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Neil Carter on Glenn Hughes, David Coverdale and Cozy Powell

Back in 2008 Metal-Temple.com published an interview with Neil Carter of UFO/Gary Moore/Wild Horses fame, who is now teaching music at Brighton College. Here are the juicier bits:

A special quote should be given for Glenn Hughes: your impression, working with him?

He was a great influence on me, I loved TRAPEZE and DEEP PURPLE although working with him, albeit briefly was a bit surreal. I am not even sure he registered I was there actually. He made Gary’s life hell at the time and the ‘old school ego’ was still very much to the fore. I hear he has found God now which is better than Mars bars.

And what about Cozy?

Same thing really. I was very disappointed it didn’t work out but, without speaking ill of the departed, he really was rather arrogant, a bit of a let down and didn’t live up to expectations.

Do you listen to any ‘current’ Rock/Metal music these days? In addition, do you still listen to your all-time heroes? Any gigs? QUEEN is touring with Paul Rogers, DEEP PURPLE and URIAH HEEP is still here, LED ZEPPELIN created hysteria when they announced they’d do one single show some months ago… Rock will never die, eventually?

No, sadly, and I haven’t been to a gig in years; in fact, the last one was Gary Moore when he played Brighton with WHITESNAKE. Gary was fine but David Coverdale looked like a pantomime dame and it all looked a bit ‘Vegas’ to me. We spent most of the time giggling. I see in my students the great affection for 70s Rock and it still touches young people so it won’t die. There were some really classic songs in that era and classic bands but some don’t know when to bow out gracefully it seems.

Thanks to Daniel Bengtsson for the info.

25 Comments to “Neil Carter on Glenn Hughes, David Coverdale and Cozy Powell”:

  1. 1
    martin says:

    Just so long as Deep Purple doesn’t bow out, gracefully or otherwise!

  2. 2
    Crimson Ghost says:

    Sounds bitter, the deceased Cozy sure deserves more respect, especially from someone who only briefly knew him. I think he could figure it out better than that, legend alone tells one that Cozy was sweeter than he makes him out to be. I rubbish it. Maybe I’m biased but in much better brief company I’ve never been in than the few times I’ve been around him, not a spot of arrogance, in fact quite the opposite, more like charming and hilarious.

  3. 3
    rik says:

    i saw him with gary moore once and all i remember is his bad outfit and hair 🙂

    sounds as if he may be a little bitter because he didn’t reach the heights of the above named people.

  4. 4
    stefan says:

    Ahh yes, I remember it well….the illfated Gary Moore/Glenn Hughes liason ! Glenn got the rather unflattering nickname “Glenn Huge” due to his addiction to Mars bars and overweight ! One of the sideeffects of heavy substance abuse is the sugar craving ! I´m glad those days are long gone….besides Gary Moore isn´t exactly Mr. Humble himself and pretty “full of it” , and in my opinion greatly overrated ( just read the last issue of Classic Rock & the Ginger Baker interview ), pretty much confirmed my suspicions of Mr. Gary “NO” Moore !!! ROCK ON !

  5. 5
    John says:

    Well, there’s the old saying: “Those who can’t, teach.” Maybe it’s true that some bands should bow out gracefully, but they at least still have the opportunity to go out on stage and perform to thousands of fans, while other bands break up and they decide to be college professors when their careers are abruptly ended.

  6. 6
    purplepriest1965 says:

    As always, it is speculating when giving an opinion on how people are or were.

    I do or did not know know the persons myself.

    I KNOW the stories about Cozy are often very positive.
    But who knows how he behaved in interaction with some people?

    Having read the stories of the band dynamics in Rainbow, I mean how they behaved towards Tony Carey amongst others…..
    Cozy was part of that “band dynamic” and that included the mistreating of some.
    Maybe Cozy, like Ritchie and certain others, were real assholes?

    Maybe Neil Carter and Cozy did not gel very well?

    Its all such a long time ago and we cant ask Cozy himself about it.

    I witnessed a very strong Gary Moore Band performance in Nijmeegen during the VICTIMS OF THE FUTURE tour .
    It always has been one of those shows I ll remember as a CLASSIC ONE.
    Neil Carters appearance was not weird.
    Just like Graham Bonnet he dressed up differently from the stereotypical hardrock musician.
    I thought he looked great and more important sang great!!!!

    I wished way back that HE sang everything cause Gary s singing had its limitations.

    Ridiculising Glenn s behaviour way back after all this years is understandable….
    Also Glenns relgion and other things could still make us frown.


    It all becomes black and white and its very difficult to fight against an image once established.

    The same goes for , including yours truly, complaining about Glenns tendency to annoy us in the overdoing department.
    It tends to become the main image after some time.

    He is not only that!
    He s a great versatile bassplayer, wrote great stuff in and outside Deep Purple.
    Even more, he is one of the best singers around.

    He has built up an oeuvre which should be acknowledged instead of putting him down like a cartoon charactre.

    Glenn is like a strange kinda of woman one falls in love with.
    You love him despite the flaws.

    Cheers Glenn!!!

  7. 7
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Have to add…….

    Forgot to write SOMETIMES after ” real assholes”.

    Excuse me, otherwise I would imply I think they were always mean people.

    Its just this…

    In this world people behave gently and warm and so on towards one person and completely unfriendly towards certain others.

    IMHO very often without a good reason.

    It goes to show we are ALL instable sometimes in how we act…..

    Including so called heroes with a friendly image.

  8. 8
    Made in England says:

    Who is Neil Carter and why should I care?

    Like I’ve said before – especially when speaking about the deceased. If you don’t have anything positive to say or if you’re too immature to put a positive spin on things then it’s best to keep quiet. The only thing I get out of the snippet above is that it’s not worth reading any more.

  9. 9
    james jay says:

    GH and CP had classic rock locks–maybe #3 has a point. Is dude hypicritical or straight shooter? If i had a voice like GH or could pound on drums like CP i might have a$$hole cancer myself. Most heard of GH and CP. I guess he had to play 2nd fiddle. thanks.

  10. 10
    Chrissy says:

    Neil who?

  11. 11
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Who Neil Carter is?!

    Just read his resumee, please.

    Like Bob Daisley it might look he played 2nd fiddle but in reality was a very versatile musician, playing keyboards, guitar and having a great voice.

    Measuring great artists by how known they are is nonsense.
    Many people who are famous and make shitloads of money just produce crap.
    Many UNKNOWNS have more talent in their little finger than many so called great ones.

  12. 12
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    I think Glenn’s F.U.N.K. album is the shet. He continues to give Stevie Wonder a run for his money….!

    Outside of an average Neil Peart or Carl Palmer solo, the finest I witnessed in terms of creativity was Cozy during a Rainbow gig in a small theater in NJ way, way back. Outstanding in his field….

    Kind of like my Main Man, eh? :>



  13. 13
    stoffer says:

    to priest at 6&7,
    I can’t believe I’m saying this (just kidding) but I agree with your points very well said.

  14. 14
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:

    Don’t recall anything worth mentioning Carter did outside the Gary Moore Band. I will say he did an OK job on replacing Glenn Hughes though. As I stated…OK. He had a rather Poofy persona on stage….(I’ll leave the comparison to YOU KNOW WHO out). I don’t see the point of posting his opinions. He obviously has issues and doesn’t deserve to have them exploited here.

    As for Gary Moore Stefan. I’d have to totally disagree with you on his being overrated. He is my favorite guitarist, equally with Blackmore. As I have stated long ago, he would have been my choice in Purple when Blackmore flew the coup.


  15. 15
    metaljim says:

    Relax guys, he was only answering a question. Some of the above responses are completely outrageous. It’s not like he came out with some kind of “tell-all” book and was bashing anyone. He did an interview and they asked him what HIS experiences were, when he worked with Hughes and Powell. The view from the inside is often different than it is from the outside. Some of the above posters may have met both Hughes and Powell, but I’m guessing none of you had to work with them. He was just stating his experiences and what he felt at the time.

  16. 16
    Martin says:

    Spot on about Coverdale!
    ‘pantomime dame’

  17. 17
    Moreblack says:

    I think Neil gave a real statement of a era.I can’t see nothing wrong in his words,not ever bitternes.He was in second and third row bands,so evrytime he met a pole position star the things could not be exactly a heaven.Bad stories about our heros or bad time in one night in particular…everyone has it’s bad moments.
    They were no saints.
    I’ve allways drink such words,about the end 70’s early 80’s.What a great time for britsh rock.
    When do we’ll have another NWOBHM???

  18. 18
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ Right with you, Jim!

    I suppose someone here is trying to stir me up again.

    Again expressing a strong anti gay sentiment….?!
    Mmmmhhhhhhhhhhhh, sounds like that person is having some kinda issue as well?

    Besides that…. its probably taste to say someone acts and or looks gay if someone dresses up abit more than the standard jeans and t shirt, NO OFFENSE HERE….

    I read that Neil had a BURN OUT.
    Why should someone like that shut up?
    Well, its probably more macho to say you like your GONZO?

    I have always known that Neil was a good part of UFO.
    Dont think anyone here does not know or recognise that band on this board.
    Or do they?

    Anyway, I logged into Classic FM UK for the Jon Lord thing tonight.
    Like Ritchie once said….

    Classical Music is good for your soul….

    And I really need some purification after this low…


  19. 19
    Doug says:

    Carter is full of shit. Cozy was a sweetheart! May he rest in peace and rock on!

  20. 20
    Tim says:

    I am ashamed of musicians who are blunt in their opinions of others only because they as artists should appreciate the art of music as a whole and not judge so harshly.

    I may not understand Rap, or Britanny Spears, but I understand they are keeping music alive and as a musician I don’t think ill of them at all.

  21. 21
    Sami says:

    @ 20 Thank You Tim. That’s more or less what I’ve been trying to get across all the time! Not that I consider Rap or Britney Spears music in the first place, but still…live & let live indeed! Cheers

  22. 22
    MrPtheDPfan says:

    Gary Moore is just plain awesome in my book . I have his music from a lot of eras . I do prefer his earlier rocking stuff but I’ll listen to him play just about anything .

  23. 23
    Neil Carter says:

    I must admit to feeling a bit sad on reading these posts. But I hate to think that folks would get the wrong idea about my ‘views’. One thing you have to understand is my take on things is from 20 years of living in the ‘real’ world and these characters were larger than life people. It didn’t work out with Cozy or Glenn with Gary Moore but there were some very big egos there, however, that is what makes these musicians stand out and makes them ‘special’. Cozy was a fine drummer, no mistake and I would not wish to detract from that! I have recently re visited my past and to be honest I can see it even clearer now. But I have been extremely lucky in my career(s) so not one hint of bitterness or regret, believe me. And life goes on…enjoy!

  24. 24
    C3Sessions says:

    Having spent some time with Hughes and Coverdale, I think Neil’s professional impressions are shared by many. I also think the “Neil Who? and Why Do I Care?” comments are totally without merit…When your contribution to rock is well documented and your songs are still listened to by many 20+ years later, give us a call. Until then, show some respect.

  25. 25
    Andy says:

    Good points well made Neil. It is how a band works together as a team that really counts, not massive egos. Look at the Stones. Individually they were nothing exceptional, its how they worked together that really made the difference.

    I saw you with Gary Moore I think in Cardiff in late ’85. You actually did a sterling job of backing up someone who, lets face it, cannot sing. Fantastic guitarist though he undeniably is…

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