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 Post subject: Snips La Rocca and Bill Nelson
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:30 pm 
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I really like the Snips La Rocca album and was wondering how Bill ended up playing on it. Also did Bill only play synthesizer on it?


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 Post subject: Re: Snips La Rocca and Bill Nelson
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:37 pm 
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furnituremusic wrote:
I really like the Snips La Rocca album and was wondering how Bill ended up playing on it. Also did Bill only play synthesizer on it?


An interesting question, Furniture Music. I was asked to play on the album by Snips himself, (real name Steve Parsons,) who was originally, I think, a musician from Hull who had a background with various Hull bands, including 'Throbbing Gristle' in their earliest days, (though he wasn't really involved with that music, but just a friend of Cosey Fanni Tutti's.)

The album was produced by guitarist Chris Spedding, a great player who had been a session musician on many pop singles, (including 'The Wombles' novelty hit,) but who also had a respectable jazz background. Chris played on Jack Bruce's wonderful, 'Songs For A Tailor' album as well as on several other respected recordings. Chris later went on to be a member of 'Sharks,' a band which also featured Snips as vocalist and who, I recall, supported Roxy Music back in the day.

I bought the Sharks album when it first came out and loved it, particularly the track 'Snakes And Swallowtails.' That album was played in the van in the earliest days of Be Bop Deluxe when we'd be driving from Wakefield to Leeds for a gig at 'The Staging Post' pub or wherever. Sharks also had the late Andy Fraser, (from 'Free',) on bass too. (I'd once been asked to join a 'supergroup' that Island Records were attempting to put together with Andy Fraser on Bass and ex-Hendrix drummer Mitch Mitchell on drums.)

Anyway, jumping forward in time, Snips asked me to play Keyboards on the album 'La Rocca.' I was surprised by this as I'd always considered my keyboard playing to be secondary to my guitar playing but, because I'd been such a fan of Sharks' music, I agreed to do it. I was incredibly nervous during the session, especially as Chris Spending was the producer and guitarist. I struggled through as best I could on an instrument I'd never had to deliver on in that kind of situation. I recall inordinate amounts of booze being consumed by both Chris and Snips during the session but I was too nervous to partake myself and desperately tried to stay focussed and professional. It was one of those, dive in, sink or swim moments.

Having said that, I think I acquitted myself reasonably well, without my guitar in hand. Played mostly Mini-Moog as far as I recall. A long time agp now.

I still love what Snips and Chris do. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Snips La Rocca and Bill Nelson
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:55 pm 
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Bill Nelson wrote:
furnituremusic wrote:
I really like the Snips La Rocca album and was wondering how Bill ended up playing on it. Also did Bill only play synthesizer on it?


An interesting question, Furniture Music. I was asked to play on the album by Snips himself, (real name Steve Parsons,) who was originally, I think, a musician from Hull who had a background with various Hull bands, including 'Throbbing Gristle' in their earliest days, (though he wasn't really involved with that music, but just a friend of Cosey Fanni Tutti's.)

The album was produced by guitarist Chris Spedding, a great player who had been a session musician on many pop singles, (including 'The Wombles' novelty hit,) but who also had a respectable jazz background. Chris played on Jack Bruce's wonderful, 'Songs For A Tailor' album as well as on several other respected recordings. Chris later went on to be a member of 'Sharks,' a band which also featured Snips as vocalist and who, I recall, supported Roxy Music back in the day.

I bought the Sharks album when it first came out and loved it, particularly the track 'Snakes And Swallowtails.' That album was played in the van in the earliest days of Be Bop Deluxe when we'd be driving from Wakefield to Leeds for a gig at 'The Staging Post' pub or wherever. Sharks also had the late Andy Fraser, (from 'Free',) on bass too. (I'd once been asked to join a 'supergroup' that Island Records were attempting to put together with Andy Fraser on Bass and ex-Hendrix drummer Mitch Mitchell on drums.)

Anyway, jumping forward in time, Snips asked me to play Keyboards on the album 'La Rocca.' I was surprised by this as I'd always considered my keyboard playing to be secondary to my guitar playing but, because I'd been such a fan of Sharks' music, I agreed to do it. I was incredibly nervous during the session, especially as Chris Spending was the producer and guitarist. I struggled through as best I could on an instrument I'd never had to deliver on in that kind of situation. I recall inordinate amounts of booze being consumed by both Chris and Snips during the session but I was too nervous to partake myself and desperately tried to stay focussed and professional. It was one of those, dive in, sink or swim moments.

Having said that, I think I acquitted myself reasonably well, without my guitar in hand. Played mostly Mini-Moog as far as I recall. A long time agp now.

I still love what Snips and Chris do. :wink:


Wow! Thanks so much for your response and insight, Bill. I love your playing on this album. Your keyboard work on Dark Outside, Skies of England, Backs of Millions is amazing. It sounds like your voice at the beginning of Backs of Millions at the beginning. Is it? That synth solo on Dark Outside is the cat's meow! Speaking of which how are you cat(s) doing?


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 Post subject: Re: Snips La Rocca and Bill Nelson
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:55 am 
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furnituremusic wrote:
Wow! Thanks so much for your response and insight, Bill. I love your playing on this album. Your keyboard work on Dark Outside, Skies of England, Backs of Millions is amazing. It sounds like your voice at the beginning of Backs of Millions at the beginning. Is it? That synth solo on Dark Outside is the cat's meow! Speaking of which how are you cat(s) doing?


Thanks for the compliment, FM! I didn't sing on 'La Rocca', so the sound you're hearing must be synth. Haven't heard the album for many years but enjoyed working with Snips and Chris. Both are extremely talented musicians.

My cat, (Django,) is fine, by the way. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Snips La Rocca and Bill Nelson
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:17 am 
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Bill Nelson wrote:
... Snips himself, (real name Steve Parsons,) who was originally, I think, a musician from Hull who had a background with various Hull bands, including 'Throbbing Gristle' in their earliest days, (though he wasn't really involved with that music, but just a friend of Cosey Fanni Tutti's.)
100% correct!

By coincidence, I am currently ploughing through Cosey's 500-page autobiography, and Snips is indeed mentioned in it.

I wouldn't know any of her art or music (TG or otherwise) if I saw or heard it, so it's a bit of a heavy read for me. But if I only read about things that I already know, what a dull boy that would make me!


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 Post subject: Re: Snips La Rocca and Bill Nelson
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:05 pm 
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Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Bill Nelson wrote:
furnituremusic wrote:
I really like the Snips La Rocca album and was wondering how Bill ended up playing on it. Also did Bill only play synthesizer on it?

An interesting question, Furniture Music. I was asked to play on the album by Snips himself, (real name Steve Parsons,) who was originally, I think, a musician from Hull who had a background with various Hull bands, including 'Throbbing Gristle' in their earliest days, (though he wasn't really involved with that music, but just a friend of Cosey Fanni Tutti's.)

The album was produced by guitarist Chris Spedding, a great player who had been a session musician on many pop singles, (including 'The Wombles' novelty hit,) but who also had a respectable jazz background. Chris played on Jack Bruce's wonderful, 'Songs For A Tailor' album as well as on several other respected recordings. Chris later went on to be a member of 'Sharks,' a band which also featured Snips as vocalist and who, I recall, supported Roxy Music back in the day.

I bought the Sharks album when it first came out and loved it, particularly the track 'Snakes And Swallowtails.' That album was played in the van in the earliest days of Be Bop Deluxe when we'd be driving from Wakefield to Leeds for a gig at 'The Staging Post' pub or wherever. Sharks also had the late Andy Fraser, (from 'Free',) on bass too. (I'd once been asked to join a 'supergroup' that Island Records were attempting to put together with Andy Fraser on Bass and ex-Hendrix drummer Mitch Mitchell on drums.)

Anyway, jumping forward in time, Snips asked me to play Keyboards on the album 'La Rocca.' I was surprised by this as I'd always considered my keyboard playing to be secondary to my guitar playing but, because I'd been such a fan of Sharks' music, I agreed to do it. I was incredibly nervous during the session, especially as Chris Spending was the producer and guitarist. I struggled through as best I could on an instrument I'd never had to deliver on in that kind of situation. I recall inordinate amounts of booze being consumed by both Chris and Snips during the session but I was too nervous to partake myself and desperately tried to stay focused and professional. It was one of those, dive in, sink or swim moments.

Having said that, I think I acquitted myself reasonably well, without my guitar in hand. Played mostly Mini-Moog as far as I recall. A long time ago now.

I still love what Snips and Chris do. :wink:


Bill's thoughts have been added to the Snips page found on the new Productions and Contributions page on Bill's website. Scroll all the way down to 1981 and click on the Snips cover.

If Bill will periodically make comments on other releases in the long list, then we can flesh out these pages.

cheers, John


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 Post subject: Re: Snips La Rocca and Bill Nelson
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:51 pm 
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Snips was the the singer in a Hull band called Nothineverappens which featured former Fairview Studio house engineer Roy Neave on rhythm guitar!
:D :D

_________________
John Spence
Recording and Mastering Engineer
http://www.johnspencerecording.co.uk


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 Post subject: Re: Snips La Rocca and Bill Nelson
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:28 am 
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And, after all these years, I've just made contact with legendary guitarist Chris Spedding via Facebook. Nice to be able to speak with him again after all the years since recording 'La Rocca'. Aside from the fact that he's an incredibly gifted guitarist, (who played on one of my favourite albums, Jack Bruce's 'Songs For A Tailor,') but who was also a pleasure to work with, even though I was out of my depth playing synths on Snips' album that time....We leave a trail of creativity behind us, for posterity to assimilate. No idea how the future will see this stuff, so much of it may go unacknowledged or overlooked...but it's important that it exists, and even more Important to leave a mark in the sand... :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Snips La Rocca and Bill Nelson
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:15 am 
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Bill Nelson wrote:
furnituremusic wrote:
Wow! Thanks so much for your response and insight, Bill. I love your playing on this album. Your keyboard work on Dark Outside, Skies of England, Backs of Millions is amazing. It sounds like your voice at the beginning of Backs of Millions at the beginning. Is it? That synth solo on Dark Outside is the cat's meow! Speaking of which how are you cat(s) doing?


Thanks for the compliment, FM! I didn't sing on 'La Rocca', so the sound you're hearing must be synth. Haven't heard the album for many years but enjoyed working with Snips and Chris. Both are extremely talented musicians.

My cat, (Django,) is fine, by the way. :wink:


La Rocca was finally released on cd a few years ago. I have the original vinyl too.

Yes Django, I remember you mentioning him when your other cat passed away a few years ago.

Thanks again for the insight. I really dig the fact that you responded to my query.

Auditoria is wonderful BTW! Been listening to it for the last few weeks but today's Bill Nelson spin of the day is Chamber of Dreams!

Be well and keep the music coming.


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 Post subject: Re: Snips La Rocca and Bill Nelson
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:42 am 
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John Spence wrote:
Snips was the the singer in a Hull band called Nothineverappens which featured former Fairview Studio house engineer Roy Neave on rhythm guitar!
:D :D
According to Cosey Fanny Tutti, "nothing ever happens" was a phrase that she and her friends used when something unexpected/uwanted happened during an acid trip. :shock: It was a sort of "reset" phrase, to get off the bad direction and back to a more desirable state of mind.

She implies that Snips picked up hs band name from there.


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