That was probably brought on by not having any money and whatever money they had was spent on their drug habits. To us, the New Wave and punk and stuff was about artistic freedom and getting to the heart of the matter and doing all the other stuff that came with it. When we got to the UK in , punk was long gone and it had gone in different directions as either a fashion accessory or being commercialised. Obviously, there were still certain things that were holding up and we were trying to hold on to our artistic values.
That was something that had been undermined by the time we got to the UK but this was an artistic response. Everybody was interacting — musicians, artists, film makers. You seem to be taking more of a central role within The Birthday Party at this point. You drum on a couple of tracks and your song writing credits increase. Was the weight of the band falling more on your shoulders? It was around the time of The Bad Seed EP that I started to feel like that when I really did start to co-write all the songs and stuff like that.
I think with Junkyard it still felt very much like just the same as it had been. Maybe I was getting more musically engaged and working out the drum parts.
Number One Song 1968
MH: Phill was a really good drummer but really, it was about the ideas. This is the thing about what I said about us never really discussing anything.
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Tracy Pew was jailed for drunk driving and theft during the recording of Junkyard. How much strain did that put on the band? We were young and we just carried on. It was the way we were living, too. We were living off plain rice but we always made sure we made money out of our gigs. That was how we survived. You just keep going like they did in England during the war.
So how difficult was it to organise the recording sessions given the level of chaos going on? Henry Rollins did a re-master of it and made the songs have longer gaps between them.
The New Romantics were anathema to us! And the DX7 and all those 80s trappings were diametrically opposed to what we were trying to do. We made our own sound.
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He was a well-know record dealer in West Texas. The guy on the other side of the line asked him to send him a copy. His name was Sam Phillips, owner of Sun Records. Bob Neal, owner of Starts Inc. They kicked off with an experimental tour of Southern drive-in movies theaters, performing on the projection house roofs between film showings. The Teen Kings split up in December and Roy used studio musicians for the upcoming Sun sessions.
He stayed at Sun until The Everlys needed a song for their new single and they asked Roy if he had anything. So he did, on the top of a shoebox.
1952 – 1st birthday
The sound was something different. It had strings as opposed to fiddles, which were not very common in Nashville.
The song peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Charts and became number 1 in the UK. The songs, the production, and the performance were key factors. The songs were completely original in structure, sound and style. It became a style. Fred Foster really went for quality instead of quantity. He was willing to splash money on a session without any guarantee of payback.
He was also willing to take a chance on a sound that did not conform to accepted market norms. This became an unbroken string of Top 40 hits that lasted for four years. The tour was sold-out in one afternoon. On the first night, Roy did fourteen encores before The Beatles could get on stage. Roy Orbison was one of the few hit-makers to hold his ground, and even to increase his popularity in the wake of the so-called British Invasion. He did it by maintaining a matchless quality of releases, with an original variety of content, structure, tempo and rhythm.
He was also an extremely subtle song craftsman, making changes during the course of a session, or between sessions, adding the final commercial gloss to a song. By most estimates, the song sold about seven million copies that same year. Roy also toured extensively in Europe.
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Several major record companies showed interest in Orbison after his tenure with Monument. MGM made and offer of 1,, dollars. MGM was very successful at that time, but also that was about to change. In , his wife Claudette, who he married in , was killed in a motorcycle accident. Matters turned worse two years later when two of his three children died when his Hendersonville house burned down Roy sold the lot to his best friend Johnny Cash. Roy found himself unable to write songs for a while, but maintained a positive outlook and continued touring. As his MGM contract came to an end in , Roy signed a one-year contract with Mercury Records in without major acclaim, but as he would say, he always had a record in the charts in some part of the World.
After that brief stay with Mercury Records, Roy re-signed with Monument in January in an attempt to recharge his career in the midst of heavy touring on the Far East, Australia, Asia and Europe. Roy paid the price of heavy smoking, heavy touring and life on the road when he underwent open-heart surgery at the St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville in January 18, , but he was back on the road three weeks later just to prove he could do it.
But about this time things started to look a bit brighter in the US.