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  Barikada - World Of Music - Interviews

Interviewer: Dragutin Matošević

Klaus Voormann
Interviewer: Dragutin Matošević

Klaus Voorman, Germany - artist (painter), musician (bass guitarist), and record producer
(Interview performed on December 2009)

Reading your biography - your beginnings - may conclude - you were right man (with successful career in commercial arts and with some musical education), at right place (Hamburg, London), at right moment (rule of rock and roll), meeting right people (The Beatles, Brian Epstein...). How do you explain all of that? Obviously - the great luck also had its fingers involved in it!

Answer: Luck and hard work.

You created cover for "Revolver", album of The Beatles. At the 9th Annual Grammy Awards in 1967 brought to you the Grammy for Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts. Wasn't it the key moment which brought your name to the attention of the audience?

Answer: I designed the cover artwork 1966, so I've got the Grammy 1967. It was a key moment to me but not because my name and my work became more attention, it was a key moment to me because I've never heard such great music before. We all knew that music and my artwork together set milestones in pop music and cover artwork.

Manfred Mann

Although your musical career started in Germany (playing bass in Paddy, Klaus & Gibson), your musical recognition started with participation in Manfred Mann band (1966-1969). You were very famous. "Mighty Queen" is big hit even now. Please, list other successes of Manfred Mann and explain why you left such good band?

Answer: I didn't leave the band, the band leader Manfred Mann stopped that band project and started with a new formation. We had 7 top ten hits like "Mighty Quinn", "Ha Ha Said the Clown", "Just like a Woman" and others.

Plastic Ono Band

In 1969 you joined John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Alan White, and Eric Clapton in formation called Plastic Ono Band. What you are considering as the greatest achievement from that phase of your activity?

Answer: "skipped..."

Significant contribution you gave to George Harrison's project - "All Things Must Pass" (triple album, 1970). Its success initiated big humanitarian project - "Concert for Bangladesh". These projects included worldwide known musicians (Eric Clapton, Jesse Ed Davis, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Ringo Starr, Jim Keltner...). You must be very proud dealing with such great names. What each of them gave to you? Sign of self-recognition, an opportunity for extend learning, challenge for greater involvements...?

Answer: Such projects are always a challenge. Great moments like this let you grow in each way, as a musician and as a human being, also in a spiritual way.

"Imagine" session

In 1971 you participated in John Lennon's equip creating legendary album "Imagine". Were you aware of historical moment at the time of its creation?

Answer: Yes I was. It was magic! I'll never forget this session.

Was it joint effort of all of the members of the equip or John was ultimate boss of the project?

Answer: It's always a joint effort of all participants. Of course John was the boss... who else?

Later on, you acted mostly as recording musician dealing with Harry Nilsson ("Without You"), Carly Simon ("You're So Vain"), BB King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Lou Reed, Gary Wright, Leon Russell, Howlin’ Wolf, Peter Frampton, Martha Reeves, to name but a few. You also played alongside The Band, Van Dyke Parks, Dr. John (Mac Rebennack), Jim Keltner, Jesse Ed Davis, Ry Cooder, Larry Carlton and many, many others, plus yourself. Meeting any of these guys, for us, ordinary people, is unimaginable. What kind of people they really were? I believe - some were good, some were less good.

Answer: They were all fantastic, very good and very special people!

Since 1980 you are back in Germany. You began to work as a scout for record companies. What values has to have good scout?

Answer: I don't know if I was a good talent scout. But I think you need to have a good feeling for talent and personality.

Paintings again got bigger importance in your life. Were your paintings related only to the world of music or you had an other (themes of ) interests?

Answer: Most of my artwork is focused to music because I designed many album covers but I painted other images too, like trees.

The Beatles Anthology

You did again marvelous cover for The Beatles. This time for "The Beatles Anthology" (series). I am not surprised for it. There is no man in the world knowing them better. Could you, now, for us, please, describe each of The Beatles members personally? What were their good, and what were their bad sides?

Answer: "skipped..."

You are still very busy guy. New project - "A Sideman's Journey" - is again including big names: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yusuf Islam aka Cat Stevens, Dr. John, Jim Keltner, Albert Lee, Van Dyke Parks, Joe Walsh (The Eagles), Max Buskohl, Bonnie Bramlett, etc. What was purpose and what are you expecting from this release?

Answer: Purpose was a journey back to where it all began because of my 70th birthday. I hope people like the songs and the Making of ASJ film produced by my wife Christina. We wanted to give the viewer the chance becoming part of our studio cosmos. The album is connected to our charity project Safe Water is a Human Right in aid of Lakota families of Pine Ridge Reservation, third world country in the middle of the U.S.A. Many parts of the drinking water resources are contaminated by radiation and heavy metals.

Thank you Klaus very much for your attention and kindness.

THANK YOU Dragutin, all my best wishes to you too, Klaus.

The Beatles - Revolver (1966)

Voormann & Friends - A Sideman's Journey (2009)
VOORMANN & FRIENDS - A Sideman's Journey (2009)

Dragutin Matošević
Tuzla, Bosna i Hercegovina

Davor Matosevic - videos
Reklamno mjesto 5
Rock Otocec 2010
Reklamno mjesto 6
Web portal Pljuga
Reklamno mjesto 7

Andjelko Jurkas (HR) - Bez rocka trajanja (Knjiga + CD)
Reklamno mjesto 8
Gary Talley (USA) - Guitar Playing for Songwriters
Reklamno mjesto 9

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