Sounds Magazine Interview

by Pete Makowski 1974

QUOTE – “I remember getting kicked off a gig for being drunk, but I can’t remember who it was with”. – Versatility is the keyword to Rabbit’s success... or downfall. Being one of the ‘cream’ session guys, Rabbit’s versatility makes him compatible with any artist from, say, Susi Quatro to Kevin Ayers. Yet, on an album he can be so diverse that he feels - “Maybe people aren’t too keen on my variations. I’m trying to get into my own... er, bag, so that people can recognise me... but then again, I want to keep my versatility too, man ”. – In his mid-twenties, Rabbit’s an archetypal Texan dude, drawl and all. His hair is permanently dishevelled, his eyes droop indicating that he ’s permanently in need of sleep. His features are similar to Todd Rundgren; the toothy grin and general air of untogetherness. Yet even at his most un-organised times - Rabbit ’s music flows out of him like the brandy in his bottle, neat and strong, with a touch of finesse about it. Rabbit ’s a musical magician. He seems to manipulate music into whichever form he wishes, like an artist selecting tones and contrasts, he seems to have complete control over what he ’s doing. Ask him what he was doing a couple of months ago and he’ll screw up his face into a pained concentration and then sigh, “Shit, y’know, I can’t remember”. – Rabbit vividly remembers his short stint with the ‘Long John Baldry’ band, who were the support band for Rod Stewart and the Faces tour. – “The basic problem about that tour was that the audiences only wanted to see the Faces. We got kicked off that tour for getting too drunk. Y ’know, Rod Stewart just walked out on stage one night while we were playing. We were completely drunk and ballsing up our set. He came on stage, grabbed a microphone and stopped us in our tracks. We thought, great, Rod ’s gonna sing with us. Wrong! He yelled into the microphone, “Right, that’s it! You’re all fired off of my tour as of from now. Get off!” – That was the end of that tour for me”. – Afterwards, Rabbit joined the Kevin Ayers band, who regularly featured John Cale and Nico of the Velvet Underground ’ band. – “I found this gig really strange. It was kinda freaky, like everybody was always on acid. Cale and Nico reminded me of the people I hung around with in Texas in 1969. We were always tripping and getting stoned then, and this lot just brought back the ‘contact high’ like you wouldn’t believe. We recorded a ‘Live’ album at the Rainbow in 1975, but to this day I can’t listen to it. It instantly sends me into another dimension that I don’t want to be in anymore. Whoa... ACID!” – From now on Rabbit sort of coasts along, playing sessions, recording tracks, pretty un-affected by the surrounding world. – “I’m terrible at words. I failed English, History, even Physical Education... but I made ‘Straight A’S in music”. ‘Nuff said.

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