Archive for classic rock

From the archives…2006 interview with NEIL CARTER (UFO/GARY MOORE)

Posted in Classic albums, Classic rock, Get Ready To Rock!, rock with tags , , , , , , on May 28, 2019 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

10 Q’s with NEIL CARTER (UFO/GARY MOORE)

Originally published back in 2006 and when Neil Carter was no longer active in the music scene. However, after the sad death of Paul Raymond last month, Neil has now rejoined his old band mates in UFO who have US dates of their farewell tour starting next month.

Neil Carter was the keyboards/guitar/sax player with UFO during the band’s early 80’s period and he then went onto join Gary Moore’s band for a series of classic hard rock albums. Now he is a well respected music teacher. Visit his his rather good Website and read on…

1. What are you currently up to? (E.g. touring/studio, etc.)

Well as far as any of the ‘previous life’ activities go, none at all but I am about to go to Malaysia to examine and next year New Zealand and the USA. Otherwise it is business as usual with tons of teaching and examining.

2. Since leaving Gary Moore’s band you have been a music teacher. What was it like to teach at first and have any of your past pupils gone onto being full time musicians?

Actually I admit I was lousy at first but as ever, enthusiastic, so I got by. No one had ever taught me how to teach so I had to find my way and discover the tools of the trade and get used to preparing candidates for exams etc. I think I know my stuff these days but it took me a couple of years, and also a while to understand how to interact with children and teenagers. I really love it now but for a long time it was hell on earth! I have taught a few that have gone on and in fact one of my past pupils now teaches some kids from my school. So many really talented kids have passed through the College but become doctors/lawyers etc. It is the way of the public school I’m afraid!

3. UFO What were the musical and live highlights of your time in the band?

Musically I suppose the initial album ‘Wild and Willing’ as I really liked such a lot of the songs on that and it was all ‘new’. ‘Making Contact’, I felt responsible for a lot of that album and am pleased with it on the whole. Live I suppose some of the headlining shows in the USA and Reading in 1980 of course. I had a bootleg sent to me of the Chicago show in 1981 and it is really good. Never thought I’d say that!

4. Gary Moore You played on what many Gary Moore fans would regard as his classic hard rock albums in the 80s. What was it like playing with musicians like Bob Daisley and the late, great Cozy Powell? How did the bands camaraderie differ from UFO?

With Gary I was always aware that ultimately it was his show although it did feel like a band on stage. I suppose my position was a little different as I had the longest serving term and I wrote with Gary. I like to think it was a good partnership. The strange thing is that when I joined his band all the musicians, Ian, Neil and myself had come from much bigger acts but you could tell Gary was on the ‘up’ and he was always so well respected by other musicians. Working with Bob was always great and Cozy was a fine drummer (albeit rather briefly with us!). Working with Gary was so different to UFO, much more professional and well organized but perhaps not quite so unpredictable!

5. Did you get other band offers after you left Gary Moore and would you be tempted back into working with say Gary Moore or Paul Chapman if the chance arose?

Strangely no…..I wonder why? I suppose it was left ‘open’ for almost a year afterwards and no one actually said ‘that’s it, no more rock tours’ so I was in limbo, but getting on with life. I did some writing and recording of my own but somehow I had no real desire to carry on. Which, looking back now, I find strange but understandable in a way. I had done such a lot and we had finished on a real high. Why go downwards or start again and I would have had to. I think you would really have to want it badly to do that and I didn’t. Added to which money was still coming in from royalties so I wasn’t exactly destitute! I have had the odd ‘what about it’ from both Paul and Gary over the years and I never rule it out but I think I am so far out of the loop now I don’t know if I would be any good!

6. Who/what made you want to be a musician?

I wanted to be on the ‘stage’ I knew that, but I loved music and played instruments (piano, recorder) from a very early age. My Mum was heavily involved in am dram and I used to ache to be involved in those productions when I was very little. I did so much playing in those things which gave me a good grounding and helped my sight reading immensely. Then one day Bowie came along and that was it. I wanted to be Mick Ronson!

7. How did you get your first break into the music business? What piece of advice would you pass onto budding musicians?

My first break was with Gilbert O’ Sullivan when I was 19, until then I had been in semi-pro bands although technically I was ‘pro’ ˜cos I didn’t work and my parents supported me! That came about from our bands guitarist answering an advert as he wanted a ‘rock’ band to back him. I was the singer but usefully I could play other instruments so I think it helped to ‘sell’ us. In the course of a 45 minute set I played 7 instruments for him. Slave labour. As far as ‘advice’ goes I suppose something I have learnt is in order to be successful at anything in life you need supreme self motivation and above all, self belief. It doesn’t necessarily take supreme talent!

8. Which song(s) do you enjoy performing most live and why?

Always with UFO the classics especially ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Only you can Rock me because they are such classic rock songs. Gary, hmmmm, I could say the entire set list of the ‘Wild Frontier’ tour as that really has to have been my favourite period I was with him. If you look at the Sweden live video we were having such a good time and it worked so well live. I have a bootleg of the ‘After the War’ tour and we look terrified and miserable! (Mind you that was right at the start of the tour with Chris Slade who just about new the songs….just!)

9. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Well it has been documented before, but I am a Judge of pedigree cats and that is my hobby. I go all over Europe judging although not quite as much nowadays as I am so busy with work. I enjoy it, although I am not sure whether it’s cool to say so! I also do a fair amount of arranging these days and enjoy that a lot too!

10. Message to your fans…

For those that hold memories of the things I did in the past and have the albums, thanks for your support and feel free to check out the website as there will be some new stuff appearing from time to time. I really enjoy hearing from you all and thanks to those who have emailed me. Have fun!

WIN JOAN BAEZ & MICHAEL SCHENKER CD’s

Posted in Classic rock, Competitions, Folk, News, rock with tags , , , , , , on March 11, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Your chance to win a copy of the new CDs from Joan Baez and Michael Schenker – part of a series of competitions over the coming year to celebrate this blog’s tenth birthday.

jb

For a chance to win a copy of Joan Baez’s new album ‘Whistle Down The Wind’ simply answer the following question –

What year did she release her debut album?

a) 1960

b) 1961

c) 1962

Email your answer to papa_bear70@hotmail.com and the winner will be chosen at random. Entries welcome worldwide and the closing date is April 8th. Good luck!

ms

For a chance to win a copy of Michael Schenker’s new bets of double album ‘A Decade of the Mad Axeman’ simply answer the following question –

Who HAS NOT sung on a Michael Schenker album?

a) Doogie White

b) Gary Barden

c) Steve Overland

Email your answer to papa_bear70@hotmail.com and the winner will be chosen at random. Entries welcome worldwide and the closing date is April 8th. Good luck!

‘So Here It Is’ by Dave Hill

Posted in Authors, Books, Classic albums, Classic rock, rock n roll with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

 

dh

Unbound Books [Published date 16.11.17]

Noddy Holder has written a couple of books and drummer Don Powell has published his memoir, now it is the turn of guitarist Dave Hill.

Dave Hill was born in a castle in Devon, the son of a mechanic, and moved back with his parents to Wolverhampton when he was a year old. Much of the book involves his family and the facts he uncovered including that his parents weren’t married for their early years and how his mum’s depression impacted on the family. He touches upon this throughout the book, including how he didn’t cry when his mum died, and is very open and honest about how his mum affected and shaped his life. His wife Jan, who he married in 1973, remained his rock throughout the trails of life, be it with Slade or more personal aspects of his life.

Slade fans will be interested to read about the band’s origins as Dave Hill originally played with drummer Don Powell in a band called The Vendors, which became the The N’ Betweens. When Jim Lea and singer Noddy Holder later joined, the band renamed itself Slade, after an album came out under the Ambrose Slade name. In the 1970s, Slade were the biggest band in the UK, racking up 23 Top 20 hits, including six number one singles. That is some achievement and of course their Christmas single ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’, still makes the singles charts every Christmas season.

There isn’t much in the way of rock ‘n’ roll tales about other band members as they didn’t seem to socialise much on the road. The Reading comeback is covered, along with their failed attempt to break the US market – something that nearly broke the band. The mid-80’s to early 90’s period doesn’t get covered much, mainly as the band had stopped touring and when Noddy Holder left the band in 1992, Jim Lea also retired from the band. Hill and Powell formed Slade II in 1992, which again isn’t touched upon much in the book, and that band’s current line-up has bene together and touring since 2005. Slade II have released one studio album to date (much of the album was written by Hill and former Wizzard member Bill Hunt).

Recommended read for the band’s many fans as you get to see behind the showmanship, and at times outrageous costumes, of Dave Hill. Frank and honest about his own personal life, plus he still keeps the band’s music alive by still touring today as Slade II with fellow founder member Don Powell.

Axl/DC

Posted in Classic rock, Get Ready To Rock!, hard rock, News with tags , , , , , , on April 19, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

There is one way to get rock fans in a tizzy and that is to change a vocalist in a long established band. Rumours became fact as Guns N Roses vocalist Axl Rose was confirmed as the replacement for Brian Johnson in AC/DC. Johnson was forced to step down from the band on medical advice or risk losing his hearing entirely. This then started the rumour mill that he had been dismissed by the band, fueled further when the band said they would fulfill this year’s love shows with a guest vocalist.

Pictures emerged recently showing AC/DC members and Axl Rose emerging from a rehearsal studio. There was no comment from the band, until it was announced officially on Saturday 16 April that Axl would be fronting the band. A massive social media storm ensued as many fans of AC/DC did not take overly well to the announcement, plus the elephant in the room was the lack of comment from the band or Brian Johnson himself over if he was out of the band on a permanent basis.

Johnson has now explained his version of events with a statement released today. He stated that that he has no choice but to leave the band for now, hoping continued medical treatment allows his hearing to improve enough to perform live. In the meantime he plans to carry on singing, “I wish to assure our fans that I am not retiring. My doctors have told me that I can continue to record in studios and I intend to do that.”

For now it all looks stable in the AC/DC camp. The next big test will be of course the upcoming live shows, including two here in the UK. Will Axl be up to his usual tricks like late appearances on the stage? One things for sure Axl and AC/DC will certainly keep each other in the headlines.

Slowly the giants of rock stop touring…

Posted in Classic albums, Classic rock, Get Ready To Rock!, tours with tags , , , , , , on March 10, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

First we had the sad passing of Lemmy which meant no more Motorhead, a band that lived to be on the road touring and playing to their fans.

Now we have the news that AC/DC have had to postpone their remaining US tour dates as vocalist Brian Johnson has been advised to stop performing live to save his hearing. The band have said they will be rescheduled later in the year with a guest vocalist. But it won’t be the same without Brian Johnson plus of course illness forced Malcolm Young to leave the band.

Age is catching up fast with the rock giants of the 1970’s sadly, even the mighty Status Quo have said no more electric gigs and their UK tour later this year will be their last.

The latest band to call time on touring has been Rush. Guitarist Alex Lifeson confirmed in a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine that the band won’t tour again due to the pain that drummer Neil Peart goes through.

When rock bands started way back in the 60’s and 70’s, they would not imagined the longevity many of them would have and now we are way into the twilight years for them sadly. But hey, they will still be drawn back to the stage I am sure for one-off shows and it is not all bad as Motley Crue have stopped as well 😉

Roy Harper’s song sums up the passing of this era, albeit about cricket it does work on many levels:

 

Mix tape: ANDY DOWLING (LORD)

Posted in Classic rock, hard rock, Melodic rock, metal, Mix tape, Music for 2016 with tags , , , , , , , on March 6, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

A slightly different spin. When moving from Brisbane to Sydney 10 years ago to play in LORD, I found myself leaning on a large dosage of Australian rock from the 80s and 90s. Whilst it might seem like an unusual choice for many, it certainly provided me with inspiration reassurance.

These are a few of many songs that were the soundtrack to my first few years in Sydney, where I was trying to find my feet and carve out my own place in a big city on my own.

lord

SIDE A
 
1. John Farnham – Reasons

– You can knock Farnsy all you want or say his only good song is ‘You’re the Voice’, but I’ll tell you with ease that John Farnham is the greatest vocalist of all time. Is this crazy talk? Maybe, but I believe it. I referenced this song in the liner notes of our ‘Ascendence’ album back in 2009, quoting ‘I’m pointing my feet in the right direction’. This track specifically was the fuel I needed to keep on a path that many  felt was a little too outside-of-the-box. Fantastic song and still a great go to track for inspiration. 
 
2. Dragon – Dreams of Ordinary Men 

– Breaking the rules immediately, I’m going with an adopted Australian band from New Zealand (us Aussies tend to do this often!). Many people prefer their 70s output, but the mid to late 80s era of the band was absolutely unstoppable. These guys were the soundtrack to many a night in Sydney and Wollongong, driving between rehearsal rooms, backs of venues and the like. Highly recommend the albums ‘Body and the Beat’, ‘Dreams of Ordinary Men’ and ‘Bondi Road’. 
 

3. 1927 – You’ll Never Know

– I became obsessed with the first two albums of 1927 for quite a lengthy period of time, especially the debut ‘…ish’. This song, like the rest of the album, is down to earth and raw. Every song is wrapped around everyday experiences which was the reassurance I needed in those moments of doubt. Their debut was highly successful in Australia, and I believe that the genuine human approach lyrically was a large part of that success. “You’ll never know. Know which choice to make. Take or break a hold. Which way to go. Say what you will. What you’re willing to give. Give or take control. Will we ever know.”
 
4. Ian Moss – Out of the Fire

– Women. They make and break you. No matter how shit a break up can be and how much you think that you’ll struggle to find someone as good as the last, someone better always comes around. This song is all about moving on, which I went through a number of times and in hindsight very happy that I did. Use this song as strength, not as a depressant! 
5. Southern Sons – Something More

– The reality of being a musician is balancing it with earning a living. Working an office job was certainly a challenge and was very difficult at times to keep a positive frame of mind when those around you do not have the same outlook on life that you have. This song kept me pushing forward. A highly overlooked and underrated song that deserves far more attention. In some of my most difficult struggles, this track got me through. 
 
SIDE B
 
1. Jimmy Barnes – Driving Wheels

– Not that I have ever racked up the mileage of a truck driver, but I always loved this song as I cruised up and down the Princes Highway between Sydney and Wollongong each Thursday night for rehearsals. Between an hour and an hour and a half each way with traffic. This was my weekly routine for a number of years and this track provided a somewhat soundtrack to it. Over the last 10 years I’ve certainly racked up a lot of kilometres across this large country and have grown a real love for being on the road and behind the wheel.
 
2. Roxus – Rock n Roll Nights 

– This song is nothing but a reminder of very big, messy and late nights in Sydney. Partying in Kings Cross, Surry Hills, and the Inner West. Roxus was the perfect compliment as I bar/pub hopped across the city in the early hours of the morning (or those long walks home when you couldn’t get a taxi!).
 
3. Icehouse – Touch the Fire

–  Late 80s Icehouse was out of this world. Man of Colours especially is one of my all time favourite albums, but Touch the Fire just seemed to get constant rotation, whether it be cassette, vinyl, CD or mp3 (yes I have it on all formats). A great guitar riff, sax solo and an open invitation to hook city. Delicious song. 
 
4. Noiseworks – No Lies

– Seen Noiseworks soooo many times over the years. One of Australia’s best fronted by a New Zealander (remember, we adopt Kiwi’s when we like them!). Their self titled album is one of their best and No Lies is a reminder of fun, and often intoxicating, times seeing them in pubs and clubs with very rough and questionable middle-aged fans. I lost a bit of interest after their follow up album Touch, but you can’t deny those first two.  
 
5.  John Farnham – Break the Ice 

– You start your mix tape with Farnsy, you finish with Farnsy. That’s my rule, anyway! Unless you’re an AOR/80s rock fan, you might not know this track. Featured on the RAD soundtrack, this is one of the best fist pumping songs out there. This one certainly got you in the mood before a big night out in the city.
H

How was 2015 for you musically?

From a band perspective, we released a highly successful EP entitled ‘What Tomorrow Brings’ which received great feedback from people all over the world (you can watch the video trailer HERE – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMpF-tjlzHw) and lead to a fun end of year tour across Australia. Personally, I came to the realisation that Australian music at present has never been better. From a metal perspective, we have never had so many bands making huge impacts on the international front and it only appears to be getting better and better. It’s great fuel and inspiration for us and no doubt many others.

What have you got planned for 2016 and beyond?

For LORD, we have a very busy year. Whilst we’re taking a break from most touring, we will be appearing at the ProgPower USA Festival in Atlanta in September of this year. This will be our first ever US appearance, so we’re very excited to finally play to a lot of fans who have been patiently waiting for us to come over for many many years. In addition to that, we have just secured our new drummer, Darryl Murphy (video announcement here – https://youtu.be/VYtRQQZJBt0) after a long two year search (and many session drummers). Finally, we’re in the process of finalising another new release and planning for the next couple of releases over the coming 12 months. The biggest thing for us is to keep the momentum moving and we’re certainly ensuring that we stay busy.

Message for your fans…

A huge thank you for sticking with us, sharing our music amongst your friends, buying our mechandise and coming out to shows! The best thing personally for me is to see the feedback and thoughts from those who listen. While we do this for ourselves, we also take great pride in knowing that others get something out of it as well. You all keep us going and we wouldn’t be able to live our dreams without you supporting us.

Looking back and reflecting on the songs I chose for this mix tape leaves me with a great feeling of accomplishment. All of those times of doubt when I leant on some of Australia’s best song writers helped me get to where I am today. I am forever in debt to those who have and continue to inspire me, as well as those who have directly impacted the success of LORD. Thank you!

Andy Dowling 

(LORD/The Andy Social Podcast) 
Po Box 3019
Wollongong, NSW 2520
AUSTRALIA

http://www.lord.net.au
http://www.andysocial.net

Radio show for fans of classic rock…

Posted in Classic albums, Classic rock, Melodic rock, metal, News with tags , , , , , , , on February 29, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

https://www.mixcloud.com/discover/bill-leslie/

There are loads of online radio shows out there, but this weekly one hour shows presented by rock fan Bill Leslie is well worth a listen. The show is called ‘Rock That Time Forgot’, it broadcasts on Astro Radio and covers new and old songs across the rock and metal genres. He also takes requests and if you are a fan of Thunder he did a highly recommended one hour special on them a fortnight ago.