Platform End No 13 - Summer 1997
PE#13 - Page 2
A Yawn in Your Ear .........….2
World Service News............3
Diary of a Madman ............4
Somewhere in Afrika .........4
On the Road Again..............5
Some of the Million ..........6-7
The Audition ….........…...…...8
Notes from America ...…..9-10
Winged Messenger ......…..11
The Earth Team
Editor .....................…..Andy Taylor
Design/Typesetting .........Iain Scott
Printed by: Penketh’s Print Limited
Bassendale Road, Bromborough,
Wirral Merseyside L62 SOL
No South African keyboard player
was harmed during the making of
If you have any articles, pictures or views you would like to be considered for inclusion in our next issue, send them along to Andy & Carol Taylor to the address below, together with a stamped addressed envelope for return. All articles, stories, pictures, etc. will be returned
The Manfred Mann Fan Club,
C/o Andy & Carol Taylor,
29 Lyndhurst Road, Wallasey,
Merseyside L45 6XB England.
Tel: (44) 151 639 7057
A YAWN IN YOUR EAR!
People ask me why we call our honourable treasurer Graeme Yates the ’Brighton Beaver’, other's probably don ’t care but I shall tell I you anyway because I was recently able to see the man in full Super Beaver 7“ Mode. He had asked me to join him at a London Record Fair. Fully aware of his ability to sniff out a rare promo 12” at 100 paces I took my almost ten year old son Thomas. The deal was that Tom would keep Graeme busy whilst I nipped in and snapped up anything remotely collectable. All went well until the first stand whereupon like some ancient mag the Beaver rose majestically from a pile of junk clutching a 5" pink Tribal Statistics. Not one to give up despite the heat and prices, I was systematically searching through a 1000 mundane 7" records on another stand whilst Thomas did his best to distract the Beaver by fair means or foul, when the famous nose twitched once and a White label promo only import picture sleeve Night single appeared in the Beaver’s hands, naturally at a bargain price. After this I gave up all thoughts of ever becoming a serious record collector and bought my son (sadly infected With Earth Band), a 7" Don’t Kill It Carol with picture cover, only to find out later that it was not the common one but a much rarer version with a rarer B side.
Still unlike me the Beaver hasn’t gone from Birmingham To London (in less than a day - night!!!) with Pat (Speedy) King, grabbed two hours sleep at the invisible Engineers place and then had the ultimate prize of roadie for a day (well hour) unloading all the gear back into the Workhouse!! How the other half live.
So what's all this got to do with our 1997 tour special. Frankly nothing, except to get you in the mood for another fun packed Platform End. Speaking of the Invisible Engineer I'm relieved to say he has given up letter writing and gone back to full blown articles, due of course to popular demand (or was it his Mum). Then to keep our parade of stars we've Trotter, more from Greg 'Mannerisms' Russo, Martin on Afrika in America and we’ve also managed to squeeze in more of your letters.
In case you noticed We've also given ourselves a face lift and called this Volume 2, for no good reason other than that we were going to call it No 1 and not unlucky 13. We are however not
ruled by superstition and anyway nothing caaannn
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Manfred is working on a proposed single version of the track Sexual Jealousy. No release date has been agreed at the time of going to press so please don’t go looking for it in the shops yet!
The Live Album
To quote Manfred ”The live album was going very well, but is going to take a bit longer because the band have got involved!" Getting it finished has of course not been helped by the amount of time taken out on the road. As we go to press the band were just back from Europe and due to go out again in a couple of days time, so I doubt it will get finished before late Autumn. It will be well worth the wait when it finally escapes. The band were sounding bloody good (and still are), and for all you late night callers no we are not talking son of Budapest!
The Next Album
Manfred was reluctant to say too much about the next album because it is really only at the ideas stage and things will inevitably change. All he could say to wet our long term appetites is that he had collected together various classical melodies from the late 19th early 20th century and plans to write songs around them. He did however promise to talk more on the new project in the future.
World Service Old News
The new double CD should be out in the shops featuring all the 1966- 69 D’Abo Fontanta hits, album tracks plus a good few unreleased songs. Polygram tell me it has been released, H.M.V. say it’s been put back!
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The first loud music concert I ever attended was that great British Beat Group Manfred Mann who gave a super concert at a teacher's training college in the London suburbs. It was a big decision for me and my mate Mark. HMV had a French import EP containing a track not released in the UK and an ever so nice picture of the boys hanging out of an engine at the old Clapham Transport Museum. As one of my other passions is steam engines (no anoraks in the post please], it was a difficult decision (we did not have enough money for ep’s and tickets!). A few years later I paid quite a lot of money to obtain a copy of the EP. Back to the concert which I remember surprisingly well considering how long ago it was, Manfred thumped the top of his keyboard and they were off launching first into 'Hoochie Coochie' and going on to play 'The Nitty Gritty', 'Fever', 'Hound Dog' & 'She’s A Woman', a beautifully reworked version of 'Just Like A Woman' and an instrumental version of the classic song 'Summertime' finishing off with all the D’Abo period hits. All the blues stuff was far removed from most of their recording output at that time hinting that at least some of the band were already not comfortable with the direction things were going. Not long after this the band quit the road and the writing was on the wall. For me this was probably good news ‘cause everybody I knocked around with was getting into Hendrix and Cream and nice song though it no doubt is 'My Name ls Jack' didn’t do a great deal for my street cred. Chapter III on the other hand suited my sad and twisted view of life almost perfectly. Most of my circle of friends hadn’t a clue what it was all about. Firstly there was no Eric Clapton and secondly it was very serious stuff and there was no doubt only very intelligent and deep people such as myself would ever enjoy it. For most it was come back ‘My Name Is ]ack’ all is forgiven. I saw Chapter III live twice, two different line ups and will come back to those gigs in future ramblings and move quickly onto the Sundown Circuit in London in 1972 and my first taste of Manfred's new band, the Earth Band. It was at two of these gigs I learned that
Moog Solos are part of the meaning of life, whilst the young Michael Rogers restored my faith in lead guitarists. Space does not permit me to linger for too long on the various tours, since there are madder men than me out there far more qualified to do so - dare I mention here the good Barry The Earthman Winton who should have an entry in the Guinness Book Of Records, I don’t think he’s missed many U.K. gigs.
This particular madmann made it to the Roundhouse gig in 1974 when the Good Earth was the new album, did the Roaring Silence tour, Watch tour, Angel Station tour, Chance tour....... and so
on. The truth is that MMEB are at their best live on stage. The current line up is arguably the best yet. So if you have just done one of the festivals maybe even seen the band for the
first time and you start feeling a certain madness creeping up on you a madness that could have you driving hundreds of miles to see them again, then I'm afraid you are done for, there is no
known cure, all you can do is join the Club”
Released in America and available on import in the UK is the US version of the album. This is different to the European LP. it has two extra tracks, ‘Runner’ and unreleased in this country ‘Rebel’. Unfortunately the European album underwent some cutting to get these on the US vinyl album. This changed the feel of a few tracks, and even a Manfred synth solo went. Shock Horror!!! So I will don my anorak, put on my ‘Edit Spotting Society’ hat and endeavour to run through the album. First on the US album is ‘Demolition Man’. It starts straight into the song, no synth at the beginning, and it has crashing sound effects halfway.
The sound effects ruin the track for me. In the UK and Europe ‘Runner’ was released as a single in 7” and 12” formats at the time. It has been on two hit compilations ‘20 Years Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’ and ‘The Very Best Of' (and What about Plain Talking unbiased plug Ed.)
‘Rebel’ is the third track and has not been released in the UK. This was released in the US as a single, which had a more punchier rhythm mix. Shame this was not used for the album. Nevertheless, it is still nice to, have it on CD.
‘Eyes Of Nostradamus’ comes next, unfortunately they cut the guitar solo
at the end and replaced it with a repeated chorus. I personally preferred the UK 12” version, now that would be nice to have on CD.
‘Third World Service’ is shortened by taking out the long intro, and fade in with ‘Good Morning This Is The Third “World Service......’ At the end of the track the guitar solo has gone, and it fades in and out as if radio signal is drifting. At least the full version of this song is added as a bonus track.
'Somewhere in Afrika', 'Tribal Statistics' and ‘Lalela’ all stay the same as the UK versions. Although ‘Lalela’ is not included in the ‘Africa Suit’, as it is on the UK album, but ‘Brothers And Sisters Of Azania’ is.
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‘Redemption Song’ is dramatically shortened. Out goes the African chant and a Manfred Moog Solo. What were they thinking!! Luckily for the Americans the bonus track of ‘Redemption Song’ is included in all its full glory. In the UK at least, it was released as a single, and is completely different to both album versions presented here. This had more chants and percussion, and made an interesting single.
Last on the US album comes the ‘Africa Suite’, including the tracks ‘Brothers And Sisters Of Africa’, ‘To Bantustan’, ‘Koze Kobenini' (How Long Must We Wait?) and ‘Brothers And Sisters Of Azania’. Quite why they replaced ‘Lalela’ with ‘Brothers And Sisters Of Azania’ is a mystery. The only reason I can think of is that the US version of ‘Africa Suite’ is closer to how they played it live on tour. Just a guess though.
To finish the CD you have the two bonus tracks already mentioned, ‘Third World Service’ and ‘Redemption Song’. These are the same as the UK album versions. As I take off my ‘Edit Spotting Society’ cap and undo the anorak, a time to reflect. Summing up, well worth buying at around £10.00 in the UK. The inclusion of ‘Runner’ and ‘Rebel’ definitely makes it worth adding to any Earth Band collection.
Martin Wilson - Maidenhead/England.
P.S. To A.T. Madmann
In your enlightening three categories of fan, you omitted category D. People who bought a meaningful Earth Band album on purpose knowing how great it was! “What’s that nurse, my baths ready, okay just coming?”
Due to popular demand I’ve been asked by Andy to write another article for Platform End not that the last one was any good but because no one else would write one this month! (no not true, loads of people offered to write one some begged!!! Ed.)
Life on the road is quite a bit different from the life in the Workhouse Studios but one thing is the same I’m still hanging around waiting for musicians! It was back in early 1991, Plains Music album had been finished and Manfred was planning the re-birth of the Earth Band. Not only did the Band have to rehearse at great length but a new crew had to be found. I was asked if l could handle Manfred’s keyboards for the tour, but no sooner had l been asked by Manfred, many excuses were being found because I should stay behind and look after the studio after all. No Chance! l had heard all these Rock ’N’ Roll stories and l wanted to be part of it. I’ve since learned they’re just stories! Of course I was regarded as a snotty nosed kid from the country and was expected to mix socially with these hard nosed, beer swilling, drug taking roadies but funnily enough l took to it like a duck to water, well I’ve had the odd pint of pond water in my time! (complete with goldfish! Ed.)
l have since done every single gig since May ’91. The only member of the crew to have done them all, so I’ve seen more gigs than even Barry Winton and Andy Taylor put together. If you thought like me that life on the road with the Earth Band would be loads of showbiz parties, 5 star hotels, stretched limo’s find food and wines, supermodels hanging around backstage well in your dreams!! What really happens is a couple of small rooms with a few bare essentials i.e. a plate of cheese or ham sandwiches, where band and crew hang out telling jokes and stories which everybody has heard before waiting for show time. Still it’s better than an office job any day!
An average day as a member of the crew when on a full production tour of Europe, like last Autumn would go as follows. The sleeper coach would have been parked up outside the next venue as dawn breaks and the driver will put his head down for some well deserved rest, after all he had been up all night unlike the crew who ignored the fridge full of beer and got an early night!! At around 10.00 a.m. lights and PA crew get to work unloading trucks etc, I’m not exactly sure what they do as its far too early for me. They’re always first to start and last to finish, tough
luck lads. It’s not till about 1.00 p.m. that the stage becomes clear and the backline crew get to work setting up all the equipment. We do a line check and then a sound check with the band, if they turn up! Around 4.00 ish, then more hanging around. Catering is always provided so that’s the first place to hang out and pig yourselves. Doors don’t open until 7 or 8 and then a support band, so there’s a few hours to kill. Before you know it, it’s show time, a last minute tune up for the mini moog, set lists and water are put out for the band, a well rehearsed announcement by Lance and away we go. You know the rest, Joybringer, lntro etc. etc. After the gig, all gear is packed away, trucks loaded to be driven overnight to the next venue. The crew jump back on the coach ignoring the fridge full of beer again!!! Onto the next venue, where we do it all again.
We’ve done some interesting gigs over the years from huge festivals to a back room in a pub, but no two shows have ever been musically the same due to Manfred and Mick’ s solos I guess, one or both can often go off on a tangent. Some of the best gigs have been the smaller sold out venues one of which, so l’ m told by Martin, Graeme and Barry was The Brooke in Southampton January 1997. lf you weren’t there you missed one hell of a gig. Not that l want to rub it in but Andy Missed it!! He made amends by getting to the Robin Hood in Dudley though. l do feel sorry for UK fan members and those not in Europe because the Earth Band have played some great festivals and European gigs in front of large enthusiastic crowds which does make the Earth Band perform to new levels, so perhaps you can get Andy to organise a trip to one or more of the festivals their playing in Europe this Summer ’97. It will give him something to do won’t it.
There’s something about the touring lifestyle which l really like, but you can have enough of a good thing so a balance of studio and live work has to be made, but as long as Manfred and the boys enjoy the gigs they’ll keep touring so make sure you’re there with a few thousand friends.
lan Tompson - lnvisible Engineer - Workhouse Studios
Carol and l have this theory that this great gig in Southampton was in fact cancelled and we are victims of a huge wind up as for the bus to Europe maybe next year, I’m far to busy stuck in the office!!
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I got a call from a chap named Horst Zwipp, whom I had met a year or so ago whilst working “The Moody Marsden Band”. Horst happened to be managing Chris Thompson, hence the Earth Band connection.
Horst told me that MMEB were going to be auditioning drummers in the next week or so and would I be interested. After briefly filling me in to various details of the band, he said could I call Manfred to arrange the audition.
11.00 am. Monday 18th March, I996. The Workhouse Studios, 490 Old Kent Road, London Town, a pretty cold miserable day. The studio is locked and I’m parked in the bus lane with a car full of gear, after being moved on twice by the traffic warden, Ray Mascarenas came to the rescue and let me in.
After unloading and parking I proceeded to lug my gear up the rather narrow staircase to Workhouse Rehearsal Room I. I set up, warmed up and then wandered down to the S.S.L. Room where I was greeted with “John, I told you not to arrive till after 12!” Followed by “How old are you?" Thinking to myself this is Manfred Mann, seems like a nice friendly chap!
After exchanging pleasantries over a cup of tea and enlightening me to the finer points of “Alexander Technique" Manfred played me a live tape of the band’s last tour; Demolition Man, Martha, Shelter, on to Blinded and Davey etc... after sketching out a couple of parts and filing him in on some of what I had been up to,
we walked up the stairs to the rehearsal room where l was introduced to Mick Rogers and Steve Kinch, no singers present today. (Sorry Mick!) We played through several tunes which seemed to go fairly well. I remember Mick being helpful giving me the odd cue here and there. In fact, throughout the ordeal Mick was very friendly as was Manfred saying to me at one stage “John, I’m assuming we’re mates by now, do me a favour, in the chorus go to the ride cymbal”, which in hindsight is a typical Manfredism.
That was it really, we had another cuppa, Manfred played me a track called “Tumbling Ball” which he was working on at the time, but I couldn’t hang around because I had a session in West London at 4.00 pm. So I packed up quickly and began my goodbyes.
They had several other drummers to see, Chris Slade, John Lingwood and Clive Bunker amongst them but he would be in touch!
I said goodbye and as I left the studio, for all I thought I’d played OK (for an audition), you would really expect one of the other ex-members to get the gig. So I was pleasantly surprised when they called a day or so later to say I had got the gig and could I pick up a tape.
The rest is history as they say. 1996 with the Earth Band on the whole was very enjoyable. Here’s to 1997!
JOHN TROTTER - DRUMMER
As well as touring and recording with MMEB John is presently involved doing studio and live work with The Corrs.
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NOTES FROM AMERICA
By Greg Russo
This time around I decided to interview a friend of mine, Don Pedini, who I can safely say is the #2 US Manfred Mann fan of all time (next to someone else l know). I’ve know Don since 1992 and his enthusiasm about all things Manfred is without bounds. By coincidence, Don lives just a couple of miles from me, and in the next few months, Don will be playing drums on an album of songs that l am currently recording demos for. In this conversation, I let Don do most of the talking.
G: How did you find out about Manfred Mann?
D: When I was about 14, it was Christmas time and we wanted gifts. The British invasion had come out in the US and I had heard “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” on the radio that summer and I enjoyed it. Come fall, my brother got the Rolling Stones “12X5” album and for Christmas I wanted an album too - I wanted Manfred Mann. So, my father got it for me at Christmas time. I remember being being amazed at the diversity of the music and how Paul Jones sang so differently on each track. For the first few months, I used to think that on things like “Don’t I Ask Me What I Say” and “What You Gonna Do?” Manfred Mann was doing the vocals until I realised it was Jones.
At that time, my brother was into blues since he was a musician. Blues was the alternative music at the time, and I could see that Manfred Mann could handle that and they could handle the wonderful pop things like “It’s Gonna Work it Out Fine” and change from extreme to another as far as songs went. Even though I didn’t know that at the time, I was taken by it. A few months later, they put out the US version of “The Five Faces or Manfred Mann” and when “Sha La La" came on the radio I was hooked!
I remember seeing them on “Shindig” when they were Iip-synching a record and Paul Jones seemed so happy. I mean there was musicianship, but they had such a happy sound to it as opposed to The Animals, who were great but doomy.
When the American hits stopped coming, I would go to this record store, Greenline Records in Jamaica, Queens, New York and get “My Little Red Book” and “She Needs Company”. You could also see sax and flute on the liner notes and you were amazed and they played them so well. It wasn’t like Denis Payton of the Dave Clark Five, where he just honked! Mike Vickers sounded so much more proficient on his instrument, and Mike Hugg with the vibes and all that was incredible. Paul Jones could tackle any kind of song, anywhere from “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man” to “With God On Our Side” - he was amazing. As a drummer, Mike Hugg, was well ahead of his time, and they were all very versatile.
In the Mike d’Abo era, I loved the big change in the sound. All of a sudden there were all these vocals. That's very British
Kinks/Small Faces sound that I guess Manfred knew he had to adapt to. By that time I suppose, Manfred realised that no one was listening to the jazz, so it was like he just did it for the crowd and not for himself. Of course, he didn’t do it for long because no musician could and even then he made fabulous records.
You take bouncy, poppy things like “My Name Is Jack” and then you turn around and you go to “Up The Junction” and “Love Theme” where the jazz instrumental influence was still there and he managed to bridge the two and handle everything. He amazes me.
Chapter Three came along and I went along with it - it certainly had its charm. It was a vast departure from his earlier
stuff, but I always say if you like an artist you’ll go up any road he does.
G: What about your experiences of seeing Chapter Three live?
D: I remember seeing them at the Fillmore East with the Jefferson Airplane. They came out first and people didn’t know what to make of it! I remember them going down pretty well and I remember Grace Slick standing on the side of the stage. Chapter Three were interesting and good and the two albums are just as listenable to now, as they were then. It’s a different side of Manfred, but z ‘ definitely innovative and listenable.
Hugg’s vocals were a vast departure from anything previous to that and I Manfred realised good vocals were part of his sound. With Chapter Three, he went as far as he could with that kind of thing. When you have no elements at all of what you’re ultimately best at, people will walk away. It’s like Springsteen, when he shed the E Street Band, he lost a lot of fans because that’s part of his sound. When I saw that Manfred was forming a new band - a smaller band again - I said “Good!” When l saw Dylan’s “Please Mrs. Henry”, I said “OK, he’s going back to his roots, so to speak”, and then when I heard it, I said “Great!” because Mick Rogers could sing in a traditional sense. Still, Mick was playing guitar lines that echoed the horns of the band before, so he was moulding the two sounds.
The first Earth Band album I enjoyed very much and you could see the direction he was going in with things like “Prayer”, where it was starting to get into vogue to improvise, to do extended soloing.
When the second album came out, of course, I was always partial to the Dylan covers, and when they did “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue”, I mean the magic was there! That’s the perfect arrangement of a Dylan song. Manfred still had it and he still did it well. The first time I saw them live was at New York’s Academy Of Music. The bill was Savoy Brown, the opening act was Elf (with Ronnie James Deo) and special guest was MMEB. I think Elf came on first, then the Earth Band came out - Manfred had on black pants, a black
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shirt, a yellow vest and a yellow cowboy hat and he looked so good! They opened with “Dealer" Manfred was playing lines with not too much bottom, and then finally he started to solo. He brought out the mini-Moog for the first time - it was a new instrument, especially in places like that. He brought the place down. Savoy Brown (with Jackie Lynton on vocals), had to wait a long time to come out! MMEB were tight, and they played a couple of times at the Academy over the next couple of years. I saw them at My Father’s Place in Roslyn, New York. I saw them four times with Mick Rogers.
The first time I saw them at My Father’s Place, I went with a couple of friends who were sceptics, including an Emmerson, Lake & Palmer fanatic. Before the band went on, they came in and then they went into the dressing room. Soon after, they were mingling with the crowd and I remember going up to Manfred. I started asking him about this song and that song, and I mentioned “Charge Of The Light Brigade”. Manfred looked at me and said “Charge Of The Light Brigade?”
I said “You did it for the sound track of the British Movie".
He said, “I don’t remember doing that. Do you have that?”
I said, “Yeah”.
Manfred said “Hmmm”.
I then said, “Are you going to go things like “Wind” tonight? since “Wind” is just a little piece.
Manfred said, “A lot of elements of “Wind” will be in the things we do tonight”.
I said, “What other things are you going to do tonight?”
Manfred said, “Right now, I’m going to eat this hamburger!”
The band was great that night, and my sceptical friends were won over.
I had tickets for My Father’s Place in December, 1975. At the time, I remember reading a favourable review of “Nightingales And Bombers” in the newspaper The Voice in which they said “The Earth Band has finally made the perfect album - just in time for Mick Rogers to pack up and go home!” I said “What?” A day later, I went to My Father’s Place and they had a sign outside that said ‘Mick Rogers has left the band, Chris Thompson and Dave Flett are playing instead’ like that was step anybody from going!
Since Thompson and Flett had only been in the band a few months, Manfred basically carried the show that night. Let me tell you - you heard the tape - he covered everybody that night. He was unbelievable! That’s probably the finest live keyboard performance that he’s ever done at a gig. I mean those breaks and “Glorified Magnified” - he’s absolutely superb on that. He’s doing all those effects but it all has a rhythm and his sound is never thin. Of course, Chris Slade was monstrous that night, by then the rhythm section was a machine.
It just went on and on with every personnel change, it always just got better or more interesting. So out of over 34 years, everything including the most minor tracks have excited me and there’s always something different to hear. Manfred’s always different but it’s always him even on “Chance”, when he started to get into directions that I didn’t like - like drum machines. But they’re never less than interesting. There’s never anything on his albums that I’d want to take off, so that’s staying power to me. That’s like hanging out with people and saying “Grow old with me”.
I can always look forward to getting something by him and I always know it’s going to be good there’s no nostalgia
involved at all. You can listen to the stuff from 30 years ago, and it sounds as fresh now as it did then and that’s the result of musicianship. You can listen to some of those Kinks and Small Faces albums and that stuff dates because they wrote a lot of it for that time.
As much as I love the Stones, they stay in that certain style and certain groove and don’t budge, but you can like it for what it is. But, you don’t expect that from Manfred. You expect more and you always get more.
Manfred has managed to survive without a strong image. When was the last time you saw his face on an album cover? It’s what lies within - it’s not what’s on the cover. That’s the secret to longevity.
All the way from the first Earth Band album to “Soft Vengeance” there’s ‘f" always that sound and yet it just gets better.
G: If you look at Manfred’s career, you see something that no other musician could ever dream of accomplishing. Nobody could do that many styles and be able to make it sound so convincing.
D: If you go back and listen to something like “My Little Red Book", from 1965 listen to the musicianship on the record, the mood that it creates. These guys were 23 or 24 years old. To take things like minor chord progressions and make it sound so fresh. Who was doing that at that time? Nobody.
They were so versatile. All the musicians that Manfred brought to the force: Klaus Voorman, Jack Bruce, Paul Jones, and all those guys that continue to work today. Manfred definitely knew how to pick them!
G: Any final words about Manfred?
D: Manfred is one of rock and roll’s unsung heroes. He really is, and there is not much more you can say but “Play On!”
Editors comment. Thanks to Greg and a special thanks to Don for his recollections and observations. To quote Don who is very obviously a big Manfred fan on Gregs book Mannerisms “everybody should buy this book” so if you haven’t I suggest you drop a line to John Ark/e 2 Buryfield, Bury, Huntingdon Cambs PE 17 1 LE. While stocks last!! Ed.
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Platform End No 14 - Autumn 1997
PE#14 - Page 2
A Yawn in Your Ear .........….....2
World Service News.........…....3
The Ascent of Mann ......…......3
The Ally Pally Gig 1973...….....4
How l Got into IVIMEB ...……...5
McGrogan’s Pranks! ......……...6
Winged Messenger .........…....7
MMEB at Olavshallen ......…….8
MMEB 1997 - The Festivals...8
Liberte, Fraternite, Egalite ...9-11
The Earth Team
Editor Andy Taylor
Design/Typesetting .........Iain Scott
Cover Photo's .............Andy Taylor
Printed by: Penketh's Print Limited
Bassendale Road, Bromborough,
Wirral Merseyside L62 3QL
No large parrots salty dogs or ladies of ill repute were harmed during the making of this magazine!! We cannot however be held responsible for any topless lady volley ball players French or otherwise!!
If you have any articles, pictures or views you would like to be considered for inclusion in our next issue, send them along to Andy & Carol Taylor to the address below, together with a stamped addressed envelope for return. All articles, stories, pictures, etc. will be returned safely.
The Manfred Mann Fan Club,
C/o Andy & Carol Taylor,
29 Lyndhurst Road, Wallasey,
Merseyside L45 6XB England.
Tel: (44) 151 639 7057
A YAWN IN YOUR EAR
So this time we made it out to Germany With the band to see concerts at Munster/Nr. Darmstadt 11/07/97 and Haiming 12/07/97. It was a beautifully hot sunny long weekend. We arrived at Frankfurt Airport at 10.35 a.m. Friday, German time . v (We had arrived at a a Gatwick travel lodge even earlier that morning, 2.00 a.m. UK. time!) So on arrival at our Hotel we tried to catch up on lost sleep, but quickly realised it was lost for ever! In the end we went for a walk bumping into Manfred on his way out of the hotel for a cycle around Darmstadt.
Early that evening We met our friends Helmut and Karen Keesling. One of the greatest rewards of doing this Fan Club thing is the many new friends around the World we have made. During our short trip we were able to meet Dieter Rohn and his friend (sadly his girlfriend was unable to get to the gig). Dieter brought wine for Carol and I and the band and crew and is a very very nice person. We also met Rita Gerlach who as well as producing the wonderful caricatures we have started to use in this issue, is working with us on another project, more of which will be revealed in due course. On the downside we couldn't find a couple of people at Haiming, sorry folks but there were 6,000 odd people to search through.
people who cross our path v! almost inevitably end up doing their bit for the club. Still I have always said, often in moving almost poetic ways, this club belongs to you lot, so why shouldn’t we make you all do some of the work.
Meanwhile we watched somewhat nervously on board bus during the 7 hour plus trip to Haiming, (what a beautiful country Germany is), as all members of band and crew read Platform End No. 13 from cover to cover. By far the favourite bit for all of them were memories and observations by the fans. As more than one pointed out, we are after all quite important to them.
So for No. 14as well as recollections from Simon Richman the Lighting Man, we have Snorre Nyeggen from Norway - a fan, also Graham Hiseman from Middlesex, England - a fan, and of course
last but by no means least Barry Winton from Bayswater, London, England - No 1 fan and plus some of your wonderful letters, which we hope you will keep sending along with articles, photographs,
poems and reviews of concerts, albums and so on. After all the lads have been doing a lot of travelling and we have to give them something to read - haven't we.
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IN THE STUDIO
Not a great deal of time has been spent in the studio of recent; However; the reworked “Jealousy” is sounding good although as yet no news on if, or when it will be released. Work on the live album is progressing slowly and the new studio album is due to start in earnest in the new year.
ON THE ROAD
The Gas, Elektrizitats & Wasserwerke, Zugweg, Koln 125th Anniversary Open Air Gig marked the end of a long summer of weekend festivals. The band were due to play about 10 days indoors in Germany in early‘ October.
EMI keep up their 60’s output of Manfred Mann in October with the logical ‘Five Faces', follow up 'Mann Made' released on CD for the first time. At the same time they will
release the Abbey Road CD compilation containing, I am told, unreleased material. The Abbey Road Beatles connection should give this release wide appeal.
I have raved about 'The Five Faces of Manfred Mann' too often in these pages. The re-issue is not Five Faces as we know it, but a stereo version, using mixes of some of the tunes included that are quite different from the familiar and much loved old Vinyl ones.
Purists may well be horrified but I loved it - almost because some of it sounds so different. I challenge you to put 'Smokestack Lightning' on, turn up the volume and not be amazed that anybody was getting that kind of vibe in 1964.
Three things I must clear up before reviewing the above:
Whilst hard fans might enjoy hearing how Mike D'Abo just couldn't get the vocals right on one track, I find it a great shame that the general public will be subjected to this. Although not always my cup of tea, it is a shame to damage the reputation of a fine pop band like this. I enjoyed quite a lot of the songs but even some of the most well known previously released material, sound odd on this CD. Mike D'Abo's sleeve notes are enjoyable and informative, but I found myself looking for Greg Russo's track by track history which isn't there, and informed sources tell me that his counsel was ignored, which is a shame 'cause EMI seemed to get it right and I suspect Mr. Russo might just have had a better ear for the mixes.
I was so looking forward to hearing the pre-Earth Band Bob Dylan penned 'Mrs. Henry', and then there's the Mike D'Abo composition 'Budgie Won't Be Singing No More' a well crafted witty pop song made to sound awful here.
So 'Ascent of Mann' hasn't helped me get over my disappointment in Manfred Mann's direction in the second half of the 60's.
At its best it presents some great 60's pop and some good song writing (D'Abo and McGuinness). There are also some nice reminders that they really shouldn't be doing all this and there is still loads of blues and jazz trying to escape.
People sometimes have to tell me that I'm listening to a different edit or mix or whatever - I'm easily pleased but some of this is bad, bad, bad!
And I know what Manfred means, this would be great value if I was looking for a load of suits!
The pages of this magazine do not always reflect the editor's views, indeed quite often they don't. The above is my view, and others may have their own. I hate people slamming CD's so please check it out yourself and make your own mind up. I could, and probably am, completely wrong. I promise I won't be this rude again unless somebody makes new studio recordings of some of Manfred Mann's 60's hits. So if anybody is considering it, be warned, no more Mr. Nice Guy - but nobody could be , could they?
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By Barry Winton
When a devoted madmann such as myself has attended well over a hundred gigs, it's a very difficult decision to choose the most memorable one, particularly as so many of them have been so enjoyable. In Platform End no 7 I detailed my first recollection. Perhaps for me the one gig which would really stand out in my mind would in fact be my second.
I was awaiting MMEB's return with eager anticipation. I was by this time well versed in their music and had recently replaced 'Glorified Magnified' as my first copy was so battered.
My parents had packed me off to Summer Camp in America, following my return in August I had just celebrated my 15th birthday. There was a whole week of rock concerts at the Alexandra Palace in North London, many of the days cream of progressive bands would be appearing including Ten Years After, Wishbone Ash, The Groundhogs, Vinegar Joe, Argent, Stackridge and Black Sabbath. My goodness of only these heady days were still with us. , long hair, afghan coats and the poignant smell of Petuli oil such sweet memories.
However the Sunday afternoon billing was the one which most excited me, which tuned out to be the best gig I had ever witnessed in my whole life, for a £1 admission fee the lucky punter would receive a badge as well as an informative souvenir programme courtesy of Sounds, "talk about value for money".
At 4:00 p.m. the doors opened, I was straight in and positioned myself at the front of the stage. Uriah Heep (my joint favourite band) were headlining, supported by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, MMEB, Gary Moore and Heavy Metal Kids, beyond any doubt a might fine bill. Two good opening acts then at around 6:30 p.m. MMEB took the stage to a warm if curious reception. I don't think the public knew quite what to expect. I head a chap behind me saying to his mate "Ere is that the same Manfred Mann from the 60's, it doesn't sound anything like them." The set was shorter than the Greyhound gig some three months earlier, musically Earth Band had become tighter and more experimental with Mick and Manfred improvising a lot more on the instrumental/ freeform workouts, it was strongly evident that Zappa and The Mahavishnu Orchestra were playing a big influence on their music. I really loved this new direction even more than before. 'Mercury' from the forthcoming 'Solar Fire' album started the show with that amazing section Slade and Pattenden pounding out hammer and tongs, a lot of the set was focused around the recently released album ''Messin'. 'Buddah,' the title track, then back to 'Look Around' , 'Can't Eat Meat', 'Captain Bobby Stout' and the awesome 'Glorified Magnified' certainly impressed the crowd enough to demand an encore.
''The Mighty Quinn' did the trick, the 8,000 strong audience singing and swaying, chanting the chorus creating an atmosphere more befitting a football match rather than a rock concert. I heard a lot of people say afterwards bloody brilliant, and wow I never expected them to be that good. As for me I had a big smile on my face that my joint new favourite bands had more than surpassed my expectations.
However the great day was not quite over. The late and truly sensational Alex Harvey Band didn't quite fare so well. The S.A.H.B failed miserably to win the crowds affection. It was during their rendition of The Osmonds 'Crazy Horses' that the audience got restless and started hurling cans and abuse and demands for the headliners to come on, poor old Alex, so who were going to be the band of the day?
About half an hour after S.A.H.B had completed their ill fated set, the house lights dimmed and Uriah Heep were on. I gave Mick Box the big thumbs up, he responded warmly with a wink and a broad grin a sure sign of a future friendship, indeed an association which has lasted for over 20 years (God Bless Him). However fate during Heep's set was not on my side. A concoction of excitement and ferocious head banging finally took its toll and I passed out, only to awaken in the medical room missing most of their set. "sob, Sob". So for me the night belonged to MMEB.
Years later I shared these recollections with Mick Rogers and Mick Box both of whom whole heartedly agreed that the Ally Pally was a land mark gig, what a brilliant memory.
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By Graham Hiseman
My first recollections of hearing music from the Earth Band was at a football match at the now defunct Guildford City who at the time played in the Southern League. It was a sunny day and as we were eagerly awaiting the start of the match this excellent tune was played over the club's ageing tannoy system - it was 'Joybringer'. I enjoyed the music so much I sought out the match announcer to ask what the tune was and who it was by, and once the information had been gained l duly went out first opportunity to buy the single, and despite it being well worn I still have the aforesaid piece of memorable vinyl to this day.
It was not too long after this that 'Joybringer' made it into the top 20 - a welcome bit of class into an often bland selection of music! I then decided that this music was for me and that I would try to obtain more of the same - l was thoroughly hooked on the powerful and almost atmospheric sound. My hunting for more Earth Band sounds proved fruitless and attempts to purchase other material at the time proved almost impossible, apart from getting a second hand copy of the LP 'Glorified Magnified'. However, just as l began to despair l was listening to the top 10 one Sunday evening and at 7:00 p.m. this particular evening they were featuring
Manfred Mann's Earth Band and their ”new” album 'Solar Fire'. The programme was
introduced by Anne Nightingale I believe, and featured several songs
impressive sounding album - I listened intently and purchased the album as soon as I could find a copy.
Soon afterward came 'The Good Earth' album, which again I purchased and enjoyed equally as thoroughly, even if my parents did not share the same enthusiasm. This was followed soon after by my first MMEB gig, a night of music at Imperial College in South London when the Earth Band were the major attraction - the live sound was so good I had to have more and from that date I try to obtain whatever music the band release and get to as may gigs as humanly possible - and, after almost a quarter century later still enjoy their music as much if not more. Their professional quality sound and the special atmosphere one can only get at an 'Earth Band' concert still remain one of the highlights to look forward to.
More from Graham Hiseman next time!!
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PE#14 - Page 8
By Snorre Nyeggen
On a warm day in August 1996 l was so fortunate to watch Manfred Mann's Earth Band giving a concert in Trondheim, Norway. I had not seen them since 1979 so I went to the concert with great expectation and high tension. The concert hall was filled by people full of expectation. What if Manfred Mann did not rise to their great expectations of his skill. On the first and second song Noel McCalla sang the vocal and when they were playing half of the second song and Chris Thompson still had not appeared on the stage I thought to myself has something happened? Not at all Chris Thompson came on stage and people started to clap their hands, the voice of MMEB was still kicking. Even though Noel McCalla is a great singer Chris Thompson is still the singer that people in Norway connects with MMEB. The concert was a melting pot of old and new songs, they played old songs like “Father Of Day, Father Of Night", “Blinded By The Light”, “Davy’s On The Road Again" and “Mighty Quinn", these songs have always been hits in Norway. New songs like “Fire", “Times They Are A Changing" and “Pleasure And Pain".
Mick Rogers vocals and guitar playing on “Father Of Day" gave me cold shivers. the Australian born guitarist proved to all the massive crowd that he was still the greatest. The duet on “Play With Fire" between Chris and Noel was one of many highlights in the concert, in these two Manfred has two of the best singers around today. The concert proved that Manfred Mann’s Earth Band had become more like a pop band than a rock band. A polished performance containing funk, jazz, guitar solo's and part singing. It was nice to see and hear that Manfred Mann had not lost his magical touch in his music when the last notes faded out people were clapping hands, whistling and shouting, it seemed that they had had 1 hours and 45 minutes of pleasure with Manfred Mann's Earth Band, I had a great time and hope I can watch the band again in the future.
Editors comments: Thanks for the Norwegian view Snorre, obviously a very good gig. Just for the record and in case anyone else confuses Mick with Rolf Harris it was Rolf that was born on Australia. Mick did work there for quite some time and is probably very good with a Didgeridoo Doo, but is an Essex boy, born and bred!
The set has stayed the same for most of the festival gigs, including the ones Carol and I attended on 11th/12th July. Because neither of these turned out to be the best ever gig, which of course in case you hadn’t heard, was the one in Southampton, England earlier this year that we weren’t at, I returned to Germany for the last three festivals on the 11th/12th/13th September.
On 11th September they played the Allgau Medlen Center, Kaufbeuren, here we got the full set as follows:-
The following night at Wernau, Demolition Man appeared much sooner in the play list without the silly bit in the middle (if you were at Wernau I was the nervous looking guy introducing the Band). Medicine Song was missing from the set altogether, but reappeared on the last night at Koln for the 125th Anniversary of the Gas, Electricity and Water Company but sadly not the silly bit of Demolition Man. This concert was introduced I guess by an important member of the aforementioned Company, I cannot speak German but recognised the words My Name Is Jack and Fox On The Run, included in the introduction! I am told hot of the press that Spirits In The Night is back in the show for the October gigs and there were rumours that at least one other old song and an additional song from the Soft Vengeance album would be done live in the future.
PE#14 - Page 9
And it’s true. With the slavering jaws of the relentless Platform End hounds now at heel-nipping distance from my fleeing swag-bag of anecdotes, it has become apparent that it is futile to resist the almost annual demands to “do something for the fanzine”.
Having lit 95% of MMEB shows since 1981, there are surely enough tales to tell - tall, illuminating, funny and sad; rather like me actually.
Every day has its own adventures and more often than not something occurs to be relived on those long over-night journeys. “Do you remember that gig where …?” must be in the Top 5 things most often said on tour. (Answers on a blank cheque for the other four).
I could tell you a real ROK’N’ROWL story - for example, the three days off, mid-tour, as a result of some gigs being cancelled at short notice, when we headed for the South of France, parked up with an amp-rack and some monitor wedges on the drum riser on the dunes for sounds. The welsh-boys (caterers) provided a slap up BBQ over driftwood we’d collected, and I ‘knitted’ a volleyball net with two lighting stands and a 60’ rigging rope. After 72 hours of sun, beer, sea, wine, sand and beer, with the sun and the net sinking, as we were preparing to leave overnight for Geneva, four girls came up and asked if they could use the net to play.
Of course we said yes, and were treated to the “that’s something you don’t see very often” - (Top 10) - spectacle of half and hour’s topless volleyball.
Or I could relate how, being the first to wake one day on the bus, I pulled back the curtains to see two hard-faced girls of easy virtue clad in full-tackle red
lingerie sitting in a window just the pavement’s width away. We were in the red-light area of Copenhagen, where the gig was to be, and it was Sunday morning, and not ten minutes later, along the street hobbled an old sea-dog with a parrot ON EACH SHOULDER!!! And I’m talking three foot tip-to-tail Macaw here, not some bloated budgie.
Or perhaps you’d like some show disasters such as the load-out tragedy in Bratislava when, due to someone’s momentary lapse in concentration, the two ten foot wide motorised venetian blinds we used in the show got a sudden jolt which made them open rapidly downwards to full extension, snapping the end-stops, with the result that about 100 slats wafted gently down onto the fortunately mostly empty stage. It was a pain putting them back together for the next show, believe me!
Or the time when Manfred’s unsecured CP7O piano ‘walked’ itself off his riser during a particularly intense and animated chord sequence.
Or seeing one of the films we projected get stuck in the gate and dissolve into a blurry melt worthy of a mid-sixties liquid-ink light show.
Or show triumphs might be in order,
such as the ‘96 one when Mick rediscovered the lost verse of Father Of Day.
Or the show in Bonn this year, where three and a half thousand people enjoyed it so much, no-one left at the end, but stayed on singing the Quinn chorus (Come all without etc.) until the band some already half changed came back to play it again.
Or the sight, at a packed-out gig in Munster, years ago, above an absolute sea of heads between me and the stage, of a hippy-type fan all bells, beads and flares, being held aloft by his friends, to get a better View, IN HIS WHEELCHAIR! and him rockin’ away like a good’un!
You get the idea. I can honestly say I’ve forgotten more than I remember - I think.
So, What shall I tell you? Well, there was one incident early in my Earth Band days which not only made such sense to me and introduced me to a credo by which I still work and live on the road, but also illustrates clearly one of the many sides of Manfred’s character, and as this magazine and the Earth Band are ultimately about him, that’s what I’ll describe.
It happened in Zurich, in
PE#14 - Page 10
the Hallenstadion, where we were playing two sold-out nights to 10,000 people per show. I was in the dressing room some 30 minutes before showtime, where Manfred was warming up on the portable keyboard, and the band were indulging in the usual banter/insult/one-liners so indicative of those in the musical fraternity.
I don’t know why I was there - perhaps a pointless attempt to soak up a little reflected glory; you know, the glamour, the parties, the top dollar, the VIP status that go hand-in-hand with Big Rock Legends. Perhaps I was merely seeing if there had been any last- minute changes to the set-list or song- arrangements; it does happen and it’s well to ask: lighting-wise you’re buggered else.
Whatever the reason there we were. Then someone knocked on the door, and waited for permission to enter. Permission granted, the door opened to reveal one of the two truck drivers.
“Excuse me”, he said, “I wouldn’t normally ask but I have to work one of the follow spots and it’s going to be a hot one and I couldn’t find any soft drinks for the crew so can I take a couple of cans of Coke with me please?”
Manfred stopped playing and said “Come here - sit down”. He pointed to a chair. Ted, the driver, came and sat.
“And you are ...?” asked Manfred.
“Ted, truck driver” Ted replied.
“Yes of course” said Manfred, “I think I’ve seen you about the place”.
It would not be unusual in the early stages of a tour for people not to know one another very well, especially in a touring party of twenty or so guys, some of whose paths might not necessarily cross often.
Says Manfred, “Let me ask you a question, Ted” (Number One with a bullet) - “Tell me, what would happen if you are late arriving at the gig with your truck?”
Ted looking increasingly uneasy, replied “Er what do you mean exactly?”
“Well”, Manfred explained, “If you arrive late, then the load-in is late, yes? And the crew come under extra pressure, maybe there’s no time for sound-check - the whole day becomes a mess right? For all of us”.
“I suppose so, yes” said Ted.
“And by the same token,” Manfred continued “if you are on time, everyone has a good normal day but in the show I play a load of old cobblers, then the day is a waste, because the result is substandard, right?”
Again Ted agreed.
“So”, said Manfred triumphantly, “If you don’t do your job it affects my day, and if I don’t do my job it affects your day. We’re all in the same team here and if EVER you want a can of coke from OUR dressing room you come in and take it - and DON’T KNOCK!”
Ted took his cans and left.
A tall tale? Certainly not. Funny? Sort Of. Enlightening? Definitely. I have worked with many acts in my 19 years on the road, not just with MMEB, and it has been my experience that the attitude of the touring party very often reflects that of the ‘main man’. A serious, aloof act will be surrounded by an unhappy, nervy band and crew; an arrogant, disdainful star will have selfish narrow-minded people around him or her. The fact that Manfred has a pretty level-headed bunch, who like a laugh and above all enjoy what they do as his band and crew is as much a reflection of him as it is indicative of the people themselves. Long may we tour!
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Platform End No 15 - Spring 1998
PE#15 - Page 2
A Yawn in Your Ear .............2
World Service News............3
Mann on The Net.................4
On The Road 1998 ..............5
SOS Band ........................…..5
Yard Birds ........................….5
The World of Manfred Mann's Earth Band..............................…...6-7
Uriah Heep, Look at Yourself..........8
Uriah Heep, The Missing Links.......9
The Southampton University Gig....9
The Winged Messenger ...……….....10
Mann Alive ..............................……..11
The Earth Team
Editor ..........................Andy Taylor
Design/Typesetting .........Iain Scott
Master of Envelopes ....Thomas Taylor
Web Master ...............….Ron Clint
Printed by: Penketh’s Print Limited
Bassendale Road, Bromborough, Wirral
Merseyside L62 3QL
Martha was in no way harmed during the production of the journal but the Madmanns mothers pride has grown enormously. She hopes to go on tour later this year with the Webmaster suit & tie digitally relaundered of course!!
If you have any articles, pictures or views you would like to be considered for inclusion in our next issue, send them along to Andy 8 Carol Taylor to the address below, together with a stamped
addressed envelope for return‘ All articles, stories, pictures, etc. will be returned safely. The Manfred Mann Fan Club,
C/o Andy 8 Carol Taylor,
29 Lyndhurst Road, Wallasey, Merseyside
L45 GXB England. Tel: (44) 151 639 7057
A YAWN IN YOUR EAR
Hello and Welcome to 1998, hope you are all having a good one. As far as Manfred Mann’s Earth Band is concerned I do not see how you can fail.
I do not remember a time before or after Carol and I became a involved in all this ' was" madness, when so much is going on all it would seem at the same time. We have Ron Clint master of the Internet who has taken over the existing Grapevine pages and has big, big plans for them. We have re-masterer Robert Corich and soon after you receive No. 15 the first six re- mastered albums should be out there for you to buy. Forget the full and carefully put together packaging and the bonus tracks, just listen and enjoy, it’s like being reintroduced to an old friend, and if that is not enough
we haven’t even yet got to the big one, the long awaited Live album.
The Band are back out on the road again in May and there will be more re-mastered albums released later in the year. A Week or so ago I had lunch with Manfred‘s business manager Steve Fernie who has some very exciting plans for the future which unfortunately I cannot yet reveal. What with this and a new studio album, you are just going to keep an watching this space both here and now on the internet as well. See you next time,
Andy & Carol
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RE-MASTERED SILENCE, AND ANOTHER SLICE OF THE GOOD EARTH
The back catalogue of MMEB is being re- mastered using the latest technology and the expertise of Robert Corich and Mike Brown. Robert and Mike were responsible for the recent repackaging and remastering of the Uriah Heep. Family. Nazareth and Osibisa catalogues.
The first albums to be dealt with are Messin, Solar Fire, The Good Earth, The Roaring Silence and Watch and as an extra special bonus Plains Music. It is planned however eventually to do all the Earth Band back catalogue. The first re- mastered versions should hit the shops around March, with others following later on in the year. its well as re-mastering the original album from the master tapes. each album will contain two or more bonus tracks taken from singles and ‘B’ sides. It is even possible that some previously unreleased material could be used on later albums it suitable. Sadly no such music is available for the earlier albums as much material was destroyed in the infamous Workhouse Studio fire a few years ago. Already we have experienced problems locating the original masters for some of the single releases. In some cases to enable them to have perfect
edited masters Robert and Mike have had to recreate them, “It has not been easy to do", Robert told me, “some of the edited versions put out as singles were not as straight forward as they might appear, and as a result took a long time to recreate using Computers and the wonderful editing tools available to us today. Despite taking a lot of time it was certainly quicker than the knife used in the good old days!"
At the time of writing Solar Fire and The Good Earth had been completed each in it’s original UK running order, with bonus tracks at the end. Both sound absolutely wonderful making you realise just how much quality had been lost on previously available CD’s. “We have gone back to the quarter inch masters, where possible as a source”, Robert explained “And have re- equalised (EQ'd) and enhanced the sound for CD". Robert went on to tell me how important this is as the tapes were set up for the medium of the day. good old vinyl. “We have also taken out erroneous static and clicks wherever possible without degrading the masters or losing the feel of the original recording". Talking in particular about Solar Fire Robert said “This was a particularly interesting exercise in itself as the recording was so well put together in the first place, so it was difficult to work out what were edit joins, mic clicks, static or a squeaky pedal on the bass drum!" Static has been removed, of course, along with other erroneous sounds, however Robert promised me the squeaky pedal has been kept in. After all, the intention is to provide you with a copy of these albums as their were meant to sound when they were first made.
To finish things off the original covers and inner sleeves will be fully reproduced as will any sleeve notes,
press clippings and album reviews from the time. Where appropriate cover variations such as a U.S. Get Your Rocks Off album cover and the South African Plains Music cover, will be included in the booklet. Up to date sleeve notes on the history and background of each album are being compiled by Robert Corich and myself, whilst there will be a short note from Manfred. Mick and other members of the Band will no doubt also contribute. “What you end up with”, explained Robert, “are CD’s that will give you a better all round depth of sound. they are a vast improvement on the CD releases that have been available to date, the original recordings enhanced by the use of bonus tracks and the original LP art work".
If you have any doubt as to the validity of Robert Corich’s claim then check out some of his previous work. in this issue of Platform End Barry Winton looks at one of Uriah Heep’s remastered albums. which coincidentally of course features Manfred Mann himself.
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The new Manfred Mann website is up and running. Ron Clint is the man in charge of the design and running the new site although going by his picture he looks far too intelligent for us lot. Ron has taken over the old Grapevine website at seriously short notice. He has some great plans for the future. We the Fan Club will of course be fully involved both here and on mainland Europe. G-VIS Limited and Internet design company based in the heart of rural Suffolk were asked by Manfred and Steve Fernie to design and develop one of the top five music sites on the net! The idea behind the site Ron explained, "Is to give fans around the world access to unique material and information about all things Manfred. It will feature sound clips and videos of his music and his live performances. It will also contain photos and artwork available to download."
Over the next few weeks the site will change quite dramatically with lots of new features and information. Feedback to Ron and ourselves is very important as all concerned want to create a site that meets the demands of the fans. So when you visit the site it would be a great help to Ron if you used the feedback form provided.
In the design of the site G-VIS have the famous M.M.E.B. logo as the basis for navigating to the four main areas - his music, live performances, background information and plans for future. They also use Real Audio to provide lots of music samples and sound bites from interviews with Manfred. Small clips of video will also be available for fans to download. There will be very close links with the Fan Club and some articles from this magazine will be reproduced on the site.
Ever wonder what a Webmaster looks like? Well here is a recent photograph of Ron Clint who is the webmaster for Manfred's site and also makes a mean cup of coffee. Ron has spent most of his career at BT's Research Labs but recently left the company to start up his own business. "I wanted a job that didn't involve lots of travelling, worked at a more personal level and made use of my technical skills - Internet design and consultancy is ideal. The Manfred web site will be my largest project to date and I am looking forward to an interesting few weeks!" His business partner is Lillemor Pearson who hails from Sweden and provides the linguistic half of the business. A German version of the web site is already planned and for Ron this will be assisted by Rita and Hartmut Gerlach, two German fan club members. Lillemor hopes to provide other language versions such as Swedish and French in the future.
You can now talk to Ron direct or indeed us at Platform End on (https://www.manfredmann.co.uk ), the wonders of modern science. Look forward to hearing from you and many thanks to Ron Clint for helping me to prepare this new site, can't wait to try your tea.
Mick Rogers is taking time out from Earth Band to join the Jimi Hendrix tribute tour. This will be on the road in February doing a limited number of shows. Mick will not however be forgetting Earth Band altogether, the show will include 'Father of Day' and 'The Mighty Quinn' not to mention 'Tribal Statistics'. From what I have heard it should be a good show and I am sure that Jimi would have approved.
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MMEB are back on the roadin May, starting off with a small number of UK dates, provisionally these are as follows:-
5th May The Brook Southampton
6th May Fairfield Hall, Croydon
7th Dingwalls, Camden Town
8th May The Cellar, South Shields
9th May Robin Hood, Dudley
The European tour starts on the 23.5.98 but we have no further details at the time of going to press. Please confirm before travelling these days may be moved to a week later by the time you receive this magazine. European dates should be available on the Manfred Mann web site.
If these gigs go ahead Carol and I are hoping see some of the members of the Fan Club on Saturday 9th May at the Robin Hood.
At last the SAS bands long promised CD is out on Bridge Recordings : BRG CD25. So after rushing out to acquire a copy what do we have, apart from a very impressive cast list assembled by Mr.
Spike Edney, 13 songs and a rather bland cover. If you are hoping for an all time Classic Flock album that grabs you by your important bits, then you may find this disappointing. Just
occasionally and at it's very worst, it is in danger of becoming almost as bland as the cover but for the most part it trucks along at a very nice pace, easy on the ear and very
Ten of the 13 songs feature the wonderful vocal power of our very own Chris Thompson who always gives it his all. More interestingly when you've acquired this album for the obvious MMEB connections the expected inconvenience of tracks 3, 8 and 10 the only ones not to feature Chris fails to materialise as they are all rather good. ‘Baby You're A Nice Man' features one of my all time hero's Ian Anderson on flute and few would deny that Maddie Bell has a wonderful voice, well proven on Spike Edneys own composition ‘Dreamworld'.
Spike's connection with Royal rockers, Queen, comes to the for on ‘That's The Way god Planned It', with both Roger-Taylor and John Deacon featuring amongst many others all proceeds being donated to the Rainbow Trust.
The true SAS band people such as Steve Stroud on Bass, Charlie Morgan - Drums and Jamie Moses - Guitar, are more than a little responsible for keeping the whole thing tight and together and Spike is an excellent keyboard player, although I am relieved to report the only track culled from the MMEB repertoire, Springsteens 'For You’, is done a little differently and very well (I hated Davy and especially Blinded when they did them live).
It's great that Chris Thompson is featured so much, but I was disappointed personally that we don't get to hear more of the wonderful Stevie Van (listen out on ‘That's The Way!), still nothing’s perfect.
Verdict 57:55 seconds (it does not seem that long), of very enjoyable music. The SAS band is as far as I can make out about people getting together, making music and having fun and not getting too serious about it.
So rush out and buy a copy - have fun, don't get too serious and enjoy, I promise you will.
English to German
We have available German translations of some articles from PE 13 and 14 and will probably also put these onto the Internet at some stage.
Greg Russo’s Yardbirds
If you are wondering what has happened to Mannerism author Greg Russo of recent, he has been writing a new book on the Yard Birds. A true sixties band they helped launch the careers of the likes of Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. Indeed Led Zeppelin where once billed as the new Yard Birds. I have not yet seen a copy of Greg’s new book myself, however I am told from others of good taste that it is a must for your bookshelf.
Once again John Arkle, 2 Buryfield, Bury, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire is the one to be contacted for copies.
I always remember the Yard Birds as a seriously meaningful bunch, so I have never understood why Paul Jones is alleged to have written the tongue in cheek ‘One In The Middle’ for them, maybe Greg has the answer.
PE#15 - Page 6
By Graeme Yates
l have been collecting picture sleeve singles by Earth Band [see RE. issue 7] and related bands for many years now. Every oe often l still stumble across a picture sleeve that l have not found before or even a single which l didn’t realise had been released on 7". For example at the last record fair l went to l found a UK promo of CT's "Thunderchild" [no pic sleeve though].
More unusually however, I was recently offered an Earth Band album from South Korea. The album is called ”The
World of Manfred Mann's Earth Band”, though as shown, the front cover also say ”The Road To Babylon”. The record itself was manufactured in Japan by Shilla Records under license from Capuz music, cat. No. SUL 1018 and issued in 1991. lt was sold to me as Korean in origin as having a different cover, so whether this means it has a different cover to a Japanese version l don't know.
These foreign releases often throw-up interesting errors and this is no exception. Apparently Earth Band had a lChris Hamlet Thompson in their midst at the time. The tracks are taken from ”Solar Fire”, “Roaring Silence” and “Watch" and although some research has obviously been undertaken to correctly identify Pat King as bassist on the “Watch tracks only, poor old Mick Rogers gets no mention at all for his small contribution as vocalist and guitarist on the ”Solar Fire” tracks.
The other amusing thing about all the cover apart from the upstanding Viking on the front cover is the lack of writing credit for ”Fish Shop”. On reflection, to the best of my knowledge Messrs. Mann and Flett wrote a lovely instrumental called “Fish Soup”, but l didn't know Chris Slade had written a track about his local chippy. And l always thought the Earth Band highly cultural. The best entertainment is on the insert inner which on one side gives track listings for albums by Yes and others, but on the other side has the lyrics to the tracks on the album. l don’t intend to be pedantic, but must mention "Martha’s Madman” the lyrics for which can only have been extracted by someone from Japan or Korea having listened to the song. They’ve done pretty well and exceed my non-existent Korean, but here goes:-
Martha has a madman standing hidden in the shadows,
he's got a long curl talk it stagger, with they, which you'll handle.
He’s standing on the world,
is full of freaks and beats and simple
and he’s hot alike a left it cold
on the souls in the ripples
In the pool of time she thought she knew it
but someone chose stone it to in which
breaks do the surface say
It's making love never
said it is true, what can't you do,
yes it is true, what can't you do,
mother guess yes
you have to wait around another thousand years
Mother's getting nervous (sic) as she wanders
through his valley, with the shadow
always frightening and the whispers tell the story
Enjoyable stuff. The picture of some omnipotent (Viking) superstud comes into mind whose mother will let him be touched but not perform the act for a long time to come.
'Blinded' includes Springsteen's lyrics not used by Manfred and 'Solar Fire' features "a newly darling passing me by" among other errors.
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