Roy Carr

ARTICLE ABOUT Keith Moon (THe Who) FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, January 17, 1976

I really like this interview with the legend that is Keith Moon. What Moon didn`t know at the time was that he would go on his last tour with The Who this year. There wouldn`t be much of his plans to become a movie star either.
Still considered one of the greatest drummers in rock – enjoy this great interview with a political twist.

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Is KEITH MOON The Biggest Loony in the World?

Or is DENIS HEALEY Even Dafter?

ROY CARR tells the heart-tugging tale of

The Chancellor and the Drummer Boy

When Keith Moon first left the Old Country, it wasn`t to seek a refuge from the taxman. Anyone familiar with Mr. Moon will agree that, up till quite recently, he`s never possessed sufficient funds to worry about such things.
No, the truth is that for the best part of their career the Who have been busy paying off the numerous debts that they have accumulated over the years.
Keith Moon, Esq., with the self-assurance of a man invited to address The Explorers Club after returning from a highly successful expedition into hitherto uncharted terrain, clarifies his current financial position over oxtail and red wines.
“I left Britain”, he recollects with an air of authority, “before Denis Healey came to power. Aside from the weather, I enjoy California because it suits my particular lifestyle – also it never rains. Apparently, one day it did rain, but I was asleep at the time”.
As one who likes to live out of a suitcase, Moon entertains the thought of commuting between Los Angeles and London at the slightest whim; but for the time being his residency in America will be on a much more permanent basis.
Mr. Moon and Mr. Healey have been forced to cross swords.

Moon rationalises that it`s ridiculous, just because the Who will be spending a greater part of the year touring and recording, that in order to stay in, or for that matter gain easy access to Britain, they would have to run a business as a tax loss.
He fully realises that it`s a very touchy subject, but he argues that under the present “regime”, there`s no logical incentive to re-invest any profits in Britain.
“People often misconstrue why so many entertainers, celebrities and sports stars flee the country”, he continues with all seriousness. “It`s not that one isn`t patriotic… perish the thought old chap. What so many people fail to appreciate is that in many cases a person may only ever have a single opportunity to make it”.
In the case of rock musicians, declares Moon, the lifestyle is so precarious that the vast majority are only good for a couple of albums and a couple of tours, and often a degree of success merely enables them (if they`re fortunate) to pay off their most pressing debts. He then goes on to point out that by the time an act is in any position to break even, they`re either on the verge of breaking up or have lost their box office appeal.
“And they may never again have the opportunity to re-establish themselves. Worse still, if they only make it for a year they often stand to end up being worse off financially than when they were playing around the pubs for beer money”.

It`s no secret that economical instability and increased Government taxation has drained much of the adrenalin out of the once thriving British entertainment industry. One can almost detect the regal strains of `Land Of Hope And Glory` growing louder over the clatter of crockery and cutlery as Keith Moon (his hand over his heart and his head held high) makes a plea for those about to go into exile.
Unfortunately, there`s only myself and the wine-waiter to hear him, and the wine-waiter doesn`t understand English.
Thus spake Moon: “I`m British born and educated and proud of it”. He clears his throat. The waiter shrugs his shoulders. “Yet America gets the benefits”. The waiter smiles when he hears the word “America”.
“I`m not just talking about rock stars”, continues Moon, “I`m talking about professional people. I`m talking about a lot of money… millions, millions of pounds and this Government is too bloody damn stupid to realise what they`re doing.
“They`re driving out all those people who make the money – whether it`s on a long or short-term basis. How on earth can a professional man afford to work and live in Britain? He can`t. He`s penalised because of his talent and because of his business acumen and individual enterprise.
“I`m talking from experience now. It`s just not worth making a film or an album over here, and the result is that the business suffers. Skilled people are put out of work and a potential money-making industry goes into decline.
“If you`re a best-selling recording artist and decide to make an album in this country, you can forget about ever seeing 90 percent of the profits because that goes straight to the Government.
“Believe me, anyone who becomes successful is insane to stay here. Anyone who makes sterling – convert it! Sterling isn`t worth a bloody light abroad.”

Temporarily setting aside its financial implications, Moon chooses to elaborate upon the artistic side of his burning ambition to become accepted as both a Bona Fide Movie Actor and a Television Personality.
In Britain, Moon insists, he is automatically type-cast. “I`m a rock star who only ever gets offers to play rock stars. I`ve done that in all four films I`ve been in”.
Hold on, weren`t you a Nun in 200 Motels?
“Typecasting”.
And a throughly disgusting sexual pervert in Tommy?
“Typecasting old chap, typecasting”.
The waiter registers an expression of shock as he overhears the conversation. I register the same face-quake upon being presented with the cheque.
Moon guffaws.
“As an erstwhile actor-laddie”, Moon continues, as efforts are made to reactivate my heartbeat, “I want to do much more acting. It`s the same as a brewer living in Hamburg… you`re in the thick of it, and the same goes for Hollywood”. Quickly adding, “I don`t mean brewing, I mean acting”.
What else!

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“Also, Hollywood offers much more scope in television. There`s a lot more than just plugging your latest record on either the Lulu or Cilla Black Show.
“What else can you do over here? Be one of Bob Monkhouse`s Square Celebrities and hope somebody picks your square, make a prick of yourself on the Generation Game – didn`t he do well! ! !”
You can always guest on the Des O`Connor Show!
“Precisely… and no matter what people say, Hollywood is still the Entertainment Capital of the World and, if I`m into making movies it`s the obvious place for me to live.”
Already Keith Moon has attracted the attention and in some cases the friendship of movie moguls like Sam Peckinpah, Mel Brooks and John Huston. There have been unconfirmed rumours that Peckinpah was interested in re-making the classic `Soldiers Three` yarn with Moon, Ringo and Harry Nilsson cast as the trio of British Army privates stationed in India during the Queen Victorian Raj. Likewise there is a strong possibility that a comedy script written by Moon and Graham Chapman may soon go before the cameras.
A 40 page draft has been delivered simultaneously to Peckinpah, Brooks and Huston for their candid and professional opinion.

“Basically”, explains Metro Goldwyn Moon, “Graham Chapman and myself have written what can best be described as a High Adventure movie – just how high the adventure will be remains to be seen.
“What I`ve tried to do is to combine all the truly great adventure and pantomime stories into one… Treasure Island, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Dick Whittington, The Pied Piper, Grimms – and select an all-star cast in the title roles”.
According to Moon, he`s already secured verbal agreements from such box office stars as James Caan, Elliott Gould, Peter Sellers, Oliver Reed, Peter Cook, Ringo Starr and Zsa Zsa Gabor – who, it transpires, has taken a particular personal interest in Our Lad.
“But she can forget it, I`m much too young and also much too skint to become husband number… well whatever it is. Seven!”
“As I was saying. Aside from a cameo role as Long John Silver (naturally), my role would be producer.”
One thing is certain: no matter how long before plans are finalised, Moon`s movie will not be shot in Britain.
“It will be produced in America with an American crew. I would much rather make it in Britain but the cost would be astronomical and I would have to be prepared to lose on it. “If I made the movie in Britain it would be subject to British tax on a world-wide basis; therefore I could easily end up paying a lot of money out of my own pocket for the `privilege` of making it here.” Moon argues that if one cannot make a profit by bringing money into Britain it`s no use to do so since there won`t be any margin of profit to re-invest in future projects.

“The more films that are made abroad the more the British film industry will suffer. At the moment, there`s no alternative.”
However, Moon wishes to point out that he`s not letting personal ambitions get in the way of The Who.
“Suddenly”, he says with excitement in his voice, “it`s the Who again, and to tell you the truth we didn`t really know quite how it would work or if it would work at all. But once the four of us got back together again the chemistry started fizzing.
“When Pete, Roger, John and myself were out there on stage – Bang!!! It really is something I can`t explain. Sure, I want to get into things like movies but I`m not about to sacrifice the Who because of that. It`s too much fun.
“There`s two sides to the Who”, he insists. “There`s the Pete Townshend side which is all intellectual and there`s the crazy side, the fun side – me”.
We leave the restaurant and climb into the back of Moon`s white Rolls Royce. “I`m the pop image, too many people have forgotten that rock`n`roll is fun”, he says. Then, as we pass the Law Courts, Moon jumps on me and begins tearing off my clothes in full view of the public.
Thank God he won`t be back for almost a year.

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A nice overview of musicians birthplaces.

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people:Gary Holton, Ronnie Lane, Warne Marsh, Bad Company, Kid Strange.

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.

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ARTICLE ABOUT The Who from New Musical Express, October 4, 1975

If every record review was as positive as this one, I guess we wouldn`t need record reviews. I must admit that I haven`t given this album much attention, but I am on my way to have a listen to it right now.
Enjoy the read!

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Once upon a time, Pete Townshend was young and full of hope.
That was Then.

By Roy Carr
Pic: Neal Preston

THE WHO: “The Who By Numbers” (Polydor)

“The Who By Numbers” displays all the symptoms of post-“Tommy” depression. It`s an album that vividly depicts The Who – in particular Pete Townshend – in a similar position as when they recorded “Who`s Next”. However, this time they appear to be (over) reacting to “Tommy`s” third and most “commercial” manifestation, with the result that “The Who By Numbers” is somewhat tainted with the decaying bittersweet stench of enforced showbiz success.
For most of the time, Townshend takes on all the illusory mannerisms of the artist in torment, aware that he has something to prove but afraid that he may be out of synch with himself. Therefore, against the underlying themes of frustration, isolation, cynicism, disillusionment and self-doubt, Townshend attempts to come to terms with Townshend. However, it`s not in his nature to go on the defensive, so instead he chooses to mount a nihilistic attack: he lashes out in fury and frustration at The Who, severed business associates and himself.

If I didn`t know better, I could have easily construed this LP as The Grand Gesture – Townshend`s Suicide Note. I mean, what other conclusions can be drawn from the lyric of “They Are All In Love”?
“Hey, Goodbye all you punks stay young and high, hand me my cheque book and I’ll crawl off and die / Like a woman in childbirth grown ugly in a flash, I’ve seen magic and fame now I’m recycling trash”.
Throughout, “The Who By Numbers” appears to place much more emphasis on the lyrics than melody to the extent that one immediately realises the overall ambience of the album is somewhat muted. It`s almost as if Townshend doesn`t want to detract from the vitriolic statements he`s making by enveloping the material in archetypal Who pyrotechnics. Sure, there are occasions when The Who resort to these familiar shock tactics but these are kept to a minimum.
It`s for this reason that on just one listening some people might jump to the wrong conclusions about the merits of this album – a problem encountered by Neil Young`s “Tonight`s The Night” – a brilliant rock verite album with which “The Who By Numbers” has an affinity.

With sparse yet extremely careful, clean and subtle production (by Glyn Johns), there is an overall “live” quality to the performances with the basic line-up augmented by a predominant scrubbed acoustic guitar, occasional brass figures and relevant pianistics from Nicky Hopkins.
Yet in appreciating the motives behind the lyrical stance adopted throughout this album, I feel that one needs to be conversant with the lengthy interview we conducted with Townshend (NME May 24). During the interview, Townshend intimated that perhaps both he and The Who had experienced some kind of creative menopause. He pointed out: “The group as a whole have got to realise that The Who are not the same group as they used to be”.
A few weeks later, Roger Daltrey replied to Townshend`s accusations in no uncertain manner (NME August 9). Such was the hostile attitude prevalent in both interviews that everyone expected The Who to break up there and then. They didn`t. But nonetheless, “The Who By Numbers” reveals many of the traumas that were being enacted in The Who camp.
Success often plays strange tricks on one`s psyche and we find Townshend attempting to exorcise his in the only way he knows how – through The Who.

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Though the staccato powerhouse chording and rumbling drums on “Dreaming From The Waist” are reminiscent of the tension that prevailed throughout “Quadrophenia”, it`s a saga of Pete`s quest for lost youth. He admits that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak almost to the point of impotence.
Such is his dilemma that Townshend often communicates with the voice of a young man feeling that he`s grown prematurely old. This may just be a temporary fixation but one cannot avoid the overwhelming aura of finality about the way in which he observes himself in “However Much I Booze”.
“I see myself on tv, I’m a faker, a paper clown / It’s clear to all my friends that I habitually lie, I just bring them down”.
Utilising his familiar anthem approach Townshend castigates past associates with the venomous anti-music business “How Many Friends” – a subject which John Entwistle sardonically explores over a brute force riff on “Success Story”.
However, there are moments when the apocalyptic vision is temporarily set aside. With an almost skiffle-type treatment “Squeeze Box” is a spot of sheer rudery, while “Blue Red And Grey” is pure whimsy as Pete plunks a mandolin with just a suggestion of brass hovering in the background.

The Revolutionary salsa-inspired “Slip Kid” which opens up the proceedings has all the earmarks of another “Magic Bus” and restates the “My Generation” thesis, while the closer “In A Hand Or A Face” reverts to archetypal Whoism and deals with rock `n` roll paranoia set against a veritable barrage of the band`s collective might.
It`s common knowledge that The Who`s greatest musical achievements have been born out of sheer frustration and “The Who By Numbers” is no exception, revealing as it does the kind of sagacity that Lennon attained by publicly casting out his demons via his “Working Class Hero” album.
Thematically, “The Who By Numbers” is a transistory album in that with vehement honesty it brings to a close the first decade of The Who; clearing both the decks and the air for the immediate future.
Despite all its inherent characteristics of a downer trip, I refuse to believe that in any way this is The End. The remarkable way in which Townshend, Daltrey, Entwistle and Moon perform their respective roles throughout this album isn`t indicative of a band suffering from a terminal malady. It`s more a maturing – a girding of the loins.
The Who have always been fraught with problems and the paradox is that it`s this element of anguish that persistently motivates them as such a highly intense and vital creative force.
Earlier this year, The Who threatened to deliver a straight-forward rock album. They kept their word. Though it may take some time for certain factions to arrive at this conclusion. “The Who By Numbers” is an affirmation of four great, if somewhat idiosyncratic personalities.
In short, this album is brilliant.

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Johnny Cash, All Platinum Records, Victor Jara, Andrew Cyrille, Peter Haycock (Climax), Jim Morrison, The Doors, Joan Baez, Poco.

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 Bad Company from New Musical Express, June 21, 1975

I really like this article. A great read, even if you`re not a fan of the band. So enjoy…

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Members of Bad Company…

What`s your favourite hobby?
Who`s your favourite philosopher?
How do you like it so far?

Story: Roy Carr

New York is a city of excess. It`s a metropolis where everyone goes over the top almost every night of the week, yet still manages to surface the next morning fit and well and primed to repeat the exercise at the drop of an expense account.
It is a city that occasionally nods out but never sleeps. And despite the fact that it`s currently on the verge of bankruptcy, no one is deterred from having the time of their lives. On the contrary, they`re encouraged. However, what constitutes a Good Time is open to wild conjecture.
For where else but in New York (New York) can you jam with Johnny Winter before dinner, shanghai Gary Glitter away from hosting his own cocktail party, watch pyromaniacs taking polaroids of one another while firemen fight towering infernos in the background, check-out a sniper in Brooklyn, keep at the bar at Ashley`s – The Big Apple`s favourite oasis – open until breakfast and be invited to kiss both bride and bridegroom at a reception being held by the cigarette machine!
In keeping with tradition, the bride wore white and the groom chose black. The fact that the groom was not only female but prettier than her bride was quite irrelevant. They were married and they wanted the whole world – or at least anybody buying cigarettes – to know.

Originally, the newly-weds had intended to marry later in the month and spend their honeymoon at all six Rolling Stones shows scheduled for Madison Square Garden. But, love being what it is and Bad Company fan fervour at a premium, the happy couple had first promised to love, honour and obey before dashing off to clasp the four Swan Songsters to their collective bosom(s) at the Garden that very evening.
So please zip back to 4.15 that same day. The temperature outside Madison Square Garden has reached the arm-pit humidity of 89 degrees (and still rising), the street stinks of stale cheeseburgers and the rain feels like luke-warm tea as it splashes against the greasy skin of those hapless types trying to locate a spare ticket.
Inside the cool, cavernous auditorium, last minute preparations are being made for the evening soiree.
“How`s it look?” enquiries a pensive Paul Rodgers, as he straps on his guitar and proceeds to slash out the riff of “Can`t Get enough” – the object of his undivided attention being a bandaged left hand.
“Django Reinhardt managed alright,” mumbles Boz Burrell as he cradles his bass guitar and gives Rodgers an evil grin. Bad Company are running through a soundcheck hours before achieving the unprecedented distinction of being the only other rock act ever to top the bill at New York`s 20,000 seater Madison Square Garden halfway through a second American tour in summer.

The band plays on, undeterred by this vast responsibility.
They don`t award the Purple Heart to rock musicians injured in the line of duty. If they did, Paul Rodgers would have a chestful. Seemingly, every time he hits the road, the road hits back with a vengeance.
On the last tour, an unfortunate altercation with a plate glass door transformed Rodgers` swagger into a painful limp. This time round, a door of much stronger material fractured a couple of bones in his left hand when the band breezed into Chicago, a few days ago.
“I`ll kill that bloody doctor,” snarls Rodgers as the large plaster begins to peel away, like cheap wallpaper, from his damaged flipper.
As Showco`s posse of Texas cowboys scurry around the empty arena making last minute adjustments to the tons of electronic hardware, Rodgers` handicap is made worse when his amp begins to crackle violently.
“`Ere, what`s that hum?” asks Simon Kirke.
“Special effects,” Rodgers replies sarcastically. “It costs a bloody fortune to get the equipment to do that.”
“Fancy,” mutters Mick Ralphs.

Suddenly, Rodgers` amp utters a static bark of defiance. The singer scowls. A roadie looks towards heaven and mumbles “Sheeut!” The amp is instantly replaced.
Bad Company thunder through a version of the song of the same name with all the vitality and dynamics usually reserved for a live rendition, lay down their arms and split. It may be just a soundcheck but everytime these brigands pick up their weapons they mean business.
“We know our assets,” Simon Kirke reveals later as the limo navigates the rush hour traffic. “And, more important, we know our limitations and so we never step beyond them. Only in that way can we stay on top of what we`re doing.” But of course.
Having followed Bad Company`s progress with much more than a passing interest, I`ve become aware that, following first night nerves, this little band flexes a lot of muscle. On their own turf, there are few bands (if any) who can give them a hard time.
But it`s easy to comprehend why Bad Company have cracked America on their first attempt. Despite the fact that they have the best management and about the best record distribution around, they are one of the few road bands with the ability to deliver.

And though I`m favourably disposed towards the band`s recorded output. I have to admit that they`re even better – much better – on stage.
Mick Ralphs agrees wholeheartedly with my sentiments. “We are essentially a live band,” he concedes. “If people like our records then they`re not going to be disappointed when they come along to our gigs. A lot of bands can`t deliver before an audience. We can. It doesn`t matter what goes on behind the scenes or whether your latest record is on the charts, when we walk out onto a stage, it`s all down to us. If we blow it, then we`ve only got ourselves to blame and nobody else.”
As to his own contribution to the band, Ralphs states his position. “I`m often accused of not playing enough and just because of the nature of our line-up criticised for not getting involved in that guitar hero syndrome. But I personally feel that what I contribute is sufficient within the context on this particular band.
“We`re not into that whole flash virtuoso trip. That`s not what Bad Company is all about. Basically, we`re a funky song band. Take the Stones. They`re all good musicians but they don`t have great soloists who play one solo for hours on end. They don`t need it.
“And neither do we.”

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Having once worked in what he describes as being “less than a democratic musical environment”. Ralphs echoes the sentiments of his colleagues by insisting that one of the prime factors that has motivated the Company`s acceptance is that there`s absolutely no conflict of musical persuasions within their chosen format.
“We`re all pulling as hard as we possibly can in the same direction to make the best of our good fortune.”
Anyway, it`s been said that nothing succeeds like success. By the same token, success when it has been as instant as that bestowed upon Bad Company has been known to destroy equally as quickly. To their credit, Ralphs, Rodgers, Box and Kirke have been in the game long enough to appreciate when they`ve got a Good Thing Going.
As a founder member of Mott The Hoople, Mick Ralphs is acutely aware that, having spent years striving for the Big  Break, it`s so easy for a band to fall apart at the seams at a vital moment. “You only get one real chance to prove yourself and say your piece.”
He wasn`t afforded that luxury within Hoopleville. “If you don`t use that opportunity wisely and to your own advantage, then not only are you screwing up your own life but maybe the lives of others who depend on you to fulfil your obligations.

“Though it`s not always possible, a band can`t really afford to become blase, complacent and treat everything like a big laugh. Sure, you should enjoy every minute of it – but on the other hand, you should take it seriously,” he adds. “But not to the extent that you don`t enjoy it.
“People often think that all the looning on the road is superficial and a complete waste of time. It`s not. It helps you to relax and unwind. If you don`t, then the gigs will suffer.
“Being a relatively new band we`ve still got a lot to explore, but in this game you can never tell what tomorrow may bring. Once you`ve been fortunate to make a reputation for yourself, there`s a lot that you`ve got to live up to – especially as this band went to No. 1 with both first album and single. That`s all very well and good but when we troop out on stage tonight at Madison Square Garden…if we play a bum gig we can never go back there again.”
It`s Ralphs` candid opinion that not too many bands fully realise the importance of headlining a tour on the strength of chart recognition. “Though it`s only one gig, a show at the Garden not only consolidates the dozen or so gigs you`ve already done but it can dictate the success of the remainder of the tour. If you bomb out in New York or L.A. then you can forget it. You might as well pack up and go home – barring a miracle, it`s all over.”

Boz Burrell is the antithesis bass player. Once the wine begins to flow, he may come across as an old roue, but when it comes down to business Boz knows Where he would like to be At. “Things may have happened very quickly for all four of us,” he begins, “but we know how to handle the pressures. Not only have we chosen to keep a low profile, we`ve also built up an anti-reaction which personally I find to be extremely healthy in that it enables all of us to get off on each other.”
He blows the suds out of his nose and explains Bad Company`s street -corner philosophy. “When it boils down to it, Bad Company is just a raunchy little club band that knows how to adapt themselves to performing in large venues.
“Sure, you always question yourself as to whether or not you`re doing the right thing, but the reason why we all got together in the very first place was simply because we all wanted to be in the same band and we`re making sure that we enjoy it.
“With some bands just being there suffices. Now this is one thing that I`ve got against the Rolling Stones – in that just being up there on stage is enough. Well it ain`t. With Bad Company, we`ve got to try and play as best as we can every night and try and improve as we go along.”

Boz points out that he`s encountered many bands who go through life totally oblivious to audience reactions. If a gig is a bummer they automatically blame it on the crowd – when in fact the audience may have been more together than the band. He`s also aware of the responsibilities any band has towards its fans. “I don`t enjoy going to most rock shows,” he admits. “I`ve been to a couple of Mott gigs and I`ve also watched Black Sabbath perform once or twice. And, in both instances I haven`t liked the way in which they handled the crowd.
“Both have gone well over the top, whipped the kids up into a violent frenzy and then have been unable to control their mood. I mean, who wants to be bombarded with bottles? We don`t. This is something that Bad Company steer well away from. Sure, we may wind the audience up and get them excited but we don`t make them turn nasty. We underplay that particular aspect and when things get too tight we just mellow them out.
“The reason why we can do this whenever we want to is all down to Simon`s brand of timekeeping. I just love playing with Rodgers and Ralphs, but playing alongside of Si is the ultimate. I love that man. He`s like all of us, he doesn`t know shit about anything. He just plays good…he can`t help it.”

Simon Kirke wasn`t available for comment at this time. However, earlier in the day he did state that playing drums for Bad Company wasn`t the worst job that he`d ever had.

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Can, Phil Spector, Elton John, Greenslade, Beach Boys, Elvin Jones, Alan Stivell, Uriah Heep, Jackie Wilson, Fairport Convention.

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 Who FROM New Musical Express, May 24, 1975

A relatively long, but very interesting interview with Mr. Townshend. I recommend other people than the regular fans to take a look at this one as there is a lot of food for thought here, taking in consideration the fact that this interview is 40 years old today. Some very definitive truths here, but also some opinions that may seem a little odd in the light of later history. Have a good read!

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It was the long, hot summer of 1965 when he rode into town, mounted astride a snarling, virile 500 c.c. nose and wearing nothing but a cellophane loincloth.

There were sullen lines in his face and no-one – not even the tough boys, the ones who hung out in the dappled sunlight and picked off their crabs with switchblades – was willing to look him full in the eye when he got mean.

His name was Idaho Sid Smedley, and would you believe there`s not one mention of him in the following article, which is mainly about…

PETE TOWNSHEND

By ROY CARR

Pete Townshend didn`t die before he got old. Yet death isn`t his problem, it`s the passing of the years and his current position in what he feels is a younger man`s occupation.
“If you`re in a group,” he begins, “you can behave like a kid – and not only get away with it, but be encouraged.”
The name Keith Moon somehow springs to mind.
“If you`re a rock musician,” Townshend continues, “you don`t have to put on any airs and pretend to be all grown up…pretend to be – in inverted commas – `normal` or even be asked to behave like you`re a mature and a highly responsible person. These are just the trappings that society puts on most people – with the result that most kids are burdened down with responsibilities far too early in their life.
“You know the deal: as soon as you leave school you`ve got to find a secure job and hang onto it. I wrote `My Generation` when I was 22 or 23, yet that song breathes of 17-year-old adolescence.
“But then I did have a somewhat late adolescence.”

So what are you trying to tell us?
“Personally, I feel that the funniest thing – and also the saddest thing -about the current state of rock`n`roll is that it`s the pretenders that are suffering the most. Those people who, for a number of years, have been pretending to be rock stars and have adopted false poses.
“It`s the difference between someone who has made rock an integral part of their lifestyle and therefore doesn`t feel like they`re growing old.”
“You want to know something?
“I really hate feeling too old to be doing what I`m doing.
“I recently went to do a BBC TV interview and when I arrived at the studios there were all these young kids waiting outside for The Bay City Rollers. As I passed them by, one of the kids recognised me and said, `Ooo look, it`s Pete Townshend` and a couple of them chirped `Ello Pete`. And that was it.
“Yet the first time The Who appeared at those same studios on Top Of The Pops, a gang of little girls smashed in the plate glass front door on the building.

“Anyway, as I entered the building, the doorman turned to me and smirked. `Ere, what`s it feel like to walk past `em now and have nothin` happen, eh?`
“I told him that, to be quite honest, it brings a tear to my eye. Look, I don`t want them to mob me because The Who have never been a Rollers-type band, what I`m scared of is hypocrisy.”
Hypocrisy? In what way?
“Well, nowadays it`s considered very passe to admit that you`ve got a burning ambition to stand on stage and be screamed at by 15-year-old girls. But when we started out that was something to be very proud of. If it didn`t happen, there was something wrong with you.
“Though I haven`t all that much experience as to what is happening contemporarily in music, I do feel that `the-world-owes-me-a-living` attitude still prevails, not only in rock, but in every walk of life. So now everyone`s gotta look like they really mean business and every bloody singer I see on The Old Grey Whistle Test looks a-n-g-r-y.” He breaks off the conversation to pull relevant grimaces. “When I see this I go into hysterical fits of laughter.
“Sure, I know that I look angry when I play but usually there`s no reason for it. I suppose it`s an adopted aggressive thing, which is in turn a subconscious layover from those days when I WAS angry. I don`t quite know what I was angry at, but I WAS angry, frustrated, bitter, cynical – and it came through in the music I wrote.”

C`mon Pete, you`re either evading the moment of truth or approaching it in a very roundabout manner. What`s brought on this manic obsession about being too pooped to pop, too old to stroll?
“It`s just that when I`m standing up there on stage playing rock`n`roll, I often feel that I`m too old for it.”
No kidding.
“When Roger speaks out about `we`ll all be rockin` in our wheelchairs` he might be but you won`t catch me rockin` in no wheelchair. I don`t think it`s possible. I might be making music in a wheelchair – maybe even with The Who, but I feel that The Who have got to realise that the things we`re gonna be writing and singing about are rapidly changing.
“There`s one very important thing that`s got to be settled.” He pauses again. “The group as a whole have got to realise that The Who are NOT the same group as they used to be. They never ever will be and as such…it`s very easy to knock somebody by saying someone used to be a great runner and can still run but he`s Not What He Used To Be.” Townshend pauses yet again. “Everybody has a hump and you have to admit that you`ve got to go over that hump.”
Yes we have…no we haven`t – Townshend won`t commit himself either way as to whether The Who are over the hill, but he intimates in no uncertain manner that the group are beset with acute problems.

“You`ve got to remember that there was a time when suddenly Chuck Berry couldn`t write any more. He just went out and performed his greatest hits and I`ve always wondered what THAT was all down to?
“Jagger told me at his birthday party that he was having difficulty in writing new material for The Stones, which is unfortunate because nowadays so much importance is placed upon writing songs.
“To a degree, you could call it front-man paranoia – and even Roger gets it from time to time. Let`s face it, Jagger carries a tremendous amount of responsibility apart from being The Stones front-man.
“Forget about that tired old myth that rock`n`roll is just making records, pullin` birds, gettin` pissed and having a good time. That`s not what it`s all about. And I don`t think Roger really believes it either. I think that`s what he`d really like to believe rock`n`roll was all about.
“Steve Marriott has chosen to live it like that and, as far as I can see, he`s having a good time. Fair enough – but in my opinion Marriott`s music falls short of his potential, which is a bloody shame because everyone knows what he`s really capable of…there`s all those old incredible Small Faces records piled up.
“For me, `Ogden`s Nut Gone Flake` is one of the classic albums of the sixties and, if it`s the difference between that music and having a good time, I prefer that Steve Marriott suffer, because I want the music.

“Believe me, I don`t want to sound too cruel and vitriolic, but I do think that you have to face up to the undeniable fact that there`s no point in your life when you can stop working.
“You can`t suddenly turn round and say, we`re on the crest of a wave so now it`s time to sit back and boogie. Deep down inside, everyone wants to do this but it`s tantamount to retiring altogether. And personally, I can`t do it.
“It`s not necessarily to do with standards,” Townshend continues, before I have time to fire another question. “The Who`s `Odds & Sods` collection would have been released even if it hadn`t been all that interesting, but it`s all been put down in the past for being sub-standard.”
Apparently the reason for its release was to make null and void the increasing amount of Who bootlegs currently being circulated, and once a second volume has been prepared and issued, there will be no need to backtrack. “If,” says Townshend, “The Who were gonna wave their banner for standards, `Odds & Sods` would still have remained unreleased. Standards have got absolutely nothing to do with it. I feel that it`s the pressure at the front of your mind that…not necessarily your fans…but then, maybe your fans really are the most important people…are actually sitting twiddling their thumbs waiting for your next album.
“Every time they wait, they become more and more impatient. What Jagger said in that interview that he did with NME is that between the albums they are eagerly waiting for, he`d like to chuck out an R&B set to keep `em happy. Fair enough, if he thinks it`ll make any difference – but of course it won`t.

“It`s just like making a `live` album. The fans will say `Thank you very much`, but what we`re really waiting for is the next studio album, so get on with it.”
PHEWHATASCORCHA!
New subject: Townshend was once quoted as stating that the eventual outcome of any Who recording depended entirely upon whether or not he could keep Moon away from the brandy and himself from imbibing whatever it took him to get through a session.
“At the moment, what governs the speed of The Who is the diversification of individual interests. We would have been recording the new album much earlier were it not for the fact that Roger is making another film with Ken Russell.
“Roger chose to make the film and John wanted to tour with his own band The Ox, so I`ve been working on tracks for my next solo album. Invariably what will happen is that once we all get into the studio, I`ll think `Oh fuck it`, and I`ll play Roger, John and Keith the tracks I`ve been keeping for my own album and they`ll pick the best. So as long as The Who exists, I`ll never get the pick of my own material…and that`s what I dream of.
“But if The Who ever broke up because the material was sub-standard then I`d really kick myself.”
But the way you`re going on, Peter, old Meter, it sounds like The Who is on it`s last legs?
“However much of a bastard it is to get everyone together in a recording studio, things eventually turn out right. You see, though it has never been important in the past, we do have this problem that everyone has been engaged on their own project, so that the separate social existence that we lead has become even more acute.

“I mean, if I just couldn`t live without Moonie and if I could go over to the States and spend a couple of months with him we`d probably be a lot closer. But as it happens, I haven`t seen Keith since last August. I may have seen a lot more of John but as yet I haven`t seen his new group or listened properly to his album because, apart from working on `Tommy`, I`ve been putting together new material.
“And the same thing applies to Roger: as soon as someone decides to do something outside of the area of The Who the pressure suddenly ceases, because they are the people who put the pressures on me.
“Let me make this clear. I don`t put pressures on them. I don`t say `we`ve got to get into the studio this very minute because I`ve got these songs that I`ve just gotta get off my chest.` It`s always the other way around. They always rush up to me and insist that we`ve got to cut a new album and get back on the road.”
So it`s quite obvious that the pressures are back on and Townshend is feeling the strain.
“In a sense, rock is an athletic process. I don`t mean running about on stage, but as a communicative process it`s completely exhausting. It`s not necessarily being a part of things,” insists Townshend.
“Like I said, when I wrote “My Generation` I was already in my early twenties, so I was by no means a frustrated teenager. And that`s what a lot of people often tend to forget.”

But you were an integral part of that generation?
“Right,” he retorts, “but we`re also part of the Generation that we play to on stage today.
“Let me clarify that statement.”
Yes!
“What I don`t feel part of is not the Generation of age, but the Generation of type. I mean, who the hell were all those people at the `Tommy` premier? Whoever they were, I`m certainly not in their gang!
“Yet funnily enough, whatever the age group, I feel much more at ease before a rock audience.”
So why this current fixation about being to old to cut le Moutard?
“Because to some extent The Who have become a golden oldies band and that`s the bloody problem. And it`s the problem that faces all successful rock groups at one time or another – the process of growing old.
“A group like The Kinks don`t have that problem because, theoretically, Ray Davies has always been an old man. He writes like an old man who is forever looking back on his life and, thank heavens, old Ray won`t have to contend with such problems. But with a group like The Rolling Stones, there`s this terrible danger…now I could be wrong…but there`s no question in my mind that it`s bound to happen…Mick Jagger will eventually become the Chuck Berry of the sixties, constantly parodying himself on stage. And, this is the inherent danger that The Who are so desperately trying to avoid.

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“I can tell you that when we were gigging in this country at the early part of last year I was thoroughly depressed. I honestly felt that The Who were going on stage every night and, for the sake of the die-hard fans, copying what The Who used to be.
“Believe me, there have been times in The Who`s career when I would have gladly relinquished the responsibilities of coming up with our next single or album to another writer. There`ve been a lot of people who said they would have a go but somehow it never quite worked out.”
Why?
“Like a lot of things connected with The Who, I really dunno. Maybe it`s because we`ve got such an archetypal style that`s geared to the way that I write.”
But by his own admission, Pete Townshend has always considered his forte to be writing. The fact that he also happens to be a guitarist is, in his opinion, quite irrelevant. Yet even now, Townshend is astounded when other guitarists compliment him upon his instrumental prowess. He isn`t bowing to false modesty when he insists that, after all these years, he still can`t play guitar as he would really like to.
In his formative years with The Who, he compensated for his acute frustrations by concentrating his energies on the visual aspects of attacking the instrument. Every time he went on stage, Townshend insists he bluffed his way through a set by utilising noise and sound effects which eventually led to the destruction of many a valuable weapon.

“It`s still true even today,” he confesses without embarrassment. “I may be a better guitarist now than I was when The Who first started but I`m far from being as technically proficient as I would really like to be.
“What I like about the way that I play,” he explains, “is what I think everyone else likes. I get a particular sound that nobody else quite gets and I play rhythm like nobody else plays – it`s a very cutting rhythm style. Sorta Captain Power-chords!
“I do like to have a bash every now and then at a wailing guitar solo but halfway through I usually fall off the end of the fretboard. I might have a go, but I`ve resigned myself to the fact that I haven`t got what it takes to be a guitar hero.
“Yet funnily enough I don`t really respect that kind of guitar playing. I`ve got no great shakes for Jeff Beck or Jimmy Page. Sure, I love what they do, but it always seems to me that they`re like the Yehudi Menuhins of the rock business. They`re extremely good at what they do, but I`m sure they`d give their right arm to be writers – though not necessarily in my shoes.
“I don`t really feel the showmanship side of my contribution to The Who`s stage show is fundamentally a part of my personality. It`s something that automatically happens.
“Basically, it stems from the very early days when we had to learn to sell ourselves to the public – otherwise nobody would have taken a blind bit of notice of us; and, like many things, it`s been carried on through up until today. Yet I have no doubt that, if we wanted to, we could walk on any stage and stand there without doing all those visual things and still go down well with an audience.”

So why this depressing down-in-the-mouth attitude. Could it stem, I ask Townshend, from the fact that a critic once bemoaned that, in his opinion, The Who, once the true essence of rock`n`roll, now just go through the motions.
“Well, that statement was true – but on the other hand if it`s unqualified then it might as well be ditched. But you`ve put the question to me and now I`ve got to try and qualify that other journalist`s statement.
“To me, the success of any truly great rock song is related to the fact that people who couldn`t really communicate in normal ways can quite easily communicate through the mutual enjoyment of rock music. And that was simply because, for them, it was infinitely more charismatic than anything else around at that time.
“For example, you`re aware that there`s this great wall around adolescence and that they can`t talk freely about their problems because it`s far too embarrassing. Personally, I feel that adolescence lasts much longer than most people realise. What happens is, that people find ways of getting round it and putting on a better show in public. And as they get older they become more confident and find their niche.
“Now why I think that journalist said The Who now only play rock`n`roll is because on most levels rock has become a spectator sport. It`s not so important as a method of expression as it once was. Today something else could quite easily replace it.”

Townshend goes on to concede that rock doesn`t hold as much genuine mystique as it did with previous generations to the extent that the stigma of the social outlaw has almost been eradicated. Those who have tried to become outlaws have failed miserably, hence the last-ditch shock tactics of Alice Cooper and David Bowie.
“For many kids, rock`n`roll means absolutely nothing.” He compares it to switching on a television set, going to the movies or a football match. It`s just another form of entertainment.
“If what the kids do listen to consists entirely of The Bay City Rollers and the Top 10 then it must mean even less than most other similar forms of mass media entertainment because they`re not really listening.
“The real truth as I see it is that rock music as it was is not really contemporary to these times. It`s really the music of yesteryear. The only things that continue to keep abreast of the times are those songs that stand out due to their simplicity”.
An example?
“`My Generation`. A lot of people don`t understand that there`s a big difference between what kids want on stage in relationship to what they actually go out and buy on record.
“Perhaps the reason why so many young kids can still get into The Who in concert is simply because it`s a very zesty, athletic performance. However, if we just restricted our gigs to performing songs we`d just written yesterday and ignored all the old material then I`m positive that we`d really narrow down our audience tremendously.

“I dunno what`s happening sometimes,” he bemoans. “All I know is that when we last played Madison Square Garden I felt acute shades of nostalgia. All The Who freaks had crowded around the front of the stage and when I gazed out into the audience all I could see were those very same sad faces that I`d seen at every New York Who gig. There was about a thousand of `em and they turned up for every bloody show at the Garden, as if it were some Big Event – The Who triumph over New York. It was like some bi-centennial celebration and they were there to share in the glory of it all.
“They hadn`t come to watch The Who, but to let everyone know that they were the original Who fans. They had followed us from the very beginning of `cause it was their night.
“It was dreadful”, Townshend recollects in disgust. “They were telling us what to play. Every time I tried to make an announcement they all yelled out `Shhhrrruppp Townshend and let Entwistle play `Boris The Spider”, and, if that wasn`t bad enough, during the other songs they`d all start chanting `jump…jump…jump…jump…jump`.
“I was so brought down by it all! I mean, is this what it had all degenerated into?
“To be honest, the highest I`ve been on stage last year was when we used to play `Drowned`. That was only because there was some nice guitar work in it… Roger liked singing it and both John and Keith played together so superbly. Really, that was the only time I felt that I could take off and fly.”

Pete Townshend may well have some cause to feel sorry for himself; when the final reckoning comes he`s got a lot to answer for – in particular, the Curse Of The Concept Album.
Though concept albums are by no means new to popular music – Gordon Jenkins and Mel Torme were churning `em out almost a quarter of a century ago – it was “Tommy” (as opposed to “Sgt. Pepper”) which unleashed a deluge of albums built around one specific theme. These ranged from The Fudge`s horrendous “The Beat Goes On” through to J. Tull`s obscure “Passion Play” up to and including Rick Wakeman`s Disneyesque “King Arthur”.
“None of which,” says Townshend, as he bursts into laughter, “work”
Yet as we all know, Townshend himself has had no less than three stabs at the same subject. So how does he view the trilogy in retrospect?
“I don`t. And if you`re going to ask me which one I prefer, I don`t really like any of them very much. I suppose I still like bits of The Who`s original version but, the definitive `Tommy` album is still in my head.”
Perhaps it would be wise to quit this line of questioning and leave Tommy where he is. But Townshend wants the last word.
“I think that everyone in rock shares the same basic urges, and therefore, that it would be very unfair to me to say it`s alright for The `Oo `cause we invented it. I have great doubts about that.

“For instance, when the Big Feedback Controversy was going on in the mid-sixties, Dave Davies and I used to have hilarious arguments about who was the first to invent feedback.
“I used to pull Dave`s leg by saying `we both supported The Beatles in Blackpool and you weren`t doing it then….I bet you nicked it off me when you saw me doing it`. And Dave would scream that he was doing it long before that. Then one day I read this incredible story about Jeff Beck in which he said” – at this juncture, he adopts a retarded Pythonesque android accent – “`Yeah, Townshend came down t`see d`Tridents rehearsing and he saw me using the feedback`…pause…`and copied it`.” Returning to his natural voice, Townshend scowls, “I never ever saw the Tridents and the man is pathetic.
“Obviously, Beck may feel deeply enough that he invented feedback – but for Chrissakes who gives a shit? Why even comment on it? It doesn`t really matter, it`s just a funny noise made by a guitar.”
Townshend goes on to explain that the innovatory part of rock is not necessarily the part that he`s proud of, even though he`s regarded as The Who`s ideas man. “I was trained in graphic design…to be an ideas man…to think up something new and different…like, let`s give a lemon away with the next album!”
Thank you.
“In the early days of The Who we were tagged with gimmicks and subsequently it made me very gimmick-conscious.
“Now if I might return to `Tommy` for a moment…”
But only for a moment.

“…What I think is good about `Tommy` is not that it`s a rock opera or that it`s the first or the last…that`s of course, if you assume that there`s gonna be any more!!”
Don`t worry, there will be. Have a copy of Camel`s “Snow Goose”.
“What I feel is very important about `Tommy` that as a band it was our first conscious departure out of the adolescent area. It was our first attempt at something that wasn`t the same old pilled-up adolescent brand of music. We`d finished with that and we didn`t know which way to go. That`s when we went through that very funny period of `Happy Jack` and `Dogs`.
“It was also a very terrifying period for me as The Who`s only ideas man. For instance, though `I Can See For Miles` was released after `Happy Jack`, I`d written it in 1966 but had kept it in the can for ages because it was going to be The Who`s ace-in-the-hole.
“If you want the truth…”
And nothin` but…
“I really got lost after `Happy Jack` and then when `I Can See For Miles` bombed-out in Britain, I thought `What the hell am I gonna do now?` The pressures were really on me and I had to come up with something very quick and that`s how `Tommy` emerged from a few rough ideas I`d been messing about with.”

And whereas The Beatles had cried that it was impossible to perform “Pepper” in public, the fact that The Who demonstrated that “Tommy” was an ideal stage presentation quickly motivated other bans to mobilise their might for the New Aquarian Age.
With more sophisticated electronic weaponry than they knew how to utilise, the likes of Floyd, Yes, and ELP adopted a more “profound” stance as, in a blaze of strobes, they began to bombard audiences with techno -flash wizardry, pseudo-mystical jargon and interchangeable concepts.
Townshend may have had a helping hand in starting the whole schmear rolling (it sure didn`t rock), but he is adamant in his belief than many alleged “profound” music machines are working a clever con-trick on the public.
“All that they`re really doing is getting together and working out the most complex ideas they can handle, packaging it with pretentious marketing appeal and unloading it on their fans.
“But” – and here comes the get-out clause – “does everything have to hold water? Obviously, it must mean something to the integrity of the band that`s putting it together, but it`s results that count.”
Well the result, as Townshend puts it, has turned many a rock theatre into a dormitory.
“It might be difficult to fall asleep at a Who gig but, I can understand why some bands send their audiences into a coma.
“I don`t like Yes at all.
“I used to like them when Peter Banks was in the line-up, because, apart from being extremely visual, he also played excellent guitar. With so many changes in the line-up, Yes is Jon Anderson`s band and he might be guilty of much of that wishy-washy stuff they churn out – because Jon really is a tremendous romantic. Maybe he believes in the old mystical work, and maybe poetry moves him along – but I`m not concerned either way.”
Just wait until the letters come pouring in.

“It`s like that line in `Punk and The Godfather`…`you paid me to do the dancing.` The kids pay us for a good time, yet nowadays people don`t really want to get involved. Audiences are very much like the kids in Tommy`s Holiday Camp, they want something without working for it.
“That wasn`t the way it used to be.
“The enthusiasm that evolved around The Beatles was enthusiasm as opposed to energy generated by The Beatles.
“You talk to them now about it and they don`t know what happened! It was the kids` enthusiasm for THEM. Now when you see it happening again you can see how utterly strange it must have seemed the first time around.
“For instance, take the amount of energy and enthusiasm that`s currently expended on, say, Gary Glitter… and Gary`s just as confused as everyone else. All he knows is which curler to put on which side of his head – Gary readily admits this, and is all the better for it.
“Get in the middle of a crowd of screamin` kids – it doesn`t matter who they`re screamin` at – and there`s a certain amount of charisma transferred to these people. But then, that`s what fan-mania is really all about.
“When the real charismatic figures like Mick Jagger came along, then I think that rock started to change and THEN the kids began to create their own trends in fashion. The Mods not only used to design their own clothes but sometimes actually to make them; and the fact that they did hum-drum jobs to get money to buy clothes, scooters, records and go to clubs built up this elite. Therefore it wasn`t too long before the artists let that rub off onto them and in that sense, I think The Who were as guilty as anybody else.
“And I`ll tell you why.

“Because in the end we wanted the audiences to turn up to see only us as opposed to the audience being the show and struttin` about like peacocks. We had to be the only reason for them turning up at a Who gig”.
With rock and its peripheral interests having been systematically turned into a multi-million pound consumer industry, Townshend has observed that the customer no longer dictates youth fashion. That`s all down to some designer employed by a multiple chain store.
“Everything nowadays is premeditated. Within days the whole country is flooded with what someone thinks the kids want.”
He believes that the only invigorating youth movement in this country appears to be centred around Wigan`s Northern Soul Scene.
“I wish that would spread more than it has, because I see it as a direct link with the Mod thing. But what is more important is that it`s more philosophical in its attitude about not fighting and not boozing and not smoking. Even though they`re ephemeral things they are nevertheless states of mind which are Very Good Things.
“Like the early Mod thing, this Northern Soul Scene has a fashionable aspect connected with it, but basically it`s concerned with the exact opposite to the Mod preoccupation with getting pilled-up and fighting.
“Funnily enough, I`m still not certain why the original Mod movement was so obsessed with aggro. All I know is that at that time I felt an incredible amount of frustration and bitterness towards society and maybe everyone else felt the same.”

But even as far back as 1968, The Who were somewhat trapped by their own image, when Townshend stated that the thing that had impressed him most was the Mod movement. He had been fired by the excitement of witnessing and subsequently taking an active part in what he felt was the first time in history that youth had made a concerted move towards unity of thought and drive and motive. “It was almost surreal” was how he was quoted at the time.
Somewhere at the turn of the sixties, the youth movement was derailed. Talk of a promised land and the eventual greening of America became suffocated as the consumer industry once again took command, and the Business in showbusiness grabbed the spoils.
When Townshend looks back in time, he can`t help but laugh. “I don`t think they were promises, I think it was just young people promising themselves something… having ambitions to do something… and, if you like, certain rock people were acting as spokesmen. So they are the convenient people to blame. That`s if you want to lay the blame at anyone`s feet.
“Basically, everyone had this mood that something was happening… something was changing. In essence it did, but unfortunately a lot of its impetus was carried off by the drug obsession. Everybody credited everything innovative and exciting to drugs… `yeah man, it`s pot and leapers and LSD, that`s what makes the world great`.

“Then when things turned out to be meaningless and people had missed the bus, they quickly realised that they`d gambled everything on something that had run away. The same thing happened to rock. Rock got very excited and flew off ahead leaving most of its audience behind. The Who went on to do what I feel to be some very brave and courageous things, but in the end the audience was a bit apathetic.
“It was back to what I wrote in `Punk And The Godfather` – you paid me to do the dancing. That`s why when I`m on stage I sometimes feel that I`m too old to be what I`m doing.”
Then, by way of contrast…
“Track by track, the new album that The Who are making is going to be the best thing we`ve ever done. But if people expect another grandiose epic then they ain`t gonna get it. `Cause this time we`re going for a superb single album” Townshend, make your mind up, squire. If the last couple of hours are anything to go by, you`re either – by your own admission – past it, or you`re just after a bit of public feedback.
Ouch. Better not mention that word.

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Barry White, Manfred Mann, Mud, Led Zeppelin, Ken Hensley, Kevin Ayers, Mike Harding.

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 Marc Bolan FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, February 1, 1975

Bolan says some true words in this article printed by the NME shortly before the tenth album by T. Rex “Bolan’s Zip Gun” was released.
Hope you like it!

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`74 – A bad year for Geniuses

Marc Bolan didn`t have a very good time of it either

By Roy Carr

When photographers are barred from an interview suspicions awake, so that when such a communique came from none other than image-conscious Marc Bolan, I knew that all was far from being kosher. As I was about to discover, the truth behind his sudden bout of camera-shyness is that Marc Bolan appears to be…pregnant!
As he pads around his hotel room on the fifth floor of the Carlton Towers Hotel in mangy “Moon Boots” and a flowing black and purple Mothercare maternity smock, I can`t think of any other way to explain the current obese shape of the body Bolan and the accompanying double-chin; unless he`s swallowed Mickey Finn.
Slugging on the first of a succession of mid-morning beers, Bolan, who after six months of self-imposed exile in America is back in Britain on a four day business trip, momentarily glances at a rather disturbing photograph of his plump personage attempting to slip incognito through Heathrow Air Terminal, and grunts: “Oh God, just look at the state of me. I look like an old totter…”
With the evidence firmly in his grasp, Bolan expresses a wish never to see the offending photograph again. Yep, this kid`s got problems and they`re not all down to counting the calories.

To put it mildly, 1974 wasn`t a particularly good year for Marc Bolan`s somewhat tattered reputation. Come to think of it, neither was `73 a memorable vintage.
A lot of people had long since chosen to write Bolan off as a transitory figure, and each successive T-Rex release (and by Christ, there were enough of them) only seemed to corroborate the belief that Bolan had blown whatever credibility he once possessed, and was content to both xerox and parody existing licks without so much as bothering to camouflage their source. He made Chuck Berry look like a novice when it came to feeding off a single riff. Moreover, he appeared to be ignorant of the fact that he was close to the point of, boogieing himself to oblivion. One can only assume, that at the time, he felt that if he ignored it long enough, then it would go away. Well it didn`t.
Now, for the first time, he`s quite prepared to own up to his mistakes; well almost.
“I agree, 1974 was the worst year of my career,” he admits. “But then, it has been a very bad year for all Libras – John Lennon for instance. (What about Ferry then? – Ed). It ain`t just been a crazy year for rock`n`roll,” he continues, “it`s been a crazy year for the whole world.” You don`t hear Sheik Yamani complaining.

The truth as Bolan presents it for the first time, is that it was quite unintentionally that he became a leading participant in the rat race for supreme success. Sure, it was great fun to begin with (it always is); but after 18 months of staying just one juhp ahead of his nearest competitors, Bolan suddenly realised that he couldn`t continue to meet the recurring 12-week deadline for new product he was committed, contracted and sworn to.
“I really was putting out far too many records.”
Isn`t that what we all said?
“It wasn`t so much a question of maintaining quality, but my mental consistency. After four years of being a hit machine, I`d suddenly become a victim of my own success, and I`d be lying to you if I said I wasn`t. I wasn`t able to give sufficient attention to every aspect of my career. If you want to know, I was getting bored. After 16 hit records the thrill had gone, there`s no two ways about it. I was in a position where I couldn`t sit back and say, `Do I really want to put a single out? Do I have a single?` People were ringing up and saying, `So where is it?`

“When you get to that stage, it`s pretty obvious that all the records can`t be as good as each other. Sometimes, a thing won`t be particularly good, but because an artist is hot it can still sell millions.
“`Paperback Writer` wasn`t as good as `Hey Jude`. Likewise, `Watching The River Flow` wasn`t nearly as good as `Positively 4th Street`, but that doesn`t mean that they were total bummers.
“Now though I love `Teenage Dream` I agree I should have changed drummers before that time.” I didn`t mention anything about drummers!
“I never liked `Solid Gold Easy Action` but it sold half-a-million in England alone and the same goes for `Truck on`.
“Though I had pressures, it didn`t affect my mind completely, even though I have to admit I was going up the wall…over the edge as they say…over the edge and ending up on the hill the other side.”
Seems like in retrospect, Bolan is now willing to concede that he was breaking under the many pressures that automatically arrive with the kind of success he had. The reason that this was never made public at the time, was due to Bolan`s preference to confine any acute emotional distress and deterioration to the strict privacy of his own home and not, as he says, “in Tramps”.

“When it looks like you`re going to make it…hit the big time, everyone is right there behind you. But once you`ve made it, then those very same people just can`t wait for an opportunity to kick you down.
“A year ago,” Bolan confesses, “I was actually beginning to believe what people were saying and writing about me, you know the things: `Is Bolan Slipping?`.”
Well, were they correct, were you slipping?
“Let`s put it this way, I was feeling bored, so obviously it was only a matter of time before the public felt precisely the very same way about me. So I stopped. I`m 27-years old and, though it`s younger than most of the other studs, I`m now a man. I`ve done my five years as teen idol…I`ve been very lucky and I appreciate it, but the pressure is off me now and I could only achieve this by staying away. I no longer want to overcompete; to start worrying what Gary Glitter is doing or what the new Slade album sounds like. If I hadn`t organised myself quickly then I could have suffered.”

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Jeez, if ever a man had the ability to rationalise his own misfortune…Some people would say that you left things a little too late?
He laughs. “I know what I`ve got on tape…no less than five hit singles that I`m going to put out this year and you better believe it. Listen, when you`ve fought this hard to get somewhere, you ain`t going nowhere else. If I didn`t think I had a place in rock`n`roll, I`d be out of it like a bullet. But this is my life, I`ve put ten years into it and I think I`m pretty good at it.”
I know people who`ll argue the point.
There seems to be only one subject that both Marc Bolan and his critics agree upon and that`s his vulnerability as an easy target.
“Last year it was me, this year it`s Bowie. There`s no overnight sensations in this game anymore. I must have been a success and a failure at least eight times in my career. I was a star in `65, the Face of `66, the has been of `67 and that`s all before I`d even made it.

“You know, it`s bleedin` lonely to be into that whole superstar thing, but the trouble is that nobody really understands it, unless you`ve either been one, are one, or know a very close friend who is one. And that`s why so many rock stars go over the  top and screw up completely.”
So is it really worth all the effort?
“No”, he yells, laughing at the same time. “To a certain point I suppose it is, but mentally…there comes a time when you really have to sit down and question it, and that`s precisely what I`ve just been doing. I wanted to find out where I wanted to go and not where I was going.”
So: Quo Vadis, Boychick?
Well, first there`s the problem of renegotiating a new American record deal which has always been tough territory for the tyke, which demands getting the facts straight about whether or not T-Rex are worth more than a plugged nickel in the States. Bolan has always had this hard-fast rap about how he`s pure dynamite with the American public but, now he`s telling me, that it was only on the last tour that he made a profit.

“This time there was no hope..the Americans have always over-hyped me and this has worked against me.” (This really is own-up time, kids.) “I thought on this last tour if I was going to bomb again, then I was going to make sure I bombed quietly.”
Anyway, as Bolan tells it, T-Rex are now established on the B category circuit at ten grand a gig and not, as he used to infer, the A circuit which is the stomping ground of Zeppelin, Jethro, the Allmans, the Who, and the rest of the Sixth Form. Returning to the subject of Bolan`s immediate future; in March he`s due to commence filming the role of a psychotic killer with sexual and drug hang-ups (what else?) in “Obsession”, alongside David Niven.
“If I`m any good in it, it`s definitely an Oscar touch,” he admits in all modesty. “I`ve always talked about doing serious acting for ages, in very much the same way as Pete Townshend was always talking about writing a rock opera, and you can only talk about something for so long. I`ve always been pretty good at firsts and this looks like opening up a whole new career for me. I mean, I was the first one to point out that glam rock was dead.”

Still Bolan seems to have this uncanny knack of being able to survive where others perish.
“If you don`t believe in yourself,” he insists, “then no one else will. I`m like John Lennon – an egomaniac. I don`t believe in `genius`, but if they exist then I`m one. But tell people that and they`ll call you a bastard.”
But Marc…oh never mind.
Upon reflection, Bolan attributes his will to survive to the fact that he surrendered his virginity at the age of nine.
“Self-confidence,” suddenly interjects a friend out of left-field “was always regarded as the greatest asset by the Greeks.”
“But second only to screwing,” Bolan insists.

When the Kiki Dee band were  touring Britain with Sailor.

When the Kiki Dee band were touring Britain with Sailor.

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Lowell George (Little Feat), Alan Hull (Lindisfarne), Kiss, Doobie Brothers, Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, John McLaughlin, The Soft Machine, Bob Pegg, Little Milton, Ian Bairnson (Pilot).

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

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