Welcome back to Chriswasanon! This is the Alternative jukebox jive blog where we bring to you the freshest transcripts of Steve Jones show, "Jonesy's Jukebox" on Indie 103.1
The Chriswas news.
I am planning but only planning at the moment in getting away to Spain with any luck, sometime next week. Yes maaaan! Zumo!
The Steve news.
Steve has gone for Vince Ray for his myspace profile pic.
The no other news.
Well Scots are busy taking "ABE" bets on the World Cup at the moment. ABE is not the Advanced book exchange ( in this case) no it means, "Anyone but England."
So the money is on Trinidad and Tobago apparently...
That's it from me.
Tina IS at the Controls!
Steve: You wrote a lot of songs, didn’t you? With Mr. Morrissey?
Alain: Yeah. I’ve written over seventy-odd songs now.
Steve: With him?
Alain: Yeah, it’s racking up, there, you know?
Steve: You must have made a few quid, then?
Alain: Done all right. I mean, the weird thing about Morrissey is that he’s as well-known as big acts like Radiohead and you know…
Steve: Yeah. Doesn’t sell as many records.
Alain: Exactly. Like, these bands will shift fifteen million records and he’ll barely scrape in at a million, you know.
Steve: I think it’s the most popular he’s been, though. Well, especially the last album, not the new one, but the one before.
Alain: Yeah, “Quarry”.
Steve: Before that, I remember seeing him at the Universal Ampitheatre and he didn’t have a record deal, he didn’t have a manager he didn’t have nothing. But he has a fan base, doesn’t he? Is that across the country, or is that just kind of like, major cities, like L.A.?
Alain: It’s a bit quieter, I suppose, in the Midwest. The weird thing with him is, he’ll get traveling fans. They’ll be certain fans that will go to like, twenty-five shows or like, pretty much all of them, you know? And he has a very loyal, hard-core following. And then he has a huge Latino following that you’re probably aware of.
Steve: Oh, yeah. They must have loved that song, “First In The Gang To Die”.
Alain: Yeah, about Hector, eh?
Steve: Yeah, old Hector.
Alain: Poor old Hector.
Steve: Poor Sod. (all laugh) Should we play a song and come back and then…what are we doing, visiting The Duke? Visiting The Duke, we’re here with Alan White from…what’s the name of your new band?
Alain: Red Lightning.
Steve: How long have you guys been together?
Alain: About two years?
John Dinambro: Yeah, two, three years.
Steve: Are you guys playing? Going to do some shows?
John: Yes, we are. We’re playing the Viper Room tonight.
Steve: Are ya?
John: Yes. And if you tell them “swan” at the door…
Steve: Is that the secret word, “swan”?
John: It’s not secret anymore…
John: Yeah, swan. Like the head Death Records and “Phantom Of The Paradise”.
Steve: “Swan Lake”, yes. That was a fine piece of music.
John: And Safari Sam’s on June 17th.
Steve: Where’s that?
John: Saturday, June 17th.
Steve: No, where is it?
John: Safari Sam’s, it’s a new club on Sunset.
Steve: On Sunset. All right, well, we’re going to visit The Duke. We’ll be back and we’re gonna be jamming, I think ain’t we?
Steve: Take it away, Mr. Shovel.
~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Steve: You’re listening to Jonesy’s Jukebox on Indie 1031. Yes. So did you write the music to the, to this song?
Alain: Um, I didn’t. It was before I joined Morrissey.
Steve: What album did you join Morrissey on?
Alain: Joined in ’91 and the first album, I wrote the majority of stuff on “Your Arsenal”.
Steve: Oh, yeah. I bought that one. I like “National Front Disco”, that’s my favorite song.
Alain: Oh yeah? Well it’s apt title got us in a lot of trouble.
Steve: Yeah, what was that all about? It was when you played a gig in England, right? What was it that got you in trouble?
Alain: To be honest, it was (for) the right reasons that we got in trouble because all the National Front lot had turned up to the Madness gig and they were the ones pelting us. You know? So I was pleased about that, in a way because you know, it’s an anti-racist song. It’s about a kid who…the song I think, is about a kid who winds up hanging out with the wrong people and gets involved with a right-wing element.
Steve: People don’t listen to the lyrics, though. They just hear a word and they’re like “Oh!”
Alain: Things got out of hand. I was up on stage and all of a sudden, I saw this silver thing flying and I just when, you know, moved my head to the side and this fifty pence coin missed me by you know, inches. It would have took me right out.
Alain: Yeah, it was crazy. They did not like us. It was not good.
Steve: But that was only a one-time thing?
Alain: Yeah, I mean, we’d done about eight songs and you know, bottles of orange juice and all kinds of stuff and coins were getting lobbed on stage. I heard about sixteen pounds landed on stage, in coins. Great, eh?
Steve: Pay to play.
Steve: But, why did it get such a…it seemed like, in the media, even they got it wrong. The press got it wrong that, it kind of made it like he was pro-National Front, or whatever.
Alain: Well, the Media basically set him up. The Media made up a load of lies. The decided that you know, they’d had enough of Morrissey and they basically have recently admitted that they were in the wrong and that they were deliberately targeting him. So, you know, they were just out to get him, basically. Made up a load of lies.
Steve: Cos he was always, especially by the NME, he was their darling, wasn’t he? For years.
Alain: Oh, yeah. I mean, The Smiths and Morrissey could do no wrong. But when we joined, a lot of people didn’t like us cos all of a sudden, you’ve got these tough-looking rockers, you know, playing behind like, this guy that they loved. I mean, our band was completely different to The Smiths. The Smiths, they didn’t move about much onstage and they had a completely different to what we have, we’re a lot more raw and more hard-edged. So people at first didn’t like us, you know? It was too much of a big change for them.
Steve: Well, it’s the same as that Dylan thing, wunnit? When he went from acoustic to electric. The diehards got the ump cos they didn’t understand what was happening. It’s like that in a lot of ways, though. But you know, you’ve just got to go with what you believe in don’t you? You know what I mean?
Alain: It was weird, because also, like, before we joined, or before I joined Moz, he put out an album called, “Kill Uncle” and it got slated in the press, big-time. And it’s actually not a bad record you know? I think it’s unfairly slated. But “Your Arsenal” helped revive him…
Steve: You like that title cos you support Arsenal.
Alain: Of course!
~~~ ~~ ~~~
(They are back after playing “Every Day Is Like Sunday” live and a set of records after that. Steve asks if Alan is responsible for the guitar effects at the end of “National Front Disco”, one of the records just played.)
Alain: No, it’s actually Boz, the other guitarist. He tuned, like, I think he tuned to all six strings to F sharp and then just, at the end just kept…turning pegs until they went slack.
Steve: Just went silly.
Alain: I think it’s great, I love it, you know.
Steve: Oh, I love it too, then in that case. If you like it, I like it.
Alain: Aw, God bless ya.
Steve: Um, that was Morrissey from an album, “Your Arsenal” and that was “National Front Disco”. Did you write that? No?
Alain: I did, yeah.
Steve: Oh, that’s the one, yeah. Okay. Got a bad memory, I forget. Before that was Ral Donner. What did you think of that?
Alain: Yeah, I liked it.
Steve: It’s good, wunnit?
Alain: I liked it a lot, yeah.
Steve: You’re like me, I only…got wind of him when Robert Plant came on my show, which was like what, nine months ago? Six months ago? Somewhere around there (Note: It's both, the latter being a rebroadcast when Steve decided to go to the hardware store) and he was the one that turned me onto Ral Donner.
Alain: He really knows his rock and roll, rockabilly stuff, Robert Plant cos I met him at a rockabilly club that I used to go to, which was the club where I met Moz, you know.
Steve: Cos you both had that in common, the rockabilly thing? Is that how you kind of got along, you and Morrissey?
Alain: Well, I think, I think the weird thing was that he was into the image. He does like a fair bit of rockabilly stuff.
Steve: He likes that Fifties look, right?
Alain: Yeah, he liked the Fifties look and he came down, he was looking for musicians and I actually missed him the first time ‘round, but I heard about it. For some reason, I was like, “That gig’s for me, I’m the man for the job” you know? And I dunno how I had the balls to do it, but I recorded four instrumental tracks onto a cassette. I went there every week and then the second week, he showed up and I just approached him and went: “Here’s a tape to show you I can play. I play guitar, piano, bit of harmonica and you know, I’m the man for the job” and I managed to get session work from that and it kind of went on from there.
Steve: So it just started like that.
Alain: Pretty much, yeah.
Steve: And did he have any other guys in the band, or was it just you, was you the first one?
Alain: It’s actually quite a long story so I’ll shorten it down. We did, we did this session and the session didn’t go very well and we recorded “Pregnant For The Last Time”, then the session got aborted and um, I think he got the wrong idea of what I was about and you know, I was very nervous and stuff and just, the session kind of crumbled, so nothing happened. Then, that was in December 1990. Now in March ’91, we happened to bump into him. I say “we”: me, Gary and Spencer, they’re the original guys that played on that “Your Arsenal” album. Gary still plays with Morrissey, bass player. Um, we’d been playing in a rock and roll covers band, just for fun. We was up in Sir Richard Steel’s pub…in walks Morrissey. I’m like, “Bloody hell…”
Steve: You said, “That’s Morrissey.”
Alain: Yeah. And all my hair was flat. It was all down and I was like, “Oh, man…”
Steve: “…where’s the Brylcreem, quick, let me get it up…!”
Alain: Yeah, you’re not wrong. I was like, “Oh, I look like an idiot!”, you know? (general laughter)
Steve: A jack’nape!
Alain: A total, absolute jack’nape! (laughing) And uh, I just had, I had the balls to go up to him and I just said: “Hi, Moz, how ya doin?” and he went: (he imitates Morrissey) “Oh…how are you?”
I could do his voice to a “T”. I’ve got to tell you the wind-ups I’ve done on some of the band, pretending to be him. So anyways, like: (in Morrissey voice) “So, um, what are you up to?” I said: “Well, I’m playing in a band with these guys.”
And he looked over and saw Gaz, he’s got tattoos and the quiff and Spencer, who was in really good shape cos he played drums, you know. He just liked the way we looked and then we got asked to play in a video, you know, just to mime as his band and that’s when I realized, I went: “Guys, we’ve got to learn up his material, and I mean fast, cos he’s gonna ask us to join his band.”
So we done the “Sing Your Life” video, which was the first video and Boz was not present in that video at that point, even though he’d had dealings previous, you know, to even me I think, with Moz. Mark Nevin, the guy who wrote a lot of the material in “Kill Uncle”, he pulled out and Morrissey said: “Do you know a musical director?” and I said: “There’s only one guy I know, and that’s Boz.”
And then Boz got roped in and then we’re on a world tour, and that’s it.
Steve: And you bought a case of Brylcreem.
~~~ ~~~ ~~~