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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


Santana - Caravanserai
They'd made three albums before this that had the hits on and some other stuff that was really good, but I never really liked a whole album. There were great moments. But then Caravanserai came out and I liked the way the songs move and flow and change direction and bring in different moods and atmospheres. It was a very exotic record for me, living in Kingston in Surrey. It felt like I was hearing the real sound of the desert. The musicianship is so great. One of the things I love about Santana is that they always had great drummers. Obviously you've got Carlos on guitar, but every instrument is pushed to the front. When the Hammond player is letting rip you can really hear it. It's a very well-structured record, which back then was a very different thing to do, because it was all about the live performance, and if the song was eight minutes long you'd play for eight minutes. There wasn't the technology for any sophisticated editing so people used to play it that way to create that mood and that atmosphere. To capture that in the studio is difficult, but on this record it kind of goes beyond that. It's like somebody said there are no rules for how you do this. I don't know how to do this so I'm going to do this by instinct, I suppose.

Also, for them to come in with Latin music that wasn't salsa or mariachi was unheard of. They were saying 'this is what young Mexicans do'. I just remember watching them at Woodstock and seeing [Santana drummer] Mike Shrieve and thinking my god, how do you do that? How do you play with all of them at the same time and they're all playing different things and it all works out so remarkably well?