Tag Archives: glenn hughes

PETER GOALBY – An Interview On His Early Days with Fable and Trapeze

Prior to Fable you were in a few local bands. Did you write or record anything then or did none of that happen til Fable?

My first band was the System, I think I must still have been at school. We practiced in a youth club twice a week. When I left school we were offered a gig in Hamburg Germany. I had to pretend to be a roadie as I was under age to work in Germany. So I was there illegally.
After the system I was in a band that became Aarons Rod, We did some quite obscure stuff. Kevin Bray Lead guitar introduced us to some great music . I sang “All Along The Watchtower” and stuff from the band Mountain, a lot of American bands from that time.
Dave Millington was on Bass – another very good player, and my school friend who had been in the System with me – John Waterfall. John was a very loud drummer, which I loved.
I think I started writing around that time with Aarons Rod. We did not get many gigs as some of the material was a bit off the wall but we all loved it and it was all part of the school of rock I suppose LOL

Was your family always supportive of your music career? Did you get help or advice from anyone at home?

I was brought up by my grandparents. I did not get any support. Really, I think they thought it was a fad.

Do you recall the first song you ever wrote?

I can not remember . I can remember I wrote some pretty bad ones though, folky type songs .

In those earlier bands do you recall what types of songs you played ?

Anything that was around at that time. I have sung everything from “My Way” to “Blowing In The Wind”

Fable was already going with a female singer, before you joined,  Do you recall how you joined the band and how the band changed then as far as what you played or your goals were?

Yes, I actually said No at first but Lynne, my then girlfriend – now my wife, said I was mad to say no as they were very good musicians. So I changed my mind. It was a great band. We played all sorts of covers of the day, ’70s songs . Great times, lots of harmonies . I was into all that.

Can you tell me about recording the Fable album – how songs were chosen, put together, recorded..? How long did recording the album take and who all was around?

I started the writing. It is funny looking back. We would be playing a gig and I would spot people in the audience. People from record companies, they were looking with a view to signing us . A guy called Peter Shelley came a good few times and would come back stage after the gig. He was very interested . I got on great with Peter . A few other record company A and R men were also looking at us . We decided to sign with Peter at Magnet Records. I think we did the album at Trident studio although I might be wrong . I do remember the engineer Mike Stone. He was doing another band in the night time sessions, He used to play us what they were recording. It was a new band called QUEEN. Freddy and the boys no less.
I think we took about 4 weeks to do our album.

While recording Fable did you ever bump in to or meet the members of Queen then?

 No not at that stage but I did meet Brian May at the L A Forum when I played there with Heep. I walked into Joe Elliott’s dressing room and there was Brian sitting on a couch with Phil playing his Red Devil guitar.

What sort of gigs did Fable play – mostly local or travel much around the UK or outside?

We were very much in demand . Doing maybe 35 gigs a month. Some nights 2 gigs. Lots of clubs, universities all sorts really, all over the UK We also did the German clubs – The Star club and the top Ten club

Any stories from live shows back then?

One night Fable were playing a gig and the audience were all sitting down, it was a working men’s club . No one was dancing at all , not the best atmosphere. We used to do 2x 45minute spots. When we came on for the second spot Mac Bailey, lead guitarist, had stuck a piece of wood down the front of his leather trousers. I could not sing for laughing . The dance floor was quickly packed with girls dancing .

Any ‘big name’ bands that you shared a bill with?

We played with everyone who was big at that time. ELO, Hot Chocolate Suzie Quatro. Sweet, Mud. Manfred Mann.
When we played with Manfred they had a hit single out called “Joybringer”. As we were on first we played that song . Our version sounded better than the Manfreds , as was the case when we opened for all the chart bands of the day

Do you have any favorite songs from that album or stories pertaining to any of your lyrics on it?

I have not played the album in years. We were just learning. I had no real direction . It was a real mixture of styles musically. I was just happy to come up with any idea at that time. We all were .

What do you recall of that album cover and, in particular the band photo by that tree on the inside?

It was a great tree in Kew gardens in London . Great picture but can not really see who is in the band.

You wrote for other acts in the ’70s, in particular The Bump by Alvin Stardust. Can you tell me a bit about how that song came about, what sort of inspired it?

Yes , We used to play in Scotland a lot and at the time the kids started doing this new dance , they were Bumpin’. I had an idea to write a song called ‘The Bump’. I called Peter Shelley and told him . He said great idea . Magnet got a dance group to record it . I had to rehearse them into the song, they were loving it. It was on TV a few times. Then when Alvin did his album Peter produced it and got Alvin to do ‘The Bump’. I have a Gold disc on my wall for that song .

Do you recall any other songs you wrote that other artists recorded back then?

Yes , I wrote a song called ‘Falling Apart’. This was recorded by Smokie on one of their albums. I also got a Diamond Disc for this song . It was a huge hit in Norway , so that’s on my wall also.

You also recorded a few singles as a solo artist. Do you recall much about writing or recording these and if any received any radio play or local interest?

When I left Fable I had a solo deal still with Magnet. We did 2 singles , ‘Ain’t It Funny’ and ‘You Are Day You Are Night’. I did not write the latter, although I did really like the song. It was very much like a Walker Brothers tune.

You obviously were familiar with Trapeze. How did the offer to join the band come about? Or did you audition?

Yes I knew Glen. We used to play golf together. When he got the job with Purple Mel took over lead vocals for a while but kept losing his voice. So I was asked to audition. It was really great stuff from the off. I had 3 new songs – ‘Livin on Love, ‘Don’t Ask Me How I Know’ and ‘When You Get To Heaven’. We rehearsed them and – Wow, it was great!

What do you recall of recording the studio album with Trapeze? Any recall on putting together songs, working with Jimmy Miller, etc…?

All 3 made side one on the Hold On album, I was so chuffed . Jimmy Miller was great. He did not add a lot he just let us play and he recorded it. He did have great feel, nice man. There were no co-writes, I had my songs and Mel had his which he wrote with his brother Tom Galley. Tom did the lyrics for Mel.

What do you recall of the tours and shows you did with Trapeze– as far as who you toured with, biggest venues and crowds, countries you played….?

America was the place for Trapeze, in fact Texas. They were huge in Texas. I could not believe it. They loved Trapeze. I remember doing the Texas Jam . One night in Dallas one night in Houston. Both stadiums. A year later I did the very same 2 gigs with Uriah Heep.

How was response from radio or press to the Hold On album? And what were your favorites on it?

My songs of course but I loved ‘Don’t Break My Heart’ . I sang it really well I hope . I Love that song
Not much radio, really . I had to fill the boots belonging to Glen which was quite a task.

Was a 2nd Trapeze album planned or started? And was there a break prior the band playing that final tour?

Mel was being chased by Coverdale. Dave Holland was offered the Judas Priest job Pete Wright wanted to go and live in America. We were hanging on for another record deal.as long as we could. We went to America but before we went I was offered the Heep job . The rest is well written.

Regarding Live In Texas – was there more tracks played and recorded that didn’t make the album?

I think that was the whole show, I think so

Any tales from your very early days or a road tale from Trapeze. . (Re Glenn — did you ever read his book? )

I remember coming back from Hamburg before Trapeze days I was friends with Glenn even then. I had bought a suede coat with tassels like Wild Bill Hickock style. Glenn went crazy over that coat, he loved it. I think he would have killed to own it. I did sell it to him so he let me live. He later wore it on stage with moccasins to match. He looked great.. He looked like an apache Indian with his long hair.
I did not know he wrote a book. Am I in it? I should be. Even when he joined Purple he never changed, not with me anyway. He picked me up to play golf one day. I heard this loud music coming around the corner, yes it was him driving a Bentley open top!

Aside from the Texas Jam gigs with Trapeze, do you have any particular favorite memory of that band [and members] ? 

A guy that does not get much of a mention is my dear friend Pete Wright, great player to work with. He is nearly as funny as John Sinclair. Pete was always reliable, great bass player, great person to be in a band with. If we were down Pete would cheer everyone up. Very happy all the time. Nothing seemed to upset him apart from when Mel kept changing the radio station in the car. It drove us all mad. For Christ sake Mel!

Prior to joining Heep, what did you know about the band, (aside from all the line up changes)?

I knew of them of course they were a huge band worldwide. I do remember Mel saying to me that my musical career was going backwards by joining Heep . I did prove him very wrong on that one.

Had you ever seen Heep live in the ’70s with David Byron? or know any of the actual songs that you would later sing? 

Never saw Heep before I joined . I had heard ‘Easy Livin’ , ‘Gypsy’. ‘The Wizard’. That’s all I think.

Ashley Howe was key to you joining Heep and was great for you and the band as producer. Can you talk a bit about your connection to Ashley and how he got the best out of you and his importance to the band at the time (81-83)?

Ashley I love you . Ashley found my big voice. He was the greatest. Abominog would not have happened without him. Simple. He brings out the best in everyone he works with. I learnt so much from him on that record. Why we did not use him on Equator – God only knows. History may well have been re-written had he produced Equator

Were you happy with Heep’s take on ‘Blood Red Roses’, and do you think (or how) you would’ve done it any differently?

I wrote that song for Mick Box ’cause he asked me for a song for Raging Silence. I think they did a great job and I am glad it was a success for them. They got it nearly spot on . I would have been more laid back and moody in the verses. But I might have been wrong . Bernie did a great job, thank you Bernie.

Obviously you are happy with the response to Easy With The Heartaches. Has the experience (so far), inspired you to want to clean out your vaults of more recordings from your past?

I have been asked for another record , we will have to wait and see.

AND – has it inspired you (at all) to want to pick up a guitar and play – even if for yourself or family members?

*You can order Pete’s debut solo album Easy With The Heartaches, as well as Leavin’ The Hard Times Behind : The Best Of Trapeze – check out http://www.cherryred.co.uk

*If anyone out there happens to have any photos or stories of the band Fable, please let me know. Would like to revisit this album in the future.

*For more on Peter and Trapeze – visit these groups of Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/petergoalby & https://www.facebook.com/groups/melgalleytrapeze , & http://www.uriah-heep.com

*thanks to Lynn Everett for the photos [including the top pic]

KJ, 02/’22

Glenn Hughes: Building The Machine Interview, 2001

I did this interview with Glenn in late 2001 upon release of the Building The Machine album, one of my favorite GH records.

Always look forward to new stuff from Glenn, as he always has something new and exciting on the go! I saw Glenn perform in a club in Buffalo, NY a few years back, and it was an amazing show! A great energetic set of classics spanning his lengthy career, one of the best club shows I’ve ever seen! In 2011 Glenn released his autobiography as well. He is currently on tour in the US with The Dead Daisies (https://thedeaddaisies.com)

Anyway, enjoy the old read – as posted in December of ’01.  In reading through this, I see that I must’ve done another interview with Glenn prior to this, which I will have to dig out.  For more on Glenn check out:  http://www.glennhughes.com

“Often cited as one of the Greatest singers in rock n roll for the past 25 years, Glenn Hughes’ career has been a roller coaster of ups and downs, personal tragedies and triumphs, and a musical class above most of his contemporaries. His story reads like a book, from a young guy in Wolverhampton, England fronting the funk-rock band Trapeze, who reached moderate success before he was spotted and brought in to Deep Purple, one of the biggest bands at the time in 1974, and then after DP broke up years of different yet unique and usually classic projects such as Hughes/Thrall, a short stint in Black Sabbath, numerous solo albums, and guest appearances, and up until a decade ago, a career often riddled with substance abuse and addictions. But in recent years, clean, sober, and in charge of what he’s doing, Glenn Hughes has become THE voice of rock. Check out guest appearances like Stuart Smith’s “Heaven & Earth” debut, or the various tribute albums he’s contributed to, and most notably his latest string of albums Crystal Karma, Voodoo Hill [a classic hard rock album with Italian guitarist Dario Mollo], and his best work to date Building The Machine; my favorite album release of 2001.”

What can you tell me about the new album, as far as making it different from the last one? Any new influences or ideas …?

I wanted to continue in a way I used to write for Trapeze, in a very acoustic formula such as guitar, bass and drums. I wanted it to sound simple; I don’t want a lot of over-produced things. Songs are more important to me than flash and grandiosity of it. So, I wanted to I wanted to back to a more commercial, ya know 3 or 4 chord things. And for me, it worked quite well.

It’s probably more of a mainstream Hard-rock album compared to most of the other stuff you’ve done…

It’s difficult in a way for me, and it should be easy, but I make things difficult because there’s so many different fans. I have fans that like the Hard rock Glenn, fans that like the bluesy Glenn, fans that like the extremely funky Glenn, and the soulful fans, the jazzy fans, … and if I do all of those on one album – in different forms, it confuses a lot of people. It really does, and I found this out to be fact, so what I tried to do on this particular album was I tried to give them a mix of them in all the songs, such as a song with heavy funk overtones, with very heavy, and very soulful; and also having acoustic moments like “Big Sky”. As I said before, … I didn’t want it to sound like ’70s retro, but it’s a lot more near to that form to sound the way it should.

The acoustic stuff is really good, like “I Will Follow” and “Big Sky”. Big Sky was written about Bill Eskridge

Bill was my best friend 10 years ago when I was in treatment for alcoholism, and he became my best friend over the years, and spiritual guide, and he passed away last December [a year tomorrow] of liver failure and kidney failure, even though he’d been sober a long time. He was a very dear friend to me. I wrote the song for him as a ‘good-bye’. Songwriters do that, we write about personal things, and this was one of those times I had to do that.

Do you get a lot of other personal stuff on the album?

Yeah, I do write about what’s going on with me. Obviously “I Will Follow You” is about my wife, and moments like “Can’t Stop The Flood” which is about my creativity and my aggression towards myself,…. I write, Christ I continuously write songs all year ‘round, and it occurred to me is ‘I’ve got an onslaught of songs, which should I write?’ … Other songs like “Don’t Let It Slip” can mean anything; it can mean your life, your spirituality, your emotions, and to me, it’s all of the above. “Out Of Me” is about 2 brothers fighting. A lot of stuff on there is autobiographical. There’s also stuff in there that’s subliminally written for those people that are having things going on in their life, that they can catch too and obviously understand.

“Can’t Stop The Flood” and “Inside” are probably my favorite 2, aside from “Big Sky”. It’s a hard-hitting intro.

Thank you.

When I wrote with my guitar player, and said to him ‘OK, now we’re going to write the opening cut’. Every album I’ve ever done in the last few years, I always go out and go ‘I know exactly what I’m going to write for the opening cut’ And when I wrote this opening, I was ‘Oh – this is going to be an amazing cut!’ And when the chorus comes in with those big harmonies that we haven’t heard from Glenn in a while, I just thought – ‘here ya go! Let’s make an album that is very hard to make, but let’s get those big harmonies back’.

You also do a couple of covers on here, like the one with Pat Travers. How did that come about?

He came here last year, and we were looking at putting together some songs, just having fun, and I said ‘I really wanna cover this old song by Rare Earth!’ It’s about 30 years old, and I always liked that cut, and we recorded it. And when I came to compiling songs for Building The Machine I asked Pat if I could use this particular cut and he said ‘Go ahead!’. But I do particularly like this version.

You also do another Deep Purple tune!

That was initially done for a Japanese bonus track, but when I finished it, my engineer and co-producer Mike Scott said ‘That’s too damn good to be used Just for Japan, you should put it on… It’s a great version of the song, you sing great on it, it’s got a great vibe, and it sits on the album.’ So, another old Purple song, but I think it shows what a good song it was and is.

That’s about the 2nd time you’ve done an old Deep Purple song.

I’ve done about 3 now.

I got the Voodoo Hill album you did last year, about a week after we spoke then, and you did ‘Gypsy” on there, and it’s excellent!

You know Dario Mollo, he wanted to do a Zeppelin song, and I declined. I don’t want to do Zeppelin covers. It’s not right for me to do that. And I said ‘I’d much prefer it if we did an old Purple cover.’ , and then he gave me a couple of suggestions, and I said ‘let’s do Gypsy!’

That’s a great song! It sounds good there.

Thank you.

You got a number of guests on this [new] album too!?

We got Pat Travers, who’s a dear friend of mine for years; also one of my dear close friends – Bobby Kimball from Toto. He actually asked me to write him a part to sing, because he’s always to sing on a record with me. I love Bobby very much, he’s got such a distinctive voice, so I wrote the part for him on “Don’t Let It Slip”. Brett Ellis plays acoustic guitar on “Big Sky”, and John Beasley, famous keyboard player plays on “I Will Follow You”; plays the Hammond. He’s just an amazing keyboard player, and Vince DiCola is my new Hammond player on the album.

I notice a good bit of Hammond. The Hammond is a bit more prominent with the heavy guitar and that.

I wanted that. I thought my previously couple of albums were lacking in real Hammond playing by real Hammond players. It’s like, Hammond organ is an instrument that has to be played with the right guy playing it, and with Vince DiCola, he plays it better than Jon Lord or Keith Emerson – To Me. I mean, on this particular album, he plays it devastatingly brilliant. And I knew when I heard him play that I had to get him to play on this record.

Where did he come from?

He’s a guy from LA. He’s a session guy.

“Beyond The Numb”…

My favorite.

Who’s it for, JW ?

OK, a friend of mine – Pete Way from UFO, his wife passed away. She was a friend of mine, and I was really really upset when I heard the news. And I wrote that song about that incident. Because, let me just say that I was close to them in a spiritual way, but I couldn’t get too close because I don’t use drugs, so I was hoping that my recovery would rub off on them, or her, and unfortunately she had to be another statistic to drugs. And I’m not being negative or anything like that, because she was a very very nice person; it just really hurt me when she passed away, and I was a bit angry about that. And this track deals with that subject.

How’s the response been as far the main stream media and reviews and that..?

This is the truth, this album, Building The Machine has got the greatest response from critics, and I think from fans as well, in the last 10 years. I’ve read reviews, like Q Magazine, and more cross-over ones that would review Sting or Madonna have been reviewing this record, so it’s getting a wider span of reviews and a wider recognition from the man on the street. People who haven’t heard Glenn Hughes before are hearing and going ‘this is great, who is this?’ What’s it given me is it’s given me the ammunition to write rock music in the form, which I think, is appropriate for me. As I’ve said before I’m my worst enemy in a way that I’ve been very gifted in that I can write and sing and play in 4 or 5 forms of music. Most, let’s call them ‘heavy metalists’ from ’70s, can play Hard rock well, but they don’t play jazz or R&B, or soul as well, but with me I can paint in all those pictures and I like to do that. And I think on this album I’ve done something that no one else has done yet. I’d like to continue that.

Can I ask you about the artwork for the album? Where is that taken?

It was taken in my wife’s office, in Venice Beach, California. I just wanted you and everyone to perceive that I was walking this stairway that’s never going to end, really. What Building The Machine means, ‘Building The Soul Machine’, Building The character which one has been given or one is working on, and mine is blood boiling all the time. I’m a flyer that continues to grow rapidly, so I’m always working on something, musically, and I’m this is the machine that I continue to build. I’m on my way to building that machine on the cover.

It’s a unique picture….

If you look at it, it’s not meant to be G-Q; I’m not really that sort of person. It’s basically an artistic cover; it really isn’t anything other than….it’s almost a stark photograph, I’m standing still, but I’m moving. It’s a good fit.

You do a lot of photo-shoots for the albums, and obviously a lot of different outfits and stuff…Are you in to the fashion stuff?

Yeah, I do have a lot of … materials [ha ha]

What else do you going as far as promotion goes? I know you did some touring, but nothing up here…

Well, what I’m going to do in North America, is promote via radio and maybe some TV promotion. As far as the live work, more will reveal as we see the sales. As you well know it’s difficult to tour in North America, unless you’ve got massive tour support from a record company. And that would mean having to be in a band, like a younger band where big companies get behind, like Universal Records or Interscope, someone that signs younger bands. So, for older artists like myself, who don’t have the promotional campaign and marketing campaign that younger artists have these days – it’s difficult to tour. So, the chance of seeing Glenn Hughes in a live situation is kind of difficult. My desire is to tour extensively around the world, but I only get to do that outside of North America where I have tour support. But, we’ll see…

Regarding Voodoo Hill, how did you come across Dario Mollo?

My office in Germany, sometimes we get like 5 or 6 artists a year that want me to sing on their albums – at least 5 or 6! And I normally decline them all because 1 – they’re not brilliant, and 2 – I can’t have that much more work going on. But when Dario Mollo sent me these 10 or 11 cuts without vocals, I heard them. And I thought, this is obviously Hard rock, not funky, soulful stuff, it’s more hard rock, which I did with Tony Iommi almost, and I said ‘this would be a chance for my classic rock fans to get in to this type of album’, and I did it for that reason, and also because Dario’s a really gifted writer and guitar player. It was a lot of fun working with him; I went to Italy and did the thing. They’re probably be another one coming soon; we’ll probably do another one next year.

It’s a great album. I really like “Sensitive” and “Disconnected”…

Thank you, I like it too!

A lot of people liked it, but I think it slipped by a lot of people because it’s under another name.

Yeah, I don’t know what’s going to happen next time around, but I think you might know it’s me next time because Voodoo will represent me as well, you’ll know. People should keep their eyes open in the next 6 months or so.

I also got the new Nazareth tribute that you are on…

Those guys are good friends of mine. The producer [Lea] sent me the rough backing track, and to be honest with you, at the time, there was no background vocals, and it was very raw guitar, bass, drums, and it was more retro and edgy than the finished product. The finished product to me sounds to me sort of generic. It didn’t turn out as good as I wanted it to. The performance was OK, but the production was a bit too ‘white’.

I want to touch a bit on Trapeze and related… Have you ever heard of a guy named John Lawton? He used to be in Lucifer’s Friend and Uriah Heep in the ’70s. I got a CD of his and he does a version of “You Kill Me” on it.

Lawton!!? Yeah, he’s a nice guy. I haven’t seen him for years! Actually he’s a good singer.

[RIP John, 2021]

Do you recall back after your Trapeze days they carried on and made a couple more albums? What did you think of those albums?

I loved those albums. I think Hot Wired is f**king tremendous! I wish I could’ve been on that album; really – I mean that sincerely! I think when I left the band Mel Galley really strengthened himself as a writer. The songs on Hot Wired were amazing! And the album Running, which I actually helped write a couple of songs and never got credit for, I thought was brilliant.

Which ones?

“Running” and another song “Don’t Break My Heart”.  And then the Trapeze record that I sang a couple of cuts on when I left and I was in Purple. Trapeze was my baby, that was the band I formed when I was very young, and anything to do with that now always comes back to Glenn Hughes. I sometimes get people who mention Trapeze before they mention Deep Purple, which tells me they’re a big fan of Trapeze.

Do you recall seeing them away back at the Lafayette Club in Wolverhampton? (I’m talking about the late ’70s when the new line-up came out)

I’d already moved to America in the late ’70s, but I used to go home at Christmas, and I saw them a couple of times back then, yeah.

What did you think of the singer they had, Peter Goalby?

Good singer! A different sort of singer to me, but I recall him more of a pop-rock singer. He was a great interpreter. He wasn’t a bluesy singer, but he was a great rock singer in that genre, very much so. And a nice guy!

What else have you got on the go?

I’ve just done a new record with Joe Lynn Turner, and it’s called ‘H.T.P.’ [Hughes-Turner-Project]. It comes out in the spring and it’s f**king great! I will say this; it’s a classic rock masterpiece. For me it’s a very strong vocal-rock record. For anybody who likes the Deep Purple – Rainbow, and the modern rock stuff, they will love this album. It features 2 big voices, and I think it’s going to creep up on people.

Does it have a lot of guests on it?

My band, the same guys as the Building The Machine record, and as guests and solos we’ve got John Sykes, Paul Gilbert, and there’s others that you’ll probably know of.

The last time I touched base with you, you mentioned being a ‘fan of Ken Hensley’s writing’. Can you give me any songs or anything?

Well, what it is about Uriah Heep stuff for me is it’s “Gypsy”,.. It’s the way those guys wrote very, and I say this very loosely, those very simple melodic rock tracks like “Gypsy” and “July Morning” – all these sweet classic songs. And I don’t know if Ken knows this, or the guys in Uriah Heep, but I thought they were very good! World’s apart from what I do or what I listen to normally, I have to say that I thought Uriah Heep, in the early years were very much overlooked. They were always looked upon like a ‘2nd rate Deep Purple’ – that’s what people thought of them, but I thought they had a place in rock, and I want to wish all the guys in Uriah Heep and Ken Hensley all the best because they’re good guys.

Anything else you wish to add?

Just to say ‘Hi’ to all my fans and tell them to look out for ‘Big Daddy’, he’s coming to get you!

https://www.facebook.com/glennhughesonline  https://www.discogs.com/artist/267270-Glenn-Hughes

KJ, ‘2001