HIT CHANNEL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: We had the great luck to talk with one of the greatest record producers in music history. He produced “The Who Sings My Generation” by The Who, the first 5 albums of The Kinks and he played a very important role to the success of “British Invation” movement. He also worked with Roy Harper, Small Faces, The Creation, Cat Stevens, Pentagle, David Bowie (when his name was David Jones) and others.Read below the interesting things he told us:
Which are the current projects you’re involved in?Are you doing any producing this period?
Nothing much in the way of what I think of as “music”, out there and wasn’t interested in producing what I’ve been offered. Wish it was different!
I know you never felt afraid to tell your opinion. Do you think if you accepted more compromises you’ve been more acceptable from the managers,label executives,mainstream media etc?
Interesting question…I suppose ‘probably’ is the answer, but then I like sleeping at night, so it wasn’t an option.
I’ll go you many years from now:When you started your first recording session with The Kinks, had you observed that this band had the potential to succeed?
When I heard the songs that Ray was writing, it was a certainty.
For the first Kinks album how you decided to hire Jimmy Page and Jon Lord (Deep Purple keyboardist)? Did you know them beforehand?
Yes I knew them and had used them on other sessions, and hired them because Ray didn’t want to play guitar and nobody played organ, so John Lord.
The moment you recorded “You Really Got Me” song, had you realized how revolutionary was then for its sound or you treated it as something normal?
I don’t know about ‘revolutionary’, but sure knew it was a hit!
Did you feel lucky that you worked with two great songwriters,Pete Townshend and Ray Davies at the same time?
I’ve said it tons of times in interviews, very fortunate to have 2 such terrifiic songwriters.
Do you like today the works that some other producers like George Martin and Mickie Most made that period? I mean when you did “You Really Got Me” ,Beatles were releasing “Love Me Do”!!
I knew all of the hit producers well and they all did outstanding work.
Do you think The Creation is the biggest missed chance of your career ?Do you get frustrated by the fact that they never got the recognition they deserved?
I think the Creation was the biggest missed chance of ‘their’ career! I tried everything I could to keep them together as had just made a huge deal for them in the States and they still broke up.
You also produced two albums with the great Roy Harper.Do you have happy memories from these sessions? You were then already a respected producer then and Roy was (and unfortunately still remains almost unknown..)
They weren’t the most fun sessions I’d done.
Have you ever rejected an offer to produce some artist/band and then regretted you didn’t do it?
Fortunately, I never turned down an artist who then became a ‘hit’.
Is there today any band or artist that you’d like to produce?
I’d have to think about that.
Who would you say influenced you the most in your life?
I have great respect for lots of people in the biz, but don’t think anyone in particular influenced me.
Have you ever been in Greece? Send a message to Greek listeners.
I’ve spent lots of time in Greece, in Athens and on several islands and enjoyed it all.
A Huge “Thank You” to Mr Shel Talmy.