I’d like to share the interview I did for Australian Guitar Magazine with Graham Gouldman and Rick Fenn from 10CC with you.
I’d befriended Rick Fenn, 10CC’s guitarist, well…because he lives here in Australia.
In fact he played on 3 tracks on my “Guitar Heroes Vol 2” CD which was an honour a highlight for me.
I even got to play live with him so I witnessed first hand why he had the big career that he did.
He’s a wonderful guitarist and musician with quite an interesting story.
Apart from his work with 10CC Rick has played with people like Rick Wakeman, Mike Oldfield, Peter Green, Cliff Richard and members of Pink Floyd.
When Rick recorded with me, I can remember him telling me that he was going back to England to do a gig with his other band, The Feramones, with David Gilmour – the guitarist from Pink Floyd.
On top of all this Rick is a composer and songwriter having composed for TV series’ and documentaries as well as feature films.
How Did I Land This Interview??
10CC came to Sydney to play at the Enmore so I called Rick and asked if I could film an interview for Australian Guitar Magazine.
He agreed and we arranged to meet after his sound check on the day.
After we’d set up the camera and lights I called Rick to tell him we were ready.
He said “wait, I’ll see if Graham wants to do the interview too”.
That’s how I got to interview Graham Gouldman.
Even before forming 10CC Graham Gouldman had racked up an impressive catalogue of hits that he’d written for some of the biggest acts in England.
It was a surreal experience for me, I set out to interview Rick Fenn and wound up interviewing one of Pop Music’s great songwriters also, Graham Gouldman.
What became clear as the interview unfolded was just how hard Graham worked on his music.
There was an obvious dedication and commitment to his music and also a determination to achieve with his songwriting.
Manchester…Is There Something In The Water There??
Manchester England has produced a lot of successful bands, 10CC’s probably the most successful.
The Hollies and Herman’s Hermits were hitmakers from the 60’s who paved the way for so many of the later bands that would follow and make their mark.
Gouldman wrote some of their best known hits.
If we compile a list of Manchester bands like The Smith’s, Oasis, New Order, Joy Division, Simply Red, Swing Out Sister and the Stone Roses we have to ask “what’s in the water there”?
How many cities world wide could boast so many successful bands and why was it that Manchester was able to launch so much success.
For sport Manchester is a powerhouse with Man United and cross town rivals Man City who are two of the worlds great soccer clubs.
Then Salford Sharks are a strong Rugby Union team. Wigan Warriors are always a competitive Rugby League team and for Cricket Lancashire is the 4th most successful county with next door neighbours: Yorkshire, having won 33 County Championships, Surrey 22 and Middlesex 13 (both London teams) then Lancashire on 9. Manchester and Liverpool are part of “historic” Lancashire.
If a town in England has “Chester” in its name it means there was a Roman fort there.
Like Winchester and Colchester, Manchester has some interesting Roman Ruins so was an important town back then but fell into disrepair until the 1700’s when it was to become one of the most important centres for the Industrial Revolution.
While the wealthy made incredible fortunes during the Industrial Revolution the working class were very poor.
Workers could turn up for work at the factory or mill and be told “there’s no work today” and subsequently no pay.
How did they feed their children?
If they were injured at work they were just sacked and with no income how could they keep their families?
The Story Of “Peterloo”
The 2018 movie Peterloo tells the story of the struggle the working class fought to gain their rights and a greater share of the wealth that was created through their labours.
In 1819 a huge crowd had gathered in Manchester at St Peter’s Field to listen to a “reform” speaker so the authorities sent the army and cavalry to break up the rally.
600 people were injured and 18 people killed including a 2 year old girl.
“Peterloo” is historically well researched and is an engaging account of the long struggle for the rights we enjoy today.
So is the struggle for social progress in Manchester’s DNA? Maybe that’s why so many bands?
There’s a really good documentary about 10CC called “I’m Not In Love” which is a reference to one of their biggest hits.
I really enjoyed the interview even though I was unprepared but Graham Gouldman is a great talent with a big story so just let him do the talking