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Agneta Post subject: NME,March 1969, Allan Clarke interview - Why we had to go on
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This interview is from a" 4 page special on the Hollies, peers of pop" in New Musical Express, March 8, 1969, and is about Graham leaving and Terry joining, like the contributions from Sparty Scott and Geoff Coles.

AFTER SPLIT: Why we had to go on by ALLAN CLARKE

When Graham finally broke the news that he was leaving the Hollies I thought that was the end of us. Not that it came as a surprise - I'd sensed for some months that he wasn't happy being a Hollie - and I'd had, in theory, plenty of time to go over all the alternatives. But when that moment I'd been dreading - trying not to think too much about - became a stark fact then I was lost. The shock left us all numb.

I was totally unproductive for weeks. Also I'd just re-carpeted my house, had an extension built on and bought a brand new car and my bank balance wasn't all it should have been!
I even had visions of quitting the business and maybe trying my hand at being a greengrocer, or something. Or maybe I too should quit the group and concentrate on a solo career?
Yes, that really was, at the time, a strong possibility. Should we just stay as a foursome? If we wanted to keep five strong was it possible to find a replacement?

I can tell you now - now that we've got Terry - that there was a time when we were sifting through applicants that I thought we'd NEVER find someone suitable.
Anyway, that's just some idea of the turmoil we were in.
Then, and it seemed to happen quite suddenly, I realized that we MUST go on. Pehaps deep down I'd known it all the time. Looking back on it I think so.
We all got together, had lots of talks, decided we'd got a replacement for Graham and set about trying to find him.
We built up the interest, and the papers kept the Hollies in the news for ages. Then Terry happened to come along, and that was it. I hadn't thought much of the other applicants,but I knew Terry was just right.
I had only met him twice, but it was enough. I knew there ws going to be a lot of adjusting, on both sides, and I almost prayed it would work out.
Then, we came to record "Sorry Suzanne." I knew beforehand this first session would tell us all a lot. As it turned out, all my worrying had been needless. He fitted in perfectly. If anything, the group's harmony is softer now.

Five years of building had been destroyed, but I saw that it would not be a case of starting from scratch again. Terry had always been a fan of the Hollies. He knew all our records straight off.

There is that same feeling of companionship in the group again. We want to help Terry get settled in as quickly as possible, and I've never met anybody so willing to learn and work.

Of course, I still think of Graham. I would stress that we can never be anything but the best of friends. He is happier now than he has ever been, and as long as he is happy, that's all that matters.

When you've known someone for 25 years, and sung with him for 22 of them, you form a special relationship that is something more than friendship. That's how it was with Graham and myself.

It was almost as if we were one and the same person. Graham and I should have got married, we were that close!
Of course, Graham had got involved with the Maharishi, and meditation when it was in vogue. He was gradually drifting apart from us, musically and socially. At one time, he cut himself off from me one hundred per cent.
I thought that he must be right. We had always thought the same way, so I thought it was only fair to give meditation a try.
For a while I fell in with Graham's ideas. Maybe for a while I really believed them, or perhaps I was simply scared he would leave the Hollies. At any cost, I thought, Graham and I must stick together.
But it didn't take very long before I realised that it wasn't me at all. I didn't understand what it was all about. I'm a pint and darts man myself, and there they were, talking about mystical things and ideals.
I often wonder what this meditation thing was all about. To me, it seemed the participants are always out to please a few people they respect. The vast majority of the people just don't interest them.
When you are an entertainer,you just can't ignore Joe Public. Without him, you're nothing. I don't want to be a philosopher of the pop world. I enjoy sitting in the bar of the Flask, my local, listening to the old folk. I'll have a few beers, a packet of crisps and maybe a game of darts.

There are two reasons I'm in this business, for the money, and to entertain people. I LIKE writing simple songs, I LIKE singing simple songs, and I LIKE telling simple jokes

Nobody comes up to me and says, I'm doing it all wrong, or I should look around for another job. The Hollies are very down to earth people, doing a good job of giving people pleasure.

While I was dabbling in meditation, I was wearing the kaftan and the beads. I went up to Salford one day, and one of the boys came up with a big grin on his face.

I was so self-conscious, I suddenly realized that I was only wearing the outfit because everybody else was. I went straight home and got into a suit.

The future for the Hollies looks very good indeed. Our live shows are getting more ambitious and better in every way. We can hold a stage for an hour and a half, and not bore the audience for a single second.
.......................

Somebody once said you can't fool all the people all the time. We aim to have a damned good try at pleasing all the people all the time.
Even if we are grey and living on vitamin pills, before we accomplish it.

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PostPosted:Mon Mar 19, 2007 22:00 pm
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holliesfan Post subject:
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Thanks Agneta for sharing this very informative interview....quite interesting.
PostPosted:Tue Mar 20, 2007 0:01 am
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Vrinda Post subject:
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Thanks, Agneta. That was very sweet. Allan sounds very much like a down to earth person. He's honest about his intentions as a performer and himself as a person. In those lines were he talks about his friendship with Graham, you can tell how much he cares for him and that their friendship was very deep. That part about them being one in the same person was so cute! You can just feel from reading it that that these guys loved each other.

The part about the meditation mirrored my thoughts. Eastern mysticism was not for everybody, and it didn't appear to be Allan's thing.

I just can't picture Allan as a greengrocer, though! If he were, I'd be patronizing that shop every chance I got! Very Happy
PostPosted:Tue Mar 20, 2007 20:48 pm

Last edited by Vrinda on Tue Mar 20, 2007 22:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Agneta Post subject:
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Hi Alan and Vrinda!

Glad you liked the interview. Always happy to share what I've got with other Hollies-fans.
I might post some other things later.
I think you made a nice summary of how Allan comes across in this interview, Vrinda. I too like the part where he talks about his friendship with Graham.

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PostPosted:Tue Mar 20, 2007 21:45 pm
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Vrinda Post subject:
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Thanks, Agneta! I always enjoy reading what you post!
PostPosted:Tue Mar 20, 2007 22:49 pm
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snowflake Post subject:
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Thanks, Agneta, for posting such an indepth article about Allan. It's so nice to know that even though he still felt very close to Graham, he knew that the time was right for them to go in different directions. Allan was looking forward to the future very much and knew that Terry was a perfect fit for the band.

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PostPosted:Wed Mar 21, 2007 13:01 pm
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brandy Post subject:
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"I found a new part to play in life, there's different actors on my stage..." Wink

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PostPosted:Wed Mar 21, 2007 13:23 pm
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Agneta Post subject: My life is over with you
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Speaking of that song ...

This is from a review of Hollies sing Hollies, NME, November 1969, with big headlines saying: HOLLIES ALLAN CLARKE WROTE SONG ABOUT GRAHAM LEAVING GROUP

Allan Clarke: "How can I deny it ... breaking up hurt. And I sat at home in this room, utterly depressed, and wrote a song to pass the time.

"The song about it is on the album and it's called MY LIFE IS OVER WITH YOU. It's just a number about two people going their own ways. You can take it straight or as a romantic thing towards a girl. But let's be honest man - I'd lost a great and lifelong friend, and I was obviously writing about the experience.

"Not that there's any hang-up between Graham and I. We've both come to terms with were we want to go - and that's what's so great about it. He came over here a couple of weeks ago, and heard the LP, and sat and said nothing while it played.

"He's like that, is Graham. No comment till it's finished. Then he looked up and said: 'Why weren't we doing that two years ago? Why?'

"It was a tribute frome him and frankly, I don't know why we weren't playing and writing together like that two years ago. Maybe we both know the truth ... we NEEDED to break up"

Then Allan talks about "Why didn't you believe", and that's interesting too, but maybe that's another thread.

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I thought the Hollies were a thing of the past for me, but at Dalhalla, they sure proved me wrong.
PostPosted:Fri Mar 23, 2007 18:27 pm
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Vrinda Post subject:
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Thanks, Agneta. That's so sad, but they had to go their separate ways sometime. I think Allan wasn't keen on becoming a prolific songwriter like Graham, and that was where their difference drove them apart. It's tear-jerking to read, and it only reemphazis how close Allan and Graham were.

I don't have any childhood friends with whom I've remained that close. I wish I did.

I certainly hope Allan and Graham still keep in touch often today!
PostPosted:Fri Mar 23, 2007 22:47 pm

Last edited by Vrinda on Sat Mar 24, 2007 15:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Gee Post subject: My Life is over With You....
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A really brilliant song, a superb heart rending vocal by Allan...and wonderful high harmony vocal by Terry Sylvester, plus great group support and fine orchestration too......note how Clarke oddly predicts the "What Goes Around..." reunion too :
"...You go your way and I'll go mine, maybe we'll meet some other time...."

Also listen to both "Goodbye Tomorrow" and "Separated".
PostPosted:Sat Mar 24, 2007 15:06 pm
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Vrinda Post subject:
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You can just feel the pain he felt at Graham leaving when you hear those songs. I didn't think they were that close and loved each other that much. I read somewhere that Hollies' members were all very close to each other, almost like a close-knit family, and Graham's leaving just shatteted Allan.
PostPosted:Fri Apr 27, 2007 19:33 pm
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Vrinda Post subject:
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You can just feel the pain he felt at Graham leaving when you hear those songs. I didn't think they were that close and loved each other that much. I read somewhere that Hollies' members were all very close to each other, almost like a close-knit family, and Graham's leaving just shatteted Allan.
PostPosted:Fri Apr 27, 2007 19:34 pm
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Lou Post subject: Re: NME,March 1969, Allan Clarke interview - Why we had to g
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Quote:
The Hollies are very down to earth people, doing a good job of giving people pleasure..


Amen to that . Cool

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PostPosted:Fri May 11, 2007 14:32 pm
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