Shakin' Stevens interview

By: Rien Wisse
(R & S nr. 6 - april/mei 1974)

On april 15th (1974) we went to Aalten in the Eastern part of The Netherlands to see a performance of Shakin' Stevens and the Sunsets, in a festival of mainly popgroups.
Before their performance I had a talk with Stevens and his manager. Unfortunately I could not wait to watch their show, but Dick Waanders was there too and maybe he can complete this article with a review of the show.


R&S: When did you start in the music business?
STEVENS: I started my first group in 1961.
R&S: What kind of music did you play at that time?
STEVENS: I played Rock and Roll. I didn't want to play anything else, because it is very pure and fine music, that became part of my life. We don't want to do any concessions. We'll ever stay with this kind of music.
Only now and then we're doing a bluesnumber, because blues and rock have the same base.
R&S: Which rock and roll stars do you think are the greatest?
PAUL BARRET (manager): Yes, Elvis is very important for us, and don't forget Johnny Burnette.
R&S: Do you know Hank “C” Burnette?
PAUL BARRET: O yes, we know him from an album on err..
R&S: Maybe Diwa?
R&S: There's a new Diwa album now with various artists.
BARRET: We are very interested in rock and roll records, we are collecting them. SUN, and everything released in the rock and roll field.... we buy it.
Hey, who are on that album?
R&S: Johnny Rivers, Dave Travis and...
STEVENS: We know him. There is a big competition in England between bands who play rock and roll. But we know Dave very well. There's also a discjockey with the same name. Dave's band split up...
R&S: Split?
STEVENS: Yes, I heard that. But I believe they are still doing studio work.
R&S: How are things going for the Sunsets at the moment?
BARRET: Well, we have two new people in the band since the last time we were in Holland. We have a new guitarplayer and a new bassguitarplayer.
At the moment we don't have a contract with any record company, but we think our next English album will be on CBS or an EMI label.
In Holland we made again recordings for Dureco. Our new single “Lonesome Town” is out now over here. If it doesn't reach the charts, we have to look forward to another Dutch record company. Please write that in your paper. If there's any Dutch company interested in us, they can contact: Ripper Agency, 51 Queens Road, Penarth, Glamorgan, South Wales.
R&S: Can you tell me something more about the rock and roll situation in England at the moment?
STEVENS: Bill Haley is on the charts at the moment. In March we finished a tour with him. Maybe we're going to do another in the future. This is for us a way to reach a bigger public.
We are also doing a tour very soon with Duane Eddy and with Carl Perkins.
R&S: More future plans?
STEVENS: We want to complete our next album.
R&S: Do you know any Dutch rock and roll groups?
STEVENS: Yes, we've heard of Toni Macaroni and his Swinging Devils, and I think they are a real rock and roll group.
But Long Tall Ernie and the Shakers are a SHIT group. They are only joking rock and roll music.
R&S: Do you know Dutch magazines?
STEVENS: We know Oor, Aloha and Rockville International.
R&S: Thank you. I have no more questions.
STEVENS: Good luck with your paper. What was the name? O yes, Rocking & Stomping... that's a good name.
Thank you for your interest in our band.