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Interview

John Otway
20/02/2003



Please give a brief history of the band, including current line up.

I've tacked a biog on the end of this which fills in my background - the current band has been together for ten years - I had been working with Richard Holgarth in a duo for a year or so and for my 40th Birthday we put together a band which worked extremely well- Richard put together a band from his musician friends in Harlow and we've worked together doing 40 or so dates a year for the last decade without a line-up change.

Discography.

It's miles long and I'm working on putting one up on my web site - www.johnotway.com in the next week or so.

How did last years' single come about? Were you surprised at the success and was it everything you wished for? How long do we have to wait for the next single?

Maurice Bacon, a friend and publisher, came up with the idea of having a hit to co-inside with my 50th birthday and to book the London Palladium the night the chart came out. The whole fan base loved the idea and the whole project started working 18 months before the event itself. The campaign could not have been more successful than it was - I'd done the arithmetic and realised that number one was not feasible So top ten was the best we could possibly do. It will probably be a while before the next hit. I'm realistic enough to realise that the huge effort everyone put into the hit is probably something that only ever happens, at the most, once per lifetime.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and what song would you do?

I'd replace the missing Bee Gee and rework some disco classics, I seem to be pretty successful at that:-)

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you whilst touring?

The first tour I ever did, I lost my voice before the first gig. The whole show for the first five dates of that tour consisted of Wild Willy Barrett, my partner at the time, playing some music and then making me squeak into a microphone. It doesn't sound like it could be funny but the audience were
amused enough to sit for an hour of squeaking per night.


What is your favourite song (and what band is it by) ?

Splodge - 2 pints of lager and a packet of crisps please. - in the few seconds it took to type that I've written the whole song. Wish I'd have done that, I would have performed it pretty well too.

You have just gone the big 50, if you could be any age again, what would it be and why?

I would be 25 - I would have just had my first hit and I would be choosing the follow up - I would be saying to myself "Now, you don't want to wait 25 years for another Hit, so put out something sensible!"


Tell the readers five facts about the band / band members they will not know

The band have learnt not to disclose any information to me that is not public knowledge. I have many times to their dismay and embarrassment, happily told the audience things that they thought had been told to me in confidence.

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2003.

This year I plan to tour the Uk pretty extensively to show off the new Hit - Later this year I'll start work on a new album. Www.johnotway.com for tour details

Any final comments?

Yes - If anyone reading this bought a copy of the Hit last year - Thank You, Thank You, Thank You it meant a great deal to me. Becoming 50 was a lot more pleasant for me than it is for a lot of people.


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