"UFO are and always will be classic rock at its best." Pete Makowski from the afterword.
High Stakes And Dangerous Men: The Story Of UFOby Neil Daniels, Eddie Trunk (Foreword by)
This band have been around since 1969 and are still going strong. Hailing from London, they have a substantial fan base in North America as they have frequently toured here and are a band who have a host of high profile admirers including Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pearl Jam and Slash from Guns N' Roses amongst others. Their songs, like 'Doctor, Doctor', 'Lights Out' and 'Rock Bottom' are rock classics.
The musicians who have passed through their ranks reads like a Who's Who of rock: Pete Way (God bless him), Michael Schenker, Larry Wallis, Bernie Marsden, Paul Chapman, Billy Sheehan, Jason Bonham, Aynsley Dunbar and more have all done time in one of the most enduring, and endearing, bands.
The secret to their success is their longevity. If they make it to 2014, they will celebrat their 45th anniverary and founder member Phil Mogg is still on vocals. They have cut over 20 albums during this time. Plus, they never stop working and pleasing old fans, as well as winning new ones.
This affectionate look at the band, which has a reputation for playing loud and partying hard, covers their beginnings as space rockers in London, through to the 'glory years' with Schenker in the 1970s, and the various break-ups and reformations.
They'd kill you for saying it, but they are a bit of a Spinal Tap. The wife of Pete Way, the original bassist, was sick of him touring so much. So, he didn't tell her he had a tour planned, went out to get some cigs (with his passport) and returned 3 months later! They are that kind of band.
This is a hard rock group, which means their fans are intensely loyal. There is only one other book about the band and it is only available from the author's own website and currently out of print.Fans are waiting for this book.
High Stakes & Dangerous Men includes a foreword by Eddie Trunk which will carry weight in the States and an afterword by British rock journalist Peter Makowski.
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Read an Excerpt
In June, 1973 UFO lured the 18 -year-old German guitarist Michael Schenker from the Scorpions, Germany's greatest hard rock export. How did Schenker became UFO's guitarist?
UFO supported the Scorpions on the German tour (some reports have suggested July 13 as the first date of the tour) in 1973 but Marsden was held up back in England due to reported passport problems; Schenker covered the guitarist for two nights. "So there we was, no guitarist and no gear,” Mogg told the American magazine Scene. "But the show had to go on. We sold a lot of advance tickets, and if we hadn't gone on, they quite likely would have smashed the place up.”
Marsden - who later admitted he refused to go to Germany because he could no longer stand being in the band - arrived in Germany as quickly as he could to continue with the rest of the tour only for him to be permanently replaced by Schenker once the tour ended.
UFO's setlist was 'Move Over', 'C'mon Everybody', 'Looking For An Easy Life', 'Sixteen (Crystal Light)' and 'Boogie For George'. They knew how to handle the crowds, as Mogg told Melody Maker's Chris Welch back in 1972 when referring to their success in Japan, where they once played to 20,000 fans: "We've already been through the super star treatment, so we're not unready. Our main aim is not so much 'success' as to communicate with our audiences.”
Leaving UFO for good in June, Marsden went on to join ex-Jethro Tull bassist Glenn Cornick in Wild Turkey, but his best known gig is with Whitesnake, of course. Marsden recorded a demo with them called 'Give Her The Gun' and also appears on the 1993 UFO compilation, The Decca Years. Marsden's experience in UFO, although brief, turned him into a professional player, for which he remains thankful. "Oh, Bernie's just an easy-going, nice guy to get on with. I think we were a little too wild for Bernie,” Pete Way said, with classic understatement. "Bernie's like 'Hello?' and we're like 'Where's the drugs?' Give us a drink!' David Coverdale once said to Bernie, 'What are they like then, those guys?' and Bernie said 'Oh, you wouldn't believe!”
Meet the Author
Neil Daniels is one of music's top writers on heavy rock with over a dozen books to his name. He has contributed to many music magazines, fanzines and websites. Visit www.neildaniels.com and neildanielsbooks.wordpress.com
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