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Huxley's Jr, Berlin/Germany - Oct 22, 1996


Interview by Clive Product

(This article first appeared in "'BIG UNTIDY" Issue 11. Permission to reproduce kindly given by editor Barry O' Brien via John Butterfield.)
(Source: Dr Feelgood Newsletter Feelin' Good Issue 10/January 1998)



Ian Fawkes invites Dr Feelgood guitarist Steve Walwyn for a private consultation.

Ian: Steve, you joined the band in 1989, which must have been a proud time for you, but was there a particular moment or gig when you thought "Blimey, this is a great band"?

Steve: Yes, I joined Dr.Feelgood in 1989, but I had known the band members personally for some years before that, having played on the same bill at various gigs (with the DTs) and Steve Marriott. I'd also been a fan of Dr.Feelgood right from the first album (a friend of mine at the time came to my house with the record - I can still hear him saying "You've got to listen to this!"). I can't think of any particular moment or gig when I thought "This is a great band" - I knew that already! Of course, it was a very proud moment when I was asked to join the band - I can remember the first rehearsal as if it was only yesterday (if pressed I could probably tell you the songs we played, too! If my memory serves me well the first one was "Homework").

Ian: What are your views on people who make comments like "Yes it's Dr. Feelgood but there are no original members".

Steve: There is no argument with the fact that the current band contains no original members. Hmm. Maybe it's worth remembering that three of the original members left the band over twenty years ago (one of them twenty-five years ago!) and the fourth original member has another reason for not being with us: If he were still alive I'm sure that he would be treading the boards with us! I also think that for a band with such a long history it is almost inevitable (maybe even necessary) that there be changes in personnel from time to time. Surely the fact that two people in the current band have been members for twenty years counts for something!

Ian: You must be well used to playing and being on the road but apart from the gig itself how do you like to fill in the spare time that must often crop up?

Steve: Spare time on the road? When we do get some (which is actually not that often) I usually do one of two things: If we are in an interesting town or city (maybe somewhere I haven't been before) I will try to make time to become a tourist - see the sights, visit a cathedral, art gallery, museum or whatever the particular place has to offer or... I am a keen cyclist - sometimes I will rent a bike and disappear for a few hours (or visit a local gym - would you believe?) - I find that this is a good antidote to the stress of the touring lifestyle! (I know it's not really rock 'n' roll!). For example, I recently cycled from Paris to Boulogne during a two - day break between gigs: the people in the Boulogne club were astonished when I turned up on my bike, having cycled over 300 miles!

Ian: By now you must have played thousands of gigs with the Feelgoods, and this will be a hard one, are there any that stand out as being the best? Worst? Funniest or most unusual?

Steve: This is a hard one to answer! Best gig? There have been too many to pick out just one, but I will never forget the night at London's Town and Country club (immortalised on CD "Live in London" which was my second actual gig with Dr. Feelgood) - Lee was more nervous than I was - and I was stone cold sober! Another one was playing to fifty-five thousand bikers in Berlin! Worst gig? Again, a few spring to mind - Avignon, maybe 1991. It was actually a fantastic gig but we were trapped in a dressing room with a packed crowd in the club baying for (after several encores) more (we really thought that they would riot) and the only way out was back through the audience - one of the only times that I have felt physically threatened or frightened… Funniest or most unusual? Somewhere in Holland - the stage was in the middle of a lake, and the audience came out to the stage in rowing boats (maybe 6 - 8 people per boat) to see the gig. - Or Spain (Mondragon? Where the stage was split into two by a wall that ran to the back of the club, so that the audience was also split into two… I remember Lee singing the verse to one half of the crowd and the chorus to the other half… it was a great gig but also very funny…

Ian: What do you think Lee would have thought of the new technology, Gabi's Feelgood website etc. and would he have vacated his place at the bar to dabble on the Internet?

Steve: I think that Lee would honestly have approved of today's technology - Internet, website etc. so long as he did not have to operate it - I know that he wouldn't mind me saying that he used to admit to not being able to set his video to record something! Would he have vacated his place at the bar to dabble on the Internet? Certainly not!!!

Ian: Robert has slotted in well to the "feel" of the band and so where do you see the Feelgoods going musically in the future and is there anything you would like to do away from the band?

Steve: Where do I see the Feelgoods going musically? Well, I don't ever see us breaking any new ground - that is just not what Dr. Feelgood is about. However, I see us continuing the Feelgood tradition, working live as always, and thinking about the next recording project. Away from the band I would like to do a solo album…I have some songs written which are not Feelgood material and perhaps they will see the light of day sometime…

(Source: Dr Feelgood Newsletter Feelin' Good Issue 29/October 2002)


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