Jeff Wayne, an American-British composer, musician and lyricist chats with Kevin Cooper about transferring his double album The War Of The Worlds to the stage, working with the late Richard Burton and Liam Neeson, winning two Ivor Novello Awards, and touring the UK next year with The War Of The Worlds The Spirit Of Man 2025.

Jeff Wayne is an American-British composer, musician and lyricist. In 1978 he released a double album, Jeff Waynes’ musical version of The War Of The Worlds, his adaptation of H.G Wells’ science fiction novel The War Of The Worlds.

Prior to this Wayne wrote approximately three thousand advertising jingles which regularly appeared on television, including a Gordon’s Gin commercial which was covered by the Human League. He also composed numerous TV themes including Good Morning Britain, The Big Match and World Of Sport.

He also helped produce David Essex’s album, Rock On which led to Essex subsequently becoming a voice actor on The World Of The Worlds album, playing the part of The Artilleryman.

In 1978 Jeff Wayne’s musical version of The War Of The Worlds was released, achieving international success. His two disc composition sold millions of copies around the world. It included worldwide hit singles, The Eve Of The War and Forever Autumn, both sung by Justin Hayward and included narration throughout by Richard Burton.

The War Of The Worlds was re-released in 2005 and spent ten consecutive weeks in the top of the UK album charts, and achieved three million sales in the UK and approximately fourteen million worldwide.

In 2006 the musical went on a UK tour, and the live show was taken to Australia and New Zealand before returning to the UK in 2007. The show, produced by Damian Collier, used a ten piece band and a forty eight piece string orchestra, voice actors, screen projected images and animatronics.

In 2022 the UK Arena tour was re-launched following the Covid-19 outbreak. It premiered at the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on 23rd March and starred Justin Hayward, Claire Richards (Steps), Duncan James (Blue) and Kevin Clifton (Strictly Come Dancing). The show also featured a holographic version of Liam Neeson as The Journalist.

Whilst busy casting for the 2025 tour of The War Of The Worlds, Jeff Wayne took some time out to have a chat with Kevin Cooper and this is what he had to say.

Jeff, good afternoon, how are you?

Hello Kevin, I’m fine thank you, but more to the point, just how are you today?

I’m very well thank you and before we move on, let me firstly thank you for taking the time to speak to me today.

No problem, it’s a pleasure.

And just how is life treating you at this moment in time?

(Laughter) it’s cold and windy down here in Hertfordshire where I currently live but other than that it’s all good.

So, you’ve not been hit by 100mph winds as yet then?

Not as yet but yesterday was really very windy, very windy indeed.

You simply cannot predict it nowadays, can you?

No, not at all which really is remarkable (laughter).

Anyway, we have got to talk about all things The War Of The Worlds, but if I may, can I take you back to 1978 and your musical version of The War Of The Worlds?

Sure, of course.

I have to be totally honest with you and tell you that I played my copy of the vinyl album to death many years ago now, so much so that I have had to replace it with a CD copy now (laughter).

Well thank you for that and I hope that experience has not put you off ever listening to music again (laughter).

Can you believe that your work is still of interest to people and is still as popular some 46 years on?

Not in a million years would I have dreamt that, to be honest. In fact, I did a few interviews when the album first came out and I will always remember that some of the questions that I was asked were, “what aspirations do you have for this musical work and this double album of yours” and my answer was truthfully, “just to see it in the UK album charts for one week” and then I would have felt that I hadn’t let all of the guest artists, the musicians and the whole crew down. And there it was, some 330 weeks later still in the album charts.

And Fleetwood Mac think that they did well with Rumours (laughter).

(Laughter) just about yes. Personally, I have never made any comparisons, a double album is that much harder to keep in the charts, and even harder keeping the momentum of sales, but I have to say that Rumours is a pretty darn good album in any form.

When was the eureka moment when you thought that you were going to put all of this together?

Well that goes back to around 1974. I had already at that time broken through as a musician, having been commissioned to write music for TV and radio themes, some film work and a lot of commercials. Through that, I met David Essex, who I started producing, and I have to say that David and I enjoyed a great run together of albums and hit singles, and then I became his musical director, touring with him for a couple of years. It was during that period that my dad kept reminding me saying, ‘look, I know that you are having a great time with David, together with all of the commissioned work that you are getting, but you always said that you wanted hopefully to find a story that you could fall in love with, starting with a blank page and see what comes out’ and he was right (laughter).

So, we started reading different books, not just science fiction, and it was the night before going out on another tour with David, that my dad came over to wish me good luck with the tour, and he handed me yet another book, which just happened to be H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds. I have to say that I totally loved the book on first read, and this is going back to an era when there was no internet, no digital anything, so reading was something which was commonly done whenever you were on the road. On one read I could hear it; it was a very dark Victorian tale, but it also had underlying themes about faith, about hope and about invasion, no matter who the invader was, it was considered wrong, and that was Wells’ fundamental theme.

His Martians were essentially invaders, and I loved that because it was very human. It was set in England in places that for those who knew any parts of England, would know most of the places. The type of people were very real and it also impressed me that no matter what country you might be reading the book in, and subsequently hearing my double album, you could relate to a place and type of people, in your country. So, that really is the essence of what got me going.

Looking at the list of names on the back of the album sleeve, it really is an A to Z of Who’s Who at that moment in time, people like the late Richard Burton, David Essex, Phil Lynott, Julie Covington and of course, Justin Hayward.

I was pretty fortunate with the cast that came to be. I could never have predicted such a standard, but they were all attracted to the story, and it also helped that some of them were already familiar with my work, not only as a musician but also as a composer and producer. Having said that, the late Richard Burton was the exception, and he was the first person to come onboard, in fact, he just loved the idea. Whenever you talk about the rub of the green, I think that there is no doubt that we had the rub of the green in attracting Richard to being The Journalist, the only non-singing role in the whole piece.

It just so happened that he was appearing in a play in New York called Equus and I was trying to figure out just how I could get to him. We didn’t have a particularly large list at all of those who might be the right Journalist, but Richard was at the very top of this small list. It just happened that some friends came to dinner right after they came back from New York on holiday and mentioned that they had just seen Richard Burton in this play. I thought, ‘crumbs, that’s great to know’ (laughter). So, I found out the name of the theatre, wrote Richard a letter introducing myself, and what we were beginning to do with The War Of The Worlds and asking him if he would consider being The Journalist.

I sent my little care package to the stage door of the theatre hoping that the stage door man would actually hand my package to him, and it turned out that it couldn’t have been a few days later I got a phone call from a man called Robert Lance who at that time was Richard’s personal manager. He called me at my home in London where I was living at that time, and he said, “hello, this is Robert Lance, I am calling you on behalf of Richard Burton, he loves the idea, count him in dear boy” (laughter). Those were his exact words. I have never forgotten them, and I never will.

My dad was with me at the time; we were actually having a production meeting that evening to discuss The War Of The Worlds and I asked Mr Lance if he would please now chat to my dad. I found myself feeling too nervous to talk to him about ‘what’s the deal’ and ‘how are we going to make this really happen’ (laughter). They were on the phone for around thirty minutes, and we then had a deal with Richard which has held up to this date with his estate.

When you were recording the album Phil Lynott (Parson Nathaniel) was in Canada and Richard Burton (George Herbert: The Journalist) was in Los Angeles, in pre-internet days. Did this cause you any problems?

(Laughter) no, it didn’t because me and my production team went over to Los Angeles in order to record Richard and we had five studio days booked. However, to our amazement Richard had recorded his parts in just one day; he really was that good.

On the subject of the cast, was there anyone that you wanted on board with the project who didn’t materialise?

Not in context to the role of The Journalist because we got the first name and choice on our list. It really wasn’t much of a list actually; it only had a couple of other names (laughter). We really were blessed with Richard coming on board. On the musical guest artists point of view then yes, there were a few. Carlos Santana came into the studio that I was recording at to try out for the role which was an instrumental piece called The Heat Ray which was the main weapon which the Martians bought with them. Carlos and I worked together in the studio for almost a day, and he was about to go out on a UK tour, and he said, “as soon as I am back we will get this going for real” and I have to say that I was thrilled.

Unbeknown to me, his Manager, who had told us that they had accepted the contract that was sent to them in advance, spoke to my father outside of the studio saying, “now look, we need to have a royalty on the album” and my dad kept explaining that none of the guest artists were getting royalties on the album. If there were any singles released then yes, because the whole project was growing into a very expensive project. Carlos’ Manager declined and Carlos never came back into the studio. So, there was one loss for sure. But in a way one of my band members, Jo Partridge, did the role of The Heat Ray as good, if not even better, because he was hungry to establish himself.

Without wishing to be disrespectful to anyone else, whenever anyone mentions the soundtrack to The War Of The Worlds the first name that springs to mind is Justin Hayward and Forever Autumn which I have to say is absolutely fantastic.

Thank you, thank you for saying that. Yes, I was really thrilled when Justin came on board. He has such a quintessential voice, if you want to call it that; it makes me think of Britain. I loved his voice, although I didn’t actually know him. I was introduced to Justin through a third party, who did know him, and I sent him a copy of the demo which was Forever Autumn and I received a very fast response saying that he loved the song. He came on board and his role is known as The Sung Thoughts of The Journalist. Justin sings more than Forever Autumn including a new song that I added in 2014 called Life Begins Again and on the tours that he has been on, including our last one, his role is always so very well received.

Correct me if I am wrong but didn’t you write the melody of what came to be Forever Autumn back in 1969 for a Lego commercial?

Absolutely correct (laughter). This was the year when I was doing music for advertising amongst other commissions. I did that probably everyday for ten or so years. It was only after The War Of The Worlds that I stepped back from most of that other work to concentrate on developing The War Of The Worlds. But yes, I was commissioned by Lego Toys to write the music to the film that they showed me which demanded, in my view, a soft acoustic sound with a very small line-up; just a couple of acoustic guitars, bass guitar and a bell tree. We had two vocalists, who were Simon & Garfunkel like in their approach to the singing of what I had written which was essentially the first verse, or what became the first verse of Forever Autumn.

All the singers did was Do DoDoDoDoDoDoDoDo Do-Do Do (laughter). Then what happened was the commercial went on air and a good quantity of the public started writing into the agency that had the account, asking if this was a commercial song. They liked it so much that they wanted to buy it, which it wasn’t but it gave me the idea to extend it into a full song musically. The two vocalists, who were Paul Vigrass and Gary Osborne, were actually a duo that I had signed to my little record label, and we were already committed to doing a debut album. They wrote the lyrics to every song on The War Of The Worlds album, whilst I wrote all the music, scored and produced it.

When Forever Autumn was finished, it became the B Side of the first single of theirs over in the United States. I only found this out recently that over in Japan it was flipped over and as the B Side suddenly became the A Side and went to number three in the Japanese charts which lead to Vigrass and Osborne getting a tour there. That really was the birth of the full song. Years later when I started composing The War Of The Worlds, my intention was that the song would be one hundred percent original, except when I came to the part of the story when The Journalist has made his way on foot from Woking, where he was living on Mayberry Hill, to London to protect and get his fiancé together with her father out of London to safer grounds.

He arrives at their house and she’s not there. And as you know, the hook of Forever Autumn is ‘cause you’re not here’. I kept saying that I can’t use a song that has already been out so I kept trying to come up with new ideas and new songs musically and I couldn’t. So, eventually I raised the white flag to the Martians, so to speak, and we added Forever Autumn. I re-scored it, and the singer who did the demo for Justin was the lead singer of The Real Thing, Chris Amoo who I had worked with both as a band and also as a solo artist on many recordings and he sounded beautiful on it. So, that was the demo; I sent it over to Justin, and he came back keen to sign on and I now had my Sung Parts Of The Journalist, and the rest is what’s followed.

The album won two Ivor Novello Awards, including one for your good self and Gary Osborne for Best Instrumental or Popular Orchestral Work. Just how did that feel?

That’s absolute correct, we won two Ivor Novello awards for the musical work of The War Of The Worlds. Justin’s input together with all of the others gave the sound of the double album quite a beautiful basis for the way that it all sounded. I was both thrilled and fortunate to have attracted so many great artists.

From the album to the stage show, just how big a leap was that?

As a leap, it actually wasn’t such a big leap other than when we started performing it, wondering how well it would be received. I had actually been working on it for some years starting with my dad, until he passed away in 1996. But we had a team that were developing storyboards, expanding ideas, working with the technology that would have been available to them during that period, and by the time that my opportunity came along, which I have to say didn’t come with an offer for a tour, it came from doing a concert rendition at The Royal Albert Hall. I grabbed the opportunity because I love conducting, and I had never conducted the full work.

I had been the guest conductor conducting one or two pieces from The War Of The Worlds but never the whole piece, up until that point. The box office from The Royal Albert Hall made contact with our then promoters who at that time were under a different name, Clear Channel rather than Live Nation which they became, telling us that there was enough demand for tickets to cover ten to twelve shows. Clear Channel thought that rather than doing a run of shows at The Royal Albert Hall what about taking it out on the road into what was at that point seven arenas. However, I didn’t have an arena production worked out, until I kept working on it with the team whom I had been working with.

I did a presentation with sets and examples of my ideas for a stage show and Clear Channel said, “that’s great” and they announced the tour which sold out so fast we couldn’t keep up (laughter). I think that the first tour that we did was either fifteen or seventeen shows, around Great Britain and Dublin over there in Ireland. So, back in 2006 that really was the beginning of me presenting the arena tour, and I have to say that I have conducted every performance. I have never missed one; touch wood (laughter) including the West End show of eighty eight shows because that was an extended run. So, as you can see it has just grown and grown and it is still going. And as you have recently been informed, we are going to be touring the UK once again in 2025.

To many people of a certain age, the late Richard Burton’s voice was The War Of The Worlds. Why the change from Richard to Liam Neeson?

Firstly, let me say that the change was made with a heavy heart, to be truthful. The reason for the change being was that as we toured, the first five tours I think it was, we had two different technologies and as time went on for Richard, he was brought back firstly as a 3D talking head, and then an advanced version using holography. There came a point around the tour back in 2010 that I went on holiday with my family and I started thinking about the next tour which I already knew we would be doing in 2012, and I took all of the original recordings that I did, not just with Richard, but with all of the artists, and hearing Richard’s voice again and the total of what he had recorded.

I kept listening to them over and over and I soon realised just how much material we had to edit of not only Richard’s but other pieces of music and other artists performances. What you have to remember is that my first assembly of The War Of The Worlds was well past two hours, and in those days, with no digital technology, there was a point at which you got to a certain amount of minutes back in the analogue world, and everything started to deteriorate, particularly if there were pieces that were bass heavy, which surprise surprise, a lot of my tracks from The War Of The Worlds were (laughter). I was constantly making notes. There was a lot of good material, but unfortunately, I couldn’t bring Richard back because he had passed away some years earlier.

On return from my holiday, I started to discuss everything with the production team and the only way that we were able to move the production forward with this storyline which would then be complete, was for us to start again with another Journalist. So, that’s where I think that good fortune came about because we attracted Liam Neeson who told me when I met him for the first time that he had actually bought the original double album and his only concern was, ‘how do I even match less top what Richard Burton had done.’ I remember saying to him, “I just want you to do a Liam Neeson and not a Richard Burton. You two are quite different and its best for you to think of it as a starting piece and not as a continuation” (laughter).

He understood that and he accepted it; he was on board, and I have to say that it turned out terrific. In fact, he has been in 3D holography as our Journalist including things that we couldn’t do with Richard, because we had never filmed him. With Liam however, it was a dedicated film production, so we have him in full body, in head and shoulders; he does tricks so to speak, he knocks out The Parson, The Artillery Man hands him a glass of water, which to this day people say, “how do they do that” (laughter). By having Liam in full body, it has allowed us to do just that.

You did a remarkable job in getting the original musical cast together. Have any of the later casts come close to being as good, if not better, than the original?

I have never looked to that whether it has been on the second double album that was released back in 2012, or any of the cast that has appeared. I only hope that everyone who gets involved is able to create their own magic in their interpretation of the roles that they are playing. I know from over the many years now that there have always been artists that we get feedback from saying that “we never thought that role could be played any better than it was by so and so” and that is of course what makes live entertainment particularly wonderful because you are on the line every time that you go out there to perform.

The sheer scale of the project becoming more expensive with ever spiralling costs and more demands being made on your time, did you ever think, ‘I am never going to get this finished’?

Not so much that I thought that I was never going to get it finished, but it was in reality a budget that seemed generous from CBS because that was who I did my deal with. They were backing me on the basis that I had had a good run with a couple of their artists, David Essex in particular. The project grew very fast into what became a double album, with guest artists rather than a single album of themes loosely based upon the story, but it grew into a double album with guest artists, commissioned paintings, the whole nine yards and at that time I really did need the backing of my family; I needed them to believe in me.

I found myself putting essentially my own personal savings into the balance between the seventy thousand pounds from CBS and the final cost which was somewhere in the region of two hundred and forty thousand pounds. I had slightly under budgeted I think (laughter). I remember having a business meeting with my family, which essentially was my fiancé, who is now my wife, my dad and his second wife who was my step-mum, a lady named Doreen, who was at that time doing the script adaptation. She was born in Hull and raised in Manchester and was already an author and a journalist in her own right.

I said, “we will be running out of money very soon, should I raise the flag of surrender to the Martians when we can just pack up and head home, and I can get back to doing what I do as a commissioned composer and producer?” and they all unanimously replied, “no way”. What they had heard already was different to their ears and they said that “you might never get another opportunity to start with a blank page and do something that is just coming from you, on a story that is a wonderful and unique story”, so we carried on. One went into one’s life savings, and the project finally came out. That was it (laughter).

You mention David (Essex), am I correct in thinking that he is the only original cast member who has played two different characters, The Artillery Man on the original double album and then The Voice Of Humanity in 2016 in the West End?

Yes, you are absolutely correct. As you say David portrayed The Artillery Man on the original double album, and then when we played the Dominium Theatre in the West End of London some years later from the release of the double album, yes, he did play a different role. You are absolutely correct.

Let me take you back to 1979, when the album was named Best Recording In Science Fiction And Fantasy Category. I have to say that when I read who the judges were, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Alfred Hitchcock I did have a tingle down my spine. How did you feel?

(Laughter) the funny thing is that I didn’t even know that the soundtrack was up for that award until I received a call from the then Chairman of Columbia Records in New York, a man named Walter Yetnikoff who I have to say was a major player within the music scene. Walter rang me to say, “I just want to congratulate you, this is quite an achievement for a musical double album that is not attached to a movie or anything else, and I’ve got the award here”, too which I replied, “that’s great Walter, are you going to send it over” and he said, “no, I’m keeping it in my office” and to this day I have never received that award (laughter).

We all know and appreciate a small thing called artistic licence. Do you feel that you have taken the stage production as far as you can or as far as you would like to?

No, I don’t think that I am ever going to be totally satisfied with the production because aside from every time that we do a new production or when we moved into the West End, we have got an experience running in a whole building in London which has run for the past five years and will be running for another two years at least. It always seems to open doors each time that I come back to it, that says, ‘gosh, you can interpret this scene, this sequence, this song, whatever in a way that keeps true to what you first came out with but allows you to move forward’.

Plus, if we add the technological changes, which appear to be coming fast and furious now, it allows us to explore ways of doing things technologically that one couldn’t have done when we first started touring the show back in 2006. Every arena tour, every production has a difference and I hope that it is a major one enough to where people who are returning, together with people who are coming for the first time for that matter, all say, “wow, that was well worth the price of the ticket”.

Coming right up to date, you are going to be touring the show once again in 2025. Where are you regarding the cast; are you auditioning and have you already got people on board?

We have actually just started the audition’s this month, in the New Year so we have quite a list of people who we are approaching, and we are now waiting for their responses. A couple have said that they are interested, a couple have said that they are not available because they are touring at exactly the same time, and a couple have said that they can’t join us because they are busy making a new album. That has been the process that it has always been; it has never been any different. We give a good twelve to fifteen months to make it all happen but as soon as we have a cast, we will be proud and loud in announcing it.

You have briefly mentioned The War of The Worlds: The Immersive Experience. How much input did you have in putting the Experience together?

Quite a bit; myself and our studio team integrated with the producing company on the physical side, and I have to say that it is a real marriage between technology, their imagination, and what we adapted from my original score to make it work in this very large building. There are twenty one rooms; each room is a very different experience. There are live actors, all sorts of technology, and it is still The War Of The Worlds. It is amazing how it is its own thing, but it still links to my original double album.

Have you tried it out, and if so, what did you think to it?

(Laughter) I have been countless times; most of the time because at the beginning some five years ago now, we were integrating with a team that were looking after the physical and technological things. The music which we either adapted or scored to picture, and doing remixes for certain rooms in order to create moods which are enhancing the whole experience for the members of the public who have come along to see it. We are about to launch a new production, hopefully in the middle of February, which we have been working on for the last six months or so. In a way it is the little of little and large when it comes to our productions, because at the moment there are no more than twelve people working down there in the rooms, but that is being upgraded to sixteen, and when you compare that to the twenty thousand plus or minus size arenas, you can imagine the challenge and it really is a little and large scenario. You really do feel like you are in Victorian England, walking around and being captured into the Victorian era.

You will be performing here in Nottingham once again at the Motorpoint Arena on Thursday 10th April 2025. What do you think of our fair city?

Long before I began touring The War Of The Worlds and up until recently actually I have been the Hertfordshire Men’s County Captain in tennis. Tennis has always been my main sport and we have played in Nottinghamshire. We have had a number of matches up there in Nottingham, at the National Tennis Centre where we have played matches as a county so I know Nottingham through tennis, probably even more so than touring there because with tours, as you can appreciate, if you manage to get a day off in a city, its great and you do whatever you can to entertain yourself in an attempt to learn more about the city and the people. However, tennis tournaments are played over much more than a day, so I have a collective sort of feeling for Nottingham in a way that probably other cities were, as music artists, you’re in, you’re out, but I have to say that I actually know Nottingham reasonably well. I love the city and always manage to have a great time whenever we visit.

As you wrote and Justin (Hayward) sang in The Eve Of The War, ‘the chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one he said,’ what are your views on extraterrestrial activity. Is there life out there?

I think that it is fair, it is presumptuous, arrogant, and whatever words you want to attach to it to believe in this massive universe, in fact universes I now believe, to even think that we are alone. Having said that, I am also the sort of chap who likes to see more scientific proof on some things; proof that you can’t argue against. I don’t think that we have yet reached the stage where it’s irrefutable that there is life on Mars or indeed there has been although there has been water found so I am open. I’m certainly not a definite no. Some twelve years ago now, my wife Geraldine and three of our four children were in the parking lot of a restaurant and just before they got out of the car, they believe that my wife saw a space craft hovering over the parking lot of the restaurant. To this day, she swears, as do two of the three children who were old enough to remember it. So, maybe, you know we are being visited but nobody wants to believe it yet.

Early into the project you parted company with artist Roger Dean who you had asked to illustrate the cover of the double album together with its accompanying booklet. Roger being known worldwide for his YES album covers. What went wrong?

Roger was very strong willed in his belief in which way the illustrations should go. Having said that, a couple of things that he put forward were actually quite brilliant, but he wanted it to be on release a sixty-four-page book which the album accompanied rather than what could be afforded. Roger bowed out. We actually parted company on a friendly basis and what we wound up with was thrilling. It was still a sixteen-page booklet that came out, and we were thrilled with the paintings that we had commissioned. Interestingly, the gentleman who designed our logo, a man named John Pasche, was a lovely man. We met John and I have to tell you that he was the man who created The Rolling Stones tongue. As different as that was to the Victorian logo of The War Of The Worlds, he also bought in the painters who did all of the paintings, from an architecture point of view, a landscape point of view, and together with a bit of fantasy. We had three main painters who did the artwork and John did the logo.

I was recently watching The Big Match Revisited, an old football highlights programme here in the UK and I saw at the end of the show, in the closing credits, that the theme tune had been written and performed by a certain Jeff Wayne.

That’s one of quite a number of TV themes that I did, and I was so pleased to be asked and to be commissioned to compose the theme for the show. It was a change from the previous theme and the presenters and this was a new era. I was asked, “what do you think about athletes and football players achieving and trying to win” and the only word that I could come up with was ‘jubilation’. That feeling when you win; that wonderful feeling that you get which I know as a tennis player is awesome. There are always highs and lows. So, I named the piece Jubilation and it lasted until The Big Match eventually went off main TV seven or eight years later, something like that.

Testing your memory now, what was the first record that you bought?

That was I Love How You Love Me by The Paris Sisters, back in 1961. I know that because I was going out with a girl in California at the time and that became our song. And it was the very first song that I actually bought. I used to tape songs off the radio but I’m not really sure that I should be admitting this (laughter). That was in New York when I was fourteen years old and there were tons of records that I loved.

Who did you first see performing live?

Gosh, that’s a great question. The first band that I saw performing live would have been in California, and it probably was, not so much a rock or a pop band, it was more bands and artists on the folk circuit and Joan Baez was one of them. Phew, so far, so good (laughter).

What was the last song or piece of music that made you cry?

I would say that would have to be Brenda Lee’s I’m Sorry. I lived in the UK with my parents from the age of nine for four years. My dad was a singer and an actor, and he was in the original West End production of the musical Guys And Dolls. He played the romantic gambler Sky Masterson and then after he left Guys And Dolls he did an awful lot of work in all medias. After four years we moved back to New York, and I entered Junior High School which is quite normal for a thirteen-year-old. I was listening to the pop radio stations of the day, loving what I heard and then suddenly up came a song by this artist named Brenda Lee, who was also known as Little Miss Dynamite, only to discover that she too was thirteen years old. She was exploding all over the United States as an artist, both live and recording; discovering even more that she had when she started singing and performing Gospel, which she had done since the age of five; what a voice. You asked me what last made me cry and her voice; her phrasing did just that to me.

On that note Jeff let me once again thank you for taking the time to speak to me, it’s been both a pleasure and also very informative.

Thank you, Kevin. I hope that you enjoy the show when you finally get to see it and make sure that you come and say hello in person.