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20th October 2017

Q: A few weeks back Rod, I was in a second-hand shop and I found a copy of the first Silverhead album on vinyl.


RD: Nice find!


Q: Yeah. It’s the Japanese version; have you ever seen it?


RD: I may have done but it’s been so long…


Q: It has a sixteen page book in it.


RD: Oh yeah I know about it. Has it got us all dressed up and tarted up?


Q: That’s the one. You’re wearing a kind of flowery shirt.


RD: I’ve still got that shirt and it still fits me now as it did then. (laughs) It was such a cool shirt and I’ve still got two or three of my Silverhead tops and outfits. There’s no reason to get rid of them really. One of them I gave to a relative when I was in England but I kept the rest.


Q: On your website, there is a photo of you all in the same gear but you’re out in the street but this one in the book is a studio shot.


RD: Well that’s what we were doing. We were having a photography session inside and came out into the street to do a few street shots. That shirt – if memory serves me well – we knew Marc Bolan’s tailor in Carnaby Street and he used to make clothes for me too.


Q: I have to say as well, I was amazed how good the production was on this and I never knew it was Martin Birch.


RD: Martin was a nice guy and he was certainly a good engineer but I had had a lot of experience at that point so when I joined I was able to do a lot of the arrangements and wrote a lot of the stuff. Stevie (Forest) the other guitarist wrote some brilliant stuff too. I had more to do with the direction of the band probably than all the rest because I was writing so much with Michael (Des Barres). I wrote brass lines for two songs on the first Silverhead album; Sold Me Down The River which I wrote with Michael and Rolling With My Baby which Stevie wrote with Michael but I did the brass lines. I never did it before and I never did it again afterwards; that was my first and last time but they actually came off pretty good.


Q: So can you read and write charts?


RD: No. No I don’t read music at all. Not that many Rock musicians do, do they really? It’s all based around five chords and if you can’t memorise the arrangements over five, six, seven chord tricks, you haven’t practice enough. (laughs)


Q: It’s the old joke isn’t it? How do you get a Rock guitarist to turn don?


RD: I don’t know.


Q: Put some sheet music in front of him.


RD: (laughs) Exactly! Of course you have to remember that Rock musicians have to remember entire shows, it’s not just the arrangement to one song. Silverhead arrangements were very complex and I did a lot of those. We used to do lots of little riffs and the contrast between us were something special. It’s hard to explain unless you saw the band. We were so dynamic but that’s what pulled it all together. It was lovely.


Q: Taking one song from the album – Johnny – it sounds incredibly live, almost one take. Would that be right?


RD: Michael wrote Johnny on his own. It’s one of the most incredible tunes isn’t it?


Q: Yes.


RD: I play acoustic on that and Stevie’s on his Start playing a few licks on there. The story behind it is that it’s all about the Mob; a brilliant lyricist Michael. I think I would have played the acoustic and Michael sang it as a guide, redoing his vocal after it. Stevie did add his guitar afterwards but we never did it onstage because it was an acoustic number and hard to fit it into a Rock n’ Roll show. At least I don’t think we did; I don’t remember doing it live anywhere.


Q: For the second album, you didn’t use Martin Birch. Was that because it was felt that you could do it?


RD: Well I had been pretty much the driving force right from the beginning. As soon as I hit that rehearsal room and saw how awful the drummer was who was a mate of Michael’s, I took Michael to one side and said we had to have someone else on drums and I’ve got the guy. I called Pete (Thompson) that night and told him to get his arse down there. Sure enough, he came down straight away and Silverhead was complete. Pete and I have done that a lot for each other over the years. Prior to that Pete and I had been doing the tours entertaining the troops or years so we could read each other musically. I’m a drummer too and he plays guitar so whatever the arrangements were, I knew him so well I could sense his breathing n the drums. That accounts for much of Silverhead’s tightness in that my guitar is always hooked into Pete and him to me whilst Robbie and Nigel tended to play to my guitar because I’m playing the backbone of the song. Robbie might then orchestrate little bits and Nigel and Pete played brilliantly. We were very picky back then about musicianship and I wanted to make sure that Silverhead had incredible light and shade and dynamics so when we were about to kick into the next verse, I would look back at Pete and across the stage to the rest of them and with my body language, take it down a notch and then back up later on. We were very good at that and that’s why we could tour with Deep Purple, plus we had Michael out front who was a fantastic showman. That was right at the start and it continued on to the second album.


Q: Who were the Silverettes Rod?


RD: That was Suzi Quatro and a couple of others.


Q: Suzi Quatro? How did she get involved?


RD: We had loads of people that would come to our sessions. Joe Cocker came down on the second album but Suzi sang on Rolling With My Baby. If you look on You Tube and see the video, it looks like me on the mic singing with Michael but that was actually Suzi. She was hanging out and doing a few sessions with us and she had a voice a little bit like Michael’s – they were both screamers. She’s pretty good; I do like Suzi.


Q: Coming to the end of the band, you did start a third album didn’t you?


RD: We did yeah and we were going to call it Brutiful.


Q: So what happened and where are those tapes now?


RD: That’s a good question, I don’t know where they are. Purple Records will have all that because they re-mastered everything in the last year or so. I’ve got copies here and it sounds better so if you hear it over a good system it’s still got all the excitement there that we could get into the recordings.


Q: The bonus tracks are some live stuff and a couple of studio tracks. Where did they come from?


RD: They have never been released before and came out of my own personal files. You know if I hadn’t have bought those over with me to the States, we never would have had those and they were just demos. we were just in a little room with the amps and drums set up and we are playing live. It was really loud as hell in the room and you can hear it but we still sounded decent.


Q: James Dean and Marilyn; were you going through a movie phase?


RD: We loved them. We were massive fans of both. All of us were especially Michael of course but always loved the way James Dean starts off. Once you get it kicking in, the chords…man it’s so obvious those chords yet nobody had done them before. Funny that. It’s the only time I’ve ever written a piece of music in Dbm and as a test I talked to all the boys in the band just to see if they could remember and none of them knew what bloody key it was! (laughs) If you look at Dbm, you wouldn’t normally put it together in your head but to go to A and B and then Dbm is obvious. They are only tones apart but I think a lot of it is to do with the rhythm, the phrasing that I did – that’s what made it different but that’s typical of my rhythm work. We did it in a pure Rock ‘n’ Roll way because we loved Chuck Berry and Little Richard who are our heroes.


Q:The Brutiful stuff must still be in the vaults then because those didn’t come out on the re-masters.


RD: Well we never really recorded much of anything for the third album though. We never got the chance, we were just about to move into that. I had five songs on the go with Michael at that point. We were so on top of things we couldn’t get any better. It was so easy to do – ‘Here’s another one; check this out!’ It’s amazing but if you get the right two people together like he and I were back then, we were killers when it came to writing songs.


Q: So what happened? Why did you split?


RD: John Coletta and Tony Edwards were selling the company to some of the people who worked with Purple and Coletta and Edwards were getting out. They kept Purple and Yvonne Elliman and let all the small bands go. They had no interest in the small bands and we were one of them. We were just starting to break though and it’s probably the worst possible thing to have that happen to a band. We had almost nothing to do with Coletta and Edwards as we were always in the studio, I rehearsal or on tour. We worked solidly and it was the perfect band, believe me.  


Q: Well those two albums that you did have stood the test of time. They do not sound dated at all.


RD: That is a real compliment. I appreciate that mate.


Q: It’s true. I’ll put on an Aerosmith album or a Bon Jovi album and they are good records but you can date them.


RD: Yeah you can date it by the attitude and the feel of the tracks. I did a lot of work on those two albums but I can't take the full credit because there were four other top-notch guys in there with me. Everyone had some input and we all seemed to know what we were doing. I had a lot more experience than the other lads as I was six years older than them so it was easier for me to be on top of things. I will always consider those two albums my life’s work. I’m proud of them.


Q: You should be. Rod, good to talk to you again, take care.


R: Good to hear from you as well Glenn. Give me a shout again soon.


Q: Will do.


ロッド・ルーク・デイヴィス インタビュー




















RD:マーティンはいい奴だった。腕の立つエンジニアでもあったけど、彼のおかげでいろいろな経験を積ませてもらったよ。バンドに加入して、アレンジもたくさんやったし、曲もたくさん書いた。もう一人のギタリストだったスティーヴィー(・フォレスト)もいい曲を書いたよ。でも僕はバンドのサウンド担当で、残りのメンバーよりもバンドの方向性を握っていたんだ。マイケル(・デ・バレス)とたくさん曲を書いていたからね。デビュー・アルバムでは2曲でホーン・セクションの譜面も書いたよ。マイケルと共作した「Sold Me Down The River」とスティーヴィーがマイケルと共作した「Rolling With My Baby」だ。ホーンのラインは僕が書いたんだよ。それ以前にも以降にも、そんなことはしたことがなかったんだけど、あれが僕にとっては最初の経験であり、最後の経験にもなった。それにもかかわらず、とてもうまくいったんだ。
























RD:僕たちのセッションには、たくさんの人が参加していたんだ。ジョー・コッカーがセカンド・アルバムに参加してくれたし、スージーは「Rolling With My Baby」で歌ってくれた。You Tubeを観れば、マイケルとデュエットしているのは僕のように思えるけど、実際にはスージーだったんだ。彼女は何曲かに参加してくれた。ちょっとマイケルの声に似ていたんだ。どちらもシャウト型のボーカリストだしね。とても良かったよ。スージーのことは気に入っているんだ。









RD:完全未発表だったもので、僕が個人的に所有していたものなんだ。「James Dean」は僕とマイケルで書いたんだけど、クレジットはロビーに譲ったんだ。彼がコード進行とリフを考えてくれたからね。「Marilyn」はロビーとマイケルの共作だ。これらをアメリカに持ち込まなかったら、日の目を見ていなかったね。ただのデモだったから。アンプとドラムだけがある小部屋で一発ライブ演奏したんだ。部屋じゅうに響き亘る轟音だったよ。でもちゃんと聴き取れるだろう?


Q:「James Dean」と「Marilyn」は、映画のイメージから閃いたんだよね?






















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