Steve Clarke

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

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

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Can little people rock `n` roll?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ARTICLE ABOUT Patrick Moraz (Yes) FROM New Musical Express, April 17, 1976

Due to the amount of readers on Yes-related articles, I chose to print this one ahead of two long articles about Sweet and ELO in the same issue. Readers are king! Enjoy!

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`Flying Saucers landed on my turntable`
– Exotic musician`s amazing claim

Patrick Moraz has dreamed a great dream. Soothsayer Steve Clarke doesn`t like the sound of it.

“What did you think of the album, by the way?” enquires this sweet-tempered European called Patrick Moraz – he of those perfectly (too perfectly?) contoured Latin features.
Yikes! – the question I was most dreading. And own up, Patrick, there`s no bloomin` “by the way” about it. He`s been itching to ask me that question right from the moment his housekeeper ushered me into the Moraz pad, a third floor job on the Bayswater/Notting Hill Gate border, just a nose away from colleague Jon Anderson`s own villa in the Gate itself.
The pad`s spacious, well-furnished in a lived-in way, and positively reeks of coffee. I`m sitting in, rather than  on, a comfy sofa in the lounge. Nearby there`s a hi-fi set, on the turn-table of which squats Moraz`s pride and joy, his first solo album, “I”.
That`s right, “I”. Not “I Ro” or “U Roy” but just “I”.
There are reasons why Patrick called this piece of now dormant vinyl “I”, and he`ll be glad to tell you all about them a little later on.
There`s also a whopping great grand piano in the room, and a couple of pairs of cans (headphones to you), and assorted tapes scattered on the floor.
The Man is a little overdressed considering it`s just turned noon and this is, afterall, His Pad. He wears a lot of leather, semi-denimed white leather pants, white boots and black leather jacket. There`s a cluster of heavy jewellery around his neck, and the Moraz wrists are not naked either.

The first time I met Patrick I was struck by his charming, courteous manner. Today is no exception, and rather than going for a quick `In and Out` interview, Moraz insists that I relax and take it easy. He asks me how I`ve been, organises some coffee, shows me some photographs he took of Chick Corea`s band when they visited Chez Moraz. He tells me there`s some projected plans for a joint-keyboard album which would feature himself, Corea and Herbie Hancock.
Time passes, the coffee is brought, Moraz really looking the part as he re-enters the room, tray in hand.
But to business. I ask a fairly unprovocative question about whether the rapid succession of Yes solo album releases is damaging to sales.
No, that doesn`t bother him. “We don`t do albums for sales,” he says with a knowing laugh. “The sales are record company business. Of course it`d have been better if the releases were more spaced. But as long as the record is out, I think whoever is interested…” the sentence fades.
And then, the Big Question, “By the way…”
That`s where you came in.
Moraz joined Yes midway through `74 and his playing has beefed up the band`s live performances no end. It`s been claimed that Moraz is a better player than either Wakeman or Emerson, and certainly Moraz doesn`t consider these two his peers, although he appreciates what they do. He has in fact jammed with Emo.
But give him players like Corea, Hancock, Oscar Peterson. For Moraz, they`re the real masters.

When it comes to Patrick`s own musical vision, outside the context of Yes, I`m not so sure. Before talking to him I`d only played side one of “I”, just once. It completely by-passed me.
To answer his question honestly and diplomatically, I tell him it confused me.
“Confused you?”
“There was so much going on.”
“Really?” he queries, coming on all concerned and earnest.
I tell him I`ll have to sit down and listen to it under more suitable conditions. He agrees.
“I think probably some of it is very instant. But did you find it confusing?”
Diversionary tactics are called for. How long did it take to record? He`s not interested in the question.
“Not long when you consider how much went into it. Have you heard it on a good system?”
Fairly good.
“Because you could listen to it on mono – even on a cassette recorder, and I think you`d get the message, the spectrum of sounds. I mixed it at a very low volume so that really anybody can listen to it.
“It`s the first time I`ve been told it`s confusing. It surprised me, you know, but as long as it`s objective.” He uses “objective” a lot – “funky” too.
The inevitable comes. “I`d like to play it to you.”
Sure.

Stylus hits vinyl, loud electronic noises emanate from the stereo speakers. Moraz becomes animated, talking his way through the album`s first side – though much of what he says is inaudible because of the loudness of the music.
We drink more coffee. It is, unsurprisingly enough, a concept album, and a cosmic concept album at that. Stall your groans. You haven`t heard half of it yet – where Moraz got the inspiration from, i.e. the story which motivated the music. The story itself is written out in flowing prose, by Patrick, on the album`s inner sleeve.
A quick precis goes like this; `I` is a building, a hotel and all who enter this building have to ascend its 900 floors (Patrick will explain about that later) and jump from the top. If, however, one discovers the key, love itself, the Big Jump is the take-off for infinity. Or something like that.
The story is, of course, an allegory for life itself. Over to you, Patrick:
“I believe so much in love,” says he, looking a shade embarrassed, “It`s so important to… It`s the message in the end.”
He tells us where he got the idea for The Story. “It came from a dream and various situations in the States when I was touring with Yes. In different hotels I was staying in, I realised a lot of situations people were in. Then I went down to South America and the story developed, more and more.
`It was a very, very strange dream which is very vivid indeed.”
Describe it. “There was the building, and going down from that building there was a bridge. Under the bridge there were some very icy waters. On the other side of the bridge there were a lot of markets with thieves and prisoners and so on. I was at the same time trying to help the people who needed help and also trying not to get conned by the crooks and thieves.

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“And then I arrived at the bridge and I was taken by… it`s crazy to say this” – Moraz breaks even, looking even more sheepish – “I was taken onboard this flying saucer…”
Streuth! Must be something in the brown rice…
“It was so vivid. It appears very crazy, but it was so strong in my mind and I had that dream a long time ago.”
Well, what can I say, man.
Wakeman was never like this.
On with the show, “I chose I because it`s the ninth letter of the alphabet which is also a symbol for life and reincarnation, and love. The building is meant to have 900 floors,” he says, laughing at the seeming absurdity of it all.
“But also I found the number nine very attractive. You know, when I joined Yes I was their ninth member and I did their ninth album, and their ninth American tour. And all these nines coming at the same time… You probably think I`m talking crazy.”
You should hear Jon Anderson sometimes…
I ask him howcum all you boys in Yes think in these, er, cosmic terms?
“In fact the way we think is very natural. We don`t search for it. That kind of dream I had was very natural.”
Were you the same before mixing with the rest of Yes?
“Yes. I had communication with people who thought in that kind of bracket. When I came to South America to do the backing tracks for this album I had very cosmic relationships with people.

“They`re very influenced there. They`re very illuminated, in a way. I think South America is a very important ship of civilisation. I can`t find the right word for it. It`s a very important… How do you say when a little child is born, you put it in a…?
Cradle?
“When he is born and you go and walk with him?”
Pram.
“Something like that. It`s a pram of civilisation and the civilisation there didn`t stay in that pram. They have a great evolution. The people are very aware and very cosmic.
“Whenever I can, I always go and live in the mountains for two or three days to get nearer to nature. I don`t attach any kind of importance to material things as such.”
Hang on, this is `76. Surely Patrick old son, you wouldn`t be able to lig about the world without…? He cuts me off, guessing my question. “No. No. No. That`s not what I mean. Beyond the needs I don`t attach much importance to material things.”
Surely “I” cost a lot of bread to produce?
“It cost more energy than it cost money,” he says typically. And I soldier on with the fact that people like drummer Andy Newmark (who appears on the album) doesn`t work for the proverbial peanuts, and that the two villas he hired in Switzerland for the duration of the recording weren`t paid for by hot air.
The question is evaded. “I`m a very economic person. As I was the album`s executive producer I watched the expenses very closely. I put an emphasis on the people participating in the album being taken care of very well. Anyway, if ever it`s money spent, it`s my money. It`s not record company money.”

As things turn out, Moraz himself doesn`t come from a wealthy family. His father was an entertainer – of just what nature Patrick never told me, although he does get to tap dance some on “I”. In fact, Moraz says his family are one of the poorest living in Switzerland, and if it hadn`t been for a Hungarian concert pianist taking the fledgling Moraz under her proverbial wing when he was just nudging his teens, he wouldn`t be where he is now.
Just delving into the man`s background a second or two, let`s say that it`s an eclectic one to be sure. On leaving his family at 17 he worked on building sites. Coming to England, he worked as a school cook and somewhere between then and now his job list takes in – and wait for this – being a male model in Hong Kong, inspecting military planes in Turkey, selling carpets, working as a photographer in Japan and Hong Kong, running an African safari, and being an import/export man.
It`s not as if Patrick Moraz has led a sheltered life.
Ah, the album. Somewhere between all this, Moraz has played me “I” in its entirety. And “different vibes,” I guess, is one way of putting it, since “I” includes everything ranging from the customary electronic wizardry, pastoral piano, more accepted rock forms, Brazilian percussion and a group of Swiss schoolkids singing an endearingly innocent theme.
While one doesn`t doubt Moraz`s sincerity for a second, my final feelings on the whole thing are (a) Moraz is putting together things which don`t belong together, (b) the vocal sections just don`t make it because the singer`s voice (John McBurnie) isn`t suitable and, (c) most importantly, Moraz is attempting to bring off something he isn`t yet capable of, and while some of the themes are attractive enough there is no over-all identity.

If only these undeniably talented players wouldn`t plunge right in at the deep end.
Still, “I” has picked up good reviews and is selling like hot cakes.
I tell him perhaps I`m not qualified to give a `valid decision` in that my knowledge of classical music is zilch. He tells me he hasn`t got much more background than I have – the point of which I don`t see, because after-all Moraz is a classically trained musician.
Not surprisingly, he says he`s trying to break the barriers, “As I`ve had the luck to be classically trained, I want to give people who haven`t had the chance to enjoy some sounds they`re probably not aware of in the context of something they are aware of.
“I`m following a movement in that respect, and my role in the music business or whatever is to give whatever I can to people. I could have done a pure, simple rock record and indulged in very simple kind of things, but there are a lot of people doing that who are very good at it – although I could do it as well cause I love to play, I love to jam, I love to communicate with people.
And finally, Yes. He says the solo albums have brought the group closer together. He describes their relationship as “very funky”. In fact as the interview comes to an end, he looks at his watch and realises he`s already late for a Yes rehearsal. The group are working on a set which will include material from all five solo albums, plus older material and new group songs.
Because of tour commitments there won`t be a Yes album until late summer at the earliest. Even Moraz thinks that would be a little too much on top of five solo elpees.

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Radio Luxembourg, Frank Zappa, Sweet, Third World, Wings, Pavlov`s Dog, Hello, Joe Walsh, ELO, Wilko Johnson, Bill Evans, Michael Pinder, John Denver.

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 Paul Kossoff (Free, Back Street Crawler) FROM New Musical Express, March 20, 1976

A quite sad article today, remembering one musician who died way too early. Kossoff died from a pulmonary embolism,  after a blood clot in his leg shifted to his lung. One thing is when a man like Lemmy dies in his 70th year, many people would say that even 70 is too early these days, but at least he was allowed to live a full life. That was not the case for Kossoff and so many other people, famous or not, who died way before their time. May they all rest in peace and let us hope there is some kind of heaven that they and the rest of us will go.

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Paul Kossoff: a tribute

By Steve Clarke

There wasn`t even an inkling of the tragedy to come when Paul Kossoff and the rest of his band, Back Street Crawler, boarded the night flight from Los Angeles to New York just 13 days ago.
They`d just completed a two-month American tour, a new album had been recorded, and for the first time in five years it seemed Paul was set to re-live the kind of fulfilment he had experienced with Free in the late `60s.
But it was not to be.
When the plane was about to start its descent on John F. Kennedy airport, attempts to rouse an apparently sleeping Kossoff were unsuccessful. Oxygen was administered and a general panic ensued. And on landing, his colleagues – including his manager of seven years, Johnny Glover – were forced to leave the plane with Paul still on board, unaware that he was in fact dead.
This tuesday, Koss – as he was affectionately called by close friends and fans alike – was buried, just 25 years old.
The results of an autopsy will not be known for a week or two, but it is well known that he suffered a serious physical breakdown involving a stay in hospital some 12 months ago, and also that his condition at that time was related to an earlier heavier involvement with drugs.
Paul Kossoff had not been a particularly healthy man since the demise of Free, one of the great English rock bands, but it wasn`t until last year that matters came to a head. He had to be kept alive artificially for half an hour after his heart, lungs and kidney had packed in. He spent his 25th birthday in hospital recovering from this almost fatal illness.

Koss`s drug problem can be linked directly to the break-up of Free in 1970. In two years the band, one of a galaxy of blues-based bands coming out of this country in the late `60s, had shot from being a club attraction to one of Britain`s major groups.
Prior to Free, Koss had played with a more orthodox blues band, Black Cat Bones. And his life seemed clearly focused around music.
At the peak of their admittedly short-lived success there wasn`t a member of Free who was over 20. And when Paul Rodgers and Andy Fraser (the group`s major composers) decided to split the band in 1970, Koss and Simon Kirke wanted none of it.
When I talked to him last February, he had this to say about the break-up of Free: “I didn`t start all that drug stuff when I was with Free – that came afterwards. I just came to a standstill and got swept up by something else.”
Glover agreed with the guitarist`s opinion, “Simon and Koss would have been happy to play in Free forever. The split hit Koss worst of all – it took his life away”.
Koss and Kirke did in fact continue working together outside of Free to cut one album, “Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu and Rabbit”, but in terms of a working band nothing materialised from this union. When Free reformed in `72 the major reason for the re-union was the guitarist`s growing drug problem.
“I really didn`t want to do it,” Kossoff said last February. “Or rather I wanted to do it, but I couldn`t take it. There was a lot of pressure on me – Paul wanted to get me well and he believed that if he got me up and playing that would do it. And there was pressure from Island (Free`s record company). I didn`t stand a chance. I had to do it. They sort of dragged me out of my pit.”

Glover put it stronger. “I conned him into coming back into the band. It was done almost to get Paul out of the drug thing. If we worked all the time we thought we would get him out of it.”
The reformation was only a partial success and differences between Fraser and Rodgers couldn`t be patched up and it wasn`t long before Fraser quit the band, to be replaced by Tetsu and Rabbit; it was Kossoff who later turned The Faces on to Tetsu.
A British tour was cancelled after Koss fell over and broke his foot during a sound-check at Newcastle City Hall. And when Free undertook a Japanese tour, they had to leave Koss at home because he was in such a bad state. For Free`s last ever gigs (supporting Traffic in America at the beginning of `73) a replacement guitarist was brought into the line-up and Kossoff doesn`t appear on all of the band`s last album, “Heartbreaker”, released around this time. One of Rodgers` songs, the hit single, “Wishing Well,” was in fact inspired by Kossoff`s problem:
Thrown down your guns, you might shoot yourself / Or is that what you`re trying to do / Put up a fight you believe to be right / And someday the sun will shine through / You`ve always been a good friend of mine / But you’re always saying farewell / The only time when you`re satisfied / Is with your feet in the wishing well.
Kossoff`s career as a guitarist stagnated between `72 and early `75 – when he returned to the stage, jamming with acoustic guitarist John Martyn – apart from his making a solo album, “Back Street Crawler”, released in `73 and recorded over the previous two years.
Despite its hotch-potch nature, anybody interested in Kossoff`s musical vision should have this album in their collection.

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In these “lost years” there were constant stories of Paul being admitted to various clinics to be straightened out, and while it`s difficult to sort out fact from fiction, there was probably a lot of truth in them.
Over a three-year period I`ve interviewed Koss three times. The first time was when he released “Back Street Crawler”, and then he was in extremely poor physical condition, his speech slurred and his manner distant. The second occasion was last February and the change in the man was radical. While it`s untrue to say that Paul was fresh-faced, his physical condition and mental attitude seemed much improved.
I remember him telling me during the first interview that he was sick of waking up and looking at “A sack of shit in the mirror”. Eighteen or so months later and he`d certainly come a long way beyond that miserable condition.
Moreover he was interested in playing again. No, that`s an understatement – he was just itching to play again and I remember him telling me what a buzz he got from appearing before an audience, and how he`d missed it. “Because I`ve started playing again I`m happy. I just feel happy. It seems that possibilities are opening up again in front of me and I`m looking forward instead of back.”
Koss was true to his word and months later he`d formed Back Street Crawler with a bunch of Texas musicians introduced to him by Rabbit.
When the band played in Newcastle last summer the reception which greeted the once-again dumpy little Koss was genuinely staggering. He obviously loved the adoration, and played up to it continually, coming on fierce and strong.
But again events overtook him and by August he was again in hospital, for the second time in just over a year.

Later, when we met him on the first (or was it the second?) day after he`d been discharged from a nursing home, he wasn`t in altogether bad shape. He told me that he hadn`t been doing an awful lot of dope prior to the illness, just the odd bit of this and that. There was no reason for him to lie since months earlier he`d confessed the sordid details of his Mandrax fits to me, and how for a short period he`d shot up heroin.
What did bother me at that meeting was that certain people seemed to be encouraging him to drink – and this was after doctors had warned him not to. I`m not saying that alcohol was being poured down his throat, but his wine glass was frequently filled. And this was a guy who`d just come out of hospital and had narrowly escaped death.
Considering what had gone down, Koss was soon back on the road, playing British dates in the autumn. A two-month American tour opened in the New Year, and it was from this series of gigs that Paul was returning when he died.
During his ten-week stay in the States, a second Back Street Crawler album was recorded. Called “Second Street” it`s out on Atlantic within the next few weeks.
When I asked Kossoff`s loyal manager, Glover, whether perhaps it had been early for him to be gigging again, he pointed out that the American tour was a relatively easy work-load with no more than three or four consecutive gigs. He also pointed out that Paul`s only interest in life was playing.
So what sort of shape had he been in recently? Fairly good, according to Glover, although he did say there`d been a fair amount of drink in Kossoff`s life recently, particularly before gigs.
“He was a very sensitive guy and he gets very nervous before playing.”

As fate would have it, Koss jammed with his old Free colleagues while in LA recently. And Glover says it`s Bad Company`s Simon Kirke who`ll be most cut up about Paul`s death. In the days, when Bad Company were being formed, there was actually talk of Paul joining Mick Ralphs on guitar within the band, but owing to his health, it just wasn`t on.
As a guitarist, Kossoff was a very special player indeed – as a listen to any of the Free albums will show. His licks were always charged with a vivid intensity, immediately recognisable, and he had the ability to build a solo from something relatively low-key to a raging torrent of sound.
Check out his solo on “Going Down Slow” from the first Free album, “Tons Of Sobs” and you`ll see what I mean.
Clapton once asked Koss how he achieved his unique tremelo sound, and while Koss doesn`t rank in the same peer group, he`s not all that far beyond – if only he`d been able to direct his talent in a better way.
Moreover, he had genuine stage presence, a lion`s mane of hair falling half way down the back of his stocky frame, his right arm crashing down mercilessly on a helpless Les Paul, mouth agape and energy pouring from his speaker stack.
So what went wrong with his personal life?
The answer Glover gives is the Free break-up. Kossoff himself though, put it like this: “I`ve been asking myself a long while, why? I think it`s something to do with my make-up as a person for a start-off… Escapism… to heighten things… masochism even – certainly main-lining is that.
“Once into drugs you get fairly morbid trains of thought – morbid interest in death and dead people. It`s quite horrific at times. I got into all that with Hendrix. Also the feeling of being in slight danger was like a romance. It`s very strange… I started to identify with Hendrix for instance.
“See, it was an escape from playing as well, `cause that`s a big responsibility in itself…”
Whatever, Koss is dead. He gave a lot of people many a buzz. Next time someone glamorises hard drugs, remember him.

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

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Bonnie Raitt, Kevin Ayers, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Gary Glitter, Rod Stewart, Donald Byrd, Shel Talmy, Neil Young, Man.

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, January 3, 1976

I have regular visits from people reading articles featuring The Who at this site. So for that reason alone it is a pleasure to post an old concert review from the legendary Hammersmith.
Enjoy!

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The Who

HAMMERSMITH

By Steve Clarke

The black monolith (stereolith?) of a PA system towers from floor to ceiling. Onstage The Goodies` Graham Chapman is receiving a hard time from this day-before-Christmas Eve audience, who`re wearing expressions of celebration all over their paper-hatted faces.
It`s the third and final gig of The Who`s Christmas series at Hammersmith Odeon. According to reports Sunday night was great – Monday`s gig a little dodgy. Tonight (Tuesday) they just have to blow everybody`s heads off.
Chapman leaves the audience with a few select profanities. Seconds later, The Who tumble onstage, Moon cartwheeling, and take their positions. Entwistle, a sturdy glitzy carnival with his sequined jacket, is stage right, and Pete`s opposite, wearing a white baggy outfit which looks as if it was pulled on a few seconds beforehand. His face looks decidedly haggard.
Townshend`s arms go into action and his fingers make contact with the sunburst Les Paul, introducing the staccato riff to “I Can`t Explain”.

The music`s okay, but not as powerful as The Who can be. Daltrey`s voice is shot, not as pure as it ought to be. Townshend`s guitar should be louder, but the Entwistle-Moon rhythm section is invincible and pounds along ruthlessly, compelling you to stamp your feet.
Despite these `defects`, spines are tingling and it wouldn`t surprise me if there`s a few wet eyes in the house. Hell, it`s more than good to see The Who onstage at Christmas. All around are faces brimful of joy. I`ve yet to see a band audience relationship like The Who`s; their audiences, no matter what the standard of playing, are always totally entranced by the sheer thrill of seeing Daltrey, Townshend, Entwistle and Moon on stage together again.
It`s not as if all present grew up with The Who – looking around at the audience, it seems to me that Pete Townshend has no cause to worry whether he`s too old to play rock `n` roll. He might look a little weary, but the spirit which he and the rest of the band project is as young and as vital as ever; “the magic that will set you free” to borrow a phrase.
“Substitute” follows, and like the opening number its lyrics are as relevant today as they ever were. What`s the betting that more than a few guys in the audience are feeling just like that tonight? Into “My Wife”, Entwistle`s excellent song from the band`s finest, “Who`s Next”, follows, and the bassist`s voice is in worse shape than Daltrey`s.

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The further into the set, the better the music gets, and by the time of “Tommy” The Who are playing as they should. Townshend has gained the power his playing lacked earlier, and everything that has made The Who arguably rock`s greatest band is being demonstrated here tonight; the pyrotechnics, the dynamics, the band`s attitude towards its audience and its music.
“I`m Free”, “We`re Not Gonna Take It” and “Pinball Wizard” comes as a feast of power chording, and the energy which flows from the band is almost tangible. The first climax of the evening comes with the “See Me Feel Me” sequence, myriads of `lazer` beams being projected from backstage out across the theatre.
The audience erupts, spilling out into the near-stage area.
Introducing “Tommy”, Moon and Townshend had the wit to send the whole thing up, saying it was a piece of classical music when they know damn well it isn`t. Rock opera? Bullshit. Rock and roll isn`t about `operas`, it`s essentially about energy, joy, and most important of all, communication – and this is where The Who are succeeding most of all.
Unlike Led Zeppelin, The Who cry out for an audience to relate to, and there is no barrier between them and their audience. Mostly they`re not about pretensions. They might be a good deal more affluent than their audiences, but get them on a stage and their richness disappears and you know that at one time in their lives, they`ve lived the kind of life most of the audience are now living.

Unlike The Stones, there`s no celebration of evil and no jet-set ambience.
Daltrey might not be such an amazing performer as Jagger, but he is a lot more touchable as he trots around onstage like a toy soldier.
The only time on Tuesday The Who weren`t one hundred per cent convincing was during “My Generation”. I understand why they have to play it, yet when they do it`s as if they realise it`s one damn big lie.
Otherwise it all makes sense.
Part way through the song the band goes into one of their flop singles “Join Together”, and the song is genuinely apt. By that time the audience`s inhibitions have disappeared.
The following “Summertime Blues” is true to the spirit of classic rock `n`roll. Oddly the penultimate number is “Roadrunner”, at the end of which Townshend widens his guitar tone, even turning in a few Beckisms.
Their set closes with “Won`t Get Fooled Again”, a classic post-Woodstock statement. It`s played majestically, climax after climax, and perfectly timed so that balloons and fake snow fall from the ceiling as the music bursts into its final crescendo.
Townshend hurls his guitar at the amps and it`s over.
If you thought rock was dead at that moment in time, you must have been born in the wrong age. Easily the year`s best display of rock `n` roll.

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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 a great, big thank you 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: Rory Gallagher, Steve Cropper, Sailor, Paul Bley, Labelle, Frank Zappa/Captain Beefheart, Queen.

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 Steve Howe from New Musical Express, November 15, 1975

Steve Howe is a very talented musician who have made just as many solo albums as he has made albums for Yes. This interview tells us the story regarding his first ever solo album called “Beginnings”. And as is customary with an artist belonging to a bigger band – we get to hear a lot about Yes too. Which is not a bad thing at all… Enjoy!

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New music and old arguments

If it cost £40,000 to make it should be good. That`s Steve Howe`s solo album we`re talking about, the mysteries of which were partially unveiled to Steve Clarke along with more revelations from the Wakeman Affair.

Steve Howe`s cats are playing in the garden of his Hampstead home. His missus has gone off to collect one of the kids from school. And inside the tastefully furnished lounge, the master of the house is making with the verbals on the Yes – Wakeman split, just in case anybody still cares.
According to Howe, Wakeman wasn`t always learning his lines properly during his latter days with Yes. Or to be more precise, when it came to rehearsing that controversial Yes twin-set “Tales From Topographic Oceans”. Rick hadn`t exactly got the music down pat.
“You see,” says a disgruntled Howe, “we`d have a rehearsal and – I hate to say this – but he wouldn`t know what to play. Sure there was a lot of the music – four 20 minute pieces where you had to know all the chords inside out. And when this started to fall apart, when various parts of numbers didn`t quite hang together, we`d have this situation where four people would be looking across at one person going, C`mon, Rick!
“Rick almost realised that he`d cut himself too big a piece of the cake. He actually hadn`t rehearsed well enough, “claims Howe,” so obviously during the `Topographic Oceans` tour he became very unhappy, with himself and with Yes.

“But this is general with Yes. To start with learning `Roundabout` was a hell of a feat. Now of course we throw it off. It`s easy. The same would have happened if we carried on playing `Topographic Oceans.` It would be just as easy as playing `Relayer` is now.
“So there was this insufficiency of actual work before the tour. We found that side two of `Topographic Oceans` needed a lot of work from Rick and he couldn`t seem to contribute it. We thought Rick`s not rehearsing! He`s off out with his promotion men from A & M (Wakeman`s record company for solo releases).
“Obviously we didn`t talk to him.
“When that tour ended it had started to be felt within that Rick was gonna leave. Then he said he wasn`t, and then Yes decided that he should leave and then Rick said one more chance and we said, `Great! One more chance! Let`s rehearse this new album (“Relayer”) with him. And then, right at the last minute, he got up and said, `No, I don`t think I can go through with it.`
“I haven`t even seen him since then. He`s never called me. He didn`t even call me to say, `Good playing with you Steve, I`m not going to play with you anymore`. There`s been no contact at all.
“Rick certainly did talk about `Topographic Oceans` a lot with us although he never mentions this in anything he says. We all agreed to do that record.
“We were all crazy to do it.

“Rick gets upset if we even mention his name in the papers, which I think is unreasonable because if I can talk about one musician I should be able to talk about anybody without feeling I should watch my words – because he hasn`t watched his words as regards me.
“He hasn`t had to call me up or apologise or anything. So I feel we`re pretty even. I don`t feel he owes me anything. I don`t think I owe him anything at all. It was a very even situation where we know he tried and we know somewhere deep down inside he lost sight of what Yes were attempting to do.”
But surely Rick`s personality/lifestyle was far removed from the Yes lifestyle of You Know What?
“Initially it wasn`t. His humour was ours completely – Python and everything. Drinking wasn`t disallowed in Yes. It`s never been disallowed. What I`m saying is, because of extremes, because Rick did take things to extremes.
“He doesn`t have any trouble holding it but during the recording of `Topographic Oceans` he started to realise that none of us wanted to indulge.
“Everybody has fun. Everybody has vices. But when they`re talking to me, if they`re not talking honestly, constructively and creatively then they can sod off for all I`m concerned.
“I don`t really blame A & M Records `cause they`re a very nice record company. But they do a lot of geeing up with Rick, a lot of looking after him. We weren`t really getting that from Atlantic at that time. It was making a gap. I don`t think it was anything we created. We were waiting for him to come into the room – but no, he was out with A & M.
“Silly trivial little things like that instigated this gulf between us.”

So (gulp), did Rick turn up blotto for Yes rehearsals, Steve? “Jon could come in totally drunk and I`d be amused,” hedges Howe. “And most probable I`d put down my guitar and find something to do. If one can make use of one`s location or one`s state of mind it`s great. But with Rick it was a little bit different. He wouldn`t say, `I can`t do anything today,` but when the next day came we said, `What`s that tune you were playing yesterday, Rick? And he didn`t know. We knew we had a problem with Rick. There was this whole feeling that we were losing touch with the real Rick. He was putting on a show for us that we wanted so much to break down. He wouldn`t admit that he was making mistakes. He couldn`t talk about it.”
In fact one of the last remembrances Howe has of Wakeman was of the time when individual members of Yes were going into Morgan studios to add over-dubs to “Topographic Oceans”. Wakeman had just completed his session and was leaving the studio when Howe walked in.
“I`d just heard strains of `What Happened To That Song` just as I`d come in the door.” Howe recollects. “Rick was leaving. He said he`s finished. I asked him whether he`d put Mellotron on the last verse. He said he hadn`t, but he had finished. And he went out the door and I listened to his track. Rick hadn`t done anything at the end at all.”
So Howe substituted guitar for Wakeman`s mellotron.

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Like I said before, Howe-Towers is in Hampstead. You know that salubrious part of London where a lot of 18th Century artists used to live, and where a lot of 20th century poseurs do live. And it`s a fairly modest abode when one considers the wealth that composing members of Yes must have collected over the years.
The carpet just avoids rubbing up against your crotch and instead of two stereo speakers, there`s four. It`s not a quad set-up though. Howe`s most recently played album, judging from the cover which rests ontop the low glass coffee table, is “Revolver”.
So you see, Steve Howe, while not living in Hefner-style opulence, isn`t short of a brown one or two. Why, his solo album – the real point of our visit – cost something like 40 grand to make. And “Topographic Oceans” clocked up 90 grand`s worth of studio time.
As a guitarist Howe knows an awesome amount, exploring many styles and going off at wild tangents one doesn`t normally associate with rock guitarists. In conversation he`s not the most economical of speakers, often coming on with an intense stream-of-consciousness type rap, fast-thinking his way from one subject to another without any prompting from your interviewer. I mean, our interview ended with Howe paying compliments to the music press. I hadn`t even brought up the subject.
But to “Beginnings”, Howe`s solo album and the first of a complete quintet of Yes solo elpees. Squire`s is next and the remaining three are promised for release early on in the new year. “Patrick and Alan are both in the final stages,” informs the guitarist, “And Jon`s well into the midst of it.” (Rumour has it that Alan White`s record is something of an R and B album, probably in contrast to the more grandiose aspirations of the other`s albums, if group contributions are anything to go by).

Howe reckons “Beginnings” is most definitely a rock album and the material (which will be featured on upcoming Yes tours) spans a wide time period. So why, really, did he make it?
“I`ve always planned to record my own material in its rawest state without any other – very helpful and objective – ideas on it. We`ve all made solo albums within the Yes context. `Topographic Oceans` was a concept that Jon and I presented to the band in the same way that I presented these songs to different performers.”
Musicians included on “Beginnings” are Moraz, White and ex-Yes drummer Bill Bruford. Howe, of course, plays guitar (and bass), sings and wrote all the material. Roger Dean (of course) designed the sleeve, it`s being marketed as a closely-affiliated Yes album.
Howe denies that the album is simply the indulgence of an affluent rock star. The theory is that every band has fans who get off on one instrument in particular, and the solo albums are aimed at those people.
Says Howe: “People who get off on the guitar should get off on this.”
He played me several tracks, and at least one of them convinced me that it is in fact Howe who is the lynch-pin of Yes. The music sounded overtly Yes-ish, although Howe`s own vocals bore no resemblance whatsoever to mountain stream purity of Anderson`s voice. (In fact they sounded a little like Jack Bruce`s).
The album was recorded over four months – longer than Howe originally envisaged. However, he had a free hand and there was no question of skimping. Eddie Offord receives a production credit, but Howe says Offord`s role wasn`t as great as it is in a Yes album, by virtue of the amount of energy Howe himself was expending.

Howe wrote his own lyrics, and, of course, he has contributed to Yes`s lyrics in the past.
“My style is quite different to Jon`s. He makes much greater use of vocabulary… he even surprises himself sometimes.
“If people who review Yes records are smart then they should be able to spot what I`ve written and what Jon`s written because we`re very different.”
It turns out that the title “Close To The Edge” itself was Howe`s idea, and he contributed extensively to the lyrics of “Topographic Oceans.”
He also came up with lyric ideas for “Relayer” – “I`d say something like `We go floating down the river`, and Jon would change that to `We go drifting down the streams` (the way it appears on the record).
“And there were my words `She won`t know what it means to me.` Jon changed that to `To Be Over`. So Jon with his creativity disguised it into something that you have to consider to be over. It was a much broader lyrical statement.”
Anderson`s lyrics have often been criticised. Howe defends them.
“If somebody says it`s a load of rubbish, I feel they`re not being true to their brains. Something like `A seasoned witch can call you from the depths of your disgrace` is an odd collection of words, yet the images fly off like sparks.
“That`s the idea. It`s better than a song that just says” – he half sings – “I went down the road and bought myself a packet of Rothmans`. With a lyric like `A seasoned witch` etc you`re considering disgrace, seasons… you`re considering a whole range of different things. To me it`s exciting, enlightening and that`s what progressive music should be about.

“I feel that `Long Tall Sally` was progressive music and can be played in a totally new way. The excitement Little Richard injected into something like “Jenny Jenny” passes on to us, and we write songs like `What Happened To This Song We Knew So Well` which is also a lyric of mine. So there you are, you have two things which aren`t that far removed.
“I feel that I could go on stage and play that number – `Jenny Jenny` or `What Happened To That Song` – and not feel that there`s that much difference. If I could live out all my fantasies like that I`d be touring with rock `n` roll bands one week and performing with brilliant guitarists like John Williams as much as I could.”

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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 a great, big thank you 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: Nils Lofgren, Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Ivor Cutler, Kiss, Spud, John Cale.

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.