July 9th 1953
Good working class stock.
NO, WHERE ARE YOU FROM:
Sorry. Lincoln, Lincolnshire. Some people say ‘Oh! Lincoln, Nebraska,’ and I’m like no, fucking Lincoln, Lincolnshire. England. It pisses me off, but believe me not half as pissed off as Elaine gets.
SO SHE’S FROM LINCOLN TOO?
Why else would I have said that?
IN THE BAND YOU ARE:
The annoying one. Lead singer, rhythm guitarist. Provocateur, usually on the receiving end of litigation.
Just the one. Cat’s Cradle. Also from Lincoln, Lincolnshire.
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT CAT’S CRADLE:
It was a four piece playing blues and sort of early punk, we weren’t sure what it was we were playing, so we just made sure it was loud. Alan MIller, the drummer, put the band together just after leaving school in 1971. Him and a lad called Grant Downey.
They asked Elaine to join, because she was a friend of Grant’s sister, but none of them had the guts to sing so they were playing instrumental stuff for about six months. Everyone used to go watching them and wonder when all these guitar solos would come to an end, but they never did. Eventually, they got booed offstage at a gig in Hull and decided they needed a singer, ‘to add some depth’ as Almer [Alan Miller] said at the time, like they were a football team needing a couple of new midfielders, so they asked me.
We lasted another two and half years, managed to save up about fifty quid and then it all imploded in Ipswich when we met Micky Redwall and a load of Dutchmen (and Dutchgirl).
WHAT INSTRUMENT DO YOU PLAY:
I play a Gibson Explorer. I’ve got two actually, a 1959 korina body and a 1976 black, well it was originally black then I saw someone playing a white one so I painted it white, then couldn’t decide, so painted it black again.
The ’59 Explorer is worth a small fortune now. Someone once told me it was a ’61 model, but it had a 1959 serial number, so must have been original stock. I don’t play it so much because it has sentimental value and if anything happened to it I’d only go out and kill some innocent bastard, so it gets pampered. The ’76 is the workhorse now.
ANY OTHER MODELS:
I like the Explorer shape. I’ve got a Kramer Imperial and I bought a new Jackson JS32, but it’s a bit light on the sound. I prefer the original Gibsons.
WHAT IS YOUR STRONG POINT:
I don’t know. You should ask the others. Elaine says I never give up when I want something and I think you need that perseverance in the music industry. I’m unshockable aswell.
WHAT IS YOUR WEAK POINT:
Impatience, short tempered, speak before I think, careless, heartless, I have a blind spot to other people’s feelings, jealousy, especially of girls taller than me. How much space have you got?
TELL US ABOUT THE OTHER MEMBERS OF TOTEN HERZEN:
Elaine is the root of the band, holding us down, Susan is the flower attracting all the attention, Rene is the stem holding us up. That’s quite poetic, innit? Don’t know what I am. There’s only the leaves left, but I don’t think I’m responsible for photosynthesis.
TELL US SOMETHING THAT WILL SURPRISE US:
Winston Churchill had smaller feet than me.
See, that surprised you, didn’t it?
NO, SOMETHING ABOUT YOU:
I had my tonsils out in 1975 and the doctors nearly decided to take all my teeth out at the same time.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TOTEN HERZEN FANS:
The old ones are crackers, the current ones are hooligans. They’re like a medieval army of merceneries. You’re never quite sure who it is that’s following you. Never quite sure who’s gonna turn up at the concert. The nutters or the murderers.
WHERE DO YOU SEE TOTEN HERZEN IN TEN YEARS TIME:
History says they’ll be headlining Glastonbury and showing off their MBEs. I say they’ll be selling out playing dubstep and collaborating with a ninety year old Madonna.
Fuck, you don’t think I’ll still be around in ten years time, do you?
WHICH OTHER MUSICAL ARTISTS DO YOU ADMIRE:
Burt Bacharach, genius songwriter and craftsman, Lemmy for his integrity, and Susan, even though I can’t stand the fact she’s several feet taller than me she’s still one of the most underrated guitarists in the business.
WHICH BANDS DO YOU LISTEN TO:
Ramones, Clash, New York Dolls, Stooges, Motorhead, some Pink Floyd, some Fleetwood Mac. Of the newer generation I like early Metallica and that girl from Finland. Tarja Whatsit.
Whatever, I’ll take your word for it.
RECOMMEND ONE NON-ROCK SONG:
Goodbye to Love by the Carpenters. It’s a beautiful song about a really morose subject with a smoking guitar solo at the end.
IF YOUR HOUSE CAUGHT FIRE WHAT WOULD YOU RESCUE:
The library. I can’t let the books go up in smoke.
Don’t get all Bunty on me, favourite this, favourite that. Luxembourg, blue, deep fried chicken, any real ale.
IF YOU WEREN’T A ROCK SINGER WHAT WOULD YOU BE:
Sixty years old, drawing a state pension.
WHAT DO YOU SAY TO PEOPLE WHO ACCUSE YOU OF NOT BEING THE ORIGINAL TOTEN HERZEN:
Come round to the house and I’ll prove it to you once and for all.
WHY DID YOU AGREE TO A COMEBACK:
Have you ever been bored for thirty five years? You’d accept any offer after that.