I can't believe its time for another ramble, another Yawn. Nigel says it is, so it must be.
2002 seems to be flying by at the moment. So what's new then. Well not very much just at the moment.
As most of you know MMEB are back out on the road again and sounding as good as ever so I am told. There is half a chance Carol and I might get out in July fingers crossed. For the older folk out there
John Arkle tells me that Klaus Voorman was on the telly the other day. Who the hell is he I hear some of you younger and cooler ones cry. Well let me tell you who he was. This young German was
perhaps intending to be an artist as against a bass player. He got to know the Beatles in their early days when they played in Hamburg. Later on he did the cover for the famous Beatle album Revolver which in itself
secured him a place in history.
He went on to become bass player in John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band. There was even a time when he was rumoured to become a Beatle himself.
(he would have to have become an adopted scouser like me). His voice was also heard on many TV adds in the 60's in particular Hovis. Klaus retired
from music and is now back with his first love as an artist. He appeared on a Paul McCartney documentary on Channel 5 so look out for repeats. I
forgot to mention he also took over on bass from Jack Bruce in Manfred Mann in 1966. He also managed to play recorder(on Quinn amonst others)
and flute on Mann and Hugg's cool modern jazz stuff that was going on behind the hits in the sixties.
Shall I mention the Box this time. Hell why not, cause I am getting excited about it even if you are not, We Have No Title Yet is as you know made up
of four CD's. Manfred has now listened and given his approval subject to it being clear that as well as hits and classics we are also including
mistakes and outtakes. Ian Tompson who has been a huge help and support in all of this is doing a bit of last minute mixing and editing at present. Of
the unreleased tracks the oldest of these date back to the unreleased Chapter III album from which I have culled three tracks including the Mike Hugg
song that was reworked as the title track of the third MMEB album. Stepping Sideways is the now legendary cancelled first album. Its easy to see
why it was withdrawn at the time as it is even less representative of how the Band was evolving than the first released album. Now we understand
what MMEB is about and the no rules thing none of that matters and the Stepping Sideways stuff sounds pretty good to me. CD2 is mostly stuff you
know but I have sneaked in (or as Manfred might say smurgled in) the Jon Sebastian song 'Summer in the City'. CD3 includes my personal favourites
from over the years as well as featuring many of the different vocal talents Manfred has used over that time. 'Martha's Madman' (I love this song and
the moog solos that go with it.) from Mann Alive is a reminder of how a band can still not get to do Later with Jools Holland even when they have
three of the best voices in rock music working together. We were spoilt for that short while were we not.
Speaking of Chris he called the other day to say that he was very well inc ase anybody believed the nasty message on the message board. He is in
the very very early stages of planning a possible DVD of Night and McNasty stuff and thats all I or he knows as yet. He may also have lent his voice
to a forthcoming gramaphone record who knows!!! Back to the Box and for me CD4 is the most interesting featuring some unreleased studio stuff
from recent times including (I hope!) something from a forthcoming gramaphone record. However my personal favourites are two live tracks from
1993 when Clive Bunker was on drums. Like you I have heard countless hous of live MMEB bootleg and otherwise and these two songs take a lot of
beating. They are so moody and atmospheric and tight. The familiar one is 'Pleasure and Pain' before it was recorded and the other a song called
'Dirty City'. The book (please read in scouse i.e. boookk ) what I writ to go with it is great ( At least it is since Helen cleaned it up and took out the bad
language). So things are looking good still. There is a lot to look forward to later this year and the new stuff next year and lots of live gigs going on.
All we need now is a hit record again and when that happens Jools it will be too late and you will wish you had got them to do a set.
Might see you in the summer. Keep safe and enjoy the music.
Best Wishes Carol and Andy Taylor