Anywhere you go in the world is what you make of it, not what you read in books.
Back in those days we thought we could change the world.
George Harrison was also a pleasure to work with. He was one of the most famous people I’ve ever known, but in spite of that fame, he was such a nice and friendly guy.
He saw us play a few times in fact. I did this song called I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes, and Jimi loved it. He paid me a huge compliment when he told me that he was thinking of doing something similar himself!
I began to learn a lot of his chords and rhythms. It was a bit boring at the time, but came in very handy later on.
I don’t know the names of all the countries in the world but I have been to most of them and experienced being there.
I just couldn’t take school seriously: I had this guitar neck with four frets which I kept hidden under the desk. It had strings on it so I would practice my chord shapes under the desk and that’s about all I did at school.
I just play to the people I can see. So it’s almost like you are playing to the first few rows of the crowd. You can see the faces of the first hundred people, but then it becomes a blur as the crowds disappear over the hill.
I started off playing the clarinet, after I was inspired by listening to my dad’s Benny Goodman records.
I think a lot of modern day guitarists start off playing like Eddie van Halen, and they don’t take the time to learn the basics.
I think I’ll continue to work as a solo artist.
I was a rebel at school and I suffered the consequences; I was a James Dean fan and the bad guy who got blamed for everything.
I went to see John Mayall at the Marquee, with Peter Green on guitar, and that was a particularly good gig.
It was by listening to Goodman’s band, that I began to notice the guitarist Charlie Christian, who was one of the first musicians to play solos in a big band set-up.
It wasn’t until the movie came out that it all changed for us. Some people say it was the start of Ten Years After, but in another way, it was the beginning of the end.
It will be the first time I’ve played live with a double bass.
It’s a bit sad really as Ten Years After is a very special name, and now it has turned into a kind of pub band I think.
John Mayall was beginning to get noticed as a blues player and brought the music to a lot of people’s attention.
So if you see Ten Years After, it’s not me anymore. I’m very happy with what I am doing now.
So many bands were into blues, but there were not that many blues venues around. And John Mayall kind of started that off.
Strangely enough, through all those school years I decided at 13 or 14 I was going to be a musician and so school was just something to get out of the way, a waste of time and not to bother with it.
Suddenly we were popstars, and I didn’t see myself as that. I saw myself as a blues musician with jazz leanings!
The chances of a reunion now are less likely. I was thinking of having a 40th anniversary of the band, but now they are really another band, so it’s all a bit weird.
The road I walk along is time, it’s measured out in hours: And now I need not rush along, I stop to smell the flowers.
There is a big age gap between my sisters Janice and Irma and myself so I didn’t know them that well when I was younger although they have been very supportive in later life.
They have decided to tour under the name of Ten Years After which I don’t think is very cool. To be honest, they have had to do that as it’s the only way they can get any work.
We also did something called the Texas Peace Festival, which was actually a better gig both musically, and in the way it was organised.
We did an audition for the Marquee, and we happened to know that the manager, John Gee, was a bit of a jazz fan.
We started playing ice hockey arenas and baseball stadiums which was not as good as the underground circuit. I didn’t enjoy it as much.
We used to play the underground clubs like the UFO, and Middle Earth, and they were great because they would have on things like a poet, string quartets, and then a rock band! It was kinda cool!