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Winter 2003
At last some "Stavely" news for our newsletter! Negotiations are currently taking place with RPM Records for a retro album featuring the best of Stavely Makepeace. If all works out this will be the first exclusive SM release since "Just tell her Fred said goodbye" back in November 1983. Watch this space.

Best news of the year so far has to be the use of "Mouldy Old Dough" by Sony Playstation for some of its ads. It's not the original they're using, they have recorded their own version but nevertheless it can only be good news for keeping the name alive.

Sadly no news of Graeme Goodall. You may remember I asked if anyone had heard of his current whereabouts. Apparently not! Come on, surely there's someone out there who knows where he is and what he's doing?? Also on the same theme, does anyone know where Steve Wadey is these days? The boys asked me to enquire through my page if anyone knows anything about him too. He did the original mix on Mouldy.

Nothing else for now. Keep the orders coming in for the SMA series of CDs! Happy Christmas.
Bill

Autumn 2003

What a summer we've had! Sales of all CDs plus the book have rocketed so the boys are going back in the studio to produce another two tracks which will be released with "The Penguin's Here" as the new single. Watch this space!
 
Some news of the RPM Records CD release "Velvet Tinmine". Already some of the tracks have been broadcast on BBC 2 and much interest has been shown across the water in the USA too. "Goldmine", the top collectors mag in America is doing a feature on the CD and the Stavely Makepeace track in particular.
 
This, added to all the magazine reviews over here, will ensure the success of this collection of the best of 70's glamrock which didn't quite make the charts. It's even been featured in the Times Telegraph and Guardian!
 
According to Gordon Nicol of "Iron Virgin" fame, the album is on 213 web sites so Stavely Makepeace lives on eh!

The boy's autobiography, "WHEN SHOW BUSINESS IS NO BUSINESS", has been taken by some of the major lending libraries around the country. Do keep an eye open to see if it's on the shelves of your local library.

Many thanks to all of you who have written in or e mailed recently. We will get round to answering every letter individually, I promise that. It would seem that many of you would like the boys to produce another single in the good old Lieutenant Pigeon style, well, there's good news because between now and Christmas they've promised that a real nostalgic piece of 'Pigeon magic' is on the way.

Keep looking in and I'll give you news of this latest CD when it is released.

Lastly another 'missing persons' request. If anyone knows the whereabouts of Graeme Goodall, former head of Pyramid and Trojan Records, could they please let me know by e.mail? The boys are keen to find out what happened to some of the early Stavely Makepeace master tapes.

Speak to you all soon. Bill Boswell

Uwe Maier from Angola has asked us to let you know that he has unearthed a Portuguese pressing of the 1974 Stavely Makepeace single "Runaround Sue",(Deram SDM 134D). He says it's not in mint condition but he'll mail it to anyone who wants it for a tenner! Any takers?

If so you can reach him at  u.maier@12move.de

Summer 2003
Many of the friends of this site have pointed out to me that there are no details of the Lieutenant Pigeon albums on the discography. Well by the time you read this I hope to have put that right, and just to prove that we do take notice of all your comments and suggestions, I will also list some of your email addresses. This has been suggested to me in order that you can communicate with others who share an interest in our type of music and then can share news of available vinyl records, memorabilia et al. Providing enough of you are in favour of this idea I will compile and publish a list soon. If you want to be part of this experiment please send an e mail verifying this to the usual address. I'll only do it if there are sufficient numbers though.


Whilst on the subject of memorabilia, a couple of you have mentioned the pigeon which used to sit on top of Hilda's piano during gigs. Well Nigel still has it! It is a plastic decoy pigeon and Nigel tells me that the company who manufactured these approached the boys many years ago seeking some kind of publicity/sponsorship deal!

Still on the subject of your enquiries, Merlyn is not the name of our secretary. It is Nigel's 14 year old mongrel dog who he rescued as a stray back in 1989! Both Rob and Nigel are keen dog lovers and have owned several over the years. Some of you have asked what hobbies and interests the boys have out side of music. Well, I hope to go into more detail on that in my next update. (Providing Rob and Nigel don't object!)
 
Sales of "The Boots of the Rosewood Brigade" have been hectic of late but there will be a new CD out later this year, and one of the tracks on it will be pure "Pigeon nostalgia"!

More soon. Bill Boswell.

Spring 2003
The first new Stavely Makepeace release for 20 years! On RPM Records latest glam rock CD "Velvet Tinmine" (RPM 251) you'll find the first SM release since "Just Tell Her Fred Said Goodbye" was released in 1983. Albeit only one track on a compilation album, "Slippery Rock Seventies" features on this magnificent collection of rare songs from the glam-rock era.

For the past couple of years the boys who were keeping the name Lieutenant Pigeon alive by doing 'live' gigs in the guise, have gradually been running the band down and doing fewer and fewer performances. However, at the end of last year Chris Allen, the bass guitarist who replaced Steve Johnson in the line up, approached Rob Woodward to see if he would like to do cameo appearances from time to time with the line up. Rob agreed and the result has been several gigs, the dates and locations of which I've featured on the site. On March 8th the four piece band worked to a packed audience at Butlin's Skegness and received a standing ovation. Top of the bill that night was Suzie Quatro.

This present run of gigs comes to an end on April 5th in Preston. Rob hasn't yet decided whether or not to continue after that so do try and get to one of the remaining gigs if you want to see Rob "the Legend"  -- the keyboard wizard, in action. As anyone in the business will tell you, when Rob starts playing, other musicians stop to admire!

The latest CD "The Boots of the Rosewood Brigade" is selling very well. Already many of you have commented on track 2, "It's Joseph To You". Rob and Nigel have asked me to explain that it's an attempt at recreating late 1930s/early 1940s music and is totally different to anything they've previously attempted. However, as most of the comments are favourable, it might not be the last bit of 'musical nostalgia' they experiment with. Incidentally, track 3, "Rhapsody in Red" is currently being used by Radio 2 DJ Steve Wright as "talk over" music on his Sunday Love Songs programme.

The boys have been at it again! They've produced a bizarre fun/novelty dance recording called "The Penguin's Here". As with most Lt Pigeon recordings you'll either love it or hate it. One thing, you can't possibly miss it! More about this track later but if anyone wants a blank label CD 'burn', do let me know and I'll try to work something out.

That's all for now folks!
Keep rocking, Bill B.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Instead of the usual newsletter, this time I've decided to try something a little different for a change. Just before Christmas I cornered Nigel and did an interview with him. I've edited it and transcribed it to text, so here is a condensed version of that interview.

Bill: So Nigel, how does it feel now, 30 years on from the big No.1 hit?

Nigel:
I don't know really. I don't think about it very often these days. I suppose the one thing that will always remain with me was a comment made by a mate of mine at the time. He said something like,"Well that's it, you're in the history books for good now. Nothing can change that".
In a way that is quite satisfying.

Bill: If you hadn't had the big hit would you still be trying now?

Nigel: Oh most definitely. I would probably have been the most frustrated musician/record producer in the business!

Bill: You always claimed that you and fame were not suited to each other but surely in that case was it wise to go int the entertainment industry in the first place?

Nigel: No, of course I dreamed of success and fame like many other kids. It was only when it arrived that I discovered the 'down' side of it all. I like to get on trains and buses and shop at the supermarket without being stared at. For the six or so years of Lieutenant Pigeon all that was impossible. You only realise the importance of privacy when it is not there!

Bill:  How about today. What if fame paid you another visit?

Nigel: Well one of the reasons we're only doing magazine and radio interviews to promote Opus 400 is deliberately to avoid the camera. I don't mind a few pictures on the web site. The couple of thousand people who regularly visit our site are like family but I would hate to see my mug shot all over the media again!  On the sleeve of the CD single we are photographed in half profile. This is all part of our determination not to lose the privacy we've waited so long to get back. Anonymity rules OK!

Actually Rob handled the fame a great deal better than me but I like to keep a low profile these days. I prefer where we are today.  With the advent of the internet and e.mail we can now for the first time talk to the people who like our music and share the same musical interests as ourselves. Besides, at the current rate of sales on Opus 400 I will be about 108 by the time we get our second gold disc so I doubt if Top of the Pops will be phoning us for a while yet!

Bill: Do you think Opus 400 is the best thing you've ever done?

Nigel: Oh, that's a difficult one. My first reaction is to say yes, but I think Opus reflects the way Rob and I see music today. Some of the music we did, like for example "Edna" with Stavely Makepeace back in 1970 I loved at the time and certainly felt was the best thing we were ever likely to do. However, times move on and so do musical tastes. I was never thrilled with "Mouldy Old Dough", especially doing the growling voice part but I think with Pigeon we went on to do some great tracks. I still love the 'feel' we got on "Blue Danube".  With Stavely Makepeace my favourite track is definitely "Songs of Yesterday". Of course we produced some rubbish too! After "Mouldy" we were bulldozed by Decca into making the album "Mouldy Old Music". With little time to be creative we rushed out a hotch potch of forgetable tracks like "The Monkey Song", "Yellow Submarine", "I'm a Window Cleaner" et al. That album sold a lot of copies and one of the proverbial 'three wishes' I would have would be to buy them all back and melt them all down!  The most creatively inventive musical periods tend to come to you when you least expect them--- certainly not when you've got a gun at your head. Inspiration always arrives unannounced.

Bill: Was there a gun at your head when you made Opus 400?

Nigel: No, not at all. In fact the idea started as a collection of ideas which was based on Opus 300 and was going to last no longer than about 5 minutes. It then started to develop as more and more ides came to us. At some point during this time Rob asked me how long was the longest track ever made. I told him I thought it was about half an hour. "Alright", said Rob,"we'll make ours 35 minutes long". That's how it all came about.  Actually, on reflection we both feel that towards the end we were 'space filling' a bit.  In fact we'd like to replace some of the later parts of the record with ideas which we've developed since. There's a particular thing we're working on called "Rhapsody in Red" which would slot in beautifully.

Bill: Are there any plans to do any new recording?

Nigel: There's nothing currently on the drawing board but there again, the day before we started Opus 400 there was nothing on the drawing board either so who knows!  I'm sure we will be back in the recording studio again before long. I'd personally like to develop a song we co-wrote with Steve Tayton back in 1969 called "This is what we want". I have some savage ideas to bring it into the 21st century!  Rob will no doubt phone me some time during the Christmas break saying he's bored and is working on some idea or other---- it usually starts that way!

Bill: Talking of Rob, what is he doing these days?

Nigel: Rob has just completed a marathon session digitising all our surviving master tapes. A labour of love!  It means now that we can provide copies of songs much easier when people ask for them. In the new year we'll try to compile a list of everything we've still got, then we'll work out a tariff. They wont be expensive, we're not out to rob anyone!

Bill:
Nigel, I could go on asking questions all day but it would probably fill up the website so is there anything else you'd like to say before we sign off

Nigel: No, not really. Perhaps the best idea is to invite everyone who visits the site to ask any questions they'd like the answers to. I'm sure they'll think of something we haven't!  Yes, if anyone has any unanswered questions you know the address. It's merlyn@rhoobarb.fsnet.co.uk

Speak to you in the spring.
Bill

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