Al Stewart – Past, Present and Future

Al Stewart is the eminent songwriter of his generation, the only British artist from the 1960s London folk scene to enjoy massive success in the States. More importantly is the unique nature of his songwriting. Jason Barnard speaks to Al about the songs that shaped his journey in music. 

al stewart

Al, three of your classic albums have been re-released on Esoteric. One of them is ‘Past, Present & Future’. I’d like to ask you about some of the songs that have shaped your career. ‘Post World War Two Blues’ is a great way to start. It seems autobiographical, covering your childhood and taking us into the 60s.

Yes, absolutely. I was a post-war baby in a small Scots town and I was three years old when we moved down south, so it begins autobiographically. But then it gets off into the Profumo Scandal and various other things so it wanders away from me at some point. My favourite line is when I’m talking about Mountbatten. Churchill did, in fact, get mad at Mountbatten presiding over the independence of India. There’s a line, if I remember it rightly, Churchill said “How could you have gone and given India away?” Mountbatten’s reply, and he didn’t say it but I like the line is “Some of these things slip through your hands.” [laughs] referring to the entire continent of India, so I always liked that line from that song.

Also from that wonderful album was ‘Soho, Needless To Say’. It talks about your formative time in London in the 60s.

Soho was proto-rap and also harks back to an old English poem ‘Dirty British Steamer a salt-caked smoke stack’ or ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’. It’s a style where the lyrics almost become the rhythm of the song. You’re using lyrics to convey meaning and hopefully in a poetic way, but at the same time you’re using them as an extra rhythm track. A lot of rappers like that song. I don’t know how but in 1973 I appeared to have written a rap song. [laughs]

It’s got some cool lines in it. It’s very difficult to sing, the older you get the harder it gets. It has a lot of words and they come very fast. If I’d have know that when I was 28 that I would have still been singing it when I was 70 I probably would have left a few words out. [laughs]

After you came from Bournemouth into the London folk scene you brought a single out, ‘The Elf’ which was on Decca. I’ve heard Jimmy Page was on that.

Jimmy Page was on the flipside, a Yardbirds tune called ‘Turn Into Earth’. Jimmy wasn’t doing anything flash, he was playing rhythm. There was a lot of downtime at the session. I had known that Jimmy had been in a band called Neil Christian and the Crusaders which not everyone knows. I was able to have a conversation with him about that band, it turned into a random thing and we were showing each other things on the guitar.

He said to me at one point something that I should have probably paid attention too. He said “I’m thinking of giving up being a session man and forming a band.” He looked at me somewhat meaningfully and said “We’re looking for a bass player.” Now what I should have said is “How hard is it to learn how to play the bass” because the band he was forming was Led Zeppelin. If I’d have had any gumption whatsoever I might have had a completely different career. [laughs] John Paul Jones did a really good job so it was all for the good. Of course he went into play guitar on the title tracks of ‘Love Chronicles’ and ‘Zero She Flies’.

al stewart

I spent many hours recently rereading Neville Judd’s biography of you. He talks about your time with Paul Simon in the mid-60s when Paul was living in London.

I was living in the same apartment as Paul, Artie Garfunkel was there too. A lot of people came through. Jackson Frank was there, Jackson’s girlfriend was Sandy Denny. She was 19 and a night nurse at the time. There was a lot of traffic of people who were going to make records, of course in 65 I didn’t know any of that. Paul says that he began writing Homeward Bound on a platform at Wigan railway station but that’s not where he finished it because I was next door. I would hear him through the wall “Ticket from…” “Procrastination… Animation… Elevation… .Destination.” [laughs] He was finding words.

The odd thing about songwriters is that when they finish a song they have a basic need to play it to someone and get a reaction. Unfortunately for Paul was that the only other person in the apartment most of the time was me. I was 19 and I think he thought I was an ignorant kid. I was the first person to hear a whole bunch of songs. He came out and played ‘Homeward Bound’ and I was moderate in my praise for it. I thought it was pretty good. [laughs] The very next day he wrote ‘Richard Cory’. I thought ‘Richard Cory’ was fantastic, it completely blew me away. I said “This is the one. That’s the hit. That thing you wrote yesterday, just throw that one away.” [laughs] Needless to say, Paul got exasperated. I remember that time very well.

I like Marc Almond’s version of your song, ‘Bedsitter Images’.

Yes, the arrangement sticks pretty much to the original but it is better produced. It was a more modern take on it. I was quite surprised when he did it.

I recall you were not enamored by the production on your early work.

No it sounded like it was produced through a brick wall. The first three were produced by someone who had never produced a record before. Nobody really knew what they were doing, certainly I didn’t. You live and learn. If I could have avoided the first three, actually the first four, and started with ,Past, Present & Future, I probably would have been happier.

Although you did some great work in your early years such as ‘Manuscript’ from ‘Zero She Flies’.

To me, ‘Manuscript’ occupies a pretty lofty spot. I’m fond of it because it was the first historical one. I didn’t know then that I would write a hundred more historical songs. Yes, Prince Louis Battenberg. Battenberg was fired from his position of First Seal because they worked out he was a German. The British public and newspapers were so unsophisticated that all he did was translate it and he turned Battenberg into Mountbatten. [laughs] Apparently it satisfied everybody and it was ok. Actually at the same time the British Royal Family changed their name because they had a German name. They took the name Windsor in 1914.

zero she flies

I do like how you weave moments from your life story with history. So with ‘Manuscript’ you sing about the beach, your grandfather.

Well, true.

‘Orange’ is another of the albums being rereleased. I particularly love Rick Wakeman’s piano on ‘News From Spain’.

What’s interesting is that there are two versions of that and Rick plays two completely different things. On the album version he does a big piano solo, which is epic, typical Rick. But before it went on ‘Orange’, it was a single for CBS. The outro wasn’t on the piano, it was on the organ. Very few people know this as it is my least selling single ever. It sold 221 copies and was a long mournful song released at Christmas time. When we came to do the ‘Orange’ album we took the organ off and put on a piano.

The production on ‘Orange’ was better.

That was the first one that had a proper producer. John Anthony was the producer of Orange. He was coming off a really good record, ‘Killer Queen’ for Queen. He knew a thing or two and he managed to get Roger Taylor in to play percussion on ‘Nostradamus’.

‘Roads to Moscow’ is an epic song off your next album ‘Past, Present and Future’.

That’s probably my most requested song. I can’t seem to do a gig without people asking for it. If I had know that when I wrote it I’d have made it a lot shorter. [laughs] For ‘Roads To Moscow’ I read all manner of books. It was a thing that I spent four years reading Russian history, the Second World War period. Everything is so well known now but if I can go back to 1969 people didn’t really know. Certainly the attitude was that if you asked who won the war, the answer was Britain, ‘Who was the best General? Montgomery’ It wasn’t until I started looking into it was that something like 77% of the casualties in the European theatre were Russian. I was like “Wait a second, what’s happening here?” It was basically in the land war. If it wasn’t for the Russian Army it would have been quite likely that Hitler would have won. It was an extraordinary business, 3.2 million German soldiers went into Russia on the outbreak of the Barbarossa campaign. There were four absolutely enormous battles that the Russians won, beginning with the one in Moscow, then Stalingrad, Kursk and finally Berlin. These were battles on a scale that made Monty running around in the desert look like kindergarten. I wanted to convey some sense of the Russian front and was reading these things not with a view to writing a song.

But eventually I came across Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s ‘One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich’. It was about the aftermath of the war about a Russian soldier who had been captured by the Germans, sent to a camp and locked up. Solzhenitsyn went through all that. That was the glue to the song. I could write about the events on the Russian front in World War Two but I needed a way out of the song and Solzhenitsyn provided the denouement.

The last of the trio of albums being re-released is ‘Modern Times’. ‘Carol’ is another song that seems to be very popular with the fans.

That’s one of Tim Renwick’s great moments. The early guitar players I had were Richard Thompson, Jimmy Page and then Tim Renwick. They were pretty amazing guitar players. Tim was probably the most suitable to my stuff because he had a very melodic style. We just let him loose on the tail end of ‘Carol’. That solo he plays at the end is just extraordinary. All the solo’s in ‘Modern Times’ were really good. Tim being Tim he didn’t think. He just played the first thing that came into his head and it was usually right.

‘The Dark and the Rolling Sea’ is a great song from ‘Modern Times’.

Yes, I always pick that one as being one of my old time favourites. It is a really pretty tune. Tim Renwick does one this amazing guitar solo that just complete suits it. It is a song, like many of my songs, is not about what it seems to be about. This is a revenge song. Someone breaks up with you and you want to send them out on a creaky old wooden boat with the hole in the hull and you get to watch them sink. So it is a pretty nasty song.

Talking of cover versions this has my favourite cover version. There’s some guy from Ireland who did a very Irish sounding sea chanty version of the ‘The Dark and the Rolling Sea’. It is really effective and really good.

I heard that the song ‘Year of the Cat’s’ genesis is linked to Tony Hancock, the British comedian.

Yes. The riff was written by Peter Wood, the piano player. I ended up with all of Quiver on my records at one point on Orange. I knew Peter and went off with him to do a tour of America. Tim and Peter came along and played with the band. Peter would play this riff every night at sound check [sings Year of the Cat motif]. Eventually I said “That’s really catchy, maybe I can write some words to it.” He said “Well, you know, it’s an instrumental, but if you insist go write some words to it.” So I did. The song was called “Foot of the Stage”. The chorus was “His tears fell down like rain at the foot of the stage.” I’d seen Tony Hancock and it looked like he was having a nervous breakdown. He was on stage and everyone thought he was doing a character and they were all laughing. I just looked at him and thought “He means this. It’s serious.” It was so serious he committed suicide much later in Australia. So I wrote this song all about Tony Hancock.

At that point “Modern Times” had been a Top 30 record in the States. The American record company were very keen to get something they could sell. They said “No one in America has ever heard of Tony Hancock. We really don’t think this is commercial, can you think of something else?” My first thought was to write it about Princess Anne just to annoy everyone. For the chorus I came up with “Princess Anne rode off on the horse of the year.” which I thought was very funny but the record company hated that one too. One night the Casablanca movie comes on and I’m thinking “In a morning of a Bogart movie. In a country where they turn back time.” sounds like a good start. But I need a line for the title.” I had a girlfriend who had a book on Vietnamese astrology. Although it was the year of the rabbit in Chinese astrology, in Vietnamese astrology it was the year of the cat.” I don’t know a lot, but I do know a good song title when I see one and that was it. [laughs]

‘On The Border’ from the ‘Year of the Cat’ album is another fan favourite.

If anything ‘On The Border’ goes down better than ‘Year of the Cat’. It wasn’t a big hit but has lasted very well. People have stuck with it. It still gets played a lot over here. It was from whatever was going on at the time. It came from a quote by Edward Heath the British Prime Minister. He said “In the future the civilian population will be on the frontline of battle.” Actually it was the most prescient thing he ever said in his entire political career because it has turned out to be exactly right; after the Paris attacks and all the rest of it. The civilian population is on the frontline of battle. ‘On The Border’ is reflecting that particular philosophy.

al-stewart-year-of-the-cat

It resonates today.

Yes, there are kind of things in the song that have turned out to be exactly true. There’s a line The hand that sets the farms alight; Has spread the word to those who’re waiting on the border.’ The border being Zimbabwe. A few years ago that was exactly what was happening. They were setting alight the farms owned by white people and chased them out of the country so Mugabe could give the farms to his followers. The people waiting on the border were the opposition who were trying to overthrow Mugabe. Looking at the song at all this stuff, it’s jumping at the headlines at me. If you write these kinds of songs it happens a fair amount. If you write enough historical songs then everything comes around and goes around again. So a lot of these things do in fact turn out to come true.

“Life In Dark Water” is my highlight from your ‘Time Passages’ album. It’s really atmospheric.

Yes, very atmospheric. It’s about being trapped in a submarine for 50 years on the sea bed. I have no idea why that thought came to me but I thought it was something that no one else would write about. I have two basic philosophies of song writing, one is to write about things that other people are not writing about. I know there have been 10 songs in the top 10 called ‘Hold On’ and so that is reason enough for me not to do that.

They do tend to follow a bit of a formula. Basically 90% of songs are either ‘Baby I Love You’ or ‘Baby Why Did You Leave Me’. There are not many songs about being trapped in a submarine on the seabed for 50 years. So I thought it was probably a good thing to write about. The other half of the philosophy is to use language that other people don’t use. There are lots of ‘babies’ and ‘baby don’t go’ and ‘baby I love you so’, all this stuff, and of course with good reason. But if I can sneak a pterodactyl into a song I will. I feel that there is a lot of English language underused in pop music. Why not throw as many things in as possible.

If you do write songs about things other people don’t write about, like ‘Roads To Moscow’ or ‘On The Border’, and use language that other people don’t use, then you won’t sound like anyone else. You will always sound fresh and original. So that’s why I do it, and I think it works.

I absolutely totally agree I think that really sets you apart even from many of your peers actually.

Yeah, well that’s how to do it. I know of course I am far from the only one. I can recognise lyrical quirks in other writers that do the same thing. Leonard Cohen, Richard Thompson, Tom Waits. These are all people who only sound like themselves. They don’t sound like anyone else and they don’t write like anyone else. To me that’s more admirable than oh, I don’t know, singing than a disco song.

You recorded ‘Merlin’s Time’ on ‘24 Carrots’.

Well it is about Merlin but it is about a different Merlin. Apparently there was a Scottish warrior king who lived before the birth of Christ. The only reason I know that is because I was friends with Robin Williamson who was in the Incredible String Band. For a while Robin lived here in Los Angeles, not very far from me. We had dinner all the time and we would tell each other stories, play the harp, and drink lots of wine. It was all very agreeable [laughs] Robin wrote this big manuscript, I think it was at least 100 pages, called ‘Five Denials on Merlin’s Grave’.

It was a whole history of this Scottish Warrior King. I think we were drunk and we were joking just sitting around. I had read it and said “I tell you something I bet I can precis that into two minutes!” [laughs] He said “I don’t think you can” and I said “I am going to give it a go” and ‘Merlin’s Time’ is the result.

It’s a lovely melody as well.

The melody is not mine, it was written by Peter White. But it is a lovely melody.

You recorded a great live version of ‘Nostradamus/World Goes To Riyadh’ on your live ‘Indian Summer’ album. You were talking about history being cyclical and that track seems to resonate with that theme.

Yes, Nostradamus. It’s interesting although some of it is a bit dodgy. Napoleon becomes Naypauloron. Hitler becomes Hister of the crooked cross. Both seems like reaches to me. But there are some things that Nostradamus said he could not have known because they didn’t exist in his time.

One of them was that the third antichrist who will be basically be our down fall. He said that when the third anti Christ appears, there will be a war that lasts for 27 years and that it will be a gradual escalation. We all understand in modern terms what escalation means, it is a military term. But it didn’t exist in 1555 when he wrote the Centuries. Basically, if you were going to fight a war, you just turned out all your troops and the enemy turned out all his troops and you have at it.

But escalation is basically what has been going on. Plus possibly we have a firm date for the beginning of this war, if indeed it happens. That’s when Osama Bin Laden declared war on the United States which from memory was 1998. It would mean that the war would run until 2025. All we need to make this work is to have an antichrist.

The other thing which is fascinating is that he said one of the signs of this conflict is that “two great men will make the north united stand and fear possessed the eastern lands”. Well we had no sign of this until Putin decided to start bombing Syria and now you have a concentrated block in the north which is bombing the hell out of ISIS which could very well be what exactly Nostradamus prophesied. We have a couple of anomalies that have just happened that Nostradamus couldn’t have know about but are happening.

I am still very sceptical about the whole business, don’t put me down as a believer. I just find those things interesting. And as far as ‘World Goes To Riyadh’, it did as soon as oil came along and it still does. A lot of people are going to Riyadh and because of the 911 attack a lot of people are coming out of Riyadh, going elsewhere and causing trouble. That’s interesting because in 1555 Riyadh, as part of the Ottoman Empire, would not have been on Nostradamus’ radar. So make it what it will.

Lots of stuff to dig into with that song.

I wrote it because Erika Cheetham had written a book on Nostradamus. I read an excerpt from it and I thought it was interesting. I managed to find her and basically went round and had tea. I said “What are the most relevant parts of the centuries.” She wrote them down on a piece of paper. I took them home and put them in to a song. I didn’t think much more about it, it was an excuse for a big guitar solo I think. I started playing it and everybody liked it. I get asked for it all the time so I might as well go and record it.

You reworked ‘Last Days of the Century’ and ‘Constantinople’ for your relatively recent live album ‘Uncorked’. The acoustic treatment on that song really works.

I think it does too, the two guitars sound good together. The riff was another of Peter White’s. That was originally on a synthesizer, he played it on little moog synthesizer or something. I just thought it sounded better on guitar. So I felt we’d have a crack at and see what an acoustic version worked out as. Constantinople fell in 1453 although it is being falling apart forever. There were not many people left by the time the Ottoman’s finally conquered it. But Byzantine history is fairly interesting and I thought the two songs might go well together.

uncorked

Yes, they certainly do. Talking about the more acoustic back to the basics approach in the early nineties you did a series of live acoustic shows. You recorded those shows for your Rhymes in Rooms album and redid ‘Leave it’.

Is it even on that record? I don’t even remember! If it is it has Peter White playing on it, we did an acoustic tour and recorded some stuff. “Nothing that’s forced can never be right, if it doesn’t come naturally leave it.” It just sounds like a philosophy.

I like and it is ‘Trains’ from ‘Famous Last Words’.

Yes, well you are picking a lot of the ones I would have picked. Now trains, trains has got a some white lines that really do it for me:

“All our lives were a whistle stop affair; No ties or chains, Throwing words like fireworks in the air; Not much remains, A photograph in your memory; Through the coloured lens of time.”

And I thought woah! I remember writing that and thinking ok. In terms of one single session, that’s the song that took the longest to write. I was working on that for like 12 hours and I finally knocked it off late in the evening. The very next day because I needed so light relief I wrote ‘Hippo Song’. So those two songs that couldn’t be more different were written a day apart from each other. I played them for my mother who loved ‘Hippo Song’ and didn’t really comment on ‘Trains’!

Jean Juarez was gunned down right before World War One started. He was the socialist leader in France and he was very much opposed to the war that was about to break out. Oddly enough the German Socialist Party that should have known better voted the war credits to start the war. Juarez was right and the German social leader was probably wrong but this is completely different time.

If you look at the Socialist International of 1909, because they had these big confabs on a regular basis, the Italian representative was Benito Mussolini! He was a socialist back in those days and became fascist. People moved around quite a lot between parties.

You co-wrote ‘Charlotte Corday’ with Tori Amos on ‘Famous Last Words’.

She had sang on a couple of tracks of mine, ‘Last Days of the Century’ and ‘Red Toupee’ because we had the same producer at the time. Tori had this piano thing that she was playing around with and I thought that I’d like to write some lyrics for it. I was always somewhat fascinated with Charlotte Corday who murdered Marat in 1793. Someone had to kill Marat, dreadful character. She was 25 years old when she did it and they paraded her through Paris on her way to being guillotined. She looked so calm and resolute and became something of a heroine to many people.

famous last words

For the next song I think of you deep in a history book with a very nice glass of wine listening to Lonnie Donegan. It is from ‘A Beach Full of Shells’.

Yes, ‘Katherine of Oregan’, which is a pun. Henry XIII had these wives and the first one was Katherine of Aragon. It was kind of neat to call it Katherine of Oregan. It’s about getting old, pile up all my suitcases in a corner, play my juke box and listen to Lonnie Donegan.

I can never get Americans to understand this. Lonnie Donegan is probably one of the most important people in British popular music history, certainly in the record industry. Lonnie was the king of skiffle. A lot of things wouldn’t have happened without him.

For example John Lennon would not have met Paul McCartney. John Lennon had a skiffle band and wanted to be Lonnie Donegan. McCartney turns up and the rest is history. Jimmy Page was in a skiffle group, he was a huge fan of Lonnie Donegan, as were half the people from that generation of British rock music. What I liked about Lonnie was exactly the two things that I had said earlier about how I write songs.

Lonnie never sang anything about ‘I am a teenager in love’, he was singing about the ‘Cumberland Gap’ and ‘Putting on the Style’. The ‘Grand Coulee Dam’, ‘Rock Island Line’, Lonnie always sang songs about things that other people didn’t sing about, a lot of words in there for better or for worst were not in the pop songs of the period.
I know ‘My Old Man’s A Dustman’ is not a great work of art but [laughs] nobody else would think to do a song about a dustman. In 1957 he was the biggest thing in the British Isles and certainly he was a hero of mine. A lot of people, me included, would never probably had a career in music if it wasn’t for Lonnie Donegan so you have to take your hats off.

He is vastly underestimated. If you forget the novelty songs ‘Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour On the Bedpost’, although it is a great record and really well written, it is easy to dismiss. But there are things that he did and they are just exquisite. They are really, really well done. John Peel always loved ‘Bury My Body’ for example, and I can’t imagine it being done much better. He was also a white guy who could sing like a black guy which is what exactly what Sam Phillips was looking for when he found Elvis Presley.

There is a wonderful book that has a quote in it about Lonnie Donegan. It’s talking about Sam Phillips discovering Elvis Presley and it said ‘Nine days’, either before or after I can’t remember, Sir Edward Lewis, who was head of Decca Records, had managed to sign someone who could do exactly the same thing although he didn’t recognise it. [laughs] Lonnie recorded four songs for Decca and that was it, they released him from his contract and went to Pye. Sir Edward Lewis basically didn’t recognise what was happening. As Dylan would later say “You know something is happening but you don’t know what it is” do you Sir Edward!

So Lonnie Donegan is hugely influential. People know it but I think he still gets shortchanged to a certain extent.

‘The Loneliest Place on the Map’ is a highlight from your excellent ‘Sparks of Ancient Light’ album.

‘The Loneliest Place on the Map’ is actually probably my favourite track off that. It breaks pretty much all the musical rules because it is in C minor and the second quote is C sharp and you can’t go from C minor to C sharp, or at least you shouldn’t but I did anyway. It’s got some lovely lines. It is written about an outcrop of rocks called Kerguelen, which is in the South Indian Ocean, round about the fiftieth parallel I think. It is the furthest, short of the Antarctic circle, that you can get from any form of civilization, actually from human life. I think it is a couple of thousand miles from Madagascar and probably about the same from Australia. Those are the closest places. It’s almost if you lived in Ireland and your nearest neighbour lived in Newfoundland. It is quite crazily remote.

It was a French atmospheric station, no more than about five persons were on it at one time. People would go completely crazy. What do you do? You’ve got some seagulls and some rocks and ice, that’s about it. Although the song is not expressly about Kerguelen island it is about a mental Kerguelen island, if I can put it that way.

You did a song with Dave Nachmanoff a few years back, “Shelia Won’t Be Coming Home”.

I sang on that, I also wrote the words apart from the chorus. Dave wrote the chorus and didn’t like the lyrics that was written. He said “Would I write some new lyrics for it?” so I did. The line I like in that song is “Eating maraschino cherries in the seats of open cars”. Apart from that it’s Dave writing a pop song and me writing the lyrics. We do it live because everyone can sing along to it and people seem to like it.

dave_and_al

It’s a really fun song. You also made a live album with Dave, ‘Uncorked’. One of your best songs is on it, ‘Coldest Winter’.

You are picking all the serious tracks. ‘Coldest Winter in Memory”, yes. The town of Dunwich, it fell into the sea, the coldest winter in memory, 1709. There is a rumour on the east coast in the vicinity of where Dunwich used to be. The locals say you can still hear the church bells tolling beneath the waves because the water came and covered up all the buildings, the churches and everything.

You can’t make this stuff up. By chance at the time the King of Sweden decided that he would do the one thing you shouldn’t do, which is invade Russia. He choose the coldest possible moment to do it and basically lost the entire Swedish army in the process. I thought there should be some correlation between all this stuff and I just read a book on Peter the Great. So I thought “I wonder if I could get Dunwich in there somewhere and explore 1709” which is kind of a turning point in Russian history.

It is a wonderful song, it will stand alongside tracks like ‘Roads to Moscow’ in your catalogue.

Russia has only been invaded a handful of times from the west and most of these things have gone wrong. The Poles got into Moscow, I think at the beginning of seventeenth century, and probably burnt the place. But the other people who tried, Charles XII of Sweden, Napoleon and Hitler being the major ones, have all failed.

Conversely Moscow has been conquered umpteen different times from south and the east. The idea is that if you come from the west you should leave that particular project well alone. [laughs] Leave it to one of the moguls or people who can do it properly.

Thank you very much Al. Before we go, how do people find out what’s going on in the world of Al Stewart. I know that you are playing live shows at the moment.

There is the official Al Stewart website. Last time I looked I were over 40,000 people on it. First of all there is a chat room. There are thousands of comments about my songs, pretty much the same thing we have just been talking about and other peoples take on it. They put videos up there. There are lots of different parts of it and one has all the gigs on it. If at any given time you look at the official site or the Facebook page, it will tell you where I’m playing.

al stewart

Fantastic. Al, it has been a huge honour to spend some time with you. It’s been a pleasure to research the show, listen to your material and read the Neville Judd biography. I wish you all the best with the reissue of the trio of albums on Esoteric and your upcoming live shows too.

Sounds good to me. I thank you very much for being so well informed.

An extensive two part podcast with this full interview and tracks featured here is also available:

Al Stewart Podcast Part 1

Al Stewart Podcast Part 2

Copyright © Jason Barnard and Al Stewart, 2016. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any from or by any means, without prior permission from the author.

This post does not allow comments