Please tell me in some words your pre-KAOS musical past. I mean, your works before collaborating with Roger?>
I went to London in 1977 to pursue a career as a guitarist. I gradually met more people to work with, and accepted every job I was offered because that was the best way to gain experience and meet more musicians and artists. I worked with a wide variety of artists, including Julian Dawson, Kirsty McColl, Slim Whitman (!!) Ian Hunt, Gordon Haskell, and many pick-up bands.
I started doing session work and also did equipment demonstrations for Roland at trade fairs etc.
My session work included countless TV and Film jingles, and I played on the soundtrack for "Withnal and I " and "How to Get Ahead in Advertising" amongst other films.
How did your collaboration with Roger begin? How did you meet with him?
I used to play on TV music for David Dundas, whose wife was the cousin of Roger's wife. One day he said to me "Did Roger Waters call you?" "No," I replied, "Should he have?"
The next day Roger called and asked me to go to his studio and play. After an hour or so he offered me the job as guitarist on the second "Pros and Cons of Hitchiking" tour. Eric Claptn had played on the record and done the first tour, and I think Roger wanted to show he could sell tickets without having a famous guitarist in the band. I also heard later that Snowy White had been offered the job, but couldn't do it. I still don't know which of these versions of events is true!
The show consisted of the first half playing old Pink Floyd material (so I had to follow Dave Gilmour as well as Eric Clapton!) and the second half was The Pros And Cons album in its entirity. This part of the show was technically very demanding, as it all had to be in time with the film. The drummer had to work to a click-track for much of it, and we dared not lose a beat anywhere. All the shows went smoothly, and after my initial nervousness during the first 10 minutes of the first gig, I realised that I was well capable of doing the job and relaxed.
This was my first time in America and my first big tour; I had a wonderful time.
Did the band use some pre-recorded things (maybe some vocals or instruments) during shows of 1985 Tour and Radio KAOS Tour?
All vocals and instruments were live. some sound effects were pre-recorded (e.g., the kids' choir on "Another Brick in The Wall" was on tape.) Again, as with the Pros and Cons tour, the technical demands were considerable as the visuals and music had to match up perfectly.
What do you like from those years? And what don't you like? I mean, maybe problems in relations with Roger and the other guys of the band?
I liked the experience of touring at that level. I liked finding out that I could play at that level with some of the best musiciansin the world. Roger treated the band very well, and we all got on well.
Roger could be difficult at times, like most stars/artists, but I later realised that is part of the job: you either accept it or stand up to it, and I choose to stand up to it. I don't believe being a successful artist gives you the right to mistreat people.
What Roger songs from Radio KAOS do you appreciate? And what songs did you like playing in studio/live?
I liked all the KAOS CD, but my favourite track is "Home."
Do you remember exactly what songs did the band recorded in the little break of the KAOS Tour? Maybe some unknown titles?
You are well-informed, aren't you? We did a load of the songs that ended up on "Amused to Death." Unfortunately Roger re-recorded most of them later.
Do you communicate with Roger nowadays?
If I see him at a show yes, otherwise no.
Would you like to collaborate with him someday?
Can you tell some stories happened during 1985 (Pros & Cons) and Radio KAOS tours? Some interesting (maybe fun) stories...
My favourite story.....
during the show, athe DJ would play a video of "See Emily Play " ( or was it "Arnold Layne"??????) and the band would sit down at a table in one corner of the stage. The stage manager would bring snacks and drinks out through the door in the back of the stage and out them on the table. One night, the door opened and a Dominos Pizza delivery man walked out onto the stage, froze as he realised there were 15,000 people watching him, delivered the Pizzas to us and ran back out of the door.
Can you tell some words about Roger as a human and as a musician?
As a human; complex, intelligent, funny, arrogant, sensitive, shy, egotistical, just like the rest of us in fact.
As a musician: he appreciated the skill of other musicians, though was sometimes insecure about his own ability, as he is not a trained musician like most of the people he hired. I don't think he ever understood that we didn't look down on him because we were all better players than him; on the contrary, we all admired his ability to do what we couldn't, i.e., write amazing lyrics and concieve amazing stage-shows.
Tell me in some words about your works after the KAOS period.
I have continued to record and tour, working with artists as diverse as Mike Oldfield, Suede, David Alan Coe, and have spent the last 20 years working closely with German megastar Westernhagen, whose latest record I co-produced. We are currently rehearsing for a tour.
I have recorded my own CDs, and produced bands and artists, also written and produced Film and TV music.
I have my own studio, and have recently started doing guitar session via the Internet. See my website www.jaystapley.co.uk
I teach occasionally, and sail and grow vegetables as hobbies.
I also have my own business recording voice messages for telecoms and transport systems.
Jay, thank you so much for replying my questions.
Wish you good luck in your forthcoming tour! And all your things to do!
© Alex Rosco 2005. All Rights Reserved.