Author Topic: The American Sassafras  (Read 18799 times)

Stephen Barstow

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Re: The American Sassafras
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2009, 12:46:24 PM »
Yet another - I've lost count - offering of the SASSAFRAS SAGA

StEvil: The track ?New York Collapse? on Ridin? High was a bit prophetic wasn?t it? I found it listed on a Dutch Web Site about the tragedy in New York.

Dai: Actually, that was the first thing I thought about when I heard the news that day. Just coincidence rather than prophetic though, I think. Actually there?s another unrecorded song called Marching Feet which is all about Anarchy and soldiers taking over. We?ll probably get round to putting that together one of these days.

You became a sound engineer after Sassafras disbanded, didn?t you?

Dai: That?s right, both Ralph and I became audio engineers. We started our own studio and produced jingles, for example for Capital Radio.

Stephen Barstow

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Re: The American Sassafras
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2009, 02:20:04 PM »
Today's extract...For the less observant, remember this interview is several years old. So they're not, I repeat NOT playing this Sunday:

StEvil: Did Sassafras play at all in the ensuing years?

Dai: Sassafras were reformed now and again for the odd gig. We even played in Working Men?s Clubs.

StEvil: You?re now gigging with both girl singers and a brass section. Did you ever do that in the 70s?

Dai: No. The girl singers were introduced as our bass player in the 70s had a really high voice and none of use can reach those notes. Lorraine King (from Swansea) sang with us at the recent gigs in Swansea and Nottingham. She only had one rehearsal before the Patti gig! The brass section (the Bedwas Brass)  are from a band called the Benefits which we put together about 7 or 8 years ago. Basically, it?s the current line-up of Sassafras which plays soul hits, that kind of stuff (basically, a cover band).  Actually, we?re playing on Sunday.

Stephen Barstow

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Re: The American Sassafras
« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2009, 11:44:38 PM »
Part N:

StEvil: You?ve got a new live video and CD out haven?t you (see or email Elli at for more details). I got hold of a copy at the Patti gig. It?s an excellent video with some great music. It was recorded at the St. David?s Hall in Cardiff on 15th September 2000.  It was more or less the same as what you played at the Patti. Is that right?

Dai: Yes, it?s exactly the same songs. Actually, Elli edited both that and the CD.

Did you practice much for that gig. It was your first one after a long lay off, wasn?t it?

Dai: Yes, we practiced for about 3 months for that one. I had forgotten it all?The new drummer sat down on a beach in Spain and listened to the tapes continuously. When he got back, he knew the material better than us!

Stephen Barstow

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Re: The American Sassafras
« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2009, 09:05:23 PM »
Part N+1: Merthyr's Other Guitar Hero!

StEvil: Apart from the Patti, you?ve played a couple of other gigs this year. Was the attendance in Nottingham (Terry?s home town) better than at the Patti?

Dai: It?s always fun to play at the Patti, however many turn out. Nottingham (Kirkby Blues ?n? Rock Festival) was a small outdoor festival with 2-3,000 people. Our set was memorable for us. We were on this pneumatic stage (like a pump-up tent kind of affair). The sun was shining directly at us and the heat was collosal. I?ve never known anything like it. I thought I was going to black out and Marco James ended up with burnt eyelids. However, we got a good reception. It was strange seeing the same faces in the crowd from 25-years ago ? just a lot less hair!

Actually, following that gig, there was a post on the Manband bulletin board which went like this:  ?I finally got to see Merthyr?s other guitar hero on Saturday?

Dai: I wonder who that can be! Yes, of course I know Micky quite well coming from the same town.

Stephen Barstow

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Re: The American Sassafras
« Reply #34 on: December 09, 2009, 11:22:31 PM »
Last -1:

StEvil: According to your Web site ( you were on an ITV television programme (Presenters)  a couple of months back. Tell us about that. 

Dai: Yes, we were supposed to do a couple of numbers live on an HTV programme. Unfortunately, as the programme went out live and it was running late, we were given 30 seconds at the end of the programme! Enough to just get going and then straight into the fade! Frustrating.

StEvil: All the numbers you are playing are oldies from the 70s. Any plans to write any new material?

Dai: Actually, Marco (James) is a fantastic songwriting talent. He?s just not had a platform for his songs before. I?m going through half a dozen of his songs with him at the moment, with the thought to recording some new stuff.   

Hefin Jones

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Re: The American Sassafras
« Reply #35 on: December 10, 2009, 12:00:15 AM »
Bloody hell mun.........I went to school with Marco James. I was perhaps a year or two older.
Reading his profile on the Sass website, I recognise the names of some of his other bandmates from the early days around Aberystwyth too.............I wonder if Prowler are still going......

Stephen Barstow

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Re: The American Sassafras
« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2009, 11:35:45 AM »
The end....

StEvil:What do you feel about the future of Sassafras. What plans do you have?

Dai: We feel very strongly about Sassafras and that?s helped by the increased interest in the band. At the moment we?re turning down gigs as Terry lives in Spain. However, with flights as low as ?37 to the UK, he?s not averse to coming over if we want to do some gigs. We prefer to do events and special gigs like the Patti rather than lots of small gigs and perhaps get some more TV exposure.  Of course, we?re trying to arrange 3 or 4 gigs together so that we make the most of Terry?s presence. This is more of a hobby now for us and we?re loving it.

StEvil: That was obvious at the Patti ? smiles all round. Before we close, where can people get hold of the video and CD?

Dai: Send an email to and Elli will sort you out.

And one last question, what was the last CD you bought?

Dai: That would be Stackridge?s CD ?BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert?. Great band.

Nick Nation

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Re: The American Sassafras
« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2009, 04:24:29 PM »
Thanks for all that, Saint.

You know people....I had a dream (Oh snap, oh feck, oh fungus gnats)....a gig featuring Sassafras, Nektar, Budgie, Pink Fairies and Son Of Man....
Nationsounds - the label that brought you Shake The Nation and raised 1,500 in memory of Micky...