Page 1 of 1

CHRIS SPEDDING

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:22 pm
by Garth Cartwright
I'm interviewing Chris Spedding on Wednesday. I went to see him last week at the 100 Club and am listening to his new album Joyland (packed full of famous guests - B Ferry, J Marr, G Matlock, A Brown, R Gordon) that he has worked with over the years. I'm aware of Motorbikin' and his history as a Zelig-type guitarist - working with all kinds of talented people over the decades, producing the Pistols first demo, turning down a Stones audition (to replace M Taylor), playing with Jack Bruce and John Cale on much of their best solo work, being in jazz and rockabilly bands (not many can claim that feat!). I'm also aware he was in Sharks - Andy Fraser's post-Free band (not heard them as not on Spotify) - and has released lots of solo albums. Any thoughts? I'm guessing Adam may have paid attention to his playing. And perhaps a few of you have followed his career at times? He's certainly not rested on his laurels!

Re: CHRIS SPEDDING

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:04 pm
by AndyM
Was he a Womble ? Urban legend suggests he was.

Re: CHRIS SPEDDING

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:35 pm
by Garth Cartwright
Indeed he was - even played guitar in a Womble suit on tour! I must ask him about that, having loved the Wombles as a small child!

Re: CHRIS SPEDDING

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:51 pm
by Adam Blake
Garth Cartwright wrote: I'm guessing Adam may have paid attention to his playing.


Not as such. I think he took over from Big Jim Sullivan and Jimmy Page as the go to session guitarist of choice in the 70s but I never particularly liked or disliked his playing. I remember Steve Jones denying that it was Spedding playing on "Anarchy In The UK", saying "Spedding can't play as good as that", and thinking that was probably true.

Re: CHRIS SPEDDING

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:56 pm
by will vine
Listen to him playing on Three Time Loser, Three Time Blueser by The Frank Ricotti Quartet in the mid/late sixties.

http://youtu.be/zrHzQfG-bjI

Re: CHRIS SPEDDING

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:57 pm
by Hugh Weldon
I've followed him in his various incarnations, hard to frame it as a simple question but I'd love to know, given his chameleon career, what direction he'd ideally have liked to follow. Was it just the case that there were bigger bucks available outside of jazz rock which I thought was his real niche (where are Allan Holdsworth and Gary Boyle and Lee Rittenour and all those guys now?) or was he essentially just a versatile jobbing guitarist who'd give anything a try? I had a mate who was a big fan and used to go on about his first solo record 'Backwood Progression' which I found dull and almost unlistenable, but what would the Chris Spedding verse of 'Guitar Jamboree' sound like? 'Zelig' is right.

Here's where I first noticed him anyway, nice unobtrusive work with Pete Atkin.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmDtJoNBXWM

Re: CHRIS SPEDDING

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:14 pm
by john poole
Sharks from their first (1973) LP (the one with Andy Fraser; he left before their second LP) - about how I remember them, not that distinctive, more than a little like Bad Company
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9TKcTdVBF4

Richard Williams recently writing about Chris Spedding
http://thebluemoment.com/2015/01/12/chr ... -100-club/

Re: CHRIS SPEDDING

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:57 pm
by NormanD
You'll surely ask him about working with Willy DeVille? I suspect it was just a job of work; I'd like to think not though.

On his website, there's an offer: "Send Chris Spedding an MP3 of your music and he will add his distinctive guitar and return a wav file to you. Terms upon request."

I find that a bit sad. He could have been a contender.

Re: CHRIS SPEDDING

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:16 pm
by Adam Blake
NormanD wrote:On his website, there's an offer: "Send Chris Spedding an MP3 of your music and he will add his distinctive guitar and return a wav file to you. Terms upon request."


That's just being industrious! He might get a kick out of wondering what the hell is going to turn up. Musicians gotta eat.

Re: CHRIS SPEDDING

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:41 pm
by Garth Cartwright
Thx for all yr comments and Hugh, very good question, I will ask him. Interestingly, unlike other Brit guitar heroes of the late 60s he has never attempted to play heavy blues rock. In an intv I found he said he much preferred acoustic blues players like Big Bill Broozy. He then went on to admit Albert King was pretty amazing - he then damned BB and Freddie King as not being very good! Motorbikin' was produced by Mickie Most who gave Jeff Beck his best tune - I wonder if Spedding had followed Beck into heavy blues and fast jazz rock he might have gained more fame and money?

I quite the idea of him playing on any demo sent to him (for a fee) - I guess this is little different from his early 70s session career where he was a Womble one day, a Ferry smoothie the next then a jazz session in the afternoon (he said somewhere that the War Of The Worlds guy got him to play jingles at 8am as that was when u could get a studio cheaply for an hour!). He's a working musician!

Re: CHRIS SPEDDING

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:23 am
by uiwangmike
If you have time for a trivial question, Garth, you might ask where the name Chris Spedding came from, and why he gave up being Peter Robinson, something I discovered when I put him on the birthdays list some years ago.

Re: CHRIS SPEDDING

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:45 am
by Garth Cartwright
Mike, he was adopted at 3 months so took his adoptive parents surname and they named him Chris. Apparently he finally met his birth mother in his 60s!

Re: CHRIS SPEDDING

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:07 pm
by NormanD
Adam Blake wrote:That's just being industrious! He might get a kick out of wondering what the hell is going to turn up. Musicians gotta eat.
I know, I know. Like you say, "Man's gotta eat". But I read his advert and had this sad memory of seeing Don Estelle in Lewisham market (wearing baggy shorts and a pith helmet) flogging cassettes of his songs. I'm too sentimental - I want happy endings.

Re: CHRIS SPEDDING

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:18 pm
by Garth Cartwright
He's a very nice chap. Quite Northern in the sense of direct, no bluster but not gruff at all. Grew up on rock& roll and jazz so when booked to back Sonny Boy Williamson in Sheffield in 63 he thought blues meant what Miles and Bird played. Sonny Boy turned to him at one point in the gig and said "I can play be-bop too!" and started playing jazzy trills on his harp. He really is a Zelig - it was his buddy Chrissie Hynde who took him to see the Pistols when there were only 15 people in the audience ("and 5 by the time they finished") but he got them straight away. His girlfriend at the time? Nora, mama to Ari and for a very long time now Mrs Lydon.

Hugh, in response to your question, he says he is very happy playing what he does. Back in the early 70s after he left a jazz fusion band to put out solo rock albums people accused him of selling out "but i had been making better money playing jazz than doing rock. And rock is what I wanted to do." Says he is possibly the last working musician in the UK who came up playing in the big bands doing South Pacific and Oklahoma and Fiddler On The Roof for dancers. We walked down Tin Pan Alley and he pointed out where different music publishers used to be, where the musicians would meet for coffee, where the studio was that the Stones and everyone recorded at and where the Pistols rehearsed at. Yes Adam, he says he got lucky when the 2 Jim's gave up playing sessions around the same time as he stepped into their shoes.