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36

BRETT ANDERSON Suede's own thin white duke revisits the chemical highs and emotional lows of life with and without the band. Danny Eccleston listens in.

42

MATTHEWE WHITE The Big Figure of new American music speaks to Sophie Harris about downtown NYCjazz, sonic ambition and exactly why rock'n'roll is cold.

46

LONGJOHN BALDRY Justhowdida gay, white, six-foot seven-inch Londoner with a pet goat revolutionise '60s British music? Paul Myers has the answers.

52

LEMMY MOJO's Sylvie Simmons goes back through 30-odd years of interviews to pay tribute to the steadfast , unflinching, authentic, solitary Motorhead frontman.

60

MOTQWN Behind : the painted smiles. Adam • White, author of a new book on i the label, delves deep into the secret life of Detroit's revered home of soul.

68

DAVID BOWIE

1947-2016. A life remembered. i • Friends, fans, musicians and writers salute an irreplaceable, enigmatic pop genius. Plus: •• • Bowie on Bowie, words of wit, • wisdom and insight from the time David Bowie edited MOJO, • in 2002. ............................. _________________________________________

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"The first time you'd seen three beautiful black women on TV. .." THE SUPREMES' MARY WILSON RECALLS THEIR DEBUT ON THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW, P60


7

ALLBACKTO MYPLACE Tom Jones, Only Fools And Horses' Boyc.1e and soul-folker Eska talk soul, Sabb.:ith and trad jazz.

8

THEORIES, RANTS , ETC Punk, Beatles. Wilco, and, of cou rse, Bowie...

30

REAL GONE We'regoingtomissyou, John Bradbury, Natalie Cole, Mick Lynch from Stump and Gladdy An derson.

126 ASK FRED Well, howfastwds BertJansch? 130 HELLO GOODBYE Rogerchapman

Adored Savages: ce lebrated in Playlist, p 16.

on the beginning and end of Streetwalkers.

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12

SLY STONE The visionary producer and musician is, sadly, missing-in-act ion/presumed living in a camper van in Los Angeles. But he's been contributing toa new film portrait of his o rigins and most creative years: read on for a full report, w ith spiritual w o rds from Sly himself.

SGT. PEPPER'S Weall knowth esleeve of The Beatles' ca nonised eighth album . But there are stirrings f rom Sweden which might 1llum1nate t he artwork's origins. Warning: includes novelt y brass band arrangements.

14

SWANS Mi chael Gira is moving between studios finishing off his m ighty experimental g roup's final testament. "It 's all in servi ce o f emotion.'' he confides.

17

YOKO ONO The art-as-lifeforce m ajeure brings not one but two Self-Portrait images. "I cry almost every minute spiritually." she reveals.

22

RUSH In 1976, the Toronto power-prog tri o recorded 2112. the album they thought w ould be their swansong but would in fact spell their rebirth. But as t his Eyewitness account attests, they soon had accusations offascism to deal with.

•• 90 NEW ALBUMS TheCultuptheheat. Elton's 1n his happy place, Emma Pollock ponders the stars, Animal Collective cut to the chase.

104 REISSUES Whethertruegenreornot. Shoegaze is given the box set treatment, while the strikingly strange This Heat re-emerge on vinyl.

116 BOO KS

Phil Lynott's au tho ri sed biography, and the short strange life of David Litvinoff.

120 LIVES Patti Sm ith takes Horses to Seattl e: Benj amin Cl ementine shows his toes in Lo ndon. . . ............. -· ... ... ... ...................................................................... . .... . .... ........ ........ .

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THIS MONTH'S CONTRIBUTORS INCLUDE .................................................. ... . ......... ..... ...... .............. . ........ ........ ...... ................................................ : --------Paul Myers

Guy Eppel

Paul Myers caught up with pop hermit Emitt Rhodes for MOJO 260 (July 2015). His2007 book, It Ain't Easy: Long John Baldry And The Birth Of The British Blues, remainsthedefinitive biography of the big man. Myers revisits thestory of Long John in this issue. turn to page 46.

Guy Eppel Isgoing through a floral phase of life. The shoot in Richmond, Virginia for this month's Matthew E. White fea ture, which starts on page 42, lacked flowers but compensated for that by being steeped in history. ·1also met a rabbit." says Eppel.

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4 MOJO

Sylvie Simmons \ "

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Sylvie Simmons has been writing about ; rock since 1977 and interviewed Lemmy ' - whom she eulogises over ei ght pages in this issue(pS2) - for thefirst timein 1980. Her booksincl ude I'm Your Man: & The LifeOf Leonard Cohen and Serge Gainsbourg: AFistfu l Of Gitanes. She's ~ < also a singer-songwriter; fans of her t recent album, Sylvie, include Brian ~ Wilson and Elvis Costello.

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\Vhere Have You Been All My Life?

all5u1n,

MUSIC FOR A NEW SOCIETY I M:FANS MUSIC FOR A NEW SOCIETY :The long out-of-print 1982 masterpiece. Completely re-mastered from tl1e original tapes and overseen by John Cale. Inc. 3 exclusive tracks: 'library Of Force'· an unreleased gem ·plus 2 out-takes from the original session. M:FANS : A co1nplete re;vorking of the original albwn. John Cale re-contextualises the original songs into radical ne;v fonns to resonate with the digital age. Includes a new recording of 'Back To The End' - a previously lost track from the original session. MUSIC FOR A NEW SOCIETY LP - Heavyweight Vinyl + Download including the 3 exclusive tracks M:FANS LP - Double heavyweight Vinyl + Download DOUBLE CD PACK including both MUSIC FOR A NEW SOCIETY &M:FANS OUT NOW

• WS I C I OI

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Tom Jones STI 1

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ATOMIC

What music are y o u currently grooving t o? I've been checking out Sly & The Family Sto n e again. It still sounds revolutionary. What, if push comes t o shove, is y our all-time favourite album? Jerry l ee Lewi s's eponymo us fi rst album . I heard h im and that w as it . HP wa\ unbelievable. I k new he could n't be the only whit e singer in th e Southern states w ho'd been infl uenced by black m usic. I saw him live in Card iff in 1962, w ith Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, he w as amazing.

Chicago and t he w hite w orker s w ere g etting paid twi ce as much dS the bldck w o rkers. and th is w cls his w ay of do ing something about it : "Me and a man was w o rking si de by side, this is w hat it meant. t hey w ere p aying h im a do llar dn ho ur and t hey w as paying m e 50 cents." He had to record it in France, because it was too controversial to do it in Am erica. What do you sing in th e shower? All kind s o f blues, co untry and gospel.

What was th e fl r st r ecord you ever bought? And where did you buy it ? Clyde M cPhatter, Treasure Of Love, bought ,lt Fred H Fey ·~ in Pontypridd in 1956. 1loved the sound of it.

What is you r favourite Saturday night record ? Good Golly Miss Mo lly, Little Richard. It's tremend ous. I th ought he was a girl at first, covering Billy Haley & The Comets, bu t he did it fi rst . The lyrics were m o re risque!

Whi ch musician, oth er than your· self, have y o u ever w anted t o be? Big Bill Broonzy, who was t he first b lues singer l w as really aw are o f. I love Black, Brown And White. He was working in a slaughterhou se in

And your Sunday morning record? Bad Penny Blues by Humphrey Lyttelton. I loved trad j azz and thi s sou nded great o n the radio at the t ime, I'd j ust left sch ool. I st ill love it now.

IN WHICH THE STARS REVEAL THE SONIC DELIGHTS GUARANTEED TO GET THEM GOING ...

Eska FOLK-SCJU ..J MERCURY CONTENDER What music are you current· ly grooving to? I've been in a state of shuffle, with a lot of [Dais ton-based) NTS radio. Noura Mint Seymall is basically a desert rock star, the most incredible powerhouse vocalist and per· former, from Mauritania. Also Joanna Newsom, Owiny Sigoma Band and Laura Groves. And the whole modu· lar synth world - James Holden and Luke Abbott has been lighting me up. What, if push comes to shove, is your all-time favourite album 7 Impossible to say. Depends on t he time of day and dare I say, the time of the month. In a refl ective mood, Joni Mitchell's Court And Spark, o r if I'm feeling jollier, Magical Mystery Tour. And to have my mind blow n, Kid A or lnnervisians. I can listen to t hem and just marvel.

~ What was the f irst

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.::; record you ever 2 bought? And if. where d id you ~ buy it? ~ The first one I ever § owned came w ith ~ the first record ~ player my dad ~ bought me -

Song OfJoy by Captain & Tennille. I wonder if Muskrat Love was the kindling of my psych-folk sensibilities.

l

What do you sing in the shower? I don't. But bathtimes are inter· esting, I have a one-year-old so there are a lot of nautical or water-based nursery rhymes.

Eska plays London Koko on March 31.

COUN T BOYCIE What music are you currently grooving to? Hot Chocolate. Along wit h Abba they were one of my guilty pleasures! I was sup· posed to be macho, but I always loved Errol Brown's voice. Heaven Is In The Back Seat Of My Cadillac - pretty groovy with a dirty sound that I like. I really like Th e Rolling St o nes too, a lot !

Which musician, other than yourself, have you ever wanted to be? I'm still striving to be that musician. But I'd enjoy being In the body of bass player Robin Mullarkey.

What is your favourite Saturday night record? When you're a musician, every night is potentially that, but songs that would get me revved up are Give Me Back My Wig by Hound Dog Taylor, Roxette by Dr. Feelgood and Space Art by Love Machine. And your Sunday morning record? John Martyn's Small Hours, Arthur Russell 's Losing My Taste For The Night Life and Planet Caravan by Black Sabbath - that's the vibe. And there's a Jackie Mitt oo song, After Christmas, that's very much a beau· tiful, slow burning late-rising sound.

John Challis

What, if push comes to shove, Is your all-time favourite album 7 Exile On Moin Sr. It was almost like a love album because of the sense of urgency it has. Such a brilliant album.

NOW PLAYING e A' J tldy·IO·ddy nt'!''I l y, Tom Jun hJ' nt·v1•1 qot :>vrr lt11y Lt,. Ll'WI\ I riot,u1 hr 1·llhum

from b.1.k n 1 115~. e On )dlUdly n1 ht I kd 11•~1 fr•nd1 ''" tr '" c r• ct frum

•f.O -p.1111<ul. rly clrum1 n 1ynlh dun Ip !C Art , P1"1 ,•, " • John .,ry, r <hill

•lh Hot lho ol•te 1 1 7o 1ugg .1 v• oul 10 k I Ii a••n I In lhP B..<• ~ •l Of My ( J 1lr. h '9u ltyplrc ur •

What was the first record you ever bought? And where did you buy it? It was in '57, I t hink. This was when skiffl e was the t hing. My favo urite group were The Vipers, I bought their version of Cumberland Gap on 78 from a shop in Addlestone in Surrey. It was terribly exciting and it made me pick up a guitar and form a little band at school. Then you started looking for t he American records, Fats Domino and all that. Which musician have you ever wanted to be 7 I've always admired Brian Jones. He was the first person I heard play slide guitar. I never

copied his haircut though! Before I was into skiffle I was into traditional jazz, so I want· ed to play the trumpet too. Music was the only other thing I wanted to do apart from act· ing. Well, that and make a cen· tury for England. What do you sing In the shower? I t ry to sing Here I Go Again by Whltesnake, David Coverdale is a great character and has a wonderful voice. My w ife sometimes records me - It really is not very good at all. embarrassing in fact. What is your favourite Saturday night record? Saturday Night At The Movies, The Drifters. Tha t makes me have a dance, and I really like the Bee Gees' disco stuff too. And your Sunday morning record ? Anyt hing by Nat King Cole. Some voices are just so special and his is one of them. Visit John on Facebook for news of his Only FoolsAnd Boycie show.

MOJO 7


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Endeavour House, l89 Shaftesbury Avenue London WC2H BJG Tel: 0 20 7437 9011 E-ma il:mll]n:ain:ul!>tm Mll\.m nm Website: mojo4mu~ic.com

Editor-in-Chief & Assodate Publisher Ph il AleJ(ander

'

MOJO welcomes letters for publication. Write to us at: Mojo Mail, Endeavour House, 189 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8JG. E-mail: lfu0ja@hauermedia.co.11kl

Deputy Editor Andrew Male Senior Editor Danny Ecclesto n Art Editor

Mark Wagstaff Reviews Editor

Jenny BuiIcy Associate Editor (Product io n) Geoff Brown

Deputy Art Editor Rus~ell Moort.toft

Associate Editor (News) ldn H.:1rri>un Picture Editor Matt Turner

Picture Researcher lanWhen r Contributing Editors Sylvie Simmons. Keith Cameron Contributing Editor tUS) Be n Edmonds 313 897 205 3

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''HOW DO YOU GUYS GET YOUR MAGAZINE out?" asked Oa,rid Bo,vie in the sumn1erof2 002. He l1ad just finished guest editing MOJO l 04 and, despite his l1ellish schedule, vvas being asked to do n1ore ... Exasperated, he let rip, and yet Bo,,ri.e had thro,,111 himself' "l1olel1eartedly ir1to the role of editor, wri ting for tl1e 1nagazine, and condu cting a truly revelator )r interview witl1 Paul Du Noyer for that ver y isst1e (revisited on page 72 tl1is issue). Attl1e heart of tl1e work l1e undertook for MOJO lay l1is deep love of nit1sic, and a firm sense of self. 1~h ose traits he shared with Motorhead leader Lemmy. The loss of botl1 me11 during tl1e course of tl1is isst1e has been a source of great sadness, but l1as also made us determi11ed to celebrate both in the only vvay we knovv: by liste1ung to tl1eir m usic, feeli11g its impact, and co1n1nunicating its excite111e11t. That is vvl1at clrives MOJ O ever on,vards. Ai1d that's also how "''e get our magazine out ...

For mojo4music.com contact Danny Etdeston

Thanks for their help with this issue : Ke1th Cameron FredOellar, Del Gentleman. Paul S1oke~

PHIL ALEXAND ER , EDIT OR-IN-C HIEF ____ ... . -----_... _____ . . _____________ ----=----------..ow-~

Among this month's contributors: Martin Aston. Mike 13arne~. Mark t!lak<'. Glyn llrown, Keith C.1meron.Andrew Carde-n. Stevi" Ch ick. Andy Cowan. F~<i '.'>e ll~r.1"om Doyle. l',;ul ;>u Noyer.[Jaryl Ea~ll'a, Pdul Elliot Andy Fyle. P~ l Gilbert,Soµ hi€ HMI•~, D1wld HutrhC>on. ( hri~ tngh~m. Jim IMn, Colin Irwin

Davit! l(c1tt.Jdme' M<.Nd11 Jame~ Mee.Id, Rob Meh1. Ben Myer~. P;iul My..rs, Chn' Nebun f'ete Pdph1tl"'· Mark Paytroi'ss, Andrew Pt<llY <.five Prior, rod d Pru~ln.

rony Russell Jon Sav"Y"· Vlt tor a S~dl. David Shl'ppard Michael S•mmons, Sylvie Simmo n s, Mat Snow.Ph •ISutdrffc. J!!ftTa m.. rkin Ren Thompson PaufTrynka, Kieron Tyle1, c h~rlc• w arin9.Adnm Wh ir~. floyWflkinson, Lois Wlh on.

Steph en Worthy Among this month's photographers: Cover. >Photo bySukita TomA11 drew. Ana yCorterlll

llruc<' DaVlcison, Guy En pd, Simon Fernand ez. Ros• Halh n, FrankHoensc h. Jdnn1ta Honey. Mick Hut;on. ~lnd;i Jackson, Anciy Martin. Shr1i.; llo<k, tom Sheehan. Pen me Smit h. Nate Waters. M.1tt1a Zoppellaro

8 MOJO

I apologise for leaving As the real fa ns (and not Lon1bards like Cameron & Osborne. Bo" 'ie fans ? Do rne a favotLr) gatht:! r in Brixton, as they gathered in Ne\VYo rk for Lennon, I lcl:'I ver y sad . Yet at tht' same timt' I ren1ernbt'r the • appeara nl.·c on Top Of T he Pops of Star111an being pl'.'rformed and that lad dancing in his tank lop in lhe background as Bo \\ie put his ar n1 ¥ o und Ronson. T hat nlakes me s n1i lc. I le bet'.1n1e an icon hi111sclC that lad , in ::.on1e 1vay~. Ren1en1ber David "ith that clip, please, and you "celebrities" and politicians, just back ofT and leavt! us alone. You're only t\Yeeting to remind us of •your existence, some of •vou. I also thoroughly enjoyed the artic les related l•' 1976 in MOJO 267. Such 1nemorie". One being Derby Leisure Con1mlllee cancelling the gig o n the Anarchy Tour because the Sex Pistols refusec.I to play their ~e t to the n1 bcfl1rehand. When my friend.sand I got tl1ere at the King'$ I !all, there 1vas a little note pinneJ to the door saying "Gig cancelled''. John Peel often rnentioncd this little st o r )' o n his radio sho1v as he had got to Derby fo r the gig unly to be disappointed. \ve \VCnt f'nr a drink instead .1nd in one pub there ~vere son1e "bikers" ('~vho I just kno\\' lived 1vith their ni un1s) banging on about ho1v punks \Vere Lbe nerds yo u used to bully at junio r school. I \\'as fortunate to be able to get to the gig at l l ud<lcrsfiekl Iva nhoe 'son Christn1as Day, , 1977, altl1ough by tl1t'n Vicious \vas in the bane.I (I J on't think his bass guita r , \•as even plugged in). II is contri bution ro the evening at one point \vas to ask if anyone vvanteJ to "suck [1nej otf" . Lovely

You can, by t.he v\·ay, get sorne decent bootleg CDs ol' the eveni ng gig (the afternuc>n gig \\"as for tl1e childrt• n of striking Hren1en). There is footage of hoth in ·rhe foilth And ·rhe Fury and just behind the mayhen1 of punks i.n front of the stage at the evening gig you can glimpse n1y face for a 1nillisecond. 1 stilJ have all my original Pistol~ singles up to and including 1-lolldays, in the picture sleeve . i ·hcy have lost none of their po1vcr. Forty years ago .. . Good grief 1eriy J faunJcr, Kirkscall, Leeds

Are you watching closely? Greeti ngs! l n the Sex Pistols Situation Vacant article' in MOJO 267 (;Jen Matlock incor rec tly ~tatcs that tl1e Teenage Rebels gig \Vas at the ttlr rington. In fact, it \YaS at the Pied Bull in Islington. I kno\\' because I 1vas ''the bloke".

G..ir9· ( RaBEfY) Leivis. 11ia e-111uil

The better magician With the release of the dian1ond 1nine that is tl1e ne\\' Graha1n Bond Li1•e Ac n ie BBC .ilnd Othl!r Scvric.1 box set, I \\'<IS rathe r hoping to set: a full revic\v and possibly even an accon1panying leature piece on this n1 n~t u nder-recognised genius. W hat did I get? D espite tl1e fo ur stars a'\'arded (I'd have besto\ved an eai.)' •llve' n1yseU) a 111ert' 40 1vords in the Re issuL'S Extras section. It's high t ime yo u rect ified Ult' omission t; f Nlr Br1nd fro1n your pages and gave u s something iJJ deptb. And \vhile I'm here . . . l 've just read the Punk Anni\'ersar y Special fro1n eo1·er to cover and a.0·1 still


looking fur the \\'or<l 'Rut~'. R:-ace, love and outrage. Jfurk SanJcn, Ru~hJen, 1Vortl1ampcon1hire

A heautiful lvrical :.talcnll'nl of fadinof. love n1ade , perfect by Rub toner\ high loncson1e bluegras.., harmonv. , I ln11 did it not 1n,1kc it onto Desire? Terry Trutnan. (cntttnnial, Colorado, US!I

They're all favourites Delighted to rl·a<l l..aun.·ncc Freel\ letter in ~IOJO 266. ·rhe Beatles ·•brought the sun out'' tor nie, too. I thought ho" dil1crl·nt n1~ !>tury i.!> fron1 ~ lr fTcel's, but ,\'et ho\\' \\l' ~hare ~uch i.in1ilar wntin1ents lor the S.lllle band. I "asn't Cll'n <lround " 'hl'n John died, let alont" 1vhilc the band 11·a , going. I 1vas born in the early '80s and 'Pl'nt n1uch of n1y c..hildhood !\it·k in bed. ~lany days 11·t·rc p.t,'l·d 11atthing 'fhon1as the ·r:1nk Engine, henet: ho11 I \1'a.' 1.·xpo\t'<.l to Ringo, and reading Rupert Bl'ar. And Paul ~ltCa rtney had jU!>t con1e out \l'ith the Frog Choru~ and his Rupc:rt affiliation. My daJ bought nil' a 1>ictur1: print of the Frog Chorus that I still ha1·e o n rny \1·all. I k1101v a lot of people don't rate the ,ong of the san1c nan1c, liut it gnt me into Macca. He 1v.1s lcaturt'<I in an bsuc of another popular niu ~ i c n1agal'inc, 11nd rny par('nts aJl011·ed n1e to buy it \1·ith n1y pocket nl1>ney It n1entionecl his pre1iow; \Vork, .1nd I ren1l•n1bl'r lL'lling rny n10Lher, on a c:ar journe); "Did you knl)11' that Paul 1\ilc:Cartney l\'<1S once in ·rhl' Beatk·s?" I 1va' onlv , about five! )\.•an. ll'l'llt b); and a~ a tcenag<·r, I '"as niorc into thl' rnu,ic: of n1) ('ra, particul.irl) hip hop. I ended up ha1ing a nt'r1ou~ breakdo11 n in 2000. It took me ln·l' yean. to rl'(Ol'cr, and a largl' part of that reco1·er) 11'3~ invei.led in niu~ic. I'm pleased to sa)· that .\10JO played a part. I bought a IC-11 rc(ommendcd alhun1s of the tin1l', ·1he Shins' Cbure.~ Too arro1~· being a fa1ourite. I al~o started gelling n1orc into older stuA~ legendary :.tufl' that I Jl•cidcd I n1u:.l get into. I dl'\·clopcd a la~lination 11ith D) Ian, and Sin1on & Garfunkel. I a<lon:d ·rhe 13('ach Bovs. . But nothing c:on1parcd to The Beatles. I'd heard their material before, sure, but I'd never listened, not realJy. I spl·nt a )'t'ar ol> e~sing over thc1n, and 1vith thl:'. help of MOj (), my tin1c l>pcnt in1n1ersing n1yself in their 11•ork opent·d up nc1v possibilities to rne. l t \\IJ:. likt' opening J door lo find youri.elf in a n1ystical king<lon1, a beautiful vie'" before you. As Nlr Freel put it, it 111ade the su11 c:on1c nut. T,vo peopl(', ~vn val>tly d itl'e rcnt experiences, one legendar) band, and sonic outstanding \\'riting courtl'sy of you guyi.. It 1oho\1'S ho\\' the po\1·er of The B('atlc!> sprl·acl.,, ho11 it can atlcc..'t anyone. The Beatles niade an) thing een1 po:.~iblc. I think all popular mu.,ic O\\l'l> then1 a cll·bt of gratitude. John ll JIJ1n9, I les)/c, Ealt Yorkshire

I jll!it llni,hed the latc.,t Bob Dylan bootleg, 1vhich projectcJ ml' back lo Bi119ruph in I 985. No one shoul<l cvl:'.r Sl'Con<l-gucs' Hob, but Abandoned l.uve n'ally ~poke to nl(', a 'upcrior Dylan song: Bob vocals, guitar, harn1onica; 11011-ie 'v\'veth, ; dru1n:.; Sc,1rlt.'t Rilt•ra, violin; and Rob Stonl'r, bass. ~

NEWSSTAND

I FREE TO YOUR DOOR WHEN YOU SUBSCRIBE!

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Head of Magatine Media (1. It fh.imb, rl,un Group Commercial Director ~lft1>"'11{•11Jy

I followed them too long

Head Of Magu1ne Brands RA<tiel Flowt r

l cnjoyt'Cl .:\IOJO 267 t·norn1ou:.I~, but can't help commenting on the ab!il'n<.i: of an) \Vile'<> album aftl'r 2004 in tht' I lt>11 lii Buy Jc1Tl\1cedr An1 I alone in fant..1~i..,i11g that Sk) Blue Sky ~ho11'S u 11·hat The Beatles 11·oulcl ha1e .,ounJcd like in 2007? The generic stretch or·rhl' \ \ 'hok· Lo1·c is ridiculou~ly exciting and it <:ontains :.ome uf'l\vccdy\ b('~t ~ongs. The 111mician:.hip on tl1l':.c .1lbun1~ is also, quite frankly. gobsn1a<.king. As mn~t \,\'iko fans kno11•, SkJ• Blue Sky got iL' na111c fron1 a Chicago sanJ,,ich bar; 1\l'eedy onct' jokt'd that h<:> pr1::fcrrt'd th('ir earlier, cxpcrin1C'11t:al san<kvi('hl'S. While no one 11•ould Jcny that Yunkee I lore/ Foxtrot and A c;ho1t ls Bcirn .ire inuncnsc, to11·ering achicv(•n1l'nts, it's a shan1c if the shado11• tht'y ca~t pn·vcnts 11:-. fn11n appreciating \\hat c.1111e next: tin1c to tr1, a d illi:·rcnt 'and,11ch. PS: Loved that Elvis Costello C l) that came 11ith 1\llOJO 265.

Head of Music N

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ChiefEaecutiv• 1•.iut K...,.n •n Grou p Managing Director !lob Munro·HJll Publishing Dir•<tor l1M.irt1n Managing Editor S.0ph<c>''"C~

~IOJO

267. Ho11·ever, there's ah1·.1y sonil'thing in c1·('ry bsue that justines the CO\t'r price, e'peliall~ if ~our rt·ader, like n1c, equates the cost of eath rnag to the price of a pint in a London pub. l\c a111ay.., lo1cd An1bulan<.·c· Blue!> on Neil Young's On The Bcuch albuni l'l'er ~incc my brother Pete recornml'n<lc<l t hr rcc.'orcl to rnc i 0 years ago. ·10 read that l\l'il, a fon of Bert Jansth, had inadvertent.I) lifted the rnclotly fron1 j.\ns('h 's 'l·cdk· or Death ren1ind('d me of thl' contro\ et'l>)' surrounJing n1y all tin1c hero SteYc Wi111vc1od\ Roll \\'ith It. Thcrt· it held, after litigation, that Win\vood h:id copie<l thc l-lollandDozit'r-l lollandl Jr. Walker hit Roadrunner. I'd long 11·onJered if Win1Yood i11tcntionally lifted the song. E.xtcnsi1re Googli ng faill'd to pro1~de the anS\1·er, but after a spot or Wik.ipcdia, I l('arnt that eil S<1id or his plagiarisnl th.1l hl· '\va:-.n 't even J\\'are of it, and sornconc.· else clrc11· hi\ all('ntion to it". He 11-as a big fan of Bert j;.ulS<.·h. Just ~ Steve 'v\'in\\·oocl \Vas a big fan of Jr. \\'alkcr. I lan't in1agine ho11· any arti~t b able to avoid subconscious c:op} ing 1vilh so 111u<'h publb.hed n1aterial ~itting in their n1e1nor~ banb.

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Thank you for your kind words, David. With regards to MOJO's price, you will notice a slight increase this month. This is due to the fact that o ur production costs have risen slightly and we are therefo re obliged to raise the price. Due to the late breaking news of David Bowie's passing, we made the decision to withdraw the CD from this issue as it would made fo r an incongruous package. We have added a series of commemorative posters to this month's magazine, but rest assured the CD will return next month. We will also be working on further enhanced magazine packages in the future that we hope you will also enjoy.

Things don't always go as planned

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MOJO 9


FAMILYMATTERS

Sly speaks! For new film portrait I Want To Take You Higher. Plus, surreal texts and pink tutus. hen Sly Stone made a surprise appearance with the Family Stone last August in New Jersey, even his bandmates didn't know it was happening until moments before. So how has filmmaker Mark Kidel managed to track down the reclusive genre-melding genius for a new, in-production documentary? "With great difficulty and enormous perseverance," says the Bri stol-based Kidel, whose previous works include film s on Elvis Costello, Tricky and the warmly regarded 1975 Kursaal Flyers' road movie So You Wanna Be A Rock'n'Roll Star? "He's so mercurial, so difficult to pin down. sort of 'no fixed abode'... ~ The film will examine the genesis of Sly And The Family Stone and take the story through 1971's landmark LP There's A Riot Goin' On and on to 1973's Fresh. Other band members will also contribute, while footage includes an unseen concert in Harlem. "Running through the conversation we had is a kind of very philosophical attitude about black and

Supe r Sly: (ma in ) the arti st e live on ) October 24, 1973; (inset) There's A Riot Goin' On a nd Fresh a lbums: (bottom left) Sly joins The Fa mily St on e a t the Co unt Basie Thea tre , New J ersey, Aug us t 23, 2015.

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white relations,'' reflects Kidel. "Basically, he says white people have got more guns and there's no point in trying to fight them. There is a tremendous deep resentment, and making the film I learn ed such a lot about what it means to be black in the USA.n Work began six years ago, when Kidel, who lived on the US East Coast 1n the late '60s, connected to Sly via collector Neal Austinson. "[Sly] seemed very warm and friendly," recalls Kidel. "which he always is when he's 'on', but you have to accept that he's a drug addict and he has moments when he's more 'on' thc1n others. But it's not something I ever felt I was able to talk to him about. t hese are personal things and I wanted to talk to him about music.# After an early meeting at Sly's West Hollywood apartment, Kidel remembers, •he had to go out and buy a pink tutu, I think for his niece. I went with him in his BMW to thisjoke and costume shop on Sunset Strip. I wish I'd been filmin g that." A second round of interviews was conducted 18 months ago, with Sly residing in a camper van parked outside a friend's parents' house. · 1had to wait from one day to the next and hope that he was going to come forward," says Kidel. w ho recounts a poignant story of filming Sly getting his laptop back from a pawnshop. "We exchanged loads of surreal texts. He's an extraordinary surreal texter, a poet. They're like. I dunno. William Burroughs. you have to decode them.'' In the film Sly speaks of the continuing importance of his upbringing in the Church Of God In Christ, declarin g, "the spiri t. that's w hat it is. It'sj ust beautiful in church and all of a sudden ... everybody jumps up [claps]. it was perfect timing and you can feel it •. Did he see any evidence that Sly was still a creating musician? ~He acts as if he were; says Kidel, who is still looking for interested partners for the film, whose release date is ~ yet to be fin alised. "He still does definitely have sessions with George Clinton and with E other people. He still talks about projects." ?:!" Ian Harrison 15

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SGT. PEPPER 'S PHONE Y ART SUB-BA ND The inspiration for the Sgt. Pepper sleeve art, discovered in Sweden?

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t first look, the 7-inch EP Mercblecket

Beats The Beatles looks like another enthusiastic but harml ess Fabs cash in, parodying the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band sleeve as it tries to tempt you to listen to its versions of some 1963 tunes. But look again this 7-inch dates from 1964, a full three years before the group's groundbreaking. era-defining eighth album. What's going on? Of Sgt. Pepper, Paul McCartney later remembered telling his bandmates. "As we're trying to get away from ourselves- to get away from touring and into a more surreal thing - how about if we become an alter-ego band?" It's known that he drew an illustration for designers Peter Blake and Jann Haworth. plus art director Robert Fraser and photog rapher Michael Cooper, to work from. Where the visual idea originated might be gleaned from the group's visit to Sweden in July 1964, when they played t wo shows at the Johanneshovs lsstadion and made an appearance on national TV. Enter Mercblecket, a group of students from the Stockholm School of Economics who specialised in playing antique songs on brass instruments. As can be seen on a YouTube clip of The Beatles' arrival at the Stockholm Arlanda airport, Mercblecket were part of the welcoming committee and played in close proximity to the

12 MOJO

Extra Sve ns ka-y pe rceptio n: (above) The Beatles In 1967, with the sleeve of Sgt. Pepp er a nd the strangely cong ruent Me rcblecket Beats Th e Beatles; (below) Paul reflects.

band, complete with banners, operatic fancy dress jackets and French kepi hats. A member of the group was Roger Wallis, an English exchange student from Rugby who sang and arranged the songs covered on the EP in question. It transpires that Wallis, who still lives in Sweden and works for the country's performing rights society, presented McCartney with a copy of the record. This curious trail was picked up on by Swedish record dealer Jorgen Johansson, who noted the similarity and managed to track down a copy online. "As Paul McCartney made the initial ink draw ing. I thought that he somehow had seen the Swedish EP." he says. · 1phoned Roger Wallis in November 2015 and he confirmed that he personally handed over a copy of the EP to Paul -who wanted a copy - at the hotel The Beatles were staying at, the Forresta Hotel in Lidingo, Stockholm. He hadn't thought about it but when I mentioned it, he agreed on the similarities." While the global Beatles cognoscenti absorbs this new element into Fabs lore, it seems proper to ask what Mercblecket Beats The Beatles sounds like. "As this is from 1964 and performed by a student brass band: says Johansson, ''it's sort of comedy style, kinda uniq ue though." In other Fabs-related news, February 26 sees the audio and DVD release of George Fest : A Night To Celebrate The Music Of George Harrison, to mark what would have been George's 73rd birthday. Recorded in September 2014 at Los Angeles' Fonda Theatre, the night saw Brian Wilson with Al Jardine performing My Sweet Lord, The Flaming Lips' take on What Is Life, and Be Here Now sung by Ian Astbury, plus other interpretations by Norah Jones, 'Weird Al' Yankovic and more.

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ANS Thinking in epic term s in Dallas and Seattle, Gira prepares the band 's farewell.

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As with To Be Kind, initial recording took place with producer/ engineer John Congleton at the Sonic Ranch studio in Texas. This was foll owed by further work in Dallas and then a move to the northwest. Gira: "I went to Seattle [to Soundgarden's studio] and worked with my dear fri end Bill Rieflin [who's played drums for bands from Revolting Cocks to R.E.M. and King Crimson and has contributed to Swans albums since 1996). Bill played pretty much any instrument you can imagine - piano. mellotron, drums, bass, singing.· The Seer and To Be Kind albums, respectively, featured vocals from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O and Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent. There are no equivalent guests this time, but there is one notable outside contributor. "My wife Jennifer," says Gira. "sings one of the central tracks. She's not an aspiring musician but she happens to be able to sing well and I wrote a song specifically for her." After this final album Gira says he will occasionally use the Swans name and work with members of this last line-up. "The album is valedictory just because the music itself is valedictory: he says. "Every album is kind of always the last one. It's always the most important thing you could ever do." Roy Wilkinson

t sounds like the musical equivalent of Ben-Hu r." says Swans ful crum Michael Gira on the phone from Berlin, where he's mixing the band 's new album. "Ben-Hur coupled with Kurosawa's Ran." The notion of Akira Kurosawa's powerful cinematic tale of 16th-century Japan combined with a chariot-ri ding Charlton Heston indicates astonishing scope for any band. even Swans. Since Los Angeles-born Gira reformed the band in 2010, these exhilarating post-punk absolutists have released three albums, including the 121 minutes of2014's To Be Kind. Gira has said the new Swans album will be their last. •it is epic.· say Gira. · o ne piece has 240 separate tracks. But there are also a lot of delicate moments. There's a lot of orchestration - strings, horns, female singers. But no bagpipes this time [as there were on 2012 album The Seer] . The longest piece is 28 minutes, and there are a couple that are 22, 23... The songs are that long because that's how they turned out. They're not a progressive-rock suite or something . To me it's all in service of emotion and I think there's a lot of that."

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Show Of Hands The Long Way Home

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7

TWO STAR TABERNACLE FT. JACI{ WHITE ITCHY

8

BIRTH OF JOY YOU G OT ME HOWLING

A live. grinding rocker which has one Jackson White declaring. "I wish television was black and white again". It's taken from 1998/99 three-al hum box Live At The Gold Dollar. Find it: SoundCloud

Synapse snapping to the sounds of the MCS and Nuggets. the Dutch trio's new album is foreshadowed by this track that sounds like Deep Purp le playing <;a Pl.ine Pour Moi. Find it: YouT(lbe

9

STUMP BUF FALO

"Big bottom swing." "Does the fish have chips?" In honour of late voice Mick Lynch. revisit th is 1986 indie-Beefheart deluge of incomprehensibility. Find it: YouTube

lo Keep jumpin' with the month's best greasy soul, intergalactic techno and existential torch song!

Where Savages voice Jehnny Beth observes archly, "I adore life . .. I know evil when I see itâ&#x20AC;˘ on a Cave-esque brooding beast which contains more than a hint of The Smiths. It keeps burning, avoiding simple quiet-loud dynamics for something more tension -filled and mysterious. And, having described the song's parent album Adore Life as involving survival, love, anger and revolt, she's not about to disturb Savages' enigmatic equilibrium. "I'm throwing all these words at you," she challenges. "You just pick one." Striking video, too. Find it: YouTube

2

lnduded in a sudden upload frenzy also fea turing Bug remixes for Tho m Yo rke, the Beastie Boys and Grace Jones, the bass diabolist and late MC remix The Clash's frontlines classic into a nightmare w<1steland of d read and paran oia. Find It: SoundCfoud

3

THE SUPREMES BUTTERED POPCORN

Greasy, gooey and sticky, we've been grooving to the Motown g irl group's salty 1961 A-side courtesy of Third Man Records lovely repro 7-inch reissues of early Tamla sides, produced for the launch of the label's new Detroit store back in November. Find it: YoUT(lbl?.

4

RADIOHEAD SPECTRE

Acco rding to Thom Yorke on Tw itter, Radiohea d had a crack at doing the song for the last Bond fi lm. The re~ults weren't quite right to soundtrack bullet s and scantily clad ladiPs, but prove perfect to tease the band 's return as they send the Pyramid Song undercover in a soaring, euphoric proto-anthem . Find it: 5oundCfoud

â&#x20AC;˘5 SURGEON BDF-3299

Pul 5ating, unnerving Ballardian techno track from the Birmingham producer's new album, From Farthest Known Objecrs. BDF-3299, incidentally, is named for a galaxy 12.9 billion light yeors from Earth.

Find i t : 5oundCfoud

6

CO)))LTRANE

Combining John Coltrane's 1967 track Mars and Sunn O)))'s 2011 Melvins cover Rabbit's Revenge, this free Jazz/ heav y d rone mash-up work s magically well, like glimpsing o ne of Arthur C Cl arke's Monoliths in a photo of the Martian southern highlands taken by NASA's Curiosity Rover. Find i t : YouTube

MOA HOLMSTEN THE RIVER

Former singer of Swedish metallers Meldrum, Holmsten has since indulged her inner Springsteen gonk on a career-spanning album of Bruce covers, including this blood-curdling take. Find it: YouTu/Je

ADORE

THE BUG FT. THE SPACEAPE G UNS O F BRIXTO N

Singing/ songwriter/ac to r Ritchie (aka Jacob Anderson aka hotsie eunuch Grey Worm in Game Of Th rones!) is shaping up to beo pop-soul superstar, hymning the comfor ts of Friends box-set s. Find it: Vevo

11

I SAVAGES

RALEIGH RITCHIE KEEP IT SIMPLE (FEAT. STORMZY)

Party fierce four: Savages (above, from left) Ayse Hassan, Jehnny Beth, Fay Milton and Gemma Thompson; (bel ow) Col trane blows for the Red planet .

12

MERSEY WYLIE DON'T GIVE UP ON ME

The daughter of Pete Wylie brings a vintage R&B qroover and declares the necessity of staying strong. Find it: SoundCloud

13 a

STEVE MASON PLANET SIZES

14

WHITE DENIM HO LDA YO U (I'M PSYCHO)

16

KEROSCENE REGRET

The first single from the impending Meet The Humans has light touch which allows the former Beta Band man's pipes to soar to new, stirring ly emotive highs. Find it : YouTube

The qroov e is still there, the crunch as snappy as ever, but t he Au st in band have sw itched on a hitherto hi dden golden pop light as they explode ba ck with this b reath less singl e. Find it: SoundCloud

Residing and recording in an old west London warehouse has cl early worn off on the newcomers as this single builds into a twitchy, stormy stomp worthy of their decayed surroundings. Find it: YouTu/Je

17

SPRINGFIELD TEN YEARS

MOJO contributor Sophie Harris finds mellow folk illumination on her Could It Be? EP. This voiceand- piano old flame song strikes poignant notes. Find it : Bandcamp

18

THE BEVIS FROND YOU G OT TO UNWIND

Christm as is long gone but this lovely extra track on LP two of the Cherry Red double viny l reissue of Nick Saloman's third Frond LP, from 1988, b rings it all back; chiming instrumentation, bi ttersweet melod y, broken chords and the perfect res tful sentim ent. Find It: Bondcamp

19

THE l{VB IN DEEP

Mastered by Sonic Boom, the first track off the duo's forthcoming LP is every bit as sonically precise as that suggests, with billowing v intage synths and whirring motorik romance. Find It : SoundCloud

20

FRANI{ SINATRA JR BLACK NIGHT

Spotted by the Aq uarium Drunkard site in Rick Alverson black co medy, Entertainment - about a Frank Sinatra Jr obsessi ve - this marries an om inous Nel son Riddle arrangement (based on Lead belly's In The Pines) to Frank Jr's ~)aran oid lyric. An existential torch song fit to stand alongside his dad 's finest Find it: YouTube

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~ 16 MOJO


SELFPORTRAIT 4

YOI<OONO Yoko Ono by Yoko Ono". (below, left) ' Dream'; (right) 'Open This Bot tle'.

The artist, musician and activist, in her own words and by her own hand. I'd describe myself as... a member of the human race.

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Music changed me by••• music was always with me even when I was an embryo and before. When I'm not making music I'm ••• are you asking what I get from music? The main vibration that helps to grow me is in the vibration of music.

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The last time I was embarrassed was ••• I am embarrassed every minute for not doing enough of what I should be doing. My formal qualifications are••• None. The last time I cried was ••• I cry almost every minute spiritually. Vinyl, CD or MP3?••• all of the three. It's wonderful that we keep adding things to be excited and to love. My most treasured possession is ••• my brain. My heart second.

The best book I've read is •��� • any book that passed my memory bank has become a seed that nourishesmy brain.

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Is the glass half-full or half-empty? ••• we have been given a coin when we were born. A coin with two sides. My greatest regret is... I have no regrets. Everything that was to be regretted, I have already regretted. And now it has become the water which gives you good wine. When we die ... first, we will quickly remember everything that we have

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experienced in our lives, minutely and completely. It will help you to move on. I would like to be remembered as•.. I would like to be remembered in the way it will be a memory which will help you so we won't makethe same mistakes. I would like people to know that there is an immense beauty, love

and joy in life. So you would not try to end your life anyfasterthan it has to be. The knowledge of you makes me befulloflove. Thankyouforbeing. I love you! Yoko Yoko Ono's Yes, I'm A Witch Too, featuring collaborations wi1h Sparks, Death Cab For Cutieand tUnE-yArDs is out February 79on MManimal Group

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MOJORISING -~,

THE

HIT E BUF FAL O

Sons Of Anarchy OST-er shines some light on the Americana dirt and gravel.

f you thought Drake had taken the dubious science of "dad·dancing" as far as it could go in 2015's Hotline Bling video, hang on: there's a late challenge from the worl d of Americana. In The White Buffalo's clip for his track Modern Times, a hirsute and physically imposing good ol' boy highkicks, hand-jives and generally throws ill-advised shapes over a song of angst at the wrongs of the modern world. ·1thought it would be fun,H claims Jake Smith, aka The White Buffalo, a statement which may come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the gravel-voiced, ferociously intense work of this 41 -year-old Orange County resident, in particular his dozen-odd contributions to the soundtrack of TV biker drama Son5 Of Anarchy. That saga of the New Wild West and Smith's story-songs about outlaws and the downtrodden. drawing on a tradition that run s from Hank Williams and Johnny Cash to Bruce Springsteen and Steve Earle, might have been made for each other. "It was perfect for me; he agrees, "the dark and the light, the conflicted emotions. I don't know why but I like writing about people down on their luck or making bad decisions. People are flawed. you know ?And it's even more interesting when you throw a little violence or booze in there.. : That video, though, is part of an effort to push himself ~ out of what he describes as #my go-to - the darker side of § life". First single I Got You, an almost-love-song duet with ~ firebrand singer (and great-grand-niece of Judy Garland) ,.. Audra Mae, and the accompanying fourth album, LoveAnd

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18 MOJO

Biso n street blues: Jake Smith, •ka The White Buffalo, comes o ut of the da rkness.

"IT'S EVEH MORE INTERESTING WHEN YOU THROW AllTTlE VIOlENCE OR BOOZE IN.''

FACT SHEET

The Death OfDamnation, get dose • foi "n cl t .,,, E1r1 J hn H11n, ,,,$,n ~bdl to chirpy: "I mean, people still get • !he Whit· ~uftalo n1me killed: he says, "but it definit ely ,.m from th" r al1sat1on leans more to the positive side." th.n v,u 11n1 " II l-1h11b The mayhem and misery could with th• n.1m1• J<1kP\m th on th1•m ThJt. •nd 11 ' just be a by-product of his natural 1nm thin J 1r.1ntrr th,1n >n1· baritone. he adds: "It's not like it's ue1· r 1nqrr ''"qwritrr ' part of my personality. I have the • on. ofSm th'1 voice so I can sell that- it wouldn't untr bull 0\ lo ~-m or AlLrch1wJ av.r1~ncr come off if you didn't have a little B ~ mun fihJ~<h - It dirt or gravel." ,., ,ut kn • oat, h• The rest of his "primitive· rt.k "' tut h.rt"Cjrtl reckons, he sound came together, lh II Itl dn l ql't lo~ th• ~o11.im·ch h t from taking up guitar late. when he was at college on a baseball KEY TRACKS scholarship, and a combination of • I GN 'r.u • l.1>l C.tll Tc HhlY~n his twin loves of country and hard • frnt.iw core punk. #I've been isolated in my own musical world,• he explains, "I have a certain approach to guitar that's not easily reproduced." SonsOf Anarchy was good to him, though more in terms of exposure than hard cash. Touring life now is three musicians in a van, driving themselves and going without a road crew. "I'd rather bring that money home to my family,· he says. sounding like one of the blue-collar heroes of his own songs. "You know, it'sjust a little more work." James Medd The White Buffalo'~ Love And The Death Of Damnation is released on February 12 through Earache.


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The ex-Espers folk voice and guitar talks cascading sunsets, reductionist fuzz and maximum sultriness.

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{from On I he Shore. CBS. 1971 J

: 'Thi\ roll1nc1. elevc1 ted ' ver\1on of d mut h·tov· ered Cyril T.iwncy \Ong opened so m.iny door \ fo r me Trees take on it 1s powPrful Pnough to ch;ingP th Pwhole tra1t>r tory of thP onq1nal And I always feel hke th is s ~ : the version thJt led to th e -o .i ;' (OVt r\ by MJg1t Hour (No :;< : Excess lsAbsurd T•v•s tcd Village. 1994 1and Flying ' : Saucf'r Attack , 1996. EP\. ' 1lovP thosf' lonq thrf'ilds of r!"1ntf'rpretat1on throuqh music. I .ilso love the way 4 Trees· version builds to deliver th<lt moment where Cehil Humphris' otherworldly multitrilcked voKf' sings 'sun sE>t' rPpE>atedly over musK that sounds hke a cascade of ~unsets. I know On Tiii! Shore dlrcddy hds m dny fans, but I try Jnd mdke sure everyone checks this song out - just 1n casE' •

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(from Smokin ·Willie LP, UlrichSrud10, 1977)

·1heard this from one of myfilvourite gu1tilrists. Willie Lane, bilck when we were both liv1ng 1n Philcidclphid. It's dmazingly reductionist rock and fuzz, where yo u don't really have to play all ; : the notes to make it work : or anyth ing. It's tota II y ;' free of inhibition or : hesi tation. The room tone ; sounds like it could bea • •• m.irginJlly filled co mmunity gymnasium or a remote stone hollow, so it's nf'arly impossible to ~ guess at any geographical I • • • origins. ls 1t rural? Urban? I'm so jeillous of Willie's • (OiJYof 5mokin' l.Yil/ie. : ! Even the incredible cover art delves into a confounding distortion of human S(ale that makes you wonder if 1r s the wo rk of pre-history humans or even dlien 1n origin·

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"My good fri end Russ Waterh ouse from Blues Control gJve me a copy of th is c<1 ssette ,1 fter coming across it o n d vi sit home to the Bos to n are;1. The whole recording is J nice. str ,1ight collec tion of traditi onal songs w th lot s of hammer dulcimer. but this pared down rendition of Fair Annie 1s a stop you dead 1n your tracks standout. A quiet, humble and 1llum1nated performance of one of those tearierker tradit ional songs 1n which the charac ters stand up for each other against authority and t ac tually works out. If evE'r I doubt th e potential of the vo1Ce as a way to convey power to large crowds and largf' spacE>s, 1t's grE>at to check 1n with performances hke this."

HIPSTERS T HERE GOES CO NCORDE AGAIN ...

(llearerVolume 7-inch, 1980)

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"I'll never forget the feeling of first hearing this j oyfully perplexing song. A woman in some kind of 'heightened state' relat es : • di sconnec ted. \ Urreal. and • mundane observations over an unexpectE>d and very psychedelic collage ofldyer~ - including d track by Clem Curtis and The Foundations that rLsemble~ cl 70s sitcom theme as much as anything else. In Heron Oblivion I've been adding • spoken p.>ssages to my singing -a first fo r me. and • a big stretch. This buoyant • c1nd we1 rd song, c1nd the conviction with which the sinqer declares her love of the colour red- 'red, red, RED!' - have been a • • ma1•orinspirat1on.

"Thi s has been a big hit <1round the hou ~c for d while. An d it rc<1 lly m.i ke~ you wond er why everyone tunes in strum ent ~ 1n totally E>qual tE>m pE>rilmE>nt ;ill the time. So much power. suggc~tion. dnd intent would be lo~ t 1f this song were perfectly 1n tune Kim Jung Mi's voc.il performances are amnz1ng on this who If' re(ord. but this touqh and sultry song - maybe the \ Ultricst cvcr 1 - 1\ <l highlight on th •s m ostl y ~otter. prettier set of songs. Kim Jung M1 \ voc.il and th e band sound huge and small. upclosE>, familiar. and unknow able all at once And yPt. for all the vulnerable wobblines~ of this tr<1ck. the mystery, emotion. <1nd the spell of th e dream are never broken. Hey!"

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A cut above: Car Seat Headrest 's Will Toledo, losing his last vestig es of tee nhood.

From Seattle: precocious, driven lo-fi indie rock to admire. n December, Car Seat Headrest's Will Toledo narrated a playlist for online culture show The Dinner Party Download, alongside fellow guests Ian McKellen and Cindy Crawford (who discussed "naughty'' Judi Dench and fear of pythons, respectively). "We weren't in the sa me studio," says Toledo. "If we were, I guess I would've stressed out about it and said as little as possible. I'm definitely not one for parties. It's kind of ironic they chose m e at all.'' Such is the promise of the 23-year-old Seattle resident, who began releasing music on line as Car Seat Headrest in 201 0. Now signed to Matador, his Teens OfStyle album -which features rerecorded material - made a stir wi th its fuzzy, melodious songs of despair, conflict and searing frankness that suggested Beck, The Magnet ic Fields and Guided By Voices. "I try and j ust be honest and sometimes that means presenting myself as not a very pleasant person," muses Toledo. "But I've got a pop drive too, I guess. That's what I like listening to, things that are catchy, so I try to write that way." Having managed 11 albums released on Bandcamp - they include My Back Is Killing Me Baby, Nervous Young Man and Monomania - it 's no surprise he started young. Taught piano by his dad asa kid in Leesburg, Virginia, Toledo learned to play by ea r, and moved on to guit ar at middle

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• He 1 en1oy ng br ng rn h11 school. After a diet of Nirvana and tw•nties. It 'ni'~ to lie an Green Day came the more rldult •nd to br able tJ du complex. introverted sounds of th n~1 . b•forr there wa1 Neutral Milk Hotel. Radiohead and a lot of 1trugglr, wh eh" rdlrrtrd n thr mu11c Leonard Cohen, and as an English l alw~ys WJntcd to be more major his poetic soul was mature thJn what Iwas. nurtured while he experimented Jnd 11 took me a while to catch up· with laptop recording. His Car Seat Headrest handle FACT SHEET was occasioned by necessity. "I'd • Sum•th1ny Soun e T1mr ToDiP started out recording in my • No Passion parents' house but I didn't feel that I was able to get good vocal performances with my family being able to hear," he says. "So I made the shift into recording in the car [a navy blue Subaru station wagon), where I had some privacy, as quickly as possible." 2011's self-released Twin Fantasy earned on line admiration, but he admits he's happy to be competing in a more visible way. "I've been hoping for a while something like this would happen," he says. "It's good I was able to gradually build up from a very small audience to mid-level internet interest audience and get all that under my belt before going national with it .. . or international!" Teens OfStyle's companion piece Teens Of Denial will be out later in 2016. "I don't know if I want to say too much about it yet," he says, "but it's definitely about losing the last vestiges of teen hood and trying to advance into adulthood, with vari ed results." No more clamming up in the high pressure interview situation, then.

Jan Harrison Car Seat Headrest tour Europe In February.

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20 MOJO

<lv1nq m, -IP herv nyl clr•rut n 2ul) th' ,azz- nt .:-rme-J _)E:Von-breJ sinqer ROSIE LOWE ~IE- ft l w ,1<; t1 JI'"~! for -U•, "' 1n 2•'l14. :nil ;>i)15. Now with chl! f1:bru::iry rdec~e :.:flc we sdebut album , -onrrtJ1, h<"r 1mac.1n.:it1vf 1c1n nq of her En JI ' h or qm~ and .int.k< trir. crl'<1m ~,f Amcric,1n I &::l c<!n fin.illy I •C' ·rcessed W1th1n. as well as prev ous s1nqle Who' Thilt G rl 1J nJ WLirry Bout U!>, rl'le.i~PJ IJlL IJcl yco r -fL' r ·- h >ynth-,oul n"rr.~t.Vt"> ,fther.1:->elJt '· modf'rn t;.

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PART 1 ''ITWASA VINDICATION." Rush voice Geddy Lee on identity crisis, cosmic totalitarianism and UK music weekly grief.

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ur record company Mercury had told us in no uncertain terms that we were a huge disappointment to them. They had signed us on the basis of our first record [Rush, 1974), which was pretty straightforward hard rock. But we loved all those English progressive rock bands - Yes and Genesis - and on our third album Caress Of Steel we had a song that was 20 minutes, The Fountain Of Lamneth. Mercury was like, 'What the fu ck?Who are you guys?' And even we thought that: Who are we? Caress OfSteel had bombed. The gigs were half-empty. We named it the 'Down The Tubes Tour'. We joked about Neil [Peart, drummer) going back into the farm equipment business, and Alex [Lifeson, guitar) and I going back to painting movie theatres. When we started on 2112, we thought this would probably be the last record we make. So we were like: fuck you, Mercury. If we're going to go out, we'll go out doing our crazy shit, not failing at what you want us to be. Neil wrote a story for the song 2112 based on Anthem by Ayn Rand. Neil's story was set in a futuristic totalitarian state, controlled by the priests of the temples of Syrinx. One day our hero finds a device. He's not sure what it is, but it has strings, and he figure s out he can make music with it. He present s it to the pri ests but they shut him down because they want control over everything. He contemplates ending it all, because he doesn't want to live in a world that can't embrace such a thing that he's found .. . Neil showed us bits of lyric, and then we went to work at it. The whole thing came together very quickly - another 20-minute song- but it was so much more powerful and focused than The Fountain Of Lamneth. It felt really fresh to us, like we had figured something out. That was side one. It was heavy. So w ith side two we wanted to show diversity, an alternative version of the band. We had Tears, the pretty side of Rush, and A Passage To Bangkok. our pot-smoker song. We recorded the whole album in four weeks, at Toronto Sound Studios, which was owned by our producer Terry Brown. And it was fun - there was no desperation in the room. We were rea lly proud of what we'd made. We didn't know what kind of feedback we were going to get from the record company. We were pretty afraid of that. Our manager didn't get it at all. and when he played it for Mercury everyone in the room was puzzled by it except for Cliff Burn stein, who went on to manage Def Leppard and Metallica. Cliff thought the album was awesome, and for us that was so heartening. Sales were slow at first. And then we had that terrible thing in England with the NME. 2112 was speaking out against totalitarianism, but the NME called us fascists. It made zero sense. Ayn Rand had a very controversial image as an anti-socialist and extreme right-wing capitalist, but that was a side of her work that was not of interest to us. My father Morris and my mother Mary were both in Auschwit z for a time. so I was really deeply hurt by that NME story. At that t ime in Britain, the press was hunting down anything that sniffed of fascism. I can't blame them for that. But they got the wrong guys with us. I am not a violent type, but I wanted to punch the guy who wrote that. Definitely, I could have helped educate him. In the end, what the NME said didn't matter. At first, 2112 was a slow seller, but when we went back on the road we were getting better gigs, even headlining some c shows. It was a defining album. The artwork r~ . for the album by our friend Hugh Syme 拢 beca me a brand, it transcended the record and became very representational of us as a ; 路 band. The albu m was a vindicat ion. From tha t ~ point, we were free to make our own mistakes." 0

MOJO 23


RUS H MAK E

2112,1976 Producer Terry Brown talks studio laughs, commercial second-guessing and sci-fi mind-stamp ing.

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'm English, but in the mid-'70s I'd been living in Toronto for a number of years. and I'd been producing Rush since their first album. We were all disappointed that Caress Of Steel didn't do better, but that wasn't something I ever discussed with the band. Things were moving at a pretty fast pace back then, and when it came to making 2112 we were all just focused on the creative process. I know the record company wanted something commercial. And the band wanted success - but not by compromising what they were doing. They had a vision of where 2112 should go, and I think we achieved that. By the time we got to the studio, they had the material written and the basic structure for the album - the conceptual side, and then the separate tracks on side two. That 20-minute piece, 2112 itself, had a lot of substance andgreat dynamics in it. Also, it wasn't as dark as The Fountain Of Lamneth. It was much more

24 MOJO

(No t) d oing th e Lamne th Wa lk: Ru sh in '76 (from left) Lifeso n, Peart, Lee; (right) the group with producer Te rry Brown (second fro m right); (below) Ged dy gives it some, d o u blenecke d style.

uplifting, and I think that made the difference. The science fiction story-line captured everyone's imaginations. And musically, that piece has some real keynote moments, especially the Overture, which really stamped itself on one's mind indelibly. I was also confident there was potential there for radio in some of the songs on side t wo. The Twilight Zone and Something For Nothing were all great songs. And I loved t he intro in A Passage To Bangkok. It doesn't seem so politically correct now, but I thought it was a great little motif. We had four weeks to do the whole record and we worked hard. We smoked a little dope when we'd finished a track and were listening back, but you don't want to become paranoid and paralysed when you're performing. We didn't have inordinate amounts of time to piss away smoking joints, that's for sure. They're very funny guys, especially

Alex, he's hilarious. But they were very serious about making a record, and such strong players. Geddy's vocals were stunn ing on 2172. Alex had such a cool approach to his soloing. And of course Neil was this powerh ouse of a drummer. For me. as a producer, it was really a question of getting the best performances out of them. and as much energy as possible. When we finished, I felt that this was a huge leap forward for the band. It was an album you could listen to over and over, because there was so much detail in it. I thought they'd nailed it, totally. Having said that, you 2:never know what will make a hit. But ~ ?:these guys were always out on the ~ road touring, and 2112 was such a dynamic song to play live. It always left .~ ~ the audiences wanting more. I had a great working relationship 12 ~ with the band. I produced every Rush ~ album up until Signals (1982). But what G 2112 did, at that time, was define what ~ er the band was all about. I listened to it ~ recently and enjoyed it immensely. It 's 0 '.: a great record." Paul Elliott .ÂŁ

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NEW ALBUM OUT FEBRUARY 5rH ON DOUBLE 180G LP, CD AND DIGITAL

ON TOUR Feb 25 Newcastle, The Cluny SOLD OUT Feb 26 Newcastle, The Cluny SOLD OUT Feb 28 York, The Duchess Mar 03 Ca rdiff, The Globe Mar Olt Exeter, Exeter P hoenix Mar 05 Nottingham, Rescue Rooms Mar 10 Leeds, Brudenell Social Club Mar 11 Manchester, Band on the Wall SOLD OUT Mar 13 Glasgow, CCA Mar 18 London, Islington AsserTibly Hall

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I field·music.co.uk


Scream! The Fat White Family infect Stoke and Stockton-On-Tees, talk Sean'n'Yoko, the Ireland/ Algeria connection and 0-R-U-G-S. ast night was good." says Fat White Family frontman Lias Saoudi. "Someone gave me some ketamine." The band have just played a mag netic set at the Sugarmill in Stoke-on-Trent and Lias is hoping for post-gig stimulation. But. scanning the clientele in a pub by the venue, he's not hopeful. "They all look like Star Wars fdns,'' he decides. Lias has the twitchy charisma of Vincent Cassel in the film La Haine, and live Fat White Family mix lggy Pop w ith classic reverb-drenched rock'n'roll. But in the pocket ofLias's camo jacket sit s atypical tour reading - The Scramble For Africa, Thomas Pakenham's 1992 book on imperialism. Similarly, though his stage gambits in Stoke included drenching the moshpit in Guinness and methodically dangling gob-down g onto the head of his microphone, the ~ next day he'll talk eloquently about ~ T.S. Eliot and Primo Levi. ~ Here is a band many have pro~ claimed as a beacon of outrageous

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potency in a sea of caution, one ideally pitched for the higher and lower selves. In the former category, Lias attended the Slade School of Fine Art in London, aIma mater to GK Chesterton and Sir Stanley Spencer, and Fat White Family's new album. Songs For Our Mothers. was partly recorded at Yoko Ono's mansion in New York state. For the latter, their deranged live appearances have included a show in Sheffield where Lias was stripped to the waist and streaked with his own excreta, while at one Los Angeles gig he took LSD and writhed naked on stage while sticking his fin gers in his anus in time to the music. There's no obvious auto-proctology in Stoke. Instead, in the pub beforehand, Lias's brother Nathan .--""""' - Fat White Family's keyboardist - plays pool and lines up Springsteen on the jukebox. When someone asks ifThe Boss is the man of the hour, he replies, "The man of eternity: After Stoke it's Stockton-on-Tees. Backstage, Nathan plays a CD of country greats from Buck Owens. The previous

FWF live, the Geo rg ian Thea tre, St ockto n-on· Tees, December 4 (from left) Adam Harm er, Severin Black, Lias Saoudi, Dale Barclay.

night featured 2014 single I Am Mark ESmith. Backstage at Glastonbury 2015, Fat White Family had a robust dialogue with The Fdll. "The Fall were all sat there and he [Mark Smith] had a bottle of champagne," remembers Lias. "Nathan says, 'Mark, can I have a drink of your champagne?' He's like 'Yeah, yeah, come here.' He pours out a big glass and throws it in [Nathan's] face." ·1said, That's not a nice thing to do. apologise." adds Nathan. "He's like. 'Do you want a whisky?' He gave me a whisky... • Says Lias, "And Nathan goes, 'Fuck you !· (imitates howls as Nathan throws whisky in his face). All The Fall got up ... We thought we were about to have a brawl with The Fall, who are my favourite band. We ended just sat round chatting and [Mark Smith] said he really liked the band. You had two nat ural-born antagonists and he met his match with Nathan. That was the highlight of my year, if not my life.. :· Fat White Family last played Stockton about a year ago. Of that line-up only Lias, Nathan and Bournemouth-born guitarist Adam Harmer remain. There's a new rhythm section - drummer Severin Black from south London and bassist Taishi Nagasaka from Nagoya, Japan. The key absentee is Saul Adamczewski, Lias's co-songwriter. "He's on leave," says Lias. · seing rehabilitated: Saul is in America being treated for his drug use. His stand-in on guitar is suave Dale


The pre- Fat Whites band • The Saudis, explained . • •

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~\\f. Building a squalid foundation : (clockwise from top left) lyrics and jazz. fags; post-gig in Stockton; on-stage at the Sugarmill, Stoke, December3, 2015; outside the venue (with Taishi Nagasaka, third from right) and in the car park (both Stoke); Lias has a bevvy; poster for the Stockton gig; Stoke fans get into it; shirtless in Stoke; (below) absent guitarist Saul Adamczewski.

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Barclay, ex-front man of Glasgow's The Amazing Snakeheads. Heroin is addressed on their new album, on the track Tinfoil Deathstar. Other subjects include Harold Shipman, Ike Turner's abuse of Tina and a recurring consideration of fascism - including a t rack called Goodbye To Goebbels. "That's a love song from Hitler to Goebbels," says Lias. "The album is about abusive relationships - sado-masochism, which I suppose you could say is Nazis and smack." Lias adds it would take wilful misapprehension to read the band as far-ri ght hate mongers, though. "What would I say if someone decided we were anti-Semitic neo-Nazis?" he posits. "I'd find it highly amusing if people believe such gibberish. We've made our political stance clear... We're not anti-Semites but we are firmly anti-Israel." Being among t he select number of Algerian-Irish in rock, the brothers have themselves been

targets of bigotry. Their Algerian father's work in IT made for itinerant family life, and while living in Northern Ireland, Lias and Nathan were both called racial epithets by their school peers. They talk of being befriended by John Lennon's son Sean, who produced several Fat White Family tracks - one of which, Satisfied, is on the new album. Lias has fond memories of recording at Yoko Ono's house: "There was all kinds of Beatles stuff - books on the primal scream, with [John's] notation inside. I love The Beatles. When I was 141 had all their albums ..." As the band make ready for more compelling rock action at Stockton's Georgian Theatre, Lias talks about anot her band favourite- Slovenia's totalitarian provocateurs Laibach. "Laibach were a big influence on t he album," he says. "They beat us to the punch when they played in North Korea. Ah well, tonight Stockton-onTees, tomorrow, Pyongyang." Roy Wilkinson

Lias: A lonq w.1yh< <k 't'ffi<' r;p·;pl( fr. Jm my l.im ly 1n Alqcri,1 wr>nt to< i!Urli Arilblil. Th;;t 'wh,.rt> thP n~m,• ~;inu.J -nm"' from WhPny•1u hav"'" nrtm"' like th<1t t seemed like a no-br11ner - let's oe called The ::.:1uo s. ':>.:-we touret: Algerio (in 2X9]. In L nc...in w•_; I ul.iy t:J .Jl m:;~t 50 :1eo1: I,. »ut thi wc1' hk•·. ·.oo r . 0:11•'. In th·~ cn <''> itWil' :1,Jno· ·mon um. in thr ,m"ll town' thPyw...r.:> qoh<ffi<l kPd, <tannn n 'h~,-k Thf~1' i't"1PIF>wnul.-J n,,v,:r have seen anycne frr:m Eur-::pe We JIJy!?d all rounc Kal:yl a in the north. a m:..:unt~inou>" re~. It WJ·- all m~n al th1:: \,i(,j'-nowcm.:n VUbil:C thL '1Utlhl~f :> there d l1' d tow·; hL'.J,l on thl' o,trclt. flit' all ,1r::un J:t . m.·n <1t t.1f\;,, ,m,1~h n:.1 •"1wn rl!'m1no<>'\ nn•1 °.h.~ut nq at ea. h oth~r. cc'tec I ke ta r WewPnt to lfam hJw to wntt.. sonq< We were 1here for thr"'"' me nrh, cnJ tht>rt" w,i, noth1nq "'ht: tc.> de. {F.;1t Wh11e Fomdy ,._iny) lou~h Tht Le Jthcr~ tJrtcJ over thl·rc:. Ak:xvndtr [S<'bl y], who w J\ in Thl' 1.1uci',<Jnd 'o-wrotP T<'U( h Tht> LP th"r, w.1'\ 'litt n J on th1 -c.:ir ~e2 t n•- lly hot. likr '> -,h ir. tem:-,r ratur!' Hew .s like. Tou-h the li:>ather. :,nh tou'-h the le.;th""r'

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FEBRUA RY 1992 ...THE KLF SAVAGE THE BRIT AWARDSThe videos flashed onto the screen in quick succession at London's Hammersmith Odeon. The winner of the Best British Band award was about to be announced at the 12th BRITS cerem ony. The watching crowd cheered as images of Dire Straits, Queen, James, Pet Shop Boys, Simply Red and The KLF were paraded before them. Who could the winner be? Guest presenter Martika was on-stage to hail the successful band. "For the first time ever at the BRITS, we have an exact tie and two w inners," she announced. "Congratulations, Simply Red and The KLF." Mick Hucknall wasn't there to accept his award, as Martika went on, "Mick has asked me to say he would accept second place ... and Long Live Queen, maaan! - Disconcertingly, The KLF also failed to appear. They had !! long gone, leaving Hammersmith in I ~ theirtaillights. ;; The story began unfolding much 0 earlier in the day. Soon after dawn, a

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28 MOJO

van pulled up outside a Northampton slaughterhouse, and a dead sheep was loaded on board be driven to London. So began the diabolic scheme hatched by Bill Drumm ond and Jimmy Cauty. who, as The KLF. were the biggest-selling band in the world in '91. Their plan was to totally disrupt the industry's showcase awards ceremony with an act that would stain its name for all eternity. They would dismember the dead sheep on-stage and throw buckets of blood into the stuffedshirted audience. Not since Terry Southern devised his vat-full of cash

BRIT-ty vacant: (clockwise from main) Bill Drummond lets off some s tea m with ENT; The Sun huffs; presenter Martika (with clg11rette); the infamous dead sheep.

and bodily fluids for The Magic Christian movie had anyone come up with such a bumper wheeze. Or so the conspirators thought. Thankfully, wiser heads prevailed. When The KLF joined grindcore metallists Extreme Noise Terror to rehearse their version of 3 AM Eternal for the show, BBC lawyers hastily curtailed the bucket of blood plan, claiming that it would undoubtedly lead to seriou s legal problems. And Extreme Noise Terror proved unhappy about the sheep being disembowelled. Avowed vegetarians, they could hardly be expected to approve The KLF plan of action and threatened to pull out of the performance. The KLF called them "weeds" and duly opted for an alternat ive plan. Come the night, Bil I Drummond appeared on-stage, wearing a kilt and supported by crutches. A bizarre but strangely threatening figure, he snarled, "The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu versus Extreme Noise Terror: this is television freedom; as the joint conspirators launched into the torrent of noise that was 3.AM Eternal. As the audience reeled, Drummond somehow emerged from the on-stage riot of


movement and sound, chomping a cigar and firing what appeared to be an automatic weapon. As the noise riot terminated and the band headed off-stage, the voice of publicist Scott Piering announced, "The KLF have now left the music industry." Some of the audience were shocked. Sir Georg Solti, the Hungarian conductor who was to present the best classical award, attempted to leave the auditorium and had to be persuaded to return to his seat. Later, The KLF dubbed him "a scaredy cat." Soon after, in Smash Hits, Drummond and Cauty explained: "We frightened the audience because they thought the machine gun we fired was loaded with bullets. It was only blanks, ha, ha! We left after our bit, and arranged for a motorbike messenger to pick up our award for Best British Group. The Brit's producers, however, wouldn't let him pick it up for us. Pah, foiled!" But their vengeance wasn't complete. Later that evening, a dead sheep was dumped outside the Royal Lancaster Hotel, where a post-BRITS party was taking place. Tied to the carcass was a message: "I died for you - bon appetit." The next morning's Sun came with the headline, •KLF's Sick Gun Stunt Fails To Hit The Target", around the time the band were making plans to dump their BRITS award near Stonehenge. Three months later, on May 14, 1992, The KLF announced their retirement from the music industry and the deletion of their back catalogue with the message: "We are at a point where the path is about to take a sharp turn from these sunny uplands down into a netherworld of we know not what." In 1993 the two found ed t he K Foundation, who would burn a million pounds on the island of Jura on August 23, 1994. They said they would not speak about the burning for 23 years. The moratorium runs out next year. Fred Dellar

NEVERMIND · BACK AT TOP !• , 1 Nirvana1Jhovr '~t , the r secondalbum : r~turn lo Numb•r 1 in : th~ US On Fehruory 24 • Kurt Cob,1in w II marry • Courtney Love on Wd k1ki Beech. HoWdl . '

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George Michael and Elton John's Don't _.., u1wtTH TH.~~'' ll !IOltN Qlf lot fEBRUARY 1 LetThe Sun Go Down On Me duet, tops the :· ~..:.:• ~:,.-.. singles chart in the US.The recording, w hich stems from a Wembley · • ••·• ~~ concert of March 23, 1991 , provides the seventh US Number 1 for both singers, not including Michael's Wham! successes. Proceeds are split between The London Lighthouse AIDScharity and The Rainbow Trust Children's Charity. On February 8, Band Aid closes its accounts having raised£ 11O million for famine relief. Says Bob Geldof:"lt was only supposed to last seven weeks, but I hadn't counted on the fact that hundreds of millions would respond."

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that The Jesus And Mary Chain were barred from Top Of The Pops last week after the lyrics of their Reverence single were deemed unsuitable by the show's producer, Stan Appel. Says a BBC spokesperson: Hour producer felt that the lyric, 'I want to die like Jesus Christ, I want to die on a bed of spikes,' was unsuitable for broadcast at a time when children are most likely to be watching the programme."

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SOCI{ IT TO 'E The Specials' drummer John Bradbury died suddenly on December 28. hen The Specials played their hugely well-received reunion tour in 2009, they opened the show with Do The Dog. The song ridiculed la te-'70~ intern ecine violence to a fast-stomping. punks-versus-teds beat. and it was testament to John Bradbury's crucial place in the group that he sounded as fi ery and possessed on his Pearl drum kit as he had in 1979, combining punk attack with the rhythmic nuances of reggae and soul. The dates went down a storm. Born In Coventry in 1953, Bradbury was the ideal man for The Specials' drum-stool. His father Bert was a council decorator while his mother Joan, who worked in the maternity ward at Walsgrave hospital, was a form er shop steward with strong anti-racist views. Having received his first set of drums aged eight, Bradbury's sisters would later introduce to him to the Northern soul scene in the Midlands. In the mid '70s he worked at Pete Waterman's Soul Hole shop in Coventry's City Arcade (motto - 'Black Music's Our Bag - Make It Yours'). Another employee of the shop was Tim Strickland, who in 1977 would join

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keyboardist Jerry Dammers in a group called The Automatics, as vocalist. Strickland would soon be replaced by Terry Hall. Bradbury, who by then had gone to study fine art in Hull and who shared a house with Dammers, would join the ranks for the band's first single Gangsters, whose slinky double A-side, The Selecter. Brad co-wrote w ith fellow Coventry musician Neol Davies. After that 45's Top 10 success in June 1979, which spearh eaded the short but intense ska boom. the group's ascent was dizzying. The next two years would see seven 45s, including the Number 1 The Special A.K.A. Live! EP, two Top 5 albums and constant touring, increasingly marred by stage invasions. The pressure, they later reveal ed, was immense, and while their second Num ber 1 Ghost Town - a chart-topper as cities around Britain erupted in ri oting -was possibly their most staggerin g diagnosis of societal breakdown, the line-up would splinter thereafter. Bradbury, though, kept faith with Dammers. seeing out the troubled creation of 1984's Special AKA album In The Studio, which included the triumphant, Top 10 anti-apartheid anthem Nelson Mandela. The drummer had concurrently run his soul outfit JB's Allstars, whose 1986 farewell single The Alphabet Army was

.B. Checkered life: John Bradbury, wh ose main influences we re Al Jackson Jr and Sly Dunbar, e njoying The Specials' refo rm atio n.

"dedicated to the overworked, underpaid teachers." In the years that followed he played with ska supergroup The Special Beat and worked in computers, conspicuously absent. like Hall, from the partial Specials reformations other members organised in the '90s and beyond. That changed in 2008 when the classic formation, sadly lacking Dammers, acknowledged the bond between band and fans and returned to contention. They played their last gig in Nottingham in July 2015, and were planning dates. and possibly new recordings, for this year. When MOJO's Danny Eccleston spoke to Brad in 2009, he talked about his brush with cancer five years previously, t he depth of his friendship with Hall, and how the band had matured with their audience. He also denied that inter-band friction had given them their unique spark. saying, "It was all about the combination of elements, the chemistry. None of that sparked any greater effort or intensity on my part. This is what I was born to do." He leaves his wife Emily, who he met at The Specials' first London gig at the Electric Ballroom in 1979, and his ...v son Elliott. Ian Harnson

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A music i m p resario who inhtlbit ed the twin w o rlds of w ild showmanship and g rand fo lly, Ro b ert Stig w ood w as b o rn i n Adelaid e but m oved t o En gland in 1955. eventucllly est rl blishing the theatrical agency. Robert Sti gw oo d Associa t es. Inspired by Joe M eek's success w ith Jo hnny Rem em ber M e by his cl ient, John Leyto n, Sti gw ood expanded into music, o perati ng as agent, m anager, producer, publisher clnd concert prom ot er. n ot alway s successfully. An attem p t t o sign the Sm all Faces in 1966 resulted i n a now legendary balco ny dangling fro m Don Arden's heavy friends Ho w ever, b y 1967 Stigw ood w as m anagin g Cream clnd the Bee Gees. co-ow ned Br ian Epst ein's NEMS Enterp rises and w o uld soon p roduce such thea trical freak-out ' '

successes as Hair and Oh ! Calcutta! By th e '70s, Stigw ood w as running his own record label. RSO, and produci ng smash cinem a hit s Tommy, Jesus Christ Superst ar, Grease and Sa turday Night Fever and o ne m ajor disast er. 1978 mov ie musical Sgt . Pepper's Lo nely Hearts Club Band. He died o f a heart attack o n January 4, aged 81.

Andrew Male

NATALIE COLE JAZZ, R&B, SOUL SCION BORN 950 Children faltering as th ey fo llow a fam ous parent on a sim i lar career path is a fam i liar story. but fo r m any year s Nat alie Co l e, a fin e soul, jazz and pop sin ger and daug h t er of Nat Kin g Cole, bucked the t rend. Her debut singl e. 1975's fizzy This W ill Be, and alb um Inseparable, both w o n Grammys. Nev er pushed into music, she began singing at a young age, appeared o n h er father's The MagicOf Christmas album i n 1960, and on his US TV show, and sang in rock bands and jazz com bos. But at 15 she w as h it hard by Nat's death. Du ri ng college

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Interview by DANNY ECCLESTON • Portrait by MATTIA ZOPPELLARO RE·r ·r AND ERSO~ (;LIDES lN"fO -rHE WEST jilting th(• t·ahbie 's son fro111 Lind.field, Susse:-. to take up \vtth Oan1on Alb.1rn fro1n rivals Blur. By co ntrast \·vith his hea rtier Lo ndon offices of his PR looki11g in1n1aculate: proto-Britpop peers, Ande rson's combinatio n of l·oyness and perfectly pressed black trousers, shjny black vainglo1·)' inade hin1 a p olarising presence in the niid-'90s n1usic pointy boots, slate-grey shirt and 48-year-old hair that, if it has been dyed , has been rendered p1·ess - dr;n.v ing fl ak for lyric·s a nd in tcrvie \VS that played gan1es l'll.pcnsivcly, u11obtrusivcly. Some people an: \vith sexual politics in an era that 1vas beginning to prefer thcsl' dl•scril>ed as sharp-featured; 1vith its pointy nose things in black o r 1vhite. Others he alienated \\'itl1 111ercly a pout or a flick of his l:loppy fringe (""fhere \Vas a lo t o f preening,'' be and r azor t•ht·ekbo nes, the Suede singer 's lace looks like it could no\v concedes). sti II do you a n1ischief f-1is group are enjoying an un]ikely renaissan ce. Shelved after 'fhe Anderson sitting do,vn 1vith MOJO to day claims to be n1uch changed: h11n1hlcr, n1ure thoughtful. ·rhc fathe r h vo sons 2002 's nla lfo rn1ed tl Neiv 1l1om int1 albu1n advised the jig \vas up tor (one three, ano the r, a stepson. I I ), he certainly seen1:-: 111nre the fo rmer Britpo p pacemakers, the quintet have been slo"vly inclined to 1notk himst'.lfor adn1ir fault, in drv cla,ving back their re putatio n, a 20 I 0 reunio n to ur spa,vning a fine , M25 to nt.:s that m ake you think of con1ic Jack OeC' until the fla sh of a \Volfish smiJc cotneback albu1n, 20 l 3 's Bloodsports. The latest, Ni>1ht Thoughts, is reasserts tl1e naLtghty rockstarness. 'fhe boyish qu.1lity that faded in bette r still: a satisfying, episodic set th.1t recalls ,1 time 1vhen the later '90s as an enlhusiasn1 fr1r narcntics Ande r~on 's van1piric flan1boyance drt' \·\' con1parisons 1vith Bryan Fer r y and his group's led bin1 into addiction t o smack and crac:k WE'RE NOTWORTHY intense, dra n1atic rock n1arked them out as a and seemed to kill son1ething in his eyes has Mike Joyce nearly joined •' n1ade <1 con1cba1.:k along 1vith his band. Clarity n1nre alert and glamorous alternative to US •• Suede. He's still a fan. grunge and LI K shocgaze, be fore the disalt l'Ch.1s been resto red . • tion of gifted guitarist Bernard Butler during "The reunion sho\vs \Vere really educa•1saw their ad for a drummer - 'Srniths·influthe creation of I 994's epit: Dug Ai/an Star tional fo1· us," re £1ects Anderson as \Ve settle enced' - and called their albun1 kne>cke<l then1 <lo\\'ll but ne>t c1uite out. do,vn to talk. "vVehad forgotten 1.vhat \ Ve manager. I said I sounded At a time ,vhen British indie \Vas its o,vi, \Vere- It's kind of odd being in a band. It like Mike Joyce, but better! I played a bit with them, but seen1s so obvious to the fans and to casual ~ soap o pe ra, Suede playt'd their part, '"ith o ne said they didn't need The l n1en1ber - Anderson's girlfriend Justine ohser vers \vhere you' re going \ vron g. But Smiths thing hanging over them. Bernard i Frischn1ann - having already stolen a scene, \Vhcn you' re in the thie'k of it. .. " • was an extraordinary guitarist and Brett

or

had this great intensity and desire. I just knew they were going to be successful.

•' •

'•

MOJO 37


~

Night Thoughts em braces a later life

stage. That always looked likely to be a problem for Suede, because your songs were so dazzled by youth and what it meant to be young ... Yes. A song like So Young (from Suede, 1993] is about the joyous ride, the arrogance of youth, and When You Are Young (from Night Thoughts] is coming from someone who isn't young any more. Then I Don't Know How To Reach You is almost from my own father's perspective, addressing this fear of losing contact with his son. Parenthood gave me something to access that wasn 't this overXeroxed version of what Suede songs should be about. It's awakened all these memories, things I haven't thought about for 30, 40 years. Just lifting your kid up under his arms, I felt this ghost doing the same to me.

What kind of relationship did you have with your own father? That's a pretty huge question (laughs). My father was quite an eccentric man. He was a classical music obsessive. He used to drive to Franz Liszt's birthplace every year - Raiding in what 's now Austria - pick up a piece of soil and wear it around his neck in a phial. Drove there in his Morris Traveller. It used to rattle the whole time, had mushrooms growing in the woodwork. How he got there and back I have no idea. When I was little we were close, spent a lot of time together. He was possibly reliving the childhood he never had; his father was a military man, very strict, quite aggressive. But when I became a teenager we clashed. He'd play Wagner, the Ring Cycle, or Hungarian Rhapsody really loud downstairs. Upstairs in my bedroom it would be Crass. Do They Owe Us A living? If you stood on the stairs there would be this mad hybrid of the two.

Do you remember what the first music was that really entranced you?

The first song I can remember thinking was really beauti ful and amazing was Wuthering Heights, Kate Bush. My sister bought the single. I can see the label now: the big red EMI on the orange background. After that It was the Sex Pistols - which felt like my own thing. Growing up in the suburbs, these things take longer to filter through, and by the time I'd aetually heard them they'd been and gone. It's like receiving the light from a dead star.

Why the Pistols? The songs are great - it 's a simple as that. The iconoclasm of the Pistols was important of course, but they've survived because the songs are fucking brilliant. John Lydon's a genius. He sounds like a Dalek, it shouldn't work, but it does. They're still probably the greatest band ever. Later, The Smiths were massively, hugely important, and still are, for me. I loved that the songs were about weakness as a strength. It was an inversion of rock cliche. It could be attractive and sexy to be poor and weak.

The ad you eventually placed for a guitarist that Bernard Butler answered mentioned The Smiths, Lloyd Cole And The Commotions ... ... Pet Shop Boys and Bowie. And we said something like •no musos, no beginners·. Because we knew we'd end up with a bunch of guys in sleeveless T-shirts - the Denmark Street brigade. We wanted to imply that we weren 't that sort of band. Bernard said he'd been scouring the music press for years and that was the first time he'd want ed to reply to anything. Lucky he did. He was heaven sent.

What were your first impressions of him 7 Very quiet. Very young. He was either late teens or very early twenties. From a very different background. I had a flat in Highlever Road, Nort h Kensington, where we'd rehearse, if you could call it that - me and Justine [Frischmann ] and Mat [Osman). We used to call ourselves The Perfect. It was a bit Lilac

The Brett pacl<: Anclerson's images. So young: Brett turns out for the school team (back . row, second left).

1

•• ••

New generation: classic early Suede (from left) Simon Gilbert, Anderson, Bernard Butler, Mat Osman.

2

The big time: Brett on tour in Scotland, 1992. ·we were partying every night."

3

Anderson as Sid Vicious, 1992: "The Sex Pistols are probably the greatest band ever.•

4

:5

: :' :'

Cover star in 1993: •oo-er! He's singing about sex! The reaction was quite prudish.''

.;:; : 6 •'

"Fuck, tha t's what I should be doing": -~ Anderson, reunited with &'. : guitarist Bernard Butler in ~ ! The Tears, London, May 2, 2005. ~

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Brett meets Bowle, March 20, 1993: Anderson had referenced the Dame - and Pet Shop Boys and The Smiths - in his ad for a guitarist to join Suede.

7

-

38 MOJO

----·--

Headcase: Anderson at the press conference to launch 1999's Head Music . •1 was very, very at the edge."

8

·1 wanted to be in a rock band again": resurgent Brett with Mani (centre) and Bobby Gillespie, 2012.

9

"Success, money, drugs, theytestyouinthe extreme": Anderson in 1993, about to sit his examination.

0

Time-y- all p art of the development! We were quite confident, university backgrounds, and even though I was from a council house, I suppose you cou Id call me aspirational middle-class. Then there was Justine's wealthy background. Bernard was very London, Catholic working-class, a different sort of kid. But obviously incredibly talented. A wonderkid.

Bernard's playing freed Suede. The arpeggios, the flighty stuff.•• It wasn't earthbound. No one else sounded like that. No one else could sound like that. No one could really play like Bernard. The complexity of what he could do - sometimes I struggled to get my head around it. It would frustrate me even, but I suppose In turn he learned to simplify what he did a little bit. But where he would go with t he chord s wou ld be ext raordinary.

What turned Suede from one of a million bedroom bands into a group that could achieve something? The key thing was Justine leaving the band - t hat wa s the 'before and after' moment. Even though a lot of those early songs came towards the end of her time in the band - like To The Birds and The Drowners - her leaving allowed everyt hing to fall into place. She was very influential on us as a tastemaker - it was almost her main job in the band - but she wasn 't exactly essential as a musician, although she went on to do something amazing with Elastica. Mainly, she didn't like a lot of the songs I loved. Bernard and I wrote Moving and Pantomime Horse on the same day, and we p layed both to her, and she loved Moving and hated Pantomime Horse, and I'm like, •But this is the kind of song I want to write! If you don't like this, maybe you shouldn't be in the band." "Well, maybe I shouldn't ...-

You'd split as a couple before she left the band. Were a lot of those early Suede songs about that?


Absolutely, yes. There are many, many songs about Justine. Possibly all of them (laughs). Well, the first album especially, and the B-sides. When you're in a relationship you 're ... not numbed exactly, but life's easy. isn't it? Splitting up with her gave me an edge as a writer because I suddenly felt I was back in the shit again. I'd come from the shit and I was plonked back in it. But it gave me something to write about - the loss of something. Romantic loss -when you 're in your twenties there's no greater loss; there's litt le sense yet that there are other, possibly worse ways to lose people. Writing about sex was part of what was unique about Suede and was inevitably one of the things that were picked up on ... Did it occur to you that your lyrics would be pulled apart like that?

No, I don't suppose it did. I was taken aback by the response, which was quite prudish in some quarters: 'Oo-erl He's singing about sex!' Did I just wander into a WI meeting or something? One of the things I was doing as a writer, which was where people decided to mistrust me, was inhabiting different personas. So when I sang about "he", it was possibly me singing as a woman singing about me - which is what My Insatiable One is. For me that's what created the frisson, that was exciting for me. But it got me in trouble later...

That's a point I have ruminated on. 'One's mother' is always a presence, isn't she? The fact that she wasn 't around, I did feel that I didn't have any boundaries about what I could talk about, what I could write about, how far I could push these things.

dying - and by the time we got back to start making Dog Man Star, he was travelling separately. We cancelled a load of dates at the end of the tour because frankly it was a fucking nightmare. We had to go home or the band was going to explode.

The first album was a big success - Mercury Prize winner, fastest-selling album by a British band to that date - but Suede quickly appeared to want to go further, and Dog Man Star seemed to be all about that. It was extraordinary, but also cataclysmic in terms of the story of the band. How soon was the rift with Bernard visible?

Could it have been salvaged?

It was clear from the start that he was a different breed. The potential for schism was always there and perhaps the fault line had

Yes. I think it could have been. It's probably my biggest regret in life that I didn't try harder to salvage it. It's the stupidest thing that I will ever do, because the relationship between me and him was something special. and with all due respect to everyone I've worked with since it was a special partnership and we made some pretty special music. But at t he time I didn't know how to fucking do it. I didn' t know how to reach him. And I was sick of it, I was fucking sick of it. The whole experience was unpleasant and part of me just couldn't be bothered any more. It was like, For fuck's sake, if you don't want to be in this band then don't be in this band.

''Splitting up with Justine gave me an edge as a writer. I was back in the shit again."

The line that's always quoted back at you is u1â&#x20AC;˘m a bisexual who's never had a homosexual experience..."

Yeah, the line that will be written on my tombstone. Oh, God ... losing your mother in 1989 must have been very upsetting, but do you think it freed you to write about things that you would have thought twice about before?

been papered over. As the band developed and the camaraderie in the group developed, I kind of ignored that schism. But success, money, drugs, touring, they test you, test you in the extreme. Touring America was a big thing - a big test. We were partying every night. No idea how to tour withou t virtually killing ourselves. It was on that tour that Bernard started to drift away. The rest of us were enjoying being in America. enjoying being in a band. But it was very painful for Bernard, at a time when he had a lot of personal stu ff to deal with - his father was

10

The day after he was gone, how scared were you about the future?

Bizarrely enough, I didn't have that panic. There was even a bit of relief. I was glad that this dark, dark time was over. I think we were very confident - a confidence bordering on arrogance that I've had throughout my life. looking back. it's completely misplaced. Just like the whole idea of becoming a musician in the first place. It's sort of ridiculous, I know, but I thought we'd find a way. Are you just not someone who doubts himself?

I am now. But in my twenties, no, I wasn't. There's been a lot of self-reflection since then; I am a very different person now. I look back on that person ... It's like, in your twenties you );>.


"I didn't know how to reach Bernard. I didn't know how to fucking do it. And I was sick of it." <"( think you're going to live forever, don't

you? There's this concept of death, but it's like, that 's what happens t o other people. Finding Richard Oakes saved the band, but it can't have been easy for him. In early interviews he seemed quite nervous about what he'd let himself in for ...

. . . And I don't blame him. I'm amazed that he dealt with it in the way that he did. Was that transition well managed?

Yeah, I think so. Looking back it was a very brave, possibly stupid decision to choose someone so young, but at the time it didn't seem important. His musicianship was all that mat tered, but he was rat her thrown into the fire. Recently he said that joining Suede was simultaneously the best thing and the worst thing that ever happened to him. It was perfectly put. It's not an opportunity you could turn down, but at the same t ime it tore his life apart. I'm amazed he's not a more unbalanced human being after going through that. Between Dog Man Star and Coming Up you missed out 1995: Britpop's cash-in year. It must have been frustrating, but in hindsight, not a bad year to be hunkered down?

40 MOJO

I agree. I didn't want to be part of all that . I thought it was very ugly and I think hardly any of the music made that year has any worth. There's a lot of awfu I. awfu I, quite cynical music that was made that year. I remember we toured Europe and took Manic Street Preachers with us as a support band, and we felt like deposed kings (laughs) living in exile, in Cologne ... Coming Up was a powerful vindication. Were you making a conscious attempt to reclaim lost ground?

Oh God, absolutely. I was very conscious that having a new guitarist playing Bernard's lines wasn't a comeback gesture. It was a strugglingon gesture. So it was essential t hat we wrote a new album and I wanted it to be a bright pop record. Dog Man Star was such a dank, overwhelming experience -1 don't think I could possibly have made another record like that straight away - and fo r everything I've said about Brit pop I'd be a liar if I said the Zeitgeist wasn't somehow seeping into me. It was an excitin g t ime and (multi-instrumentalist] Neil (Codling] joined and the dynamics changed and it felt like a very different band, and obviously that band is still around today.

After Coming Up the drug use spiralled, and you got into the hard stuff - heroin and crack cocaine. You 've said in the past that you almost saw it as part of them ission - to explore the far reaches and open up some doors ... Did it?

I don't know. I often wonder if Suede's music would have been better or worse without drug-taking. It's a massive question. The fathe r in me says that it would have been much better if I hadn't taken drugs. But a little bit of me ... I sort of viewed my life as an experiment - an experiment in order to write songs. I'd go through any emotional situation t o sort of drag that out of myself. So it didn't matter to me whether I was happy or well or in love or healthy or any of those things. But the experiment went too far ...

... It went too far, and turned into something t hat wasn't recreational. It was .. . a drift into hell. And it massively affected the records. Head Music directly- because 1998, when I was writing it, was the darkest time for me as a drug user, w hen I was very, very at the edge - ~ and A New Morning, in that I'd given up drugs ~ by that point but I was still in that place where .ยง' my judgment was really skewed. I was ~ confused about what record we were making. ~


I wanted it to be heartfelt, unpretentious, bu t it ended up sounding like a bunch of demos. How much did you endanger yourself? How c.l ose did you come to clocking off7 Very, very close. I'm lucky to be here I think. And I'm still worried abou t the consequences - what it's done to my body. There's a voice in the back of your head saying, You shouldn't be doing this. But it's a small voice, and you silence it. Then it gets louder and louder and louder and louder and suddenly you have a moment when you wake up and you 're at a crossroads. What was your moment?

(Pained) Oh God ... It's horrific. Look, I don't want to talk about t har actually. Sorry. I can 't go there. OK. But can I say that as a fan it was d isappointi ng to see the bands of that scene fall into that trap? Heroin nearly destroyed Suede, Pulp, Elastica••• It was like a kind of plague. It's funny how [hard drugs] grow and establish themselves. When the whole Brit pop thing started you'd have never thought that it was going to become druggy. It felt ideologically opposed to t hose kinds of rock'n'roll cliches, but it's like the cliches just ... bled through. But you 're ri ght, it did kind of kill the whole thing. But maybe the whole thing needed to be killed.

You struggled to sympathise, ini tially... I did. It was a strange thing. ME is a complex condition. There's a discussion as to how much of it Is psychosomatic. But when you 're in a band there's a lot of pulling your socks up and just doing it. There's a lot of dull grind and there's a bit of me, the bandleader, who just wanted him to get on with it, and yeah, I suppose I wasn't as sympathetic as I could have been. I probably didn't deal with it right. But Neil leaving the band was a very. very hard thing to happen. I remember when he left, it felt very bleak, and the loss of that band identity carrTed over into A New Morning and how we fe ll apart. You called time on Suede after A New Morning. Did you think that that was it? Yes. I really did. I couldn 't see a way back into Suede at all and I kinda didn't want to go there. There was no long-term plan to reform the band. A New Morning was such a disappointment to me on so n1any levels. especially as a writer. How had I got myself in to a position where I allowed myself to release this? How has this happened? You went back to Bernard Butler to do The Tears record ••. At the end of that period with Suede I was unhappy, watching it fall apart, and looking back to the time with Bernard thinking, "Fuck, that's w hat I should be doing." It sounds disrespectful to Suede, I know. It's like a relationship, Isn't it? I'd expected Suede to come to an end for a while, but I hadn't sat

You were de-Suedeing... A little bit. I was avoiding the murky side, still a bit in the New Morning phase. There are some good melodies. Autograph is a good song. Apollo 13 is a good song. Bernard's playi ng was great and his ideas were really cool. I don't really know what happened. We started writing another couple of things but I don't really feel like he wanted to make another record ...

What had to be said between the two of you to mak.e that possible? Did you rake over the old ground? No. I didn't want to do that. I didn't want to start this process of apologising for things I'd said in interviews - where do you end with all that? So we drew an imaginary line and said, That's in the past. We both acted like dicks, let's see what we can do now. And that whole period was really lovely- we were mates again. It was 2004 and I'd go up to Bernard's house and sit and write and hang out, go 01.1t for sandwiches and wander around Crouch End. It was lovely. A bit like being in early Suede. All the bullshit was put over t here.

Didn' t you schedule some shows, then cancel them?

(Slyly amused) Yeah, we did. Was that about somebody not wanting to play those shows 7 Yeah. It was about somebody not wanting to play those shows.

Did you hope that would carry on? I did at the time. I'm not sure what didn't work out about it. I think there are some good songs on that record, but I don't think I quite stepped up. Some of the lyrics are a bit lazy.

Groundhog day? Kind of. We didn't do the dates and it kind of fizzled out. Not that we were very clear on where to take the second album ... I think to an extent we were still chasing the chart, and chasing the media on that record. I suppose I was still living a bit in the '90s. The Tears was trying to be too poppy, not pushing it left-field enough.

Three faces of Anderson, by Danny Eccleston.

How much was Neil Codling' s illness (myalglc encephalomyelitis] a part of Suede's late-' 90s malaise? A big part of that downward spiral. Neil had been so much p art of Coming Up, his persona as much as his musicianship, and Head Music was supposed to be a keyboardy record - that had the consequence of making Richard feel sld.elined, which I also regret. But suddenly Neil announced that he was very ill and couldn't really engage with the record. That threw another element in wit h the drugs. A cocktall of bad ... luck.

I was slightly over-deliberately not writing about the kinds of things I was writing about in early Suede.

down with the band and told them until quite IC!te on. I'd already gone through my period of mourning. So calling Bernard wasn't me Immediately jumping into bed with an old flame.

Between 2007 and 2011 you made four solo albums. ls It fancif ul to suggest you couldn 't have made Bloodsports and Night Thoughts without going through that process?

Suede Dog Man Star •ILIO: , 'l<l•

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I'm actually really proud of the solo albums. There's a massive development. The first one [Brett Anderson] is kind of flawed , actually very flawed, maybe two good moments. I like what we did with Wilderness, really stripping it back. And Slow Attack is a fine record, I think. That was me saying I could make good records again, and that led to Black Rainbows. Boch of those I made with Leo Abrahams, who's an amazing musician. The plan was to make five solo albums - not sure what happened to that.

Suede's finest, most ambitious album indulged their epic • instincts, but it didn't go far enough for guitarist Bernard • Butler, whose Eddie Hazel • reprise on The Asphalt World • shows where his whims may have led, while the more succinct melancholy of The Wild Ones is Suede at their very be.st. Butler didn't make it to the end of recording, leaving the rest of the group to soldier on. •

What needed to happen between the members of Suede for you to make Bloodsports?

The Tears Here Come The Tears IN!){PENOlt'llt !llOS

***

You can 't go home agaln? Flying Into the arms of •• Bernard Butler after the • demise of Suede, Anderson • argued otherwise via the soaring pop of Autograph. Butler's Spectorian surges and melodic abandon take regular flight but Anderson often sounds like he's holding back. •when we're tog ether, the world smiles,• he sings on Co-star. However, staying together again proved much harder,

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Brett Anderson Slow Attack 61\ "'ING!., 1000

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Eno mucker Leo Abrahams • provides sparse, modal • arrangements (lots of piano • and wind instruments) on Anderson's third (and best) solo album, a self-conscious trip into a zone once inhabited by Mark Hollis of Talk Talk. On songs inspired by environ· ments as much as events, and pushing his voice to the place where beauty and sadness cosy up, Anderson delivers what amounts to a great winter album .

••' • ''

Just the touring and playing together. Going into the studio without that would have been a disaster. We needed to play all those old songs and let them seep back into us. Breathe rn and breathe out, and remember what we were good at. I wanted to be in a rock band again. I'd missed that. It was nice making the solo records, but it was quite lonely. I didn' t really like being the boss on the tour bus. Maybe that doesn't fit with the cliched persona or whatever but I don't particularly like being the alpha male. I like the equality of bands. What do you think your cliched persona is? Well I know what it is, because there was a Twitter impersonator [@reallybanderson] who kind of nailed It : this vain, preening twat ... which is probably what most people think I am. Is it utterly without foundation? Well they say there's no smoke without flames (laughs) . Where do Suede go next? I'd like to make another record. I think I have stuff to explore, which is exciting at this stage in my life. Night Thoughts feels like a point on the path - the pat h to somewhere. l have no fucking idea where.

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MOJO 41


"I wa nna be Matisse o r Picasso, guys who mad e incredibly vibrant wo rk into th ei r seve nties or eight路 ies": Matthew E. White at the Robert E. Lee Me morial Brid ge, Richmond, Virg inia, Monday, December7, 2015.


RAISED BY CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES, S CHOOLED I N DOWNTOWN NEW YORK JAZZ, IMMERSED IN BLACK AMERI CAN M U S IC, •

MAKES RICH , DEEP MODERN SOUL ALBUMS INFUSED W ITH PASSI O N A ND A CONFESSIONAL HONESTY.

VISITED IN HIS RICH M O ND HOME

AND STUDIO TO MEET THE BIG MAN HIMSELF. PO RTRAIT BY

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S1\L·\ LI. R.-\RBIT r ll ) PS :\H.()l INJ) 1'1r\.f'Tr!EVI' r. vVrllTL'S sitting roon1 in l{ichmo nd, Virl,'.ini,1, " ·liile it$ O\\lll"r m.1kcs te,1 ' in the k itchen . \\fit h \\ 'hitc hun1n1inv ;::. soft!)· tn h im self. 1\.IO J0 peruses tl1e booksh elves, in specting biograph ies of W illiam L~gglcstun and l\o bl'rt \ \ ':-.1tt. book~ \villi ticlt"s like Ll'.trning R; Hl'.trt, ,1nd :\hv.1;·s 1'1.1gic In Th(' r\ ir, ya rds of .1lbun1s ..1nd .1 P•' l' icr-m.'ich1~ sculpt ure of \\Tl'Sll( TS - ont.· holding t he oilie r in tht• Jir to r a slam - n1.id1..· hy J loc,11 v<:tl·r..in soldier. Cnvt•rin g the couch is J tradition .:il , h.indstitchl·d .-\.ml·rican llllilt, clt"cor,1tcd \Vitl1 he~ago ns cnnt.i i n i 11 ~ silhou('ttl'S o f r\lrica n h,-,1cls. H un!! ov1..- th t· lircpl.icl' ,1n· h1·0 C h ristm.1s stockings Lic ing t"<1ch nthc r; o nL· \/Vh ite's, tlil· other • h is 1\'ifL"s. J\ ll·,111\\ hilL'. in tl1l· 11l''\t rnnn1 (SL'Ction1..•d of f" frPm thl' htlus1· bunn) 's gn,1\\·ing t1·\'d1) i!-. ,, sm,ill hom<'- r,·cord ing stud io housing .1 h.1ndson11· I I.1m1Tio nd org.1 n. :\ l.1rge portr,1it of Georgl' \\ ~1shington is mnuntl'd <>Vt'r the m b:i ng cons11le. \Vh ich h.ls hecn du hhl.'d hy \\'hitt'<lS ' \ '.1lle) l·orge', .1ftl'r the .-\ml'ric.1n H.l'volution.11y \ \ -.u· mi lit.1ry c.1mp. This n1 i'> of a rt curios a nd .\ml•rican e1)hcn1c r-.1 is, of course, n eatly ,u1,1lo go us t o White's 1nusic , ,,s sho\VC.1Sl'cl on h is t\\ o J.1uded ,11bums, J (J 12 's B1.'I Inner and last y<'.\r 's l-rc.1h Blood, J singul.1r mix ofgol<ll'n-(·r,1 sou LgoSpl·l. R&B ,1nd hip ho p studio "vi;r,1 1·dr~~ ,1nd deep. hc,1 rtt(·lt lyrics that get to grips \Vith ~rr,1nd ideas o f .-\rn L·rica itself Bo th long-111.1\lTS \ V('rt· initi.1lh '

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rl'lc.1$cd on Sp.1c1•bon1l>, the record l.1l>t·I- plus .1tl1li.itcd studio .tnd hous<.'-h.1nd - in n1•,1rhv d o'' nto,,·n Kichm ond th.tt \ \ hitl' cn:atl·d ' and n o\v co- runs \vitJ1 a tean1 <,f trit•nds. O u r hust strolls b.ick into tl1l' sittin~ n 1om with t\\ o t~·.is, tn\\'l'ring si~-t<Jot-som1·thing over\ \'t'n<l~, his house r.1bhit. In pl'rson, his cl.i rk m,1nc t ied b.1ck i11 .1 bun, h(''s Cir from portl)· (.1s soml· .1rticl1·s h.l\ l' suR_~l'Stl'd) , just n1.1ssi,Tl~~ ~ig,1 ntic.1 ll~· t.1U. " I .ct's go! " he s.1~s, and Si.'ttk·s h i111sl·lf on the sol:1 " ·ith .111 enthusiJsm th,1t l>1.:lies the tact t hJ t he l1asn't had a p ropl-r h rl'Jk fro1n \\Titing. record ing and touring in thl· p.1st fuur yL-.1rs. "This stul"f givl·s m (' cn1·rg;· as \v1·ll ,1s tak('s it .1\\ ,1:·· " h" 1·xpl.1ins, his voic1· lo\\. rich ,1ntl just ,1 littJ(' husky. Thl'n' 's ,1 South('rn roundnl· ·s to his vo,vels, ,1ncl he l,1ughs .1 lot, o nly turning q uiet ,,·lie n d iscussi ng a lifi.: -changing L'\'t' nt. or 1nusicians h L· dl.'L'ply lov~·s . " I L' l1 joy touring. I L'll joy D1l'l'ting jlL'oplc." hL· s.1) s. of h is cap.1city to \Vork. " l 1·njoy hos ting ,, p.1rt; l'Vl' ry n ight." ·rhis much is l'vicl('nt to ,11\Yonv 1' ho's .. v,·r IH·vn ,1t o nt' o f\ Vh itl' 's <·cst.1tic livl' sho\VS. . ":\nd I h .1\'\ ' ,\ stro ng ho rnl' \'111·iro nml'nt. I h.tV\' ·' lo t o r friends, Sp.1<.·<' ho111h i~ 1>,1-;ed hL•n.-, .111d I j11,l got 1n,1rrit•d , <o th.1t \ hec n ~

l'l".l ll\' . good." ~

By his 01111.1dn1ission, \\'hitl.' is very much an .-\.lph;i pl'rson,1lit)

("Stru ng Ll'o." he s.1~s. grinning), 11 hu enjoys ll',\ding ,\ t(',1n1 - has donl· sine<' his s1J111ting d.i~·s .1t school - .1nd th<' succ(·ss o f Sp.1ct·bo 1nb is fir111l)' grounded in .1 combin.llio n of ,1rtistic vision .1nd tc.«1n1 m ,1nage111cnt. \\ hitc found the success nf Hi.I) /nnt'r h,1 rd to process, yl' t he only took J n1onth off bl' t \\'l'l' O promoting th.1 t .1lhun1 and st,1rtinl,'. \\'Ork on Fri!sh Blood. Con1 tl1rt,1blL' \\'ith his nc\V label .incl the possibilities of the SpacL·hon1b studio, ill ,1t ease \Vicl1 thl' con cept o f rl'laxi ng, hl· \ V.lS eJgl'r to best his dt·but " ·hil<' still 'in th(' ZOll t''. ''I \ ·e ne\'l"r cxpl·ricnced ..i l.1ck of idc,1s," he explains. " B<lsic,111 ~~ I \·VJnt to do l'\'lTYthing hut .1t th'-· s,1111e ti1ne do n othi11.t'.." :"Jon cthe. ~ " ll'SS, ilie rapid sta1t on Fresh BlooJ \V,1s .1lso becaUSl' \\'hit'-' needed to c1u ick1:· proc('SS sonl(' dcepl) si!:-mificant l'VL'nts in his personal li ft\ ('Vt'nt5 h1·'s not f('.ill,· )> . talkt"d .1bout, until nu''" ~

MOJO 43


On a mjssion: the young MEW with his mother and two Philipp ine locals, circa 1985.

L!Sl- LI KE ALL LIS STATES, VIRGIN IA HAS A 1\!lOTTO. You see it running along the bottom of car licence plates and emblazoned on airpo rt ·r-shirts: "Virgin ia is for lovers.'' It's cute and a little corny, but also pleasingly fitting for a romantic.: soul like White, \vho celebrates his half-birthday every Va lentjne' Day. Appropriately, one of the 111ost striking aspects of Fresh Blvod is that it's such a se:-..1' albun1 , righteously carnal in the Yein of '70s Al Green, or anyone \vho ever sang about being in love \vith son1eonc as a tu rn-on in and of itself: son1eone \vho cancon1plctelyconvince 'vhen singing a line like" Let me look at you/O hl l 'n1 pu1npin' fresh blood for ya." 1-hat song, Take Care My Baby, is, says White, the best song he's ever \vrittcn, a 1ni.x of doo '"'op and BriU Building stylings '''ith soulful horns, Philly strings, a11d a crisp, ,vhjspcrcd \'ocal that feels silnLtltaneously intimate, confessional and seductive. "This shit is ivild-soun<ling and con1plctely ne'v, but it's still in a tradition," beams W hite. It is, he says, an indicator of ,vherc he \Vant.~ to go next \<Vith his song\\Titing. It's also the result of \vhat the n1usician describes as "a 1·ery intense ro1nantic situation". While touring Bil] Inner, White lcll in love '"ith another \von1an, and split \vith his then girlf.-iend. "Al n1ost every song on Fresh Blood is about that," he explains. " I broke that on: got back together 'vith 1ny girlfriend, she became n1y flancee, no''" she's 111y \vife." White's domestic happiness today is obvious, but \vhat happened sheds a light, o f sorts, on his particular song'1Titing process. "When l \vrite there's no ruJes about \vbat l can and can't,vrite about," he says. \i\fhite n1anaged to avoid talking about the love affai r in intervie\VS \vhile touring[Tesh Blood, largely due to the fact that journalists \\'ere keener to discuss songs such as 'franquility, penned for Philip Sey1nour Hoffn1an, C irc le Round The Sun, \\'ritten for a friend's mother's suicide, and I-loly l\loly, about sexual abuse \vithin tht' church. l t's not surprising listent'rs \\'ere curious about T-Ioly J\tloly. White's parents arc Christian 1nissionaries.

and Big Inner had its share of Christian referenc:es, n1ost notably the coJa to B1-.1zos, the Jorge Ben quote, "Jesus Christ is 1ny Lord, Jesus Christ is n1y . friend". Plus, savs , White, "I'm on the [sleeve] in a 'vhite suit, and I'm from Virginia, and [!] sort of look like C harles Manson: 'It's this "veirclo psychedelic evangelical fron1 the South!"' White says he is not a Christian, but still, 1-loly Moly plays fron1 su ch a personal p la ce. " I've shied a\ray fron1 talking abo ut it," White says, of the song's o rigin. ""rhat happened in n1y church at ho1nc, to nine boys \vho ,,v ere in n1)' youth group. One of 111y best friends al. the time, he ,,vas our youth leader and perpetrator and he 1vent to jail for multiple years for it. "fhat \Vas real to the core of my unde rstanding nf church and authority. "fhat \\'as a big fucking deal to everyone that \vent through that do,vn there. l needed to wri te a song about it and so l \vrole a song about it." White does, incidentaJlv, believe in God. • "It's in1portant to kno"v that you're a sn1all part of a big thing, that this ti111e on Earth doesn't revolve around you." He recalls a ren1ark YC icon John Lurie nlade, ""fhere's so1nethinggoi11g on, \Ve don't kno'" '"hat it is, let's all just agree to love each other as best \Ve can and not think about it anv , n1ore. '" ATIHEW EDGAR WHITE WAS BORN I. VIRGI N IA BEACH in 1982; he \vas t\vo-ancl-a-half years old 'vhcn his fan1ily relocated to the Philippines on the n1ission fields, \vhei-e they stayed until Matt \vas seven. " I \vas very happy," he says. "l \Vas fun, and I've been that my \vhole life." W hi te ren1embers clays lying sp1·a1vled on his parents' yello\v couch listening to his nvo cassettes, a Beach Boys and a Chuck Berry greatest hits. " 1\!ly parents \VOuld leave and r ,,\IOllld ju t Fucking blast that niusic loud, running around the house singing it. l remen1ber thinking, Nian, there's nothing better than this. If' you could do this for a living this \\'oulcl be fucking incredible." Ileturrung to the US in 199 5 after years of l i,~ng abroad, White felt special, an exotil· outsider, yet still firmly American. }-[is understanding of ,,v hat made the coun try u nique seemed clear. "What inakes America special is, like everything else, \vhat n1akes it terrifying," he expla ins. "An overconfidence, hyperindt>pendf'nce, a sense o l' 'vVe can do anything', a sort of outla"· nature, revolutionary culture. Donald Trun1p is about as Ai11erica11 as it gets, the nasty child of the \\lorst parts or An1erica and c.:apitalisn1." That comprehension of \vhat makes Ainerica ·o singular is there in WJ1jte's approach to his music as >veU. "You take everything fron1 ,,vhen the United States started to create things that '"ere its O\vn," Wl1ite e.xplains. "Fron1 blues, gospel, jazz ... Early R&B niusic, rock'n'roll, soul, hip hop, country. You take all of cl1at1 and see it as one tlii11ll• one idea, one American piece of \vork." After learning clrun1s as a kid and gui tar as a teen, vVh itc decided to go to jazz school. H e dove into Ne\v York's do,vnto,vn scene, inspired by the likes of Lurie, John Zorn, i\i1arc Ribot and the trun1pctcr and arranger Steven Bernstein, ,,·hon1 White rega rds as "as in1portant a n1usician in this country as anybody \vho's alivt' right no\v. A fuckin' genius." -rhe 20-year-old White e-1nailecl Bernstein's record company to ask if he'd be intere ted in giving .§! a lesson in arrangement. Bernstein s upplied his ~ phone nun1ber, White called. He duly drove to NYC ~ to 1neet Bernstein for an hour's lesson that started at ~ I I an1 and ended at 9p111. ~ '"That clay changed my life," says White, of a lis- ~ Lening session that "conncct[ed] the dots benveen spirituals and ~ slaYe songs, Ne\v Orleans jazz and blues, Allen Toussaint and Elvis ~ Presley, The Beach Boys and Stevie vVonder, The Beatles and all tl1at ~ LA Phil Spector shit. [Steven] just opened n1y eyes lo the abiJity to ~

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be a \veil-schooled, 'vcll-c<lucated, skilful craft-oriented n1usician." ft '''as Rl'rni>tcin '"ho ga,·c White his "one idea" principle. \Vhat, then, did he subsequently niake of White's first aJbu1n? "I le loved it," says\ Vhite, \Vith a huge i>n1ile. "I le said he '"as pissed because he taught n1e C\ crything he kne"· and no"' I ,,·as niaking money off it." \Vhitc, hO\\'C\er, i!> i.erious about paying his dues. "I'rn inspired b\, Afri,·an-Aml'rit·an n1u:.ic," he savs, , "and I'm comfortable being transparent" ith that, cspccial!y as a ''nite artist n1aking a Jiying off of a tradition that comes from African-Americans 'vho did not get ,,·hat thl'Y , \\'ere clue. African-Arncrican nlusic from the South changed the \Vorld. I t'~ the dri,·ing force in American culture. It's changed crer;thinH. l:vcrything you hear on the radio is basicall) fron1 Southern A111crican sla\'C music. I think people \\·ouJd disagree \\'ith rne on that, but I think l'n1 right." Arc you starting to get a better idea of '"here vVhite's big hit, Rock And Roll ls Cold, niight be con1i11g fron1? vVhite laughs. Ht"s gro'vn "cary of talking about that song. It's afunny song, he says, and highly sclf-a,varc, yet \Vritten in about I0 n1inutes \Vith his pal Andy C. Jenkins. "Rock'n'roll is a carbon copy of R&B that has floated off on its O\\>n ego balloon and gotten drunk ,1nd made a fool of itself as it's gotten older," he explains. "What's rock'n'roll? Fuckin' Da,·e Groh!. Or Bono. Or Quc~ns Of The Stone Age. A copy of a copy of a copy. I think rock'n'roll has aged ,,1th a giant sense of ego that'::. slightly n1isplaccd. It enabled a re ·et [but] '"e\·e been li\'ing off that reset since 1955. It's in1portant to be a\\·are or \Vhere it niay be happening and not happening, and it's definite!~· not happening in big industr) rock'n 'roll. That's not \\·here the reset':. con1ing fron1. I guarantee you." E Al~Rl\'E AT TI l l:: SPACEBOMB RECORDING STLIDIO, A :.tone's thrO\V fron1 the jan1es Ri\•er, an hour before the tea1n's annua l general niccting. It's a sign of ho''' \Veil the con1pany b doing, as 'vVhite points out, to cvL·n haYe an AGJ\tl- though because it's Spaccbon1b, and Spaccbon1b's c111ployees are all buddies '"ho had day-jobs \vhcn thl• company started out, the 111ceting sta rts at 9pn1. The studio it~c lf is a cool, in1maculate, faintly retro space; clin1inutivc, too, so it'.!> hard to believe entire string sections and brass cnscn1bk·s lit in here, but they have, 1nost notably for White's t\\'O albu1ns and I atalic Prass's dehut. Spaccbon1b \Va ~ founded by White 'vith in\·estn1ent fron1 a la\\)'Cr fdend and gambl ing t) pc \vho "likes adventure'', and Bi9 Inner \vas an experin1cnt in possibility; finding out 'vhat Spacebon1b could achieve as a sound, a ~tudio, a record label. Asked ho\\' he feels about being portra)cd as a ~tudio auteur, \Vhite says, "I think that's sort of the goal, really lbutl I <lon't think l'n1 as good as I get credit for on1ctimes. Phil pcctor couJ<ln 't play an~·thing [but] he kne"' "ho \\'a~ good at \\'hat, and he a!>liigncd thcn1 a job. Together they n1aclc sorncthing under Phil pl'Ctor'i. name that \Vas bigger than he could make on his 0\\11. ·rhat':. exacth· , " ·hat Kendrick [Lamarl doei>, a:.sen1bling a tl'<u11 and letting people be good at "·hat they're good at." Spaccbon1b'~ fir:.t four years ha\'C been an e:\.-ponential learning cur\·e for 'vVhitc.: and ere\\~ As for \Vhat it's taught him, he says "don't let the arrangcn1cnts co111c before the songs, don't let the idea con1c before \Vhat you're actually listening to, Land) if it sounds good coming out of the spca kl·r" it's fucking good." In keeping \\~lh his giant fra rnl· and soft voice, White's ambitions arc on a grand scale, yet expressed quietly and simply. " I \Vanna 1nake a record that nobody's ever hea rd before," he says. "That's Good Vibrations, that's aggressively imaginative and courageous and ne\\' lo people\ cars. I \\'anna be 1\ \atisse or Picasso, guys [\vho] 1nade incredibly vibrant \\ ork into their seventies and eighties." fTon1 d1c couch in the control roon1, White stu·\'eys his studio \\~th satisfaction. Ye~, MOJO thinks, oncc<.1n picture \i\Fhite years fi"On\ nO\\, sih·er-beardecl, O\'erscL·ing fant:.1stical n1u ical projects - like .\latisse in the fa1nou!> photograph of t11c septuagenarian artist gazing intend) at a can,·a:., holding a paintbru:.h attached to a long ban1boo pole. (;etting the big picture, \\orking for the jo~· of it. "There's this great, 9rcai lndonc!-ian RalinC':.t' saying," he adds, in conclusion. "Th~rc is ~ no art, \\'C just do l'\"l'rything t11e best ,,.e can." 1

Matthew E. White In his home studio, wat ched ove r by George Washington; (bottom, from left) Howa rd, Prass, Westerlund.


LONG JOHN BALDRY revolutionised 60s British blues, influenced The Rolling Stones, Small Faces, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac and The Beatles, discovered Rod Stewart and quite possibly saved Elton John's life. So why isn't he better known today? : PAUL MYERS speaks to friends and fans about : the singular life of amost unlikely music hero. â&#x20AC;˘

MOJO 47


T IS THE SUMMER OF 2005, AND A 64-YEAR-OLD ENGLISHlviAN LIES DYING from a cl1est ii1fection in Va11couver Ge11er al 1-lospital, Britisl1 Colun1bia. Barely able to sp eak, he m o ti o ns fo r his partner t o press play o n a small cassette cleck by his beclside. As tl1e strains of Sister Rosetta Tharpe 's Up Ab ove My H ead echo through the ward , Lo ng Jolin Baldry quietly passes away. As movi ng as the scene is, it ' "'as an unde11iably a11ticlimactic exit for 1nan who presid ed o\rer the early '60s birtl1 o f Britisl1 blt1es, etched ot1t templates for John Mayall, Eric Clapton, T11c Rolling Stones a11d Led Zeppelin, ai1d personall)r discovered both Rod Stewart and Elto11 John. H owever, Bald ry was no m er e proselytizer. White, blond -l1aired, di7.zyi11gly tall at 6' 7", a defiantly "out" gay n1an at a time w l1en that was still a brave and dangerous decisio11, Baldry cut a flash and filigree figur e in the nigl1tclubs ai1d dm1cehalls of '60s Lo ndo11, yet to day l1is presence is largely abse11t fro1n Britisl1 music histo r y. Just vvl1at hap1Jened ? J ohn William Baldry \\·as born <luring the London N l 962 BALDRY, KORNER A D DAVIES ATTENDED THE Blitz, on January 12, I 94 I. Enchanted by the blut·s at An1e rican Blues Folk Festival in Ma11chester, thrilling to Willil.' age seven, ,1fte r hea ring Sonny Terry And Bro\vnie Di.xon, John Lee f-fooker, and Meniphis Slin1. The previous year, 1V1cGhee's Silver fox Chase on the BBC's Ka lei<lo" Kornl.'r had launched his scn1inal elei::tric group, Blues lncorposcope, by his teens Baldry \Vas snapping up Jinm1y rate<l, \vilh Davies o n har1nonica and Balcl ry as vocalist. The first Witherspoon and Muddy vVaters 78s. Skiffle led an1plHied blues band in Britain, Blues Incorporated fea tured a roBalclry to I:-ludd ie Ledbetter's original vc r::.ion of tating cast of Ko rner's fello\v blues aficionados. 'f'hcir inaugural Lonnie Donegan 's 1955 hit, Rock Tsland Line, and residency \Vas at Ealing Jazz Club, \vith Baldry's old school-chun1, he took to busking Soho streets the folJo,ving yea r, Charlie Watts, sitting in o n drun1s. A 19-year-old J\ilick Jagger and p laying blues in the city's coffee bouses the year guested on vocals 'vhilc fello,v future Stones Bill 'v\1yn1an and Keith after that. "John kne\V\vhat\vas going on," says Eric H.it·hards \Vatched fron1 the audience. Keen to learn, Briiln Jones Clapton, an early ,vitness to Baldry's sho,v1nanship. borro\ve<l many o f B,1Jdry's prized blues LPs. r le neYcr returned "I le gTasp ed the \vholc genre. I Jc \Vas a scholar." them . Mean,vhi\e, Baldry's reputation edged north. "Before 1 can1e do\vn fron1 Manch ester to forn1 thl' BluesbreakAlso in those early aud iences ,vas o ne Reginald D,,·ig ht, o f Pinner, \vho \vo ul<l later change his e rs," recalls John Mayall, ''Long John \Vas [this] distingu ished figname to Elton John, partly in tributl: to Baldry's fir:st nan1e. "He urehead ... an in1portant link bet'.veen trad jazz and British blues." \Vas a fa nlastic blues guitarist," says Elton. "Just hin1 on his o\vn, A subst.'que11t residency at the i\tlarquee caught the ear ofproducer singing Leadbelly stuff.~ \Vas aniaz.ing." Jack Good, ,,·ho recorded their debut albu1n, R&JJ Fro111 In 1957, Baldry fell in \Vith the 1:n1erging blues and skiffie sc..:ene The 1J1arquee, for Decca in later in 1962. After his apconverging arolsnd guitarist Alexis Korner and blues has·p 111an _;'" ...- ~~~ ~· ' " , pearance on the record, Baldry e 111harked o n a \ European solo tour, cultivating a taste fo r bra11Cy1;l Davies's London Blues and Barrel ho use Club. One of ./' their frequent haunts \Vas the upstairs roon1 at the Round- / \ dy and continental cigarettes, tl1at \\'ould add house pub on Wardour Street. B,1 ldry; Korner, Davies, and 11 JA'LZ \ an extra rough ness to his ah·cady raspy )'O\vl. other influential n1 usicians such as Ken Colyer, eve n 'trad , ; fl.~Oll'l J On his return in '63 , Ko rner and Davies had ~ fallen out. Ba.Idry jo ined Da\•ies' ne\\' band, jazzer' Chris Barber had a LI bonded around a d eep love of the ;.\ .,,.., ' '" lit 1su.iW' IJI\{ blues. 1·his pro\'ed to be extren1ely contagious, and Baldry "\ ;~~~~~1,-,i$~~'"N The tl&B All-Stars, then resident every Sunday ~- ·-·~,~~·~/ .at the Eel Pie Island J-lotel. With a singing voice sh ared their passiQn. '' I think that's ho,v Alexis touched 1Tle," Baldry explained to Nick Orchard like a cen1cnt truck on a Nlississippi gravel road, and bet\veen-song banter that suggested a half-cut in 2003. " It ,,·as that pioneering spirit. It set our little cornc·r of the \vorlcl ablaze, in the carlv '60s." Nn el Co,yard inipersonat.ing vVinston Churchill, ' Baldry turned Davies' AU Stars into a major dra\\\ " It \Vas unbelievable," said Jan ~1cLagan in 2005. "I'd never tTlis:. [then1l. They played like they \Ver e 45-year-old Chicago rcsi.dcnts [hutJ in the intern1ission ,~·hen Cyril ''nuld break for a drink, \vhich he did often, [John] hit the stage \vith three buxtJ•TI West Indian backup singers, The VelYettcs. I \Vas an1ai'.ed. I lc'd sing more soph.isticatcd blues than Cyril, aJ1d looked so s n1art, to\vering over the audience." Mick Fleenvood, then drununing \Vith The Cheynes, \\'as similarly transfixed. "1-le \Vas bigger than lift:," says Fleet\voocl. " He [hadl this incredible gangling bod)~ static, iintnaculate [and] very good-looking. I niean he kne\\· about English tailoring, he had the " 'hole deal, and he kne'v the shit." Afte r the perpetually un\vell Davies succumbed to endocarditis in January 1964, Baldry inherited tl1c All Stars, rcnan1iagthen1 The Hoochie Coocl1ie M en. 'fhe night after Davies's d eath, Baldry \vas on-stage, in tribute and defiance, at Eel Pie. '.Vatching \Vas a shy teenager \vith a lager in one hand, a blues harp in the other. After the sho,v, the n1op-haired lad stood on the platlnrn1 of T\vickcnham rail\vay station, drunkenly playing his harn1onica. \.Vaiting o n the sa1Tle platforn1, Baldry rnade a hasty introduction. By the tin1e their train reached London, yo ung l~od Ste\vart had joined Tht' Hoochie Coochie Men as second vocalist.

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ln the spring of 1964, just after United Artists released lo119]ohn's Blues, Baldry accepted an in\-itation fron1 his old 1nates, The Beatles, to appear solo on their TV special, Around The Beatles. Millions of Britons \Vitnesscd Baldry belting out an incendiary I Got My Mojo Working, \vhile die cameras cut to the Fabs, singing and cheering from tl1e \vings. H aving met the group in Hamburg, Baldry continued to expose them to his collection of authentic blues records \vhenever he played Liverpool. In a ?006 e-mail to this \vriter, Paul J\ilcCartney called Baldry "an iinportant part of the '60s scene," adding, "l sa\v him quite a bit, on and oft~ lie came round to my house fo r tea. He \vas a bit of a nlate and a lo\'ely nian." But as Baldry's reputation gre\v, so too <lid a selfdestructive cycle of over,vork and self-n1edication \vith alcohol, coupled 1vith an often niercurial ternperan1ent. "I think he got very distracted, as a person," says Mick Fleen-voo<l. "I-le 'vas such a <lra1na queen really, and he \Vas not frightened of anybody, ,vhich didn't do him any good ... He 'vas probab~r almost irnpossible to manage, be- t cause I think he k:nC\v ho\\' good he \\'as, you kno\\-? 1-! e \vould get in1patient ... '\rVell n1y dear boy, T'm not going to be doing that.'" By the end of 1964, Baldry clain1ed to be losing up,vards of .L400 a \veek, despite solid bookings. Rod Stc\va rt sa\·V the \Vriting on the ''"all and left The Hoochie Coochie i\i\en to go solo. But he ' vas back in a fe,v months, 'vvhen Baldry asked hi n1 to become equal n1embcr, alongside Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger, in England's first supergroup, Stean1iil packet. Auger sa~s Steampacket \Vere a kind ~ of arranged 1narnage proposed after Baldry's nlanager ~ voiced concern that The Hoochie Coochie Men \Vere ~ "totally out of control". As 'vvell as keyboa rdist, Auger "' acted as musical director and tour n1anager. ~ ~ " It gave me the chance to play in front of a lot of ~ people, John's audience," explains Auger. "l"hen John

\Vas saying, ' I'd like to have this other guy in the band called Rod Ste\vart. '" Auger also \vanted to bring in a fe1nale voca list, Julie Driscoll, then \Vorking in Yardbirds' manage r Giorgio Gotnelsky's office opening fan n1ail. Steampacket 'vere n1odelled, says Auger, on the Sa in & Dave revue. "(I'cl] go on, play a couple of Jin11ny Sn1ith tunes and some ki11d ofjazzy, hull-.)' teasers, then Julie \VOuld do her stuff - she \Vas into Nina Simone an<l Tamla Moto\\1l. Then Rod c·ould come on doing a lot of Sam Cooke and Tan11a, \Vith n1e and J ulie singing backup. Then, finally; John can1e on 'vvith son1e sn·aight Chicago and Delta blues, but also gospel stuff, \vhich \Vas great for us, 'cos 'v\·e could all sing back'llp. It \ Vas incredibly successful . 'vYe "'ere \Vorking like four, five, sometirnes six nights a 'vveek!" Having debuted at die Marquee in July 1965, Stea1npacket opened for The Rolling Stones, and turned in a sho\v-stopping appearance at the fifth annual National ]a7.z & Blues Festival in Richn1ond, alongside -rhe Yardbirds and 1"he \rYho. "It \Vas one hell of a band," says Rod Ste\vart. "We \vere earning £500 a night, and \Ve didn't even ha,·e a hit record." By the sun1n1cr of '66, ho,vever, Stcan1packet had becon1c the victin1 of their O\·v n success. Auger, \vho did all the tour driving, and had to lug his Han1rnond organ on and off the stage, \vitl1 little help fron1 tl1c band, gre\v resentful. The group's n1anagers arranged a 1.:onciliato ry August residency at the Papagayo club in St Tropez but the booking destroyed any rcn1aining shreds ofgood\vill. "John's drinking started to get the better of hi1n," says Auger. "He began notsho'vving for the second, third or fourth set. f n tJ1e last 1:\•VO \·VCCks, he just didn't tu rn up at all." Back in England, Auger and Driscoll left > MOJO 49


his coffee house days and his ,,·ork \vith Stcan1packet. Bluesology quickly agreed to acco111pany Bal<lry on his next tour. By no\v, he \Vas desperate for a hit. I laving seen Georgi~ Fame's career transfor111 ed by his 1965 Number 1, Yeh Yeh, Balclry \vanted a little of that 111adness for hi 1nsel( In 1967, Pye bought out his llnitccl Artists contract and paired hiin \Vith in-house hitn1aker "fony 1\itacaulay, \vho offered the singer a lachrymose pop ballad ominously entitled Let l "he Heartaches Begin. Baldry niimed the tune on the Noven1ber 22, 1967 episode ofTop OfThe Pops. It shot straight to umber I. JVl.ission accomplished. "l t's a n1azing \vhat one hit rec.:ord can do,'' BaJdry told Maureen O'G rady in Rave maga7jne at the time. "(It] really has po\ver ... I get asked for 111y autograph in the street, \vhich I don't niind, but I just can't stand screaming girls!" As 1968 began, Baltlry and Bluesology found steacJy,,·ork on the northern cabaret circuit, comn1anding a rumoured £20,000 a night. But Reg O,vight, still onJy the piano player, \Vas gro\ving restless. ''It \vas very e1nbarrassing,'' Elton recalls, "because \·ve'd be playing a very bluesy set and then suddenly, haJf,vay i.n, \Ve'd stop and John \VOtild have the backing track to Let 1-he Heartaches Begin on a tape recorder. We just stood there ,vhile he sang to the tape." Elton remen1bers that Baldry , \Vas "fa ntastic to \Vork

CANNOT BELIEVE I NEVER REALISED THAT HE WAS GAY I DIDN'T REALISE I WAS GAY AT THAT TIME'' Elton John <: to forn1 The Trinity, \vhilc Ste\vart joined the Stea1npacketesquc Shotgun Express. Baldry \Vas on his ovvn again, \vith little to sho' v for Steampacket's brieftin1 e in the sun. "I 'Yvas \Vith United Arti ts,'' Baldry explained to Mod magazine l ' he · e\v Breed in 2001. "Rod \vas \Vith Decca, Brian and Julie \Vere 'vvith Parlophone and none of the labels \Vould agree. So \ \IC never ever recorded." HERE WAS SOME BRIEF CHEER WHEN BALDRY'S frie nd, Andre\v Loog Oldhan1, invited the singer to compere ·rhc RolJing Stones' 1966 bon1econ1ing tou r, but if ca,·orting,vith the Stones \Vasn't bad enough, life back in London 'vas even n1ore reckless as Baldry had beco1ne Fast friends \Vith London theatre n1aven Lionel Bart ""ho, in addition to sharing Baldry's se.:1.'Ual preferences, was equally fond of \vild indulgence. Giorgio Goinclsk)' recalls seeing Baldry and Bart in action, at private parties at Bart's Fulhain hon1e. "John \Vas a bit of a dandy," says _'·, ' I Gon1elsk)1"and Bart had done very ,,-elJ for hin1self in 1 ~ 1 the \Vest End \vith 0Jj,·er! 'vVc "''ere often invited to /• Lionel's house to play for hin1. He \Vas very gcner- ~ • ous, gave us great parties, and all the various pills ~ ~ that everyone \vas taking at the time. " t ,/\:"Lionel's house \vas a den of iniquity,'' says 1: . Rod Ste\vart. "All sorts of things used to go on ~ round -~ere, \~th t\VO-\vay 111irrors and sausage ,sand,Vlches... \ Fleet Strl'ct turned a blind eye to after-hours I Bald ry, \vhile his public persona gre\v ever n1orc n1ainstrt•an1. On record he \<vas veering tO\.\'ards a lighr..veight Walker Brothers sound, even crooning a syrupy version of Make It Easy On Yottrself on his J966 LP, Looking At Lona John . Still needing a group, Baldry ended up at the Cron1\vcllian in South Kensington to ask aboul their house band, Rluesology, anolher Stean1packet copy featuring Marsha Hunt, Stuart Bro,vn and the future Elton John, Reg D'vight. Peering out from behind his Vox Contine::ntal, Elton recognise::d Baldry from SO MOJO

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• for" , but ck·arly ,1 "brandy man .. , prone to sclf-dcslructiYc be- · , · . baviour. "I cannot believe l never realised that he \Vas gay," " ; if~ adds Elton. " I mean, I didn' treaJise I \Vas gay at thatti.n1e ... ~ : ~J- O f course, \Vhen I can1e out of the closet, John \ Vas very, ~ rery happy about it." ')' In fa ct, it \Vas Baldry 'vho talked Elton out of a doon1cd n1arriage to Linda Woo<li·o,v, just a fe"v years later, in 1969, convincing hin1 to see the truth of his O\Vn sexual orientation. "You're a buttcrfl); and butterflies arc free to fly fly a\vay," " 'as ho\VBernie Tau pin later described it ' vhen \Vriting lyrics for Elton's autobiographical album, Capcain rontasric And The Brown Dirr Coivboy, in 1975. "One night John, Be rnie anu I \ve nt to the Bag O' Nails in Kingly Street and got incredibly drunk," says Elton. "John said to 111e, 'Why arc you getting niarricd to this \.\"Oman? You arc n1orc in love 'YVith Bernie than you are this \.VOn1an.' or course, r kne\Vhe \Vas right. I \Vasn't in love \Vith Bernie in a <"clrnal \vay, but certainlv , as a brother." At the advice of "sugar bear" confidant Baldry, Elton \Vent hon1c, stiUdrunk, and caUed off the \vcdcJjng that njght. "So John BaJdry ' vas the catalyst for So1nconc SaYed .Nly Life Tonight," says Elton. "Without that it could have been an entirely different story. I le really did change Lhc course of my life, bless his heart." ...


J-Jo,\rever, Let 'The H eartaches Begin closed as many door:- as it opened. Follo\v-up single: Mexico, b.lsed around the BBC's official 1968 Oly111pics Then1e, read1ed ~un1ber l 7 in the charts but the Let Tbe lleartaches Bet1in albun1 divided critics Jt tJ1e precist> mon1ent \Vhen the blues sound Baldry had cultivated \Vas gaining acceptance across the Atlantic. He bad fors,1ken his roots to go pop, and 1·va:; nn\·\' stuck in a li1nbo bet\vcen the hvo 1vorlds. "Hell," he }3ter told one inter vie\ver, "if l 'd stayed \vith the \111ole blue::. thing like r\l\ayall and the rest of the1n, I probably 11·ould ha1·e achieved a great1·r degree of success. But you k.novv, son1etin1es 1vc all 1nake silly niistakes." ''Jo hn 1vas one of the best 12-string blues guitarisL~ Rritain ever had," says Elton John. "Unfortunately, he kind ol'laicl that to 1vaste \vhen I Tea1·taches TiC'can1e a hit."

S TIIE '705 BEGAN , RALDRY WAS GOINC; no1vhere, Living \vith hi:, pel goat, Mayley, in .:i MuS\vcll l lill flat he rented from Rod Stc\\'<lrt. Sensing it ,,·as tin1e for an intervention. Stc1vart and Elton joined forces to reintToduce Baldry to the,vorlcl. ''One of the thin~ Rod and l could do," says Elton. "\•\ flS produce a side each for Johu. We \Vere his t\vu proteges, and no1v \VC could [givel something back." The result \v,1s John Baldry1: It Ain 'r Easy, released in Anicrica by \ Varner Bros in J 97 1. -rhe albu1n's l'\VO-trac:k opener, Conditional DL~chargc - Baldry reminisci1ig about his early busking days, over Ian Arn1itt's barrelhouse piano - sn1ash-cut into the super-heavy Don't 1i·y lo Lay No Boogie-Woogic On The King OfRoc·kAnd Roll, featuring blistering guitar 1vork by Ro nnie Wood and Sa n1 Mitchell, and received generous airplay on An1eric:an FJ\1 radio, necessitating Baldry's first ever LIS tour. England \Vouldn't have Long Joh n to kick.1rouncl any more. Bal dry bla7.ecl through :'-Jortl1 America on tour \vith Savoy Bro\\~l and Fleet\vood Mac. His road nianager at the tin1c, John Francis Peters, becan1e fascinated 1vith tht: contradictions in Baldry's personality "John could \1-alk n ut on-stage, in f1·ont of 5,000 fans, and just deliv1;;r," says Peters. '' People \vou ld [already] be in a1ve because of his height. Then he'd open his niouth up and start si nging and flour t:vcrybody, every night, no nlatter l·l 'hat condition he \vas in. But~vhen you'redoingth is forthree\vecks, every the realit1; the intensitv of life, dav> a ditTert:nt c it1; J J / son1etimes just ovcr\vheln1ed hin1. Getting John on a pl.ine -1 1\'oulcl lit~rally hold his h.1nd. I l e \.vould shake, S\.Ycat, and break nut in rashes. But he never missed a sli o''~ 1-It>'d do it no matter ho''' he ft>lt:. I feel that his drinking \Vas possibly a 'vay of trying to heal that cxtrcn1cly sc-nsitivc part of him ." Rod and Elton dutifully 1·esun1ed their ro les for Baldry's cccent1ic.• Warner Bros follo1v-up, I 97 2 's El'erythinfl Siop; F<Jr Tea, \vhich featured Ronnie Wood's Le\vis Carroll-inspired cover illustration, depicting Baldry as the Mad H atter. "I o nly did t\vo or three tracks for hinl on that one," says Rod Ste1vart. " ] think 1 used tlic sa1nl;' • guys on Eve:r Picture T.dls A 5109', like Mildcline ( Bell, anc.l Maggie Bell. The title song, Everything ~ Stops For Tea, \Vas a Noel Co,vard uun1ber. I ~ l oved it 1vhen J ohn sang all that stutT, so I said, ~ Why don't you try it on the albun1 ? Hl· djc\ ,1 ~ n1arvellou~ job \vilh it." 5 Elton's contributions. me>an\vhile, em~ played his H onky Chateau c re\v, including

DaYey Johnstone and Nigel Olsson, on NE'\'' Orleans standard Iko Iko, Willie Dixon's Sevt~nth Son and Joru1 Kongos' Jubilee Cloud. But despite even more exten~ivt> touring throughout the USA anc.l Canada, £1'e1Jlhin9 Scops only troubled the lo,ver reaches of the charts. \Varner 81-os failed to rcne'v their option. Baldry 's next 1:\\'0 LPs, Good To Be Alive and Welco1ne To 0111> Casblanca ~vere released on Casahlanca. Hoth sank \Vithout tract', and Bald1-y hegan to exhibit signs of depression, cxaccrhated by heavy drinking. Brief respite came at Nc\VYork's Studio 54 in February I 978, \Vhen Ba ldry fell in !rive \Vith t he n1an \\'ho \vould becom1• his constant con1panion for the n·~t of his Life, Felix Rexach, 1vho everyone knc\·Vas "'0·/ '. Baldry and Oz left t\c1v York for Toronto, 1vhcre the Canadian arn1 of Capitol Records released the cheekily-titled Bald9"s Our! in 1979. Rollicking and confident, it \vas his most solid cnllection since tht:: Warner Bros )'t'ars. A tired-up duct \Vith KatJ1i McDonalJ on You've Lost ·rhat Lo\oing Feeling 1vas a 1ninor hit in Canada .ind ·1op 5 in Australia, \vhik: the in1pact of the ren1arkable l'ollo\v-up, A ·rhrill's A 'fh ri II, an earnest dispatch fro111 the leailier-clad uncler\vorld ofthedo1vnto"vngayclubscene, resulted in a ext.ra 200,000 LP sales in Canada alone. But success \Vas once again short-lived, and the Capitol deal fiz1Jed .lFter a succession of subsequent releases yielded increasingly din1inishing return~. Baldry and Oz settled do\Vll in Vancouver, British Colun1bi.:i, 'vith Baldry returning to the blues and lending his booming voice to anin1atio n 1vork. ln 1997 he \Von ,l Juno A'vard (C<lna<la's Gran11ny) tor Riaht To Sin9 The Blues, and paid tribute to HuJdic Ledbetter \vith his final LP, Ren1e1nberinf1 Leadbelly, in 2001. He S\vorc off cigarettes at1d vodka in the '90::., after a bleeding ulcer sent to hin1 to the emergency \Varel, but his health ren1ained poor. He suffered frnn1 epilepsy and stayed a1vay fron1 night<.~ubs for fear the flashing light5 n1ight trigger a fit. I-fe developed gout and found it harder to move his n1assive fr-a111e along the streets of Vancouver 1vithout a cane. By March of2005, he hJd alsn developed osteoporosis and under\vent hip replacen1ent si1rgery. His fai thful protege. Rod Stc\1"1rt, checked i11on him fron1 tin1e to tin1c, and helped out financiall); but b) April, Baldrv entered intensi1-e care, never to return. "We 1voukl talk oyer the phone every couple of n1onth.s ," says StC'\Vart. "I-le ahvays put on a brave front." Looking lar older than his 64 years, Baldry passed a\vay on July 21, 2005. ·rhe official catL~t: of death \·vas listed as severe chest infection, but it m.:iy just as \veil have been Baldry's full appetite lor IHe that ultimately did him in. "Yilu ks101v," says 13rian .Augt·r, "I stayed in touch \·vitl1 hi1n right 'til the end, because he was one of the most ge11uiJ1e huo1a11 beings I've ever met in tl1e 1nusic business. H e 1vas very kind and i ntelligeJ1~ you could talk to hin1 .1bout just about anything. f-l e \Vas really a gcntle1nan. '' "l iliink ,you C<\n have all ilie talent in the \vorld, but you do need a littll." hit of lu<:k," :;,\ys Rod ll"\\art. "My lut·k jui.I hap pe11t•d l o be thal. lit· \\'as on th.it r,1ihv<1) st.llion a11<l ht> ht'<U'tl rnt' pi.lying the har1not1i<'a .111d singing, ,111cl ht• b~·lil'v~'d in 1n1.. Jt's a ' tren1e11dou::. dt•bt." "I loved k:i1u,ving and \Vorking \v1th him," concludes Elton John. " It's extraordinary that people have to 1va.it w1til they die to get n1ass recogrution. I-Jc never recorded tl1e big blues .1lbum he should h;:ive done at the time but he 1vas 011e of the great blues pioneers of British 1nu~i <.:." ~

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HE DRAB-LOOKING VICTORIAN ho m e o n an unremarkable street in Clapha111, south-\vest London, could be any o ld house, but it's not. It's the Motorl1ouse, ho m e to a m an \vh o o nce procla imed that if his band m oved in next door, your la\\TI \vould die. A quick glance at the neighbouring front ga rden appear s to uggcst tl1at Le1nrny maywell l1ave been telling the truth. Inside it's dark an<l cosy, the curtains dra,vn against the afternoon sun. l'hcre's a fireplace cluttered \vith band paraphernalia and World 'vVar II n1en1orabilia. One \Vall is plastered \vilh a collage of Page 3 nlodcl San1antha Fox. In a corner, leaning against the \Vall, is a parking nicter that Lemmy found uprooted outside lht> Embassy Club and '"hich he brought hoo1e in a c·ab, thinking it n1ight nlakc a nice garden ornan1ent. Model aeroplanes dangle fron1 the ceiling, cigarettes and ,,•hisk·y bottles litter the floor, a pile of books tel'tt•r on the sofa - Lemn1y a\·erages four a \\·eek and on the T\' a Raquel \Velch ,;cleo play ·, Yolun1e turned do\\'Tl. \VUrzel, ~lotorhcacl'~ affable guitarist and bassist Len1n1~"s roo1nn1atc, is in the kitclll'n making tea. It', the i.umn1cr of 1986. Lcn1my is 40 and Nlotorhead, no"· in their clc,enth '\l'ar, ha\"l' a Ill'\\' albun1 read\', for release, hence our ,·isit. According to Le111n1y- not a n1an gh·en to hyperbole - Or9as1natrr>n i~ "the best thing \\ c\·e done since Ace C!.[Spades." That said, the recent years ha\e not hl·1·n e.lsy on th1· n1,1n. ·rhl· band's n1ost revered line-up - l.t·m111~. clrumml·r Phil ·Philtl1: Ani111al' ·1:iylor and guitarist 'Fa~t' I ddil· Cl.irk<.· dissolvvd in 1982 \Vhcn Clarke c1u it, upset ,1t l .l'1n1ny's collilborilti11n 1vith Plas111atics singer 'vVendy 0 \.\filli.1111s on .i covc.•r of ·ra1nn1y Wynettc's Sta ncl By Your ,\ l.111. Cla rkv 's rt'place111cnt, cx-·l'hin Lizzy 111.111 Bri,1n ·Rohho' Robertson left after I983's criti<.-.ilh. l .1mli.1~11·d Another Pe~fect Du)', and Taylor d(·p.1rtl·d th1· follo"·ing year after Motorheacl's .1ppt-.1rancc on TV sho\v The Young Ont·s. I11 typically stoic styll', Lcn1m: h.1s soldiered on, as cn1b ling anoth,·r 1\ilotorhead line-up 1vith \VUr11·I. drun1mcr Petl' Gill and guitari~t Phil Can1pbell. For the past thrl't' years, he's abo been in a legal batth· '"ith the band'~ record labl·I, Bronze, " ·hich has pre\'l'ntccl hiin fro111 releasing under thl' MotorhL·.1d banner. \Vhile critics \\'l"Ote the h.1nd's premature obituary, Lc1111ny n.1Yig.1tcd this period by taking the band on th,· ro.1cl . "l ' ht>y all thought I 1vas going to l,1.1 ,\ lotiirht-.id t11 l"l'St, cross its arms o\·cr its che~t, shut its l'\'l'S . .1nd k·,11l' it," snorts Lcn1111y. "Well I invcnt(·d ,\ lotiirh1•,1d. It"s 1\!lotorhl·ad as long as l'n1 in it. 1\lotiirhv.1cl is 111: livelihood. If I gave it up \Vhat \\ould I h.tv<· l('ft r fuck all. "

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·r·sAST l~NGtS(

SAT IO ,NO\iVI IE'SGONE, poring through a 11lack of the intervie\\'S l did \Yith him ovt'r tl1t> decades, like a box of old photographs in an c1npty roo111. Tht'rC arc '>O many different locations and different line-ups, all the'>e different album~ and ventures -a film. a clocumcntar); hi!> autobiography, side-projects. \Vhat's so extraordinary about it, though, is ho,,· consistent Lcn1n1y "a~, a1,,,1ys.• othing changed .. ot his con54 MOJO

'it1.ion, his sound, hilt \Varn1th a11d his deadpJn humour, nor the ubjects he \Vas serious .1h1iut. 'vhich \\"ere often the subjects of his songs.\ \ 'l11·ther it \\'<IS his taste in drugs, t·lothcs and \\Vllll'n, his honl'Sl). or his leadership of the band, Lt'n1my 1vas ~-. steadfast, w1Hinching, autl1cntic. You could say tl1e value of constancy struck h in1 early. Ian 1-rascr Kilmi ster \vas born in Stokc-011Trent on Christ:tnas Eve, 1945; hi:; father, a Protestant vicar" ho served as a chaplain in the RJ\F, \valkccl out on hi ,,·ife and only child \vhen Lemn1v , 'vas three months old. "The Reverend Sidney Kil111i5ter," Len1n1y " ·oukl aln1ost spit 1vhen a~kcd about hi111, \Vas "the bigge!it h~pocri te". Lemmv's mother rc1narricd


\Vhcn he \Vas I 0 to George \'\1illil>, a for1ner profe sional footballer. "I le \vas a Catholic, and n1y mother, in order to get ren1arricd, had to \vritc to "fhc Pope to ask his per mission. Ho\v can religion not piss you offi" said Lcmmy during one of our n1any conversations. When his nc''' 1:1n1ily left the lvlidlands for Anglesey, an island off the coast of North Wales, Len1n1y's sense of isolation ~ cn1crgcd. " I learnt \vhat it -.vas likt' to be a m inority," he rco "§ fleeted. "'fhe only English kid in a Welsh school. One in 700. ~ T hey actually lined up to fight n1c." It \Vas "·here he lear ned ho'" to S scrap and defend h imself, he said-something tha t \\·ould stand hin1 "'g in good stead o,·er the years - but also \Vhere he lea rned cl1e futility E of violence: " o matter ho"· n1anv , ,\'Ou beat, there' · ahva)'S another ~ ~ one. Or another 200." Naturally bright, Lc1nn1y' · academic interests also became cvi·~ ~ <lent: "I \\a~ good at hi:-tory and Engli~h; e,·erything else I \\aS crap ~ at." l)pical of a n1an born just 16 \\'eeks after the end of\\'orl<l \Var '! II, he de,·clopcd a fa~cination \\ith the rise of azi German}; par5. ticularly "the pageantry and t11catrc iliat cl1e~· brought in to suck- >

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"She had a guitar hanging on the \vall - ,, Ha\vaiian steel guitar - \vhic:h she usl•d to play," he said. "I took it "~th n1c to school to in1press the c hicks. It \\ol"kl·d likl· .1 ch.1rn1. I could do all the 1110,·es." 'fh (· 1110\\·s in tjll<'Stion '"ere those of I-lank Mar\'in , the h·.1cl guit.1risl in l "h" Shado,vs, a 1nan he presented \Vith an ·'" .1rd .1t lh<' i11,1ugural MOJO 1-Ionours List in Au.!,JttSt 2004, citing the band as the reason he'd electt'd to pick up .1 six-string. "I couldn't play it, I just took it to school," ht· cJckle<l. "The strings \vcre high up and you played it Aat on your lap. But I !>tarted pl.1~·ing it like a regular guitar. It ga\'l' you strong finger~. That's ho"· I got to play the bass so fluently. Death grip!" On the bootheels of the hads c.1 nie T he Bea ties. It ,,·as a stepchange. "The Beatles \\'ere just the hcst band ever, no conte!>t," he told n1e in 2006. "I \Vas 16 or 17 and lh ing in :\nglcsey \Vhen I sa\v then1 at 'f hc ca,·crn, '61, '62, before their first ~i ngle ca1nc out." 1r The Sh.1do,vs had provided him \vith initial inspir.1tion. 1hl·n Thl· Beatles cen1ented the iclea or a band ~ as,, ~.1ng in thl· tl't'nager's 1nind. They \Vere "a four-head- .5 eel 111onstl'I', l'<ICh .is good a· each other, feeding on each othc1 '!' ('lll'I'~." 'This seemingly tele pathic und(.'rsta ncl- £ ing \v,1s M>llll'thing he particularly ad1nired ancl \VOu lcl lat1·r strh <' to n•plil:.1te. !! ~

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er people." While Lcn11ny once describ1·d Adolf I litler to 111c al. "the first rock st.1 r " and every obituary 1nadc sure to nll'ntion his extensive collcc. tion of> ai.i 111cmc ir.1bilia - the man retaint•d a complete h.1tred of the Fuhrer and his ideology. As he prepared to enter his u~en.1gt· years, rock'n'roll stru(;k its openi n ~ chords. "fierce joy!" is ho''' he dt··cribcd hi feelings \vhcn hearing Uttk· Richard for the fir~t ti111c. " I'd listen to Radio LlLxcn1bourg- tl1at \\'3!> the onl~ !>t.1tion playing rock'n'roll in Britain tht•n," h1· ren1cn1bt-rt:•d. " It uSt•<I to cut out all th~· tin1l', so you'd hear a record you really liked and tht•n it \\'ould go sss-zzz-sss so you \vould n ' t kno\\' \Vho did it, and you'd have to \Vait lo r lou1 days \Vith your l'ar glued to the rad io until th".' played it again. I used to sit like that tlil' "holt• evening listening to the radio in Wak·s. It " "'s a 111agic tin1e, that first rock'n'roll ti 111e. Kicls n O\V have ahvays had rock'n ' roll as a backgroltnd n1usic, but \\'t' didn't. We had fucking Ro~emarv Clooncv and I lo\\ J\lluch Is ·rhat J Ba~tan.I Doggic In The Win<lo,,: 1-he n Bill Ha.Icy came in and To111111y tcelc. I kne\\' tliey " ·ere no goocl but they ,,.c..'rc the best \\'e had so far, and then, of course, rcame] Elvis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard." Although it doesn't exaC'tly fit the outla" · image, Lemmy's en tree into 1nusic-n1aking ca111e via his 111other. J

56 MOJO

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Si FTER LEAVING SCH OOL THERE vVERE A f handful of dead-end jobs (factory; stablel> - he ., loved horses) and a long list of local bands: The § Sunclo\\11ers ("truJy a\vful"), The Blue Jays ("psychedelic"), ~ • The Rainmaker.., The J\lloto\\11 Sect ('\,e just called it tliat ~ to get gigs"), most or \vhon1 played cove~. "Shado,,·l> stuff ~ n1o~tl~;" he said. " I ' ''l b playing rh~thn1 guitar, then the botto111 fl·ll out g of the rhvth111 . market so I had lo trv and becon1e a lead guit..1rist and ~ 1'111 no good at lead. I'1n good at rhythm, good at driving a song." ~ .

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Motorhead in the '80s: (from left) Phil Campbell, Taylo r, l emmy, Mick 'Wurzel' Bursto n.

Jn 1965 Lemn1y joined cult Black-pool beat merchants The Rockin' \fickcr~ " ·ho, undt•r the \Vatchful eye of producer hel -ralm~; cut a cover of Thi.:' Kinks' Oand} for CBS the follo\\'ing year. " \\'e ,,·ore dog collar:. and the Finnh,h national co:.tun1e. North of Birtningham \\C \\ert• getting more than l200 a night- good money in then1 day:-., about t\\O grand nO\\: \\'e all had cars.'' If The Rockin' \ 'ickcrs ''ere local heroes" ho hung out ,,·ith ,·isiting i,tar:. like Tht• \\/ho ("great n1atl'S of ours''), The Trcn1cloc:. ("fuc.king nuttcr~") and Lulu ("a fucking ra,er back then"), Len1n1y \Vas a\vare that London \Vas \vhcre things \Vere at and dccan1pc<l there at 21, cra~hing for a night at Ronnie \\'o od's n1un1 's place and then staying at a girlfriend's pad on the Portobello Road. It \vas \\lho roadie eville Cht·~ter~ 'vho recon1n1cndcd hin1 to Jin1i Hendrix, for ,vhon1 Lt•n1n1y \vould \vork for four n1onths earning {I 0 per \veek. l-lis stint inc:luded the fan1ous Noven1bcr-Dece1nber '67 package tour \vith The Move, Pink Floyd, An1cn Corner and 'fhe ice. The fringe he ne6ts inclu<ll'd Q,vsk·y-1nadt· acid (Len1n1y's first tri1J can1e in Jin1i's con1pany; his last \vas in 197 5, after \\'hich he S\Vitchecl lo liguid nleth) as \\'l:ll as all the girls he \\'anted. "Chick:, \Vere ju:.l drooling all O\'Cr Ji mi because of the 'vay he n1oved," he re<:allcd. "But he "·a~ rcally\\·cll-mannercd too. He'd puJJ chai r~ out for chicks and open the dnor- \vhich 1still do nO\\', becau:-e 1 ,,·as taught that \V<l)' by n1y n1a." Lenm1y's incn.:asingl} psychedelic adventures led hin1 to join San1 Gopal, the band led b) the Burmese-born tabla player of the same name, his prodigiou'> intake of speed allo\\ing hin1 to " 'rite the bulk of the songs on the band'<i 1969 albun1, &cala1or, "in one night". The group's lack of con1111crcial ~ucce::.s led ro a s\vi ft demi:.e and sa"· Lcm111y reduced to dealing cannabis at Kensington ~larkct to make ends mel·t. Bv• no\\', ho\\·c,·er, he \\'as a face about tO\\'ll, and " ·hen ba:-si:-t Dave Anderson left Ha\\'k\\ ind follo\\·ing the rck·asc of their second albun1, In ~earch (!/Space, in late '7 I, he )oined, adapting to his four-string duties on the Oy. "It \\'as easy because they didn't change key for half an hour," he rcflcctecl. "I loved pl;iying bass. I O\Ve H a,vk,vind that becau:,e I'd have never thought of it. I \vould have still bl·cn a n1cdiocre !:,'llitarist." In I la1vk,vi nd, Len11ny's ~on~vriting continued to l.'volvc. I le \vrotc 'rhc Watcher ('\vhich \\'as an Jcid song") and Motorhead ('\\'hich \VJsn't!"), and sang on the band's sole hit single, Sihcr i\ lachinc, in the su1nn1cr ot '72. "It pi:i.o;cd thcn1 on too. Because I'd only just joinl·d, I \\a!- 'th(• nl'\\ boy', and there it \Vi\.~ al Number I !or rather, 31 and [there \\llS] a picture of nie on the front of die Ni\itE " ·hich rea/~r pissed the1n oil: 1 think that's \\'here d1(' rot st..1rtecl." Tension~ in Ha,,k,,·incl \\'Crc exacerbated bv >


Still magic: Lemmy flanked by the final Moto rhead drummer Mikkey Dee (left ) and guitarist Phil Campbell.

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,vhat Le111n1y tern1ed "a hierarchy in the ~ drug-taking fraternity". Namely, a division bel'\veen tl1ose taking acid and those on speed - pri11cipally hi111self O f tht· thn·t• s t 11dio .1lliun1s on \Vhich he appt·.1 rt'd - /)orc111i / ~1s<>l Lacido ( 1972), Hall Of T/1,· l/c1u11tai11 G1ill • ( 197 4) and 1¥arrior On th<' F..llJi! (~f 7i111c (I 1J7 )) - none surpassed the aggression of 197) 's Ii\ l. Sra•i! Ritual. "That sound \Vas like \ve sound1·d , n«il l~ c.1ptured it," he sa id. Len11ny's exit fro1n H a\\l~\'ind notoriously follo"ved his bust at the US-Canadian border in ,\\,,,. • '75 for carrying an1pheta1nines and, " hilt· he remained on good terms \vith leader IJJ\t' Brock ("he didn't \vant to fire n1e; he \\"1~ persuaded"), he resented being for·ced out of a band he clea rly loved. l-lis ejectio n sa\v hi1n for1n his O\\rn band, briefly na1ned Bastard and then rechristenl'd Motorhead, " ·ith Larry v\1allis of Pink Fairies and drumn1er Lucas Fox. ''l '''<1s listening to the MCS by then," he told ml', "and I \vanted to be the MCS - a five-pil'Cl\ kickass rock'n'roll band." An absence of suitable guitarists or, indeed, singers sa'v the band remain as a three-piece. "Singers \Ve re hard to find in tl1em days," Len1mv said. "It \Vas casv• • J to find people '"vho thought they could sing-and I ,,·asn't one of then1. But I got stuck \vith it. I gre"v to like it." 111!!"1•'.:;_

T'S A SCORCHING AFTERnoon in HolJy,vood , 1982. l emmy, dressed in his customary black, is on a chair beneath a pat.io umbre lla beside a n1otel pool, chatting \·vith fans. That niust have been around the tin1e l introduced him to a young ad1nirer named Lars Ulri ch, \vho told 58 MOJO

Leu1111y he "vas the president of his US fan club. Then, after accepting Len1my's offer of a b<'verage (a scre\vdriver, to be precise), Ulrich vomited on his boots. But Lemn1y ahvays made time for fan s, a nun1ber of \vhom - like Ulrich - form ed their o"vn bands, inspired by Motorhcad's uncom promising approach and the then- burgeoning Ne'v Wave Of British Heavy Metal. As he ahvays stated, Le1nn1y had little truck "vith tl1e latter scene, bei11g far n1ore aligned \Vith punk's desire to recapture rock'n'roll 's original intensity. "We started in '7 5, then '76 "vas ,,·hen Phil and Eddie got in the band, so ""e 'vere playing at the l~oundhouse supporting The Damned. Ever ybody got bottled by somebody tl1at night!" he recalled in 2006, laughing at the thought. "But they \•Vere great sho,vs. l ahvays felt n1ore of an affinity \Vith the punks than I did "vith heavy metal." Motorhead's association \Vi th punk \Va s sealed by their self-titled debut album, essentially recorded in 24 hours, and released in '77 on the Chis"vick label - hon1e to The Oanmed, The Gorillas and The Count Bishops. Rough and ready, it paved tl1e \<vay for Overkill and Bon1ber, both released in '79 and both heln1ed by Stones producer Jinm1y i\1iller, records that truly defined the band's reputation and sound. Then can1e I 980'sAce Of Spades, along "vith its title track t hat dented t he UK Top 20 " ·h,·n it was released as a single. Proud of th1• hand's rise, ~1nn1y \Vas nevertheless .1\\.11·v that the albu1n's success could be a de iuble-edged S\vord . "Well, it does get a bit tiring,vhen it's thl' nnl~· thing rpeople haYel ever heard and they say it's su<.:h .1 1:1nt.1sti<..: r,·coi·d. And I say, Yeah, so great you've not hc;u·d .111\. thing \\'e've done after it! That reallv , pisSl'S m e off, because if you like a band, you listl'll tt• their ne"v stuff too, surely," he sighed yr.1rs Liter. The success of 198 1's liYe set, No Sleep ·r;/ Ha111mersn1ich - ,vhich topped the LIK albun1 chart - piled further pressure on the naturally excessive band, .1nd \YOuld ulti111ately lead to the splintering of Motorhead's 1nost revered line-up as they struggled to n1aintain their 1non1e ntu1n. "Ho,.v do you fol lo"v a live album th.:it's gone in straight at un1ber l ? You c.111't make another live albun1, and no studio .:ilblun is going to be as exciting,'' said Le111n1y year~ later, adding, "J-Ian1mcrsn1id1 \Vas our clai1n to fan1e, but fo r that mo1nent to define you gets a bit tedious." N THE 34 YEARS TI-TAT elapsed since the triun1ph of that landn1ark live albun1, fe\v ba11ds have re1nained as in1pervious to trends as Motorhead. Their output across _,,~ their 2 2 studio a lbun1s has been re markably consistent, culminating in Bad Ma9ic, released in August 20 I 5. Tbe tenth albu1n in 19 years to feature the line-up of Lemn1y, guitarist Phil Can1pbcll


and drumn1<.·r Mikker Ot..·c, Bad Alfasic ren1ai11s n:n1arkably h e;n~· but, alongsidl· thl' han1111cr-do,,·n, t hundcrou charge of tracks like -rhe DC\·il and hoot Out 1\ll Your Lights, there's the semi-acoustic strwn of l'ill "[he l::nd, "hl'rl' l..t•mnl), looking back \\·ith unusual introspt'l'lion, concludl' · that "All I kno\\' is \\'ho I anv'I 'll ne'er let •you do,,11,'' You n1ight call it a rare chink in tht' \\-ar pig' armour, but Lenm1y ha~ opened up before, n1o~t notably on Capricorn (titled after his star :.ign) fron1 On:rkil/. On it, the '>inger describes hin1self as "solitaire, to tJ1e bone" and ,1dn1its, '\\'hen I ,,·,1s youngll \vas already old" - candid acki10\\~edgn1ent of pl·r~onality trJits that stayed \vitl1 bim throughout. Indeed, in all tl1<.· tributes that ha,·e Ao,,·ed since his passing, fe,v 1nt'ntioned Len11ny'~ talent as a ~on~\Titer, the \\13)' he internali~ed the \\ it and l'a<k·nl'cS of thc ea rl\'I rock'n 'roll records he loved , and infu~l' d hi ~ crl.'ali(lns \Villi his inin1itable person.ility. Liste n to the speell frC"ak <lnthl·n1 Motorhcad and you can hear the humour in hi::. delivery of the i1nn1orta l line: "Ciln't get enough/And you ki10\\· it'~ right<.·ou!> !>lufl/C;oes up like prices at Christma:-.." While be-;t kno,vn fr>r songs that en1braceJ the \vh,1t-the-hell hedonis111 of life o n the r~ 1ad, Lcrnmy felt no subject \\'aS out of hound:. bl' it \var or, ind<.·1:d, c:hild abuse. One of his best lyrics \\·as pennl'd for tl1l' tith: track to Motorhc,1d's 1991 albun1, 1916, inspired by a UK ·rv progran1n1c about the RattJl' Ofl'hl' on1n1e on " -J1ich a veter.111 ren1ini ·ced about hb friend dying in his arn1s \\1th half his face blo\\TI off. " lt c.-anll' to n1e in a 1l.1sh. I \\Tole it in 10 minutes," he explained. "The ol<l guy i-; 88 or ~omething, and he's still in tears about it. I le " ·alkcd through 2 5 ll>l't of niudcly :.hit into the teeth of niachine gun fire, all for nothing: 19,000 Englishn1en kille<l before noon. Think! All tho e li'-es. And ~0111e ha:.tard on ,1 "·hite hor:.e probably got a med.11 for it too. )ou ca n imagine the bastards can't you? Back at the club." The track i~elf is a ·lo"· ballad, Le1nmy con1ing as close to a croon as he e\·er did in a ::.tartling arrange111ent featuring niarching drun1~ an<l ,1 cello. "' I .1dore the cello, al"·ays ha\·e," said its author. "The one • "·ho introducl·d it to nH' really \\'aS Paul McCartney- :-o effecth·c on Ye:-.tcrday and Eleanor Rigby." Ec1ually trcnl'hant is Don't Let Daddy Kiss Me, ,vi·ittcn in J 990 fron1 the point of vie'v of ,1 young female victin1 of sexuaJ abuse. " I \Vant a \VOn1an t11 sing it. I'd like it done acoustic, or quiet at least," sa id Len1 n1y at the titl'tC. "1 t's '"rong if a n1an sings it, I think, beca use he's the protagonist and it niight scen1 gloating." ·rhe song \Vas oO(:rl·d tn .Joan Jett and Lita Ford. Both rejected it, so Motorhead recorded it, Len1n1) 's \'Ocal l·racking ,,;t], en1otion on a b,11lad tJ1at hec,1n1e an unlikely single in 199 3. 'fhe n1ost successful Len1n1y ballad, ho,vevcr, \\'J:, 1\l\an1a, I'n1 Con1ing Honie-a track he cO-\\TOte fi)r Ouv , Osbourne \\hich Sl'<.'Ured the Black Sabbath 111a11 his onh, solo US Top 30 hiL In the \\akl' of Lcn1111) 's death. 01.zy explained tJ1at his friend harl \\Tiltl'll tlil' \\Ord!> in le~ tJ1an t\\'O hours, all ,vhile starting ancl finbhing a book a\xlut \\'o riel\ V,1r 11 that Ol.1.y had gi,·en hin1 that !>ii.Ille afternoon. ''I le'd ''Tillcn ml' three :.et-. of lyrics," nlar,·clled OIZ): " I-le just \\Tilt•:. then1 a-. ifhc\ \vriting a m~<.agc- And it's like, He \\'rote this in bon lnnul" And tl1cy'rc not good l)Tics- thc) 're_fuckin9 amazing l)Tics." 1

A;-.JLIARY 12,2016.\VESTI IOLLYVVOOD'SSUN ET TRIP ha-; been transforn1ed into a celebratio n of Le n1n1v's . life and niusil'. Thi.' cpit'<.·ntre of thi~ tl1ronging, 74-hour party i~ the Rainbo"" Bar ,.\nd Grill, the place ,,11ere l en1n1y spent so n1uch of his tin1c fr>llo,ving his n1ov1: to LA in 1990. At the tin1e, c:on1mt•111orativc ·r:sh irts cn1blazon«..·cl "vith the slogan 'Len1my Goe:-> Tn I loll)""ooJ' \\'l'rc proJuced by ~lnti.'irhead' s 111anage111cnt. 'lo day's c.:omn1c n1or.1tion is rather diffe rent. Yet lc>r all the sadncs:. that has bl'cn felt sint·c the nian 's passing on Decen1ber 28, four days after turning 70 and t\vo day!' a ftcr being diagno,t'<l '' ith .ln .1ggre:.~i \'l' c,lnccr, tht•rt"i. <11!.o ,1n under:.tanding th,1t l.e1n111~ " '•':, llt'\l'r ont' li>r n•grl·L,. During Ont' of our lunge!>l COll\'t'r)talions I a kcd him "hcther he'd ever felt trapped b~- the peri.ona he'd l-reatcd. He lookl·d ,lightly :.urpriscd by the question. "You kno" that's not true," he replied. "You\·c seen nie at ~ hon1e. lfyou live on ~·our 0\\11, it's kind of quiet, even if you're 20. )ou don't jun1p around tJie house on your O\\-O. 1bcrc 's no au di~ ence, 1>0 tlit<re'~ no point. But I kno'' ho'' to 1nake an entrance .S and an exit\ ery "ell." (!)

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OTOWN QUINTET THE TEMPTATIO NS WERE flyi ng l1igh. It \-Vas the second "vcek of Junc 1969, and Cloud Nine was 12 \Veeks into its Top 20 run on the U S album charts, their latest single, Don't Let T he Joneses Get You O o,vn, \Vas surging up the best-selle r , and the group \Vere playing at th e Nlecca of AfricanAmerican culture, Ne\v York's Apollo Theatre. J\ \olO\\'O \\'aS pro:.pcring \\ith its star:.. lt.s first T\' production, 1' CB (Takin' Care of Business) , featuring Diana Ross And The upren1el> ,,·ith The lcn1ptations, had been a Top 5 ratings hit the prcviou!> Dccen1ber, beating Bonanza, Be\vitched and The Be\'crly Hillbillies. In January, a pair of upremeeffemptations duet albums took t\\"O of the Top 3 in Billboard, held from Nun1ber 1 only by 1"ht' Beath~:.. ·rhat same January, Mar\in Gaye's I Heard It 1-hrough The Grapevinc \vas the 1nost popular song in An1erica for tht" entire 111onth. And in i:cbruary, ·rhe Beatles' 1¥hite Album fina lly surrendt>red the chart ~u1n1n it to the TCB soundtrack. But backstage at the Apollo, the scene \Vas not so serene. In the office of Apollo principal Frank Schiffn'lan, three n1en '"ere ,1ccusi11g 1\1oto,vn of failing to up port black cau~es '"h ilc being S\vift to back Je,,ish Discretion pro,·cd to be the better part of ''alour: and othl.'r \vhite agt•ncics. Taking the heat ,vas Don Gordy cancelleJ his attendance, '"hilt> arranging foster, per ·onal a!tl>istant to 1\1\otO\\·n founder/ presifor a $25,000 donation to A"rRA fron1 J\lotO\\TI. dent, Berry Gordv Jr. The trio of ,-isitors ''·as associ~ ated ,,·ith ~ e"·'York- bascd group called the Fair --1969, MOTO\VN \VAS I 0 YEARS ~ Play for Black Citi7ens Committee. They spoke in into it.s cause, ha,·ing become the nio~t ucgeneralities, but the in1plication \\'as that tl1ey excessful and inAuential black-O\\'necl enter- l pected i\\oto\\11 '.,future upport. One of them noted pri:.e in the entire music industry - and \\'a:. ~ that there '''l're Apollo theatrci. in otht>r citie , and all 'I! soon to be codified as the largest black-o,vnecl .; it took ,,·as one "flhone call". business in the US. Bv - this time, its arti~ts \\ ere ·rhe Fair Play "con1n1ittct·'' \\'aS already kno,,·n as household names, knO\\.TI and recognised by niillion~ & trouble. ·rhe prl·vious sun1mcr in 1\i\ian1i, it had niuscled ~~· of An1c1ic<1ns, in part because of the l 8 Nun1ber I ~ into the annual convention of the black disc 1·ockeys' ".:~ -... singles the firn1 had score<l since 1961. T he 'i\lo- ~ " • •tiiiA• i' organisation, the National Association ofTelcvision and ... ·:: · tO\\'n Sound' ha<l becon1e a po\\·erful force in popu- c; Radio Announcers, ostensibly to garner support for , lar niusic, selling in ren1arkable quantities evt·n as ~ helping disadvantaged l-farlcn1 residents. But Moto\\11 ·• '"110c10~'.1".rt~~~L.. con1pctitors hustled to duplitate its dyna1nic, sophis- ~ ,..._~..~~._.;, ... --=-.,tffe·· cl bl I d 1 1e01 rncd that t hc group had c.:rin1e con nections, and \.v,1s . . .••• •• -· • ... ticatc , asscm y- ine output an to ana ysc the appea1 ~ trying to infiltratl' l~&B-forn1attcd radio stations to extort • ·• • of its hit111akcrs: Ste,~e Wonder, Mar,·in Gaye, ·rhc lemp- ~ nioney frorn record con1panies. At the J\llian1i event, there \vere ti\tions, Smokey Robinson And The Miracles, ·r he Four lop:., ~ assa ults and inti111idatio11. Legendary Atlantic Rccor<ls producer Martha And The Van<lcllas and, of course, the all-conc1uering Su- -6 Jerry Wexler, for one, ned tlie convention in fear for his life. prcn1es, fronted by Gordy's brightest star, Diana Ro::.s. ~ er:; In Augu~t J 969, Berry Gordy '"as due to attend the ATRA conl'hc~e achievement!. ,,•ere <lue to n1ore than the n1u!>ic, the cha- ~ ,·cntion in vVashington, DC, to nlake a donation to the organi ation, a· risma of the artists and the determination of Berry Gordy. I le pre- ~ ~ he had in prcviou~ )Car . This ti1nc, tliere \vasa death threat. Given the fer red the crcati\'e side of niusic- son~\Titing, producing- and in o ';. Apollo meeting t\\O montlis earlier, N\oto,,n assumed that Fair Play this, he could be demanding, even controlling. By contr;i ·t, he ~ \\"as behind it. Company l.'Xcruti\es Gordon Prince and E\\'art Abner, sho"·cd little interest in back-office functions, altl1ough he \\'a!> ,,·ell 8 ~ accon1panicd b)· FBI agent:., checked the hotel suite ,,·here Gord)·,,·a:. a\\·arc that competence in sales, promotion, accounting and con- .~ ~ to sta~: "There '"a' eYcn a phony run fron1 the airport that \\-C ,,·ere tracts '"as essential. At first, strapped for cash, he depended on ~ 3 going to do," recalled PJince, '\,;th son1eonc else instead of Bcrrr" fan1ily. 11 i' si!>ter Loucyc initially dealt \vith pr~sing plants and di!)- •

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tributors, paying out and collecting 1noney. Still, Gordy "vas pragmatic. He knc"' that if 1\\oto\\'n \Vas to gain airplay beyond the R&B-for1natted :,tations '"hich supported its initial releases, and " 'as to collect the rcceh·ablcs due ,,-hen sales follo"cd airplay, hl' ncc..•dcd people" ith relationships at Top 40 stations and - as importantly - ";th the predominantly "hitc distributors" ho controlled access to record stores. Gordy':. sn1artcst busines niO\'C in those fledgling year:. ,,·as to recruit an engaging, an1bitious " ·hite salesman in hi:. mid-t\\'Cntie~: Balda~sare (Barney) t\les, son of an in1n1igrant Sicilian father and a Nlichigan-born mother. During lour years at the Detroit branch of industry n1ajor Capito l Records, Ales ro!>e fron1 stock ho) to h(•ad of pro1notion, ser,ing an artist roster ranging fron1 at ' King' Cole to Gene Vincent. After a spell at vVarnl·r Bros, ht> bt>(·a111e sales n1anager at an in<lependt>nt Dl'troit distributorship, f\urora. It hanilled a number of l~&B labe ls, including Tri- Phi , the sma ll in1print >


As Barney Ales' in1portance to 1\itoto,vn becan1e e,·idc nt and the con1pany's hit ralio start(•cl to impress and then confound thl' music industry, hi'> stature gre,,: ~1can\\'hiJe, his Italian heritage g.i,·c 1ise to run1ours about friends and acquaintances. "You kno\\;" said Bl'r rv, Go rd\~ "he never really , "' minded that too much, because, ,you k110\\, \\e got our money a little quicker fron1 distributors." I I· PI \) 1-l ) \ '\C >THI-R KEY ROLE \ VHE:'\ 1\itOTO\ \' ,\I 1i\'l'd .1t <>Ill' of its 1nost in1portant cros road ·: The . up1 vrn1·!.' d1·hut .it thl' Copac.1h.111.1. This \\'.\S du1 ing the .,.,.._~ -.un111HT o f 196), 0 111· y1·,1r .1ft1·r th1· group h.1d 1·\plod1·cl into popul.1r <:ul111n· \\'illi thl'ir lirst >:umhl·r I r1•<.«1rd. \\ h1·n· l)id Our I o\·1· Go, fn llo\\'< 'd hv .1nother, .111d v1•t ,111othl'r - uhi• ' , .I 111,1tt·h for .1 total ol h\1' conSl'CUtiv.._· chart-toppl'l'S. ",\lost o l lhc1s1· 11·co1 d., \V1·nt t! • 1>op [ r.1d ioJ strc >ll!_!.l'I'..111d o ft l'll b1·fc111· th1·,. \\l\'l\l le i l~& H ," ~.1 i d Ldcli,· J-foll.1nd ofthv l-lolL1nd/ !)01ier111 o ll.1nd t ri u mvi r.1ll', ""h it:h t:n·,1tcd I h.1l SUl'l'<'sSiDn .,r ~~ Suprl·n11·s hits. "T her1•·s no \\«1;· 1'1 .1t \vo uld h.l\ 1• 'W h.1ppl'nt•d \vithout H,1r nl·~ · T h;it .1lso dl".1ls \vilh Bt'l'I')' Gcin h. 's insi,1ht ,1nd intl'll i''l'llCl' in l'l'C11< '~ :::~ nising h in1 ..1nd using. th.1t t.1l1·nt. ..

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C0-0\\'Jl(•d by G\ven c;ordy, Berry's sister. l ' h is brought B.11n1·y .1nd B1-r1y togvth1·r, "ho struck up .1 <.·los1· l'ri1·ndsl1i11" ·l1i<.·h \\,1s .is muclt about soci.1lisi11g .1s hu~i11\'SS - .1nd in .111 l'r.1 of Sl'grcg.1t inn, this \\ ,\s nnt,1bk'. l'\l'l1 in,\ '\ord1l·rn cit\'. likl' l)l•troit. \\'ht•n Gord; o lk'll'd hin1 .1 lull-tin1l· job .1t ,\ loto\\11 in I 1J6 l as hl'ad of s.1ll·s. . \lt·s n ·c.11lvd, " 1\ I~ p.1n·nt~ cnuJdn 't undl'rst..md \\II'. [ \\ould 11'.l\l' .\uror.1 to ...go \\ ith .1 hl.1cl ......!!,LI\. . .. ,

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jockl')'S \\ ,1S inllllt'di.1tl'I)' p ut tu good effect. and Moto\\11 scorl·d it' fi rst >:un1bl'r I on thl' pop -----~----,f. chart'> (Thi' ,\\,1r\'1·h·ttt·s· Ph..1~1· .\lr l'ostn1.1n) hY tht· !'nd of 1961 . • Ales dro\'c th1· group to l'hil,1dl·lphi,1 l(1r .1n .1ppt.-.1r.1ncl' o n l)i<.·k Clark's An1crica n B.1ndst.1nd. hut hrst h.id to ,·isit the tl'l'l1.1!!,l'rs' • high school in lnkstcr, ,\lich ig.1n. to gct pt•rmis-;ion from thl' principal. Later, he headed \vest to .111 l-r,1ncisco for a Cn\\· P.1lact' concert fcaturi ng 'rhe 1\ita rvclcttes a ncl .11101 hl'r Ill' \ \ .\ lo t0\\11 h itn1,1kcr, Ed<lie 1-l olland. ''We flc,v - it \VO ulcl ahvays lK· c<i.1L·h - .1nd I took [lead si nger I Gladys l lorton and Eddie." Ales paid fou r B.1;· .\ rl·.1 girls to sing behind I Lo rton. "'vVc d idn't have the n1oney to fly the \vhole group from Detroit." In those day:., cash fl o\\1 \Vas everyth ing. Ales kne\v of distributors \vho deliberately looked for sl.art-up labels as clients, so they 'vouldn't have to pay I.he ne,vcon1crs unless they had follo\\·-up hits. "Naturally, I had a bad altitude if people d idn't pay n1c," he said. Once, he found himself arguing furiou ·ly \vith a di ·tributor. " He said to nic, 'Did your n1othcr bring Jvou Ull an idiot?' I \\'CntcraZ\: I told him, I'll ,.:; ~ thro\\· you right out that \\inclo\\: ~ ly mother is ,·ery clo e to n1e." ~ AJei. \\a:. a tall, impo!>ing presence, \\ith physical strength (as a ';: youth, he had \\'orked the nighL.,hiftat Chrysler's D odge 1nain plant, "' ~ lifting hot fender., acro:.s assen1bly lines). At another tin1e, Ales ad- ~ \'ised one of his :.ta ff to bu)· a gun \\'hen visiting a ~lot0\\11 di~tributor ~ in Pittsburgh; it \\'as a joke, but only ju~t. Another of ,\Jes' promo- ] 0 tion people, if so instructed, already had his 0\\'11 pistol to carry. Not that arn1s \\'Crc confined to the backroo1n staff. British- .~ based iV\oto'\vn executive John Marshall had to deal " ·ith the arrest ~ of 'fhc ~ou r 'fops' Levi Stubbs in London in 1970 for possessing ~ drugs- and an1n1unition ...·rhc po lice found bullets in his luggage," Marshall remembered . "l"hat \vouldn't have surprised 111e. 1-herc ~ ::> \vcre lots of guns in Detroit." 8 J

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Are we rolling? Berry Gordy I far left ) keeps an eye on (from left) Chris Clark. Stevie Wonder and Lamont Dozier in the studio; (top left, from left) The Temptations, The Miracles, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes and Martha And The Vandell as celebrate the launch of Tamla-Motown at EMI, London, March 1966.


But Gordy ,,·as also 1.·o,·eting the n1icldle-of-the-road, because he under~too<l that it "·a~ \Vhl•rc t·arcer longe"ity for his artists could be achiC\'Ctl. 'lo advance (ron1 the chitlin' circuit into n1ainstrean1 nightclubs across the U ·,an act had first to succeed at the Copa. Jt,vas the high ground of An1erican entertainn1ent. For Gord); The Supren1es ,,·ere to be his a~sault troops. The Copacabana \vas also the lo\v ground: a nightclub \\ith a ba ·c ment entrance underneath an unatLracti\'c hotel, flavoured " ·ith the smell of the pre\'ious night's dinners. It \\'as lo''' ground for another reason: links to organi ·ed crime. Opened in 1940, the venue \\'as declared to be "Monte Proser'i. Copacabana," but Pro~er reputedly ran the club for Frank Costello, an Italian kn<l\vn as the Prin1e Minister of the Under\\·orld, " ·ho \\'as long a!>sociatcd '"ith C\\' York's Geno,·cse crin1e family. The Supremcs " 'ere shoehorned into the Copa in the ·umn1er of '65. It \Vas a tough sell. Nlanagc1· Jules Podell \vas not especially fond of this generation of' n1u ·ic makers, but he accepted then1 as long as lhl'~ lirought in 1.·ustomers. "It \vasn't something Podell \Vas happy ,\ les confirn1cd. " It \vas done n1ore as a favour." He and an doing,., • associ.1tt• had drinks \vith Podell up:.tairs in the adjacent 1-lotel 1:ou1tt·vn. ··The guy 1vith n1e sa id to Jules that it \vould be \\ 0rth11 hilt• to hook thc1n. If thl·rc \Vas any money lost, it \\'Ould be taken 1

care ot: I n1l'an, t'\ er ybody kne\v that Jules ,,·as connected." ·rhc outcon1c \\'a:, a conm1ercial and critical triurnph, validating the time and eflort put in by Gordy and his tean1 behind the scenes. The openi ng night o n July 29, 1965, \\<IS a n1adhou:.e. Celebrity guest~ joi.tled for prin1e position among the Copa's regular CU!>torncrs, " ·ho " ·ere mo:.tly , "·hite, in their forties and fifties. Poli!>hcd and prepared to " ithin an inch of their li,-cs, Diana Ross, Mary \Vi Ison and florencc Ballard dclh·cred. " \Vhile The Supren1es \\111 probably keep their teenage folJo,ving for some time," declared Billboard, "there appl'ar:-. litllc question that the act ,,;U last a lot longer as staple adult fare, not too dependent on the chart position of their late-;t single." o ·rovVN 'S ACCEPTANCE INTO l 'J-I E 1:-IEART or An1erican popular culture in the '60s depended on at least onl' other platforn1 of supren1c in1portancc: The Ed Sullivan ho'"· -rhis 'vcekly cntertainn1ent smorgasbord on t11c CB ·ry net\vork \Va!> one of the nlost-\vatched programn1es in the country. Its virtues \Vere the in1plied seal of approval from a sho,vbiz IC'adcr and an audience in the tens of n1illions, as The Beatles found \Vhen Sullivan hosted tJ1eir US television debut in i:ebruary 1964. "H b \Vas the kind of progran1mc every Ainerican \Vatchcd on )>


-.;;( Sundays," said The Supre1nes' J\ilary \iVilson. It reinforced the fan1ily structure, bringing togethe r parents and children. "You didn't have a lot of progra1nn1es \Vith black people on the1n," she added, "and, all of a sudden, here's this n1usical programme that everyone v:atched, 'vhether ~1ou "verc black or "vhitc. And you started seeing n1ore black people on it." When that included The Su pre mes, "it ''°as like the first tin1e you could see three beautiful black \VOn1en on television." Once, "vhile the group vvas performing in Mian1i, a \Vhite \voman told \i\filson that every t ime The Supren1es appeared on Sullivan, " I allo\\' 1ny fa1nily to ,,·atch you." Hearing of that remark, \rVilson's militant brother sa\v red. "I told hin1, You kno'v ,vhat she means. Before that, \Vhite people d idn't \.Vant to \Vatch and adore black people. -rhat's \vhat Ed Sullivan brought to the table." Diana Iloss and The Supremes, the first and most frequent J\l\otO\Vll guests, made 18 appearances on Ed Sullivan fron1 1964- 1969. TV's pop kingmaker also booked Martha And The Vandellas, Smokey Robinson And 'fhc Miracles, The Temptations, 'fhe Four lops, Stevie \rVondcr, Marvin Gaye and "fhe Jackson 5. "Once you n1ade that sho\·v, you kne\v you had a star," said Barney Ales, "and album sales p icked up like crazy after,va1-ds. \rVe had a good relationship \Vith the producer, Bob Precht. He liked Moto'vn - and Esther [Ed,vards] used to take the dressing room keys after\vards as souvenirs." Erh¥ards, another Gordy sister, headed .Nloto\vn's artist n1anagen1ent arn1. U T BY TH E LATE '60s SULLIVAN'S SI-I OW \!VAS looking staid and \Vas last broadcast on June 6, 1971. The challenge of change "''as thro"vn at Gordy's teet, too. His tie-

66 MOJO

cision to transfer MotO\\TI fro1n Detroit to Los Angeles in 1972 \Vas logical in tern1s of a111bition: TV and movies offered te1npting opportunities. But the move loosened control of the business \1'hich Gordy and backroom believers such as Ales and Ed,vards had exercised so effectively in their hon1e city. " Los Angeles altered .Nloto,VI1 co1npletel);" said Ales. It certainly destroyed J\llarvin Gaye, in his opinion. "So111ctin1cs you had to be the artists' fathe r, son1etin1es you had to be their friend," he noted. "Sometin1es you had to kick then1 in the ass." In Los Angeles, Berry Gordy depended on 11e\v people a11d outside consultants, \vhile the arti~ts' c ircle of acguaintances 'videned, too. The '70s sa' v n1any departures: The Four Tops, Gladys Knight And The Pips, T he M iracles (\vithout Sn1okey), The J ackson 5 ('-vithout Jermaine), l"he Ten1ptations and, by the end of the decade, Gaye. Yet Gordy retained his greatest star, Stevie \i\fonder, by giving him creative autonomy and a rich contract - first in 1971, \\•hen Wonder turned 21, and then again in 1976, \vhen Ales s uccessfully rcnegotatcd \vith the superstar's eccentric la\\·; er, Johanan Vigoda. Wonder \Vanted l'vloto\·Vn to survive, yet reaching agrcen1cnt on terms acceptable to both sides \vas a challenge, At his first business n1eeting \vith Ales, \ligoda told him that '\ve \·Vere like t\vo scorpions: each of us could kill the other, but it didn't n1akc any sense." Vigoda \vaS a chalJenge in hin1self. Chaotic in n1anner and appearance, he spi lled energy and spat out sunflo,ver seeds, carried his \VOrk in ageing airline bags, and \-Vas kno\vn for losing his car keys - a particular problen1 in Los Angeles. Nonetheless, he \Vas a brilliant advocate for \!\fonder, \vho had complete confidence in hin1. In I 971, Vigoda had obtained full cn::ative control for his client,


facilitating an cxtr.lordinary run of n1astcrpieces: J~1usic Oj"M)' Jl1ind, Talkin9 Book, lnnenisions and Fu!fillin9ness ' First Finale. The 1976 pact \\'as mo re about thl' n1oney. Ales \vas adamant about retaining fore ign right~ to the super.,tar':. output and globally adn1ini ·tcring his song catalogue, but ,,;Hing to raise the ro~·al~· rate to 25 per cent - a princely sun1 th1:n - and to guarantee at least 5 2 3 million (by today's rates) in earnings. The scorpio ns ettled their difference'>; \\'ondcr ,,·a to ta\' , at l\ lo to\\·n. \\lhat follo" ·cd ,,,a., arguably his greatest " ·ork, Soo9s Jn The Ke.Y qf L!fo- the first album by an An1crican musician to enter the Billboard charts at un1hcr I . The n\usic \Vas peerle s but it ,,·as as 111uc h a di ~tribution coup, \vith Ales gathering the ea t coast buyers in C hicago and buttering thcn1 up \vith individual phone calls fro n1 a reluc.tant Go rdy. ~ "Berr y to ld thc111 ho'v great they " ·ere," says Ales. "I re rnember ~ that Harry Apostolaris !Tom Ne\\' York \Vas so thrilled that he talked to Be rry perso nally. Afte r they got done ~ talking, I said, I think you' re entitled to buy

f

~ another 25,0001''

~

~ Sonvs In Th e Key Qj' L!fe presided at ~ Billboard's s u1n1nit lo r o nly one \vcek fe\ver ~ than

Sgt. Pepper's Lone!J l learcs Club Band.

~ It ,,·as a fitting n1o nun1c nt to l\-loto\vn's ~

~ n1agic, Gorcly's vision , and the steely scrap -

0 pines:. of his backroom believe rs. ~

w

l

C)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

lfoto11n: The Sound OJ> ouny. \merica ~1 /\dam

~ ll'hice nich Barner1lll!.' ii publi1hed in hurdback br J J 8 Thames&,./ lucl~on on ,I/arch 14, priceJ l 39. 9 5. ~


II

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'

••• THE ETERNAL GENIUS OF DAVID BOWIE. CELEBRATED BY SIOUXSIE SIOUX.

II

CA SAY, l-IAND ON HEART, TH,-\·r I DON'T KNO\V "hl'rl' I'd hl' ii it ,va:.n't for Da,·id Bo\,;('_ \Vhcn so-calJcd punk \\a:. happening, a lot of the boys in bands \\"Otil<ln't adn1it to being into hin1, but I don't th~ink punk ,,·owd have l1appened \\'ithouc hint. ·ro n1e, hi:. influence ,,·as ,·cry; ver~· personal. I-le had the ability to 'lp('ak a l.1nguage no one had spoken ht'fort': that abilil) tn opl·nly Sa) "you're not alone'' to millions ofdisallcctcd teenagers gro\\;ng up (in the l',1rly '70s] and \vho thought that nothing 111attt'red. 111.• gave pl·ople tht' courage to be "·ho tht')' \\ anted to be, as \\-ell a~ the courage to be ,,·ho you actually are. for 1>on1eonl' tn be ,1ble to give pt'ople tltat crcativt: s1 rength i. a trwy a111a:l.ing th_ing. I-le ""a:; also generous \Vith other artists too and really charnpioned then1. \Vithout hin1 \\e " ·o uld never have heard Lou Reed and "fhc Velvet Underground, or lggy Pop. Who else \vould have done th<1t? J\ilo~t pt'<>plc \Yould hilve bcl'n far n111rc co1np1.·titivc ratht•r than \vanting lo be supportive. As an a1iist he had a ren1arkablc in1agination and you 1.-.1n't buy that. You can't give that to anyone either, but you can inspire then1 to use their o,,.., i111aginalion, ,vhich i~ ex.:ictly '"hat he did. \iVhen I first sa\\· hin1 (perforn1ing Starn1an on Top Ofl'he Pop~ in 197 21 I \\'as really ill and in a hospital TV roon1. It \\'as likl' I \\as being \\Oken up, like being let out of a l·hrysalis. !:>u<l<lenlv, . , I \\'as allo,ved to just becume. He had thi!> incredible attitude that n1ade .vou ,,·ant to be the bci>t strh·ing to be the bc~t. .you couJd be ix'lau".' that\ ho,,· he \\'JS: ah,·a,·s ' E' cry album seemed like .1n event. )ou "''ou.ld genuine]~· \\'Mt for them. look at thcn1 \\hen they c.1n1e out, absorb d1cn1 and study the .slcC\T too. ·rh1.· hr.t albw11 1l>ought \\"JS The Ri5e And Fall qf Zi98) SrarJu11 ,\nd The Spiders fron1.liarsf1972], and thl'n pn.'tty much t•,·c ry Oni.' after that. \\/hat he did just h,1d this uplifting effect on you. l\·e said it before but I ha,·c to say it again, \vhat he did ,,·as lifcchanging, life-saving and grotu1d-breaking on s1J n1any occasions. It ahno:.t feels ridiC"ulous talking about it, bi.'catL'ii.' \VorJs arcn 't enough lo des<:ribc his i111pacl. It ,,;11 ,ul look a bit silly in black and ,,·hitt>. 1' here arc :.o n1anv areas that he inAuenced. • You found \ourself in1111crsccl in \vhat • ht> Jicl. The idea of thing~ ht>ir1g uni:.ex Jidn't exi!>l ht'frJre hin1. 1

l'hen, suddenly it \Vas e\'ery,vhere. You had unisex bairdres!>ers, and unbt•x c~eryrhinH. 1-lo\v girls :.hould be, ho,,· boy:-. ~houJd be, he diJn 't larc - hl· just thre\v it all up in the air and it landl·d '"hl'rl' it landed. He told u-. to n1akc our o\\ n rules, and tht->n he thrC'\\' hi~ O\VTI ruk·s a\\3.\' again and again. It \\'as that sense of lonstant chang1.· that ..,C'i.'n1cd -.o exciting. I le \\a~ lhe nlo!>t irnportant artist of the lOth centur~· bccaU,l" ht> \\'a'! 'IO acct>ssihlc to young people at a reall~- crucial time. J-le used the platform Of pop nlUSiC 3S a YehicJe for SO many iJeas, but it l\leant that thl·y \Vere open for e\'eryone to interpret in their 0\\11 \\'a): I still go ba<.·k and rcdiSlO\"er his albun1,. I 974's] Dium11ncl Dt1!1'· lor in-.lancc. It's not nostalgia. It's niui..ic that still sounds vital and n1odcrn. vVhcn l v11· 1.·an1e out LJ.1nuary 1977] it \\"ill> so groundbrcaking. 1' haL albun1 - and the other t\VO [" l leroes", 01. tob1.·r l 977; l.udver, May 19791 - 'reren 't that '"ell received '"hen they L·an1c out. I \\a11 ~o angry about that at the tin1e. "fhcn 1 think his n:cord con1pany t•vcn tried to drop hi1u. Can you in1aginl' I · l"hc~e pcopll' should have kno,vn better. But they didn't, did they?

r

J:. I IAD l "l-!Al . GLOBAL SUCCESS [IN "fHE 'SOsJ BUT HE l·ho:.c to turn his back on iL I lhink he realised that son1ctin1cs you nl'cd to take" hat you need but not neccssaril) \vhat people think you need. ft seen1s to n1e that he didn't \Vant to top th1.• journey hl· \\'as on, lo stop gro\\·ing. I le in\itl·<l U!> to 'iupport hin1 in Anilheim on the Gia ... ~ pidcr tour in 1987. By then '' c hardly supported anyone, but ,,•hen that oll\.•r can\l.' in \\l' couldn't rl'fuse. I le \\'3tchcd us fron1 the side of the stage - ,vhich he dicln 't ha,·e to do - and then " 'e nlet hin1. -rhcrc's that gre,1t !otory of hint taking parts of the Glass pider stage.set to the desert and fin:bon1bing it all. But atnong all the execs:-. of that tour, people forget that in the middJe of the SCt he did (a CO\·er of jac·c1ucs Brl'l'~l 1\1y Death. He broke it do"11 con1pletely an<l, m) God, it \VJ'i • ~o po\\crful. And that \\'JS at cl1e peak of his global succ·ess. 1 he day the ne\vs of his death \ovas announced I didn't knO\\' • about it at fir~t. I hacl the radio on and a ne\\'Sprogra1n111c canie on. J couldn't believe it, and I \Vas in shock so l turned on the ·rv. It " '·lS <1round onl.' o\:lotk and there it 'vas. L had stuff to do but 1 found that I siinply cc>uldn 't do it. I \\ ,1s a cornplete 1ness. 11 is lt'gaty- and 1 \\fish the r t' ,v,1s a better \\·ord frJ1· it - \VOn 't dis11ipatl'. Ii' anything, it ha~ bccon1e tnOr'I:' poignant iJnd ~ignificant as ti1nL' go<'~ on. Tht•se days \Vc'rc bo1ubarded \.Vith so 1nut h JJl Ll1l' Lin1 • but, ~i1ong tJ1at \\'hole.senscofeverythinghappc ningaJI tht' tin1e, he ~ ju t has this po\\·er to an1azc, and that \\'ill llC\'Cr, l'YC'r disappear. ~ As wld to Phil ,1lc;..andcr " 0

'HE TOLD US TO MAKE OUR OWN RULESi AND THEN HE THREW HIS OWN RULES AWAY AGAIN AND AGAIN." 70 MOJO

... ...,.;...... 0

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IN 2002, DAVID BOWIE AGREED TO EDIT THE 104th EDITION OF MOJO. HE THREW HIMSELF INTO THE TASK WITH TRADEMARK ENERGY, SHARING FAVE RAVES PAST AND PRESENT - THE VELVET UNDERGROUN D, THE LEGENDARYSTARDUSTCOWBO~

MOUSE ON MARS - AND SUBMITTING TO A RARE AND REVEALING RETROSPECTIVE INTERVIEW CENTRlNG ON THE WHIRLWIND YEARS OF 1972-76. IN THE PROCESS, MOJO LEARNED A LESSON IT WOULDN'T FORGET ABOUT BOWIE'S HIGH STANDARDS. "HOW DO YOU GUYS GET YOUR MAGAZINE OUT?" HE CHIDED PAUL DU NOYER. ·r s MAl'DAY 2002, AND 1' HE GOOD SHIP DAVID BO\ VIE is en1i tting serious distress sign.tls. I-l e has agreed to guested it the next issue of MOJO, but it's one of those job s that ah.vays looks easier than it really is. For one thing, he didn't get the revie\v copy of the ne,,· Oilsis albun1 that he'd bt•en pron1ised. And no\v I'n1 on the phone to Ne\v York, trying to coa.-x hin1 into a second intervie\\·: DaviJ Bo>vie is not best pleased. \iVc'd already talked about h is o~vn 11C\V albutn, J-lcache11 . 'f hat '''ent \Ve il e nough . I le exhibited th e patience of an artist 'vith fr esh produ ct to pro1note. Besides, it \vas a fi11e record (as posterity is ~ ta rting to notice). Bo,vie's final yea r:-, \Ve re not dvi-tined to be his busiest, but his l Jst centur,v output never settled fo r anyt hi ng that >vas nied iocre, forn1ulaic or exp ected. Rut as \veil as Heuthen, MOJO \Vanted n1aterial about his earlier \Vork, specifically that glorious run

fron1 I 972's ZiBtl'' Stardust to Station To Station in 1976. And so 1 have to b reak this editorial decision to him . "This is really going on and on," he sn,1 ps. A\vkvvard silence do\\'n the transa tlanLit: line . " I finished .ill n1Y . d eadlines fo r this editor t hing on the 13th of last n1o nth and \vaitiing for you guys to get your stuff over to n1e has really put things out. So l havl:! to co1nplain just before \ve start out. Ever ything \VilS so late fron1 yo u guys." Oh God. So this is \vhat it's like to get a b ollocking off The Daine. Tp icture an exhalation of cigarette sm oke, so fie rce it alinost seeps through the receiver. In the background. his other phone is ringing. " Oh sl1ut up!'' he shouts. "It's b t:t' n a hell of a n1orning. They \\1ert' Beckett's last\vorcls, you kno\~': W hat a n1orning ... " I le sighs aga in. 1"hen, after many sootl1i11g noises from n1e, Bo>vie ren1cn1bers h e is, above all, an old- fa shionc<l English gcntle n1an. -rhe other phone is silenced. His cul tured south London t'vang is once m o re becal111ed and he proceeds to rabbit a\vay 111ost pleasantly. He unboxes his n1e 111orics ofZig_g); Aladdin, Thon1as Jero n1e Ne\Vton, ilil' 'l'hin vVhitc Duke and all the phantasn1icvislo ns \Vho stepped- as iJnn1ortallyas any characters fron1 Dicke ns - into o ur collective i111agination. And changed our lives.

HI EF A1\10NG 1"JI Eiv1 WA S ZIGGY Sl .AllDU s·r . I IE played guitar, he pro,vlcd a <lcllolatc Lo ndon landscape in a quilted jun1psuit, he let the c:hildre n boogie and he becan1e a rock'n'roll suicide. O r did he? Not only \vasZiBBJ' Stardust aborted as a n1usical: the stor yline of his adventures is prohably too fragmented to qualify even as a concept albun1. "Thl:!re \\'as a bit of a narrative," Bo\vie contends, "a slight arc, and my intention "vas to fill it in n1ore later. And T never got round to it becatL5e b efor e l kne\v \Vherc I \vas \Ve'd recorded the darnn thing. There \vas no tin1c to \~·ai t. "£'n1 glad in the long run that I just left it like that. Because I never drt'\\' a template for a storyline too clearly, it left so n1uch room fo r audience interpret,1tion. A couple of yea rs ago l ' vas seriously near to putting son1ething togethe r. Bur eve ry tin1e 1 got close to defining hi111 rnore, he seerned to b ecome less than what he \vas before. So J left it. Pro ject abandoned .'' ~

''I FORCED MYSELF TO BE A GOOD SONGWRITER,

AND I BECAME A GOOD SONGWRITER. BUT I HAD NO NATURAL TALENTS WHATSOEVER.'' 72 MOJO


""" The c redible "rock 1nus ical" r e n1ains a11 elusive beast to this da)~ and Bo\\~ e hi.rnsclf did not pic k up the ga untle t (not even Lazarus qui te qualifies) . " No, T' n1 as guilty as a nyo ne . Poss ibly because o f n1y natural in1patie nce, I jus t do n 't d isciplin e tn yself e n o ugh to see some thing through . Dian1ond Do9s, I s uppose, got near that. It \Yas 1ny usual baske t o f apocalypLic visions, isolation , b eing te rribly niiserable ... " Fron1 Ziggy's o pener, Five Years, thro ugh to D ia1nond D ogs and beyond, the a pocalyptic strain rec urs in his \vo rk - o r, if no t quite apocalyptic, the n dysto pia n. "Dystopian, absolute!))" he sn1irks. "I ,vent to the docto rs I-Or it. Yo u ahvays think yo u've got an ulcer but it's just heartburn ... No, in re trospect, it has been a strong the me in the \Vt1rk that I've do ne dO\\'n the ,vears. In fact, r think if the re L~ a ny consistency to " 'hat I d o , it's going to be the lyrical conte nt. I'n1 saying the san1e thing a Lot, \Vhich is a bo ut cl1is sense of self-destruc tion. I think you can see the a pocalyptic thing as the 1nanifestation o f an inte rior pro blen1 . ·rhe rc's a r eal naggi ng anxiety in the re son1e,vhe re, and I probably develop those anx ieties in a •faction ' structure." A.~ an exan1ple of his 'faction '- writing, Bo,vic offe rs that s ingular ast ro naut Major ·rom, \·vho firs t appeared in his L969 hit Space O ddity, a nd re-en1erged 11 yea rs late r in Ashes ·10 Ashes: "The second ti111e around the re \Vere elc n1e nts o f 1ny really "vanting to be clean o f drugs. I me ta- morphed all that into the Major To n1 c ha racter, so it's partially a utobiographical. But no t eo1npletely so : the re's a fa ntasy ele m ent in it as \Veil. It pro ba bly can1c from my \Van ting l o be healthy agnin. D efinitely And the fl rs t tin1e aro und it \Vasn 't. The first tin1e around it \·Vas n1erely abo ut feeling lonely. But then the li1upe ts of tim.e grabbed hold of the hull o f n1y ship; it \Vas de-bar11acling by the tiine l got ro un<l to Ashes To Ashes. o, leave all this o ut, .1ctually, the barnacles . .. Jesus Christ!" Yes, yo u've gone a bit Captain Birdst'ye. " [ k110\ \( D avy Jones's locke r!"

HE DAVY JONES '0.'HO BECAME DAVlD BOWIE C HOSE rock 111us ic, he 110 \v suggests, because it \\f'ilS a career \Vhe re he co uld take all his inte rests \\'ith him . "You co uldn 't really J o tl:iat in accounting. Because 1 loved a rt and I loved theatre a nd the ways \ Ve express o urselves as ,, c ulture, I n,•ally thought roc k 111usic \Vas a great \ \f'il)' of not having to relinquish 1ny ho ld on any o f those things. I could dr ag squ,1re pegs into ro und holes: butc he r the

p egs a\vay un til they fi tte<l. It's kind of\>vhat l attcmp t<.'d to do: a bit of sci-fi, a bit of kabuki here, a little bit of Gern1an Expressionis111 the re. It was like having n1y friends a ro und rne." With the solitar y exception o f Sp ace O<ldity, (and by '71 it \\'as fast receding in the public me n1or y), Bo,vie's career took a n age to \Ya r n1 up . At the ti1ne o f his b re,lkthrough \\'ith Zig8)' Stardust, he'd been n1ak1ng records lo r eight yea rs \.Vi tho ut a c hart placing - as Davie Jones & The King Bees, Da\y Jo nes, ~rhl' Manish Boys and , fro m l 966, as David Bo"vie. "Well, it t ook n1e a long tin1e to get it rigl1t," lu.• s ta tes. " I didn't kno\v ho' v to \vrite a song, I \vas n 't particula rly good at it . I fo rt·eJ 111yself to be a goocl o ng, vriter, a nd I be<:<1111e a good song.viite r. But I had no natural talt:n ts \vhatsoever. I made a job of \Vork at getting good. And the only \Vay J could learn \Vas see ho,vothe r people did it. I \<vasn 't o ne o f thnse g uys \\'ho ca rne o ut of the \vomb like J\lla n: La refere nce to Bolan's "f. Rex song, Cosn1ic Da nce r: "I da nced n1yself right o ut the '''On1b"] . " I \Vasn 't dancing, I \Vas s tu.mbling a ro und." Marc Bolan \Vas the nearest th ing to a real- life ro le n1od el for Bo \vic as he ske tc hed o ut 7.itJ!J)' Stardust: i n the yea r the album \Vas c:onceived , 197 l, T. Re x \Vere at the height of the ir po,·v e rs. Bo,vie's old frie n<l \Vas Britain's fi rst sensation of the ne \·V e ra: a boy \vho h ad dream ed a \vh o le p e rsona for hin1self, and \vho seetnt:d to becon1e an overnight rock'n'roll sla r by sheer fo rce of ,viJlpo \vc r. "Oh yeah! Boley struc k it b ig, a nd \ve \verc all green \vith e nvy. lt \Vas terrible: \Ve fell out for abo ut six 1nonths. ll \vas [sulk; ' n1uttcrJ ' I-le's do ing n1uch be tte r than 1 an1 .' A11d h e got all snif~, dbo ut u s \Vho vve re s till d o,vn in the base n1e nt. But \ve got o ver tha t. "Yo u knovv ho \v \ Ve firs t n1c t ? It's so funny. \.Ve both h<1d this n1a nager in the n1icl- '60s LLes Conn]. Marc \Vas ve ry n1uc h the M od and l "'ras sort o f nco-bea t-hippy, tho ugh I ha ted the idea o f hippy b ecause my brothe r had told m e abo ut b eatniks and they , seen1ed far sexie r. Bo th Marc and I vvere out o f \·vo rk, a nd ' "e n1ct \vhe n \ Ve \ve re poured into the n1a nager 's o ffice to \\·hite \vash the \\011Js. "So the re's n1e and this Mod 'vhi te,vas hing Les's o ffice. And he goes, 'vVhe rc <l'you get those shoes, m an?' (Bo~vic does a pegect in1pressio11 Bolan 'sfeJ' but ici!J deteru1ined 1nanner) 'Whe re d'you get yo ur shirt?' 'vVe in1111cdiately sta rted talking abo ut clotJ1cs and se\viJ1g machines. 'Oh 1'111 go1ma be a s inger and I'm gonna be so big you 're not gonna believe it, 1nan .' O h, right! Well I'll pro bably ,·vrite a nius ical fo r you one clay then , 'cos 1'111 gonna be the greatest "'-rite r ever. 'No, no, n1an, you've gotta hea r n1y stuff 'co1> I , ,,-ite great things. And l kne\v a \Viza r<l in Paris,' a nd it \Vas all this. Jus t \vhite'~ras h ing \Valls in our 111anage r 's offi c:e !" Bet,·v een Bolan's a1na1..i ng success, and the public intliffc rcnce to his O\Vn 1-iunky Dory ( released i11 late 197 1, it did not pick up serious sales until the Zi[JHJ Stardust e ra) , \•v,1s Bo\vie ever pessin1istic at this point? " 1 o, l never e~·e r fel t tha t, because r still liked the procl:'SS. I liked \Vritingand recording. Jt,vasa lot o f fun to r a kid. I n1ighthave had n1on1e nl5 o f, God, I don 't think anything is ever going to h,1ppen for n1e. But l \•vould bo unce u p pre tty fast." Surl' e nough, Bo\vie bo unced up incredibly fast in 197 2 . N o soon e r \Vas rlunky Dory in the s ho ps than he'd sho rn o ff the golde n tresses; he toured Britain \Vi th a brand n evv look and a set of songs fro n1 his next LP. al ready in the can. l n Ziggy Sta rdus t, the ~

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''I HAD AN UNBEARABLE SHYNESS; IT WAS MUCH EASIER FOR ME TO KEEP ON WITH THE ZIGGY THING, OFF THE STAGE AS WELL AS ON.'' 74 MOJO


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transgcndcr space boy 'vho becon1es a roc·k'n 'roll star, Bo,,ie had spa,vned a self-fulfilling prophet): " It b ecam e apparent to me that ... I had an unbearable shyness; it \\'as n1uch easier for 1nc , to k<.>ep on "ith the Ziggy thing, ofT the :.tage a:. ''ell a~ on the stage. ft also seen1ed a lot of fun, a rt'all) fun <leceit. \ Vh o " ·as David Bo,,ie an<l ''"ho "·a~ Z iggy Stardu st? But I think it \\'as 111otivated by shyness as 111uch a~ anything. It \\'as so much easier for 1nc to be Ziw\"

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... VEN REFOIU: 1lE HfT BIG wrr1r 7-/GGrs PRI:VIE\~f single Sta rn1an, Bo,,vie bega n to shape the I 972 agenda .._ through a J\llelody J\llaker intervie'v in February of that year, "vhercin he declared he \Vas gay. ·rhe cat \V,1s suddc nl) a1no11g the pigeons. \ Vhy did you say it? " I found I \vas able to get a lot of tension off n1y shoulders by alrnost 'outing' n1ysclf in the press in that \Va); in \Try early c:ircun1stances. 0 r \\'asn't going to get people cra\\·ling out the \VOod,,ork saying (seed)·· muck-rakin9 ~·oice): ' I'll tell you something about Da,id Bo\\ic that you don't kno\\·... ' l ,,·asn't going to ha' e any of that. I kne"' d1at at sorne point I \\'JS going to ha' e to !>J)' :.omething about an~· life. And, again, Z iggy enabled me to make thing:- more co1nfortablc for myself There " 'as an cxcitcn1cnt that the age of exploration \\as reall) finalJy here. \ Vhich i


''THERE WAS NOTHING THAT I WASN'T WILLING TO TRY, TO EXPLORE AND SEE IF IT WAS REALLY PART OF MY PSYCHE OR MY NATURE." " If they \ve rc doing OK at the time," says Bo,vie, "I don't think they \vould ha,·e \vanted to link up \Vith n1e, because they \Vere quite 1n.acho, one of the early laddish bands. But things \veren't good, and I literally \vrote that \\.~thin an hour or so of reading an article in one of the tnusic rags that their break-up 'vas in11ninent. I thought they \Vere a tair little band, and I almost thought, This \·viii be an interesting th ing to do, let's see if I can \vrite this song and keep then1 together. It sounds terribly im1nodest nO\\' but you go th rough that \Vhcn you're young: 'H o\V can I do everything? By Friday! '" ·rhe beauty of AIJ The Young Dudes, in a \Vay, \Vas that it c rystallised the en1ergence of a ne\v pop audience, too young to belong to Woodstock and the '60s. "Yeah. You have to try and kill your elders. We had to develop a con1plctcly ne'v vocabulary, as indeed is done gcneration after generation. The idea \.Vas taking the recent past and restructuring it in a \Vay that \VC felt '"''c had authorship of: My key 'in' \Vas things like Clocbvork Orange: that \Vas our \vorld, not the bloody hippy thing. It all 111ade sense to n1e. 'fhe idea of taking a present situation and doing a futuri st ic forecast, and dressing it to suit: it \Vas a uniforn1 for an arn1y that didn't exist. And I thought, If I took the same kind of t11ing, and sub,·erted it by using pretty materials ... That Clock\vork Orange look becan1e the first uniforn1 for Z igg)~ but \vith the violence taken out of it."

UT ~'!TH ZlGGY THE FUTURE PU K in the ascendant, 13owi e's thoughts \Vere already on the next project; Aladdin Sane. "There 'vvas a point in '73," he says, ""'•here I kne\\ it \vas all over. I didn't \vant to be trapped in this Ziggy character all 1ny life. And I guess 'vvhat I \Vas doing on Aladdin Sane, I \·Vas trying to 1no,·e into t11e ne}l.'t area - but using a rather pale in1ita\Vhat I \Vas going through. It perfectly n1irrored n1y tion of Ziggy as a secondarv/ device. In n1y lifestyle at t11e time. It \vas exactly 'vhat \·vas hap1\e:• .. ,,......_.. , ~ wrdili9 """""' pening to n1e. "fhere \vas nothing that I 'vasn't ,viJlmind it \•vas Ziggy Goes To Washington: Ziggy under the influence of An1erica. ing to tl"); to explore and see if it \Vas really pa1t of my "Then T started getting into a ver y bad psyche or 111y nature. I \Vas terribly exploratory in every \Vay, not just culturally but sexually and ... God, the r(;' \vas period. I 111ean, it really developed. i\1y drug addiction really started, J suppose you could nothing I 'vould leave alone. Like a - it's a terrible pun, hut - like a dog \vilh a bone, I suppose! So I buried it!" pin it <lo\\'tl to the very last nionths of the 7.:iggy Stardust pt"riod. Not in a particularly ~ Before ' "e kne" - it, there \Vas a bizarre pastiche of "gayness" about, \vhereby the mo ·t n1eat-and-potato heavy \\'<l)i but enough to ha,·e probably \.\'Or- E bands beca n1e "·hat was called glan1 rock. And so111e of it ried some of the people around me. And afte r ~ 1.7 \Vas pretty poor, \.vasn't it? that, ,vhen \Ve got into Diamond Doys , that's -g "Oh, bloody a\vful. Sonic of the stuff t11at \Ve encour' vhcn it \vas out of control. From that period ~ On\vards I .,.,-as a rea l casualty. I've not m et ~ aged - and I have to pull l~ox'Y into this as \.vcll - Good n1any people that. _. l \Vas in a very serious [ Lord, \Ve should be ashan1ecl of ourselves. It \vas so dire. .. ""' ·~~ .. . . .........--- - ~··..... .. state. You just have to look at son1e of the $ . . .... ......- _... It le nt itself to really despicable perforn1ances because ..... - - photographs of me, I cannot believe I actually -B you had to move into really outre areas to n1ake it \vork; - - - - - - - - - survived it. You can see n1e at the Gra111n1ies, ~ and if it dicln't 'vork \veil, nly God, it can1e crashing for instance, ,vith Lennon, it terrifies n1c. It's a skull. "fhere's not an "i do,vn. l "he one I t11ink of is this An1erican character Jobriath. Woab! -"' What a n1istakc that \Vas. \fer y strange gu)) he \Vas at like every conounce on me. l'n1 just a skeleton. .)i "1 have an addictive personality I'm quite clear on that 110\V. And >§' cert \vhen 1 fir t \Vent to the States, n1y nun1ber one fan." But the cultural incongruities c·ould sometin1cs be delightful. it \Vas easily obtainable and it kept 1ne \Vorking, 'cos l didn't use it ! for ... l \Vasn't rea lly a recreational guy, I wasn't really an out-on- 8 Quite aside from Zi98J itself, Bo\\ie \VTote the absolute anthem of 1972 in the song he gave to those doughty trac tor boys Mott "fhe the-to\.vn gu)' I \.Vas n1uch n1ore, OK, let' s \.Vrite I 0 difJe re nt pro- ] I-Joople: All The Young Dude . jects this 'veek and make four or five sculptures. And I'd just stay > .,_ 1

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MOJO 77


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up 24 hou1-s a day until n1ost of that \·vas con1pleted. I just liked doing stuff. r loved being involved in thal l'reath·e mon1ent. And I'd fotu1d a soitl-n1att: in this clrug, \vhich ht'lped perpetuate that crea. ntoment. " t1ve You n1ean cocaine? "Yes, cocaine. Well, speed as 1vell, actually. The con1bination . And apparently a lot of elephant tranquilliser \vcnl in there tool" In t he chemically-fuelled euphoria of Bo,vie's tirst t.1stc of super-stardon1, he revisited the notion of a rock 1nusical. The first plan \Vas to interpret 1984, until the idea \Vas nixed by George Or,·veJl's 'vido,v. "So I changed track real fast and converted it into Diamond Do9s, \Vhieh " ·as n1ore of an effort than Ziggy. Thinking

back, ''°e didn't do anything on stage 'vith Ziggy: all I had 'vas a fe,v l'ostun1e changes. It \vas just the songs and the trousers. That's ,vhat sold Ziggy. I think the audience filled i11 everything else. But Dian1ond Dogs I intended to do son1ething for. vVe had a bit n1ore n1oney by then - t11ough not enough, apparently: it actually put me into bankruptcy But that kind of stJrted a lot, the Diamond Do9.~ sho\\; in tcr1ns of you could do son1ething n1orc interesting on stage than just \Vear blue jeans. It \V.tS quite fun, but I got bored half \vay through and thre"' the set a"·ay, so J'ye only got myself to blame."

TILL, lF THE GINGER MULLET '0/AS NOT LONG FOR this \Vorld, Ro"'ic had not yet finished his assault upon America. Suddenly ca111e tl1e brt:athlesi; but sophisticated "plastic soul" of Young An1ericans, accompanied by the statutory image overhaul. "I guess the da,vning of it \vas .~01ne take on the Puerto llican street look with a 1'.00l su it, \Vhjch kind of got it back into n1ore t'onventional-looking clothing. Even though it's pretty bizarre \vheu you see it no,v, the Young A1nericans thing \Vas an atten1pt to turn the visual around as 'veil as the n1usic. "With people like Carlos Alomar and a te,v of n1y girlfi-iends at the tin1e, l 'vas really seeing a lot of American nighdife, including the Latin clubs, and it \Vas terribly 1•:..;citing to n1e. It rekindled the affection for soul and R&B " 'hich I had in the '60s. lo fact the reason I left iny very first band, The Kon-rads, \VJS that they,vouldn 't do Marvin Gaye's Can I Get A WiLness?" But it \Yas one thing playing blue-eyed R&B coyers in the Marquee Club (of the sort he revived on bis J 97 3 covers LP Pin-Ups). It \V<IS quite another to record in An1eri1.:a itself, and \vith black 111usicians too. Did he not think, ··rhis is a bit much,' con1ing over from England and doing this? "lt honestly never occurred to n1e," Bo"rie protests. "l 1vas so hennetically scaled fron1 everything. I \VJS so in n1y O\Vl1 unh•erse, that so n1uc:h didn't occur to me about ho'v other people thought. I had no ide.1 I \Vas even famous. I really had no idea. I just had this real creative thing going on and I 'vent for it all the 1vay. No, it clidn 't occur to nte at all. I just kne\v it was a fantastic band. Ob\~ously, \VC ran into race problen1s do\\·n in the South. But it \Va::. years before l realised I \V,~s one of the only \vhitc artists in rock \VOrking ''ith a n1ulti-race band. "And I think \\'hat \Ve \Vere doing at that particular tin1e \Vas important. ln its O\Vll \VJ)' it opened doors just as Zi9[J)' had opened doors. The Youn9 Americans perio<l de,·eloped an alternative approach to '"'bat you cottld do 'vitl1 rock and pop 1nusic. For 111e, it \Vas ai1other successful hybrid: of European n1elody against an R&B rhyth1n section." In Bo,vie's subconscious the call of Europe 'vas becon1ing audible. But first be undcr,vent the parallel cxperle11ces of 1ll£ning 1"hc Man \i\'ho Fell To Earth and recording Station To Station. At the san1e tin1e he undertook to reC'ord a soundtrack for the n1ovic. 'rhe exact chronology of this bu.sy tin1e is further confused by its ha\ing been the height -or depth - of his druggiest period. "l)id the fil1n 'vork come next? Ah, you tell me! Possibly! I kno'v l had a lovely hat. It \Vas 1hat period. A fedora: the Borsalino." The hat 'vas one instance of another stylistic re-vamp, this tin1e occasioned by the character, 'fho111as Jerome ;\le,vton, tl1at he played in The lvlan \i\fho FelJ To Earth. :'-Je,vton \Vas a dapper yet in\vardly-clecaying space alien, n1aintaining a mere fas;ade of human authcnlicjty. Il \Yas a role the Bo,vie of those clays seemed born to play. And as \Vitl1 Ziggy before hin1, the boundary bet\veen creator and creature gre\v indistinct. "'fhcy all started to overlap each other," Bo,vie confesses. "l' he frame of n1ind I \vas in, the.re ~vas no real split fron1 ••ne to another. To n1e (,yappy.. cocaine-paranoid 1·oice), it aJ/ 111ade sense, man! Oh bo)~ 'vhat days they \Vere ... " The soundtrack venture collapsed amid son1e rancour .1nd dispute: "I got angry about it, ,.vith no real rational r<'.1son. I thought Tshould be contracted by the film corn-


Bowie with Yo ko Ono a nd John Le n non, 17t h An nual Gra m my Awards, New York City, Ma rch 1, 1975; {below) Little Rich a rd, an object of early wo rship.

''YOU CAN SEE ME AT THE GRAMMIES WITH LENNON, IT TERRIFIES ME. IT'S A SKULL. I'M JUST A SKELETON.'' pany to do the soundtrack, not just n1ake a presentation of ideas- a stupid, juveni le reason but 1 kind of \valked a"vay fron1 it. Ola Hudson -\vho in fact,vas Gw1s N'Iloses guitarist Slash's mum - she \Vas my girlfriend, you see. I son1etin1es used to put hin1 to bed at nights, little Slash. vVho'd have guessed? An)1'vay, I got Ola involved as the 'vardrobe mistress of the filn1: she designed all the clothes for it, and s he continued designing clothes for Station To Station as 'veil. " It's the Station Jo Station ense1nble that \Ve recall as Bo"vie's Thin White Duke look - perhaps the n1ost clashing of thcn1 all. " It \Vas extraordinar);'' he says, "and l must give O la fu ll credit for the allblack, very conse1·vative look:' obody's done that on-stage before, that ,.v ould be so cool. Why don't you just take Ne,vton on-stage?' T hen I had an idea of the French rnatinee idol. \vith the \Vaistcoat and all that." And always the little packet of Gitanes popping out. "Exactly. The fu11ction of tl1e cigarettes bec.1ml· ,1 function of the stage. And I got addicted to 'en1!" They an:: very serious cigarettes. "Oh yes, but 'vith me, of course, no probk·1n . 1-. 1rl)' <i da)·· " H AT \VAS ALL BACK I N 2002 . .\S \¥ 1: \\<rapped up, 1 thanked Bo,vie and confirml'd that h is brief, unhappy tenure as J\llC>j()'s ,,.. editor vvas at an end. "I'n1 happy to ha ve helpl·<l." ~ he sa id, laughing \Vith relief "1V1y first little ... outburst ... at the beginning gi \Vas not directed at yo u personally. It \VJS ~ disappointing because nly schedule is beyond ~ belief Ai1d I coulcln't sec hovv I could 'vritc an\'

i

1nore at the last 1ninute. Ho\v do you guys get your 1naga:;dne out?" It so happened that, a fe,v n1onths earlier, I had con1n1issioned Bo,vie to 'vrite anotl1er article - \vhich he subn1itted, neatly t)1)ed, bang on schedule - about rock photography. In it, he recalled his O\Vn early days of fandom, ,vhen he \Vas the 1950s suburban child 'vho sent oil l:'\<vo-and-sixpcncc for l:\vo pictures of Little Richard. -rhc envelope had arrived, "bent and sn1udgy". l'here \vas only one photo, "dog-cared and torn and, adding insult to injury, sized at six-by-eight instead of the e:\.1lected whopper." But his belief in tl1e rock'n'roll magic tliat 'vould n1ake him a sta r (and helps to get this magazine out) vvas unda1naged. "As tor n1y Little Richard print," he added, " it sits no'v on n1y piano in the original Woohvo1·ths frame I bought for it over 40 yl·,1rs .1go , ,1 sn1all piece of ycllovvcd Sellotape holding its ri pp(·cl ('dg.l's together." \\',is it still in place on that icy Ne'v York night of J,1nu.1ry I0, 20 16? One hopes so. '" ' 'l 'll bt·fore his passing, Bo" ·i e had been 1nemorialised in gr,1nd 111us<'un1 exhibitions. He ra rely made the instant sn1ash hits l11.1t d1'fin< · today's brittle stardo1n, but he is 'voven into the d,1rk. soft fabric of our consciousness. The young D,1vid Jones be lieved in 1nusic and carried that h<·li1·f to Olyn1pian heights. Like h is sometime p.ut ner John Lennon, David Bo,vie \VOuld prob<thly understand the strange blend of sincerity <ind sanctirnony that's attended his decease. So God bless David Bovvie, vvho becan1e part of the blessed yello,ved Scllotapc that holds all of our ripped edges togetl1cr. C) MOJO 79


FROMEARLYBAN DSANDILLADVISED PERMS TO SLAP AND CLOWNS, DAVID BOWIE LOOKS BACK AT HIS LIFE IN PICTURES ... AND IN HIS OWN WORDS.

80 MOJO

6

"The Kon-Rads, circa 1963. The drummer, Dave Hadfield, apparently played with Cliff and The Shadows when they were called something else. Something Else, was, if I'm not mistaken, the name of the band. He married one of those g Iris sitting on the apron. The guy in the white jacket was our singer. His name was Roger. See Roger's hair. See David's hair. Who's got the bottle now? Those amps look killer, no? No."


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6

"Me, passing a coffee s hop. Ve ry painful. Boom boo m, it's the way I tell 'em. I' m wearing t wo watches by the looks of it . The second o n Brazilian time. This could be Nai robi or Ho ng Ko ng possibly. Mo re probably South Kensington. You don't see nice clean pavements like tha t any mo re. I've just split with Hermione, the great lo ve of my life that year, so I've had my ha ir done. I'm not going to say a nything about the perm. I won't . No. Let go of me, I'll bite a nd scra tch, I swear I will."

" Backst age at Glastonbury, 2000. On my rider I always insist on a full -size reproduction of my o ld kit chen from Beckenham, circa: 1969. Not many things from that period s urvived the years, tho ugh fortunately my trusty old kettle did, which I am displaying lovingly. The knee-boots help me rela x before a show.#

MOJO 81

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Al973

짜1975

" Here I am, putting on slap (one 'slaps it on'). The man in the background is Jamie Andrews who, along with Tony Defries, went on to manage all the money I made under MainMan. I leftthem to it around 1975. Thank goodness somebody looked after it. I' m sure I would have just spent it on slap. Or was that smack? No, David, it was coke. Smack's harder to apply and then you don't care if you' ve put it on or not."

" Peter Sellers' birthday party in Hollywood, late '70s. Bill [Wyman] was already discontented with being a Stone and coaxed Ronnie [Wood] and me into forming the band 'Trading Faces'. The idea was to cover the big hits of the time with each of us impersonating a popular singer while the others played in the style of a band discordant to the chosen singer. This would lead to hybrids like Wayne Newton with The Troggs or my personal favourite, The Singing Postman with Tower Of Power. We disbanded after sobering up the next morning."

._,

,, I

82 MOJO


>1995

Hit becameapparenta couple of years ago that if I was to spend more time at home with lexy, our baby, I would need to resolve my touring quandary. This first attempt at a clone had me excited. The missus and me made it up out of old person as I found in my closet. Iman knitted in some casual wear. The project went non-grata and cock-eyed (a near perfect description of the little fucker), as thedamn thing wouldn't stop singing Nick Drake songs. I don't know any Drake songs and never even got the wrap off that special edition 95 albums' worth that came out a few years ago, so how Sonny Boy learnt them I'll never know."


JON SAVAGE CHOOSES 20 DAVIDBOWIETRA CKSTHATCAPTUR E THE MANY MOODS, FACETS AND STYLISTIC SHIFTS OF A REMARKABLE MU SICAL INNOVATOR.

E 1.AN WHO

SOLD THE ....... (album track, 1970)

JO (single B·side, 1966) The first time he really fou nd his voice. For the previous two years he'd tried the popular styles of the day: Brit R&B (Liza Jane) or Who· style rave-ups (You 've Got The Habit Of Leaving). This is a terrific morality tale about the limits of Mod London's pill-popping lifestyle and the end of Swinging London. It has a melancholy, and that sense of him not being part of the crowd, the outsider and the alien;a major theme of his work. It was written early in '66, while he was under contract to Pye, but A&R man Tony Hatch thought "he wrote too much about London dustbins·. So it was the B-side of his first Deram single, Rubber Band. Should have been the A. Find it: The DeramAnthology 1966- 796810EllAMI

I was playing Bowie records last night (the day the death was announced) and I wasn't really enjoying them because it was too soon. Then I put this on and it just sounded completely fantastic. It 's well produced psychedelic pop. not sludgy rock like Width Of A Clrcle,just verysimpleand very straightforward but, of course, deep. Then you can segue into Kurt Cobain's version. Find it: The Man Who Sold The World

(unreleased, 1970) That classic Bowie mixture of upbeat music and alienated lyrics. It's got classic 1965 folk rock chord changes and it 's not trying to make a big statement. Bowle's knock-offs were often better than the "grand statements•. which could veer on the side of pomposity. Love this lyric: "she loves to love all beauty/ And she says the norm is funny/ But she whimpers in the morning/ When she finds she has no money." Find it : David Bowie/Space Oddity

Anniversary Edition 10ERAMIVMC

84 MOJO

It was still difficult to find 'louder. faster, harder' records like this in the early '70s. It's Bo Diddlcy mcecs the MC5 and It's a rockc r. That 's the thing. David Bowie did roc.k. Aladdin Sane was very much thi.> statement of a new p os t-'60s generation. He took the Sto nes' Let's Spend The Night Together and turned it to his own ad vantage. That line in Drive In Saturday, "An d to get it on like once before/ When people stared in Jagger's eyes and scored: He wasn't much younger than Jagger but It definitely felt liki.> he was part of something new and different while the Stones were stale meat in 1973. Find lt:AladdinSane<RCAI

..::1

ITC i

lt'searthy, sexy and vulgar and has a kind of burlesque grind. Burlesque is an important and unacknowledged Influence on rock music. It has to be rude and basic. I loved that line "and t hen we move like tig ers on Vaseline". It also has that bass riff the Ramones took up for I Don'tWannaGo Down To The Basement, that every p unk band in the worl d ripped off. particularly the Sex Pistols on Belsen Was A Gas, which was written by Sid, t he ultimate victim of Bowie damage. Find it: The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy

Stardusr And The Spiders From Mars IRCAl

dividing album. I never got Diamond Dogs. It's o ne of his stodgy statement records. Thi s feels almost throw aw ay 111 compariso n but it 's a masterpiece o f slow tension. At three minutes 1n t here's a p iercing high note and he goes str<llght •nto th e third choru s. Youwantthat moment to come b ack again b ut it never does. lt'sjust exqui sit e. Find it: Young Americans 1~tA1

(album uack, 1976}

(album track, 1971) 'SOMEV.U.. WHITE LIGHT RETURNED WITH THANKS'. It was the aural counterpart to David Bowie's "Hello, I'm gay!" Mick Watts interview in Melody Maker. And it wasn 't just in the lyrics. It was there as soon as you heard Mick Ronson 's guitar slicing through absolutely everything. That was the big gay statement for me. Its revolutionary nature comes through the guitar. Find it: HunkyDory 111CAI

lolbum track. 1975) Young Americans is the great

STATIC..1

IM£J1CURY)

(album track, 1972) !

(album track, 1973)

great fun. He released a grea t run o f sing les around this time b ut th1~ o ne stands illo ne. I' ve c-liosl:'n the American version because it's lighter and tighter, strip ped down from the English version, with th ese 1AJcird phased vocals that sound like he's inhaling helium. Find it : Sound + Vision EMr

(album track, 1973) Bowie talked about seeing Syd Barrett at the Marquee in 1966and being taken with his androgyny, how st ran ge he seemed in that blokey setting. A very interesting thing to say as people don' t usually tend to think ofSydasandrogynous, but of course he was. Along with Lenny Kaye's Nuggets, Pin-Ups was part of seeing the '60sas history, even though It was just a few years after the decade had ended. It's a really underrated Bowle album. Bowie Inhabited weird and this track, in particular, is so whacked out. Find it : Pin-Ups (llCAI

(single A-side, 1974) May 1974: his last glam single. It's got gender confusion and kids annoying their parents and it'sjust

The lyrics are drug-crazed occult fiddle-fad d ie and perhaps not his happiest hour, but it 's a great travel track and a major shift from America into Europe. It's a journey song: we're on the Trans Europe Express- with steam p uffs as the opening rhythm - and the train starts, hits its cruising speed and then we're off. It's indelibly associated w ith The Man Who Fell To Earth, which was a major pre-punk statement: alienation, science-fiction, art. As soon as punk was seen as a sociological rather than an artistic movement it was all over. Find it: Station To Station IRCAl

I

L

(album track. 1977) I think Lowis a perfect record. The lyrics were very jumpy and autistic, just images flashing without much logic. but side two was a complete revelation. A big turning point. It was the secret sound on 1977, the soundtf ack to taking ampheta· mines and feeling alienated. This track is very light and spacey, with shimmering marimbas: it's t ied Into the exploration of space and synthetic textures that later fed into l5 eleetronic d isco. Find it : LOW IRCAI


. SGARDEN (album track, 1977) The second side of *Heroes· develops the ideas on Low. This is just extraordinary: am bient music before the genre. It's Bow ie going beyond ag ain. This really hdunted my dreams in late 1977: that w as around the time that I st opped listening to punk and began to think synthesizer music w as th e future. That's what Bow ie did. l ike Th e Bea tles in the '60s, he signalled cultural shift s. He's the '70s Beatles, in that respec t. Find it : "Heroes" :PCA.•

ON (single A-side, 1980) This is fo r t he video as well as the song. Bow ie w as making fantastic vid eos w ith David Mallet : Boys Keep Sw inging, Fashion, Ash es To Ashes. He's playing w ith gender identity and th e lim its of the look- he's extending his perfo rm at ive range: his exp ressions and g rimaces d uring this clip are extraordinary. Love the rabbit p ose in the first verse. Find it : Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (RtA•

OU YOU (album track, 1983) How would w e have reg<irded Let's Dance if it hadn't been so success· ful? It's maligned now because it was everywhere b ut it could have no t worked. This is not quite as bombastic as the o ther tracks and it m arks the end of Bowi e's teenage "I'm w eird" p hase. It's heartfelt adult Bow ie and just a really good. straightforward, adult love song. Fin d it: Let 's Dance EMI •

(album track, 1979) This is a very claustroph obic, upt ight, disloca ted evocati on o f domestic violence. "And he looks straight thro ugh yo u when you ask him how th e kids are.'' It's redlly fuckin g scary. One o f the reaso n ~ I loved Davi d Bowie w as the shifting o f id en tities. He is an acto r. Th e p ro blem with rock music is authenticity. The insistence o n autob1ogrdphy Is incredibly restric ting and irritilting ;ind b orin g. We never wan ted pop mu~ic to be boring. So h e project s himself into this scenario with chilling accuracy. Find it: Lodger RCA•

M' 'i ERIES (album t1ack, 1993) This is o ri ginally fro m The Buddah Of Suburbia b ut I first heard it on All Saints, a fantast ic compilation and .1 m,1sterw ork in itself. Mysteries is like an extension o f Moss Garden, 16 years o n . Really simp le, b ut also really emotional. The emo tion in Bowie gets overl ooked. This is Bow ie referencing and reworking his own pas t : he began it o n Ashes To Ashes b ut it really kicked into gear w ith The Buddah Of Suburbia (his SELo ndon roo ts) and All Saints (the consistency of h is instrument al d ream scapes fro m 1977-1999). Fin d it : A// Saints VIRGIN/ EMI

hA LO

'iPAC·BOY (single, 1996) I saw him d o this with the Pet Shop Boys at the 1996 BRITS. I ado red it, skittering d rum'n'bass bea ts bolted o n toa Bowi e song. Drum 'n'bass w as a bolted-on aesthetic in the first p lace so it made perfect sense.

I met Bow ie around that time. He w as charm ing and w anted to talk about Joe Meek. I remember p laying him Pete r Lazen by's Wave Speech : Bow ie h eard something in it and he and Reeves Gabrelsj ust immediately started jamming o n 1t . A lovely moment. Find it : /.Outside VlllGIN

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____..., -

LI:!.

WONDER (Single, 1997) Earthling is o ne of his best late records. It's a res t;itement of m.ijor Bowie them es. Wit h loud, d istorted guitar and manic brea kbeat s. Let's face it. th at's pretty good.This begins with an onrush and then Bow ie's late. crooning voice comes in:"Stinky weat her, fat shaky hands/Dop ey m orning Doc, Grumpy gnom es." Find it: Earthling 1ARISTA!

-. ~ Dft . (album track, 2002) The kick-off t rack from Heathen. It w as w ri tten befo re 9/11 but fit right into that mood: "Everything has changed/For in truth, it's the beginning of an end." An other underrated record. He's crooning again, w hich always w orks against futuristic. electronic pro duction. Heathen moved into \omething a b it more ordered, less fragmented and skittery. I like the tension b etween "take to th e fire/now w e must burn" and "in your fear, seek only pedce/ in your fear, seek o nly love'. Find it: Heathen 1coLU"4 B1A1

(single, 2016) It 's the goodbye, isn't it , w ith the t hemes of reincarnation and rebirth that m any religio ns share. The video is so allusive and disturbing. It's still very raw, very new, b ut I like the fac t he didn't overshare, that it w as all transmuted into the art. It's a w onderfu l end. It's death as a wo rk of art, which is entirely in keep ing w ith the life, which w as a w ork of art. It's all th at w e need. Find it: Blackstar 1<0LUMRIA• Finding his melancholy, outsider's voice, circa 1966's Lo ndo n Boys. To ny Hatch's dustbin s not pictured ...


II

I ON JANUARY 8, *PROMISED A NEW DAWN FOR DAVID BOWIE. THIRTYSIX HOURS LATER IT HAD BECOME HIS MONUMENT. IN THE RAW AFTERMATH OF HIS FRIEND'S PASSING, EXCLUSIVELY FOR MOTO, LIFELONG • LIEUTENANT TONY VISCONTI RECALLED A YEAROF INSPIRATIONAL CREATIVITY. IC E\\1 ABOUT DAVI D' CA CER FOH. OVER A 'fEAR. I Jan uary 20 15, he called me for a little meeting in his office and it sounded ominous, like I \\'as going to get the ack. I le said, "\.Vc'n.· just gonna ha\'l' a little chin\\·ag." So I m et hirn in his office and I noticed that hb cycbrov.is \Vere rnissing. I thought, Uh oh. Da,·id said, " I ha\'e something to sho\v you," and he pulled his

II \voolly hat ofT and he \Vas con1plete ly bald. And he sa id , " I have cant't'r ... " - and n1 y life ha:, not been the san1e since that 1non1l'l1l. I choked up in front of hin1 , and he told rne not to cry. And I said, "l' hat's impossible ... " I \Vas \viping a\vay the tears, but then '"c spoke "cry positively about the albun1 \Ve had planned because \\' C \\'Crc going to start recording it the foUo,,·ing day. We \\'Crc already keeping the album secret but thi · added an extra burden. It's been hard to lh·e ,,1th . E\l'ryonc in the band \\'aS \\·ondcrfu1 about it, arnazcd that hl• \\'an tcd to \\Ork. But there een1cd to be nothing "rong \\'ith hil. cn1..·r~'· I le :.till had that sparkle in his eyes, and ''hen he got in front of the nlicrophone he \\'as belting like he " ·as on-:.tage at \ \ 'en1blcy Arena. I \\'a:-. seeing that energy ,,·ay into June th is year, \\'h en \\C " ·ere ~till doing odd little biti. and bobs for the alburn, and I thought he \\'a'> going to pull through, and he did actually go into remis~ion. ·rhen in No,en1ber it can1e back. When I read the lyrics to Lazarus and a fe,v other ongs, I kne\V \vhat he \Va~ doing. I think it \\·as clear in his rnind that thb could be hb last albun1. 1;c \vas putting all those m essages in there. Like that


STORIED COLLEAGUES AND SHAKEN SUPERFANS ON THEIR DEBTS TO DAVID BOWIE.

Blacks tar's horn of plenty

first \'Crsc of L11arus - ••Look up here, I'm in heaven". I heard that and l s111ilc-d. " I knO\\' \vhat you're saying David," and he laughed. Kncnving \\'hat \Ve kne,v, \Ve all felt so responsible fo r 111aking the best albun1 po:.sible. Vile left no ~tone unturned. We n1ade it as pl·rlec:t as " 'e l·ould. David " ·as gro\\·ing \\'eak as t he yea r 'vent on, but \Vht:n he \\'as present hL· \Vas ebullient, couldn't stop sn1iling, couldn't be happir r.

*

I lE BEt\TLES C l IA~GED T I IE Gt\J\1E BY G IVI ~C TEENagcrs an identity. It \\·as cool to ha,·e your O\vn mu ic and d rcsi. the \\ay you \\ anted. r think oa,id did the i.an1e thing for outside r culture. I le open<•d tltl' ,,·orld for people ,,·ho hid in the i.hado\\s \\ho thought the) " ·ere clilfcrcnt, too different to fit into society. Look at the \\ay society is no"" It' nluch more open and in a large \\'ay I think that'i. do\\·n to Da,id's philosophy. his lyrics, his 0\\11 lifestyle, hi-; o'' n ex<1n1ple of ho" to be different and ho" ' to be courageous about being different. And he \\.ls a unique mu~ician. I le \Vas an cxtrcn1elystrongmclndy \\'riter. J fc \VOttld al '() USe odd changes of time signature. Like the three beat:. that run up to the chorus of All The Young Dudes - that's so hin1. I think it all can1c fron1 his broad n1usical education. J-le 'vasn't just a rot·k'n'roller. He lnvl'd Liltlc Richard but he also loved Gerry rvtulllgan. l le had a 'vay of balancing something old and sorn ething n C\\'. But hii- so111ethi.ng ne\v '"as ahvays great. And lyri cally he's just one of the great rock poets. But he al\\•ay:. \\'Orkcd at ii, and he \\aS ahvays challenging hiJn:,clf. he said, When \\IC discussed using Donny McCaslin's band for "Ton)\ you ha\'Cto Hudy thcn1. They're \\'ay above l!h!" So \Vl' both had to educate our,c h·cs to get up to the lcYel of Donny. Perhaps that's ,,·hy Da,id sang every ' ingle takl' tl1at the band did li,·e. Because he \\'as learning it. Refining his \-OcaJ along \vitlt tlte music. David and Donny's band \\'ert• hand in glo,·e. They " ·ere The pidcrs Fron1 Ja7J_ Lai.t tin1c• l '>poke to hin1 '"ai. about nine day:. ago. FaceTime on hii. ~lac. I-le doc~n't like phonc call:.. I le likes to turn the camera on and look you in tht• <'Yl'. Quite disarn1ing -you open your iPad and the re's oa,·icl BO\\'il' ·ta ring at you. He \\·a:,, lotill upbeat. He !>aid he \\'as ,·er~ \\'Cak but he \\'as going for ne\\' therapy and hc \\'as \\Titing nc\v song:,, .ind \\' JS ,1ctuall) speaking about recording the nex-t alburn. I think he thought - " e all did - that he had n1ore time.

*

''THAT FIRST VERSE OF LAZARUS - 'LOOK UP HERE, I'M IN HEAVEN.' I HEARD THAT AND I SMILED. j 'I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE SAYING DAVID,' AND HE LAUGHED.''

With a ll the e xcite me nt o f the record iu~t b eing o ut a n d all the~t? n Ke th1nqs h ,1ppen1n9 around h o~ mu~ot. the n fo r him to p.r s~. tt') JU>t ~o Sild .i nd shoc kin g. But I w as so happy fo r h im that* was ~o WPll received. His a pproach of bein g so p r!'sent an d focu sed in e-ve-ry mo m f' nt anrl al ~o so open a n rl tOllJbora t1ve, I'll Jlwr1y~ ' " m e mber th.it And seein g the JOYo n his f.ice whe n we we re tr<1cking thc record c1n d we would .irrivli! at the right take, that was really m ean ing ful to m e. Part of the m .-iq1c 1s thf' inte ractio n amo n gs t the- banrl an d h e w as rig ht 1n tht>re. push1n q us a n d 1n sp1n n9 us Then~ WJ~ a lo t of h u mo ur Ctnd 1ok1ng arou nd too, 11nd h e was right the re in them ddlt~ of it. lot~ ofl,iugh~ Whe n the record came. o ut the. a mo unt of love fro m oeop le rn the JilZZ commun ity for horn was ju st il milz ong I'm humb lf'd to h ilvt> been ii pa n o f 1t My e xperie n ce with him t hdn!Jed my l•fc His g rdc.iousnes~ and ht~ gen ero;rty on the ; tudio, he c.ou ldn't have bee n c.oolet.'

Mr Smith on Mr Jones "He sh owe d me tha t yo u could be who yo u w anted to IJL• Yuu tould Ul'" µoet o r bcdut1ful merely by 11cting .ind belie ving 1t You could inve nt you rlife. He took lessons fro m Warho l a nd broug ht thE'm to thP h igh street throu gh fash1on . music, h os 1ntPrv1ew s. h1\ e xam pit-. HIS sexual J)t'r~ona c1n d ma nifesto Wd> tot<1lly l bcrdt1n g too In f.itt h e s so cu ltur.illy srgnifitJnt thJ t his mus1CiJn sh1p as ofte n ovl!rlooked - like the g u itar riff o n Rebel Rebel. o r h is pian o playin g for lggy Pop. h e w as a rt-il l musiclil n , ii bona fide qPn ius. I can t ovo>rsta te hi s 1mpilct •ln m.,, rJrnw1nq u p w rth tho\e retorcls

Bowie'savant-piano man ·1h ad .i special re latio nshi p with David . It Wils always about the music a nrl r re ativf> p rori>ss. We ta lkPd about JJZZ an d classkil l q reat s ... llkl' St,in Kl•nto n , Ch drhl' Ming us, Cecil Taylo r J nd tom post•rs like StrJ v1n sky .in d V.iu gh .in W1lli.im s. We h .id the sam e vie w point o n spontan eity, bPrng t rut> to our ronv1ct1on s and r rf'at 1n g •n the m om Pnt I performi.>d w ith 0dV1d In both h is fir)t.in d l<1st Am•!r t<1 n 1.oncert~ In 2006. we performed i ust the two u s voc.ib and p1Jno, <1t a prov.ite e ve nt tha t Ima n a n d Alicia Keys h osted. The re were ca me ras a round to film theevi'nt but David turned the m

away. He wa nted to be a no nym ou s a nd w as t!Xtrt>mely humble about h is ch arity wo rk Asa p roctu cerhP b ro ug ht o ut thP best o f a ll o f u s with a maz rnq in stin ct s J n d intu1t1on. Whe n h~c ho~e yo u to wo rk fo r h im yo u we re 1n fully trusted. He g.ivc yo u h is v1s1on a nd got o ut o f the way He was a lso a n a mazin g hum an bP1ng. My dad pa~sPd a way ju st befo re reh,-.ar~als began fo r a Europedn to u r. D.ivrd r r1 me to ml' .1n d w.is so infinite ly con )ohng .i nd c.omp.i~~ionJtc. M.i ny people didn 't know thc1t ~ide of him. He'll be re me mbPre d like Le onardo d a Vinci-a true Rena r~ sancP ma n."

Modstar salutes Martian I remember hc..iriny • Sound And Vr sron In Din gwa ll s whPn 1t first came o ut. Iw .1s ~toad with Joe St rum me r .in tl we we re both like, 'Fuckon q hell wha t 1s this? Ju st the drum sound o n !h ilt record It defin,.d d rum ;ound fo r the n ext dctdde. J nd Lo w fits pa re nt illb um ), it s this am azing marriage oftheavant ·garde w ith a lyr•ral anrl m f'loc11r. sen se, from Be My Wife to A New CJreer In A Ne w Town .ind Su b tc rr..i ne.in >. 1·d n ever h eard pop musrc done like that h e fo rE' But fro m h1\ begi nning rig ht to the e nd. he w.is dn incredibly inve nt>ve a rtist , h e added so much to the lanqu ;iqe o f mu sic an d it s 1cte.-is anci wh.i t pop mu'k could b ... Th•· Bedtles h.id the '60s but D<1v1d Bow ie ha d the '70s. those a lb ums fro m 1969 to 19AO. e ve ry s1n9 IP o nt> o f the m bro ke n ew barr•ers. I n 0vc r me t h im b ut h e doll rJet 1n to uch thro u gh h is o ffice. h e ;cnt cong ratulations whe n o ur twins were horn [o n e •s na med Bow ie] You think h e •S ilfwdy s goin g to be tht·rc. h e is su ch .i part o f the fdbrot o f o ur life, a nd h e added so much to 1t .Wha t a n a maz1 nq leqacy what a body of wo rk. We'll n evt-r \t'l' h •s hk<.' again, a true pioneer

Bowie's rock'n'roll riffmeister In ea rly sprin g of 1974, by a twist off.1tt> I m f't a m .1n who wu uld t hr1nye my life fore ve r. Hi s n..i me WJ) Dav id Bowie. It was th e first a nd lasttlm f' rn my l1fo> I t>vt>r h iicl tOilUd•tl o n for cl 91q. Re plJd ng Mrc.k Ron son stJ rl•d the he ll o ut o f me. but I wils p ut a t casc by DB: 'Ju st do what yo u do a nd don 't wony about rt: So o n ,1ntl off fo r 40 ye.u s. thdt was h uw it we nt Eve ry reco rd .i nd to ur we did. I was ablP to p lriymy g u ita r a nd pt>rfo rm o n ·St ilQE' 1n ii way that was netturdl to me. A good c.,111 o n h is pa rt, dS I c.i n bca rc..illy stubborn bast a rd whe n rt co mes to tak1n q direction I w .is fortunt1tc to be thcro:~ d ur n g mc1ny ofthe h ig h po1ntsofh ~ tc1rccr fro m David l.Jve to The Next Day. the Diam on d Dogs to ur to A Rt>allty Tour an d all in all it neve rff'lt li ke work Good by<.' to a good friend

MOJO 87


U2's Hype man "Before we were U2 we called ourselves The Hype in tribute to his prP·Sp1ders band In the Parly d;iys 1t WilS ont> or Steve Ltllywh1tP s dut1t:'S as .i producer to steer us away from any overt Bowie rcfcrt.!nc.es i n our songwriting It WclS sodecir to Stl'Ve what songs held to go. We were oblivious. the influence was so deep -it was like his vo1cc>9ave us access to our own. Much late1, when we mPt and got to know him. I never got over the scn)l' that hewc1s a µroµcr rolk )tdrwh1k•thc rc~t of U) wcrcc.h.inc.crs clnd pretenders. W.thout his ex.imple I don tth1nk U2 would helve h.id the confidence to make Achcunq Baby. He madt> crt>attve audacity fpt>I normal . That restl ess creative spirit will be his legc<l y. anti the am.iziny music th<1t it pu)hcd him to mdke.

One night l99y comes through our door - tJlk ell.lou t wur~l· for Wedr! Bowle\ with him. holding d cdn of Heineken •.ind he goes. 'Skin up!' We hung out for .i bit .ind then they d.~.ippedred. r. .vcntym1nutes lcltCr, we get a phone call from the engineer in Studio A: 'David would like you all to come round to help with .i footbt1ll· crowd chorus. So we pile round pretty drunk, girlfriends and all. Bowie's taking charge, and he's still got a He1nF>kt>n and a fag, and w e·re all around the m; ke for this track called Play It Safe. I remember Bowie saying, very diplomatically 'OK, sounds good. Now, can everyone who doesn't sing profes~1onally step away from tht> m1kt> 'Thatleftme.agi>d 19. sc'lndwkhed between Bowie and lgqy Pop. Not one person there had a fuck1n9 camer.:i:

Il Fulltime Simple Mind; sometime Bowie backing singer

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"[Simple M, nds gu 1t arist] (harl •r ~urch1ll ls~ man of few words. t.>ut when he c.dllcd me from Thdil.ind he W.Js emot on<1I I S.Jtd to him Bow1e'sonlygone about eight hours but I nlreadyfeel mort> insnired by h•m He was an ;irt1st right to the end. The way his career unfolded and l'Vcryth1ny thc1t wl'nt with •t: the look. the f.ish1on, the v1dcoexpenmcnts, theJct.ng •.. hed1d 14 albums in 14 years, and not one of them was remotely the same When you look at it like thilt you could arguP that he qave The Beatles a run for thPir mont-y But whc1t rnade us loVl' him was th.it he WilS c.ompll· tely fnngc. Hew.ism.id .is cl H.itter. Through him we lo<irncd <1bout Lou Reed and lggy. He was the ronsummiltE' tilStE'maker - and thP consummate maqp1P. bu t that's a great r1rt 1n itself You thouqht, Oh. l:lowie·s t<Jlk1n9 c1bout Krautrot k, 0 1, Bowie'~ t.ilk in9 ,1bout thi) book c.illed Berlin Alexclndctpl.itz. In 1979. S1mpk M1ndswcnt t o Rockfield Stud1os 1n the middle of the WPlshcountrysidetorecord our second album Real ro Real Cacophony. It s probably our most Howie-influenced record. We were in the smalll'rstudio. ju)t tc:cndgc:r). Jndwe wc:rc I ke.'Who'!> 1n the big ~tud10!' It turned out 1tWdS lggy Pop, who was record, ng Soldier.

88 MOJO

Bowie's Live Aid batman ' I'd recorded some demos for the Absolute Beginners soundtrack with David at Abbey Ro,1d, but before we recorded ..;::;.-:~..:i theactualtrackslgeta phone call from him saying, 'I've been asked to do this charity concert and would you like to help me put together a band forthat7 ' Of course I sa·d yeah. Healsowanted to do a record with 1t,so I took my guitar down to Wardour St as asked and knocked on the door of a film company and sat down on a couch rn the basement and in walked David with Mick Jagger. So the three of us sat down and worked out Dancing In The StrE>et When we oo the Absolute Beginne>rs session, teach this to th e band at the end, Don't tell them who's coming.' WP record Pd it in one take and that was th P record. Then, of course, we did Live Aid. I woke up that morning, probably had a breakfast bong, turned on thP TV and there wa~ this huge concert on! I was watching it on TV but had t o be at Battersea helipad at a certain time. so headed down there and the streets weri> emptyeveryone was watching TV. I've got photos of David on the hehcoptt>r- he was t errified a really nervous flyer That first time I meth1m at Abbey Road he asked if I could score some coke. I made ii call in a phone booth out side ilnd 1 mate came down with some stuff and said, 'You won't

believe who I scored this from-An91p Bowie!' I Sill d. 'You won't believe who this is for•• .' There Wd~ .ilwJy) a lot ofl.iuyht cr with D.iv1d. Rec.ording the 1'.·n Machine album in Compass Point Studios, we·d have Soupy Sales [comedian father of drummi;.r and bassist Hunt and Tony Silles) pilt<hPd in through the monitors quite often to tell us filthy 1okes down thl• µhonc. One d.iy we decided to head into N.i~sau, found d b.ind pl.iy1ng 1n cl bar and asked to borrow their geclr. That was Tin Machine's debut gig. Davld was always 1nrred1bly qrac1ous and genProus. There are a few .utists who when th ey die yrow n )tc1turc. you rcJllse how muth they we.: re dcd1c,1tcd to the .irt. Every musici.in who worked with him got more outofit thc1n they put 1n- his creativP vision would transcend your ilb1litles. HP could probilbly ju st qive them a rubbt>rbilnd and a toothpick c1nd make ~ome kind of brilliant art out of it.•

Depeche Mode man . Servant to the Master 'Where I came from, you were pretty muth told, 'You're not going anywhere 1n life.' Seeing Ziggy on Top Of The Pops, I found that I could escape. L<11t•1, Low•.Sro11on To Srouon c1nd Heroes"reallyc,.irried me through. I said to myself, I'd follow thclt voice anywhere. even when its takes me down HP i;.nabled my~elf and Mar· tin [Gore I and peonle like us to understand th.it we weren't alone. Our cJ..iuyhtc:r~ went to the s,1mc school (in New York] ~o somotimcs Id see him dropping his daughter off in the morning. When hed1cl a pprform<1nCP of Low .it Hoscl.ind In 2002 I was lucky enough to be invit ed. Hew.is iu~t th e nKl!~t guy: hi! shook my hand and sclid I know you! I had been made ;iware, to be honest. th<1t D.~v1d w;isn t doing ~o well. I ~ctw h•m last yedr dnd now I wish I'd gone up to him. just to say thilnk you Jgain for how much he'd . given me. * ·~his strongest album 1n many ye;ir\ - like Lov1, 1t takes you ~omcwhc:re Fusing Jazz ide.is with modern tec.hnology i5 consistent with what he's always done. He always took the risk Im nevergonnil stop playing his records."

Faithful co-producer, from Hunky Dory to Pin-Ups "Hcls .iny Jrt1st ever gone out that way: two days 11fter putting out a song prtmilrily about your cle;ith? Brilliilnt. but that was h·m. He wa\ fi>arless no, let me chdn!Je thc1t he become feilrless. On Hunky Dory, the first tim e.: we worked togL ther JS co·produc.crs. there were nerves. But once he could see his odeas wPrework1ng and we could put th1nqs together the way he heard them 1n hi\ heild, he became fearless. And that iust carried on ;ind on. Most other art•sts. once they hdve succ.e)), be<..ome fearful oflosing that ~uc.ccs~. but David d·dn t give a damn. He embraced fame but it d1dn t rule

h1mancl because he wasn't .ittemptJng to st.iy th e same he could do wh.itcver he w,1ntcd The .iudicnlc.: for his music was him He was the most amazing voc.1list I've ever worked with Ninety· five per cent of the vocals on the four albums I did w•th him were first takes. They were performances and he g<1ve his all. By the end of Five Ye.irs hew.is bdwling his eyes out- I'd never seen that 1n the studio before. It was all coming from him his heart, his spirit. his soul. .. however you Wilnt t o put it he puteveryth1n91nto tho~e vocals. It

wasreoL" lnterv1e'liS Oy David 8uc lc/ey, D,1nny E<rlP>ton,Andy FyfP, /onHorri~on. Jami•\

McNmr, Lo1\ Vliflon


90

ALBUMS • Rock the apocalypse with The Cult • Master of the keys, Elton John • Emma Pollock thinks big Animal Collective go straight Plus, Emitt Rhodes, Field Music, Steve Mason, Yoko Ono, Dion, School Of Seven Bells, and more.

104 REISSUES · A long hard look atshoegazing · This Heat's searing debut • Plus, BertJansch, Sonny Sharrock, The Pop Group, Ornette Coleman and more.

114

HOW TO BUY • A Bee Gees bonanza.

116 BOOKS • Phil Lynott:fully sanctioned, but unsterilized • Plus, '60s mover and shaker David Litvinoff, Lesley Gore, Woodstock and more.

118

JOHN LEE HOOKER

SCREEN Traci ng the life of Janis Joplin (it's a t wo-hankie job).

120

fvES Patti Smith with the bit between her teeth Award-winning Benjamin Clementine.

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"Horses straight through is more pride than ploy."

BERT JANSCH Avoce t

CHRIS NELSON SEES PATTI SMITH RIDE INTO SEATTLE. LIVES, Pl20

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Your guide to the month's best music is now even more definitive with our handy format guide. n COMPACT DISC DL DOWNLOAD ST STREAMING LP VINYL CASSETTE D D DIGITALVIDEO DISC C INCINEMAS BR BLU· RAY

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DISAPPOINTING BEST AVOIDED DEPLORABLE

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anre Completing their millennial 'comeback' trilogy, Astbury and Duffy'sferocious tenth album holds a mirror to our age. By Pat Gilbert. Illustration by Darkhouse Quarter.

The Cult

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**** Hidden City

COO~lNGVINVI .COIOL!LP

hen lv10JO met The Cult's frontn1an Ian Astbury in Lo ndo11 in autum n 1994, one 'vonde rcd for the first tin1e if the group's life-lo ng comn1itn1c nt to heavy rock \Vas about to c rack. Oasis and Blur \Vere C\'ery,vhere, and the idea of an LA-based British 1netal band, partial to big ri ffs, flo,ving tresses a11d liarlt·y-Oa\' idso n motorcvcles, seen1ed ludic rously . , old hat. In vio lation o i L984's revolutionary "l \viU \Vear my hair long" n1issiu n statement, Astbury had that <lay cut his locks sho rt and \\'aS sporting slin1-f'it strides and n atty Patrick Cox loafers - ,1lbe it in g roovy ra,vk'n'roll snakeskin. Out of 3te p \Vith the rnusic scene on hoth sides of the Atlantic, The C ult \Vere earnestly promoting their g ritty, self- titled ' Black Sheep' alhu1n, ,1nd ,., ·ould split the follo\\ring yea r \\"hen, perhaps inevitably, it tanked. The next t in1e 1VIOJ O n1et Astb ury, 12 rno nths later, he sa id he bad just 10 g rancl left in t he bank and \VilS ponclc ring his future. But did h e or guitarist Billy Duff)· subsequently go Britpup, or turn into N\(Jby o r Beck? I Je ll no. Astbury':. n ext venture " 'as the hard rock.in' The rfoly Barbarians, a nd v1•hcn ·rhe C ull r econvened in 1999 it ""as husincss as usua l \1-ith t he thu ndero us Beyond Good And 17.vi/. Their n1essage \vas dear: \Vt' are a uniqu e entity d1at transcends tirne and fashion. Yet /-lie/den Ci~)'. only the group's tenth st udi o albu111 in 32 years, in1presses a further truth. Markett:d .1s the last in a b-Uogy beginnlng \\' ith 2007's Born Into This, ,tnd overseen by th ei r glory-days producer Bob Rock, it unde rlines ho"'. h eterogeneous the grou p's inusic has been \v ith in their se1t: in1posed classic rock frarne. Ever since che t ribal/ gorh thund er o f l 984's p ost-punk Drcarncime, there's been an i111pulse to make every· Cult record d iflt:rent; a nd ju t as, say, I989's Sonic Temple \vas the LA-ai rbrushed follo\\'-up to the bare-boned riffola of 1987's Electric, so their last n .•cord, 2012's Choice C!.f VVcapon, ditched the fu zzy bass-line grooves of the Youth-produced Born Tnto ThiI h1r a ni orc song-based, deeprock aes tht't ic. And it's the latter that the re1narkable f1idden Cicv , takes to a d ran1atic ne\\' level of inten.c;lty and intrigue. Cognisant chat their early '90s po1np of arena sell-outs and platinum discs are long behind then1, Astbury and Duffy have seen1ingly elected to accept their personal nuances (Ian, the Na tive American-inspired n1vstic; Bilh', , , the Mane guitar prag n1 at ist) and venture deeper into The Cult's core values, musical and other1vise; and e the corollary Is son1e of the ~ ~~~~~~~ fiercest, nastiest, n1ost po,verful

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- and also stark Iv beauti fu I - music of the ir career. Just ~vhy Hidden Ci~v shou ld resonate quite so po,verftLLly n1ay in p;i rt be attributed to recent eve-nts in tht'. outside 'vorld. f\s ~vlth Choice C!.f Weapon, but more:: so, t he themes o f f-Jidden 09' • re late directlv to re ligion and '''ar, its vocabulary ' ' a live \vith words such as "blood", "pray'', " heathen", "death·•, "i m rnortal isccl" ' "d"strov" "r)arad ise" "" .., , "" 1 "killing", "holy". Jn a n e ra ,vhcn the l"ivil 'var in Syria ao<l the killings in Paris have c reated - or have b een usccl to create - a creeping sense of unease a nd dread, the albu1n's extra ordi nar y ho,vls o f pa in and a nger, its tlran1atic apocalyptic visio ns and quiet inte rrogation s of the n1eaning of life and death, align pe rfect ly 'vith tl1e Lirncs. Incredibly, the centrepiece o f this a lbum, Deeply Ordere d Chaos, scen1s directly to address the Eagles Of Death M etal sh ootings, though it \Vas record ed 01onths b t'fore, fi>llo,ying the C harlie Hebclc) attack: ·'Defend Paris!. .. SvTia , , the fall. .." ..\stbury. c ries. On that sanle t rack he inton es in a deep ba rito ne . "L'm European ... tears tall on thc altar... l 'm Eu ropean ... patience is n1~1 daugh ter," the l'inger sounding uncannily like Ian Curtil>, rJt her tbao the Jioi Morrison he's long ido lised. The idea th at F-Iidden Ci91 belcings niore to doon1y ' 80s post-punk Britain than to I Iollyv,·ood's Sun set Strip is one of its 01a11v , attractio11s, bolstered b,·; songs Like No Love Lvst, a study in c lassic quiet/ loud that starts ~,· itli a stolen U 2 riff, takes o~T into a rou sing chorus and then sees Du ff)' 111in ing Kash111_iJ-i Jin1my Page g uitar scal es on the stirring solo. In Blood p(•etical ly describes a n1an's dying 1non1cnts, and his suckling o n and then being seducl'd by a she-\volf (the fall and birth o f Rome?); Hinterland is a hea'")', bellicose outburst that "''ou ld sit conlfortably on Ceren1ony or The Cult. But the ra\\' po,ver o f these tra cks pales into insig nificance against the bison roar of GOA' r (sh o rthand for "the Greatest Of All Tin1e") - not j u~t the n1t'anest so ng on this a lbum, but perhaps o ne of the dirticst, angriest, c razed nick songs ever recorded. Built upon a tough, funky Bonhan1-stylt> groo\'e, co urtesy of drunln1er Joh n Ten1pt>sta, it pitcht>s 011tfy's squealing squalls of lead against Astbu1-y's be llo>vcd vocals, the singer 's \vord s opaquely evo king in1ages of a bloody, hellish n1assacre. It's harru"·ing, stirring, a nd astonishing stuff. Were it not for the labo ured t'hug of o p ener Dark Energy's coda a nd tracks like the incongruous Dance ·rhe Night (Asthu r y does gloh.11 conflict t:1r bi>tter than he dot's love), l lidden Cirl' \Votrld be an instant fivt'-Star s la n1-JW1k. It even has an elegiac c loser, SounJ & i: ury, . that references Shakespear e in it!i tide and portentou~ly unfolds the story of its female subject , perhaps a su ic icle bon1ber, " -hose "God ... k ills the innocent", atop a backdrop of splendidly un-Cult-like \Veeping stri ngs and n1ournful p iann. Don't get n1e " ·rong, this is still ·rhe Cult \Ve love and occasionally s111ile at, ,1 group ca pable at the same 1non1ent of unle,,s hing both passionate rock grc·atncss and a pri111ed-lor-la rnpooning ly ric Like "Che Guevara in a ga rbage can" - a line equal in corny brilliance to the Daliesque "plastic fantastic lobstt: r telepho ne" on Electric. But ret"ent \vo rld events demand su111e kind of visceral response, and sonically, musically and emotiona lly, JJ ;Jdcn Ci~J''s prin1al. from-the-heart '"orldvie"' represents just t hat, Ull\\ittingly or not.

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KEY TRACKS • Deeply Ordered Chaos • GQAT • Sound & Fury

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"'And you feel Hke the docks have stopped": Elton John turns back the hands of time.

should be this, his thirty-third. Though Candle In The Wind wrll remain his most famous song, the !whisper it) milwkish Clspect of the singer it represents is merely the tip of a far more exuberant iceberg. Though also produced by T Bone Burnett, in contrast to its solemn studio predecessor The Diving Board. Wonderf(J/ Crazy Night serves Elton sunny side up, where even in minor key mode his high spirits burst through. Cledrly he i~ in a happy p lace, dnd that finds joyous expression not just in the generally strong -~ongs but in the o ld joanna. Like those other cheeky-chappie natio nal treasures Rick Wakeman and Jools Holland, the reason Elton is in our faces in the first placers because he is an absolutely wonderful pianist. And here he really plays - gloves off and swinging with a delicious New Orleans rol l, exemplified in Looking Up's hyper-catchy staircase of notes. Only Nigel Olsson's brisk but foursquare drumming • , hobbles the downright funky album tu~~~ t·· itching to get out. ~ '.. Other highlights indude the title track, finding lyricist Bernie Taupin in scintillating form ("Ice cubes on the back of your neck/When we're goin' through the parking lot/Radio hummin' in every car/And you feel like the docks have stopped"), and was he as good? The ebonyand·ivory Hercules had also bonus track No Monsters. echoing recruited a less welcome army both Lennon and Bowie as they were of nay-sayers, irritated that such when he outsold these maverick pals. a performer - mo re sparkly showman than If its milterial is Elton's best since 2001 's Songs From The West Coast, the new album is a anything e lse, harrumph - could so effortlessly far better li~ten, thanks to Burnett's happy outsell such cool and righteous artists as Bowie. medium between ye olde analogue and today's Joni, even Stevie at his absolute peak. Time and the levelling down of the playing pop sound. And to these ears Elton's latter-day field have since reduced Elton to one among upright baritone improves on the classic model. Indeed, if you don't have a great nostalgic several pop institutions in the sunset of their careers still earning but no longer blockbusting. investment i•n Tumbleweed Connecrion, Honky Yet being so overblown decades back now Chateau, Yellow Brick Road, Capra in Fantastic. .. et makes it hard for him to qet cl fair hearing cJI, you might we ll assess Wonderful Crazy Night beyond his loyalists. as by no means their inferior. If you love pop, If any album were to change all thilt. it you really have to hear it.

Love is like ... ... his old joanna. Forty years on, the piano playing pop coloc;sus justifies the hype. By Mat Snow.

Elton John Wonderful Crazy Night V11 G N ::Ml CO. Dl'LP

FORTY YEARS ago Elton John was a supe rphenomenon, accounting for two per cent of all record sales worldwide. No one had been that big since The Beatles a decade previously. But

u

Where We Came In - the first, a frantic boogaloo, driven by flashy guitar, organ and sax and climaxing with a mean barrio scream; the second, a bossa nova channelling Sam Cooke, that with its great soulof-a-man vocal is both Copa and club soul. Lois Wilson

The James Hunter Six

Working For A Nuclear Free City

Hold On!

What Do People Do All Day?

****

OAP'TONE. CO IOLILP

The UK's greatest soul singer signs to Oaptone.

James Hunter first teamed with Daptone producer Gabe Roth on 2013's Minute By Minute. The pair clicked immediately; the pay-off, a career-best album. Unsurprisingly, Hunter returns to Roth's LA studio and has also signed to his Daptone label for its follow-up. Again, the result is terrific with Hunter, band and producer in perfect harmony. (Baby) Hold On and If That Don't Tell You are quintessential Hunter, tough, soulful and capturing everyone in full swing. The real golden moments, though, are Free Your Mind and This Is

92 MOJO

***

MELODIC CDfDLtlP

Manchester mavericks' multifaceted and fantasy-fed take on the quotidian.

flt'::......

""""" Just what do

,. people do all -~)day? Anything l....._ and every· ~ thing. Fittingly, ,:. 1111,...·.1..I in addressing their question, the fourth album proper and first since 201 O's Jojo Burger Tempest from Manchester's WFANFC has no one style, no favoured musical template. Musically, its crisp 45 minutes reflects rhe heterogeneousness of any given day. There's a Tomorrow Never Knows take on Beck (Turned Too Tight), an inside· ri·

out Super Furry Animals (Blun· derlandl, shoegazing-gonegrunge (Good As Gold), Primal Scream post-acid clatter (Bottle Rocket) and a blissed·out acoustic guitar-driven reverie (Stop Everything). This potentially bewildering smorgas· bard is unified by Phil Kay's sinuous approach to melody and low-key, conversational vocal. The subjects cackled are far-fetched: turning Venice Beach into Blackpool and stoned teens discovering a hidden portal in a park. The ambitious What Do People Do All Day? is no less than their Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Kieron Tyler

singular- his ability to shape perfect pop melodies - still shines. The four cherished albums Rhodes released in the '70s became powerpop touchstones. Because he recorded them alone, he earned the nickname "the one man Beatles•. This time, Rhodes invited acolytes like Jon Brion, Aimee Mann and Neis Cline ro play along. The switch in his vocal pitch, as well as the new wariness in his lyrics, brings added gravi· tas. While he srill writes tunes as sterling as a solo Paul McCartney, he delivers them In a voice that suggests a beautified Warren Zevon, in the process honouring his essential gift while showing a stirring sense of growth. Jim Farber

Emitt Rhodes

****

Rainbow Ends OMN:VORc. CD, DL

Emitt Rhodes returns after 43 years, with a moving new sound.

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Emitt Rhodes's first album in over four dee· ades finds him in a deeper voice, writing sadder songs that proceed at a more measured pace. Yet the skill that always made him

S.a rah Blasko

****

Eternal Return Ml/l<A

CO IOL{LP

Australian singer dumps guitars and orchestras for synths.

Pegged as a singer-songwriter when she emerged a decade ago, Sarah Blasko's albums have long since mocked the pigeonholers. Her guitarcentred 2005 debut The

Overture & The Underscore gave

rise to the singer-songwriter tag, but by album four - 2012's I Awake- she was backed by the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra, and now Eternal Return is all about analogue keyboards, the guitars all but sacked off. The most welcomed diversion sees Blasko wrapping her spectacular voice around unusually direct lyrics, unambiguously stating "I'd be lost without you" (I'd Be Lost) or •1want to be a part of everything you are and long to be ... maybe this time I'll be in luck" (Maybe This Time), where once she fudged and obscured. Somewhere between Florence Welch's strident bellow and Bjork's performance art, Blasko possesses the pop thrills of both without all the 'difficult' bits some find off-putting. Andy Fyfe


us On her first LP in five years, a former Delgado takes on the big issues, and wins. By Vi ctori a Segal.

Emma Pollock

** * In Search Of Harperfield

-IEMll<.A,LUN E ·r:; . lUN CD'DlflP

THERE' S a once·upon· a·time quality to /n Search OfHarperfie/d, Emma Pollock'~ third solo album since Glasgow's independent stalwarts The Delgados di~solved in 2005. She's telling stories about family and childhood and getting o lder. stories to make sense of it all. as stories are supposed to do. The resu lting record is beautifully crafted, as much about beginnings and middles as it is about the end. Recorded at a sturdy base - the studio owned by Chemikal Underground, the label founded by The Delgados - and p roduced by her husband, Paul Savage, the follow-up to 2010's sparer The Law Of Languages can risk

exploring what happens when life's solid ground is swept away. The t itle suggests a quest - an imagining of the house where her parents lived before her birth - and she transforms the common experiences of growing up into formalised rites of passage. Intermission, a song about the shifting dynamic between grown child and ailing parents. vividly explains this impulse. "When did you become defec tor/ Leaving me the sole protector? " Pollock wonders. Stark, thorny strings enhance the isolation, turning this second coming of age into high drama, a floridly gothic twist for an everyday cri sis. Throughout, she intersperses harsh real ities w ith d ream-like mystery. On Alabaster, an eerily stilted Alice In Wonderland chess-game about th e relationship between a "king and queen", fairy tale creatures prowl: "the wolves and the

Emma Pollock: she wa nts to ell you a story.

w itches are in your bed/As the g houls and the goblins crawl in my head." Clemency is a vengeful fanta~y worthy of early P.J. Harvey, while the cosmic lilt of Dark Skies mentions Goldilocks: "I like to keep my fa iry tales on shelves .. . why can't it j ust be as simple as it looks." In these meticulous songs. loose ends can be firmly tied. It's not all grown up, though. Parks And Recreation hints at earlier indie-rock days, a buzzy childhood vignette of a territorial feud. Amid the hurtling tempo and chanting vocal, t here's bike wheels on gravel, the sense of pushing things too far. In The Company Of The Damned sound s like Vampire Weekend interpreting Margaret Atwood's teenage power-play Cat's Eye: " You thought you were invit ed/That you could ring the bell/That you had been accepted .. : If a well-mad e narrative isn't comfort enough, Dark Skies settles for another traditional option: looking up for a sign. Set in a park near her hometown, Pollock ponders the stars and the randomness of exist ence: "They gave us a stage/To write our own page of history." There's no happy ever after, of course, but at least this excellent record has come ou t of the darkness. Are you sitting comfortably? Then she'll begin.

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mythical ~ domestic life'' ! ''A •

! Emma Pollock speaks j to Victoria Segal.

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Was Ha rperfield your childhood house? "I never lived in Harperfield Lodge - it's the first house that my mum and dad bought and it almost feels like a mythical domestic life. It didn't have any heating or proper water, it was very bleak but my dad absolutely loved it. By the time I was born they'd moved. They probably owned about 30 houses during the time they were together. I lived in five houses in Castle Douglas alone. I think my mum got itchy feet very quickly and my dad was a self-employed cabinet maker and he wou ld occasionally want to buy a slightly dishevelled property and bring it back to what it should be. It wasn't like those TV property shows: you might think that would make the family very wealthy, but it actually made the family very poor! "

i• Is the album about the search for a permanent { family home? i• "In Search OfHarperfield is this idea that you are

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suddenly appreciating an entire life. My mum died in February - she had been ill a very long time w ith heart disease and her worsening illness accompanied a lot of this album. The whole album is not centred round that but it made an anchor point, that it was w ritten during the period of caring for and witnessing the decline of a parent. That was probably partly why the album took so long."

• ;• What is Intermission abo ut? ••

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and dad were both ill at the same time. My dad still lives in Castle Douglas and my mum lived in Glasgow, where I live. So I was runn ing up and down the M6 to get to both hospitals - I am an only child - and what struck me about it was that as a child you say to yourself. 'When this is over, I can 't wait for things to get back to normal', because you always assume it does. We always hold on to that idea that illness is temporary, and of course, that can change as we get o lder. Our understanding of what it is to be here begins to morph a little bit."

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MOJO 93


Straight to the art Eve r a four-way d e mocr.icy with communicat io n issues, their followup, 2012's Ce ntlped e Hz, fell victim to another pathology - a shared aversion to fan-p leasing stasis. Without the glows ticks-aloft nu-ravey bits it w.i~ not a s immediate, yet also not qu ite d ifferent enough. In the inte rim, Josh Dibb (aka Deakin ). absent for Merriweather.. . but a driving fo rce last time, has again d e parted, the a gonising "ego dance" of their joint creativity, of which co-vocalist Noah Le nnox spoke in MOJO 226, has in the ory ease d by 25 per cent. Perhaps chastened by Centipede's perceived misstep. advance no ises o n this e leventh AC album have been all about cutting t o the chase: Dave Portne r (aka Avey Ta re) revealed a shared desire for "really short songs. no BS - get-in-get-

Baltimore-born collective attempt to find a more direct route By Andrew Perry.

Animal Collective

* Painting With MIN

CD/Ol/lP

AFTER TELEPORTING futuristic psychedelic wo nder into plain ol' US indie·rock on 2009's euphoric Merriweather Post Pavilion, Animal Collective had a jackpot moment. becoming 'net· age trail-blazers for a synthy aft-consciousness equally in thrall to Brian Wilson and Will,i.am.

die alone/And that's fine·), with a hidden minute or so of wig-out at the end to woosily close the album. There's a brill cover version too - Rizzo's There Are Worse Things I Could Do, from Grease, lovingly updated with just the right amount of brassy sass and crooning backing vocals. Anno Wood

Gazebos

***

Die Alone >IAROlV ART. CO/ DL/ LP

Fast, furious debut from Seattle rock'n'roll veterans. From the label of Chastity Belt and Shannon And The Clams, Gazebos' breezy, debauched debut is guitar-and-yelp pop - playful, tight and packed with B·S2's punk energy. Lead single I Don't Wanna Be Here has a yell-and-response chorus and a sd·fi villain voiceover from singer Shannon Perry, as well as her drawling, raging vocals, plus echoes and synth swirls and excellent phasey guitar from (R Stevie Moore ~ cohort) TV Coahran. Boys I !'!' Like is a manically joyful ~ consideration of pointless E relationships and failures of ~ intimacy ("We are all going to

94 MOJO

Jon Langford & Men Of Gwent

****

The Legend Of LL COUNTRY MILE CO/ Ol

Visionary pub-rock polemics from Mekon· helmed South Wales supergroup. The Legend Of LL's opening

track Adrian Street vaults into the ring with aptly flamboyant aplomb. This rousing glitter and spandex stomp in honour of the mink-dad mincer of Brynmawr - the man who put the glam into the grapple game - sets the tone for an album whose bibulous camaraderie is surpassed only by the Intensity of its engage·

ment with the gloomy realities of de-industrialisation. From the wistful social realism of Old Wet Argus through the woozy closing time visions of Llamas In Llanyrafon, the overall mood strongly recalls the Mekons' 1985 classic Fear And Whiskey. Never more so than on Pill Sailor's elegiac sea shanty: "They've shut down the docks/Thrown our lives on the rocks/ But my good eye is wandering still." Ben Thompson

Barry Adamson

**** Know Where To Run

o ut materia l''. The result: 12 trac:ks and a 42minute runn ing time. The Collective goes pop? Le ad track FloriDada might suggest so. On a breakneck lyrica l tour o f beauty spots in the US ("Take a t rip to blue bayou/ Find Roy Orbison cryln''') and the wo rld beyond (''dresses that glow on g irls from Barcelona"), it's like a pha nta~ma l refl ectio n on the globe -trotting joys these childho od frie nds have expe rienced together. all wrapped up with a catchy chorus, and a sa mpled cackle from the intro of The Surfaris' Wipcout. News of the album's recording at EastWest Studios, birthplace of Pe t Sounds, in Portner's adopte d LA hometown. will have piqued aficionados' expectation for a pop maste rp iece. The first thing you notice about Painting With is, in fac t, the layering of mult1tracke d vocals and harmonies, which has characterised Lennox's solo records as Panda Bear. Portner and Lennox apparently sang atop plinths, rather than vocal booths, to give the ir voices a naturally airy quality. In a further nod to ground· breakers past, viola drones from AC supporter John Cale underscore Hocus Pocus, b ut anyone coming at Painting With from a vintage-psych perspective is soon plunged into challenging waters as the stuttering but infectious Vertical gives way to The Burgla rs' skittering arrhyth mia, rem in iscent of early Squarepusher in a ll his b reak-beat tu rbo-nutte ry - technically marvel lous. but not lovable. For all their o rga nic methods, these Animals often come across as robotic and constricte d - witness Natural Select ion's echoes of woozy Chlcago ho use classic Washing Mac hine stripping those painstaking vocal arrangements of the ir humanity. More ope n, proggy structures only really surface in On Delay's sublime, Underworld-ish meander. Perhaps a little more BS wo uld not have gone amis!..

the former Magazine and Bad Seed bassman does very nicely on the fringes of the soundtrack world, he can persevere in pleasing himself in an extraordinary body of work as the cultist's cultist. A self-taught multi-instrumentalist gifted with a far stronger and more stylish voice than many star singers, this stripped pine rather than crushed velvet Scott Walker invests witty songs of noir romance-cum-sleaze like Claw And Wing and Come Away with that weird sense of hearing an alternative universe's biggest cabaret hits of 1969. Inventive, swinging, dud-free and very musical: terrific entertainment by any standards.

CENTRAL CONTROL INTt:RNAT;CJNAL

Mat Snow

CO/OL/LP

Album nine offers a inviting portal to the Barryverse. Were he not such a fetishist of music's offmainstream byways of B-movie chic, rehabilitated cheese and po-mo playfulness, Barry Adamson's self-evident talent would long have denied Mark Ronson pre-eminence as paladin of retro-modern pop. But since

Emmy The Great

***

Second Love 8El1A J NION. CO/OL/LP

Emma-Lee Moss's third lovestruck album. Linernotes by Jon Ronson. Emmy The Great knows her way around a graceful melody, all unaffected sweetness and light, but also some decorative detail: Dance w. Me's dancing

saxophone, Hyperlink's nagging guitar and vocal sample, the Afro-poppy Constantly. But Emmy's most effective tool is a sense of place, and her journey from experience to the finished work, saturated In detail, is often a lot darker than her measured delivery suggests. Love and loss already moulded 2009 de but First Love and 2011's Virtue (the aftermath of her ex-flance choosing God instead), but Second Love's themes of belonging and separation - of love found, and lost - also document periods living in New York and LA, with all the hopes, fears, upheaval and renewal of nomadic life, explored acutely in Social Halo. It's unsure whether Hyperlink's suggestion that, "love is the answer in the end", is hard-won conclusion or desperate hope. Martin Aston


8Y STEPHEN WORTHY

Cavern Of Anti-Matter

**** Void Beats /

Invocation Trex OUOPHO'llC CDIDL/lP Avant-garde electronica by Stereolab founder Tim Gane, When Stereo lab slowly ground to a halt, their ch ief sonic arch itect Tim Gane was exploring everuntried ways to subvert their signature sound. Yet his increasingly random methods invariably came undone once Laetitia Sadier's plaintive ultracool vocals entered the mix. Gane's new venture w ith regular drummer Joe Dilworth and synth w izard Holger Zapf finds the self-dubbed 'spectrum addicts' breaking away in style as they whirlig ig through Krautrock's more outre elements. Pulsing, hypnotic 13-minute opener Tardis Cymbals is a tough act to follow, with its primitive drum machines and rippling bassllne, yet they trump it with voyages into scything d eath disco, bright Floydian vistas and even '60s vocal pop on Liquid Gate. long distance runners should file next to the excavated outi ngs of Kosrn ischer Laufer. Andy Cowan

Steve Mason

**** Meet The Humans DOMINO. CD/Dl 1 l P

Songs of warmth and hope from Beta Band survivor. On his third solo album, Steve Mason veers dangerously close to that overfarmed damaged -earnestsensitive-bloke territory, but lucki ly he doesn 't seem capable of schmaltz or emotional cheap-shots. And he's a brilliant songwriter. Water Bored has a terrible title

but it's an elegant, swooning pep talk with touches of hands-in -the-air piano and lovely vocals that turn it into a gruff lullaby. The extraordinary Planet Sizes is urgent and angry, with pounding p iano and dark lyrics, then soars for a cosm ic chorus. Tender sun dappled folk runs throughout, laced with o ld-raver ingredients - closer Words In My Head has a synth echo and a fuzzy amen break straight from 1990. As ever, Mason gives himself nowhere to hlde - lyrics, feelings and influences from the heart and the soul but this time he's cheered right up. Anna Wood

Benjamin Schoos

*** Night Music,

Love Songs FREAKSVlllE. COIOL/LP

Belgian-born Schoos embraces hushed reflection . Just the right time. Haunted reflection is necessarily not the appropriate response to current world events, but as Schoos' gruff French lyrics wash over you, even if you only understand one word in 10, there's something powerful and u ltra-uplifti ng to his thoughts about what love is, though when he wrote this he'd have had no idea what wou ld happen in Paris. It's Schoos' fourth solo album and, unlike the p revious, st ring-laden, joyous pop outing Beau Futur, this is a pared-down shimmer of piano, synths and lonesome sax and t rumpet, written during his insomniac twilight hours. Exquisite opener I Love You cou ld be a Scott Walker haiku, lu sh but off-kilter as Gabriel Yared's Betty Blue soundtrack. That's how things continue: minimalist, other-worldly chanson. A couple of tracks are too similar, but small point really. Deep, dark, affecting. Glyn Brown

Choir Of Young Believers

****

Grasque

GiiOST LY INTI;~ NATIONAL CDIDL/lP

You 'll know them if you 're a fan of The Bridge. Justly or otherwise, COYB's reputation since 2011 rests on Hollow Talk, the lingering theme music of Scando detective drama The Bridge, which suggests that Jannis Makrig iann is and co are Denmark's Sigur R6s, cinehaunting and grandiose yet with a tangibly human touch . But 2012's Rhine Gold album leant more on burbling electronica, while Grasque pushes further still, into slow R&B jams, chillwave, even George Michael when Makrigiannis uses his higher register, as on Jeg Ser Dig and Serious Lover. Not that he's shed all progressive tendencies; five tracks of this gorgeous hour-long opus are six minutes-plus; Graeske (aka Greek, denoting the Makrigiannis family line) and Does It Look As If I Care luxuriate over eight in a slow, smoky burn. TV execs: take note of three brief noir instrumentals, but if it's another Hollow Talk you're after, Perfect Estocada is the business. Martin Aston

Junior Boys

****

Big Black Coat CITYSLANG. CO/Dl/Lf'

Re-energised return from smart Canadian synth popsters.

..... -·

In 2011, after four albums of crystalline R&B-lnspired dance pop, Junior Boys Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemus found there was little left in their tank. Given the transitory nature of the electronic music world, rhe Ontarians' decision to take a lengthy sabbatical was courageous. But rather than navel-gazing, they've filled it with collaborations with pals (in Greenspan's case with Dan 'Caribou' Snaith), production stintsiand even a move to Berlin (Didemus). It's no wonder that thei r reunion album fizzes with energy although it retains the underlying melancholia that defined their prev ious work. Jerky footwork rhythms (You Say It) and effervescent synth pop (a sparky take on Bobby Caldwell's sultry sou l-jazz gem, What You Won't Do For Love) rub shoulders with dancefloor artillery (Big Black Coat), with Greenspan's voice sometimes falsetto, at others Auto-Tuned, always seductive - as potent a weapon as ever. Stephen Worthy

Nonkeen

**

The Gamble Childhood maces' lo-fi, high-quality, electro-assortment. THE STORY goes th<1t in 1989, aged seven, Sebastian Singwald left communist Berlin and headed to Hamburg o n a spo rts exchang e. Intrigued by the unwieldy tape recorder that Singwald slung around h is neck, two ho st students made contact, fo rming a frlend~hip that's last ed ever since. One, Nrls Frahm. is now a bo nu fide star, ff:ted for embracing the cla~si cal, electronic and jazz wo rlds. Yet with Singwald .ind Frederic Gmer ner ilS Non keen, these boyhood pills are equals. The Gamble was recorded on the hoof over 10 yea r5. and the lo-fi nature of many of th e recordings percolat es through. A mix of ambient, Balearic, house, Kr.iutroc k, b aroque,jozz and minimal might sound co nfusing. but the influences are h-0nd led with '>ub tlety on the li~~om, Sc hirri n-like Th., Bea utiful Me'' and shuffling Lann house of Chasi ng God Through Palmyra. An cJlbum in yloriou~ hoe k to improvi,.; tio n, rhythm .ind ti•xture.

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ALSO RELEASED ..._---------------------------------- --------------------------------------__

•'

_..

Prins Thomas

***

Beacon

* *

Principe Del Nor te

Escapements

WN LJ E UN co10~1LP Nourished by The Klf, Thi' Orb ~ ncl The Black Dog s influ entidl dmbient excursions of the early 1990s, Norweg 1an ddnc;efloor ,osmolog1' t Prin' Thom~ s ~trip' away (forth<' mo't p~ru m1" h of his tradema 11< bedts on d quest to rndke •orne '<?rlnu' h('adphnn~ mu sic. A ' utct!,>ion of sprawling mini<>p1cs - throbbing wl th energy. insidious basslines and pulsinn chords - prt!vail.

GI • 1 l'ITE N I ·NAL fO/Dl LP

electronic pop is as >hiny and <.ool as an Airstream trailer. Thoma' Mullarn<'y's voir!' - " sharper, more melodic version of Thom Yorke·~ world-We dry timbre - plays .i key role, but th Pir emotional post·club 9r0-0ves are the re<il s.tar On Cule. in p<1rticul.1r, this mdn1fes1s itselfin four minute.,; of sweetnaturcd, footwork-inspired soft house,

A Pleasure

Moomin

*

Jre<i m House I fH

'E

LE C J DL/l

by mathemarics and his favourite mu>1c1an5, Mark Hurst ha\ tak<'n theirnames and converted them Into drum pattern> onto which he layers bowed cymbals, blowtor\ hC's ~nd compl<'x dl91t<1I syncopat ion.Thus Hurst's tribute to Arthur Ru,;i,11 i> h.iunted by snippets of th <> titulM srar's ghostly voice, with plenty of granu, hulkinq Basic Chiinn ell1ke dub noi>e dnd muted, industrial beats. r

ln~pirC'd

The Brooklyn duo's mf'l~ nrholic

A M inor Thought .fol.A_ • l.Lf CCl/OL1"I

l

Starting hfe as a ' - Hamburg record shop, Smallvillc has e,uned a glob~I r!!putat1on for putting out stylish deep house th dt fo<.u>e> on the organic. analogue end ofthf' market. Sebastian Genz cloesn t veer for from thdt loo)e tem pldte on hb second ~lbum. The Berlin proclucer fold• together qushin g dndlogue >ynth,, fluffy, jdzzy chord' and soft ~huffle percussion. The re.,;ults are suit.1b ly sooth·ng . .>W

MOJO 95


by bassist Nick Blacka and drummer Rob Turner is also a crucial component of the group's alluring sound. Charles Waring

School Of Seven Bells

**** SVIIB FI.ill 11.'E

1-<0~RY.CDIDIJLP

School 's out. Completely.

Field Music

Ulver

Commontime

ATGCLVLSSCAP

****

MHAPHIS INDl.1:-"iRltS

tD,~UlP

Prince's favourite Sunderland duo gets the funk while addressing the ageing process. Field Music's David and Peter Brewis return with a spring in their step on what is quite possibly their strongest album yet. The characteristic dipped harmonies, prog undertone and hints of Genesis and Todd Rundgren are present, but they have never been this linear before. There is a funk snap too: opener The Noisy Days Are Over could be an early-'80s dancenoor filler; Same Name is rubbery In a Gang Of Four way. Most striking is the beautiful, string-suffused The Morning is Waiting, a poignant reflection on the moving on that's inevitable when ageing. The last traditional Field Music album - there have been solo outings, collaborations and the Music For Drifters soundtrack since - was 2012's Plumb. While that was a 35-mlnute state-of-thenation address, the delightful, multi-mood Commontime is just shy of an hour, opens things out and is more ~ personal. This might be the ~ sound of maturing. ~ Kieron Tyler

e

96 MOJO

When SVllB guitarist and co-founding member Benjamin Curtis died from T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma In 2013 aged 35, completion of the fourth and final album they'd written In summer 2012 fell to the duo's other half, Alejandra Deheza. It's an artful and lyrically dense synth-pop LP which she says is ·a love lener from start to finish; the mood more celebratory than bleak as she traces the friendship/ relationship/ friendship arc of her fruitful years with Cunis. A Thousand Times More (indelible melodies, Peter Hook-like bass), and the intricate, swooning Music Takes Me help ensure that SVllB exit on a partposthumous career high, while the exquisite Confusion sees Deheza weigh her loss from within a creeping mist of washed-out synrhs: •we spent so long facing the days together/That I forgot how to be d ifferent from us." James McNalr

***

UOU'ilo Of M~THOlOGY. CDllP

Andrew Carden

***

Curve Of The Earth CAl!OLINE INTERNATIONAL CD/0 lP

Lo ndoners' fifth album, recorded over two years . On the face of it, Curve OfThe Earth is a slice of epic lndle, but it contains subtle and Imaginative sonic detail belying prog and psychedelic influences, with vocal harmonies, guitar loops, sequencers and treated drumbeats punctuating its lush sound, as on Telomere and Bombay Blue. Guitarist Will Rees has said that a feeling pervades the LP f rom Mystery Jets having been together for over a decade. Vocalist and lyricist Blaine Harrison will be particularly reminded of this as his dad, Henry, once played keyboards in the group. Lyrically, he revisits first love on Bubblegum, while on 1985 he was only a •spark in two young starcrossed lovers' eyes·. A sense of growth, impermanence and yearning runs through these songs, culminating in the guitar-driven Taken By The Tide, with its bit tersweet recounting of relationships dissolved by time. Mike Barnes

GospelbeacH

Norwegian avant-rockers' extra-terrestria l epic from hours of on-stage improv. Ostensibly a 'live' album in that it uses ( material from 12 shows recorded in February last year, true to form, Ulver's oddly titled ATGCLVZ..SSCAP stands a few steps removed from any conventional 'in concert ' document. Stepping out of their comfort zone to adopt a more spontaneous and improvised approach for these performances, the resulting recordings were then meticulously spliced and shaped by UK member Daniel O'Sullivan into the 12 tracks that form this sprawling fulilength. Taking in resinous electronic soundscapes, meandering cosmic-prog and the pulsating grooves and cinematic synth-shimmer of classic Krautrock, the continuous forward momentum that informs this set makes for an immersive, head-stretching tour of the spheres. Almost entirely instrumental apart from the occasional detour into Floyd-like orbits, this is yet another bold statement from this ever-changing and challenging group.

Mystery Jets

***

Marlon Williams

Pacific Surf Line AllVt C01Dl'

GoGo Penguin

*** Man Made Object 81.

~OH

CO DL l

Major label debut from rising UK j azz t io. Together with Matthew Halsall and Nat Birchall, GoGo Penguin are proving that Manchester has become a fertile breeding ground for exciting cutting-edge British jazz. While Halsall and Birchall have adopted a modal-based sp iritual approach, GoGo Penguin - ostensibly an acoustic trio - paradoxically take their Inspiration from contemporary electronic music. After turning heads with their superlative Mercury Music Prize-nominated v2.0 in 2013, they've signed to Blue Note and deliver a potent debut for the legendary jazz label that juxtaposes pastoral lyricism with urban angst. Chris lllingworth's elegant piano work - etching filmic narratives via sweeping, anthemic melodies - is central to the group's aesthetic but the injection of visceral power

r

****

Marlon Williams

Should have -been supergroup's album debut .

DEAD OCEAN5 CD OL

Award s-swathed young New Zealander 's rootsy de but

It's a good bet that various members of GospelbeacH . are surfers, dreamers, coastal-dwellers and fans of mellow 70s country rock, Grateful Dead, The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Mother Hips. They sound like the kind of musicians who can plug in and go - which being members of Beachwood Sparks and The Tyde p lus Nelson Bragg (Brian Wilson) and Neal Casal (Ryan Adams; Chris Robinson) makes sense. There's an easy-going raggedness; they sound like they're having fun. Songs range from brisk and breezy (delightful California Steamer) through cowpunk (Mick Jones) and what could pass for a Lou Reed demo (Out Of My Mind), to bittersweet ballads (Your Freedom, with its early Eagles tempo and perfectly imperfect harmonies; Southern Girl, dreamy pop with jagged guitar). An album that makes you want to drive to the ocean and watch the sun go down.

His dad was an industrial punk musician but Marlon Williams' muse _ _ _ _ _ was moulded more by the Elvis, The Band and Gram Parsons CDs at home; so too choir activities in h is Maori upbringing. Roots have been crucial to Williams; three years fronting the country-flecked The Unfaithful Ways, then three collaborative albums as Sad But True: The Secret History Of Coun try Mu sic Songwritlng. And now a solo de but with an encyclopaedic range, typified by Its three covers: Billy Fury's 1965 melodrama I'm Lost Without You, Bob Carpenter's Silent Passage, and the trad folkgothic When I Was A Young Girl, learnt from Barbara Dane, which he inhabits w ith shivery, Appalachian androgyny. His originals roam from hillbilly prairie twang to country Byrds swing, while on lonely-soulful Everyone's Got Something To Say, he is joined by a choi r.

Sylvie Simmons

Mortin Aston

ll


8Y ANDREW MAlE

Ono

****

Yes, I'm A Witch Too MANIMAt. CO!Ol/LP

A second helping of Yoko rem ixes e qual s the 2007 ori ginal. 2007 's Yes, I'm A Witch was a great idea that worked: a fashionable cast headed by Peaches, The Flaming Lips and Antony were invited to reim ag lne material from Ono's catalogue, its collaborative method entirely in keeping wlth her Fluxus-lnspired 'living art' modus operandi. This repeat performance from marginally less familiar names might seem like a poor substitute for a new project. Happily, it's not . After opener Walking On Thin Ice, now an al l-new beat-less lament g iven cinematic sparkle by New York DJ Danny Tenaglia, the fun really begins. Sparks perform an impressi ve costume change on Give Me Something, turn ing cu rt cold-wave into a 1974style th eatrical epic. Sean Lennon gives a noirish edge to Dogtown. Best of all is Catman, where Swedish remix grapefrults Miike Snow remake Yoko as a cartoonvoiced, jump-cut cosplay queen from Tokyo's Electric City. Well, why wouldn't you?

Mark Paytress

Andrew Weatherall

****

Convenanza ROTTERS GOLF CUJS. COIOLllP Wande ri ngpos~punkand

alt- dancefloor grooves from a genuine maverick . Three d ecades of pioneering, single- minded contrl bu tion s to music have earned Weatherall the sobriquet 'The Guv'nor'. Convenanza is billed as a solo album, although much results from Weatherall's on-going collaboration w ith Nina Walsh, whom he records with as Woodleigh Research Facility. True to Guv'nor-ish

form, there's a pleasing, ad hoe nature to these looselimbed grooves. Antecedents are t he funk-fuelled posi-punk of ACR and 23 Skidoo; a contemporary equivalent is DJ Harvey's Balearic alt-disco. With echoes of Casbah-era Clash, The Confidence Man's lost bassline wanders hither and thither, Weatherall's voice, all ghostly and drenched In echo, searching for a dance hall to haunt, while the twinkly, electro lullaby of Thi rteenth Night is redolent of the Scream 's Weatherall-produced Shine Like Stars. As he says at the start, "I appear to have got in with the wrong crowd." Thank God for that ...

Stephen Worthy

Guadalupe Plata

****

Guadalupe Plata EVERLASTING. CO/Ol/LP

Explosive desert blues from llbeda, southern Spain. This primordially rockin' trio should by rights do for t he dust y Andalusian interior what Tinariwen and Songhoy Blues have done for Mali. Ubeda - backd rop, apparently, for numerous spaghetti westerns - is rich in Romany, Sephardic and Moorish musical traditions, all of which are laced through Guadalupe Plata's potent Ur-blues gumbo. Their debut album's tense opening instrumental, Tormenta, ushers in a fabulously exciting, amp-burning sound, which, though recorded at Liam Watson's Toe Rag, fully evokes their parched native landscape. When 'el Jefe', guitarsli nging Pedro de Dios Barcel6, f lexes his yelp, you're inescapably reminded of Surfer Rosaera Pixies (Calle 24 all but bursts into Tony's Theme), but thereafter they stretch out into supercharged Screaming Blue Messiahs Jams, soothed only

by Agua Turbia's spooky nod to t heir indigenous duende rituals. Culturally rich, and instantly ident ifiable as excellent, thi s one's an extrahot essential.

Andrew Perry

Martyn Joseph

***

Sanctuary PiPLCO/OL

Messages of hope from an overlooked song-craftsman. Martyn Joseph has been under the radar for so long, you can on ly assume the radar is a fool. His i ntelligent, en lightened songs are both energising and provocative, with strong melodies, confident delivery and solid arrangements that enhance Joseph'sjourney from subtle tenderness to growly indignation. Ben Wisch has produced an album of g reat warmth and humanity amid arresti ng stories that reflect thoughtfully on a variety of topics ... Bobby Kennedy, Guatemala, libera· tion, salvation, faith and mothers included. All this, infect ious sing-along choruses and, amid p lentiful Biblical imagery, optimism and hope, notably on the poetic The Luxury Of Despair (•If the cockerel crowed what would I deny? I'd hope any t yranny that met my eye"). A Welsh national treasure... if only people knew it.

Colin Irwin

J6hannJ6hannsson

••

Sicar10

E E A"A ;At.t

COIOllLJ

End Of Summer NI

IE E CUl'll lP

Two soundt1ac.k5, one for liollywood, one for himself, from the mit1imalist lcelandlc composer. AFTER HIGH profile scores for Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners and the St ephen Hawking biopic The Th eory Of Everything, another score with VillC'ncuvC', for Mexican drug cart<'I thrill('r Sici!rio. Brooding, delibe rilte and tense, S1cano is J6hannsso n at his most industrial, both in terms of unsettling electro-acoustic heav iness and efficieot machine-made product. On a sm alle1, more pcr;onc1I ~calt', End Of Summer is cl plaintive blend of vnitC'\, synthesizer. cello and Antarctic field recordings. made with Chicago multi-instrumentalist Robert AA Lowe and Icelandic v ocalist/cellist Hild ur Gu()nad6ttir for Johann~son·~ l.Jlat k-and-whrte Super 8 of an Ant3rct ic summer. As warm arid envelop ing as Sic ario is cold. yet both reveal a compo ser at the height of his exq uisite pow ers.

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Wild Nothing

Masahiko Sato

Ennio Morricone

***Of Pause Life

Belladonna Of Sadnc8s

***

The Ha toful Eight

BELLA UNION. CO/Ol/LP

Third and best full album by a consumptive-sounding, Anglophi le Virginian. The in fluence of m id-'BOs UK pop on mid'1Os US in die bears more fruit as Jack Tatum's th in, doleful pipes - think McCarthy's Malcolm Eden - stir vulnerabil ity in to Wild Nothing's strengthening mix of dreamy drift, g lossy pop shimmy and occasional stab of ultra-white synth-R&B. The DIY cover of Kate Bush's CloudbuSting that first brought him t o wider attention still defines the vintage of Tatum's soundworld - the heady Japanese Alice is like Wire's Outdoor Miner was on Creation in 1987; reverby, Cocteaus-like shi mmers are never far away while TV Queen suggeSts a charming pre-Grindr fixation on unreachable objects of desire. Thi s is diaphanous pop music- perhaps overly flimsy on occasion - but full of sparkle and more variegated than before. One ques tion remains: with a charismatic handle like Jack Tatum, why the so-bland band name?

~;El

-

CO/OlllP

Libcrated from over-priced record fa1rllmbo by the good knights at Finc:iers l<eepers, this is i) dizzying no-rules love-in of d<'<'P organ dron<'s, ~u9ary J·pop. w~rpcd acid-M1k sjazz, glfl group fr<'.1k-offs, f\lzzC'd·up horn funk and Lalo Schifrin rhosc i~m; compo",•d l:ly Ma>dh1ko 10 and then-w fe Chinabu Ndkd)ldmd. it Wd' m•de fol Eiichi Ydmdmoto', notoriou' 1973 p; yd 1edelic •pink• animt!. concern' n9 witchcr~ft. plaque, and o phallus-shaped spirit-a n·mat

s..

Kurt Stenzel

*x * Joaorow sky's Dune INEWAX CO/OLILP

Composed for Frank i'av1ch's 20 14 documC'ntilry ahout the Chile.in dirl't tor'> ill-fated attempts to film Frank Herll~rt's 900-pJge sci-f i sJga, this r li:>( tromc score' by form er Qut'ens punk musin an and analogue synth nut Kurt Stenzel homdge> Tongerm<: Dream, Alain Gordquer. <1nd Clust<:r, lenclin9 the doc a primal magnetic pulse entirely i n kPPpi ng with Jodorow $ky'5 doomrd psych edel ic vision. .,1_,

**

If

A CD/Ol/ll'

Th ere are few .....,~ plec1~ure> to be found 1n Quentin t,1rant1no·~ thrl'e;: hour snow -bounri w1"t<!tn, l>ut one ;, it> remdrkable soundtrack. Comoining a n0w thr me with II Muestro's original (unust>d I otchestral >Core for John Carpenter'~ own 1982 snowbound (~d-fiJ W<''.tl'rn. Th" Thing, the result Is a thematically complex neo-rom•ntk n<>rr• tive of wit. tension dnd sWE!E!p .

41

Ryuichi Sakamoto And Alva Noto

*

The Revcnant Mlll\N .,,U I CO/Dl1I P

Followmg thP uutstandin<1and <!ffet l ive ' ulo drum ~core for 20 15'• !lirdman. Aleja ndro Gonzalez lntirrito enl'sts longterm tOlldllordturs Ryuit h• Sakamoto and Alva Noto for the <urv1vali<t WC'<tern, ihP Reven.1nt. Usually 11depL'll m">hlny >U!.l-1onk sine w.ives with Jttenudt!!d >lrin91, h!!re ~ak;i motn and Noto work w ith The Nat ional\ Bryce Dessner on a rich formal s~ore or chamber meldntholy .-ind el& tronit disqu11't.AM

Danny Eccleston

MOJO 97


Elsewhere, lazy flamenco and Moroccan flourishes. Bonkers. Lovely. Glyn Brown

Sidestepper ~

-

----

**** Supernatural Love

R<Al woq1 0 co OL LP

The first best album of summer 2016.

Basia Bulat

**

Good Advice Erqfr or .

o"

L•

Ca nadian singer joins Jim James in Kentucky to make break-up album. There are no rules about what comprises a break· up album, bar, well, the artist having a break-up and penning a song or t wo to say they're a bit cut up. But Basia Bulat really means it - wall·to·wall, wail-to-wail break-up, all 10 tracks: "Oh calm hourglass... This love cannot last• (Someday Soon); "I'm running blind/ Into the arms of your good· bye" (Long Goodbye). Given her three previous albums of atty-folk and producer Jim James's quirky country approach with My Morning Jacket, she ventilates u nexpectedly via twisted 'SOs pop. She bounces and bops through the anguish amid a rather monotonous big sound, domi· nated by organ pulses and sustains. Emotions unemoted can work, but Good Advice feels too disciplined/ stylised. By contrast, penultimate track The Garden slows to shimmer and ruminate around James's heart-and-sou l sax. Phil Sutcliffe

Linda Gail Lewis

****

Hard Rockin' Woman! LANARI<. CO/Ol

E1eplos1ve follow up to 201S's

Gas Station Flowers.

.,

~ ~

~

~

Recorded live over three days in Lanark Stu· dios, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with producer Quentin Jones and a aackin'

98 MOJO

band including Danny B. Harvey on guitar, Hard Rackin' Woman captures Linda Gail Lewis pumping the piano on a series of boogies in the style of her more famous brother Jerry Lee. While no one plays piano quite like The Killer, his younger sister gets very close, especially on the title track and a cover of Jerry's Rockln' My Life Away. A thumpin' reading of This Train provides another highlight, the familial push· pull of good and evil adding a feverish thrl ll and intensity. Lewis isn't bound by the rockabilly gospel, though, and on the Jones-penned Spell Bound, Lewis swaps her cowboy boots for a prom dress, delivering delicious love-sick pop that could have come straight out of the Brill Building. Lois Wilson

Honeydripper and the throwback (lanky Love rubbing shoulders with quasi-profound piano ballads Ophelia and Love's A Lonely Town that lay bare a full-on Rufus Wainwright fascination. This magpie assemblage is smoothed over by a cunning mix, where shuffling percussion evokes the g litchy tricks of the mod· ern Los Angeles beat scene. Andy Cowan

** The Ashen Tang 37 ADVlN'\JRES. COIOl LP

Wonky retro- modern soul jams from the genre bending London p roducer and songwriter. Royce Wood Junior is unafraid to wear his influences on his sleeve. The London songwriter/producer, al ready refashioning British pop via backroom work with Jamie Woon, Kwabs, Jono McCleery, Rosie Lowe and Denai Moore, borrows more than a sonic trick or two from Prince, D'Angelo and Stevie Wonder on his debut, even stealing the last·named's patented synths, handclaps and drums whole· sale. Fortunately, he has the songs to back it up, treacly electro soul jams such as

Josephine Foster

* **

No More Lamps In The Morning FIRE CO'Ol/IP

Once more, wyrd folkster Foster delightedly defies convention.

Dion Royce Wood Junior

out a nod to the blues: his take on lighrnin' Hopkins' Katie Mae is, all at once, somehow raw, slick, nasty and smooth. JeffTamarkin

****

New York Is My Home f11E Of<CHAAD C' 01

At 76, Rock and Roll Hall o f Farner is as vita l as ever. Nearly six decades after his first hit, Dion DiMucci's real· deal voice having lost absolutely nothing, the King of the Bronx teams here with pro· ducer/ multl-instru men tallst Jimmy Vivino on 1Onew tracks, all bu t two of them co-written by Dion. The one that's getting most of the buzz is the title track, and rightfully so. A duet with Paul Simon, It's filled not so much with nostal· gic pining as eternal love: for the p lace, the attitude and the sense of belonging the city offers. Burrowing down into specifics, the Chuck Berry· esque The Apollo King is Dion's homage to first hearing saJCOphonist Big Al Sears at the local temple of R&B, while Visionary Heart could've been a lost Doc Po mus composition. And it wouldn't be Dion with·

Listening to Josephine Foster sing, in her slooow and deliberate way, you might take this to be the stranger sister of Mary Margaret O' Hara crossed with Tiny Tim; an eldritch but determined voice, not unlike Vashti Bunyan, or Grandma Walton drunk. But Coloradobased Foster is young and looks like a hip Virginia Wool f. As an adolescent she worked as a funeral and wedding sl nger; now she delivers twisted, nostalgic jazz, flanked by her Spanish husband's eerie Portuguese guitar, its dissonant notes bending and qua· vering, her own sepia croon trembling sometimes like a saw, sometimes a harmonium. That this outlandish delivery is so touching is a t ribute to the phrasing's creaking, fragile charm. Two tracks here are poems set to music, one by James Joyce and, more affecting, Rudyard Kipling's transformed Blue Roses.

Long-time resident in Colombia, Richard Blal r has spent two decades exploring the links between traditional cumbia (he moved to South America after working with Tot6 La Momposlna, queen of that genre) and the drum'n'bass and trip-hop he left behind. He has come up trumps on his band's fifth album, however, by stripping out the electronics that made Sidestepper such an innova· tive force In Bogota and concentrating on the roots - percussion with a heavy, spiritual vibe - then adding dreamy guitars, spooky flutes and a bit of whistling. Unsur· prisingly, there is a great Caribbean groove throughout, from the relentless, hip· shaking choral opener, Fuego Que Te Llama, through the more mellow moods. right to the kalimba and call-and · response vocals on Celestial. Lovers of their earlier electro· cumbia won't be disappointed, but nor will reggae fans o r Garifuna aficionados. David Hutchean

Bonnie Raitt

****

Dig In Deep Rf[)',\ NC.. C0'0L LP

Ol d -fashioned g irl, old· fashioned slide g uitar... and t he blues spirit moving her Set aside that immottal slide and, 45 years in, a good Bonnie Raitt album gets hot because of the sheer meat· and·two-veg muscle of her funking, boogieing, bluesloving soul, her dyed-in-the· bloodstream band playing as one - one muso·athlete, that is, every sinew in harmony. Then, down in the grooves, the difference is how she delivers int elligence and sensuality like she never saw a line between them. So the Raitt co-written Unintended Consequence Of Love is all tang led sheets ("was all we could do to get out of bed ' ), and she's a louche cannon around INXS's sweat· soaked Need You Tonight. But she writes/ chooses other songs where it's the thinking that's hard, like her own Undone ("There's a sword at the tip of my tongue") or Joe Henry's You've Changed My Mind ("You've waited as still/ As the stone of my will"). Phil Sutcliffe


BY COLIN

Promise & The Monster

***

Feed The Fire SflLA lJNION. CD/Ol/LP

Sp11cey Swedish 11tmospherics give Lana Del Rey a run for her money, The wraith-like Feed The Fire is the third album from Sweden's Biiiie lindhal aka Promise & The Monster, but the first to be issued internationally. The fact that Its predecessors were released by Imperial, the label most notable for having Jose Gonza lez on its books, cannot be taken as a heads-up on where lindhal Is com ing from. She is no folk-derived singer· songwriter. Feed The Fire t akes Lana Del Rey to a spacey summit meeting with the Lee Hazlewood of Summer Wine after a conference call with Sweden's own Concretes. Rather than being a Zombies cover, Time Of The Season meshes spaghetti western guitar with a galloping swiftness paralleling the out-ofcontrol moments before a splashdown in ice-cold water. Slow And Quiet and album doser Fine Horseman take the pace down, melding this tactic to a Knife-like jltteriness.

Kleron Tyler

Snowboy & The Latin Section

*** New York Afternoon

SNOWBOY. CD/DLILP

No evidence of l6th album blues here from superior percussionist.

Hard to believe that it is 30 ~ years since DJ, writer and - ~.,,.. broadcaster • ;.Mark Cotgrove made h is first record under the nom de percussion Snowboy. Cotgrove's playing has always

·-

' I

--

had a tremendously fluid, intuitive feel, which has led to him appearing at sessions by artists such as Lisa Stansfield, Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse, Deodato and Air to Moreira. More importantly, he is the leader of one of Europe's leading Afro-Cuban jazz outfits and his sixteenth album, New York Afternoon, is a warm capture of his work. For all the fine instrumentals here (Hammond player Neil Angilley's Cala Escarpada is real highlight), the album sparkles when showcasing its vocalists: Richie Cole and Eddie Jefferson's t itle track is brought to life by Balt imore house/neo-soul singer Marc Evans, while Better and Oxen Free are delivered with elan by Boston-based vocalist Jen Kearney.

Daryl Eosleo

Andy Summers

***

Metal Dog ANDY 'iUMMOIS MUSIC CO

Ex-Police maestro's 13th solo ••• a creative life in which the switc.h never flips to 'off', Instrumentals written for a dance company, though no terpsichore actually transpired, Summers' Venice Beach homerecorded debut self-release is described by its author as "open" because it has no voices and lyrics to impose "meaning•... nor to demand atten· tion one might add, given how readily classical buffs deploy Bach's or Mahler's finest as background music. Still, his spiky guitar approach offers lit tle to encourage listener ease. The title t rack sets a hard-hitting heavy-industry tone.• all metal-hammering guitar, hydraulic hiss and lurch ing machine rhythms, augmented by Harmonograph's clashing chords and the brutality of Vortex Street's Twinkle Twinkle Little Star cutenessmeets-Depeche Mode's factory floor. But nearly every track t hrows curves and

IRWIN

swerves at you, new rhythms, new tones, new tunes, new textures, when choruses and middle eights might ordinarily be coming back around. Salt and vinegar? You got it. Phil Sutcl/ffe

Mavis Staples

***

Livin' On A High Note ANTL CO/Dl/lP

M Ward produced fifth for Anti; songs by musician fans. Mavis's last two albums, 2010's

You Are Not Alone and 2013's One True Vine, are among her finest, producer Jeff Tweedy capturing her passionate vocal on social justice and gospel cries in the intimacy of his Chicago Loft studio. At the instigation of her label, though, it's all change for her fifth for Anti. M Ward takes on production, recording is spread between LA, Chicago and the Agoura Hills, CA with guests Valerie June and Trombone Shorty, and Mavis tries to stamp authority on songs w ritten by Ward's musician pals. Benjamin Booker's Take Us Back places her in a rock'n'soul setting, her vocal tough, almost Tina Turner- like; Ben Harper's Love And Trust is pure country soul; M Ward's MLK Song is plaintive, heart st irring. They're not all g reat though - neither the Charity Rose or Nick Cave contribu tions hit the spot.

Yorkston/Thome/Khan

*Everything •• Sacred MIN

James Yorkston, New Delhi sarangi player/singe Suh<ul "usuf Khan .tnd l.ambbasslst •on ,.hor'le WE OFTEN bemoan the lack of daring among the young in modem folk ~ong. Thi-' unlikely trio o f Yo rk\ ton, Khdn dnd Tho rnt> fearlessly address that a nomaly w ith mesmerising "Scottish-lrishlnclidn-Englh h mu~ic i n the raw " wh ich spit~ in the f<1ce o f 'nnrmal' genre dass1ficat1ons. The long opening p iece Knockentanz g ract-fully intrvduce5 us to the unfamilii.n but effec tive blend of sarangi. bass and guitar that, w it h occasionally rhyt hmic explosions. leads an id io>yncratic path to Khan's beautifully spiritual voice. With clear relish, Yorks ton and Thorne guide h im into ever more mystcriou~ outposts of iJ mu sica l hinterland that involves lvor Cutlers delicious Little !llack Buzzer and Lal W<1tcrson's fraqile cla ssic Song ForThirza amid ;i broad-runginq meander through their influences and trad itions. Enlightened and chall enging ... an Incredible String Band for a b rave new w orld. · -----~------------------------------------------------·

ALSO RELEASED

Lois Wilson

Jeff Wootton

***

The Way The Light SYMPATHY FOR VINYL. OL/LP

He's got an effects rack and he's gonna use it. Pictured on his debut solo album posing with his Fender Jaguar all a-shiver, Gorillaz guitarist Jeff Wootton helpfully reveals most of what we need to know: he kerrangs dead-centre In that lineage of guitar rock starting with surf dudes like Dick Dale through such six-stringed psych showstoppers as Jeff Beck's Bolero and Jimi Hendrix's Third Stone From The Sun, cont inuing via Robert Fripp's geekily rip· roaring cameos to Television/ Tom Verlaine and the Eno· produced U2, then returning to its valve-blowing roots wit h such as Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr and My Bloody Valentine. Squarely within this bombasti· cally atmospheric tradition Wootton strums up a storm. Seldom deviating from solid rock rhythm, the multi-inst rument alist Mancunian moans along sepulch rally from time to time (every track Is titled as if a lost Joy Division song) but the guitar's the star. Mat Snow

c.,.,....,._..

CO/Ol lr

Fay Hield & The Hurricane Party

*

T COIDL

~~~... Fay Hield is one of

fulk rnu;k'; mo>t pre-em nent modC'rn voi(('~ and this confiCJent. trdditiondl dlbum underline> her r urr<'nt lofty •tatus. Ii hdp1. of COUf'(', to haVC? the OU{Stijndrng Sam Sweeney, Rob Harbron. Roger Wiison, Ben Nichulls. Toby Kearney, Jon Boden a nd Martin Slrnp1on hadting her, l)Ut her yift for unearthing lolourful mat ..rial <1ntl then delivering It with both swagger and soul is compelling.

Show Of Hands

***

The Long \"lay Home 1-1-'N

NMU:I COIOL

A sli<Jht deviation for SOH d' they . . vcmtore beyond the • • p<'n of 5tCVC' .. . ~ Kniqhtley to incorporate mdterial by Chn~ Hoban, Andrew Cad1e. DKk G~ughon ond 6rian M( Ne1I, with Phil Beer singing lead on a couple of trock' and gue>t ; lob from Jacki!' Oat!'s. Phillip Henry, H.innah Martin and Ange H~rd y. The Kni!Jhtley fat tor is ,till croddl. thou gh• .snd he\ come up w ith 3nother song-along classic •n Walk Wlth Me.

1

*

The Longing Ktnd

Old Adam UN

Maz O'Connor

~· ' . -~

i< E TLE

If~

CDIU•

It's a brave leap for Maz O'Connor from ptlmarily traditionrouted m<1teridl tu " wholly ~elf-written album. · For this album I clidn't want to hide behind h storical disasters and mythological bl'nsts at th<' expense of my own expenence·. she ~ays. Brdve mov!', and, while hrr 1in9mg impruves and the inherent md;inchol 1a of llllly Wutt:>rs and Emma h per;ud;ive. rt rel<e> ht'oV•ly on Jim Moray"< production and l ively arr.ingernents.

Various

*Songs C)f * Sep?.rat1on N

'IG.

Cll/Dl

orok('n-hrart<'d I If ther<' arc wrist s to be cutting. this ~hould do nicely. Its ~avmg grace s a beauty ~nd eh:!!Jdn~e built from pitching 1omt> nf th P flnc><;t >onger; of the d•y (Karine PolW<lrt, Eliza Carthy. Hann,1h !lead among them) with hc~rt­ wr!!nthing ~ong> >Ut h d; Poor MJn·~ L~ment;itlon Jnd Erho Mar~ The Corncrake on a remote Hebri dean i sl~ nd ,,nd IC'avin9 them to grt on w ith it. Co llabordlively, spiritually dnd musically.• , it w orks superbly. Cl

i "'

t;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;l s

MOJO 99


Bleeding Heart Pigeons

Ryan Culwell

*** Flatlands

Jordan Klassen

Kula Shaker

Lissie

Javelin

K2 .0

MyWildWest

Is

llC.rl 1NINC> ROD CO/Ol

NEYAOO MUSIC. co:oL

~TllA"I C,[fQI

VIRGIN CO/OL/LP

This Texan's debut has been compared with Springsteen's Nebraska. His sparse acoustic songs are indeed evocative of a w indswept pan handle whose scoured psycho -geography shapes his characters with dirt, b lood, spi ritual foreboding, JB

Vancouver-based folk-popster Klassen shares John Grant's Canadian record label and also his flair for immaculate, multilayered song craft. Much Sufjan -like purity to like here, though a little more g rit or humour would be nice. JB

TWenty years after their debut K, only the opening and closing tracks reflect Crlspian Mills and co's Indian-tinged indie past as psych-lite gives way to chunkier rock'n'roll. Capable, often catchy, but the 'Shaker fail to truly stir. PS

Former folkie lissie fizzes with blonde ambition. Vocally a mix of Stevie Nicks and Paula Frazer, Ussie targets the LA mainstream for all her "living on the edge•. Of the 12 heatseeking tunes, Daughters sounds the best bet. MS

Dan Sartain

Leland Sundries

****

Daft name, but the l imerick trio serve-up an intriguing mix ofindie pop and woozy soundscapes. With immediate gems and shrouded shades, their debut proves an enticing and often surprising affair. PS

***

**

K. COIOL/LP

***

COOKING VINYL CO/Ol/LP

••

Mass Gothic

Nap Eyes

Porches

Mass Gothic

Thought Rock Fish Scale

Pool

**** Century Plaza

Music For Outcasts

DOMINO. CO/Ol/LP

ONE LITTLE INDIAN. CD/OLILP

~ ECHIQUIE!l

New Yorker Aaron Maine puts a foot onto the danceftoor for his second Porches LP (and first for Domino). Experimental pop that feels for the warm electronic pulse of'BOs futurism, as blueprinted by the likes of Peter Gabriel's So. JB

Rockabilly-schooled Sartain left the garage several LPs ago and here he mines the skulking electro-punk of Suicide and Depeche Mode's sleazy synth overtures, including a creepy crawl reworking of his own Walk Among The Cobras. JB

Pleasing alias of (another) Brooklyn band led by Nick Eaton·loss. who aim for the scrappy yet ingenuous rock poetry of Jonathan Richman or Ian Oury and sometimes land right on It (Radiator Sabotage). with just an occasional miss. JB

***

SUB i'OP. CO/OL/LP/MC

More euphoric indie fits and starts from Hooray For Earth's Noel Heroux. Nice Night splices Wllco's Radio Cure with Animal Collective's twisted disco and a clamorous arrangement. Else· where edgy beats and encoded melodies peak and fade. JB

****

PARADISE Of BAOIELORS. CO/DL/LP

It's almost a relief to hear the stoical guitars-bass-drums simplicity of t his quartet from Pictou, Nova Scotia. Concise, understated alt rock with cryptic, literate lyrics for Go Betweens/ Bill Callahan fans. JB '.

. ..• .

***

***

CD/DL/LP/MC

.

"l :J MVNS

Miss Red Murder

Sunflower Bean

***

Human Ceremony FAT POSSUM CD/Ol/LP

Embodying the Platonic ideal of Brooklyn buzz bands, this trio nail the drifty euphoric highs of current modern indie on a de but ringing with fuzzed-up melodic sweetness. Alluring , if more cold brewed latte than electric kool aid. JB

Cristobal Tapia De Veer

**

Humans ~ILVA

SCREEN C0f0L

Compared to his work on C4's Utopia, this new TV soundtrack by the Chilean composer is a bit of a let down. Shimmering electronic waves and rippling beats conjure dystoplan dread but fail to excite. AM

,........

fter completing her obliga tory mili l<1ry service, l~raell MC Miss Red reunited with Kevin Mclrtin, a ka acid-ragga noiseni k The Bug, wit h whom she'd cu t an impromptu 7-inch after a Haifa rave a couple of years before. Now she drops her debut mix tape, a suite of maverick future.dancehall, and while production from Mart in and a coterie of like avant-beatmakers keeps things electrif i ed, th ere's no mi staking t hat M iss Red is in chargP. Juggling menacing Space lnv<1der; low-end With pneumatic rhythms and Miss fled chdnting like a postapoca lyptic Sister Nancy, No Gun s is a highlig h t, with fierce speaker-brulsi ng mayhem maintained throughout.

A

l(wWW miss- fed cam)

Witchcraft

**** Nucleus

Wray

****

Hypatia

NUCLEAR BI.AST. CD/OL/LP

COMMUNICATING VESSELS. CO/OL/LP

Lauded by both Elijah Wood and Phil Anselmo, Swedish psych-doom crew return with t heir fift h and most impressive LP to date. Tull vibes inform The Outcast, while Sabs fans will nod sagely at the seismic riffs on offer throughout. PA

Named after a doomed female scholar of Greek antiquity, another woman of uncommon brilliance, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, looms over a thrilling LP of rhythmic guitar whir and cool vocal detachment (though the Alabama trio are male). JB

100 MOJO

•• ••

• :• •• • ••• • ••• •• •• •

SC

The Beatles Come Together The Falls finallywent streaming overChristmas 2015, allowingnonhoarders to clear ttieir 'Onosideboard" of CDs. Abbey Rood's opening track was the most accessed song.

Jack White &The Bricks Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground live, proto-WhiteStripes music released via Jack's The Vault subscription service. Hear dips via Third Man's SoundCloud.

.................-........................, .........,,................................-.... ......,.............................................................--.........................__,,......-......................................._


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PROPER MUSIC


ower Compendious new dream-pop collection demands a rethink of shoe-business. By Victoria Segal.

Various

**** Still In A Dream: A Story Of Shoegaze 1988-1995 CHERRY A[D. CO

y 1991, Blnr \Ve re in o precarious

B

state. A yea r a\vay fron1 the Britpop lifebelt ofA,fodcrn L_ifo ls Rubbish, they \Ve re still socially - if not stvlistically , . - affiliated to The Scene i ·hat Celehr.1tes Itself, ,1 collection o f bands '''ho gathe red Jt n1odish Lo nJon nite-spol Syn<ln1111e a n<l provi<le<l \\·eekl)· indie-intrig ue fo r the n1usic pres~. One faintly clisn1issive lahel \o\'asn't enough, though: these bands \1·ere largely al~o 'shoegazers', .i reference to the.ir dov1•ncast eyes as the~· negotiated their guitar pedals. The 1vily Da n1o n Alharn, \vho had alreadv , launched a defensive at tack on conte n1porary in<lie vvith Popscene, that Ma rch's brassy snl·cr of a sing le , kne\1 \1 hich 1vay the vvi nd " 'as blo1ving. '"vVe -.vere never rea lly part of the scene," he told Me lody Maker that Scptc1nbcr, c n1phatically kcepi ng his distance. "Bands like Chapterhouse, Ri<le and Slo\vdivc had a \vonderfu l pubc~ccnt guality. But tht:y \lvere sort o f '"fhe End Of ln<lie'. .A. c uhnination. It had no\o\:here e lse to go." He;- had a point. One;- lonk at the titles of H..id e's output is e nough to suggest that shocgazing didn't do lor1v;ird n101n e ntu1n. Today Forever. Vapo ur Trails. No,vhcrc, Going Blank Again. /·\!barn \Vasn't the H.rst pe r~on to put the boot in, eithe r: Ri c hey Ed\vards la ncled a n ea rly punch by c laiming the Ma nic Street Preache rs hated quintessential ·rbames Valley drca1ncrs Slo1vdivc " n1nrc than lclitle r", \vhi le reviC\\'S had bccon1e inc reasingly savage. T hese bands \Vere asexual, apolitical, iatrospective, their "pubescent quality" eguated 1vith stude nty sol ips isn1 . Late r, they 1vere a sn1all sigh of \VJtery ennui in •' ACK STORY: the face of grunge's inC"on1ing tidal .. OLL'Eft COASl'ER 1v<1ve of c1no tio n, o r a psychedelic • ifhe Jhu> And Mary dead-end next to Rritpop's l~io' . 1990!1Jd n1ait1strean1 o utreach. Shoegazing Hr>ll~rc_o_ostrr !liV' 111 1-, 1.11t1f 1~ rhe l1·d•te ;nd' quickly became one of the 1nost p~c~.i9r tour''' 1"9? rh~1 reviled ge nres o f the past 25 yea rs, ll11~ed l1~e a 1u 1mi1 f a pretty blip that didn't have lhe ~l1oeg~tin9 ir1tluence1 an -p.rim~ move~: the ~~i heft to n1a.kL• ;i culturJl irnpact. b!Othf{~. p1omoti'n9 !heir But it 'vvasn't quite that sin1ple. 'l/rtnrf'', Oead: llmos•ufJr, from 2002 , 1·vhcn German label wi1h fou<th lP Grt\'J• ·;,iti• iiu~ ~11 Bloody V~lrn!int Nlorr Music re leased Slo1vd ive :~~l'.!!1~ ewndL~ !c1·drs! tribute LP Blue Skied Jin' Clear. the hdd •4lfij thf bound~11~i shoegazing revival has persistently ilftbe s~~n~ \ht) ti.ut THilreil tn cre.ite Blur were bubbled unde r. The re ha~ been rl!er.r)'Joil;·l•19el1 }tell ill nu-gaze, nietal-gazc, regular articles 11ifd iinei iiitt;de1phe their proclainting shoeg,11,ing's return. In .pld(dn tlte Scent hdt {•leb11tt1 l~•lf II WI\, 2013, }.il) Blood y Valentine released ,,;;.;,emiiertd rm·R~1d, ..~ their first LP since 199 l's Lo1'eless di<l 6/ni pet i~i·r·~ .u.1• with as niuch to d estroy shoega1ing as i1nexp~n•d Winners l 988's Isn't llnyrhin11 had done to 1

~

.J-- : '•.

104 MOJO

1

KEY TRACKS • The Jesus And Mary Chain- Rollercoaster • Cocteau Twins Cherry-Coloured Funk • lush - De-luxe • Slowdlve - Slowdive • Ride - Drive Blind

I

I

I

'

inspirl· it. Jn the p<1st 18 n1011ths, the pace has quic kened, Slo\\·divt', Ride, then Lush all returning, ripe for re-evaluation. The acth ity no1v finds a hub \vith t hi:; c:-.-pansivc llvc:disc set, a collectio n that slri ves lo prove shoeg.r1.ing \vasn't the insul.1r, " hc llo-birds-he llo-s!...1" scene of legend. It pulls o ut its focus a~ far as it can , dra\l'ing in ai. n1uch 111u~ic at' po.,;sible, despc1-.1te to pro'e shocgazing \·Vas a broad church (or sonk· c:athetlt·a l). It includt·s Tht> Flan1ing Lip~ and Mertury Rev, Bardo Pond and Sccfccl, J S 'veil as a l'aft of second a nd third ratc rs. Yet for anyont' blooded on the t>arly-'90s 1nusic prcsli, shoegazi ng's dcfu1ition is clear: postudolcsce nt, post-M~' Bloody Vale ntine, hooped jumper:-, bn\vl t·uts, ly rics about falling ur 111a)'h t: flying, all the:- focus of the se<"ond disc. Ri<le's Drive Blind is hc..•re, shu\ving 1vhy Robert Sn1 ith loved them so. S](J\1·clive appear \Vith Slo\vdi ve (no solipsisrn there). There's Lush, \\'hose sensually direct De-Luxe stands o ut a mile, and Cbapterhouse'~ indie-d ance gallop, FaUi11g Oo\\·n. If this 1v,1s all seen as rather provincial, Still In JI Dream \\'ants to sbo\v ho\v 1vell shoega.zing travelled. Not just geographically- aside from the UK, and a sizeable US cadre, there's Japan's Coaltar Of The O eepers, S\1•eden's vVhipped Crean1, 1 e1~· Zealand's Bailter Space - but als() throlLgh genres. Bands drift into haggy (Spirea X), indie (Ve locity Girl), post-rock (Bark Psychosis), dance (Seefcel) and goth (the still-be\vilde ring C ranes, a Krankies ver~ ion of Einstiirzcnde Ncubauten). It's hard to con1pare the steely con1pctence of Cur,·e's -re n Little Girls, con1plete 1vith rap, 'vith the e the real ni.iterial of Slo\vdive; there's a -.vorld bct\veen the neo-psychedclic scrapings of Catherine Wheel's She's Nly f riend an<l the ferociou:> ex perin1e ntal rush o f Ar uca by Califo rnia's d yna1nic 1Vledic ine. But stick thest> bands in a roon1 and they'd probabl~1 agree on ·rhe Jesus And 1\1ary Chain's Rollercoaster, Cocteau TV1ins' Cherrv-Coloured Funk, The I-louse Of J Love's Chrisline, all featured on the excellent Hrst disc, 1vbich collects together proto-gaze and its influences. There's nc> My Bloody Valentine - no C ure , Son ic Youth, or Dinosaur J r for tl1at matter- but the impulse to ge t far, tar o ut of it is there in Spal.'t:n1en 3's H ypnotized, or Loop's Arc-Lite (Sonar). Galaxie 500's Tughoat sho1v!' a 1nort' urba ne side, yet if AR Kane's dubby fugue Baby Nlilk Snatche r pro1nises anti: rhatcher pole111ic \Vith its tide, it's e ither Jbuut oral sex, o r accord ing tt1 Sin1on Reynolds' conten1purary analysis, prc-Ocdip11I nio thcr-baby bl iss. Avoiding re.1lity can't al\vays be 1naintai11ed: the quality dip::. and pitchl's, occasio nal!}· s tuck at third on the bill at the Bull And Gate. There are tiny revelations too. Canadian aC't Nlajestv Crush's stalke r-lament No.J Fan is 11 " 'ondc:rlul hazy pop song, \Vh ile thcrt''S a c hanCt' to see Moon shake_or Moose as nlo re than punchlines t o a joke scene. The fifth disc picks up post-rock transn1ission~ \vith Flying Saucer Att.u:k and Bo~1·ery Electric, ~1·h i le no isy An1 e r ica n~ Bardo Po nd arc a long abrasive \,\·ay fro m Than1es Valley dro,vse. Yet by follo\ving all these vapour trails, Seil/ In J\ Droo111 n1akes a n aggressive land-g rab on shoegazing's be hal[ " In the absence of a \vay of Life/Just repeat thjs agai n and again," Albarn sang o n Popscene, but shoegazing's very blankness h<1s kept it a con1pelling, peculiarly t1exible aesthetic. After 25 years, it's going no1vhere.


.. .

Sl CRlPllRROU freetell •

I

out i.igust 20 "' ... .... .. ,., , . . 4~

'!

'


Is the most conventionalsounding, but full of enchantment nevertheless. Lois Wilson

Colleen

* ** Everyone Alive Wants Answers LEA' LP

EjiOyewole

**** Charity Begins At Home 88E CO/OL/ 1 P

Spectacular first album by Nigerian multi· instrumentalist, who's worked with Marley, Miles et al. Issued as a limited pressing for EMI Nigeria in 1979, Eji Oye· wole's debut Is an African funk classic, founded on highll fe with its eddyi ng percussion and pushing boundaries with its central use of impetuous horns. Oyewole provides the backbone, singing, playing sax, piano, flute, percussion and co- producing the album. He also writes the four tracks, each one a stinging call t o arms, ranging from four to 10 minutes in length. The title track and Unity In Africa (Kasowopo Kasekan) are screaming funk with brass, piano and guitar coiling around Oyewole's bawling message to the brotherhood; Gele Odun (0 11 Boom) begins with a haunting flute refrain before the band hit their potent g roove punctuated by Oyewole's frenzied chants. Lagos Complex - Highways,

French artist's wonky-yetsublime 2003 debut out as part of the Leaf label's 20th anniversary celebrations. Cecile Schott (aka Colleen) recently completed promotion of Captain Of None, her ambitiously dub reggaeinspired, viola da gambapropelled and vocally decorated fifth album - which, superficially at least, feels like quite a leap from this allInstrumental opening salvo, with its fuzzy, sampler-ena· bled textures and song structures that continually threaten imminent collapse. Based on heavily processed, yet always disarmingly naive-sounding, loops of cello, organ and miscellaneous percussion, this is nominally electronic music as an expression not of Ballardian dystopias or stark chromium futures. but of woozily organic internalised worlds, waking dreams and 'fall again, fail better' humanity. Whether it's the wow and flutter-bedecked, ever-ascending Your Heart On Your Sleeve, Ritournelle's cut-up ghost-waltz or the title track's ka leidoscopic melee of

wi nd chimes, string drones, bird song and disintegrating fairground melodies, this is music whose curiously magical lustre remains entirely undimmed by time. David Sheppard

The Sunset Strip

****

Stone Lazy AGl-ATEO CO

Lost th i rd album from sun baked Australlan psych· rockers finally released . Active from the late 'BOs to early '90s but largely unheralded outside Australia, in their heyday Melbourne's The Sunset Strip carved a niche in the Oz rock underground with a singularly smeared take on psychedelia. Intended to fol· low-up two blistering EPs on Dog Meat, what should have been the crowning culmlna· tion of thei r '90s output lay unreleased for 20-odd years as the label folded and the band fell apart. Rescued from limbo by Sunset mainstays Warwick Brown and Andy Turner, Stone Lazy veers between soaring psych-sludge, bong-huffing guitar jams and hazy downer blues. Bearing heavy-lidded comparison to six-string blazers like Neil Young and J. Mascis while perhaps not as consistently on the money as 1990's Move Right In, this Is still an indispensable addition to The Sunset Strip's under· sung canon. Andrew Carden

Lee Michaels The Complete A&M Album Collection

** * ****

Heighty Hi: The Best Of Lee Michaels MANIFESTO C0 Ol

Two catalogue releases g i ve the king of the organ his due. Keyboards never sounded more com manding than In the over· looked work of Lee Michaels. Between 1967 an d 1972, Michaels cut seven albums that gave t he chords of a Hammond o rgan as much bite as the riffs of a rock guitar. Now re-released for the first time In nearly two decades as either a 7-CD box set or a 20-song Best Of. The songs sprawl with psychedelic soul, while Michaels' voice has a gospel-tinged, R&B flair as he peppered his songs with a jaunty piano. He could even gave a deadpan harpsichord expression. Though Michaels stopped recording in the mid'80s, after scoring just one hit, Do You Know What I Mean, these releases confirm his status as a stalwart American answer to Steve Winwood. Jim Farber

Disc four cobbles fan record· ings. Three unreleased songs are slight compositions though the title I'll Get Lucky Some Sweet Day seems to sum the longing that drove Lee. Chris Nelson

Sonny Sharrock

****

AskTheAges M.0 D TECHl'K>lOGIES. CO Dl LP

Free jazz guitar maven's finest hour reissued. Though his asthma stopped him taking up the saxophone and following in the footsteps of his musical idol John Coltrane, Sharrock always attacked his guitar with the mentality of a horn player. A sideman with Herble Mann and Miles Davis (he appeared on the latter'sJack Johnson LP), Sharrock forged a uni que avant-garde style with a succession of solo albums that began with 1969's Block Woman. Originally released on Bill Laswell's Axiom imprint In 1991, Ask The Ages finds the guitarist leading a quartet featuring saxophonist Pharoah Sanders and ex-Coltrane drummer Elvin Jones. It's an extraordinary summit of free thinking improv that blends wild, incandescent freak-outs (Promises Kept) with blissful moments of serene melodic beauty (Who Does She Hope To Be?). Three years later, Sharrock was dead at 53, but this album remains a towering monument to his genius. Charles Waring

Various

Arthur Lee &Love

***

Coming Through To You: The Live Recordings (1970-2004) PO

,R~AT

0

Box set of concert rarities from ahead -of-his-time psychedelicist. By the time this collection begins, Love had already suf· fered public indifference, drug casulatiesand Lee's aversion to touring. Disc one finds the band In Europe, 1970, powering through, because what other option was there? My Little Red Book's polished charm becomes slurry and leering. Product Of The Times carries its disdain for poseurs as a burden and its Hendrixy sound as a badge of honour. Disc two (1990s) is mostly acoustic renditions of Love classlcs, while disc three (2000s) finds Lee and Baby Lemonade recreating Love's '60s masterworks. On The Red Telephone, Lee lays hard on the "freedom" lyric - fitting, as he was released from pri son six months prior.

**** Truckers, Kickers, Cowboy Angels Volume 6 (1973) Country rock: the Austin i nfluence and more. -::::- In 1973, as Colin Escott's extensive sleevenotes recall, the focus on country rock began shifting from Los Angeles to Austin. But this immaculately assembled, 46-track, 2-CD compilation doesn't entirely dwell on this aspect of Outlaw and upwards, but see ks to cover more bases, ranging from Willie Nelson's ground-breaking, R&B tough · ened Shotgun Willie, through to such t ruly memorable songs as such as Dennis Unde's Burn· ing Love, Townes Van Zandt's Pancho & Lefty, Billy Joe Shavers' Old Five And Dimers Like Me, alongside choice cuts by Earl Scruggs, Gram Parsons, J.J. Cale, little Feat, Michael Nesmith, The Band, the All· mans and others. Even Dylan pops up on Doug Sahm's (ls Anybody Going To) San Antone. Impressive - and more. FredDe//ar


The Pop Group

****

For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder? f REAl<S RUS. CDIOL/LP

Bristolfan 1980 agit-funk greats, on CD for first time . There's film footage of Nick Cave praising The Pop Group and their track We Are All Prostitutes:•... the most amazing beginning I've ever heard of any song... your life is changed, forever." The Pop Group's desperate urgency galvanised Cave's The Birthday Party. But as the Australians sought catharsis in personal explosions, The Pop Group had broader concerns. Featuring such enduring musical forces as Mark Stewart and Gareth Sager, they railed wildly against poverty and imperialism. Sager's later group, Rip Rip + Panic, made a TV appearance on The Young Ones - a conjunction with Rik Mayall's comically socialist •people's poet" character that, at one remove, hinted at The Pop Group's unedited Idealism. But the exhilarating surge of their music negated such quibbling - w ith squealing sax that prefigured Public Enemy's sirenlike samples and hi·hat like smashing glass.The vinyl issue has agit·prin t poster art. Roy Wilkinson

Various

***

Golden State Psychedelia A([

CD

SF bands who mostly didn't even make foot of the bill. Of the 25 tracks here, 17 are previously unreleased. Of the balance, only two were issued at the time: the rest were collected on a deleted 1997 CO. Bands featured on this alternate, non-canonical story of San Francisco psych include Celestial Hysteria. Short Yellow and Magician, whose 1970 archive find Fuck For Peace could be the MC5 if they had been force-fed Chambers Brothers records. The source material is the tapes recorded at the SF studio Golden State Recorders. Although nothing sounds like a hit or a potential Quicksilver Messenger Service, there are gems aplenty. The trio of Bristol Box kite tracks win with their poppy, Assoclation-ish take on the freaky, whi le Short Yellow are revealed to be jazz· leaning, contrapuntal weirdos. And Celestial Hysteria? A crackers, modal, Jefferson Airplane version of Mad River. Time, again, to rewrite history. Kieron Tyler

Various

*** Steelyard Blues OST RFAl GONF MU~IC. CD

Roots· rock rompln' amidst non-conformist revelry.

Released in 1973, Steelyard Blues was a quiet gem of a Watergate-era anti·es~abllsh­

ment comedy with A· list actors, and a product of a time when it felt like we had won - "wen being the freaky, left· wing misfits later saddled with the sterile handle "countercu l· tu re". (Nobody called it that back then .) Its soundtrack was a joint effort by Bay Area musi· cal migrants, produced by Nick Gravenites and joined by his Chicago blues brethren Mike Bloomfield and Paul Butter· field, and sirens Maria Muldaur and Annie Sampson. The rootsy, good-timey music - doo wop, soul, country, Delta blues - is upbeat and reflects the film's message that the good guys will win. Who won and who lost has been debated for 40-plus years, but there's something comforting in both soundtrack and film: a refresh· ing optimism t hat is more than a littl e bittersweet in 2016. Michael Simmons

King Curtis

****

The Complete Atco Singles Rf Al 60'41' CD/Dl

Magisterial tribute to legendary R&B saxophonist. Friday, August 13, 1971, was the day 37-year·old 'King' Curtis Ousely was stabbed to death outside his apartment in New York. An in-demand side· man as well as a prolific

recording artist in his own right, Curtis played a mean tenor saxophone whose dis· tinetive raspy timbre appeared on a host of classic recordings, including The Coasters' Yakety Yak, Buddy Holly's Rem ini scing and John Lennon's Imagine album. This great 3·CD retro· speciive brings together for the first time all of the Texan tenor's 45s for Atlantic's Atco subsidiary during two stints at the label. Featuring 66 remastered tracks (i ncluding his biggest Atco hit, 1967's imm or· tal Memphis Soul Stew), the material veers from rambu nc· tious R&B instrumentals and sensuous ballads to soul and pop covers, funked·up groove j ams an d even a sax-led take on Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love. A superb portrait of a forgotten master. Charles Waring

Gussie Clarke

****

To The Foundation 17NORTH PAR~DE. CD/DL/LP

Rare roots and classic dancehall by very consistent Jamaican producer Augustus 'Gus· sie' Clarke began producing in the early 1970s, scoring hits with the debut albums of Big Youth and I Roy. Respected for his fairness as well as his general profes·

sionalism, he upped things a notch in the dance hall era with his own Music Works studio, yielding some of the biggest dancehall chart·toppers of the late '80s and early '90s. This double-disc compilation col· lects some of his rarest roots material, and balances that with his most successful hits of the dancehall era; thus, COl has I Roy's cut of Gregory Isaacs' Loving Pauper, Augustus Pablo's killer No Entry and Big Youth's deejay counter· part, Strictly Rockers, while C02 has Isaacs' Rumours. JC Lodge's Telephone Love, Shabba Ranks' Mr Lover Man and Cocoa Tea's Pirates Anthem. In a short documentary DVD, Gussie and his team explain how it all happened. David Katz

The Dells

****

Freedom Means ... SOU\ MU5IC/CA001 IN[ tNrERNATIONAI COIDL

Legendarily long lived Chicago act's overlooked soul gem resurrected. Beginning as doowopact The El-Rays in 1953, this ver· satile quintet from Harvey, Illinois, scored their first chart hit as The Dells three years later with the immortal and much -covered Oh What A Nite. Their potential as an album act wasn't realised until they joined Chess Records' Cadet imprint i n 1968 and teamed up with genius producer/arranger Charles Stepney. One of their most ambitious and imaginative long players was this one, which inexplicably-given its high quality and absorbing content - has never been reissued before. It's master· fully helmed by Stepney, who

creates a symphonic song cycle that combines The Dells' lush, layered harmonies with their stirring, gospel-infused lead vocals and opulent orchestration. Significantly, the soul-folk troubadour Terry Callier co-wrote six of the tunes and there's also a soulful reconfiguration of Bread's Make It With You . Charles Waring

African Head Charge

***

My Life In A Hole In The Ground ON·li SOUND CO/Ot/LP

Psychedelic dub riposte to Brian Eno. The first of four simultaneous reissues. Although its title was a disrespectful pop at Brian Eno's 'vision of a psychedelic Africa' on 1981's David Byrne collaboration My Life In The Bush OfGhosts, Adrian Sher· wood initially struggled to put the elevated concept Into practice. The young On·U Sound head honcho construct· ed a virtual band based around Creation Rebel percussionist Bonjo lyabinghi Noah and sundry reggae session men, whose furtive dub basslines, jew's harp and marauding elephant horns waged battle with Sherwood's backwards mixing experi· ments and Noah's vast array of hand-drums. While David Lynch used Faraway Chant to score an already tense torture scene in Wild At Heart, this trippy, spaced-out founda· tion stone made much more sense after 198S's landmark d rum and sample· fest, OffThe Beaten Track. Andy Cowan

MOJO 107


Hot fuzz

The vinyl reissue of the experimental trio's 1979 debut sounds as striking and out of time now as ever. By Mike Barnes.

This Heat

**** This Heat llCiH I N I f<f ¡â&#x20AC;˘ II

LP

DRUMMER AND vocalist Charles Hayward had played in Quiet Sun with Phil Manzanera as the salad d,lys of prog rock were wilting. But by late 1975 he had formed This Heat with guitarist, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Charles Bullen and Gareth Williams on guitars, keyboards and tapes. An untrained, instinctive musician, Williams was the rogue element but he possessed, as Hayward said, a "great pair of ears". And that was of vital importance as this music was born from a regime of daily rehearsal and is so singular that it feel s that th e musicians' main influences must have been each other. The group emerg ed into a m ilieu of punk, but w ere always musical outsiders, which is

108 MOJO

what continues to make them so fascinat ing. They were already known as a live group of dauntin g intensity and after a minute. the signal noise of Testcard is rudely interrupted by Horizontal Hold, a brutally pared down instrumental groove with double speed hi-hats, like Can with all the melody stripped out. Bullen strums one chord that becomes progressively more distorted, while Williams offers a ' bassline' of baleful groanings, rhythmic taped sounds and, later, ~ heets of atonal keyboards. -- This Hea t had more such 'b ig numbers', but were equally adept at meditative abstract sound. The album was record ed on 24-tra ck at The Workhou se studio. on 8-track at their Brixton studio, Cold Storage, and cassette recordings of rehearsals or live shows - whatever medium best purveyed the mood. From the Workhou se sessions. the oddly funky 24 Track Loop, obliquely nods towards dub and anticipates dance. Producer David Cunningham of Flying Lizards remembered studio co-owner Manfred Mann eavesdropping on some of the amazing sounds they were producing. Not Waving is sung by Hayward in a distressed,

Robert Wyatt-like whine to the clanking of sh ip$' bell~. sombre clarin et and eerie foghorn-like notes as the song's protagonist ventures further out into the cold sea. The exhalations and koto-like guitar on Music Like Escaping Gas arc inscrutably strange and The Fall Of Saigon rides out on a clanking tape loop redolent of Eastern ritual percussion. It's a darkly humorous account of th e privations in the American embassy during the events of 1975, with Bullen's guitar squalling like an air raid at the close. This Heat would gravitate more towards songs on the Cold War paranoia-fuelled Deceit (1981). This is also released on vinyl, as is their finest moment, the 12-inch single, Health And Efficiency (1980). It sums up the group's approach. with its avant pop chorales and hypnotic, crunching inst rumental sections. while th e B-side, Graphic/Varispeed, is 10 m inutes of tone manipulation.


Various

Ornette Coleman Quartet

***

***

Joe Bussard Presents The Year Of Jubilo

The Love Revolution

OUST-TO-DIGITAL COfOL

SOL.AR. CD

Digital issue of American Civil War-era songs taken from old 78rpm discs.

Jazz's freethinker captured in lt;ily.

There's enough on this set (culled from the behemoth trove of vintage wax colleetor Joe Bussard) to spark an entire book. Interested in history? The llnernotes highlight the role fiddlers played in reuniting combatants from the American Civil War - though of course, b lack and white musicians were barred from competing against each other. Musicology? Pass Around The Bottle illustrates old-time music's adaptability, first by inverting the abolition anthem John Brown's Body, and then by concerning itself mostly with drinking. Several songs here raise a flag for t he abolitionist's cause. The Year Of Ju bi lo, penned before emancipa tion, imagines a master on the run and slaves controlling the p lantation. Of course, these are white voices sing ing the black experience; words like •darky" offend the modern ear. It's hard to hear- history often is - but worth the listening just the same. Chris Nelson

Larry Young

**** Larry Young In

Paris: The ORTF Recordings RtSONANCE CD/Dl

New Jersey's jazz Hammond organ hero captured in France. Larry Young's death at t he age of 38 in 1978 brought the curtain down p rematurely on a career that had begun so brightly. A New Jerseyborn organ prodigy whose pioneering approach to the Hammond B3 was indebted to John Col trane, Young was also a key con tributor to the birth ofjazz-rock in 1969, playing in Tony Williams' Lifetime alongside John Mclaughlin and appearing on Miles Davis's Bitches Brew album. This fascinating 2-CD package draws on the studio arch ives o f French broad· caster ORT!', and revisits 1964/ Swhen Young, newly signed to Blue Note, was working in Paris alongside trumpet protege Woody Shaw in the Nathan Davis Quartet. Some of the performances are sensational, as is the sound quality, wh ile an accompanying 68-page booklet detailing Young's Paris sojourn takes jazz research to a new level. Charles Waring

Armed with an innocuouslooking wh ite plastic alto saxophone, Coleman arrived in New York from Los Angeles in 1959 and promptly tore the Big Apple jazz sc:ene apart with an iconoclastic new sound and style that dis· pensed with orthodox notions of melody, harmony and structu re. The reverberations from Coleman's free jazz revolution were still echoing round the world in 1968 when the saxophon ist and his band Ccompris· Ing twin bassists Charlie Haden and David lzenzon with Ed Blackwell on drums) travelled to Italy on their European tour. Their two shows at Rome and Milan demonstrate how Coleman's thirst to expand his musical vocabulary resulted in him adding trumpet and an Indian w in d instrument called a shenai to his musical armoury. Sonically, the Rome concert is much superior to the Milan set, featuring a superb version of Coleman 's classic Lonely Woman. Charles Waring

-

BertJansch Avocet rARrH

n an ideal worl d, any menti on of Bert Jansch would be preceded by the epithet 'The Great'. Even so, for £40 you'd want someth ing special from one of the erstwhile Pentangle gu itarist's most beloved solo albums. Origi nally a Dutch release in 1978, alth ou gh lat er licensed through Charisma, Jansch 's support of th e RSPB saw him name all six track~ after bird~ (Avo(et, Lapwinq, Kittiwake et al) but the t it les are just as relevant In the way he ducks and weaves along the grooves. Most ly it sounds like he's sitting round hi s ki t(hcn t able while Danny Thomp~on p lays bass, Martin Jenkin s aclding mandocell o, violin and cups or tea . ThP added value comes from ilthoqraph p ri nts of the six bi rd s by illustrator Hannah Ali ce that serve as alternative sleeves, but the st ar remai ns Jansch's beau ti fully exprcs~ed and greatly mis~cd guitar. AF

I

Pablo. Thi s writer's fave, however, has to be an alternate Wash room Skank, with percus· sion squeaks from a toy parrot. For newcomers and trainspotters alike, it 's wildly colourful, quality Stuff. Andrew Perry

HltU. Pltesunta

"""'lEE PEIVl'f•~llPSETTER

The Murmaids

***

-Lee 'Scratch' Perry

*****

Mr Perry I Presume PRESSURE 50\JNDS. CD/Dl

Fabulous fourth volume of obscure Black Ark mixes. There's no such thing as a bad comp of70s Lee Perry productions, it seems. In that decade, everything he did was magic. Now that the overwhelming majority of Scratch's 'official' vocal tracks and dubs have been documented someplace or other, Pressure Sounds' ongoing series collecting super-rare mixes - often li terally one-off dubplates, cut for sound systems in JA - has illuminated further depths to the Upsetter's genius. This l atest instalmen t is absolutely from the top drawer, excavati ng unheard versions on Black Ark classics such as Police And Thie11es, Chase The Devil and Groovy Situation - rather like reggae's answer to Sgt. Pepper outtakes. For Bob Marley buffs, there's a swirly mix of Sun Is Shining, and a Keep On Moving tootled on melodica by.Augustus

A Few Of The Things We Love

Capitol I{

ACE co

Island Row

Joyful music plus warts'n 'all story of the Popsicles And Icicles hitmakers.

FAITH AND INDUSTRY. COIOl/LP

According to the linernotes of this firstti me complete collection of 11 th e Los Angeles female t rio, rheir producer Kim Fowley told band-member Terry Fischer she was •an ugly bitch" and •the only way you're ever going to get laid is If you have a Number 1 record." It was 1963, she was 17 and at her first recording ses· sion. The David Gates-penned song the abusive Fowley was getting on tape was the twinkling Popsicles And Icicles. It hit Number 1 in Record World. Extraordinarily, even though their money was purposely w ithheld, The Murmaids contin ued with Fowley as they felt a loyalty to their label. Over 21 tracks, and despite the surrounding nonsense, everything on A Few Of The Things We Love reflects joy: from 1964's rollen-rink music/ Lesley Gore hybrid Wild And Wonderful to a fuzz guitar-punctuated 1968 romp th rough Traffic's Paper Sun. Unlike Fow ley, The Murmaids charmed. Kieron Tyler

****

Revisiting the folktronlc pioneer's ever-intriguing early sorties. At the turn of the 21st centu ry, the music of Klistian Craig Robinson - a lo-fi mix of smiley lndie pop, ambient noise, discordance and sampleadelic echoes from the last days of trip -hop - seemed otherworldly and endearingly unique. With it, Robinson, who had been snapped up by the ever-resourceful Mike Paradlnas for hi s Planet Mu label, all but single -handedly Invented the 'folktronic' genre. His two early albums as Capitol K- 1999's Sounds Of The Empire and, in the following year, Island Row- p redated that folktronic yardstick, Four Tet's Pause, by a year. Here re -released, they sound as beguiling as they did 15 years ago. Robinson 's stock has cont inued to rise since, working as a producer for the likes of Deerhunter. The glitch· meets-vitamin C blast of Pillow and Heat 's melancholic campfire laptop'n'guitar mash-up, however, remain pot ent reminders of where It all started. Stephen Worthy

MOJO 109


Let it grow l The unhurried first decade of Eric Clapton's solo career By Jim Irvi n.

E

rr<" Clapton fo und him self to be a reluct ilnl figure 1n th e spo tlight. after the ego face· offs of Cream and Bhnd Fai th, and spent th e '70s finding d w ay to retreat fro m th e crasser aspect s o f stardo m w i th music that w as reliant o n feel and g roove rath er than any g randstanding in the w rit ing or p l.iy 1nq . A life ri ppled with tragedy. emotional confusion cl nd cldd ic: t1on reached the w o rld o utside as rc>solutf>ly ta~ tc>ful mu \ic

Emotional fuel: Eric Clapton and Patti Harrison outside his home at Hurtwood Edge. Ewhurst, Surrey, January 1975, a few month s after t he r elease of 46 1 Ocean Boulevard.

Banjo Troubadour

***

Five Albums

STARMAN LP

BEGGARS ARCHIVE. C0

Based in Belgium since 195B after his touring partnership with Ramblin' Jack Elliott, the Oregon· born banjo player recorded erratically, so these performances for Belgian radio are significant. The balladeer is at his friendly fireside best. AM

Top value box of London four- piece's de but EP (for mlsan-thropic goth disc hit Happy Boy), three '80s LPs, their unreleased fourth and a fifth disc of demos and live cuts. Goth aggro to second-tier doom pop: the '80s in microcosm. JB

John Lee Hooker

Elmore James

The Country Blues

****

Dust My Broom

... co Raw yet charmingly assured, Hooker's 1959 album of almost spoken -word blues backed by his charismatic strummed guitar is enhanced with eight recordings from 1951-61, notably a heart-on-the sleeve take of Ramblin' By Myself. PS

BLvfS CHARJ\Cll RS CO

One of a series of 30 2-CD packs on blues greats. Booklets in French and English; music from the crucial creative periods here spanning - EJ's title track ('51 and '59 versions) to Look On Yonder Wall (but not B-side Shake Your Moneymaker). GB

Penetration

Frank Sinatra

The Virgin Years

***

**** ... Sings George

~ "G I

Gershwin

County Durham band's two LPs from 1978n 9, plus '80's "official bootleg· RaC"e Against nme and generous disc of Peel sessions. which makes their idiosyncratic guitars and Pauline Murray's strident vocal sound more art than punk. 18

B..AC~ COHEE. CCI

Released alongside a set of Sinatra's Cole Porter songs. this single disc brings together tracks from 1944-62 that find The Voice adding a life-worn warmth and Rat Pack fizz to Gershwin's best loved songs. PS

The Telescopes

Various

***

Years p assed while Eric struggled with h eroin addKtio n. until 1974 s 46 1

OC"enn Boulevard

)

signalled the return of his intere st in musi c n ot <.01n<.1dentdlly dro und the time that a relatio nship w ith Pa tti began . It's a conci\e 10-track st roll thro ug h som e favo urite m oods, fn sky b lues. m ellow gosp el. relaxed shufflPs clnd, o f courst', h is smash take o n I Shot Th e Sher iff. sniffed at now b ut actually useful in introduci ng Bob M arley 's music to a wider w o rld. 4 61 set the former god of electr ic b lues o n the road to becoming a future kin g of cor porate hospitality.

~

****

< **l w as a l ess ca ptivating rerun o f th e fo rmul<1, th e 46 1

reggae version of Sw ing Low Sw eet Ch,iriot surely d te, ting m o m ent for m odern ears. It also mark s the arrival of M arcia Levy (aka M arcella Detroit) who'd ap pear on six future LPs. 1976's No Reason To Cry recorded with The Band and w ith ctn u nrl'cordcd Dylan song Sign Lang uage. was w ell m ad e and playt.>d b ut oddly unsa t1sfy 1ng Engaging Glyn Johns to produce Slowhond m ade th e difference Open ing track C:occline leaps fro m th<.> stereo. Wo nderful Ton ight 1s undeniahly intim ate and thE' rest has energy and a p urpose previously absent. It sold about five million m o re topie~ thdn anything else. Fo llow -up Backless ( ). m ade with the same team, m ay b e the better record b ut was unfashionable in '78, whiled return to Tom Dowd for 1981's

LP reissues (w ith a download card) of all h i\ sol o stu dio releases for Polydor and RSO. Debut friC" Clopton w as recordl!d w ith fellow · traveller s Delaney & Bonnie - Bhnd Faith's su pport act <1nd shares thi>1r crowded, jammy sound. w itness th e over-egged cover of JJ Cale's After M idnight. Erk 's fir~ t U S sol o hit. He pin ched Delaney & Bonn1e's rhythm sectio n fo r dou bl e alb um Loy/a &Other Assorted l ove Songs. credited to Derek &Th e Do mi no~

l***l

l**l

<** **l

< ****I. which turned o ut to be a stu dy In turmo il, Eric's

110 MOJO

The Bolshoi

Tliere's One In Every Crowd

The Studio Albums 1910198 1 is cl box-set o f eight vinyl

inf,1tur1tion fo r George Harrison's w ife, Patti, lending em o tio nal f uel. The ragged spontan eity and warm Tom Dowd prod uction make it a g ood en try point if yo u've never expl ored Clapton's post· '60s w o rk. The w ilful anonymity of its p resentation and sp rawling q uality of the music may be th11 re.1~on 1 l was a co m parat ively poor seller.

Derroll Adams

Another Ticket <***> II'

produced a better· thdndecent album. Slowhand as1d 11, i t w as Clapton's records of th e ' 90s th at 'd be his best sellers. He w as just warming up.

****

Splashdown C lfRRY RED CO

Bringing together four EPs, I Untitled Second album and bonus tracks by the Burtonon·Trent band for Creation, '90·92. Stephen Lawrie and co's widescreen-yet· focused cosmic-indie unfolds in sparkling bursts over 2CDs. PS

***

The P&P Records funk & Rap Anthology HAI!~ U:~VDlMON

CO

Loving 3-CO comp of vibrant Div 2 New York rap, disco and funk on Peter Brown's scrappy ~ umbrella label (1 976·85) by ~ expert Bill Brewster. Enjoy i awesome cash-in eleoro·disco ".; of Shift's Roller Rink Funk. DE et


-

DOAN

COLLINS KIDS

-EDDY

---...-·

Duane Eddy

Georges Brassens Michael Chapman The Collins Kids

Dion

***

The Rockaway Rock

****

Born To Be With You

HOODOO, C.D/Dl

ACf.LP

Compilation of the Oklahoma siblings' Columbia sides from 1955-62; 30 remastered tracks of hepped-up rockabilly, teen Lorrie hiccupping and growling her pulse-beatin' love letters over little bro' Larry's double-neck Mosrite twang. Mercy! AM

Unreleased in the US as Dion thought it unfinished, Sped or's produdion too o ppressive and dirgy, this grand, ruined masterpiece, hard to find in its original 1975 imprint, has been beautifully remastered to its full ragged melancholy glory. AM

The Essential. .. JACKPOT CD

Serviceable 2CDs, 1952-62, of the moustachioed wit of French chanson, whose debut 45 about an escaped, sex-mad gorilla was translated by his closest Anglo-phone cuz, Jake Thackray. Mostly just guitar and voice- but p lenty of chuckles. DE

***

The Man Who Hated Mornings Sl:CRET. CD10L

With a strong line-up of British rockers (Mick Ronson, Keef Hartley, Pete Wingfield, Andy Latimer) in 77, Chapman turned in this sottish set of jaded groovers; like some Yorkshire JJ Cale with three-day stubble. AM

_ _ ..If

****

****

The Twang's The Thang/Songs Of Our Heritage HOODOO. CD

Two-fer single CD oficonic guitarist Eddy's 1959 and 1960 LPs - both full of playing that goes far beyond mere 'twang'. Songs Of Our Heritage is a particu lar lost gem. PA

I........... Ir:..r.f..,,,. ~

haL

llCNAl.O

~

11

1951·1962

--·--! .............. .....-· ...... ! • •

--·... ~

.....~-·-­ -

Little Richard

Magma

The Indispensable

****

Kohnzert ZD.nd

1951-1962

JAZZ VILLAGE. CO

FREMEAUX & ASSOOtS. CD

Eleven-CD box of Christian lander's secret order of progjazz-rock/space opera crazies, live 1975-201 1. Four previously available albums and various DVD performances still sound vigorous; unheard 2009 Paris g ig reveals huge versatility. /H

Three CDs encapsulate Little Richard's early blues roots, his explosive rock'n'roll sides, and his gospel output. Excellent mastering and sleevenotes by the Fremeaux gang, the title says lt all: an essential collection. PA

****

Mother's Finest

Ennio Morricone

****

I Crudeli

Mother's Finest/ Another Mother Further/Mother Factor/Live RAVEN CO

Get down to four fine albums that mix hard rock with Sly-style heavy soul. A 2CD Aussie import proving how vital MF were. PA

****

Bill Nelson's Orchestra Arcana

***

CHERRY RED. LP

Optimism

Soun dtrack to a 1967 spaghetti western beg ins as Morricone by numbers - military d rums,, massed brass, spiky guitar - before jazz p iano, mournful cornet and the ghostly voices of Alessandro Alessandroni's I Canto ri Modern! lift it aloft. AM

ESOTERIC. CO

Released in '88, Optimism sees the former Be-Bop Deluxe man experimenting with tape loops, synthesizers and found sounds/voices. The result is an intriguing glimpse of a precomputerised age. PA

FILTERINDEX I

SPARK~

,,_,J.- ~ Singers & Players

' Sparks

****

The Island Years

Revenge Of The Underdog

*****

UMC/ISLAND. LP

From 1982, the second LP by t he On U gang show featuring Prince Far I, Bim Sherman and more. Melodious roots reggae meets Sherwood's medicinal dub mixing - tasty! Plus 2015's War Of Version EP of old cuts. /H

Excellent slim pack of vinyl has Kimono My House, Propaganda, Indiscreet and Big Bea t ('74-76), plus The Rest OfSparks, '79's Best Of retooled. Highly original pop visions from inventive rogue Maels Ron and Russell, who're still at the top of their game. GB

The Wake

John Williams

Make It Loud

*** Stars Wars

LTM. CD

:,ONY MUSIC CLASSICAL. CD

Scots indle quartet (alumnus: Bobby Gillespie) swopped Factory for Sarah after a row over artwork. This 1990 label debut sounds nostalgic for the mid '80s. Includes Crush The Flowers/Carbrain 45. Follow-up Tidal Wave Of Hype also out. DE

Adopt a competitive eat ing eventapproachtoJohn Williams' Star Wars scores, over 10 discs, with ex tras. The prequels remain hard to warm to- let's skip Qui-Gon's Noble End - but the soundtracks to IV to VI still stir the blood. /H

ON U 'iOUND.CD/LP

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Adamson, Barry 94 African Hedtknarge 107 Anim.il Collective 94 Blasko. Sarah 92 Bulat Basta 98 Capitol K 109 Cavern Of Antimatter 95 Choir Of Young Believers 95 Clarke. Gus~ie 107 Colt>mo n, Ornt'tt<' 109 Colleen 106 94 Cult. The Curti s, King 107 L>ells The 107 Dion 98 Emmy The Great 94 96 Flt>ld Mu'k Fo,ter, ln'f'flhinl' 98 94 Gazebos GoGo Penguin 96 GospelbeacH 96 Guadalupe f'lata 97 Hunter, James 92 Jansch, Bert 109 97 J6hann s\on. J6h.inn John, Elton 92 Jo5eph, Martyn 97 Junior Boys 95 Langford. Jon 94 lee. Arthur & love 106 Lewis, Linda Gall 98 Mason, Steve 95 Mi<haPh, Lee 106 Murmaid~. The 109 Mystery Jets 96 Nonkeen 95 O no 97 Oyewole, 1:.jl 106 Perry, Lee 'Scratch' 109 Pollock Emma 93 Pop Group. The 107

Promhe & The Mon~tPr 99 Rt1itt. Bonni<~ 98 Rhodes. Emltt 92 School Of Seven Bells 96 95 Schoos. Ben1amin Sharrock, Sonny 106 Sidestep per 98 5nowboy 99 StaplP~. Mrlvi~ 99 99 Summer~. Ancly Sunset Strip, The 106 This Heat 108 Ulver 96 VA: Golden State Psyc.hedelia 107 VA: Steely.;rd Blue~ OST 107 VA : Still In A Drt!dm 104 VJ\ : Trucker\ , Ki ckers. Cowboy Angels Vol. 6 106

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COMING NEXT MONTH

Jeff Buckley, Lort>ttil lynn, Underworld, White Deni m. Flying Saucer Attack, Sonic Youth, James. The Coral, M Ward, Joanna Newsome, Public St>rvke Brodd~d~ting and more.


R o y a l Flush . h' ThIS mo nt s represse d me mo ry fighting ou t of rock's subconscious - boozy · avant-pub akt1ons reconc1·1 L m id-'90s contradictions.

Earl Br ut us

Your M aje sty... We Are Here

omp ose r David Arn old has kept emi nen t com pan y in his years wo rkin g in film and television. His CV inclu des five Bond movies and adi ng as musical dire ctor at the 2012 Olym pics. Yet in 1995 he rem ixed Life' s Too Lon g, a scabrous glam stom p-al ong by fring e art-r ock agit ator s Earl Brutus. •1volu ntee red to do it," exp lain ed Arno ld. · wat chin g them mad e me feel like pun k rock had n't lost the war." With orig ins in Manchester, She ffield and Bristol, Earl Brutus were old eno ugh to have lived thro ugh the days of No Future. Nick Sanderson (voice), Jim Fry (voice), Gor don King (electronics) and Rob Mar che (gui tar) were Bow ie fanatics with subsidia ry obsessions w ith Kraf twer k, Spri ngst een and Genesis, who form ed thei r mas terp lan in afte r-ho urs wes t Lon don drin king hole s in 1992 . "I'd said, Why don' t we do a band?" says early mem ber Stua rt Boreman. "A man ban d, not a boy ban d. And we'l l com e out stom ping ." Possible ban d nam es inclu ded Mor tgag e, Arte x and Fuck Off. But Earl Brut us- insp ired, vari ous ly, by an ima gine d grey hou nd, the jeans bran d, the aftershave and a ficti ona l pub - won the day on the eve of thei r de but gig, at Lon don 's Cafe de Paris. The live shows earn ed noto riety for brev ity, flash bom bs, nud ity, auto· des truc tion of gear, and on-s tage mict uritl on. "Doing a Bru tus gig sobe r was inco nce ivab le; recalls King. PR age nt Robin Turner had difficult ~ des crib ing t he ban d to prospect1v~ med ia clients. "Like tryin g to explain rock'n 'roll to an alien . Rock 'n'roll. .. and bee r 'n'chips. and men . Always men , men toge ther - like the mus ical equivale~t of a tigh tly-packed sauna whe re The Wild Geese is on telly and ther e' s luke war m Carl ing on drau ght. " One perf orm anc e

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led to them bein g sign ed by Steve Lam acq's Dec epti ve imp rint. Th eir first release fort he labe lwcl saone-s ided yule tide 45 calle d Sing le SeaterXm~s. a half -cut mela nge of synt hs and no ise

thattopped the indi ech art~inlate 1995 .

It w as to be a peak. of sorts. But the follo wing year 's three-sh eet s-to ·the w ind single Navyhead w as an anth emi c leap forw ard. King desc ribes th e sing le's narrative: "Ayo ung man tripp ing o ff his head hallu cina tin g abo ut the arm ed forces, gay sex and David Bowie." · w e w ere in a stud io on an industria l estate." recalls Jim Fry. "Rob played these ama zing glam my desc end ing cho rds. Gor don p ut sam p les on it and ran synt hs, doin g his Eno thin g. We bec ame a prop er grou p that afte rnoo n ." Recording con tinu ed in Ado n and at a residential stud ios in Lincoln, with song them es and con cep tual ideas com ing from Fry and Sanderson. King describes the creative mod el: " Rob and Nick wer e the musicians, I was the prog ram mer and Jim was the dire ctor." The hou rs wer e regular and discip line tigh t, but ther e was still time to visit the Grapes pub dow n the road. Fry recalls a yard -of-ale con test betw een Sanderson and Digs y. the sing er w ith Merseyside pou nds hop sati rists Smaller, who wer e also in residence. "Jamie [Jim] put some songs on the juke box: recalls Marche, •and the locals wer e all saying, 'Ope n you r clack lad! ' Nick won and ther e was muc h cele brat ing and drin k: Albu m prod ucti on con clud ed atTh e Jesus And Mar y Chain's Dru gsto re stud ios in Elep han t &Castle (Sanderson served as thei r drum mer ). For all Earl Brutus's on-stage aba ndo n, ther e wer e stro ng songs with in the chaos - repl ete with big glam beats and Brian May-sty le harm onic guit ars. Inde ed, the albu m t itle was a message to Queen's dea r dea r Fred - don 't wor ry, sir, Earl Brutus have arrived to save rock. Alon gsid e the curd led glam hero ism of Navyhead, the albu m inclu des the unb ridle d gara ge rock of Black Speedway and Shrunken Hea d.Th ere's also surp risin g sole mni ty in som e furti ve sex- sho p confessionals. The title

Off-l icen ce ram -raid ing time : Earl Brut us a ma n-ba nd n ot a boy-ba nd (from left) Nick Sand ers on, Gor don King , Rob Marc he, Jim Fry a nd Shin -Ya Hay ashi da; (below) Nick a nd Sh ins (righ t) Hta lk b eer and sh outi ng."

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for On Me No t In Me cam e from a pros titut e's pho ne-b ox flyer. Oth er lyrical con cern s inclu de Barrett Ho uses. i$oto nic h ecllth drin ks and the plig ht of Shin -Ya Hayashida, a Japa nese hair d ressing stud ent who had join ed th e ban d. His on-stage brie f was to d rink can s, smo ke fags and swear1n English and Japanese. The albu m was I airy and visceral. but it also suggeste d a cert ain stra nd of con cep tual art - Joseph Beuys out w ith the boys for a cata stro phic nigh t on t he Reeperbahn, may be. On occasion at Earl Brutus shows, Jay Jop ling - Tracey Emi n's art dea ler- cou ld be seen looking on cove tous ly. Here was a ban d with som ethi ng for both the elevated and base self. Sanderson, who died of cancer in 2008, said: "We're not romantic, we're not goo d look ing but we are the sexiest ban d in the wor ld ... it's basi c, ugly and g lamo rous music, tota llysi ng-a longable." Despite furth er stro ng singles, Your Majesty.•. failed to raise muc h of a com mer cial furo re. "You cou ld n't draw a blue prin t for success for a ban d like that: muses Steve Lamacq. "You cou ld just thro w grea t ideas out and hop e peo ple got it." Afte r a surprise sign ing to Island Records, the ban d pus hed on with 1998's similarly striking Tonight You Are The Special One; live, they rend ered thei r names in Kraf twer k-sty le neo n signs. The last show was ln 2004. Today Fry leads The Pre New, a grou p who min e the same veins as Earl Brutus. The form er mem bers all look back with fondness, and each has kep t his neo n nam e sign . · 1h ave min e on my boo kcase: says Marche. "It still wor ks. I occasionally ligh t it up, whe n peo ple com e roun d."

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BeeGees

E·S·P

WA.RNER BROS 1987, DOWNLOAD I

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You S•y: "This is one of the great comeback album s, in my opinion." Catherine Berry, via e-mail Producer Arif Mardln resurrected the Bee Gees' fortunes again on their 1987 comeback. The emphatic embracing of programmed beats and crystalline synths might have seemed craven were it not for the fact that the group allowed legendary studio magician Mardin to put them through their songwriting paces. Live Or Die (Hold Me Like A Child) and Giving Up The Ghost stood squarely alongside the finest contemporary R&B emerging from America at the time. The only major misstep here is the self-referencing hip-hop breakdown on This Is Your Life, but the infernally catchy title song and the genius of that rhythm track on the UK Number 1 You Win Again make ampl e amends.

Bee Gees Birr

urice.

By Pete Paphides or anyone who wasn't around to w i tness the Bee Gees' transition from soft-psych baroque popsmith~ to world-beating dispensers of dancefloor manna, th e prospect of reconci ling th ese two utterly different groups is a perplexing one. But of course. in o rder to weather t he pop-cultural hangover heralded by the end of th e '60s. the Bee Gees had to cha nge. Like their b luesier contemporaries Fleetwood M ac, it took them half a decade to hit upon a new w inning formula. After the nadir of 1973's unreleased A Kick In The Heod Is Worth Eight In Tile Pan H. 1t was 1975's Main Course that reminded the Bee Gees what they did best of all. And here also lies the key to syncretise the Gibb brothers' first fame to their '70s renaissance. Th ey w ere n ever innovators. At their most successful, the Bee Gees w ere mtJster dssimilators, sniffing the preva1hng pop w ind, breaking down its constituent parts and replica ting it with melodies and harmonies that often eclipsed the best o f what their peers had to offer.

The Brother· , hood (from left) Maurice, Barry and Robi n Gibb in the mid ' 70s; (far right) the threesome ride the disco wave.

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"lTHEY HADAI PECULIAR POETIC GENIUS fOR WRITING ABOUT LOVE:"

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In 1967, that approach yielded Bee Gees' 7st. In 197 7, it resulted 1n the scorching FM funk of their hits from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and. in the process. shifted 28 m1lhon copies of the accompanying OST album. Then, in 1gs7, it heralded the third act o f their career: the machine-tooled introspection of the £.S.P album. which featured the chart-topping You Win Again. Drill further into their canon - both o n th eir records and the ones th ey've penned for th e likes of Barbra Streisand, Dionne Warwick .ind brother Andy - and other recurring themes reveal themselves. As lyricists, the Bee Gees arc rarely singled out for credit, but their peculiar, poetic genius for writing about love as though it were an existential affliction connects all three of th eir phases. The subtext of so many of the Gibb~' be~t songs seem s to be that our time on Earth is only slightly less unbearable with love than without.

4

BeeGees Main Course

~ ~ ~

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You Say: MA superb rebirth, full of quality and fun throughout.# Jeremy Lewis, via e-mail An embrace of R&B on the Arif Mardin-produced Mr Natural of 1974 led to a career upswing - enough for the Gibbs to heed the advice of Mardin and Eric Clapton to move operations to Miami to fu rther advance their fortunes. Main Course proves just what a wise move this was. IfWind Of Change is the thrilling exposition of the Bee Gees Mk ll's new manifesto, Nights On Broadway and Jive Talkln' are the brilliant vindication of it. After being delivered to radio stations in a plain white sleeve (in order to neutralise preconceptions of DJs and programme producers), the latter topped the US charts. Aided by the muscular keyboards of Blue Weaver, this was a rock-solid foundation for the group's late·'70s ascent.

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g BeeGees Living Eyes RSO 1981. DOWNLOAD £7 90

You Say: " They were damned if they did and damned if they didn't , but this was just beautiful," Richard Kemp, vi a e -mail The Bee Gees' first of the 'BOs, saw Barry attempting to pre-empt the disco backlash by handling fewer of the lead vocals, letting loose his falsetto on just two songs, most notably Soldiers, which typi· fies the mood of an album propelled at greater velocity by the pensive undercurrents of Spirits Having Flown. The intimation of some unspecified denouement wasn' t unfounded. The dismal American and British sales of Living Eyes heralded a six-year break from recording, but if people weren't prepared to embrace the exquisitely textu red AOR of the title track, it is hard to Imagine any Bee Gees record that could have averted their commercial free fal l at this point.

g BeeGees To Whom It May Concern

7 various Saturday Night Fever

POLVDOR 1972. DOWNLOAD £7.99

RSO 1977, DOWNLOAD t7.99

You Say: " I play Sweet Song Of Summer to anyone who doesn't like the pop stuff," Will Barnes, via e-mail

You Say: " Thirty-five million copies (sic] and counting sold. Where are the ' Disco Sucks' creeps now?" Mike Sowerby, v ia e-mai l

Unfortunately, UK Top 10 suecess with Run To Me did not carry over to the fortunes of the Bee Gees tenth album. They may have strayed from the pop Zeifgeist by this point, but hindsight reveals the group's most cohesive record of the early '70s. Typical of the form are Please Don't Turn Out The lights and Never Been Alone - both quintessentially yearning Robin vocals - and Barry's dew-dappled devotional address l Can Bring Love. The indisputable highlight arrives at the end: Sweet Song Of Summer Is a scorching synergy of synths and quasi-pagan chanting utterly at odds with the image of the cabaret· attired brothers on the sleeve.

Had Robert Stigwood not rerouted sessions for the Bee Gees' fourteenth album into his film project, the resu lting record might have been their best to date. But hell, even the unfinished Bee Gees LP scattered across the soundtrack of John Badham's Saturday Night Fever contains enough genius to justify its place here. How incredible to th ink that More Than A Woman and How Deep ls Your Love predated the phone call from Stigwood. Then, of cou rse, there's the Imperishable Stay in' Alive: essentially Aaron Neville's Hercules turbocharged for the streets of Manhattan, decades of familiarity have done noth l ng to diminish i ts brilliance.

6 BeeGees Odessa POLYOO~

1969. 2009 DELUXEEDITION D<.lWNlOAD £10.29

You Say: " Proof of Barry and Robin's sibling rivalry." Craig Ellis, via e-mail By 1969, only a gold·embossed, flock-sleeved, four- sided concept album could contain Barry and Robin's expanding egos - even if, in a 2009 interview, Barry couldn't quite recall what the concept was. Glued together with arrangements by the increasingly indispensable Bill Shepherd, maritime epics (Odessa, Never Say Never Again), imaginary national anthems (With All Nations, Seven Seas Symphony), pretty paeans to sad girls (Melody Fair) and one surprisingly effective homage to The Band (Marley Purt Drive) helped bear the weight of Odessa's ambitions. Crowning moment? It's a tie between Robin's Lampl ight and Barry's First Of May. When the former was demoted to a B-side for the latter, Robin quit.

5 RobinGibb Saved By The Bell RH:NQ 2015, DOWNLOAD L13.99

You Say: " You wonder what he'd have done if h e'd stayed solo." Stephen Garcia, via e-mail To an extent, the group identity of the Bee Gees served to camouflage the eccentricities of Robin Gibb. However, in his 18 months as an ex-Bee Gee, those eccentricities defined him. In that time, Robin hymned his solitude into the Top 10 with Saved By The Bell. Proto post-rock liturgies and quasi-ecclesiastical requiems inhabited 1970's Robin's Reign LP, while Robin's fascination with military history - the Great War especially - coloured the mood of its successor Sing Slowly Sisters. Three years after Robin's death, that mythlea I lost album emerged on this triple ant hology, alongside the other manic labours of his estrangement - among them, his 1969 orchestral fanfare Moon Anthem.

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BeeGees Horizontal

POLYDOR 1968, RHINOEKPANDEO ~DITION 2007, DOWNLOAO (9.99

You Say: "A must-have, even if it i s just for the heavenly Massachusetts" Peter Doubert, via e-mail Having watched London explode into Technicolor from the other side of the planet, Horizontal ls the record Bee Gees made as they finally found themselves welcomed into the rarefied heights of that world. Barry's bravura gospel turn on The Change Is Made and maiden chart-top· per Massachusetts ratified their status as songwriting heavyweights. Their tireless creativity at this point is evidenced by the mournful chamber-pop of Daytime Girl and the heart-stopping And The Sun Will Shine (the latter written on the spot). Amazingly, the sessions also yielded Words and Sir Geoffrey Saved The Worldbut they wou ld have to wait until the 2007 reissue to be included here.

BeeGees Spirits Having Flown

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RSO 1979, R"llNO REISSUE200(>, ClOWNLOAD (7.99

You Say: " Li stening to this, it seems i mpossible that they fell so far so soon after," Henry Lloyd, via e-mail As sessions began for the Bee Gees' first post-Fever opus, four songs in the Billboard Top 5 were Gibb compositions. When it came to songwriting, the brothers' newfound invincibility created perfect preconditions f or their next batch of songs. Working closely co-producer Albhy Galuten and engineer Karl Richardson, Barry Gibb fashioned a luxuriant sonic vessel for 1o songs that obsess on the transience of perfect love. Love You Inside Out, Too Much Heaven and the staggering title track typify the mood of anxiety. Stuck for a convincing thun derclap sound on Tragedy, Barry merely made one with his mouth. Tru ly, they could d o anything at th is point.

G11.. , 'r .11,., [,, •n nth._ r·om~ u ny n-b c k i J•Jf:J Tu/ lr1 rrJ ,,, ,q,._ ,lh ~ G1- ,., bux ' "'t t an ~x ...llent way 1 lvt' fu1th:•1int< tn.-i1 Jt I 1 ,:<J I t't I u 13.:.r'y°' W• rk witn ") i,1nn--' W ·rw k n.·1 ~rbra \tr•· · 1n •. ThP Ultirn•l- P ' " Jr.1: hy LIf fh,.. I' .,, G, e• TJI . •fThc I' r •lh"" GH · r :mnlhv " Up-3t~;J ~::: 1t.-in J. •12 tt.11 . the ~1ory over 781 :-.·1 1t' wh1 e the DVD On·~ N qht Only (Eagle Rn ·11 ..1 • tures the ban.I 1J,1y nq rhe h•ts liv1· n La Vegas m 1 J 7 Th• crearri of th • band's w.•1k w th young~r '•r •th.-r Andy i\,. I •lhered t» _1 -'fh" 1 on I •:.tl anth ·I< 9y

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POLYOOR 1%7, RHINO EXPANDED REl~Uf 2011. OOWNLOAD (7.99

You Say: " Of all their pha ses, there's something so perfect about this one." Ruth Nathan, via e-mail. A rainbow fug of Fabness hangs over Bee Gees' 1st. but that's by no means the only thing going on. As well as such standards as New York Mining Disaster 1941 and To Love Somebody, other songs suggest turntable miles accrued in the company of The Moody Blues and The Hollies pushing their mellifluous pop into more psychedelic waters. On the lysergicVictoriana of Turn Of The Century, Barry and Robin take It in turns to sing about how amazing it would be to build a time machine. Drop the needle on Bee Gees' lst and you realise that's exactly what they did.

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oy1s An affectionate but unsentimental biography of the Thin Lizzyfrontman who laughed like Muttley. By James McNair.

Cowboy Song: The Authorised Biography Of Philip Lynott

****

Graeme Thomson CONSTABLE. £20

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ften the source of pleasure was disarmingly innocent .. : writes Graeme Thomson of Lynott and Thin Lizzy at their mid-'70s peak, "the warm g low of satisfaction felt by council-estate kids who suddenly realise they're being paid to sit by a hotel pool in California while the world toils around them: In Cowboy Song, this resonant alternative snapshot of the rampaging act who styled themselves "The fightingist band in rock• is one of countless instances where Thomson really thinks around his subject. Already rated for his incisive biographies of Kate Bush and George ~ Harrison, the author has written an affectionate and unflinching book on ~ Lynott, his most complex character study

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to date. That the full-span of Phil 's short, eventful life has been diligently researched soon becom es clear: "[Philipl was one of p recisely fo ur indig eno us black children·, the author writes of the demographics of 1950s Dublin, population approximately600,000. Naturally, there's plenty on Lynott's music pre-. during and post Thin Lizzy. and fresh quotes from band mates, friends, acquain tances and enablers shed new light. it's the substantive flesh Thomson puts on the bones of Lynott's personal life, though, that makes Cowboy Song the truest measure of the man we have thus far - and a must-read for anybody ever smitten by Uzzy's fatally-flawed romantic. The book's coups include an afterword by Caroline Taraskevics, nee Crowther, Lynott's long-suffering former wife. When she writes, "He laughed like Muttley", it's a kind and affectionate aside to admirably measured poignancy: "For me h is legacy is not just the great catalogue of music he created, b ut the two beautiful, strong, funny creative and loving girls we made together, of whom he would be so very proud: Thomson is good on •the marvellous t extural gradations of Lynott's voice"; on his clever 'Celtic branding' of Thin Lizzy, and on the way Phil's best songs put the

Thin Li zzy's fatally-flawed rom antic: Phil Lynott (above right) with Gary Moore and (below, left) marrying Ca roline Crowther In February 1980, her father Leslie is on the right.

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listener "right at the centre of the action". He's even better, th ough, o n Lynott's weaknesses (hard drug s: pretty women; mercurial-but-unreliable guitarists). and contradictions. Lynot t could write something as lyrical and persuasively ardent as Still In Love With You for former partner Gale Barber, yet thought nothing of making ludicrously blatant passes at his friends' girlfriends (Bob Geldof and the late Gary Moore testify). Another key revelation is that. in August 1968, five days after Lynott's 19th birthday. he and his then girlfriend Carole Stephen had a son, now known as Macdaragh Lambe, who was given up for adoption. Thomson interviews Lambe and his mother, and shows how Lynott's 1973 Thin Lizzy song Little Girl In Bloom hid them both in p lain view. Elsewhere, whether it be the Tintin books he bought for friends' children, his liking for spaghetti "bollock naked" (no sauce), or his autograph-signing regime - "He never scribbled: he diways signed 'Philip' very beautifully." says photographerChalkie OavlesThomson carefully stockpiles the factoids t hat make a life. He also writes beautifully about The Boys Are Back In Town, which is, curiously enough, a neat little litmus test of any Lynott/ Lizzy biographer worth their salt.


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Small Town Talk

****

Barney Hoskyns IA!llR& rABfR 11!

Unearthing the real roots of Woodstock Libraries groan with nearly as many books about the Woodstock music festival as there were fans who fiocked there. But Barney Hoskyns has come up wirh something novel In Small Town Talk. Instead of focusing on the concert which actually took place 60 miles from Woodstock - he nails the magic. and mayhem, of the town which inspired the festival's organisers to co-opt its name. Small Town pivots on Bob Dylan, who pied piper'ed a mid-'60s migration of musicians from New York City to the leafy preserve. Dylan was led there by the book's villain, his manager Albert Grossman, who lured other clients like Janis Joplin, The Band and Todd Rundgren. Other scenesters Included Van Morrison, Paul Butterfield and Tim Hardin. By capturing their rapport and mind-set, Hoskyns offers a pi tch perfect East Coast corollary to his classic tome on the Laurel Canyon scene, Hotel California. Better, he chronicles the seeds of the Americana movement, whose fetish for rural music resonates louder today than ever. Jim Forber

You Don't Own Me: The Life And Times Of Lesley Gore

****

Trevor Tolliver BAC~8EA1'

An insightful profile of an ancestral riot grrrl. A notoriously private person who gave very little away in interviews, Lesley Gore provides any biographer with a difficult challenge. The author, a self-confessed •gushing fan boy•, who wears an ' I love Lesley' button badge, does a good job here though. A detailed bibliography at the back of this 209-page book hints at the depth of research; new Interviews with Gore's mother Ronny Gore, producer

Phil Ramone, Neil Sedaka et al fill in any gaps. What emerges is a portrait of a strong woman who, constrained by the girl group sound, still captured the '60s cultural shift with feminiSt anthem You Don't Own Me and Martin Luther King elegy I Can't Make It Without You. Later material proved less creatively satisfying for Gore, but Identity and emotional release were found from the '90s onwards as the host of PBS TV show In The Life, where she explored LGBT issues. Lois Wilson

India Psychedelic: The Story Of A Rocking Generation

***

Sidharth Bhatia ftARPERCOLIJN'.> {

~..~

How the sound of young India spread across the globe. The story of the rise of rock'n'roll in Britain is that of teenagers discovering that cheap guitars and frothy coffee were the gateway ovt of a grey world; something similar happened to India's early adopters, who faced far more restrictive social codes and less access to the means of production, consumption and participation yet managed to turn the world Day-Glo. Much is familiar: hip DJs on a foreign radio station, a village of cafes and clubs (Park Street, Calcutta's Soho) and, too often, bands that flared, fiizled and left little trace. Bhatia comprehensively captures the ambience and heartache of bands like What A Fucking Waste Of Time, but his book was written for

Indians who know their stuff and a demanding editor could have opened up his tale to help outsiders; more dates, a discography and perhaps family trees would have been useful, too.

David Hutcheon

Cassady and his hometown San Francisco, precisely for its cultivation of diversity. Michael Simmons

Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock'n'Roll

Jerry On Jerry: The Unpublished Jerry Garcia Interviews

WEIDfNFtl D & NICOLSON Uk. £30

****

Epic story o f t he founder of Sun Records.

Edited By Dennis McNally BLACK 00C. & L[VI NTH~ f 17

McNallybrlngsusthe head of Jerry Gard a. The Gratef ul De ad's authorised historian/ publicist, Dennis McNafly is also chief chronicler of American counterculture. While Deadheads uniformly bedeck themselves in predictable costumery, there's more depth to GD phenomena than tie·dyed dancing bears. Garcia led the band by inspiration rather than edict, with large lobes and huge heart. McNally earned Garcia's respeet after the latter read his unsurpassed Kerouac bio and Garcia let his raconteur chops rip in five interviews with McNally (mostly) between 1973 and 1989. For instance, we learn of the guitarist's movle fandom when he details his love for both Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein and Alain Resnais' Last Year At Marienbad - one example of his affection for low-to-highbrow aesthetics. Garcia's other passions are sim ilarly diverse: comics to fine art (examples of his work are strewn throughout), rhe influence of everyone from Elvis's guitarist Scotty Moore to Beat icon Neal

Jumpin' Jack Flash

**** Keiron Pim

****

Peter Guralnick

ICM" oiANCAPI: ll•

Sam Phillips was, undeniably, a titan of popular music, and through 650 pages, Guralnick maps the Sun King in magisterial detail. Perhaps the book isn't flawless - one aspect o f Phillips' genius was his talent as a user of people, especially women, and while Guralnick tackles this carefully towards the end, the narrative would be better served by delving deeper, earlier. Yet perhaps it is flawless - for few biographies have anything like this degree of Insight, rigour or command of detail; crucially, it also drives you back to the music. Written with sensitivity and love, delving deep into '50s architecture, the hotel business or the mechanics of microphones, It captures more than any other book this writer

can remember the 'SOs' limitless possibilities, and is a gripping depiction of an empire in Its pomp - not only Sun Records, but also America. Pov/Trynko

0

q

The short life of David lltvinoff, missing link between The Rolling Stones and the Krays, David Li tvfnoff was the g reat unknowable of '60s London, a self-mythologising operator who helped establish the Krays mythos. worked as •technical advisor• on Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell's Performance, and then disappeared into a world of shadows, rumour and dread. Tracking a fine from litvinoff's East End Jewish upbringing, Pim quickly enters a wilderness of mirrors beguiled by this Benzedrlnebuized, Street-hustling enigma as he impersonates Lucien Freud, introduces Chelsea aristos and Soho bohos to East End crims, reorganising London society before a joke about Ronnie Kray earns him a cut-throat razor smile. Edges blurred by acid, amphetamines and fear, lltvlnoff's life turns chlmerlcal, strange: he ls the 'Clapton Is God' graffitlst, the Basement Tapes bootlegger, the last man to speak to Brian Jones. High on deep research, Pim follows Litvinoff's dying star from London to Wales to Australia, the narrative growing ever more feral, compelling and sad. before, like litvinoff's life, it ends all too soon. Andrew Mole


••

Pearl before swines Heartbreaking window into the tragic life of blues rock legend. By Lois Wilson.

Janis: Little Girl Blue

**** Dir: Amy Berg I

'GW ·" f. C/ OVO

( ( Jesus fucking Christ , I w ant to be happy so fucking bad," a lo nely Janis Joplin wrote to Peter de Blanc, her then-boyfriend, on returning from San Francisco to her ho me town of Port Arthur, Texas, to get cl ean in 1965. While she did quit drugs that t im e, Amy Berg 's except ional fi lm portrays her as rarely being happy d uring 27 years o f a life which ended o n Oc tober4, 1970, fro m a heroin overd ose. An outsider. growing up in a narrow -minded to wn, Jan is craved social accep tance and yet refu sed t o conform and was bullied fo r h er unconven tional o; looks and liberal politics. As a student in [ Austin, Texas, music p rovided her a safe ~ haven, initially as a singer of folk and ~ blues in th e Waller Creek Boys in 1962

118 MOJO

- ''instantly Janis became o ne of th e boy s," says Pow ell St Jo hn, the group's leader - but it didn't last. Intimidated by her peers, she was devast ated wh en the fraternities voted her Austin's " Ug liest Man". "It crushed her, the sa ddest thing I ever saw," St John rememb ers in tears. Even wh en she fo und approval fronting Big Brother And Th e Ho lding Com pany, she was in constant t urmo il. "I apologise fo r being so plain bad in th e fam ily, I'm just sorry," she writes to her parents fo r returning to San Francisco and fu elling th eirfear of her becoming an addict again once t here. It's this intimate correspo ndence. narrated off screen by Chan Marsall (aka Ca t Pow er) and interwoven with both new and archive interview s - w ith school friends, fam ily, band mem bers et al -and ast onishing concert fo otage, that g ives Berg's film invaluable insights into her conflict ed m ind. Sometimes her fragilit y. self-do ubt and desperat e need fo r recognit ion are too much to b ear - " I'm awfully sorry to be such a d isappointment to you but I really d o think there is an awfully good chance I won't blow it this tim e ... you couldn't possibly want for me to be a winner more than I do," she w rote to her parents j ust before she d ied. There were good times t hough

I must make amends: (main) Janis in p e n sive mood in Denmar k, 1969; (insets, centre) at the New Year's Wail, Go lden Gate Park, San Francisco, 1967; (bottom ) po si ng with her psychedelic Porsche.

- seeing Otis Redding ("my man") at the Fillmore o n LSD; a sensati onal performance of Ball And Chain at Monterey Pop ("I was asto nished by everything I saw," say s Columbia Record s MD Clive Davis); receivin g a gold d isc for

Cheap Thrills. Even after leaving Big Brother, when the pressure heaped o n even mo re as a solo arti st, t here was st ill much fo r Janis to th ri ll to: stage invasions in Frankfurt; mo bb ings in Stockholm and kid s dancing in the aisles at the Royal Albert Hall - "Go d, I'm so happy," she g ushed as she left the st age. But once off-s tage those inner demons were sadly too fi erce to fi ght. That this is only the second document ary t o be made about Janis - the first being 1974's How ard Alk- d irected Janis - is asto nishing. g iven her huge musical importance. That it does such a t remendous job at capturing her flawed but beautiful personality is cause for celebration.


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Patti Smith continues touring Horses, the album with no expiry date. By Chris Nelson.

Patti Smith Moore Theatre, Seattle t11d th.it l\1tti Sn1ith \VoulJ 1nnunt ,1 co1npl1·t,·-.ill 1u111 tou r of I !ones l(ir its -IOth .1n11i v1•rs.1rv cnul<l \v1·ll h.n·c 111•1·11 1n1·t \vith indii'h•r,·nl't'. l'l.1.vi n!! .1 r1.1 s~ic: .1lhun1 st.1rt-to-I in i ~h h.1s lo~t th1· gin1n1ick,· sht'l'll it h.1d \\'h1•n th1• t1 l'lld ht·g,111 in e,1rnl.'st a • dl·c.idt· .1·••1. Hut I lor,1·.1 i!t .1 clbtinct s1,1·cit·s. ~ Sn1ith 1· ml> 1 .1cc~ th1· .1 l l>un1·~ innu,·nct• o n l.111s .1ncl otht· r .1 rtist~. 'h1 pl.l\1·d it ~tr.1 i :.!_ht through ll1r it~ Hlth .1nni\1'l""ll')'• .1ncl rt'l1-.1s1·d .1 Ii,·,· v1·ri.ion in .1 d1·lu\t 1·clit1on of th<' ,1lhum. //,,1,.·I st r.1ight thr1Ju!!h i:, nion· prid1• th.1n plo~'. \t th1· \ 1 01~11·. 'mrth op1·ns \\'ith Comp.1ctt·d \" .111·n1·..,.,, .1 P"" 111 f111111 11,,,,,.~ • .,J,.,., 1·not1·.., T hi ronn1 i~n·l ju~t qui1 t. It\ ~iii nt. T h, n n11th n·.1ch1:. th1· lin1·, "I .1111 truly tot.11ly re.11h· t11 go," .1nd th1· cro\\·111~ p111s1 cl to 1•\plnd1• into Gl1~ri.1. Sn11th cl.·lih1·r.1t1•h 1·,1:.1·~ thi·m in. h1·r l(1ndnt·ss lor th1· ph1.1s1n~ of' I lyl.ln .1nd Sin.1tra on fu ll <li'>pl.1~ , ~h .. ~t n ·tch1·~ "thil'\'\'S.. into J

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'·k" .1t th1· \' ncl of " thick" is ~ti letto bh.1rp. Shl''!> ' ust sin••in:,:. ....,, not 1 toi .. 111 in1in(! ... th,. son(!'s ..._ 111·rlorminu urind .1<.,1i1 ;sl th1• 1»1rking ~ ~ ... 1n1°tl'r, d.1ncing \Vith gu it.1 1'ist I 1· 11 11~ K.1.'V. pl.1.' ing l1·rvently to th1· f1nnt 11>\VS. S1n it h is h'J yc.11 sold •.1nd L'\'L'I')' bit .1 r< •ck'n'n •ll\'1. \.Yith Rt·clon<lo B1·,11.:h, s h1.·\ ck-.1rly h.1, iug lu n - \Vhich 1:-. ju:.t .1 bit discor<l.tnl. g h'<'n th,1t thv s••n:,: ""d' in su i<.·idv l1y dn '"·ning. R1-.1lly, though~ it':. n11t h.1rd to l.1thon1 th\' gh·1" Sn1ith m.n IT._!ul.1rlv ~h.1 n • ni icroph() n1·s \\'ith Bonn ~ n:.!,~h·1·n. ' .1nd Spri hut h1·r c·onci·rt cI1•m1-.1 n11ur h.1s .1 1\\-.n~ r.·fl, cti·d .111 un.1h.1sh1 d thrill. Sh" s1•1•n1s utt1·rh ••r.1tt·l11 I to h1• h1•f<'. .1nd sh1· -. comn1its h1·r hlr~s to h1·1 .1ud11·nc1·s. 'li1ni!!ht. . it'lt not •>nh. hli,,. It is l111titu<le. It is in!>pi 1.1ti11n. . In 1'175, I f11r,,·s - \\ ith .11! its conl u ion , 11.1in. longi ng :.1·11,u.tlit). ,1<.c1·pt.1n<.·1.· - reached into b ..d roomb ,1nd tol<l 11utc.1btS of all kinds, "l-ll'V. you'rl' no1 ,1lonc ·• In 201'). in Seattle, the •dbu.n1'.1 ncl Sn1 ith':. p1·rli1rn1.1nc1· of it ~bouts to \'nti rl' conunu n iti1 ·~. ''I lt·y, " "; n not alone." • \.Vh.1tt•v1·r is foul in(! our \\·oriel - terrorists, ' 1>rl'i.id1•nti.tl c.1ncl id.1h·s. polit'l' k i ll i ng~. inco111e in1•qu.1lity- " ''' <.'.1 11 ch·l~·.1 t it , 1'11g1·ther. lforses' n ·put.1tion 40 y1•.1rs on is 1•vidt• nc1• that \.\'C ind1·1·d h.1,1· th1· 11•>\\1'1' t o \vn·stk· the ea rth f1•1111 f, >tils. The cl.11i11n blo\VS l oud• ·~t 1111 I .1nd. '\:1-.11 ly coll\ u l ~ing. 1nith \\ 1ing~ Harse.s' 5urrt'.1I s1·\u,1I .1dv1· ntu r\· into .111 1•\ hortation. J"h nn~ ·~no long1T lyi n:,: blooch in bed, but \\',1ndl·rin"~ th rou"h .1n .111oc.il ~v 1 •~l' that looks ~ Iike no\\. "1 >ncl1 ring " h.1t \ th1· n1.1ttt'r " ith ~ thl· \\'orl<l. Sn1 ith . !!~.,) h.1ir h.1n!!ing like a ;;. v1·il 0\'1·r h1-r r.11..-.·. shouts, ".\II is th1· matter! ~ l·,\·rvth ini: n1.1tll r.,! Bl.1c k Ii\, i. n1.1tter! Blac-k , ' ..! lh-.·s n1.1tt...-! ) our h\·1 s n1.1n1•r!"

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120 MOJO

HI could hear the angel calling•: Patti Smith (right) brings Horses to Seattle; (bottom row, from right) Patt i flanked by Lenny Kaye (right) a nd Tony Shana han; ca lling for mo re at the Moore; Smith delivers Co mpacted Aware ness; and puts best foot forward .

'n1 it h could cl..~1· th1· sh11\V nn\Y .1nd S<·nd 1:1ns hon11· hnth s p1·nt .1ncl ~p.1rkcd . But fi 1l10\vi11!! I l 111"'S, th1·r1· is 11th1·r husi n1·ss tll ' ,1ttt·nd t11. It's .\lich.u·I St11>l''S hirthd.i'" .1nd Srnith .1sks th1· nJ11111 to si ng to hin1 hy sp1·ak.· rphon<» 'fh,1t IL-.1<l ~ to ,in .1ltl·n111t .1t R.I' . \l .'s Cv1-ryl•o<h 1lu rt~ . Sn1ith is .1 ch.1n1pion .1t in11»1rting gri1·f. hut th1· p1Tli II m.11\Cl' is und1TCUt \Vhl'n shl' c:.1n't lind h1-r " "" into tJ11· s1·t·nnd \'erse. \\hich li11 c·1·~ .1h.1 ncl-1llf 111 h.1ssist .1ncl k1·yh11ard p l.1~1·1-. '1'1111' Sh.1n.1h.1n. \lt,·r .1 con1mcnt .1liout mith's ·'!.'."· thl· h:i nd t.1 k1·~ up Jin1i lll·ndii,\ lf h \\·,,l> <J. Sm ith prott·,t~ .1c: tu.ill) pl.1\ ing it. thl·n .1cc1 uie~c1 s .1n<l pt• rSl'tS th rough thl' 11n1· \'l'l'St: sh1• rt•n1cmh"1·s. \ nd b" it gul''· I >.1ncint! B.1r1·foot .ind Pl·npl1.· I~ ·"" 'fh1 1'11\\'IT lollo\\, hut it\ h.1rd to n•(!.1in n111n1l·ntu1n . •l nd tht• l><.'Cond h.llf of the sb11\\ ll'l'l1·r, h1 t\\'<'<'11 h.1ph.11.1rd .1nJ J sh.1111bl1·s. But m it h is not nn1· to l..t .i cunCl'J1: Ji'~"h' In th1· 1.,1rh, 2001l!>. thil> il> tht p.lrl of th1• sh<i\\' \Vht n h1•r 1n.1t1' rn.1I instincts k ickt'd in. 'ht' \\·ould u rnt· ... I.ins to d1 ink n1o rt· \\Jtl'r .1nd t11 hru~h th1·ir ll'l'th. Th1·~1· .1r,· diH.-n·nt tim1·~. " P1·111•l1•! " sh1· sh11uts. ··1"hii; )'t'<ll' i~ going t11 h1· .1 l'ul·kino h.1rd \l·.1r~ \ dirlv fucking )'c,1r!'' Shl· pn·ss1·s th1· .1udh·nc1· to tr.1 nstnrn1 th1· \V111 Id ,1 111und tht·n1. l-l,1tn·d ,1ncl •(!un::. \Viii ht· d1·l1'.1ll·d l>y lovi-. ki ndnl'~s . intt·lligenCl' (.ind h1.,1lth!). C.1 lls tu .1cti11n h,n ,. lnng been pill.1rs in Sn1 ith c:onc1·rl~. hut l hl· rl'voluti11n.try ~t.1 n c·c 111 ·1~ p.1 rticul.1rly .1ppr11pri.1t<' lor ,1 11<11 •l'.I ~h< l\V. l'.1tti . mith 1~ no llos.1 l'.1rks. )1·t it's not a ,tn•t('h t11 s.1\ th.1t I /, ,,,,.s h.ul s"m•· rule in t r1·.1ti ng .1 Li°n itl·d t.1lt'l> " hl'rl· 1n.1rri.1gl' 1•11u,1lity IS tht• l.1\\ of th1 l.1ncJ .1nd 1'r.1nsp.1rl'nt ,1 cnnll·1h·<l1.ln1.1 ti:.1tu 1ing. ,1 t r.1nS!!l'l1dl.'1 . t h .1 r.1ch 'I' - i:. t h, · n111,l hi· 1-.1 IJ ..<l sh11\\· on \ 1111•1ic.1n ·r\ . Thl· l>.1nd cln!>cS out \vith ,\ h Genl'r.ition. th1• H-sid1· to t h1 Glori.1 sinul1· 4 0 .,\'t'.1rs J(!o. .... Sn1ith tnthu:.iastit.ilh, i1\\1·11 th1· 11·fr.1in: "I lope 1 lhc 'til I g.1 t old!" "And I am fuckin•• nld 1" ,.h,· ,1clcls. ~ Th<'n finally· "\nd I'm 1-'."nn,1 gc·t nldl·r'." Dt•fiant, to th" l.1st .

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Edmonton's Jacques Brei demonstrates his Mercury Prize-winning form to a spellbound home crowd. By Tom Doyle.

Benjamin Clementine St John-at-Hackney Church, London nder th e ro ugh , cracked plasterw o rk of a repaired church ceiling de~troyed by tire 60 years ago, Benjamin Clementine is sit ting barefoo t at the piano, talking about receiving messages fro m angels. '"They sing to me: he say s, midw ay thro ugh the stirring Adios, •·and I can recall their melodics ... it goes something like this." He then launches into a soaring fal setto approximati o n of th ese celestial voices in his head. It's a typically eccentric mo ment in the most high-profile London show yet for this characteristically oblique individual. If Oementine's boho hobo backstory seems a little too neat - running away to Paris from an oppressive upbringing in Edmonton to sleep rough and busk- then his self-mythology and

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122 MOJO

Simply a oneoff: Benjamin Clementine (above) with a message from the angels, StJohn-atHackney; (below ) Barbara Le Liepvre.

stage act arc not without humo ur. Starting Adios by standing alongside drummer Alexi s Bossard with their backs t o the 1.400-s tro ng audience as cellist Barbara Le Li epvre perfo rms a d ramatic intro, he admo nishes audience whisperers with a determined ·sssh ! " and laughter rises into the air. One song earlier, am id th e rolling thunder of Erik Sat ie-quoting new ie Bendy Buses, he declared, "So I sing what I say and I say what I feel. .. you could call it idiosyn crasy." It's effectively a m ission statement and one that t ranslates to his physicalit y. as he hunches round-sho uldered on a too-high stool at his keyboard, bare-chested beneath a blue-grey t ailored overcoat. his passion meter set to max. Th ere is vulnerability evident too. As th e assem bled spontaneo usly sing Happy Birthday to him to night o n th e occasion o f his 27th, he seem s genuinely thrown by the gesture. ··1just got blown aw ay by yo u," he anno unces.

a once-bullied child clearly overwhelmed by th e massed show of affect ion. If many may have been d rawn here through curiosity fo llow ing his Mercury Prize w in fo r At leas t For Now, incredibly, for the normally distracted and chattering gig-goers o f Lo ndon, they are virtually hushed throughout. Bu t th en it's hard not to be compelled, particularly in this setting, by the spirit uality of Condolence's observation, "Out of absolutely nothing, y ou and I w ere born.r As the show progresses, there are a lot of kissing cou ples around, highlighting that there is somethin g shamelessly ro mantic about thi s music, particularly in uncert ain t imes. Altho ugh peculiarities abound, there are almost hit-like crowd-pleasers here: the spiralling arpeggios and howl o f loneliness in Cornersto ne; th e head-nodding groove and sw oop into th e heart-sto pp ing, destiny-calling cho ru s of London. Early reference points to his sound -the thrilling ly unpredic table soul of Nina Simone, the cur iou~ croon o f Antony Hegarty - arc b ecoming increasingly redundant. Clem entine is simply a o ne-off. Before the closing and lovely piano transposing of Nick Drake's River Man, h e encores with two other new songs-the frenetic jazz mantras of Kettle and the keening vocal and twisty flow of Balloon d 'Or - melted together into one long passage. It's a brave move. But then, it's clear that bravery is what Benjamin Clementine is all about.


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BUGGLE PLUS GOOD Geoff Downes played Buggies songs w ith The Trevor Horn Band last March. What are the chances of them playing as Buggies again? I missed them in 2010 and 2011 and woul d love to see them play The Age Of Plastic in full. Keith Duffy, via e-mail Fred says: Master producer Horn has commented: · 1don't mind doing it but only as part of another more far-reaching show, because the Buggies material is very early, frozen in time, Euro techno-pop. There's a lot more stuff to play." So, fingers crossed!

JANSCHTRANCHE

GOIN' TO A LOGO?

AS OHN FASTER THAN BERT? Abhor prosaic highways? Then tuck into Sidney Poitier, Video Stars and Yard birds. I know John Martyn's debut LP, London Conversation, was recorded in a single day at a cos t of j ust £1 S8. But wasn't Bert Jansch's fi rst album made even faster? Bill Rosen, via e-m ail

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Fred says: I on ce talked to Jansch about his e;irly ;ii bums and he explained: •The first one [Bert Jansch, Transatlant ic, 196S] took a year to mi:lke. It was done in Bill Leader 's back-room on a Revox. Every month or two I'd go aro und to Bill's house and l ay down a song. But the next one [/t Don't Bother Me, Transatlantic, 196S) took exactly three hours to make. I figured that the faster I put the tracks down. the faster I got out. I just ordered like a dozen bottles of w ine, put the m icroph one in front of m e and off we went for three hours." Incidentally, Jimmy Page sai d of that dcbut release: "I was absolutely obsessed with Bert Jansch. Wh en I first heard that .ilbum couldn't believe it. It was so far ahead of what everyone else was doing. No one in America cou ld touch that."

?' DID SIDNEY SING? ~ Has Sidney Poitier ever made a record? ~ Angela Morton, via e-mail

~ Fred says: The answer is no. Though

~ Poitier appeared to sing in the film version

-& of Porgy And Bess, the voice heard was that

~ of Robert Mcferrin, father of Don't Worry, ~ Be Happy hit-maker Bobby Mcferrin. ;- Mcferrin senior was a baritone with the & New York Metropolitan Opera.

126 MOJO

TRAFFIC PROBLEM My mate and I were both massive Traffic fans and many years ag o he gave me a t ape that included a version of Paper Sun, th e band's first single. But the ver sion on the t ape is vastly different to th e hit single. The main sitar track is missing, replaced by heavy bass and sax. Th e "paper sun" chorus is also more psychedelic in sound and quite wonderful. I've tried to find out more det ails of this version but without luck . Unfo rtunately, my friend passed away shortly after he gave me the tap e so I was never abl e to find out where he got it fro m. Can yo u provide any information on th is version? It is obviously a studi o recording . M arti n New, Queensland, Australia Fred says: I passed this one on to Neil Storey, creator of a 12 volume Isl and Record ~ hi~tory. who reckon s: "Either the wrong 4S mix w as sent to Australia and few got pressed up or, m ore likely. a d ifferent mi>C appeared o n the Australian version of Mr Fantasy, issued by Festival in 1968. It's possible that some Lape op at Olympic incorrectly ran out the non-UK 4S mix as the album mix. Certainly the Aussie album, unlike its UK counterpart, included Paper Sun. I've never heard the Australian pressing, which was released with a different sleeve, so I can' t say with certaint y if th at's the root of the problem, but i t sounds as thoughMOJO reader New has something that's very rare indeed."

Re the earlies t name logo on record sleeves query (MOJO 26S). The Yard birds logo of 1964 predates that used by Love. They used the same logo on five of seven early sleeves: Five Live Yardbirds (1964). Havi ng A Rave Up With The Yardbirds (1965), Sonny Boy Willia mson And The Yardbirds (1966}, Little Games (1967) and YardbirdsGreatest Hits (1967). Bob Walker, via e-mail Fred says: Any further takers on this subject or can w e now shut up shop?

STILL BEHIND THAT CURTAIN Pipe-smoking rocks: (clockwise from main) BertJansch relaxes; Buggies (Trevor Horn, ri ght); Paul Anka gets the point; Traffic; Sidney Poit ier with Dorothy Dandridge in Porgy And Bess.

Re: Iron Curtain rock (M OJO 262) I was born and raised in Los Angeles, where I still live. I went to Europe for the first time after my sophomore year at Berkeley, in summer 1966, and had the itch to see wh at it was like behind the Iron Curtain, so I got visas for Czechoslovakia and Hungary. When w e hit Prague we met a group of students who took us one night to a nightclub/disco in the basement of one of th e bigger pre-war hotels, the Ale.ran I believe. Staying at the hotel was Paul Anka, on a tour of t he East bloc. His band ca me down to th e disco and jammed impro mptu. I em barrassed mysel f by accompanying them on When The Saints Go Marching In w ith my best (pretty lame) Louis Arm stro ng voice. Not exactly rock'n' roll, bu t memorab le nonetheless. Bob Bookman, via e-mail Fred says: I'll mention reader Vladimir Matetsky, who e-mailed from Russia to say he rem embers Boney M and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band playing in Moscow, then curtai l the curta in discussion. My thanks to all Eastern European readers who took part!

FRED Write to: Ask Fred, MOJO, Endeavour House, 189 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8JG. OR e-mail Fred Dellar d irect at

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6 Ann re Lennox album f or t he snake, rattle and rollers perhaps? f6i 9 A Style Council album - was It dedicated to lesco! (3,9,41 10 See photoclue A (5.6) 12 Colourel.i like .i Nid< Pr.ik<' c.ompildti(.ln ~Ilium

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14 Their dcbu t LP w;i~ Monster Movie {3) 16 The B· S2's hit crustacean (4.7) 17 Gen X Billy (4) 19 Of which !3owre's machine was constructed (3) 21 She commences My Aim Is True (3) 23 OMO's Supt!r Ft.>rtrt'~S \U(te~~ (5,3) 24 Se<' photodue R (3,6) 25 See photoclue C (6) 26 "All those dirty words. they m;ikc us look so dumb" (2 11,3) 27 Not really so silent record label founded by Daniel Miller (4) 28 Kind of energy once produced by RlondiP (6) 30 Were Americo ~um,.whert' e(\t> at the t1mr thi~ album wa~ m<1dt•? (5) 31 Five Stairsteps' classic covered by Nina Simone and Beth Orton (J,5) 32 The Who were fomously live there (Sl 33 Vampire Weekend album that contains California English (6) 34 Depeche Mode album that suund s pretty r.idical (5 ) 3 5 Joni Mi t<'h<"ll's nt>ar-Arabic journt"y (6} 37 L<1bel on whi ch Elton John notched his first hits (1.1.1) 38 Area. needless to say. sung about by Al Stewart (4) 39 Direction for The Charlatans' country boy (5) 40 That-·--A Lot. P.J. Proby h1tpt>nnf'd by Lenno n & McCartney (5) 43 Formerly Cat Stevens (5,5> 45 Pat whose real surn~ me is Andrze1ewsk1(7l 46 Freee.z success located a1nid Sid Vicious (1.1.1 ) 47 He's coming proclaimed Three Dog Night (3} 48 Indian music form (4) 49 Mr Big's Shakcspl'are11n lover (5) 51 Va lente. also known <is Chet Powers (4 ) 53 Erle B's partner in hip hop (5) 54 The kind of songs The National hacl for dirty loveH (31 55 Walker, Barlow, Usher etc. (4) 56 Paul Wellrr di bum named .iHer a Woking loc;1tion ( /.4)

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Red Card [1976] was a good record,

THISMONTH

ROGER CH.APM.AN .AND STREETWALKERS They didn't start as a band at all, but enjoyed a few good years before diversification and friction spelt the end.

I:I~ I111:111iiJvl llPlhl At t he end of Family I'd had enough of being in a group, slogging up and down the M1, doing things day by day. But me and Charlie [Whit ney, Family guitarist], we were still writing, and I wonder if we didn't start recording the Chapman- Whitney album [Streetwalkers, 1974] before the end of Family. Chapman-Whitney was a bit more plotted up than Family. [Manager] Harvey [Goldsmit h] took us over, which I suppose gave us a lot of confidence. At first it wasn't a band at all, it was myself and Charlie, but when we'd made the album Streetwalkers, ~ there was a proposal, form a band to ~ promote it. That was just the guys who ~ were on t he album, various session S"' players and a few friends, which was how we met [guitarist/vocalist] Bobby ~ Tench. We did quite a successful live ~ gig in town, and the questions came: ~ do you fancy keeping the band ~

i

130 MOJO

Ope n and smut case: Streetwa lke rs in their prime (top row, fro m left) Cha rlie Whitne y, Jon Plote l, Nic ko McB rai n, Roge r Chapman a nd Bobby Tench, (front) unnamed friends; (inset right) Downtown Flyers and Vicious But Fair sleeves with model Anna Chen.

together?We made it permanent with Bob, Jon [Plotel. bass] and Nicko [McBrain] on drums. I think we did a couple of nights at the Marquee and got fabulous reviews. We all went, "We're a proper band!" We had a great front line, then John and Nicko in the rhythm section ... it was a really good rock band. Naming the band Streetwalkers was just a natural progression. In 1975 we did the Downtown Flyers album. The women's legs and stilettos on the cover, we weren't like that at all. Streetwalkers was named because each song was about a different character in the street. It had nothing to do with sex or women on the game - there was maybe a song whose lyrics bent a little but that way, but again, it was just another person in the street Maybe Genesis had got bigger or something, but they'd decided to get another chap to take over the management, and I assume it was some cheap management decision that it'd be really good to make all women whores. We had a couple of good years. I think we wanted something successful but we never quite wanted to own up to it, a very odd thing.

and it was almost like we'd found our niche ... for a short time. Then we lost it on t he next album [Vicious But Fair]. We moved away from t he heavy rock soul sound, and drifted into a softer phase, something I wasn't really comfortable with. Charli e was a lot more diversified musically. Even when we were making it I said, "Charlie this is not right, we're losing the plot, again." Nicko and John weren't part of Streetwalkers then.There were frictions, I'm not saying we were all best pals all the time. Then t here was the management, introducing his dodgy ideas. Just to kind of cap it, the woman on the cover of t he album was the girlfriend of the manager. We â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ j ust thought, "This is shit". I don't remember a last meeting or a farewell gig, we j ust really slunk away. I got all my money out of the bank account and told 'em to fu ck off, really, knock this nonsense on the head. People mention the punk t hing coming in, but we were pretty fu cking Iairy ourselves and it probably wouldn't have continued anyway, ha ha! There were always gonna be some loggerheads, it was never fucking easy. It was the same with Family. At some point you realise, I want to do something else - and Family were successful! My (1979 solo] album Chappo has a leftover song w ritten with Charlie, Pills. We wrote some nice songs together, but I have no idea what he got up to afterwards and I've never worked with him again. Bob I've worked with, we're still really good pals. But it was a clean break. And my solo thing was something I'd been yearning for. I didn't want to rule the worl d but I wanted to be master of my own destiny. Which happened, thankfully. Jan Harrison The 15-CD box set I'm Walking, Complete Streetwalkers 1974-1977is out on Madfish.


The Next Day



Mojo March 2016