https://www.facebook.com/BlondieChaplin/photos/a.370654156289054.86807.121764651178007/1230261446994983/?type=1&theater

 

BLONDIE CHAPLIN
Between Us
(Big Karma Records)

 

Joining The Beach Boys in time for the release of their classic Holland and then Carl & The Passions (So Tough) back around 1972, Blondie Chaplin is a true hero among Beach Boys fans. Singing the lead on Holland’s hit single, “Sail On Sailor,” Blondie left the ‘Boys, going on to open shows for Peter Frampton, later working with Keith Richards and The Band and he resurfaces in 2006 with the release of his solo album Between Us, recorded in New York between 2003-2005. Speaking about working with drumming icon Anton Fig on Between Us, Blondie told mwe3.com "Oh yeah, well I’ve known Anton for a long time. Whenever we’re in New York, we jam. The same guy who produced it with me, Keith Lenten and Anton, they’re both from Capetown so... it was great to work with him. He’s fun and also I’ve known him for a long time so it’s relatively easy for us to communicate because we’re all from South Africa. That’s not the only reason but there’s certain things...slang that we’ll use as easy. Because they’re from Capetown, I’m from Durban. So it was a gas working with him. He’s fun. He’s a good, good drummer. I did some stuff on his solo album too. Brian Wilson did some vocals on it. I sang about three or four. That was a lot of fun." Blondie’s classic soulful pop singing and song writing is all over his excellent ten track CD and he receives some great support in the studio from co-producer Keith Lentin and drumming ace Anton Fig. In October 2006, Blondie spoke with Robert Silverstein about his new album and some rock history.

 


 

mwe3.com present an interview with
BLONDIE CHAPLIN

{With Blondie's major imput on the 2016 Brian Wilson & Friends Soundstage CD + DVD, it's worth taking a look back at an interview I wrote and recorded with Blondie for 20th Century Guitar magazine back in October 2006, ten years ago already! Beach Boys fans are well advised to hunt to Brian's 2016 DVD as Blondie and Brian are both in rare form throughout!}

BC: You caught me at a good time. Everything’s fine...

RS: Hi Blondie...where are you now?

BC: Yeah, we’re in El Paso right now.

RS: So you’re touring with the Stones?

BC: Yeah... It’s great... it’s going very good. It’s a pleasure. Just a lot of fun.

RS: You were on the Bridges To Babylon tour.

BC: Right. That’s when I started with them. Right now I sing and I play a little percussion and I play a little guitar.

RS: I saw you play with The Beach Boys at Carnegie Hall. I guess in late ‘72 after Carl & The Passions that was the third time I saw a Beach Boys show there...

BC: Wow. That’s some while ago. Good show if I remember correctly.

RS: You were on the famous double live Beach Boys album.

BC: That was a pretty good album actually. Wasn’t too bad for a live album.

RS: New CD Between Us... why did it take so long?

BC: I was just getting funny things in the industry. I just didn’t feel like doing anything. I’m comfortable with doing something right now. Maybe it’s just a little bit more open. I’m not sure.

RS: Where and when was Between Us recorded?

BC: It was recorded like over the last year and a half, two years. ‘Cause I’m always trying to work, so whenever there’s time, I go to New York to my buddy’s house, sit down there and figure it out. It was just a lovely thing to do. Going to his house everyday and just sitting down there from ten till six or seven, standing in front of the microphone, with guitar singing. It was like going to work, like nine to five or ten to seven. But it was a nice discipline just to wake up in the morning, with your coffee and go down there and you start. It was a lot of fun for me to do it that way.

RS: Was was it like working with Anton Fig on drums?

BC: Oh yeah, well I’ve known Anton for a long time. Whenever we’re in New York, we jam. The same guy who produced it with me, Keith Lenten and Anton, they’re both from Capetown so...it was great to work with him. He’s fun and also I’ve known him for a long time so it’s relatively easy for us to communicate because we’re all from South Africa. That’s not the only reason but there’s certain things...slang that we’ll use as easy. Because they’re from Capetown, I’m from Durban. So it was a gas working with him. He’s fun. He’s a good, good drummer. I did some stuff on his solo album too. Brian Wilson did some vocals on it. I sang about three or four. That was a lot of fun.

RS: I guess Brian’s had some resurgence in his career these past seven years...

BC: Yeah, it seems like it. Actually, I don’t see those guys at all. I just keep an eye on Brian. Brian’s been doing some good shows and he’s the one that’s standing and he seems to be doing okay.

RS: Are you playing the Les Paul a lot?

BC: Yeah, oh sure. I play it whenever I can. I play it on the Stones tour. That’s my main workhorse guitar because it takes a lot of beating. For some reason it stuck with me over these years. Keith’s got a couple of Stratocasters. He plays Precision bass. We just made do with whatever we had in the room. It wasn’t like a big production. It was pretty much done in my buddy’s house. It was actually more comfortable instead of going into the studio for three hundred dollars and hour. Keith’s house. The guy that produced it with me.

RS: Keith played guitar on there too?

BC: He mostly played bass and a little bit of keyboard. I pretty much did all the guitar work on it, whatever guitar work there is. It’s mostly strumming and playing. There’s no massive solos or anything like that.

RS: What was it like recording with the other Keith, Keith Richards?

BC: I only worked on one thing before Bridges. A buddy of mine introduced me to him. I started on the Wingless Angels, it was called. It’s very hard to find at this point. And I just kept in touch, this led to the Bridges.

RS: You met Brian Jones at one point.

BC: That was a long time ago! Obviously it was a long time ago, he’s gone a long time. That’s when The Flames, Ricky Fataar and myself, these two brothers, we came from South Africa to England. We were just playing in this club called Revolution and he just happened to be there. He dug how we were playing and he came by. We just hung out a little bit backstage, talked to him. He just liked the music. He liked the fact that we were from South Africa and apart from that he liked the way we played. So that was very nice.

RS: Do you keep in touch with Ricky anymore?

BC: Oh yeah. I’ll see him. I left him a message yesterday on the cell. And I’ll see him in L.A. ‘cause I think Bonnie Raitt’s opening for the Stones in, I think Dodger Stadium, somewhere else as well.

RS: So Ricky’s playing with Bonnie Raitt.

BC: Right. On the same stage. That’s a gas for me.

RS: He’s a member of The Rutles too.

BC: Yeah I know. I keep in touch with him ‘cause we want to do something together musically. We’ll see what happens, it’s just time. It’s great that they’re opening up, they’re in the same building.

RS: There’s a CD of the Flame album.

BC: Somebody else told me about. I did an interview a couple weeks ago. But a couple weeks ago, somebody came to me and said, ‘look, some company’s put out the thing’ and I’m going, ‘shit I’ve got to find out who it is. I don’t know anything about it.’ I’m glad you told me, ‘cause that’s two people that’s told me. I’ll talk to Ricky and find out what the deal it, ‘cause nobody’s ever contacted us.

RS: What kind of music did you and Ricky make in Flame?

BC: It was just kind of Beatle-y oriented kind of stuff. Pretty honest, pretty good. But I haven’t heard it for a long time. Where did you hear about it?

RS: I read about it in Uncut magazine. I think it was on a record label called Fallout.

BC: That’s interesting.

RS: What was it like growing up in South Africa? I was a big John Kongos fan.

BC: Yeah, it was at the height of Apartheid. It was drag for us. Running around ducking and diving. We just saved our money. We did a few tours and we had a hit record there at the time. And just saved our money to get passage out of there and go to England. We took the ship and got to England and started another march from there. To say it wasn’t easy is an understatement. If you envision everything you know about Apartheid then you know how it was. That’s exactly how it was. It was fucked up to say the least if you put it in a nutshell. In a lot of ways we had a good time, we always played music. Nothing stopped us, even laws. It was a very stressful time to say the least.

RS: You’ve know about John Kongos....

BC: I’ve heard of him, yeah, but I haven’t met him.

RS: Any memories of working with The Beach Boys on the album Holland?

BC: A few months back these people did an interview with me where they took me to the studio. It’s not there anymore. It was emotional. It was nice. It was a good time to record there. It was a fun time ‘cause we were living in Holland, so it was more than recording. It was like experiencing Dutch people and living with them for three months. So I have extremely fond memories. I can’t pinpoint one, per se, but pretty much all of it was pretty nice. It was a great experience and I think it showed on the album. Although they did “Sail On Sailor” in Brian’s house when they came back. That’s where they recorded “Sail On Sailor.”

RS: Yeah, I remember they were looking for a hit single to put on the album.

BC: Yeah because I don’t know if the record company even liked it that much because they didn’t hear anything to play on the radio. And then they came up with “Sailor” and we recorded it in Brian’s house. It might have sold over time but everybody knows this song and it was a heavy radio hit as well. Like a radio song. That’s my fond memory of that part too, singing that song.

RS: Yeah I remember that guy Jack Riley wrote some of the lyrics to that song.

BC: Yeah, he was managing them and writing some lyrics with them at the time.

RS: It was a pretty word conscious era.

BC: Oh, Jesus, there’s tons of words in “Sail On Sailor.” (laughter) I don’t remember all of them. All I remember when I was doing it was, ‘jeez, pretty wordy.’ That was the time when people were doing that too.

RS: So are you planning to do any tour of your own?

BC: Soon as I can figure out doing stuff like that would be like early next year. Just do clubs around the country. Just do a little bit to start, ‘cause this thing finished the end of November and it’s the end of the year holidays so I don’t envision me going out till early next year.

RS: Are you living in New York now?

BC: No I’ve always lived in L.A. I’ve lived in L.A. for thirty some odd years. Since I got there in ‘72, I’ve lived in L.A. It’s always been my base.

RS: Any final words on the new album?

BC: It was a nice endeavor to do. Even if I say so myself. It was fun and it’s honest and it’s just straight up this guy singing. So, if you know what I’ve done in the past then okay, maybe people will like it like that. The songs are pretty good and it’s honest.



 

 
   
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