Welcome to the latest newsletter! Thank you to everyone who has entered the white label test pressing competition - the winner will be announced next week! We have had so many correct answers that Chanel will have a hard time picking the lucky winner. We will post a video of all the live action!
This week we are taking another look at Passengers On Trains with a very special interview Anthony did in Japan for the original release.
The interview was for Pure Pop Shop radio show, and was conducted by Hidetsugu Ito, who was also the owner of Green Goo Records that licensed the record for release in Japan, and was extremely knowledgeable about Squire, neo mod, Powerpop and the path to the solo record. Although the narration is mostly in Japanese, (and we can provide the entire program for those who are interested), there are sections where Anthony describes the songwriting process, and the concept behind the record, that are then translated, and alongside playing tracks from the record, particularly Passengers On Trains and Your Golden Finger, there were also live acoustic renditions of Tapestry Of Fire, which was part of the previous March 22, 2021 newsletter that you can read by clicking the link below, and which also gives a fascinating insight into the planned release of Passengers On Trains,
The radio show also includes an as yet unheard live on the show acoustic performance of Solitude Surrounding. You can hear an edited selection of the program on the video below, which contains about 2 minutes of interview before the performance. The video also includes a surprise appearance from two album contributors!
The pastoral scene in the video stands in stark juxtaposition from the location of the interview which took place in the studios at Toshiba EMI. The ‘POP’ location in the photo is the entrance to the pop music floor at massive nine story Tower Records store in Shibuya, Tokyo where the record was sold.
The original interview was split over four parts and there are two sections here that briefly discuss the concept of the record, and describe how travelling on the train to London provided much of the inspiration. The other two sections talk about the return to recording and changes in studio record production.
You can see a photo of the actual radio performance here,
and Anthony took his Yamaha APX7 acoustic guitar to Japan specially for the gigs and radio show! Here it is in the guitar case outside the studio building!
It was, and remains the favourite songwriting guitar because it is lightweight, has a narrow neck so easy to play like an electric guitar. Because it is not so loud, and not so valuable, it is not a precious object, so more like a ‘tool of the trade’, but became a key instrument during the writing and recording sessions. All of the songs on Passengers On Trains were written with it, and it provided the backing rhythm guitar, plugged directly into a Vox AC30, for all the songs with drums,
The guitar was originally bought from Elgin Music in Notting Hill, London.
Checking prices on Ebay, the model seems to have fallen in popularity, but with its understated sound, it remains a secret weapon when looking for a guitar sound that does not dominate the soundscape, and is perfect for songwriting as it provides a vanilla accompaniment when working out sound structures, the sound doesn’t influence the arrangement as it sits somewhere between an acoustic and electric sound. Indeed, looking across the room, it is there ready to play, in preference to the more familiar Martin acoustics and Rickenbacker 6 and 12 strings!
We will take a longer look at the guitars used on the record in the future, but until then, here’s a tantalising glimpse of the guitars in the studio during the Passengers On Trains session, including the blue 12 string that is featured on the cover!
All the best, and see you next week where we reveal the competition winner!