1) Tell us a little about yourself and what you are doing right now?
Hi, thanks so much for wanting to chat to me. At the present time we – Narnia’s Children – are rehearsing for another tour – Europe this time and we are really excited. There is a chance of playing in Switzerland, and that would be ace. We’re about to move to another place – new flat or house or something. Stephan, our manager, is going to be meeting us in the week to give us the low-down.
Mo and I have written some new songs so we need to rehearse them and then decide where in our set they should go. Rehearsals are usually fun and I enjoy working out our four-part harmonies with the lads, and my lead breaks, it sort of all comes out of thin air really, but when it does we all have to work hard to get everything perfect. And of course musicians are never satisfied and as the new songs settle in we often make adjustments and change things.
I’m also making some new trousers from an old pair of jeans I am fond of. It’s hard going as the denim is so tough – I’m adding leather patches and putting a new zip in, which I hate doing, but it saves Stephan, our manager, having to fork out for gear for me. He is bank-rolling the band until we earn enough to pay our own way. I seem to have a knack with sewing, no idea why. Don’t tell anyone, they’ll think it very un-cool!
2) How did you come to be in a band? How does it feel to sing songs other come to listen to? Tell us a bit about it.
Don’t laugh, I taught myself guitar when I was about 13 – Bert Weedon’s Play in a Day – on a wooden guitar my cousin made me. Most kids learn like that or just plonk around ‘til they play something. I got together with some friends from school (in England – not Narnia’s Children) and we thought it would be fun to form a band, and I taught the others to play guitar. It was really a laugh. We were called The Senators. We played at the local Youth Club, covers of all the cool bands like The Beatles and stuff, nothing too complex as we were all learning still. Thinking back I am sure it sounded dreadful.
Then I moved to Jersey and found another band….Main Street. They were all excellent musicians and I played some lead and when the bass layer left, they asked me to play bass which I could do. There were two lead guitars so losing me wasn’t a big deal. We did covers of The Stones – Under my Thumb, The Who – Pictures of Lily and I Can See for Miles, and lots of Motown which is so cool, including Martha Reeves and The Vandellas – Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide. It was fun, covering Pink Floyd’s Arnold Lane. Stuff like that. We went down really well. After a while the band line-up changed, they just wanted to play for fun, but I’ve got ambition. I left to join another one which became Narnia’s Children – I was back on lead guitar again, and we started song-writing too. Yeah we’re serious musicians, you see, with big ambitions.
We played the Tropicana a lot and that’s where Stephan saw us and decided he wanted to manage us, get us a record deal and out of Jersey, touring and getting heard by more kids, on radio and TV, you know. Jersey is really small and to make it you’ve gotta be in England. We signed with him, came over to England and it’s just great, so cool.
3) Who is the least favourite person in your life right now? Why?
Nah, I don’t do that stuff. Someone messes me around or something I move on, leave it behind. Don’t do favourites really. It is all about Karma.
4) If you could swap places with a fellow person you are with or have met, who would it be? And why?
Wow, that is a question. I’d love to be able to play like Jeff Beck, or Eric Clapton, Hendrix you know, or be in a band with one of them, but most bands have one lead player so I can’t see that happening. Rod Argent is really cool and a nice guy so I might like to be him but seriously, I never think like that. I am me. I am pretty mellow about being me.
5) When you met Renza what was it about her that made you want to marry her so badly?
Oh! Renza, such a babe. We moved into the village and every day I’d see this chick in her school uniform waiting for the school bus outside the flat. She had the longest, sexiest legs you’ve ever seen – the whole band agree, ask them. Her golden hair nearly touched her backside it was so long and in the spring sunshine, it shimmered. She was, well is, gorgeous. I never saw her that close up or anything to begin, but I knew she was beautiful, inside and out. I knew the first time I saw her that she was the one. I wrote a song for her right away. You know, we didn’t meet for ages. In fact I don’t think she knew we were around. We hardly saw her other than going to school and coming back, or shopping with a load of little kids following her around. Our flat was near her house and we could see into her garden from the balcony. Renza was always hanging out washing or doing chores of some sort. I really wanted to whisk her away.
The first time we spoke was that night she was late back from seeing The Equals in Reading. I had to talk to her so I did something really dumb and shouted at her from the flat window. It was funny, she nearly had a blue fit. Daft when I think of it, scaring her like that, in the dark. I sent her notes – her little brother Jasper used to come round every day asking us to go out to play with him – and he took them to her. He cracked us up. So we’d go and play football with him and that way I got to find out all sorts of stuff about Renza. She never replied or anything. Now I know her, I can tell you her Mum is a bit of a dragon. Anyway I nearly bottled it, but I sent another of many notes asking her out and out of the blue she wrote back and said yes. I was blown away. That first evening, walking round the village talking to her, just magic, really, and I kissed her and I knew right there and then, I had to marry her. Don’t laugh, but the band had already decided she should marry me too.
6) What do you believe your main propose is? And how far will you go to achieve it?
I guess I might discover my real purpose when I’m older. I dunno really. Playing is all I want to do and to do it as best I can. I want everyone to enjoy my music, for it to make them happy, to chill to and to make love to I guess. I never want to do anything else and I guess I’ll do what it takes. Music isn’t like anything else and so far it’s all new, really cool and no real pain to do. I would like to have some money and eat regularly though.
7) What is your favourite song that you’ve played? Why? Does it have a special meaning?
That’s a hard one. A while back if you’d asked I wouldn’t have been able to answer as I love so many songs, there are so many great ones out there. But now, meeting Renza, and the way I feel about her, well, the song I wrote for her ‘Because of You Girl,’ is meaningful and when we play it on stage, I feel choked up. But we do have a special song, and I sing it to her all the time. The Marbles had it out earlier in the year, and it’s called Only One Woman. There’s something about it, we both feel it and love it. Narnia’s Children don’t do it on stage, so it is something special between Renza and me. The Bee Gees are wonderful song-writers, they’ve captured us really well.
8) Have you had any scary moments? Are you scared now? Tell us what happen or why you feel like this?
Where do I start? So many, seriously. I never told Renza this but when we were on the Cruises (we did the Med), we went ashore in Naples and spent a day having a look round. Don’t ask how, but we found our way to a vineyard and they were giving free samples of some sort of wine to visitors and we got chatting to some girls working there and they got us drunk, seriously, it sort of happened. Anyway, the stewards from the cruise were with us, they liked us and wanted to protect us. They all carried knives which scared us stupid but they knew Naples and they were cool guys…Well, as I said we all got worse for wear and I seem to recall some blokes, Italians, arriving on scooters and there was a big ding-dong. I think it was about the girls and us. I dunno. Anyway, next thing there is a huge fight, the guys pulled knives on us and then the stewards all got handy with their knives. We’ve never seen anything like it. Someone called the police and the next thing Zak was arrested, no idea why and hauled off to the clink. They made him stay in overnight which was a pain but thankfully the ship was docked until the next night otherwise we’d have been in deep you know what. I can’t remember much, we all slept in the vineyard I think and I know I had a hangover from hell the next morning. We went to the police station and they let Zak go. We didn’t understand the lingo so just legged it as fast as we could. That was pretty hairy. Hey, I hope Renza won’t read this, or she’ll freak.
9) What is it like growing up in the 60’s among the worry of the cold war?
I think the 60s is the coolest time to be alive. We are so lucky. Everything is new, exciting and so groovy. It’s like someone pulled a plug and all the old stuff has gone down the plug-hole and fresh stuff water’s filling the bath, if you get my drift. I feel – we feel – we can do anything, be anyone, and achieve anything we want. There is such a vibe in the air, you can almost touch it, taste it. It wasn’t that way in Jersey so much, but England. Oh boy! You know that song by Roger Miller – England Swings like a Pendulum Do? Yeah well it does. It vibrates too. So much love and peace people send out. The music is just out there, so much, so new and different. I love that you can wear what you want. I even have pink stuff, I mean, you could never wear pink as a bloke, you know, before; you’d get lynched.
Yeah, the Russians, what are they like? I think it is the Americans getting them all worked up. It’s kinda scary and if you let yourself think about all this ‘one minute to midnight’ stuff they talk about, well, it would do your head in. Very Eve of Destruction…love that song by the way. Whatever we think no-one listens. I’ve seen the Ban the Bomb marches and stuff, and demonstrations, but I don’t know any of it works. Who listens to us? Nope, I guess all we can do is do the best we can and be loving and kind to everyone. I don’t know any Russians and I know they aren’t free like us, but I can’t imagine they want this crap too…oops sorry, I didn’t meant to swear.
10) Have you done anything unforgivable to someone else? Was it out of love or revenge? Tell us about it.
I don’t think so, like I said I believe in Karma and it wouldn’t be cool, though I know I would hurt Renza if she found out about Stella. I have no idea how all this happened and I never want to hurt anyone; Renza or Stella. Oh, cripes, will they read this? Hope not. I’m dead.
11) Why did you fall for Stella? What affect does this have on your relationship with Renza? Do you still love her or just lost the spark long distance?
This is hard to talk about, to put into words you understand. I’m not sure myself. Renza broke my heart when she went, we knew she’d go and we’d always be together, but it was lonely without her. There was this big hole, I felt empty and had no-one I’d ever talked to like her, you know, not even the band. Yeah I’d seen my Dad again with her, and it seemed cool, but you know when your parent’s divorce and remarry and have a new family, it is never the same for the original kids. We have no-one, my brother and I. We’re a bit sort of spare, adrift. I realised it when I saw Renza’s family and later seeing Stella’s. I don’t have any of that. I guess I missed Renza and felt lost and when I saw Stella, with her weird hair and clothes and she had a look about her, I dunno how to describe it…anyway, I saw her and she looked like she liked me and then her mate Vix pushed us together. I really thought she was going to have a sex-change operation; that Vix, she is wicked. No-one explained. I felt sorry for her, and there was this chemistry, intense feeling. Well, it just happened. She knew the score and I never lied to her. I told her I loved Renza and always would and we were getting married. Stella accepted that, she’s cool with it. She’s a cool chick. Renza doesn’t know, I need to tell her. I keep plucking up the courage, but I don’t want it to be the end if I do…it’s making me very down you know. I’m confused. I can’t do that to Renza and then what about Stella? I don’t want to talk about them anymore. Sorry.
12) How has touring in the UK been? What have been your favourite moment as far?
Ace, it has been ace. All the places I’ve read about in NME and Melody Maker etc. We’ve been playing them and we’ve been on the same bill as some really cool bands, like Fleetwood Mac and Idle Race, just so many I can’t think of them. Oh, yes and Doc Holliday and the Cards. Such a mega act now and it’s so funny touring with them. The London venues are out there, so cool, so unreal. Samantha’s, and Café des Artistes, I mean, who’d ‘a thought it! Doing press interviews and Radio and well, it’s been just unreal. Getting the record deal has been a dream come true…it’s all been magic.
Scotland has been a bit weird. I mean it is so cold for a start and the snow. Unreal. We nearly go killed in one of the loch’s – the van skidded in the snow and nearly went over the edge, Rich just managed to swerve or we’d have been history. Then the submarine base was just so far out there. American submarines being repaired, right in the middle of nowhere, in a loch we just happened to find when we got lost in a blizzard. Guns and dogs; those guys pointed guns at us. Elgin and Wick were strange places to play. The venues were right in the middle of nowhere, we were sure no-one would come, like being on the moon or something. But they came and they loved us and sang our songs. Aberdeen was a hoot The Assembly Rooms; it’s round with the stage in the middle and the kids just walked round and round following the walls as we played in the middle. We got giddy watching them.
Favourite moment? Not sure yet Ask me this time next year if we are still gigging.
13) What is your favourite colour and how does it make you feel?
Blue. I love all shades of blue. I feel great wearing it, everyone says it makes my eyes, which are turquoise, look bluer. Hey, anything that turns the girls on eh! I’m joking, Renza and Stella say blue is my best colour. I wear lots of black and purple too.
15) Do you feel you are attractive to all women who admire your music? Have you ever had any strange gifts off fans?
I can’t say I feel attractive to girls who like our music. I think they are attracted to musicians, full stop; and not just the girls, if you get my drift! As for strange gifts, oh wow, if I were to tell you – you’d never believe it. And not just me, Zak get the weirdest stuff, he keeps a case with it all in. What he’s going to do with it, is anyone’s guess. A girl mailed herself to me once – we were out when she arrived and a neighbour had to take her in, unwrap her and feed her. She’d come Special Delivery and nearly got sent to the sorting office to await collection. That is pretty strange but it is not the strangest!
14) If you could have one wish right now what would it be and how would it help your current situation?
Right now I’d like to have a hit record and enough money to bring Renza over and for us to get married right away and live happily ever after. She could do her writing and come on tour with us and be with me always. I dunno how it would help things, what with Stella and all. But truly that is my wish this moment, right now. I miss her so much. I’m gonna be so dead after this interview, I know I am.
Thank you Scott for taking part in this interview. It has been a pleasure getting to know you.
Hey, no problem, it’s been a gas; thanks for asking me to talk to you.
Only One Woman: the novel
Two women, one love story.
June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.
December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.
As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?
Not only a love triangle, Only One Woman is a trip back to the late 1960s and is sheer nostalgia, with world events and social change colouring the lives of the characters as they more towards a new decade. Only One Woman is for everyone who loves anything Swinging Sixties, guys and gals, who love the music, fashions and vibe of the grooviest decade of the 20th century.
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Only One Woman is being published 24th May 2018 in Paperback and Audio
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