- World Of Music - Interviews
Interviewer: Dragutin Matošević
Interviewer: Dragutin Matošević
Klaus Voorman, Germany -
musician (bass guitarist), and record producer
(Interview performed on December 2009)
Reading your biography - your beginnings - may conclude - you were right
man (with successful career in commercial arts and with some musical education),
at right place (Hamburg, London), at right moment (rule of rock and roll),
meeting right people (The Beatles, Brian Epstein...). How do you explain
all of that? Obviously - the great luck also had its fingers involved in
Answer: Luck and hard work.
You created cover for "Revolver", album
of The Beatles. At the 9th Annual Grammy Awards in 1967 brought to
you the Grammy for Best Album
Cover, Graphic Arts. Wasn't it the key moment which brought your name to
the attention of the audience?
Answer: I designed the cover artwork 1966, so I've got the Grammy 1967.
It was a key moment to me but not because my name and my work became more
attention, it was a key moment to me because I've never heard such great
music before. We all knew that music and my artwork together set milestones
in pop music and cover artwork.
Although your musical career started in Germany
(playing bass in Paddy, Klaus & Gibson),
your musical recognition started with participation in Manfred Mann band
(1966-1969). You were very famous. "Mighty Queen" is big hit even
now. Please, list other successes of Manfred Mann and explain why you left
such good band?
Answer: I didn't leave the band, the band leader Manfred Mann stopped that
band project and started with a new formation. We had 7 top ten hits like
"Mighty Quinn", "Ha Ha Said the Clown", "Just like a Woman" and others.
In 1969 you joined John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Alan White, and Eric Clapton
in formation called Plastic Ono Band. What you are considering as the greatest
achievement from that phase of your activity?
Significant contribution you gave to George Harrison's
project - "All
Things Must Pass" (triple album, 1970). Its success initiated big humanitarian
project - "Concert for Bangladesh". These projects included worldwide
known musicians (Eric Clapton, Jesse Ed Davis, Billy Preston, Leon Russell,
Ringo Starr, Jim Keltner...). You must be very proud dealing with such great
names. What each of them gave to you?
Sign of self-recognition, an opportunity for extend learning, challenge for
Answer: Such projects are always a challenge. Great moments like this let
you grow in each way, as a musician and as a human being, also in a spiritual
In 1971 you participated in John Lennon's equip creating
legendary album "Imagine".
Were you aware of historical moment at the time of its creation?
Answer: Yes I was. It was magic! I'll never forget this session.
Was it joint effort of all of the members of the equip or John was ultimate
boss of the project?
Answer: It's always a joint effort of all participants. Of course John
was the boss... who else?
Later on, you acted mostly as recording musician
dealing with Harry Nilsson ("Without You"), Carly Simon ("You're
BB King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Lou Reed, Gary Wright, Leon Russell, Howlin’ Wolf,
Peter Frampton, Martha Reeves, to name but a few. You also played alongside
The Band, Van Dyke Parks, Dr. John (Mac Rebennack), Jim Keltner, Jesse
Ed Davis, Ry Cooder, Larry Carlton and many, many others, plus yourself.
Meeting any of these guys, for us, ordinary people, is unimaginable. What
they really were? I believe - some were good, some were less good.
Answer: They were all fantastic, very good and very special people!
Since 1980 you are back in Germany. You began to work as a scout for
record companies. What values has to have good scout?
Answer: I don't know if I was a good talent scout. But I think you need
to have a good feeling for talent and personality.
Paintings again got bigger importance in your life. Were your paintings
related only to the world of music or you had an other (themes of ) interests?
Answer: Most of my artwork is focused to music because I designed many
album covers but I painted other images too, like trees.
You did again marvelous cover for The Beatles.
This time for "The Beatles
Anthology" (series). I am not surprised for it. There is no man in the
world knowing them better. Could you, now, for us, please, describe each
of The Beatles members personally? What were their good, and what were their
You are still very busy guy. New project - "A
Sideman's Journey" -
is again including big names: Paul McCartney, Ringo
Starr, Yusuf Islam aka Cat Stevens, Dr. John, Jim Keltner, Albert Lee, Van
Dyke Parks, Joe Walsh (The Eagles), Max Buskohl, Bonnie Bramlett, etc.
purpose and what are you expecting from this release?
Answer: Purpose was a journey back to where it all began because of my
70th birthday. I hope people like the songs and the Making of ASJ film produced
by my wife Christina. We wanted to give the viewer the chance becoming
of our studio cosmos. The album is connected to our charity project Safe
Water is a Human Right in aid of Lakota families of Pine Ridge Reservation,
third world country in the middle of the U.S.A. Many parts of the drinking
water resources are contaminated by radiation and heavy metals.
Thank you Klaus very much for your attention and kindness.
THANK YOU Dragutin, all my best wishes to you too, Klaus.
The Beatles - Revolver (1966)
Voormann & Friends - A Sideman's Journey (2009)
VOORMANN & FRIENDS
- A Sideman's Journey (2009)