Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Creation: Who will Be a Rock and Roll Band? by Sam Leighty

Amplify’d from www.furious.com
Perfect Sound Forever
The Creation

Who will Be a Rock and Roll Band?

by Sam Leighty

"Our Music Is Red With Purple Flashes"-Eddie Phillips of The Creation, 1966

At times, we tend to think of rock and roll groups as landmarks like the Rock of Gibraltar, Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids. You could compare The Creation and The Nazz, for example. Both groups seemed to be at the peak of their powers in that 1966-1967 period when garage rock and electric banana-pop ruled the airwaves and progressive/heavy rock was just getting started yet and hadn't come into full definition. The Creation came from Enfield, Middlesex, England near London. The Nazz came from Philadelphia, PA. The Creation broke up in June 1968. The Nazz kind of dissolved around 1969-1970. Both groups left behind devoted cult followings and their vinyl records are collectable. Each group gave us great lead guitarists who would've been in the ranks of that top 5 or 6 guys (Clapton, Hendrix, Beck, Page and Townshend) had care been taken to promote them as such. The guitarists were Todd Rundgren in The Nazz and Eddie Phillips in The Creation. I don't think there were any domestic issues of The Creation's recordings in America until the compact disc era. Before that, I believe there was only one American "best of" issued in '70's. Though the Nazz definitely deserves their own article, here we'll concentrate on the group of British lads.

The Creation were a "mod" group, you could say. They were big in The London Clubs along with The Who, The Small Faces, The Kinks and others. Sometimes, they were thought of as "Who clones." The Who-Creation connection is way overplayed though. Eddie Phillips says they didn't even see or hear The Who until the later months of 1966, when both groups shared the bill at a London club. On a pleasant note, the guys in both groups hit it off nicely. Eddie and Pete Townshend found out they both had a mutual love for slot car racing. There is some indication that the conversation wherein Pete asked Eddie to "join the Who as a second guitarist" never took place. As much as it increases The Creation's legend and adds romance to things, Phillips himself doesn't remember exactly and chalks the story up to "a bit of sharp press."

Eddie Phillips was born on August 15, 1942. He started playing guitar when he was 14. That was in about 1956/1957. He had been hearing records like "Rock Around The Clock." He recalls being in on the skiffle craze and rehearsing with neighborhood pals in the bathrooms of whoever's parents and families happened to be out that day- the reasoning being that the sound reverberated through the plumbing and the drains. That way, the sound was amplified! Eddie's first guitar cost him only four pounds and he claims he played it in the wrong tuning for three months, not realizing what he was doing. He bought himself a mail order kit to build his own amplifier. When it was all assembled, it consisted of a chassis with the guts, speaker and parts of an amp with no surrounding cabinetry to contain the amp. He used it anyway by plugging in a cheap microphone and dropping it into the F hole of the guitar. His first good guitar was a Futurama with a three-way toggle switch. It was an Italian model that looked a lot like a Fender Stratocaster. Eddie has described it as a "brilliant guitar" and that "Tony Sheridan played one." Somewhere along 1963/1964, Eddie bought a beautiful Gibson ES-335 and a Vox AC30 amp on time payments. He had been in cover bands for years with friends, playing primarily straight rock and roll.

By this time, he was in a group called The Mark Four which actually included Kenny Pickett (vocals), Eddie (lead guitar), Mick Thompson (rhythm guitar), John Dalton (bass) and Jack Jones (drums). The Mark Four recorded a few singles. John Dalton eventually joined the Kinks and Mick Thompson also left the group. The remaining members regrouped shortly therafter as "The Creation" which was the name thought up for the group by Tony Stratton-Smith, who became their manager just as 1965 turned into 1966. Tony Cook breifly replaced John Dalton on bass for awhile, yet Stratton-Smith thought there were things about Cook that didn't suit the sort of image he was plotting for them. Phillips has pointed out that Cook was a good bass player and he could handle any jam you threw at him but "Strat" and a few other people thought he didn't quite fit in, so he was replaced by Bob Garner who had been in Tony Sheridan's band and was also a member of the Merseybeats.

The Mark Four started out playing straight rock and roll cover songs, then over time got into "Beatles and Shadows songs." Eventually, they started doing American R&B music such as Jimmy Reed and Bo Diddley. In 1965, The Mark Four did a 4 or 5 week stint in Germany where Eddie recalls that people behaved as if they were the first long-haired rock and roll group they'd ever seen! When they came back to London, there seemed to have been a transition from Beatles and Shadows styled music to a more Rolling Stones-ish kind of style. The Mark Four were now a four piece group with Tony Cook on bass. The group was tremendously loud and unpredictable on stage. Eddie used a lot of feedback and he would slide random objects up and down the strings and the fretboards, creating other-worldly clusters of sound. He used frozen meat pies from supermarkets and he even used potatoes!

Somewhere along 1964 or 1965, Phillips found that he could create unearthly sounds if he played his ES-335 with a good horsehair violin bow with lots of resin and just the right amount of distortion and reverb added. Respectively, Jimmy Page began using the "violin bow effect" onstage with the Yardbirds in double leads with Jeff Beck as soon as he joined The Yardbirds in June 1966. This was featured on the Live Yardbirds Featuring Jimmy Page LP album along with the first two Led Zeppelin Albums, which are all-time favorites (I could listen to those albums for hours). But Phillips was the first guy in British Invasion rock and roll to play an electric guitar onstage with a violin bow.

Anyway, Stratton-Smith saw the group at a London club and he was particularly taken with the sliding of weird objects on the guitar and the violin bow producing the bizarre sound effects at top volume. Besides, he liked the band's material and thought he could do something with them. He was an independent producer and managed Genesis, Lindisfarne and The Nice. He did have a thing about image and comportment. He replaced Tony Cook with Bob Garner and he started to deck out the band in matching shirts and matching suits. He sometimes put them into clothes for publicity stills that looked like something Brian Jones or the Hollies would wear. After all, this was 1966-1967 and it was all umbrellas, unicycles and electric bananas everywhere.

It was "Strat" who added what many people see as that "arty" aspect to the overall concept and presentation of The Creation. Like Brian Epstein and Kit Lambert, Stratton-Smith was gay and he had definite ideas about how his artists should look and act. Young groups such as the Creation or others like them all over Britain were usually willing to go along with these manager's gimmicks and publicity stunts. It was understood by the locals in the large city neighborhoods where people like Strat lived that they had some money and show business contacts, which made it all the more enticing for these young groups with their Carl Perkins and Muddy Waters covers to cooperate. Like Kenneth Pitt with Manfred Mann, Strat's ideas for how he wanted to put The Creation over were, in a way, ingenious, although through it all, it's music we're dealing with. Groups like The Creation were most likely familiar with amphetamines and they were probably hash smokers as well. Hashish is more common in England and Europe than marijuana. Somewhere along the line in 1965 or 1966 somebody turned the band on to acid. Stratton-Smith encouraged all of this, foreseeing a trend in psychedelic music, clothes and art which, in fact, did eventually come about as the months went by. I'm not trying to proselytize drugs (I haven't been high since 1981) but it would be watering things too far down to sift out those kind of details.

They eventually worked their way up to a residency at The Marquee club on Wardour Street in London. The Creation released a handful of singles of which "Making Time"(June 1966) and "Painter Man" (October 1966) were near hits. The songs were penned by Pickett and Phillips. Kenny wrote the lyrics and Eddie wrote the music. Strangely, Kenny's lyrics for "Making Time" show him as someone worldly-wise beyond his years. "Painter Man" sounds to me like a friendly but cynical send-up of the art colleges they have in the UK and Europe. Art college at least offers something to 17 year olds who are very intelligent but don't fit into the offices, factories or the military (I wish we had something like it in the USA but there is one design flaw- there aren't enough people with $75 to buy all of your paintings on the sidewalk sale). "Painter Man Painter Man Who Will Be A Painter Man."

The band had an avid cult following. They were big in Europe, particularly in Germany where they played live on rock music TV shows "Beat Club" and "Beat Beat Beat." In fact, The Creation were a Top 10 group in Germany. It's true they had a big cult following in The UK and they were a steady presence in London's club scene. At this time (1966-1967), the band consisted of Phillips, Pickett, Bob Garner and Jones.

On some of the 1966 Creation gigs in the wake of the "Painter Man" hit single, the band would bring out a huge 10 foot long piece of painter's canvas and while the band played the song, Kenny would sing and make multi-colored aerosol canvases. Then he would proceed to set them on fire! In the spring of 1967, Kenny came to a group rehearsal only to find that Bob Garner put aside the bass and took over the lead vocals. Kenny was puzzled and finally left the rehearsal in frustration. Kim Gardner was then brought in to play bass. He was a very good player and he was a choice everybody in the group agreed to. This lineup of The Creation is featured along with the Move, P.P. Arnold and The Warriors in an August 1967 'Beat Beat Beat' show where the group performed live. They were on an earlier September 1966 'Beat Beat Beat' show with Kenny also. Both shows are overwhelming examples of rarely captured mid-sixties bands playing absolutely and incredibly live.

In 1967, The Creation released an album called We Are Paintermen and a handful of singles on German Polygram. In 1968, they released a "best of" collection. It's interesting that Shel Talmy, who produced the Who and the Kinks early sides, was The Creation's producer. Phillips left the Creation at the close of 1967. He says that he was disillusioned with the music business. He joined P.P. Arnold's touring band TNT as a bass player and he also played lead guitar on a couple of songs. It's not widely known, but Ron Wood was brought in to replace him. Ron was on hiatus from the Jeff Beck Group. He was a friend of Kim Gardner's. This lineup lasted for almost exactly 6 months and released 2 or 3 singles. Wood left and Tony Oller replaced him. They announced their breakup back in June 1968 after finishing up with a handful of German gigs.

Eddie became a London bus driver for years. Nowadays, he looks back on driving a bus as "lots of fun." Kenny was briefly with a couple of bands and landed a job as a Led Zeppelin roadie. Gardner became a member of Ashton, Gardner and Dyke and died in Los Angeles in 2001.

So what's the legacy of the band? The Creation were a Top 10 group in Germany and they had an enthusiastic cult following in England which has sifted over into the USA. In the later part of the seventies, a lot of people who bought stuff like Yardbirds albums and garage rock records were very interested in finding out more about this legendary English group who they kept reading about in collector's magazines and punk rock oriented publications. Indie label bands were covering songs like "Biff Bang Pow" and "Making Time." If you're interested in all of this, then I recommend you splurge a little bit and pick up the reissue of We Are Paintermen with 12 bonus tracks on Repertoire records. As for their 'Beat Beat Beat' appearances, I'm a liberal person about bootlegs but even the most accommodating and pleasant of dealers play possum and "now you see it now you don't" with the complete 'Beat Beat Beat' shows. Try tv.com and TheVideoBeat.com for the shows.

The Creation have reunited more than once for recording and for concert work over the past 30 odd years.
One of the group's best reunions was at a venue called The Mean Fiddler in North London in July 1993. It was out in the press that there was friction between Garner and Pickett, who stated that the two of them had talked things out and agreed to "lay the ghost." So the live album recorded that night is aptly titled Lay the Ghost. The group was a little rusty but hadn't lost any of its soaring, ear splitting power. Their first song that night was "Batman." It carried into "Biff Bang Pow" after a few minutes went by. Other songs included "Life Is Just Beginning," "I'm a Man," "Lay The Ghost," "Making Time" and "Painter Man." Phillips wore out two violin bows that night. Kenny Pickett did some aerosol painting on stage but he didn't set them on fire this time. The actual artwork for this 1993 live album was done by the late, great Viv Stanshall. And it was cool that they were back and it wasn't as an oldies act or some dreary nostalgia trip.

Unfortunately , Kenny Pickett passed away in 1997. Kenny was a great singer who I always thought sounded sort of like Jim Sohns (Shadows of Knight) or Roky Erikson.

Phillips is honored nowadays by many people and not undeservedly. What makes the esteem OK is that he is not a part of that over praised superstar pool. He fronts bands sometimes billed as The Eddie Phillips Band and he has tried to resurrect a full-time touring Creation. He is usually promoted as "The Riffmaster of The Western World" or
"a cross between Jeff Beck and Pete Townshend." He was the lead guitarist on a couple of sets of recordings in 1989-1990 called "The British Invasion All-Stars" which featured Eddie and ex-members of The Yardbirds, Nashville Teens and the Downliner's Sect.

Eddie sent out kind of an unofficial request to everyone dealing in vintage guitars in The British Isles and also to anyone involved in import/export of vintage guitars in and out of The British isles, trying to find his old Gibson ES-335. He says it "got away from him" back in the early seventies, which were lean years for him. He says the guitar has a faded and nearly illegible black paint autograph by Little Richard on the back and hacksaw markings by the toggle switch. It is also obvious that some work has been done on the headstock and the nut. Eddie is prepared to pay a very decent sum of cash if the guitar turns up so be on the look-out...

Creation Discography


1966 Making time/Try And Stop Me

1966 Painter Man/Biff Bang Pow

1967 Cool Jerk/Life Is Just Beginning (Germany)

1967 If I Stay Too Long/Nightmares

1967 Life Is Just Beginning/Through My Eyes

1968 Tom Tom/How Does It Feel To Feel?

1968 Midway Down/The Girls Are Naked

1968 Bonney Moroney/Mercy Mercy Mercy (Germany)

1968 For All that I Am/Uncle Bert (Germany)

1968 Mercy Mercy Mercy/Uncle Bert (Germany)

1987 A Spirit Called Love/Making Time/Mumbo Jumbo (12" EP)

1994 Creation/Shock Horror/Power Surge (CD single)

2008 Red With Purple Flashes (1 sided promo -strictly limited 200 only)


1967 We Are Paintermen (Germany, The Netherlands, France and Sweden)

1999 Power Surge

2004 Psychedelic Rose: The great Lost Creation Album

Compilations and live albums

1968 The Best of the Creation (Germany, Sweden)

1973 Creation 66-67

1973 "Makin' Time"/"Painter Man" (7" single)

1975 The Creation (UK collection)

1982 The Mark Four/The Creation (Germany)

1982 How Does It Feel To Feel?

1984 Recreation

1984 We Are Paintermen

1984 "Making Time"/"Little Bert" (7" single)

1985 Live At the Beat Scene Club (7" EP)

1993 Lay the Ghost

Also see the Creation's official MySpace page

Check out the rest of PERFECT SOUND FOREVER
Read more at www.furious.com

Razorcake #59

Roctober Reviews

Razorcake #59

(www.razorcake.org) As a dude of a certain age, and someone who always considers the eras of pre-and-post Green Day/Hot Topic/not-getting-beat-up-in-high-school-for-dressing-punk-rock, I will always see Maximumrocknroll as the legit “punk bible” and everything else as a pretender or  riff on it.  That said, I can honestly say I never waited anxiously for the next issue of MRR, but after part one of the Nervous Gender interview in Razorcake #58 I couldn’t wait to read this issue. The story of an L.A. 70s/early 80s punk band I’d heard of but knew little about turning out to be the tale of triumph/tragedy/absurdity involving a band made up of gays, Latinos, artfuck geniuses and at times L.A scenester-turned lesbian folk singer-turned Duke Kahanamoku statue restorer Phranc, and a German illegal alien toddler on drums. This story is crazy interesting, and even though part two didn’t match the pure absurdity of part one it had a lot more human emotion and beautiful narrative. This is an amazing thing to cover, and while I still don’t care about most of the new bands they feature, I can’t point out enough how much I appreciate the magazine really doing legwork to cover under-documented historic bands (Thee Undertakers article a few issues back was also awesome). This issue also has an interview with cult actress Mary Woronov. (note: I wanted to put a weblink up to a story or photo of Phranc doing the restoration work on the Waikiki beach statue of the father of modern surfing Duke Kahanamoku but it wasn’t online anywhere, but it really happened, I swear).

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Roctober Magazine Reviews:
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Repost: BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE: "Live R Than You'll Ever Be" (Mp3@320)


Repost: BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE: "Live R Than You'll Ever Be" (Mp3@320)

Here's a repost for Thomas, it's a compilation I made a few years ago. Got some cool stuff on it. Enjoy.

01. Whoever You Are (King Tuts, Glasgow 02/02/04)
02. Straight Up & Down (Maxwells, Hoboken 02/17/02)
03. Johnny Marr Is Dead (Cats Cradle, Chapel Hill, N.C. 09/30/02)
04. Wisdom (Webster Hall, NYC 05/10/06)
05. This Is Why You Love Me/Hyperventilation (The Social, Orlando 10/06/03)
06. Anenome (Bottom Of The Hill, San Francisco 05/08/98)
07. Let Me Stand Next To Your Flower (Casbah Club, San Diego 11/07/01)
08. Prefab Ambulatory Device (The Lead Mill, Sheffield UK 07/17/07)
09. Yeah Yeah (Terminal 5 NYC 07/25/08)
10. That Girl Suicide (Maxwells, Hoboken 02/17/02)

Get Some: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=BIOO2KSR

Comments Always Welcome.

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Read more at johnnylove-fuzztone.blogspot.com

Lotsa Early Softies w/Kevin Ayers, Robert Wyatt, Mike Ratledge & (sometimes) Daevid Allen


1.Contusions (Summer 1966 Session)
2.Another Lover Has Gone (Summer 1966 Session)
3.Fred The Fish (from 1967 45'')
4.Feelin' Reelin' Squeelin (from 1967 45'')



(PART 2)

1.I Should've Known (Recorded in UK 1967)
2.I'm So Low (Recorded in UK 1967)



(PART 3)

1.Clarence In Wonderland (BBC Recording 12-5-67)
2.Certain Kind (BBC Recording 12-5-67)
3.Hope For Happiness (oops version of the 1968 released tracks)



(PART 4)

1.We Know What You Mean (BBC Recording 12-5-67)
2.She's Gone (from 1967 45'')
3.Lullabye Letter (oops version of the 1968 released tracks)



(PART 5)

1.Why Are We Sleeping (From Mono Single Released Early 1969)
2.Save Yourself (oops version of the 1968 released tracks)
3.Joy Of A Toy (From Mono Single Released Early 1969)


Soft Machine - Dim Dam Dom, Oct.1967

1.Hope For Happiness
2.Improvisation Musicale

French TV, Great Quality!


Soft Machine on Hoepla 1967

Great song by the Soft Machine on the Dutch TV Show 'Hoeply' from 1967, with a nice bonus at the end.


Soft Machine - UFO Club, 2 June 1967

Soft Machine, UFO Club, London, 2nd June 1967. 'Poem for Hoppy' by Daevid Allen. Flim & Lightshow Projections: Mark Boyle & Joan Hills. P&C Boyle Family Archive.


Early Soft Machine live

(Embedding disabled by request)


Soft Machine - I Should Have Known

Aka "Why Am I So Short?", as it was released on The Soft Machine, Vol. 1


The Soft Machine - 1967 - Soon, Soon, Soon

The Soft Machine en su segunda formacion, con Kevin Ayers en Guitarra/Voz, Mike Ratledge en Teclados y Robert Wyatt en Bateria/Voz, interpretando una de las dos canciones que tocaron en vivo en el programa de tv Hoepla, el 22/9/1967: We Know What You Mean (mas conocida como Soon, Soon, Soon).
Cancion compuesta por Kevin Ayers; inedita en The Soft Machine, luego editada oficialmente en la carrera solista de Ayers. Tambien se puede encontrar una version de este tema por The Soft Machine en "BBC Sessions '67-'71" (bootleg), a mi gusto, mucho mejor que esta.



A rare example of the liquid lightshow projections created in 1967 by Mark boyle & Joan hills...this was the wallpaper at the legendary ufo club in tottenham court road.


Love Makes Sweet Music - Soft Machine

1967 single by The Soft Machine,one of the Canterbury groups.


The Soft Machine - We did it Again

A song by Soft Machine, Album "Volumes One & Two ( Vol. One )" 1968
Canterbury Scene
Kevin Ayers


Soft Machine - Save Yourself, Memories, You don't Remember.

Soft Machine 1967 Daevid Allen, Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, Mike Ratledge.






Posted via email from up against the flooring

Monday, November 29, 2010

Burgerchef & Jeff - "Wolfburger's Problem"

Record release date unknown. Burgerchef & Jeff's Monster Fun Record. Record is a translucent red flexi-disk.

Lonesome Town

Original audio source (RickyNelsonLonesomeTown.mp3)


Ricky Nelson

Listen: Lonesome Town / Ricky Nelson

Somewhere during their DATE WITH ELVIS / STAY SICK period, The Cramps were doing ‘Lonesome Town’ live. It was around then that I’d joined Island Records and rang Lux and Ivy to update them with my new contact info.

Ivy and I got into a long conversation about all kinds of trivia, which was not uncommon. She and Lux were always the most interesting and intriguing people. We would sometimes stay on the phone for hours.

As we were winding it down, I asked would they like any records from the label.

“What do you have?”

“There’s Robert Palmer, U2, Anthrax, Grace Jones, Julian Cope……”

“Hmmm. I’ve never heard of any of those people. Do you have any Ricky Nelson records?”

Read more at www.somanyrecordssolittletime.com

Facebook Interview #30: Dave Davies of The Kinks/Solo/The Aschere Project

Amplify’d from www.facebook.com
Facebook Interview #30: Dave Davies of The Kinks/Solo/The Aschere Project (November 21, 2010)
by Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications on Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 6:39pm

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

For this edition of "The Facebook Interviews", I'm chatting with DAVE DAVIES discussing THE KINKS...his SOLO work...and latest projects "DAVE DAVIES KRONIKLES - MYSTICAL JOURNEY" DVD and "THE ASCHERE PROJECT".

Dave Davies created a revolutionary guitar sound in the early 60's that turned Rock'n'Roll guitar playing on its head when he slashed the speaker cone of an Elpico amp with a razor blade and fed it into a larger amp...thereby 'inventing' pregain and a raunchy guitar sound that changed the face of rock music forever. It was featured on The Kinks first major hit 'You Really Got Me' in 1964.

As lead guitarist and co-founder of The Kinks, Dave was one of the most unpredictable and original forces in rock, without whom guitar-rock styles including heavy metal and punk would have been inconceivable. A member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, his massive guitar sounds have inspired countless bands and players. In addition to his dozens of albums with The Kinks, Dave has released a series of respected solo albums over the years.

Fans of Dave's 1996 book "Kink" already know his evolution as a musician, songwriter and recording artist has paralleled his passionate pursuit of spiritual knowledge. That aspect of his life is at the heart of a new DVD, "DAVE DAVIES KRONIKLES: MYSTICAL JOURNEY". The feature-length documentary is a personally-charged memoir of Dave’s long-running quest for enlightenment. At the same time, Dave has also released, with his son Russ Davies, The ASCHERE PROJECT - "Two Worlds"...a futuristic new concept album described as sounding like "Art Of Noise meets Pink Floyd".

Today, Roch and Dave tackle some of the big dualities...love vs. hate...old vs. new...sex, drugs & Rock'n'Roll vs. spiritual journeys.

Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

 Ok all, we're ready to start...thanks for joining us everybody...and welcome Dave! Let's start out with a couple of questions I Iike to warm up with...What was your first single and/or album that you bought as a youth with your own money? And what was the first concert you attended?


Dave Davies

The first single I ever bought was “Ballad of a Teenage Queen” by Johnny Cash. My first album was a Buddy Holly album…I can’t recall now which one. The first concert I ever went to was Duane Eddy in Finsbury Park, North London…


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Who would you consider your most influential performer at a formative stage?


Dave Davies

The most influential performers would have been Duane Eddy and Eddie Cochran, along with a host of other guitar players including Big Bill Broonzy, Leadbelly, and Barney Kessel…there were loads of them!


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

You were the youngest of eight...from what I understand, you were also greatly influenced by the music you absorbed at home from your parents and older sisters?


Dave Davies

Yes that's right. My sisters all played piano and sang; my dad played banjo. I was greatly influenced by my family and other family members.


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Dave, you were regarded as the "rocker" of the family and The Kinks...were you just as comfortable with the more "pastoral-observational" English period in the later sixties and the more "theatrical" period of the '70s Arista albums, or were you more at home, musically, with the initial rock/R&B of the earlier '60s, and then the "arena rock" successes of the '80s?


Dave Davies

You have to remember that we grew up with all sorts of music, The Ventures, Doris Day, Al Bowley. As a young boy, I used to mess with the wireless and listen to Beethoven and Cesar Franck. I was ready for all things music. That was a misunderstood thing about The Kinks. No one could pigeonhole us, because our music kept changing. The record company executives wanted to play the first two or three tracks on an album...they wanted all the popular tracks to be reproduced. We always felt that wasn't a creative thing to do. One has to explore things as a musician...it could be a pastoral piece, or a rocking piece. With the right intent, it doesn't matter what sort of music it is.


Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Terry McGregor asks:

In virtually everything I read about The Kinks, they are invariably described as the "quintessential" English rock band, presumably on the heels of "The Village Green Preservation Society", etc. But isn't that tag somewhat misleading? I mean, that dirty guitar riff in "You Really Got Me" – still powerfully resonant today – is, if anything, "quintessential Rock'n'Roll" full stop, regardless of point of origin. And songs like "Dead End Street" paint a fairly nightmarish picture of life and society in general, a million miles from "Waterloo Sunset", the village pub and freshly-mown lawns. This label, I feel, undermines the music of The Kinks, who could be every bit as down and dirty as The Who or The Stones…


Dave Davies

That is a poignant observation…thank you!


Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Do you still bear some regret that more of the Kinks catalogue was not credited to "Davies/Davies" given the contributions you brought on the music side?

..and Terry Flanagan asks:

Dave, do you feel you haven't received the credit you are due for inventing the power chord?


Dave Davies

I do feel I should have been given more credit for my involvement and work for the Kinks. It really wasn't a one-man band.  And yeah, I invented the power chord…


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

With the success of your solo single "Death of a Clown" in 1967, there was talk of you doing a solo album. That got put on the back burner when subsequent singles fared less well on the charts. Do you believe there might have been a very different trajectory for you, if you had persevered with a first solo album in the late '60s?


Dave Davies

While I enjoyed the success of “Death of a Clown”, it didn't feel right to go off on my own. I felt more at home with the Kinks. It felt more like family.


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Roger Clarke asks:

Which Kinks song is your favorite and which Dave Davies solo song is your favorite?


Dave Davies

"My favorite Kinks song is a big contest between “Dead End Street”, “You Really Got Me”, and the ‘Phobia’ album. My favorite Dave Davies song is probably “Visionary Dreamer”. From the new album, The Aschere Project, my favorite is called “Blessed of All Nights”.


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Stephanie Whitlock asks:

If you could go back to any time in your life and give yourself one piece of advice like something you should do/shouldn’t do/someone to not meet/someone you must meet etc., when and what would it be?


Dave Davies

I wish I would have realized when I was young...I don't know what to say....we can all look back on our lives and see things we should have done differently, but not dwell on the past. We should focus on the present, which serves to create a new future...the more we look back on the past, the more we tend to just repeat it....


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Dave, you've stated before that you began investigating spirituality at a very young age. At the same time, your 1996 book "Kinked" offers up the "sex and drugs and Rock'n'Roll excess" side of life. How did you reconcile the two at the time, and also later as you started getting more involved in your spiritual journey?


Dave Davies

I started my spiritual journey the day I was born. There isn't a difference between sex and lifestyle and spirituality. The problem is to bring them into balance. In all of our lives, we have to pull in the reins, as it were, and we have to control ourselves and bring things into balance so we can explore our spiritual lives, and bring that into the fore.


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Dave Corbett asks:

As a survivor of "Sex, Drugs & Rock and Roll" who among the casualties do you feel would have had the greatest contribution to make if they had lived?


Dave Davies

There are so many...John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones. George Harrison fulfilled a mission, in my view, trying to inject spiritual ideas into people through his music.


Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Dave, as all your friends and fans are aware, you suffered a major stroke in 2004 that has required years of dedicated and painstaking recovery on the physical side. What is the current state of your health? And what accommodations have you had to make, if any, in terms of your singing and guitar playing?


Dave Davies

I feel fine. I did have to persevere after my illness and I feel back to strength now. You can hear my singing and performance with my new album. I did this with my son, Russell, called the Aschere Project...www.aschereproject.com


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Harald Stahl asks:

Do you see yourself returning to live performance again in the near future?

…and Ron Lancs asks:

 Many of us hope to have the pleasure of seeing you play live again…do you have any plans to do so, and if so when?


Dave Davies

Yes, I expect to do future shows and hopefully tours in the near future. Nothing is confirmed yet, but we are looking at some venues in London. I hope to be playing live fairly soon.


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

You also view the stroke as a concrete spiritual experience, can you elaborate on that?


Dave Davies

While I was ill, I realised that all the spiritual lessons and instruction and knowledge that i learned had stirred up to that point. My illness was a redefining of everything I believed in. All that I previously thought could be true, was actually true.


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Jeremy Samuel Gluck asks:

Given your interest in healing, what do you feel about the healing power of music? Even pop music? When I interviewed Brian Wilson, he spoke for a while about how music impacts the spirit.


Dave Davies

Of course, music has always had the major potential for healing and serves as a vehicle for the most significant healing power of all: love. Look at all the composers who have inspired and healed people throughout the centuries because of their music…


Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Jeremy Samuel Gluck asks:

A great many people think that a major planetary shift is due very soon. Do you think your own journey is wrapped up in reaching that time having been through your musical career and then stroke? How would you sum up your mystical perception? And how do those who know you only as a musician access that?


Dave Davies

Good question. I believe that that the planetary shift has been happening...and we are all involved in this change that is happening on a day to day basis. I don't believe it will happen in one swoop. It has been happening by degree over the years.


And I don't agree with 2012 indications that something is going to happen all of a sudden. The change will happen beyond 2012. We are all connected psychically and spiritually…what we think and feel will affect everyone and everything around us. For all we know, will affect time and space itself. That is why I am so energized by the Aschere Project, which is science fiction, but much of the information may be true, who knows?


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

The Aschere Project: "Two Worlds" – is quite a departure and doesn't appear on the surface to have a lot of antecedents for you. How did the project come about, and I assume it’s a case of son influencing father as much as vice-versa?


Dave Davies

The Aschere Project was a joint venture and collaboration. It started off with a few musical ideas and we started to see a vision, or a movie happening. Once we got started, the story basically unfolded before us. The project was a spiritual and emotional one. It was one of the most pure collaborations I’ve been involved with. The more we helped each other, the more the music and the story grew. That is the perfect way to work – when you support others, and it is reciprocated. Something else takes over…something higher.


Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Dave Fuglewicz asks:

I’ve only listened to the preview clips of The Aschere Project and am amazed at how fresh and vital it sounds, yet still carries your unmistakable sound. I've listened to your music as a youngster from back in the 1960s to now and you've covered an incredible territory in 46 years. Will you be taking The Aschere Project forward into the future with more releases and possibly live performances in the USA?


Dave Davies

Russell and I hope to take the Project further because when we were growing into the story, we realized it would be a perfect stage musical and/or film. I expect to expand the ideas into bigger and more elaborate ones, and hopefully live performance. Even with a smaller ensemble of musician/performers, and both Russell and I can be involved in it. This is what I hope to see for this Project in the future.


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

The DVD "Dave Davies Kronikles: Mystical Journey"...was produced with the involvement of another son...


Dave Davies

“Mystical Journey” was a collaborative venture with my oldest son Martin. He is also a filmmaker, and it was wonderful being involved and wanting to make a film and program about my spiritual journey. This was a wonderful way to start the process. We hope to make a “Part Two” in the near future.


I would also really love to work with my son Daniel, who has a band called "Year Long Disaster". Hopefully this will happen in the New Year as well…


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

The DVD strives to balance (and connect) musical journey and spiritual journey...do you think you achieved the right balance between the two, and is it possible to appeal equally to both "audiences"?


Dave Davies

My intention was to try and show that there are parallels between different sets of belief systems and concepts and spiritual ideas. We need to take each other’s ideas and bring them together if we are to go forward as a spiritual race. I hoped the musical people would like it because of the early years; I discovered many of these people during the Kinks years, such as Madam Blatavatsky, Rudolf Steiner, Carl Jung....


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Klaire Delilah Bennett asks:

Have you found since releasing your solo albums and latest works (“Mystical Journey” and “The Aschere Project”) you now have interest in your work from people who aren't and never were Kinks fans?


Dave Davies

Yes...this is really exciting. I am meeting and connecting with people who have various ideas and different areas of expertise…people from many walks of life...from abroad...different landscapes of ideas and cultures....we are all one people. It is refreshing to meet those who have interests other than music and who I have never crossed paths with before. They are very inspiring.


Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Jutta Hammer asks:

Do you still have the aim to reach millions of people with your music? Or has music become more a vehicle to transport your spiritual ideas and thoughts to perhaps a more select audience?


Dave Davies

It’s for anybody who wants to listen, haha!


Roch Parisien's Rocon Communications

Sophie Stillwater asks:

What is your relationship with your children like? Do you see them often and feel involved in their lives or has your career made it difficult to stay in touch with them?


Dave Davies I try to keep in touch with my kids as much as I can, because I love them and they inspire me. I love to see them as much as possible, and the older I get, the more I love spending time with them. Each has a gift of their own. It’s difficult not to interfere with their lives; I try to be cautious, haha!


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Dave, speaking of family relationships, when you wade into a public forum like this, you know a number of fan questions are going to touch on brothers and reunions. Let me try posing it this way: do you think the ongoing psychic/emotional battle between you and your brother Ray involves something karmic, or is in some other way intended/destined to develop the two of you spiritually?


Dave Davies

Yes, it is of course, but any powerful karmic relationship is put there for us to work with as a valuable lesson. We must never lose sight of our own personal spiritual evolution. Our own spiritual sovereignty is the most important. We are in an important part of the spiritual evolution of the planet, so that karmic relationships are on many levels. We have to deal with our own spiritual lessons for our own self-realization. We mustn’t give up our own spiritual sovereignty…not on any level. We must find the place to make our own compromise, find our own balance.


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

In a 1994 interview, you stated that "if you look at the work as the most important thing...hopefully all the personal stuff will dissipate with time, while the work will live on for years." Do you feel it’s working out that way?


Dave Davies

Everything we've done, we've done, and it is more important than what has happened on a personal level. But it doesn't mean we could compromise our self-expression. One of the biggest problems is the inability to grow into our own potential. Indirectly, we put limitations or restrictions on those around us.


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

In a recent interview in The Guardian, you state: "Ray sucks me dry of ideas, emotions, and creativity...it's toxic for me to be with him." Surely he can only have this power if you give it to him? With the level of spiritual awareness you've achieved, are there not personal barriers you could erect to manage or deflect this? Or to provide for enough acceptance to absorb it?


Dave Davies

I hope that I am managing it as well as I can. It is difficult. I cannot be someone else and we cannot do other people’s spiritual work for them. If someone else's program is to take, then sometimes the only course of survival is to remove oneself from that toxic situation.


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

What do you say to those who would suggest, if two brothers – especially ones with such a strong creative bond – can't find a way to make it work, what hope is there for the rest of us? For example, how could anyone even glimpse for hope in the Middle East, of any kind...ever...when blood and creative brothers cannot find a way?


Dave Davies

The more psychic we become, the more sensitive we become to others' life conditions, needs and wants...so we need to develop our means of meditation and spiritual practice to manage the energies around us in some way.


The reason why there is so much tension and complexity involved in the Middle East is because the working relationship between peoples is out of balance. The same is true of me and Ray. It’s like a man walking lopsided....one leg wants to go one way the other wants to go another way – the man topples over.


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

You said upon his passing that Pete Quaife never really received his due for his contribution to the Kinks. Would you give it to him now for us?


Dave Davies

Pete Quaife was the essential part of the Kinks. In fact, if Pete hadn't been there...he was the glue that brought me and Ray together, with his humour, his creativity and his sensitivity. He balanced the dynamic between us. He was crucial for The Kinks, and was just as important to the start of the band as me and Ray.....


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Folks, our time is up, so we must reluctantly let Dave go!


Dave Davies

I would just like to mention the Aschere Project one more time, and yes, we do hope to take it to its next stage. And thanks to Roch for this opportunity on the Rocon Communications page and hopefully, we can do it again sometime. Thank you and bless you all for coming to this interview!


Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications

Dave, thank you for the time you took with us today. And thanks to Rosina Mostardini for facilitating this interview session. If you attended the interview or are reading later, I've posted a message at the top of the page for your comments and feedback...also, do check out all the links to vids, audio, and information posting further down the page...scroll and enjoy!



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Syd Barrett: Piper, poet, painter - Rob Chapman interviewed

Amplify’d from www.buffalonews.com

Syd Barrett: Piper, poet, painter

By Jeff Miers

News Pop Music Critic

Earlier this month, Capitol/EMI released "An Introduction to Syd Barrett," a gorgeously rendered collection of songs representing the finest of the Pink Floyd founder's musical achievements.

That the songs included here are all culled from a roughly four-year period now 40 years in the past -- and that the "An Introduction" in the title might suggest a primer in the writings of a young, contemporary artist -- are ironies befitting a project bearing Barrett's name. His is one of the most unusual stories to have emerged from what might loosely be referred to as "the rock era."

Renowned British music journalist Rob Chapman -- who writes for the likes of Mojo, Uncut, the Times, the Guardian and the Independent on Sunday -- will see the release of his biography "A Very Irregular Head: The Life of Syd Barrett" (Da Capo, $28) just as EMI's "An Introduction" disc is unveiled. His book is not the first to explore the life of the myth-enshrouded Barrett -- there have been three previous, of varying quality -- but it is the first to see publication since Barrett's death in 2006. More significantly, it is the first to have been written with the full cooperation of Barrett's family and closest friends.

One might reasonably wonder what all the fuss is about. Barrett, after all, retired from the music business almost immediately upon splitting with Pink Floyd in 1968. He recorded only two solo albums, and by the early '70s, had pretty much settled into the recluse's life he'd live until the end.

Most of his reputation as an eccentric genius has been built upon a single album, Floyd's 1967 debut "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn." The rest of the legend revolves around his reputed status as rock's greatest acid casualty -- the very personification of Swinging '60s London, a man who is said to have ingested enough LSD to have driven himself barking mad, a state from which he never emerged.

And yet, Barrett's appeal has only grown, concurrent with the size and scope of the myth. Here in Buffalo, local musicians of varying ages gather yearly at Mohawk Place to pay tribute to Barrett and his music, and our city is far from alone in this capacity.

One of the challenges facing Chapman as he prepared the excellent "A Very Irregular Head" involved piercing through the veil of myth surrounding Barrett's life and work. It is a conflation of half-truths and slightly altered facts that, the author believes, have done a great disservice to Barrett the artist.

Here, Chapman speaks with The News regarding the endurance of that myth, the resilient charms of "Piper at the Gates of Dawn," and a few possible reasons for the continued resonance of the man's life, work and death in the popular consciousness.

Throughout the book, you point to the fact that part of Syd's genius can be located in his ability to "restrict his emotional and verbal palette and (submit) to the dictates of form." How did this tendency to make much from little manifest itself in his music, particularly during the "Piper" period?

I'm glad you picked up on this, because it is key to his musical development, in the early days at least. It is a technique he undoubtedly absorbed during his fine art apprenticeship - hence the palette analogy -- and it is one that resonates throughout the wider development of pop music, particularly whenever art school students are involved.

One sound is as valid as another. It's the ideas that are important. During the period -- summer '66 to early '67 -- where he was writing the songs that would appear on "Piper," Syd's lyric writing was very economical. Simple but never simplistic, and seemingly effortless too, but in fact it takes a lot of effort, and craftsmanship, to appear that effortless.

The book does a wonderful job of capturing that particular Cambridge group of post-Beat/pre-hippie intellectuals, all of whom ended up doing remarkable things with their lives, to greater and lesser degrees. What was it about Cambridge that manifested itself in the doings of this group of friends? How do you think it may have framed their thought and the creation of their art?

Early on in proceedings, before I had even started writing in fact, I tried playing devil's advocate with the whole Cambridge thing, and tried arguing that, well you know, what happened in Cambridge could have happened -- indeed was happening -- in any reasonably hip town that had a clique of hip, happening people.

But I soon discovered that what was going on here was utterly unique to Cambridge. Liverpool had its Beat poets and its beat groups. Edinburgh had its folk scene. Other cities had their lively R&B scene. But Cambridge had this unique confluence of affluent middle-class kids, who more often than not, had parents that were even more radicalized and politicized than they were. They were the sons and daughters of "ban the bomb-marching" intellectual parents, and they were themselves becoming radical and free-thinking in a fairly comfortable environment.

Among the more hipster-approved musical subcultures -- punk, alternative music, Brit-pop and so forth -- Syd is revered as a god, while everything the Floyd did after "Piper" is commonly held to be bloated and self-indulgent. Is it truly reasonable to assert that "Piper" dwarfed all that came after it?

No, I don't think it is reasonable at all. Although my allegiances quite clearly lie with Syd, I'm a big fan of the music the Floyd made in the period immediately after he left. I make it clear in the book that despite the messy circumstances of his leaving and the accrued guilt felt by the band, they were obviously rejuvenated by Syd's departure.

The spacey direction their music took in 1968-69 has been massively influential on everyone from Tangerine Dream to the Orb. Go on to YouTube sometime and search for "Pink Floyd:Moonhead." There is roughly five minutes of music that the Floyd provided for BBC's coverage of the first moon landing. The radio sessions they did around the same time for the BBC are also inspired. Why the Floyd have never officially released any of that stuff, I don't know. It's fantastic.

Honoring Barrett in Buffalo

Dave Gutierrez, guitarist with Irving Klaws, was not surprised to discover that Syd Barrett had a sizable, devout following in our region, comprised of musicians on the Buffalo indie rock scene, and nonperforming fans alike. On Jan. 6, Gutierrez will present the 8th annual Barrett birthday tribute at Mohawk Place. By this point, the show is one of the longest-running Barrett tributes in the country. Here, Gutierrez discusses the continued popularity of the birthday bashes, and the strange fascination Barrett's music continues to hold for so many.

Why does Syd Barrett matter to you, and why does he continue to matter to so many people?

"I am still in awe of Syd's work. I've always been drawn to what many people would consider the odd or weird, be it in movies, people or music. Growing up in the vinyl era, it was a bit harder to discover underground music than it is today. ... Syd was otherworldly in such a unique way.

Why does Syd's legend continue to grow?

"I think it's because no matter how many times you hear his work, it still seems alive and fresh. Sure, some of it is somewhat dated, but much of it isn't. How do you classify 'Interstellar Overdrive' or 'Octopus'? It's his genius that is so seductive. It's like a painting that, every time you see it, you see something you hadn't noticed before, even though it's hanging in your living room.

"Also, clearly the legends surrounding his LSD abuse and mental illness breed a sick interest that -- while I understand it, and perhaps was seduced by it at a young age -- I find a bit distasteful now.


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