"A Little trip down Memory Lane" - Phil Collins in conversation
about his pub band: Zox And The Radar Boys and his involvement with Silver Song.
Extracts from a Radio1 interview in 1974 transcribed by Alan Hewitt.
Will it be quite a long tour of England?
No, unfortunately, it won't, because we have had to move things around. We are
going to be doing Manchester for two nights and there's a Wembley date and a few
other dates… they haven't actually been fixed yet.. in the pipeline, and we have
after that… we finish somewhere in England and go straight to America about three
or four days between the next gig!
I've been trying to remember the name of your band?
The pub band? That was called Zox And The Radar Boys. The agent; Paul Conroy who
was getting us the few pubs and… it was his idea so we thought, "Well… it's
only a name so why not…?"
There was also somebody from Yes in it, wasn't there?
Peter Banks was in it, he was in Flash at the time. Peter Banks; a violinist;
Mike Piggott, and a flautist and a conga player and a couple of guitarists apart
from Peter. It was all very loose and a lot of them are school friends and I think
we are gonna be doing something during the course of making this album because
that was what we did this time last y ear; during the making of Selling England
By The Pound and we are going to try and go out on the road again with a few more
people, a few changes, you know.
Who do you have this time?
Well… I mentioned it to Bill Bruford and he said he said he wouldn't mind having
a bash. Steve has mentioned it to John Lord and he has said he wouldn't mind having
a bash, so I mean, people like that… from different kinds of bands, and it is
a very loose thing and the idea behind it is to just go on stage and basically
start from scratch and not knowing what you are going to play. We had a couple
of songs which we did the first verse of them and then played for twenty minutes
and then finished with another verse. That kind of thing, you know. It is just
an excuse for all the musicians in the band to play and se did two gigs… one at
High Wycombe Technical College, and the other at Friars in Aylesbury.
That was where I saw you…
That was nice playing there… the people were very nice. Basically it was very
self indulgent, you know, and the people… not many of them.. moved, some of them
were into it so it was quite gratifying that they appreciated the idea behind
doing it. It wasn't a formal band… we have stopped playing pubs and clubs and
if I can get anybody that is in the same frame of mind; just keep it very loose
and just have a good time. Because I am at home with the arranged things we do
but sometimes I get a yearning to get on stage and not know what is going to happen.
Occasionally we have had improvised things when equipment has broken down with
various members like me and Steve or me and Mike and Steve and they can turn out
to be quite fun, you know, even stuff on the new album; a lot of it is heading
that way towards having a very loose theme to work with and keeping it a lot more
for whatever happens on the night, especially when you are touring night after
night with very dense passages; nine weeks in America and playing every night;
the free-er you can keep it, the better really.
I gather all the band are going to have little outlets now; what is Mike
going to do?
Well, Mike is… the songs that I did with Mike and Ant they are the kind of things
they are going to be doing. I mean, they have written a lot together since the
split… since he split from the band ever since there has been a strong tie between
Mike and Ant and they have always been writing and so this is, I presume… I will
be singing some things and it is going to be an album…
Now these will be released but so far they are only in tape form?
Yeah, we made them... probably the end of last year and it was going to be my
single or we were going to put it out as a single and not say who was on it or
who wrote it or anything… nothing special. At the moment I think it is going to
go out under my name so really we don’t really know when it is coming out yet.
Well, we shall play it… you have given us the tapes to play, fortunately,
tell us a little bit about the A side... of the hit single?
Yes, it’s a rocker ballad shall we say, called The Silver Song, and it was written,
I believe around the time of the original drummer whose name was John Silver,
around the time that he split and there was a bit of a depression at that time
because it was the first Genesis and he split… hence the melancholy words… but
it is a nice song.