City Boy questions

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Laurelei
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Laurelei » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:18 pm

:))
Too damn hard...

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Laurelei
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Laurelei » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:21 pm

I guess all I'm good for is merch.

Jo 8)
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Robin_Shadowes » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:45 pm

Hey Max

I honestly don't know how I got that idea in the first place but I have always pictured the sarcastic lyricist as Lol. I have in the back of my mind that you somewhere else on the forum has mentioned that Lol has written comedy for television, so that could confirm it a bit I guess. But I've always have had this thought as long as back as the 70's. A song like Goodbye Blue Monday just has to be penned by Lol. I'm just curious if it is my over-active imagination or not? Are any of his sketches on YouTube? I don't even know what show it was. But since I appreciated his lyrics and like good well written witty comedy I'm sure I would have liked it.
"To hell with friends and NME's"

"It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper"
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Laurelei
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Laurelei » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:28 am

Another question for you, Max. Were there any other band members that we haven't heard about?

Just wondering,
Jo 8)
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Laurelei
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Laurelei » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:30 am

Hi Max,

I have another question, but not a CB related one. Are you ever going to put out any more Christian pieces? Would love to hear some new stuff in that realm.

Love in Him,
Jo
Too damn hard...

Max Thomas
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Max Thomas » Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:34 pm

Sorry, there have been a few postings I haven't responded to on this thread...
Robin, yes Lol did write one whole radio serial called "Dick Barton - Special Agent" for Radio 4 in the UK, a revitalization of a series which his father originated way back in the 50s/60s. I believe it was between 6 to 8 half hour episodes, but I really can't remember when they were broadcast except that it was in the 1980s, and I don't think anything significant followed on after that. I know he has worked on a variety of other projects over the years, but having had no communication with him for around 12 years, I don't know how successful any of those works have been. All I can say is that if there had been anything else that did take off, I would have heard about it.
I will be contacting him over the next few months when certain things come to pass in my life, and when that happens the reasons for our lack of communication will be entirely swept away, and I know that our relationship will return to the same way that it has always been in the past - give or take a few minor adjustments. When all that happens I will question him about his works since the end of the last century and get back to you - if I can't persuade him to start contributing to this website.
Regarding City Boy lyrics... you must realize that wherever his name appears on the credits for the songwriting it signifies that he wrote either ALL the lyrics or most of them anyway. He was THE lyricist of City Boy, and as I recall there were only one or two songs that he didn't have a part in writing. One I remember is "The Violin," which - as far as I remember - was written entirely by Steve, and another was "The Man who Ate His Car," which I co-wrote with a guy called Derek Bishton, with whom I shared a house in Handsworth in Birmingham in the mid-70s for a couple of years.

Jo... no, there were no other band members at all: Roger "Barley" Kent was replaced by Roy Ward and that was it!
Regarding other Christian music.... well, let me tell you, apart from the 15 or so songs that I wrote (mainly in the years after the dissolution of the band) which, being in the genre of City Boy music, would comprise a significant part of the eighth album, I have written at least as much material since then that I ever wrote before for the whole of the City Boy era. (If you understand that sentence, you're doing well!)
OK, I became a Christian in 1984. I was particularly prolific over the next three years or so, and many of the songs I wrote at that time were later incorporated into "Beginning to End." However, there are quite a number of other pieces which are, as yet, unrecorded, many of which I would describe as containing the Christian message to a lesser or greater degree. Then, in the late 90s began a period of songs of a different type, which I can't really categorize, such as a song called "Alien," the lyrics of which I have written down elsewhere on the Forum.
When I met and started work with Jennifer Uzele, and we recorded her "Calling Africa," and entered it into the Unisong International Song Contest of 2000, she won a major award in the World Music section. Following that - around the time of the end of my marriage - Jennifer and I started work on many new songs, and we nearly completed a most powerful version of "Alien" (with Jennifer doing the vocal), but since the spring of 2003 - except for one brief period in 2006/7 - we have not been in a situation in which we've been able to set up the recording gear.
That's not to say that I have not been inspired over these seemingly barren years - far from it. I have always carried some form of recording device with me, and they have enabled me to record (dum-di-dum-di-dum-di-dah!!!) most of the musical ideas I have ever had. It used to be a cassette recorder... now it's a mobile phone. I have many hundreds of ideas stored away, and when our lives are fully restored, after work has begun on the eighth album, and on promoting "Beginning to End" in the US, I WILL begin a new phase of songwriting - God willing - based on the many and varied inspirations that are currently lying dormant and undeveloped in the various devices in which they currently sit!
Obviously, as you all know, I have been somewhat preoccupied with... let me say... the daily stresses and strains of living almost literally hand-to-mouth for the last 10 years, and such a lifestyle does not provide either the time or space for creative works... of that I can assure you. Read the lyrics of "Alien," (verse 3 in particular) and you'll get a flavour of what I'm saying here, but it's interesting to point out that I wrote that song in 1998, a full four years before the s--- began to hit the proverbial fan... sorry, slightly cliched English expression... (I'm sure you'll all get the drift of it - Oh, and another!)
Well, that's enough of all that!

Love you all!!
Max

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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Max Thomas » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:45 pm

Hmmm, having re-read what I wrote last night - well, yesterday morning (Monday) in the early hours, as it is now (of Tuesday)! - I want to add a few things because anyone reading that who doesn't know my testimony or anything about my background might be tempted to think nothing else has been happening in my life for the last ten years other than things associated with a loser who took a wrong turn in his life.... OH, FAR FROM IT!
I do not talk very often about spiritual matters - even here on the Forum Maximum - because I sense that there are very few people who subscribe to this site who want to hear about such matters. But maybe this is just my own paranoia... after all, Jakob (may God bless you, man!) originally suggested that the Forum be set up just so that I could talk about stuff that was not necessarily associated completely with City Boy, and maybe I shouldn't worry about whether people look at what I write or not!
So, what has been happening on other levels in my life?
I have stated before that Juniper (stage name Jennifer) Uzele, whom I live with (but not in the Biblical sense, though I would love to marry her one day!) - along with her son,Vonj, who is LITERALLY like the Jimi Hendrix of bass, in my opinion - is, apart from being an amazingly talented singer/songwriter/poet/fashion expert/interior designer/exterior designer/beautician...I could go on..., a seer. If you don't know what that means, I'll leave you to find out. She is a deeply spiritual woman who has throughout her life lived, breathed and worked for God, and she is the spiritual leader/adviser/counsellor/guide of many people around the world.
It has been a privilege and an honour to have met her and to have known her, and when I look back to where I was in my faith at the beginning of the millennium, I see a very immature and rather disabled Christian whose expressions of his belief had become confined to occasional armchair discussions with visiting friends or disbelieving relatives. Also I see a fairly gifted songwriter whose skills were rotting away as I allowed the great financial imperative to work, work, work in a job that was exhausting and unfulfilling. My God, I needed a change, and if it hadn't come, by now I would have become a 62 year-old retired Maths teacher looking back on a life of missed opportunities, and looking forward to... package holidays? country walks? helping at the church bazaar?... dying, maybe gracefully in another 15-18 years?

F___ THAT!

When I first met Jennifer - when her husband was alive - they would share with me their vision for the future: June told me very early on to read the Book of Job (it's in the Bible), saying that she felt strongly that it would become very significant in my life. Sadly, it was not too long before her husband suddenly died, but soon we began to talk about fulfilling the vision that they had introduced me to together. I won't go into the detail of that vision now, because most of you would probably just laugh... but we believe that very soon we will be blessed with the necessary finances to start to fulfil that vision, and when that happens, you will all know about it, and you will all be blessed by it, because I will make it my business to do that... you wait and see!

Now, to get back to what I was originally going to say... this last 10 years has been about me coming to terms with who I am - through the guidance of someone who knows me far better than I thought I knew myself, and who sees through me like no-one has ever seen though me. I have had to come to accept things about me that I have found it very hard to admit, and, subsequently, to repent of in my life. It has not been an easy process....

Neither of us has ever been through such poverty in our lives. I have sometimes almost felt like giving up...but Juniper has never given up, either on her dreams or on me. It has been a major test - just like Job had. I have not now become perfect - either as a Christian or as a human being - but I know who I am, and I know my destiny, and I know that I have a lot of work that I have yet to do in my life. We have been putting down foundations in our lives - things invisible to those in the world who do not know us or what we are about - and now we are ready to start building on those foundations, building that which will become visible to the world... to the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose Return is guaranteed. Perhaps we both had to go through this awful testing, just so that we could become more and more dependent upon the Grace of the Lord, for the imminent future for mankind will involve great trauma, stress and fear... and who will stand in the face of it all? Only those who trust in Him!
Amen!
Max

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Laurelei
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Laurelei » Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:00 pm

Dear Max,

I hope it is your year.

Love in Him,
Jo
Too damn hard...

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Laurelei
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Laurelei » Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:03 pm

Hi Max,

I have another question. Do you have any unreleased stuff, or alternate takes on any of the CB stuff?

Jo 8)
Too damn hard...

Max Thomas
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Max Thomas » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:46 pm

Jo,

I think I gave a fairly full account of what music I have lying around: BTE to be worked on; titles I wrote down for you as potential tracks on album 8 (and if that works well, maybe album 9 would follow!); a lot of Christian stuff from 1984-86 much of which has not been recorded; quite a lot of stuff that June and I have written - again not yet recorded; and literally hundreds of ideas and inspirations that have accumulated over the last 10-12 years, most of which have not been developed at all; then there are many other songs that Juniper has composed - some beautiful haunting Christian songs - and about 5/6 unbelievably commercial songs which we are dying to record! She always insists that I should have a credit on all these songs because she will usually get me to work out the chords and stuff, but they are really her songs, and when the time is right they will provide significant resources to enable us to maintain the many projects, plans... vision that we both share.

It is only since I've met her that I have realized that writing songs is one of the greatest gifts that I have - she has effectively been responsible for showing me this, and, in the same breath, she will tell me why the enemy will do anything to stop me, divert me...kill me... hence my suicide attempts all those years ago... even I myself have had dreams and visions about a spiritual tug-of-war taking place between dark forces and angels of light contending for my very soul.

Alternate takes on any CB stuff...? Well, "Abraham and Isaac" from BTE used to be "Cafe Vienna" which we did a demo of - but I don't remember for which album - but it was deemed not to be in the genre of CB at the time. (You must know that I have was writing stuff from the very early days of CB and often I wouldn't submit stuff because I knew it wasn't in the right genre: best example is "the Last Supper" on BTE, which I wrote in about 1976, knowing it wasn't relevant to CB... but it's one of my best compositions!)

No, I don't have anything from long ago any more. I had an excellent live recording (which may have been the last simulcast - or even the last gig - the band did in 1979 in New York at the Bottom Line), and one day back in around 2003, just after I'd left my wife, I recorded it from a cassette to my multi-track machine to edit (mainly) the verbal bridging, and then produce a good quality live recording that I would have been able to put up on the website and then... at some point, inexplicably, it disappeared from the hard drive of the multi-track, and I didn't have time to transfer it again, and now I don't really know if that cassette still exists, as all my stuff went into storage just before the last caravan episode... but, well, the Lord knows about it, so I'll leave it at that because I don't want to think about all that stuff!

Best wishes,

Max

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Laurelei
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Laurelei » Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:17 pm

Hi Max,

Thomas has the Bottom Line show in the vault. It was indeed simulcast, and here's a link to it, as well as some others. http://xchange.cityboy.org/live/

I guess I am repeating myself. I think I've been hanging out too long. Can't remember what I've asked/posted about/said/wondered...you get the picture. I used to have such a good memory.

Jo :(

PS I didn't mean to send you on a rabbit trail that would stir up bad memories. Mia culpa, Max.
Too damn hard...

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