Man, with John Cipollina
May 14, 1975
1. 7171-551 10:30
2. A Hard Way To Die 6:43
3. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You 6:45
4. Hard Way To Live 3:26
5. The Storm 14:32
6. Codine 8:25
Disc 1 Total - 50:23
1. Someone Is Calling 2:59
2. Razor Blade And Rattlesnake 6:04
3. Many Are Called But Few Get Up 15:07
4. Bananas 11:55
5. Scotch Corner * 5:03
6. Romain * 8:04
7. Blown Away * 6:53
Disc 2 Total - 56:07
* - BBC Sessions, 27/2/74
Lineage: ? > CD-R > EAC > Wav > FLAC Frontend > FLAC (8)
John's view of his experiences with the Manband:
And then of course I went and did the Man thing.
[Man was a Welsh band, formed in the late 1960's and led by Micky Jones, Terry Williams (later of Rockpile), and Deke Leonard, that was heavily influenced by the San Francisco sound.]
They came to San Francisco and they were big fans and they wanted to meet me. In fact, they had come the year before and they played a club and they asked if anybody in their audience knew where I lived.
So I went in and I met them and they immediately accused me of not being me. I didn't live up to their expectations at all. They said, "Aw, you can't be him. How tall are you?" And I said, "I'm five-nine." And they said, "Everybody knows Cipollina's at least six-two to six-four." I said, "Bullshit." They said, "We've seen pictures of Quicksilver. He's a big, tall guy." And I actually showed them my license.
I had never had anybody accuse me of not being me before. It was weird. Deke Leonard said, "Well, if you're Cipollina, here, play something like him." So we did a jam and I guess I passed. Then they asked me to come down - they were playing Winterland. I sat in with them on the encore and everything that could've gone wrong went wrong. I mean, I broke a string. I hardly ever break strings. And the PA went out, and one of the amplifiers blew, I think. And it was really cool, because the band held it together. Finally, whan the PA went off, the drummer just took it and did a solo.
So at the end of the show they came over and they started to apologize. They said, "Gee, we wanted to ask you if you'd come to England with us, but you probably won't because everything fell apart." And I thought about it. I didn't know them, but I figured that anybody that could hold it together under that kind of adversity was adult enough and professional enough, sure, I'd do it. So I went over without knowing anything about them and we ended up doing the album. [Maximum Darkness, 1975]
It was fun doing a three-way guitar thing and also I thought it was about time that I get over, because I was getting typecasted pretty heavy as being, you know, a 'psychedelic' guitar player. It was getting to the point where it was even affecting sessions. I was a trained musician. I had played in jazz groups. I had played numerous styles of music. And I could play rock 'n' roll. But nobody would hit on me for certain sessions because I was typecasted as being a psychedelic guitarist, which I never felt I was very good at, anyway. But then, what do I know? I was just a rocker. So I thought, well, if I'm gonna keep doing this for a living, I'd better get over and do what I do. They might as well find out now I'm five-nine. So I went over and I played.
And sure enough, I surprised everybody. First of all, I am more violent than most people consider. I mean, I'm not, I don't hit people. But I do have a black sense of humor. I always have and I figure they might as well know. And I think we did really well, Man and myself, we did pretty good.
from "The John Cipollina Story, Part 4: Guitarist Without Portfolio", by Walter Ruhlmann, Relix Vol. 15 #3 - http://michaelcross.me.uk/jc/r-jcs4.htm
John's eventual and eventful meeting with Man deserves to be given a mention, "Man did an interview with a San Francisco radio station..... I was out with another non-group, that we pulled up just for the day. I was playing with Link Wray, my old hero, and there was a drummer and bassist too. The drummer with Copperhead was with them (Link and group) and said 'come on down' and one thing led to another. We were supposed to do a show at the California Institute For Women, which is the biggest women's prison in the United States, and Link had to cancel at the very last minute. So I had already been contracted to play there and I'm not much of a solo guitarist, not much at going out on my own. It was just ludicrous..... I went down to do this gig and at the last gasp I pulled a band together; I got Andy Kirby on drums and this friend of ours, who fixes all my equipment, keeps my rehearsal scene together and who I jam with sometimes. We formed a group for the day, the Sons of Hitler, and we went down to this women's prison and played "Jailhouse Rock" and just about everything else we could think of, the three of us. When we were down there, Man did a radio show and said, 'we'd like to meet John Cipollina' sorta thing. I got back to town a couple of days later, not knowing about this, but a friend at the radio station was trying to contact me. I had moved outta my house and into a hotel for purely erotic and esoteric reasons. I was sorta hiding out in my home town, in a hotel and having a ball. So finally, two or three days later, some friends of mine said, "hey this group Man, they're looking for ya". So I said where are they - turned out they were at Howard Johnson's, the same hotel, right down the hall from me. So I went down to their room and knocks on the door and the drummer says, "come on down to rehearsal", we got there and they said, "come down to Winterland. come on and jam on the encore with us" and I did. I had never heard the song before, got onstage, had a ball playing "Romane". So we hung out in the dressing room and somebody from UA said would I consider going to England for six weeks. I had nothing planned for six weeks, so rather than holiday in my own back yard, I thought I'd holiday in England. It's a gas playing with them and I've really had a good time..... also, I got to visit England at last, which, you know, is sorta my ancestral burial ground".
from "John Cipollina", by Bert Muirhead, Hot Wacks 8, Oct/Nov '75 - http://michaelcross.me.uk/jc/hw-jc.htm
Then, of course, there's the involvement with Man.
"They asked me if I'd do some studio work, then an album, and it rolled into a tour. So here I am. Course, they might not like me at the end."
So far he's played once live with Man, at the Winterland where he succeeded in busting two amps and a string, disasters not supposed to plague guitar heroes: "They were so cordial and all, though, so I came over, said, 'Boys, I don't usually do things like this'."
Mighty Fine Gestures all round, hombres, but J.C. won't be joining Man permanently: "Guess I'm a Westerner. I was born and bred in Berkeley, California. That's mah home."
from "Triggers Ahoy!", NME June 7, 1975 - http://michaelcross.me.uk/jc/nme-jc.htm
The Manband's view:
"What d'you think of the new album then?" said Man's guitarist Micky Jones. Drummer Terry Williams sat there staring, waiting for an answer. I made a few non-committal grunts. "Yeah," said Micky, "I know what you mean." Terry nodded.
Man's new album, "Maximum Darkness," their twelfth, was recorded live at the Chalk Farm Roundhouse on the last nights of their summer tour. Ex-Quicksilver guitarist John Cipollina had joined the Welsh band for the whole tour after meeting them earlier in the year in California where the band had been notably successful.
The marriage of Cipollina, Jones and Deke Leonard on guitars wasn't quite Quicksilver. The album obviously reflects that.
Mixing the live tapes proved difficult. "Three guitars for a start... a lot had to be dropped out. We didn't have enough rehearsals with John."
They had four days in fact. "It got tightened up by the Roundhouse, but it still wasn't tight enough to mix as it is and leave it. Cipollina himself was disappointing. "I think he's been outta touch. I don't think he was doing much in California. He was more or less the resident musician at the Winterland. Whatever band came along he'd play with them."
The album features two old Man songs from way back - "Bananas" and "Many Are Called But Few Get Up" - a Deke Leonard Iceberg cut, "7171 551", and two songs from Cipollina's background, Buffy St. Marie's "Codine" and "Babe I'm Gonna leave You".
"We would've liked to have done more, but we just had four days and those passed just getting to know the guy," Micky says. "It worked as an experiment. It wouldn't work as a permanent thing, whatever permanent is." (Man's personnel is the most fluid you'll find anywhere.)
"It blew a few illusions. I was expecting more as a musician. Everybody builds up something in their head about somebody. I had an illusion about him as a musician. It blew the illusions."
Was that Micky's view or the band's? "It's a collective impression. It'd be the same for a lotta people if Elvis came over here.
Personally, they got on fine with Cipollina. "Great, great. He always wants to play tricks, have a bit of fun. He's got these terrific stories he bumbles on about and he forgets what he's talking about. He's all 'Let's go 'n' party! Let's go 'n' blow up a car!' He's very conscious of it. He doesn't have to live up to it. It is him... he's interesting. He's a character."
On stage: "I think it was more difficult for me than it was for Deke. See, Chippo was on my side (of the stage) and he's got this great stack. And we don't play at his volume. Where Deke was he could hear me and Chippo okay. Where I was, standing right next to him, I couldn't hear at all. He wasn't very sympathetic, really, with other musicians."
"Not meaning-wise," adds Terry, "he wasn't trying to outdo anybody. He was just so loud that we couldn't hear each other even when he was playing rhythm. Like, when Micky was doing a solo and I wanted to do accents with him there was no way I could do it."
But did Cipollina's style seem compatible with Man's. "He's changed. He's gone very heavy metal. All the numbers that he's writing now are very basic, heavy boogies," says Terry
"I don't think he realised what he was coming to. He didn't realise how popular the band was over here for a start," adds Jones.
To get down to specifics on the album, Cipollina doesn't play in "Bananas." (Terry: He was outta tune. I don't know whether he was panicking or what").
"There was some things, some numbers that he couldn't really get a grasp of. Like "Many Are Called," there's some weird things in that. He couldn't latch on to that and it was totally out of his feel to play that type of thing."
"I did a separate mix of 'Bananas'. Put the band down and John up. I am cruel - I admit that," says Jones, smiling an elfin smile.
"It shatters all the myth," adds Terry.
from "Man of Darkness", by Geoff Brown, Melody Maker October 4, 1975 - http://michaelcross.me.uk/jc/mm75-mod.htm
Meeting one of your musical heroes is always fascinating and it was a strange mixture of awe and interest that took young Campbell and I down to see John Cipollina (belatedly) in action on English soil. We must be grateful to Man for bringing him over, but I would have preferred it to have been in a more familiar role, for instance, with Copperhead or (whisper it) the legendary version of Quicksilver. On the night, Cipollina was a mixture of enigma and cult figure guitar hero. Resplendent in buckskin and cowboy boots, he dominated the stage in the physical sense, being head and shoulders above the Man midgets. Musically, he was fine, when he got the chance. It was only the third night of the tour and things were not really together yet; also, Man were only including two slices of Cipollina's past, the evergreen "Codine" and one of the tracks from "Quicksilver's contribution to the "Revolution" soundtrack. John had brought with him his own sound system, or part of it (details in ZigZag 52.) and his sound was clear as a bell, whether it was on his Gibson or on hawaii/slide guitar. Despite John's reservations about the sound, mainly centering around the different US and English voltages, his soloing made Man's muddy by comparisons. A brief word for Man, who are big Edinburgh favourites having played here four times in eighteen months albeit with four different line-ups), and for bringing John over I'm sure they will earn a lot of people's respect. I'm not too fond of their music on record but they are nice guys to talk to and I'm sure they'll be around for a while yet. After the gig, John spent a long time ensuring that his guitar and amps were safely packed away and took personal possession of his guitars (I wish more musicians took this trouble, instead of leaving stuff around to get occasionally ripped-off by anybody who happens to be passing) before talking to us.
from "John Cipollina", by Bert Muirhead, Hot Wacks 8, Oct/Nov '75 - http://michaelcross.me.uk/jc/hw-jc.htm
John Cipollina News:
We have a very exciting release schedule coming up in July/Aug/Sept 2008.
Two albums by JOHN CIPPOLINA with TERRY AND THE PIRATES.
Esoteric Recordings ( http://www.cherryred.co.uk/esoteric ) have recently released the third batch of extended remastered reissues of Man albums:
Back Into The Future - 3 CD, 12 extra tracks, including complete Roundhouse June 1973 show
Maximum Darkness - 1 CD, 2 extra tracks
Slow Motion - 1 CD, 6 extra tracks
The previously reissued albums are: Man, Do You Like It Here Now, Be Good To Yourself, Rhinos Winos & Lunatics (2 CD), Christmas at the Patti, Live At The Padget Rooms Penarth (complete concert). See http://www.cherryred.co.uk/esoteric/artists/man.htm for details.
John Cipollina - http://www.johncipollina.com
John Cipollina Discography - http://michaelcross.me.uk
Shady Grove - The Quicksilver Messenger Service Page - http://www.penncen.com/quicksilver/
Gary Duncan's Quicksilver Messenger Service - Now... - http://www.quicksilvermessengerservice.com
Gary Duncan's Quicksilver Messenger Service - Ghosts of Days Gone By - http://quicksilvermessengerservice.net
Man - http://www.manband-archive.com
Effigy Music - http://www.effigymusic.co.uk, for Man CDs, DVDs & T-Shirts