Big chief Wayne speak with forked tongue - but sing with strong honest voice!
Record Mirror - February 7, 1970
Last week I heard a voice which I rate the most interesting since Elvis Aaron Presley and infinitely preferable to Thomas Jones. But before the wrath of that great fan club in the Welsh skies falls upon me, may I hasten to add it is just my opinion.
The voice has a bit of Richie Havens about it, a touch of the Scott Walkers and a hint of the Joe Cockers. It is a good voice - a strong voice and it carries on its timbre that elusive ingredient 'conviction' - it is the voice of CARL WAYNE.
He of The Move who until the recent split had been hiding his light under the dominating bushel which has been Roy Wood. The voice came my way last week when Carl strode manfully up the four flights to my office with what he mysteriously alluded to as "a demo disc for some album material" under his arm.
"If it sounds good on our record player it is good" I informed him and without more ado we removed the small attentive dog from in front of the horn and listened to an arrangement of "Just Like A Woman".
"Nice voice and a good arrangement," I commented after the first few bars.
"You were right about it being a grotty record player," said Carl. The voice flowed on.
"Who's the singer," I asked innocently. "He's good?"
"Just a session guy," said Carl. "First time I've heard it". He spoke with forked tongue.
"Forget the song," I quoth, "If that guy is not signed up to a label, go and get him under a management contract - he's wasting his time doing demos."
"What do you think of the backing?" asked Carl.
"Good, good - sympathetic and intelligent but listen to that guy, he can really sing. Listen to that low note - is he coloured?"
"Glad you liked it," smiled Carl, "You're the first journalist to hear it - it's ME!"
Never in the words of the immortal Frankie Howard has my 'flabber' been so 'ghasted'. And from Dylan's "Just Like A woman" it was a short spin to Jim Webb's "Didn't We" and more power to Mr. Wayne's vocal elbow. Waddymean you've never seen a vocal elbow - own up, own up!
The recordings had been made at Carl's own expense in a Birmingham studio with a backing provided by a lorry driver, a shop owner, an engraver and a salesman - all part time musicians. Carl told just what he wanted and paid them off. The results are imminently superior to many expensive sessions I have heard.
"I've wanted to leave The Move for almost a year since Trevor Burton left," said Carl who affirmed he will do no more bookings with the group. "When we started the group it was a very worthwhile thing but in recent months it has become senile!
Our records have just not lived up to our reputation. Our rate of progress was a joke-six singles and one album in a year!"
"The only possible way in which the group could have continued would have been to split in two-Carl Wayne's 'Move' and Roy Wood's 'Move'. I donít want to bitch about the differences between Roy and I because it's all over now but we never saw eye to eye. Six months ago I decided that just making good money was not enough and I needed to show someone what I really could do.
"The major difference between my split and say people like Dave Dee and Robin Gibb is that they have both made records which in someway reflect their past work with their old groups. My work is a complete departure and I am going to have to convince a lot of people that I can sing-that's why I made these demos!
"So far the three friends who have these discs have raised comparisons with Tom Jones, P.J Proby and Billy Eckstine-I'm not saying that I recognise any of these inflections myself, but I'm delighted with comparisons to such great vocalists.
"My own preference for vocalists is varied but the kind of approach I admire most is from from Joe Cocker who sings as though he means it-call it "soul", call it "sincerity", it comes out sounding honest. I want to be an honest singer and if I can get together the kind of backing group that Joe has with the Grease Band with perhaps the addition of a meletron it would be ideal.
"Cocker could go on stage dressed in a top hat and tails or a kaftan and it wouldn't worry the audience because they come to hear him sing. I want to go on stage dressed in the manner I like-look at me now, just an ordinary suit and tie-stand, sing and collect!
"I'll never go back into a group thing again because it is like a marriage- so difficult to make it work. I'm a Leo and I want things my way. I'm going to do an album of standards and songs my way and maybe a concert with the Midland Light Orchestra and another with the Norman Dovey Big Band.
"The type of material I want to perform would be taken from albums like the 5th Dimension's "Magic Garden" and Thelma Houstons' "Sunshine".
The Move was not a great financial success, Carl informed me, although they were beginning to break ground in America. He feels sorriest for bass player Rick Price who only joined the group six months ago but thinks he has enough song-writing talent to make out.
There was a mystery reference to something called "The Electric Light Orchestra" which Roy Wood and Bev Bevan have been thinking of forming and a mention of Carl's having moved down to London to Birmingham to centralise his new solo efforts.
"My contract with my present record company is up shortly and we shall just have to see where we go from there," said Carl. "I would like to release something which is not necessarily geared for the charts but will at least give people some idea of what I can do. I desperately need people rooting for me because I am at present an unknown quantity."
Root. Root. Root.
Wayne's Words Press / Solo Album