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Be professional, be reliable

Bob Daisley was interviewed by the Rock Daydream Nation podcast about his days in Rainbow.

Thanks to the Ultimate Guitar for the heads-up.

59 Comments to “Be professional, be reliable”:

  1. 1
    MacGregor says:

    Memories eh? I always thought that Dio said he hadn’t talked with anyone regarding a supposed Rainbow reunion in the late 90’s, especially Blackmore. Not to worry. Wonderful comment from Daisley regarding ‘who is the best’. Great answer. Cheers.

  2. 2
    Henrik says:

    Daisley is such an underappreciated musician in the rock scene.

    Blackers hired him AND he wrote lyrics for Osbourne’s three first solo albums.

    I hope he gets the money.

  3. 3
    Friedhelm says:

    “Band member killer.” “Chewing them up and spitting them out.” I never heard a better disscription of Ritchie’s personality (as a band member) before.

  4. 4
    Georgivs says:


    Chewing them up maybe. But after Rich spat them out, most of them ended up in a much better shape than before entering his mouth. If you track the paths of every Rainbow band member, to most them working with RB was a launchpad for their further careers.

  5. 5
    sidroman says:

    The thing I can’t get is how badly him and Lee Kerslake got screwed by Ozzy on Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, and yet he went back and joined Ozzy for Bark At the Moon? I just don’t get it, was he that desperate for money?

  6. 6
    MacGregor says:

    @ 5 – I do think the same regarding Daisley returning to the circus. I am not sure if he elaborates on those sort of things in his book as I haven’t read it. But we do think of the financial benefit & also possibly to hope to smooth things over somewhat & hope against all hope of getting a better deal in regards to the first two albums. I am not sure if Daisley was even aware at that point of rejoining the O$Bourne’s circus that he & Lee Kerslake were being screwed for royalties etc. That may have reared it’s ugly head a little later on. Another interesting story is that O$Bourne or his missus more to the point ruled out Jake E Lee as a co songwriter on Bark at the Moon (apparently Ozzy wrote everything, yeah right) & tried to manipulate him & sort of succeeded. No credits or else etc. Bob Daisley has allegedly backed Jake E Lee’s claim that he was involved in certain songs, most in fact I think & Daisley of course wrote most of the lyrics also for an accepted fee. Which begs the question, are you better off with the devil you think you know or the one that you know already. Something like that. Allegedly the song ‘Now You See it, Now You Don’t is a message of sorts to the lovely Sharon. Apparently there was surprise that it was allowed on the album. Not really a surprise to many though as they (The O$Bourne’s) were incapable of understanding the lyrics). Nasty business all in all. Cheers.

  7. 7
    sidroman says:

    Actually Mac, I did some research and Sharon and Ozzy paid him $50-60,000 to write lyrics and play on Bark At The Moon. A onetime payment, no royalties to any band members, the Osbourne’s retained those. And I didn’t know that he came back a 4th time for No Rest For The Wicked. I stopped listening to Ozzy after Jake E Lee left. Considering how many millions those 4 albums sold, it seems that Bob Daisley worked very cheap.

  8. 8
    Jet Auto Jerry says:

    @ 5 & 6 and anyone else really. It has been a couple of years since I’ve read it but if you are even slightly interested in his story, get his book. I had also wondered and he goes into great detail on the Ozzy situation and why he went back and how it went (Friendship w/Ozzy, timing, he needed an income of course and not too well) and lots of other good stuff, plus it is loaded w/photos.

  9. 9
    Uwe Hornung says:

    The missing piece in the puzzle for me is still why Ritchie let go of him. Craig Gruber had to leave because he wasn’t forceful enough/too groovy/laid back, Jimmy Bain because he wasn’t good enough and there seemed to be substance issues too, but why the hell did Bob have to leave?

    It wasn’t because Roger joined: Between Roger’s belated entry in 1979 (on the basis of Don, Graham and Cozy all wanting him in) towards only the end of the Down To Earth sessions (he recorded his bass parts on the understanding that another bass player would be hired for the ensuing tour) and Bob’s departure infall 1978, Rainbow were looking for another bassist in vain – there were inter alia rehearsals with Bobby Tench from the Jeff Beck Group whose jazz-rock style Blackmore loathed to an extent he wouldn’t participate (but wanted Cozy happy and kept busy).

    If you’re interested about some background on Roger joining Rainbow, this is a good interview with him, also for his comment that the other DP members thought Ian Paice played too much in the early Mk II days (which I haven’t read anywhere before so far)!


    (the Rainbow-relevant parts are at the end of the interview)

    Anyway, so between Bob being laid off (he had a fixed term contract with Blackmore which ended after the 1978 US summer tour which didn’t break the band like Ritchie had hoped for – of course, Blackmore could have always extended Bob’s contract had he wanted to) and Roger becoming the new bassist sometime in the first half of 1979 there was more than half a year of Rainbow being in the doldrums – with no permanent bassist.

    Daisley, was an excellent bass player (in technical terms the best one Rainbow ever had), played with a pick (which Ritchie preferred back then) offered an assertive sound, had attitude, very professional in outlook, no drug issues and handsome-looking to boot (but then all Australian men are!), also someone who knew when to keep quiet and not challenge Blackmore. So his departure is really a mystery, file under “shoot yourself in the foot”.

    From Bob’s interviews and book I also gather that he never actually auditioned with Rainbow, Ritchie hired him on the basis of his reputation and after having seen him with Widowmaker.


    He must have also remembered him from Mk III’s 1975 final tour of Europe where Chicken Shack were opening on some gigs, judging from a live recording from that time, Bob’s playing was at its peak then (that album is really recommended if you dig improvisational Blues Rock).


    (This is from three years earlier, Bob had just joined Chicken Shack and his bass playing is nowhere near as assertive as on the 1975 tour, but it gives you an idea.)

    I actually saw Bob twice in 1977, in March with Widowmaker as the opening act of Ted Nugent (classic St. Holmes/Grange line up) in Offenbach and in October that same year with Rainbow in Munich. By the time I saw Widowmaker (already after Steve Ellis had left and been replaced by John Butler on lead vocals) it was clear that they weren’t happy campers anymore, Ariel Bender’s/Luther Grosvenor’s stage demeanor was still very much Mott the Hoople-influenced and therefore all glammy and showy – that was at great odds with the rest of the band which was more “knuckle-down-to-it” Brit Blues musos. Ian Hunter once said that Ariel/Luther looked and performed great on stage, but was never as good a guitarist in the studio or songwriter partner to him as his predecessor Mick Ralphs.

    That Ted Nugent ridiculed them in his set (“Did you think that British band was any good?!”), aping some of Ariel’s solo playing while doing so, didn’t help matters, but that is Uncle Ted for you.

    Bob not only played bass in Widowmaker, but also wrote songs, inter alia:




  10. 10
    Rock Voorne says:

    I really appreciated Bobs book way back.
    Feels like a century ago I read it.

    One of the things that indeed hit me was why on earth let go such a versatile musician, lyricwriter, etc.

    Wasnt Ritchie simply unaware Daisley had more to offer than he thought?

    Some years ago I read RB saying : ” In retroperspect Gillan was giving me more in the early 70 s than I thought.”

    Hence his invitation to join Rainbow?

    Ofcourse this brain is not sure which quotes flying around in its skull are fake /made up 🙂

  11. 11
    MacGregor says:

    Yes we Australians being a mix of all sorts from all corners have perfected a few things in our time, cue the Men at Work song ‘Down Under’ & very glad you can see that. But what about our ‘Wimmen’? Regarding Bob Daisley he could have had a better hair stylist or something. That bushy look didn’t suit him to my eyes. Maybe a mullet or something I don’t know. I met him after the Jon Lord Hoochie Coochie gig 21 years ago, a nice chap as I thought he would be. Witnessed his bass playing & while it was blues & covers only it still enabled an opportunity to enjoy his playing. No hard rock though. He is a very good bassist & lyricist all in all. Those Widowmaker tracks featuring Jon C Butler on lead vocals are much better than the songs with the previous singer Steve Ellis. A difficult time that mid to late 70’s for many bands trying to make it. In the wrong place & the wrong time perhaps. Huw Lloyd Langton also on guitar with Widowmaker, keeping his guitar playing warmed up ready to rejoin Hawkwind for the mighty Levitation album. Thanks for the links. Cheers.

  12. 12
    Reiner says:

    I read somewhere in an interview with Bob that he never had any problems with Ritchie and that he always got along well with him. The only reason his contract wasn’t renewed was because Ritchie wanted to completely renew Rainbow (except for Cozy). I was able to see Bob live twice, once with Gary Moore in 1989 and before that with Ozzy. On that day (September 1, 1984, his predecessors at Rainbow even performed before him: Jimmy Bain with Dio and Graig Gruber with Gary Moore. It’s a shame that he was only involved in 3 songs by LLRR. What Bob thinks about Ritchie’s bass skills is probably true also be known.

  13. 13
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Daisley wasn’t much of a mover on stage, Jimmy Bain would whirl around, even Roger moved more, Bob was relaxed in contrast, slightly bemused, yet always authoritative and not hiding in the background. He also managed to still sound like himself when playing alongside a merciless pounder like Cozy (who by his own admission didn’t listen much to the bass), no mean feat. And he had a keen ear, you could always see that he was listening intently to what was going on around him.

    I think he looked great with Rainbow, neither under- nor overdressed,


    better than Jimmy Bain too who had a bit of a Dickensian street urchin look to him and would have perhaps fitted the image of a a sleazier band than Rainbow better.

  14. 14
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Ritchie was good at recognizing talent/rough diamonds, but not so good at nurturing it with any sustain. He didn’t give people enough time with Rainbow to really grow and develop, just look at Jimmy Bain (Wild Horses/Dio), Tony Carey (his solo career), Bob Daisley (key to the early Ozzy sound) and Don Airey (well, we know what became of him).

  15. 15
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I see, the inimitable Herr MacGregor is now generously handing out fashion advice, Australian men and mullets, say no more!



  16. 16
    MacGregor says:

    Just don’t label me a’fashion guru’ or something similar. It isn’t something that bothers me these days although back when the glam & glitter was getting through it annoyed me as a younger more arrogant & out of touch individual. Having said that when watching (or very briefly trying to) the live DP JLT era yesterday from a link sent here, I did notice it was a wig fest of sorts. Back to the music & there are plenty of cracking musicians who are shown the door or let go or however we want to explain it. Daisley could have been roughly treated in a way, but as he says he was well aware of Blackmore’s attitude before he had the initial offer. It sounds like he was more bemused as to Dio leading him on for a possible new band. Many musicians ‘leading’ a ensemble leave other musicians hanging for want of a better description. It seems to be a way of doing things in that respect, come to think of it, it occurs regularly in all sorts of ‘business’. Cheers.

  17. 17
    Gregster says:


    Uwe asked qt.”The missing piece in the puzzle for me, is still why Ritchie let go of him”???.( re-Bob )…

    I have stated this before yo btw. The copy of “Rainbow Live in Munich 1977” that I have has an interview section featuring Bob, & basically the topic of this thread is well covered within it. And so for our esteemed Herr Uwe, it’s very likely that RB & his personal team had their ears on-the-wall at the close of that tour, whereby there are 2 x documented incidents that are known, & so we can determine through educated speculation, the reasons that this line-up failed, & Bob was retired…

    1. At some point, RB received word via management that both Cozy & Ronnie (via Wendy) were really pissed that some magazine had an image with RB on the cover, & not with them along side. RB didn’t want to work with someone so trivial, so see-ya-later RJD…See the “RB Story” DVD for edification.

    2. From the bonus interview with Bob from the “Munich 1977” DVD, he clearly states that at the end of that tour, it was unknown what the band was going to do next, but was offered a bassist-position from RJD, which he accepted, on the basis that Rainbow folds, & RJD forms a new band.

    3. The next thing to happen was Bob reading a Music Magazine that featured RJD joining Black Sabbath lol…

    I can confidently state that RB was “over” RJD, & didn’t want to work with him any-more, as he says himself on film. And it was likely that word reached his ears about Bob accepting the offer from RJD, about forming a new band, that didn’t eventuate at that time.

    There’s really nothing to consider about that line-up, except that it came & went, & we have what we have.

    * If Bob wanted to stay on &/or have questions answered, why wouldn’t you speak to management or RB directly ???

    Peace !

  18. 18
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Reiner wrote:

    “Ritchie wanted to completely renew Rainbow (except for Cozy).”

    Yeah, a cleansing process of sorts though you do have to wonder why Bob Daisley of all people should be to blame for Dio era Rainbow not catching on in America.

    Bob played with Mungo Jerry after all,



    if that isn’t enough for his pop credentials I don’t know what the hell is.

    Also, the Ozzy albums co-written by Bob contain more pop melodies (and were consequently more successful on radio) than anything Rainbow put out on its first three studio albums. ‘Crazy Train’ and ‘Mr. Crowley’ are essentially well-crafted pop songs with a heavy metal guitar hero arrangements. And let’s not even talk about this nugget here:


    Ozzy is a Beatles buff and you hear that all the time in his often childlike (but extremely effective) vocal melodies he prefers to sing. Not knocking him for that, it is what makes him stand out and his music so accessible.

  19. 19
    MacGregor says:

    I have not heard that Ozzy ‘So Tired ‘song for about 40 years or so. That album was the last I purchased & I heard plenty of the ones that followed & knew I got out at the right time. Same with Dio after Sabbath. A sad irony it is now forty years later with Ozzy’s serious health issues. So tired indeed & I hope he doesn’t suffer in his remaining years on planet earth. Cheers.

  20. 20
    MacGregor says:

    Bob Daisley writing songs with Blackmore would have been interesting no doubt, he does have a knack of sorts there. However they still needed a vocalist to sing it & how would have that turned out & with who? Graeme Bonnet? Well that may not have even happened & this speculating is all in hindsight again from us dedicated aficionados. Regarding Daisley & his abrupt ending with Rainbow that was nothing as we know compared to how the O$Bourne’s treated him & Lee Kerslake. And also what about Zappa & Neil Young & Bowie? They have a penchant from what we have read over the years to dropping musicians left right & centre at will. People leaving disgruntled & frazzled. Some of that makes Blackmore look like a saint, in some ways at least. Saint Ritchie, it has a kind of ring to it doesn’t it, or is that a halo. Cheers.

  21. 21
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Gregster, it still baffles me why Blackmore who has such good ears failed to hear the potential in Bob’s bass playing for Rainbow going forward.


    Blackmore has always been moaning about his bassists: Nick Simper, Roger Glover, Jimmy Bain – at one point they all weren’t good enough (ironically, only Glenn never fell from grace regarding his sheer bass playing chops) and then he had someone who combined reliability, a rock sound and a pick technique to keep up with Blackmore where necessary + a knack for melodic lines only to let him unceremoniously go. Weird.

    Wouldn’t have some of Bob’s contributions & influence that made the early Ozzy albums so legendary + popular also helped Ritchie in gaining accessibility for American FM radio?

    Of course, he eventually got Roger for that, but in the fall of 1978 Roger rejoining Ritchie as initially a producer and eventually as a bassist was still a long way off. And in any case probably instigated/masterminded by Bruce Payne (who also managed Roger at the time) who also planted Since You’ve Been Gone with Ritchie by playing the earlier Clout version to him.


  22. 22
    Coronarias says:

    On the subject of Rainbow Bass Players, I’d noticed from photos that they all seemed to play through an identical stage bass rig. Uwe’s link to a Roger Glover interview (thank you! fascinating indeed!) above contains the first confirmation of this that I’ve ever seen

    “Anyway, when I joined Rainbow I inherited the Rainbow bass gear, a Crown 300 watt amp and Gauss speakers in custom cabinets.”.

    How many other bands can you think of where top flight professional musicians would be told what equipment to use? And was Ritchie compensating after years of having to accept Glenn Hughes’s outrageously loud Hiwatt and Martin combination bass rig??

  23. 23
    MacGregor says:

    Who knows why Blackmore didn’t keep Daisley, was it the hair jealousy thing? All this was going on when Blackmore had a insecurity of sorts regarding his receding hair line. And then we had the ‘corporate or military ‘ Bonnet join & Blackmore hassled him about his hair or lack of it, but at least Bonnet wasn’t receding. Maybe Uwe is correct, that ‘handsome’ Aussie guy is starting to really piss me off, ha ha ha. It could have been that Daisley annoyed him for any minor & trivial little thing, who knows. Seriously though was it that Daisley & Dio got along fine & remember the Gillan & Glover scenario. Gillan gone so get rid of his mate as well. Who knows & Glover ended up back in, work that one out. A guilty conscious perhaps for Ritchie? Not to worry as it worked out grand as Randy Rhoads homed into view & we have two wonderful albums there that Ozzy never ever would get anywhere near again. A tragedy unfortunately for Rhoads & his family though. Cheers.

  24. 24
    Rock Voorne says:

    A band being Blackmore, Turner, Daisley, David Rosenthal and Rondinelli ….


  25. 25
    MacGregor says:

    Not quite a Halo but this will do for now!


  26. 26
    Reiner says:

    I somehow feel like Bob has been a constant thread throughout his career Ritchie had dropped him, then there was the drama with Ozzy and he also felt hurt by Gary Moore when he thought he should have been considered as the sole bassist for Still got the Blues Allegedly, it was his idea for Gary to make a blues album

  27. 27
    Uwe Hornung says:

    And I believe him regarding him kicking off Gary’s return to the Blues (Daisley came from that type of music with his years in Stan Webb’s Chicken Shack and also in Mungo Jerry), his tribute to him – Moore Blues For Gary – was also a labor of love + an extremely enjoyable listen.

    Bob & Joe:



    Bob & Steve:


    Bob & Glenn:


    Bob & Don (w John Sykes on Still Got The Blues and Doug Aldrich on The Loner):



    Bob & Neil Carter (wonderful version):


  28. 28
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “MacGregor says:

    Not quite a Halo but this will do for now!


    Sigh, Ritchie and his penchant for being inflammatory. But I for one hear parallels in what the great American jam bands like The Grateful Dead and The Allman Brothers on one hand and what Deep Purple on the other hand did. That improvisational trance-like quality.

    In his heart of hearts I seriously doubt that Blackmore thought Jerry Garcia crap. It wouldn’t really align with his admitted love for Jeff Beck who had a similarly unconventional approach.


  29. 29
    Uwe Hornung says:

    True, Reiner, Bob was a journeyman, he never stuck with any band for too long,

    Chicken Shack —>
    Mungo Jerry —>
    (back to) Chicken Shack —>
    Widowmaker —>
    Rainbow —>
    Ozzy (1979-81)—>
    Uriah Heep —>
    (back to) Ozzy (several times between 1983 and 1991) —>
    Gary Moore —>

    his own projects like:

    Mother’s Army —>
    Living Loud —>
    Hoochie Coochie Men

    never took off/weren’t meant to last.

    Often his decisions were based on where the money was – like his departure from Widowmaker to Rainbow or from Uriah Heep to the abusive Ozzy/Sharon relationship. On the other hand, no one who has ever played with him speaks ill of him (well, Sharon excepted of course), much less of his exquisite bass playing


    and the guest list on his tribute album to Gary Moore shows how well-connected he is. Musicians from his times with Chicken Shack, Widowmaker, Gary Moore, Ozzy, Mother’s Army and The Hoochie Coochie Men all played on that.

  30. 30
    MacGregor says:

    Bob Daisley’s decision to join Rainbow would be a career move me thinks. In the aspect of being sick & tired of messing about & going nowhere with certain bands and getting into a much bigger profile situation & also gaining all that experience etc. Big names mean bigger business & more connections, so another relatively unknown musician all of a sudden gets noticed. Bob Daisley did well there for a while musically. Then he moved back to Oz to get away from it all no doubt. Good luck to him. Cheers.

  31. 31
    MacGregor says:

    @ 28 – Come on Uwe, where is you sense of humour? Inflammatory? It is a joke, a bit of fun & we all know that aspect to Blackmore & why not? Let’s face it, The Grateful Dead & others from that part of the USA at that time were very laid back & a product of the ‘acid’ era in many ways. Not that that is a bad thing of course, but were they over rated? I think so but I would say that wouldn’t I.
    They were popular & did things on their own terms & improvised a lot so I respect that. They moved past the acid phase in returning to the folkie & bluesy thing. Not very melodic to my ears though, I preferred The Doors, Hendrix & early Jefferson Airplane & a few others. Regarding the image of Blackmore I do think though that it looks almost ‘photoshopped’ in that sense, a strange look about it. I certainly thought that at first. All good fun. Cheers.

  32. 32
    DeeperPurps says:

    Bob Daisley also worked with Black Sabbath in 1986/87 and co-wrote most of the excellent “The Eternal Idol” album songs with Tony Iommi.

  33. 33
    Gregster says:

    LOL !


    I would suggest that “word” reached RB’s ears about Bob happily agreeing to joining a band formed by RJD, in the event of this incarnation of Rainbow dismembering…

    *Bob would have been better-off awaiting news from RB or management about his future with the band, rather than agreeing to join RJD pro-rata…I suggest that this meant that Bob couldn’t be trusted from RB’s POV…And Bob should have known he was a safe-bet with Rainbow, especially when one recalls all the effort & patience exerted by RB to await his leaving from Widow-maker, & leaving the door to Rainbow open for him…This means RB put Rainbow “on hold” until Bob made-up-his-mind…And this can allure us to imagine that 4/5 solid parts were cementing in a permanent Rainbow line-up, with a keyboardist yet to be secured.

    IMO, it was a matter of trust, & Bob blew-it, & then got a double-whammy of Karma when RJD joined Black Sabbath…

    Time has revealed however, that Bob’s playing & style was very well suited to Rainbows needs.

    However, there’s no doubting Roger Glovers prowess on bass…The early 1970’s recordings ( Stockholm) clearly reveals his ability to play intricate solo passages with JL & RB, & even a few moments of counter-point melody with RB via some classical movements of unknown-to-me origin.

    RG is one-of-the-best, if understated bassists alive today.

    Peace !

  34. 34
    MacGregor says:

    @ 32- yes indeed the mighty Eternal Idol album. I really like a lot of that DeeperPurps & when I purchased that & the new Rush album Hold Your Fire & Tull’s Crest of a Knave I didn’t know which one to play first. So I opted for Sabbath as I was curious as to who Tony Martin was. Pleasantly surprised indeed & a nice opening song The Shining & Ancient Warrior is a devastating song. Many other songs are also strong & a nice little acoustic instrumental from Iommi ‘Scarlet Pimpernel’. That album still stands up well to this day. Plus it has Bob Daisley playing on it as you said & his lyrics are very good, he is a strong lyric writer. Cheers.

  35. 35
    MacGregor says:

    Regarding Blackmore’s ‘sense of humour’ with that t shirt. I ended up spending a few hours listening to certain Grateful Dead compositions, both studio & live & we know it is their live take on songs that get the extended improv treatment. Garcia was a fine guitarist indeed, so yes Uwe as you stated, I doubt that Blackmore would be nailing him to the wall for that. It is probably the Dead’s take on things & that extended jamming ‘forever’ etc that he may not have liked. After all he is a song man more than anything else in that regard. Or maybe it was the hippy-ism thing that annoyed him. A lot of people don’t have anytime for that West Coast psychedelia era & everything that came with it. Or was Blackmore just being silly with that t shirt. I enjoyed a lot of the improvising at times with the Dead’s music I listened to, not so with the songs around that 1970’s era though when they tried to shorten things down to a CSN&Y sort of style. As we know the Dead were not known for any songs of great importance or relevance. Jamming & free form was their cup of tea. Cheers.

  36. 36
    sidroman says:

    Back in the 80’s in Highschool I hated the whole DeadHead thing. I remember they were quite popular. I much preferred the Doors and Jefferson Airplane. I never liked the Doors live stuff just their studio albums. Nowadays I actually have 2 Grateful Dead cds, and I really like Uncle John’s Band, my favorite song by them, so my opinion of them has softened a bit.

  37. 37
    Georgivs says:


    The Dead may have not had songs that became staples on the radio and thus became ‘iconic’ except maybe from their unexpected 1980s hit album, but they had good songs, which were both important and relevant. If you listen to some of their ’70s live albums issued recently, you can notice that even in extended versions with all the solos and being interpolated with other songs mid-way through, their songs make a lot of sense musically and sound coherent. ‘The Road to Terrapin’ from Hartford CT circa 1977 is highly recommended.

    Jefferson Airplane were a great live band, too, but relied more on raw energy than on musicianship.

  38. 38
    Gregster says:


    The Grateful Dead likely pushed the then known boundaries of rock through the mid-to-late 1960’s further than anyone has since that time. Simply go to the internet archive, & pick a quality show from the thousands available for your own edification…*Once again, the radio broadcasts are where it’s at. ( eg.Fox Theatre, 1971 hint, hint )…

    Warner Brothers “had” to have them, & that’s who they signed-up with initially in 1967, but they didn’t break-even from debt until about 4-years later, with the release of 2 x sublime studio albums in 1970, & both were “acoustic” albums, namely “Workin’ man’s dead” & the sublime “American Beauty”. After this time, they released themselves on their own label, & produced 3 x further sublime studio albums, that defined their sound for the rest-of-their-career, namely “Wake of the flood”, “From the Mars Hotel” & “Blues for Allah”.

    They then had a hiatus through 1976, & returned with their “wall of sound” rig to tour & record with Arista records, & delivered a studio highlight album, with 1977’s “Terrapin Station”, & followed that up with my fave, featuring Lowell George producing on the stripped-back, back to basics sound found on the “disco-dead” album “Shakedown Street”…And they finished up the decade with a more rock’n’roll heavy themed “Gone to Heaven”…The 1980’s saw little output imo that was really good from the studio that was new or creative, apart from some awesome live albums early-on, ( Dead Set & Reckoning ) & finishing with “Live without a net”. 1989 was the first time they entered the Billboard singles charts, knowing that Jerry Garcia’s time with us was limited with the tune “A touch of Grey ” ( I think ) from the album “Built to last”.

    Every studio album offers a time-capsule of what they were up to, & how their sound changed through the 30-year + career, & there are definite changes in sound, from the 1960’s into the 1970’s, up-to about 1978 imo, & from here on the enthusiasm kind-of dropped-off, & the studio albums became a little bland imo.

    The live performances vary too, but on a good night, there’s no better band in the world that could improvise & take you to another place with the music. It’s difficult to describe, or place into words the magic that happens, it’s something one must experience.

    As a musician, these guys taught me more about music & its possibilities of where a rock-band can take it, more-so than anyone, outside of instrumental Jazz. A great band they were, regardless of the media bollox that followed them around.

    I’d guess that RB didn’t like them because in his eyes / ears, they were better than DP.

    Peace !

  39. 39
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Well, all I can say is that Rainbow never had as cool a vid nor as high a Billboard chart placing as this little ditty here …


    That much for the “anyone can …”-part of Ritchie’s argument, uhum.

    But perhaps it was all in jest … That legendary Munich 1977 gig, guess who was the opening act there? Yup, Kingfish, a West Coast/Americana band/Grateful Dead side project


    that featured Bob Weir in its midst at one time (he had left by the time of the Munich gig because his day job band – the Grateful Dead – had resumed touring).


    I actually enjoyed their performance then, but their job was an ungrateful (no pun intended!) one. They were told to play longer than their allotted opening slot time because Ritchie was still on his way from Austrian detention per car to Munich (there was too much ground fog for flying) – Kingfish were supposed to keep people busy until Ritchie’s expected late arrival. Of course, no one bothered to tell that to the increasingly restless audience until much later, so Kingfish bore the brunt of it: People believed their extended playing time was keeping Rainbow away from the stage. At one point, I saw the bassist hit on the forehead by a (then still allowed in venues) beer can chucked by some idiot audience member, he continued playing without a flinch which impressed me hugely at the time.

  40. 40
    MacGregor says:

    Talking of Tony Iommi & the instrumental ‘Scarlet Pimpernel’ from the Eternal Idol album. Does anyone hear the old nursery rhyme ‘London Bridge is Falling Down’ in that melody, slowed down a little. A late friend of mine (a bass player of all things) noted that back in the late 80’s when he heard it. All along I use to think what is this melody as I have heard it before somewhere. When he said that it all fell into place & we both laughed indeed. I was just playing it now to a friend & she said the same thing, it is very similar. It begs the question of why cannot these Men In Black leave our childhood innocence alone & top destroying all those lovely old nursery rhymes & songs with modern day noise disguised as ‘rock music’? Cheers.

  41. 41
    sidroman says:

    I had a friend who was a Deadhead, and I think it was the summer I graduated, him and another guy followed the Dead to shows throughout PA, Ohio, and Indiana, I think I remember him telling me that they went to 30 Grateful Dead shows that summer.

  42. 42
    Uwe Hornung says:

    The Dead were definitely the first band that established that “travelling fan” culture. It of course followed from their improvisational focus where not one single night was like the next. It’s also why some DP diehards travel from gig to gig though I never do that, I generally watch only two gigs per tour, preferably a week or two apart.

  43. 43
    MacGregor says:

    It is a fine line indeed with The Grateful Dead with all that improvising. They sure have their devotees that were right into them & still are no doubt. They played a hell of a lot of concerts in their ‘short’ 25 years or so. Good music to drive to if going on a long journey. It is definitely in that groovy & laid back sort of vibe genre in what I have heard at least. Not as dramatic a band as other bands I listen to. Very good musicians as always & kudos to them for that festival vibe that they encompass like no other. I did watch three different versions of that Fire In The Mountain song, about 25 to 30 minutes each version was from the 70’s & 80’s gigs & I enjoyed it all. Have listened to a few other songs here & there & I will focus on the late 60’s to the late 70’s studio material & then venture to live versions of certain songs. It is good to hear some ‘new’ music in that sense as I have always read about them over time & have never heard anything until the internet kicked in. No one I knew had their music in their collections from my memory & that includes friends from the ‘hippy’ era that are older than me. Thanks to all for the info regarding their music etc. @ 39 – I have always wondered who the support band was at that Munich Rainbow concert & thought about that waiting game that had to be endured. Kingfish were on a hiding next to nothing in there amongst that crowd, (present company excluded I hope, he he he.). If they improvised like the Dead they at least could keep it going as such. Blackmore again eh, at least there was live music to keep the crowd occupied as such unlike the California Jam. No one playing at all there for how long & that could have easily got out of hand. He who must be obeyed. Cheers.

  44. 44
    Gregster says:


    There’s also been a lot of official “new” live releases offered by the Grateful Dead in recent years, but unless you live state-side, I suggest avoiding them, simply because the costs are perhaps fair in US-of-A terms, but less-so elsewhere in the world, & look-out once postage fees are added…

    In fact, they mostly recorded every-show they ever played ( along with Radio & fans ), & if you visit the website, there’s a number of shows to pick & choose from that’s been officially released from every year they played…Amazing…

    There are 2 x boxed-sets available that cover all their studio work, & feature out-takes & live-takes at the time of release, along with a books etc etc. These imo are the ones to grab, & they come in whiskey-sized boxes with metal emblems, & are available still. The first box features the first-3-studio albums, & countless live shows, & has proven to be the most popular. You’ll find this on the 2/hand market, as they sold-out very quickly indeed. The 2nd boxed-set is the 1970’s material, & can still be found new. Top quality, & well worth acquiring for those interested.

    Once again, for the casual listener, the internet archive will suffice, with top-quality shows available for free, simply pick a year, & look for the Radio broadcasts for best results.




    Worth checking out for sure, but the Dead are not to be compared with DP or Rainbow, as they’re like chalk & cheese, though they offer days, weeks, even years worth of free good west-coast-California laid-back sounds, with generally amazing improvisations of mostly their own material, but often blended with covers too.

    Peace !

  45. 45
    Kidpurple says:

    Saw the Dead in Richmond Va around 1978 or so – nice show but are four hours of jamming had to go home for sleep!

  46. 46
    Gregster says:

    @ 45 …LOL !

    That’s what makes Space Truckin’ easy listening when it winds-in at 15-minutes or so…

    Peace !

  47. 47
    Kidpurple says:

    Definitely & without 2 drummers!

  48. 48
    Uwe Hornung says:

    One Cozy Powell equates three drummers.

    Speaking of him, Emerson, Lake & Powell are belatedly getting the boxed set treatment in April:


    I always thought ELP(owell) was a good place for him to be, too bad it didn’t last.

  49. 49
    sidroman says:

    It’s too bad that Bob Daisley never formed a band of his own. With his bass playing ability and songwriting talent, it’s too bad that he never formed a band where he called the shots. Then again to have your own band like Ritchie had Rainbow for example, you have to be ruthless to an extent, the same with Coverdale and Whitesnake. Perhaps he lacked the personality traits to do so.

  50. 50
    Peter says:

    The full Rock Daydream Nation interview with Bob Daisley is up…talking Purple, Ozzy, Jon Lord.


  51. 51
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Sidroman, in hindsight I would say that Widowmaker, Blizzard of Ozz, Uriah Heep and Mother’s Army were all attempts of Bob Daisley to form bands where he was more than just a – very competent – sideman.

    Widowmaker was perhaps the right band, but at the totally wrong time (they fell smack-dab into the Punk craze), it’s illuminating to read what other members had to say about it:

    Jon C Butler (or John Butler, name usage goes back and forth with him), normally better known for his “not-so-hard-rock” work with Indie/Alternative Rock outfit Diesel Park West (think U2, Simple Minds, REM or Crowded House – pleasant enough music, but without any notable riffs we crave for here)




    states on his site:


    “As I recall you became the lead singer for Widowmaker. Tell me how that came about …

    Jon C Butler: I was living in Islington, in 1976, having a right old time just absorbing the seismic change that was on its way with punk. I remember Joe Strummer and his 101ers at the Nashville Rooms, the Pistols supporting Eddie and the Hotrods at the Marquee with Lydon, whom I liked instantly, he was dressed like a member of Showaddywaddy with his Ted coat and creepers. I had never seen a support band clear the bar at the Marquee before, but they did because everyone moved into the gig room to see this thing! You get the picture, that’s where I was aged 22 and generally up for anything…. Then out of the blue I got a call from Widowmakers office asking if I would like to audition as their singer because Steve Ellis had left and they wanted to do an album, then get back to America asap. I had actually seen them with Ellis earlier on that year, again at the Marquee, during that hot summer. I went to see them because of Huw Lloyd Langton, their second guitarist, who was a friend of mine. So I went to see his band who were doing ok, they were on the up so to speak. I thought they were pokey and tight with a good rock thing going on and of course, Ellis on vocals brought a familiarity to the proceedings because his voice was so well known. They were good and the place was rammed for the second consecutive night but, obviously, it never entered my head that I might join them one day. Huw had put my name forward (he knew I could sing having seen me in a local Leicester band doing a London gig), so after Steve left I went down and sang immediately and getting the gig probably because of my image as much as anything else.

    We recorded an album and toured the UK and Germany, then the USA having a real rockist time along the way. I was a young British rock singer with some money, that was a first, and in America, 1977, with my straight leg jeans and long hair. So, of course, it was a very steep learning curve regarding the pleasures of life! It did, however, take me away from the absolute epicentre of the emerging punk and new wave culture that I may have been a natural for, and that’s something I regret about joining them, but parallel to that is the fact that it gave me a tremendous experience in Stadium rock and, I have to say, by the time the band had come to the end of the American tour it was on fire musically. The tour finished with four nights at the Whiskey, in LA, and having come straight from the stadiums the tightness and power was incredible. If that band had returned to London regrouped and then caught the next rock wave, which happened about 1979, once punk was pretty much spent as a commercial force, it could have been massive and probably still be going to this day.”


    Steve Ellis, Jon Butler’s predecessor in the lead vocalist slot, has said about Widowmaker:


    “Sometime later, Luther Grosvenor and Paul Nichols turned up at my house. We went out for a drink and they asked me to be their singer. I went to rehearsal and pulled Huw Lloyd Langton in from Hawkwind. (He`s a good pal of mine). We played and it was awesome, so I joined. Widowmaker was seriously hard rock, not heavy metal. We played and toured with ELO, The Who, Little Feat, just about all the great bands of the `70s. We were totally anti-record company business, proper punks in every sense – except we could play! We fought and argued but I`m still pals with Luther.

    On stage we were great but we started to crack from constant touring and living out of each other`s pockets. I came back from the States with Huw (the others stayed in LA) after a three-month tour and we had £5 between us for a cab home. I said, “F**k this, Huw, I`m out of here.” Don Arden took me to court but he lost. I was the first person to do that, I think it shocked the pants off him. He had manacled Steve and the Small Faces and Andy and Amen Corner. They warned me about him but it was `live for the moment`. Widowmaker should have been massive. I will never forgive Don Arden but what goes around comes around.”


    And, finally, Luther Grosvenor/Ariel Bender commented:


    TG: Let’s talk about Widowmaker…like many fans, I believe that band should have been huge, but you guys called it a day after
    only two albums. Both records are well produced with strong songs and arrangements, with two different singers, Steve Ellis and
    John Butler. Can you tell us about how that band came together, and ultimately, apart?

    AB: It was 1974, and I’d finished with Mott the Hoople. I had loads of ideas, nothing I would have presented to Ian as there are not a
    lot of people that could write for Ian’s style. I was living in London and had bumped into a few players, seeing what they were doing,
    had a few jams at home but nothing came about. An old girlfriend of mine, Elora Goodhall, was very friendly with drummer Paul
    Nicholls from Newcastle. Paul had been playing with the band Lindisfarne. They had had a few hits, were on TV and all that jazz…,
    well, I met Paul and we hit it off right away. I said I was looking to put a band together a rock band, plus a bit of blues which was
    more my style of play rather than Mott, so we decided to track down players for the band.

    I was in a pub in or near Chelsea Fulham, strangely enough a guy called Phil Carlo was in there from Bad Company, and he happened to be with Bob Daisley… “How lucky is that,” Phil said to Bob, “There’s Luther Grosvenor over there from Spooky and Mott!” so my thoughts are we had a chat, “What you up to, are you available to look at this project I’m putting together?” He’d been with Mungo Jerry and Stan Webb’s Chickenshack.

    So, Paul and I started to go round to Bob’s flat putting our ideas on the table to see and find the sort of band we could put together, and it worked, so there was three that wanted to go ahead. We had some great ideas between us and it was great that Bob could write so now were looking for a singer. Singing is not for me, but I ended up singing on my 3 solo LPs. I asked Roger Chapman from the band Family and Bobby Tench who’d they’d recommend, and they told me to give Steve Ellis a ring. We did, we met Steve and he’d been doing his solo stuff and his own band Ellis. On first meet, he wasn’t convinced as he was doing his own thing. I understood, but I went back for more talks with him and I think he thought “the only way I can stop Luther pestering me is to join the band” which he did.

    Steve could write great songs, as you hear on the first album and now there were four of us. I wanted another guitarist, didn’t want keyboards as I’d done that with Spooky and Mott, so soon after, Steve said “Let’s try a friend of mine, Hugh Lloyd Langton from Hawkwind.” Hugh was a breath of fresh air, and it worked from the word go. The band was fixed, we rehearsed, got the material together and we were up and running. It was exciting… We needed management to take it forward, so we did an audition for Don Arden’s Jet Records, and they took us on straight away. They promised us the Earth, and Sharon Arden and David Arden worked
    very close with us and then we were ready to record, so in I think 1976, we recorded the Widowmaker LP at De Lane Lea Studios in Wembley with engineer Dick Plant. It went well, and we toured the states.

    Unfortunately, we had difficulties with Steve over one thing and another, so we decided to part company and once again we were stuck without a singer. But Hugh, our guitar player, knew of this chap from Leicester named John Butler. We had down him to rehearse, it worked a treat. John was a unique talent as a writer and singer and we gathered the material for the second album, “Too Late to Cry.” We recorded that at Olympic Studios, Barnes, London with the great Chris Kimsey. It was a great success, John gave the band a new sound and we toured the states again, this time in support of E.L.O. The band was becoming successful with both LPs doing well saleswise. I’d go every now and again to the big boss man Don Arden wanting money and the band’s royalties, went back and forth with no joy, so I went to see him for the final time and said, “I’m leaving the band!” He said, “If you leave the band, you’ll never play again! “and I said, “Don’t worry, I’m not goin’ to!” and that was the end of my career for Widowmaker … a sad end for a great band. So many bands were getting ripped off back then …”


    So Widowmaker’s demise must have been somewhat traumatizing for Bob (and realistically told him something about working for the Family Arden!) as must have been his history with Blizzard of Oz, a band which he originally at least co-founded (some people might say: set up for Ozzy …) and which initially bore much of his stamp. But in the end, he acquiesced (in return for what he thought might at least be a steady job) into being demoted from co-founder/musical director to sideman/ghost writer for Ozzy, succumbing to Sharon’s relentless mole tunneling.

    After that he basically settled to being a sideman with Gary Moore (after realizing that a reformed Uriah Heep would not pay the bills – though he had greater musical influence there – as much as being with Ozzy for a while again). Mother’s Army was musically promising (and probably showcased Bob’s most sophisticated bass playing and songwriting), but never had the promotion it deserved to grow beyond a mere studio project. They would have needed a slot as an opening band to an established AOR/hard rock act on a lengthy tour to gain some exposure.

    Unfortunately what was true for Widowmaker (being the wrong band in an era of Punk) repeated itself with Mother’s Army, with Kurt Cobain taking the place of Johnny Rotten, in a post-Nirvana world they couldn’t get arrested!

  52. 52
    MacGregor says:

    @ 48 – yes I noticed the ELPowell box set. I was hoping a live film might be in that collection although I am sure nothing was ever professionally filmed, a shame indeed. Reading comments over the years & many people prefer Cozy’s ‘Barbarian at the Gates’ drumming to Carl Palmer’s busier jazzy approach. I like both as each era defines a style of sorts. There is only one drummer needed in a rock band & even King Crimson at times with two has to get one guy playing more percussion than drums to embellish proceedings. The last 10 years or so of Crimson with three drummers at times was too much for me, too noisy, too much getting in the way etc. The Grateful Dead with two drummers I have always thought unnecessary. Didn’t The Allman Brothers have two drummers also or am I thinking of someone else? It seems they did & the original Duane Allman lineup did mix it up a little more than the Dead. More ‘progressive’ at times. I didn’t get into the post Duane Allman era, too country blues rock for me, the same with a lot of The Grateful Dead. If in the mood it is good at times but not so if you want to rock a little busier & harder etc. Cheers.

  53. 53
    Uwe Hornung says:

    You forgot the Doobies, Herr MacGregor! TWO drummers AND a percussionist!




    Great American West Coast band (since 2020 finally, albeit belatedly, in the RRHoF), always thought the dual drums worked well with them, gave the rhythm a constantly flowing ‘drum carpet’ without ever being overbearing.

  54. 54
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Seen this, Tasmanian?


  55. 55
    MacGregor says:

    The Doobie Brothers how could I forget them. I did prefer the original stripped back guitar oriented band though, however there are a few good songs with the extra ensemble players later in the 1970’s. Bringing keyboards & extra vocals (Michael McDonald) & saxophone into the band changed them for a more ‘commercial’ style but they were good at it & very popular & still are to this day. I do have a fondness for this China Grove song from way back in 1974 & note Jeff ‘The Skunk’ Baxter pretending to play the second drummer here on this BBC music clip. A good guitar riff song this is. Cheers.


  56. 56
    Rock Voorne says:

    I always loved SANTANA for using a drummer and 1 or more percussionists.

    Once saw a band supporting Black Sabbath with Cross Purposses I think together with another supportact(And I usually cant stand the extra baggage that comes with supportacts) .

    I think Cathedral was the name.

    It wasnt just I m not really fond of heavy metal, in most cases the retarded familymember of old skool heavy classic rock but bringing 2 BASS players?

  57. 57
    MacGregor says:

    Yes I have watched that Uwe & thanks for the reminder. Love that little jam towards to end with Keith & Cozy having a go at a Genesis number, all good fun. There is a amateur filmed concert of ELPowell from the States online, not too bad all things considered & I certainly watched that a few years ago to see how well those new album songs turned out played live. I sort of forget at times that those 3 guys are gone. Cheers.

  58. 58
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I actually played with another bassist for a while in a covers band. It started out as the two of us switching from song to song for a corporate event, but at rehearsals we‘d both started noodling in the songs ‘of the other guy’. And what can I tell you, it sounded great! Burkhard’s (the other bassist) and my style of playing couldn’t have been farther apart: He is a finger player and slapper raised on more jazzy music while I played solely with a pick much more rock-oriented with lots of chords – sort of rhythm and lead guitar together one octave lower, I channeled my inner Jim Lea so to say! We also made sure we sounded different, he played a long scale bass with a very clean sound, I a short scale one with a very overdriven tone. It was hugely fun and everyone in the band liked it. I called it ‘Wishbone Bass’ (I even played a Gibson ‘Flying V’ bass). And when we played something together in synchronicity, man, it sounded no less than friggin’ MIGHTY !!! 🔊🔊🔊🔊

  59. 59
    MacGregor says:

    Two bass guitarists & the only time I have witnessed that in concert was with The Crimson ProjeKCt with Tony Levin & Julie Slick who is Adrian Belew’s bassist. Although most of the time Levin was on the Chapman Stick so it alternated in many ways from my memory of that 2014 concert. It can work wonderfully in the right environment & there are many bass guitarists that do play ‘lead’ bass so that can lead to a interesting scenario. I have noticed two bass guitarists in the same band somewhere else however memory leaves me scratching my head as to who that was. Online somewhere most likely. I would think Les Claypool & another bass player could work. A superb ‘guitarist’ is Les. Cheers.

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