Sunday, October 16, 2022

Wizzo and chops

Well! Despite having written an encompassing history of glam rock I somehow failed to notice that in 1975 following the disintegration of Wizzard, Roy Wood formed a jazz-rock group !

My my, that is godawful.

The lowdown via Wiki - 

"Wizzo Band was a jazz rock band formed by Roy Wood after Wizzard split in 1975, fulfilling his ambitions to create an ensemble that was more jazz-orientated than rock or pop. The line-up included former Wizzard and Move member Rick Price (pedal steel guitar), alongside Bob Wilson (trombone), Billy Paul (alto and baritone saxes), Paul Robbins (keyboards, backing vocals), Graham Gallery (bass), and Dave Donovan (drums).

A lot of people had been doing jazz-rock stuff. There had been jazz musicians getting into the rock field, like Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke, but it's very rare that you find a band doing it the other way around a rock and roll band getting into jazz, and it's quite interesting. The rhythm section is very heavy, almost Zeppelinish, the horns are very jazzy and the songs are very commercial, so it makes for quite an interesting combination.- Roy Wood, Melody Maker, 3 September 1977

"They played one show, broadcast live by BBC Television and BBC Radio 1 in the Sight and Sound In Concert series, on 2 April 1977. Most of the material they played was new, though they also included The Move's "California Man", interpolating the basic riff from another Move oldie, "Brontosaurus", and Wizzard's "Are You Ready to Rock". Several of the songs appeared on their only album Super Active Wizzo, released in September 1977 on the Warner Bros. record label. They also issued two singles, "The Stroll" (1977), and "Dancin' At The Rainbow’s End" (1978). None of the recordings charted.

"A UK tour was scheduled for spring 1978, but was cancelled as they disbanded at around the same time. Wizzo Band had proved an uncommercial venture; the records received unenthusiastic reviews from critics who were baffled by the music,especially in the light of Wood's earlier track record as a creator of hit records with his previous bands, and they were ignored by radio programmers."

Around this time Roy produced an album for Annie Haslam of Renaissance, solidifying the progward tendencies. I believe they were an item as well, which is wonderfully charming and feels like one of those "showbiz" things, where entertainers breed only among each other. 

Saturday, October 15, 2022


   Rosie O'Donnell talks about her pal David Bowie... 

For sure I can totally see someone absolutely seething about having been tricked into seeing Rent, godawful as it is.  But David Bowie "hated musicals"? Erm, you sure about that, Rosie? He started out modelling his career and, well, his voice on Anthony Newley, who not only performed in musicals but wrote a bunch.  Before Bowie decided rock was a surer, swifter route to fame, that's what he wanted to do - be on the West End and Broadway, as an all-round entertainer, an actor-singer-writer, just like his revered (but unreciprocated idol-model) Tony. And stages of DB's career are pretty much the merger of rock and musical theater. 

Of course someone who once loved musicals might very well have come to loathe the ghastly travesty they'd degenerated into by the '90s and even more so thereafter (made extra repulsive by the unexpected undead-artform-rises-from-the-grave-to-command-the-centre-stage-of-pop-culture zombie omnipresence that happened with La La Land , Hamilton, etc).   

Baroque 'N' Roll

 I did not imagine that I was the first person to come up with "baroque 'n' roll" -   - the title of the chapter in S+A a...