Andrew Loog Oldham was a successful talent scout and music publisher, but is best remembered for managing and producing the Rolling Stones. ISSUE #1 of TEENAGE NEWS featured an interview with Andew Loog Oldham.
Here is an excerpt from the now out of print ISSUE #1:
TEENAGE NEWS: Were the Rolling Stones really “bad boys” compared to the Beatles?
Andrew Loog Oldham: Not at all. If it came to a stand off I think the Beatles would have won. The Beatles had three scrappers and the Stones a possible two. In other words, they were a lamb dressed as mutton.
TEENAGE NEWS: You managed and produced the biggest band of all time without any “technical” experience. How did your concept of production change as you began getting more records under your belt?
Andrew Loog Oldham: It was always on the run. We were always learning on the job. It was the first time in the studio for all of us. And we had no time to think. As our singles became more and more successful we had to have another ready every 14 weeks.
TEENAGE NEWS: What should a good producer do versus to a good engineer?
Andrew Loog Oldham: aaah! Depends on the act… Look, let’s put it this way, if an engineer wants to become a producer he had better have a natural knack for the song. It is all about serving the song and that process is different from the sound. A great example would be what Kim Carnes and Val Garay did with the Jackie De Shannon-Donna Weiss song “Bette Davis Eyes.” …Wonderful, it all changes. When I started out you could get away with a lot of waving and conducting in the studio. Enthusiasm was our strongest suit. If I were kicking off today I’d need to be a musician and have a reasonable grounding in technology so that the engineer could not get lazy on me. Engineers are like gunners, they are not the pilots.
TEENAGE NEWS: Did Malcolm McLaren completely rip off your “flamboyant” style?
Andrew Loog Oldham: I have no idea, I never met him. We were nearly the same age, half-Jewish, redheaded and grew up with single mums. That’ll make you flamboyant!
TEENAGE NEWS: What was it like touring with Goldie and The Gingerbreads?
Andrew Loog Oldham: Very nice… Like nice they were all one of the lads. We met them first in New York at a party. I think Tiny Tim was singing at the same party.
TEENAGE NEWS: Who are the Rolling Stones?
Andrew Loog Oldham: A band becomes a brand, it’s inevitable. Can you imagine what would have happened if Brian Jones had not died or quit the group, and the group had slowly fizzed out by the 80’s? They’d be back on the oldies circuit or casinos or whatever. What I am saying is that I cannot imagine anything more boring than having to celebrate your 50th anniversary as a band. Playing the game on that one is not exactly creative numero uno. I mean…. grrrr… get out of town with that one!
TEENAGE NEWS: What are your thought on “the good old days?”
Andrew Loog Oldham: I hear a splatter here and there. The good old days are now and tomorrow. If you step out enough you’ll find it. Awful lot of rubbish to sift through, and it is an expensive process… Going out ain’t cheap.
TEENAGE NEWS: Thanks so much for the time. Do you have any advice for 21st century musicians?
Andrew Loog Oldham: Stop struggling. Breathe. Make sure you do not go through life waiting for the applause. Applaud your own moments, life is in the now. Applause is wonderful but it is only confirming something that was going on in the song. Don’t waste your time talking, spend it observing and writing. Get a manager who will kill for you, he/she does not have to be qualified. We were not.
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