“ROCK ‘N’ ROLL is fun, but if you ever lose sight of that fact then what the hell are you doing it for? I’ve always wanted to play music as long as I can remember and I’ve never had ideas about doing anything else.

“If I wanted to make money, then I’d be selling insurance! I can recall playing for a couple of years when all I made was 10 dollars a week, if I was lucky. But I certainly don’t look back on that as being a bad experience – in fact it was a hell of a lot of fun.”

Bobby Barth, lead guitarist/vocalist with the American outfit Axe, is unquestionably a diehard rock ‘n’ roller. Originally a drummer, he first took up guitar in 1965 and has been striving to make it ever since.

At last, the years of hard graft are finally paying off and Barth is currently enjoying the most successful phase of his career to date. In recent months Axe have made chart impact in the States with their ‘Offering’ LP and they’ve also been out on the road supporting the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Cheap Trick and Judas Priest.

British rock fans might be aware of the band through their two MCA albums, which emerged in the latter part of the 70’s, and were somewhat uninspiring, lightweight pop/ rock packages. The 1982 Axe is a lot different and their Atco released LP ‘Offering’ boasts a fine array of numbers.

Produced by Al Nalli, who also handles Blackfoot, it should be available in the UK very shortly and one suspects that when they recorded it, Axe had aimed for a more live, aggressive sound than had been evidenced on the earlier platters.

Barth agrees: “Yeah, that’s what we were after – we wanted to hit out much harder. The first two albums were a little too ‘studio’ for us and so this time we just went in there and let loose.”

What happened with MCA? “Who?” laughs Bobby. “It just wasn’t right for us. We’re touring band and like to be out there playing all the time – every night we have off is no fun at all! When we were with MCA we really wanted to tour but they weren’t into it.

“The first band to really give us a shot at touring was Judas Priest. They saw the band live and said ‘Well, this is a HEAVY band!’ But the problem was that people would then listen to the albums and find that they were much lighter. In fact we ended up living under that shadow for about two years.”

Didn’t that get a bit frustrating?

“Yeah, it did. But when we got out and did some touring, the people who saw us realised what we were all about and got turned onto us.”

Unhappily though, the lack of road work during their MCA days caused Axe to break up. They recorded some demos with Judas Priest producer Tom Allom though and subsequently these led to their deal with Atco. Was it tough getting another label interested?

“It wasn’t too bad actually,” answers Bobby. “After the band had broken up I’d decided I was going to branch off on my own, I sat around for about six months not doing anything and then I got a call from Atco saying that they’d like to do something. So I called everybody up and we all got back together in a couple of days, although we got ourselves a new bass player.”

‘Offering’ was recorded in February of this year and took just over a month to complete. One of the appealing factors is the strong use of vocals and clearly this was something that Barth had been keen to pursue from the outset.

“I wanted to put together a heavy band which had good use of vocals. So many heavy rock bands tend to forget about them but they really are important. I’m not talking about cissy vocals – in fact if I do things that sound a little wimpy I gag myself! I’ll go home and chastise myself for it!

“No seriously, I think there’s a place for good vocals in hard rock music and I always loved the way Uriah Heep used to employ them. They still managed to keep their identity and that’s what I feel we’ve achieved.”

Barth mentioned his dislike of ‘wimpy’ vocals (somewhat ironic in view of the early albums!) and it was a topic he was keen to pursue.

“Let me tell you something, I can’t stand anything wimpy – I really can’t. And there’s an awful lot of shit out there these days that’s pretty wimpy…..and I certainly don’t want to be a part of it.”

How long has Barth held these anti-wimp views?

“My whole life! I grew up fighting and scrapping and I never had time for wimps. I can’t handle anything that’s wimpy. Like the other day, I bought myself a new pair of blue jeans, which I put on just before we went on stage, and believe me I felt shitty all night long! I just couldn’t stand ‘em.”

“So we ran the truck over him a few times!” interjects drummer Teddy Mueller.

Barth laughs loudly, and indeed it wouldn’t have surprised me if the drummer’s words had been true. Bobby Barth is a pretty tough looking character and his manner of attire (faded blue denims and old leather jacket) suggest an air of street credibility.

“Oh yeah,” he confirms, “we’re definitely street. We dress street, we act street and we breathe the streets. We’re street kids. That’s how we grew up and that how we’ll die!”

Does he consider Axe to be an HM band?

“Well, that’s what everybody’s been calling us but we’ve always figured that we were simply a rock ‘n’ roll band. I don’t know if we’re heavy metal, in fact names don’t really matter. It’s the music that counts.”

With ‘Offering’, Axe have certainly proved their vinyl capabilities (check out their electric rendition of the old Montrose classic ‘I Got The Fire’ -very impressive.) Whether they can deliver the goods on stage I’ve yet to discover but according to Barth: “Playing on stage is what this band’s all about – believe me!”




DECEMBER 1982 WHITESNAKE – interview with Dante Bonutto

And here I am again on my own,  Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known (David Coverdale, ‘Here I Go Again’)

SINCE EARLY this year when all suddenly went quiet on the Whitesnake front (established personnel opting for no-comment conversation and ducking all pertinent probing with ‘name, rank and serial number’ responses) guesses and bets have flowed unchecked, touching tidal wave proportions with the official confirmation of the forthcoming UK tour. The mighty rattler, long subdued, had at last coughed up the cobwebs and was primed once again for an injection of venom, nationwide.

Coverdale, predictably, was still at the helm, but who was manning the oars? The permutations were endless, the intrigue Crossroads/Coronation St/Dallas (delete according to taste) compulsive. For a long time the true situation remained unsussed with rumours flying to and fro like demented fruitbats, most seeming to spring from nowhere and most well wide of the mark.

One had David Big E-ing the band on the punk-like premise that rock’n’roll was a young man’s game, while another, a variation on the theme, had the dismissed personnel refusing to budge, a bizarre idea conjuring visions of an arthritic, wheelchair-ridden troupe chaining themselves to the EMI railings and thrusting obdurate, ‘we shall not be moved’ placards under the noses of passers-by.

And as for potential new recruits…. Jimmy Page was certainly the hottest contender, a rumour that reddened ears on both sides of the Atlantic, though Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour and Bad Company’s Mick Ralphs have also had their names dropped in dark, secret places.

On a different, more drastic, tack word came that Coverdale had tired of his reptilian rabble-rousin’ and decided to give it a go with either Bad Co (an enduring slice of gossip not to be taken seriously), or a pre-Graham ‘no more jokes, honest’ Bonnet MSG.

Fingers were being pointed at the slightest provocation, but behind the blur of flying digits it was clear that something was amiss – there was no contradictory claim or statement of intent from the Whitesnake camp and, with Bernie Marsden going off to form his own band. SOS, and Neil Murray and Ian Paice falling in behind Ozzy fave Gary Moore, both live and in the studio, change, and dramatic change to boot, seemed a likely, logical assumption.
And that indeed has proved the case. With the British tour now poised to get underway, only Micky Moody (guitar/vocals) and Jon Lord (keyboards) remain from the original line-up – Coverdale excepted – the latter having recruited cozy Powell (drums), Colin ‘Bomber’ Hodgkinson (Bass) and Mel Galley (guitar/vocals) to give the band a new, more committed edge. Tunnel vision in the best sense of the term. Fresh blood assembled and concert halls booked, the chief Snake was finally ready to talk…

I’d last met the one-time Purple frontman outside a Boston hotel a couple of years back, in the middle of Whitesnake’s first US trek. And, renewing the acquaintance at his publicist’s London office, it’s clear that time has taken little toll on image. Clad in denim (jeans), leather (jacket) and an obligatory touch of snakeskin (tie), his only noticeable concession to contemporary trend is a pair of woollen ankle-warmers and a couple of millimetres off the celebrated mane, still copious enough to provide the archetypal rock’n’roll silhouette.

A coffee and some preliminary chit-chat later, the scene shifts to an upstairs room where a bottle of white wine is chilling nicely in the fridge and, seats taken, glasses brimming and tape machine awhir, we begin a comprehensive run-through of the year, examining the complex events that have made this encounter so long-awaited.

Though clearly relieved to be setting the record straight, David picks his words with care, not wanting to gloss over matters or sweep them under the carpet yet at the same time concerned to avoid litigation. From his point of view there’s been quite enough already for, as well as shaking up the band personnel towards the end of ‘81, he also determined to divest himself of manager John Coletta, an inheritance from his Purple days, a move that solicitors advised him could best be effected if he kept his mouth shut. Hence The Silence.

Listening to ‘Saints An’ Sinners’, the band’s sixth album, however, it’s plain that these ‘behind the scenes’ goings-on have done something to stem creative juices, an unfortunate yet predictable occurrence. Recorded with the same line-up that handled ‘Come An’ Get It’ (the only difference being the appearance of Mel Galley on backing vocals), ‘SAS’ is really already out of date, a part of Coverdale’s past and hence likely to reflect the problems that have dogged him in recent months.

The LP cover (a photo of a statue long assigned to the Coverdale khazi), has an interesting ambiguity, but with the exception of ‘Here I Go Again’, the single, and ‘Crying In The Rain’, an epic knee-trembler launched on some exquisite slide guitar from Micky Moody, the material and the playing are rarely more than average. Coverdale, his colossal chords very much the saving grace, disagrees

“I would say that it’s the best thing we’ve done; certainly my singing has never been better. . . ‘Victim Of Love” is a great little rock’n’roller, ‘Bloody Luxury’ I like very much, I can see that going well in concert, and ‘Crying In The Rain’, from what a few people told me, could well be the new ‘Mistreated’ (let me add a ‘yea’ to that), and it’s time for a change anyway.

“If I didn’t think this album was up to standard I’d have burnt the masters, though I’d probably have ended up floating in a river in Hull. It’s a fine testament to the power of ‘de Snakes but the next one will be even more powerful, that’s for sure!

When did you realise that there were problems within the band?

“Well, I flew off for my annual holiday which I always use for writing and topping ‘n’ tailing my songs, swam a lot and came up with some of my best tunes. I really wanted to go for the album, but when I got back everything had changed. Jon was just finishing off his solo project, so I went along to the studio and he said: ‘what tunes have you got for us, David?’ And I said: ‘well, I’m embarrassed, I’ve got a ton of stuff, but I’m going to hold back and see what other people have got’. And what did other people have? NOTHING!”

What were they doing?

“I’m not interested. I want to learn from the past not live in it…… the last thing we did was a German tour in December and I decided that if I didn’t have a good time with the band then, and I don’t mean superficially, I’d knock it on the head. But the tour was riddled with illness so it would have been unfair to make a decision at that point.

“By the end of ‘81, however, it was out of control and I was really disappointed with my colleagues – they were cruising along on gold status and I’m hungry for platinum. To me, Whitesnake had lost its strongest element: its hunger. So coming into ‘82 I really made up my mind and played some horrid character, the Arthur Scargill of rock.

“I took over the completion of the album and put Whitesnake on a holding pattern. I said to the band: ‘I make no promises to any of you. If you get an opportunity to join someone else, please take it’. It was also at this time that I decided to divorce my management company because I was getting more and more disillusioned with the way my career was being run – or wasn’t being run.

“Lots of decisions were being taken that I disagreed with 100 per cent, it was terrible, terrible. Incidentally, I also engineered it for the rest of the guys to be contractually free, but nobody’s ever said thank you. Sometimes you just sit there and think why the hell do I bother?

“Anyway, it all proved very expensive but I’m pleased it’s sorted out at last because in the final analysis the buck stops with me. It rests on my ass, and I’m sick of picking up the pieces of other people’s mistakes. I’m not perfect but I’m going for as close as possible to that.”

Perhaps the other members of Whitesnake were suffering from a lack of incentive; it is essentially your band after all.

“No, listen, I’ve always asked for everyone’s opinion, but towards the end they started to get so high and mighty I thought, f*** it. And when I get angry it’s not a pretty sight; definitely firecrackers up people’s asses time.”

So what went wrong with Whitesnake in the end?

“I don’t know, tell me about it. “Why does a relationship with a woman get boring? Sometimes a thing has just run its course.”

How did the members react when you put the band on the shelf?

“They played much, much better. They put the icing on the cake during the last week of recording but they should have delivered like that in the first place. Then the album wouldn’t have cost over £100,000 which is more than the whole Whitesnake catalogue put together. It’s not a piss in the ocean, but it won’t happen again that’s for sure. I’ve now surrounded myself with players who are as lunatic as I am and as passionate to improve.”

Not all are new faces, though…

“No, I’ve kept Micky Moody who’s now regained the root feeling that I felt he’d unfortunately lost at the end of ‘81. He’s coming back to earth, which is great because I love his playing, his temperament…. and his hats! He’s got the hunger back at last.

“Actually, I’m something of a private ‘guitar hero’ myself, though l don’t think I’ve got the bottle to throw shapes on stage. Maybe one day, who knows. I’ve never played on a Whitesnake album but I did quite a contender solo on ‘Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick’, even though it was wiped instantly and banished to the ionosphere.”

Apart from Micky Moody, you’ve also retained Jon Lord in the ranks…

“Well, John enhances my songs more than any musician I’ve worked with. I listen to keyboard players and there’s nobody as complete as Jon Lord.”

And what about the new recruits?

“Let’s see, I’ve got Mel Galley, who was formerly with Trapeze and who was supposed to be in the original Whitesnake line-up with Dave Holland, because I love his voice, his singing blends well with mine, and I’m very fond of his guitar playing. He’s a fine songwriter too, we’re already coming up with great stuff together…. then on bass I’ve got ‘Bomber’ Hodkinson who’s played with Jan Hammer and Neal Schon and is probably the best in the business. He’s unique, a hooligan. He changed Stanley Clarke’s style and he’s not that old, just early 30’s.

“I actually met him some years ago when he was with a jazz/rock trio called Backdoor. They were from the same area as myself, the north-east of England, and in fact they asked me to join them at one time but I thought what the hell can I do there?……No, really, Cohn’s great and he uses a pick which is something I’ve always wanted from a bass player; I adore that chunky, bottom-end sound. Apparently, Hammer won’t work without him but he’ll have to now, that’s for sure!”

Which just leaves Cozy Powell..

“Well, Cozy was actually the first member of the new Whitesnake – he’s my right-hand man. He and I have been threatening to work with each other for years but the time and the situation has never been right before: it is now. When he left Rainbow he came to me and said: ‘I can’t push Ian (Paice) out because he’s doing a first class job’, but I was very disappointed with the way things eventually – started to slope downhill. I wish Ian had played on ‘Saints An’ Sinners’ the way he plays on Gary Moore’s album.”

Has Cozy got a new solo in the pipeline?

“Oh yes, and he’ll have to be careful he doesn’t blow the rest of our asses off stage. It’s marvellous, real heroic stuff, severe Viking shit, though I’ve threatened to upstage him by flying across the stage on wires in a blue suit with a red cape.

“To be honest, I just can’t wait to kick ass with him because he’s so root. He’s an animal when he plays, the same as I am when I sing; it’s a marriage made in heaven though he was seriously thinking about knocking it all on the head at one point, he was so disillusioned after his Marks & Spencer’s Group, MSG or whatever.”

Weren’t you tempted to gather younger musicians around you this time though?

“We’ll, a lot of people told me l should but I don’t really like white noise merchants, they all sound the same, besides which they haven’t got the bottle. When Powell goes into his double bass drums it’s just frightening and would blow a kid offstage. It’s actually a physical thump in the back… but this age thing. I don’t give a toss. The energy level of the new Whitesnake is gonna show a lot of supposed young bands the way home.”

Why weren’t the backing tracks on ‘Saints And Sinners’ recorded with Martin Birch, who gets producer’s credit overall?

“Well, Martin was ill at the time and I was pressured, bullshitted actually, into believing that I had to deliver the album by the end of December last year. l wanted a minimum of two week’s rehearsal but we ended up with four days which then turned into two with not all the band members around at the same time. There was a pocket of feeling that we should produce ourselves, but it proved a case of too many chief’s and not enough Indians.

“We started off at a studio in Shepperton, Rock City, then moved onto Clearwell Castle in Gloucestershire with a mobile. In all that time I got one drum track from two weeks in Rock City, eight drum tracks from Clearwell Castle and one drum track from Britannia Row, London, which was in January this year. The rest of it was all done at Britannia Row, again in January, and I finished off the album in September/October in a three week burst at Battery Studios, London, where I supervised two guitar overdubs, did 10 vocals, all the backing vocals and mixed the single.

“Actually, we mixed the single on a Tuesday, cut it, delivered it to a security man at EMI at midnight, by Wednesday it was on its way to the factory and by Friday it was on the air. Wild! It must be some kind of record. And Birchey had to do a severe doctoring job and put everything but the kitchen sink on the backing tracks. When I recorded the vocals, they made the tracks sound really thin, but you won’t notice it. I certainly hope not, anyway.”

So did Bernie contribute much to the writing of the album?

“Hmm… he gave me a tune; the riff of which was identical to that on a single by a very well known group. I hadn’t heard it, so I spent ages writing a song with it and came up with a contender – I won’t tell you which one it is because we changed it so it doesn’t sound anything like the other one now. But I wasn’t amused..

Did he know what he was doing or was it just a coincidence?

“I’ve no idea. It’s strange, though, because Bernie and I have written some good songs together.”

He seems to be having a few problems with SOS at the moment…

“Sink Or Slim, isn’t it? Right now I’m feeling just a bit bitter. The only people who wished me well when I went in to finish the album were… well, Moody was helping me out and Lordy was popping in every other day, but I had no message from any of the others, like: ‘go for it!’, y’know. The only word I had was from one member calling up to find out what his publishing was. So f*** it!”

Will you keep in touch with the ex-members?

“Well, they have my number, but l don’t think they’ve got a copy of the album. Maybe they’ll have to buy one, I don’t know.”

Were you worried at having to sing in the studio after the long enforced lay off?

“Oh, yeah, because it’s not like riding a bike. Initially, I just did backing vocals to try and ease myself in, but the first lead vocal I did was ‘Love An’ Affection’ and that was a straight take. Then I went on to ‘Saints An’ Sinners’ and that was straight through too. I was singing like a dream, perhaps the lay off did me good – there’s some real severe notes on ‘Victim Of Love.”

Did you get frustrated while contractual hassles were being sorted out?

“Oh, certainly, I had nothing all to do for six months. I wasn’t allowed to go in a studio, nothing! It drove me mad though Powell was very supportive. I was really miserable, and my private life was in a shocking disarray, because I’m a pain in the ass if I can’t work. I went through terrible frames of mind, up and down like a whore’s tights, and I started to feel really sorry for myself. I swam in brandy for about a fortnight, then I saw my doctor who said I should knock it off.

“I had my head in my hands and suddenly my daughter became very ill, she contracted a terrible illness called bacterial meningitis, it can be fatal and there’s absolutely nothing you can do. Thank God she came out of it without a mark and that proved to me that the only time I should ever be despondent is when I can’t do something about a situation.”

When were you finally free of management ties?

“August 5. lt took six months but it could have taken 18 and my career would have been finished. You’re not gonna believe this but the day after I got the settlement agreement I went to Dartmoor and back-packed for like 70 miles with Big John and Cozy – I call him Action Man by Powelly Toy – and then we went the whole hog and bought a load of little tents and camped out on the moor.

“And this was just after seeing ‘American Werewolf In London’ which is hardly conducive to having a tent flapping round your ass. It was a bit decadent with the booze and everything, I suppose, and we ended up signing dozens of autographs”.

What did make of all the rumours that sprung up in the absence of any comment from the band?

“Well, I was highly amused by some of them, in particular the one that I auditioned for Michael Schenker. The only people I audition for are the audience, you know. I don’t audition!”

Did you want him to join Whitesnake?

“No, not at all. I think Michael’s great but he’s a liability. The sooner he stops surrounding himself with people who lick his ass, the sooner he’ll grow up and become the guitarist he could and will be, cos he’s excellent. What happened was Cozy said he’d like me to join MSG in January and I agreed to go down and have a blow because supposedly I had to start singing very soon and I wanted to get the dust off the Hobson’s Choice. When I found out he was going to be managed by the guy I was divorcing, though, that was it. No more Mickey Mouse operations, thank you.”

What about the Jimmy Page rumour?

“Oh, I don’t know where that one came from, I haven’t seen Pagey in ages; he’s probably pissed himself laughing too. And who else was supposed to be joining – there was tons. That Dutch guy Vandenberg was actually under consideration as one of the guitarists – but they all sound the same to me…the best guitarist in the world, if only he’d settle down and not grimace quite so much, is Gary Moore. He’s great and we discussed about him being in the band but I just don’t want to build songs around guitarists.”

ABOUT the only group Coverdale’s name has yet to be linked with, in fact, is Black Sabbath, a huge, reputation-crumbling oversight on the rumour-mongers’ behalf, for Tony lommi, it seems, approached both David and Cozy with a view to filling the vacant Sabbath posts. Both, however, had other plans.

How well those plans have now come together and how well the new line-up has gelled, can be judged on the coming UK tour, sadly minus a Xmas Eve show (David tried to persuade Haircut 100 to relinquish their yuletide claim on the Hammersmith Odeon but, unfortunately for London Snake fans, they dug in petulant heels).

Following the British dates, the band move onto Europe, then Japan, where they’ll be playing the most concentrated tour ever by a British or American group with three gigs at the Budokan alone, finishing off in Hong Kong, Bangkok and possibly Australia.

Armed with a band single-minded in purpose and individual musicians more interested in getting on with it than out of it, the next LP, possibly called ‘Slide It In’, could well emerge as the “governor album” David hoped ‘Saints An’ Sinner’ would be and he’s already mulling over potential producers, with Lange and Templeman high on the list.

Certainly both have good track records in the States and, having recently secured a deal covering the US, Canada and Japan with David Geffen’s ultra-exclusive label, home of Hagar, Quarterflash and Asia, he should soon be breaking down hard-to- fathom colonial resistance,

“Whitesnake is a strange band,” he reflects. “The idea of the name is that you either love it or hate it – Snakes, the cock-rock sign. But it’s wierd, it sort of transcended that HM thing which it never was and became a kind of people’s group. There was an incredible, bond between the audience and the band and I hope it’s still there. I hope so.”


WHITESNAKE, Newcastle City Hall

“I’M always nervous before a gig. Here lam close to home as I can get and my bottom is quivering”. David Coverdale had no need to be nervous. The Whitesnake fans of Newcastle were due to give Coverdale and heavy friends the kind of warm welcome that encourages the most pusillanimous of posteriors.

David was roaming the corridors of a magnificent castle when I met him a half hour before the concert was due to start at the City Hall. I was just admiring a suit of armour lurking in an alcove when David swept along a stone passage, a mass of curls flowing over his shoulders, looking not unlike a medieval prince about to go hawking, hunting and riding rough shod over the villains.

Whitesnake had established base camp at Lumley Castle, a magnificent edifice set on a hill some 12 miles out of town. I had arrived by Mr. Stephenson’s newfangled railroad to meet the band and see the first of three nights of musical orgying. There was just time to greet David, Cozy Powell and Jon Lord before hastening back to the city centre for the concert.

It was only the third night of the debut tour of the revamped band and they had a lot to play and say. If David has been accused of demanding a regimented backing band in the past there was no evidence of that during a show generously larded with solo space and feature spots.

For this was very much a ‘hello’ to the fans who leapt to their feet the second the band took the stage.

“Good evening!” roared David, clad in blue jeans, a waistcoat and mike stand. “Are you READY?” He seemed to stamp great authority on the simplest of greetings. From then on he led band and audience on a wild ride of flash and mayhem.

At this early stage in the new band’s development there were moments of imbalance, however. The group seemed to be searching for that elusive climax that makes for total satisfaction and there were signals afterwards that they hadn’t entirely reached that state of nirvana. But they came pretty damn close.

Whitesnake is certainly loaded with talent, but David is the unifying force, a sort of Luke Skywalker amidst the star wars raging around him. He can sing from a shout to a whisper, from a tenor boom to a falsetto shriek with dazzling skill. As he fixes the audience with a smile or a scowl he veers from vulnerable sex symbol to imperial procurator, now gracious, now bullying, his moods changing with kaleidoscopic speed. The music reflects his personality, always demanding, and seeking new avenues. Funky ballads are mixed with raunchy blues, explosive rave-ups vie with the occasional oasis of calm. None falls into any particular category and musical labels are anathema to David as he told me later. What counts most with Whitesnake is the level of performance and swift communication with their fans.

They could take the easy route and go for straightforward bludgeoning, but that would be boring. At any rate with Cozy Powell on drums and Colin Hodgkinson on bass there’s never any danger of Whitesnake’s driving thrust flagging for an instant. Colin is a remarkable bassist who came to fame with Back Door and Cozy has long been one of my favourite drummers.

Front-line duties are shared between Jon Lord and guitarists Micky Moody and Mel Galley. The latter have distinctly different styles, Micky, beaming beneath a huge hat and moustache, concentrates on blues and slide guitar solos, while Mel plays the harder hitting lead lines, with vocals to match.

David led his men through ‘Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues’, the fast boogie shuffle ‘Looking For Love’, ‘Ready An’ Willing’,‘Don’t Break My Heart Again’ and many more, with the tans yelling, waving their arms and joining in the chorus.

One of the greatest highlights of the show was Cozy Powell’s amazing drum solo. Flash, bang and wallop would be the easiest way to describe a tour-de-force that featured Cozy drumming along to recordings of ‘633 Squadron’ and ‘The 1812 Overture.’ I won’t give away all the details, go and see the show. But be warned, if you wear contact lenses don’t peer into the glare of the flames.

Jon Lord was featured too on a moving keyboard solo and Mel Galley and Colin worked up a lather on a traditional blues that reminded me of Cream’s old workhorse, ‘Rolling And Tumbling. All the while David was up front armed with a towel to wipe off the sweat and a drink to lubricate his throat. ‘Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City’ was delivered over a slow, menacing beat with the kids joining in with yells and handclaps before the band broke into ‘Fool For Your Loving’.

“Whitesnake,” we chanted. “MORE!” we shrieked. The band are just at the beginning of what will be a long journey that will doubtless take them round the world, and it can’t be long before Coverdale is a superstar of international proportions.



BLINK AND blink again. Above is the picture you thought you’d never see: Ace Frehley, less hirsuite than normal but unmistakable nonetheless, decked out in full stage regalia and nestling nonchalantly within the Kiss ranks.

As you’re no doubt aware, rumours surrounding the guitarist have flown fast and furious of late, some claiming he’d gone solo others that he’d just (hic) gone, but all have been staunchly denied by management and band, who could now be excused for collectively dubbing their forthcoming post-Xmas dates the ‘We Told You So Tour’.

Personally, I’m still not convinced that Ace, despite getting sleeve space for his features, plays on ‘Creatures Of The Night’, Kiss’ latest, strictly metallic, offering but there can now no question that the other-galactic one will continue to play out his fantasy role to the hilt, plans to introduce another guitarist at the side of the stage (Steve Casey in drag?) having been firmly knocked on the head.

“Actually, Ace is lucky to be alive, “reveals Paul Stanley over the Kerrang! hot-line. “He didn’t really want people to know but he had a very bad car accident a few months back and completely totalled his Porsche. He’s still in pain and has a bit of trouble ‘whiplashing’, but at least he’s in one piece.”

Despite this dramatic, real-life reconstruction of ‘Detroit Rock City’, however, the band have lined up a heavy touring schedule that should keep them busy for most of next year. Originally, they were due to play some South American shows but for political reasons these have had to be cancelled and Alberqueque, New Mexico, on December 27, is now the opening date, heralding a further 99 gigs over a five month period. Kiss’ first US tour in some three years it’ll see the four playing 8-20,000-seaters and taking in places they haven’t shaken since the early the days.

Older, harder material has now been introduced – ‘I Want You’ not performed live since ‘77, will certainly feature and ‘Deuce’ and ‘I Stole Your Love’ have been rehearsed – as well as a new metallic stage (right), recently unveiled for nigh on 300 media persons at a press conference (!) in Los Angeles where these pics were taken. As you can gather, the theme is a military one, a tank to be precise, the turret and gun (which works, I’m assured) acting as a base for Eric Carr’s drums and the treads, illuminated naturally, flanking the stage on either side.

This setup, which probably won’t be seen in Europe till late next year, perfectly complements the ‘Creatures Of The Night’ album in reflecting a new-found hunger and aggression within the Kiss ranks. No more compromises, no more half-measures.. . and definitely no synths!

“Our road crew have direct orders to kill all synth players that approach the stage, “warns Gene Simmons. “Our aim, as it’s always been, is to get up onstage and put on the greatest rock ‘n’ roll show in the world!”
(to be continued – without a doubt).



“WE WERE looking at the Reading Festival advert and saw this name… The Angels. So we phoned up to ask who they were and were told:
‘Oh, they’re from Norwich Then we knew! ‘Hey! It’s us!’ It was just like that – we really couldn’t believe it.”

So says Jamie Durrant their bass player. The rest – Richard Hill (vocals), Ian Gosling (guitar) and Gordon Pratt (drums) – grin and nod in agreement. In explanation it should be said that the Angels had previously supported Iron Maiden at dates in East Anglia and London so got the job again for Maiden’s Reading warm-ups at Chippenham and Poole… the festival gig was Steve Harris’ way of saying ‘thank you’.

What was it like then? “Well we usually only play in pubs and clubs. Chippenham and Poole put us in front of about 3,000, but there were nearly 20,000 in that field! It was a bit nerve-wracking! We were on the main ‘A’ stage too which is 48 x 38 feet… really weird!”

The band played second on the Friday afternoon so not everyone will have seen them but Richard was pleased with the reception, especially as the gig fell only a little over a month after they’d lost their second guitarist. That prompted a reshuffle of material and a slight change in emphasis.

But having seen The Angels a couple of times since then I can testify that the set remains full-blooded HM. In fact, there’s a certain Maiden-type feel about much of the material though they disclaim any conscious influence and by way of contrast ‘Power Music’ and ‘City Of Hate’ lean more towards the Van Halen sound.

They gig regularly in and around Norwich’s area so look out for them there. Those further afield may soon be able to sample them via a new demo they’re hoping to record.

Kerrang! Issue 284 April 1990


…But don’t go hiding from the collection plate, because the only ‘war cry’ Australian raunch ‘n’ rollers the ANGELS are selling’ is their brand new ‘Beyond Salvation’ album. Long time devotee of DOC NEESON-style ‘dirtiest, meanest, amps-turned-to-11 boogie’

HOWARD JOHNSON urges you to see the light and put your hands in your pocket.

A SIMPLE TWIST of fate’, as Bob Dylan put it, probably has more to do with the success or otherwise of rock ‘n’ roll acts than any other factor. Ask the Angels (let’s drop the ‘From Angel City’ suffix right now!). Formed in Australia in 1975, these hard rockers have been releasing hi-quality, hi-class albums ever since even though most of you never heard of them! But the Angels have been responsible for some of the finest, dirtiest, meanest, amps-turned-to-11 boogie ever! They stand right next to AC/DC as top hole purveyors of raunch ‘n’ roll!

Yet only now – with the release of their ‘Beyond Salvation’ LP – is anyone sticking their thumbs up in the direction of the Angels.

When I tell the enigmatic lead vocalist, Doc Neeson, that the reaction to the new album in our office has been nothing short of ecstatic, he’s more than happy but not altogether surprised.

“It’s kind of pleasing, but we seem to be experiencing the same thing across the board with this album. It just seems to have captured the imagination.”

Which to a diehard Angels fan like myself is definitely a shocker. After all, ‘Beyond Salvation’ is a weird concoction featuring only four brand new Angels tunes plus five re-recordings of old Angels classics such as ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’, the heavily AC/DC-ish ‘Can’t Shake It’ and the marvellously atmospheric ‘City Out Of Control’.

DOC FINDS it a touch bizarre too, but ultimately satisfying. “It wasn’t a question of not having enough material to play around with, let me assure you,” he says. “But we’ve got a new record company now (Chrysalis) and it’s a long time since we had a proper release. So the idea was to re-introduce the band with tracks people might be at least familiar with .

“I love the way the record turned out. It’s really full-on – a real guitar album. Terry was real concerned about that and he would just send for the guitarists…” (Rick Brewster and Bob Spencer) “…to f*** around with their sound for hours at a time. He wanted more guitars, better guitars, intense guitars, and I think it really worked.”

The Terry in question is Terry Manning….

When we were scouting around for a producer, recalls Doc, “his name came up and we were told that he’d worked with ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, George Thorogood and Joe Cocker. So we thought, ‘Shit! He’s sure as hell good enough for us then!’”

THE BAND’S instincts proved spot on. Get a handle on ‘Dogs Are Talking’ (the first single), ‘Junk City’ or the new US single ‘Let The

Night Roll On’, and you’ll understand why it’s not only me getting’ hot under the collar.

You know all this hot LA shit that everyone’s lapping up right now? Guess who influenced all those guys in the first place? That’s right buster!

“It was great when we last played at the Whiskey in LA back in ‘88, we had AxI come down and jam with us on ‘Marseilles’ and had a ball – he knew all the words! He freely admits we were a big influence on him.”

Great White too, can hardly deny it. After all they had their biggest US hit to date with a cover of the Angels’ ‘Face The Day’.

“That was a big and pleasant surprise,” chuckles Doc, “but there was also a tinge of regret attached to it as well, like ‘why didn’t they like our version?’

But at least you made a pretty penny out of the tune….

“I’ll tell you, the last cheque I saw for ‘Face The Day’ was for was for $3:36 and I know that it’s now sold towards the million mark in the States. When we first started we signed some pretty atrocious publishing deals, but it was the only way that we were going to get a record deal. I would certainly be better paid if I were a carpenter,” reckons Doc, “but money wasn’t the reason why I got a band together in the first place. I was into song writing and singing new songs. I was in a jug band with a couple of guys even before the Angels. We were doing kind of skiffle stuff with blues and 1920s jazz influences!”

I GUESS IT’S this kind of background which make the Angels sound different within what is a very conventional modus operandi. Who else in rock could claim to have been a member of the Moonshine Jug And String Band?

Just take a look at Doc, Brewster, Spencer, drummer Brent Eccles and new bassist, Englishman James Marley, and you’ll immediately realise how different they are. No long hair or spandex in sight. No designer tattoos either.

“We’re not a particularly glamorous looking band, but nor are we that ‘serious musician’ crap either. We’re not into that bullshit, we’re much more down to earth, and we’ve been doing our thing long enough now not to worry about it.”

So why have you had so much trouble securing a foothold?

“I think we’ve just been plain unlucky in out dealings with record companies.”

Was there ever a time when you were tempted just to say, ‘F*** it!’, and jack the whole thing in?

“Yes” is the frank reply.

We were touring in the States in ‘83 and half the staff from the record company were fired. We were left stranded on a bus in the middle of nowhere with no tour support. Now, I’m a big guy, six foot two, so I could neither stand up nor lie down in this bus – and it was driving me insane. I really do think that I went crazy at that time…”

But now the Angels are ready. They finally seem to have settled on a record company that is both understanding and enthusiastic.

“Now is a really good time for a band like us. The move is back towards live, energetic records that don’t sound over-produced. That’s

the Angels to a tee. I think all of this business boils down to a question of timing. And our time is now.”
I hate to say ‘I told you so’, but, well… I told you so!



CLEVELAND’S premiere HM band Snake Rock were formed around five years ago by singer guitarist (you guessed it) Snake Rock. After countless changes a consistent line-up has been reached, incorporating the brothers Wray, Dave on drums, Jeff on bass and cousin Spike the bands second lead guitarist.

Snake Rock play hard-hitting, head-splitting HM that features plenty of original AC/DC, Judas Priest style riffs. The band’s recording career began with an EP released some years ago but more recently they’ve had a cut entitled ‘Your Hot Love’ on, of all things, a record put out by Playboy magazine. The album ‘Playboy Streetrock’ available on Night Flight records is a compilation of unsigned US acts. They gained this opportunity when they won their regional contest held to determine which bands should be included.

Live, the band perform a collection of Metal monsters including ‘Love Me, Shove Me’, ‘I Don’t Care’ and ‘Brats in the Schoolyard’, during which number Snake takes off across the club floor still playing his transmitter guitar. After several mini solo’s on chairs and tables, he has been known to down a jug of beer offered by an excited punter before returning to the stage.

At some gigs shades of Alice Cooper are evident when he brings out a Boa Constrictor during ‘She’s Killing Me’.

Snake Rock will be releasing a new single the hot rocking ‘Down and Dirty’ (the first song they ever wrote) with a fresh B-side ‘I Don’t Care’, on an independent label soon.



“The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus;
Let no such man be trusted.
Mark the music.”
(Shakespeare, The Merchant Of Venice)

STRANGE WORDS to feature on the sleeve of a hard rock album, but Pat Travers has specific reasons for quoting The Bard of Avon on the back of his latest LP. For a year ago, the Canadian guitarist found himself heavily in debt and subsequently went through an endless stream of legal wrangles with his old manager.

“It was pretty scary discovering that you owe half a million dollars at the age of 27!” remarks Travers.

“I never got disillusioned at all but it was very frustrating to have that sort of thing going on and not being able to concentrate on playing music. Everything has been sorted out though and I now find that I can be far more objective about things.

“Mind you, it’s not something I’d ever want to go through again. I spent about six weeks not knowing what the hell I was going to do. But you wise up pretty quickly and in the end it gave me something to strive for – to get back out there and make music!

“I thought it was very appropriate to put that Shakespeare quote on the new album and the people it’s directed at certainly know who they are. It strikes me that there are a lot of people out there who attach themselves to the music business for the wrong reasons – they’re a pain in the ass to say the least.”

Now that Travers has sorted out his business problems, he’s finally got himself back into action and last month saw the release of ‘Black Pearl’, his seventh studio elpee.

Pat initially surfaced on the British music scene back in 1976 with a highly auspicious debut effect recorded with bassist Mars Cowling and drummer Roy Dyke. At that juncture, Travers was playing the British club circuit and before long he’d secured the skinbeating talents of Nicko (Trust) McBrain. 1977 saw the release of the ‘Makin Magic’ LP and already Pat had established a respectable following in metallic circles. However the punk movement was in full swing by then and as a result Travers found it tough to break higher ground.

Later that year ‘Putting It Straight’ emerged, at which point McBrain had been replaced by Clive Edwards. A second guitarist had also been recruited but after a relatively unsuccessful string of British dates Travers decided to pack his bags and move to America, taking only bassist Mars along with him.

In the States, Travers enlisted the services of former Black Oak Arkansas drummer Tommy Aldridge together with ex-Automatic Man guitarist Pat Thrall. The new look Pat Travers Band subsequently enjoyed a good deal of success with ‘Heat In The Streets’ and the live ‘Go For What You Know’ album.
In 1980 ‘Crash And Burn’ was released and in August of that year the group appeared at the Reading Festival. Shortly afterwards though, it was announced that Aldridge and ThraIl had quit the line-up. So what went wrong?

“We were just experiencing a lot of internal friction.” answers Travers, “especially between myself and Pat. The whole thing had come to the final stages shortly after Reading – it seemed like there was nowhere else to go, there was a lot of bad feeling and the management situation was beginning to get out of control. In the end it was kind of inevitable that Pat and Tommy should split.”

It’s a well known fact that Travers and Thrall hadn’t been getting on too well in the latter days of the band, which was a pity since both are very talented and in fact the whole line-up was extremely good.

“Oh yeah, that band was excellent,” agrees Pat. “When it was hot it was just f**kin’ incredible. But when there are that many ambitious people involved in something there are bound to be problems at some point. I’m very happy with the band I’ve got at the moment and both Pat and Tommy seem to be doing fine.”

Tommy Aldridge and Pat Thrall are actually playing in the Hughes-Thrall band, although the skinbeater has been heavily involved with Ozzy Osbourne for the past 18 months. What did Travers do after they’d left him?

“Not a lot!” he laughs. “Eventually I decided to get a drummer and we started rehearsing to do some club dates. But then the drummer decided not to do the gig four days before the shows. It was at that point that Sandy (Gennaro) arrived.”

And so the Pat Travers Band reverted to being a trio and last year toured America with Rainbow. ‘Radio Active’, which featured several cuts with Thrall and Aldridge, was released but it failed to register impact. Following the completion of the Blackmore dates, Travers entered a period of inactivity during which time he spent a good few hours in the courtrooms!

Eventually, with his business affairs in order, PT began recording ‘Black Pearl’ and enlisted Don Harris as keyboard player in the group.

Travers: “Even when we did those gigs as a trio I still had it in the back of my mind that I wanted someone in on keyboards and eventually I got hold of Don. Funnily enough I’d known him about eight years ago in Toronto but we’d lost track of each other.

“Anyway, when I was look for someone I got a cassette and a letter from him out of the blue and called him up straight away. He was in San Francisco at the time and he flew straight down to Florida where I live.”

‘Black Pearl’ was recorded in Miami’s Quadradial Studios between January and August of this year. It’s an entertaining platter and contains a wide variety of material, the strangest cut being Travers’ version of Beethoven’s Fifth!

“I was looking for a piece to practise guitar on,” explains Travers, “and one day when I was cleaning the car l heard it on the radio. I thought it would be interesting to learn and once I did I thought it would be great to record. It’s kind of like flexing your musical muscles!”

Be that as it may, there’s some very good guitar work on ‘Black Pearl’ and Travers shines on the album’s winning cut ‘Can’t Stop The Heartaches’.

Whether it will achieve impact in the UK depends on whether Pat plays live gigs – a tentative date schedule has been arranged for next April. We shall see. In the meantime, Travers is out on the road in the States supporting Aerosmith.

“I’m really looking forward to getting out there again,” he enthuses. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in my new band and hopefully I’ll be able to make up a bit of lost time.”


December 1982

Interview with Malcolm Dome. Pictures by Robert Ellis


“Slade are like heroes to us” – Steve Zodiac (Vardis)
NOW HEAR this – Slade are most definitely NOT a bunch of dry rot-infested bozos. As the above ‘Zod’ quote hints, Jim Lea/Dave Hill/Noddy Holder/Don Powell have had as much influence on today’s Metal scene as the likes of Purple, Zeppelin, or Sabbath.

How, and why, did this happen? I’ve a theory about it, which I shall expound for your delectation, o lucky people. You see, in the early seventies, when many modern HM stars were just beginning to take an active interest in music, who did they have to copy? Very little Metal was heard on the radio, or seen on ‘Top Of The Pops’, whilst music from ‘hip’ supergroups such as Genesis, Yes, or ELP probably went over most of their heads. So, where did they turn for inspiration? To the stomping few whose brand of high-energy tunefulness regularly hit the charts – Sweet, Glitter, T. Rex, and Slade. And, since the earliest influence on any muso tends to be the most important, it’s these outfits who’ve subsequently etched their mark all over eighties Heavy Metal.

“Yeah, a lot of bands come up to us and say how much Slade has guided ‘em,” agreed St. Noddy, the Bishop of Bludgeon, during a recent pre-tour chinwag. “I suppose we’ve also had a lasting effect on the kids who follow HM today. You see, about 10 years ago when we were having all those hits, these people would only have been eight or nine years old. They’ve obviously picked up on the band from all the exposure we had back then, and the songs have stayed with ‘em. We certainly attract a very young audience nowadays – fans who just couldn’t have been old enough to see us live when we first happened.”

But, there’s more to Slade than those golden days of yore. For, at a time when the FUN has virtually gone from music, these veterans are again on a one-band crusade to bring the glam back to metal, and put the smile back on the face of rock ‘n’ roll. It’s incredible, yet undoubtedly true, that more than 10 years since they originally hit the top. Slade are still untouchable on-stage.

They’ve the unequalled gift to make each and everyone at a gig feel SPECIAL Whether up in front of a huge festival audience, or playing the Allied Breweries’ Workingmen’s Club in Burton, they create an intimate atmosphere and are the ultimate good-time rock ‘n’ roll stage act, host of eager novices from Rox to Silverwing have tried in vain over the past couple of years to imitate the Wolverhampton quartet’s style, but none has managed to come


“We’ve always been the way we are now. A lot of bands these days think it’s uncool to have a show like ours that just keeps on moving. But we plan our gigs to go from A-Z, with something happening all the time to keep the fans’ attention from wandering. It’s professionalism to us, and I suppose in a way we have our roots more in traditional music hall than anything else. Everything might look off-the-cuff but in fact the shows are worked out in detail.

“Of course, there’s still room for spontaneity. We’re always picking up on things at gigs, and incorporating ‘em on the spot into the act. We’ve been known to have one gag running throughout an entire show – it helps to create a rapport with the kids. We’ve never been any different; Slade is a band that relies on audience feedback to really make for a good concert. In fact it was this element that got us discovered in the first place. In the late sixties, we did a club in New Bond Street (London), and only had about 20 people in. Those fans were really going crazy, though, and Chas Chandler came down, saw us working the audience, and signed us up.

“I honestly believe that the way we perform means we can get away with lots of things others can’t. I remember in our earliest days, there was one fella at a particular gig we used to do, who turned up every time we played there. He was always the same – totally drunk, with two pints of beer in his hands, and covered in dirt, I think he was a foundryman. But each time, without fail, he’d come up onstage with us and sing ‘Skippy, The Bush Kangaroo’, whilst we’d play a rock beat behind him. The audience loved it. In fact, they expected it to happen when Slade appeared there. Now, most bands would have got bottled off for something like that But, we did this sort of thing all over the place – if a guy wanted to come up and sing with us for a bit, we’d encourage it!”

Indeed, even the most mega of bands can learn from Slade’s relaxed attitude. For, as their new, absolutely incredibly live LP ‘Slade On Stage’ shows, this lot begin a gig at the sort of level most bands would be happy to finish on! And, if you’re at all sceptical of their prowess, then ‘SOS’ is guaranteed to change your mind.

Forget about the occasional studio overdubs, they’re irrelevant. What matters is the remarkable way da boyzz have captured their stage set on vinyl. With most live albums one ends up feeling like an uneasy eavesdropper on an historical event But this one makes the listener feel a part of the whole show from the off. If ever a piece of plastic actually sweated itself into a state of frenzied exhaustion, then ‘SOS’ is it.

“I think we’ve managed to keep the excitement of the gig virtually intact. It’s true we had to do a few studio bits to tart it up, but these have been kept to a minimum. However, I’ve got to be honest and say that I’m not one of these people who believes a live LP should go out as it was recorded – whatever the quality. You’ve always got to remember that someone is gonna pay hard-earned cash for the record. And, whilst every effort should be made to preserve the atmosphere of a thing, if adding a few touches to it can enhance the final sound, then I think you owe it to the punter to do just that.

“With ‘SOS’, though, all we’ve done is to make up for bits where, for example, a guitar string broke or something. Oh yeah, and we had to cut out part of the audience as well, ‘cos one of the microphones in the auditorium at Newcastle City Hall (the only gig to be recorded) was set up next to a loony. He kept on shouting into it “bastard!” at the top of his voice, so obviously that had to go. But, apart from these things, everything is faithful to the show.”

The LP was mixed by the band at London’s Portland Studios. And, typical of their workaholic attitude, they recorded a new album while they were there, for which the current single ‘(And Now – The Waltz) C’est La Vie’ is an excellent taster.

“It’s an album that’s bound to surprise people. A lot of different styles have been incorporated, which perhaps aren’t usually associated with Slade.

“It’s funny, you know, in our early days, we always found working in a studio very hard. We’d forever wanna do songs as we did ‘em live, and just couldn’t get to grips with studio requirements. But now we produce ourselves, things work out far better. We’re more at home recording these days than ever we were in our big hit era. And, because of that, we’re making out best-ever music.”

All of which brings me to a final point. It seems that the art of penning good, three minute foot-stompers is fast being lost. Modern bands just don’t seem to have the ability or inclination to write instantly memorable numbers in the classic mould of ‘Goodbye T’ Jane’ or ‘Get Down & Get With It’. Slade via such modern marvels as ‘When I’m Dancin’, I Ain’t Fightin’ and ‘Lock Up Your Daughters’ are out on their own in this respect. So, are the band really the last of the great rock songsters?

“It’s probably the most difficult thing in music to write a simple, good, three minute rock song. Certainly, it’s far easier to pen a three minute ballad. But, it saddens me that there seems to be no bands around who are even trying to do this. The trend towards cover versions obviously hasn’t helped; I feel too many good groups see the cover as an easy option and a quick route to the charts.

“I can’t believe there is no new talent capable of writing three minute, catchy rock numbers. There are loads of truly excellent Metal bands around, with great technical abilities. I’m sure many of them could write great songs.

Perhaps they lack the perseverance to keep on battling away until they have a hit, or else maybe no-one has given ‘em the encouragement to go out and have a bash at it.

“If I had the time, I’d love to take hold of a good group, and given ‘em some guidance in this respect. What some of these young bands need is to spend a little less time on image and a bit more on material. Slade have always had an image, but we’ve never let it take precedence over the music. And if, as has happened, we release a single which flops, then we just take that failure in our stride and write some new, hopefully better songs. The great secret is never to let anything get you down – don’t panic and always have faith in your ability.”

This is clearly a philosophy that’s served Slade well for they’ve now been together 17 years – without a change of lineup. And, it’s a measure of the high esteem in which they’re held that rock ‘n’ roll minus these chaps is as unthinkable as your average semi-detached suburban house without electricity. Roll on 1985, and the 20th anniversary celebrations.