City Boy questions

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Eman
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Eman » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:58 am

Hi Max,
Oddly enough I never remembered seeing any records except hearing Speechless on the radio a few times. Strangely enough 5705, I didn't hear except on the American Top 40 broadcasts which were delayed telecasts on this one station. Well the important thing was I was a big fan and got the lps.

Max, album 8? When oh when? i'm excited now. Hope all the guys are gonna be on it and will say yes!!


Thanks for responding Max, I really appreciate it!

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1after2
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by 1after2 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:12 am

Max Thomas wrote:"Speechless" was never released as a single - as far as I know - but, as I said a couple of posts back in this topic, I've always thought it to be a very commercial song... perhaps it would be good thing to do the type of version I did some years ago and put it on album 8
According to Christopher Psilanders extensive CB discography, two Phillippines pressings of 7 inch singles have been released :
Single Mr. Shoes/You're Leaving Me....Vertigo VTG 6012 Phillippines 1980
Single Speechless/Domino...............Vertigo VTG 6015 Phillippines 1980

One of them is Speechless, as you see.
For Mr. Shoes, a picture is available, showing it was manufactured and printed in the Phillippines under a Dutch license.
http://cityboy.psilander.se/MrShoes.jpg
Note that as producer "City Boy" is credited, instead of Tim Friese-Green.

The discography also lists Lovers/Heavyweight as a single, on the Vertigo label.
The fact that Phonogram took the effort to release a 7 inch suggests that they still had hopes for a hitsingle at the time ?
They even pressed it in blue vinyl....
http://cityboy.psilander.se/lovers.jpg
Note that this single was manufactured in England, while of the IP album only Norwegian pressings exist, as far as I know.

For the full discography, go here :
http://cityboy.psilander.se/
The bigger the miracle, the smaller the audience

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Re: City Boy questions

Post by 1after2 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:38 am

And how about this one ?
From the section "Compilations and other odd releases" : cd release from 1999 :

Compilation from Philippino radio station 96.3 WRocK. Acts like Survivor, Joe Esposito, Joe Cocker, Gino Vanelli and the Four Tops accompany City Boy and the track Speechless.

http://cityboy.psilander.se/WRocK2back.jpg
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Laurelei
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Laurelei » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:26 am

Quite an eclectic lineup - who is Joe Espisito? - but it's great to see Speechless on there instead of 5705

Jo 8)
Too damn hard...

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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Max Thomas » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:38 am

Eman, let me clarify the situation regarding the proposed resurrection of City Boy so that when it happens no-one says "but it's not really City Boy because most of the band-members aren't in it," or any number of other things that people might say when they are disappointed to find it's maybe only me and Roy who are involved.

As I'm sure you know, Steve Lunt and Chris Dunn split from the band at the end of 1979. I'm not going to repeat exactly what happened, because if you dig deep enough on Thomas Riha's wonderful website, you will find all the background to that event - which effectively heralded the soon-to-be demise of the band. You will find me regretting in hindsight the decision I took to "go with the flow" at the time, but, anyway - to continue the metaphor - much water has passed under the bridge since then, and I believe that some grudges that existed for a long time in the minds of some people have been laid to rest - to a certain degree.

So, let's go through this systematically...

I believe Chris Dunn hung up his bass guitar a long time ago, and I also believe he continues to be somewhat angry about what took place in 1979. Let me just say that he would not be ready or interested in being involved with any attempt to reform the band as he has already poured scorn on the whole idea elsewhere on the website.

Steve Lunt became a very successful Vice-President of A and R for Atlantic Records (I think he's now retired), and I believe he ceased from any song-writing/performing years ago. When I broached the subject of a reformation with him a couple of years ago, suggesting that he might, at least, (please) consider contributing a song or two towards an eighth album, he didn't even respond to my request - not (I believe) because he is still grudgeful - but more because he thinks the idea is ridiculous. He probably considered it more polite not to respond.

Lol Mason has always stated that he would definitely NOT be interested in being involved in any live performing ever again, though I do believe I could persuade him to contribute some lyrics, and the one (potential title) track: "Who Makes the World go Round?" which we co-wrote just after the band broke up, would carry his lyrics anyway (though I would have to get him to re-write them for the era in which we now live). Things are a bit difficult between him and me right now even though he's married to one of my nieces, but it's nothing really other than residual garbage revolving around my marriage break-up of more than 10 years ago.

Mike Slamer has expressed mild interest in the idea, but I believe he has the same attitude as some of the others in that he thinks - like most British people, sadly, I have to say - that when you reach the age of 50 you should be: slowing down/letting the young ones get on with it/think about putting your feet up/put all that stupid, living-in-the-past, unrealistic hope behind you. I think he's curious to hear the material, but without some rather more full-on enthusiasm coming from his direction, I don't really hold out much hope for any commitment on his behalf....

....which leaves Roy Ward, who has gone on for years and years about getting something back together... so, in a way, even before I myself began to consider the idea - when several people (bizarrely) almost simultaneously suggested that I should think about reforming the band a couple of years ago - Roy has always been up for it. God bless him! And God bless his wonderful voice! And God bless his excellent production skills, because, actually, he could easily produce it like Mutt Lange.

Now, one other critical issue that I have also written elsewhere on TR's WW is that when the band broke up, everyone agreed that I should take on the ownership of the name "City Boy," so that I could administer residual royalties and other things that publishers do (I formed a publishing company in the early 90s which is currently dormant, but it will be amongst the first things to be re-awakened when the time comes because no-one else - other than me as publisher (and, of course, the other guys) - is going to take a chunk of anything that belongs to CB, whether past or future).

So, the bottom line here is that I have the authority - vested in me by Lol, Mike and Roy (and they will never regret it because any revival of CB will only benefit them anyway!) - to do what I want with the name "City Boy." And I don't give a damn about what anyone else thinks: the band was hot; the material I have ready for an eighth album is the best that I have written (in that genre); and I see no problem in assembling a bunch of excellent musicians and vocalists who would emulate perfectly the songs of the past, as well as provide the sound and playing style which would be totally compatible with the original City Boy on a new album.... because I know what that sound was all about; I was at the heart of it; and, after all, I co-wrote 33 out of the total 72(ish) songs which comprise the whole catalogue of the band, so I should know!!!

I'm quite glad I've written this, partly because of what I wrote above regarding the disappointment that people might feel if they came to see the new City Boy and found the line-up contrary to their expectations, but also because you must all understand that - apart from Chris Dunn - they've all been begged to some degree to get involved, but - apart from Roy - they really don't want to know.

I'm sorry, but that's the way it is, and there's nothing I can do about it except- when the time comes - proceed with what I intend to do, the way I intend to do it.

Fascinating information about the Philippines - I really had no idea!

Love you all,

Max

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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Daisy » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:55 pm

Stick to the man, Max! nah, im totally kidding, your completely in your rights to do as you please and i think its a wonderful idea! i really enjoy reading your posts regarding an eighth album :)

If you ever need backing vocals, consider the fans on the board ;) ! haha

Hope your well Max, great to hear from you!

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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Eman » Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:32 pm

Hey Max, that's fine with me, better a new City Boy then no City Boy!! Sorry to hear about all the goings on behind the scenes. Then again that was 30 plus years ago, but as the say it's best to forgive and forget as they teach us. Oh well wishful thinking about the original line up and I guess I won't get to meet Lol. But if you play San Diego, CA, I hope I do get to meet you. You guys always seemed accessible to your fans back then.

Anyway that's interesting about those Philippine records, and that compilation cd. I guess that Radio Station was long developed after I left the country and from the copyright date on the cd it looks like it was from the 90's.

Laurelei, Joe Esposito was a singer songwriter who was with the group Brooklyn Dreams back in the Disco days. He wrote a lot with Donna Summer on her Bad Girls lp. He also did the song "Lady, Lady, Lady" on the Flashdance soundtrack. Also a studio background singer.

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1after2
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by 1after2 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:27 am

Max Thomas wrote:"but it's not really City Boy because most of the band-members aren't in it," or any number of other things that people might say when they are disappointed to find it's maybe only me and Roy who are involved.
Don't worry Max, there are several good examples of full bands that succesfully transformed into duo's or projects with only 2 original members left in the line-up, maintaining the sound, vibes and characteristics of the full band. E.g. Fools Gold, Steely Dan, Boston.

Just see the new incarnation of City Boy as a project instead of a traditional band.
I would have no problem considering such a project, conducted by Max Thomas and Roy Ward, as a real, authentic City Boy.

And for the record, although I regret that the other band members seem to be opposed to the idea, I respect their decisions, for whatever reasons they have decided as such.
The bigger the miracle, the smaller the audience

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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Max Thomas » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:30 am

Hi, Daisy, and thank you for your encouragement!
Well, you should be proud of yourself - you revived this topic which resulted in me blathering on about some stuff I'd never written before...

You also asked about memorable gigs. I can think of four off the top of my head.

The most outstanding one for me was in Trondheim in Norway. I'm guessing it was in September 1979 - the year my first son Simon was born. (He arrived 5 weeks early thus completely torpedoing all the best laid plans of fixing the tour dates with two clear weeks either side of his due date of 30th. August!) We were based in Stockholm for some days, and we were told we would be taking a long bus ride to this little town in the North of the country actually inside the Arctic Circle. That's how I remember it, although, in fact, it isn't really in the North of the country and it isn't quite inside the Arctic Circle!
Anyway, after what seemed an endless drive, in darkness we eventually pulled into the car-park of the theatre in which we were playing to find several hundred fans waiting. As we got off the bus, they cheered loudly and swarmed around us - I really believe they didn't think we would come! We were all very moved, as you can imagine, and I remember a tumultuous reception with virtually every member of the audience singing along word-to-word with every single song that we performed that night. It actually almost brings tears to my eyes to recall it- and no wonder I am so determined to get this show on the road again...

Next? Maybe 1976/7, when we played, by ourselves, in the relatively newly-built Repertory Theatre in Birmingham to a full house. I remember it well because I had measles and a very high fever. (There was absolutely no way we could possibly have cancelled, and I recall wearing this black polo-neck sweater to cover the angry red spots that were all over my body from the neck down under this orange and black suit I used to wear... and also to stop me shivering!) It was a wonderful gig: home town, fantastic acoustics, devoted audience...what more could anyone want?

Then there was a cattle market (literally) in Chicago supporting UFO...talk about a record company cock-up! I think we opened with 5000 Years (quiet, tuneful intro), and after about 30 seconds, the stage was being showered with lighters, cans, bottles and anything that people could find to throw at us to get us off! I recall we did some quick re-arranging of the set order by dropping anything at all balladic from the list, and just about managed to survive the 20 minutes that we were supposed to play. I believe there was a big row between Zomba and Polydor about the whole crazy affair - it was a complete mismatch of bands playing at the same gig. Very embarrassing!

Toronto, "supporting" Be-Bop-DeLuxe. Again very embarrassing, but for totally different reasons. At the time, we didn't really understand why we were in support, but, Oh My God! when we finished our fairly brief set, the crowd demanded several encores, but finally it was time for us to quit the stage, and when the crowd perceived that we were not coming back on... they were not happy. Be-Bop came on and were virtually booed off. Half of the audience simply walked out, and they ended up playing to just a couple of hundred people! Again, some record company or booking agency person just got it all wrong - we had a strong fan base in Canada, and yet they didn't seem to take that into account when arranging the line-up for the gig.

If I ever get my diaries back, I'd be able to write much more about memories of gigs, but those four are the most outstanding I have clearly in my mind. I'm sure many of you could also share your memories of gigs that you attended,but perhaps you've all done that before...

See you!

Max

Daisy
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Daisy » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:09 am

Max, these stories are awesome! As a person who never had the opportunity to attend one of your gigs, its so fascinating to read about them (and im in full support of getting the show back on the road, as you know!)

The show in Chicago sounds awful! But i suppose it would be quite a memorable experience! And of course the birmingham show sounds great, you can never beat a god home town gig!

Hope your well!

Daisy

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christian
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by christian » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:47 am

10cc is touring with only Graham Gouldman from the original line up, so if that works.....loads of other examples with one or two original members only.....

Matt from this forum could easily join the band and would contribute with amazing vocals!!!

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Laurelei
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Laurelei » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:07 am

Jeff and Geoff both offer to play bass.

Jo 8)
Too damn hard...

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Laurelei
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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Laurelei » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:10 am

Wasn't there a friend of Roy's here hinting he'd been asked about guitar or bass? Long time ago.

Jo 8)
Too damn hard...

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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Daisy » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:18 pm

Im offering my skills at playing the triangle, im a fluent triangle player.

Thats a lie, but how hard can it be? right? :D

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Re: City Boy questions

Post by Robin_Shadowes » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:05 pm

Daisy wrote:Im offering my skills at playing the triangle, im a fluent triangle player.

Thats a lie, but how hard can it be? right? :D
If they do a re-interpreting of Oddball Dance, I offer myself to be the looney. I think I can handle that quite well, thanks! :))
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