Kim Turner Interview




Q. What kind of music do you like and who are your biggest influences?

The music I like is a fairly eclectic mix ranging from The Beatles through to Joni Mitchell, Led Zeppelin and J.S. Bach. My father was a jazz musician so initially I was brought up on a staple diet of Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, MJQ and Dave Brubeck - apparently I used to tap my foot in time to the music whilst lying in my pram! (Although 5/4 was a little tricky!!) Over the years I have loved people like Hendrix, Cream, The Nice, Spooky Tooth, Audience, King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, Todd Rundgren, Little Feat, The Police/Sting and of course BJH (I first saw them a the Weeley Festival in 1971 and bought 'Once Again' as soon as I got home). These days amongst my favourites artistes are The Blue Nile (check out their first album 'A Walk Across the Rooftops') and more recently Keane, Maroon 5 and Rufus Wainwright.


Q. Who are your favourite drummers?

John Bonham - the monster of rock; Ringo - the Beatles would have been nothing without him!; Bill Bruford - sublime musician; Ritchie Hayward; Manu Katche; Simon Phillips; Charlie Morgan; Steve Gadd; oh, and not forgetting George Doors.


Q. How did you get involved with Mandalaband?

From tiny acorns...

I was 17 when I first met Dave Rohl. I went into Indigo studios in Manchester to play bongos on the B-side of a single that a couple of girl friends of mine had written ('He's my Bay City Roller Boy' !!?!). This was my first ever venture into a recording studio so you can imagine it was a big deal to me - like stepping into the magical land where dreams were made real. Dave was engineering the track but I don't think my bongo playing made much of an impression on him! However, during the session I made the acquaintance of Tony Creswell (the drummer on the first Mandalaband album) who was playing kit on the track and we subsequently became great friends. When Tony and the rest of the band went off to form Sad Café he suggested that I should give Dave a call...

I can remember the bands first get-together as if it were yesterday - Steve (Broomhead) was there along with Jimmy McDonnell and Alf Tramontin (now an eminent film and TV cameraman) and we knocked through a couple of the themes from Eye of Wendor with Dave (Rohl) banging out the chords on a grand piano and Dave Durant (the original Mandalaband vocalist) on vocals. The initial plan was to record the album with that line-up but Dave Durant decided to take a walk... 'I may be gone for some time.' Apart from Dave we were all just kids at the time - I think Steve was only 15 - and then Dave had this grand vision...

Around this time Dave was offered the chief engineers job at 10CC's Strawberry Studios in Stockport - one of the top studios outside London. Because he had worked in the music business for such a long time Dave knew everybody and he called in a few favours...

So there I was rubbing shoulders and playing alongside so many great players - Noel Redding on bass for goodness sake! Justin Hayward, Maddy Prior, 10CC, the Barclays!!!

Dreams can come true...


Q. Fondest memory with the early Maestoso?

I can't single one out I'm afraid. Certainly going into Strawberry on that first day to work on the first track of the first album has to rank high - the anticipation was exhilarating. Other than that, going out on the tours with Judy Tzuke and Saga were both fantastic experiences - we played some great gigs to some fantastic crowds. If I had to pick one gig it would either be the Berlin Metropol or the first night in Vienna during the European tour of 82. Oh, and not to forget, Woolly's dry humour!!


Q. Favourite Maestoso song?

Can I have two? From the first album 'Lives on the Line' and from Black Box 'Even the Night'. Having said that, I love 'Souk' and 'Carpet' from One Drop as well! Oh, and 'Birds' from the new one...


Q. What equipment do you use?

I have played a few different kits over the years. During the Mandalaband and early Maestoso period I used a Ludwig kit and for many years I played a Pearl kit. However, I recently purchased a Yamaha Absolute Beech Nouveau kit in a Red pearl Natural wood finish comprising: 8x7", 10x8", 12x10", 14x12", 16x16" toms; 22x18" bass drum; a 13x5" Maple snare drum and a 15x5" Birch John "JR" Robinson Signature Model snare drum. My cymbals are a mixture of Sabian, Zildjian and Paiste. I also use a variety of bells, gongs and assorted items of tuned and unturned percussion.


Q. What have you been doing since Maestoso broke up in 1982?

I've been sitting by the phone waiting for Woolly to ring! Seriously though, hmmm, twenty odd years to account for, eh? Well...
Not long after the demise of Maestoso I set up a retro clothing company in a place called Affleck's Palace in Manchester as a 'temporary stop-gap between bands', which has been so successful that its still going strong to this day. I also worked concurrently as a 'supporting actor' doing walk on and small parts in TV shows such as 'Coronation Street', 'Emmerdale', 'Brookside', Touch of Frost', 'Heartbeat' etc etc etc for about ten years - I kept expecting them to offer me my own show but it never happened!! In addition, after three years of study I graduated from Salford University in 2003 with a 2:1 BSc degree in Information Technology and have set up an IT company with some friends I met there. Musically, I have been playing with my good friend 'Guitar George' Borowski in various line-ups - the most recent recording was '10 Cecil Road', released in 2003. Oh, yes, I've also been raising a family with my partner Lauren - three kids: Holly 19, Michaela 17 and Jamie 12.

Hang on a minute, I think I can hear the phone ...


[April 2005]


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