I recently had the opportunity to put some questions (of mine) to Terry - see below.
As you can see from some of his responses, he possibly feels interest in 'Charlie' is waning.
I suppose this is your/our opportunity to prove him wrong !!
Should you have any questions you'd like him to answer, then send them to me firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll redirect them.
PR - With the benefit of hindsight, what would/should you have done differently?
TT - We would have done nothing differently as when we signed with Trident we were not being pursued by major labels. Roy Thomas Baker recommended us to Trident who had Queen on their roster and he was going to produce our first album. It was very exciting. Our management was inexperienced and the contracts we signed were poor with no advances in those days there was no requirement for legal advice on contracts as there is today however companies still will say ' sign it or nothing'..
PR - Was it bad management, you guys being too naïve/trusting in others, or just the wrong time for the Charlie sound - that Charlie just never made it big?
TT - Of course we were too trusting all I wanted to do was write songs record and tour...for No Second Chance we had experienced management MAM, who at the time managed Tom Jones and Gilbert O'Sullivan amongst others, didn't renegotiate our contracts, allowed me to produce the album with no advance and no extra percentage points as is normal...total incompetence....the album was released in the US by Janus a small independent label who couldn't get records in the shops when Johnny hold Back was a big radio hit.
PR - What made you move to Portugal in the late 60’s – and why return?
TT - I went to work in Portugal in 1970 as a computer engineer installing a computerised message switching system for the Portuguese airline TAP....came back when contract ended.
PR - How did the original Charlie line-up meet/get together and was there a time you felt various changes in line-up would help change your fortunes?
TT - I joined a band called Ax in about 1968 the drummer was Nikko McBrain the bass player John Anderson we became a 3 piece and played quite a few gigs around London before another guitarist Keith joined ( excellent player)...his friend was Martin Smith who came to many gigs. I then went to Portugal to work and when I came back I tried to get Ax back together - we had a rehearsal which descended into chaos as Nikko became very adamant about what he would and wouldn't do. The bass player at this rehearsal was Ray Bulloch not John because that's what Nikko wanted and the guitarist was Martin. Anyway there was no way I was going to play with Nikko after this and Ray suggested Steve Gadd we auditioned him he was great and a fantastically funny guy .Some time later Ray left and we got John back in. So that was the original line up.
PR - Had you had hardened things up a little, do you feel that would have made a difference?
TT - No we were never a hard rock band my influences at that time were melodic rock Neil Young CSN etc . Along with my early songs we played songs by Fairport Convention Chicago Neil Young Humble Pie so no Black Sabbath there!
PR - I can’t find anything on the internet for Ray Bulloch – do you know what ever happened to him?
TT - Never spoke to Ray again after he left.
PR - Out of all the various Charlie line-ups, which was your favourite?
TT - All the early line-ups were great fun and that's how I judged it 2 drummer made it a bit unwieldy but Shep was a great guy. The Good Morning America line-up was a marriage of convenience Bob Henrit great guy and great drummer John Verity fantastic singer and guitarist and also a very creative studio engineer/producer however he was used to running the show so he left pretty soon after. No gigs. The last line-up with Terry Slessor was not a band just a project of our new US management who wanted a classic AOR band hence Terry Slessor and not me as the singer no gigs huge radio success with It's Inevitable however Atlantic didn't get records in the shops to coincide with this radio play. Album flopped - my least favourite album.
PR - Was there ever a moment where you thought ‘this is it – we’re going to make it big'?
TT - We nearly split up after the initial response to No Second Chance in the UK was that of indifference.. we didn't know it had been released in the US. Our management weren't speaking to us we had no money to live and then suddenly the success of Johnny Hold Back on US radio meant that everybody wanted to talk to us . A US tour was arranged the management bought us all new equipment with flight cases and we thought that this might be it!!!
PR - What’s your favourite Charlie single and LP?
TT - My favourite album forgetting Kitchens and Elysium is No Second Chance....I loved the songs on Fantasy Girls but was very disappointed with the sound of the album...Good Morning America has some good stuff.
As for singles ...no real favourite.
PR - Do you keep in in touch with all the various band members – and if (I'm allowed to ask) not, why?
TT - I still see Martin and John fairly regularly say 4 or 5 times a year I always kept in touch with Steve before he died . Julian came over from the US and we got together. Don't hear from Eugene or Shep...no sinister reason, they both live in the US.
PR - Were there ever musical differences between the different line-ups?
TT - Not really - I can only remember one argument in the studio on the Fight Dirty album when we suddenly had 6 producers for a particular song so I 'resigned' that was resolved quickly. It was a democracy if I wrote something the band didn't like or wouldn't come together then it wouldn't be done.
PR - Are you still active in the music industry (producing etc)
TT - Not really.... I would relish the chance to work with new acts but there is no money just for development. I have done a few projects on spec..ie no money to see them founder because of inept management I did an album for a band Hate Gallery with a very talented guy fronting it ..did it in my home studio except for drums it sounded great ...I did it because I knew the manager and he had the right plans however he quit before the album was finished and the new guy wasn't up to it...the album eventually got a Scandinavian release but I never saw any royalties.
Spotify pays money to the major labels who don't distribute it fairly. Streaming royalties are pathetic one million streams would earn me as the writer no more than 20 dollars !!
PR - I think I know the answer to this one (based on your feedback on Elysium sales), but is this really going to be the last release under the ‘Charlie’ banner?
TT -I really don't have the energy. I have already written quite a few new songs the Lampshades will be playing a couple at the gig...it's not about money I was hoping for sales of Elysium to be about a thousand or so which would make me about a grand not much for four years work but it would have an audience...
PR - As it would seem that the re-release of past LPs has fallen by the wayside, have you ever thought of changing the sounds of 'your' favourites (bringing them more up-to-date) and releasing those (along the lines of your updated Fantasy Girls that you sent me)?
TT - Same reason as above.
PR - Do you feel you'll have the opportunity to put the steam back into the Charlie site 'engine'?
TT - Only if I could see some real interest ...I thought Elysium was the best thing I've ever done. The reaction has been extremely disappointing I feel that if there is an audience for Charlie it would have shown itself. Apart from yourself and Geoff I know no other aficionados!!
great questions! and even better answers... terry DESERVES so much more from all he has given to his fans. what a talent. thanks for the update... its got to be very hard to not, be cynical the way terry and the band has been treated over the years..