Neal Kay Tells The Story Of The 80's Band Flight 19, 2014

let me explain about 23 24 years ago I was managing a studio complex in London called samurai like the Japanese warrior at London Bridge the governor there was Jim white governor of mountain records – some of you better known also as the manager of nazareth Hawkwind with Lemmy and the amazing Alex Harvey band or sensational or sensational Alex Harvey band Jim had come back from America and wanted to have a studio complex and an easier life than Turing weaved a McCafferty Jim told me that what did it was the last tour in America in LA they were so drunk then he had to tie scarves around the whole bands necking in line to get him to the right aircraft and he tired of this business actually after the record company threw him a lunch in recognition of thanks to record sales the band went through 12,000 dollars worth of liquid lunch that was a crate upon crate each of their favorite spirit tipple there was no food and after that Jim decided to call it quits on Turan so he came back to England built samurai studio complex phoned me up one day would I manage it no problem do sound setup for the bands in rehearsal we had storage eventually recording studio the whole lot a friend sent me a cassette tape which were what demos were on back then only that there was no digital age a tape arrived from two guys up in Sheffield I thought it was so original so different I had to go up and listen to it when up there Gary flounders a Nigel Ward they were not heavy metal musicians they were of the new kind sort of journey mr. big foreigner very very modern very commercial not hard at all but I could see there was real value to what they were doing and Gary flounders his father was a director of The Salvation Army Orchestra he was multi-instrumentalist guitar keyboards piano trumpet he could just do the whole lot he was unbelievable brought them down to live with me in my house finally built a band around a whole band living in my house absolute nightmare time brought him into Samurai Studios they got employed gary became a recording engineer and in downtime Uncle Jim White said you can do what you like we’ll try and manage flight 19 four that’s what the band was called well over two three years we put demos together they were unbelievable they’re they’re only demos hey we didn’t even have computers back then really we had a fair light it was a big stroppy box of electronics that didn’t like working it did strings it did drum machines and that was about it and Gary with his partner Nigel over a period of time created some of the most outstanding demos in quality I’ve ever heard I’ll tell you what the industry had to say about them after you’ve heard them the police bear in mind they’re not a heavy metal band it’s completely different and the quality is from 23 odd years ago transferred to CD in an analogue way not even through a computer so what you hear is as it was Oh

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today I’m going to tell you about a traditional British Sunday lunch the most popular meal of the is a kind of magic that catbird has returned blood stuff giving you hey this is Brian bachelor coming up this week on hard rock nights we will check out new music from Motorhead the choirboys and the answer and David Reese from Bengal require and accept will join us for the Queen speaks remember when you need a fix of rock and roll it’s gotta be hard rock nights finding tomorrow’s classic rock today it’s what we do purebred rock and metal blood stock radio it is plastic radio it is the rock’n’roll roundtable circus and before the break mr. Newcombe Silva tell us what we heard yeah you heard from flight 19 in the last it’s a first-order promised land the instrumental flight 19 and the song called liar they were demos absolutely nothing more than that on cassette transferred directly to CD without the benefit of any computer software the extraordinary abilities musicianship songwriting is down to basically the two guys who founded flight 19 his Gary flounders and Nigel Ward and in the course of two or three years that we will work together at samurai studio complex the boys turned out a number of songs enough to fill probably three three albums worth and Jim White was acting professionally as their manager at the time and the time came to present some of these songs to the recording industry in London and we all knew these people because I’d had previous dealings with him Jim had there was a track record there so here we had something a little bit different it wasn’t heavy metal that’s for sure and he wasn’t quite the American thing that was coming over but it was very close to it and he had a definitive style of its own and Gary flounders an absolutely accredited an incredible musician arranger writer composer no question about it so that’s what we had on the cassettes and we started shipping him around and we started doing showcases at the studio for the record companies well let me see Atlantic Records we did one for very big ac/dc label basically amongst many others I in our division came down we played six songs through which you’ve just heard comments at the end very nice let’s and if you decided like Bad Company we’d assigned you comment number one now what the hell does that mean it means the man who made the comment understood nothing about music right Warner Brothers came down and said to gary afterwards very very very nice but what are you are you a keyboard band or are you a guitar band because we don’t know and Gary swung around and said well why can’t you have both the man didn’t know what to say of course we don’t mention bands like deep purple and many others the keyboards in guitars have been getting along with each other for years this just idiots don’t know that the third one I think was the absolute best and I believe it fell to A&M shamefully I will name them as twenty three years later who cares we did a showcase for A&M which they paid for actually and I think we did that at John Henry’s or somewhere like that a very big an established professional level studio and Gary set everything up you know we had the whole bit and when they did the ballad the one you’ve just heard promised land the guy got up he walked over to Garen he said you know that’s rubbish and walked out the door and to my absolute horror the comments collected then and in the following weeks and months was enough to destroy Gary flounders love of music and every ability that he had for a very very long time and I rediscovered these song was very recently when the two of them came to see me for the first time in 23 years and for me I’ve realized that an a

huge talent for me has escaped it should have been a fait accompli someone should have been able to hear the ability but that’s just me Malcolm what do you think I agree with you I think it’s very impressive I really enjoyed listening to them they it sounds modern to be honest and it’s the sort of thing that could be released now and I think without she pick up a decent audience Karen yeah I think I think Michael’s right it does sound it sounds very fresh it doesn’t sound 23 really I’m a big I love the ballads yeah I really enjoyed it because the three of us think because obviously we lived it at the time and came through the years we think that it’s very very much eighties eyes if I could develop a weird phrase there it’s very much of the eighties and we’re concerned that it’s too much of the 80s to count now am I wrong about this I think you are wrong I think it could count now it doesn’t sound as if it’s locked into the 80s with the sound that the sounds of the eighties it sounds like something could have been recorded yesterday really that’s got the nostalgia well yes of course he’s got 80s feel to it but it doesn’t say it sounds like a freshness revitalizing in the 80s if any I’m sorry Malcolm no that’s it my opinion if anybody out there has got any comments good or bad about what you’ve just heard please email me because right now there is a strong possibility that somehow we’ve we’ve got the master tapes of the back catalogue of some of this stuff and speaking to the two guys we are thinking about possibly going in the studio over a period of time to sort all this out right in my view are wrong that was created a very long time ago I am talking to people about it even stateside where I think this stuff would probably do very well bearing in mind that they use national radio networks a lot more than obviously we do in this sort of field and there is as you said Martin with sticks and foreigner and journey over here there’s a resurgence what do you think of it anyway because he’s you’re committed Led Zep man it’s not your bag at all but no I mean for what it is it’s it’s very good you can hear the musicianship on it definitely I mean it’s it’s not really me I mean I’m very much more crash bang wallet but that’s also true there’s a head of a worse itself to be to be fair you’ve actually impressed me very much all of you because you know I treat you as my friends now and Malky professional and friend as well for how many years and your words matter to me because you will you were at going back through the years a member of an audience that had some frankly unbelievably heavy ability to make and break them and the industry knew you for that they used to like what you said about new stuff they used to come and watch you and listen to what you were saying about it so your your words are valid to me as much then as as today so it seems likely that if we put it together that somebody somewhere finally might take it up and do something what are they doing now what are the individual mamata right this is this isn’t well this is the fun bit both Gary and Nigel back then penniless musicians living in my house with the rest of the band had not have been a scratch themselves with today our senior building inspectors Nigel’s got an 80 million pound project and there is wing though you’re driving you know really nice cars Audi’s the whole lot like you know they’re they’ve done very well for themselves but Gary I believe hasn’t touched a keyboard or a guitar in 20 years and that has got to stop i phone him yesterday i said to him you have been lazing around far too long get your finger out and go back to work and i mean music because I’m convinced that there’s something special going on here and I can’t leave it the guitarist in the band the one who’s solos are so inventive so clean and precise is today flying Boeing 747-400 s around the world out of British Airways his father before him and his grandfather before him were all pilots I think his name was just mark Smith he was a little guy he played incredibly when the band broke up because no one had take it on the calling of flight was too strong for him he went through a commercial pilots course very quickly arranged by his father and joined British Airways and

today he would be a very senior captain the singer Mark Thompson Smith we don’t know his whereabouts the voice is the right voice for those songs he’s a big powerful melodic exactly correct we don’t know where he is but it it may be come to it that we’d have to go looking the thing is that I personally don’t feel I want to leave it I’ve heard it for the first time in all these years your words pretty much convinced me that there’s something good there and I really want to get on with it I have to talk to the boys about it they know it’s on air they were supposed to be here today but they’re so nervous I don’t think they you know they could actually do it they don’t realize I believe just how good what they created all those years ago really is because the industry laughed at them you see completely total bunch of fools know nothing new nothing absolutely nothing how can you dismiss that as rubbish I’m quite horrified at anyone who called themselves mayor I could have done that but clearly they did well you remembered with me Malcolm 23 24 25 years ago they’re a whole new bunch of kids in A&R yeah and the seniors were saying no no no no we listen to the youngsters because they’re our future and every week that the roundtable conference that we all know used to happen right they’d ask the kids what’s great and unfortunately if they don’t like it then that’s it we used to entertain him at samurai I mean they’re lucky they got away with their lives because Gary being from New Castle had a very short fuse he really really did and if people got too close to him with words he would lash out like mad he really would and I’m amazed they walked out the door they were so lucky they don’t even realize they were close to a near-death experience in actual fact you know there’s no question about that at all so I’d like to think that I’m going to spend a little time over the next few months with these guys trying to help them along see if we can come up with anything you know let’s see what happens but so it would better press someone yeah let’s get some music we can’t get much more all right