Sensational Alex Harvey Band Q & A's With - Zal Cleminson


Questions From Fans On the Official S.A.H.B - MySpace / Website / E Mail

Questions For ZAL Came Via The Official Forum / Website / Myspace

Background Track - S.A.H.B - BIG BOY Zal On Vocals, From The Album - FOURPLAY

20 Q & A's With ZAL CLEMINSON Uploaded November 2008 GO HERE FOR Q & A HOME

1 - From - Ginnie

Q - Zal, if you could go back in time to the seventies and change one thing, what would it be?

Z: My hair.

2 - From - maddogrog

Q - who is or has been the best person that you have played with?

Z: The best person on an altruistic level, or the best musician/performer? If it's just the latter then I would have to say Alex.

3 - From - platterpete

Q - Hi Zal, what is your favourite memory of Alex?

Z: There would be many, but rehearsing Midnight Moses with him in Glasgow for that first time and watching his smile grow as he heard it coming together was a special moment.

4 - Fron - zenmetal

Q - Zal - what do you feel is your best work guitar-wise so far?

Z: The guitar work on Fourplay is probably the most accomplished. Some other favorites' would be Dolphins, Sirocco, Faith Healer, and Snakebite… Every SAHB song, though, has certain moments of joy.

5 - From - CROOK TOWN

Q - zal... why did you stop playing the GIBSON SG as much?

Z: Originally it was because my two SG's were stolen in the USA so I thought I might try something different. The SG is still a great guitar and I have a super, duper Jacobite black edition here at home. The main problem nowadays is that it doesn't take the abuse of some other guitars or stay in tune for long.

6 - From - thetomahawkkid58

Q - zal, what made you put "the face" on again, and do you think "the face" changes your performance ?

Z: When Max joined SAHB it changed my attitude to performing. He re-kindled my enthusiasm for getting dressed up. The "face" is part of a tradition of transmitting the paradoxical elements of performing much like the troubadours of old. It creates a useful barrier between fact and fiction and let's you "get away with" all sorts of nonsense.

7 - From - Mrs Foster

Q - Zal.........what is your intentions regarding the solo stuff you done at Bilston and The Clutha Vaults? are you gonna sit on them or maybe release an album on your own or just let them fade? Christ dont do that, they were far to good to be lost.

Z: Far 'too' good that should be. In truth I'm not sure. I doubt any one is a hit record so the only reason to release something would be to satisfy my own curiosity. But thanks anyway.

8 - From - caveman

Q - When you finish writing your book and it is published with rave reviews ,no doubt, will it give us an insight into Zal the man or Zal the performer? and will it be required reading for Sahbsters everywhere?

Z: The book is not what many people have imagined. It's a clear mixture of fact and fiction; what insightful moments there are will, I hope, please those SAHB fans whose minds are not hindered by or exposed to the forces of ignorance.

9 - From - Mo's

Q - what do you think was your best moment on stage ?

Z: Well, I don't know if you remember, but somewhere in 1972, as Alex glared angrily and forlorn at whom I can only describe as 'pricks with no taste', we all looked at each other and sighed with a delicate satisfaction, which made me feel good! Apart from that, headlining the Reading festival.

10 - From - victor55

Q - I'd like to know what motivated you to pick up a guitar when you were a kid & who was your Guitar God before you played and after (but before fame)

Z: A bunch of us got together at school and decided to form a group. My mate George had a pink guitar which he pranced around in front of the mirror with. I thought it looked like a good idea so I pestered my parents to buy me a guitar and both of us pranced around in front of the mirror. Before long, Dave, Jimmy and Ricky were a part of the prancing Bo-Weavles. I listened to Chuck Berry, Elvis, The Beatles, The Stones, Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell. Later it was Stax and Motown. At that time there were no real guitar Gods except for the guys who played on the Elvis records and stuff like that. Booker T and the MG's had (still have) a guitar player called Steve Cropper, I always liked what he did. Eventually, it would be Jeff Beck, Frank Zappa, Jimmy Page, Pete Townsend and the likes, who gave me a buzz. But if you want me to name a real Guitar God, then it has to be Hendrix.

11 - From - moopig

Q - Just what would it take to get you back up there? - Its what we all want.

Z: 'Getting up there', is a bit like feeding a comfortable yet disquieting habit. It's brimful of good intent and goodwill. And there is no better place to be. However, it no longer makes any sense for me to spend so much time and energy preparing for a few isolated shows each year by way of an obligation. I never wanted to be in a tribute band, going through the same routine every time - Alex would be ashamed. And you have no idea what folly it can amount to putting a SAHB show together.

12 - From - ZalStillRools

Q - What's the guitar solo that you can listen too over & over again & it still blows your mind - mine is your Vambo solo on the '75 Live album.- Cheers From Alan.

Z: That would be 'Zoot Allures' by Frank Zappa.

13 - From - Chad The Lad

Q - Would you ever think about doing your own SAHB? (akin to what happened with Pink Floyd when they parted ways?)

Z: There is no such thing as anyone's SAHB, there is just SAHB. Floyd can afford to do what the fuck they like.

14 - From - peterbarrow

Q - Zal, to what extent do you think that your stage clothes and make-up liberated or restricted you as a musician with SAHB and on other projects?

Z: This is similar to question 6. The short answer is I never felt restricted as a musician with SAHB in a conditional sense. Fortunately, any other projects only required me to play the guitar. When I'm comfortable, I tend to perform to some degree regardless...

Questions Via The Official Myspace

15 - From steve

Q - Hi Zal - With Alex and the rest of SAHB being very unconventional and individualistic, you must have had some strange, funny, and frustrating experiences with producers, sound engineers, other "straighter" bands... ....I'm thinking particularly of Alex's vocal style and the odd reactions and possible resistance you may have encountered along the way in your effort to forge something very original in the world of rock, which was becoming increasingly conventionalized, even then! Any particularly choice moments/memories of people's reaction to your brand of music?

Z: In the '70's there was virtually only one source for promoting pop/rock music and that was the BBC. Any record company with an investment in a group or act were obliged to approach the BBC and beg to be on a playlist; if they could 'pigeon-hole' you then so much the better. Now, for some reason I've yet to encounter, Alex and the BBC were strange bed-fellows. Being on Top of the Pops was always a terse and ambiguous affair whereas, on The Old Grey Whistle Test, we felt far more at home. Having said all that, the only real bad reaction to SAHB that I can recall was supporting Slade - so Alex pissed in a water pistol and gleefully squirted their miserable little mutts, Maybe the BBC heard about that!

16 - From - Meadey

Q - What's next for you Zal ... we care about you !

Z: And I care about you, whoever you are. Seriously though, all my energy is concentrated on 'Hail Vibrania' and seeing it through to publication. Apart from that I live a simple yet happy life here in Barnsley with my adorable Rachel.

17 - From - LYADRIVE

Q - Hi Zal, Saw you at Harrow Tech way back in the late 70's with your own band. Never got to see the original SAHB (shame) but did catch you last year at the Oxford gig, thought you & the band were superb. Anyway to the question, did any of that stuff you were doing with Tandori Casette ever see the light of day?

Cheers Lee Z: Tandoori Cassette was a great idea at the wrong time or should that be a wrong idea at a great time. Either way, nothing, I imagine, is likely to see the light of day unless on EBay or the likes.

18 - From - Rory

Q - Hi Zal - i was wondering what you did for most of the 80s? i know you were in Nazareth for a couple of years, What Else did you do? did you join other bandsor just keep a low profile?.

Z: I left Nazareth in 1981 then started Tandoori Cassette with Barry Barlow, Ronny Leahy and Charlie Tumahai which lasted a couple of years. Then I drove a mini-cab and courier delivery in the London area. Around about 1983/84 I joined Elkie Brookes for a few years. After that I was with Bonnie Tyler for about a year. In 1985/6 I played guitar on Midge Ure's world tour of the 'Gift' album. In 1987 I became a computer consultant before moving back to Glasgow in 1990. Want to give me a job?

19 - From - $helley ™CoSmIc BaBy

Q - Mr Cleminson! - You've had one of the best careers in music some would say, and have influenced alot, A LOT of budding guitarists and finally the teenage generation (inc me! , with and with out Mr Harvey, so! during your career as a guitarist with SAHB and Nazareth what has influenced you most to be the player you are today and why? - Shelley :) xx

Z: When you say one of the best careers in music I can't help but smile wryly. My career in music has, in fact, been very limited. Without real, genuine success it's hard to maintain any continuity as you can see from the last Q&A. However, I have tried to do things with the guitar of which I am modestly proud. My initial influences are all of those mentioned in question 10. Musically I enjoy anything that thrills or delights me, from Jazz to Classical, which, in fact, are not that far apart.

20 - From - Big Bertha

Q - It a 2 parter sorry - Do you still have a guitar? & If so do you still tinker about on it?

Z: Yes, I still have four guitars - two acoustic and two electric. I haven't tinkered since the last SAHB tour. I'm not really a tinkerer. I've heard that tinkering can give you a nasty rash; it may even be at the root of SAHB's sad demise.

A Big Thanks To All The SAHBSTER'S And To ZAL,Very Much Appreciated!


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