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Snippets of FEELIN' GOOD Issue 11/April 1998

Published with friendly permission of editor John Butterfield.

 

STUPIDITY

"I said Hey, everybody, All around the world, every boy and girl, come along with me, yeh yeh, that's STUPIDITY". A birthday surprise for me when on 2nd October 1976 the album every Feelgood fan was talking about entered the UK album charts at Number 8. The next week it achieved what seemed to be impossible DR FEELGOOD AT NUMBER ONE! The live album that followed "Down by the Jetty" and "Malpractice" was released due to two major factors Wilko hadn't wrote enough new material due to the Feelgoods heavy touring schedule and Feelgood fans were demanding an album that proved Dr.Feelgood were the best live act of 1976 so two live sets which were recorded at Sheffield (May 1975) and Southend (November 1975) appeared as "STUPIDITY".

Melody Maker stated "Stupidity" is without doubt the definitive Dr Feelgood album, it captures the vibrant frequently manic, musical personality of the band - if there is such a thing as aural GBH then "Stupidity" should get the Feelgoods sent down for a long stretch." The original album featured 13 tracks, 6 of which had not previously been recorded including "Talkin' bout you", "I'm a Man", "Walking the dog", "I'm a hog for you", "Checkin' up on my baby", and the title track "Stupidity". The other tracks were great live versions of "Down by the Jetty" and "Malpractice" favourites such as "Twenty Yards Behind", "All through the City", "She Does it Right", "Going Back Home", "I don't Mind", "Back in the Night" and "Roxette". The first 20,000 copies included a free single "Riot in Cell Block number 9 (live)" / "Johnny B.Goode (live)".

GRAND RECORDS have now managed to prise the album away from EMI and are planning to release all the above tracks (including the free single tracks) on Compact Disc on Grand Records. It will be released on 11th May 1998 but advance orders are being taken before this date (mention the Info Service when ordering). It really has to be a part of every Feelgood fans collection, so send for a copy at £ 13.50 (UK) overseas orders add £3 (Europe) and £4 (rest of the world). All orders to Grand Records, 107a High Street, Canvey Island, Essex, SS8 7RF. (Note by Gabi: Please check out Grand Records Order Shop page for actual prices and info.)

In the words of Charles Shaar Murray (NME 19/09/76) - "THEY FINALLY GOT IT RIGHT".

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GAGES' PAGES

I did NOT play guitar with Geno Washington in the 1960's
I did NOT form Vinegar Joe with Elkie Brooks and Robert Palmer
I did NOT marry Elkie Brooks
I did NOT write "Happy Birthday Rock & Roll" with Mick Green
WHO DID???? The other "PETE GAGE" who does NOT sing with Dr Feelgood!

[Update from 23.June 2003: The Pete Gage who has done all the things listed above can
be contacted at peter.gage@tafensw.edu.au or pgage@optusnet.com.au in Australia.
Thanks a lot to ''The other'' Pete for the informative and nice email! What a pleasant surpise! ~ Gabi]

GIVE IT WITH A FEELING

This was produced prior to my joining Dr Feelgood as a promotional CD for my band. I was writing instrumentals in the style of Acid Jazz and I thought at first I'd do all instrumentals (I have 10 or 12 compositions on 4-track tape). But people said I should stick to what I do best - vocals - so this is the result.

I) "You've been misbehaving" - the shell of this was put onto 4-track, and then Paul Hartshorn beefed it up a bit for me with his repeated guitar riff. The word "misbehavin" is a strong word in the man/woman battle and I had Fats Wallers' "Ain't misbehaving" in mind as I wrote it.

2) "Explaining" - based on the chords of the Billie Holiday classic "Don't Explain", there is a deliberate oriental feel to this. I think Pauls' guitar solo on this is brilliant.

3) "Nobody's Perfect" - I wrote this with my wife and me in mind. How she has been so forgiving of my lazy and sometimes selfish ways. The repeated organ chord G13 (to CI3 to DI3), I first heard to brilliant effect by Lonnie Smith on Hammond in a Lou Donaldson tune called "One Cylinder". You could say I lifted it!

4) "Chillins Con Carne" - Paul Hartshorn & I always loved Kenny Burrells' original, then Steve Ray did a version, so we made it in the 60s' R&B style of Georgie Fame / Graham Bond / Zoot Money

5) "Blue Mood Tonite" - written at home after a gig I did in BristoI with the band; my dog Shamus sat with his head in my lap, and I sipped on a cold beer, having had to drive until 3 in the morning. Check out Paul Hartshorns' burning solo.

6) "Talk to your heart" - the funkiness was suggested by Paul. The idea was for the James Taylor Quartet to get interested in recording it. I like the Hammond sound on this.

7) "Blue Note Blues" - this was originally a jazz tune but it Iacked personality until Ossie Lawrence on bass suggested we do a laid back reggae version. Then it worked. I particularly like the space and economy of notes everywhere.

8) "Give it with a feeling" - my least favourite of the 8 tunes. I wanted an Albert Collins type funky item to bite into the CD's whole sound - but this is a bit of a mess I feel. Having said that, many people like it the best.

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OUT OF HOURS

ALL STANDARD BLUESY TUNES,
except my own composition "Born in the City" (which is autobiographical only in so far as I was born in London - my "mum & poppa" didn
't leave me in actual fact).
I
've always wanted to do a solo album and our good friend Teppo set the whole thing up for me. They really are some of my favourite tunes. "St. James Infirmary" is something my Dad introduced me to when I was 12, and I've loved it ever since. The album is dedicated to my Dad, who died only 2 months before I joined Dr. Feelgood. He had great faith in me musically, and he never was to know that I was finally going to get a break. Maybe he's up there now with Lee, looking down on us all.

PETE

In January 1997 Pete appeared on Teppo Naettillaes' Radiomafia show where he played piano and sang some "solo blues". The sound was so good it inspired Pete to return back to a studio in Finland on 2nd/3rd June and record 15 tracks. The resulting CD "Out of Hours" was released in October 1997 on Goofin' Records. This was a limited edition but will be available from Grand Records in the very near future and more will be announced in a future issue. (Note by Gabi: Order the CD via the Grand Records Order Shop page.)

Just before being invited to join Dr Feelgood, Pete had recorded the "Give it with a Feeling" CD with his own band - Pete Gage Expression. It featured Pete on Hammond A100 organ and lead vocals. All of the tracks are composed by Pete apart from "Chillins con Carne". There was a limited number pressed (Note by Gabi: 500 copies was the first edition) so it really is a collectors item and a worthwhile addition to any Feelgood fans collection. Pete has kindly jotted down his feelings, thoughts etc. to share with you but here are a few of mine. My favourite tracks are "You've been misbehavin" - (I can just imagine the Feelgoods doing this one, great bass riff and a great tune), "Nobody's Perfect" - (Brilliant lyrics sung in a style that is just so easy to listen to and relate to), "Blue Mood Tonite" - (Every time I hear this one I recall a long drive back from The Boars Head, Nr Plymouth after a Feelgood gig. I was driving Lee in a new car he'd bought and was trying to "run it in" quickly to enable his wife Shirley to drive when he was touring abroad. Consequently we had to drive at 50 miles an hour all the way back to Leigh on sea. I was stone cold sober, Lee wasn't, and there were many stops on route to relive the body of excess liquid. We finally arrived at The Proceeds after 3am and the first thing we did was heading the fridge for a couple of cold and very welcome beers. We then sat at the table talking for ages unwinding.) Thanks to Pete for keeping these memories fresh in my mind and for putting thoughts to paper for "Feelin' Good".

John Butterfield

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INTERVIEW with PETE GAGE

by Clive Product at Huxleys Jr., Berlin, 22nd October 1996

(The full article appeared in BIG UNTIDY Issue 11.
Permission to reproduce kindly given by editor Barry O'Brien.)

You've got one of the toughest jobs going right now, replacing Lee Brilleaux. How did it come about?

"It came about because Kevin and Steve said "Well, look there's been a lot of demand from Europe, especially Germany and Scandinavia and Spain, to..., well, Lee Brilleaux is dead, we know, but where is Dr Feelgood?" And there was that message coming through to the office all the time. Steve and Kevin met up and said "We've got to find a new singer with the old line-up that Lee knew. Lee didn't want to become an icon. He didn't want to becoma a sort of like a solo artist, so let's get another singer." I was playing in a band with a bloke called Dave Raeburn who played in a wonderful band called The Hoax. Dave and Kevin knew each other and Dave said "well, why don't you try Pete Gage?" I was playing a bit of blues around London and Bristol with my own band. I play Hammond organ and we had a jazz/blues sort of outlook based on old Zoot Money / Georgie Fame sort of stuff, and I was getting nowhere with it. Great music, but just getting nowhere with it. So Kevin just phoned me up and said "There's an R'n'B band and I've been recommended you by Dave Raeburn." I said "Well, where are you?", and he said "We're on Canvey Island." I said "Oh hell, that's miles from me." He didn't let on who it was for about 10 minutes and we're talking on the phone and he's trying to bend my arm just to get me interested. He wouldn't tell me who it was. I said "I don't want to be in an R'n'B band." And then he said "Well look we've got a good history." I said "Well, who are you?" "DR FEELGOOD!" I followed Dr Feelgood a bit as a punter and I said "Well, Yes, I'll come up!" (laughs). There was this situation where there was a lot of work involved and we've been working at it solidly since."

Dr.Feelgood has always been a very hard working band, lots of live work, and the line-up has been changing almost from the word go, hasn't it - you know different guitarists and that.

"Yeah, Wilko left and Gypie joined, and then various people came and went. But Brilleaux was always static and he was the backbone of the band in the end. Whereas, in the early days, it was a bit more like 60-40, Wilko. And then Brilleaux took it over with the manager Chris (Fenwick), because the band was picking up again and working as an institution, if you know what I mean. It wasn't, like, going to make people go crazy, it wasn't going to change the world, but it was the institution of a band which continues to be a live pub band. And Brilleaux unfortunately died, very quickly really, over a 2 year period. I know, as a punter... I was very sad about it myself."

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Did you read about it in the newspaper?

"Yeah. I never met Brilleaux. When I joined the band they were very disciplined. They made me learn 9 songs! So I went along with 9 songs and I kind of... I thought, you know, I can't copy no one. I'm not going to, I refuse to. But I've always loved Dr Feelgood and I've always come from London. Always had that same kind of background Brilleaux had. He liked Muddy Waters and he liked Howlin' Wolf. When I fell into the band... 'cause I was the right kind of age - they didn't want a young chap, and they wanted a new man nobody knew, so..."

Everyone loved Brilleaux - this makes it really hard for whoever replaces him. They've got a real tough job. Have you found that whilst touring? What's the reaction been like?

"In all the gigs we've done - and we're doing about 180 a year! - in all the gigs we've done, I've had one person who said to me something stupid like "Where's Lee Brilleaux?". And I was on stage so I go "Please will somebody tell him." He was being a total prat and it spoilt the gig, to be honest, for me. I thought, the guy, he's here but, you know, what does he want? Why has he paid money to say "I'm annoyed that Lee Brilleaux's dead", maybe that's what he was saying.

Something that came over tonight was that you're very much your own man.

"I am, yeah."

The other thing is you've got a suit. This is really nice because that kind spirit of Dr.Feelgood is very much there.

"Spirit is the word, yeah. That's the strange thing about suits. I've worn t-shirts and jeans on loads of gigs. And then, when I joined this band, I had a lot of coaching, shall we say, from Kevin. He learned from Brilleaux to be a professional. And Lee Brilleaux was a true professional. For the 20 year history of going through all the bullshit, and coming out the other end being... you know, he was a very professional man. Presented himself well, he was polite, he was a gentleman, and all that stuff. Although I never met him, I hear everybody we meet say it - and that's what I wanna be! That's what I've always wanted. My mother tried to teach me to be like that. And I've always liked suits. I've always thought, you know, I've got them, but I'm not gonna wear them 'cause people will laugh at me. Now I can do it for a living, you know what I mean."

It's reassuring that the old Feelgood spirit is still there. I think that's something Brilleaux would be proud of.

"I'd like to think so, yeah. I'm interested that you think Brilleaux would like that because sometimes I'm a slightly spiritual kind of person. Sometimes I get a feeling that I'm standing in a position where he might have been standing, except the audience is a lot smaller 'cause there was a 2 1/2 year gap and everybody thought "well that's the end of Dr Feelgood" - as I did! I sometimes have this weird sort of feeling. I'm standing in the spot... you know, you get these spot lights and that, and you go... Well, maybe that's Brilleaux. I don't wanna get too emotional about it but I have that feeling."

What do you think Brilleaux would say to you if he was looking down watching you guys playing?

"Well, from what I hear - I think you should ask the others 'cause they knew how he talked - but, I think he'd say "Go on, son, give it a good shot." I think that's what he'd say. I think that's how he spoke. - "Go on, son, give it a good shot." And then he wouldn't say much more."

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DOWN BY THE JETTY

As there will be many first timers to Canvey Island in June it has been suggested that a guided tour of Feelgood haunts could take place commencing at the Oyster Fleet on the Friday morning following the Memorial Show. There will have to be a charge for transport etc. but until we know the likely demand for this the price cannot be fixed. If anyone is interested please write to myself as soon as possible with an indication of numbers and any suggestions of where you want to visit (Note by Gabi: Check out more info about Canvey and the Feelgood Sightseeing Tour ).

As announced in the last issue of "Feelin' Good" the 5th Lee Brilleaux Memorial Concert will take place on THURSDAY 11th JUNE 1998 at The Oyster Fleet Hotel on CanveyIsland. The Oyster Fleet is very important in Feelgood history as the Feelgoods played the "Down at the Doctors" sessions at the Dr Feelgood Music Bar which was then demolished and the Oyster Fleet Hotel built on the site. Tickets (as usual) are very limited - Admission by ticket only as the show is guarantee to SELL OUT so take advantage of this special advance offer of £10 per ticket available from Grand Records, 107a High Street, Canvey Island, Essex, SS8 7RF. Please make cheques payable to FAIRHAVENS S.C.E.N.T. and enclose a stamped addressed envelope. I cannot confirm which artistes will be appearing as ALL artistes give their services completely FREE to allow ALL proceeds to be given to charity but anyone who has been to previous concerts will know that anyone is likely to get up and play. If you intend going it is wise to order tickets NOW.
(Note by Gabi: TICKETS FOR THE SHOW ARE SOLD OUT since April 1998 - Sorry!)


WIN A CD

As announced in the last issue of "Feelin' Good" the Two Timers CD has been released on Grand Records. In actual fact the catalogue number is Grand/Monkey 1. During a conversation with Whitey at the bar on the UK tour he told me why he had chosen Monkey as the name for the new arrangement - this led me to think about a competition so here it is. Please write to me giving why you think Monkey was chosen. All correct answers will be set aside to be drawn at random. The winning entry will receive an autographed (by Gordon & Sarah) CD plus a Two Timers T-shirt. If there are no correct answers, the closest, most logical or amusing reason will win. Closing date will be 1st June 1998.


Thanks to everyone who has sent in contributions to Feelin´ Good but we always need more, so you are all invited to add to your newsletter about the greatest R'n'B band in the land. I am also looking for any interviews with Lee on any format (Radio, TV, Video, Fanzine, Magazine etc.) from anywhere in the world but please send details of source and translation if possible. Please send it to me c/o Dr Feelgood Information Service, PO Box 94, Middlesbrough, Cleveland, TS4 3YX. The Dr Feelgood Information Service is free but I do need 4 A5/A4 Stamped Addressed Envelopes (or 4 Internation Reply Coupons PLUS Addressed Envelopes if outside UK) to receive a years subsdribtion of "Feelin' Good". The next issue will be ready in July so until then - Keep on Feelin' Good.

John Butterfield

Naturally also me - which is Gabi, the girl who is doing the Dr Feelgood website - is always glad about any help in form of interviews (by any of the Feelgoods), photos, reviews, reports, lyrics, chords, own stories, tapes, videos etc etc. Even if I don't get anything ready for publish as quick as I want (it's only me alone working on the website) you can be sure NOTHING of which you send/sent in gets lost, and I promise step by step to add as much as possible of the stuff I receive - so please Let me know what you have to share/give/offer and I will tell you my snail mail address by email, if you want to post something. MANY THANKS in advance!

Gabi Schwanke, webmistress
 


PART OF THIS ISSUE

"E" was added to the Feelgood Dick an 'arry


Go to Newsletter Issue 12/July 1998
 

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