On behalf of the entire MTWA band and team, I would like to thank all our friends and supporters for the overwhelming love and support shown during 2013.
We wish you a very Happy Christmas and hope that this season of goodwill brings you and your families peace and joy.
Introducing Tim Brown - Interview
DEC 4 2013
New MTWA drummer Tim Brown recently took the time to answer our questions in this interview, conducted especially for www.wishboneash.co.uk.
At what age did you start playing drums and what made you decide to pick up the sticks?
One of my earliest memories is lying in bed and thinking about playing music. I knew i had to be a musician but I had to decide what instrument to play. Piano had too many keys, the guitar seemed to have too many frets, so I decided then that the drums it had to be. I started bashing on anything I could get my hands on 'till my parents bought me an electric drum pad and then a snare drum and a Paiste cymbal when i was eight. I guess the music i was hearing on radio just flicked a switch in my head.
How did you learn to play? What forms of tuition did you take?
I started drum lessons from the age of eight with a variety of teachers in my home town of Leicester. The lessons lasted for five or so years until I could figure out what the drummers were playing in most of the music I was listening to. None of the teachers seemed to be into the music that I loved, so I decided to take a break and set off on my own and let my ears become my teacher for many years. I later returned to lessons and a year studying at Drumtech in London and with many fantastic teachers such as Malcolm Garrett.
Who were your early drum influences and which players do you enjoy currently?
I grew up listening to the music of the seventies and that is still my real love. I remember hearing John Bonham, Carl Palmer, Roger Taylor, Ian Paice and Cozy Powell and guess they are what got me hooked. I, like most boys of a certain age, got into Iron Maiden and Clive Burr and Nicko McBrain became my obsession. Today I have to say I am still really influenced by John Bonham - his feel and musicality and creativity really resonate with me.
When did you begin playing professionally and can you talk us through bands and projects from early days to present?
I played in lots of bands in my hometown and toured with a band called Vivid in the late nineties, but it wasn't 'till 2001 I took the brave step to become professional. I was then playing in function bands, club and pub bands to make ends meet. I worked with a great bass player called Tom Westmoreland, who is no longer with us. My association with Tom lead to us to playing together in Mother Hubbard and then with Sally Barker where I played with one time MTWA guitarist Keith Buck. A producer friend Adam Ellis recommended me for the Aynsley Lister gig which lasted for a couple of years. I have always played a lot when not on the road with Carl Sentance who has a CV longer than both my arms put together and he recommended me to Don Airey and asked me to join his own project Persian Risk.
In addition to live and studio work you are also in demand as a tutor and drum clinician. Can you give a brief outline of this work?
I love teaching and the interaction of it, I teach in schools and colleges and host Drumbreaks drum events with my colleage James Hester when I get a chance. I also have my own Youtube channel full of instructional videos.
How did you come to join MTWA?
Its Danny's fault!!! Dan and I play together outside of MTWA and have known each other for many years. We have always really enjoyed playing with each other and seem to really understand where each other is going musically. He is one of my favourite guitar players so when he asked if I would be interested in playing with the band I jumped at the opportunity.
Were you familiar with Wishbone Ash’s music and history?
I knew about Wishbone Ash from mainly the bands that they have influenced like Iron Maiden. Steve Harris, bass player and founder member of Iron Maiden, has always named WA as a huge influence on that band and you can really hear it, especially in the first album. I had heard a few tunes along the way from the Argusalbum and loved what I heard.
How did you go about learning the music?
I try to saturate myself with music. I listen to it 24/7 and try to learn what all of the instruments are doing. I don't focus too much on the drums to start with I want to know the lyrics, the melodies, the bass lines. Once I have got a particular song to a certain point I will write out a very basic road map for the tune and then focus in on the drums a bit more. I chose to really focus on the original recording to get the essence of Steve Upton's vibe.
How did the first rehearsals go and how have you integrated with the other guys on a personal level?
You can't help but have a great time with Danny, Ray and Martin, they have all been great in making me feel at home in the band. The first rehearsal was quite nerve racking for me, but everyone was very happy and complimentary which really set me at ease. We were only going to play two tunes, but by the end of the rehearsal we had played the bulk of the MTWA set.
An observation of your performance at St Albans would be that your playing retains the original feel of Steve Upton’s classic drum parts, yet you have also firmly asserted your own personality as a player on the music. Is this intentional?
First of all I would like to say how much I love Steve's playing. Steve is unique and played with such freedom on the kit. I really want to give the music that energy and excitement that Steve had by the bucket load, but I have to play like me. I figured out a few years ago that I am only going to be unhappy trying to play like someone else. If you are thinking constantly about "How would Bonham play this?" or "How would Paicey do that?" you will never play fully for the music at hand. I like to give myself to the music and let my personality come through.
Any favourite tracks to play from the WA repertoire you have covered to date?
There are so many awesome tunes! I am really loving "Phoenix" and "Living Proof" at the moment.
What equipment will you be using with MTWA?
I am so lucky to have the backing of so many great companies. I am using Mapex Saturn drums, Paiste Cymbals (2002, 602 and Twenty Series), Remo heads, Ludwig Snare drums, Vic Firth Sticks, Protection Racket cases, Kickport and Baskey accessories.
You’ve joined at a pivotal point in the band’s career with plans ahead to record new studio music for 2014. What are your personal hopes for your future with the band?
I feel so privileged to be in this band at this time, I am really looking to hitting the studio and working along side these great musicians. MT is such a great songwriter and the new material I am sure is really going to be great. I love playing live…… you may have noticed!! So I can't wait to tour, meet the fans, travel and bring the new music to the fans of MTWA.
Finally, do you have any particular message for the MTWA fanbase?
Thanks so much for all the kind words and greeting. I really feel honoured to play this music and I hope you enjoy my interpretation of it. Come and say hi…….. ps. mines a cider :-) Can i also say thanks to Dave for his support and message to me - I will do my best to continue your great work.
Thanks Tim for taking the time to answer these questions.
MTWA reveals New Line Up
NOV 11 2013
Dave Wagstaffe regrets that due to personal commitments he is unable to continue with MTWA. Dave recently relinquished his role with Landmarq due to MTWA increasing activity, but personal commitments mean he is unable to continue in the role.
Dave Wagstaffe says "I have thoroughly enjoyed the near five years spent with Mart, Ray and Danny and I am grateful for their continuing friendship during my change of circumstance. I wish the band the very best and look forward to cheering them on in the future. "
We are pleased to introduce new MTWA drummer Tim Brown. A highly experienced and versatile player, Tim has recorded, toured and played with Don Airey, Kee Marcello, Phil Campbell, Aynsley Lister, Vivid, Persian Risk, King King, The Garden, Maybe Grace, The Four Tops, and Nickolodeon, to name just a few.
In addition to holding an impressive live and studio CV, Tim is also one of the most in demand drum tutors. He is the co-founder of Drumbreaks events and performs drum master-classes and clinics across the UK. Tim has also written for the UK's top drumming magazine Rhythm.
Dave Wagstaffe will play his final MTWA show in Northampton on 16 November where we are sure both band and supporters will give Dave a warm send-off.
Tim Brown will make his debut at St Albans on 29 November.
Martin Turner says, "I would like to thank Dave personally for nearly five years of dedicated service. We all wish Dave the very best for the future and he will always remain part of the wider Wishbone family. Most importantly, he remains a friend of MTWA. We would also like to extend our very special thanks to Rose Wagstaffe who has done a fantastic job on the merchandise sales stand over the past few years, providing a great service to fans at our shows. Moving forwards, I am pleased to welcome Tim to the band. Initial rehearsals have been very productive and I am certain that fans of the band will enjoy the exciting new edge that Tim brings to the band. I look forward to getting the new line-up into both the rehearsal room and recording studio over the coming weeks, as we prepare to enter the next chapter in MTWA's development."
NOV 3 2013
We are very sorry to hear of the passing of Peter Haycock of Climax Blues Band fame. CBB and WA shared billing on numerous 1970s shows, while Pete also supported WA on the 1988 reunion tour and appeared on the Night of the Guitarstour and resulting album/video (produced by Martin Turner).
Martin Turner sends the following tribute:-
Climax Blues Band and Wishbone Ash, along with Average White Band, Vinegar Joe (with Elkie Brookes and Robert Palmer), Al Stewart, Renaissance, Caravan, etc were all managed by Miles Copeland. I remember Peter well from those heady days back in the 70's when we played together on many a stage. I admired his wonderful touch and feel and considered him an exceptional blues guitar player. We met again many years later when I produced the Night of The Guitars tour in the late 80's. On this show he performed an instrumental written for his daughter, "Lucienne", which was stunningly beautiful. He was a gentleman and a fine outstanding musician.
Andy Powell fails to stop his bandmates using the name Wishbone Ash
OCT 25 2013
Over the past few weeks, fans may have heard of a court case called “Powell vs Turner”.
The case was filed and aggressively pursued by Andy Powell against Martin Turner to try to stop Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash from playing concerts, alleging the use of that name was an infringement of the trademark, Wishbone Ash. Mr Powell unilaterally registered Wishbone Ash in his own name only, without the knowledge of his Mark 1 and 2 band mates, keeping it secret even as they continued to work together on projects such as Lost Pearls.
The other Mark 1 and 2 members Martin Turner, Ted Turner, Steve Upton and Laurie Wisefield objected and a counter claim was filed, as they felt the registration of the trademark should be shared. Unlike Mr Powell’s case, there was never any attempt to stop Mr Powell using the name “Wishbone Ash”.
The judgement perversely upholds Mr Powell’s registration of the trademark at this time, as if on paper, he is Wishbone Ash, which will defy logic and gravity with many Wishbone Ash fans who remember Argus, New England and the many other iconic albums which have never been eclipsed to this day.
The case was heard by Recorder Douglas Campbell on the 19th and 20th September 2013 in London and the judgement is currently stayed as Martin Turner seeks an appeal on what he is advised are fundamental legal points.
Andy Powell had sought to prevent Martin Turner (who has never willingly left Wishbone Ash and considers it ‘his life’s work’), in an open letter of 17th September 2013, from using not only the name Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash, but also “any composite sign which includes Wishbone Ash as an element, as a trade mark, trade or business name, band name, domain name, corporate name, adword, keyword or metatag in relation to any goods or services.“ Mr Powell seems to think Martin Turner should enjoy less privilege than even a tribute band.
There is a stay in place and as a consequence, it’s business as usual for the forthcoming Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash shows. The judge cut across what Mr Powell was seeking and found that Martin Turner can still use the name Wishbone Ash in concert billing. This was another unsuccessful totalitarian attempt by Mr Powell, who had previously unsuccessfully (in 2004) tried to take the domain namewww.wishboneash.co.uk which remains owned and controlled by Martin Turner.
Although this was not a copyright case, it also gave the opportunity to get to the bottom of various royalties issues, including that despite denials, even in his witness statement, Andy Powell did finally admit during persistent cross-examination under oath that he had kept other band members’ portions of the recoupable advance payment for Distillation. Unfortunately, this is still an ongoing matter, despite individual band members’ invoices having been sent to Andy Powell to hand over their portions of the advance. This is not an isolated incident.
The case has brought the other four Mark 1 and 2 Wishbone Ash members closer together and has inspired a reinforcing of their friendship and an agreement to work together in 2014.
The irony is that there was never any need for this huge cost and bad press for Wishbone Ash. Mr Powell could have continued as Wishbone Ash and Martin could have continued as Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash. Before the case there were two bands playing Wishbone Ash music and after the case there will be (at least) two bands playing Wishbone Ash music. No matter if the apostrophe and s are there, the promoters will always mention the words “Martin Turner” and “Wishbone Ash”.
Martin Turner commented “No legal action can take away my great memories of founding what became Wishbone Ash alongside Steve Upton, with our auditions for a guitarist leading to inviting Ted Turner and Andy Powell to join us and the success we all then enjoyed. Nor can it take away the great concerts Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash has played around the world to the thousands of fans who have come out to enjoy an evening’s music. That’s what means the most to me.”
Martin Turner then added “I wish to thank sincerely my friends and colleagues Steve Upton, Ted Turner and Laurie Wisefield for the incredible love and support they have shown throughout this unfortunate but ultimately unavoidable episode in Wishbone Ash’s history. If anything, this has succeeded in bringing us even closer together than ever before – like brothers, in fact.”
Bullet Points for Editors:
1. Martin Turner would have preferred an out of court agreement to be reached showing the Mark 1 and 2 members as co-owners and attempts were made over the past 8 years to achieve this.
2. Andy Powell sought to exclude Martin Turner, Steve Upton, Ted Turner and Laurie Wisefield from the trademark, whereas the core members did not seek to deny Andy Powell’s rights.
3. Martin Turner has never willingly left Wishbone Ash. Walker Morris’ press release is factually incorrect, as the dates in question fall in 1980 and 1991.
4. Martin Turner, Steve Upton, Ted Turner and Laurie Wisefield never signed away their rights in the brand.
5. Andy Powell sought to prevent Martin Turner from using Wishbone Ash in any branding. Martin Turner did not seek to deny Andy Powell the same.
6. Martin Turner feels great sadness and disappointment that the situation reached this stage and that Andrew Powell continued to fail to enter into meaningful negotiations regarding the branding matter as well as numerous alleged breaches of co-owned copyrights.