Rob Mackie

ARTICLE ABOUT Uriah Heep FROM SOUNDS, September 6, 1975

Oh, what a great look into the past this one is. Once again, it shows you that this band should have been inducted in the Rock`n`roll Hall of Fame a long time ago. Yeah, I know I always nag about this, but this band was one of the four most important bands of the early 70s, along with Purple, Sabbath and Zeppelin. Still touring and largely influential with a great catalog of songs that will stand the test of time. I know that Lee Kerslake is seriously ill at the time of writing this, and it would have been nice for him and the other  members to be recognised for what they have given the world of rock.
What the fuck are the Hall of Fame waiting for?
Read on!


Into the abattoir with Heep

Rob Mackie snaps his fingers and Uriah Heep jump, (well almost). The lava spewing valium tablet in the human form of Uriah Heep recently visited Chicago and Cleveland. Here Rob gives us a bird`s eye view of the concerts and talks to Mick Box, the world`s only one-armed guitarist (almost)

“I`m Richard, your chauffeur. Snap your fingers, I`ll jump.”
Everyone in the car snaps their fingers, but the driver remains fixed in his seat, a large jowl topped off with a shiny cap. His pronouncement interrupts a flood of Monty Pythonic exclamations from Uriah Heep drummer Lee Kerslake, seemingly a spontaneous reaction at seeing an English face in the back of the big black limo at Chicago airport.
Kerslake slumps down in the back seat. An absurd blue cap picked up somewhere along the tour is pulled firmly down over his eyes. Ken Hensley, the Heep keyboard man and guitarist, sprawls in the front seat, all flowing hair and patched denim, providing the perfect contrast to the sombreness of the traditional Big Black car and its close-shorn driver.
The pair eye Chicago with something approaching fondness – one of the places where the Heep has traditionally been able to snap its collective fingers and have everybody jumping. A place where the audience expects commitment and vigour, and is no slouch at giving it back. The sort of city that a real road band looks forward to in the midst of a return US tour after a year`s absence. Not so very long ago, Uriah Heep were placed down bill to T. Rex here – a teaming which in Chicago eyes is not far away from putting Jimi Hendrix on before the Monkees. The support band did three encores. The headliners earned a cornucopia of raspberries, and have not been seen around these parts since.


Not that Chicago is anybody`s idea of a picnic. David Byron has met with a stabbing attempt here a couple of years back, and another time, guitarist Mick Box was due to meet a friend who was White Trash`s drummer, in a Chicago club. The meeting never took place, because the drummer, got involved in an argument, and was killed stone dead by three swift karate chops. Accordingly, a quartet of burly locals is added to the party for Chicago. As singer David Byron puts it: “If they like you here, they`re the best audience in the world. If they don`t like you, better look out.”
The first port of call, after a quick stop off at the hotel, is a bizarre trip to a gigantic suburban shopping centre called Randhurst, for a `personal appearance` number. The band is met at the door by the manager, a bulbous extremely nervous man of a sweaty disposition, wearing a white top hat for the occasion, and a troupe of shop security men dressed like park rangers in Yogi Bear. By now, even the security men have a security man.)
The highpoint of this traditional American mixture of show biz, shop biz and politics, comes when the band is ushered on to a specially erected stage in the centre of the main thoroughfare, to be gawped at by a few autograph hunters, and a majority who look ready for the members to start juggling or balancing circus balls on their noses.


Ladies and gentlemen, Uriah HEEP!”, the manager says into a microphone. A smattering of applause is followed by renewed two-way gawps. Photos are taken. Autographs are signed. Box repeats the tale of how he broke his arm for the umptundreth time. Bassist John Wetton, now a fully-fledged Heep of six months, is hanging around the edge, nursing a stomach ache. Someone thrusts towards him one of the Uriah Heep photos being distributed.
Almost inevitably, it`s at least a year old, and features his predecessor, Gary Thain slap bang in the middle.
Wetton groans quitely. “After four years of looking at Ric Grech and Greg Lake, now I`m Gary Thain.” He looks as if he may be trying to imagine how Robert Fripp would disport himself on a stage in the centre of a supermarket.
Eventually, the party of people and protectors is led downstairs to a tiny clothing store, where they are allowed to meet the plebs in a somewhat less conspicuous way, and sign some more autographs. The band is allowed out, but not before the shop manager has taken the microphone for an exceptionally tedious speech, which eventually rambles around to the fact that there will be Uriah Heep T-shirts in stock the following week. “Which you`ll give away free!”, Byron shouts. “Well, er, yes of course”, the manager mumbles. By this time, Box has sensibly Sellotaped a note to the plaster on his right arm: `I fell off the stage`.
Back to the air-conditioned limos, bearing the spoils of war. Hensley has been presented with a large and useless key “for services to music”, mounted on a wood plaque. Kerslake, no shrinking violet, emerges with seven free shirts. “I earned them” he says shaking his autograph wrist painfully…
By the time of the concert, one of the shirts has found its way on to the back of one of the security men, who struts it around like it was a policeman`s badge. True to Chicago`s heavy reputation, the concert hall has also served its time as an abattoir and animal market. In earlier days the Heep played a splendid small hall in another part of the city. Now, economics demand the sacrifice of acoustic niceties in order to house the 15,000 in a near sell-out audience in the big barn called The Amphitheatre.
The full-throated roar that greets Heep`s arrival brings back to mind the pathetic Village-green-cricket applause accorded to this afternoon`s supermarket superstars.
Like their last album title, Heep going back on the road is a return to fantasy, and their fantasy is hitting this audience right there, where it hurts, which is what this crowd loves.
Visually, Heep are clearcut and straight to the point. Hensley tilts his organ in front of him, throws his waist length hair back like a brunette Wakeman. He`s wearing white boots, as absurdly long as his hair, so that the two almost meet.
Behind him is the beefy Kerslake, laying down the heavy Heep drum sound that`s always been a trademark. In front of him, Wetton, serious in black at one side of the stage, and the amiable Box on the other, plaster limb and all. Between the two, and just about everywhere else on the stage at one time or another, Byron struts flits and poses his way unashamedly through the set.


Aside from the unrelenting din of early Heep, it was probably Byron`s stage presence that led the critics to lambast the group so unmercifully. He`s playing the pop star every minute of the set. If pulling his shirt over one shoulder gets a few squeals, he`ll do it; if rolling on the floor is a crowd pleaser, he`ll do that. The more the older element cringe, the more the kids love it.
“We just want to be where it`s all going on / But tell me what do you do when it`s over and everyone who loved you is gone? / You`re just another prima donna of rock`n`roll / So please let me know when you want me to go.”
`Prima Donna` perfectly sums up Byron and this Chicago audience, playing the church to Heep`s steeple. And of course they don`t want them to go. Ever. It`s an impressive tribute to the band`s popularity that the crowd sings the `rock and roll` part of the chorus without prompting, although the song`s a new one-off `Return To Fantasy`.
Most of the songs are current, although some old favourites like `Stealin` and `July Morning` – an impressive song reminiscent of Vanilla Fudge – survive. The addition of Wetton has broadened out the band`s sound a lot: his bass playing was always firm but fluid, and the band now has four vocalists, well used on the likes of `Primma Donna`.



Not that Heep are going subtle, but there are signs that they`re moving away from their old unenviable reputation as the Peter Storeys of Rock. And it is odd how numbers like `Shady Lady`, which come over as almost unlistenable on the album, suit a time and a place like this so well that you find your legs going up and down like they`re supposed to do on such occasions.
They do stiffen the sinews and summon up the blood, as Shakespeare used to put it, particularly on `Easy Livin`, another big crowd-pleaser out here in the mid-West. It has Kerslake doing his menacing immovable-object drumming, and Byron and Wetton duelling up front, one in black and one white, like good and evil. Heep set a fast pace for themselves and live up to it. The end roar is even louder than the beginning one, and it`s filled out with explosions and the eternal matches.
For Chicago, the crowd seems unusually well-behaved, which could have something to do with around 200 plain-clothes security men being posted out-front. It`s a success, and over dinner the band`s manager Gerry Bron is going over some impressive figures. In one city, he says, they`re outselling Clapton three to one.
The Heep`s hotel bookings always include a Mr. Loon, whose room is available for anyone who feels like partying. In Chicago, everyone feels like partying.
Next day, people are a little clumsy. Settling themselves on to the plane for Cleveland, everyone manages to bump their heads on the overhead luggage compartment. Kerslake does it twice, and gets his own back, by planting a firm header into it, just like he was nutting an enemy on Sauchiehall Street. Wetton whiles away the hour`s flight leafing through a few Press cuttings. He pauses in amazement over a piece in Cashbox, which, underneath the obligatory picture of Heep with Thain, proclaims: “In the case of Uriah Heep, critics less attuned to pulverising lead riffs, finely sculptured keyboard runs and the overall subtlety of a train wreck, have been prone to dismiss the band as a lava spewing valium tablet in human form”.
Today`s gig for the lava spewing valium tablet is at a huge stadium, peopled on other days by the Cleveland Indians baseball team. It`s a one-day festival in which Heep is the penultimate band, sandwiched between Aerosmith and the Faces. A hot muddy day out, especially for the people on the pitch, and something to follow, because Aerosmith are a fast-rising band with a current Top 30 album and get a great reception.

Byron is expounding on the Heep philosophy: “Some other bands get up there and say `Come on and love us`, you know, but with us, we force `em along all the time, and make bloody sure they love us.”
It`s a big day for the band, and a specially big day for Hensley, who is celebrating his 30th birthday and the finalising of his divorce. He celebrates onstage, by dropping a cup of orange juice on to one of Kerslake`s cymbals during `Sweet Rain`. Appropriately, Kerslake gets drenched in stickiness.
At Cleveland, The band is more obviously enjoying itself onstage, looking a little less tense, and, as far as can be heard, playing better. In particular, Mick Box, whose playing is severely hampered by his plaster, is missing very little on guitar. `Shady Lady` (a pretty heavy song, if you listen to the lyrics) goes down well. `Prima Donna` gets the same audience response as before, but with around four times as many people out there, the effect is magnified.
Hensley weaves some intricate synthisiser through `Return To Fantasy`, like a `75 version of Telstar`, and Byron comments: “If you can figure out what the lyrics are about then tell me, because I wrote them and I haven`t got a fucking clue”.
Everyone`s enjoying themselves. Wetton`s sweating like a pig, and Box gets so carried away he`s slapping one hand against his cast in the clapalong part. Only afterwards does the pain show through on his face.
`Gypsy` is a good closer, with its slow, insidious drum part creating a mesmeric effect after a while. The audience is up, and Heep end their encore by kicking huge balloons with `THE END printed on them out into the audience.
The contrast is interesting: Aerosmith, the up-and-coming new band followed by Uriah Heep who came close to dying the death and are now showing signs of being on the verge of their most interesting period, and then the Faces.

Despite their augmenting, including what on this occasion looked at a glance like two Tetsus (the other one was Jesse Ed Davis), the Faces, to judge from the first six or seven numbers of their set, are on their last  legs – a fine band degenerated to a very sloppy standard. Sad.
And Rod seemed to have more make-up on than Britt Ekland. But he should worry. Waylaid at the hotel, in the general area of Hensley`s birthday table, he said: “I`ve got the No 1 single and album after five days. Not bad eh”. Which seems to sum up the Faces future. Even the band`s roadies were all wearing `Atlantic Crossing T-shirts.
With America`s second favourite couple in the hotel (after Gregg and Cher, that is), things were bound to be a little more packed with post-concert hangers-on than usual. Like the guy who approached some Heep members having a quiet drink at the bar with a paranoid expression, demanding: “What`s the matter with the girls at that table then? Are they ugly? Why are you all sitting up here? I mean, look at them, are those ugly girls?” Ah the perils of stardom.
Box was already beginning to regret the promise of putting a few words down on tape. “Yeah, anytime Rob. I`ll just have a few drinks.” “Yeah, sure I`ll just go and have one with Kenny.” We finally sat down with the infernal machine at lunch-time on the following day, and so, the last words on the tour from the world`s only one-armed guitarist (almost).
“John joining the group has made a big difference. I think it speaks for itself when we get up there. Towards the end of the old group, things were getting pretty bad, mostly from a morale point of view. There were four people who wanted to really pull all the stops out and work and work, but Gary couldn`t do too much because of his state of health and a lot of personal problems, so we were just going downhill as a band, it was very frustration. In the end we just had to sever that, because we are a terribly hard-working band; that`s our commitment to life at the moment.


“I was a bit worried about this tour, but it`s been fine, just like back to square one, the audiences are still just as good; and the tour is selling the album here. Just since we started this tour, it`s shot up to around the sixties with a bullet, so it`s well on its way. We`ll get another gold album if it kills us, which it probably will.
“Now with John, the numbers and ideas are coming out at a rate of knots, it`s ridiculous. From all of us. So now we just go into the rehearsal room with our little box of gems, and say `What do you think of that one?` and then jam off it.
“Yeah, the arm does hurt a bit sometimes, and I go a bit white at the gills, but it was a choice of going on with a little bit of pain or sitting at home getting fidgety with an arm in cement, doing nothing.”


The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Journey FROM SOUNDS, April 26, 1975

I am afraid that the reviewer hit the nail fairly right on the head with this one. Journey started out with an album that didn`t exactly set the world on fire. This album is never mentioned in any top 100 albums in rock or hard rock for a reason. I think it would be lucky to even end up in a Top 1000 poll. But in the interest of history, here is the original record review.
Read on.


Album Review:

Journey: `Journey` (CBS 80724).

By Rob Mackie

A couple of ex-Santana journeymen meet up with the mighty biceps of Aynsley Dunbar and the result is kind of predictable. The drumming is as dynamic as ever, coming over as the dominant instrument at times. On occasions, the interplay with a spacey lead guitar can suggest the understanding of McLaughlin and Cobham, but Journey seem to have a far less clear idea of where they`re headed than the Mahavishnu had. Too often there`s no centre to this band – the musical ability is there all right, but the vocals and the singing sound equally muzzy and unappealing. Attempting a spacey concept, Journey come over sounding a little old-fashioned. Competent. Uninspired.


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:
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.


I always liked a bit of ELO. Jeff Lynne`s often melancholy songs appeal to me. One of their albums, the fantastic concept album “Time” is one of my 10 favourite albums of all time. So, naturally, I give you this article from those golden days of the 70s.


All`s well that ends up sliding down a wall

Resident wino Rob Mackie reports

I had seen Jeff Lynne the night before or possibly not. I recall going to the bar and asking for a glass of wine. “Ah, you`ll have to go to the wine bar for that, Sir”, he shrieked above the din that Heinz and assorted musicians were making onstage.
I strode manfully to the wine bar. “`Fraid we haven`t got any glasses, Sir”, he shouted above John Baldry`s stage vocalising (strange, I could have sworn it was Heinz). “I haven`t got a glass”, I re-shouted. “You`d better take this bottle, then”.
It was some time later that I looked up from me bottle and realised that it must have had hallucinatory substances in it. Because there, on the stage, was the Move. No really, I know they broke up years ago. But there they were, resurrected in their final pre-incarceration incarnation, playing… well I can`t quite remember what but it sounded fine, fine.
I took the remaining half of my wine bottle to safer climes, and went to get some food (they confiscated the bottle but that`s another story). It was no good, though. I kept waking up in a cold sweat expecting to see Brummy ghosts pounding out “Blackberry Way” at the bottom of my bed and putting axes through my TV set. Was this the beginning of my final disintegration? Would my future nights be punctuated with small, dead pop groups climbing out of the wallpaper to be interviewed?


Pacing up and down amid endless cups of coffee, I decided there was only one thing for it. The only way out was to confront in the sober light of day a genuine quarter of the Move, and get him to confirm or deny the meaning of this strange vision.
I wrote the four names out on four pieces of paper and threw them to the winds. The one with `Jeff Lynne` on it fell to earth on my left toe. That settled it. Bright and early the next day, I took my left toe off to see Jeff Lynne.
Well, I`m still not sure. Jeff couldn`t tell whether he`d been having a strange hallucination as well, or whether it had all happened. He muttered something about playing “some rock`n`roll and “Sliding Down A Wall”. The Old Elmore James classic popularised by John Mayall? I asked, not having heard of it.
“Well, no. I started playing this number and I was leaning up against this wall, and I found I was gradually sliding down it.” “It, er, it sounded very good to me, although I wasn`t in a very fit state to judge…” “You were in the right state to be there then, because nobody was in a fit state to play. Great party.”
I think I`m OK, I think it really happened, at any rate, the Wood-Lynne base, upon which the original ELO was erected, is definitely set to get together for a one-off single. “We never did co-write before, but we got together the other evening and got drunk and ended up writing a bit. At least it`ll put a stop to all these silly press stories about a feud between us.”
But there was a fairly long period when the mere mention of the name of R. Wood or J. Lynne in an interview with the other would bring forth `no comments` worthy of someone about to run for President, was there not? “Yeh, I s`pose it did get a bit silly at the time but we`re better pals now than ever.” But the Brummies have come over all chummy again, and all`s well that ends up sliding down a wall.


A 100-piece ELO sounds like a winos gutter-dream too, but I`m assured that it`s happening. “It`s quite a big venture for me”, says Jeff with characteristic undersell. “Lot of blokes, but I`ve been working up to this for a long time, it`s like a whole symphony. I`ve been dying to do it for such a long time, it`s just the drag of having to write all the parts out.”
But help was at hand from the Birmingham grapevine: “I got somebody in to do it. Lou Clark who used to be with Raymond Froggatt years ago, he was his bass player, went to college and all that. It`s worked out really well, I`m pretty thrilled about it, because this is the sort of thing I always wanted for the ELO. I`ve got that depth and weight that we could never get with just two cellos and a violin.”
The new improved vaster ELO, album variety, is not going to be possible for all the live gigs, of course. But, having seen ELO on stage a few times in the past, I don`t doubt they`ll manage to make the band sound a lot bigger than it is.
The groups plans for the next few months required some regional clarification: first there`s a six-week tour of the States coming up in a couple of months, which will coincide with the new album`s release there.
But in Britain, the plan is to tour early next year, and not release the album until then, with a single coming off it as a preview to plug the gap. There`s no decision as to what the single will be yet, but you have Mr. Lynne`s word for it that “there`s no cheap, nasty rock stuff at all”, so it will be heavily orchestrated.
“Actually”, he confides, “I`d rather not put singles out at all, but in England, you have to. The record company says so.” As ELO`s four singles thus far have all been quite sizeable hits, without having startlingly huge publicity beforehand, the record company would appear to be well vindicated.


For Europe, there`s a different plan again, with a live album set to come out (not for Britain and the States) and a single of “Day Tripper” to be taken from it. Which could cause a lot of confusion and record importing between various continents, I would have thought. Still we`ll have to see.
Well, it`s a bit confusing to say the least, but as long as Jeff manages to remember what`s going on where… chances are pretty good that the next album might be the band`s first gold album: the sales have been building steadily, and the last, “On The Third Day” reaped the tour benefits, with 220,000 sales in the States, and 30,000 here.
How long did he take preparing this somewhat mammoth task? “I did it more or less in a week when I was at home, working more or less day and night. Drove me wife mad. The result of which is enough material to fill the album three times over, and a choice to three different themes, which is going to be the next problem.
But if all this sounds as if the Electric Fellows are becoming extremely serious and forsaking the silly symphony stage act of yore, it sounds wrong. “You`ve got to have the silliness on stage to balance things out with”, says Jeff emphatically.


At times, things get even sillier than he intends. “Mike Edwards got into a way of playing his cello on this bloke`s shoulders, and one day, he just sort of toppled off and landed straight on top of his cello – crack. It was right in the middle of a number, and every one just fell about laughing, because there he was with just this pile of rubble left in his hands.
“That`s the only time we actually smashed anything, but the trouble is, he`s also a phantom lead-puller. He stamps on everybody`s lead, and of course, the plug goes `Zoonk`, and shoots off somewhere behind the drums. You get something like that.
“He`s really good, and it makes it a laugh, but there was one night, he came round and pulled everybody`s lead out one by one. We were playing at the time. I think he must have been drunk or something, but he pulled all of them out, and we got backstage at the end, we said `What did you do that for?` He said `Oh, well, I fancied hearing a drum solo from Bev`.”
My, these irresponsible pop stars. What will they get up to next? Well, probably, they`ll have to go and put some vocals on. Jeff`s still got a whole collection of vocals to add to the painstakingly laid down huge orchestra, which he refers to disparagingly as `my crap vocals`. The eclectic plight of a giant mutated orchestra!


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: Tim Hardin, Joan Baez, Mike Garson, Mike Oldfield, Russ Ballard, Pink Floyd, Herbie Hancock, Queen, Wendy Waldman, Alan Stivell, Contraband.

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

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

ARTICLE ABOUT Uriah Heep FROM SOUNDS, April 13, 1974

I may interpret Mr. Mackies prelude to this article and tell you that he may not be too fond of Heeps certain kind of magic, but luckily this isn`t affecting the rest of this article too much. Yes, it is a good one from the golden days of Heep. And we get some good stories too…


Uriah`s own heep of gold…

Uriah Heep`s David Byron meets SOUNDS` Rob Mackie

You haven`t really seen a proper sulk until you`ve seen a trendy music-loving rock journalist sent off by his paper to see an un-trendy band that he doesn`t like and actually hasn`t heard for quite some time (but he`s not about to admit that of course).
The corners of the mouth droop downwards, the denim jacket fades a shade lighter, the penetrating journalistic questions dry up and shrivel while the mouth`s still in a tight set.
Just about everyone`s first Uriah Heep interview is done with a pretty surly grace. I mean, the only time I saw the Heep en personne, I was driven from the hall from sheer volume and found them virtually unreviewable. They work hard, they sweat like vaselined pigs, they`re competent on their instruments, they deserve their success in terms of entertainment and that`s it.
It`s self-explanatory. It works, and you don`t feel a desperate urge to see them afterwards and ask them the real meaning of those particularly obscure lyrics, or the philosophy behind their lifestyles.
So we troop off to do our first interview like we were going to the dentist, and we live and learn. The lads with the Dickensian nom de plume are in fact splendid company. Interviews with any combination of Heeps is no bad way to spend some time: they`re a fund of questionable jokes, extraordinary anecdotes and unusual honesty.
They all seem to enjoy their situation without taking it very seriously, and accept the lunacies of touring and being lionised – of which they seem to have had more than their share – along with the gold discs – of which ditto.
The Heep pick up gold discs the way you or I pick up bills. It`s become a habit that`s proving very hard to break.

David Byron`s definitely a registered gold album addict. “Actually, the more you get, the more you expect. It`s got to the point now where we`re on the phone saying `Has it gone gold yet?`, every week. And they might say `No, it`s got another 50,000 to go yet`, and you`re not really happy until they say it`s gone gold.” Soon, they`ll be wanting platinums for a million units.
It all means money, but then again, this is England, and you`re not allowed to have money, so the last few Heep albums have been recorded elsewhere – the last one in Paris, the next in Munich.
That`s all going to change, because Heep will quite logically have a studio of their own in the not too distant future, then have their own jet, their own film studios… The thing is you see that if you sit back watching  your bank balance getting pregnant, it all gets hived off in the direction of the Inspector of Taxes.
So what you do is spend it before somebody else does. “We need a plane actually, a little eight-seater, and then when we`re not using it we can rent it out you see. I mean we could all have a stereo system in every room and a colour TV set in the loo but what`s the point?”
The way the money does get used is to enable a band to create the sort of freedom that cuts down on the niggles of working: you get your own recording studios so that you don`t have to go through all the booking hassles, the having to be there at a certain time, and be out at a certain time.
Get your own plane and you don`t have the interminable hanging around at airports. You take off when you want to, do what you want on the plane, land at a convenient time and so on, get someone who can make your own films.


That step was taken after the band had hung around in the dressing rooms for an edition of Don Kirshner`s Rock Concert in the States, waiting on certain West Coast bands to finish tuning up and start playing, and feeling the adrenalin ebbing away. Eventually, they took the unusual step of leaving.
“I said `I`m going to be so drunk in a minute that I can`t guarantee my performance or anyone else`s and I can`t guarantee anyone else`s because nobody`s feeling too happy now, and we`re likely to not do too well. So we blew it, and I said `OK, let`s make our own films, then if someone wants a TV commercial and someone else wants a five-minute documentary, then we`ve got it, and we won`t have people saying `Stand on the spot marked `X` and all that.`”
So Heep hired Shepperton studios, hired their own audience and Tony Palmer to direct, and the half-hour section in America`s “Rock Concert” will be their own film, presented the way they want, with the sound checked out and so on… The Heep are becoming more and more a self-contained all-purpose unit, and they`re fond of doing things in style.
You can`t eradicate all the ills of touring though by shelling out some cash. A band like Heep that puts out albums with titles like “Demons And Wizards” and tours the States is going to run up against a few weirdos as sure as the Titanic isn`t going to float back to the surface.
There hasn`t been a rock `n` roll assassination yet, not actually on stage, but how would you feel if you were up there trying to lay down what we in the trade call a tight set, and you know that one of those pink, blurred faces out there has threatened to shoot the organist? Not awfully well, I suspect.
“I was just chatting to a girl before this date we had in Detroit. She said, `By the way, you`ve heard about the threat on Kenny`s life tonight?`. I said, `You`re kidding`. She told me that some chick`s husband had said he was going to come to the gig and shoot him.”

Now, while you might laugh off such talk in Cheltenham, you can pick up the local paper in Detroit and read a downpage item about the six unsolved murders the day before, and what if another longhair snuffs it? That`s life innit?
“We had police everywhere, all around the stage, but we didn`t tell Ken about it. The rest of us were on stage for 90 minutes waiting for a bang. That sort of thing, you just come off stage at the end of it and throw up.”
Then there was the time some pleasant young lady in San Francisco who had unsuccessfully tried to pull the Heep singer left a couple of notes in reception at the hotel: `Please phone home, terrible personal problems` and `Please call your lawyer re your divorce.`
Fortunately, David knew he didn`t have any personal problems at home and could laugh that one off but things like that could turn a travelling musician slightly spare.
The Heep have done their fair share of hotel molesting, and there was the time drummer Lee Kerslake dived into a pond fishing for goldfish with a penknife.
Another time time out for Mr. Kerslake came when he took rather a lot of valiums under the impression that they were asprins or something, while he was off on a fishing trip. “We literally carried him onstage in Phoenix, and he couldn`t play anything. He played, but he played through all the numbers and all the breaks exactly the same. To stop him you had to take his sticks away. We just turned all the amplifiers up, and looned about hoping no-one would notice.
“But he played the same tempo all night, and he`d be about two bars behind us. At the end of the first song he shouted to me over the P.A. `Ang on, me cymbals are fucked.` Then he got up, unscrewed all the cymbals, turned them all upside down, screwed them all back on again, sat down and shouted `OK`.”
Ah, the stories we could tell. But there isn`t space, so to make for a stunning last paragraph, allow me to reveal that the next Heep album has a track with an orchestra on it. And when you`ve adjusted to that, your lug`oles will have to get re-tuned again, for a David Byron solo album which is likely to be as Un-Heepy as Ken Hensley`s:
“Yes, I`m definitely doing one. It gives you a new lease of life.
“I`ve got about six songs now that I`ve written and they`re totally different. Some of them are rock `n` rollers and some of them are very slow. But you can experiment because you`ve got nothing to live up to, and in a way it doesn`t matter.” Still, I don`t think he`d be averse to a solo gold album, either.


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: Elton John, Sutherland Brothers & Quiver, Refugee, Mott the Hoople, Queen, Sweet, The John Peel Column, Little Feat, Sparks, Strawbs, Ducks Deluxe, Alquin,  Dr. Feelgood, Jimmy DeWar.

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

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

ARTICLE ABOUT Alice Cooper FROM SOUNDS, December 1, 1973

I love Alice Cooper a lot, having bought everything he and the band released, but I don`t feel that this album is their proudest moment. I think he would agree, and I imagine a lot of other fans would agree too. But, Mr. Mackie seemed to like it, so what do I know?


Album review:

Alice Cooper: “Muscle Of Love”
(Warner Bros. K 56018)

By Rob Mackie

“Muscle Of Love” must be Alice Cooper`s best album yet. While most of the earlier sets only really came to life as part of the bizarre stage show, and sounded hollow and monotonous without it, the new one works splendidly in its own right as a straightforward, uncomplicated rock album, which has gained a lot in melody, and lost a little in repetition. The much-publicised vocal help from Ronnie Spector, Liza Minnelli and the Pointer Sisters (Alice and co. don`t miss a PR trick) is in fact only on one track. “Teenage Lament”, which is just that, a look back at teen value. Otherwise, it`s the band pretty much on its own, but with lots of touches to add colour to the rather stark sound they used to get. True they`re not startingly original – shades of Lou Reed in Alice`s singing on “Never Been Sold Before”, some early Santana style percussion on “Hard Hearted Alice” (poking fun at the stage persona), a little Leon Russell flavour on “Crazy Little Child”, a whole mock Hollywood title theme on “Man With The Golden Gun” – but it fits together as a whole better than the Coopers have done before. Michael Bruce again shows what a good guitarist he can be in quite a variety of styles, and Alice is far less grinding in his delivery. Some of the songs are fine too, with “Hard Hearted Alice” a standout, opening at a surprisingly gentle pace before Alice switches to the Mr. Hyde character for a spat-out piece about “Mind scrambled like eggs”, and other splendid topics. There`s been a bit of a lull since that mammoth US tour, and the signs are that he has paid dividends.


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: Wings, Mott the Hoople, Roxy Music, Dave Mason, Smokey Robinson, Kiki Dee, Richie Havens, Back Door, Lance LeGault.

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

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