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Author Topic: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects  (Read 8428 times)

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects
« Reply #15 on: 29 June 2012 - 00:29:27 »
2011-07-28 - Recoil - New Alan Wilder interview & Book contribution

http://blog.recoil.co.uk/new-alan-wilder-interview-book-contribution/

New Alan Wilder interview & Book contribution
 
A new Alan Wilder interview has just gone on-line at The Electricity Club where he discusses many different things – including his thoughts on how the Recoil tour evolved and was perceived, his up-coming memorabilia auction, favourite studio gear, the recent Depeche Mode remix, and some interesting insight into the recordings of other Mode classics. Don’t miss it.

Alan has also contributed a few paragraphs for a new book ‘The Palace and the Punks’ by Tony Hill. He talks about his days pre-Mode, as part of Dafne & The Tenderspots and the character-building hand-to-mouth existence during the late 1970s that has stood him in good stead ever since.

‘The Palace and the Punks’ by Tony Hill
Published by Northern Lights Ltd (2011)

This is Hill’s second book and deals with the history, as well as the rise and fall, of the ‘Grey Topper’ music venue in Jacksdale, a pit village in Nottinghamshire. The main section focuses on the late 1970s punk & new wave scene and contains original interviews with The Members (‘Sound of the Suburbs’), Andy Scott & Steve Priest of glam kings Sweet, Chris Fenwick – manager of Dr Feelgood (who played their first gig outside of London at the Topper as featured in Julien Temple’s ‘Oil City Confidential’), Jet Black who talks about The Stranglers as an unsigned band in 1976 (using his ice cream van as a tour bus), Roddy Radiation of The Specials, the UK Subs, Depeche Mode’s Alan Wilder, Eddie from punk originals The Vibrators (describing being there at the one of the most famous moments in rock history – the Sex Pistols debut gig at St Martins college of art in 1975!), the legendary punk rock festival at the 100 Club and loads of first hand Topper tales.

Alan’s quote from the book : “As a young man I held an unwavering conviction (with hindsight, a kind of arrogance) that to become a successful musician was the one and only thing I would ever achieve. Part of this tunnel vision resulted in me joining up with Graham Smith and Dafne Nancholas. These two were playing 5 nights a week at ‘Obelix’ – a specialist restaurant serving Galettes just off the Portobello Rd. They were playing a mixture of jazz, R &B (in the traditional sense) and blues etc. I was roped on on keyboards for a few quid in my pocket and a free cheese, ham and tomato pancake at the end of the night (I got so sick of those things). We were also starting to write our own songs and, quite cynically, jumped onto the new wave bandwagon after the explosion that had been punk rock. Having auditioned numerous drummers and bass players, the line up that became Dafne & The Tenderspots was completed with Nick Monas on drums ( a highly precocious, technically brilliant player who had absolutely no sense of ‘less is more’) and Steven Hughes (ex Burlesque) on bass. It was an odd mix and the music we came up with was inevitably bizarre – a mixture of quirky, stylised, convoluted new wave jerkyness (a la XTC) mixed with jazz-rock double bass drum fusion, all fronted by Dafne herself singing from a blues & soul background. Contrived? You bet.

After many weeks rehearsing on Graham & Daf’s houseboat in Datchet, we branched out from ‘Obelix’, starting procuring shows up and down the country and managed to get a rep from MAM records along. A chap called Dominque De Souza (I think) fell for it and actually gave us a record deal. After making some studio demos at MAM’s expense, we were encouraged to record a final version of ‘Disco Hell’ – the one and only single which was ever released. During the next 18 months, numerous drummers & bassists came and went but the core of Graham (gtr), Dafne and myself remained while we desperately tried to re-invent the group a number of different ways. Finally, after an uphill struggle, a fracas broke out over the ownership of the PA system and that was that.

I think Graham and Dafne (who were an item – never a good thing in a band) moved out to LA to help reduce the effect of Dafne’s unfortunate arthritis. I met up with them briefly one time during a Depeche Mode tour when they showed up at a show out there – a rather awkward aftershow meeting where we exchanged a few pleasantries and that was the last I heard.

I do look back at those character-building times, along with my other struggles & various unsuccessful ventures, with great fondness and appreciation of the grounding those experiences supplied. I remember supporting The Damned at the Wolverhamption Lafayette club once, which was a challenge:) In fact, that was the night I first heard ‘Warm Leatherette’ by The Normal which left a very strong impression – sounded like it had just landed from outer space. The Tenderspots played some real dives, some ok shows, drove all night in cold vans, lived on next to nothing – all the usual cliches. It didn’t seem romantic at the time but I guess it was. I cite this period as the main reason for my subsequent appreciation of what I have been lucky enough to achieve since.”
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects
« Reply #16 on: 24 September 2013 - 04:59:13 »
2012-09-17 - Recorder (Hungary) - „Az ember úgy van beprogramozva, hogy ismételgesse a hibáit” – Alan Wilder (Recoil)

http://recorder.blog.hu/2012/09/17/_az_ember_ugy_van_beprogramozva_hogy_ismetelgesse_a_hibait_alan_wilder_recoil

- Melyik volt a legemlékezetesebb együttműködés karriered korai szakaszában, még a Depeche Mode előtti időkben, akár zenekartagként (Cloaca, The Dragons, Dafne And The Tenderspots), akár stúdióasszisztensi (Reel To Reel, The Korgis, The Hitmen stb.) szerepben?
- Mindegyik kaland meglehetősen különbözött az előzőtől és nagyon izgalmasnak találtam, hiszen kezdő voltam még, kerestem az utam és szerepem a zeneiparban. Nagyon naivan álltam a dolgokhoz ekkoriban, tizenhat és húsz éves korom közti időszakról beszélünk, és azt hiszem eléggé meglepődtem, például amikor felkértek, hogy csatlakozzak a Dragonshoz, az első igazi zenekaromhoz. Ők ugyanis akkoriban egy rendesen működő, rendszeresen koncertező zenekarnak számítottak. Eddig a pontig a DJM stúdióban dolgoztam, mint stúdióasszisztens és ilyenképp részese voltam a korszak néhány angol sikerdalának. A Rubettesre, vagy a Liverpool Expressre emlékszem. Na meg arra is, hogy rengeteg zenésszel és producerrel találkozhattam, akik ebben a New Oxford utcai londoni stúdióba jöttek lemezt felvenni a hetvenes évek végén.

(...)


[Alan Wilder sent the original transcript to Steve Fabian in PDF form the following day, and he posted this link on the Recoil Facebook Group Page: http://pdfuploader.com/uppdfs/263/Hungary_-_Recorder.pdf]

01-) What was the most memorable collaboration in your early career as a band member, or as a studio assistant (Cloaca, The Dragons, Dafne & The Tenderspots, Real To Real, The Hitmen, The Korgis)?
AW: Each adventure was very different and exciting for me as a young man trying to make his way in the music business. I was very naive at the time (aged between 16-20) and I guess when I was asked to join The Dragons for example, I was quite surprised because they were a proper well-rehearsed gigging band at the time - my first ‘real’ band. I had been working in DJM recording studios up until that point. As a studio assistant, I was party to a few UK pop hits of the period, by the likes of The Rubettes & Liverpool Express. I can also remember meeting many musicians and producers who recorded at the studio in New Oxford Street, London, in the late ‘70s.

(...)
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects
« Reply #17 on: 19 March 2017 - 04:41:38 »
2017-03-18 - Thomas Köckeis from Recoil19.net in Facebook group Shunt:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/recoilshunt/permalink/1512308862114531/
https://www.discogs.com/Richards-N-Williams-Married/release/7396173

"Married" - Alan Wilder's recording debut
Alan made me recently aware of his recording debut when worked as an assistant at DJM studios.
The track called 'Married' by Richards 'N' Williams (members of the Rubettes) was released on Polydor on 25th February 1977.
He played the harmonium in the Middle Eight starting at 2:19.
Audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6zgc4YxlNY
Alan's comment: "After I left school, aged 16, I began working at DJM Records as a 'Tape Op' (assistant) in their own recording studio in New Oxford Street, London. During my time there, The Rubettes, who had been very successful in the UK charts during the early '70s, recorded several tracks including some of their later singles like 'Under One Roof'. They were produced by the late Alan Blakley from '60s pop group The Tremeloes. Two members - Alan Williams (singer ) & John Richardson (drummer) - started a spin-off project of their own, also produced by Blakley, and one night when recording they asked if I would play the Harmonium part for the M8 of their new song, which ended up as a single released on Polydor. I had forgotten about it until very recently when, for some inexplicable reason, the title & tune just popped into my head - 40 years later! After a bit of googling, I discovered the track in question. Was I paid? I doubt it... ;)"
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