You Say You Want a Revolution? - exhibition special - with Joe Boyd talking to David Eastaugh
You Say You Want a Revolution? - exhibition special - with Geoffrey Marsh talking to David Eastaugh
Blowzabella special with Paul James in conversation with David Eastaugh
Bay City Rollers special with Les McKeown in conversation
Captain Beefheart special with John French in conversation with David Eastaugh.
French was invited to join Beefheart and the Magic Band in late 1966, as a replacement for Paul Blakely. Having played on Safe as Milk (1967), his distinctive drumming style moulded the driving heavy psychedelic blues of Strictly Personal (1968) and Mirror Man (1968, but not released till 1971). During the Trout Mask Replica sessions, French transcribed the musical ideas Beefheart played for him on piano for the rest of the band.
However, shortly after the completion of Trout Mask Replica, French was booted out of the group rather violently by Beefheart and was replaced by the inexperienced Jeff Bruschell. French was also contentiously omitted from the credits of Trout Mask Replica and was largely absent from the band photos taken for the artwork. Nevertheless, he was soon invited back and played on the critically acclaimed albums Lick My Decals Off, Baby and The Spotlight Kid, sharing percussion duties with Art Tripp aka Ed Marimba. Then in late 1972, just before an American tour, he left again.
Beefheart's contractual problems in 1975 forced him to join Frank Zappa's Bongo Fury tour, but as soon as he was able he reformed The Magic Band and French was recruited as both drummer and music director. 1976 saw the recording of the original version of Bat Chain Puller, which due to legal ownership problems remained unreleased until 2012. French also played guitar as well as drums on some of these songs. He walked out on Beefheart when his friend John Thomas (keyboards) was sacked from the band.
French visited Beefheart in 1980 looking for work and was hired to take part in the recording of Doc at the Radar Station, playing guitar (and drumming on two tracks). He left before the band toured though, when Beefheart handed him a list of 40 songs to learn over a 3-month period. French sealed the walkout the next day by returning the guitar Beefheart had loaned him.
Fanny special with in conversation with David Eastaugh.
Fanny was an American rock band, active in the early 1970s. They were one of the first all-female rock groups to achieve critical and commercial success, including two Billboard Hot 100 top 40 singles.
The group was founded by guitarist June Millington and her sister, bassist Jean, (who had been playing music together since they moved from the Philippines to California in the early 1960s). After playing through several variations of the band, they attracted the interest of producer Richard Perry who signed them to Reprise Records in 1969 as Fanny. The band recorded four albums together before June Millington quit the group, leading to the original line-up splitting. Following a final album, Fanny disbanded in 1975. The Millington sisters have continued to play music together since the split, and with a former drummer, Brie Howard Darling, formed the spin-off group Fanny Walked the Earth in 2018.
The group has continued to attract critical acclaim for rejecting typical girl group styles and expectations of women in the rock industry generally, and emphasizing their musical skills. Later groups, such as The Bangles and The Runaways, cited Fanny as a key influence.
Sisters June and Jean Millington moved with their family from the Philippines to Sacramento, California, in 1961. They began to play music together on ukuleles as they found it helped them gain friends. In high school they formed an all-female band called the Svelts with June on guitar, Jean on bass, Addie Lee on guitar, and Brie Brandt on drums. Brandt left to get married and was later replaced by Alice de Buhr. When the Svelts disbanded, de Buhr and Lee formed another all-female group called Wild Honey. The Millington sisters later joined this band, which played Motown covers and eventually moved to Los Angeles.
Frustrated by a lack of success or respect in the male-dominated rock scene, Wild Honey decided to disband after one final open-mic appearance at the Troubadour Club in Los Angeles in 1969. They were spotted at this gig by the secretary of producer Richard Perry, who had been searching for an all-female rock band to mentor. Perry convinced Warner Bros. Records to sign the band, still known as Wild Honey, to Reprise Records. The group won the contract without the label hearing them play, on the grounds of being a novelty act, despite their genuine musical talent. Prior to recording their first album, the band recruited keyboardist Nickey Barclay.
The band was then renamed Fanny, not with a sexual connotation but to denote a female spirit. The initial lineup consisted of June Millington on guitar, Jean Millington on bass, de Buhr on drums, Barclay on keyboards, and Brandt on lead vocals and percussion. Perry dismissed Brandt because he wanted the group to be a self-contained four piece band like The Beatles. The Millingtons and Barclay all assumed lead vocal duties on alternating songs, while de Buhr sang lead occasionally on later albums.
Perry produced the band's first three albums, beginning with Fanny in 1970. Because of the connection to Perry and Reprise Records, Barclay was invited to tour with Joe Cocker as a backing singer, and consequently appeared on the album Mad Dogs and Englishmen. The group's cover of Cream's "Badge" from the first album had significant radio airplay. The follow-up album, Charity Ball was released the following year, and its title track reached #40 on the Billboard Hot 100. The members of Fanny also worked as session musicians, and played on Barbra Streisand's 1971 album Barbra Joan Streisand, after Streisand had wanted to record with a small band. The group continued to pick up well-known fans; David Bowie sent the group a letter admiring their work and invited the band to a post-show party where he showed them mime techniques. With young engineer Leslie Ann Jones as their road manager and live sound mixer, Fanny toured worldwide, opening for Slade, Jethro Tull and Humble Pie, gaining widespread popularity in the United Kingdom. A 1971 article in Sounds remarked that the group "seems that they are the support group to everyone these days". The group made several live television appearances during tours, including The Sonny and Cher Show, American Bandstand, The Old Grey Whistle Test and Beat-Club.
The group's third album, Fanny Hill (1972) featured the Beatles' engineer Geoff Emerick in addition to Perry's production. It included a cover of "Hey Bulldog" and Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar". The latter featured regular Rolling Stones saxophonist Bobby Keys, and was released as a single, reaching #85 on the Billboard Hot 100. Fellow Stones sideman Jim Price also played brass on the album.Rolling Stone wrote a rave review of the album, praising the group's musical skills and particularly June Millington's ability to play both lead and rhythm guitar.
Their fourth album, Mother's Pride (1973), was produced by Todd Rundgren. By the time Mother's Pride was released, June Millington was feeling constrained by the group format. The record label wanted her to wear certain designer clothes and adopt a hard rock image, which she resisted. She decided to quit the group, later saying "I needed to figure out who I was" and regularly clashed with Barclay, who had a different personality to her. June moved to Woodstock to study Buddhism, but insisted the group continue without her.
de Buhr also left the band, with Brandt returning on drums. Patti Quatro (sister of Suzi Quatro) replaced June on guitar. This lineup signed with Casablanca Records and released the final Fanny album, Rock and Roll Survivors, in 1974. The first single, "I've Had It" reached #79 on the Billboard Hot 100. Brandt left the band shortly after the album's completion when she married composer James Newton Howard, and was briefly replaced by Cam Davis. Barclay quit the group at the end of 1974, thinking it was not working without June Millington. The second single, "Butter Boy" was written by Jean Millington about Bowie, and became their biggest hit, reaching #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1975. By the time that was released, the group had split.
Mark Kramer in conversation talking about his life in music with David Eastaugh
Mark Kramer known professionally as Kramer, is a musician, composer, record producer and founder of the New York City record label Shimmy-Disc. He was a full-time member of the bands New York Gong, Shockabilly, Bongwater and Dogbowl & Kramer, has played on tour (usually on bass guitar) with bands such as Butthole Surfers, B.A.L.L., Ween, Half Japanese and The Fugs(1984 reunion tour), and has also performed regularly with John Zorn and other improvising musicians of New York City's so-called "downtown scene" of the 1980s.
Kramer's most notable work as a producer has been with bands such as Galaxie 500 (whose entire oeuvre he produced), Low (whom he discovered and produced), Half Japanese, White Zombie, GWAR, King Missile, Danielson Famile, Will Oldham, Daniel Johnston, and Urge Overkill, including their hit cover of "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon".
Age of Chance special with Neil Howson in conversation with David Eastaugh
Steve Elvidge was a Leeds native, and attended St Michael's College (R.C.); being the most notable musical alumnus of that school since Jake Thackray. Neil Howson, (guitar) also from Leeds studied at Jacob Kramer College of Art, Geoff Taylor (Liverpool) and Jan Perry (Stockport) were students at Leeds Polytechnic, now Leeds Beckett University.
Age of Chance first came to national attention in 1985, when their debut single, "Motorcity/ Everlasting Yeah" released on their own label, Riot Bible, was picked up and championed by BBC Radio 1 DJ, John Peel. A session followed, recorded at Maida vale studios and four songs, "Going, Going Gone Man", "Mob Hut", "The Morning After the Sixties" and "I Don't Know and I Don't Care" were recorded. "I Don't Know.." was re-recorded for Gunfire and Pianos, a compilation album released by Zigzag magazine.
They released their second self-funded single, "Bible of the Beats" / "Liquid Jungle" in January 1986, which led to an invitation to contribute a track, "From Now On, This Will Be Your God" on the NME C86 compilation tape. The band made their London debut at the ICA Rock week in July 1986. A second Peel session was recorded in June 1986, with "Be Fast, Be Clean, Be Cheap", "From Now On, This Will be Your God", "Kiss" and "How the West was Won". "Kiss" was recorded for the John Peel session while the Prince single was still in the charts.
The band signed to Virgin in January 1987, and embarked on a nationwide UK tour. They recorded a Janice Long session comprising "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Noise", "Hold On" and "Bible of the Motorcity Beats." They began recording their first single for Virgin with producer Howard Gray: "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Noise/Big Bad Rap" and then started their first Virgin album, One Thousand Years of Trouble. A second single "Don't Get Mad, Get Even" was released in October, followed by the album. In 1988, Channel 4 began using "Don't Get Mad..." as the music for the American Football programme, which ran over the next three years. The band began recording their second Virgin album in the summer at Rockfield in Wales.
Original singer Steven-E left in September 1988, during the recording of their second LP, forcing the rest of the band to recruit a new singer, Charles Hutchinson, in January 1989, and "re-vocal" the LP, which was released as Mecca in 1990. The main single from that collection, "Higher Than Heaven" reached No. 53 in the UK, despite being voted "record of the week" by BBC Radio 1's breakfast show listeners. When Hutchinson left, Perry took on vocal duties briefly before the band split in 1991.