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1976


SAILOR are on the crest of a wave

The heavy rock audience had packed into New York's fashionable Bottom Line Club to see guitarist Tommy Bolin. Few of them had even heard of a British band called SAILOR, who were supporting.
The kids had rolled along to have their brains scrambled by some searing guitar licks. And when SAILOR bounced on stage, most people just sat there open-mouthed.
Georg Kajanus led the attack on guitar as usual, in his sailor-suit, seaman's cap, and that crazy anchor painted on his left cheek. Henry Marsh, 25, and Phil Pickett, 27, were thrashing the maddest instrument in pop, the flashing, clanging, four-handed Nickelodeon. And Grant Serpell, 29, held the rinky-dink rhythms together with his very original drumming.
And by the time the band tore into "Girls, Girls, Girls", their first single to make any real impression on the U.S. charts, the kids were on their feet and cheering.
Laugh
Backstage after the show, Henry Marsh told me: "It is really nerve-racking to play in America. American audiences always seem to me to be really starved of a good laugh. They just don't expect to laugh when they see a band, unless it is for the wrong reasons. I don't think we could ever live here. We would make terrible tax exiles, should the need ever arise."
And it might. With SAILOR going from strength to strength in Britain and Europe. Especially since the incredible success of their hit "Girls, Girls, Girls", which seemed to capture the imagination of more people even than "A Glass Of Champagne", their first monster-hit.
Georg Kajanus, the 28-year-old Norwegian-born globe-trotter who is the brains behind SAILOR, felt a bit differently about New York. Because as anybody who listens carefully to Georg's songs will know, the lad has a thing about brothel districts. He says: "This is an amazing place. You don't have to seek out red light areas here - this is one big red light area. I get inspiration for new songs on every street."
SAILOR's music seems to have so little to do with rock. There is more music hall than Chuck Berry in what they do. Marsh says: "Maybe that bothers the Americans. We must be the first British band ever to come here owing America no musical debt whatsoever. Perhaps they resent that."
Perhaps they do. But that won't stop this aggressively original band from succeeding in America.

The text next to the photo:
SAILOR, from left: Grant Serpell, Phil Pickett, Henry Marsh and Georg Kajanus, went down big in America.

Article by courtesy of Linda Welch (UK)!


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