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10th October 2017

Q: Good to meet you Brian and I thank Steve Holley for the introduction. How do you know Steve; is it through Joey Green?


BS: Oh my God! How do you know Joey Green? How do you even know of Joey Green?


Q: Well it was one of those bizarre things. I love my Rock history so when I’m doing an interview I always like to research the family trees…


BS: You mean like that guy – Pete Frame? I used to love those. The first one I remember was on that John Mayall record and I can remember as a kid having an ambition to being one of those little bubbles on someone’s family tree. (laughs)


Q: Yeah exactly that and Steve was out here a couple of weeks ago with Danny Kortchmar and I was browsing Steve’s family tree and Joey Green popped up. At the time I just dismissed it because I had never heard of him but then researching you, sure enough, Joey Green popped up again.


BS: That’s so funny. If you had said to me that you had come across my name through some connection in the Rock ‘n’ Roll world, Joey Green would possibly be the last name I would come up with.


Q: The other one I was thinking of was possibly Alan Merrill who Steve has played with.


BS: Well I know Alan and we’ve been friends for a long time but we’ve never really done anything professionally other than perhaps jam a couple of times. Steve I met in 1983 in New York. I had been connected to Ian MacDonald who had at that point left Foreigner and had decided to start his own thing. He was writing and playing guitar and had a drummer and a bass player but I don’t believe they had gotten any further than doing some demos. I don’t know what the circumstances of his bass player leaving were but I was referred to him and I met him and I remember him saying to me ‘It’s a really good gig’ and I thought ‘Well….why?’ Anyway, I got together with him and this drummer that he had and after we played I took Ian aside and said ‘You know, if we are going to try and do anything, you’re going to have to get a better drummer.’ He said ok and we started to audition drummers and when Steve walked in the room we didn’t need to look any further. The three of us worked up the material he had already written and then decided to write more which we did and I kind of became the lyricist. We went through a couple of lead singers, played a couple of shows, did showcases to try and get labels interested but we never got past the ‘I don’t hear a hit single’ phase. Looks good, good players but no hit material and this was 1983 when you needed a hit. Actually one of the first singers we had was a guy called Steve Lunt who after we parted company went on to write songs for Backstreet Boys but anyway, we changed the singer, added a keyboard player, did a few more gigs but nothing ever really happened and at some point, Tommy Shaw came into the picture who had been with Styx and he had done some demos with a guy called Peter Wood who was known primarily for writing Year Of The Cat with Al Stewart and also ended up on Floyd’s The Wall tour. They wanted a rhythm section and Steve and I both knew Peter so we got a call and ended up getting the gig. We were with Tommy for two or three years, did a couple of records and a lot of touring; that was my first time in Japan - in 1984.  Then through working with Tommy, Steve and I sort of got known as a bass/drum team and started to get hired for records.


Q: Carry on. What did you do after Tommy Shaw?


BS: There was a guy that I had done some demos with called Jules Shear who is a wonderful songwriter and wrote Cyndi Lauper’s  All Through the Night (which I did the demo of) and The Bangles' If She Knew What She Wants and at a certain point which must have been somewhere around ’87, he was putting a band together with Elliot Easton from The Cars. Jules called me and asked if I was interested so I said yes and he asked who I would recommend for drums so I said Steve Holley. The four of us came in and worked up the stuff that Jules and Elliot had written and it all felt great but it wasn’t very long before I started thinking ‘Isn’t Elliot still in The Cars?’ This is problematic of course because if we start getting somewhere with our thing and The Cars are still an item, what’s going to happen? So I asked Jules if Elliot was still with The Cars and he wasn’t sure but he asked him and lo and behold, he was committed. They had another record coming up so there was going to be a tour so that was going to leave us high and dry we suggested that Elliot was not available and then for a period of time as a three piece, we wrote stuff which was an extremely satisfying experience. I would bring in ideas and bass lines that I had been working on for a long time and I thought I had finally found a home for all these ideas that I had had laying around for years. Steve would put behind them some wacky obtuse unexpected drum beat and Jules would start singing over the top – just voice bass and drums. As that three piece, we were coming up with some cool interesting stuff but clearly we needed a guitar player and we auditioned and Jimmy Vivino landed in the band who later went on to Late Night with Conan O'Brien. We got signed to IRS and did one really wonderful record but it didn’t get any promotion because just as we were getting ready to go out and do stuff, Jimmy was really unavailable. He had started doing other stuff and couldn’t do the first batch of tour dates that were offered to us and that was the first spanner in the works when everybody else started to think about accepting other dates. I was really hoping that we could dedicate ourselves to that because from my perspective, that was an ambition realized. I was in a band where we were all writing, equity share members and a chance to build. So that fell apart but Steve and I continued our lifelong friendship and we don’t get a chance to play together as often as we like but we’ve recently been playing with a guy called Joe Taylor who is from South Carolina I think. He’s a really good guitar player who is a cross between Jeff Beck and Chet Atkins kind of thing – a very able player with a southern twang.


Q: I’d like to go right back if I may because the brief research I did, I couldn’t find out much about your early days and growing up.


BS: I was actually born in Los Angeles and my parents moved to the East Coast when I was eighteen months old. My father was an advertising executive on Madison Avenue; have you ever seen Mad Men?


Q: Of course!


BS: Well the last time I can remember bringing up that topic with my father he said he had not missed an episode and he looked at me with a sly smile and said ‘I was Don Draper.’ When I think back on it, I can remember the life, the attractive wife in the suburbs and all that minus the debauchery and women of course. He was offered the opportunity to be the director at the London branch of a New York agency so we emigrated to England in 1965 when I was a child aged ten so I had most of my education and growing up in England. We lived in London in a posh part of town off the Bayswater Rd and Hyde Park was my backyard. My parents divorced when I was sixteen and my father married a Welsh girl twenty years younger than him and had another family so I have three half brothers.


Q: I saw you put up on your Facebook page The Supremes’ Reflections as one influence. When did you start playing bass and who influenced you?


BS: At that time – when I was sixteen. My influences are the holy triumvir of McCartney, Entwhistle and James Jameson. I was fortunate to see The Who several times in the golden days with Keith Moon and they were remarkable. The first time I saw them was at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 which was as they say a formative experience. ELP were there as well as Hendrix and I was also at that famous ELP gig at The Lyceum where they did Pictures At An Exhibition. I saw some extraordinary gigs growing up. The live Traffic record Welcome To The Canteen was recorded at Central London Polytechnic if I remember correctly and I was there. I was at The Stones in Hyde Park in ’69 and in fact when I met my wife who I married forty-two years ago, she had a colour supplement to a magazine that she had been carrying around and it had some pictures of The Stones in the park in there and I was in three pictures in it because I had worked myself right up to the front of the stage. Funny isn’t it? I was about fifteen then and how could I have guessed that twelve years later I would be in a band opening for them which was the first time I played in a big room with Garland Jeffries.


Q: That was the Let’s Spend The Night Together tour in ’81.


BS: Yes. We only did two nights for them at the Hartford Civic and if I remember correctly, Mick wanted Garland and Keith wanted Tina Turner because there was some talk of us opening for them at MSG in New York and that ended up being Tina. Steve and Tommy and I opened up for The Kinks for a while and then in 1992, Steve and I both got a call that Ray Davies had booked himself a gig at an Earth Day benefit just outside of Boston and was also in the middle of recording a record at Konk Studios so didn’t want to bring over the guys in the band – just he and Dave were coming – so they needed a bass player, drummer and keyboard player and Steve and I did that.


Q: You were a Kink for day.


BS: I was a Kink for a day is correct but it was an extraordinary experience to play You Really Got Me with Ray on one side of me and Dave on the other. The fact that there was horizontal frozen rain hitting the stage at the time had absolutely no effect on m whatsoever. (laughs) I was in heaven – fantastic. I’ve been lucky enough to have a few of those surreal experiences.


Q: You were also a Beach Boy for a day…


BS: Oh! Where did you hear about that?


Q: Word gets around Brian. (grins)


BS: That was a fluke. Let me tell you another story first though. Because I was born in the USA, I had some relatives there. My father had a sister that lived on the East Coast and my mother had a sister that lived on the West Coast and all that time growing up in England I had never been back so I had all these vague and non-specific memories about it. I still had an American passport so there was no problem going there and I contacted my father’s sister who lived just outside of New York and she said I could stay with her for a bit. I was there over a summer and then had the choice of going back to England or over to the West Coast which is what I decided to do. About the third day I was there, I was in the San Fernando Valley and picked up one of those free newspapers and in the back was an advert for something called the musicians contact service. It was in Hollywood and I hitch-hiked there, found it and it was this great big cavernous room with nothing in it except for a long desk down one side and a pay phone at the other end of the room. There was one guy at the desk with one phone and I asked him how the musicians contact service worked and he reached under the desk, pulled out a big book and said ‘You pay your fee, we put your name and the instrument you play in the book and then if someone wants a musician, we let them know about you.’ Then the phone rang and he said ‘Excuse me a second’ and he starts talking and mentions that the guy on the other end of the phone needs a bass player. He asks the guy for his number which he repeats out loud at which point I take out a dime, go to the pay phone at the other end of the room, and wait for him to hang up. I then dial the number and say ‘Hi, I’m your new bass player’ and I ended up getting the gig! It turned out to be my apprenticeship, a cover band playing all the hits of day – this was 1974 – American stuff most of which I was not familiar with. The band leader was a black guy from down south, a singing drummer and close to twenty years older than I was. We were doing five forty-five minute sets a night, five nights a week in crappy little clubs and the money was incredible! I was making $150 a week and I had been getting £5 a gig playing in England with a group called Armada – look them up. They were a fantastic group headed by a friend to this day named Sammy Rimmington who is one of the best known exponents of New Orleans Jazz in England but he wanted a Rock band on the side; the singer was Elmer Gantry…


Q: You’re kidding? Velvet Opera?


BS: Yeah that’s him. He wasn’t the singer when I was in the band but he was replaced by the singer I was in the band with.


Q: I’ll have to ask John Ford about that…


BS: Well there’s a John Ford connection because the guy that replaced Elmer was Terry Cassidy – he was Terry Cook back then – but he ended up with John in The Monks. Kirby Gregory who was in Curved Air was also in Armada at some point and the bass player I replaced was Rik Kenton who was the first bass player in Roxy Music.


Q: Quite a pedigree. Back to your cover band gig and The Beach Boys…


BS: Well as all things do it eventually came to an end after a year or so and I ended up in a park one day and it was right after Brian Wilson started working with the infamous Eugene Landy. The two of them come jogging towards me – I don’t even know why I recognized Brian because he was 350lbs and had an enormous beard. This would be about 1976 and I engaged them in conversation and told them I had arrived in California and didn’t have a gig and Brian bowed his head down and in a forlorn way said ‘Yeah I know what it’s like to not have a gig’ and I’m thinking ‘This is Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys and he knows what it’s like to not have a gig?!’ and of course he didn’t because he had been in his bedroom for three years! I didn’t know that then but then he did something quite extraordinary. He took out a pencil and a piece and paper and wrote down his home address and phone number in Bel Air and said ‘Give me a ring I may have something for you.’ You can imagine I rang that number night after night but never got further than the answering service until one day he actually picked up the phone. I said hi and reminded him of our conversation and he really wasn’t interested in speaking at all. The only thing he said was ‘Bring a bass, be at Brothers Studio at eleven o’clock in the morning on Saturday I’ll see you there, bye.’ ‘Click’ I then had to figure out what Brothers Studios was which of course was their studio in Santa Monica. I showed up and they were already there set up. Dennis on drums, Carl on guitar, Brian is at the piano and Mike Love is walking about and you know, without going into all of the details of the session, we ended up cutting this song. Then when we did it, he said I could either split or hang out for a bit so I went into the control room with the engineer and had another of those extraordinary experiences of spending three hours watching the four of them – there was no Al Jardine – grouped around a Neumann mic layering vocal upon vocal. I received a cheque in the mail for the session for $85 or something and I remember not being able to not afford to cash the cheque. I really didn’t want to cash it but I really needed the money so I had it photocopied but of course the photocopiers in those days…the print fades…somewhere at home in a box maybe I have the photocopy with a barely legible representation of it.


Q: Terrific story and experience Brian. Coming back to the present, you’ve been with Garland since ’81?


BS: No. I toured with him in ‘81/’82 and then I didn’t play with him for about twenty years! He called me up one day and I was free so now I’ve been with him for the last fourteen or fifteen years.


Q: Now, tell me about your son’s band.


BS: My son’s name is Hugo and he’s the drummer and the band is called Palm and they are a young band, all coming from the same college and have been together about five years. They’ve just completed their first European tour and have been back and forth across the states for the last couple of years. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard before and if you look at the press and reviews, people say things like ‘When I see Palm, it’s like I’m getting a glimpse of the future’ and ‘It appears they are having a conversation that doesn’t make sense but is easy to understand’. Two guitars, bass and drums, the guitars appear to have a conversation…you know, I have great difficulty describing it because I don’t have any points of reference. This is a different generation Glenn. In terms of what we grew up on, they don’t incorporate that into their sound. Now having said that, my son has always been very open to music and I remember him saying to me once, ‘Play me something that was important to you’. Their music has elements of Jazz without being Jazz; it’s Prog without being Prog…


Q: You know what Brian, I’ll just go and listen to it.


BS: You just have to hear it. Nothing is in 4/4; nothing is formulaic. Very often the bass and drums are in a different time signature to the guitars, it’s complicated, sophisticated and on top of all this stuff that is going on, will be these almost Beach Boys-like harmonies which makes it really odd but compelling. My son sent me a photo the other day of a girl he had never met but she had just got a tattoo on her arm of the band’s logo. Their fans are committed.


 Q: You’re a successful musician…


BS: At a certain level.


Q: …granted but you know how hard this business can be. Now you’ll never be out of a gig but as you said, you have had that period of uncertainty. Did you give Hugo any advice about that?


BS: Well to begin with, he’s a college graduate. Now, there are thousands of kids that come out of colleges with degrees that are unable to get jobs so if he’s passionate about something and has clear talent, how could I do anything other than support him,  particularly knowing the joy that music has given me in my life? However, both his mother and I have made it as clear as we can that he needs to try and cover as many bases as possible so he has a little recording setup, he records other people, etc and so as many potential revenue streams as possible will help him survive. Now, they’ve just got back from this European tour and it was all new to them, well attended in England, France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany and they were only home a week before they were off on a five week trek across The States again so they are really plugging away and my hope is that it will get to the point that it will eventually support them. 


Q: Coming back to you, what are your future plans?


BS: (laughs) I wish I had a definitive answer for you! I continue to play with Garland which I love doing but I need more going on in my life as well. I had another attempt at a band with a couple of people in New York but then the lead singer decided he didn’t want to do it any more for whatever reason so I’m open and weighing options.


Q: Well I guess that’s a good way to end this. We have to do this again next time you’re in town. You must have many more stories.


BS: I do! My pleasure Glenn. Thank you.

ブライアン・スタンリー インタビュー2017













BS:アランのことは知っているよ。長年の友人なんだ。数回ジャムセッションしただけで、作品を一緒に作ったことはないけどね。スティーヴとは1983年にニューヨークで会ったんだ。その頃、僕はイアン・マクドナルドと緒にやっていてね。彼がちょうどフォリナーを脱退した頃で、ソロ活動をしようとしていたんだ。彼は曲を書き、ギターをプレイして、ベーシストとドラマーも見つけていた。凄い数のデモを作って溜めていたんだ。でもベーシストが抜けてしまった。彼は僕に言ったんだ。「いいギグができるバンドだよ。」って。でも僕には「・・・そうかな?」だった。とにかく彼とやるようになって、彼のドラマーともやってみたんだ。セッション後に僕は彼に言った。「いい形でやっていこうと思うなら、もっといいドラマーに替えた方がいいよ。」って。彼は賛成してくれて、ドラマーのオーディションをやったんだ。そこにスティーヴがやって来た。そうしたら、もうあとのドラマーを見る必要はなかった。三人でイアンが書いていた新曲をプレイしてみて、彼はもっと曲を書こうという気になったし、僕も作詞に取り組んだ。僕らは数人のヴォーカリストともセッションし、何回かギグもした。やる価値のある活動だという気になったよ。でも「ヒット狙いの曲なんてまっぴらだ」なんてことは絶対思わなかった。いいミュージシャン集団なんだけど、ヒット曲はない。1983年という年を考えれば、ヒット曲がほしかった。最初にバンドに引き入れたヴォーカリストはスティーヴ・ラントという男で、彼は僕らのバンドを抜けた後にバックストリート・ボーイズに曲を提供するようになったよ。それはともかく、ヴォーカリストを替え、キーボード・プレイヤーを加え、何回かギグをやった。でも何も状況は変わらなかった。トミー・ショウがスティックスの写真展にやって来た時に、ピーター・ウッドという男と作ったデモをいくつか聴かせてくれたんだ。ピーターはアル・スチュワートと「Year Of The Cat」を共作したし、フロイドの「ザ・ウォール・ツアー」にも参加した男だった。彼らはリズム・セクションを探していたし、スティーヴと僕はピーターとは知り合いだったから、一緒にギグをやらないかと誘われたんだ。トミーと2、3年活動を共にして、アルバムも何枚か作り、ツアーもしたよ。その時の1984年に初めて日本にも来たんだ。トミーとの仕事で、僕とスティーヴはベース&ドラムでチームになったんだ。そしていろいろなアルバム・セッションに参加するようになったんだ。



BS:ジュールズ・シアーという男とデモを作っていたんだ。ジュールズはシンディ・ローパーの「All Through The Night」(これのデモには僕も協力した)やバングルズの「If She Knew What She Wants」を書いた素晴らしいソングライターなんだ。彼は87年頃にはザ・カーズのエリオット・イーストンとバンドを結成した。そこに僕も呼んでくれたから、僕はドラマーとしてスティーヴ・ホリーも推薦したんだよ。4人が揃って活動を始め、ジュールズとエリオットもいい曲を書き始めたんだけど、このバンドは長続きしなかった。その前に僕は「エリオットはまだカーズをやってるんじゃないのか?」って思ってたんだ。これが問題でね。僕らのバンドがある一方で、カーズもまだ存在していたんだからね。それで、ジュールズに訊いたんだ。エリオットはまだカーズに在籍しているんじゃないか?って。彼は分からない、と言う。そこで彼が確かめてみる、ということになった。カーズが新譜をリリースし、ツアーに出ることになった。エリオットはえらくあっさりと僕らに別れを告げて出て行った。それで3ピースのバンドになったんだけど、曲を書き、満足のいく活動を続けたんだ。僕もいろいろなアイデアを出して、ベースラインも工夫して考えた。結構長い間活動したけど、自分のアイデアどおりに活動できる居心地のいいバンドだったよ。スティーヴは、一風変わったもったりしたドラムプレイをし、ジュールズはしっかり歌も担当して、うまく機能していたんだ。いい曲も書けたんだけど、やっぱりギタリストが必要なことが分かったんだ。そこでオーディションをして、ジミー・ヴィヴィーノが加入することになった。彼は後にコーナン・オブライエンの「レイト・ナイト」に出るようになった奴だよ。僕らはIRSレコードと契約を結び、1枚快心のレコードを作ったんだけど、まったくプロモーションをしてくれなかった。僕らはいつでもツアーに出れる状態だったんだけど、ジミーがだめだったんだ。彼はそういう道を歩んできてなくて、僕らに提案されたツアー日程を受け入れることができず、他のスケジュールを考え始めた時には、既に彼のせいですべてが台無しになっていたんだ。あそこでツアーに出られていればと思うよ。あの時点ではやる気満々だったんだから。自分たちで書いた曲を引っ提げて、みんなでバンドを運営していたからね。だからそれをきっかけにバンドは解散に追い込まれた。でもスティーヴと僕はそれからもずっと友だちでいる。二人が望むほど共演する機会はなくなってしまったけどね。でも最近、サウスカロライナ州出身のジョー・テイラーというアーティストの作品で共演したんだ。彼は素晴らしいギタリストで、ジェフ・ベックとチェット・アトキンスを足したようなスタイルなんだ。南部スタイルの有能なギタリストだよ。









BS:16歳の時だね。僕がもろに影響を受けたのは、マッカートニー、エントウィッスル、ジェームズ・ジェマーソンといった偉人たちだ。キース・ムーンが在籍していた全盛期のザ・フーを何度も観られたのは幸運だったね。彼らは凄かったよ。彼らを最初に観たのは、1970年の「ワイト島フェスティバル」だった。彼らは行きがかり上出ただけと言っていたけどね。ヘンドリクスもELPも出ていた。ELPが「展覧会の絵」をプレイした有名なライシアムでのコンサートも観ているんだ。思春期に凄いコンサートをいくつも観ているんだ。トラフィックのライブ盤『Welcome To The Canteen』は、セントラル・ロンドンのポリテクニックでレコーディングされたんだけど、僕はあれを観ているんだよ。69年のストーンズの「ハイド・パーク・コンサート」も観ている。僕のカミサンとは42年前に知り合ったんだけど、彼女はある雑誌のカラー付録を担当していて、ストーンズのハイド・パーク・コンサートの写真も撮っていたんだ。そこに僕がいて、3枚の写真に僕が写っていたんだよ。ステージの一番前で観ていたからね。それがきっかけなんだ。面白いだろ?その当時、僕は14歳で、その12年後にストーンズの前座をやるようになるとはね。ガーランド・ジェフリーズとあんな大きなハコで演奏したのは、生まれて初めての経験だったよ。


Q:それは81年の「Let’s Spend The Night Together」ツアーですよね?




BS:一日だけね。でも凄い経験だったよ。レイが僕の隣、もう一方の隣にはデイヴが居て、「You Really Got Me」をプレイしたなんてね。あの時は冷たい横殴りの雨がステージに降り注いでいてね、全然調子が出なかったよ(笑)。でも気分は最高だった。そんな素晴らしい経験を何度もできたのはラッキーだったと思うね。





































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