rock sounds

Great new rock book - going behind the scenes of some of the greatest records ever made by some of music's most legenday bands at Rockfield studios. ROCK LEGENDS AT ROCKFIELD features Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Queen, Robert Plant, Rush, etc

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I'm struggling to get my head around work today. My mind is occupied by a strange mental image.
The thought of JUDAS PRIEST and MOTORHEAD having a food fight is a surreal one. My money would be on MOTORHEAD to edge this battle (despite being outnumbered by PRIEST). This happened in December 1975 when both bands were recording at the legendary Rockfield studios. MOTORHEAD were recording their debut album (but it would be shelved and not released until 1979 following the success of 'Ace of Spades' when United Artists would issue it as 'On Parole' to cash in on their former band's sudden chart success). JUDAS PRIEST were at the Welsh studios to record their second album 'Sad Wings of Destiny". I have just interviewed producer Jeff Calvert, who worked on the Priest album, for a book I'm writting on Rockfield Studios, which will be published by The University Of Wales Press next year.
It was a bizzarre match-up. Jeff and his colleague Geraint Hughes had a number one hit at the time with the novelty song 'Barbados' as the band TOTALLY TROPICAL- becoming pin-ups in the likes of Smash Hits. Putting these teen heart-throbs together with JUDAS PRIEST must have seen the band in full 'jaw dropped' mode. But it worked. Jeff and Geraint took the band away from the Blues rock of their debut album Rocka Rolla and created the sound which is still recognisable as Priest to this day. But plans for a JUDAS PRIEST/TOTALLY TROPICAL co-headlined tour failed to materialise!
Jeff remembered bumping into MOTORHEAD at Rockfield one day after Lunch with Rob Halford and co. The studio is a converted farm in Monmouth in Wales. It looks nothing like a major recording studio. It looks like a farm. But the likes of BLACK SABBATH, QUEEN, RUSH, OASIS, and THE STONE ROSES have recorded there. But it seems that day in the courtyard just alongside the main studio, MOTORHEAD and JUDAS PRIEST squared up for a big food fight. The only collaboration between these two metal greats involved hurling bread rolls, potatos and veg at each other. That's a shame and not jst for the people who had to clean up the mess afterwards.
Today I must buckle down to work on Chapter six of my book -- which concentrates on the period when JUDAS PRIEST, RUSH and IAN GILLAN recorded at Rockfield between 1975-77. Can I drag myelf away from repeats of FRAZIER on the Paramount Comedy Channel? Yes, of course I can. I must finish this chapter today. Hold on though! This is the episode where Frazier is dating a supermodel and no-one believes him. It finishes in 25 minutes. I'll start then.


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