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Ten Questions with...

Robin George

Now most rock fans of a certain age must remember the mid-80's hit 'Heartline' by Robin George? The album it came of, 'Dangerous Music' is a must have for any self-respecting hard rock fan and was originally released back in 1985.

Robin George has also worked with David Byron (ex-Uriah Heep vocalist), briefly with Asia members John Wetton & Carl Plamer and the ill fated Notorious with Diamond Head's Sean Harris. He was also in pomp-rockers Magnum for a brief period.

Check out the website for the recently released Byron Band material.

1. What are you currently up to?

I recently released Lost and Found a collection of demos, rehearsals and a gig featuring David Byron, via my website. The reaction has been really positive which is good.

I've just finished my new album Bluesongs which Im very pleased with. Im also mastering a Dangerous Music Live album from the mid eighties and a compilation of unreleased songs of mine from the same era.

I havent gigged for a while, but I'm in talks about a short tour when the album's released.

2. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoints(s) of your career to date?

Too many to mention, but being able to make music is reward enough. I suppose Bronze Records going broke just as Dangerous was taking off was a definite low point, but the good times far outweigh any bad.

3. How did you first get into the music business? Who have been your main influences on your career to date?

I always wanted to make music, so I kept trying until I eventually ended up making deals etc. I joined my first band when I was about fourteen, but Ive been writing ever since I could strum a few chords, mostly rubbish, but I still remember a few of the songs even now.

When I started, everybody listened to the Beatles or the Stones, but I was more into the Beatles because of their song writing, vocal harmonies and production. They were my major inspiration as a writer and performer. As a guitar player, my inspiration was blues players like Peter Green and Johnny Winter. I thought Zeppelin one was a fantastic guitar album and I still do, so bands with great guitar players like Cream, journey and of course Hendrix always interested me most. I also loved the groove of bands like Little Feat.

4. Could you tell us some more about the recently released David Byron material that you've been involved with? How did you originally hook-up with David?

David used to work with a guy called Pete Green, he was also known as Daniel Boon - he had written several hits in the Sixties. I was working with Pete Green, too, he was co-writing with David at the time, and he recommended me as a producer and a guitar player. So I met up with David and we eventually formed the band. The first time we met we wrote Bad Girl which is on the "Lost And Found" album. The first session, with Pino Paladino playing bass and Pete Thompson on drums was recorded live, which was great! - We did "Bad Girl" which we later re-recorded for the album "On The Rocks" but for me the feel of the demo is far better.

It was around then that we formed the Byron Band, and the rest is history. I will never know why on earth the band didn't get signed for the second album, because the songs are really good, and David's performances are excellent.

5. How did Rock Of Ageists fare and what were your personal highlights on the album?

"Rock Of Ageists" has got some very good songs on it and, given a chance, it could have done a lot better. I was made a lot of promises by the record company that never materialised.

They did no marketing at all to my knowledge, so not many people even know about it. I've recently been approached by a label who want to re-release it, so who knows! OK, it's not a world-changing album and it wasn't meant to be, it was just me getting old songs out of my system and moving on with my music.

They are my versions of the songs Glenn Hughes and other people had performed but not released (yet!) so I knew the songs were good enough to be heard. In a different time Im convinced tracks like Haunted and Learn the Dance would have been hits.

6. You made a big impact with Heartline. How did you come up with this song?

Heartline was originally two songs, so its the best bits of both. I remember re-writing it a few times until it was good enough to be the single it became.

7. You worked briefly with Asia. Was this just helping out the band or were there plans to have you in the band full time? Would you ever consider working in a band situation again and have other bands approached you to join them since Asia?

It wasnt really Asia, it was a project band John Wetton and I put together. The band was Carl Palmer, Don Airey on keyboards, Phil Manzanera who joined us for a couple of numbers, John and me. We did three nights for charity. We played Asia's hits, and some of my tracks plus a couple of Beatles and Stones covers, which was good.

There are lots of bootlegs around of the gigs but Ive got the original tapes. Ive been asked many times to re-master them, and if the other guys agree it could be released as a live album in the near future.

John and Carl asked me to put an act together with them, but it didnt work out in the end.

Ive worked with lots of names over the years, which has always been a privilege, but I always come back to solo stuff in the end. Ive never split up with myself yet!

8. Are there any styles of music youd like to explore in the future? Any other musicians youd really like to work with if given the chance?

"Bluesongs", is an interesting album - it's rock, funk and blues, It's a different sort of groove, I always work with the same bass player, Charlie Charlesworth, and he plays almost reggae dub across the blues riffs, and it works a treat. Very different for me.

I've recently been working with a singer who's really big in Asia. He sends me his vocals and I build tracks around them, so we've got this amazing hybrid of Asian melodies and blues/funk/rock. I've never heard anything quite like it and I find it fascinating how Indian scales work against my western riffs.

9. What do you do in your spare time outside of music?

Make music!

10. Message to your fans...

The usual thanks for all the support and goodwill, its priceless to me.

Because of the Internet, I've realized I still have fans worldwide. I thought people had forgotten me and who I am. A friend recently said your fans dont go away, they grow older with you, they remember you and want to hear what your doing now, which is very gratifying. Thats good to know!



Interview © 2003 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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