Johnny Mars Band – recording the album ‘ Life On Mars’

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supplied by Colin Fox

Terry Pack……Colin. You’re a star! Got any more from this session? That’s Nick Magnus on Hammond. I recommended him to Ray. John Acock engineered: he, Ray, Les Binks and I had just returned from Nice, where we recorded an album with Dick Rivers (Deek Rivairs) in Mick Jagger’s old house, which I coveted. Pete Shaw was on drums, Bimbo Acock played saxes and Steve Sidwell played trumpet. It was live in the studio with a couple of overdubs: vocals and horns, (hence the title) and mostly first and second takes. Recorded at Eddie Hardin’s place in Ascot, where we also recorded with Sam Fox (Zack Starkey played drums on that session). “Life On Mars” serves to exemplify Ray’s song writing technique, which is commonly employed in the rock/blues genre. This is to take a common or garden phrase (often something Johnny said that caught his fancy), write a series of loosely connected (or unconnected) rhyming couplets and attach these to a chord sequence from a well-known or little-known song. Compose a ‘melody’ based on a minor pentatonic lick and let the singer improvise on it. Famous examples of this are most )if not all) lyrics by John Wetton, David Coverdale, John Bon Jovi and most of the output of The Eagles.

Colin Fox……Terry, I only have another photo of Peter and another of Johnny in the studio. I keep looking for old photos that I believe I have, they´re tucked away all over the place. I know there is one of Pete Prescot somewhere doing his dance routine with the Harry R girls. Just been watching a short video on youtube with Johnny Mars, Terry Pack and Enrico Pinna who´s a bit good on guitar, oh and so are you Terry.