Graham Reid | | 2 min read
When we offered this questionaire to singer Trudi Green recently we said that Aucklanders with very long memories would perhaps recall the Sam Ford Verandah Band which played at the Gluepot in the late Seventies. Green was the singer and Sam the guitarist/keyboard player.
Ford and Green became part of the Neighbours with the late Rick Bryant and took their soulful country-rock to all parts of the country.
Together Green and Ford carried on after the demise of the Neighbours (with Bryant moving on to the Jive Bombers), Green into some solo work and Ford going deeper into Southern country-soul.
Now back in Aotearoa New Zealand after more than a decade away they have released their relaxed 14-song country-soul album Sweet Sweet Love, recorded in London, Papatoetoe, Grey Lynn, Eden Terrace and New Lynn.
Trudi previously answered some personal questions . . . . so now we turn to Sam.
Where did you grow up, and with who?
In Glen Innes, Auckland, with my Dad, Mum & sister.
Was music an important part of your childhood?
Our house was always full of music- my Mum had been a country singer & she was a keen record buyer of all sorts of popular music.
What are your earliest childhood memories of music which really affected you . . .
My Mum, sitting in the lounge with the lights off, staring out the window, playing her ukulele & singing “Down the Trail of Aching Hearts”.
Was there a time when you felt it was going to be music and nothing else
Either that or art - but I didn’t get into art school.
When you started on your music career were people around you supportive or did you have to find those people?
I was a bedroom musician for a long time, but when I moved to London in the 70s people wanted me to sing all the time & that gave me confidence.
The first song of yours which you really felt proud of was . . .? And why that one?
Saward’s Song 1975. It was the first song I wrote that I felt compared favourably to other people’s songs I was singing. I finally recorded it on my 1993 album “Unhinged”.
Any one person you'd call a mentor, angel on your shoulder or invaluable fellow traveller?
Trudi Green- we’ve been travelling together for a while now.
Where and when was the first time you went on stage as a paid performer?
At the Gluepot in Ponsonby, in 1978.
Ever had stage fright or just a serious failure of nerve before going on stage?
No, not really.
As a songwriter, do you carry a notebook or have a phone right there constantly to grab ideas they come? Or is your method something different?
I write down things I hear in converstions or whatever, but I mainly work in my head.
What unfashionable album do you love as a guilty pleasure?
Emmett Miller- “The Minstrel Man From Georgia”. Recorded in the late 20s, he was a hugely influential singer but he performed in blackface- very un-PC in modern times.
Any piece of advice you were given which you look back on which really meant something?
“You’re not in the music business, you’re in the entertainment business”- the late Tiny Thompson
It's after a concert and you are in a hotel room or back at home, what happens then?
I close the door.
Is there any fellow artist you admire for professional and/or personal reasons?
Too many to list, but I wish I had written “Can’t Get Back” by Bill Lake & Arthur Baysting.
And finally, where to from here for you do you think?
Keep on keeping on.