- August 1972
ALUN DAVIES - Player of the Month
Alun Davies began learning his first
chords on a ukulele that lived in the same house that he did. Then he progressed onto a
second-hand guitar. It was one of those terrible Italian things, he remembers.
Its very good for you to learn on a guitar with really rough action though.
You know, strings six inches off the fret board! When you eventually get a better model it
makes everything much easier.
finally mastered the basic chords he set out playing the music of his day. It was
the whole Donegan era and I've just progressed through the impetus. Skiffle contained the
basic elements of folk and rock. I got off on the folk thing.
going on the road and performing at folk clubs. It was my way of playing myself out of the
office clerk syndrome. Then I teamed up with a guy I knew at school. That was Jon Mark,
now with Mark-Almond. I worked with him for quite a time.
did an album for Decca, which was recorded in a day! It was called Relax Your Mind with
Jon and Alun. We were so young and green we really got maneuvered in those
things. It was then that they began playing some of the US Air bases in England and
learned a little more about entertainment. The lesson still plays an important part in
After the Jon and
Alun experience, he began earning his living by giving guitar lessons. Some of these took
place at the Cecil Sharpe House, the hub of the British traditional folk movement, and
others were part of the Inner London Education Authoritys evening class scheme.
I began concentrating more on my guitar playing. I then found there was a lot of
session work available for a finger-style acoustic player.
Through the session
work that followed, AIun teamed up with four other session musicians and made an album.
The band and the record - were called Sweet Thursday but they never appeared
on stage together. Now the album is a collectors piece with the line up of
Brian Odgers, Harvey Burns, Jon Mark, Nicky Hopkins and Alun. It was around that
time, recalls AIun, that I met Paul Samwell-Smith who booked me for sessions
with Cat Stevens.
The first album he
made with Cat was Mona Bone Jakon and after only six weeks they began work on Tea
For The Tillerman. By that time I was getting to know Steve (Cat) quite
well, says Alun. One day he said: "Why dont we go out on the road
together?" At that time Mark Almond were forming and as Id known Jon for so
long I had to toss up to decide. But I was getting a buzz off Steves music and I
wanted to follow that path through.
Now, AIun is a
permanent feature of Cat Stevens musical accompaniment. Hes also recorded his
own album entitled Daydo, which will be released by CBS. Its a collection of
the songs that hes been writing while sitting on the touchline of Cats