A Diana close-up on ship-shape SAILOR
Henry Marsh breezes into the busy London restaurant, looking fit
and very happy. Things are going well for Henry and his three
pals in the group, and life has never tasted sweeter!
"Our recent British tour was madness," smiles Henry, once he has settled himself at our table, "It just didn't compare with tours we'd done in the past. We had girls screaming and jumping on the stage. I'd never seen anything like it. It was very exciting."
"We've been together for two years, but the success we're enjoying right now came all in a rush, after 'Glass Of Champagne' and 'Girls, Girls, Girls' made the charts. At one time we were just four weird guys who wore funny clothes. Now people seem to be listening to us and that's nice."
Now their big chance has come along, SAILOR are determined to make the most of it. That's why they are working harder now than they have ever done.
"As our fans will know, we fool around onstage," laughs Henry. "We like to have a few giggles. But we can only do that because we've worked so hard on the songs in rehearsal. We make sure our clowning doesn't spoil the music. While we are actually doing our show, we all feel happy and full of energy, but when we get back to the dressing room, we more or less collapse. We're absolutely exhausted. Audiences just seem to drain the energy out of you."
That's why you won't find SAILOR at many late-night rave-ups. They're more interested in getting a good night's sleep.
"That probably makes us sound very boring," says Henry, "but really, we need the rest."
No parties for SAILOR
"I was a great partygoer at one time and I know how it can affect your health. Maybe it wasn't so important then. I was only playing with small bands. But now, people pay good money to see SAILOR concerts and we all agree we owe it to our fans to be really on our toes."
"We want to give people value for money, especially our younger fans. The way things are today, everyone is short of money and if the kids are spending their pocket money on tickets for our shows, we'd better make sure we give them a good time. I mean, if I'd been doing a paper-round all week just to earn the price of a seat, I'd be expecting something special."
"There was a time when famous stars only had to climb up on the stage to please their fans. They could stand there scratching their heads and the fans would go away happy. It's not like that today. The young fans are far more sensible. They want a real show!"
And that's just what they get from SAILOR. Their happy music is served up with lots of smiles and laughs. They may seem a strange assortment of people, but as a team they really click. Yes, Georg Kajanus, the son of a Russian prince, Phil Pickett, the one-time window cleaner, Henry, the public schoolboy and Grant Serpell, the brainy one with the chemistry degree, have a lot going for them.
"We're a very happy band," smiles Henry. "We have a lot in common, but the main thing is a sense of humour. I think the kind of music we're playing helps too. It's happy music and we're happy people. You often find that heavy rock musicians are pretty heavy people. They can be a moody lot. Not us! Even if we start a show feeling a bit low, the cheerful music we're playing soon gets to us and we feel fine again!"
Henry is often described as the chief "silly person" in SAILOR! He certainly has a terrific personality and is full of sunshine smiles, but he says the real joker of the group is Phil Pickett!
"That's right," he nods, "Phil's much funnier than I am. He has a natural gift for humour. He can impersonate anyone. He just takes off people we meet. He's very funny, a natural comedian."
So the good ship SAILOR cruises over the stormiest seas without a hitch. Tours slip past in a stream of giggles and good times, but at the end of the journey, those SAILORs are ready for a break.
In shape - SAILOR style
"I always lose weight during a tour," says Henry. "That's not a sign of good health, just the opposite. All the travelling can get you down and you don't eat properly. I have a lot of problems with food when we're on the road. Because I'm a vegetarian, it's difficult to get the right kind of meals. I always look forward to getting home because my wife is a vegetarian too and she knows some terrific recipes. She soon builds me up again!"
"Mind you, I don't want to sound as if I come home a complete wreck. That just isn't true. I feel tired, but it's nothing serious. I think I keep myself pretty fit. I don't smoke and I don't drink."
Does Henry do any exercise to keep in shape? "Yes," he smiles. "I'm very keen on tennis. I've always loved playing. I try to convince the guys in SAILOR that I'm Britain's answer to Nastase, but somehow they don't seem to believe me! Still, the important thing is it gets me running around in the fresh air. That's the best kind of exercise you can possibly get."
I asked if there are any clouds at all on SAILOR's clear horizon? "Just one," Henry says. "When fans of the group come up to say hello, they often seem very nervous. That's a real shame. We'd like them to relax and enjoy themselves. We're nothing to be afraid of. We're just a bunch of ordinary guys, having fun playing music. So, if any of your readers meet us in future, please tell them to leave their nerves behind. We'll be pleased to see them."
Article by courtesy of Linda Welch (UK)!