Steve Gibbs writes:
Had a walk through your site and realised you appear to be missing my very own news story about the album's imminent release from Record Mirror!
I was working as a manager for Virgin Retail at the time, moonlighting as a writer for Record Mirror. Mercury gave me a copy of the single album promo for "Consequences" and I was so taken with it that I persuaded the magazine's news editor to include a story about the album's release, launch party and more.
I still have that single album promo - and the 3-album box set, naturally - all these years later. Just two of the things that accompanied me on my move across the pond to the USA.
I now know there are some factual errors in the piece... Dudley Moore? I think not! Oh, and I'll accept "not very well written" too.
Click on the image below for a larger version:
Many thanks to John Convey for sending me an interview with Godley & Creme and a review of Consequences from the Record Mirror in October 1977.
Persons of Consequence
Record Mirror, October 15th 1977
JIM EVANS talks to LOL CREME and KEVIN GODLEY, the gizmo duo on the release of their latest epic 'Consequences'.
LOL CREME and Kevin Godley, who left IOcc last year to develop a new musical device called the gizmo, have released the result of the 16-month project, a three album boxed set called 'Consequences'.
While the albums tell the story of man's last defence against an irate nature, the music serves as a show-case for the gizmo.
Briefly, the g1zmo is a mechanical device in the shape of a small box which clamps to the bridge of a guitar and mechanically bows and vibrates the strings of the Instrument.
The notes the gultarist plays can be changed and sustained, thereby putting at his creative control a vast range of musical effects, notably the sound of a string section.
So, the project is complete. The gizmo show-case is ready. LoI and Kevin are now busy with the inevitable and necessary rounds of interviews, TV shows and general promotion. And the Inevitable first question is why'd they split from 10cc? The answer is "gizmo" but there's more to it than that.
LoI: "We had to thlnk very carefully about it... after all 10cc was a going concern. In the end it was instinct.
"Jacking it all in and leaving with just a small box with a few buttons must have seemed like crazy to many. But after a few days it seemed more exciting. We don't want to be stars and loaded. Our motives have always been artistic.
"The group thing with 10cc had levelled off, album-tour-album. We were getting bored and lazy too, not spending long enough on album tracks and so on.
"You know, instead of writing a final verse for a song we'd just repeat an earlier one. Like animals, we have to move on to something, somewhere new every three or four years. Staying with the band, we would have been more successful but it would have been less exciting."
Kevin: "Each new project must be completely different. You have to stay hungry mentally. The last album we did with 10cc was not so interesting, simulating. After a while, something inside us puts the brakes on.
"When we split we took the others into consideratlon and they're doing alright without us. I mean, we were too involved and interested in the gizmo to put our all into 10cc. It's a case of horses for courses and we knew which course we wanted to take."
So now the triple album is out what's next for the dynamic duo?
Kevin: "We're satisfied now that we've got every musical fantasy out of our systems. But when we finished it felt Iike we'd got a year's worth of jet lag, having worked on it 18 hours a day for over a year."
But what next?
Lol: "At one time we were thinkIng of doing a series of special gizmo concerts, with various well-known guitarists using the instrument and playing the different parts of 'Consequences'.
"But now we're seriously considering doing a lecture tour, going around universities and colleges both in this country and the States, throwing open the mystique that surrounds the making of records.
"We'd have to take a small studio on the roa.. Each university would actually make a track for a live album. The whole operation would be very simple compared to what we used to do, how we used to go on the road. And, as important, we'd meet the people."
Do they see the time when every band uses a gizmo?
"Yes, we'd like to. Obviously to start with it's going to be treated as somethlng of a gimmick, like synthesisers were.
"The interest in it is incredible. Everyone who's had a go with it wants one, basically because of the freedom it gives. And we'd Ilke to see how others treat it, what they can get out of it. Paul McCartney, Justin Hayward, Alvin Lee and Rick Derringer are among those who've used It.
"It'll also be interesting to see what the new wave bands make of It. Everyone can adapt to it in his own way. After all, every guitar player has his own sound and will able to adapt the gizmo to his own way of playing. I mean Pete Townshend will get rather different effects from it to Larry Coryel. It's all intriguing."
How much will the gadget sell for?
Lol: "Between £50 and £75. A reasonable price that we feel most groups and players will he able to afford.
"That's the trouble with instruments and equipment these days. It's all become too expenstve. The market is geared to professionals. Look at the price of a wah-wah pedal. And price Is why so many young, formative groups are buying Japanese copies of Fenders and GIbsons."
Talking of prices and value for money there's been criticism of the fact that 'Consequences' is to retail at £11.
LoI: "I think the public have been conditioned to getting their music cheaply. How much does a new single album cost? £3? More Iike £4, so there you are.
"But anyway 'Consequences' is two hours' solid entertainment. A lot of time and effort went into it. It's a piece of art. You couldn't buy a picture for £11. And if you take your wife out for an evening you can easily spend a tenner and what have you got to show for it? Nothing."
Working together for so long on this project, didn't you ever get browned off with each other or argue a lot or think of giving up?
Lol: "One thing that the project invoked was an amazing camaraderie from the top to the bottom. Involvement. Everyone involved became consumed with it.
"The record company put their money where their mouth was - they were with us from the start. Yes, we failed to meet any deadlines but they never really pressured us to complete it.
"Our engineer Martin Lawrence, son of the band leader, put so many hours in. And the roadies too. We all enjoyed the atmosphere of the work. In a way it was like being back at school again or rather back at college.
"We can't over-emphasise Martin's work. He's just 21, he'd been with us at Strawberry and we sussed that he had the right temperament to work on the gizmo - he had his father's ear and also incredlble patience. We can't speak too highly of him.
"And we mustn't forget Roy Boy, our roadie who stuck with us too. Remember, the work was slow, sometimes putting down as little as 10 seconds of music a day. Really it was like four guys being stuck In an aural prison for 14 months."
Kevin: "And no one stood to gain anything by such dedication. No one was after the bread or the fame".
There must've been some lighter moments?
Kevin: "Oh yes, we had some fun, particularly on location. For one sectlon we needed - by using the I gizmo - to orchestrate a firework display. We got Paines Wessex, the firework manufacturers, to build us a special display on Salisbury Plain. We took all the equipment down there and set about the task.
"But when we played back the recordings all you could hear were the fruity and colourful comments of the roadies as the various fireworks exploded. That's another piece of tape that's stayed firmly In the studio.
"We re-did the fireworks later In a field In Stockport. You see, even a firework has a gizmo aspect.
"And then there was the time I nearly drove into a taxi while trying to get a doppler effect from a car horn - you know, the fade-in and fade-out.
"Then one night we were trying to get a wave effect by throwing buckets of water at a wall. It took from 2 to 6 am. Our arms ached.
"Trouble was the wall was near a road behind some traffic lights on a hill. There aren't many cars around at that time of the night but those that were on the road were all on the clutch. Eventually we got a policeman to control traffic while we carried on throwing the water."
Lol: "And to get the effect of two bison drinking at a water hole, we had Kevin on all fours on the floor slurping out of a saucer of water as I made bison-type noises. Oh, and when we came to the burial scene we actually buried Roy Boy!"
On a more serious note I understand Manchester University Physics department were involved in the development of the gizmo?
Lol: "It was Kevin's dad who put us into it. He'd heard of lndustrial liaison where a university department - suitably armed with equipment and expertise - is ready to help people wIth ideas and inventions.
"We took our idea to them - our idea being the battered gizmo we'd been using for two years - and they were fascinated. From our prototype they built a stronger, more practical model.
"Few realise that we used the gizmo in its early days with 10cc. On tour people'd hear the music and write it off as using tapes. The potential is unlimited."
So there you are, kids. Creme and Godley have come out of their self-imposed exile with a triple album and with the gizmo ready to be mass-marketed before Christmas.
Will it be the greatest thing to hit the recording scene or will it - after this current publicity - fade into obscurity? I fancy the former notion. To describe the gadget's amazing versatility you have to listen to 'Consequences'. . .
LOL CREME/KEVIN GODLEY: 'Consequences' (Mercury CONS017)
THE RANGE of sounds a guitarist can produce on the gizmo is vast, as 'Consequences' demonstrates. In the course of these three LPs Lol Creme uses the gizmo to produce sounds like a string section, a massed choir of voices, brass and percussion sections and musical expressions and of natural effects like wind, fire and stampeding animals.
Of the three the first album is the gizmo showcase. Good and at times astounding as these sounds are, I feel Creme and Godley do, at times, go over the top with special effects.
'Consequences' tells two linked stories. The one is taking place in attic office of a solicitor where a couple with their respective solicitors are drawing up the terms of a divorce.
The second takes place in the world, the whole world outside the office, where the elements earth wind and fire are running riot and advancing steadily on both the office and the world.
Below the solicitor's office lives Mr Blint - a brilliant piece or characterisation by Peter Cook who plays all the characters except the wife seeking thw divorce - a little man, he sounds little and insignificant and he's composed a concerto which can canquer and calm the weathor and the elements.
No praise can be high enough for Cook's dialogue. At times it's hilarious, at others it really makes you think. Blint is in a class of his own. But the two solicitors, one a Jew and one an alcoholic with a goldfish named Roland who commits suicide by jumping out of the window, are superb as support acts.
The dialogue combined with Creme and Godley's music holds your attention and doesn't let you go for the full two hours.
Of the songs and numbers in Part One (sides one and two) 'Sleeping Earth', 'The Flood' and 'Wind' show off the gizmo while 'Honolulu Lulu' does the same while having very strong shades of the old 10cc. It would be an instant hit single.
Sides three, four and five see the divorce discussions proceeding all the furies outside gather and the day of reckoning approaches.
The dialogue is inter-spersed with excellent songs. 'Five O'Olock In The Morning' and 'When Things Go Wrong' serve as warmers to another of the set's highspots, 'Lost Weekend', with vocals from Sarah Vaughan and Godley with gospel, choral and gizmo backing.
'Cool Cool Cool' is brilliantly modulated and would be another big single hit. And 'Please Please Please' is the most dramatic number, with Cook as the now drunk solicitor playing on (?) against Creme and Godley's hectic music.
The final side is 'Blint's Tune', the composition that does indeed save the world. All a concerto it's not going to become a classic but in the context of 'Consequencea' it's the ideal finale.
'Consequences' is a masterpiece. JIM EVANS.