Interview With Annie Haslam

From WYSP 1988 Radio Broadcast

Transcribed by: Russ and Mark Elliot

Last Updated: 06 October 1996

Ed Sciaky: ... and [then] they [Renaissance] had an album that was released in France, at least, called Illusion... and then I guess, slowly and surely the personnel changed and along came ... well how did you come along to this Annie? Annie Haslam -- who became the voice of Renaissance, how did you get recruited into this enterprise?

Annie Haslam: It was my mother's fault (laughs) ... all down to my mother ... (Ed: "Yeah"). No, umm, I umm ... I saw this advert in the Melody Maker, which is a well-known music paper in England, and umm, I wrote for the audition, and umm, I got the job on New Years day nineteen-seventy-one (laughs).

Yeah, I guess we talked about this in past interviews with you, you'd been doing other kinds of music before this? Did you know what kind of music you were gettin' into with this, this whole progressive or art-rock, or whatever they were, you know, whatever it became?

Well I did, even though, I mean, I wasn't doing that type of thing, but I, when I found out the band was Renaissance that I was going to the audition for, I went out and bought the album and learnt it back to front so that when they asked me to do something, I would, would know it quite well.

Which album -- the Kings And Queens album?

Uh huh, I sang "Island"; that was the song that got me the job.

Oh really ... the first, the first album?

Um hmm.

Now when you ahh, when you did, well, Mickey Dunford had by that time taken over the band ... we have to adjust our headphones here ... is that better? OK?


Had taken over the band in terms of writing, right, cause he sort of came in later, came in after ...

Actually, Jim McCarty was still writing with the band.

Oh, I see, who was also in from the Yardbirds.

And Keith Relf, when I joined.

Which is interesting, because the Yardbirds, you don't think of the Yardbirds' music as being anything like Renaissance, and yet the band was started by those two guys from, from the Yardbirds. Now your, your voice is obviously amazing, and people always tell you that. But, did you, did they tell you that up, before then, I mean, you, did you realize you had this unusual voice, really amazing voice?

No I didn't actually because umm, I had been going to this opera singer for training, and umm, I got, my first job was actually six months before I joined Renaissance with a cabaret group; and I was just doing ordinary, you know, umm standards, really. And I didn't realize my voice sounded any different because I actually hadn't recorded anything at that point, so I never really heard myself back. (Ed: "Really?") Sounds a little bit stupid, but that's the way it was.

And you hadn't done material I guess that really challenged your range.

No, not at all.

Interesting, very interesting. Well, you know, and now what year was this you joined, was it '71? (Annie: "71.") Yeah, so the so-called progressive bands like Yes and Genesis and Pink Floyd were sort of established, and that genre was kind of established. So when you came along doing this kind of music, I mean, listening to Prologue would be, it really is, is unusual, but it doesn't necessarily fit that kind of art rock category. But it got put into that category (Annie: "Um hmm") I guess 'cause it's, you know, it was the nearest thing or, you know, it was the way it was marketed to, the psychedelic album covers, and, and so on. But also I guess the structure of, you know, the longer songs like "Ashes Are Burning", and you know the more complex, complex pieces, of it. So, at that point was it, was it Mickey Dunford who kind of carried on the writing ... and decided on the, kind of, the structure and what the band would sound like? How'd that, that kind of evolve?

No, we all did actually ... (Ed: "hmm") in fact, even though I didn't get the credit for it, I did play a big part in the arrangements and ideas (Ed: "hmm"). Nobody knows that (laughs).

Hmm. When you, when you, write your book, (Annie laughs, "Yeah") and we'll, we'll find out ... And Annie's here because she's going to be doing a solo show, by the way at, the Trocadero on the 22nd, which we'll be talking about that ... we mentioned it a few weeks in the past. Let's do one here, another one from the CD. Now this is interesting, because we've been bemoaning the fact that the Renaissance CDs haven't been out now and now finally they are coming out. Now the ironic thing is the first two albums, the ones with Keith Relf, are out on CD as imports -- they've been out for a couple of months. And finally Azure d'Or turned up as a English import on the Thunderbolt label ...

(Laughs) Which we've never heard of ...

I wonder if it's a bootleg, I mean, I don't know, it's wierd, why would they, you know, bootleg it? But anyway ... strange. But finally, officially, the good folks at Capitol, who probably didn't remember that you were even on their label until (Annie laughs), you know, a few weeks ago (Annie: "Yeah, right") ... cause you had the two albums that, the album Prologue and then the album Ashes Are Burning which had been repackaged around '78 as In The Beginning and, finally they put that out. And it's a budget CD. You get about 74 minutes of music for ten bucks and they've, the only problem is they've edited a couple of the songs down a couple of minutes, but not too bad and the sound is really great. So let's do one, "Carpet Of The Sun", now this is one you are going to do live (Annie: "Um hmm") at the Trocadero ("Yeah"). Now you know Annie, they are billing you as "the voice of Renaissance" so we should make it clear that Renaissance is sadly no more as a band ("That's right, yep."). The farewell tour was at the Chesnut ("That's right.") last year and it was an emotional evening for Annie and all, you know, the fans. It was ... ("It was, it was very sad.") Yeah, you cried, ("Oh, absurd ...") I cried, ("Yeah ...") we all cried. But Mickey is working on a Broadway musical ("That's right."). In fact, you're going to do one of the songs from his musical ...

That's right, I'm going to do one of the songs, yeah.

And who knows, I mean, the band had gone through some changes. I mean the original members are long gone ... Jon Camp and Terry Sullivan and yes, now I'm drawing a blank ... (Annie and Ed then say together: "John Tout") ... and ... but, so sort of, it was kind of Mickey, at the end it was Mickey and Annie, so now the duo has split and it says, then there was ...

And then there was one, and it was me (laughs).

So they used to always say that Genesis, they couldn't wait until Genesis became a solo act, but Renaissance has beaten them to it and Annie is now a solo act. So let's do "Carpet Of The Sun" then from the In The Beginning CD. And again, if you'd like to speak with Annie our number's at 2-6-3 Rock at 509-5494 ... and we'll get to some other stuff ... some Byrds, some unreleased Byrds material that just came out that we'll get to and some other material and Annie's witty comments throughout the evening as we continue from 94 WYSP.

(Ed plays "Carpet Of The Sun".)

Sounding good on CD, there's "Carpet Of The Sun" from Renaissance. Ed Sciaky with you at 94 WYSP. By the way the Sunday Night Six-Pack with our friend nice Ed Green, aw, I don't want to spoil his image, alright mean Ed Green, he'll bring you: Boston Don't Look Back, James Taylor's Mud Slide Slim, The Monkees Monkees, the mystery request album, The Band The Band and Moody Blues' Seventh Soujourn all of those from CD, all to follow in their entirety, starting at 10 tonight when we're finished. Annie Haslam, the voice of Renaissance, is here with us. She'll be at the Troc' on the 22nd and we have some callers here that want to say hello to Annie, let's see ... hello, you're on the air ...

Caller: Hey, how you doing?

OK, here's Annie

Hi Annie!

Annie: Hi!

I was just wondering how you made it into the music business and started making records and what not ...

Well, I was very lucky, actually, in a way. Because, what I did first of all was, I went to an opera singer to be trained properly, rather than go to an ordinary, you get these people that teach pop music, but I went to an opera singer, and I went there for nine months, and I never realized I had the voice I had until I went to her. Anyway, I went for an audition and the second, my second job was with Renaissance. I was very lucky to be quite honest. And, you know, it's, I don't think it's really quite as easy as that these days. But ... are you a singer?

No, no, I play the guitar.

Oh ... and in a band?

Yes I do ...

Oh, right ... umm ...

Did it, I wonder, did it help that the band, that Renaissance was already an established quantity even though it was a different, all different personnel. Did that help you get, cause you got a different record deal, it wasn't a continuation of the old thing ...

That's right ... no, no ... yeah ... umm ...

Yeah, or do you think it just had to stand on its own, that first album Prologue?

I think it was just, it was just so different, you know. I think if you can come up with something different and you stick at it, then you have to make it, you know.

Do you think like the time reflects the music more than, than your style of singing?

Hmm, what do you mean by that?

Yeah, what do you mean by that? (laughs)

Like, like the era in the '80s; do you think that, that's a big part in your music?

Hmm, oh yes, well I don't think we know what you mean (Annie laughs) ... but I guess you mean that the time, you know music, different styles of music have different cycles ...

Do you mean my -- do you mean -- is my -- my voice -- do you think -- do you mean my voice is more suitable to the, the 70s style of music? Is that what you mean?

No, like the style of music that you're playing, do you think that it's...

The style of music that we did play, yes, was, was '70s music without a doubt, but, umm, the new music that I'm doing ...

Well that's kind of the dilemma Annie (Annie: "Yeah") has is, is what to do now ... is whether to try to continue to do the same kind of music or try to do some different, different, other ... she can do other kinds of music and whether she should do other kinds of music ... so we'll let you, we'll play some other things and we'll let you decide tonight, OK? (Caller: "OK." ) ... Let's take another call here for Annie Haslam ...

Annie Haslam, this is such a thrill (Annie laughs) ... this is the second time in my life I've gotten to speak with you. Are you still short?

Uh, yeah, well yes (laughing) ...

(interrupts) No, no, she's grown several feet since ...

Annie, I wondered if you remembered ...

Penn State, yes I do ...

Penn State University ...

It was a great show, if I remember right ...

Oh, you came a couple of times but I saw you in '82 after your Camera Camera tour (Annie: "Uh huh.") and it was such a memorable, memorable show ..

Yeah, I really enjoyed that actally, it does stick out in my mind ...

I got to chat with you afterwards, that's why, why I remember it so well. (Annie: "Oh, I see ...") I was working with the radio station there and played you all the time of course (Annie: "Oh, great ..." laughs). Wondered ah, wondered what we could expect from you, umm, you know in the future, more things in the Camera Camera and Time-Line vein, or completely different from that as you're, I know, you're solo and all that but you still have your, you know, same influence.

Yeah, well, umm, to be quite honest, I'm delving into the unknown at the moment but Ed's going to play something in a few minutes that is one of the new things that I've done (Caller: "I can't wait to hear it.") so I'd like people to ring in and let me know what they think to be quite honest.

Annie, if you're involved there are many of us that will love it no matter what (laughs).

Thank you, thanks a lot.

And thank you very much.

Bye bye. Thank you!

OK, one more here for Annie Haslam, you're on the air ...

Hello Annie!


Ah, I've just got into Renaissance recently. A friend of mine taped a concert off the air, off the radio, and I was listening to it and I was wondering where the best place to start; I was thinking of starting a Renaissance collection on either vinyl or tape, or what would be, what would be the best to start?

Hmm, well, uh, Annie's probably ...

What do you mean -- recordwise?

Yeah, where to get them ... (Annie: "Oh, where to get them?") ... see, some of them are out of print. I would check your, you know, collectors' stores, you know, like ... what, Annie, you know?

Yeah, what's that place in New York? Colony Records ... (Ed: "Colony Records, um hmm") ... in New York, is pretty good ...

No no, what I meant is, what would be the best title, not what would be the best place ...

Oh, oh, which album to start with ...

Oh, that's what I thought you meant ... oh, right ... umm

I thought you meant where to get them because, because most of them are out of print ... some of them are ... well, ah, let's see ... well you could, well, the easiest ...

We could have a fight over this ...

... the easiest ones to get would be the ones that are in print (Annie: "Yeah"). So you could get the CD of In The Beginning which is probably a good place to start the classic first two albums of the modern Renaissance and then the other two that are in print are Scheherazade and Turn Of The Cards. They're available from Warner Brothers Records right now, on, at least on LP and cassette, not necessarily on CD. But artistically, I mean, if assuming you could get them all, where would you, what's your favourite Renaissance album, Annie? What do you think? I mean, hmmm ...

I think Turn Of The Cards, Scheherazade And Other Stories ... (Ed: "Right") I like all of them! (laughs) ... I'm biased.

Yeah, I, they're probably the most popular, that's why they're still (Annie: "Yeah") in print

That'll be good man, because I, you know, I do a lot of listening to Kate Bush in a way and, you know, very, (Ed: "hmm") very important so ....

I wonder if Kate was influenced by you Annie ... (Annie laughs) ... let's, let's give her a ring and find out ... alright, thanks a lot ...

Thank you, bye ...

It's nice talking to you Annie, I wish you the best of luck in your career ...

Thank you, bye-bye ...

Alright, bye-bye now.

I would say check Siren Records and Plastic Fantastic and Third Street Jazz, places like that for the ones that are out of print, but the ones that are in print you should go snap up. Maybe Warners will put out the, the, Turn of the Cards and Scheherazade on CD, I'd love to see that happen. We'll do a new one here. Now this is one that we were talking about. Annie recorded this one at the Basement Studio in, in London, right?

Yeah, that's right. And it's written by B. A. Robertson and Mike Rutherford ...

Mike Rutherford of Genesis fame, good guy, good friend of ours. Now, did they, did they write this for you? Or did they just ...

No, but it is brand new. I mean it's, I was the first to do it, so ...

Right, did they participate in the recording? I mean, B. A. Robertson did, didn't he, didn't he come along, and he was going to...

No, not in though, he was going to ...

He was going to, he didn't get there ... but OK, alright, check, cross that off and let's do it, see what you think. This is Annie Haslam solo and a song called "Communication", co-written by Mike Rutherford, Genesis ...

(Ed plays "Communication". [See Northern Lights' Album/Lyrics Archive - Annie Haslam Rarities for lyrics.])

94 WYSP and "Communication", the voice of Annie Haslam on a new tape there, not released anywhere yet, but you heard it first right here (Annie: "Um hmm"). Well how'd you like it Annie? (Annie laughs) Oh, I don't know, oh, you like it. Let's see, let's see who else, oh let's see, ask this person, how'd you like it? Hello ...

Hello ... (Ed: "Hello, you're on the air ...") Annie? (Annie: "Yes.") How are you?

I'm fine.

My name's Mike and I've been listening to you for, like, I guess since I'd seen you at the Schubert Theater ...

Oh, that's a long time ago ...

That was a really great show, umm, you're my favourite female vocalist, I should, by far (Annie: "Thank you!") and I was just wondering if you could give a hint, to what your solo show, what I might be able expect, are you going to have a ...

(Laughs) Did you not just listen to that track? ...

Well, did you hear the song we just played? (Mike: "Yes!" ) (Annie: "Yeah.") You're going to do that?

Yeah, I'm going to do that ... that's the new ... yeah

I mean, are you going to, like, have four or five musicians with you? or ...

No, no four musicians ... (Mike: "Four?") ... yeah, and umm ...

Including yourself ...

Including myself, yeah ...

So you'll have Raph ...

Raphael Rudd, who played piano and harp on, in Renaissance and Mark Lampariello also on guitars and a guy called John Margolis on synthesizers ...

Hmm, so basically, net, here, we've replaced Mickey Dunford with synthesizers ... (Annie: "Um hmm") right ... in this lineup. So it's (Annie: "Yeah") really very similar to the last Renaissance ...

Yeah, but it sounds, I mean, the, I'm going to be doing five Renaissance songs and they sound different because the synthesizer ... it sounds nice.

That's interesting, Renaissance had gone thought that acoustic phase the last couple of last tours, (Annie: "Yeah") where you didn't have a drummer, (Annie: "That's right.) which was interesting ... so now this is another evolution here (Annie: "Yeah") ; it'll be interesting to hear those songs again. What'd you think of that song "Communication" Mike?

It's really great, really great ...

Great, OK ... thanks.

Good, thank you, thank you.

Take care Annie. Take care Ed.

OK, you're on the air with Annie, hello? Hello, oh I think we lost it. Hello, are you there? Hmmm, OK, we'll try this one? Hello, hello (Caller: "Jesus!" ) ... you're there, you're on the air, are you there? Well, they sort of gave up I guess, freaked out here. I wonder if this one's still there. Are you there? No. OK, well we lost him, sorry about that let's take one here. Are you calling for Annie?

Yes, hello.

Yes, go ahead, you're on the air with Annie ...


Umm yeah, I had a, I liked the last song, first of all.

Thank you.

I did enjoy that, umm, I was wondering if you liked the Time-Line and Camera Camera better than the earlier albums ...

No, I didn't (laughs) ...

Neither did I (laughs) ...

No, I didn't at all actually, I think, umm, at that particular time it was definitely the wrong direction to go in.

Yeah, I mean, when I bought Time-Line and listened to it, it was like, is this Renaissance? And I (laughs) ...

Yeah, no, it was wrong ... definitely. (Ed: "hmmm.")

And now ... so you're, umm, going to ...

Well ... I guess it was since it led to the demise of the band as it were. And but, when you're in a group, I guess you just go with the group decision, right, you just ...

Well you see as I don't write, then, I just, exactly, you know, I mean, I just tried to fight against it, but ... (Caller: "but...") ... democracy rules! (laughs) Oh, or did rule! (laughs)

Now there's only one dictator.

Yes, I am, the boss now. (laughs)

OK, well thanks for giving us a call ... (Annie: "Thanks a lot.") OK, let's see if this one's here. Calling for Annie Haslam? [click] Well, I lost that one. Hello, are you calling for Annie?


OK, go ahead.


Uh, how you doin' Annie?

I'm fine, thank you.

Umm, I saw you first, I guess it was about ten years ago, I don't know if you remember this, but you played at Glaspur (sp?) State College ...

Yes, I did ...

And, uh, it was a spell-binding show, and uh, I just really enjoyed it. I think I heard you first, I must have been around 13 years old; I'm 28 now. I was only about 13 years old then ...

Wait, Annie's not that old ...

Well, I was only 14 (laughs) ...

That's right, I'm thinking I was about 15 then ... (Ed: "Right. Sure.") ... so, umm, I think one of the first songs I heard was "Black Flame" (Ed: "Um hmm") and it's just such a powerful and emotional song, and I, there's just so many of them, and I think I've been really surprised that throughout the years that Renaissance didn't receive any notariety or have the fame that I think they deserved for, considering the typeof songs that you guys recorded ... (Annie: "Yeah.") And, ah, your voice, which everyone probably tells you all the time, but you can't help but comment on because it's probably one of the most pleasing and most impressive voices in, ah, pop music, rock music or whatever. And, ah, I saw you also ah, at the Toys For Tots concert (Annie: "Oh yeah?") when Ed was at the other station (Annie: "Yeah.") ... and, ah ...

That was a great night. That was ...

That was a very good night, it really was. (Ed: "Yeah" ) And umm, also you played at the Tower, I think that was when you had just gotten the two members ... of the band ... you had a new drummer ...

Oh yes, yeah ...

And that was probably the most powerful I think I saw you guys ... cause the drummer was, was sort of progressive ... and he clicked in very well with Jon Camp.

Right, yeah.

Well, you're clearly a fanatic and you're certified insane. No, we uh, no I appreciate that ... you know ... it really points out the kind of club that has developed in the city over the years -- the fans of Annie and Renaissance. Because we, it would always be the same people every time at the concerts. And, we really, that's why the farewell night was such a emotional, an emotional one. It wasn't just a group, it was sort of a family getting together ...

Yeah, that's right. It was like family breaking up, well it was like a marriage breaking up in a way ... you know.

Yeah ... yeah ...

Well, that's a shame, well, anyway, do you have a question or are you just reminiscing here?

Well, a little bit of reminiscing, and a question, too. Umm, as far as Annie's plans on her solo career, I was, I was just curious of whether, and you see I'm kind of afraid for her to do this, but in a way would sort of liked her to get into a mainstream so maybe she could get more attention and have more opportunities to show her abilities ...

Umm. Well there's the, you know, there's the crunch, isn't it ... that's the perennial choice between commerce and art ... it's how far do you want to change your art for the sake of success, you know, or (Annie: "Yeah") ... or, just maintain your art in the face of perhaps less success. But you know for a while, let's give them credit though, they did actually do very well for a number of years. Renaissance was a, did, toured all over America and the world ... (Annie: "Um hmm") ...

Uh, yeah, especially with like the Carnegie ... yeah

Yeah ... they had a lot of success and they did it by maintaining their integrity, so let's give them that ... they did, you know ...

Oh, definitely ...

Yeah ...

They didn't, I think they never reached that massive level of a Zeppelin or Pink Floyd but that's a whole other level. I don't think you would want to see Renaissance playing at JFK Stadium (caller laughs), you know. So, you know, they've always maintained their art and and that's what I think Annie is trying to do now but also do things that people like. I mean success, you know, often means people like what you do (Annie: "Um hmm"). But it's like if you change what you do, I don't necessarily think that leads to success, you know. In the vain search for success, you know, we've seen, we've seen bands change and then maybe they'll have a hit single and but then they won't be heard from again a year later ... (Caller: "Yeah") ... So it's interesting, I mean, I guess Genesis is a case in point where they, they managed to evolve and change for success and yet still maintain that, miraculously maintain their integrity. Isn't that incredible?

Umm ... plus the fact that I don't really know where I'm going at the moment because it's, it's almost like starting again really ...

Yeah ...

What I'm doing, so ...

Yeah, like, I guess, I just want to hear you as much as possible and I guess, I have a fear, when I saw the band was going on a decline that you were going to slip into obscurity and I thought that would be a horrible, umm, bummer ...

Well I'll try not to do that. I'm going to try to start a new era. (laughs)

Great Annie. Well we, I think a lot of us are here and we support you very much and we're very anxious to see you continue with your career.

Thank you very much ...

And wish you all the best ...

Thank you.

Thank you for all your good music.

Thank you. (Ed: "hmm") Bye-bye.


Hmm. Makes you feel, that makes you feel good, doesn't it Annie? You know, yeah ...

Umm, yeah ...

I mean it's, it's OK to acknowledge the negatives, people have ups and downs and it's nice to know that people really care, they really care about what you're doing. Are you going to do the "Black Flame"?

Yeah ...

I've got that cued up since he mentioned that. Not from CD but we'll drag out the old analog disk of Turn Of The Cards and we'll urge Warner Brothers who own Sire Records put the thing out on CD will you please. Here's (both laugh) ... I'll buy one! ... Here's ... will you buy one Annie? (Annie: "I'll buy one!") That's two sold so far. So let's do the "Black Flame" from the Turn Of The Cards album as we continue with Annie Haslam, the voice of Renaissance from 94 WYSP.

(Ed plays "Black Flame".)

94 WYSP, the "Black Flame" from Renaissance. Annie Haslam is our guest and that took us back a while, about 1974 I guess. Turn Of The Cards, the album. One of the two that are still in print. Gotta get, I gotta get a new copy of that. My old copy is kind of beat up, but although it isn't beat up it's just wasn't pressed very well back then, and I mean you know, even, I'm sure LPs pressed now even would sound better than that. But let's get the CD on that out. Let's see if we've got more calls for Annie. OK, you're on the air. Hello?

I'd like to say hello to Annie and welcome her back.

Thank you.

We've missed you Annie.

It's only been nine months. (laughs)

Still too long. You are the first thing when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I see before I go to bed.

Really, yes? (laughs)

Oh really, Annie I didn't know you ...

At the Club Bené I got back stage to see you.

So, in other words, this is like dial-a-date here? This is like, how?

You're not the guy that got down on his knees, are you?

No, no, no, that wasn't me.

OK. (laughs)

And, you were nice enough to let a picture, my wife took it of you and I. And I had it blown up and have it on my dresser.

Oh that's nice.

I've been with you since the beginning. And I have all of your albums and it's just great that you're coming back.

What did you think of the new song?

It's great ...

Oh good.

Terrific. Anything you do is terrific.

That's great.

That's what I like, an objective opinion. Alright, thanks a lot for calling. OK. (Annie: "Thank you!") YSP, you are on the air with Annie ...



How you doin' Annie?

I'm fine, thank you.

Oh, I have one simple question for you. I was listening to "Carpet Of The Sun", that song always had a special meaning for me. I was wondering when was that originally released?


Was it '73?

Yeah, that's right ...

Well I'd seen it on one of the later albums, that double set [In The Beginning], and it didn't have any date, so I've been listening to it for so many years and it always had such a special meaning for me here and there and I was just wondering. Just a simple question ... (Ed: "OK")

OK. Bye bye.

OK. Thanks for calling ...

And I like your solo work ...

Thank you.

And I'd like to wish you lots of luck ...

Thanks very much ... bye bye.

See you later.

OK. Thanks. YSP. You're on the air with Annie.



I'd just like to tell you that I'm really really impressed with your voice. I was just introduced to Renaissance last semester by a friend of mine at school. And since then I have been trying to look for albums so far I've just bought In The Beginning today and Scheherazade a little while back and I just want to thank you so much for turning out such good music.

Thank you. Thank you for buying it. Are you going to come and see me live?

Umm. Is it the 22nd at the Trocadero? I'm going to be done with Spring break. Are you going to be ... [interview tape is cut at this point]

[Interview tape resumes with Ed:] New solo version of "Northern Lights", Annie Haslam at 94 WYSP [feedback] ...

(Ed plays the solo version of "Northern Lights".)

"Northern Lights", Annie Haslam. Was that, was it your voice on the extra vocals also, the back end? (Annie: "Yeah.") Double and triple tracked (Annie: "Yeah, yeah.") and all that. Interesting, interesting production sound there. I guess you didn't use much of that on the Renaissance recordings, come to think of it, did you, like overdubbed vocals [a classic error occurs here where Ed lets the next song on the demo tape begin while he's still talking; watch the recovery that follows] and so on ... whoops, I better, that's another tune, well what song is this we're hearing?

Oh, that's another one that Mickey wrote -- a new one -- that I'm going to be doing as well.

Shall we play it, since it's already on?

Yeah, why not ...

(Ed plays "No Beginning No End". [See Northern Lights' Album/Lyrics Archive - Annie Haslam Rarities for lyrics.])

I like it, I like it a lot, there "No Beginning No End", right, (um hmm) written by Mickey Dunford (and Betty Thatcher) and Betty Thatcher for his musical, right?

No, no, no, that's not his musical one. No (laughs).

I'm confused, but he wrote it, OK, well he does have a musical coming out, what's that going to be called?

Well, it's based on Scheherazade, (Um, I see.) Tales of 1001 Arabian nights,

But he won't have you singing in it. Yeah, I know, we have a couple of calls here we're going to take. And that's new from Annie Haslam, by the way... it's very rare, by the way, that we get a chance for an artist come in and play new material for people that isn't released and we appreciate it Annie. It gives you some feedback, I guess, huh (yeah) ... the trouble is, it's all positive feedback, they all like it, they all love it.

(Laughs) They have to love it!

They have to love it, right, hello, you're on the air with Annie.

Caller: Hi Ed. Hi Annie. How you doin' tonight?

I'm fine, thank you.

Good. That was -- out of the three songs that were played -- that was the best one ... even though it got on by accident. That was kind of was more in the earlier genre, you know like with Mickey writing that.

That's right ...

Cause of the piano sound, do you think?Pardon me? (Yeah ...) Cause of the piano sound, maybe?

Yeah, and another thing, it's kind of hard to listen to music nowadays without kind of thinking of it, with the new record contract, the new record label and all, and I was thinking even on that song, do you have any videos planned? (laughs)

She's looking for a new record contract.

I haven't got one yet.

She hasn't got it yet.

Oh, you haven't gotten one yet ... I'm sorry, I kind of came in halfway into the interview. I came home and I was hoping to catch, you know, get a chance to talk with you. I know how Renaissance used to be on the IRS label; that was their last label, correct?

That's right. Yeah.

You're right now searching for a new label ...

Yeah, this is the reason I came over. (Laughs) I sold the cats. I sold the house. I sold the car (Laughs). No I didn't. I'm joking.

One quick question. I heard in the car you were doing five Renaissance songs next Tuesday night (That's right!). I know a lot of artists, like say Peter Gabriel, even Robert Plant when he first started out, kind of wanted to stay away from the old groups they were doing and stick more to their solo stuff. The longer you get into the solo career, are you going to stay a little bit away from the old Renaissance music, I mean, in that doing it in concert?

No I don't think I could ever do that because it's been so much a part of my life, you know.

That's good to hear. Because I was kind of hoping, because I heard you were playing "Carpet Of The Sun". Are you gonna play "Northern Lights" next Tuesday? (Yes.) Can you tell me what Renaissance songs you're gonna play?

(Deep breath) What do you think Ed? (Laughs.)

She wants to keep a couple of surprises. (Yeah.) But let me just say that most of them are ones that I implored her to do. Right? (Yes.) I talked to her in England and I said these are the ones I think and pretty much she kind of agreed. So I think you'll find that's pretty good selection of the ones you want to hear.

Well, I'm looking forward to it. I'm definitely coming down to see you. It's been a while. I missed your farewell show at the Cabaret -- I was away. But I saw your shows at the Tower and even before that at the Academy. You're always a welcome sight here and best of luck -- hope you land a record contract soon and look forward to seeing you next Tuesday.

Thanks very much.

Thanks a lot. We'll take one more call for Annie Haslam. You're on the air!

Hi! How are you?

Hi. I'm fine, thank you.

I'd like to say that I was a big progressive rock fan and there was two singers that I always love listening to and that was Jon Anderson and you. And I thought that you have such an amazing voice.

Me too.

Thank you!


And Annie's voice is even higher than Jon's. (Laughs.) Isn't that amazing? (Laughs continue.)

I didn't think a human being could do that. But that song was it "No Beginning No End" (Yeah), when is that going to be released?

As soon as some record company with big bucks wants to put it out. (That's right.) You got a record company?

Yeah, right.

Or actually I'll be pressing it on the Sciaky By Night Record Label.

Yeah, maybe we should start our own label, Ed.

Philadelphia Reords, and ...

Yeah, let me see what we can do on that. As soon as Annie gets something together maybe maybe we'll see some of solo stuff released. There was an album released in England called Still Life that featured Annie singing with Louis Clark and was it the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra? (The Royal Philharmonic, yeah.) You might be able to pick that up as an import. It's a beautiful album by the way.

Yeah, it's good, anything to hear her voice. It's incredible. Ever since my friend turned me onto Renaissance, I've been addicted to it. It's great.

Thank you.

We just need some record executive to feel the way you do.

That's right.

A non-capitalist. Who knows?

Maybe Capitol Records, capitalist records, alright, thanks a lot for calling. Let's see, are you calling for Annie?

Yes I am!

OK. Go ahead.

Oh great! Hello, Annie? I saw you first time in '80 in Cleveland, Ohio. And the people there have missed you.

That's right. We haven't been up there for a long time.

There's a lot of supporters up there that would like to see you.

Well as soon as I get a record deal and a nice big tour I'll come up there. (Laughs) Thank you.

Thank you for calling. I'm a glutten for punishment. One more here. Are you calling for Annie?

Yes I am.

OK. Go ahead.

Yes. This is Frank from Bridgeport. (Hi.) I'm also one of the old ones, not real old, but old enough, since about I guess Tenth Landing I believe (Yeah, that was a great show) A long long time ago, yes, and I've followed Annie for a long time. I'm wondering, it's a shame that you are not playing out in Pittsburgh at all.

OK, well, she'll try to get to all these cities.

Maybe one day.

One of these years.

Also, I hope she didn't, by the way Annie I hope you didn't have any problems shoe-horning a certain blue-wrapped package last June ...

OK, all these little intimate messages. Thanks a lot for calling. (Annie laughs.)

Thank you.

OK. Bye.

One more here, are you calling for Annie? Go ahead ...

Hi -- this is really an honour; I didn't think I'd be able to get through. (Well there you go.) You've had all men calling you all evening.

I noticed that. What is it with you and men Annie? What is that?

I don't know.

Well, nice to have a lady onboard.

I thought you would like to hear from an adoring fan who also happens to be female. And I wondered if you would could play and that would be stall the birds and play another old Renaissance song for me.

Which one?

Either "Thinking About Things I Don't Understand" or "Cold Is Being". I've been a fan for a long time and those are two of my particular favourites.

Well I was gonna ... I'll tell you what we'll do. We'll try to get to maybe some of them a little later on. Cause I wanted to do "Ashes Are Burning" later cause it's on CD. (That's fine.) OK, so we'll get to that and we'll try to do one of the others. "Cold Is Being" or what?

"Things I Don't Understand"

OK, "Things I Don't Understand", I'll see what I can do.

I look forward to seeing you at the Trocedero ...

Thanks a lot. Thank you. Bye bye.

Thanks a lot for calling. Alright, we're gonna move along and play some Byrds and stuff. And I'll tell you, we're kind of flooded with calls here and Annie is about falling on the floor from exhaustion from talking to all you people.

Oh, you liar! I'm not. (Laughs.)

Well, we have to get to a couple of things in here. But Annie's going to be here if you want to talk to her off the air, she'll be here. Our usual number is 263-ROCK. And we'll wrap up the show with a couple more from Renaissance. And we'll do "Ashes Are Burning" from the CD which really sounds great. So let me see here.

(Ed does some commercial announcements and follow them with some tracks by the Byrds, Kikki Dee and some other artists.)

Well, by popular demand we'll have to get back to Annie Haslam and Renaissance here. Hi Annie! (Hi! laughs ...) Well really you've been on the phonte non-stop. It's pretty amazing, isn't it?

I'm losing my voice.

Well don't do that cause you have to sing at the Trocedero on March 22nd. Also Annie will be down at Club Bené in Sayreville on the 18th, then Poughkeepsie the 19th. The 20th is the Bottom Line, the 21st the Stone Balloon in Newark Delaware, and then 22nd is the Trocedero and I'll be hosting that show and The Innocence Mission, my favourite new band, are going to be opening. And I can't wait for you to see them Annie, they're really good. If you like Annie and Renaissance, you'll like The Innocence Mission. Also Annie will be wrapping up at Toads Place in New Haven on the 24th. I think you dug out one more new song, this is from a new concept album that you're part of, right?

It's about John Betjamin who's a very famous poet in England. And it was, it's all been done by a very famous DJ in England called Mike Read who's a [BBC] Radio One DJ which is you know the nationwide music station. A lot of people did different songs, like Justin Hayward and people like that and I was asked to do a track -- I'm the only female actually on the album. But it's quite a funny -- you might not understand a few of the words in it because it's very very English and posh.

And what won't understand?

"Jolly good hockey sticks" ... I don't know. It's certain, it's about horses, you see. It's about horse riding.

So this is not actually released? The album ...

This is another one that's not been released. (Laughs.)

David Essex' single from the album came out but then the album was held up and hasn't come out, but maybe it will; and what will it be called?

Betjamin. [Ed. Note: The album as released is called Poetry In Motion. It was released in 1990; see Discography and Band History for details.]

Betjamin? Betjamin. And what's the song called?

Hunter Trials.

Annie Haslam, as yet, another unreleased track.

(Ed plays "Hunter Trials." [See Northern Lights' Album/Lyrics Archive - Annie Haslam Rarities for lyrics.])

(Ed plays "Ashes Are Burning.")

And there's "Ashes Are Burning" on the CD. It sounds great. It seems that they faded right before the end, didn't they Annie?

Yes, they did, yeah.

There's a little bit more. But hey we'll take it I guess. You get 74 minutes on the CD and a budget price and it's a pretty good deal; "Ashes Are Burning" on the In The Beginning double album from Renaissance. Annie Haslam, great to have you with us tonight.

Thank you.

And it was great for all the folks to call in and chat with Annie. I'm sure everybody enjoyed it. We appreciate it.

I really enjoyed it actually.

So go get ready, rehearse, and get the bandready and we'll see you on the 22nd at the Trocedero with The Innocence Mission -- the solo tour (laughs) as it were, right. And we'll see you at the Trocedero on the 22nd ... from 94 WYSP Philadelphia.

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