- Rave Magazine
- February 1967 - Page 9
- Courtesy of Linda Crafar
The Family Cat
By Maureen O'Grady
Cat - Cooking for
Cat Stevens is very much a family man.
Success hasnt sent him searching for anything more than pleasing his parents and
making his mum happy. A strange pop happening, you may say, as RAVEs Maureen
OGrady found out when she interviewed the family Cat!
His Swedish mother wanted him to be a
famous artist like her uncle. His Egyptian-cum-Greek father wanted him to work in his
restaurant business. But instead, Steve Adams became Cat Stevens, and now every-ones
Cats interest in music started
about two years ago.
"I was very interested in folk
music," he said. "It was different then to have a guitar and play in a pub. I
found it all very interesting, but I didnt really fit in with folk. I was too
commercial, and that was when I went on to the pop stuff. I was at school at the time, and
then went on to art school. I was going to become a cartoon artist. I had heard this could
bring in steady money. But really I was stuck on music. This made my mother very sad of
course. In fact, at this stage no-one in my family had any faith in me at all! But
Ive always found that I fight better when Im in a corner, and the lack of
faith only drove me on. "
Cat is seventeen now, with shiny black
hair, and dark, smiling eyes. Obviously his family ties are strong, and Cat considers his
first big break was when his father bought him a £50 guitar.
"My dad loves seeing me on
television, and goes around telling all his friends. I love television myself, I think
its the greatest medium for any entertainer."
"When I was at art school, I
would come home in the evenings and help out in my fathers restaurant. Its a
restaurant with a snack bar upstairs, in New Oxford Street, London, called the Moulin
Rouge. I used to love doing the cooking, except when people asked for Shish Kebab. I hated
doing those, they were all fiddley bits of meat that had to be chopped up and put on a
skewer. I loved the people who asked for lovely simple hamburgers! This was my first taste
of real work."
Cat believes that most people thought
"I Love My Dog" was just beginners luck, and that "Matthew and
Son" was another fluke, but Cat intends to become a big name in 67.
He studies the pop Charts, because he
thinks it would be silly to ignore them. He forecasts big bands and solo singers to be on
the way in, and only groups with exceptional characters to survive or break through.
"My success all happened when I
played Mike Hurst (ex-Springfield member) some of the songs Id written. He
immediately wanted to record Dog and that was it. Ive written about
fifty songs now, and theyll be on an LP soon, which will be very exciting. A sound
is nothing without a good song, and you can get fairly good songs anywhere and add sound
to them, but its not the same. I wrote a song yesterday. I found a few nice chords
on the piano and it was an immediate tune. I always used to write with a guitar before,
but I get more new ideas from the piano, which I cant play properly. Ill try a
Among the people interested in recording
Cats songs are Paul and Barry Ryan, Lulu, Peter and Gordon, and Manfred.
Which is more important to Cat, singing
"Well, I just think about me.
Whatever is in my best interests, thats the important thing."
All the family are now proud of their
Cat. They didnt think he could do it, but he has. Cat still lives at home with his
family and doesnt intend to move. For a pop star to get one hit record and go out
completely on his own, he thinks is unwise. On the strength of only one record it would be
easy to start living beyond ones means, and then get rapidly into debt.
Since turning into a professional pop
singer, Cat has made television appearances and done ballroom dates, but hes never
too far away from home. A recent big break for him was the "Fame in 67"
show at the Saville Theatre, London. It was a great experience for Cat to appear there,
using Georgie Fames backing group, and even before the hard-to-please London
audiences he went down very well, and was warmly received.
After "Dog" became a hit,
Cats father relented and got him a dog, something Cats always wanted to have.
The dogs name is Peppi, and Cat says: "Its funny, but since Ive had
that dog, everything in that song is coming true for me. I want to be very big in 67
not get a No. 1, because that would frighten me. I dont want to jump before I
can walk. Thats why I live at home. I want to keep my two feet on the ground and not
get any big ideas that might not work out."
drawn by Cat Stevens. Who are they? Page 45
Talented Cat Stevens, who
sings, plays guitar and writes his own songs, has one more ace up his sleeve. Remember
that he went to art school? Well, above are four of his lightning impressions of
well-known pop personalities for you to identify. Theyre such clever likenesses that
it shouldnt be too hard, so there are no clues! Answers are at the bottom of the
Letters Page 59
Where can I
contact Cat Stevens?
M Campbell, Hornchurch,
- You can write to Cat c/o (This is
from 1967 so do not try writing to Cat/Yusuf at this address)
- Smash Productions Ltd
- 26 Kingly St
- London W1
1. Jimmy Saville,
2. Mike D'Arbo, 3. Georgie Fame, 4. Brian Wilson