Bob Brunning, May 15 - 31, 2001

Section One


Music Sales / Omnibus/ Schirmer Trade Books, Bob Brunning's publisher is graciously donating three copies of his book, Fleetwood Mac: The First 30 Years for this Q&A. The books will be given away to whomever Bob thinks asks the most interesting questions during the course of this online group interview! The 'winners' will be posted along with Bob's answers at the conclusion of the session. For more information on his book, please check out the Penguin discography or his publisher's website.

Thank you for participating in the Q&A. I read your book and thought it was great. Can you shed some light on the events leading up to your joining FM? Can you tell us about the first recording session? Any news on Danny Kirwan? Thaks again!! (Thomas Kirby, Roswell, New Mexico, USA)

Dear Thomas,

Thank you for your response. It is simple: I answered an ad in the "Melody Maker" for a bass player and got the job. First recording session was quick and fun (I had recorded before). Danny Kirwan is ill, lives in a sheltered accommodation. Sad waste of a great talent.

Keep well

Bob Brunning

As a collector of your records, I, like may others are trying to get our hands on the infamous "London 22nd cub scout pack" album. As only 500 copies were pressed, it's highly unlikely we will get our hands on an original. I was wondering, since you have more connections to the people involved in that project than any of us, would it be possible for you to get a hold of the original tapes from the school archives and have a limited amount pressed on CD and maybe sold through The Penguin website or something? I realize there's legal issues to consider but many of us would like very much to get this and other rare recordings you have played on. Any ideas on this would be greatly appreciated. (John, Peabody, Massachusetts, USA)

Hi, John

There are no legal issues to be resolved, but does anybody really want to hear a hastily recorded album of campfire songs? I did it for a favour to a teacher colleague who wanted to raise funds for a cub pack. You don't want to hear it.

Bob Brunning

Hello, I was curious, what is your birthdate? (you don't have to say the year if you don't want to, I just wanted to mark it on my calender.) Thanks! (John)

Hi John,

June 29th , 1943. Thank you for contacting me. Keep in touch

Bob Brunning

Did you play on both sides of the three Fives company singles on Pye? (that is the following titles: "Session man" / "Dejection", "Some girls" / "Big deal" & "Sunday for seven days" / "The big kill") and did you play on both sides of the Savoy Brown single "Taste and try before you buy" / "Someday people"? If not, could you clarify on which of these songs you did play on? (John)

Hi,

Yes, I played on them all. How on earth did you track those down?! All recorded so long ago!

Bob Brunning

Mr. Brunning, let me be quite honest with you. I didn't care for your book and found it to be a glossy rehash of Mick's autobiography. I didn't care for the way Bob Welch was treated in it also. So my questions are as follows :

1)How can you say Bob Welch "burned out" in 1974 when he produced the outstanding Paris albums, classic French Kiss album, was given an award by Billboard Magazine in 1978 and so many other great works ?

2)How can you say Lindsey Buckingham resented Bob Welch and his influence on FM when there is no proven evidence to that effect ?

Lastly Mr. Brunning, you state that the penguin is an arctic creature, well sorry to say the penguin is an ANTARCTIC creature native to regions below the Equator.

Thank you for your time ! (Arizona Ranger, Cranford, NJ, USA)

Dear Arizona Ranger

Thank you for your mail

My book was published before Mick's! Close examination will reveal that parts of his book seem similar to mine. But I don't mind.

1. Bob Welch's words not mine

2. His words not mine

3. Lastly, isn't this nit picking?

Regards

Bob Brunning

Hello Bob. I have enjoyed following Fleetwood Mac for over 27 years. I haven't yet formulated an interesting question for you. However I am going to be undergoing surgery for a double hernia and will be off work for a few weeks. I would love to read your book while recuperating. It may help me get well sooner. Keep me in mind OK? Thanks. I hope to learn more from you as the question and answer session progresses.Thanks for taking the time to do this. (Timothy Kee, North Huntington, Pennsylvania, USA)

Dear Timothy

I hope that your operation goes really well and thank you for your very kind words.

Bob Brunning

The following albums have you listed as being on the album but it doesn't say which songs you actually play on:

Eddie guitar Burns - Bottle up and go Deluxe blues band - Deluxe blues band Deluxe blues band - Live at the half moon Putney Deluxe blues band - Motorvating Deluxe blues band - A streetcar named deluxe Deluxe blues band - Urban deluxe Errol Dixon - Listen to the blues Fives company - The ballad of fred the pixie Bob Hall & Dave Peabody - Roll & slide Johnny Mars - Blues from mars Jimmy Rogers & left hand Frank - Live Eddie Taylor - Ready for Eddie Homesick James Williamson & Snooky Pryor - Homesick James & Snooky Pryor Homesick James Williamson & Snooky Pryor - Home sweet homesick James Brunning sunflower blues band - Bullen Street blues Brunning sunflower blues band - I wish you would Brunning sunflower blues band - Trackside blues Brunning Hall sunflower blues band - Brunning Hall sunflower blues band Tramp - Tramp Tramp - Put a record on London 22nd cub scout pack - London 22nd cub scout pack J. B. Hutto - Hipshakin' live in London Doctor Ross - Jivin' the blues Big John Wrencher - Big John's boogie

Could you let us know which songs from these you are on? I'm sure you are probably on all songs from most of them but I was just hoping to get it confirmed. I know it may seem silly to list the albums by the bands you were in (Fives company, Tramp, Deluxe blues band, Brunning sunflower blues band, etc.) but something like "Too late now" from the first Tramp album for instance, doesn't sound like there's any bass or backing vocals or anything that would suggest you are on those kinds of songs and admittedly, the last four I don't have yet so it may very well say on those albums on which songs you're on and if it does, I'm sorry. So as this is the chance to ask you these things. I was hoping you could provide some information for me along these lines. I am really very most grateful for your time and patience on my questions to you. I'm just a big fan! Thank you again. (John, Peabody, Massachusetts, USA)

Thank you for responding and thank you for the interest in the Jurassic period of FM's career! I play on most of those albums ( of course I have lost copies of some of them, but I know I didn't play on all the Dr Ross album and Bob hall & Peabody's Roll & Slide Album). We Won't talk about the "Ballad of Fred Pixie" or the 22nd Cub Scout's album, please...

Hi Mr. Brunning,

I was wondering if you could tell me anything about Lindsey's work. Inspirations, reactions to things, or any new things going around. Sorry I am basing this more on Lindsey than you, but I am in awe of your bass work. It is the best! I am a fan of Fleetwood Bac and I saw footage of you playing Oh Well with them. (I think it was Oh Well the video is not sound worthy). (Annie C. Whealy, Marion, Michigan, USA)

Dear Annie,

Thank you for your message via Martin. Whoops. I can't really help you on the Lindsey thing. All I can say is that I hugely admire his work with Stevie and the Mac. He was very polite and courteous when we met ( when you were in elementary school, no doubt). Not me on the "Oh well", my illustrious successor, Mr McVie.

Regards,

Bob Brunning


Bob Brunning, 1967

[ Note from MEA: I believe Annie was perhaps referring to Fleetwood Mac's UK cover band, Fleetwood Bac whom I think Bob Brunning played with. I've passed this information back to him for clarification. ]

When you addressed the affair between Christine McVie and Martin Birch, did you receive any back lash from the band? Your books are the only publications that make reference to the affair. Mick didn't even discuss it in his book. (Christine, USA)

No, not at all.

I recently got the CD reissues of the Deluxe blues band's "Motorvating" & "A Sreetcar Named Deluxe" and was glad to see there were CD only bonus tracks. Are there plans to (or has there already been) reissue "Urban deluxe" & "Live at the half moon Putney" (or any other related tiles) on CD with previously unreleased bonus tracks? (John, Peabody, Massachusetts, USA)

Thank you for your interest. There re two more post-discography De Luxe Blues Band CDs- De Luxe last one, on my record label B.B.'s. Do you also know about 1. the Brunning-Hall B/ Brunning Sunflower Bleus Bad re-issue Indigo IGOCD 21132? or Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, recorded live at the Marquee, Receiver Records, RR CD 157, or trackside Blues/Bullen Street Records, Indigo IGOCD 2112Z, or De Luxe Blues Band, Tram Records, TRCD 9923.?

Hello Bob,

Let me begin by complementing you on your work with Fleetwood Mac. Your bass on “Long Grey Mare” is outstanding! Also, I really enjoyed the Tramp recording. Particularly, “On The Scene”, "Month of Sundays”, “Hard Work", and “Another Day”. And your book “Fleetwood Mac The First 30 Years”.

My first question is: Do you know what songs were on the original Decca tapes that you mention in your book, which are owned by Clifford Davis. Have they been released on CD. (Joe Panackia, Macomb, Michigan, USA)

Thank you for your kind words.

Decca Records. No, I do not remember- it was in the middle of the night.

Were you at other sessions with the group after you left the band? You said that you attended the “Mr. Wonderful” sessions. I envy you for that. The five takes for “Stop Messin Round” must have been an awesome sight to behold. Especially the third take that Mike Vernon cut off just short of the ending. That has become my favorite Peter Green lead solo. He was really into it and the expression is really there. Prior to hearing that, I had always favored the original “Watch Out”. (Joe)

I did go to the sessions and enjoyed them very much. Bass players stick together...

In your book you say that the first Jeremy Spencer recordings that Mike Vernon played to Peter Green upon recommending him to join the band were “Look Down at My Woman” and “Who’s Knockin’”. Was a guitar played on the original recordings? Or was it the vocal that impressed Peter. The recordings that I have are just piano, drums and vocal.

Also, I’ve tried for years to establish the relationship between Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer. Were they good friends? Martin Celmens states that Peter was quite “Pissed off” because Jeremy wouldn’t play on his songs. However you state in your book that Jeremy was the only one that Peter “liked very much” upon his departure from the group. Will you expound on the friendships within the group from that time frame? (Joe)

I am sure it was both Jeremy's voice and Elmore James' clone guitar playing which impressed Peter. He liked Jeremy's immensely, but was irritated by his refusal to move away from Elmore and the pastiche rock'n'roll.

Were you at the Jeremy Spencer audition? What songs did he play with Peter Green? (Joe)

No, I wasn't at his audition.

Have you thought of bringing your group on the road to the U.S., perhaps with the Splinter Group? I think you would be well received. I wish you continued success. (Joe)

We ( de Luxe Blues Band) would love to come to the States! Somebody make us an offer and we will be there. The U.S. is my second home- I love it there and visit often.

Did Tramp perform any live shows and if so, what was the lineup? (David Lucas, New York, New York, USA)

Only a few, with Peter Miles/Mick Fleetwood or Keef Hartley drums, Danny Kirwan and/or Peter Emery, guitar, Bob Hall piano and me on bass.

Two recordings have just been released on excellent studio quality broadcasts on Mooncrest CD Crest CD 063.

Hello Bob....

I was wondering (in a non-F-Mac moment) if you knew whether John Moorshead, the guitarist from the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation, was still active in music.

Also...are there anymore unreleased tidbits, like the upcoming Jo-Ann Kelly CD, on which Danny Kirwan might be playing. Would you have any insight into why Mick Fleetwood rarely ever mentions that Danny Kirwan was even a member of Fleetwood Mac let alone give him any credit for carrying his non-songwriting ass on to better times. Finally...in your reference to Danny being ill, from a previous question, are you referring to his long documented problems or have new problems arisen. THANKS for your time....it's great being able to ask questions of the "originals" (Terry, Avon, Colorado, USA)

Terry,

Sorry, I don't know *anything* about John Morsehead at the moment.

I don't know of any forthcoming stuff from Danny. Mick's reticence about Danny is possibly to do with the problems that Danny's illness caused in the band. I'm talking about the well known problems - I'm not aware of any other illnesses.

Cheers,
Bob.

Hi Bob, thanks for doing this Q&A. A few questions I have would be if you were ever in contact with or speaking with Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, or Danny Kirwan during their solo periods, and if so, were they on any kind of new musical platues as far as their talent went? What was it also like with the supergroup of people during the making of the two Tramp albums? Do you resent any kind of shortcomings of fame that you may have experienced compared to the over night success that these artists like Britney Spears, Backstreet boys, and NSYNC have? (Jeff Baer, Thorofare, New Jersey, USA)

Jeff,

I don't think that any of the work produced by Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, or Danny Kirwan post-FM matched the quality of their work within the band.

Tramp. It certainly didn't feel like a supergroup. We just went into the studio for two days, and cut two albums. It was a lot of fun. We also did two broadcasts - now available on Mooncrest CD 063.

Fleetwood Mac *did* get famous. I have never regretted leaving them for one minute - I have had a very happy and fulfilling life.

Cheers,
Bob.

Hi Bob,

Thank you for taking on the Q and A challenge. :o) I do have a copy of your book FM, the First 30 Years. It is a fine book--and "a must have" for Fleetwood Mac fans! I do have a few questions:

I have not been able to find your book "Fleetwood Mac: Behind The Mask." Does that book cover the history of FM up until "Behind The Mask" album? (I am guessing that album title might have also come from your book title!) I am just wondering if "Fleetwood Mac The First 30 Years" is similar to your first book, with the updates. (as the first book is out of print) (Susan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

"Fleetwood Mac: The First 30 Years" is an update of "Behind the Masks". (I stole the title from the album!)

Your book mentions that Lindsey started working as a sessons guitarist when the Buckingham Nicks album was "deleted." That is the first time I recall reading that Lindsey did sessions work, although I did realize he played with the Everly Brothers for a short time. Did Lindsey do any other sessions work? (Susan)

Not a clue, I'm afraid!

Which members of Fleetwood Mac did you interview in writing this book? (you do mention Bob Welch, Bob Weston, Dave Walker in the acknowledgements, but you also include a lot of quotes from the "Rumours" lineup of FM)

I just interviewed the people that you mentioned. Other information came from my research.

You were with Fleetwood Mac at it's inception, as a blues band. You've clearly watched the band through out the years . . . was there much disappointment from other early MAC members with the move away from blues oriented music?

My impression was (and is) that all the members of FM wanted to move beyond the blues. This is one of the reasons that I don't regret leaving the band. I have enjoyed staying with the 'blues' ever since.

I did get a laugh at your introduction to Peter Green! You eventually "retired," when John McVie signed up, and joined Savoy Brown Blues Band and returned to teaching. Your bio here on the Penguin says you teach at a London School. Would you mind telling us a bit more about Bob Brunning, the teacher? What do you teach? What age students? Would you have wanted to "play on" witih Fleetwood Mac, if John McVie hadn't been able to come along--as clearly you love music?

Thank you very much for any answers you might share. (Susan)

I have written about my teaching career in response to other questions, so I wont cover that again. I wouldn't have minded staying on for a while, but would have left the day Peter Green did. He was my friend and mentor!

Cheers,
Bob.

Hello Bob, I have a De Luxe Blues Band CD that is great. Dick Heckstall-Smith is a band member. I read that he has a new CD coming out featuring Peter Green. Do you play on this new CD? Do you have a good Heckstall-Smith story? (Carl R. Swift, Sierra Madre, California, USA)

Carl,

No, I'm not on Dick's new CD. But I'm sure that it's extremely good!

I guess my *best* Dick Heckstall-Smith story is that he has made a phenomenally good recovery from his very serious, life threatening illness. He is now just as well as he ever did!

If you are looking for Dick Heckstall-Smith stories, I highly recommend that you seek out his book, "The Safest Place in the World".

Cheers,
Bob.

Hello Bob,

Can you tell us what do you think about the "new" Peter Green with Splinter Group? Can you also comment your recordings with Jo-Ann Kelly? (Nuno Manuel Diniz, Lisbon, Portugal)

I'm afraid that I don't enjoy Peters work with Splinter Group as much as his work with FM.

I very much enjoyed working with Jo Ann - she had a great talent. Have you heard "Tramp 1974", Mooncrest CD 063?

Cheers,
Bob.

Hi Bob, I am a fan of British Blues via the original Fleetwood Mac and I had the experience of seeing Peter Green play in September 2000 at a Blues festival here in N.J., I have two questions, the first is in regards to the Tramp sessions you did in the early 70s along with Mick Fleetwood and Danny Kirwan, What were those sessions like, especially working with Danny??, It has been said that Danny was difficult to work with in FM, what was he like during those sessions??. My second question is: Do you keep in touch with your old Fleetwood Mac bandmates?? (Jon Dickinson, Millstone, New Jersey, USA)

Jon,

I thoroughly enjoyed working with Mick Fleetwood and Danny Kirwan during the Tramp sessions. Danny was extremely friendly and co-operative during the sessions. He's a very shy person!

I quite often bump into Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood, and we enjoy a good gossip about the old days.

Cheers,
Bob

Hello Again Bob! Answering that ad in "Melody Maker" must have been a real break for your musical career. You played in my two all-time favorite bands; Fleetwood Mac and Savoy Brown.

You have also had an opportunity to play with some of the finest Blues musicians in Britain. Bob Hall, one of the greatest Blues pianists ever, and Jo Ann Kelly, whom I was surprised and saddened to recently learn had passed away more than 10 years ago.

A few more questions if you would:

Which are your favorite songs from Fleetwood Mac and Savoy Brown? (Joe Panackia, Macomb, Michigan, USA)

My favourite songs: Man of the World, Oh Well, and the entire Rumours album. Savoy Brown: anything with Chris Youlden.

Did Jo Ann Kelly play the guitar on her "Nothin’ in Ramblin'" (Joe)

Jo Ann on Nothin’ in Ramblin' - not a clue, I'm afraid!


Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac

What subjects do you teach, and are your students aware of your musical accomplishments and associations? (Joe)

I worked in primary (elementary) education, so I taught the whole curriculum. My student would have laughed at the idea of my being a rock-star!

What CDs do you recommend by the Brunning-Hall Sunflower Blues Band and the Deluxe Blues Band? (Joe)

Recommended CDs: I recommend both the Indigo collections featuring the Brunning Sunflower band, and I like the De Luxe Blues Band's latest CD, copies available from me.

You also played with Homesick James. Now I understand that he was Elmore's cousin. Which if any, of his tunes did Jeremy Spencer play? Jeremy is sometimes referred to as playing music from both of the James'. I have always felt that "Dust My Broom" was Elmore's song. At least he electrified it and made it famous. I assume that Homesick James is a slide player, but I never heard Jeremy make reference to him. (Joe)

To my knowledge, Homesick James did not write songs, and I don't remember Jeremy Spencer playing any of Homesick's material.

Cheers,
Bob.

Mr. Brunning, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Being that Mick Fleetwood & John McVie have been touted as one of the best rhythm sections of all time, did you find it easy to "lock in" with Mick's playing? Is there another drummer that you had some special "vibe" with, similar to the one that Mick & John have? (Steve Denison, Long Beach, California, USA)

Steve,

Mick is a pleasure to play with. Mickey Waller, with whom I played for many years, is another very special drummer, though rather a difficult person to work with.

Hi Bob,

Thank you very much for lending yourself to us for questions. Being a Bass and guitar player myself I had one or two technical questions for you if you don't mind. Do you play Bass with just your fingers or do you ever use a pick like McCartney did to get that attack sound while recording? Do you also play guitar as well as Bass guitar and which do you prefer and why? (Todd Norcross, West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, USA)

Todd,

I used a pick for many years, but now I just use my fingers.

I don't play the guitar at all. The bass has *always* been my instrument, and I've never been tempted to change.

Cheers,
Bob.

Dear Mr. Brunning, I'm trying to get a complete collection of the PG Fleetwood Mac. It seems impossible to get Jeremy's solo LPs and the Uganda Woman single - at least here in Germany. Can you give me a tip where I might be succesful? (Karl-Heinz, Germany)

Karl-Heinz,

Sorry, I haven't got a clue about getting hold of Jeremy's albums.

I hear from Klaus G occasionally. I believe that he's still teaching.

Cheers,
Bob.

Bob: I've been a big admirer of yours for many years. I think it's especially amazing that you were actually involved in two such high-quality blues bands as Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac & Savoy Brown. I haven't read your book yet but plan on doing so shortly after having viewed your Q & A session. Do you still (presently) stay in touch with both Peter Green & Kim Simmonds and talk about the "good old days"? In fact, Savoy Brown seems to have undergone as many personnel changes as the Mac over the years - can Mr Simmonds be somewhat difficult to work with (like say Jeff Beck who is known to be somewhat tempermental)? (Bob Sienko, Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Bob,

I meet both Peter and Kim occasionally. I recently played with Savoy Brown along with Bob Hall in London at a kind of reunion gig. *I've* never found Kim difficult to work with.

Hello Bob, thanks for your time. Apart from early F.Mac and Brunning Sunflower Blues Band, you and Peter Green played together on the sessions for the Dave Kelly 1971 solo album on Mercury. What can you remember about Peter during that time? (Mario Pirrone, Acqui Terme (al), Piemonte, Italy)

Peter was very diffident about playing on that session, and when the album came out, he came to my house, refused to listen to it, and insisted that we went to the pub instead. *Very* uncharacteristic for the Peter Green I knew!

In your opinion, when and why did Peter really change for the worse? In your book you briefly mentioned Peter Green's recent comeback with the Splinter Group. So, are you happy about what Peter is doing nowadays? Is there something you would like to change? (Mario)

After Peter left FM in 1970, due to his illness. I think that he is making a tremendous recovery! I'm glad that he's on the road again.

Are you still playing with "De Luxe Blues Band"? Any new cd in the can? Are you still in touch with Franco Ratti of "Appaloosa Records"? (Mario)

Yes the De Luxe Blues Band is still playing. Our new CD is currently available!

Hello Mr. Brunning!! I have written before and asked a few questions but I thought of a few more for you. What do you think of Peter Green's music with Fleetwood Mac and Solo Material? Have you heard any of his recordings today? and if so, what do you think? (Will Shaver, West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA)

I much prefer Peter's work during his FM period to any of his work afterwards.

Who is your Favorite Fleewood Mac guitarist? (Will)

Peter Green.

What is your favorite Fleetwood Mac album and song? Thank You for your time in this Q and A session and for giving your opinions too and giving the fans a glance inside Fleetwood Mac and the times of the past!!:) I am Younger Mac fan--Born during the album Bare Trees seesions in 1972. So that gives you an indication that I am a youngester of 29. SO I Wasn't born while you were involved with Fleetwood Mac. :o!!

I really do enjoy the CD you helped bring out in 1992-"Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac-recorded live at the Marquee Club" on Receiver Records Limited- that is pretty good disc and it really did capture a Live Peter Green concert on CD--nice to hear since I wasn't around they orginally occured. Thank You Bob!!:):):) (Will)

Two albums: the first FM album, and Rumours. Song - "Man of the World", and "Oh Well".

Cheers,
Bob.

Note: We are still waiting for a large number of Questions / Answers from Bob Brunning in addition to his closing comments and the winners of the copies of his book that his publisher sent. As soon as this information is sent to us, it will be posted.

Section One


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