Blodwyn Pig_______

With Blodwyn Pig, gui­tarist/singer Mick Abra­hams played with rock and prog’s big­gest names and turned the group into fes­ti­val stars who had the world at their feet – and then the front­man got fired from his own band. Prog gets the in­side story be­hind the

Prog - - Contents - Words: Mal­colm Dome

As their two al­bums are reis­sued we catch up with gui­tarist Mick Abra­hams.

There’s a mo­ment dur­ing this meet­ing when Mick Abra­hams gets rather emo­tional and has to choke back the tears. It’s un­der­stand­able, be­cause we’re talk­ing about his poor health. “I had two heart at­tacks and a stroke al­most at the same time [in Novem­ber 2009]. Those have left their mark on me. I’m us­ing a mo­bil­ity scooter to­day be­cause some­times I find it hard to walk. And my speech can be a lit­tle slow. But I’m not paral­ysed, thank good­ness. I’m still a rock’n’roller, I love a Jack Daniel’s [he even has a glass in his hand to prove the point] and I can ap­pre­ci­ate an at­trac­tive woman. So, it could be worse.

“But it has af­fected my gui­tar play­ing. I doubt I’ll ever play live again,” he adds. “I watched a DVD re­cently of me on­stage with Blodwyn Pig. I found my­self say­ing, ‘Blimey, that guy can play a bit!’ Be­cause it seemed as if I was watch­ing a dif­fer­ent person. These days, I can join in a bit on gui­tar with oth­ers, but nowhere near the level I was once able to achieve. That up­sets me.”

Abra­hams first got into the spot­light in 1967 as a co-founder of Jethro Tull. He was the gui­tarist on the band’s 1968 de­but This Was be­fore be­ing… well, was he fired or did he quit?

“Lis­ten, this is what hap­pened. I got very pissed off with Ian An­der­son, who saw Tull as his band, and he wasn’t pre­pared to let any­one else voice their opin­ion on what was go­ing on,” he ex­plains. “So I left. But what I told them at the time was that I’d stay on un­til they found a re­place­ment for me, be­cause there was no way I wanted to leave them in the shit. A short while later, I was called to a meet­ing at the of­fice of Terry El­lis, the band’s man­ager. You know what he said to me? ‘Ian and the boys don’t want you in the band any more so you’ve been fired.’ I just replied to

Terry, ‘How can you fire me when I quit three weeks ago?

Just go fuck your­self!’”

Thank­fully, re­la­tions be­tween Abra­hams and An­der­son are a lot more am­i­ca­ble these days. “I even get on well now with Terry,” he says. “Ac­tu­ally, Ian’s man­ager, his son James, has been help­ing me out a lot re­cently. What a great bloke. I told Ian that I thought James was a credit to him, and that not only was he a very nice person, but thor­oughly hon­est and truth­ful. You might have thought Ian would be happy to hear such praise for his own flesh and blood. In­stead he said, ‘So what? That’s the least I would ex­pect from him.’ Typ­i­cal Ian!”

After leav­ing Tull, Abra­hams put to­gether his own band, fea­tur­ing Jack Lan­caster (sax­o­phone/flute), Andy Pyle (bass) and Ron Berg (drums). Abra­hams him­self han­dled vo­cals. Tak­ing the name Blodwyn Pig, they re­leased de­but al­bum Ahead Rings Out in 1969, which reached No.9 in the UK chart, un­der­lin­ing the feel­ing that this band could be a force in their own right.

“From the be­gin­ning of Blodwyn

Pig I had a vi­sion for what I wanted,”

“The band were in­tro­duced as be­ing ‘avant-garde’. It would have been closer to the point to call us ‘’aven’t a fuck­ing clue’!”

Abra­hams ex­plains. “Essen­tially I’ve al­ways thought of my­self as a blues player, but with a lit­tle coun­try, jazz and other styles thrown in for good mea­sure. I never wanted us to be seen as per­form­ing one type of mu­sic or an­other. How­ever, we in­evitably be­gan to get lumped in with cer­tain other

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.