Rockanroll Past who`s right in there rattling his chains is Bob Dylan. On the strength of this album it may well be appropriate to nominate Hunter for a second term as This Year`s New Dylan. He`s deliberately cast much of the album in a “Blonde On Blonde” mould, utilising the master`s devices with a knowing pointedness, manipulating the associations, implications and resonances of the instrumentation and the inflections of his own expertly Zimmer Twins vocals for specific effect.
The only occasions when his grip falters is where, despite his mastery of Lennon and Dylan`s use of boisterous humour, he fails to infuse into his mixture the sly irony of his models: the irony that enables Dylan to use the device of saying “The moral of this storreeee” in “Frankie Lee And Judas Priest” and not sound heavy-handed, whereas Hunter flubs the trick in “Restless Youth”, a musically exciting but lyrically suspect sympathy-for-the gunsel song in Maestro`s “Joey” tradition (it even refers to “Little Italy”, f` Chrissakes!).
So, picking up on New York like any starstruck English Dylan freak would, and maybe seeing Dylan`s adoption of his erstwhile pal and partner Mick (“I aren`t a session man”) Ronson as vaguely symbolic, Hunter has ditched the last vestiges of Mott-style rock and roll in favour of his deliberate, conscious, yes-I-know-my-rights-and-am-of-sound-mind-and-body-and-do-knowingly-willingly-that-which-I-am-about-to-do Dylan act.

The album`s opening cut “Letter To Britannia From The Union Jack” is to-and-about Britain, and uses the rather strained metaphor heralded in the title to sound a slightly discordant note of national pride and please-get-it-together-England.
It`s the first of a fairly small cluster of moments on the album where Hunter seems unable to find language that will match the power of his attempted statement and thereby debases his theme while uncomfortable emphasis is thrown on his linguistic fumbling.
On the title cut, however, he`s in roaring form. Gerry Weems` blasting Ronsonesque lead guitar cuts in right on the heels of “Union Jack”`s fade, underscored by Jaco Pastorius` bass, Aynsley Dunbar`s stomping drums, accompanied by Hunter`s own monolithic piano chording, before the inimitable David Sanborn (formerly of the Butterfield Blues Band and “Young Americans” – period Bowie) blasts a path for a bellowingly self-assured Hunter sneering like some Dylan/Jagger fusion.
It`s a fine song, though in its opening stages the solos by Pastorius, Sanborn and Weems that interrupt the verses irritate despite their excellence, and Hunter has a fine old time machine-gunning tortuously rhymed lyrics and racing the band to the changes. His Dylanisms seem endearingly cheeky rather than offensively derivative:
“Don`t get slugged get mugged get bugged or they`ll sling you in the jug. Sweep you under some rug, give you some drug, pull out the plug and then..
I mean, howcum Bruce Springsteen didn`t write that?

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From getting hilariously confused with brash Americana and TV commercials, he drifts back to his distant youth and gets misty-eyed about the callous teendream who rejected the young Hunter in “Irene Wilde”. “A Barker Street Bus Station non-affair” is how he characterises it, proving that he still has his background together.
“Restless Youth”, which ends the side, is by far the heaviest rocker on the album. Chris Stainton comes off keyboards  for his one crack at bass, and he clearly hasn`t forgotten how to crank a Fender bass up to the bonecrunching impact level of his playing on Cocker`s “With A Little Help From My Friends”.
“Rape” proves again that Hunter has a lot to learn from Dylan about writing political songs (and let`s just leave “Mozambique” right out of this, okay? I never liked the damn song in the first place anyway), “You Nearly Did Me In” has a gorgeous chorus (with backing vocals by Freddie and Roger of Queen, gang!) and a nice drift to it.
Hunter unleashes his killer punch in “Apathy 83”, which demonstrates that his ability to slice rock and roll right down the middle is completely undimmed. He also pulls off his most inspired Dylan reference of a heavily Dylan-soaked album with “Was it General Sheridan who said that the only good good man is a dead good man? It was not me, babe!” delivered in the most ringingly triumphant Bobby-the-Zee tones imaginable. He clinches with:
“Nostalgia is starting to focus too late, intelligence is starting too itch.
And there ain`t no rock and roll no more, just the music of the rich.
`N it`s apathy for the devil, apathy for the devil, apathy for the devil.
Apathy`s at fever piiiiiiiiiiitch!”

His final song, “God”, is stone Dylan with Stainton laying down an organ part so Kooperish that if you woke Al up in the middle of the night and played it to him he`d probably think it was him. Hunter`s God opens up the dialogue with “I`m gonna kick your ass, `cuz all you ever do is ask, ask, ask” and ends with “Behave yourself, see you around!” which is probably pretty much how God would talk if Ian Hunter was writing his scripts.
“All American Alien Boy” is a difficult and fairly uncompromising album; it`s uncomfortably personal, occasionally crude and self-indulgent, and it`s by no means an unqualified success. However, it`s also hugely revealing both about the subjects it discusses and the man who made it, and one which has by no means diminished my admiration of Ian Hunter.

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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 New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Ramones, Genesis, Erich Von Daniken, Eric Carmen, Elton John, Nils Lofgren, Stanley Clarke.

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

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT The Ramones FROM New Musical Express, May 15, 1976

It is a great pleasure to print this review of the first ever album of this band. The reviewer was absolutely right for this band so they came out favourably in his critic. And so they should. Strange to think that these guys, with the exception of one, are all dead now. Thank you for all the fun!

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Sons of Scuzz Hit Home Run in World Punk Series

RAMONES – The Ramones
(Sire – Import)

By Nick Kent

A week back, if you`d asked me nicely, I`d have dogmatically opined that “Ramones” – SASD 7520 was absolutely the most grievous hot rock sideswipe from the Nova Heat-Zone since the halycon grunge of “Raw Power”.
Well Seven days have elapsed and I`m bowing out on that high-minded slant, but that`s not to say that the initial allure has lessened any.
The Ramones – in case you`ve been vacationing in Thailand, or contracted leprosy in the last twelve months – are the punk cause celebre of the moment, the hands-down champ-eens of the New York New Wave “Blank Generation” sweep stakes. One Robert Christgau, N.Y.`s Dean of Rock Critics, has stated that the band make up “the most cleanly conceptualized New York rock show there is to see… the last time I caught them I walked home high,” while Circus magazine goes for the muscle angle by drawing attention to the band`s penchant for “all adrenaline chords at a terrific speed. The Ramones are out to relive the roots of rock by mauling them.”
Our own Charles Shaar Murray has probably got the best over-view of this scam though when he wrote in his “NME” run-down of the CBGB hoe-down: “They`re (the Ramones, natch) simultaneously so funny, such a cartoon vision of rock `n` roll, and so genuinely tight and powerful, that they`re just bound to enchant anyone who fell in love with rock and roll for the right reasons.”
The cartoon schtick is what it all boils down to ultimately, and as such, the Ramones, even more than Kiss, are the real inheritors to the Archies dubious mantle. They`re perverse as hell, see. Their corporate taste for violence – for example “Beat on the brat- /with a baseball bat”… “You`re a loudmouth baby /I`m goin` to beat you up”… not to mention their paeans to ritual murder like “Texas Chain Saw Massacre/Took my baby away from me,” and the portrait of a Vietnam veteran – turned depraved Broadway hustler on “51st and 3rd” – is bonafide sicko fare because it`s always rendered with this bizarre looney-toons cutesy-pie macho attitude, a sort of “Whap! Bop! Take that, you scamp” bluster (not to mention that these guys couldn`t punch their way out of a paper-bag). Which is fun, sure, but then you start thinking just where the hell are these guys coming from.

The musical influences are easy enough to divine. Classic punk is the meal ticket here – early Stooges retard-bop (“1969” and all that), plus a healthy surfeit of commercial Anglo rock-pop – the Sweet of “Little Willie” times, plus Gary U.S. Bonds` crass repetition filtered through the Glitter are called to mind. From these archetypes, the band go on to fashion a sound so monomaniacally insistent, so diamond hard punkish that this record poses a direct threat to any vaguely sensitive woofer and/or tweeter lodged in your hi-fi.
I was around, see, when they were cutting the final mix of this album and actually witnessed the interesting phenomenon of one of Sire Records` house system being literally shot to shit (the tweeters were blown clear across the room after three numbers) due to producer Craig Leon`s attempt to wedge up the guitar sound well over even the red (for danger, dig) zone. How Leon and the band actually succeeded in retaining such a ragged full-throttle sound without further mass-carriage will doubtlessly be rendered instant rock history in the weeks to come.
The coup, though, is quite masterful. I`ve rarely heard a tougher, more invigorating guitar sound on record – it makes Jimmy Page`s sound on “Presence” sound positively weedy by comparison. But there it is, blaring out with such fearsome majesty that it runs most other punk artifacts ragged in terms of sheer “young” belligerence.
My angle on this opus then: simply “Ramones” is an object lesson in how to successfully record neanderthal hardrock.
The band itself is hard, tight and extremely limited – the repertoire calls for a constant re-run of (usually) three chord-changes, no solos, and nothing over two and a half minutes in length. Drums and bass muscle in behind the guitar (which maintains a sound like a sulphuric acid tab zig-zagging across a bucket of pitch), forming a fermenting back-drop for the singer to intone lyrics – every last syllable of which relate to the band`s corporate cartoon cut-out over view of Noo Yawk Scuzz, dumb chicks, romance (spelt “b-u-u-h-v” in these punks` dictionary) and boredom – in a voice possessing an angloid-hyper-thyroid proximity to Rob Tyner`s classic mid-register vocals for MC5 records.

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As a “punk” artifact, it separates the men from the boys. If You love hard-ass retard rock, you`ll bathe in every groove. If you pride yourself on being a sensitive human-being, this record will gag on you like a gatorade and vermouth fireball.
Even punk dillitantes may find the album `in toto` something of an endurance test. There are 14 tracks here, see – averaging out to two minutes each in length – minimal variety natch – and it just seems to get faster and louder until the very end with “Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World”, when some speakers can be heard going through premature squeals just before they crank off and slip the audio-mortal coil for good n` all.
Whether this pertains to the slightly wearing nature of the 14-track bam-balam on show here I wouldn`t know, but right now find the best moments on this record to be lodged on Side One. “Blitzkrieg Bop”, “Beat on the Brat”, and “Judy is a Punk”, the opening forays, are true golden moments.
Indeed, basic punk rock hasn`t sounded this good since disco-death-rot music set in and started calling the shots on your gams.
Most rock`n`roll being amped out these days is so damn synthetic anyway – heavy-metal has recently reached an all-time nadir in audio-corrosion, and the real big-timers like the Stones are too far gone on achieving “blacknuss” by vamping on reggae `n` stuff (instant ungodly death to white reggae, by the way. Vinyl should be so designed to instantly disintegrate when it next registers the sound of some L.A. session – drummer trying to maintain an `on beat`).
All of which means – we need the likes of the Ramones to re-acquaint us loser white-kids with our roots more than ever.

Also, I`ve got this feeling, see, that this album`s going to take off. It`s crazy, perverse, and exciting enough to maybe even bridge both A.M. and F.M. airplay in the States, in which case the Ramones really could shut down the horrendous likes of Kiss and their garish ilk. Young girls will doubtless find `em cute, the leathers and plimsolls look is hip n` stripped down enough to be aped by whole battalions of culturally deprived American youths, and the music is aggressively “blank” enough to relate to all disorientated teenage parties.
The “Punk rock” movement of the early `70s was something of a damp squib, in that it never made any real identation on the national rock front as upheld by the likes of “Cashbox” and “Billboard”.
Now, some three years later, after the New York Doll`s pratfall, after the likes of Iggy and Jonathan Richmond have been rejected for being the real rock visionaries they are, the coast may be clear for the new wave punks.
The Ramones don`t say much. They`re pretty vacant. But they rock out with a vengeance. And anyway the Archies were never hip to sniffing glue or making out to the dance of romance.

ramones

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Genesis, Ian Hunter, Erich Von Daniken, Eric Carmen, Elton John, Nils Lofgren, Stanley Clarke.

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

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Nazareth FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, MAY 1, 1976

Always nice to read a live review of Nazareth in their prime. What a band they were! Luckily I have seen them live with the original members and they were quite powerful indeed. One of the best.

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Nazareth
__________
Hammersmith

By Angie Errigo

When the seat next to me collapsed and the tampon sailed over my head and into my lap I was tempted to leave. I reckon managing to hang on to my notebook through the encore deserves a medal for services beyond the call of boogie.
Some concert! Some audience! Some fun?
The assembled patrons looked primarily like the little brothers of the Groundhogs audiences from whom one used to flee, and Rory Gallagher crowds before whom one quakes. Their attitude of getting down and getting with it was brought home to me by two customers behind me. They were about 15 and all through the first set from Widowmaker they howled and stomped, kicked the backs of seats in time and gave whoops of ecstacy.
Suddenly one of them turned to the other and said “They`re not too bad, are they?”
“Ahhh, it`s a bunch of crap” the other replied and resumed whooping.

Widowmaker are nothing of they aren`t killingly loud. Steve Ellis has got something, but it`s hard to say what it is, at that volume. Ariel Bender, pinched into the most awfully unbecoming trousers and wearing a Cute Hat, leapt over, under, around and particularly in front of the other members of the band quite a bit. His posing is rather tentative, like he`s pretty convinced he`s a Star but he doesn`t want to get beat up in the dressing room for strutting too much in one go.

The drummer does a lot of groovy grimacing, like a cross between the village idiot and the sulphate strangler, but he`s okay. The second guitarist looks like he escaped from Sweet, but he did quite nicely while Ariel was traipsing around, and the bassist is dandy.

I don`t really like their belligerence but Ellis is a worthy belter and they`ll probably do quite well if they can stomach each other long enough to establish themselves.
I had no idea Nazareth are so popular, or so head splitting. Dan McCafferty has the most alarming set of pipes this side of Ethel Merman, and the marvel is that he can scream so loud and still produce shades and contrasts in his vocals and put over lyrics so well.
The first three numbers – “Telegram”, “Razamanaz” and “Bad Bad Boy” – were beyond criticism. How can you be analytical about being run over by some crazy, out of control, sonic boogie machine? Guitarist Manny Charlton (in competition with Bender for Funny Trousers of the Night in rather extraordinary black leather britches) is big on the breakneck chops, and bassist Pete Agnew and drummer Darrell Sweet come on like their barbarian ancestors who freaked out the Romans by screaming and bagpiping like loonies.

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Naz`s version of “Love Hurts”, which was Jim Capaldi`s recent success here, is completely different and surprisingly nice, combining as they do the pretty melody and subtle rhythms with that grotesque volume.

The rest of the performance was more varied. “Loretta” from the new “Close Enough for Rock and Roll” lp and “Changing Time” from “Hair of the Dog” reeked with classically stylized heavy metal riffs. “Honky Tonk Downstairs”, a number from McCafferty`s solo lp, featured a punchy, countryish delivery from Dan, and the folk song “The Long Black Veil” was sung quite prettily and mercifully acapella by McCafferty, Agnew and Sweet.

Most of this was interspersed with the predictably derivative guitar solos, beefy bass breaks and rapid shrieks that put hair on the boys` chests. For “Whiskey Drinking Woman”, “This Flight Tonight” and “Woke Up This Morning” everybody was either on their seat or down front getting their money`s worth.

I`m sure if I`d tanked up a bit beforehand I would have felt more rollicking myself, but older and more sober than most of the audience I found the variety of objects flying through the air, the breaking seats and the mindless, relentless licks curiously unmoving.
After lots of hollering and clapping they came back for “Broken Down Angel” which featured a rather good sing-along from the audience on chorus. I must say I`d prefer an audience like this myself if I was up there. When they want you they really want you, and they sure aren`t embarrassed to act crazy.

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Travel was easy and cheap in the seventies.

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Buffy Sainte-Marie, Graham Parker, Louis Jordan, Jimi Hendrix, Horace Silver, Jimmy Castor, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman.

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

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Rick Wakeman FROM New Musical Express, May 1, 1976

Wakeman is one of the most creative and talented men in the modern music industry. Beside playing on several albums with Yes, Strawbs and several other artists, touring with a lot of those bands and releasing more than 90 solo albums, he has also found the time to write several books and contributing to the “Grumpy Old Men” comedy series on BBC and also running his own radio show on Planet Rock.
This article shows that he always may have enjoyed a good laugh. Have fun!

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Art with a Capital F

RICK WAKEMAN on the aesthetic of bodily functions, as applied to rock concerts.
Dressing-room confidante: CHRIS SALEWICZ

Rick Wakeman returns from the Hammersmith Odeon backstage bar to his dressing-room: “`Ere. Fluff`s just told me this great joke. It`s alright.
“It`s clean,” he considerately points out to photographer Pennie Smith and Dee, the lady who designs the cloaks that hide the Wakeman paunch from his audience in those onstage moments. “There`s this randy eagle who fancies coming across a female eagle…”
He rambles to the end of the joke.
Then Brian Lane, his manager, walks in the door, which pleases Rick very much indeed, since he can start telling Fluff`s joke again to a new audience.
Brian Lane all the money is
purging,
With the Westminster Bank
he is merging
He says, “Nothing for you”
Like a typical Jew,
He`s as tight as an ant that`s
a virgin.
That`s a little extract from the concert`s programme, which Wakeman wrote in his spare moments.

Here`s another little extract:
“Martin Shields (Fartin` Martin), Brass and Vocals: It has been said that when Martin takes field he goes like the wind. It also smells like the wind. A former baseball player, he was forced to quit because his pitching was so bad, an attribute matched only by his singing. Martin gets scared before the big occasion, his wife tells us, as she has to wash his underpants after concerts.”
This is, in fact, a reference to a gig that the English Rock Ensemble aka ERE. (Couldn`t think what we were going to call the band and everyone`s going round saying “Ere? What we going to call ourselves.”) played in Seattle. During the first number Shields had a slight accident.
Ummm. Why did he… Urrrhhh… Do It, Rick?
“Well, when you`re playing high notes on the trumpet you tend to tense up, and he – how shall we put it? – overtensed.”
Now, gentle reader, there`s absolutely no reason to feel bashful when reading about that little incident. Why, Martin is such a friendly soul that he even doesn`t mind his boss telling it to all the audience after the first number of the set. Doesn`t even mind being made to bend over with a spotlight shining on his bum.
In addition to this, Wakeman, when onstage, is very keen on frequently suggesting that the audience visit the toilets.
Crumbs, Rick, why are you so obsessed with bodily waste matter?
“I don`t know, really. Perhaps because there`s so much shit in the rock`n`roll industry.”
It`s a man`s life in the English Rock Ensemble.

The last couple of years have not really been too good for Rick Wakeman.
The Heart Attack was not much fun. Unlike journalist James Cameron, Wakeman does not look back on his coronary thrombosis and view it as a fascinating experience. There will be no concept album based on it. No, Rick is able to say quite positively, “I don`t want to have another one”. There is apparently not much likelihood of this. “I was lucky. I was young. And as long as I look after myself I`ll be alright.”
(It puts him one up on Steve Emerson, though).
Then there was “Journey” and Rick`s rather dumbly believing that it was economically viable, after the album had already peaked, to tour the States with a full orchestra in tow.
And then, of course, there was “Arthur” on ice bringing the total loss up to somewhere around the quarter of a million mark. Wakeman would probably still do “Arthur” all over again. It would probably be necessary for him to find a new manager, though; Brian Lane candidly assesses it as having been “a total disaster”.
Apart from “Arthur” being a financial disaster, the Wakeman musical reputation was also severely damaged by the whole fiasco. Even though Wakeman defends the album artistically, and by pointing out that it had much higher sales than “Journey To The Centre Of The Earth” (“it was huge in Belgium”), the record remains a brainstorming, clumsily produced turkey. The frozen version was a little better, but not much. Ultimately not even pantomime skating horses could prevent “Arthur” from being a downright, boring drag.
A certain sense of guilt and dishonesty, then, runs through this writer`s spirit as he waits for Rick Wakeman to turn up in his dressing-room. The interview will, almost certainly, be thoroughly painless, but there is the possibility, going on past form, that the gig may deserve tearing to shreds.

Could I eat a man`s bag of crisps and then slag off his synthesizer playing? Of course I could.
This Wakeman character that`s put on display for the public is, it must be said, thoroughly bizarre. The boozing Man Of The People – though his guts may well be a miasma of Watney`s Special and “red `ot Ruby Murrays” (curries to you and me) slides his oversized lips round a can of Coke. (It had been whispered that strenuous attempts were being made to keep him off the more potent stuff until after the show) and discusses his persona as rock`n`roll oddity:
“I honestly… I don`t… It`s very difficult to explain, you sod!!!
“I think it`s a big disappointment for lots of people when they see someone onstage, or read what they say in interviews, or see them on the box or meet them and they`re different characters. I hope that I`m not any different when I`m working and when I`m not working. I don`t think I am. Just a stagestruck layabout, I suppose.”
Do you see yourself as part of modern showbiz, or as an important figure in contemporary music?
“It`s very difficult to answer without being egotistical. I`d like to think I was a part of showbusiness, but in the same breath I`d like to think that some of the music might stand up in twenty or thirty years` time. Or even later. I`d really like that.”
You`re concerned for your immortality, ehh?
“If there`s such things as dear little astral plains and ghosts that can have a look down on what`s happening, I`d love to look down in a hundred years` time and hear someone playing a piece of my music.
“It`s an egotistical view, but I think everyone`s got an ego.”
You`ve got to have an ego to be a rock`n`roll musician and go out there onstage surely?
The considered balanced front falls away. “Yeah,” cackles Wakeman, “I`ve got terrible stage ego. I love it. I hate to say it.”

It should go without saying that Rick Wakeman “never” suffers from stage fright.
I put it to him that without the humour that`s found in a Wakeman show – from the onstage clowning to the programmes themselves – much of his audience might well find his lengthy “pieces” a bit heavy going. With them the seriousness is deflated and the music becomes far more accesible.
He agrees: “We like to make them feel part of the concert because then we can feel part of them and really close that gap between the stage and the audience.
“That`s what I enjoy about it. Love it, in fact. Can`t help it.”
Very much in the Music Hall tradition…
“Oh yeah. I wouldn`t disagree with that one iota.
“The one thing that`s lacking in all the rock concerts or shows that I go to – unless they`re pure comedy bands – is that they`re all very serious. There`s easy bits to listen to, and some bits that you have to concentrate quite hard on, there`s often bits of music that are quite sad, but the one thing that`s always lacking is that people never laugh. And people wanna laugh.
“The point that really proves this is when you get the guy who`ll go up onstage and say what to me is a totally unfunny line – something amazingly unfunny – and the audience will howl with laughter. Because they want to. I`m sure you`ve seen it; you know, the guy says (John Denveresque accent): `Oh dear. My string`s broke`. And they`ll go `Aaaaaaarrrgggghhh Haaaaaaarrrrgggghhh.` Howl with laughter.
“And I`ll think `Bloody idiot`. I howl with laughter when I see that.
“So what you try to do is that you take the music very seriously and break it up with a couple of little musical bits which we hope the audience will find amusing. In “Anne Boleyn” we do a big piss-take of virtually every form of music going. From Classical to out and out rock`n`roll. And we tell a few funnies which we hope string the show together.

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“Basically, I`m trying to put on the show that I would like to go and see.
“If I emerge as an absurd idiot – which most probably I am – then I`d like the audience to come and take the music seriously, but also see what this is all about. It`s all very genuine, so I just see it as I would like to see it if I was coming to see Rick Wakeman.”
Maybe the “Daily Express” in his briefcase is a clue. Maybe you should just glance at the titles of Rick Wakeman`s albums – excluding “Journey To The Centre Of The Earth,” of course – there`s more evidence of Englishness in the titles of “The Six Wives Of Henry Eight,” “Arthur” and the Stonehenge cover shot of “No Earthly Connection” than is osmosed by any other British rock musician to the right of the folk scene that I can think of. Excepting Ray Davies of course.
Consider the considerable number of Wakeman extracurricular activities – the upmarket hire-car firm, the flight case firm, the musical instrument company (How many companies do you have, Rick? “Cor. I`ve got a memory like a nun`s sexual diary. A complete blank.”) – and his overlordship of his band (“Billy Fuehrer they call me. It`s very sad.”) and the country house and even the Arthurian cloaks he sports onstage. I`m convinced that whether Wakeman admits it to himself or not he`s revelling in some curious character combination of overgrown schoolkid – the lavatory jokes etc – and feudal baron.
Is Rick Wakeman a nation of shop keepers? Or is he St George?
“It`s subconscious he tells me, with a nervous batting of the constant tic his right cheek suffers. “It`s not conscious because you can`t create things… I mean, you can create a situation like that if you want to. It`s just what I am. It`s why I think the music press either hate me or like me because you either have to take me as I am or forget it, because I can`t change.”

Neither, apparently, can his approach to his work: You never lie awake worrying that you`ve driven up a blind alley with the scale of the compositions you`re working with?
“You can always climb over the wall at the other end. A lot of people said that we`d hit a brick wall at the end of “Arthur” but we climbed over the wall. You don`t turn back or wait for The Relief Of Mafeking.”
Yes, that`s right. Rick Wakeman would not dream of getting down and getting funky and making a rock`n`roll album filled with three minute songs.
And why does he only get involved with “weighty concepts”?
Ummmm… I don`t know. I really don`t know. I just find them good to write for and good to write to. It`s like painting a picture.
“Without dropping myself in a lot of trouble there`s a lot of difference between painting a Van Gogh and painting by numbers.”
Yikes!!! Maybe you could cut your ear off onstage during the encore tonight.
The Man Behind The Music ignores the suggestion: “I`d rather spend a lot of time and do what I believe is a Van Gogh – Which is important to me – than get my Toyland Book For Beginners and do an album.”
The backdrop is suitably ambivalent: castle spires/organ pipes/clusters of swords. Very Charlton Heston. Very Camelot.
A very large part of the Wakeman appeal is certainly attributable to the soulwrenching need for a keyboards hero. A frisson of sheer delight runs through the audience during the first number – an “Arthur” number – the first time he plays two keyboards together. During those fractions of the set when he isn`t holding the reins on the sound with at least one set of keyboards Rick Wakeman dances a sort of constipated – sorry, all this scatological imagery is catching – Twist, accompanied with an insane grin.
He is also completely asexual.

His playing is very good. Wakeman`s favourite composers are Mozart for melodies, Rachmaninov for orchestrations, and Chopin for style. The last is very evident. He also rates the Vanilla Fudge highly, maybe that`s where he gained his sense of histrionics.
This is the first time I – and almost certainly most of the audience – have encountered Wakeman without orchestra. The English Rock Ensemble may cluster about The Star like a set of six portly plastic garden gnomes surrounding the Big Ears model, but they`re no slouches when it comes to the music. Not great musicians, perhaps, but quite able to hold down their instruments` roles as well as the roles that the orchestra had written for it and crawl about the stage with their boss making faces at, say, John Dunsterville during his acoustic guitar solo in “Catherine Howard.” Vocalist Ashley Holt also runs up and down the stage with arms stretched out aeroplane-like when Wakeman goes into a synthesizer solo in “Catherine Parr.”
This concert, though it may have the trappings of a mediaeval pageant, is definitely closer to Music Hall. There is, for example, “The Roadies Lament” – a reworded “Lumberjack Song” – that opens the second half of the show and there is the constant banter from Wakeman: “Sir Lance-A-LOT” (nudge nudge).
Material is played from all four Wakeman albums – five if you include a snatch of Liszt`s Hungarian Rhapsody Number 13 during the encore – and it`s really rather good if not exactly intellectually edifying. Whereas so much of the material featured at the “Arthur” show was weak and insubstantial, now it`s fiery and, yes, at times I can even see why so many of the audience find it raunchy. Not my sort of raunchiness. Indeed, on record not my sort of music whatsoever but as A Good Evening Out… Yes, it works.

To make it work in the way it does, it has been suggested that Wakeman merely picks up his ability and “plays down” to his audience?
“No way. You can`t play down. It`s impossible. Absolutely impossible.
“Rock audiences have a lot more intelligence than classical audiences. If you`re playing a piece of music from an album they`ve got, they`ll know the piece really well. You can`t possibly play down: The kids know exactly what they want to hear, how they want to hear it, and how they want it done!!
Wakeman and the English Rock Ensemble leave the stage of the Hammersmith Odeon for the third and final time on this tour.
They probably have a rider in their contract which specifies that ERE`s dressing-room must contain a communal bath into which the seven leap after the gig ends to hold farting contests deep into the night.

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Yes, finally! I think…..?

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Buffy Sainte-Marie, Graham Parker, Louis Jordan, Jimi Hendrix, Horace Silver, Jimmy Castor, Nazareth, Bill Bruford.

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

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.