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Paul Gurvitz interview


Interview:

Thank you very much for agreeing to this interview, Paul. You are making such an amazing music, that's why I'm really honored to be talking with you. Firstly I would like to ask you about your childhood. What were your main influences at that time, beside Buddy Holly and Elvis.

I used to listen to a lot of American artist's when I was growing up as there were only a few English ones that I found exciting, around the late 60's I would listen to Santana, Buffalo Springfield, Spirit, The Allman Brothers, Zappa.

Your first band was called The Londoners. You played gigs around London and you also went to Germany. I would really enjoy hearing a little story behind that event. Can you tell me who else was in the band?

Actually the Londoners never really played in London other than when we were the backing group for Gene Vincent, The Londoners played mostly in Germany and France.



From Germany you went back to London. You were no longer called The Londoners. Changing your name to The Knack, were there also any changes in lineup? You recorded few singles for Pye and for Decca. Your first release was Who'll Be The Next In Line / She Ain't No Good, right? Can you tell me more about The Knack. Where did you played etc.
  
The Knack was a continuation of The Londoners. There were a few different members, on bass was Gearie Kenworthy, on organ was Tim Mycroft (who is the first of the family tree to have passed away and on drums was Topper Clay, and I played rythm guitar. The Knack played mostly in London and around England. 

In early 1968 you started band called Gun. You released a debut album in same year, which I think it is a true masterpiece and one of the first more heavy albums from that era.
You also had a mega hit called Race With The Devil. Can you tell me how and where did you record album. How far was the band's touring territory? Who made the cover art? I just love it.

The Gun was a continuation of The Knack with different members. The first Gun was Tim Mycroft on organ, Gearie Kenworthy on bass, Louie Farrel on drums, and I played Rythm guitar and lead vocals and actually started playing as The Gun late 67. In early 68 there were more changes, Jon Anderson was the lead singer and my brother joined on guitar, then it changed again, Anderson left so did Tim mycroft, and the Gearie Kenworthy and that's when we became The Gun that made the albums. I was now playing bass and Adrian on guitar and Louie on drums.

Race With The Devil was our first hit and was recorded at CBS in London on an 8 track recorder. We were managed at that time by the famous jazz player Ronnie Scott and rehearsed in his club. During the time we were rehearsing there was a guy painting murals on the club walls and we asked him if he would like to do the artwork of the cover. His name was Roger Dean who later did all the Yes albums and many more but The Gun was his first, as far as touring we spent time in France, Germany, Italy and England.


In 1969 you started to record second album, called Gunsight. There were a little lineup changes, right? Drummer Peter Dunton came from Bulldog Breed to join your band. Can you tell me more about that?

I don't remember much about that. I know Peter Dunton played on some tracks, but never really joined the band although there were some publicity pics with him. Most of the second album was Louie Farrell, later Goeff Britton played drums and toured with us. He later joined Wings.


What went wrong with Gun after second album? Your brother went to USA to record with Buddy Miles. After that he and Brian Parrish released one album called Parrish & Gurvitz. Slowly after that a new band was born. Three Man Army, which is one of my most belowed bands of all time. Paul, what can you tell me about this legendary trio with you Adrian and Tony Newman on drums? You released 3 albums from 1970 to 1974. I would appreciate to hear a short story how did you record, where did you tour. Perhaps any TV apperence, any unreleased material?

Actually I was in Parrish and Gurvitz not my brother, Brian was in The Londoners with me. I was recording a solo album for CBS and then decided to join up with Parrish.
Three Man Army was an extention of Gun but with a lot of different drummers such as Buddy Miles, Mike Kelly (Spooky Tooth) Carmin Appice (Vanilla Fudge). The band was just a recording band at the time as Adrian and I were playing in different bands but we intended to make Three Man Army a touring band later and when Adrian finished with Buddy Miles,  Parrish and Gurvitz after making 2 albums with George Martin (Beatles) decided to pack it in and that's when Tony Newman joined and Three Man Army was born. The second album Mahesha and Three Man Army Two were both with Tony Newman.
We recorded often at the Who's studio and toured the U.S. with The Doobie Brothers and The Beach Boys. We did some TV and there is an album of unreleased material called Three Man Army Three and can be purchased at http://wetworldmusic.com/



During that period you started another project with The Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge. Soon after that two albums were released. Please tell me more about that project.

The two albums with Graeme Edge were just studio albums. The Moody Blues were taking a break and doing thier individual projects. The artwork was by Joe Petagno (Motorhead sleeves etc.) also Three Man Army Two, the second album Paradise Ballroom was recorded in London and Memphis, they have both been reissued recently on The Acerteric label. 


Tony Newman left the Three Man Army and you started a new band called Baker Gurvitz Army. How did you meet with Ginger Baker? I am also interested if you can tell me about your touring album recordings etc.
  
Three Man Army was back from the U.S. and Tony Newman was offered a gig with David Bowie and we suggested he took it. Three Man Army had an album ready to record, but no drummer. We met Ginger in a club one night and he said he wanted to join the band and the rest is history. That album became the first BGA album. The band toured the U.K. and America and recorded somehow 2 more albums.
 There have been many live albums released since the demise of the band also on http://wetworldmusic.com/
You will find BGA "still alive" which includes a DVD.



In 1976 you released last Baker Gurvitz Army album, called Hearts on Fire. What happened next?

After the recording of Hearts On Fire our manager was killed in a plane crash and the band split. Adrian pursued solo projects and I produced them.  


Then came the 80's and you were involved with a lot of projects.

The 80's was a whole new era for me with my music. I went from playing and creating hard rock to writing pop r&b for many artist's which you will find on my website  http://www.paulgurvitz.com/ 

Same question goes for the 90's.

Same.

In 2002 you released album No Gun - No Army and in 2005 you released Rated PG album. What can you say about that?

No Gun No Army was just a release of demo's rated. PG was more a project than No Gun No Army. I make the albums more for other artist's to record the songs.


2010 was the year you released your last album called Sweetheart Land. How do you feel about it?

I liked Sweetheart Land. Gave me chance to switch my style a bit to more country / rock.


What are future plans for you, Paul?

I am still writing and producing. I have also started to write for film/tv and maybe another album and recently trying to put a band together to do some live shows.

Many thanks for you time and effort. Would you like to share anything else about the band or yourself that I didn't ask?

I think I have covered most.

Thanks, Paul.



Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2011
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/ 2011

4 comments:

Duncanmusic said...

Having been a fan since the Gun days ( I REALLY liked Gunsight) it was very interesting to fill in sone information on Paul & Adrian's career that really seems to be lost over here in the states. I was lucky enough to receive a promo of the US /Decca release of Parrish/Gurvitz when it came out and loved it. Never even knew there was a second LP. I'd also forgotten there was George Martin involvement since my copy has been gone since a big purge back in '93.
I'd sure like to see the Parrish Gurvitz LPs posted. Took me a while to find Gunsight but I did (especially for 'Angeline'), all the 3 Man Army, Baker-Gurvitz Army and Graehme Edge Bands are pretty easy to find.
Thanks again for such an informative posting, even though it seemed Mr. Gurvitz was a little stingy with info. His Americana styled new CD also has my interest picqued.

iban said...

Duncanmusic: thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate it.



Below is a link to that LP, hope I helped ;)


http://orexisofdeath.blogspot.com/2008/09/parrish-gurvitz-parrish-gurvitz-1971-uk.html

Dr. Preta said...

You score some good interviews.

Rich AfterSabbath said...

Great job Klemen, thanks for another cool interview!