I spoke with David Duhig by telephone on 28 November 1999. David is the younger brother of the late Tony Duhig, and played on several of Jade Warrior's albums and in every live gig Jade Warrior ever performed.
DD: I thought a good place to start was to tell you about Tony's musical history, 'cause there are a couple of bands he was in that aren't mentioned anywhere, 'way back... and then talk about his guitar stuff and everything.
DP: OK. And, I was also curious about the fact that both of you were guitar players - it sounds like a rather musical family.
DD: Oh, well, there is a third I'll tell you about as well... from my sister, actually, a guy named Dennis Sullivan. He's mine and Tony's nephew, as it were - he's an amazing guitar player, to be honest. So, I'm glad to say it goes on!
DP: It's good to see such talent to be passed down from generation to generation.
DD: Yeah - I want to try and get Tony's son to learn to play the guitar, but he lives a bit of a ways away so it's not that easy to do it. Got to get him on board somehow!
DP: How old is he now?
DD: Well, he was born in '72, so... 27, I guess. So, shall I tell you a bit about what I remember of the bands Tony was in?
DP: Please do!
DD: Around '64 or '65, he was in a band called Second Thoughts - basically a blues and rhythm band. Main singer in that band was a guy called Pat Lyons, who went on to form a band called Nirvana - the original Nirvana. I think they had a single out called Rainbow Chaser which did well. I know Tony did a fair few sessions for Pat over the years. After that band, there was a band called The Tomcats - that was in the mid '60s. Actually, I remember lending them ten shillings to go off to Spain to do a tour - and they apparently arrived in Spain with nothing but those ten shillings! That band had Tom Newman as the singer in there.
DP: Right. I've seen that album - I guess it was repressed a few years ago - a re-release - but I haven't been able to locate a copy.
DD: Oh, right I can tell you what happened there. They went off to Spain... oh, by the way, Jon Field was in Second Thoughs and The Tomcats as well. They became like the top pop band there, believe it or not. Camilla, Tony's wife, has a whole pile of EPs they used to do in those days. They got really quite big - a huge following, on the charts. So, that was The Tomcats, which I think in its way led on to the forming of July, the next band, which you know probably a bit more about.
DP: Right - one or two albums, a couple of remixes and so forth...
DD: Yeah - I remember they did the one album, 'cause I was knocking around for them at the time it was being recorded. One notable thing about July which I've always remembered which has always impressed me, although I didn't see it, was a gig they were doing at the Royal Albert Hall. Apparently, during one number, there was a power cut. Trying to figure out what was the smart thing to do, they worked out the exact note that the power cut had occurred on, so when the power came on they carried on from the very next note. It apparently went down really well. That was 'round about '66-'67. Then, I suppose the next thing was that Tony met Glyn [Havard] and Alan Price, and they formed a band which nobody really mentions about because they went off to Persia to do some sort of money gig. I suppose the most notable thing about that is that Tony caught some sort of disease he called "Persian Leg" which plagued him from there on it. That was around the end of '69, and from that then came Jade Warrior, sort of.
DP: Do you recall the name of the band that they toured with in Persia?
DD: No. It's probably something that Tony, and Jon and probably Glyn and Alan probably wouldn't mention, because it wasn't noteworthy in any way. There wasn't any recording - they were just doing it for the money.
DP: Strictly a road-touring kind of thing.
DD: Yeah. You could mention how we all met up and Jade Warrior was formed. That's the basic rundown of the four or five bands Tony was in, as far as I know. Most of them did fairly well, actually. Second Thoughts - that was going way back - that was getting a real big following. I remember Tony was getting compliments about his guitar playing from people like Eric Clapton. He was doing rhythm and blues, was playing the same clubs as Clapton, and John Mayall - they were all sort of much-of-muchness back then, there weren't all that many places to play, and so you'd bump into everyone. All of this seems to have gone really well - The Tomcats did really well in Spain. July - I don't know why they didn't continue on, but I think they'd have done well if they had done.
DP: They've still got a reputation today, as a not all that well known, but very significant band in the psychedelic tradition.
DD: Indeed. The July album, as far as I remember, like a lot in those days, wasn't recorded in a studio - it was done at home, on Revox two-track tape recorders.
DP: Right - track-to-track bouncing, and that sort of thing.
DD: Yeah. As far as I remember, that's how the July album was actually recorded. Considering that, they ended up making it sound pretty good, considering it was two Revoxes.
DP: Right. It's got a well-structured, layered sound to it. It shows the technology which was used, but it used it well.
DD: Yeah. In 1969 (a particularly nice summer over here), Tony, Glyn, Alan, myself, and I think Tom Newman, all shared one big flat. It was actually a bit chaotic - music coming out of every room. That's where I first met Glyn and Alan. Glyn, at the time, was very much into King Crimson. This was prior to them releasing records, so he'd go see them at gigs, and then come home and play songs like "21st Century Schizoid Man" - he'd know every note of it. Glyn and Alan and I would jam around in there. That flat was probably the feeding place for Jade Warrior. Tony and Jon had finished what they called the "ballet music" for a dance group. I think the music was called "Phoenix and the Dove". Chances are, what probably happened is, Glyn came from his bedroom into Tony's bedroom and probably said "That's a nice bit of music - I could write some nice words for it." Or, Tony heard Glyn singing and said "Do you want to put some words on this?" Anyhow, I think that's how Glyn and Alan got involved with it. It was really quite a good time. I was in a band at the time, playing bass guitar - although I'm I guitarist I occasionally step into playing bass. We all met up there. From there, they all went off to do that gig in Persia - I couldn't go because I wasn't old enough. After that, came Jade Warrior. The first thing I remember about Jade Warrior was a day I was at work (I had a day job). Tony asked if I could join the band, learn the set, learn how to play the guitar in an alternate tuning, learn several different guitar styles I hadn't done - all within a week!
DP: (guffaw) Oh my!
DD: So, I was doing my day job, doing rehearsals in the evening - I think we had five rehearsals in the evenings at Jon's house - and learned a pile of numbers which we did at a club in London called Scotts of St. James. I didn't know it at that time, but I've since discovered that people like John Lennon and Hendrix used to hang out there. Hendrix wasn't there that night, of course - he'd already gone upstairs. So, they did that gig, and from that came the first Jade Warrior album on Vertigo.
DP: You were doing mostly pieces that ended up on the first album, then?
DD: Yes. The main song I can remember doing is a song called "The Traveller".
DP: That was the first Jade Warrior song I ever heard. It was used as part of the soundtrack of a radio play done by some guys in New York state, called "The Fourth Tower of Inverness". It's a subtle, and very beautiful piece, "The Traveller".
DD: Yeah... for me, for my guitar playing... in Jade Warrior stuff, I'm very much portrayed as a raving guitar player, crazy! Being in Jade Warrior, having to sort of duplicate what Tony was doing... he'd generally do the melody, and I'd do the chords in the background. To be honest, doing the chords in the background was often much more difficult than doing the melody. You'd have a few techniques, you'd have to be very relaxed on your playing, you know. I remember the gig at Scotts of St. James, I actually had to start off - the first number we did was "The Traveller", an interesting thing to begin with, that. I had to start off with a note on the fifth string, and then a note on the sixth string, which is a deep note - and I banged my machinehead and was incredibly out of tune! There was nothing I could do - I had to carry on playing. It was quite hilarious, really. So, I think that's what started everything off. I thought that was going to be my break, as well, to be honest, but I went back to doing my day job, and the next think I know they'd done the first album! Actually, I went in for a bit of the mixing when Tony was recording, and did a few things on the faders and stuff. The first album came and went pretty fast. I was hardly aware of the second album, "Released", getting done, apart from the fact that the next thing I know they're saying "We want to do some gigs" and stuff like that. The first two albums came and went pretty fast.
DP: They both came out in '71, I think, or early '72?
DD: Yes, I think the second one came out in late '71 or early '72. That, in turn, led on to doing a tour of America. It's because "Released" made it onto the lower part of the charts, with a bullet - Mercury Records decided to have us over for a tour.
DP: Was that backing Dave Mason?
DD: Well, actually, yes. There's a list of people - it wasn't just Dave Mason, although that was the worst experience we had. We also backed a guy called Long John Baldry, a band called REO Speedwagon, Dave Mason, and then we played at Whisky-A-Go-Go with a band called Earthquake. It was quite a nice experience, the whole Whisky-A-Go-Go thing. That was at the end of the tour - the tour was June and July. They had a big billboard, and in great big letters it said "EARTHQUAKE" and then in smaller letters "Jade Warrior". That's fine... we were in America playing support, that's what you would expect. We did the first night, and to give them their due this band Earthquake was so impressed with us, they demanded of the management that we be the top of the bill and that they play support! That was very very nice of them! The management wouldn't go for that, and said "Tell you what we'll do, we'll give you equal billing", so we got our letters increased to the same size. There's not a lot of bands which would do that.
I know there's somebody who's mentioned to you, on one of the letters on your Web site, that the Dave Mason thing wasn't a particularly good experience. I think the reason for that was that at nearly every gig we did (including the stuff in England) we'd get several encores, 'cause we'd go down very well. I don't think, strictly speaking, that the Dave Mason Band liked us going on as a support band, and going down so well.
DP: They felt they were being upstaged?
DD: Right. After the first gig, we found that the PA would be terrible for the sound check, if we got a sound check! The last straw came when one of Dave Mason's chief roadies plugged our equipment into the wrong power supply, and blew all our amps!
DP: Oh, no...
DD: So, we didn't have a very good experience with them. But the Long John Baldry thing - I think we played Long Island or somewhere like that - we played two or three night little resident scenes, and that was good fun. Playing with this band Earthquake was good fund as well. I should also mention a nice little thing for me - with Earthquake we were playing the Whisky-a-Go-Go - we played five nights, I think. I can't remember exactly which night it was, but it was probably the third or fourth night - I looked down and, sitting in the audience in the first row, was Edgar Winter - you couldn't miss because he's an albino. I thought "Wow, that's very nice!". The next night, he was there again, with his brother Johnny Winter sitting next to him. I'd become very much aware of him because he'd done some stuff with Hendrix. I thought "Hey, this is really nice", with them both sitting there getting into the music. It was a nice little touch.
DP: That must have felt very good!
DD: It did, it did! I think one of the highlights, and the funny bits of the time in America, was when we were playing in Philadelpha. We had a "country squire" car - a big car. We pulled up at a traffic light, and a car pulled up next to us, with all these huge black blokes in it... racing their engine, RRR RRRRRRR. We thought "Oh, no, we're in for it!" They rolled down their window and started shouting out "Hey, are you in a band, or what?" and we said "Yeah, it's called Jade Warrior" and they went bananas. Apparently they were real fans of the band!
DD: We couldn't believe it! Here we were, in the middle of nowhere, and they were really into it! It was because the "Released" album had lots of congas and all that on it - they thought it was good stuff. So, that was a nice little memory of that.
DD: As far as gigs go, we did play quite a few gigs in England - we played places like Marquee and things like that quite regular. We went down very well. I took a look through your web site last night, and I did notice an interview on there with Glyn mentioning that Vertigo wasn't all that happy with us because of the way we were live, or something. That was a bit of a mystery to me - not that we took it as standard, but we got very used to the fact that at every gig we got lots of encores. It'd be nice, varied, interesting music - it wasn't just ramming it down your throat - it was interesting stuff...
DP: People liked it...
DD: Yeah. On a live frontage, we could have gotten a good reputation there alone. We'd start the set off very interestingly. Generally, in those days, we'd start the set off with a big bash on the gong. Then, Tony and I would do a guitar effect Tony invented, called "scratch"... I'll go into that in a bit more detail. That would swell up, and fill the hall, and people really wouldn't know what was going on - it was so unusual and different. So, from the very start of the set to the end, including things along the way... for example, Jon Field used to take a kitchen stool, and bang on it with an almighty piece of wood...
DD: ... as if it were a drum, and people would go "Yeah, that's great!" So, that was really good. We did have some good times playing! The only thing that's very very strange, though... I've been a whole pile of bands, but as far as Jade Warrior goes, although I've got boxes and boxes of tapes, I haven't found one tape of a rehearsal or a live gig that we did!
DD: Which doesn't mean that they're not there, because there are stacks of tapes - I've got a roomful of tapes. I've got most of Tony's tapes here, including the big 2" masters.
DP: Oh, good - so you did save those when you closed out Tony's studio!
DD: Oh, yeah, yeah. We got, probably... everything that was ever recorded is here somewhere. The problem with it is, we used two or three different formats of tape - 24-track 2" tape, or 2" 16-track tape, and then in later days we had 1/2" 16-track tape when Fostex brought one out. I don't have any of those machines to play any of those tapes on. In the latter days of Tony, when he was in Glastonbury, he would so often take a tape box and write "Tony" on it and you wouldn't know what was on there - there'd be no track sheet on it. At some point, when I get a rocking chair or something, I'll sit down for a few years and go through it all. There's a lot of stuff. I imagine that most of the Jade Warrior stuff has been released... I know there are a few things which haven't.
DP: If there's any undiscovered material, or things that bring out in any way, I've love it hear at some point it if it turns out to be possible.
DD: I think most of what's there wasn't mixed well enough to be released, or was simply loose musical ideas, but very nice.
DP: Jade Warrior has, as you can tell, been a hobby of mine for a long time. I love occasionally turning up tidbits. I ran into one - I just got ahold of, a week or two ago. There was another band on Vertigo called "Assagai"..
DD: Oh, yeah, that's right!
DP: ... that Tony and Jon, and I guess Glyn, did some music for, for one album. It's got a couple of Jade Warrior covers, and I can definitely hear Tony's guitar and Jon's flute on a couple of other tracks. I just finished transferring it off of LP, and cleaning up the sound and making a CD-R last week. It's so nice to hear "new" music back from that era, and to hear the instruments I've come to know!
DD: Oh, right, indeed! It's a shame, in a way, that I can't say "Well, we have ten unreleased albums here." What there is an awful lot of, is what Tony would call "sketches of music" where he'd put down on the Revox - pretty good quality, actually - the ideas for the numbers. He'd done some lovely guitar finger-style things that nothing ever happened with - he's not exactly sure why he did them, but he did them - just nice ideas. That sort of stuff. There's quite a lot of stuff I did afterwards with Glyn and Alan - I can mention what happened after Jade Warrior, if you like.
DP: Yes! So, let's see... I think that brought us up through "Released". What was the "Last Autumn's Dream" time like - the third album?
DD: That was quite good, recording-wise. There was quite a good vibe. That was right after we came back from America, I think.
DP: I think it's either late '72 or early '73, from what I can tell.
DD: Yeah, that's right. That was good - that was the first thing I recorded - "Snakebite", I think, was the first track I played on with Jade Warrior. I remember, recording at that time there were some weird things... I think we recorded that at a studio called Nova Sound, in Marble Arch in London. I remember one night... was that the album with "Dark River" on it?
DP: Yes, it is.
DD: Yeah, some weird thing happened. We were doing that actual track, and this really odd guy came into the studio, and the security guy was having a really hard time with him. We went out, and as we opened the door he could hear the track. He said "Ah, you're doing voodoo drums from the so-and-so tribe."
DD: We went "What??" - he was spot-on! It was actually a voodoo drum rhythm from the tribe he said! It was quite odd - he fooled us all, he was so knowledgeable! Yeah, that was a nice time. I think there's a noticeable difference, musically-speaking and sound-wise. "Last Autumn's Dream" - everything went up a couple of notches, production-wise. I think the first two Jade Warrior albums weren't quite as produced, I supposed, as "Last Autumn's Dream." That was a nice album. At that moment in time, we still thought were on for being a full-time band which would go back to touring the States, and be aware of everything, and continue on. For most of us, it was a positive thing playing in America. Of course, towards the end of the tour, Tony was well aware that his wife Camilla was about to give birth to Anthony, which happened on August 5th I think. Since it was getting towards the end of July, he was desperate to get back. We'd started in New York / New Jersey, and worked across Boston and Philadelphia and Chicago, and ended up in Los Angeles, and we should have then continued on from Los Angeles to Washington and then into Canada. But, Alan got really severe sunburn while in Los Angeles, and Tony wanted to get back to see how Cam was doing, and Jon was missing his wife. Me and Glyn were the only ones who could continue on! So, that brought it to an end - otherwise it would have gone on a lot longer.
DP: I wish I had known then, that you were touring the area... I grew up in Philadelphia and was going to college in upstate New York. If I'd know that that was The Band whose music I'd been listening to, I'd have driven back to Philadelphia for your show!
DD: As I mentioned, I've got a couple of posters from those gigs, and some old photographs - I'll try to find them at some point. I've got so much stuff, from business and bands - I'm trying to get it sorted through. I've got about 800 cassettes alone, of my own stuff...
DP: Oh my!
DD: ... I know it's 800 because I've got boxes that hold 80, and I've got more than 10 of those. So, anyway - should I mention about Tony's guitar tuning?
DP: Oh, please - he's got a unique sound...
DD: Yes, there's a tiny little story about his tuning... I think one of our sisters told me this... I don't think anybody else could have. Basically, he got the guitar via the post, so it arrived in a cardboard box. When he got it out to tune it, he tuned it the way he thought you should tune a guitar. I think he based it on the logic of "It should be as easy to play as possible." Lower tuning would make it easier to fret the strings. Consequently, he tuned it to a low "C" - your bass note - you can't go much lower than that, or it will wobble out. So, his basic tuning - his only tuning as far as I know - was his top string was a "C", second string was a "G", third string was an "E", fourth string was another "C", fifth string was another "G", and the bass string - the six string was a "C". So, with three "C"s in the chord... (laughter).
There's plusses and minuses. I started playing guitar tuned normally, as most people do. When I got involved with Jade Warrior, having to tune down so low was very very strange. For quite a while, when you do that tuning down that low, it's quite easy to just lightly bend a note when you're doing a chord-shape. Your fingers have gotta go, much more so than normal tuning - you have to be pretty spot-on, with just the right amount of pressure, or it starts wobbling out of tune a bit.
There's a few things about Tony's guitar techniques, which were more unique to Tony. Certainly, this effect called "scratch". There's a track called "Obedience", and on there I think you hear scratch - probably the best scratch, to recognize it. His idea of scratch was, you get a plectrum, and you use the very edge of the plectrum, and you run it across the strings in a pretty straight line, pretty close to the bridge. It's a bit of a technique go get it going. You get it going quite fast, and then you do chord-shapes on it. I've never heard anybody else do it. I'll be doing a little bit of it on a little thing I'll mention to you at the end, about the tribute album for Tony. I thought what I'd try and do is some of his techniques, which might just disappear forever if we don't do a bit more of them!
DP: Get them documented...
DD: That's right. If you'd like, or if anybody out there who comes to your web site would like, I can do some chord diagrams of favorite Jade Warrior chords, so you can see... I can't do all of them, or even remember them, but I can do the most-used chords that Tony did, and if anybody wants to use them, have fun with them!
DP: I know for certain that there's one guy out there who would love to see those. Since Tony's sound was so unique, it would be wonderful to have it documented and available to people.
DD: Yeah, indeed. Another of Tony's techniques was thumb-rhythms - basically, doing a rhythm piece, but you do it with the side of your thumb. You'd get a very gentle rhythmic sound - I think you can hear a good example of it on "Bride of Summer". That's a good example of Tony's thumb-rhythms, which he did get very good at. Finger styles - I think he did pretty normal finger styles, but he just did them in a different way. His octave playing - again, not that different from everyone else's, it's just what he did with it - very nice. The other effect which he did originally, but then sort of forgot about, was his use of a foot volume control. One of the best examples was on that "July" album, called "Dandelion Seeds". What he'd do would be play a note, and feed it in very quickly on the foot volume, and that would almost give you a backwards sound, which was what he was trying to do...
DP: So, it would suppress the rapid attack, fade in, and then drop out quickly.
DD: Right. "Dandelion Seeds", I think, was one of the best example of that sort of effect. The main amplifiers we used were standard Marshalls, and Hi-Watt valve amps. I think nearly everything I did with Jade Warrior used my old Stratocaster, which I've still got, and Glyn used a Precision bass on everything. Tony had three main guitars in his musical career. In the early days, up until "July", it was a Gibson SG he played. I think the real guitar for him, which was the next one he got, was a Fender Telecaster, which he used for the first couple of Jade Warrior albums. That was a really lovely guitar. Jon did a really nice design for him, heating up an iron and burning a design into the body. Unfortunately, that guitar got stolen. Tony then went on to get a Gibson 335, which most of the Jade Warrior stuff was done on. To be honest, I think the Telecaster was "his guitar" - it was much more responsive. The only thing about it which annoyed him about the Telecaster, was when we'd do a gig... I had a Stratocaster, which you could turn up and hear it on the moon... Tony would turn up his Telecaster and get loads of whistles, 'cause it would feed back (laughter). That was probably the only gripe he had about it. He got some lovely sounds out of that Telecaster. So, yeah, he went to the Gibson 335. Towards the time he did "Horizen", a couple of new guitars came in. He had a Roland, which is a guitar synthesizer. I had a guitar which I bought, sold it to Tony, bought it back from Tony, and then sold it back to Tony about four or five times...
DD: ... which was a twin-neck guitar. It was only a cheap guitar. One of which was twelve-string, which Tony never used - he kept saying to me "Why not chop it in half?" - but the six-string I had made fretless, and that is on at least one or two Jade Warrior tracks, I think - Tony playing fretless guitar. I can't remember the tracks off the top of my head, but maybe at some point I'll hear them and recall...
DP: Do you remember which album it was?
DD: After "Waves" - the couple which came after "Waves", I'd have though. I'm trying to remember when I bought the guitar myself. There's a few phrases he does, here and there, where you can hear it... he flicks a note, and then slides it.
DP: That'd be the fretless.
DD: I think that's the basics of Tony's guitars and amps. It was always a Marshall he used. Another effect he used now and then, in the early days, was a Leslie, miked up. As far as I know, Tony's actual guitar sounds were produced primarily with the Marshall and a 412. In the very early days I think he had a fuzzbox called a Tonebender. 'Round about the time of "Last Autumn's Dream" we got re-equipped - that's when I got my Stratocaster at last - I'd been after one for years. We got fuzzboxes from a place called Top Gear. They were just cheap little fuzzboxes - probably the equivalent of about $12, back then. We used to use those all the time. I think the main things you'll find about Tony's actual sound was two elements, really. One is the miking up of it. You might have one mike up close to the speaker, and then another down in the other end of the studio. Or, you might put the combo out in the hallway, to get reverb. So, it was the miking position, and also the reverb. Back in those days, it was spring reverbs and plate reverbs which would have been used. It was before digital reverbs came in.
DP: I know a lot of musicians feel that even the best of the digital ones don't give the same traditional kind of sound of the spring and plate reverbs.
DD: Particularly the plate revebs! They were pretty nice stuff, especially for guitars - really make them sing! Because they're plate reverbs, you need a separate room to put them in - they're not the kind of thing you can keep in your home studio unless you've got a huge house.
DP: ... or they'll pick up microphonics ...
DD: Right, you need a concrete floor, and everything for them. So, as far as I can remember, that's it - there was no secret to Tony's sound, it's like anyone with that particular sound - how much treble do you want, how much bass do you want? How much distortion, what volume - all those things together.
We were using quite a lot of the studio called Nova Sound - I think that was probably one of Tony's favorite studios. After that, quite a lot of recording was done in Island's studios. And, in the very early days - the first album was done in another studio down by Marble Arch - I think it was Philips' studio, a huge massive place. That's all I can remember off the top of my head.
DP: In the later days, when Tony was up in Glastonbury doing "Horizen" for example, he was getting more into the use of synthesizers there. I think he had an Emulator, and some other things. Do you remember anything more about the setup he had there?
DD: Sure. "Horizon" was actually more done with... our family had lived in a place called Acton, in west London - that's where we were based for all of our life before we moved to Glastonbury. As far as I remember, most of "Horizen" was actually recorded at home, in our house in Acton. That's where Tony got the Emulator - Emulator 1 as it were - which was a phenomenal expense in those days. Samplers have come millions of miles since then. I remember he had the Emulator there, and he also had a Linn drum machine - I don't think it was the first, maybe the second Linn drum machine - and a Roland GLR guitar synth. I don't remember the number - there were different floorboxes, and this was the blue one - it might have been the GLR 500 or something like that. The other thing he probably used most of on that, was an Ursa Major Space Station - a digital-delay reverb. Those were the main things. I think you'll find that most of "Horizen" was recorded in Acton, and then probably finished off when he moved to Glastonbury... the two things sort of overlapped.
DP: I gather from some things that Jon Field has said, that Tony's move up to Glastonbury and his effort to get a business going up there doing music production and studio work didn't work out too well?
DD: No... well, the idea, and if Tony was still here and the idea came along again he'd probably say "That's a good idea"... basically, the idea was that through most of Tony's life (and I think you'd say he was very fortunate) that he'd have a record deal, and have quite a lot of budget, and go into the studio and spend thousand and thousands of pounds recording - it was very evident, from the quality of it. When he moved to Glastonbury, all of a sudden this new equipment started coming out, like Fostex equipment. At the time we were in Glastonbury, for example, if you wanted to buy a tape recorder to record on, it would cost 10,000 pounds. A mixer would be another 10,000 pounds, all the peripherals and etc... you'd spend about probably about 70-80,000 pounds to get a studio going. But then Fostex came out with a machine for 4,000 pounds or so, 16 track, and it was good sound - if you put a good signal in there on tape, you got a good signal back. So, all of a sudden, it was "Hold on a second - I'm trying to get more music done, I can have my own studio!" I was still living in Acton at the time, and Tony said to me "Listen, if I get a studio, would you come down and be the engineer?" I said "Sounds good to me." I was doing building work at the time, strugging away, and I said "Well, yeah!" - I'd wanted to get out of London, all my life, and it seemed like the perfect chance. We got a lovely studio together - absolutely perfect atmosphere for doing music in, in an energetic place, in a beautiful building. I've got a couple of photos of Tony and me in the studio which I'll send you, and you'll see. Any musician who walked in there, always went "Wow, what a place!"
An amusing thing about that, though... when we first got the studio together, nice big mixer and everything, everything new and shiny... down at the far end of the studio we had a sort of live room, and Tony said "It's be really nice if you put your Strat down there"... my old 1963 Stratocaster... "put your Stratocaster down there under the spotlight, it'll look really nice." Tony's jaw used to drop, because bands would come into the studio, and they'd go "Wow, look at that!" and Tony would say "Yeah, nice studio, isn't it?" and they'd all head for the Stratocaster! He'd have thousands of pounds of equipment, and they'd go "Wow, look at this!"
DP: (laughter) It's a great guitar!
DD: It was quite amusing! Yeah, there was a lot of struggle, and a lot of heartache and problems, in financial terms. There was a time, though - the summer of 1987, I think - that I don't think Tony would have traded that for all the tea in China. I'm getting a bit cosmic here, but at the time there was a thing called the Harmonic Convergence - a lineup of planets and a spiritual awakening. There were several places around the planet which were designated as key places to be for this Harmonic Convergence.
DP: I know Glastonbury was one of those - it had that sort of reputation.
DD: Yeah. We were in the courtyard, which was called the Glastonbury Experience - our studio was up in this top of this big sort of barn - lovely. There were hundreds and hundreds of these cosmic sort of people descending on us every day. I remember, one of the times I think Tony was at his happiest - I came into the studio, and Tony was sitting at the mixing desk, and there was a woman sitting next to him with her hands and palms pointed towards the ceiling. He said... I can't remember her name, he said "This is so-and-so"... and she said "Hello, David - I'm a plant!" He was holding his mouth, to stop himself from laughing! It was so very funny - a "Have you met a plant before?" sort of thing. But, he had some really good times there. A lot of my friends descended down from London, and Tony knew alot of those and got along with them really well. So, I'd say that if I could travel back in time to look at Tony smiling, I'd go back to the summer of '87. Loads of problems, but the positive good stuff at that time outweighed it by a long shot. There were some really nice times in Glastonbury. The actual idea - the good idea to get the studio together in the first place - Tony had met some guys who had an offer to do the soundtrack - all the incidental music and everything - for a bike endurance race from Mexico to Alaska. It was going to be a 26-part series, a huge budget and everything. Tony was guaranteed to do the music. So, with that in mind, he thought "By getting the studio together I could save loads of money." He could do the music, with me to help - it seemed like a very good project to do. Unfortunately, we got the studio all set... everyone was moving ahead with it, and then something happened with the insurance on the bike race... the insurance rates went up... and the whole thing sort of crashed apart. We were left with the studio. So then, we had to turn it into... instead of being a nice place to record your own music, get business in instead. Glastonbury's quite a small place - it's not like a city, it's like a small town. Getting people in to hire a studio... although many people did, only about a third as many did as you'd like to, to make it pay.
DP: So it couldn't break even.
DD: No, no - it couldn't break even. I guess the stress started building on Tony.
DP: Jon Field has said that this was a pretty tough time - "total disaster".
DD: Well, I respect Jon Field's point of view, being Tony's closest friend for an awfully long time, and being in all those bands together. But, after we moved to Glastonbury, there wasn't that much contact - it was very much separate entities. The studio was called "Jade Warrior Studios", and Tony had intended to continue on with Jade Warrior music. To that end, he was very pleased with a lot of musicians that he met down there. There are a couple of people I'd like to mention. One is guy who's probably my best friend at the moment, a man called Cheyne Towers who's a really nice bass player. Tony used to jam with Cheyne, and work on ideas an awful lot in the studio. There's a vocalist called Donald Hoo Young who, also, Tony really liked his voice and did a few tracks with him.
Then, also a few other things occurred as well. There's a local vocalist called Lifus - Tony got to know him, and thought "Oh, this guy's got a good project he wanted to do - stuff about King Arthur, and the bloodline between Jesus and King Arthur - turn it all into music." Tony asked if I'd like to do this project with Lifus - so, that was the first major thing I did in the studio... which we have finished, I listened to it recently, and some of it's quite good. It's probably one of the things we'll bring out in the future.
The other thing I should mention is a girl named Julie Daske. I didn't know about her... somehow Tony got her into the studio... I came into the studio one day and heard a really good voice coming out of the speakers. "Who's this?" "Oh, it's a local girl called Julie." The vocal booth opens, and out comes this tiny little girl who's only 17! It was the most incredible voice, and Tony used to think so as well. Tony started working on a few things with Julie, but it wasn't long after then that he popped off. So, I continued working with Julie, and finally got an album out of her. We released it on cassette, but we had totally no money, neither of us. I like to think we could get that out on CD at some point - as far as I'm concerned she's absolute excellent. Sort of a mix, I suppose, vaguely, between Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell - up there, as good as. Really... for me, I love the voice, I love to record it. So, I did a lot of playing on her music. I hope to get the Julie stuff out at some point in the future.
DP: I know that the distribution and marketing are a lot more difficult and expensive than the production, these days...
DP: ... trying to get the distribution channels open.
DD: As I know you're aware, even back when I did the Julie album... finished in '94 or '95, it was... to get that put on CD then was really expensive... we couldn't afford it. But now, with CD-Rs, you can actually get a CD copied... costs you a pound or so.
DP: Yeah. I've seen that there's one company out on the Internet that's set themselves up as a CD-R distribution company for artists to use. It's sort of a contract service, where you send them the master, and they will make copies for fans and send them out, and I think they even have a hook into some of the major distribution chains. They have a fixed charge per copy, and the artist can set a price above that if they want. It's a convenience for people who want to do CD-R distribution but don't want to do all the production themselves.
DD: Yeah, fantastic! I suppose I'm edging towards talking about Tony's plans for the future, but there are still a few things I should mention from the past, if that's OK with you?
DD: These are things which should have happened, but didn't. The biggest thing, I suppose... Jade Warrior, when it was Tony and Jon, planned to do what was called an "epic concert" which had the whole backing of Island Records. Tony and I even went to look at venues, and found a venue we wanted to have it at. This was being filmed and put on TV...
DD: This would have been Tony and myself and Dennis (who I mentioned earlier) on guitar, Stevie Winwood, Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones, and Mike Oldfield on guitar. The whole thing would have been done live. Again, that got right up to the starting line... all these guys said they'd do it... we got the venue... and then Island pulled out.
DD: Another thing Island pulled out of - probably for the same reason they pulled out of this... was the fact that Chris Blackwell was the guy who signed Jade Warrior. It was the proverbial "deal on the back of a cigarette packet". This was via Stevie Winwood - Stevie Winwood put forward to Chris Blackwell to sign Tony and Jon. Another thing Island should have done, which would have been very odd but would have helped my personal career no end, was that they wanted to put "Monkey Chant" out as a single. Chris Blackwell gave the order to "put Monkey Chant out as a single before I get back". He was, at the time, getting into Bob Marley, and went off to Jamaica, and it never happened. Neither did the plans for the epic concert. He would give the orders, assuming that they'd carry them out, and go off to Jamaica and come back two years later...
DP: ... and not follow up. Yeah. Island's lack of distribution support for the four albums that they did was a perpetual problem, from what I can see. When "Way of the Sun" came out, it took me literally a year after it showed up in the Schwann catalog, before I was able to buy a copy. I special-ordered it three times, and it never showed up. I finally ended up calling the Island office in New York to get a copy, and they barely knew about it.
DD: We lived in a place called Acton, and in the next town called Chiswick was where Island was based. So, we were down the road from them. I remember one time, I followed Tony into the Island offices, said "We're here to see so-and-so." "Who are you?" "We're Jade Warrior." "Sorry - what was that name again? You're signed to Island, are you?" We hadn't even become a catalog number. So, I think the writing was on the wall. Island certainly changed a lot once Chris Blackwell departed.
I can give you an example about Chris Blackwell. Years and years after this, after Tony had moved to Glastonbury, Island did a 20-year sort of anniversary party. Epic big affair in a film studio outside of London. We got a couple of tickets to go, so we went. Tony hadn't seen Chris Blackwell for, well, donkey's years... and Chris recognized him, and came up and said "Hello, how're you doing?". The star of the show at the Island thing was Chris Blackwell... everybody was coming up and talking to him... but he recognized us and said hello. I thought that was really nice. Jade Warrior was his personal project, until he got into Bob Marley.
The other thing to mention, talking about Island, is Stevie Winwood. He should have appeared at this gig, if we'd ever have done it - he was the person who put us forward to Chris Blackwell in the first place. I did a particular Jade Warrior session, around the time we recorded "Waves" - Tony got the idea "Why don't I get David and Stevie swapping solos?" Live, as it were. This is the longest epic track Jade Warrior hadn't released, I think. It had Alan on drums, overdubbed about three times, and Jon on congas overdubbed hundreds of times - a massive, great big drum section. I remember Tony and Jon... we recorded at a place called The Manor, which was linked in with Tom Newman and Virgin, and Richard Branston and people like that. Tony and Jon went off into the distance, and did all this chanting, and then came a few hundred feet further forward and did it again, and then further. The track started off with all these weird bird sounds, and then what sounded like all these African tribesman coming at you from over the hill. And then, as they get closer, this sort of warlike drumming builds up, and as that builds I came in on rhythm guitar doing really energetic rhythms, and then it was me playing on guitar and Stevie Winwood playing mini-Moog swapping solos, sort of shortening the bars so we were only doing a couple of notes. It worked really well, and I think the only reason it wasn't put out was that at the time, they considered it not to be too much like Jade Warrior. It sounded like something a bit different.
DP: Hmmm. It sounds related - sort of like cousin-to-cousin - with the introduction of side 2 of "Waves".
DP: There's the same distant voices, and the drums coming in. It sounds like a much more complex and deeply-layered version of that.
DD: That's right. In fact, if my memory serves me, I think Stevie Winwood does bass on that. I'll see if I can find you a cassette copy of that, at the very least.
DP: I read once that one Jade Warrior albums was released in a limited issue along with a meditation bowl?
DD: Oh, right. That wasn't Jade Warrior - that was the Jade Isle tapes. There were four of them. The idea was: below our studio in Glastonbury was a guy called Ken Mills, had a shop called Starchild, where he used to do incenses and that sort of thing. He was virtually a professor of smells. What he had the idea of doing was to have four story/guided-meditation tapes, where you'd put on a particular lotus-like bowl with a candle in it, with incense in it. Not incense... oils.
DP: A scented oil?
DD: Right - essential oils. So, you'd get into the smell of it, and the music and everything. That was done through a little company formed by Tony and this guy Ken Mills, called Jade Isle. There were four tapes done. I did one about going to Tibet and meeting Tibetan masters, Tony did one which was was a much more serious one with a guy named Dr. Frank Alper who was on the new-age circuit at the time...
DP: I think I've heard the name.
DD: It wasn't really Jade Warrior stuff, what Tony did. I put so much effort into what I'd done... I did 80 minutes worth of music which was constantly changing, the B side wasn't the same as the A side at all. What Tony did... and Jon did one as well, about Avalon and Glastonbury... was to do the same music on Side A and Side B (one side with talking and the other without). I found out I put a lot more work into it than anyone else. The other guy, who did the fourth tape in that series, was a guy named Frank Perry. Tony really liked Frank... he was a guy who would go on stage inside a sort of large cage of percussion... Tibetan bowls, singing bowls, Tibetan gongs, chimes, all that sort of stuff. You'd go to one of these gigs, and sit down and just get into the strange sounds. Frank did one - his was about Atlantis, I think. Frank was a bit cosmic. Frank sounded like a building worker... "How's it goin', mate?"... he was talking to Tony one day, and said "I was talking with this composer last night, and he had this-and-such to say about music, and it was really fascinating." Tony said "Wow - I'd like to talk with him!" Frank said "That'd be a bit difficult - he's been dead for 300 years."
DD: Tony loved that sort of thing. There's a lot of cosmic stuff happening in Glastonbury, but Tony was always sort of tongue-in-cheek with most of it. He wouldn't actually put stuff down, but he'd have a good sort of wry smile at that stuff. I think some of his happier times were when things were getting really cosmic.
DD: (laughter) "I'm getting out of here, I can't stand it!"
DP: (laughter) Time to get the anchor down to earth again...
DD: That's right. It was funny times.
DP: So, what have you been doing the last few years? I know that during the past couple of years you've been fighting tuberculosis, and that's probably been taking up most of your energies?
DD: Oh, absolutely. I'm still on antibiotics and will be until early next year. Because I had a close shave with nearly popping off at one point, it's made me think that next year and onwards I'd like to get as as many CDs of music out as I can. Something Tony often used to say to me, when we lived in Glastonbury, was "How on earth have you not had six albums out?" and I thought "I don't know!" It's a cross between having to go out and do building work to survive... I just haven't. I have stacks of recordings... there's a whole load of recording I did after Tony left Island. Before he left Island he was trying to get me a deal, with him producing. We'd come to the stage of contracts on the table... you'd come to the office to sign the contract, and something ridiculous would have happened... "Sorry, we can't do it now." This happened with Island Records, and with Arista Records. We were left scratching our heads. So, yeah, there's loads of stuff to do from here on in.
DP: You'd mentioned a benefit gig for Tony?
DD: Tony went, when the whole studio was in full flight with projects being done here and there, and musicians coming in... when he left, as it were, people were asking "Wow, blimey, what are you going to do, Dave?" I thought "Well, the first thing - let's throw a big gig, and all have a good time - a memorial gig for Tony." A lot of people I mentioned earlier - Cheyne, and Julie, we all did a set. A few guys Tony knew and worked with and liked got a band together. A guy called Steve Gray, a keyboard player in a band called Skye, he came down and did a set with his mate Herbie Flowers, who I think played bass on Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" - they came down and played a pile of numbers. My nephew Dennis came down and did a solo spot, which was quite good. There was actually a couple of moments on stage, when everybody got up and played... there was actually a couple of moments which really did capture something, and I thought "Ah, he's up there, and smiling a bit." That was very nice.
DP: Was that gig taped, by any chance?
DD: I think it was taped really badly. I don't know if I've got the tape - someone else did it. Over the years, we've met a few people who were, like yourself, well into Jade Warrior. There was one of them, a guy named Chris Johns, that someone met at a bus-stop (laughter). He said "Oh, where are you going?" and this guy said "I'm going to Jade Warrior studios". Chris came down and met Tony and me, and he was completely in seventh heaven... "I can't believe it, I can't believe it!" Chris became a good friend of ours, and he taped it for us, the benefit gig. I don't know... there probably is a tape somewhere, and can try to fish that one out.
DP: I'd love to hear it, if it turns out to be possible.
DD: One of the things I want to do, after the shakeup I've had with TB... it's made me realize "Hold on, I've got boxes and boxes of tapes, and somehow I want to get them all categorized and labelled, and anything that's halfway decent I'd like to get on CD." I will be doing this.
DP: That would be wonderful. I know that there are a bunch of Jade Warrior fans who I'm hooked in with, through the web site and the mailing list, who would love to be able hear that material.
DD: Yeah, yeah.
DP: Something I can do, if you want at some point, is probably do some limited CD-R production and mailing-out to folks, if you want to come up with some kind of arrangement - get some funds back to you from this.
DD: Well, actually, I really would appreciate that. As I mentioned to you in my email, I've been out of music for... although all those years in Glastonbury I was making music, I've been out of anything other than making music for so many years. I've got to find my feet in it again. One thing on which it might be nice to take you up on that offer about, is this tribute album it would be nice to do for Tony. There are several musicians... most of them have been mentioned... that Tony had worked with or known in Glastonbury, that I've mentioned this idea to. All of them have come forward and said "Yeah, I'd love to be a part of it." The only one I haven't mentioned did send you an email, which enabled him to get back in touch with me, which was great... is a guy called Brian Imig.
DP: Oh, right - you did get back in touch with him? Good!
DD: Yeah. We've got all kinds of stuff going on now. When Brian first contacted us, a long time ago, he played keyboards primarily, and percussion and bass guitar, but these days he's mainly on hammered dulcimer.
DP: Ohhh, that's a beautiful instrument.
DD: If you like that, you'll really like what I say next: Brian's sending me some cover versions of Jade Warrior numbers, on the dulcimer.
DP: On the dulcimer?! Oooh... I'm getting chills just thinking of it.
DD: It's very nice, as well. I think he's found his instrument at last. He'll be doing a few things for the tribute album. My nephew Dennis will be. Myself, and Cheyne the bass player will be doing a couple of things. There's a track I'd like to include on this, if I can... I think I have a digital master of it somewhere. A track that Tony did, that was written by a girl called Jackie Slade, but is actually sung by a person I mentioned earlier called Donald. He's got a lovely voice. If I can find a copy of that somwhere I'd like to put it on the tribute album as well.
The other guy I should mention is a guy I haven't approached yet - a local guy named Nick Harrison, who Tony and I have tremendous respect for as a musician. He's a violinist and a keyboard player, but primarily he's a very good composer. He does very interesting things with string quartets. I'd like to get Nick involved for one particular reason involving a string quartet. When Tony was trying to get me a deal with Island Records, we were going in based on doing music with my sort of electric guitar playing, with string quartets... like Bartok. Tony was into Bartok, and wanted to open my eyes to it... heavy-duty string quartets. We did a few things, and it could have worked well. So, I'd like to get Nick involved in fulfilling that little ambition Tony had - maybe doing a Bartok string quartet (I think it was #4) type playing, with me doing some guitar on top. These are all little things that Tony would have like to have done, or would have done, had he'd been around to play with these guys.
DP: The more I hear of him, the more clear it is how fascinating a man Tony was... in his music, in his sense of adventure for music.
DD: Indeed! There's almost two sides to Tony. There's Tony as my brother - I view him a certain way as my brother - but then Tony as a musician, who I view in another sort of extreme. They're both the same person, of course. As a musician, the main reason I hold Tony in high respect is... this might sound a bit weird, but it's not necessarily his guitar playing, or his techniques, or the music he wrote, but it's the standard he tried to achieve, if you can get my drift.
DP: Umm hmm!
DD: It's like, where he was trying to go with it, and what he'd call "Yeah, that's close to what I wanted it to be!". It's that standard that stuck with me, I think.
DP: A sense of vision, and a commitment to get there.
DP: It remains one of my significant regrets in life that I didn't write to Jon and Tony to say "Thanks for the music" until after I'd heard of Tony's death. I'd thought of doing it a number of times - the idea of doing it had really come to mind when "Horizen" came out, because I was so glad to see another album come out. I thought of sending a message through, and just acknowledging it - saying "Thanks for the music over the years."
DD: A very similar sort of thing happened to me, in a different sort of area... my main influence musically, guitar-playing wise, was Jimi Hendrix. I know someone who hears "Monkey Chant", or something like that, they'll say "Yeah, we can hear that, man!"
DD: ... but it's not that at all. It's that same level, of where he was going, and the standards that he was trying to achieve, on the stuff he obviously took some pride in... it wasn't churned out like some singles, it was more his album work. Not to say his singles were churned out - some of the guitar playing on them is phenomenal. But, the same sort of thing happened to me, in trying to get in touch with Hendrix. I sort of got determined that I wanted to play in Jimi Hendrix's band, and be his rhythm guitarist - "put a bag over my head if you want" - I'd even be offstage. The same thing happened - I decided "OK, I'm going to track him down, I know he's in London, I know which hotel he's at, I'll call him up!" The next day, I read in the paper that he'd died. I thought "That's a bit weird!"
DD: About Stevie Winwood - when he was down, we were all staying at The Manor, which was a live-in country house. I was really looking forward to meeting Stevie Winwood - I'd really always liked him since the early days, I'd liked what he'd done with Traffic. But, he'd played with Hendrix - I thought "Wow, this is going to be great!" I was a little nervous about asking about the Hendrix stuff - I thought it might bring up bad memories. I was so pleased. I asked "Would you mind talking about Jimi Hendrix and the stuff you did?" and he was totally into it - absolutely open like a book. He was telling me what it was like, and everything that was going on. It was just a delight, really, to talk with someone who had been back there and who had played with Hendrix. It was really nice to talk it, in a very happy sort of way - he enjoyed it, he thought it was amazing. Life is weird, David... I've read... I've got most things that have ever come out about Hendrix... that Hendrix desperately wanted Winwood to be in his band, and never got around to asking him.
DD: He'd actually get to the stage of picking up the phone to ask him... and he'd chicken out! Hendrix didn't have a very high opinion of himself as a musician... which is great, because that's what made him go forward. It's when you think "I'm brilliant" that you start going backwards. When it's "I need to improve" you go forwards.
Another odd thing... one of my fonder memories of the past. I used to know a guy who ran a thing called the Hendrix Information Center. They decided to do a sort of tribute or anniversary gig, in 1980, ten years after Hendrix died, and they invited me out to play. I found myself on stage, completely out of my brains... this was in Holland, by the way... completely out of my brains, playing with Dennis (my nephew) playing bass, with Mitch Mitchell, Hendrix's drummer! That's one of my top ten memories, music-wise.
DP: It's an interesting world out there in music. As I think I mentioned in my email, I'm not in music at all - I have no training, and no skills at it. But, I can admire those that do, and appreciate the results!
DD: I appreciate your doing the web site, and keeping the energy of the band going.
DP: I'm not sure I can say why Jade Warrior has hit me so hard, over the years, except that... from the day I heard the first album - the first album I heard through was the first side of "Floating World" - my ears perked up, and I said "This is something special. This is something unusual and exceptional". Having it as a hobby, and doing what I can to repay the favor... it's a lot of fun!
One other thing that was on your list, was the fact that you and Alan and Glyn did some tapes after the Vertigo albums?
DD: Yes. It was stuff which was recorded primarily on Revox in those days. We did a whole pile of tapes, which I will fish out - I know I've got the two-track master on reel-to-reel.
DP: Was that more of the stronger-focused... the more rock-oriented sort of tunes?
DD: Not necessarily, no. Only one of them... we did one tape in the studio for a record label, a demo, that was a bit moreso, but we did some really nice and spacy tracks... well, one of them was called "The Trippy Number"!
DD: It's not typical Jade Warrior... we never tried to emulate that music... but it's very nice, very relaxing. I suppose it'll be interesting, when I send you a pile of music I've done... it's strange, from my point of view, because all you've ever heard me do is raving guitar... booga booga! I do, and still do strange, weird things... like I mentioned earlier, I didn't realize what high esteem Tony held me in! I did one piece of music, called "Out of the Pyramid"... like you meditate in a pyramid and then come out of it... and he said "You're so much more adventurous with your electronic music, David, than I could ever be." He really did like it. So, I've done a lot along those lines - not "normal" music, I suppose you'd call it.
It was funny. Tony's birthday was September 18th, and Jimi Hendrix died on September 18th. So, whenever I'd go talking about Hendrix, Tony would go "Hey, I was in bed last night, and this thing appeared at the end of the bed - it was Hendrix, saying ``Take over, Tony!''" (laughter). We did have a lot of good laughs, Tony and I. I suppose, like any brothers, you'd have your moments when you'd kick each other... but we had a lot of good laughs as well. That's what I'd certainly choose to remember Tony as - he had a very good sense of humor. He was the undisputed king of sarcasm. Lo behold anyone would be sarcastic to him, because he could go on all night! He could have a whole half-hour conversation which was nothing but sarcasm!
DD: There were some good fun times!
DP: That's good to hear. I'm sorry he's no longer with us.
DD: Well, his body isn't. His spirit's probably floating around somewhere, knowing Tony! It was a whole shock, a whole experience, Tony going. He died of a heart attack - no warning, out of the blue. This is a little sad bit, but it's a bit which clues me, almost like "It was meant to be." I got a phone call one morning - it was Cam, saying "Get to the hospital right away, Tony's had a heart attack, he's in a bad way." So, we got to the hospital - it took an hour or more - and Tony was there, with all these things piped into him. There was just enough time for me to sit down next to him, and put my hand on his chest where his solar plexus would be... I said a little prayer, and said "Amen", and he left out one breath and was gone. So, it said to me "Yeah, you were supposed to have got there and done that"...
DP: "Thank you, and so long."
DD: Yeah, that's right. Also, going on that level... I did know Tony quite well, and because I believe in reincarnation I can say this with getting too sorrowful, but I believe that if Tony was given the choice of "Well, Tony, you can go back down there and stick around for another 20 years, or you can go off there and have a rest," he'd say "Let me back to having a rest!". When you get to that halfway area, between "shall I go back?" or "shall I go forward to another reality?" I think Tony would go forward. Hopefully, in that state, you'd realize "OK, I've left my body, maybe all this reincarnation thing is true, blah blah blah". At that point, if you're given the choice of going back to a physical body, or having a break and maybe meeting some friends you haven't seen in a long time, and then coming back and going through it all again after having a break, I'm sure he'd have chosen the break.
DP: Explore something new...
DD: I think that's what was going on. I've had quite a few dreams of him up there, playing guitar with Bartok! (laughter). I could see that happening. Well, I choose to think that way anyway, and it makes me happy. I suppose I'm used to people dying... if you can get used to it... I see it as a sort of moving on to another place. There's one thing Tony and I used to always say to one another, when we'd talk about this... I was pretty positive about reincarnation, and Tony was saying "I'm not so sure"... we'd say "One thing's for sure, everybody's going to find out one day!"
DP: That's true... it's just a matter of when.
DD: Absolutely. It's the sort of thing which makes you say "Hold on, let's get my business together down here before I go... at least, try to." It's been a very strange thing for me, the past couple of nights, thinking about you phoning and about Jade Warrior... all these little memories keep flooding in, thinking about the past. I'm not the sort of person who thinks about the past much - it's been a bit of a weird thing to go back through it.
DP: I hope not too painful a thing?
DD: Not at all - a few smiles have come out. There're two other things to mention, I remember. There was Tony's project - his epic - that he'd planned to do. Something to do with the millennium. What I can do in that respect is find a tape, of Tony talking with another Jade Warrior fan called Christian Webb. Christian has helped out an awful lot over the years.
DP: I'm pretty sure Jon Field has mentioned him to me - a fan who has kept a lot of the records.
DD: Apparently, Camilla has a tape of Tony talking with Christian Webb, talking all about this millennium project. Camilla's idea is for me to try and fulfill this project for Tony. I've told her as I said to her, I'd really like to do it, I think I can tune into it - we spent a lot of years together in Glastonbury, very close, so I know where his head was going. So, I'll do that, but I had to say to Camilla "I've got my own epic, I'm halfway through" - providing I get good health, I'll get that finished, and then I can do Tony's. I'll send you the tape - you'll get an insight to what he wanted to do.
Another thing - I've recently gotten myself a music setup again, for recording music. Something I thought it would be nice to do, would be some music for your web site.
DP: That would be wonderful!
DD: Just for the web site, nothing else, really. But, as time progresses, more and more people get MP3 or whatever - as they're reading about the band, they can listen to some music specifically made for the web site.
DP: If you can pull something like that together, I'd live to put it on-line.
DD: Well, I'll probably do you do two or three bits, and you can pick whichever one you like best.
DP: OK. I've got all the MP3 encoding software, so if you just send it over as CD-R file or WAVs I can convert it.
DD: Ok, fine, great stuff. I know it's a bit fuzzy, time-wise - I'll probably do that in the spring, when I'm off the antibiotics and have some more energy.
DP: One lesson I've learned, following Jade Warrior over the years, is that it's never worth worrying about "When?". Being a Jade Warrior fan is a bit like being stuck in the play "Waiting for Godot". It'll happen when it happens.
DP: I'd much appreciate it, whenever you can send it over.
DD: I can tell you now, there'll be several albums worth. There's probably four or five albums, virtually ready for release, that have been done in the studio, that I've been involved with in one way or another, or Tony was involved with getting into the studio. And, there's my own stuff - quite a lot for you to listen to. I think you'll like quite a bit of it.
DP: Well, the second side of the tape's about to run out, and I think I'm out of questions. Thanks very much for taking the time to talk - I've really enjoyed hearing about Tony and the band.
DD: Thanks for calling - keep up the good work on the web site.
DP: I'll do my best. 'Bye!