Q&A with British keybord player George Glover of Climax Blues Band - flown the flag with tremendous passion and style

"Listening to different music whilst travelling around the world is an education in it self and even if you don't speak the language you can communicate with music. Perhaps the politicians of the world should do the same then maybe there might be less problems in the world."

George Glover: Climax Blues Band

Founded in the 60's, by Colin Cooper, Climax Blues Band has always focused on its roots, a unique combination of jazz and blues. After 50 years, 18 albums, the classic world-wide hit "Couldn't Get It Right" and tours of the UK, Europe and the US, Climax Blues Band are now touring with a new album of original material and still playing the blues in a creative way that has always been synonymous with their name. The Climax Blues Band of today carries the same standard of quality as it did when the band formed back in the late 60s and achieved such great success and recognition through the 70s and 80s, huge selling albums like FM / Live and Gold Plated, the 1976 hit single Couldn’t Get It Right (from Gold Plated) and I Love You in 1981, the reputation carrying right through until the tragic death of founder member Colin Cooper in 2008. Colin’s death could have meant the end of Climax Blues Band but his desire was for the band to continue creating the fine blues blend that the band has been associated with since its formation, and that desire has been accepted with relish by the remaining members of the band.

George Glover has been at the keyboards in Climax since 1981, very much part of the nucleus of the band, Lester Hunt on guitar joined in 1986, drummer Roy Adams in 1987 and Neil Simpson on bass in the early 90s. This solid unit has flown the Climax flag with tremendous passion and style. Now there is a spring in their step, taking the band forward and already pleasing crowds throughout Europe, the ‘seamless’ transition in carrying on creating the unique Climax sound is the result of hard work, disguised by a band having a great time making music. George Glover joined the band on keyboards and backing vocals on tour promoting the ‘Flying The Flag’ album and has remained there ever since. George’s colourful background included playing the famous Star Club and Top Ten Club in Hamburg the same time the Beatles were out there and eventually moving there in the mid-60s. Returning to England to join the Cyril Dagworth Players with David Parton, touring and playing on his hit single ‘Isn’t She Lovely’.

Interview by Michael Limnios

How has the Blues, Rock Jazz music influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

Very much so. Listening to different music whilst travelling around the world is an education in it self and even if you don't speak the language you can communicate with music. Perhaps the politicians of the world should do the same then maybe there might be less problems in the world.

How do you describe CBB songbook, music philosophy and sound? Where does your creative drive come from?

My excitement in playing music is my Drive it makes you feel good if you do it for real and I do...Its certainly not for the money. Creating music and writing can also be very satisfying.

Which acquaintances have been the most important experiences? What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Thats a difficult one, but you should never think you have learned it all its impossible and never Stop learning and listening otherwise you will stand still.

"I'd like a time machine to be able to go back in time to different musical periods Jazz & Blues, Dance Bands in the 40's & 50's then further back to the classical days and to go and check Bach and Mozart out, amongst many many more. so I would need more than a day." (Photo: George Glover)

Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

Many memories too many to write down they are all somewhere in my memory bank stored in my head and sometimes difficult to remember. Playing for Chuck Berry in front of 20,000 Spanish people and doing a TV show with him. Playing at Glastonbury in the 80"s with Climax BB on the Pyramid Stage.Playing at the Montreux Jazz Festival and hundreds of other Festivals. Doing a Blues tour through Italy with Climax and Albert Collins and Pine Top Perkins and a few names I can't remember great times.

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

There were more gigs available in the old days so you could go out and learn your profession. But young Musicians today don't have that chance today so its harder for them in some ways but they do have more available things to learn from with computers and teaching YouTube videos so they can learn the technical side if they want to. and its also easier to write and recorder their own songs but its playing Live Music for me you get one shot at it if you mess it up you can't stop that way you learn to get it right...No pun intended.

What is the impact of Blues music and culture to the racial, political, and socio-cultural implications?

That sounds a very heavy loaded question my friend and not one i can answer just in a few sentences. We would need to sit down around a table with a few beers and I'm sure we can put the world and everything right...Until the next morning … 

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

Staying Young and not just in my mind....ha ha..

"My excitement in playing music is my Drive it makes you feel good if you do it for real and I do...Its certainly not for the money. Creating music and writing can also be very satisfying."

Why did you think that the British Blues music continues to generate such a devoted following?

Its good time music...

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?

Thats hard...I'd like a time machine to be able to go back in time to different musical periods Jazz & Blues, Dance Bands in the 40's & 50's then further back to the classical days and to go and check Bach and Mozart out, amongst many many more. so I would need more than a day.

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