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The Big Ten

The Big Ten - 1979

Article from International Musician & Recording World, March 1985

"The instrument is encased in a plastic case... cheapo? Well, I dropped a Wasp out of the fourth-floor window of Trident Studios into St Anne's Court one night, without any damage at all to it and we, then, surprised at its survival, backed a Volvo over it..."
They don't test 'em like they used to — or Robin Lumley used to. (Jan)

"Then you have bands like the Human League who are very synthesizer orientated and mechanical, odd stuff. I hope to be able to work with them soon..."
Martin Rushent (Jan)

"People say 'You played with Shirley Bassey in the morning, Roy Harper in the afternoon and John Cale in the evening. How can you do it?' and I've probably been playing the same fuckin' riff all day. What difference does it make?"
Chris Spedding on the session players' art (Feb)

"In effect, the vocoder is a sort of voice synthesizer — like a super Sparky's Magic Piano... The pitch bend is useful — with a little practice you can sound like the background music in an Indian restaurant."
Robin Lumley on the Korg Vocoder(Feb)

"...although it sounded amazing it was an absolute bastard to play..."
Henry Roberts (anag) on Billy Cobham's snare drum (Feb)

"Dear Sir: I 'm replying to a letter last month. I've never read such a load of wormshit in my life!"
A reader not mincing his words (April)

"On a show, I've probably got to do a 15-minute drum solo on Little B and you can't just sit there and play like a crud."
Brian Bennett of The Shadows (April) — A Shadow Swears.

"Sonor drums — played by Kurt Bong"

"Then when I heard Purple Haze I thought 'whoa! Hold the phone — there's some other kind a shit here!"
Pat Travers on influences (May)

"Dear Sir: I've just read your interview with Jean Jacques Burnel. I've been a professional musician for many years, and I must say it makes me bloody sick to read the self-important whinings of these 'Punks'. Who the hell does Burnel think he is?
'I've seen scores of 'Punk' groups in clubs all over the country, and not once have I come across one that could actually play. Musicians used to take pride in developing their skills and artistry; now all we hear is two chords all night.
'I play Country and Western and dance music with my band and we make an honest living giving people what they enjoy. Who wants to hear these cretins who can't even play in tune?"

Letter (Jan)

"The large leg bones of beef make an adequate ivory substitute for guitar nuts and saddles — and also make good soup. Ask the butcher for a large leg bone of beef, take the largest saucepan you can find and cover the bone with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 1½ hours or until the meat scraps fall off the bone.
'Remove centre section, and add the following to the end pieces, meat scraps and marrow: ½ cup lentils, ½ cup pearl barley, 2 sliced carrots, 2 onions or leeks, 1 clove of garlic (optional), 1 bay leaf..."

Stephen Delft's soup recipe for guitarists (Feb)

"I'm a big Springsteen fan... and one of Tony Banks' favourite songs is It's a Man's Man's Man's World by James Brown. We used to do some Beatles and Stones things in the early days as well as Yard birds and John Mayall..."
Peter Gabriel lets out Genesis' influences (Jan).

"...the two vocal numbers are bland rip-offs. One's called Where Did You Come From and the answer is the Bee Gees. The other is I Apologize; he should, to J J Cale."
Jeff Pike lays into a Larry Carlton album (April)

"You'll discover that without laying out heavy bread... you can explore infinite horizons of sound."
Ad for the Electro-Harmonix micro synthesizer (March)

"Manoeuvring his bass with perfect ease over a field of synthesized sounds and shadowy guitar riffs, Jean Jacques is a satellite. The drum machine, used throughout, is like the constant beat of European industry; Brian James' guitar screeches like human pain; eerie keyboards, soothing or frightening, never really present but always rooted, like history. Burnel sings, captures past, present, and future, he is overland, over Europe, over their people, their cultures, their politics; he sees Europe as one from up there and does not understand frontiers. But it was just a dream..."
Herve Lorre reviews Jean Jacques Burners Euroman Cometh LP in a matter-of-fact fashion. (May)

"To many, the music of the Clash would seem crude and regressive, with guitarists such as Mick Jones definitely not qualifying as 'musicians'."
David Lawrenson meets the New Wave (Jan)

"By the way, if your newest band, Dire Straits, is any indication of the quality of your groups, you've got some dinky-di musos."
Letter from a reader in Worilla, New South Wales, Australia (March)

"It has all the visual attributes of a phallic, eye-catching, shit-kicking, concert Bock 'n 'Boll instrument... it's probably the ultimate chick-pulling axe, if you're into that."
Jim Rodford gets very Rock'n'Roll about the BC Rich Mockingbird bass (May)

"There's something irresistibly jolly about seeing big George Duke striding around the stage with a synth round his neck..."

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Publisher: International Musician & Recording World - Cover Publications Ltd, Northern & Shell Ltd.

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International Musician - Mar 1985

Donated & scanned by: Mike Gorman

The Big Ten


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