Answers to the readers of www.chris-norman.ru
 
In spite of a supertight schedule of his short Russian tour Chris Norman nevertheless had found time to answer the questions of visitors of our site. Brevity of most of the answers is also conditioned by the fact that Chris answered mostly in written form. We thank him very much for the attention to our readers!
 

— Question about so called “influence songs” you had performed which sound great, by the way. Are there any more such songs you will or want to perform?

— There are many songs that I like, from soul music to standard classic ballads. I don't usually plan in advance which songs to do, it's just something that I think of when I make new tours.

— What was your first ever written song? Was it recorded and released?

— I wrote my first song with my cousin Tina when I was 10 years old. It was called “Dream Girl” and was never released. (If you heard it you would understand why)

— Have you ever written poetry beyond the songs?

— Usually no, I don't write poetry beyond the songs. (“He's not Shakespeare” ;-) - added his manager George). But sometimes I wrote words for the songs which afterwards left unused.

— What is the story of song “London Is Burning” from “The Other Side Of The Road” album? Was it written about some particular event or what? As the text of it is still a bit mysterious and unusual for traditional Smokieís love lyrics. (Evgeny, Kazakhstan)

— “London Is Burning” is the story of the Great Fire of London in the 17th century.

— What is the history of writing such songs as “Little Lucy”, “Oh Carol”, “Big Fat Mamma”? And who had played on piano in the studio on recordings of that songs? (Simson, Moscow)

— The songs were just written and the names suited the songs. They are not about anybody in particular. I always played piano on records when needed.

— Where did the name “Smokie” originate from? In one source there was such exotic version that Smokie was the nickname of famous Chicago gangster in 30's and Chinn-Chapman had named the band in such a way in the hope of entering into American market... (Simson, Moscow)

— No, that's not true. The name Smokey (which later on was changed to Smokie because of confusing with Smokey Robinson in America) was invented by Mike Chapman. He thought of that name partly because of my voice and it was easy to remember.

— Along your solo carrier you had worked with several producers: Dieter Bohlen, Pip Williams, Tony Carey, David Brandes, Michael Beckmann. Whom did you enjoy to work with best of all and why?

— My favourite producer is still Mike Chapman. For me he was the best.

— Haven't you plans to work with him again?

— He lives in America and I haven't seen him for about 2 years. And at the moment there are no such plans of working together.

— How were vocal harmonies in songs invented in Smokie? (Simson, Moscow)

— Me and Alan Silson used to always sing harmonies at school, like Beatles songs or Everly Brothers. Later when Terry joined we got him to add a third voice and we discovered we had a natural sound.

— Did members of Smokie take lessons of singing? (Simson, Moscow)

— No.

— How many guitars you have? Probably many of them have their own interesting history? Would be nice to read such stories one dayÖ For instance, your legendary Rickenbacker guitar from 70ís, is it alive?

— I have about 20 guitars. Yes, the Rickenbacker guitar is still fine and I often use it in the studio. It was made in 1965, by the way.

— Do you play on your own guitars on TV-Shows? (Andrey, Yekaterinburg)

— Sometimes I do or sometimes I use one they provide.

— What is the instrument on which you invent new melodies? (Simson, Moscow)

— Usually acoustic guitar mostly, but also sometimes on the piano.

— How did appear harmonica part on your last album (Billís Song)? (Simson, Moscow)

— I played it because I liked the sound for that song, but I'm not very good at it.

— You stay inside rock music for a long time already and watched after itís evolution over all your life. What do you think about the future of rock music? What is your attitude to new bands and singers? And can you mention any new artists whom you consider worthy of respect? (Komisarych, Latvia)

— I think the future of rock music looks very good now. There are some great new artists like “The Kaizer Chiefs”, “Green Day”, “KT Tunstall” and many others.

— On the “Millenium tape” for fan club members you recorded the song “Love You Tonight”. Itís a pity that this precious song wasnít released on CD yet. Is there any chance for it?

— I don't know if I will use it now that it's already been on the “Millenium tape”.

— You produced and took part in recording Teri Sullivanís album. Is there any chance to see it on CD?

— Teri is my cousin and the idea of making the album was to release it on CD. Unfortunately no record companies were interested in it.

— Ainít there plans for recording new live DVD with your new program as well as with your new band? Or maybe finally some DVD about Smokie history?

— There are no plans at the moment for any DVDs. But I'm sure that there will be in the future.

— Do you know about will ever be released on CD your album from 1982 “Rock Away Your Teardrops” as well as Smokieís “Midnight Delight”? (Andrey, Yekaterinburg)

— I don't know. If a record company asked us we probably would.

— Concerning “Rock Away Your Teardrops” album from 1982, was it in fact a Smokie album and just released under your name? Or that was your really first self-produced album?

— No, it was really a Smokie album. The “Midnight Delight” and “Rock away...” albums were all recorded in one session at the same time. But because of a contract situation we had to release them at the same time.

— On last album you finally had songs written together with your band member, Geoff Carline. Generally speaking, do you welcome such bandís members songwriting?

— If I like the songs, then yes.

— How did you select musicians for your actual band?

— I listened to a lot of tapes and CDs and then had auditions and rehearsals until I found the right people.

— Where is now Fred Lloyd, the former keyboard player of Smokie and CN Band?

— He lives in Liverpool and plays in England. I haven't seen him since 1997 but I get greeting postcards from him every Christmas.

— We know that you like Beatles very much. Have you ever been to their live concert or to John Lennonís?

— Unfortunately not to a Beatles or John Lennon. But I've seen Paul McCartney live.

— What place sports take in your life? (Simson, Moscow)

— I like to watch major events like the Footbal World Cup.

— Have you any favorite jeans label? (Simson, Moscow)

— No, not really.

— Who usually invent your scenic clothes?

— I just look out for things I like nowadays. In the 70's my grandma used to make them.

— You are a marvelous person and musician, and through the years you had won international recognition and fame. But we love you also because you are not arrogant and never had attracted attention to yourself with the help of some extraordinary actionsÖ Though, of course, you are a star and besides the love of your fans you have fame and glory. So what is an international fame for you? Does it mean anything for you? (Komisarych, Latvia)

— It's great to be liked for what you do and of course if you are successful you got treated well, which is nice. Fame, I think is a very strange thing and shouldn't be taken too seriously. It's not made to last.

— Looking onto your Smokie daysí posters from 70ísÖ You already had reached much, you are famous, generally recognized and loved by many fans all over the world. But there are still so many beautiful melodies and heartfelt lyrics to be composed, they are still in a latent state, wandering in information field of Earth. You even donít guess about them – there, in 70ís, and we here in 21 century had already known them, heard and admired them. But for you they all aheadÖSo, if you had a magical opportunity to return for a minute into 70ís, to yourself such young as on that posters, then what could you say to yourself from the altitude of your actual experience? What could you advise yourself and what from to warn or dissuade? What song written in the last years youíd present yourself of that time? And on the other hand, in those 70ís, did you imagine yourself aged 55 in the way it looks now? (Marina, St.-Petersburg)

— Ooh, that's a hard question. I think there are many things I would advice myself too many to list. But in those days I don't think I would listen to the advice of a 55 year old and would probably do everything just the way I did.
        I would play myself many songs like – “Lost In Flight”, “Million Miles”, “Without Your Love”.
        No, I never really thought I would be still performing at 55.

— You told about the history of the “Million Miles To Nowhere” song and that your granddad wished to write a book with that name. And what about the possibility of writing your own book of memoirs some day? By the way, is it true that your granddad never called you Chris and always called you Bill?

— Yes, my granddad always called me Bill (strange eh?). Maybe one day I'll write that book, who knows?

— Some years ago your son, Paul, often was with you on tours. How is he doing now?

— He's doing fine and is working with Linda in our property company.

— Do you or your family members look on Chris Norman sites in Internet? And generally speaking, do you use Internet in your life?

— I use the Internet all the time. Yes, sometimes I look on Chris Norman sites.

 

27.05.2006 © www.chris-norman.ru