All posts by Steve Reszka

5 Questions With Joey Molland of Badfinger

Joey Molland is one of the many musicians from Liverpool, England who made it to the big time in rock & roll.

After playing with several local bands, Joey joined Badfinger in late 1969. The group gained notoriety by being the first band signed to The Beatles’ Apple Records, where they had a string of hit singles and albums.

While with Badfinger, he also made guest appearances on two George Harrison albums All Things Must Pass and The Concert For Bangladesh as well as John Lennon’s album Imagine in the early 1970s.

Joey and Badfinger’s music has a resurgence ever since their song Baby Blue was used as the sound track to the climactic end to the final episode of the hit TV show Breaking Bad.

Steve Reszka: What was your first break in music?

 Joey Molland: I grew up in Liverpool and when I was a teenager, I was in a band called Masterminds. We were the house band at a late night club called The Blue Angel. One night after one of their concerts, the Rolling Stones came in to listen to Their manager, Andrew Loog Oldham was with them. He managed and produced many of the big acts of the day including The Stones, The Small Faces and Marianne Faithful.

During our set, we played a Bob Dylan song called She Belongs To Me and Andrew loved it. He came backstage, told us to come to London and he got us a record deal based on that song.

 SR: Being in London at that time must have been an exciting time?

 JM: It was, I heard about a job for a guitarist and made my way to the other side of London and knocked on the door. Gary Walker answered. He was the drummer for Walker Brothers, a huge band in Great Britain at the time. He told me The Walker Brothers had broken up.

I auditioned for Gary and got the job as guitarist for his new band Gary Walker & The Rain. That job opened the door to my songwriting career and took me all over the world. The experience was priceless really.

During those years in London I met and played shows with a lot of great bands like the Who, The Herd (Peter Frampton’s band), The Tremeloes, Spencer Davis, Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart. What a great introduction to the music scene!

SR: How did you become part of Badfinger?

JM: In 1969, I was back in Liverpool. A Welsh band “the Iveys” were signed to Apple Records and had recorded a Paul McCartney song, “Come and Get it “. For some reason the Bassist left and the Guitarist decided he would take over on Bass, so they started looking for a guitar player. They got my phone number somehow and called.

They asked if I would come to London and audition. I went. I got the job and the name of the group was changed to Badfinger.

Come And Get It, which Paul McCartney also produced. was released almost immediately and came a big hit all over the world.

One day we were at Apple Records with George Harrison talking about it , how we’d be making loads of money, buying fab cars and big houses.  The only drawback was that we’ll have to play that song every day for the rest of our lives! HA HA … I see what he meant; and it’s a good thing I really like playing that song.

SR: You developed a close working relationship with George Harrison didn’t you?

JM: We did. After recording our first album, George called and asked us to come to back him on acoustic guitar on the album All Things Must Pass. That session work led to Badfinger’s participation in the Concert for Bangladesh, the world’s first big benefit Rock concert.

We raised millions for UNICEF and got a Grammy for the album. All that work with George led to us backing John Lennon on his Imagine album. George also co-produced our second album, Straight Up with Todd Röntgen.

SR: What is your favorite all time memory of being with Badfinger?

JM: That’s easy. In 1970, we were touring the United States. We had three days off before playing in Minneapolis. Our manager’s office was there so we got in town early.

The first night we went to nightclub called Depot. I saw a gal there who was stunning. I tried to go meet her, but I lost her in the crowd. The next day the guys and I went to a party and I saw that same woman. I found someone who knew her and they introduced me to her. Her name was Kathy.

The next night Kathy and I had our first date. We married two years later in 1972 and were together for 37 years until she passed away in 2009. Sometimes you’re best memories are off stage!

For more information about booking Joey Molland for your next event, contact Steve Reszka or Kevin Stuts at www.bookingconnection.com.

 Joey Molland

Chad & Jeremy Play Final Tour

We just got this note from British Invasion legends Chad & Jeremy. Congratulations on a tremendous touring career.

We’ve long promised in interviews and at signings that if the time ever came when we were considering slowing down, we would let everyone know. That time has come, and October will mark our final full-length American concert tour.

It isn’t the end of Chad & Jeremy – we expect to still get together from time to time for special events and shows – but it is the end of the era of month-long concert tours every spring and fall. We both turn 75 this year, and that seems like as good a time as any to put our feet up a bit.

We hope to see you on the road in October, and we thank you all for the love you’ve shown to us both over all of these incredible years.

With love and gratitude,
Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde

 

Five Questions With Terry Sylvester of The Hollies

This is the first in a series of ongoing articles with musicians, actors, news people, artists and other interesting people.  Today Steve Reszka of The Booking Connection talks to Terry Sylvester of The Hollies.

Terry Sylvester is one of five people from Liverpool, England inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He grew up with the other four … John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Terry started his rock & roll career as a teenager with his group The Escorts. The band had quite a reputation throughout England and were specifically asked to open for The Beatles at their final performance at the legendary Cavern Club.

Terry’s notoriety grew. He joined The Swinging Blue Jeans and had a huge hit with Hippy Hippy Shake. After touring across Europe for several year, The Hollies called Terry in 1968 and asked him to join the group replacing Graham Nash. While with The Hollies Terry was part of many Top 10 hits including: Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress), He Ain’t Heavy (He’s My Brother), Sorry Suzanne and The Air That I Breathe.

 Terry left the group in 1981 to start a successful solo career. He and the Hollies were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

Terry currently tours North America and the United Kingdom performing the many great songs of his career. He will be performing at the Bromley Family Theatre in Bradford, Pennsylvania on Saturday January 30th.

Steve Reszka: Tell us about growing up in Liverpool and how you first met John, Paul, George and Ringo.

 Terry Sylvester: Liverpool was still recovering from WW2 when I was growing up. Because it was an important sea port, there were bomb sites everywhere.

The only thing I liked at school was sports and I left school at age 14. I worked in a garage as a panel beater, my boss was Peter Harrison, George’s older brother. I started to play the guitar and George would pop in and give me advice.

Paul McCartney lived 200 yards from me in the next road so I’d known him for years and when we formed my first group, The Escorts, our drummer was Ringo’s cousin. In fact, Ringo got us our residency at the ‘Blue Angel Club’ in Liverpool. I was only 16 at the time.

SR: The Escorts were asked to open for The Beatles when they played their last gig at the legendary Cavern Club.  What do you remember about that night?

 TS: On August 3, 1963, the ‘Beatles’ played at the ‘Cavern Club’ for the final time, playing 292 times in all. The Escorts were now an established group but still waiting for a hit record. The Beatles however were now very famous in the UK and had just recorded She Loves You the owner of the Cavern Club Ray McFall remembered he let The Beatles cancel a performance once so they could do a TV show. Even though they were far too big for the Cavern now, they fulfilled their obligation.

People had been in line outside for days, it was a crazy night. We, The Escorts, opened the show.   All of us including the ‘Beatles’ were in the tiny dressing room by the side of the stage since very early in the day. There was no back door so we came through the front entrance, the only entrance.

SR: In 1968, you were touring Czechoslovakia with The Swinging Blue Jeans.  Why did you have to leave so quickly in the middle of the night?

 TS: Sadly ‘The Escorts’ couldn’t get the hit record that would have let us do more shows around the UK. But a bit of luck came my way when I was asked to join the Swinging Blue Jeans in January of 1966. They played almost every night all over the UK and Europe.

In 1968 we were on a three week tour of the then Czechoslovakia. We noticed that there were tanks in the main streets everywhere we went. The day after we flew back to the UK, the Russians invaded the country. That was a close call for us.

SR: How did you come to join The Hollies?

TS: The Escorts did play Europe a couple of times. In 1965, we had a one month residency at a club in Munich, Germany, called the Hit House. In the middle of the month the Hollies were booked for the weekend, so we opened for them.

We knew them as we’d done shows with them before, but we got really friendly with them and we all hung around together while they were there. Fast forward three years and the news that Graham Nash was leaving the Hollies hit the papers. I called their manager and said if they needed me, contact me. They did, and the rest is history.

I later found out that my name came up in a meeting after Graham had left, so I guess it was meant to be. Joining them was the happiest day of my life, I’d made the big time at last!

SR: One of The Hollies biggest hits is Carrie Anne.  Is Carrie Ann a real person and did you ever meet her?

TS: When I was living in London, England I played in a charity cricket match with Chris Jagger, Mick’s younger brother. At the game in Hertfordshire Chris introduced me to his wife, ‘Carrie Anne’. I said to her “did your parents name you after the Hollies hit? She said, “they wrote the song after me.” It’s true, she was a model back in the day and they all met at a party. Graham Nash & Tony Hicks started writing the song and Allan Clarke later added the middle verse.

Steve Reszka is a partner in Booking Connections, supplying entertainers and speakers for a variety events. For more information contact him at www.bookingconnection.com.

Terry1

 

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for 2016

Congratulations to CHEAP TRICK, CHICAGO, DEEP PURPLE, STEVE MILLER and N.W.A for being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for 2016.

They’ll be honored in an April ceremony in New York.

“Frankly, I was very surprised that we’d been nominated since we’ve been eligible for so long,” CHICAGO co-founder/keyboardist ROBERT LAMM told ROLLING STONE. “I think that the body of work, even just considering the work we did on the first album and beyond, changed the face of pop music for us to be considered influential.”

“Anyone that was ever in the STEVE MILLER BAND will feel that they were definitely part of what made the band,” MILLER said to ROLLING STONE. “Of course I couldn’t have done it without any of them.”

CHEAP TRICK guitarist RICK NIELSEN told ROLLING STONE, “Usually, I’m a man of many words, but this has got me in a tizzy here. I’m verklempt — Live at Budokan wasn’t too bad. Getting our first record deal wasn’t too bad. Doing 5,000 shows, not too bad. But this might get moved right to the top of our résumé.”

“With so many lineups, it’s a minefield,” DEEP PURPLE’s drummer IAN PAICE told ROLLING STONE. “If I was running the HALL OF FAME, I wouldn’t have known how to do it — But it looks like we’re in and I’m very pleased.”

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