Who you may ask? Well as Queen fans know he was involved in the pre-
Queen band Smile, that featured Roger Taylor & Brian May. He is one
of the few outside writers to get a writing credit on a Queen album
as well with 'Doin' Alright', that appeared on Queen's debut album.
Tim is about to release his first album for 30 years! Brian May &
Snowy White (ex-Thin Lizzy) are amongst the guests.
|1. What are you currently up
Just completed my first album for thirty years, a mix of tunes from
the late sixties up to the present day, all new versions, with the
core band of myself, Richard Lightman, John Webster, and my son
|2. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpint(s) of your career?
Well, I'm not sure about high point, but probably the most satisfying
thing I've done is a brief period directing TV commercials and
inserts in the late eighties; exactly the sort of mix of creative and
technical that I like. I can't think of a low point, it's all been
great fun, from Tommy the Tank Engine to the Millennium Dome.
You are currently working on the Amigos project. How did this idea
come about? You also have some top line guests like Snowy White &
Brian May. How did you get these on board and anymore to come?
Amigo is just an amazing result of the chemistry between the four of
us. It just clicked. I didn't ever imagine I would make another
album, but as soon as we started working together, it became daft not
to! Brian agreed to contribute some guitar because, as you know, he
and I go back to Hampton School in the sixties. Snowy White and I
were in Jonathan Kelly's band... the list of players on the website
is comprehensive, but currently omits Martin Shaw (trumpet), and, God
willing, Roger Taylor, who I am hoping will take a verse on 'Earth'
and 'Doin' Alright' (the plan is: 1 verse Brian, 1 verse Roger, 1
verse Me.) sort of, but not quite, Smile revisited.
Smile - what was the live scene like when the band started out?
Why do you think Smile never had major sucess? What other bands were
your main 'rivals' on the local music scene?
You have to remember that Smile was a semi-pro oufit - We all had
other pressures - I'm not sure if any of us really considered Smile
as a realistic career option. Lack of attitude? maybe. We used to
play with people like Rory Gallagher's 'Taste'; Wishbone Ash; Climax
Blues Band; Edgar Broughton etc, on a comparable level. We supported
Hendrix twice, Pink Floyd, Yes...the list is endless...
How did 'Doin' Alright' end up on the debut Queen album? Were you
ever approached to work with the band again?
Cynically I used to wonder if the guys had put 'Doin Alright' on the
first album because they were short of 'native' Queen material, but
it is after all, a 50% song with Brian, maybe it fitted the blend of
material...I'm not familiar with that album so I can't really make a
judgement. I never was asked to work with them again, but our styles
had changed, so I wouldn't have expected it...
|6. What did you do immediately after the break-up of Smile?
I went straight to the States for about four months, down south;
Miami to be precise; I gigged about, solo and with other musicians,
saw a few acts, smoked some weed, took some peyote and soaked up some
rays...it was a good time...
|7. Who have been your main influeneces on your career?
As a musician, there are just so many different things that I like;
Guitarists; Ry Cooder, Brian, Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton;
Drummers; Harvey Mason, Peter Erskine, Dave Weckl;
Keyboards; Joe Sample, Dave Grusin, Bob James;
Vocalists? Nancy Wilson, Gladys Knight, Al Jarreau,
Bass; Abraham Laboriel, Anthony Jackson, Marcus Miller, I could just
drone on for hours...
|8. Last book that you read...
I re-read Larry Niven's Ringworld; I understand Quincy Jones owns the
movie rights: - Make the Movie, Quince!
|9. Outside of business, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I draw a lot. Mostly on a PC, but manually, too; sculpt a bit,
customise the odd guitar and generally play Dad.
|10. Message for your
You guys dignify me with your support. I hope I'm about to repay some
of that with the new album. Thanks for hanging in for thirty years!
Interview © 2003 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.
All rights reserved.
Classic Rock News Group