Quotes About I Knew Them When

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  • Glyn Johns on Jeff Beck

    Brian was as insipid as I had expected, but the guitar player was astonishing. I had never seen anything quite like him. Playing rhythm and lead seamlessly with a fantastic sound. He was very cool-looking, quite scruffy, and had car grease ingrained in his hands. I grabbed Stu and asked where the hell he had found this guy. He and Brian had gone to see a band called the Tridents at Eel Pie Island, a popular venue on an island in the middle of the Thames at Twickenham. Being impressed with the guitar player, they approached him and asked if he would consider joining Brian's new band, the Nightshift. Everyone knew who Stu was, and I am sure that was the reason Jeff Beck agreed to join. The band did not last long, but Stu and Jeff became lifelong friends and he quickly became one of the crowd that would hang out at the house, as he lived a short distance away in Carshalton. There must have been something in the water locally, as you could have thrown a net over the small area that Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and Stu came from.

    Sound Man

    This quote appears at the end of the "Stu '62" chapter of the Glyn Johns autobiography, Sound Man. The Brian that he references is a Brian Wiles, roommate of Glyn and Ian Stewart (aka "Stu") in 1962. At the time The Rolling Stones were hanging out at their house a lot, and Brian decided he wanted to be a star as well. Glyn describes it like this: "After some months, Brian Wiles, feeling left out of the action, decided he was going to become a singer and put a blues band together. Stu, being the pal that he was, took it upon himself to help, as Brian did not know any musicians other than those he met through Stu and me, and they were all committed to other bands. I thought the whole idea was a joke, having had the misfortune to hear Mr. Wiles sing, and a blues singer he was not. A few weeks went by and I was informed that the band was formed and ready to play their first gig. It was to be at a local folk club in Leatherhead on a Sunday afternoon. Dreading the prospect, I thought I should at least show willing and went."

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  • Glyn Johns on Ian Stewart

    We moved in together and the one piece of furniture that Stu brought with him was his upright piano. I remember waking up one morning to the sound of the most extraordinary blues music wafting up from the living room along with the usual smell of deliberately burned toast that he would make every morning. I went to investigate, to find Stu sitting at the piano, wearing nothing but his underpants, with an open letter on the stool beside him. The contents of the letter, apparently from an old flame, had upset him to such an extent that the only way he could deal with it was to play the blues. I felt like I was intruding, so I went back to my room where, for the next hour or so, I was treated to this impromptu outpouring of emotion by one of the finest blues musicians I have ever come across.

    Sound Man

    This quote appears in the "Stu '62" chapter of the Glyn Johns autobiography, Sound Man. Glyn and Stu became fast friends and eventually roommates. Glyn describes there house like this: "Stu kept all of the Stones' gear at the house, so we would appropriate guitar amps various from the loft in the roof to use for our sound system, which was very rarely silent, and incredibly loud. Fortunately, the house was in the middle of a large plot a long way back from the road and the neighbors on either side were some distance away. There were many great parties at 'The Bungalow,' with much coming and going. There was always something going on, but because we were all so busy we never seemed to get under each other's feet."

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  • Glyn Johns on Ian Stewart

    In 1962, Colin Golding, the bass player in The Presidents, introduced me to Ian Stewart, or "Stu" as he was affectionately known. Colin told me that he knew this guy who lived locally who had a vast collection of jazz and blues records. So he was definitely to be checked out. The friendship that grew from that meeting had an immense effect on my life. We met and discussed our mutual interest in the blues. He was so modest that it wasn't for some time that I found out that he played the piano and that he and a bunch of like-minded blues enthusiasts had put a band together called The Rolling Stones. In fact, he was responsible for starting the band with Brian Jones, having answered an advertisement Brian had placed in Jazz News earlier that year.

    Sound Man

  • Glyn Johns on Jimmy Page

    Soon I realized that I could use the time to experiment and get some great experience at the console, and I put the word out that you could get free studio time at my Sunday sessions. This attracted a crowd of exciting young musicians. Among them was Jimmy Page, who my pal Colin Golding had told me about. They were both at Kingston Art School—not far from where we all lived—along with Eric Clapton. I suggested that I might be able to get Jimmy some paying sessions, but initially he declined, saying he would lose his grant at school if it became known that he had an income. It was not long before he changed his mind, and in a short space of time he had replaced Big Jim Sullivan as the number-one session guitarist in London.

    Sound Man

    This quote appears in the "Sunday Sessions" chapter of Sound Man, the Glyn Johns autobiography. He describes his Sunday sessions at IBC, the studio where he worked as an engineer in the early 60s like this: "Weekends were almost never booked in those first two years I was at IBC. So we were allowed to use the studio on Sundays to record our own projects. It all started with me and my friend Rob Mayhew recording a few demos, with John Timperley or Terry Johnson engineering. It was with one of these recordings that I attempted to be 'discovered' as a vocalist, with a song I had written with my neighbor Hugh Oliver, called 'Sioux Indian.'"

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  • Glyn Johns on The Beatles

    The one thing that struck me about The Beatles in those early days was how relatively ordinary they sounded without the vocals. They could have been any competent group of the day, but as soon as the voices were added the magic was there. It has always amazed me how they progressed as writers, musicians, and producers from this already exalted position.

    Sound Man

    This quote appears in the "Jack Good" chapter of Glyn Johns' biography, Sound Man. In this chapter he was describing a lot of the bands he heard and recorded in the early 60s when he was working as an engineer at one of the most prominent independent recording studios in Europe at the time, IBC.

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