MICK UNDERWOOD - Page, Plant, Jones... Underwood? Page 4
by Martin Popoff
And finally, I asked Underwood what would have constituted the most joyous time with the band, as defined by one record, or the work thereof on it?
"The most joyous. That's a great term; I like that (laughs). Yeah, I would say Glory Road. There was a slight issue with Future Shock. And I certainly enjoyed Double Trouble. Magic was a little bit of a production job, yeah? Which is okay, nothing wrong with that, but it was slightly out of our hands. Glory Road was great, because the band was actually settled in by then, had toured, had some great action on our first studio album; everything was kicking big time, you know? So that was good fun to do. Future Shock was a great album to play, but production-wise, we had some problems with that, where Ian wasn't happy with the sound of it. I wasn't particularly either, and I don't know about anybody else on it. Ian and I went back in and did a remix on that before it was released; we both went in and remixed it. So that was a little thing on that level, a little question mark that needed doing. And Double Trouble was a different guitarist, which made a slight difference in the band."
Finally, we get to the story on this Zeppelin business, even if the tale comes out merely as a fortuitous side-product of an innocent query about his joining Episode Six, the band that would cough up Ian Gillan and Roger Glover to Deep Purple...
"Okay, right, I'll tell it to you. I met Gloria Bristow, who managed the band; I knew her, for about a year. I knew she managed the band, and Episode Six had done a lot of radio stuff and sessions and all that, for BBC recordings. Their mainstay at that point was as a vocal outfit; they were great singers. Ian was in there, Roger was in there, another guy was singing, and that was all going good. And I had been doing something with the singer. We did a thing in central London which was filmed, and I was talking then to... I bumped into Peter Grant - I suppose you would know him. And all I knew from the times I was working with Ritchie (Mick had played with Ritchie Blackmore in The Outlaws - this is early '60s), with Gene Vincent, Peter was the road manager, and I thought he was a great bloke. I really got on very well with Peter. And I met him at this thing, and he was there with Terry Reid; he was also filming this thing, and Peter said, 'Mickey, look, Jimmy Page is putting the Yardbirds back together. Because, you know, we're looking for some people. Would you be interested?' And I said, 'Well, I might be Peter, it could be good.' It was purely the New Yardbirds. They were the Yardbirds then, and the Yardbirds were a little bit 'a few years ago,' then, at the time. And he said, 'OK, give me a ring, Mickey. Give me a ring, give me a ring.' 'That might be good.'"
MICK UNDERWOOD - Page, Plant, Jones... Underwood? Page 5