So, after many years of acrimony in camp WA, Martin Turner posted a comment yesterday indicating he no longer wanted to pursue the action and just wants to get on with his life and his music.
Today, Andy Powell has gone into print to celebrate his ‘victory’.
Who has been the winner, in reality? Mr Powell? No. All the crap about protecting artistic integrity, safeguarding the ‘name’ and suffering from falling audiences due to ‘confusion’ with MTWA…bollocks. So will more people come to see him? I reckon it will be the opposite. Has Martin Turner won in any sense? Not really, there are some small ‘pluses’ in the outcome. The winners are, of course, the lawyers. Period.
I have bought Wishbone Ash lps, singles, cassettes, cds, T-shirts and badges for many a decade. I have probably more bootlegs than official releases, which indicates how much my investment has been. Therefore I like to think my comments are coming from a position of reasonable strength.
It is some years since I bought a ticket to see Mr Powell’s lot. It really irked me at Fibbers in York when his opening comment was about how ‘we used to play in places like this when we first started’. What a crass, insulting thing to say to the hardcore audience (150 at most). Next gig was at the Leeds Irish Centre, where the set was top-heavy with ‘new’ material which was spectacularly unmemorable. Neither gig featured ‘Blowin’ Free’.
MTWA had recently played at Selby Town Hall. Very ‘sedate’ and low key. They later played at the Rhythm Festival, where the vocals were definitely a bit ‘iffy’. However, the line-up was to see some changes, and recent gigs have, for Her Ladyship and me, been a much better musical event than Mr Powell’s outfit.
I was quite happy to witness both groups, even though we have friends who are definitely in one camp or the other. The whole concept of having to take what the judge says as ‘gospel’ seems strange. When Eric Burdon contested John Steel registering ‘The Animals’ it was thrown out. However, Mr Burdon appealed and a different judge backed Mr B! So it seems to boil down to what a particular judge thinks.
Before I am judged to be totally pro-Martin, take a look at my review of the recent ‘Live Dates’ tour from Germany. On the whole I was positive, but if anyone thinks my comments about Mr Powell’s vocals being somewhat lacking are inaccurate, you are very welcome to further musical evenings with him. ‘Blue Horizon’ sounds like a bunch of 17 year-olds trying to be Wishbone Ash. Well, it certainly sounds like the post-2000 version, but a shadow of the 70s line-ups.
The recent coming together of 4 of the 5 ‘classic’ musicians is intriguing. OK, Steve Upton is ‘retired’ but how about them all having a night in Martin’s studio, performing ‘Live Dates’?! One take, no messing. What will they be called? ‘Classic Ash’? ‘Classic Ash play Classic Ash’? Who could blame them?! As I have said elsewhere, Martin has more integrity I reckon.
I was hoping that Mr Powell would keep his own counsel and not crow about it. ‘V for Vindication. V for Victory.’ ? No, ‘V for Very Sad and Deluded Individual’.
And given that AP is now 64, what happens when he retires? How far away will that be? He has, no doubt, accrued a tidy sum since he became all things Wishbone Ash. I doubt if the other members’ incomes combined come anywhere near Mr P’s share.
And, surprisingly, I don’t begrudge him that!! He has kept the group going through thick and ( a lot of ) thin…it is just the fine detail that seems to be decidedly unpleasant.