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Baker's Dozen

The Quest For The Grail: Rat Scabies Favourite Albums
Ben Graham , March 7th, 2018 12:49

The former Damned drummer tells Ben Graham about seeing bands at the Orchid Ballroom in Purley, the appeal of repetition and variety in music, and how The Damned nearly got their own Monkees-style TV show


The Jimi Hendrix Experience- Smash Hits
It was such a turning point, this album. I remember putting it on the Dansette and 'Purple Haze' coming on, and those opening notes, and going bloody hell I want this. When you hear something that really works for you it's almost not a conscious decision. It's a chemical reaction that your ears and your soul have. I heard it and it was like being grabbed on the inside and told you're going to go with this. You like this, whether you want to or not. I've pretty much always had a copy of this album, and I don't think it does everything that Jimi Hendrix does best, but it does a lot of it.

I think he was very smart because he never overdid the solos, certainly not on this album. They're all fairly short songs. And also seeing the cover, back then, it was like wow, here's this black bloke, and he's dressed as a hippy. That was quite a shocking image for then, and you knew it was going to be great, just by looking at it. But it had that terrible lettering on the cover and it said "Smash Hits" and you immediately went oh my god, because that was what you had every Christmas, those K-Tel Smash Hits records. You never expected a serious musician, let alone one who played like that, to have that kind of title.