Quo Man Releases New Solo Album – After 30 Years Plus!
Status Quo keyboard player Andy Bown has just released his sixth solo album Unfinished Business – and there’s only been a gap of 33 years since his last one!Words: Malcolm Dome
“Well, I’ve been busy,” laughs Bown. “Seriously, Status Quo work so hard and for such ling periods of time that it’s hard to find any time to do something like this. Besides, I’m also the laziest person in the music business. If there’s an easy way to do anything, then I’ll find it! The only reason I’ve done it now is because my wife threatened to beat the shit out of me!”
For Bown (who also plays guitar, harmonica and the kitchen sink on the record), this was a way of getting previously unrecorded songs into the public domain.
“I’ve got a few songs knocking around which weren’t right for Quo. So that was the start of everything. I then went through what is best described as a purple patch of writing. I was projectile vomiting songs!”
The recording itself was done in two sessions, under the guidance of producer Mike Paxman, who also works with Quo.
“The first lump was done in September 2009 and the second one in September last year. I had to fit it all in when Quo had about 18 hours off in total. That means, taking into account the writing time for the songs, Unfinished Business is now about two-and-a-half years old. But for most people, of course, it is brand new because they’ll not have heard it before. It’s only for me that it goes so far back.
“The recording sessions went so well that the second one night have been a year after the first, but still flowed as if was a continuation.”
Despite a career that takes in working with so many major artists – from Roger Waters and Pink Floyd to Peter Frampton and Paul McCartney, to name just a few – that you might have expected a lot of top names to guest on the album. But that hasn’t happened.
“Well, Peter Frampton did call up and ask if he could play on it. I said yes, of course. But then Mick Rogers (Manfred Mann’s Earth Band) ended up doing such a great job on guitar – I’d really wanted to get him in – that there was no room for Peter! But he was fine about it.”
In the end, Bown (who is still regarded as the ‘new boy’ in Quo, even though he;s been there for 36 years!) also used Uriah Heep bassist Trevor Bolder and major session drummer Henry Spinetti throughout the album.
Now, the problem is that Bown doesn’t know when he’ll have any time to do some solo shows, due to the hectic Quo touring schedule.
“I supposed there might be another 18 hours free at some point, and I will be able to fit in two 45-minute sets. We have to see what happens. Actually, I did think about doing two or three showcase gigs earlier this year. But that proved so expensive I thought the money could be better spent on the video for the song Rubber Gloves.”
As for a seventh solo album, surely he won’t make us wait a further 33 years, when Bown will be closing in on his 100th birthday?
“Who knows? I could get run over crossing the road in a few minutes. Or get an idea for a new song that I feel I have to record immediately!”
Find out more at www.andybown.com