Interview with TONY REEVES

July 2003

How many people are there who can take a three-disc compilation called “Best Prog Rock Album in the World… Ever” and say, “I played with three bands on this one”? Perhaps, there’s only one musician able to do so: his name’s Tony Reeves. A man who’s been working with great artists all of his life must be a top player himself – and Tony is the one, which tells nothing of the bassist as a person. But try to talk to Mr Reeves, and you’ll feel as comfortable as when listening to his playing. And as adventurous too, so drinking coffee at the man’s house just outside London was a mere extra adding to the excitement his stories bring on. Is Tony hiding behind these stories? Why not ask him to get deep into his self?

- Everybody knows you as a musician, but what kind of person is Tony Reeves?

Well, I don’t know exactly how to describe myself as a person… but I’m a businessman as well as a musician: for twenty one years I have run my own company, called MTR Ltd, which manufactures and distributes professional audio equipment, so that will give you some kind of a clue as to the sort of person I am – you’ve got to be a bit hard-headed sometimes in business.

- So how can a hard-headed businessman be such a sensitive musician?

If I’m a sensitive musician, that must have come from a long time ago, right from when I was young. I’ve always had an inquiring mind, I’ve read a lot and been interested in philosophical questions. (Laughs.) But I’m not sure whether ‘sensitive’ is the right word, maybe ‘emotional’ is better, I’ve always been like that with my playing, always gone for it. I’m interested in that expression – take chances, to take the risk of musically moving up to the edge of a cliff and looking over – and sometimes almost fall off. You go for a phrase that you think of in your head, and the whole thing is happenning in milliseconds, nanoseconds – you go for a difficult phrase and sometimes you make it and other times you don’t, you screw it up. But I would rather go for the phrase, and often it does work, and if it doesn’t work, hopefully the people who are listening and people I’m playing with will be indulgent and won’t mind, because it works more often than not.

- I guess, it’s natural for the jazz you’re playing now.

I always played jazz. I come from playing jazz when I was very young, and when you do that, there’s a kind of a jazz feel in the way you play all the time, even if you’re playing rock or blues, or anything else – that feel is underneath; more of a dotted feel, technically, than a straight one.

- Yet from jazz you moved to rock and then back to jazz.

I started off when I was fifteen, when I was at school and, in fact, for some reason I wanted to learn trombone – I’ve really no idea why! (Laughs.) In my school orchestra at the time, all the trombones were taken, but the double bass player was leaving and, as trombone music and bass music are written in the same clef, the bass clef, I learnt to play double bass and at the same time learnt to read the bass clef, so that when I got to play trombone I would already be able to read the music. And I never ever played trombone! (Laughs.)

- Funny, but Glenn Hughes and Neil Murray also played trombone.

Oh, there you go, I didn’t know that – there must be some kind of common link! I don’t know why, but it’s interesting that quite a lot of bass players go into business as well – generally a business that’s something to do with music. Maybe there’s something in hearing the bottom end of music and the thing that it sits on, which is also helpful if you’ve got a business brain.

Anyway, I learnt double bass – I had a classical teacher for a couple of years – and started doing gigs with dance bands and small jazz groups. There was a pub called “The Old Tiger’s Head” in Lee Green in the south-east of London, where I was born and used to live, and there I used to play on Fridays as a dep for Tony Archer, the double bass player, when I was was sixteen and a half and not very good – I couldn’t have been very good at that age! But I suppose, Tony saw some potential in me – it was his gig, but he put me in as a dep, which was my first jazz experience, and then I played with some other jazz bands and THE NEW JAZZ ORCHESTRA, a big band which had Jon Hiseman on drums. So during all that period it was mostly jazz and odd dance bands, which was great, because even in a commercial dance band you learn the standard tunes, all the thirty-two bars classics, show tunes, and things like that. It’s good for your ears, good for your musical training, to know all the good-quality popular songs and know how their structures work.

The next thing of significance that happened was… A friend of mine was managing a band that owed him some money, and he accepted a bass guitar from one of the members instead of the money, and I bought it from him. I had a snobbish attitude to bass guitar at that time, I thought it wasn’t really a ‘proper instrument’ but I thought, even so, that I ought to find out what it was like, so I learnt to play it. I did a few gigs on it for about three or four weeks, using it in a dance band at the Mount Royal Hotel on Oxford Street – Barbara Thompson was in that band – and then I got the phone call from John Mayall, so I used it in John’s band, which is kind of weird. (Laughs.) It came about because Keef Hartley was leaving and Jon Hiseman was joining, and John Mayall asked Jon Hiseman if he knew anybody who played bass guitar, and he said, “Tony Reeves has just got one”. So after three weeks, some four or five gigs and a bit of practice on bass guitar, suddenly I was in John Mayall’s BLUESBREAKERS.

- What springs to mind about this is the first KEEF HARTLEY BAND album where you hear Mayall sacking Keef…

I didn’t know that, but we used to play one tune called “Hartley Quits”, so called because of a front-page headline in “Melody Maker”, I guess: “Hartley Quits”. I mean, so many guys have been sacked by John Mayall – it was one of the great schools of English music. I lasted three and a half months – not bad, really.(Laughs.)

In COLOSSEUM days

In COLOSSEUM days

- Still, you played on a BLUESBREAKERS’ record, while many people who worked with Mayall didn’t.

Yeah, I was lucky, actually. That was the very first thing we did, the “Bare Wires” album. Rehearsals with John Mayall weren’t really rehearsals, we didn’t play very much, for a lot of the rehearsal time you sat around listening to what he wanted to do. He played records to demonstrate the feel or a style, or a sound that he was looking for. All of the things on the “Bare Wires” album were worked out in the studio – we must have done one or two rehearsals actually playing the music, but I can’t remember that: seems to me, most of the work took place in the recording studio. The “Bare Wires” band was the seven-piece band, with brass and everything, and then Mayall reduced it right down to just three people. The big band was with Dick Heckstall-Smith and Jon Hiseman, and Henry Lowther on trumpet, and Chris Mercer, the other tenor [sax] player, and Mick Taylor.

- Was it at that time you started playing bass through the Leslie speakers, that guitarists’ trick? Were you the first to do so?

My first bass rig was a Summit, and the amp had a tremelo effect which I used in solos with Mayall. I can remember using the Leslie on a COLOSSEUM album – and also on the GREENSLADE albums. I was just copying the guitarists sometimes, and it’s a great sound, the Leslie sound! Back then, you didn’t have all these incredible digital effects, there was very limited number of things you could use, so I thought, “I wonder what the bass would sound like, if I took the organ amp and plug the bass in”. (Laughs.) And it sounded great! The other thing that I did was using a wah-wah pedal on bass, which probably I was the first person to do. The reason was because a double bass is a lot more expressive, as it’s a physical, an acoustic instrument, and I was looking to find some way of getting that expression out of the bass guitar. Hendrix’s wah-wah pedal playing was wonderfully expressive, so I used that on bass on some tracks somewhere. I couldn’t see any reason for not using a wah-wah pedal, apart from the fact that technically it works in a higher frequency range than the bass, and so the effect wouldn’t be quite so pronounced. I tried four of five different makes of a wah-wah pedal, and I think it was a German “Schaller” that I ended up with, because it went lower down into the frequency area of bass guitar.

- I guess, all that was due to the fact that you didn’t play a regular support role but was more of a lead player.

Yeah, that’s what Dave Greenslade always calls me, ‘a lead bass player’.

- Is it hard to play lead alongside the guitar?

No, it’s not hard. Well, I mean, it depends on who you are, we’re back to the ‘what kind of person you are’ again. I have a lot to say – sometimes too much! – so I didn’t find it difficult to play a kind of lead bass, thinking of lines all the time… I probably play – solo-wise anyway – more like a saxophone player. I think in saxophone-like, melodic lines and I’m trying to play them on bass.

- Then there must have been a battle of leaders in COLOSSEUM.

In COLOSSEUM each member was a strong personality with a strong musical identity as well. I mean, after a period of time, when a band gets reasonably successful, has made several albums and done a lot of tours, everybody wants to do a bit more of their own thing, which tends to make it break apart a bit, and in the end that’s often why a band breaks up, isn’t it? Because not everyone’s satisfied with the communal result.

- Well, for example one shouldn’t go further than THE BEATLES.

They didn’t do too badly, did they? (Laughs.)

© Jorgen Angel

- It was when they hit the big time that you started playing in bands, right? Was THE WES MINSTER FIVE your first group?

The very very first band I’ve ever played with was Dave Greenslade, Jon Hiseman and myself when we were fifteen, in the south-east of London, where we all lived. We just played as a piano, bass and drums trio in the local church hall, winning local talent competitions – not because we were very good, more because the competition was not very good – and things like that. The very first commercial band I played with was run by a drummer called Brian Keeble, it was like a dance/show band, and that was when I was sixteen. We played every Sunday in a big pub in Eltham called “The Rising Sun”.

As for THE WES MINSTER FIVE, I was never actually a full-time member of the band, this myth has kind of grown on the Net, like a small fact becomes a bigger fact as it moves around. THE WES MINSTER FIVE had quite a lot of different people in it, and I don’t even know who the permanent bass player was. In those days we had many American airbases here, and they always had bands playing in the officers’ clubs, so THE WES MINSTER FIVE used to play on a kind of circuit of airbases. That was amazing, the first time I ever had Budweiser beer! – in the late Fifties they were like isolated, fenced-off bits of glamourous America, those American airbases, a completely different world to Britain!

- Do you remember how you met Jon Hiseman and Dave Greenslade?

I used to go to a school called Colfes Grammar School in Lewisham, and there was a guy I was friendly with called Jeff Prichard – a classical guy, he played French horn – and Jon Hiseman lived at the other end of Prichard’s road. They all used to go to the Methodist church in Eltham, and Jeff invited me to meet up with them after the service. I’m not a religious person and I wouldn’t go to the church service, but after the service was over, there was a young persons’ group called the YPF, Young Persons’ Fellowship, about twenty of us, and on Sunday evenings we would go into the church hall and just play for a couple of hours. That’s how we first started to play – quite badly!

Then we all went off to do different things: I went to work for the Decca record company, and this was my other great musical education – at the factory, in the quality control department. This monitored and controlled the quality of the actual records during the entire manufacturing process, after the master tape has been recorded – making the masters, mothers, positives and the stampers and whatever. I worked there for about four years, and the great extra benefit was that, as a job, I had to listen to the entire Decca Record Group’s musical output, which in those days was massive! From Gregorian chants and Wagner song cycles through Chubby Checker, Pat Boone, Edmundo Ross, Mantovani, right the way through to African ‘high-life’ records – these last were all 78 rpm shellac records you could break, big heavy things, twelve-inch or even fourteen-inch. So I listened for four years solid, to just about every piece of music that you could ever want to hear, which is very good for the musical brain.

- Was that how you became a co-producer for the COLOSSEUM record?

Well, partly, because I did it [worked for Decca] for four years, and then I decided what I actually wanted to do was to be a record producer, so I moved myself from the pressing plant to the head office which is where the A&R department was and I became an assistant producer to a guy called Tony D’Amato, an American producer who made all the London label original recordings specifically for the American market, all sorts of good quality things like Edmundo Ross, Caterina Valente, Georgia Brown and Johny Keating in the early days of “full frequency stereophonic sound”. Next, I got a job at Pye Records, where I was a plugger for three months, going around the BBC, plugging records trying to get the BBC to play them, which was absolutely not my scene, although, perhaps, the beginning of learning what you needed to do to sell to people – which relates to the business bit again.

At Pye I heard a record called “Cast Your Fate To The Wind” by an American jazz piano player called Vince Guaraldi, a really curious and interesting ethereal tune. I latched onto it, thinking it could actually be commercially successful if you took out the jazz solo in the middle and replaced it with something more structured, and put a light string section on the top. So I was talking about this idea to one of the Pye producers called John Schroeder – whether he really believed in it, I don’t know, but I persuaded him to do it, and we recorded it under the name SOUNDS ORCHESTRAL with session musicians, with Johnny Pearson on piano, Kenny Clare on drums, and me on double bass, and made a single out of it in the way that I described, with a more rhythmically structured solo. Pye released it, and everybody said, “Oh, what a nice tasteful record!” but they didn’t believe for one moment that it would ever be a hit. However Radio London, which was one of the two pirate radios station at that time, together with Radio Caroline, picked up on it completely off their own bat – they liked it and they started playing it. Then they started getting more listener requests for it, so they played it more, and because of that it started selling in the shops.

Louis Benjamin, the managing director of Pye, would get a list at mid-day every day from the factory of what had been sold the previous day, and this record started appearing on the list: it was at number twenty-three, then it was eighteen, then fifteen, and he said, “Hey, what’s this record? Is this really one of ours? Then of course, Pye started to get behind the record with extra promotion, and it got to number six in the charts. (Laughs.) And I was even on the television show “Top Of The Pops” – indeed my one and only appearance on “Top Of The Pops”. That gave me some credibility at Pye, I worked for three months with Tony Hatch, and they let me produce singles on Pye, though I never had any big successes, just one or two things. I did early stuff with the ALAN BOWN SET and EPISODE SIX, that became DEEP PURPLE [actually, no, as E6’s Ian Gillan and Roger Glover joined DP only in 1969, – DME], but that was pop stuff, not rock.

Harold Wilson was the Prime Minister then, and there was a serious depression in this country, everything got squeezed, you could only have three violins on your session and things like that, cutting costs all the time, so I left Pye and I was a freelance producer for CBS, Polydor, became the creative director of a label called the Greenwich Gramophone Company which was licenced through Decca; I produced a couple of Danish bands called DAY OF PHOENIX and BURNING RED IVANHOE for this label, plus THE WOODS BAND from Ireland and Donovan’s backing band. And then came the phone call from John Mayall – I had the time to do it, so I took the gig. As I said, it lasted three and a half months, and Jon Hiseman stayed for two or three more months with the trio that followed, until Mayall packed that up and formed another band, while Hiseman and I got together to form COLOSSEUM. We got Dave Greenslade in, our old friend from the days in Eltham – he’d been working with Geno Washington, playing Hammond organ, and with some French guy in Africa.

- Were you all in touch all that time?

On and off, yeah.

- So you weren’t surprised with the friends’ progress as musicians?

No, not really. I had lost touch with Dave Greenslade, because he’d been out of the country, but we all went the same way, in a similar direction.

- Why did you leave, then?

Because, as I said before, we all had strong personalities, and I didn’t really wanted to go in the direction that they were going, so I left. COLOSSEUM went on for another six or nine months and then split up.

- An interesting thing is you are credited for co-writing “Downhill And Shadows”, which was recorded with Clem Clempson after you’d left, but there’s not your name on “The Kettle” that has rather sophisticated bass lines. Ain’t it confusing?

I didn’t know – this is the first time that I’ve heard this. I’m not credited on “The Kettle”! Are you talking about the original album or some kind of compilation? (Gets up to check the LP cover and looks extremely embarassed, as the credit reads “Heckstall-Smith / Hiseman”.) That is certainly wrong, because that was James Litherland’s tune, like “Elegy”, and his name should be there. I definitely didn’t write “The Kettle”. Some tunes were done almost entirely by one person, and then we would “Colosseum-ize” it. The very first thing that we ever played, a twelve-bar blues [“Debut”], was actually a phrase that I remembered Mick Taylor playing with John Mayall, and I changed it a bit into a bass line. [Sings the part.] And then the band all joined in – this is what happens during rehearsals – so technically you should have everybody’s name in the writing credit, including, I guess, Mick Taylor’s!

That’s how these things evolve: they were either mostly Dave Greenslade’s composition with some extra bits put in, or communal, when somebody would come up with an idea, we knocked it around, and if it was crap we didn’t do it, and if it worked, then we did do it – it’s hit or miss. “Downhill And Shadows”, named by Jon after a quote he had read by the actor Robert Mitchum, is one of those tunes, and it might have been a track that was left over from when I was in the band. I must say I’m delighted you’re concerned about the writing credits, because “writing credit” equals “money”. (Laughs.)

- What was so special about working with Dave Greenslade who you decided to continue with after you’d left the band?

He’s the only one who can put up with my playing! (Laughs.) Not everybody wants a bass that is upfront a lot of time, though in some ways over the years my playing has matured and I’m not as upfront as I used to be. Somebody sent me through the Net a pirate recording of a gig that we did with COLOSSEUM in Sweden – the first part of it is alright and it’s all quite nice, but then we do the whole of “Valentyne Suite”, all three movements, and my playing on that is frankly terrible. It’s all over the place, too intrusive, too clever, it’s actually embarassing. I can’t believe now that I played that way! I went too close to the edge of the cliff, and fell off.

- Is it difficult to work in a band, like GREENSLADE, with two keyboard players?

No, I never found that difficult, with the one small proviso that they don’t get in my frequency range too often, since modern keyboards can produce far more powerfull bass than I can. If that’s agreed, then there’s no problem at all. That was one of the things about GREENSLADE, to specifically not have any guitar which allowed me to play a lead bass, it left the space for me to do that. Probably, if the band had a guitar, I wouldn’t have been able to do so. One of the interesting things about the original GREENSLADE was the fact that two keyboard players were very different – and they have to be very different: Dave Lawson was – still is! – a very schooled player, he plays very correctly, whereas Dave Greenslade doesn’t physically play correctly but plays in a very different way, and the two styles never get in the way of each other, they complement each other. This has also been true when we re-formed GREENSLADE the year before last, an absolutely incredible piece of luck was finding John Young, because he’s also very schooled musician – he was a choir-boy when he was seven, was Head Chorister at, I think, Liverpool cathedral, and he’s classically trained as a keyboard player, as a pianist.

- So how different is new GREENSLADE from the old band?

The one thing I would say is that we’re not interested in just reproducing the Seventies’ prog rock. In the last twenty odd years some very good music has been made, and we want to draw on and incorporate those influences, the things that we heard and played in the last twenty years, although I didn’t even know that GREENSLADE was labeled a prog rock band, until John Young told me! I didn’t know that was the category that we were put into, because we were always called ‘underground’ in those days. I don’t see the point in bands reproducing precisely what they did twenty-five years ago – that isn’t musical! If you haven’t learnt anything and if you haven’t developed during the period when you were first in that band and now, then I don’t really see the point in re-forming – you should have more things to say, musically.

- It’s called ‘cashing in’.

Yeah, you’re right, but I was trying to be polite. (Laughs.)

- But if you have something new to say, why did GREENSLADE decided to re-form at this point of time, not earlier?

Dave and I talked about it once or twice over the years, but I can’t remember why we actually started it this time! But the catalyst that made it happen was definitely Dave.

- And what’s the current state of the band?

Greenslade: Reeves, Gambold, Young, Greenslade

Greenslade: Reeves, Gambold, Young, Greenslade

At the moment, we don’t have a drummer. Unfortunately, John Trotter emigrated to Australia – he was always planning to do that anyway, but he went a bit sooner than we expected, and it’s a long way for him to come for a gig.(Laughs.) But he’s doing fine there, I had an e-mail from him the other day, and he’s teaching, he has some good work there. He’d done the London scene, he was a very good session drummer and wanted new pastures. John Young is also very busy. He’s been doing a whole tour with Midge Ure, he’s working with Bonnie Tyler and he’s formed his own band, THE JOHN YOUNG BAND, which is doing a lot of gigs. So we have all agreed to take a block of time in March next year, that’s when we can all be together at the same time once we find the drummer. [When the interview’s was about to be published, Tony wrote in: “We have finally found a new drummer for GREENSLADE last week, his name is James Gambold”.]

- But there’s a COLOSSEUM record’s being made now.

They’re mixing it right now at Jon Hiseman’s studio, and that takes a lot of Dave Greenslade’s time, as you’d expect since he wrote sixty-seventy per cent of the material. It always takes a long time, recording with COLOSSEUM, and it may take even longer doing the mixes. (Laughs.)

- What memories do you have of CURVED AIR?

I played with the last incarnation of the band. What record was it I was on?.. Ah, “Airborne”, the last one! I played that a few weeks ago, and I’m quite pleased with it, I think that it sounds alright. Yes, I still occasionally play the records of myself! In fact, there was some review on the Net that came up in the CURVED AIR e-group: some guy was incredibly critical of it [“Airborne”], and I thought, I must go and play that again and see what I think about what he’s said, because it seemed to me a lot of what he’s said was complete rubbish. I think, actually Stewart Copeland and I sounded pretty good and tight together.

- Was it hard to switch from Jon Hiseman to Stewart Copeland?

It was quite easy. Hiseman is perhaps more difficult to play with because he’s busier, so there was less space for me to do things, whereas Copeland is simpler and very solid… He was a roadie with the band originally, do you know that? His drumming is very strong, not complex but nicely strong yet loose, and I enjoyed playing with him.

- What was you reaction when he became a star with POLICE?

I was pissed off as hell! Oooh! (Laughs.) Seriously, good luck to him! POLICE originally was a punk band. I went to hear them in a pub somewhere in West London, and it was awful: arghhhrrrrrrrr, not musical at all and a thousand miles-an-hour tempos! But then they got better, and I guess that was probably Sting’s contribution, the semi-reggae feel.

- Theirs is not the kind of music that I like, but what I like – and you played there – is the music of Sandy Denny. How did that session come about?

There was a lady called Frances van Staden who was a publicist – and who later married Andy McCulloch, GREENSLADE’s drummer – and she was looking after Sandy Denny and FAIRPORT CONVENTION, THE DUBLINERS and other folky type people. I just went with her to a studio one evening, ’cause she and I were together at the time, and Richard Thompson and Sandy were there recording some tracks, but they didn’t have a bass player and they asked me if I’d like to play bass. So I did. Sandy was fabulous! (As if addressing CURVED AIR’s Sonja Kristina) Sorry, Sonja, but to me she had the greatest female voice that I’d ever worked with. I think her voice was absolutely stunning. If you’re talking about sensitivity and emotion, it’s one of the very very few things that I would listen to that would send a shiver up my spine. And she was a lovely person, she was really great.

- The only other female voice I could compare Sandy’s to – though they’re very different – is Maggie Bell’s.

I guess they had similar depth of emotion, but Maggie Bell’s is straightway a black voice and Sandy is a white voice, so there’s a definite difference. Terrible shame that she died – she fell down the stairs I think, something very prosaic.

- More than that: she was ill before that, had a brain tumor, and was emotionally broken because her husband left her and took their child. Yet let’s talk about your previous brush with folk music – you played with Dave Graham, didn’t you?

Right, I forgot that! I can’t remember the exact sequence in time, but at one point I was working at Decca Records’ recording studio when I was still playing double bass. I was nineteen or something like that [it was 1966 – DME], and I don’t know how I got to do that. (Laughs.) Well, I got booked as a session musician to do it – that how it happened, but why I got booked I can’t really remember. It was like the John Mayall album, because we learnt everything in the studio as we were recording it. I remember him [Graham] showing me some ideas that he had – this descending thing that he wanted to do on “Walkin’ The Dog”, and I got the idea and changed it around a bit. (Sings the bass line.) Funny, I can suddenly remember things like that! We never got credited on that first album, me and Barry Morgan playing drums, but I enjoyed that – it was a good record – and we did get credited on the next one we did, “Midnight Man”.

- I guess you must get credited as well for the McGUINNESS-FLINT success, because it was you who brought in Gallagher and Lyle.

How did you know that?! Yeah, I sort of encouraged Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle [to do that], as they lived near me in south-east London. Either Hughie Flint or Tom McGuinness was on the phone one day and said they were looking for a couple of guys to join, both of whom needed to sing and could also write good songs, and I said “I know two people who would be good for you. They’re not doing anything, they’re looking for a gig, looking for a break. Try them – if it works, it works, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t”. And it worked.

- Oh, they got to work with Ronnie Lane later, and then as a duo. You helped them to another league. Was there any feedback from the two?

I haven’t seen them since! (Laughs.) Although I do know there’s a society now, Pamra, which is collecting royalties for airplay, and Benny Gallagher was a director of it. There is an annual general meeting in a few weeks’ time, and I might go there and see if he remembers who I am. I hope he would, but it was a long time ago, thirty years or something, and sometimes it’s hard to remember how you got to one position in your earlier life.

- So as a musician you go upfront, while as a person you prefer to be hiding in the shadows. Is your bass playing a kind of shield for you, then?

(Pause.) I’ve never thought of it like that but maybe you’re right.

- Isn’t it good anyway to see someone from your past who you have no bad feelings about?

I quite agree. It’s nice.

- And what about today? What about BIG CHIEF?

The hot news at the moment is that BIG CHIEF guitar player, Mike Jacques, has been offered a European tour with THE SKATALITES, those Caribbean guys, which is really nice because he deserves it, he’s got a superb reggae/ska feel. He has played with Rico the trombonist off and on for many years and understands the reggae feel very well. BIG CHIEF has been one of those things in my life for twenty years, and it’s amazing that the band stays together though it goes through a few changes. We don’t get enough live work, we do things like “Jagz” which is a jazz dinner club in Ascot, and the Dover Street Wine Bar in central London; it keeps me playing.

- If you were pushed to pick only one of the albums you played on, what would it be?

You enjoy difficult questions! (Laughs.) Actually, it would be this (points to a copy of GREENSLADE’s "2001-Live", I mean it. This I’m quietly pleased with, because I think I’m playing very well on this, I’ve reached a balance of both playing upfront and playing solid rhythm section. I did think to myself, “If I have a heart attack tomorrow, this is not bad as my last piece of recorded music”.

- What would be your reaction if you were invited to join some famous band now?

I’d be immediately interested. To me, it’s been great to get a second bite of the cherry with the re-formed GREENSLADE – I didn’t really expect that. And it’s nice to know that there are people who still like the way we play. I figure that for as long as these (waving his fingers) and this (points to his head) work, I would like to be playing. One of the small benefits of having your own business is that you’re the boss and, therefore, you can take some time off, and if you’ve got some gigs to do you can arrange your business so that you can go and do that. So I probably would.

Back to the Interviews page

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>