Spike is interviewed by Guy Bellamy as part of the Great Music Stories show on Meridian FM in September 2016 following the release of The Quireboys latest album, Twisted Love. Spike talks about the new songs, how they are written and how they record and rehearse them.
Here is a short little interview from the 1990’s with Rudy Richman (former QB drummer), Chris Johnstone (former QB keys) and Guy Griffin (guitar) during the A Bit Of What You Fancy tour to Japan. Rudy talks about what he liked about playing in a British band and his respect for Spike’s attitude. Griff and Chris talk about the style of music The Quireboys play and what influenced it.
In conversation with Rudy recently, he said that this interview took place on their first tour to Japan. The fans there would meet them at the airport with gifts and the lobbies of the hotels were packed with fans every day. They played several shows there of between 2000- 4000 capacity venues and on some days spent 8 hours doing interviews where they were split up into groups such as this one.
Hope you enjoyed the memory tidbits from Rudy and stay tuned to Spike’s social media and website for more great conversations, comments and memories from previous and current members of The Quireboys.
This interview will be archived under the Interviews With Spike/Watch Interviews page on this website and can also be found at MidlandsMetalHeads.com.
Paul Hornby, one of the original drummers for The Quireboys has passed away at age 56 after a long battle with cancer. Spike recalls that despite Paul’s condition, when The Quireboys played The Whiskey Go Go back in August of 2014, Paul came out and celebrated an evening with the band as if he were perfectly healthy, despite being terribly ill. Spike is completely devastated at the loss of one of his dearest friends and he has asked that this video be re-posted on SpikeGray.com in memoriam.
Interview with The Quireboys – Lucas H Gordon Show 2014 – Spike Gray, Guy Griffin, Paul Guerin, Nigel Mogg and Paul Hornby (original drummer). At Whiskey A Go Go. Lucas asks about The Quireboys playing in Latin America and Spike defers the memories to Paul. Lucas implies Spike might have been drunk? Paul asked “whatever would make you wonder that?” and laughs. Spike mentions he’d like to get back in the studio to do another acoustic album in Jan/Feb 2015 but it will depend on what is happening. The Quireboys and management thought it would be a nice idea to give back to the fans with a double cd/dvd to celebrate the 30th Anniversary. Then they discuss the Queer and the Quire. As Nigel Mogg and Paul Hornby join the interview, a little mayhem ensues. Nigel invites Lucas to sit on his lap. Nigil is guest playing on the stage that night and asks Spike what he will be playing tonight? Spike says “Nigel didn’t know what he was playing back then, let alone tonight” he jokes to Nigel. Nigel jokes he’ll play depending on what he’s being paid. Paul Guerin talks about getting back in the studio to do Halfpenny Two. Spike talks about his new solo 100% Pure Frankie Miller with Ronnie Wood, Simon Kirke, Andy Fraser, Ian Hunter and Bonnie Tyler. Lucas asks Spike how he feels about being compared to Rod Stewart. Spike struggles to comment but is gracious about it, complimenting Rod. Lucas enquires about the beginning of the band. Spike talks about starting the band with Guy Bailey and jokes about there being 26 drummers to date. Paul is the new guy in the band being 12 years in. Guy Griffin joins in the conversation. They talk about 2001 when the Quireboys reformed and played the Viper Room as their first gig. Lucas asks what fans are in store for that tonight, Spike says ‘pure English rock n roll’. They talk football which bores Guy. Paul and Spike are Newcastle football fans. Guy tells fans thank you and that he and the boys love the fans. Spike encourages people to pick up the new album ‘Black Eyed Sons’.
Spike and Nigel Mogg on The Powerhour – (1989) – Brief: Spike starts out by saying they are touring again for the album in February in England. Touring Europe and then going back to America for a long stint. Spike says he really enjoyed it over in America, he got a brilliant moon tan he jokes. (clip of Mayfair plays). Spike talks about why Cozy isn’t in the band anymore, that he was a good solid rock/live drummer, but some drummers aren’t good in the studio. He says Cozy fell to bits in the studio and Spike felt a bit sorry for him. Nigel makes a joke that breaks Spike into a giggle and says Nigel didn’t feel sorry for him. Nigel jokes that he turned into a little green globule on the drum stool one day. (Clip of There She Goes Again). Nigel mentions Rod Stewart came down to the studio once to see them, bringing a whole entourage, and that he can’t understand why anyone would think Spike sounds like him, he doesn’t see it. Spike and Nigel joke about the size of Rod’s nose, joking that its bigger than Nigels and flies into the room like a Concord. Spike says they were all nice blokes. Spike talks about 7 O’clock just getting it’s chorus. They joke that they have played it for 2 years without a chorus, Nigel saying that it sounds much better now. Spike says until recently he hadn’t really heard much of Aerosmith and appreciating playing with them and getting gigs through Sharon Osbourne. (clip of 7 O’Clock video plays).
INTERVIEW: The Power Hour (1988) with Spike and Ginger – (The Power Hour was a weekly 1 hour rock/metal show that started in 1988 on ITV’s Night Time network. It was shown between 3-4 a.m. on Saturday mornings). Spike begins by saying they just finished an extensive tour of Britain. He says it was brilliant, every night was packed. When asked if he prefers to play live or in the studio, he says he definitely enjoys playing live more than studio and fans are spread equally around the country. They played up in Scotland for the first time, it was packed as well. He comments how nice it was playing his home town on this tour. The interviewer inquires about where each of the band members are from. Spike begins listing, but then needs to think about it, he jokes he may have the DTs because he can’t think. He explains how Ginger was hired, that he met him at Spike’s club that he runs in the west end, that they needed a guitarist, that he fits in great and jokingly says he does what he’s told and laughs. They are going in the studio in January to make an album, then they are going out on the road. They just have two singles out right now, Mayfair and There She Goes Again. He talks about the Mayfair video being done very cheap, just $1000.00. When asked if he is happy with it, he says it was alright, served it’s purpose, shown on television a few times, good transvestite in it he jokes. (Clip of Mayfair plays). He is asked why they decided to use a transvestite in the video. He says it was because it was the directors boyfriend really, then says no he’s just joking, it was actually a woman, he is just messing with the interviewer. Spike says he thinks it’s important to get over to America, that they are going over there for about 10 days just to meet people and that if you don’t break into America, then you might as well not do it. He comments why there’s not that many English bands over in America being because there aren’t that many good ones that have come out really, but that there’s a good underground thing though. When asked who he listens to, he says The Stones and The Faces. He talks about meeting Keith Richards recently. They talk about the single “There She Goes Again”. Spike says they wrote it about 7 days before they recorded it so it was good and fresh. The video was done cheap, turned out better than the Mayfair video, looks more professional. (Clip of There She Goes Again plays) and the interview with Spike is over. Ginger interview: Ginger talks about how it came to be that he met Spike. It was at Spike’s club called Gossips. Ginger was playing in a band he doesn’t name. After meeting Spike, he left his band the next day and joined The Quireboys. He was really into the Quireboys style of music anyway. He talks a bit about Phil Mogg doing a lot for them. He says that they are focusing on getting the album out, that it is paramount because for a band to just have two singles out, there is a lot of buzz in America about the band, so once they get the album done, they are going over there. He talks a bit about why “There She Goes Again” didn’t do as well as it maybe should have. He is very reluctant to talk about why, but delicately says the record company didn’t put enough backing into it and when they did, it was too late and says it was a real shame. He says it won’t happen on the next single, saying ‘touch wood’ and taps his head joking. (This video is archived on the Watch Interviews page)
(For those who can’t watch – Here’s the brief)
Spike is interviewed by Oliver Schwarzer of Rock Cafe radio in Hamburg on November 4th, 2014. The interviewer starts out with “30 years of The Quireboys?” …Spike notes that the 30 years is not from the time A Bit Of What You Fancy came out, but it has been 30 years since he started the band when he first came to London when he was 17. Management thought it would be good to create something to give back to the fans after 30 years. He mentions that he’s been all over the world for the 30th Anniversary Tour and that they will continue on touring beginning in 2015 which will begin the 31st anniversary he jokes. Spike describes the new Black Eyed Sons double CD/DVD package and it’s bonus tracks. The package includes two CD’s and a DVD, which includes a live recording from Sweden Rock Festival when they were supporting Rush. He says the package is well worth the money. He mentions that Sweden Rock is one of the best festivals to play. The interviewer asks about it taking them so long to release new albums and then all of a sudden there are two out. Spike jokes comparing their album releases to waiting on London buses; you wait hours for one and then three come along all at once, he laughs. The interviewer asks if the writing sessions were separate for the two albums or were all of the songs pre written before recording both albums. Spike says no, they were all completely separate. 100% Pure Frankie Miller is brought up and Spike talks about it being about four years since the beginning of the project. That Frankie Miller and his wife, Annette, had approached him about going through 350 or so odd songs to see if there is anything Spike wanted to record. Many of them were rough demos or partially finished songs. Spike says it’s not a tribute album, it’s a solo album, and mentions all the great musicians that have collaborated on the album. He talks about everyone being great friends and that they have known each other for years. The interviewer asks about whether the the 100% Pure Frankie Miller album will be played live and Spike says that he is trying to pull it together, that it is hard to coordinate everyone, but everyone seems up for playing live with it, so maybe later on in the year. It will have to be when The Quireboys aren’t playing and the schedule works for everyone. Ronnie Wood obviously can’t play when he’s with the Rolling Stones and Simon Kirke can’t play when he’s doing Bad Company so he has to pick his moments and hopefully he can pull it off. Spike mentions that in December the other members of The Quireboys will be off playing with The Down n Outs and then beginning next year they are planning to do another acoustic album and hopefully begin playing that in February/March, but he hopes somewhere in that period he’ll get to organize the Frankie Miller album live. The interviewer asks Spike if there are other things he’s up to and brings up Tyla and albums Spike has collaborated on. Spike says that he has talked about doing another album together if they get time, but that Tyla is very busy with his art as well. He explains how Tyla was at his father’s funeral and that he and Spike ended up talking albums and ended up deciding to do one together, so that’s how that came about. The interviewer brings up A Bit of What You Fancy and that it was very, very successful right from the start and that after that it went quiet for The Quireboys. He questions what happened? Spike says, you have to remember that he started the band when he was only 17, before they got the record deal, they were playing non-stop. They were doing what a lot of bands don’t do anymore, which is travelling around in the back of a van old school. When they got the record deal, recording the album, they just hadn’t stopped. He and Guy Bailey hadn’t stopped since day one. By the time they got management with Sharon Osborne, she was lovely and everything was fine, but she moved on. Then they ended up with another manager who had managed AC/DC, but they hadn’t stopped, they hadn’t had any time, they hadn’t been home, they didn’t have anywhere proper to live, just living in hotels, everyone was to the point that they just couldn’t function anymore. It wasn’t the grunge thing. Their second album did really well. They didn’t get dropped from EMI. It was just that they had been played out. It was just too much. We could have played on, it was just too difficult. The interviewer brings up King Of New York, and why it wasn’t released as a single. Spike acknowledges that he’s asked that a lot. Spike says it was his fathers’ favorite. He agrees it’s a beautiful song. The album, From Tooting To Barking was brought up. Spike says that when they did their first album, there were some really rough demos out there and someone put out a bootleg album. It had nothing to do with Spike. Homewreckers And Heartbreakers is brought up. Spike says, if you notice tonight, you can’t get This Is Rock n Roll either, you couldn’t get all the albums, so they’ve been getting the rights back for all their albums. So, the first album they got the rights back for was This Is Rock n Roll, which you can buy now. They’ve re-released the album, re-recorded some of the songs on it. But, all of the older albums are being re-released next year. They’ve had to work on getting them back, but they are all coming back and you will be able to buy them without spending a small fortune. The interviewer asks if there is a secret to keeping his singing voice in tact over so many years. Spike says he’s not sure he will have a voice tonight because he’s exhausted. They talk a bit about how many great large bands that The Quireboys have played with. Spike says the great bands treat you really good, and so The Quireboys treat their backup bands really good too, give them respect and hopefully get that back. He talks about his best memories being playing with the Rolling Stones in Newcastle, it doesn’t get much better than that he says and that he’s now done an album with Ronnie Wood. Spike says his evening now will be to go have a drink at the pub, a wee sleep and then perform that night. Ten shows, then back into the studio. Spike thanks everyone for listening.