- Timeline More from year 1976
- Album This interview has been made to promote the Holly Days Official album.
More from year 1976
Other interviews of Denny Laine
Nov 07, 1981 • From Sounds
Jan 02, 1979 • From Daily Mirror
Oct 11, 1975 • From Record Mirror
Aug 31, 1974 • From Sounds
Aug 17, 1974 • From New Musical Express
Circa June 1974 • From Wings Fun Club
Jan 12, 1974 • From Record Mirror
Dec 29, 1973 • From Disc And Music Echo
Aug 11, 1973 • From Record Mirror
Jun 09, 1973 • From New Musical Express
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With the American release, Capitol issued an interview with Denny:
Q: Whose idea was it to do an album of Buddy Holly songs?
A: Originally, Linda’s father, Lee Eastman, suggested it. It was my idea a long time ago to do something like that because I’d done one solo album just before I joined the band, and instead of this being just my second solo album, I wanted it to be a Buddy Holly album, or a folk album – something a bit different. But it’s obvi ously not me leaving the group to do a solo album. You don’t get that feeling about it. It was Lee’s original idea, but as I say, it’s always been in the back of my mind anyway. He just sparked it off.
Q: Why Holly?
A: Because I like his stuff. We were playing it back in the good old days. It was the first stuff I listened to.
Q: How did you go about choosing the songs that you would do on the album?
A: Well, the ones I liked, really. Also, the more obscure ones like ‘Mood Dreams’. These are the songs that Paul had anyway, ’cause he’s got Buddy Holly songs, a lot of them. So it was half to do with what they’ve got in the catalogue and half picking out the best ones.
Q: With great respect, do you not think some of the more cynical journalists would question your motives, knowing that Paul has the publishing of the Holly catalogue?
A: I’m sure they will. I mean, I could say that I did a Buddy Holly album because we’ve got the copyright, but that’s ridicu lous. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t like his stuff. It’s as simple as that, so they can say what they like.
Q: Do you consider this a solo Denny Laine album or a tribute to Buddy Holly by Denny Laine?
A: It’s a tribute to Buddy Holly really, because I got to know Norman Petty, who wrote most of the songs anyway. I got very friendly with the guy, you know. It was like I’d known him for years. He was one of those sort of guys. So that’s what it turned out to be, a tribute. Originally, it was that I liked Buddy Holly songs. I wanted a package album, wanted to do a set album of a certain thing, not just all separate songs like it’s away from the group. I knew if I did a solo album it would be, first of all, in holiday time, so I didn’t fancy it. I’m busy enough, but I thought it would be a fun sort of thing if I did it at home. This is how this Holly thing was. It was just done in Scotland in a little shack, a place called Rude Studios.
Q: Why did you choose to do it in that form rather than going into a studio with the musicians?
A: Because we were fed up with going into a studio. That’s all we ever do. We always do it normally, twenty-four track. This is just a little four-track studio. Well, it wasn’t a studio, it was a shack which we hired stuff for and gave it a name.
Q: And it was only yourself, Paul and Linda who were actually involved?
A: Yes. Paul did the backing tracks, ninety per cent of them, and then I just did my ten per cent – little guitar bits and vocals, etc., with Linda on harmonies.
Q: Were you in Scotland at the time?
A: Yes. It was a holiday idea to just do it rough and ready. It is probably the same environment that all groups start out with. As I said, we just had enough time to mess around in a regular studio anyway, but I didn’t particularly want to do it that way, purely because of boredom, I suppose, or change.
Q: How long did it take?
A: It took about three weeks, I suppose. It was certainly no longer. Paul laid down all the backing tracks before I went in to do the vocals. In the morning he would be working on the backing track and I would go over in the afternoon and help him finish them off and then do the vocals. Then we added more to the tracks in a bigger studio to make them a little more professional, stuff like strings, etc.
Q: What about that decision?
A: We tried it on one track. It sounded good, so we did it with most of them.
Q: How is it working with McCartney as the producer?
A: Well, I’ve worked with him for a long time. As a producer, he produces all the Wings stuff as well, so it was no problem.
Q: Do you think the album will cause a lot of criticism?
A: Yes, because it’s Buddy Holly, because of the hardcore fanatics. But they weren’t there doing it. If you get fun out of it, that’s it.
Q: When do you think you will start doing another solo album and what sort of project do you envisage?
A: I envisage it to be probably a folk album or something in that vein. Something like the Buddy Holly things, rough and ready. It’ll probably be the same kind of thing, but a different style of music. That’s what I want to do, something different – different styles on each album that I put out. But I really don’t have any plans.
Q: How did you come to join forces with McCartney originally?
A: I knew him from the Beatles days. After the Moodies and String Band I was trying to make it again, but not really going out of my way as I was not getting the kind of results that I wanted. I started to make this Aah Laine album, but again it wasn’t being believed. Let’s put it this way, I am the sort of person that, if I’m not believed, I’ll be stubborn to the point of being a maniac. It was just a mock-up to prove myself. Anyway, Paul just happened to call me up and it was the weekend that I had just finished some of the mixes from that album. So when he called me up I just said, ‘Thank Christ for that. Now I have somebody to work with whom I don’t have to explain everything to.’ So that was the decider really … just one of those things of fate. I think I’ve some idea of the way Paul feels about things. I know the kind of pressure he’s under because I’ve been through a lot of the same stuff myself. The longer you go on, the tougher it is in a lot of ways. People expect more and more of you. For Paul, having been part of the best rock-‘n’-roll band in history … it must be very heavy. I admire him so much for the way he handles it and doesn’t let it interfere with his music.
Q: It has been a remarkable relationship, to say the least.
A: No problems. None whatsoever.