The Third Step Tour programme 1976
Special thanks to Jon Hoskin (UK) for the "The Third Step" tour programme!
Like most other
alleged 'over night' success stories, Sailor's began almost two
years ago when they launched as a 'fave rave' and togged out like
jolly jack tars from a re-make of Munity on the Bounty for their
first album "Sailor" (CBS) and a single called
Initially the reception for Sailor wasmore on a critical level than a public one, but they found an immediate and positive response from the Continent and especially in Holland where the album and single were certified gold in '74.
Their first real sponsor in Britain was steve Harley who liked the band and invited them to support Cockney Rebel which led to another tour on which they played with Elton John's protégée Kiki Dee.
It was '76 before the right people produced the right chemistry to put Sailor into the charts and a position of headlining their own tour. The group obtained the service of Rupert Holmes who had previously worked with Barbera Streisand, and Jeffrey Lesser, while Pink Floyd's manager Steve O'Rourke and Robert Wace, who previously master-minded the Kinks' career, took over their management.
An earlier image, more in keeping with the dockside manner of their music, was evolved and January '76 found Sailor logged at lattitude No. 1 atop the Musical Express single chart with "A Glass Of Champagne" and their album "Trouble" earning rave reviews.
All four members of Sailor have paid their musical dues over the years and none more effectively than
who writes their songs and plays twelve string guitar. Almost unbelievably he could speak no English until he was eighteen and moved from his native Norway to Canada.
Due to his travels and the early language problem (he now speaks fluent English with a heavy Canadian accent) Georg has remained perculiarly unaffected by any contemporary rock influences from either Britain or America. Apart from his admiration of Jaques Brel, Edith Piaf and some South American music he owes little to other modern styles. Other than some early work as a songwriter and with a group called Eclection in the late sixties Georg had never given full vent to his musical fantasies until Sailor became, by mutual agreement, the vehicle for those excursions around the red light quater of his mind.
"It was said by some critics that I had copied Roxy Music's style for 'A Glass Of Champagne', says Georg, 'but I was really using what I felt was in particular English sound which is prevalent on the scene at present to get us the hit and the attention. You won't find any track on our album that is similar and there is nothing to compare with the sound of our Nickelodeon.'
who describes his image on stage as that of "A Panamanian-wreck", was actually born in Bath although he moved to Dorset at an early age where he was seduced from joining a youth orchestra by the advent of the Beatles who caused him to seize hold of a guitar and present himself as 'God's gift to rock' in groups like Gringo.
All long hair and lengthy solos, Henry was saved by a meeting with Phil Pickett in a Continental ski resort which led him joining Sailor and mastering several strange new instruments including piano accordion and Nickelodeon.
It has been largely due to Henry's emerge on stage as a vaudevillian character that the full humour of Sailor's music and their involvement with the audience has developed successfully. Henry has remained quite unspoilt by his success although he has taken to walking about press receptions declaring in lofty tone 'Hey, I'm really spaced out man' without having the slightest idea what it means. His other claim to immortality is having once kicked the heir to the throne of England on the football field during his imprisonment at an exclusive public primary school.
who plays the other side of the Nickelodeon and was born in Germany although moved to Birmingham as a child and took up guitar with local blues groups.
Later Phil spent some years in America where he baked bread, cleaned windows, joined Joan Baez school of non-violence and eventually returned to England to join Chappells music publishing company as a songwriter where he wrote songs for Arthur Conley, Percy Sledge and Georgie Fame.
It was in Paris that Phil first met Georg and made an early album together as a duo before teaming together again for Sailor. 'I'm very happy with my role in Sailor', declares Phil. 'My ambition is to make it as a songwriter and although we are leaning on Georg's compositions at present for our direction, I hope to be contributing with the others on later albums.'
born in Chiswick, 1946, is their refugee from the golf-course who holds an honours degree in chemistry from Sussex University and is certainly not in the long line of rock drummers with nothing to say.
Having spent his childhood manufacturing bass guitars from stretches of his banister at home and later flirted with 'public' guitar in attempt to 'pull the birds', Grant settled into skins with a modern jazz trio at university called "The U.S.". After recovering from his obsession with Oscar Peterson (he is still not completely well) and Ed Thigpen, Grant drifted into blues groups and where he eventually joined Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band before doing session work for artists like Mike D'Abo, Jimmy Helms and John Kongos.
In the early seventies Grant was playing with a group called Affinity who established an excelent critical response but were not able to turn their undoubted ability to public acceptance.
'The strange thing about Sailor is that we all come from different musical backgrounds', says Grant. 'Georg tends to like folk oriented music, Phil soul, Henry rock and myself jazz. We all decide the one ingredient lacking in most pop music today seemed charm - and that is the ingredient we hope to have added to our style.'
Finally a few words about the £ 7000 dream-machine which bears a passing resemblance to duplicate honky-tonk pianos removed from any Dodge City saloon during Gold Rush era and placed back to back on stage.
The instrument is basically Georg's brain-child and is in fact the casing of two upright pianos moulded together to look like an old-fashioned barrel-organ and raised on a rostrum so that it can be played standing up.
Georg rigged up some piano keys to a Piano Mate, two synthesisers and a glockenspiel device was adapted from a series of doorbell mechanism which instead of activating a clapper to hit a bell now sets of little hammers against glockenspiel bars.
There is a DC current activated by that part of the piano action which is like hammer, so you can play glockenspiel and piano together or either separately. Other synthesisers fitted underneath provide bass pattern from a keyboard and there are one or two secret modifications which they are keeping secret.
The device which is quite unique and their own patent is now insured for an undisclosed sum and almost priceless.
Sailor LP is entitled