photo by Barry Wentzel
In and Out of the Commercial PanIn the '70's, the break-up of a great band, or its fissioning to produce mutated spawn, was always subjected to a great deal of speculation, much anticipation, and more than a little trepidation. Cream, for instance, collapsed and sired Air Force and Blind Faith, two monstrously impressive ensembles closely knit to the mother unit but well enough distanced to avoid brickbats for catcalls on derivativeness. On the other hand, Mott the Hoople, minus Ian Hunter, devolved into: 1) a bad reincarnation entitled Mott, 2) the fairly pathetic British Lions, 3) the equally unremarkable Widowmaker, and 4) perhaps another boilermaker band or two I'm confessedly timorous of discovering. Without Ian, as everyone and his brother saw, the rest of the lads weren't going anywhere; conversely, without Mott, Ian didn't travel far either.
by Marc S. Tucker
In these and more than a few other examples, it can be seen that splintering off to find one's fortunes has unreliable results: sometimes horripilating, sometimes smokin'. Unsurprisingly, one of the world's all-time great acts, Yes, had its share of implosions and segmentations, of which Flash was particularly notable. The group debuted with color, savvy, and not one but two ex-Yes boys: Pete Banks and Tony Kaye, musicians loaded with chops and quite a decent degree of venue cred.
Equally unsurprisingly, once channeled into the budding enterprise, they snagged a great bass player, Ray Bennett, who'd been circulating along the same paths but had managed the unwelcome trick of avoiding the caresses of capricious Lady Luck, fickle bitch-mistress to king and fretbender alike. Bennett, it turns out, had much more a history than most are even now aware of. At a precocious 15, he'd joined Bill Bruford (then 16) in The Original Breed Bluesmen, a.k.a. The Breed, an enthusiastic blues-rock effort that saw a good deal of club popularity. In '68, he played with Eyes of Blues, a forgotten band manned by notables John Weathers (Gentle Giant), Taff Williams (Man), Phil Ryan (Man), and Gary Pickford-Hopkins (Wild Turkey). He next jumped into Gun (or "The Gun", depending on who you read), the Gurvitz Bros. band, for a short while but never made it to either of the delicious vinyl releases. That particular gig had come about through no less than Jon Anderson's doing, who provided an introduction. Bennett once even auditioned for Blues Project, an Al Kooper band, not to mention a curious choice that predictably went nowhere - good thing, too: it'd be hard to imagine as voluble a player as Bennett fitting that very likeable band without problems erupting over an acumen that might have overpowered matters.
Pete Banks had seen the bassist's skills when Gun shared a stage one night with Yes. Later, on the out's from the soon-to-be bonanza band, Banks began pulling a new collaboration together called Flash (musician slang connoting both skill and ego), first procuring the unique pipes of the rising Colin Carter. Bennett, who'd resided in the U.S. for a while, was advised by Bruford, upon hearing of his emigration back to queen and country, that the ensemble was developing. Ray got the job almost the moment he stepped off the plane. The five-piece cemented itself with the impressive drums of Mike Hough and afterthought contributions via shadow "member" Tony Kaye, whose keyboards were likeable but minimal. As the interview following this overview reveals, the ivory tickler had never really been a candidate, through his own express intentions. Kaye noodled around a bit, then went on to dominate the mind-blowing Badger debut (as well as the grotesque White Lady, its follow-on). Abetting this, Flash's new PR makes the same claim; however, for those of us who've forever doted on liner notes, the LP cited him as "personnel," right along with the other four, not as "sessioneer."
It's hardly a shock that Banks would've sought a high-profile position after departing the august, but Flash, as a vehicle, wasn't destined, perhaps not even designed, to see much success. Various reasons may be attributed as to why that was understandable, but many more provide only mystery. Not least on the debit side was the strange engineering of the first album, bafflingly misproduced by the legendary Martin Birch. Its opening measures were a crosscut of masked lines and overly-bright presence (especially in Banks' grossly obvious dub-ins). Colin Carter's vocals were up front but cellophaney, Banks' brilliant lines moving restlessly from back-stage to fore. On the plus side, Hough's drumwork thankfully founded a relentless unwavering forward motion while Bennett's bass playing, always far too neglected in the painfully under-analytical prog press, was quite inventive, treading a skillful balance between lead work and the necessary bottom line, a good deal more lively than what most of his compeers were laying down.
Carter's voice was high-pitched and novel, almost a perfect middle between Ian Lloyd (Stories) and the incomparable David Surkamp (Pavlov's Dog) but not all that well-served by the weird nanosecond-lag double-tracking it received in tunes like "Children of the Universe". Banks, however, was the main man publicly, no argument, and the rest of the players followed behind his peripatetic captaincy. Or did they? As we'll see, with Bennett and Carter, the seemingly obvious is not always so apparent as it appears. Still, whatever the mode, this was by no means a bad thing. Banks' playing galvanized the band, his work busier than ever for this ensemble. The guitarist was no slacker, certainly not one to lack for skill, but all that playing seemed somewhat more an exercise to fill up space and keep the fingers pliable than something fully pertinent to thematics, a matter of overdoing things in order to dazzle rather than engross. No one complained, listeners were admirative of the adroitness, but we already find here an element in the oft-indiscernable process by which bands are rebuffed in the marketplace. That such a premonition was correct would be vindicated when the axeman went solo, creating an incredible first LP that sheared the excesses and undraped his true muscle... something that would never be repeated by him.
The Capitol label had sufficient savvy to invoke a visual component in marketing the band's unusual music. Their gatefold first release boasted a Hipgnosis raised skirt eroto-snap of some anonymous waif showing her half-hidden charms for any willing enough to ogle. However, look closely, o' my droogs: is that a front or rear shot? Don't answer too quickly, as subtly modifying airbrush work, etched in the usual HipG ambiguity, created a silently wry perplexity. Peering inside, we braced ourselves: what the hell was with that foofy jumpsuit Carter affected? Was he out of his mind? A gimmick perhaps, such things were common back then, but a skin-crawling one. Attire may have been important in the '70's, but whoever convinced him that such a Rudi Geinrich abomination was rock star habiliment should've been taken out and shot.
The music was complex and enticing despite whatever may be said of the documentarian's errors. It provided what progheads thirsted for: endless change-ups, brisk tone, complicated chops, and interlocking cross-play. The songs were long - on side two, only two lurked to capture both the willing and the unwary. Everything trended avant-gardily at times, especially during "Dreams of Heaven", which occasionally verged on Soft Machineries. In all, this debut was sufficiently impressive that it should have cadged a satisfying return. Unfortunately, it didn't.
But that was in the pre-Predatory Capitalism days, and Capitol, as many labels, was willing to stake against future success, releasing a second try. Where the first had carried a crotch-shot, we now received the 'undraped-rack' gambit as an eye-snag (freckled young hooters, no less, though not as law-defyingy pre-adolescent as Blind Faith had issued with its Brit LP). This eye candy lacked the class of the Hipgnosis debut though as, oddly, HipG had had been assigned the task of the inner jacket this time while Rick Rankin, an unknown, grabbed the outer. Sex, you couldn't help but notice, was going to help sell this band, like it or not. No one complained. Hippies, as friendly to that sort of thing as to drugs, hadn't a grouse at all. Peering inside, the secondary image was a trifle embarassing: Banks, with strange fluffy mutton chops, was performing a standard, shirtless, aerobatic, blissed-out guitar player's high-leap athwart Carter's thankfully non-jumpsuited tambourine flourish - basically, the very essence of what punks would come to denigrate as facile stage posturing (and, um, Johnny Rotten and Jello Biafra preferred the dimly-lit backstage, humble retreating souls that they were, right?)
Hardly mattered, though, as the music was not only a welcome near-carbon copy of the first try but far better engineered, by Louie Austin and John Acock, who'd later become slightly more famous with Steve Hackett. More evident this time were Banks' origins in common with Steve Howe, via Chet Atkins stylings hidden deep beneath the torrents of notes. Kaye's absence was hardly noticed. Flash continued to serve its role, keeping a secondary semi-Yes spirit alive, kinda like what Druid muddled up in '75, waiting for Starcastle to pop up and dazzle everyone, regrettably to the same recompense as Flash.
As opposed to the first outing, Banks' writing credits dropped almost to zero. Bennett had actually been the major writer all along. This may be what provided the difference and began to shape the group's sound more toward what would occur on the third album. Bennett studied jazz while in the U.S. and their new sonic atmosphere became much less crowded, more expansive, especially in "Black and White," one of Flash's best tunes, wherein Banks beat Focus' Jan Akkerman to the punch in adopting that attackless, airy, knob-twiddling tone-float that Jan would be credited for. The multi-vocals also took on greater delineation, something Echolyn would partially crib a cue from many years after. The lyrics were Yes-derivative but not on the level Anderson was capable of (the stream-of consciousness incorporated in LPs like Close to the Edge was some of the later 20th century's great poetry, joining Jim Morrison's best). Flash's wordsmithing was too often high-school-ish, the result more of a Creative Writing class than inspiration from Yeats or Marvell. No big deal though- there was playing a-plenty, so adjuncts were a distant consideration. Sadly, even that didn't matter: saleswise, In the Can performed as poorly as the debut.
Capitol decided to stick it out. The group was, by any measure, a good ensemble and the audience would expand sooner or later... wouldn't it? (Cue the distant echoing laughter.) Out of Our Hands now issued, this time as "Flash, featuring England's Peter Banks." Ego had reared its ugly head. The cover showed Hipgnosis in their Bob Carlos Clarke/Rene Magritte period, with Colin Carter butt-nekkid (brave lad!) amidst a hillscape of oddly-lit knuckles and knee-joints, facing away from the camera (alright, then, not all that daring). Long songs were eschewn and the linear narrative underwent an unusual transformation, becoming similar to what metalloids Bang were incorporating on their second and third LPs' non-metallic numbers, on the same label at roughly the same time. Banks' writing was practically non-existent, Bennett still handling the lion's share. All around, the sound came out the same, with the engineering equal to the previous effort. The varied approach continued to pay off, with far better running narratives on each side, almost quasi-operatic or concept-oriented via interpolated thematics linked to solid progressions greatly swaying between multiple idioms. This last gasp became Flash's crowning statement... again, to no effect. The group couldn't catch a monetary flu in a financial draft, so Capitol decided to cut its losses, dropping them.
Carter disappeared and Banks opted to go solo. The result was a landmark LP, The Two Sides Of, almost completely ignored then and now, even in prog circles. He recruited mates Bennett and Hough to sit amongst a surprisingly strong card, including the moody Akkermonster, Genesis' Phil Collins / Steve Hackett combo (the latter on one cut only), and King Crimson's John Wetton (also for a one-in). The entire thing was written by Banks and Akkerman, with the two playing somewhat like McLaughlin and Coryell on the Spaces LP, though, surprisingly, a decent percentage of the gig was quite a bit more like Towner and Abercrombie Sargasso efforts (Sargasso Sea and Five Years Later), a duet still three years in the offing. Banks decided to show his hand on keyboards, belatedly proving to be the equal of Kaye. Similarities to Focus' output were many, with more than one intimation of "Eruption."
The sound was absolutely pristine, pre-echoing what Lancaster and Lumley would do in Marscape, and Akkerman dropped in a stunning acoustic number, "Beyond the Loneliest Sea," Banks providing misty back-tones. The incredible cohesion of the album belatedly pointed out the one thing Flash had lacked: a solid flow of superiorly restrained mastery. The boys had been over-indulgent whilst in ensemble, producing great music, but not of the stellarly High Art order shown here. Had they chased this out, especially for all three albums, things might have turned out differently. Two Sides was an absolute masterpiece and supplied the tell-tale no one had quite been able to discern. Perplexingly, this monolith also stiffed.
Nevertheless, all LP's later saw CD re-release, making a lot of collectors very happy, as the vinyl has been difficult to grab hold of, especially Banks' solo (which had been dogged by a plethora of bad pressings). Bennett kept active in the music scene, working on a solo gig while passing up a chance to join what had sprung from King Crimson through Ian McDonald: Foreigner, later re-teaming with his past mate in the egotistically dubbed Pete Banks' Empire. Nothing really shook out correctly and he reverted to session work with the likes of Nicky Hopkins and Earle Mankey before entirely dropping all attempts to carve out a place in a market grown cold.
He decided, years ago, to release a compendium of vault tracks, Angels & Ghosts, with Flash material, other band projects, solo works, and etc.. 1997 then saw the Voiceprint label hunting him, curious whether any Flash concerts had survived the vagarious whims of time and circumstance. Luckily, Bennett had kept at least one '70's documentation in his possession, engineering it up to release status. Per his own appraisal, it had been a trifle shaky sound-wise but still well worth the preservation.
Then came 2001 and he figured it was time to jump back into the ring, putting out Whatever Falls, a surprisingly satisfying CD, far mellower than Flash but well placed in the laidback recesses of the grand trad prog camp. Hints of the obscure McDonald & Giles LP, touches of Kayak, some of The Enid, and the sort of dreaminess you wish the mainstream itself would clamp onto permeate the entire thing. Playing a slow-handed guitar, along with trusty bass and keyboards, Bennett's voice lacks in more than one place but the entire CD hangs together well, superiorly in fact, especially when compared to a lot of contemporary tries in the same groove.
With recent re-interest in the masters of yore, gents all far from their youth, as the lion's share of the prog camp is, Flash decided to reunite and appear at Baja Prog 2005, amongst a quite impressive array. Noting this, liking the group, I wrote of the event to a number of critics and listeners around the country, curious as to what the story was. Thanks must be extended to Chi-town prog-nut Chuck Stack, who'd rattled the cage years ago in the web wank-zine Elephant Talk, an arrested-growth organ for King Crimson. He'd kept in touch with Bennett, provided a contact, and suggested an interview, upon which I was only too happy to jump. After a long series of rough starts and stops, punctuated by several disappointments in the formation of a line-up that turned out to be duet, Bennett and Carter sat down to be grilled.
To give an indication of the duo's sense of humor, as the conversation opens, Ray is singing "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire"... to himself... in the middle of May... in southern Oregon.
PSF: What was the deal with all the erotic Flash cover photography? Mind you, I'm not complaining - quite the contrary - but inquiring minds want to know!
Bennett: I don't know if it was really so erotic... maybe I just got used to it. Colin?
Carter: Well... "erotic"... who knows? It's supposed to be artistic, isn't it? They were abstract close-up pieces of... certain underclothing (chuckles).
Bennett: The first album cover was all airbrushed and stylized, so... well, it wasn't our idea! Hipgnosis came up with it. Everything was happening in such a hurry then that we just said "Oh... yeah... that's okay!" It was great by comparison with the other ideas they came up with, which were really crappy. (To Carter) D'ya remember the flashing lights and stuff?
Carter: Oh God yes, the lightning bolts and the rest of it.
PSF: What happened with the sound on the first LP? Things were nicely stabilized by the last release, but... man, that first one! Did someone's dog mix it down?
Bennett: Oh yeah, that!... the "mixed-by-a-dog album." Martin Birch, the engineer, wouldn't like to hear that - in fact, I might tell him you said it (chuckles).
Carter: World-class engineer, that Martin!
Bennett: It was recorded at the De Lane Lea Studios, which was brand-new and state-of-the-art. Yes, I too have issues with the overall sound of it. You have to remember that this was 1971, 16 tracks, and, in those days, things could go wrong with an album rather easily. Maybe compared to some other albms, it wasn't all that well done but it wasn't all *that* bad. A dog did not mix it down, Marc!
Colin: We were the first to record in the studio. I don't know that we could guarantee the monitoring system, as it was, was all that true at that point, so what might have sounded brighter and more live, more powerful, in the studio, by the time it got onto vinyl, well...
Bennett: Besides, it was mixed and mastered at Abbey Road Studios and that guy had a hand in it, too. There are certain things which get out of your control. As with the cover, things happened fast, you had to make quick decisions, and then it was done. By the way, we were the first in De Lane Lea but Queen was there at about the same time, making their very first demos next door.
PSF: With Queen in the mix, name some of the bands Flash shared stages with in the '70's.
Bennett: If you look at Peter Banks' book, which may or may not be accurate, he has a list in the back, of groups we played with, according to him. Most of that list I agree with, some of the bands I don't remember.
PSF: Ray, I know you were pretty much a tee-totaler...?
Bennett: (starts busting up)
Colin: That's it! That's Ray! Never had a drink in his life! (laughs)
Bennett: Well, I don't know who told you that! It couldn't have been my mother, my father, or anybody in Flash - nor anyone who knows me even slightly, propping up the bar in the pub!
Carter: Yes, we were English. It was compulsory!
Bennett: I was a drinker. I've never been into drugs, never seriously interested, just a mild flirtation with this and that.
PSF: How much influence, then, did drugs have on Flash's music?
Carter: Not really at all.
Bennett: Zero. You couldn't play that kind of music and be out of your brain on stage. I mean, I got a little smashed playing a couple of gigs - in fact, quite a lot smashed, but just drunk. I had a *miserable* time and never did it again. Mike Hough used to smoke a little pot before a gig. We could always tell because he'd fall asleep in the middle of a drum solo
Carter (grinning): I think that's an exaggeration.
Bennett: It is an exaggeration.
Carter: I just wanted to clarify!
Bennett: But no, drugs played no part in the music.
Bennett: Ah, groupies. Well...
PSF: Were you, um, poor put-upon gents importuned by those lascivious lasses working ceaselessly to deflect God's Own from full dedication in seeing to His good musical work - i.e., non-stop prog-playing?
Carter: Yeah, we were put upon (chuckles).
Bennett: We were getting laid as much as we could, whenever we could, wherever we could, and we didn't care how ugly they were...
Carter: ... um...
Bennett: Well, up to a point!
Carter (laughing): But, on the plus side...
Bennett: And if they brought their sisters and mothers, too, that was...
Carter: Yeah, if you must, you must!
PSF: Being a frequent flyer at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go in the '70's, I looked for you guys but never saw Flash adverted. I caught Trapeze, Uriah Heep, and a boatload of the ultra-talented Brit music-makers - even Barclay James Harvest played the Troubador once, down the way from the Whiskey - but the Flash sobriquet never seemed to materialize in SoCal. Did you guys make it to the US?
Carter: Yes. We played the Whiskey in the '70's, musta been about August or September of 1972.
Bennett: In fact, I have a picture. There is now a new Flash Live album coming out soon with a picture of Colin standing in front of the Flash billboard, on the street right next to the Whiskey.
Carter: A big billboard!
PSF: Oh hell!... yeah... in fact I remember it now... huge!
Bennett: We played there for a week, with the usual: big record company party, press, and all that. We didn't play many times in L.A., though. I think we hit the Santa Monica Civic, too.
PSF: Oh geez, I saw lots of great acts at the Samo Civic: Focus, King Crimson, Roxy Music, Gentle Giant, the Strawbs... and I missed you there too? Bad news!
Bennett: Somewhere in the midst of our first or second tour, we ran into a lawsuit with the name, so we were temporarily not playing in California. That's probably why you didn't see us around much.
Carter: We also played Balboa Park in San Diego - not many places on the West Coast, though, at all.
PSF: I was quite surprised to note that Pete's writing in Flash was minimal. Why was that?
Bennett: Why would you be surprised? He's not a singer and he's not a songwriter. All the material with Flash started with a song that everybody felt had potential for development.
Carter: Not always but 99% of the time.
Bennett: Yeah, occasionally, um... I seem to remember that "Dreams of Heaven" was one of the few songs that Peter initiated because he had an idea for a finale to the shows. He was convinced we had to have a big finish... ba-boom! He had a few things that he'd done with Yes, so parts of "Dreams of Heaven" started that way, then grew into a song which became a big tentacled monster. Most of the time, it was me and Colin who came in with something and everybody thought: "Oh, this has potential." It went from there and Peter would add bits, usually a guitar riff. He'd say "Can we fit this in here?" And we'd say "No!!!" but we'd put it in anyway (laughs). That was really a part of the charm of Flash, I think.
Carter: And the tension, the tension within. Everybody was trying to get in their ten cents...
Bennett: But we got along.
Carter: Sure, but at some of those rehearsals, there was tension going on. Once the stuff, however, was laid out, rehearsed, and organized, when the arrangements were done, once the instrumental pieces, the vocal pieces, and whatever were accepted, then we went about manicuring everything into shape.
Bennett: The interesting thing about the old band was that we always agreed on the final outcome of a piece. I remember spending hours and hours and hours rehearsing some pieces that just totally smacked the dumper, so it was all just a kind of group-think in the end. Like I say, part of our charm was that we had these very odd juxtapositions of ideas and accepted them. We could've flatly refused to accept that kind of thing but didn't. However, Peter is not really a writer, a composer. He comes up with very cool guitar ideas and nice chords but never was one to extend them into large compositions.
Carter: He just doesn't write songs.
PSF: What was the story with Tony Kaye? He was in and out in a... flash.
Carter: When Flash was getting together, we were originally going to have a five-piece line-up: drums, guitar, bass, singer, and keyboards... an organ. Back in those days, a Hammond. Synthesizers were sorta just beginning and were pretty primitive. We had a keyboard player for a while, Dave Someoneorother... his name escapes me, but he should have stayed with us! Just before we began to record, he decided we were barking up the wrong tree and disappeared. Peter called Tony and asked if he could rehearse a couple of tunes. He was never really in the band. He was between projects, playing with a lot of people. His sound found a perfect slot on that debut, though. He probably could have gone on as keyboard player with the following albums but it didn't work out that way. People always ask "Where's Tony?" but he was never in the band. We do indeed thank him very much for his input on that first release.
PSF: Colin, I wanted to get a bit more of your influences because your style didn't give away its background easily, you were pretty unique. Who were you listening to? Who made you want to sing rather than play an instrument?
Carter: When I was a kid, the radio was always on, always, so I know all this weird stuff from the '40's and '50's. British radio was way behind the times. All kinds of bizarre stuff. I know lyrics to songs I shouldn't know! In the early days, stuff we were able to listen to was limited. That was before the Beatles, and hardly any American artists were getting through to the part of the country I'm from, in the south. American records were almost impossible to get ahold of unless you went to London. I do, though, still have a 45 of Howlin' Wolf singing "Smokestack Lightning," probably a collector's item by now I'd think.
We were exposed to some truly great British bands. They'd play in local clubs down there, some famous ones like The Rendezvous and The Bird Cage. We'd get bands like The Graham Bond Organization with Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce. Graham Bond on keyboards and Dick Heckstall-Smith on sax. Great stuff! It was blues with jazz influence. Top-notch musicianship. Then there was Long John Baldry And The Hoochie Coochie Men. They were another roll-over from the jazz era gone into blues. Baldry was a really fine singer. He went pop later but, as a blues singer, he was superb. There was this guy who would come on at half-time and sing at the break. He was a young guy and... let's see now... I think his name was... hmmm... oh yeah: Rod Stewart! (grins) He'd come along and sing several tunes before it went back to Baldry.
The scene was a mixture of jazz and blues and all this was just pouring into my head. Then came the Beatles and everything changed. A new standard, so now you had the 'clean' bands, the ones with the harmonies - the Beatles and the Hollies all singing away; you heard the parts and sang along with them for fun... I'd sing the Graham Nash parts, I've got that high voice - and, on the other side, the 'dirty' bands, the bad boys: the Stones, the Animals, the Pretty Things, the Who. All that stuff just came hammering into my brain. I wanted to be all of them, and it lit a fire that's still burning.
But, later on, the Motown material came 'round, where you had the challenge from melody and harmony, things singers like to do. I was singing those songs along with lots of others. It was a good way to develop song structure and make a chop at melody. I was still living down south, in the Portsmouth area, playing in a band called Mushroom. We started out doing covers of a whole bunch of what we called "west coast bands." We didn't really know the geography of the US that well nor where the American groups strictly came from, but we were doing Jefferson Airplane, Love, and Byrds tunes. The band had a 12-string guitarist, Roger Giffen, who's now building guitars. He made some for Eric Clapton. He runs his own company in Beaveton, up in Oregon here. We both landed in the same state! Other people in the band were Barry Paul, a guitarist who later formed The Heavy Metal Kids and, last I knew, was playing with Savoy Brown, and Mickey Feat on bass. He later played with Dave Gilmour and all kinds of people, including Alvin Lee and Mick Ralphs. Mickey's been plugged into all kinds of things, too; he's the transplanted Parisian.
However, I finally made it up to London. That's when I joined up with Peter Bardens and stayed with his band for a bit. Peter had a few unknowns with him. The drummer, I think, was Reg Isidore, brother of Conrad Isidore - there were two drummers in that family. Conrad of course played with Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and Reg ended playing with Joe Jammer, briefly with Robin Trower, too, I think it was. Of course, you know the Peter Bardens story, with Peter Green and all the Fleetwood Mac guys, Rod Stewart, and all the rest of that. I then decided to hook up with Pete Banks. We wrote "Small Beginnings" and a couple of other tunes, put them on tape, then went around trying to find a deal. Eventually we got one and... the rest is history.
see Part 2 of the Flash article/interview
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