Taken from "Joker" 21/1976
"The success is tiring for us!"
The truth about the four pop-musicians who are not happy just because of their money
like "A Glass Of Champagne" and "Girls Girls
Girls" have brought the British pop-quartet SAILOR to the
top of the charts and the gossip-magazines over night. Many
promoters are working on their image. People are talking about
the nice English boys Georg Kajanus (30, guitar), Grant Serpell
(30, drums), Phil Pickett (29, piano) and Henry Marsh (27, piano)
who have allegedly started to enter the charts in Paris.
But SAILOR deny it: "We have only been there for four weeks and we hate this city."
The entertainment-industry is talking about "dream-sales".
SAILOR allow us a view behind the scenes: "The success is tiring for us."
They probably know why they rather don't want to talk about the US-tour this summer. SAILOR admit: "It was a total flop."
That was not enough. The "Joker"-interview during the recording of the first German television show of SAILOR in Saarbrücken reveals a lot more.
California 1966 - the sunny teen-heaven of real fantasies. Where you never get older than 25, school is forbidden and Coca Cola comes out of every public sparks. That's what Rock 'n Roll star Chuck Berry once promised in his song "The Promised Land".
Saarbrücken 1976, television studio: Pictures of sand, sea and sun create an atmosphere of a California comic-strip. The fog horns of SAILOR start the golden vision of sun-tanned skin and surf-sound: Deep bass. Some call them the "European Beach Boys", others judge them with "trivial nostalgia".
"Girls, Girls, Girls!" shouts Jana Markova (34), the only real entertainment-director in Germany who left the CSSR in 1968 and has already worked on numerous shows with artists including Adamo, Sergio Mendes, Baden Powel and Nancy Wilson.
For the first time she works with a pop band, dares an experiment and makes it possible for compatriot Jaroslav Bradac to create his first official stage-set for television.
His aim: To get away from the usual sterile stage decoration. No girls in "Girls Girls Girls", but girls' legs with high heels made of pasteboard and lots of huge red lipsticks and ropes.
Here and there symbolic red oriental lamps, Chinese bird-cages, champagne-bottles and over dimensional red and white water-buoys, a bit of sailor-tang and red light quater atmosphere.
After six busy days of recording SAILOR thank in their very own way: Two shops from Saarbrücken bring lots of flowers to the flat of Jana Markowa.
The people who see the 300.000,00 DM television special don't know about this special little gesture on the day of broadcast, the 12 October 1976, 21:15 pm on ARD television. They don't get to know the truth about SAILOR either.
The truth doesn't start in the television studio, it starts where the reality becomes clear through existence-fears. Georg Kajanus (30) a descendant of Dschingis Khan, son of the Belarussian prince Tjodief Skonsky, born in Trondheim (Norway) and grown up with his mother Johanna in Paris, explains it like this: "Around us there's the theatre of life. And we are right in the middle of it. I know an English actor who used to play David-Niven-rolls for many years. But he's not himself anymore. Even in private life he keeps on playing the role of an artistic person masterly and aristocratically."
And Georg sees the same danger for himself and his colleagues. "The success eats us up, the souls and the bodies. It might ruin our health and even our happy family-lives. I work in order to live and not in order to work."
So SAILOR detest tatus symbols that underline the image and power. Phil Pickett: "When I can afford a house and a car it's enough."
The four musical SAILORs have never been too enthusiastic about their success in spite of their million-sales in Europe. The spectacular flop of the July-tour through the USA has quickly been dealt with. Their experience: "Never an American-adventure without a record hit. That only leads to thousands of debts."
Only at the "bottom-Line-Club", New York and at the "Troubadour", Los Angeles they did quite well. But all concerts in front of black audiences failed: "The American audience is totally into soul and rock", the four guys explain.
That is no accusation. And if it was one it was only for the blame of the American record company Epic: "The company," explains Georg, "didn't know what to do with our singles. There was no promotion. They seemed not to be interested."
Kajanus knows why he is angry: All songs from the LPs "Sailor" (1974), "Trouble" (1975) and the new album "The Third Step" that will be released next month have been written by himself. Success in America would be very good for him. In Germany alone he earned approximately 270.000,00 DM with GEMA-licenses. This doesn't include the radio shows where he gets 5,15 DM for every minute of broadcast. But his fellows Phil Pickett, Henry Marsh and Grant Serpell don't receive any royalties. Isn't there trouble?
"We are very successful with Georg's concept," the others admit, "but we are afraid that his creativity might be restricted one day."
Henry and Phil, who has already written songs for George Fame, Arthur Conley and Percy Sledge, want to write own songs on the fourth LP. The concept stays the same: Georg keeps on singing about his Parisienne girls and prostitutes.
This successful SAILOR-concept was the only good thing from the city near the Seine: The fairy-tales and stories about France which were spread constantly burst like soap-bubbles: "Except for Georg none of us stayed in Paris longer than a month. There we didn't even have enough money for food."
But the gossip continues - like in a comic-strip. And the SAILOR-sun will rise again and again...!