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300 DAYS THAT CHANGED ROCK FOREVER

N I L E P P E Z D LE N O I T U L O V E R H S I T I R B Y R E V A F O Y R O T S THE INSIDE Lee eater

E h e T k a m J a s e k r n D a s B n r o e i t p e r P o c d i S A n o N t ’ s r Bo Hea


cover story

54

The Birth Of Heavy

300 days that changed the course of rock.

FEBRuary 2014 issue 193

Features 41 Ones To Watch In 2014

Artist tipped to make a splash during the next 12 months, including Beastmilk, Cage The Gods, White Denim, Israel Nash Gripka, No Sinner and more.

54 1969 and The Birth Of Heavy

In 300 days in 1969, Led Zep released their first two albums, Gillan and Glover joined Deep Purple, UFO, Uriah Heep and Judas Priest formed, and Black Sabbath recorded their debut album. Read the story from the people who were there.

68 Boston

For four decades, Tom Scholz has been the band’s driving force. As they release their first album in 11 years, this controversial visionary gives his most revealing interview ever.

74 Peter Banks

Some musicians’ contributions to the development of rock have largely been forgotten and their passing unmarked or, worse, unnoticed. Yes’s original guitarist is one of them.

78 Jess Roden

A contemporary of Robert Plant and Steve Winwood, this virtually unknown blues/soul/rock singer is the Midlands’ best-kept secret.

82 Dream Theater

“Give me a frickin’ break. Of course we’ve got soul.” As terminally uncool as they are devotedly admired, DT tell of the travails of taking prog into the modern world.

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Regulars

FEBRuary 2014 issue 193

16 The Dirt

Sonisphere returns – with Maiden and Metallica; Black Sabbath nominated for three Grammys; “My people are talking to Woody’s”– Rod ready to reunite the Faces with Ronnie; welcome back Transatlantic, Reverend Horton Heat and Jake E. Lee…

30 The Story Behind The Songs Scorpions

In Trance played a significant part in turning a successful-athome band into a truly international one.

32 Q&A Sheryl Crow

New sound, new label and a new start. After 20 years and eight albums, has she found her true home?

36 Fly On The Wall Hear N’ Aid

When the hard-rock community muscled in on the charity-single bandwagon. Cue a heavyweight cast, guitar battles and arguments over who had the biggest hair.

91 Reviews

New albums from Bruce Springsteen, Rory Gallagher, Steven Wilson, Neil Young, Rush, Black Oak Arkansas, Spirits Of The Dead, Faster Pussycat… Reissues from Ramones, Deep Purple, Marillion, Cinderella, Sparks, Humble Pie, Climax Blues Band, Ry Cooder… DVDs, films and books on Rush, Status Quo, The Beatles, Roger Waters, Peter Gabriel, Jethro Tull, Nightwish… Live reviews of Hard Rock Hell, Queens Of The Stone Age, Blackberry Smoke, Television…

104 Buyer’s Guide Ronnie Montrose

The San Franciscan guitar genius never quite lived up to his promise, yet he inspired a legion of imitators.

110 Letters

Got something to say? Let us hear it.

114 Lives previews

Gig previews from Family, Savatage and Quireboys, plus gig listings – who’s playing where and when.

138 Heavy Load Mike Rutherford

The Genesis man on plans to re-form the band with Peter Gabriel, hits, hellish schooldays and being uncool.

120

How the great, the good and the bill-fillers fared at the annual rock’n’fun weekender.

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* Unless you’re a subscriber, in which case you get a Q&A with Boston’s Tom Scholz.

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54 classicrockmagazine.com

getty

Their time is gonna come – soon: Led Zep sock it to New York on their fist visit to the US in May ’69.


A

t the start of 1968, rock’s original prime movers were flagging, and another generation of bands were ready to step into their shoes and crank their amps way up. When they’d finished, a whole new genre had been born. The revolution began on January 12, 1969 when Led Zeppelin released their first album, and reached its crescendo on October 22 that year when they released the follow-up, Led Zeppelin II. During those days and weeks in between, the foundations of hard rock and heavy metal were laid by such visionaries as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Free, Humble Pie and more. It was a very British revolution, starting in pubs and clubs across the land before going on to conquer the stadiums of the world. By the time the dust had settled, nothing would be the same again. This is the story of 300 days that changed the world. ➻

y v a e H

f O th r i B e h T

ck h Fielder,Wall hnny Bla Bell, Hug Words: Jol reporting: Max Ravendale, Mick Additionais, Dave Ling, Ian Dave Lew

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The Birth Of

Heavy

Dramatis Personae

The main players in The Birth Of Heavy. Al Atkins Singer with Birmingham band The Bitta Suite and founder of Judas Priest.

Tony Iommi Guitarist with Earth/Black Sabbath and one of the founding fathers of the heavy metal sound.

Freddy Bannister Heavyweight 60s promoter. The man behind the 1970 Bath Festival Of Blues And Progressive Music, which featured Led Zeppelin. Went on to promote mega-shows at Knebworth throughout the 1970s.

John Paul Jones In-demand session musician-turned Led Zeppelin bassist.

Dave Black Guitarist with Newcastle band Kestrel. Later replaced Mick Ronson in the post-Bowie Spiders From Mars.

Deke Leonard Guitarist with Welsh acid-rockers Man, leading lights of the Welsh rock scene. Jon Lord Late Deep Purple keyboard player and Hammond organ virtuoso. The driving force behind landmark symphonic rock album Concerto For Group And Orchestra.

Ritchie Blackmore Visionary guitarist and co-founder of Deep Purple. Largely responsible for beefing up their sound in 1969. Mick Box Founding guitarist with West London band Spice, who later renamed themselves Uriah Heep.

Ken McKenzie Owner of Multichord Studios in Sunderland, used by many local bands, including David Coverdale’s early band Government. Mick Box: Uriah Heap

John Bonham Late Led Zeppelin drummer, whose hard-hitting approach helped define a new, heavier sound.

Jimmy Page Ex-Yardbirds guitarist. Founded the New Yardbirds (aka Led Zeppelin) in Autumn 1968.

Edgar Broughton Founder and guitarist of the British psychedelic rock band named after him. Most famous for their cover of The Fugs’ Out, Demons, Out.

Ian Paice Linchpin Deep Purple drummer and the band’s only constant member. Edgar Broughton

Geoff Docherty Sunderland-based promoter and a key figure in the fledgling North East rock scene. Tony Edwards Late Deep Purple co-manager. Peter Frampton Former singer and guitarist with 60s pop outfit The Herd. Co-founded Humble Pie with Steve Marriott in early 1969.

Neil Warnock

Andy Fraser Wunderkind 15-year-old bassist who co-founded Free in 1968. Roger Glover Bassist with London pop/rock band Episode Six. Joined Deep Purple along with singer Ian Gillan in 1969. Ken Hensley Keyboarist/guitarist with prog rock pioneers The Gods, before joining Spice/Uriah Heep. 56 classicrockmagazine.com

As far back as 1967, the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Cream and The Who had turned rock upside down, redrawing the boundaries of what could be done within music. But by 1968 all three found their creative juices becoming increasingly sapped by the demands of endless touring, especially in America. Ian Paice (Deep Purple): It started in the mid1960s with Cream, Hendrix and The Who. Those three switched all of us on. When The Who started making their presence felt, rock’n’roll went to a different level. The volume leapt up incredibly. Cream took the musicality of the thing and made that a speciality. And then Hendrix opened up a whole range of new possibilities. Jack Bruce (Cream): That long US tour, February to June 1968, led to the demise of the band, simply because you can’t lock up three guys in a car for that long, and because we never had time to write. Eric Clapton (Cream): Rolling Stone ran an interview with us in which we were really praising ourselves, and it was followed by a review that said how boring our performance had been. The ring of truth had just knocked me backward; I was in a restaurant, and I fainted. And after I woke up I decided that that was the end of the band. Jimi Hendrix (speaking in a radio interview): I can’t play guitar any more the way I want to. I get very frustrated on stage when we play… Every time we come into town, everybody always looks towards us for some kind of answer, for what’s happening to them and… which is a good feeling… but it’s very hard.

Andy Parker Drummer with London space-rock outfit UFO, who would later reinvent themselves as hard rock/ heavy metal figureheads.

Noel Redding (Jimi Hendrix Experience): We got through the last tour by constantly telling ourselves: “This is our last American tour. We can do it…”, when we felt like death warmed up.

Robert Plant Led Zeppelin singer and former member of West Country bands the Crawling King Snakes and the Band Of Joy.

Terry Reid: Every band was breaking up or forming, or breaking up and re-forming. It was like Scrabble, everything flying in all directions. Music was changing. Not the industry, but the groups, and the singles market had become the albums market.

Terry Reid Acclaimed 19-year-old blues-rock singer. Famously turned down a chance to join Led Zeppelin, recommending his friend Robert Plant instead.

Jerry Shirley Drummer with Humble Pie. Joined the band in early 1969 when he was just 17. Jim Simpson Former jazz trumpeter-turned-impressario who ran Birmingham club Henry’s Blueshouse. Managed Earth/Black Sabbath. Neil Warnock London-based booking agent who was partly responsible for the development of the capital’s live circuit.

Waiting in the wings were two former Yardbirds guitarists with big plans. One was Jeff Beck, whose eponymous Group released their debut album, Truth, in August 1968, laying down the template for what was to come. The other was Beck’s old oppo, Jimmy Page, who was putting together his new band, initially dubbed The New Yardbirds. Mick Box (Spice/Uriah Heep): When Jeff Beck’s Truth came out, that’s when everything started to change. Them and Led Zeppelin. I saw Zeppelin at the Cooksferry Inn in Edmonton. I sat in front of John Bonham’s huge drum kit, which was so massive they could barely get it on to the stage. Plant wasn’t in front of it, he was by the side. They were very, very exciting.

getty x3

Geezer Butler Bassist with Birmingham blues rockers Earth, who later rechristened themselves Black Sabbath.

Ozzy Osbourne Former amateur burglar, and frontman with Earth/Black Sabbath.

PART 1: SHAPES OF THINGS 1968


Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin): I wanted the group to be a marriage of blues, hard rock and acoustic music with heavy choruses – a combination that hadn’t been explored before. I’d originally thought of getting Terry Reid in as lead singer and second guitarist, but he had just signed with Mickie Most as a solo artist in a quirk of fate. He suggested I get in touch with Robert Plant, who was then in a band called Obbs-Tweedle.

Humble Pie: one of the bands key to the development of the new, heavier sound.

Terry Reid: Everyone knew everybody. I became part of the pool. I was asked to join what became Led Zeppelin. Jimmy Page also asked Steve Marriott and Stevie Winwood cos he wanted a singer and guitarist. John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin): As soon as I heard John Bonham play, I knew this was going to be great. We locked together as a team immediately. Neil Warnock (booking agent): I controlled the talent bookings into a lot of the Central London colleges, and I was seeing the progression of, for example, The Yardbirds becoming Led Zeppelin. We had to bill them as ‘Led Zeppelin – formerly The Yardbirds’. They didn’t want that, but I had to give it some recognition factor with the kids to help sell tickets.

Page and Beck weren’t the only ones standing on the edge of a revolution. As 1968 progressed, a groundswell of bands at the lower end of rock’s food chain began to turn up their amps. In London, members of Black Cat Bones and Wilde Flowers joined forces as Free, while in Birmingham a little-known blues band called Earth started to toughen up their sound.

f heavy the birth o s, said: n oh J n y l G . It’s ucer, “Our prpolday you this albuIm eard it ‘Let me nd, led zeppelin.’ lhoor.” a new bajaw just hit the f and my ampton Peter Fr

Part 2: Your Time Is Gonna Come January – March 1969 Led Zeppelin were already way ahead of the curve compared to other bands. They had recorded their debut album the previous September, and the buzz around them was growing in Britain and America thanks to some sledgehammer live shows. Led Zeppelin I was released on January 12, 1969. It peaked at No.6 in the UK and No.10 in the US . The balloon had gone up.

zep: rex features; Humblepie: getty

Andy Fraser (Free): The first night we got together to audition each other, we knew we had it. There was just no doubt. So we weren’t afraid to go up against anyone. We would tour with The Who, Small Faces, Family, anybody, and we were still confident in each other. Mick Box: I saw Free in their very early days, at a pub in Wood Green. Their simplicity and energy blew me away. Andy Fraser: Robert Plant came to see us play in Birmingham. He came back to the hotel afterwards for a jam, which people did a lot in those days, and told us he’d just been offered a gig with the New Yardbirds, on a good wage. Jim Simpson (Earth/Black Sabbath manager): I had started a blues night, Henry’s Blues House, in Birmingham in September 1968, which Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne joined as members. They came along most weeks and we chatted about their band, which was called Earth, and I ended up managing them. They were a blues band, but they were looking for a new direction and, even then, Ozzy was absolutely mesmerising on stage. Ozzy Osbourne (Earth/Black Sabbath): I went to the same school as the guitarist, Tony Iommi. He was in a band called Mythology with Bill Ward,

Led Zeppelin: ahead of the curve at the beginning of 1969.

the drummer. I was in a group called the Rare Breed with Geezer Butler. I didn’t like the band. The fucking guitar player was a bully. Geezer agreed and we decided to leave. I put an ad in a music shop in Birmingham and Tony and Bill turned up. We called ourselves Earth. Tony Iommi (Earth/Black Sabbath): It was very difficult doing what we did, because it was all soul clubs and blues clubs. Keith Law (Velvet Fogg): Lots of musos would meet after gigs in Birmingham, at such places as The Cedar, Rum Runner, Opposite Lock, Rebecca’s, and after at Alex’s Pie Stand, there was a great camaraderie.

Jimmy Page: The first album came together really quick. It was cut very shortly after the band was formed. For material, we obviously went right down to our blues roots. I still had plenty of Yardbirds riffs left over. John Paul Jones: We never listened to the same music. I’ve always maintained that Zeppelin was the space between us. Bonzo was into soul and Motown, I was into jazz and classical, Jimmy was into rockabilly, blues and folk, and Robert was into blues and Elvis. Nobody on the outside of the band could believe this, but we considered it valuable. Edgar Broughton: I remember the uniqueness of the music, and having to accept that I’d never heard anything like that before. It was the incredible guitar playing and the violence of the drums that did it for me. And they’d managed to capture this huge heavy rock sound in the studio, which was quite a rare thing in those days. ➻ classicrockmagazine.com 57


Mad?

I suppose some people would think so” For four decades, Tom Scholz has been the driving force behind Boston. As his band release their first album in 11 years, this controversial visionary gives his most revealing interview ever.

I

Words: Paul Elliott

Whether that makes me a scientist or not I’m not so sure. What I do is I like to design things – to come up with things that solve a problem. And in this case I did come up with some gadgetry, things that people called ‘wizardry’. Mad? I suppose some people would think so. So I suppose it’s not altogether undeserved.” He pauses momentarily and laughs. “I’m not even sure that I don’t like it, to tell you the truth.”

T

om Scholz can laugh off the notion of being the mad scientist of rock’n’roll. It’s harmless enough – it implies nothing more than eccentricity. But the new Boston album comes at a time when Scholz has been the subject of much negative publicity. Throughout 2013 there were media reports of three lawsuits involving Scholz. On April 19 it emerged that he is suing former Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau for alleged trademark infringement. According to the Boston Globe, the lawsuit claims that Goudreau, who left the band in 1979, signed an agreement awarding him 20 per cent of royalties from the  first two albums in return for giving up all rights to the name ‘Boston’. Goudreau, it is alleged, broke this agreement with promotional material in which he is referred to as ‘Barry Goudreau from Boston’. A similar story emerged on August 21, when the Boston Herald reported that a federal court judge had ruled against Scholz in a dispute with Fran Cosmo and his son Anthony. Scholz had attempted to prevent the pair from advertising themselves as ‘former members of Boston’ – despite the fact that Cosmo Sr was the lead vocalist on Boston’s 1994 album Walk On, and his son was a guitarist and songwriter for the band between 1999 and 2004. And on July 1 it was revealed that Scholz had been ordered to pay the Boston Herald $132,000 following the failure of a defamation lawsuit against the newspaper. ➻

Kamal Asar

n August 1976, Epic Records launched Boston’s self-titled debut album with a bold advertising slogan: “Better music through science.” Tom Scholz, the group’s leader, thought that was bullshit. Scholz was no ordinary rock musician. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he was still employed as a product design engineer for the Polaroid Corporation when the Boston album was released. He had created the album in a basement studio that he had built himself, using new recording technology that he had invented. He worked mostly alone, obsessing over every detail in the music. And he did this for more than five years before the album was complete. What Scholz had created was a groundbreaking album: hard rock elevated to a new level of melodic sophistication and state-of-the-art production. But he hated that slogan. “I thought it was a terrible reflection on the album,” Scholz says now. “I can’t argue that I put my technical background to work when I was trying to make the record. But the music itself had nothing to do with science. Music was my escape from that world.” Scholz wanted the ads pulled and made this clear in Boston primary: a heated exchange with one man and his Walter Yetnikoff, then recording studio. President of Epic’s parent company CBS Records International. It was the first shot in a war between the two men that would lead to a courtroom battle in a landmark case for the music industry. But Yetnikoff wouldn’t back down over the ads. And that slogan would stick like glue to Tom Scholz. “The mad scientist in the basement,” he says. “That was something that Epic really cultivated in the early days.” But, 37 years on, as a new Boston album, Life, Love & Hope, is released after 11 years in the making, Scholz accepts the truth in it. “The fact is I do work in a basement. So that part of it is accurate. A scientist? I do have a couple of degrees.


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As terminally uncool as they are devotedly admired, Dream Theater tell of the travails of taking prog into the modern world.

I

t’s halfway through our interview when James LaBrie inadvertently nails the problem with Dream Theater. “The worst thing anybody has said about this band?” The singer’s voice rises above ‘polite’ for the first time in our 40-minute conversation. “That we have no soul.” It was a reasonable enough question, and an unexpectedly forceful answer. The New York band split the vote like few others. To some they’re the greatest musical technicians, a collection of academy-trained virtuosos who prove intelligence and success aren’t mutually exclusive in the 21st century. To others they’re anally-clenched muso spods so far from rock’n’roll’s elemental foundations that they may as well be from Saturn. The three members of the band on press duties today are never anything less than friendly. Guitarist John Petrucci laughingly describes himself as a “music nerd” never more than one room away from an instrument (he even confesses he’s doing today’s interview standing on a carpet emblazoned with guitars). Paintbrushbearded keyboard player Jordan Rudess – a child prodigy who trained at Juilliard from the age of nine – is equally engaging, and no less aware of his band’s place in the scheme of things. And then there’s LaBrie. A transplanted Canadian, he may describe himself as having “a short fuse”, but he’s the most mildmannered, pleasant rock star imaginable. He doesn’t even go in for profanity, substituting ‘fricking’ for ‘fucking’, which makes him sound a bit like Dr Evil from Austin Powers. At one point he even utters the phrase “Holy smokes!” But for all that, it’s clear that LaBrie cares about how his band are perceived. And he gets narked when people say their music is soulless. “I dunno,” he says. “Maybe they heard an instrumental like Hell’s Kitchen, or maybe they heard Metropolis. But they didn’t listen to Spirit Carries On. They don’t

have an overall sense of the spirit of the band. Especially when you have a frickin’ guitar player like John Petrucci. I’ve always said that his heart is frickin’ connected to his strings.” There’s a snort of derision. “Give me a break. Of course we’ve got frickin’ soul.”

M

ore than a quarter of a century into their career, Dream Theater – completed by bassist John Myung and drummer Mike Mangini – are both flag-bearers and whipping boys for modern prog. When they put out their first album, 1989’s When Dream And Day Unite, these academically trained virtuosos were pitched as ‘Rush meets Metallica’. Somewhere along the way they became bigger than anyone expected – at least anyone other than themselves. Guitarist Petrucci – the man whose heart his bandmate LaBrie says plugs directly into his strings – recalls the band practising in the basement of a butcher’s shop in the early days, and giving music lessons to make ends meet. Later this month they play some of the country’s bigger venues, including a Valentine’s Day engagement at the 10,000-capacity Wembley Arena. These days, this most unfashionable of bands have an army behind them: a massed rank of people disenfranchised from, or bored with, most modern music. This army is mostly male, many of them aspirant musicians, all of whom couldn’t give a flying polychord about trends or fashion. “There’s a part of me that thinks: ‘We won,’” says Petrucci, who co-founded the band while a student at the Berklee College Of Music in Massachusetts in the mid-80s. “It was an uphill battle for years, people telling us: ‘Your songs are too long.’ ‘You don’t know how to write music.’ All these different things. Talk about coming a long way.” They’re an old-school band in a lot of respects. They tour like demons, relying on

“Give me a frickin’ break. Of course we’ve got soul.” James LaBrie 84 classicrockmagazine.com

word of mouth rather than media. Their last three albums have all climbed into the US Top 10 and the UK Top 20. But since 1992’s Pull Me Under, an MTV hit in the long-gone days when that channel still played music, they’ve not had a sniff of TV or radio airplay. Despite their success, you get the sense it grates with some of them. “People hear the name Dream Theater and they can’t believe there would be any elements of our music, even parts of bigger songs, that would be viable for radio,” says LaBrie, without any bitterness. “There’s always been one or two songs on any given record of ours that would be suitable for radio. You can’t have a song like [2009’s] Wither and say that’s not radio-friendly.”


Revenge Nerds Of The

Words: Dave Everley

But talk to them further and there’s a degree of mixed messages being sent out. In 1997, when then-label EastWest foisted Bon Jovi associate and superstar hitmaker Desmond Child on them to work on a song for their album Falling Into Infinity, there was nearly mutiny in the ranks. “I just thought: ‘What the hell is this?’ We’re not a frickin’ radio singles band,” says LaBrie. “We fluked out with Pull Me Under. That’s not meant to happen.” It certainly hasn’t happened since. But, despite that, they’ve amassed an army of devotees who ardently follow every note, every micro-tonal keyboard run, every 13/8 time signature. It’s turned them into one of the biggest cult bands on the planet.

Put it to LaBrie, Petrucci and Rudess, and they all come up with different answers. For the singer, it’s simply a matter of “relentless touring, constantly wrapping ourselves around the globe”. For Jordan Rudess, it’s down to “the emotion behind the music – a lot of other progmetal bands, they try too hard. It gets very academic.” For John Petrucci, it’s down to the fact that their music is a lightning rod for what he calls “a certain kind of person”. “We were those kids who were listening to Rush and Yes and Metallica at high school,” he says, “and so we were doing it for ourselves when we started. Then we realised that there were like-minded

Dream Theater: (l-r) Mike Mangini, John Petrucci, James LaBrie, John Myung, Jordan Rudess.

people into the same thing everywhere – they love progressive music, they love metal, they love guitar, they love playing, they love the gear, the tone. And they connect not only to the music but also to the ideals of musicianship and that whole thing we’re into.” The uncool kids, basically. “Yeah, I guess so.” Which makes Dream Theater uncool. “[Laughing] Oh, we’re definitely an uncool band. I have no problem with that.” Petrucci has a theory, which is that his band’s continued success is partly down to the explosion of videogames such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band a few years ago. “You’d have all these young kids ➻

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