This interview goes back to autumn 1978 and was published in Gorilla Beat, a German Oldies Magazine - written in English.

 

GB = Gorilla Beat†† F = Frank†† M = Mike†† J = John†† B = Billy

 

 

GB: The boys seemed rather happy with the success they usually have in Germany, but isn't it boring to play these old numbers over and over again, some of them for more than 14 years?

 

F: Well, it depends on the audience. If they respond it's great. But sometimes it's very boring indeed.

 

M: If you have wine and chicken on the table it's great.

 

GB: What about new recording plans? Any chance to see a record soon?

 

F: We just signed a contract - with Sire. You know the label the Flaming Groovies and the Ramones are on. We'll be in the studio next year.

 

GB: Will there be any new material?

 

F: Yes, probably. But some old things as well. It hasn't been decided.

 

GB: Will you do your own compositions?

 

F: Yes, we would like to, but nothing has been penned to this day. And we had no time to rehearse, because the contract as only been signed a few days before we left the UK.

 

GB: Has the-producer already been decided?

 

F: No, they're just negotiating. They're looking for one.

 

GB: Whom would you like?

 

F: Well, anybody we don't object to! As it seems at the moment it will be Tom Petty. But we don't care. It's their job.

GB: Tom Petty would be a good idea. He has this 60s attitude but is in the seventies with both legs. (No response) Tom Petty and the Searchers, a second take off!?

 

F: Third take off!

 

GB: I was rather disappointed by the SECOND TAKE-LP.

 

M: So were we! But we only made it to fulfil our contract.

 

GB: It sells as it seems!

 

M: That's because they cut down the price, you know!

 

GB: I think it does no band good to r-e-record their hits, like the 'Blue Jeans did, and you. The songs only lose their fascination - and the fame, myth, of the band suffers

 

F: If you don't get every single note right, it's over.

 

GB: But then there's no use in rerecording! (No response) Why did it take so long to get a recording contract?

 

F: We were offered a lot, but we wanted the big deal.

 

At this point the discussion lost it's topic. We chatted about this and that, Elvis Costello (who disappointed me very much in Hamburg) for instance.

 

F: Whom else didn't you like. I like hearing of groups who disappoint their audience. Itdoes me good, really.

 

GB: Billy J. Kramer was the worst during the last few years. -

B: He's too nervous. Really he's terribly nervous.

 

J: I like Billy!

 

F: He's crazy. During our last tour across the USA, ..he eventually began to sing WHITE CHRISTMAS on stage. He continued singing it, each night. Imagined (M: Whi-i-i-te christ..) It was midsummer!!

 

J: I like Billy!†††††

 

B: He's nervous, that's his fault.

 

GB: Most English, let's say a lot of English acts who come over to Germany play their songs double speed, like Costello.)

 

F: We done that, too. But we" manage to control " it now.

 

GB: It seems to be a general attitude, they think the Germans only want to listen to rock'n 'roll. But back to your new record. Will you. come up with something completely new?

 

F: We would like to, really. But we haven't rehearsed!

Conversation stopped. The succession of the songs for the 2nd half of the show has to be discussed. Also ó how to get some spare parts for the p.a.and new skins until the next gig.

 

That gives me time to say something about the show. They play ed through their collection of hits, did a fine rocking version of "Sick & tired", with a neat guitar-solo, where at their best really when they did rockers. Their softer numbers (and I me an "Needles", "Someday", "Have you ever", etc. ,too) were sterile from time to time, due to too much echo in the vocals. But "Goodbye my love" was great and they had three encores: Sweets for my sweet", "Sweet little 16" & of course "Needles & Pins", which bored me to death really. (Hello, SMOKIE!). Besides, Frank was the only one who had stage make-up and he did all the announcements, and he did them well!

 

GB: Is it worthwhile to come to Germany, financially, I mean?

 

F: Yes, it is! We earn more a day than during one week in England. Therefore we come as often as we can.

 

GB: Who's your manager, or don't you have one?

 

M: No, we don't need one. You only have to pay for them, and you get cheated and nicked. Maybe we'll get us one when business is better. Maybe when theSire-deal turns to good.

 

GB: Why did Chris leave? Have there been any rows? Disagreements over the music? Or things like that?

 

M: No, he just had enough. He thought he could make it as a producer instead. We don't see him much these days.

 

At this time the Searchers had to leave for the stage. During the quite long walk we discussed the situation of many bands in England, underpay, decrease of possibilities to play, especially university-gigs (B: Billy J. Kramer really looks great, it seems he looks better every day), etc. The Searchers mostly play the Cabaret-circuit in England, but as they say, they can make a living out of it! Good luck & all the best Searcherers.

 

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