Progressive Room Radio Shows
Janita Jenny Haan - Babe Ruth ( Including Steph Honde - United Artists Against Terrorism )
Janita Jenny Haan - Babe Ruth
Τετάρτη, 29 Ιουνίου 2016
1.     Welcome Jenny to Progressive Room. It’s not only an honor for us to interview one of our favourite singers of time, but it’s also our big pleasure. You are one of the biggest and characteristic female voices that remember us the fountain of inspiration and creativeness, the 70’s. But how Janita was in the early days, just the time entering a newly established Babe Ruth band? Is it the first band you involved?
      Thank you very much for inviting me :)… and thank you for the honouring. Yes Babe Ruth was the first proper band that I became truly involved with. I had just graduated from High School in California and my parents gave me an opportunity to come to the UK for 6 months. I never went back!
2.     You were too young when you joined Babe Ruth, 18 years old. How did this happen? Please tell us something about your first met with the other members of Babe Ruth. Do you remember, when and where was Babe Ruth’s first gig and what was the setlist? Please tell us something about your first experiences.
      I had started answering ads in the Melody Maker and saw an advertisement for an EMI recording band called Shacklock (Alan Shacklocks’s band) looking for a lead singer so I rang them and Dave Hewitt answered. I said I was 4’11 3/4 (1,49m) and played the congas… they came and visited and then… went for the audition at Manchester square gig :D which it was me and 40 other male singers and I got the gig ;)…meeting the rest of the band …. they were all very sweet and kind I remember Alan bringing his acoustic guitar and we sat around my bedsit and just kinda jammed. I think our first gig was in St Albans but I don’t remember too much about it.
3.       In which period have you felt more creative and full of good times? If you ride a vehicle, which can take you back in time, when do you want to stop, just to fix or work in progress something or a project?
      Interesting question. hum. I think I would have like to go back to the third album (Babe Ruth - 1975) as it was a very exciting time for Babe Ruth we had broken Canada and after the trauma of the second album (Amar Caballero - 1974), the third gave rise to some great music … I had enough experience of performing then to enjoy the camaraderie of the band and the exciting times around us and I loved the travelling and visiting new countries
    Close your eyes and imagine that you are in an isolated place (in a cabin on the mountains or a night on a beach) with a few of beloved and close friends, what kind of songs do you choose to play or cover? Tell us more about your first influences and the nowadays ones.
      I wouldn’t mind, i’d let my loved one and friends choose…. and just join in … first influences goes back to Dinah Washington supremes Frank Ifield, The Crooners and Big Band Jazz later getting into all kinds of music especially during the psychedelic era Blue Cheer, Quicksilver and the Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, The Stones, Beatles, Janis Joplin, Barbra Streisand, Sly and the Family Stone, James Brown then in England being turned onto the Isley Brothers, Ry Cooder, Temptations, Etta James, Billie Holiday.

5.     Your albums with Babe Ruth released from different labels, was it difficult to cooperate with the same label those days and how have the things changed at last?
      Janita Jenny Haan : Mostly the Babe Ruth was with the Harvest label
    Black Dog and Mexican ( 1st Album - First Base ) are somehow a Babe Ruth’s Trademark. We can say for sure without exaggeration that they have been heard in every bar in the whole world. We have the impression that you express yourself 200% at those songs, feeling that you wanna tell “Hey, start feeling and live truly” What do you think about that?
      Yes …. extraordinary but my main concern in any song that i study and learn is to understand the content and deliver a true interpretation according to my own understand of the song and story…. being true to my feelings and experimenting with the interpretive side of it.

7.     You have collaborated with bands such as Strider (during Babe Ruth period), Waterboys in 1988 participated in Fisherman's Blues Album. You have also made a session to Davem & PaulC. Please tell us something about these sessions and how did they come of and how did you continued your personal music career?  
      Strider came about in the early days and I think they were friends of the band and label…. the Waterboys … Paul Cobbold part of the DaveM PaulC team was the in-house engineer at that time at Rockfield Studio in Wales and was recording the Waterboys album … Dave Morris and I had gone down to chat with Paul to discuss the studio work we all were about to embark on and met Mike Scott … He then asked if I would like to sing on a track “World Party”…. so I did. .My musical career is still ongoing it is my life…. can’t stop won’t stop… I am currently working with Steph Honde and the Hollywood Monsters. Went to meet and record with Steph last late September 2015 and recorded a couple of tracks from the forthcoming album plus recorded a couple of tracks we had cowritten together We have just dropped Heroes in aid of Association french for the victims of Terrorism and this can be found on FB page UNITED ARTISTS AGAINST TERRORISM I am working on various music projects and on it goes :) Last year i enjoyed a lot of live work with a local band called the Wirebirds recording with Steph and just carrying on with my life work. :)  

8.     Why did Babe Ruth split up so soon? After your withdrawal, did you have proposals from other bands to join in?  

    Babe Ruth always had difficulty with the management or record companies or internal problems, it was just one of those things, i think the were family, always had been, will be. But by the mid 70’after the American tour, the cracks were beginning to really show, we had a bad car crash after the first album and that threw the band completely off, coupled with the tour that we had to change the drummer and i think that changed the synergy. I always maintain that did change the synergy of the band a lot. so put down the vocals for Kid’s Stuff. Alan had already left a year prior and we had recruited Bernie Marsden (Whitesnake) not that many of the original members left. Only D.Hewitt and myself and then Alan, Ed had come a year later after the record company had forced us to get rid of Dick which i was very unhappy about. So there was a lots of carrots dangling and lots of offers of this, that and the other. But for me even though the band was doing really well in America and Canada I couldn’t continue and handle my heart, it just lost the soul for me, so i exited and D.Hewitt exited as well so, like i said, i put the vocals down on Kid’s Stuff. They recruited these people from Gold something to put down but for me it was just like jumping on the band wagon and i knew it wouldn’t last and it didn’t. So that was that. Yes i got offers from bands of course in fact when i came back from one of the American tours. We were good friends with Be-Bop Deluxe and Bill Nelson and i was speaking if i’d like to join them, and i had only just returned the night before so like WOW. So actually that never quite materialised . It would have been extraordinary to sing with Bill, he’s a great musician.  
9.     After your withdrawal of Babe Ruth, you had created Jenny Haan's Lion. While you had done many concerts and gigs for a short period, you hadn’t released new stuff. Why did this happen? Was it an attempt to regenerate first period of Babe Ruth’s music? Was your first personal single We Drove Em’ All Mad a produce of Lion’s period?  

    After the withdrawal of Babe Ruth, D. Hewitt and I moved up to West Yorkshire and started to putting together a band with musicians that David knew and also we advertised for another guitarist. We started to put together the band and in the meantime I had meetings with management company called Quarry Music who managed Status Quo who were very keen to manage us so we gave in to them. I think that after thought, when they had agreed to it, that i said (..laughing..) I wasn’t doing Babe Ruth. I think that they originally thought, oh you know here is a business and we’ll have you ; but we continued and Jenny Haan’s Lion toured all over the England , Ireland and Wales. It came at a funny time because at that point it was just when Punk Rock really started kicking off and Johnny Rotten used to came down to a gig, very nice guy, and then we toured with Status Quo in Europe and during the latter part of that time i was being heavily pushed to go solo, which I was not happy at doing at all. I really didn’t want to do anything like that and i fought it tooth and nail for as long as i could, but in the end the music machine or the music business, whatever you want to call it they managed to crush the band, and we finished at the Macroom festival in Ireland with Rory Gallagher which was bittersweet. That time Rory and i were possibly going to do a song together which could have been great and there were talks of me working with members of Status Quo as well. Yes, “We Drove Em’ All Mad” drove me all mad, it was really a compomise on my half beacause i kept refusing all the songs they kept sending to me, i thought they were a load of twaddle and that one was the least of all evils. In the meantime the BASF commercial had come up and they decided to use Forgotten of my songs. So, i did the commercial for them and did the TV commercial and it came out and it won Commercial of the year which was fabulous. No we never wanted to recreate Babe Ruth’s music, Babe Ruth’s music is Babe Ruth’s music, anything that i do else is different. You know is life (..laughing..)  
10.     You have made concerts at many places around the world. Which one do you separate from and why? Have you ever played in Greece? If not would you like to? (we’d love to see you) Causing that lets go to nowadays, please tell us how is your life? Are you still involved in music?  

    All concerts for me are a moment in time and so, therefore it is important that I give the best in every performance whether it’s for two people or two thousand or twenty thousand people. So i’ve pretty much enjoyed all the good ones and even the bad ones ‘cause you could always have a laugh about it. You know i’m always very self-critical about my performance and want to do it well and give whoever comes to see us, a piece of myself so that it’s hard that they can feel the music and the stories behind it. Sedalia was a good one, it was pretty amazing because i was never flown in helicopter before. There were some pretty awesome bands like Aerosmith , Beach Boys and Doobie Brothers. And I loved the Vienna one because it had the orchestra pit filled with flowers and it was gorgeous. Each concert is special to me. I haven’t played in Greece , no, i’d hope. I feel good , music is great, i’m great and continuing all sorts of projects. I love working with Steph, he brings great qualities of my voice, he’s very organic in his approach of recording which for me is just inspiring and fresh. I’ve recorded two tracks with him in the Hollywood Monsters Album which is just finishes mastering in Paris, Its absolutely incredible, i think everyone is going to love it. More recording with Steph I’m going to carry on doing some work with DaveM and PaulC, i love working with them, that’s sort of more electronically. I love listening to all the new stuff that is going on and moving in hopefully some live work with some projects, and we shall see. Steph and I have been writing a few songs together which are works in progress, one is a beautiful track called “Gentle Shore” and the other is a cover of Babe Ruth’s cover of Jesse Winchester, Black Dog little quieter, the new one is darker, has atmosphere with a tip to the hat to. Jesse Winchesters and Babe Ruth on this particular version with Stephs inimitable stamp, and it also comes complete with the local town’s bell for those who remember the bell of Babe Ruth’s Black Dog.  
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