City Boy questions

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Max Thomas
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Max Thomas » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:06 am

VdGG - yes, I remember they were a nice bunch of guys who were recording an album in one of the smaller studios at Rockfield. I spent time chatting with the lead vocalist on more than one occasion. I don't remember any of us playing on their album or vice versa... That's about it really!

Best wishes,
Max

PS - still hoping to hear from some of you on the Forum!

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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Daisy » Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:40 pm

Hi Max!

Just a cheeky question, as im a new poster here, i have to say im thrilled at the chance of getting to ask you some questions about your experiences with City Boy,

This is probably a question you may very well have heard before, (and could possibly be tired of) but, im just generally interested in some of your memories in the band, such as which were your favourite songs to record and which live show experiences do you remember most fondly?

Hope your doing well :)

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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Max Thomas » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:02 am

Hello, Daisy, and welcome to the City Boy website!

Your question is very open, and very large in terms of what I could write. I'm going to have to ask you to be patient... unless you'd be satisfied with just a few headline memories, as it were.

As I've said elsewhere on the website before, I do have diaries which contain quite a lot of such information, but the problem is that they are in storage, and I don't have access to them at this time (for reasons which I won't go into here!).

Let me think about this for a few days, and maybe I'll try and jot down a few of the main songs and gigs that were/are most memorable.

Best wishes,
Max

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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Daisy » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:55 am

Hi Max,

I am more than happy to be patient! Thanks for taking the time to answer my question, although it is a pretty open ended one :) Id love to hear any stories you have.

I also think i read somewhere on the board that you grew up in birmingham? I also live in the midlands, not too far from birmingham!

Thanks again,
Hope your doing well :)

Max Thomas
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Max Thomas » Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:10 pm

Hello Daisy,

I can certainly share a few memories about recording... I'll probably do it album by album - a bit at a time - if you don't mind.
The main thing that characterized the first album was that the whole thing was recorded in eight days. Mutt Lange, the producer, hardly slept the whole week as I recall, but that was the way he always worked, as we found out with all the subsequent albums we did with him.
The biggest laugh I recall with that album was recording "Haymaking Time." Most of the song had been recorded but Mutt wanted us to add this vocal accompaniment over the whole of the end of the song (including the guitar solo) which required me, Lol and Steve to do the bit that's like a vocal arpeggio. I had to do the lowest note, Steve (I think) the middle one, and Lol the top one. We tried singing "Bom, Bum, Bar" but it didn't quite work, and eventually I had to sing "Vom," Steve literally sang "Bum," and then Lol sang "Var."
It doesn't sound much in the telling, but we took some time to get it right because we were almost hysterical with laughter!
The other memorable thing was finding this young woman who worked at the Manor (Richard Branson's Virgin recording studio in Oxfordshire where we recorded the album) who did such an amazing imitation of the latter days comeback of Judy Garland over the end of Sunset Boulevard. I can't even remember her name, but I'm sure she was credited on the "City Boy" album cover. we were very pleased with the way that song came out.
I'll continue with this soon, I hope.
Yes, we all originated from Birmingham,but Lol's the only one who still lives there now - apart maybe from Roger Kent, the original drummer, who was replaced by Roy Ward after "Dinner.." just before "Book Early." (A session drummer called Tony Braunegal 0f Canadian band "Clover" drummed on "Young Men Gone West")
I hope you've found this of some interest.
I can think of a few exceptional gigs... and a few not-so-good ones. I'll get round to them, but it'd be best if I had my diaries!

Best wishes,
Max Thomas

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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Daisy » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:43 pm

Thanks for taking the time to reply Max :) Cant wait to hear more when you get your diaries back!
Im currently studying music technology and get to spend a bit of time in a studio within the college, and am hoping to make some of my own studio memories in the future!

Hope to hear more from you soon :)

Take care :D

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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Robin_Shadowes » Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:47 pm

Max Thomas wrote:Hello Daisy,

I can certainly share a few memories about recording... I'll probably do it album by album - a bit at a time - if you don't mind.
The main thing that characterized the first album was that the whole thing was recorded in eight days. Mutt Lange, the producer, hardly slept the whole week as I recall, but that was the way he always worked, as we found out with all the subsequent albums we did with him.
The biggest laugh I recall with that album was recording "Haymaking Time." Most of the song had been recorded but Mutt wanted us to add this vocal accompaniment over the whole of the end of the song (including the guitar solo) which required me, Lol and Steve to do the bit that's like a vocal arpeggio. I had to do the lowest note, Steve (I think) the middle one, and Lol the top one. We tried singing "Bom, Bum, Bar" but it didn't quite work, and eventually I had to sing "Vom," Steve literally sang "Bum," and then Lol sang "Var."
It doesn't sound much in the telling, but we took some time to get it right because we were almost hysterical with laughter!
The other memorable thing was finding this young woman who worked at the Manor (Richard Branson's Virgin recording studio in Oxfordshire where we recorded the album) who did such an amazing imitation of the latter days comeback of Judy Garland over the end of Sunset Boulevard. I can't even remember her name, but I'm sure she was credited on the "City Boy" album cover. we were very pleased with the way that song came out.
I'll continue with this soon, I hope.
Yes, we all originated from Birmingham,but Lol's the only one who still lives there now - apart maybe from Roger Kent, the original drummer, who was replaced by Roy Ward after "Dinner.." just before "Book Early." (A session drummer called Tony Braunegal 0f Canadian band "Clover" drummed on "Young Men Gone West")
I hope you've found this of some interest.
I can think of a few exceptional gigs... and a few not-so-good ones. I'll get round to them, but it'd be best if I had my diaries!

Best wishes,
Max Thomas
She's only credited with her first name Sandy, for her Gala Performance. I assume you mean her?

The band photographies is credited to one Nigel Iscander. Was that the same guy who had the fan club? Because I can only remember his first name and not the last after all these years. Could of course be a completely other Nigel as the name is probably common in UK. But I was just curious.
"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"
- Rod Serling

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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Max Thomas » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:02 pm

Hi, Robin! (Funny, I was emailing my son Robin in Houston when the topic reply notification arrived!)

Yeah, Sandy... a Scottish woman, as I recall.

No, Nigel Davis was the fan-club man. I still see him occasionally. He lives in Devon..

While I'm here... Dinner at the Ritz...I'm sure I documented this somewhere else a long time ago, but the most memorable (and amusing) occurrence I recall whilst recording that album was when we were working through the night on State Secrets, and then Mutt decided (what we had been planning to do which was) to record the sound of marching on the gravel outside the main studio to accompany the intro to Heavy Breathing (part ii?) at about 6 in the morning before we all went to bed. We all (well, whoever was still up) trooped outside with the nearest things to army boots on our feet that we could find, but the problem was that there were several hundred housemartins perched on the rooftops all chirping and cheeping in the early morning sun, and ...well, I'm not sure what we did, because even our most strident marching couldn't drown out the sound of that multitude!

And I remember being confronted with a real harmonium - hired from a local brass band - and being told to work out how to play it (like operating a paddle-boat), and then to put down the intro to Millionaire...

Actually, the whole album was fun to record - we had three weeks instead of eight days, and we were using Rockfield recording studios in Wales, which was just so nice.. plus we were much more confident about what we were doing than we had been on the first album.

Best wishes to you all!
Max


















I really hope none of you are attending the Olympics - it's not safe.

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Re: City Boy questions

Post by mik@el » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:41 am

Hi Max,

Nice to see you back here at Forum Maximum! And thanks for your inputs on the album sessions. Very interesting to read!

Now I have a question to you regarding the specific release dates for each album. Dates for CB, BE and TDTECF are verified, but the the others??? Can you can help me in this urgent issue to me? Any suggestions where to look further would be fine too.

I am also wondering about the YMGW recordings. Was it actually recorded at the same time during this three week period with DATR?
... and out!

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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Laurelei » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:52 am

Hi Max,

Good to see you back. I have a question about one of your answers. Was Millionaire originally slated for DATR?

Jo 8)

PS. Thanks for the insider info. No, you hadn't told that story before. At least it was new to me.
Too damn hard...

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Laurelei
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Laurelei » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:09 am

Max Thomas wrote:I really hope none of you are attending the Olympics - it's not safe.
It's getting to the point where I'm unsure if any place is safe anymore. Now you can't even go to a movie without thinking twice.

Jo
Too damn hard...

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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Robin_Shadowes » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:48 pm

Hello Max

Since you was writing about the first album and the making of Haymaking Time, I was just wondering about something. One part that is even goofier than the end part of HT is the The Oddball Rag. How did that interlude came about? Who's idea was it? Was Mutt a driving force there too? Sounds like Lol at the beginning coughing and saying "Anyone for Dennis?". I can also hear Steve in there doing the "I'm a loony" part. Somebody has uploaded Oddball Dance to YouTube but edited out the part with the rag. That annoys me to no end. Oddball without the rag is not the same.

I can't say I knew Nigel but I was a member of the CB FC until the end. I only got around to become member of another FC and that was Queen's. I enjoyed CB FC more because it was not as huge as the other one. Because of that it felt more personal. I'm sure I have some of the newsletters stashed away somewhere although I'm not sure exactly where. I met him briefly at one of your gigs in Lund, Sweden. Must have been 77 or 78. So you can say hello to him from one of the old fans even if he doesn't remember it.

I'm very intuitive and have had bad feelings about the coming olympics for maybe 1-2 years now. Therefore I have also warned people to stay out of London during the games. I hope I have wrong this time because what I feel it will be way worse than Madrid and London in 04 and 05. Maybe even worse than 911. I hope I'm wrong but I fear I'm not. I don't like to call myself psychic because I'm not. I prefer to call myself intuitive instead.
"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"
- Rod Serling

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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Max Thomas » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:39 am

I really have no idea about release dates of any of the albums - but I know a man who might know. The Nigel Davis mentioned above might well know, and I will endeavour to remember to email him and ask him. Actually, I might try and persuade him to get involved with Rito's Board as I know he has much information, as well as not a little amount of memorabilia - who knows what he's got? - that might be very interesting to many on the Board.

Uh-oh... BIG mistake there. Of course, Millionaire is on YMGW, NOT on DATR! Oh, dear, my mistake! No, Millionaire was not even written at the time we were recording DATR - as far as I know, anyway, otherwise Steve would have submitted it then.

YMGW was recorded in a completely separate session from DATR. Roger kent had left the band and we were in between drummers - hence the session man - but the scheduled recording of YWGW had to go ahead so Mutt pulled in Tony Braunegal (mentioned above) to drum on the album.

YMGW is definitely my favourite of all the albums, mainly because of the diversity of the songs that are on it. Apart from "She's got style," which is the worst song I ever wrote, I love all the songs. Ss I think I've said before, Phonogram were very perplexed by the album. They said every song sounded like a different band. We LOVED that!
Memories of recording?
Very complex vocal arrangements (created largely by Mutt Lange) in a middle section of "I've been spun," which sounded weird as they were being recorded, but very good when all finally mixed. Tony was a very lively drummer and was largely responsible for creating real excitement on many of the tracks, such as "Dear Jean." I was so happy with the way that "One after Two" came out (well, apart from the underwater piano - which Mutt did again on "The World Loves a Dancer" on BE) - it's a very melancholic song - actually quite depressing if I think about it, but it was good at the time. There's a simple keyboard line somewhere in "The Runaround" which I really love. It's in between the lines: ".....follows me around" and "wearing gauntlets, staring haunted." It was Mutt's idea - it's a silly little idiosyncrasy of mine really! There's a similar line somewhere in Bowie's "Life on Mars" - Oh, never mind!


There's a lot of stuff on the internet about so-called "terrorist" plans to kill a lot of people at the Olympic Games. Whilst I am not an ardent fan of conspiracy theories, it must be said that an increasing number of politicians, commentators and others in the media refer often to the "New World Order," and any - even peripheral - examination of those supposedly involved in establishing it are quickly identifiable with various centuries-old organisations which have disguised themselves in the past, but are now more openly rearing their heads. One of their main purposes is to depopulate the world, and to this end, they are prepared to (as they have many times in the past) go to almost any lengths - including carrying out false flag operations - to foment conflict and war. I can post extracts from various documents from the past which clearly indicate how both World Wars were planned long before their happening, and how the conditions for the commencement of the next (World War) are already progressing with some vigour. You only have to look at what's happened in Libya, Egypt, Iraq and now Syria in particular to see the pattern of conflict as it encircles Israel, which, Biblically, will be at the virtual epicentre of this next major international conflict.

Robin, the semantics of what you have bad feelings about or have intuition about don't matter. It's potentially a gift that you have, and I pray that you can use it wisely. Juniper had many visions and dreams about collapsing buildings during the months before 9/11 (perhaps the most infamous false flag operation?), and I would describe her as a seer - in Christian terms, a latter-day prophetess. Listen to your dreams. Write them down. Most of the time they occur to guide us, warn us or comfort us.

I'll email Nigel.

Best wishes to you all,

Max

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mik@el
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by mik@el » Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:21 am

Max, that would be awesome if you could reach Nigel! Let's hope he can bring us some clearity.

I have a special interest for historical dates, but apart from my own pleasure, I believe release dates are important facts that belong in every band's documented history.

Here is a summary of what dates we have:

CB - February, 14 1976
BE - September 1, 1978
TDTECF - August 10, 1979

No dates, only months for the rest:

DATR - December 1976 or January, 1977
YMGW - September, 1977
HAR - October, 1980
IP - October, 1981

Good luck, Max and thanks for taking your time with this one!
... and out!

Max Thomas
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Max Thomas » Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:57 pm

Robin,

I'm sorry - I failed to answer your questions about "Oddball Dance."

Yes, Chris Dunn wrote the rag. He used to play it and we all found it very amusing, and as the song came together - I don't know whose idea it was - but it was decided, with Mutt's approval, to put it in the middle of the song... And it was obligatory to detune the guitar to make it even more "oddball."

(Incidentally, it was my idea to do the ending the way we did it - blowing my own trumpet here! - changing the time signature from 6:8 to 5:8 to 4:8 to 3:8 to 2:8 so it was like water going down the plughole in the bath....well, it was fun at the time! I also came up with "Touche {with an accent on the e - as in French} in reply to "Madame Tussaud's" in "Deadly Delicious" - get it??!!! [Haven't even thought of some of this stuff for years!])

Yes, Lol said "Anyone for Dennis," but I was the looney! (see my testimonial!!!)

Best wishes,
Max

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