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  LOOPY'S WORLD: PART EIGHT - ENTER SMALLWOOD

Steve 'Loopy' Newhouse

steve newhouse

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After a few shows at the Music Machine and countless gigs elsewhere and everywhere, Steve was introduced to a guy called Rod Smallwood. Rod, from what I remember, had a few contacts in the music industry and had been part of the management team for IQ, Paul Young's band before he went solo and became a hit in the UK.

I could be totally wrong about that but I'm sure there's a little archivist sitting there somewhere who will say nope, he got that wrong. Like I care?

One night at the Music Machine, a night that Iron Maiden was actually headlining, Rod came along and was introduced to the band. Everything went really well as far as I could tell. Then he was introduced to the crew. We all said our hello's, hi, how ya doing, whatever and went back to what we were doing, i.e., getting everything ready for the show.

Rod was very quick at realising the potential and asked Steve about a fan club. I just happened to be in earshot of this conversation and piped up that I would do it. Harris looked at me, then looked at Rod and said, "Nah!! He's a bit of a dark horse this one. We'll find someone else."

Article continues below...

 
 


To this day I still have no idea what he meant and the comment didn't hurt. I was too busy looking after Doug so I had enough to do. I was just offering my services. No harm in that!!

But it did Keith Wilfort a favour, as Keith got the job, part time to start with, in November 79, went full time in August 1980, and kept the whole thing going until November 1996. That is dedication for you.

Back then we were proud to be members of a little outfit from the East End of London. And we were a team. Everybody pulled in the same direction, with one goal. To make this band bigger.

Anyway, the show itself was a great success as usual and, once Rod was happy with the way things were going, he took over as the band's manager.

It didn't take long for the Rod effect to kick in.

Rod was always looking at ways of getting more out of the crew than necessary. We did a gig in Swindon during his early reign and Rod wasn't happy with me. I still don't understand why but he asked Vic if I should be running around a lot more. Vic simply said, "He's the drum roadie. If he sets the kit up right the first time he has no need to run around."

Vic told me about it later and said that Rod wasn't happy. I have no idea what Rod's problem was but this wasn't the end of it by any means. I was just doing my job and, more to the point, I was doing it for free. This goes back to what I said earlier about everyone pulling in the same direction. The one person trying to fuck things up back then was Rod Smallwood.

All of a sudden we were doing gigs all over the place. If the distances had been erratic before, now they were getting mentally so.

After a few weeks of going from Blackpool to Aberdeen to Liverpool to Glasgow to Norwich then Swansea, we said to Harris, "This has to change. We are driving backwards and forwards and, although we love the job, we're not getting any sleep."

Harry spoke to Rod but we carried on like the troopers we were. We then went back to London to start rehearsals and try to add a second guitarist.

The guy who got the job was Tony Parsons, a tall pale bloke with long blonde hair and a centre parting. He played a Gibson Flying V and had his own Marshall stack with a 100w amp. That should have been enough to impress anybody. Except Rod.

We went back on the road with Tony. In fact we used to pick Tony up from his place in Potter's Bar and, from where we were based, it was a good thing we were heading north or we might have left him behind.

Tony was introduced to our shows slowly. He would come on for the last few numbers here and there, but I don't recall Tony ever actually doing a full gig with the band. Again I could be totally wrong.

I liked Tony but he had a problem, being that he only had one style. He looked, played and sounded like Michael Schenker. Don't get me wrong, I loved Schenker and worked with him, but there can only be one. And that was Tony's problem. Even to the point where, in one of his solos, he ripped off Michael's solo from the song 'Rock Bottom'. Note for note. Being a big UFO fan, I made Harry aware of this.

At this point I didn't realise that Tony's days were already numbered. The band took him on in August 79. Tony played a part in around 30 shows and played on the 'Metal For Muthas' album. He also played on the BBC Rock Show, and was eventually fired by Rod Smallwood at Paddington Station on Tony's birthday (information supplied by Barry Considine, thank you sir).

Shortly after Tony's demise the band had to endure some studio time, so we went to Wessex Studios, somewhere in north London if my memory serves me right.

The idea was to record a demo for the record companies to drool over. Maiden were making a lot of noise around this time and, of course, there were a lot of companies interested. I think EMI stumped up the funds for this though I can't be certain.

So, we did what we always did. Turned up on time, unloaded the van and put the gear where we were told to. From memory, Wessex Studio was almost like an empty warehouse with the control room upstairs in the Manager's office.

The two tracks required were 'Burning Ambition' and a new song called 'Running Free', written by Harris and Di'Anno.

As far as I can remember everything went really well with the recording, but there were a few comments made about Doug not being well. I just assumed he had another cold or something similar.

With a decent demo in the bag, Rod managed to secure a contract with EMI. We were all ecstatic. We hadn't been going long but all the hard work had paid off.

While the crew were still working hard to get the band's equipment looking good and sounding great what came next was unexpected, and totally blew me away.

Doug had resigned because of medical reasons.

Shit, I thought, what the fuck do I do now? I spoke to everybody trying to make some kind of sense of it all, but nobody had an answer. Doug had simply had enough.

I could have cried, but I spoke to Dave Murray who simply said, "You're one of us. Whoever we get to replace Doug, you will always be one of us."

I didn't have an option. I was an unpaid member of the Killer Krew. Although at that time, I didn't know it.

Click here for the Loopyworld index for the rest of this amazing story...




21.3.13



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This tour follows on from the release of the band's acclaimed album 'Outsider' which enjoyed excellent reviews...

godsmack GODSMACK VOCALIST SULLY ERNA TO MAKE AN ONLINE POKER COMEBACK
For Godsmack fans this could be disheartening as Erna shifts his attention from music to poker...

quo convention FIRST EVER STATUS QUO FAN CLUB CONVENTION ANNOUNCED
There will be live music, very special guests and a packed programme this October for this very special celebration...

queensryche THUNDER CONFIRMED AS VERY SPECIAL GUESTS TO ZZ TOP AT WEMBLEY ARENA PLUS MINI UK TOUR ANNOUNCED
The group's first studio album in six years, 'Wonder Days', reminds us why Thunder are now more revered than ever before...

queensryche QUEENSRŸCHE TO TOUR EUROPE AND RELEASE NEW ALBUM IN 2015
It's a busy year for Queensrÿche with headline shows and festival appearances before the new album release...

dir en grey dir en grey RETURN FOR TWO EXCLUSIVE SHOWS
The Islington O2 Academy will be the scene for Japanese avant-garde Metal in May...

unleashed SWEDISH LEGENDS UNLEASHED REVEAL ALBUM TITLE AND ARTWORK
The founders of the Viking Death Metal movement are back and as brutal as ever...

santa cruz SANTA CRUZ REVEAL LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'MY REMEDY'
Get a taste of the new album with 'My Remedy', the third single to be released...

Shattered sun LEGENDARY BRITISH MELODIC ROCKERS FM RETURN WITH 'HEROES & VILLAINS' ON APRIL 17TH
"We're on a roll! Some of the tracks on this album are better than anything that the band has ever produced, and Steve's voice is as good as ever..."

nightwish NIGHTWISH ANNOUNCE ONLY UK DATE THIS YEAR WITH ARCH ENEMY SUPPORTING
"Who would have thought about headlining at Wembley Arena one day when we were starting our UK touring history..."

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS GO UNPLUGGED AND PERSONAL: ACOUSTIC DATES ANNOUNCED
After last year's highly acclaimed unplugged tour, The Quireboys are pleased to announce a very intimate string of evenings early 2015...

killit KILLIT UNLEASH DEBUT VIDEO AND ANNOUNCE FIRST EVER LIVE SHOW
'Shut It Down' is the first single from the album and is out now and available...

state villains STATE VILLAINS TO RELEASE SECOND EP IN SPRING
State Villains have an honesty that harkens back to an era of integrity and a distinct lack of gimmicks...

chris slade BREAKING NEWS: CHRIS SLADE IS BACK IN AC/DC
Chris will rejoin the legendary hard rockers for their appearance at the 57th annual Grammy Awards as well as the band's upcoming tour...

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