May Blitz interview with Tony Newman

November 7, 2011

May Blitz interview with Tony Newman

May Blitz was a Canadian-British psychedelic rock power trio that was active in the early 1970s.

Can you elaborate the formation of May Blitz?

Tony Newman: Well, I had just been relieved of duties with The Jeff Beck Group and I met a manager who suggested I get my own band together. He introduced me to a bass player called Terry Poole. We auditioned for guitarists and James Black came to the fore. Unfortunately Terry did not work out, so Reid Hudson was recruited from Canada (a friend of James). So, the birth of the blues…

Please share your recollections of the sessions. What were the influences and inspirations for the songs recorded?

I remember the studio we used was a bit cold (sound-wise) but we soon warmed it up by smoking the sessions away. All the songs were new and so it was an exciting time.

“I was using Ludwig drums which had been given to me by John Bonham.”

In 1970 you released your debut.

I was using Ludwig drums which had been given to me by John Bonham. Our manager introduced us to a very withdrawn, thin artist, Tony Benyon, who we’ve never been able to find since that time. His artwork was quite revolutionary and he encapsulated the band’s quirky characters in his abstract drawings. Highly collectible I’m told.

Did the band tour to support the LP?

We toured England, France, Germany, and America. Our opening gig in America was with the Beach Boys (1971 or so) and there was a riot after our set and we were thrown off the tour – they couldn’t take the competition (haha).

One night in Belgium we had been working at a really, trippy club and Desi (one of our road crew) started tripping out all over the club (swinging from the balcony and jumping around). We all decided we wanted to be where he was at and took some acid and, I think, joined him. I don’t remember too much but I remember looking at a brush upside down with George (our other roadie) and watched the bristles dancing together. We went back to the hotel and Reid came into my room and leaned against the sink on the wall. There was an awful splitting sound as the sink collapsed, pulling all the pipes above it and across the ceiling, exposing them. I think we ran away and as I went outside the trees started to bleed. Man I’m glad I don’t go there anymore!

A year later you released The 2nd of May.

The 2nd of May was much more laid back. I think we were all getting exhausted with the heavy metelling all the time. At this time I was using Asba kit (French) gold plated, double kick, and the guys were using orange amps.

You were pretty well known…

Mid-range, small clubs, and rock festivals during the summer months. Actually, we did lots of shows with Black Sabbath.

What happened next?

We broke up. We could no longer sustain.

Thank you. Last word is yours.

Ya, we have a live CD coming out late summer. It will be called May Blitz at Essen 1970 on Garden of Delights label. Go out and buy it! It’s the first product we’ve had out in 40 years. Reid, James and I are still in touch, and I was in Canada 2 years ago, and we had a band reunion when I was working with the Everly Brothers. Happy, happy days!

– Klemen Breznikar

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Tony just tuned in the club in Brussels was called The Thalamus and that was a night to remember. There was a fantastic Light Show from Paris their name was The Mandala Light , That was a gerat combo the images were in sinc with the music… May Blitz were invited to come to Paris to play at the Museum of modern art by the river (Scene) a play on words here..Desi

  2. Hi Tony, can you please tell me what happened to Sean Clark, I would love to know as we were great friends from the Cellar Bar, Ealing Broadway. I am sure you were there.

  3. Hi, Tony, I an wondering what happened to Sean Clark, we were great buddies from the Cellar Bar, Ealing Broadway. Thanks so much.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There where and are still one of my favourite bands of all time, totally underrated, I still play their records 40 years on, what a shame there are only two albums. Do th band members have any other old recordings outcuts?

  5. Solo says:

    May Blitz I’m so grateful for the wonderful, powerful, colorful, smokey, trippy 2 albums. I’ll certainly look for the Essen album.

  6. Scott Cravens says:

    Tony, you are an awesome person on the stage and off. I am grateful to get to know you in You’re golden years in Las Vegas.

  7. Bob 'Angelo' Sawyer says:

    MAY BLITZ were a great ‘power trio’……..’tomorrow may come’ is just beautiful…….their debut album is just…………..superb

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