aN iNTERVIEW wITH tERRY fLYNN
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What is your fondest memory of Chelsea?
I think the first US tour in 79. It was the first time I'd been America. I was 20 and it was just all of us being young and on a great adventure. Miles Copeland was the tour manager! I fell in love with New york on that trip.Always thought I'd end up living there for a bit but never did.
That was a strange period in my life. I was actually more of a professional mimer during that time. Kim was great to work with and a great girl, truly one of the lads. I wasn't on that many of the recordings. The first single I was on was Water On Glass. Most of the first album had been recorded before I started to work with her and I missed playing live. We used to travel all over Europe doing TV shows, lip syncing, sometimes three in a day in different countries! Mickie Most wanted her to have a band so there was something for the cameras to cut to.
"I haven't seen Billy for about five years. I used to run into him when he
lived in New York but now he lives in LA I think he stays in more! I speak to
Tony (James) from time to time and also I spoke to Terry Chimes recently for
the first time in probably fifteen years, who's a chiropracter now, about some live Gen X recordings that are meant to be coming out."
" "Its a cliche, but I guess the power to move people with music. Walking
on stage and playing my guitar is still my favourite thing to do and when
everything else is bad it can be a massive lift. I count myself very
" "No I wasn't. I never thought GLJ were captured well on any of our
videos and the video to Jealous, our biggest US hit, was an absolute calamity as
far as I'm concerned. Embarassing. We were a very kind of underground band
and when we turned up at the film studio in Hollywood to shoot it, there were
all these girls prancing around in stockings and suspenders. It was the
worst kind of video we could have made. I hate that shit anyway. I almost
walked out but I thought if I did Geffen would never give us the money to
make another video. I thought we could edit it all out later."
" "I never met David. We dealt with Gary Gersh who went on to become MD
at Capitol. I don't think Geffen knew what to do with us. GLJ was
definately a weird band. Jealous was about to be a huge hit and then Janey's Got A
Gun suddenly appeared and all the promotion staff went on that, it was the
end of our record. Another time Jay (Aston GLJ singer) and I were forced to
go out on this ""writing"" trip to LA to write with these ""professional"" LA
writers. Absolutely hideous! but we weren't going to pass up a free trip to
" "I still play with both Chelsea and GLJ from time to time. GLJ had a
huge record in Portugal of all places about ten years ago and we still go
over and play there about three times a year. We did our first gig in The UK
for five years in Brighton last month. In July I did some shows in Germany and a festival in
Prague with Chelsea, missed the floods by two days, Gene October is better than ever! Like I
said - my favourite thing to do is walk on stage and play my guitar! The=20
Cult are doing some shows in California and they've flown Craig out to do them."
" "I think there is a unique chemistry that evolves between any two
people that work together. Every situation and relationship is different. Mike
works harder than anyone I've ever known. He's always doing ten things at
once. We're both experts in ""multi-tasking"" that's why we get on so well.
But he takes it to the extreme. After ten hours in the studio Steve and I
just want to go to the pub, but Mike will be off to a meeting in Wrexham before
going home and recording new demos or dedications. He's an amazing man."
" "It was basically a complete song I'd had for a long time. Mike wrote
some new lyrics for it.The lyrics are all Mike's. Every song is born in a
different way. I had a complete song in as far as chords and melody went. I
played it to Mike and he loved the chorus but not the verse, so he wrote a new
verse to fit in. The old middle eight (bridge to you Americans) didn't work
with the new verse Mike had written so I put together a new chord sequence that
seemed to work and that was it."
" "Mike is always open to ideas. He lets everyone take a creative roll.
He's not a dictator to work with. None of us feel Mike feels he has a monopoly
on the songwriting, which I think is important. Just like I don't feel I have
a monopoly on the guitar playing. Mike played a lot of guitar on the new release and the
engineer, Martin, even played the solo on Back Where I Started From, well I was in London at
the time anyway."
" I'm sure there will be…
" "Yes, we have become pretty close. I think we've been through a lot of
similar experiences in the music biz, a lot of the same frustrations and we
share a similar view of life. When you have a lot in common with someone you
naturally become close. That is always going to come across on stage.
The best bands were always the ones who were mates off-stage too in my
" "Do you mean anecdote? The antidote is always alcohol! Well I thought
the last gathering was fantastic. When we were all on stage and Billy, Kirk and
Pete Wylie too for the finale, what a motley bunch, brilliant! As you know
Mike would stay and play on stage forever. Craig and I force him to do an
acoustic section so we can go to the toilet!"
" "I think Billy and I are very different players. I like Billys playing
a lot, he does the rock guitar thing brilliantly. I feel I have maybe a
slightly more diverse appraoch. When I played in The Cult, Billy used to call
me ""The > Utility Man"" because I'm as comfortable on a Fender Electric XII as a
Les > Paul. I like to create layers of sound. Jay Aston once called me a
""symphonic"" guitarist in an interview. I thought that was a huge
compliment. My favourite guitarist is the late, great Mick Ronson. Not because he
was a brilliant technical guitar player, in many ways he was the opposite,
but because he always played the perfect part for the song. That is a true
gift. I hate that mindless speed playing. Those guitarists have achieved
nothing except what a speed typist has - they can move their fingers very
quickly. Big deal!"
" "Who told you that? No I don't warm up. Bloody hell if I don't know
what I'm doing by now I should stay in bed! I don't mind sound checks though
in fact I like to have one now Mike is making me sing here and there!"
What is your opinion on the current state of MTV, and the music industry in general.
" "The same as everyone elses. Not enough real bands, too much short termism. Labels seem to
have stopped developing bands, which is a tragedy. All they want is a hit and they want it
now. They're shooting themselves in the foot because the catalogues they're creating,
no-one will be buying those records in twenty years time. Great bands are the staple on
which the industry survives. That seems to have been ignored for too long. As a=20
consequence they're all in a mess. They blame everything but their own
short-sightedness. No wonder they're all laying off staff and going bust."
" "Well being a Dad is fantastic but it is hard to be away from your kid, which,
if you do what I do, is inevitable at times. My son, Oscar, is ten now and
he's just getting into music. He understands it and what I do and I
think he sees the plus side. He loves to come to The Gathering, for example and
he loved it that I could get Joe Strummer's autograph for him and all the
Sex Pistols' autographs (he collects them). He asks me about band's all
the time. His favourite bands are The Clash and The New York Dolls! Its very
invigorating having a child who's inquisitive about something you're
passionate about yourself because it reminds you about stuff you'd
forgotten. He recently asked me what The Who were like. How do you explain that?
So I showed him the video of them at Woodstock. I'd forgotten how electric
that performance was myself. So there I was, reminded. It was like we both
""got it"" at the same time. Him for the first time and me once again."
" "No. Do whatever you feel comfortable with. I would say start on an acoustic.
I used to play along to my favourite records, work out the chords and stuff.
That's a great thing to do in the beginning I think."
" "The strangest thing for me is that I've been working for so long with
Mike yet this is the first time we've made a record together. There is no
""contrived"" new sound. We both went through a lot of sounds, guitars,
amps and pedals and decided which would help get the songs across best. I
encouraged Mike to get a Telecaster because I thought that suited the
way he plays. And its a classic thing the Tele/Les Paul combination."
" "I love playing High On A Hill. I wish I'd played the solo I play live
on the record, but the album was made before my time."
" "Well I don't think its as simple as that. Dave got up in Manchester on the
last tour and it was a great moment. When Mike first told me he wanted to use
The Alarm name again I was very apprehensive, I nearly said I wouldn't do it.
One of the first things I did was e-mail Dave to see how he felt. He said he
didn't mind at all and was touched that I'd contacted him about it. That made
a big difference to how I felt. I was pretty surprised when he said in print
a few months later he did have a problem with it! although apparently he
warned Mike he was going to say that. He siad his reason was he thought it
would be good publicity for everyone!
Mike, I think, felt such a bond with all those songs that he had to reconnect
with them again in that way. I like Dave's playing. I don't know him that
well but he seems very passionate about music. I did give him a lift home
once from The Marquee to his flat in Battersea in about 1983 after he'd had one too many!"
I guess I answered that in the last question.
" "No I never did, shameful I know. But apparently Gene October gave them one of
their first ever London gigs supporting Chelsea at The Marquee. It was after
I'd left though. Its surpising I never caught them in the US during the late
eighties cos The Alarm and GLJ used to play all the same places. I suppose we
were so busy touring there was hardly any chance to catch other bands."
" "Well Jules and I like a drink as you may know, we're also very good mates and
before gigs we often have a few drinks (well quite a few actually) a
chat. we decided to turn it into a club, which has a very exclusive
membership. ""Sharpener"" is a London slang term for drink so that's how it
came about. Jules, Steve Grantley and I are the founder members! Its quite
hard to gain even provisional membership as the drinking involved is pretty
serious. Mike, for example, will never be admitted, he's just too much of a
" "Its called New Kings Road Vintage Guitar Emporium actually. I'm just a
partner, I'm not active in the shop although I'm happy to go to a guitar show
in Las Vegas if the shop pays my expenses! As I love old guitars so much it
was a logical progression for me. And Rick, the main man there, was a mate.
Everyone has bought guitars from the shop - Clapton, Joe Walsh, Richie
Sambora, Townsend even Madonna. They don't usually come in, although Noel
Gallager and James from the Manics do, they send a tech who'll take
the guitar to the studio for them to try out. There are some pretty =
serious autographs on the bog wall. Thats where Rick makes everyone sign their
"Well you know I said my favourite thing to do was walk on stage and play my guitar..........…"