The Rave Interview: Carl Wayne
Rave, December 1969
Interviewer: Keith Altham
Carl Wayne is the Move's "hatchet" man - forceful, basic and frank, he provides the perfect balance to the group's introverted composer Roy Wood. Carl is the group's self appointed PR as he also happens to be their lead vocalist and therefore fulfils that category which the Press generally assume is "the spokesman" for them all. A self-made man.
Why did you split from your original manager Tony Secunda?
"I still feel that Tony is a very talented person but we left him at a time when we felt the Move were not becoming business-like enough. It was all a bit of a game but the pop business is to be taken just as seriously as any other profession."
What is the truth behind the stories relating to the differences of opinion between you and Roy Wood?
"The concept that the two of us are bitter enemies is a load of old hogwash. I've known Roy for 18 years and I don't think either of us could carry on without the other in the group. We set one another off. Roy is lethargic to the point of being lazy and doesn't give a damn about anything. Me, I'm always hustling, always concerned and it's an excellent equation."
In spite of the fact that the Move have been an established and successful group for some years, it does seem that they have made very few concessions towards becoming more progressive - why?
"In a sense our greatest asset is also our greatest liability in as much as Roy is not a progressive writer. He is a static, commercial writer - one of the best there is - he dreams up his songs and they have nothing to do with environmental, emotional experience. One of the set-backs for the Move is that we have a set formula to work to and that is Roy Wood's mind.
"There are probably two patterns to follow - one is that of a hit single which will often be a hit single in the Scandinavian countries as well and make you a lot of money without having to do too many live appearances, and the other is the album scene. We've chosen the former but now we are attempting to crack the American market which tends to work by word of mouth at present. That is, you go over and show them what you have and if they like you the word passes from East and West and you are made.
The one sad thing about musical progress in this country is that no sooner do we get a really good group than we lose them to America. Economically, this country just cannot afford to pay the price for a really good group."
If, as you say, you are concerned about making progress musically, why have you not attempted to do anything about it personally?
"Basically I'm a vocalist and limited in my musical ability. I could never write music although I might be able to write lyrics. It is a source of frustration to me that I am not able to project more, but I am attempting to write a book. It will have to be classified as fiction although the essence will be fact. It's a kind of biographical novel with the names changed to protect the guilty! I am one of those people who live beneath their heads and not off the top of it."
Do you do much reading?
"Nothing educational - purely for relaxation. Alistair Maclean, science fiction, that kind of thing. A book is something to escape into for a few minutes away from the problems of work."
Are you an escapist?
"Basically, I'm a pleb! I do a lot of things that people think a person with my opinions should not. Basically, I'm just an ordinary person gifted with the power to think - deeply!"
Would you say that you were happy in your work?
"No, and I don't want this misconstrued either. I'm not happy because it is a bit static. It's become a bit repetitious. It's either another gig or another TV show or another country. I'm not getting respect from people and this is what bugs me. I'm a very proud person and I would love people to say, "that's Carl Wayne and he is in a very good band."
"The trouble is that you are caught between two evils. We are very successful and the money I am getting at 26 is incredible and I don't want to give up that income for the sake of experiment - I suppose that's hypocritical. The Move is really a means to an end - the end being security so that I can do what I want without worrying about the money."
What do you want to do?
"I want desperately to go into films. I'd like to go solo in my own way with my own small band. My main purpose in life is 'bread' but not necessarily at the expense of personal happiness. I want to be successful and be recognised and respected for it."
What reaction do you have to groupies?
"If you mean do they appall me - no. It's an adolescent state. I don't feel sorry for them - they are doing something they want to do. If some guy wants to walk up and down Oxford Street naked, I'm not going to put him down, I'd probably say - it's not my cup of tea."
What standards of morality do you have - what would you classify as an immoral act?
"Immorality to me are those people who spurn those who need help. If a dog walked in here, wet, shaking and starving and someone kicked it up in the air, I would say that was an immoral act. People who contribute to the worsening of living conditions for old people - they are immoral. You may have to turn your back on some things but there is no excuse for making matters worse by direct contribution."
As the man we remember wielding an axe on stage during the Move's act, when do you consider violence justified?
"I'm not really a violent person in as much as I don't go looking for trouble, but if someone behaves like a right ----- then that's how you treat them. If someone has a go at me I come down on them hard. A person behaving like an idiot should be destroyed verbally or physically."
Do you approve of capital punishment?
"Definitely - if the act was premeditated it deserves the ultimate punishment."
How necessary would you say our police force is in present society?
"Without the police it would be a terrible place to live. You must have a police force. I think the British police are possibly the most patient force in the world. You get the same problems among them as you do amongst the rest of the public of course - some of them get a bit carried away by the position they hold."
What's your reaction to the emergence of skin-heads and agro boys?
"They are being what they want to be. If I was 17 and I dug Jethro Tull I'd probably be a hairy. It's just a case of history repeating itself again - a few years ago it was the mods and the rockers. Now we've got the skin-heads and the hairies."
Do you believe in the institution of marriage?
"I think marriage and religion are two antiquated things. I think everyone must have faith - some are not strong enough to have faith in themselves. I used to get down on my knees and pray when I was a child because that was what I was taught by example. The Church has lost out because it has not moved with the times - they'd get a lot more people in if they ran their churches like cabaret clubs.
"Half the trouble with the Church and the reason for their rejection is that it is so sombre. You go into these terrible, old, dark places, smelling of death and are supposed to relate to life.
"Marriage has fallen into disrepute because so many young people rush into it without any thought before and it has become completely outmoded, its significance has become almost completely lost. I've always known that eventually I would find someone with whom I could live without that contract just as permanently as with it.
"Marriage tends to chain people together who don't want to be - the only things that really keep people together are tolerance, love and affection. One of the real injustices about marriage is that when two people mutually agree to split up the man is expected to maintain the woman. That is wrong to me."
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