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answers the DR FEELGOOD questionaire
- - - PART 1 - - -
A. FULL NAME:
John Philip Cawthra a.k.a. Gypie Mayo
B. DATE &
PLACE OF BIRTH:
24 July 1951, Hammersmith, London, England
C. WHAT ARE
Checking out early music i.e. jazz, blues, rennaissance, medival.
Maroon - at the moment.
FOOD & DRINK(S):
Vegetarian (various); Drinks? No particular fave.
F. WHAT IS
YOUR WORST FEAR OR PHOBIA?
Having to communicate when I don't feel like it, I guess.
G. WHAT MAKES
Days when I feel genuine love of mankind and the world. Doesn't happen every day.
H. WHAT MAKES
Reminiscing about past crazy situations you find yourself in, with my friends.
I. WHAT MAKES
YOU SAD OR ANGRY?
Politicians generally. Greed etc.
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- - - PART 2 - - -
1. WHAT HAVE
YOU DONE (JOB/MUSIC) BEFORE BECOMING A "FEELGOOD"?
I left school - or rather was asked to leave because of mutual dislike on behalf of teachers and myself. Anyway, I worked in a printing shop for 3 yrs. and left to join a blues band in '69 which was called "WHITE MULE". We were together for about a year, and in that time played all over the U.K. and played Switzerland/France and released a single on M.C.A. Records produced by Mike Leander who you may have heard of (prod. Gary Glitter etc.). After that played in various rock line-ups in early to mid '70's (HALCYON 747) but my favourite was a jamming unit called ALIAS. The idea being "Alias anything you like". I liked to think of it as Psychedelic Funk, mostly instrumental with lots of spacey twists and turns. Unfortunately we never got anything down on tape. Certainly not the best stuff anyway. I also, at around the same time, played mandolin in "CONCRETE MICK" which was a sort of Irish traditional band - pipes, whistles, percussion etc. Again no recordings.
2. WHEN DID
YOU JOIN DR FEELGOOD?
3a. WHY DID
YOU JOIN DR FEELGOOD AND NOT ANOTHER BAND?
'Cos I'd had enough of obscurity and they were very high profile at that time.
3b. IF YOU
COULD TURN TIME BACKWARDS WOULD YOU DO THE SAME?
4. ANY SPECIAL
EXPERIENCE OR MEMORIES FROM THOSE DAYS WHICH YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH
My main impression/memory of that period is amazement that I had teamed up with such an unique and unusual bunch of guys. All the bands I'd been in previously were very earnest about playing music. The Feelgoods on the other hand seemed to regard playing as pure fun. Also they didn't strike me as "impressed" with the "music biz", seeing it as rather shallow and pretentious (which of course it is). Basically they didn't take themselves too seriously which is why people loved them.
5. WHAT DO
YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING PART OF DR FEELGOOD?
The laughter and craziness.
6a. WHEN (AND
IF YOU LIKE, WHY) DID YOU LEAVE DR FEELGOOD?
1981. The reason was two fold, I wanted to spend much more time with my wife and son (We toured constantly) and I wanted to move on musically.
6b. IF YOU
COULD TURN TIME BACKWARDS WOULD YOU DO THE SAME? OR, WHAT WOULD YOU DO
I think I'd do it all again. If there's one thing I'd like to do differently it would be to be able to spend a little more time recording albums. The usual routine would be to snatch 2 weeks in the middle of touring and come up with an album. We'd take a week or so off the road before hand to rehearse new ideas, but we could have spent more time in studio. But the other side of that is we may have lost freshness if we'd agonized over things; who knows?
7. WHAT HAVE
YOU DONE SINCE LEAVING DR FEELGOOD?
Sessions, TV, gigs, tours with COBRA'S ANIMAL MAGIC, INMATES, LONE SHARKS, GENO WASHINGTON, ELVIS DA COSTA AND THE IMPOSTERS, YARDBIRDS plus playing the "restaurant circuit" solo.
8. IN WHICH
OTHER BAND(S) HAVE YOU PLAYED, OR ARE YOU PLAYING NOW?
9. ON WHICH
OTHER RECORDS OR TAPES HAVE YOU PLAYED? (excluding Dr Feelgood ones)
10. WHAT INSPIRED
YOU TO BECOME A MUSICIAN, AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE INSTRUMENT YOU PLAY?
I listened to classical music at an early age - my father played the records at home. Nothing high brew - 1812 overture, slavonic dances etc. Then I heard Apache by the Shadows which I thought was quite groovy, but when I saw them on T.V. with their Fender Strats I was instantly hooked. I bought all their records etc. aged 10-11. Then the Beatles happened and the whole music thing changed. At about this time I aquired a cheap Russian made acoustic (1964) and tought myself Beatles/Stones etc. songs.
I chose the guitar 'cos I'd always been fascinated with its sounds + looks ever since becoming a Shadows freak.
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11. ARE THERE
ANY OTHER INSTRUMENT(S) YOU ARE REASONABLY ABLE AT PLAYING?
Bass and Drums. I also play a lot of acoustic guitar mainly at home. It's a TOTALLY different instrument.
(Note by Gabi: Some little bird told me, Gypie can take every "guitar-look-alike" instrument to plays it. Like Lee said, "Gypie is the most talented musician I'd played with!")
KIND(S) OF MUSIC/BANDS DO YOU ENJOY LISTENING TO? (Favourite bands/musicians,
At the moment I listen to a lot of early jazz and some so called modern jazz (Miles Davis etc.), but I really like Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt, Eddie Lang, Duke Ellington (20's/30's) etc. I really love reggae and soul and blues of course. I don't really have "favourites" as such but if I had to choose: "Kind Of Blue", "Milestones", Duke Ellingtons 30's compilations, Robert Johnson, Eddie Lang with Joe Venuti (violin) 20's recordings re-issues. I couldn't possibly pick specific reggae albums or pop/rock albums. There's so much great stuff. Of more recent pop/rock (80's-90's) I like The Pixies, The Smiths, Nirvana.
Of guitar players my most profound influence must be PETER GREEN 'cos I saw him play in 1967 just before he quit John Mayalls Bluesbreakers and my life was never quite the same after that - seriously!! I had never fully realized just how expressive and exciting guitar playing could be. I thought it was all about the chords to a pop tune with a cute little solo somewhere in the middle - end of story. Then I started going to clubs and saw players like JEFF BECK, MICK TAYLOR, DAVY O'LIST and PETER GREEN'S FLEETWOOD MAC of course. I'm sure they've all influenced me to some degree. I think you're influenced by a bit of everything you hear, however large or small.
ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DR FEELGOOD TRACKS AND WHY?
BEST IN THE WORLD for its energy and the great sound Nick Lowe got on the drums. I think it's one of my best solos too.
VIOLENT LOVE 'cos it was totally spontaineous and it evokes memories of Lee. He was always determined that we would do that song. We'd tried doing it electric and we couldn't get the right feel so we'd leave it and forget it; but Lee loved that song and when we were recording "Case Of The Shakes" we were a track short I seem to remember and of course Lee suggested Violent Love yet again. I don't remember who's idea it was to try an acoustic arrangement but I think it's take no.2 you get on the album, so it's really a run through, but Nick said over the fold-back "Come in and hear it - it feels perfect" etc.
I also like DOWN AT THE DOCTORS 'cos like the above mentioned it captures the personality of Dr Feelgood.
I also like NIGHTTIME from "Private Practice". Again, this track came out of the blue. Richard Gottehrer, the producer, had co-written the song with the Strangeloves back in the sixties. He suggested we cover it, played it to us, we couldn't get a good feel doing it as it was originally concieved, so I start to play the little guitar riff you hear and Figure + Sparko jammed along. It was just a nice groove at this point. I think it might have been my suggestion to "apply" our new riff to NIGHTTIME, but I'm not absolutely certain about that - it could have been Lee or Richard. Anyway, I think of that track as another possible direction we could have explored if we'd spent more time developing ideas. Again it's back to what I was saying earlier about wanting to spend a bit more time on certain things.
When I think about it, my favourite Feelgood tracks that I'm involved in are virtually always the ones that came out of the blue, while we're looking for inspiration in the studio under pressure 'cos "time is money" etc.
KIND(S) OF MUSIC DON'T YOU LIKE?
I've got very broad tastes I suppose. My record collection reflects that. I like what I consider to be original, honest real music regardless of style. I can't stand anything that sounds contrived and bullshitty like a lot of what is aimed purely and soley at the top ten - you know, disposable pop with no ideas or personality. That's not to put down the top ten. That's there to reflect the publics current taste. It's records that cynically ponder to that factor that turn me off. Sometimes good stuff hits the charts.
ARE YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE DR FEELGOOD TRACKS, WHY?
Don't know really. Maybe SUGAR SHAKER 'cos it could have been worked on a bit more. It was by our standards at that time, a bit of an arrangement with more emphasis on structure and dynamics - well that was the plan anyway. However, every time I hear it I wince a little. But only a little. There's no Feelgood tracks that totally embarrasses me. I'm basically proud of what we did 'cos I know the circumstances under which it was done and whatever our records lacked in terms of "polish" was made up far with spontaneity and no-nonsense excitement. You can't go too far wrong if you've got the Big Figure as your muscle.
14. WHAT ARE
YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
I would like to spend more time developing my writing along with my playing. I'm trying to put a little home studio together. I've always been very much "the guitar player" which is fine, but basically I'd like to develop a lot more of my ideas, which are quite good ideas sometimes, and spend less time gigging. I'm currently trying to come up with stuff for a YARDBIRDS project.
15. WHAT ARE
YOUR WISHES FOR THE FUTURE MUSIC WISE?
16. WHAT ARE
YOUR PERSONAL WISHES?
To have enough money to not have to do stuff I don't like. Just like everybody.
17. IF YOU
COULD SETTLE DOWN SOMEWHERE ELSE, WHICH COUNTRY OR TOWN WOULD YOU LIKE
TO LIVE AND WHY?
I'm quite happy here in Bath. This is a very beautiful part of England.
18. WHAT IS
OR WAS YOUR FAVOURITE COUNTRY FOR TOURING/GIGGING AND WHY?
My fondest touring memories are of Australia. It felt like the best of everything. A bit like America - lots of space etc., good radio stations etc. A bit - well a lot actually - like the U.K. - peoples humour etc. A bit like the continent - good food etc. and of course a great climate and beautiful to look at.
19. WHAT IS
OR WAS YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE COUNTRY FOR TOURING/GIGGING AND WHY?
I've been spoilt. There's really nowhere I don't like at all. Even Yugoslavia back in '77 had its moments.
20. WHAT MAKES
SOME GIGS MORE ENJOYABLE THAN OTHERS?
Acoustics / On stage sound / Attitude of promoter / Backstage facilities etc. - but ultimately it's the audience that's the crucial factor.
21. HAVE YOU
EVER BEEN BORED FROM BEING ASKED TO PLAY A SONG AGAIN AND AGAIN? WHICH
People always request Milk + Alcohol obviously. I wouldn't lose any sleep if I never got to play it again - only kidding folks.
22. WHAT SPECIAL
QUALITY DOES DR FEELGOOD HAVE WHICH OTHER BANDS LACK?
Doesn't take itself too seriously. Always a professional attitude but strictly no navel gazing.
23. WHAT WOULD
Y O U LIKE TO BE MOST REMEMBERED FOR?
Being remembered as an inventive, tasteful and exciting guitar player - and a sweet, shy little chap who didn't get into too much slagging off of others.
24. LIST YOUR
STAGE EQUIPMENT (INSTRUMENT(S)/AMPS ETC):
'62 Fender Strat, 1970's Marshall 100 watt amp. Marshall 4x12 with old Celestian speakers that have a warmer sound than new ones. Marshall Bluesbreaker pedal, Boss analogue delay (occasionally).
25. HAVE YOU
ANYTHING TO SAY TO YOUR FANS?
now plays with The Yardbirds
(External link to official Website)
[Dave Bronze][Pete Gage][Robert Kane][Gypie Mayo]
[Kevin Morris][Phil Mitchell][Gordon Russell][Steve Walwyn]
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