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From REG #38

REG EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW!

AN INTERVIEW WITH PP ARNOLD


by Michael Simone


The PP Arnold Story

PP Arnold, (Patricia Ann Cole), has a voice with a difference, a voice of quality that refuses to stay in the shadows. A former member of the Ike and Tina Turner Review, one of the top soul/rhythm and blues acts in the world, PP was also one of the pioneers of black music in England.

The story began in 1946 in the black ghetto of Watts now known as South Central Los Angeles where Patricia Ann Cole was born into a family of gospel singers. She sang her first solo performance at the tender age of four and has been touching the hearts of people ever since.

At 15, Pat Cole fell in love with a certain David Arnold and within a few months found herself pregnant, with her first son, Kevin. "I let the guy I had fallen in love with talk me into missing school one day. As a result, there was bun in the oven. So, my father insisted on a shotgun wedding and we were married."

A shotgun wedding later and another child, a daughter, Debbie, but all was not well, it was not a happy marriage. Husband David wouldn't work and Pat had to take two jobs to support her young family. By day she was working as a clerk/typist at a clothing firm and in the evening she worked in an egg factory where she would separate the egg whites from the yoke for a local bakery. And on Saturdays and Sundays, she would do all the scrubbing and housework. She was a real life Cinderella!

Her dad had said that she'd made her bed hard and she would have to lie in it and she was doing just that. On one of those domestic Sunday mornings, Pat woke early and prayed hard that God would send her a way out of the hell that she had created for herself. Her prayer was answered sooner than she had expected when she received a phone call out of the blue from one of her brother's ex-girlfriends; Maxine Smith and Gloria Scott who had arranged an audition with Ike & Tina Turner to replace the original Ikettes who were leaving, and they'd been stood up by a third girl. So, because Pat had done her only session singing with the girl's at a back-a-yard recording session for Bobby Day, they wanted her to go with them to the audition so that they could get the gig.

With no intention of venturing into show business, as she had a family to look after, Pat decided to go along with them and help them out, as it was a chance for her to get out of the house for a while. She lied to David so that he would watch the kids for a while and off she went. This decision was to change her life, as Tina Turner offered them the job immediately.

Tina had also suggested that they go to see her show that evening in Fresno (California) before making up their minds. In order to attend these auditions in the first place Pat had to tell David a lie, as he would never have agreed to it. So, when she arrived home at 6AM the next morning, a fight ensued. When he hit her that time it must have knocked some sense into her, as from that moment she knew that the job with Ike and Tina was the answer to her prayers. She got help from her Mom and Dad with the kids, and she was off on tour immediately, with her first gig being in Columbus, Ohio.

Pat toured with the Ike and Tina Turner revue for a couple of years on the legendary chit'lin circuit playing all the great theaters like the Apollo in New York and the Uptown in Philadelphia and the Howard in Washington DC. During this time she worked alongside some of the great R&B acts of our times.

One night in 1966, the Revue was playing at a club called the Galaxy on Sunset Strip when in walked these two English guys. It was Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts (of the Rolling Stones). Tina had a record called 'River Deep Mountain High' that was a massive hit in Europe, and the Rolling Stones invited them to the UK to tour with them. In September 1966, they landed at London Heathrow and Pat's love affair with England began!

Mick Jagger persuaded her to remain in London, and she later recorded for the Immediate label (then run by the Stones« manager Andrew Loog Oldham). Loog Oldham, Jagger, and Mike Hurst produced Arnold«s debut LP, "The First Lady of Immediate", in 1967, which included the single "The First Cut Is the Deepest", which was written by Cat Stevens and later popularized by Rod Stewart.

'The First Cut is the Deepest' was the first of the recordings and her first Top 40 hit. Another huge hit came in the form of Chip Taylor's 'Angel of the Morning' (arranged by Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones).

Steve Marriott had written the song Afterglow (Of Your Love) for PP Arnold but, after her enthusiastic reaction, decided to keep the track. Instead, she was given "(If You Think You're) Groovy," and Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane of the Small Faces backed her on the track. Other singles from the album such as "The Time Has Come" and "Welcome Home" were moderately successful hits in the UK and Europe.

She was always in demand as a backing singer, contributing to tracks such as the Small Faces' "Itchycoo Park" and, most noticeably, "Tin Soldier."

Her Small Faces connections continued, and hanging with the band inspired her to name her backing band 'The Nice' as the term "nice one" was a very popular phrase that Steve Marriott, and the Small Faces were fond of using. The Nice had been formed to back her on live gigs, but they began to develop into an act of their own and were also signed to Immediate, soon developing their own unique style. Out of The Nice, surfaced keyboardist Keith Emerson who later formed the group Emerson Lake and Palmer.

Pat's second album Kafunta was less successful than the first despite being produced, in parts, by Steve Marriott and Loog Oldham.

And though, at the beginning of the 1970s PP Arnold was still very much in demand, her next career phase was to be in various theatrical musical productions on the London stage. She was managed at this time by Robert Stigwood who also managed the Bee Gees who had split up which put a halt on the album she was recording with Barry Gibb after the Immediate label had gone bankrupt in 1968. Jack Good of American "Shindig" fame was doing a Rock version of "Othello" and Stigwood thought that it would be a good career move for Pat. But, working in the theater was an uneasy experience for Pat, as she yearned to record and tour as a solo artist again.

Before doing the musical she had formed a new band with Tony Ashton, Kim Gardner and Roy Dyke, who were known as Ashton, Gardner and Dyke with Steve Howe (who later joined Yes) on guitar. This was the band that backed her when she supported Eric Clapton on his early '70s tour with Delaney, Bonnie and friends with George Harrison and Billy Preston. After the tour, Eric Produced some great sessions for Pat on Polydor Records, but the tracks were never released.

It was at these super-sessions that she met Fuzzy Samuel, basist with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Together, they formed a funk-rock fusion band called, Axis, in tribute to Jimi Hendrix. They also fell in love and had a son Kodzo. They recorded an album together for EMI, but, by the time it was finished, the music scene had changed and EMI decided that they wanted Pat to change her image and become a Punk artist. The emerging Punk scene was taking over and there seemed to be no room for the music she and Fuzzy were creating.

Disillusioned, she decided to go back to the U.S. where artists and bands like Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire and Rufus were having success with the musical vibe that they were into. This proved to be a disastrous move, bad management, and Hollywood groupies and hangers on put a lot pressure on Pat and Fuzzy. Two weeks after they split up in 1977, her daughter Debbie was killed in a tragic car accident at Point Dume, Malibu. Devastation removed her totally for a few years. Still her distinctive sound can be heard on numerous recordings by such artists as Peter Gabriel, Oasis, Humble Pie, Nick Drake, Graham Nash, Steven Stills Manassas, Doctor John and blues legend Freddie King, to name a few.

In the latter months of '78 she was invited by Barry Gibb to come to Miami to finish what they had started in England in the late '60s. The Bee Gees were back together again and riding high on the success of Saturday Night Fever and Barry who had been close friends with Pat and her young family back then wanted to help her get back on her feet again. She went to Miami but politics in the Bee Gee camp once again prevented them from recording together. He did produce a duet with her and brother Andy Gibb, the Carol King classic 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow", which can be heard on Andy's greatest hits album.

In 1981, while waiting for Johnny "Guitar" Watson to produce some tracks, she went back to Hollywood for a while and worked for a brief period as an actress doing bit parts on TV to earn money. But the Hollywood scene was rife with drugs and very big ego's and Pat decided that she could not hang. She returned to England on Christmas Eve 1982, where she felt that her chances to resume her life and music career would be more assured.

She got back, into action in no time doing sessions with Reggae band Steele Pulse on their Earth Crisis album and she found herself back on Top of the Pops with the Kane Gang featuring on their cover of the Staple Singers, Respect Yourself.

In 1984, after returning to the theater in the original cast of the Lloyd-Webber musical Starlight Express, Pat signed to Ten Records, a subsidiary of Virgin Records, and began work on her first solo recordings with the Walsh Brothers, Pete and Greg. Later, she worked with Dexter Wansel of Philly International fame, and Loose Ends on the single "A Little Pain," which for the first time she recorded under the name Pat Arnold.

While at '10' she also worked with Boy George and Dan Was recording 'Electric Dreams,' singing lead vocals on the title track for the film Electric Dreams. She also sang the title song of the soundtrack for the Comic Strip movie, 'Supergrass' and got the opportunity to appear in a mad video with Robbie Coltrane, Adrian Edmondson and the Comic Strip Posse. She also recorded another soundtrack for the Virgin Film, The Inside man.

She then had another English hit with the single "Burn It Up" with the Beatmasters on the Rhythm King label. The Beatmasters later produced her song "Dynamite." And as well as being the voice on the hook of the 'K.L.F.' '3 a.m. Eternal' hit, she and Katy Kissoon are their famous Mu Mu choir.

In 1991 Pat sang back up for Roger Waters, recording several tracks on the album "Amused To Death" which was released in 1992.

Later in 1993, unable to secure a record deal for herself, she embraced the theater once again and starred in the Olivier Award winning musical 'Once On This Island' playing 'Erzulie', the goddess of love. It was in Birmingham, before coming to London's West End, when she first met Ocean Color Scene.

Pat's fans from her Immediate Records days and her close friendship with the Small Faces seemed to unlock a lot of doors for her with the young mod bands of the mid-90s. She jammed with Ocean Color Scene at the launch of Paolo Hewitt's Small Faces book and soon afterwards was asked to contribute a track for a Small Faces tribute album. PP recorded 'Understanding' the stand out track with Primal Scream on the CD.

In the Spring of 1997, Pat was working with Ocean Color Scene on their album 'Marching Already'. She contributed to the hit single 'Traveler's Tune' and performed a duet with Simon Fowler on the hit single 'It's a Beautiful Thing.' Suddenly, Pat was very high profile again with TV appearances on Top of the Pops, Chris Evans' TFI Friday and Later with Jools Holland.

She toured with O.C.S. in the winter of '98 on their Marching Already tour, where she performed as one of the opening acts doing a 20 minute acoustic set with Mick Talbot of Style Council on piano.

   

She then released the single "Different Drum" produced by Steve Craddock, an excellent version of the Mike Nesmith song. However, it failed to chart, and a proposed solo album was canceled, so P.P. decided to put a live band together to showcase her new material - The Band Of Angels. They did two sell-out gigs at London's Jazz CafŽ and she was on her way to making her own mark on the emerging "live" music scene when in May 1999, very unexpectedly, Pat was asked to tour with Roger Waters, which saw her singing with Katie Kissoon on guest vocals.

   

Touring the East Coast of the U.S. and Canada, it gave her the long-awaited American exposure she had been waiting for. And again in 2000, Pat joined Roger Waters for his "In The Flesh" U.S. West Coast tour. Then once more, in the first half of 2002, Pat toured with Roger for his "In the Flesh 2002 world tour. Her vocals throughout Waters' tour, especially her vocal solo on the song 'Perfect Sense Part 2,' garnered her huge applause and worldwide international acclaim.

Although PP Arnold is not strictly a British artist, she has made her solo career there. Her latest album "First Cut," is a re-release of the original 1998 release but with a slightly different track listing, and was finalized in Summer of 2002. Much of the album can be said to be a reissue of her two late 1960s albums on Immediate records, "PP Arnold First Lady of Immediate" and 'Kafunta'. The album contains hit's like, "The First Cut is the Deepest," "Angel of the Morning" and "(If You Think You're) Groovy.

Her collaborations with Chaz Jankel, Tony Remy and Leon Ware have also yielded a wealth of new material. These tracks include Chaz Jankel producing: 'You Take Me To The Top', 'I Trusted You', 'God In You, God In Me' and 'Can You Feel It' among others. Tony Remy produced: 'Angels and Devils,' 'One Love,' 'I'll Always Remember You,' a song dedicated to Pat's daughter, and 'Break These Chains,' which was written for her by Chip Taylor. The whole album is a unique tapestry of Pat's vocal expertise.

A Japanese CD called "PP Arnold Collection" is available through US on-line stores, and has exactly the same track listing as "The First Cut" but with the additional song "If You See What I Mean."

PP Arnold, has recently joined Madeline Bell (who can be heard on both 'The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking and Radio KAOS albums) and Ruby Turner for a June 11th 2004 concert. The show, called "The Three Divas," was held at 'The Wisley Music Festival,' and was a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin, and starred Ruby Turner, Madeline Bell, and PP Arnold, with the BBC Big Band. While in England for the show, she along with Katy Kissoon and Carol Kenyon, recorded some new material with Roger Waters.

PP Arnold also appeared live at the Festival Euro YeYe in Gijon, Spain at the end of July, and at the Bank Holiday Mod Weekend at Margate in August. She was backed at both gigs by a Spanish Soul band from Granada, 'The Teen-agers'. The Euro YeYe Festival in Gijon Spain ran from July 28th to August 2nd. The event organizers, "Trouble and Tea Entertainment" said the event was intended to be a great tribute to the '60s 'Mod' era.

The Interview

Since my first meeting with PP at the Universal Los Angeles show in 2000, Pat and I have been trying to coordinate the best time for an exclusive REG interview. Now... after 4 years, we've finally both found the time to spend with one another. It was wonderful that Pat was able to take the time out of her busy schedule to speak with us.

REG:

It sounds like you've led a pretty exciting life. How is it your singing career began with a solo at the age of 4?

PP:

Well, I've been singing as long as I can remember. My parents are Protestant Baptists and always sang in the choir. Growing up in the Baptist Church was always great to me as a result of all the singing. My brothers, sister and I were always playing Church at home. We liked singing all the hymns that we heard on Sunday Mornings.

I joined the junior choir officially at the age of 4 and was given my first solo as a result of my enthusiasm for singing. It was a song called, "Soldiers In The Army". After I sang the first verse the whole church went wild with the sisters shouting and Amen and praise the Lord chants erupted throughout the church. This happens when the congregation is happy and have been touched by the Holy Spirit. From that day on I've always tried to touch the hearts of the people when I sing and make people happy.

REG:

What was it like growing up in the Watts area of Los Angeles?

PP:

Great!!! As you probably know, before all the smog and pollution, Los Angeles was a very beautiful city. Unlike the urban cities of the Northeast it is very tropical. I grew up in a big sprawling house with my parents, siblings and grandparents. It had a big backyard with a variety of tropical fruit trees and vines.

The neighborhood was a friendly one with lots families from different parts of the South who had come to California hoping to escape the racism of the South and find better jobs to support their families with. All of us kids knew one another as we went to the same school and we had big fun together.

Of course, this was all long before gangs and drugs and fear ruled the community. In those days we could play outside without our parents worrying about drive by shootings and crack. In the summer we would have lemonade stands and all kinds of neighborhood games and activities to keep us occupied. I don't think it's like that today.

REG:

Were you there during the Riots in the late '60s?

PP:

Sure. They started a couple of blocks from where I grew up. I lived on 117th Street between Main and San Pedro and the riots broke out on Avalon Blvd around 116th Street near Imperial Highway. It was deep, fires and fighting everywhere. Everybody was on curfew and the revolution was on.

REG:

Your first marriage sounds as if it was pretty dysfunctional. Was it a pretty abusive relationship?

PP:

Totally!! Neither David, or I wanted to get married. When I found out I was pregnant, he ran away which is why my father took the stand that he did. David was 4 years older than me, which meant that if he didn't marry me he could go to jail for statutory rape. He blamed me for taking away his freedom. Of course being only 15 years old, I suddenly realized that I knew nothing about him really.

He had grown up in foster homes after being abandoned by his mother at a very young age and he was a very angry young man. I became his whipping post and he took it all out on me. My father was very strict on me and I had never been able to express my feelings or thoughts at home so I went from one controlling male figure to another really mad one.

REG:
Who was Bobby Day, and how was it that you began doing backing vocals him? Was this before your work with Ike and Tina Turner?

PP:

I'm sure you've heard of the song "Rockin Robin", well Bobby Day is the artist that wrote and sang this song. Maxine Smith was going out with a young local producer by the name of Jimmy Green and Jimmy had connections with Bobby.

They had this little studio in Jimmy's backyard, probably only 2 tracks, 4 at the most and I did my one and only session (if you can call it that) on one song with Maxine and Gloria. No, it wasn't my work at all. Maxine had been my brother's girlfriend when I got pregnant and she was a good friend to me. We never got paid for the session, though I had told David that I would be getting paid, which is how I got out the house.

REG:

Who were your musical idols at the time? Who were your influences while you were growing up?

PP:

Gospel music was my biggest influence as the Church was the center of the community. We rehearsed every week and sang three times on Sunday. Aretha Franklin was my idol then and now. I loved the Staple Singers and The Mighty Clouds of Joy.

My family is from East Texas, so I grew up listening to the blues and doing the Texas hop. KGLH was always on the radio day and night and I grew up listening to all the popular RnB, Soul and Popular music of the Day.

It was on KFWB that we heard more Rock n Roll. My father loved Elvis Presley because of the way he danced. My father also had these snake hip moves, which I'm sure Elvis learned from Southern black males.

My Grandfather loved the blues and sang them constantly. Of course us kids considered the blues to be old folk's music and when were more into the Motown sound. I loved the Temptations, Martha & the Vandellas, The Marvellettes, The Supremes (in that order). Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Dionne Warwick, The Platters, Otis Redding, James Brown, Joe Tex, Ike & Tina Betty Wright.

I love Soul Music. I loved all the Atlantic/Stax and Memphis sounds, Booker T. and the M.G.'s. The list goes on & on. We also liked the Beach Boys too, funnily enough. My big brother Ronnie was really into them. Their harmonies were tight.

I was never into Elvis because of some of the racists statements that he publicly made. My father never missed an Elvis Movie. He would take us to the Drive In Theater on Friday nights.

The first time I got into the Rolling Stones was when I heard Satisfaction and I always thought that it was Otis Redding's song.

REG:

How many other female vocal groups were you competing against when you auditioned for the Ikettes? Did you think you were going to get the job?

PP:

We were the only girls there and I think we were the last girls that they were seeing.

REG:

Who was it that actually hired you? Was it Ike or Tina Turner, or their manager? And what exactly did they say?

PP:

It was Ike and Tina. Ike was the manager! We went to their house that Sunday afternoon and both Ike and Tina greeted when we arrived. They liked us straight away because of the way we looked and the fact that we could sing was a double bonus.

Gloria already knew them as she had toured with a set of Ikettes that toured with the Dick Clarke tours. She was the one who knew what was happening and the professional one. For the audition we sang "Dancing In The Streets," "Heat Wave," and something that Gloria had made up that afternoon. Maxine & I just followed Gloria. When we finished Tina said, "Great girls, you've got the job"! I explained to her that I was married with 2 children and in big trouble for being there already and that there was no way that I could be an Ikette. She laughed and said, "Well, if you're already in trouble you might as well go to Fresno with us tonight and see the show, then make up your mind".

I'd never even been to Hollywood but what she said made a lot of sense to me at that moment. So, I went to Fresno, saw the gig that just blew my mind. Ike & Tina Turner were smoking. The Kings of Rhythmn were tight, funky and low down and the Ikettes and Tina were both beautiful and amazing. I had never witnessed women getting down like that. It was the most incredible show I had ever seen. Then and now!

REG:

How many years did you tour as member of the Ikettes? What Ike and Tina Turner albums did you sing on?

PP:

I toured with them from late 1964 until September 1966. I sang on the River Deep Mountain High album and recorded some really obscure Ikettes tracks with them.

REG:

While an Ikette, did you witness any spousal abuse by Ike Turner against Tina? And if so, how did that affect you?

PP:

Of course I did. We were on the road together. Traveling together like family. I think that I was affected worse than the others because of my own personal abuse syndrome. I cried for Tina on many occasions.

REG:

Why did you leave the Ikettes?

Because I'd had enough of Ike Turner's control trip. Ike had no control over me really. After the first tour with them I had left David as a result of the abuse. Before being an Ikette, he had beat me because I was ugly, young and definitely stupid for ever getting involved with him. After I was an Ikette, I was getting beat for looking too good and being popular.

I was going out with the trumpet player, Gabriel Flemings, who was protecting me from Ike, and the night before we flew to London from New York, I caught him sleeping with another woman and broke up with him.

When I arrived in London, I was a free woman. Mick Jagger and I became instant friends and Ike didn't like it one bit. He was giving me a hard time fining me for anything. I mentioned to Mick that I was planning to quit when we returned to the States. As we were walking through Regents one afternoon, he told me that his manger Andrew Oldham was interested in signing me to his new label Immediate and that he and Andrew wanted to produce my first album. I was shocked! The thought of being a solo artist had never occurred to me.

After talking it over with my mother who would be looking after my children if I decided to check out their offer, I decided that as I was definitely leaving the revue, I had nothing to lose and decided to stay for six months and see what would happen. If it worked, I would come home to get my children and return to London, and if it didn't work, I would go home after 6 months. Six months later I had my first hit record, 'The First Cut Is The Deepest'. After promoting it all over England and Europe, I went home to get my babies. PP:

REG:

What was your relationship with Mick Jagger and the Stones like? Did you become friends?

PP:

My relationship with Mick was very special, and the Stones were all great to me, especially Brian. Mick, as every body knows, has always had more than one relationship happening at a time and between Chrissie Shrimpton, Marianne Faithful and me, he was a busy boy.

London was a total culture shock for me and it was my first experience of inter-racial relationships. There is no way that what happened to me would've happened in America. A young black woman on her own in America in a white environment would not have been treated as well as I was in England. Especially in show business!

REG:

How did you meet and get involved with Rod Stewart and The Faces?

PP:

I knew the Faces before I knew Rod and I'm talking about the Small Faces, a very different band from The Faces with Rod and Ronnie Wood.

The Small Faces and I were label mates and we hit it off straight away. We were all the same size, the same age and totally into the same music. Steve was great. We were instant mates. They were all from the East End of London, which to me was like the Watts of London. Steve's grandmother had been a strong musical influence on him turning him on to people like Ray Charles at a very early age.

He was full of energy and so cute. We first met at the Immediate Offices and started putting musical ideas together straight away. We jammed together and Steve and I definitely had electricity between us musically and of course we were attracted to each other.

I met Rod later through Ronnie Wood who was living at my house at that time with his girl friend Chrissie. Mick had the idea of recording Rod & I as a duet, in a Carla Thomas-Otis Redding fashion. Rod and I were good mates but he was difficult to get on with. Mucho ego and we used to clash a lot. We recorded the 'Come Home Baby' track, Mick producing. It turned out to be the session from hell as a result of Rod wanting to constantly change the key with no regard for me, and if you listen to that track closely, you will hear what I mean. We finally got the track cut to everybody's delight, but Rod and I never spoke to each other againÉ as mates, anyway.

REG:

How was it that Cat Stevens wrote, "The First Cut is the Deepest" for you. How did you meet Cat Stevens? Were you friends or lovers? What meaning does that song have to you?

PP:

I don't know if Steve (Cat Stevens real name was b. Steven Georgiou) wrote that song especially for me, but I was the first one to get it and it totally related to my life and what had happened to me as a result of my first marriage. No, Steve and I were not lovers, but yes were good friends. The last time I saw him we spent a lovely afternoon together and he was very troubled, I tried to understand what he was going through, but I didn't even understand what I was going through at the time so it was impossible to do more than just be his friend.

REG:

Were you surprised when "The First Cut is the Deepest" became your first hit single? How did it make you feel that it was Rod Stewart who made the song famous worldwide?

PP:

I was surprised and very happy! I had followed my heart and it had taken me out of the darkness and into the light, and I was very happy that I had managed to be successful and be in a position to support my children, and be able to introduce them to different ways of being.

I was happy for Rod when he had the hit. He's a great artist and it's a great song. I called him once in L.A. to congratulate him, but he wouldn't take the call. Typical.

REG:

Were there any ill feelings when Steve Marriott took back the song "Afterglow (Of Your Love)" after it had been originally written for you? Did it become a hit for The Small Faces?

PP:

None at all. I think that Steve would be very happy to know that I'm singing it right now, and it will be on my next CD.

REG:
How long was The Nice your backing band? Were you surprised when they went on to achieve success on their own? Did you think Keith Emerson would become such a huge progressive rock star in Emerson Lake and Palmer?

PP:

They were my backing band for about a year. We had great times together and they were always their own separate entity as well as my backing band.

I wasn't surprised that they became successful in their own right, but I was surprised when I came back from the States with my babies to find that Andrew had signed them up without saying a word to me. But there were no hard feelings. Keith was always the leader of the band and a great talent, but nobody knows what the future holds.

REG:
Your career in the music industry has had a lot of ups and downs. Why is it that you consistently went back to the theater and musicals in between recording as a singing artist?

PP:

It wasn't something that was premeditated. I had to work to support my family. Without a record, it's hard to tour, and all the musicals that I've done just happened to come at the right time when I needed them.

REG:

After Eric Clapton left The Cream and Blind Faith, you toured with him on his first solo outing with Delaney and Bonnie and Friends. What was that like?

PP:

Brilliant!! That was a great tour and we all had a lot of fun. I was the opening act on the tour. I had a great band of my own and it was great to be on the road with my old friend Billy Preston who I'd known since my gospel days and early Ike & Tina days, when he was Billy Preston & The Soul Brothers.

REG:

You recently toured with Eric Clapton again, singing with Katie Kissoon. Do you feel you've kind of come full circle. What were some of the differences being apart of Clapton's band in the Early '70s and again recently?

PP:

I've never toured with Eric as a background singer before.

REG:

Andy Fairweather Low also played guitar in Eric's band, how was it that so many members of Roger's band toured with Clapton?

PP:

Andy is a great musician. A brilliant blues guitarist!! A great guy, very witty, with a great sense of humor, everybody loves him. When you're on the road for long periods of time, you want to have Andy with you. He's guaranteed to break the monotony.

I know Andy from our Immediate Record days and he's a great artist in his own right as well.

Roger and Eric are the best of friends who have the same high standards. As they never tour at the same times, so it works out great for everybody concerned.

REG:

Why were the Polydor sessions you did, that Eric Clapton produced, never released?

PP:

Politics, politics, I wish I understood them all. My relationship with Robert Stigwood was very much connected to my Production relationship with Barry Gibb. When Barry and Robert parted company, all my R.S.O. productions got put on the shelf where they've been every since.

REG:

You met your second husband, Fuzzy Samuel at these sessions. How was it the two of you decided to form the band Axis? How did you come up with that name?

PP:

Although Fuzzy and I were together off and on for about 10 years, we were never married and had we been, he would have been my third husband. We both loved Jimmy. Jimmy was a dear friend of mine and Fuzzy had known and played with him and with Stephen Stills and of course he was a major Hendrix fan. So we decided to call our band Axis inspired by the Axis Bold As Love album.

REG:

You sang on Peter Gabriel's hit grammy winning album "So". How did you get that job? How did you meet Peter Gabriel? Did you tour with him?

PP:

I got that session through Laurie Jay, who was Billy Ocean's manager. I met Peter at the session and spent a great day at his house in Bath recording the 'So' tracks with Dee Lewis and another singer named China. We got along very well as we both had experienced a lot of pain and tragedy in our lives.

REG:

Since Fuzzy played bass for Crosby Stills and Nash, was it because of his contacts that you played with or recorded with Graham Nash, and Steven Stills' Mannassas?

PP:

Definitely! When I was pregnant with my son Kodzo I traveled a lot with Fuzzy and spent a lot of time in Miami with the Manassas band. I met Graham in L.A. and did those sessions with him there.

REG:

How did it happen that you played or recorded with other groups like Humble Pie, Nick Drake, Doctor John and blues legend Freddie King?

PP:

My sound has always been in demand. The blues, gospel, R'n'B, and funk are my specialities.

REG:

What recordings did you do with the Bee Gees' Barry Gibb?

PP:

Barry and I recorded a lot of things but the only tracks released were "Give A Hand Take A Hand" and "Bury Me Down By The River," which taught me to be very careful of what I put out to the universe through song, as I didn't have another solo release for many years after that.

REG:

Was it after the death of your daughter Debbie that you first used the name Pat Arnold with your hit "A Little Pain"? When was "I'll Always Remember You," your song dedicated to her, written?

PP:

It was quite a long time after as I lost Debbie in '77, and "A Little Pain" wasn't released until '85. Although "I'll Always Remember You" was in me for many years, I didn't actually write it down until about '93 and did the first recording of it with Chaz Jankel in about '95.

REG:

When and why did you first begin using the name P.P. Arnold?

PP:

Gered Mankowitz, Rock & Roll photographer extraordin-aire, is the culprit responsible. As I had never planned to be a solo artist I had never thought of a show business name. In a meeting to decide on a name for me Gered came with the idea of PP Arnold. His reasoning for this was as I was a very little girl with a big gospel/blues sound that if we used initials, which was quite nouveau at the time (B.B. King, O.C. Smith, P.J. Proby) no one would know if I was a guy or a girl until of course they heard me or saw me or something like that...

REG:

During the '60s, '70s, and '80s, how aware were you of the band Pink Floyd and their music? Did you ever listen to Pink Floyd? Were you ever a fan?

PP:

I was very aware of the Floyd as I was on the road myself and I would run into them on the road, doing radio and TV promotion and stuff like that. I confess that I never bought a Pink Floyd Album but I did like their singles.

REG:

How aware were you of Roger Waters as a composer, and/or a solo artist? Were you familiar with his first two albums "The Pros and Cons of HitchHiking," and "Radio K.A.O.S."?

PP:

I was aware of him as the main composer for Pink Floyd, but I wasn't familiar with his solo work.

REG:

How did it happen that you recorded with Roger Waters for his album Amused to Death? Did you audition? Had Roger heard you perform before? How did you first meet?

PP:

Audition for a session? No. I had asked Katy (Kissoon) to do the K.L.F. sessions with me, and I think that Roger was looking for a new background vocal sound, and Katy suggested me. Don't quote me on this but I think that's how I got the session. Of course Roger knew who I was. We first met in the late 60's as I explained earlier.

REG:

Why is it that after such a long career in Rhythm & Blues and Soul music do you think you never became popular in the U.S. and only became a hit in the UK?

PP:

I was never really promoted in the U.S. The Immediate label folded before the British Invasion of the '70's. Ahmet Ertegan was the one who suggested to Robert Stigwood to sign me up, but of course we never finished the Barry Gibb recordings, and all the politics took over.

After that I've been without proper management all these years. Some people are aware of my work through all the Charly Records exploitations.

Lots of life changes and tragedies have played a large part in my inability to make the right connections needed. Plus, I've spent the majority of my adult life living in the U.K.

REG:

After putting together your own band... Band of Angels, did you ever make an album or tour? Who was in the band and what kind of music did you play?

PP:

Some of the material that I did with The Band Of Angels was taken from my early catalogue, First Cut, Angel, Groovy and Piece of My Heart. The rest consisted of the Chaz Jankel recordings, which are funk/rock/jazz/ fusion. The original Band of Angels were Chaz Jankel, Tony Remy, (guitars), Michael Martin (keyboards), Thomas Lang (drums) Julian Crimpton (bass) Lynn Hoban (Sax) Debra Lewis-Brown (Vocals) Ricki P. Washington (Vocals)

REG:
Why was it a surprise in 1999 when you were asked to tour with Roger Waters? How did that come about, did Roger just call you up one day and say; "Would you like to go on my tour with me"?

PP:

I was really discouraged with the Music Industry and after holding on for as long as I thought I could, I was about to give up. I had put all my belongings in storage and was literally "moving from pillar to post" as my mother would say. I had put the Band Of Angels together and had done two sell-out Jazz CafŽ gigs and was moving in that direction. An agent who was about to help me get my show on the road knew Andrew Zweck and mentioning me was told that Roger had been looking for me for some time to go on tour with him. I was given Mark Fenwick's number and the rest is history.

REG:

What were some of the highlights that you remember from the 1999 leg of the tour? What cities did you like best. Can you remember any personal or behind the scenes stories from this tour?

PP:

Being on it was a highlight for me. Andy Wallace, Graham Broad and I flew from Gatwick to Islip Airport, Long Island together and nearly missed our connection in Boston. It was quite comical seeing us all running like the wind to find the right terminal, me, with the biggest suitcase in the world, managed to save the day by taking a short cut to the gate in time to make sure that Andy and Graham weren't left behind.

I loved the rehearsal period. The Inn At Quogue was not to everyone's liking, but I had a great room and loved my morning runs to the ocean. It was such a relief to be on the road again with such great musicians. The crew, all top notch professionals, are stars in their own right.

Rehearsing at Hampton Bay and Calverton was hard work, but lots of fun. Though the Kennedy (JFK Jr.) tragedy did put a cloud over the experience.

I love touring and I love performing. On tour after a while all the gigs kind of melt into each other, but I loved Atlanta, Baltimore, I LOVE NY, Chicago, Quebec, St. Louis.

We stayed at this weird hotel in Pocono Manor PA that reminded me of the hotel in the Shining. There was a Baptist group from New Jersey staying there having a revival service every evening. I was surprised that Doyle, being from Texas, had never been to a black church before. He was too shy to go on his own so I went with him. There was a funk band from the seventies playing the music and they were really getting down. It was a real sanctified service. At the end of the service Doyle & I were asked to stand and introduce our selves Doyle was really shy about it, but I think he enjoyed the service. It took me back to my roots.

REG:

Were you worried performing during the rain and lightning storm in Pennsylvania?

PP:

Very much. I was just beginning to enjoy my life again and was not ready to be roasted "live" on stage.

REG:

During the 2000 tour, was the tour jet buzzing the crowd at The Gorge as spectacular as people have said?

PP:

It was Awesome!! The Gorge itself is breathtaking in its geographical beauty and the pilot really outdid himself. The day in question had been quite emotional for us girls and it really helped to clear the air.

REG:

Was it true Doyle Bramhall II was afraid to fly? Did he ever take the bus or train to any of the shows?

PP:
Flying wasn't his favorite pastime, which is understandable after the tragedy of his God Father (Stevie Ray Vaughan). No, he traveled with us all the time and didn't make a real big deal of it.

REG:

What was your favorite show during the US In The Flesh Tours and why?

PP:

That is such a hard question for me because I enjoyed most of them.

REG:

What was your favorite city you played in during the US. Tours and why?

PP:

As I said before I have a hard time narrowing down shows and cities but I enjoyed being home and playing the Universal Amphitheater. I met Leon Ware who is one my favorite producers of all times.

REG:

What were some of the highlights that you remember from the 2002 world tour? What cities did you like best. Can you remember any personal or behind the scenes stories from this tour?

PP:

That tour was awesome in so many ways. It was my first trip to Africa, a real eye opener for me. Going on Safari in Sun City while in Jo'burg was a great day out. S. America was incredible.

The first gig in Santiago was amazing as were the gigs in Rio, San Paulo and Porto Alegre. South America was the bomb, but so was our time in Hawaii, Sydney, Melbourne, Bangkok and Bangalore.

You have to understand that in all these places Roger is like a God and the fact that these fans had never seen him live made it so special for them, and in return for us.

To travel the world as part of Roger's first class traveling set is an unforgettable experience and there is no way that I can single out so many amazing experiences in a single interview. I loved Barcelona, walking through the streets of Moscow, seeing the great museums of St. Petersburgh, shopping in Paris and Rome (everywhere really), so many incredible gigs and experiences.

REG:
What was your favorite show during the In The Flesh World Tour and why?

PP:

Santiago was awesome, the enthusiasm of the fans really was incredible, but so was Bangalore, Paris and MoscowÉ.

REG:

Did you think the Waters "In The Flesh" tour would be such a success? Were you prepared to spend almost 12 months during 3 years touring with Roger?

PP:

Life is all about the unexpected and it's great when you receive pleasant surprises.

REG:

Do you consider yourself and Roger Waters friends, or colleagues, or perhaps do you look upon him as an employer?

PP:
Of course he's my employer, but I like to think that we are lifetime friends as well.

REG:

It's a bit ironic that Roger's last album with Pink Floyd was entitled "The Final Cut" and your last album was entitled "First Cut." Was this because it is basically a combination of tracks from your first two albums? Was the album originally released in 1998? If so, why was it re-released with a new track listing in 2002?

PP:

It's probably because of the single, "The First Cut Is The Deepest" and they keep releasing it to continually, because they don't have control of anything else from the period and there must be a demand for it.

REG:
Are you planning on recording a new album in the near future?

PP:

I'm working hard on it. Pray for me.

REG:

Earlier this Summer you performed a concert in England called the 3 Divas. Can you tell us a bit more about the concert? How did it turn out? What were your favorite songs you sang?

PP:

The 3 "Divas" are Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin and it is a tribute to their music. I performed along with Madeline Bell and Ruby Turner with the incredible B.B.C. Big Band and the gig was a great success, thank you. There's talk of the show being toured in England next year. My favorite songs I sang were "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" and "Natural Woman" and I can never not do "First Cut is the Deepest."

REG:
How would you label yourself and your music today?

PP:

Still going strong. I'm a singer and I express in many different forms. But I guess that you can say that I'm a "Soul Singer"

REG:

You performed at the Festival Euro YeYe in Gijon in Spain at the end of July, what was the festival all about? You played with a band called, "The Teenagers." Is this your band? What kind of music did you play? What songs did you sing?

PP:

It was a Mod Festival that takes place every year apparently. The Teenagers are Spanish Mods from Granada who love Soul music and they've backed me for these two summer festivals. Both gigs were very successful. I played a lot of my 60's catalogue, that funnily enough, I'd never performed live, and some of my favorite Soul Classics. If you check out my e-group at: pp_angelwings@yahoogroups.com you can stay in touch with all that's happening with me. There'll be a set list there as well.

REG:

You also recently performed at the Bank Holiday Mod Weekend at Margate at the end of August? Was the show a success? Did you play the same kind of things again with The Teenagers?

PP:
The gig went great thanks. Same set, different order.

REG:

You mentioned that you would be meeting with Roger in Spain and doing some recording with him. Can you tell us all about that? Are you recording for his new album? How many songs will you be singing on the new album? How close do you think is the album toward completion? Does the album have a title yet? What can you tell us about the album? Is it a concept album and if so, what is the concept?

PP:

I think you misunderstood me there, I never said that I was meeting Roger in Spain. We recorded at his house in Hampshire.

REG:
Roger plans to tour the U.S. after his new album has been released. Do you know if that will be next Summer as planned, or not?

PP:

I don't have a clue. Andrew Zweck or Mark Fenwick are the best people to ask about that.

REG:

Will you be touring with Roger again for his new album?

PP:

Time will tell the truth.

REG:

After Roger's new tour, what are your plans as far as your own career is concerned?

PP:
To keep on keeping on. I'm in the process of finishing my book and I'm planning to record some new music with Andy Wallace and hopefully Andy Fairweather and some great musicians that Andy W. is putting together for me. I also plan to be doing a lot of "live" work. How that's all going to work and with who and where, I do not know at this moment, but I do know that it all will happen.

REG:

When we first were attempting to arrange this interview you were in the middle of remodeling your home. How did that turn out?

PP:
Estupendo. Mi casa es muy bonita.

REG:

The next time we attempted to arrange the interview, you were in the middle of taking Spanish lessons. Why were you learning Spanish? Did that help you a lot when you were on tour with Roger in South America, Spain and Portugal?

PP:

Mi espanol es mucho major que antes. Estoy apriendo espanol por que me ayuda a comunicar con los espanoles. Cuando estaba en la gira mi espanol estaba muy mal pero me ayudaba un poco.

REG:

I really enjoyed meeting you on the number of occasions we met back stage during the tour. You treated me like I was your little brother. You are truly one of the nicest, most warm and friendly music artists I have ever met. And on behalf of our fan club, I want to thank you so much for your time and patience in doing this interview.

PP:

It's been my pleasure. Thank you for your patience with me. I'm sorry it's taken so long.


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