The rhythm section during the Vauxhall and I era

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Flibberty, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Musician

    Musician Guest

    Mano might be great, too. Can't tell as I'm not fond of the latest stuff, also the live arrangement is not to my liking either. I can't really hear the bass playing. I'm not about to get into the usual crap by the mental patients around, simply from musical point of view - I prefer the more sparse, well-crafted arrangment at Marr's shows (his bassist is superb).
     
  2. drag me down

    drag me down Active Member

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    I was going to mention him being handsome,but I thought it might detract. But when he licked that ice cream.....
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    He would still be a great drummer if he wasn't handsome but let's be real about this. His good looks were the main reason he was in the band in the first place. (same with Alain and Gary.)

    But the way his drumming evolved over the years was impressive and it would have been great to see where their songwriting partnership would have went...
     
  4. drag me down

    drag me down Active Member

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    I always felt Morrissey lost him at the wrong time. It could have only been personal differences because he was so talented. That's Morrisseys obduratiin getting in the way of our enjoyment again.
     
  5. MozIsGod

    MozIsGod Active Member

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    So Spencer basically played Woodie Taylor's drum parts for the recording of the Southpaw Grammar album?
     
  6. MozIsGod

    MozIsGod Active Member

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    Interesting, Jamie. I've always felt Spencer did a fine job playing the slower numbers on the Kill Uncle/Your Arsenal tours (Will Never Marry, Driving Your Girlfriend Home, He Knows I'd Love To See Him, etc). I think Alain suggested on Facebook a while back that there wasn't the same feel and cohesion in the band once Gary and Spencer were replaced. It might also explain why Morrissey chose not to utilize images of the group on his artwork in the mid-late 90s. I recall The Lads were featured frequently on his sleeves/liner notes in 1991 and 1992.

    It's a shame Spencer quit when he did. Had he stayed, we would've had the classic Boz/Alain/Gary/Spencer lineup once again for the 1999 Oye Esteban tour.
     
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  7. AnonymousX

    AnonymousX Guest

    From Mozipedia:
    "Over December ’94 and early January ’95, the band managed to record the instrumental foundations for approximately ten tracks: ‘The Teachers Are Afraid Of The Pupils’, ‘Reader Meet Author’, ‘The Boy Racer’, ‘Dagenham Dave’ and ‘Best Friend On The Payroll’, plus future B-sides ‘NOBODY LOVES US’ and ‘YOU MUST PLEASE REMEMBER’ and three other working titles, ‘LAUGHING ANNE’, ‘YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO ME’ and ‘HONEY, YOU KNOW WHERE TO FIND ME’. ‘It had a very acoustic feel,’ says Supple, ‘very different to how Southpaw turned out in the end. But there’d been a massive mistake. Morrissey’s tape player had been playing Boz and Alain’s demos at the wrong speed so the instructions he gave them about what musical key to use on the Miraval tracks didn’t correlate. Everything was in the wrong key so it was irrelevant. The entire session had to be scrapped.’
    The Miraval sessions also marked the end of Woodie Taylor’s tenure with Morrissey. By early ’95, Spencer COBRIN had been reinstated as drummer for the singer’s first UK tour in over two years that February. His performance on that tour, as well as a trial session at Abbey Road playing along to the Miraval demos, convinced Morrissey to retain him for Southpaw. ‘He suddenly decided he wanted it rockier,’ says Supple, ‘and Spencer was a harder drummer.’
    Fresh from touring, in March ’95 the band reconvened in the familiar surroundings of Hook End. ‘The whole session was very full-on,’ says Cobrin. ‘We’d just come off the road, so there was a real energy about Southpaw.’ [...]
    In keeping with its new, heavier sound, many of the tracks rehearsed at Miraval were discarded for being either incongruously slow (the ballads ‘Laughing Anne’ and ‘You Should Have Been Nice To Me’) or light pop (‘Honey, You Know Where To Find Me’) while others including ‘The Boy Racer’ and ‘Dagenham Dave’ were sufficiently fortified by harder arrangements."

    Now, I've never compared the drumming on the Miraval demos with Spencer's drumming on Southpaw Grammar but I suspect he did bring some of his own style and ideas to the table. I think The Operation would have sounded very differently if Woodie had played on it...
     
  8. AnonymousX

    AnonymousX Guest

    It was about money from what I understand. But even Morrissey himself seemed to regret that Spencer left writing in Autobiography:
    "[H]e elected to abandon the drums precisely at the moment when he had polished and refined his craft."
     
  9. Jamie

    Jamie Bluff, Ardour & Assoc.

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    Spencer was - and is, based on his former FB and now more sporadic Instagram posts - an interesting guy. He seems the type to make efforts towards becoming a well-rounded person - you can't really pigeonhole him as a musician alone. He certainly seems to have a drive towards self-improvement - see the leaps and bounds his drumming took between the Kill Uncle tour and Southpaw/Maladjusted. He took acting lessons during his time out of the Lads in the early Nineties. He took piano lessons in part to write songs for Morrissey. He learned the real estate market in NYC and became a realtor. And now he is a particularly avid aikido practicioner. I agree that the disconnect with Morrissey occurred at exactly the wrong time, as Spencer wrote some quite lovely songs for his own band Elva Snow in the wake of his departure. His "15 Minutes With..." Julie Hammill implied that he still felt a deep personal sadness that the relationship broke down. More's the pity that the various departures came with such acrimony - based on the advancements each of the Lads made personally as musicians, one can only imagine the possible great material they could make as a matured unit today. Frankly, I would much rather see a reunion of the original four Lads than the Smiths. But the odds are scarcely better.
     
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  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Wow, I didn't realize that. I think Spencer had his falling out with Moz prior to Gary re-entering the scene in '99, right? If only Morrissey kept his mouth shut to Spencer, that original Lads lineup could have stayed together to record You Are the Quarry.
     
  11. MozIsGod

    MozIsGod Active Member

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    If you watch Solomon's 2014 live performance of "Hand In Glove," you'll notice that it's a simpler rendition of what Andy played back in 1984 and thus loses a lot of its pop and charm.



     
  12. Phranc & Open

    Phranc & Open Active Member

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    Great research as always, Jamie.
    For my understanding, "Musical Director" Boz Boorer won the internal power struggle with Alain Whyte at some point and has been selecting the musicians for Morrissey on his own ever since. I don't think there is even in theory the idea of the conscious reunion of a 90s line-up in Morrissey Kosmos. Unfortunately, Morrissey 2019 doesn't have the musicians at the start, who give back to the old fans the sound that made them unconditional followers in the 90s. The new generation of Morrissey fans, who joined 5-10 years ago, are probably more happy about "Kiss me a lot" live than about "Boxers". Long live Alain, Spencer, Jonny, Gaz, Mark n' Woodie.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  13. MozIsGod

    MozIsGod Active Member

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    I've always been intrigued by Boz/Alain's supposed "power struggle." Did this begin when Jesse was brought on board or had it been brewing for quite some time before then? They always looked like they got on well together and seemed to have lots of fun in their duets together (which was probably 2002).

     
  14. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest


    Well marr...Word round the camp fire was there was a tiff with Morrissey and Spencer. All were very coy and cozy in W.H.I.W.O.F.B.S. But things weren't so friendly, between the 2 during the video shoot of "Tomorrow", were they ? Nuff said....Gaz was a party hound, but never a beer-monster.
    "Sick down to my heart, but that's just the way it goes."
     
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Excellent ! Hugs ....."Will our names be on your guest list." ? "The balcony fools ,were us you fools." Fond regards: Stephen Street, Vini Riley
     
  16. Phranc & Open

    Phranc & Open Active Member

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    Yes, that's absolutely right. Only Alain can tell (it) like it is (to quote Don Johnson).
     
  17. Phranc & Open

    Phranc & Open Active Member

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    Mick Ronson, Steve Lillywhite, Danton Supple....
     
  18. Ben Budd

    Ben Budd Well-Known Member

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    I don't buy the Al/Boz power struggle, sorry. Boz has been musical director since he came on board, including asking Nevin for the chords to his Your Arsenal songs so the band could learn them. Alain was taken ill in 2004, Jesse came on board, and it was less awkward to kick him out in 2006 and return Alain than it was to just maintain the new status quo that had developed. Boz was the one who had to give Al the news in the studio car park in 2008 that he was not welcome in the Years of Refusal sessions, I can't imagine that was fun to tell an old friend.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
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  19. Stephen Hofmann

    Stephen Hofmann Well-Known Member

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    Gaz never a beer monster? Not sure about that. I heard a story about him, when he was in the Frantic Flinstones recording an album out in the country yonks ago, when he and the band were driving a car and ended up crashing through somebody's fence and legging it asap.
     
  20. MozIsGod

    MozIsGod Active Member

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    Was it Boz who interrupted Alain when he replied to Morrissey during the band introductions on the "Who Put The 'M' in Manchester?" concert DVD? Someone said something but its hard to make it out.

    Morrissey: "Born, we think? Alain Whyte."
    Alain: "I'm actually from Camden."
    Morrissey: "He's trying to tell you that he was born in raised in Camden Town."

    It starts around the 4:27 mark.
     
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