Scott: An Exclusive Interview…
Renza and Stella have shared their story in the novel Only One Woman (Christina Jones and Jane Risdon) detailing the young women’s lives during the last years of the grooviest decade ever: the 1960s.
We’ve never shared anything about Scott’s side of the story, or what he thinks about his life and music.
In this exclusive interview with a Music Mag he tells us a little about himself.
Welcome Scott and a huge thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.
Scott, tell us a little about yourself and what you are doing right now?
Hi, thanks so much for wanting to chat with me. At the present time we – Narnia’s Children – are rehearsing for another tour – Europe this time. We’re really excited. There’s a chance of playing in Switzerland again, and that would be ace. We’re about to move to another place – a new flat or house or something. Stephan, our manager, is going to be meeting us in the week to give us the low-down. We think it is going to be in London which will be really cool.
Mo and I have written some new songs so we need to rehearse them and then decide where in our set they should go. Rehearsals are usually fun and I enjoy working out our four-part harmonies with the lads, and my lead breaks. It sort of all comes out of thin air really, like from the universe or somewhere. and when it does we all have to work hard to get everything perfect. And of course, as musicians, we’re never satisfied and as the new songs settle in we often make adjustments and change things. The end result can be miles away from where we began.
I’m also making some new trousers from an old pair of jeans I’m fond of. It’s hard going as the denim is so tough – I’m adding leather patches and putting a new zip in, which I hate doing, but it saves Stephan, our manager, having to fork out for new gear for me. He is bank-rolling the band until we earn enough to pay our own way. I seem to have the knack of being able to sew -no idea why. Don’t tell anyone, they’ll think it very un-cool! My Mum left home when I was still young and I had to take over looking after myself and my little brother. I can cook too.
How did you come to be in a band? How does it feel to perform songs you’ve written? Tell us a bit about it.
Don’t laugh, I taught myself guitar when I was about 13 – Bert Weedon’s Play in a Day – on a wooden guitar my cousin made me. Most kids learn like that or just plonk around ‘til they play something. I got together with some friends from school (in England – not Narnia’s Children) and we thought it would be fun to form a band, and It was such a laugh. We were called On the Beach – we lived by the sea and thought it was such a cool name.
At first, we played at the local Youth Club, covers of all the cool bands like The Beatles and stuff, nothing too complex as we were all learning still. Thinking back I’m sure it sounded dreadful. It meant that we got lots of new friends, and followed by all the chics. They were full-on I can tell you.
Then I moved to Jersey to be with my mother, and found another band….Main Street. They were all excellent musicians. I played some lead at first but when their bass player left they asked me to play bass, which I could do. There were two lead guitarists already, so losing me wasn’t a big deal. My playing really improved playing with them. I learned so much. Great guys.
We did covers of The Stones – Under my Thumb, The Who – Pictures of Lily, and I Can See for Miles, and lots of Motown; so cool. We also included Martha Reeves and The Vandellas – Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide.
It was fun, covering Pink Floyd’s Arnold Lane. Stuff like that. We went down really well. After a while, the band line-up changed. They just wanted to play for fun, but I’ve got ambition. So I left to join another band which became Narnia’s Children. I was back on lead guitar again, and we started songwriting too. Yeah, we’re serious musicians, you see, with big ambitions.
Narnia’s Children played the Tropicana, Watersplash, and Lords many times – awesome clubs – and that’s where Stephan saw us and decided he wanted to manage us, get us a record deal, and get us out of Jersey, so we could tour and get heard by more kids, on radio and TV, you know. Jersey is really small and to make it you’ve gotta be in England. We signed with him, came over to England and it’s just great, so cool.
The only thing which isn’t so great is that we never get enough to eat, and the places we live are always so cold. I guess we got spoiled being in Jersey.
Mo gets food parcels from his mum! Seriously. Nobody ever sends the rest of us, including me, anything. Sometimes he shares what he has with us, but usually, it’s just enough for him so we don’t like to nick any.
Who is the least favourite person in your life right now? Why?
Nah, I don’t do that stuff. Someone messes me around or something, I move on, leave it behind. Don’t do favourites really. It’s all about Karma.
If you could swap places with someone you’ve met or would love to meet, who would it be? And why?
Wow, that is a question. I’ve met loads of cool people, famous players, and songwriters, but you know, It would be ace to be able to play like Jeff Beck, or Clapton, even Hendrix, you know, or be in a band with one of them, but most bands have one lead player so I can’t see that happening. Rod Argent is really cool. We know him through our manager and he’s a nice guy so I might, sort of, like to be him, but seriously, I never think like that. I’m me. I’m pretty mellow about being me.
When you met Renza what was it about her that made you want to marry her so badly?
Oh! Renza; she’s such a babe. We moved into the village and every day I’d see this chick in her school uniform waiting for the school bus outside the flat. She had the longest, sexiest legs you’ve ever seen – the whole band agrees; ask them. Her golden hair nearly touched her backside it was so long and in the spring sunshine, it shimmered. She was, well is, gorgeous.
I never saw her that close-up or anything to begin but I just knew she was beautiful, inside and out. I knew the first time I saw her that she was the one. I wrote a song for her right away. You know, we didn’t meet for ages. In fact, I don’t think she knew we were around. We hardly saw her other than going to school and coming back, or shopping with a load of little kids following her around. Our flat was near her house and we could see into her garden from the balcony. Renza was always hanging out washing or doing chores of some sort. I really wanted to whisk her away.
The first time we spoke was that night she was late back from seeing The Equals in Reading. I had to find an excuse to talk to her so I did something really dumb, and shouted at her from the flat window. It was funny, she nearly had a blue fit. Daft when I think of it, scaring her like that, in the dark. I sent her notes – her little brother Jasper used to come round every day asking us to go out to play with him – and he took them to her. He cracked us up. So we’d go and play football with him and that way I got to find out all sorts of stuff about Renza. She never replied or anything. Now I know her, I can tell you her Mum is a bit of a dragon. Anyway, I nearly bottled it, but I sent another of many notes asking her out it was crazy. And, out of the blue, she wrote back and said yes. I was blown away. That first evening, walking around the village talking to her. Just magic, really. And I kissed her and I knew right there and then, I had to marry her. Don’t laugh, but the band had already decided she should marry me too.
What do you believe your main purpose in life is? And how far will you go to achieve it?
I guess I might discover my real purpose when I’m older but I dunno really. Playing is all I want to do and to do it as best I can. I want everyone to enjoy my music, for it to make them happy, to chill out to, and to make love to I guess. I never want to do anything else and I guess I’ll do what it takes. Music isn’t like anything else and so far it’s so new, really cool, and no real pain to do. I would like to have some money and eat regularly though.
What is your favourite song – that you’ve played? Why? Does it have a special meaning?
That’s a hard one. A while back if you’d asked I wouldn’t have been able to answer because I love so many songs, there are so many great ones out there. But now, meeting Renza, and the way I feel about her, well, the song I wrote for her ‘Because of You Girl,’ is meaningful, and when we play it on stage I feel choked up. But we do have a special song, and I sing it to her all the time. The Marbles had it out earlier in the year, and it’s called Only One Woman. There’s something about it, we both feel it and love it. Narnia’s Children don’t do it on stage, so it is something special between Renza and me. The Bee Gees are wonderful songwriters, they’ve captured us really well.
Have you had any scary moments on tour or in general? Tell us what happened, or why you feel like this?
Where do I start? So many, seriously. I never told Renza this but when we were on the Cruises (we did the Med), on SS Northern Star (Shaw Saville Line) and we went ashore in Naples and spent a day having a look round. Don’t ask how, but we found our way to a vineyard and they were giving free samples of some sort of wine to visitors and we got chatting to some girls working there and they got us drunk, seriously, it sort of happened. Anyway, the stewards from the cruise were with us, they liked us and wanted to protect us. They all carried knives which scared us stupid but they knew Naples and they were cool guys. Well, as I said, we all got worse for wear and I seem to recall some blokes – Italians – arriving on scooters and there was a big ding-dong. I think it was about the girls and us. Dunno. Anyway, next thing there is a huge fight, the guys pulled knives on us, and then the stewards all got handy with their knives. We’ve never seen anything like it. Someone called the police and the next thing Zak was arrested, no idea why, and he got hauled off to the clink. They made him stay in overnight which was a pain but thankfully the ship was docked until the next night otherwise we’d have been in deep you know what. I can’t remember much really. We all slept in the vineyard I think and I know I had a hangover from hell the next morning. We went to the police station and they let Zak go. We didn’t understand the lingo so just legged it as fast as we could. That was pretty hairy. Hey, I hope Renza won’t read this, or she’ll freak.
Stephan has booked us on another cruise for 1969. Cool. Food, lots of food!! We are going to go on Southern Cross, Shaw Saville Line.
What is it like growing up in the 60’s, in The Cold War, with the threat of someone pushing the nuclear button ?
I think the 60s is the coolest time to be alive. We’re so lucky. Everything is new, exciting, and so groovy. It’s like someone pulled a plug and all the old stuff has gone down the plug-hole and fresh stuff water’s filling the bath – if you get my drift. I feel – we feel – we can do anything, be anyone, and achieve anything we want. There is such a vibe in the air – agreed? You can almost touch it, taste it. It wasn’t that way in Jersey so much, but England! Oh boy! You know that song by Roger Miller – England Swings like a Pendulum Do? Yeah, well it does. It vibrates too. So much love and peace people send out. The music is just out there, so much, so new and different. I love that you can wear what you want. I even have pink stuff, I mean, you could never wear pink as a bloke, you know, before; you’d get lynched.
Yeah, the Russians, what are they like? I think it’s the Americans getting them all worked up. It’s kinda scary and if you let yourself think about all this ‘one minute to midnight’ stuff they talk about, well, it would do your head in. Very Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire)…love that song by the way. Whatever we think no-one listens. I’ve seen the Ban the Bomb marches and stuff, and demonstrations, but I don’t know any of it works. Who listens to us? Nope, I guess all we can do is do the best we can and be loving and kind to everyone. I don’t know any Russians and I know they aren’t free like us, but I can’t imagine they want this crap too…oops sorry, I didn’t mean to swear.
Have you done anything unforgivable to someone? Was it out of love or revenge? Tell us about it.
I don’t think so, like I said I believe in Karma and it wouldn’t be cool, though I know I would hurt Renza if she found out about Stella. I’ve no idea how all this happened and I never want to hurt anyone; Renza or Stella. Oh, cripes, will they read this? Hope not. I’m dead.
Why did you fall for Stella? What effect does this have on your relationship with Renza? Do you still love her or just lost the spark long distance?
This is hard to talk about, to put into words you understand. I’m not sure myself. Renza broke my heart when she went abroad. Yeah, we knew she’d go and we’d always be together, but it was lonely without her. There was this big hole, I felt empty and there’s no-one I’d ever talked to like her, you know, not even the band. Yeah, I’d seen my Dad again with her, and it seemed cool, but you know when your parent’s divorce and remarry and have a new family, it is never the same for the original kids. We have no one, my brother and me. We’re a bit sort of spare, adrift. I realised it when I saw Renza’s family and later, seeing Stella’s. I don’t have any of that.
I guess I missed Renza and felt lost, and when I saw Stella, with her weird hair and clothes, and she has a look about her, I dunno how to describe it…anyway, I saw her and she looked like she liked me, and then her mate Vix pushed us together.
I really thought she was going to have a sex-change operation; that Vix, she’s wicked. No-one explained. I felt sorry for her, and there was this chemistry, intense feeling. Well, it just happened. She knew the score and I never lied to her. I told her I loved Renza and always would and we were getting married. Stella accepts that, she’s cool with it. She’s a cool chick. Renza doesn’t know, I need to tell her. I keep plucking up the courage, but I don’t want it to be the end if I do…it’s making me very down, you know. I’m confused. I can’t do that to Renza and then what about Stella? I don’t want to talk about them anymore. Sorry.
How has touring in the UK been? What’s been your favourite moment so far?
Ace, it’s been ace. All the places I’ve read about in NME and Melody Maker etc. We’ve been playing them and we’ve been on the same bill as some really cool bands, like Fleetwood Mac and Idle Race, just so many I can’t think of them. Oh, yes, and Doc Holliday and the Cards. Such a mega act now and it’s so funny touring with them. The London venues are out there, so cool, so unreal. Samantha’s, and Café des Artistes, I mean, who’d ‘a thought it! Doing press interviews and Radio and well, it’s been just unreal. Getting the record deal has been a dream come true…it’s all been magic.
Scotland has been a bit weird. I mean it’s so cold for a start and the snow. Unreal. We nearly got killed in one of the loch’s – the van skidded in the snow and nearly went over the edge of a twisting, mountain road. Rich just managed to swerve or we’d have been history.
Then the submarine base was just so far out there. American submarines being repaired, right in the middle of nowhere, in a loch we just happened to find when we got lost in a blizzard. Guns and dogs; those guys pointed guns at us! Like America. So freaky. Elgin and Wick were strange places to play. The venues were right in the middle of nowhere, we were sure nobody would come, like being on the moon or something. But they came and they loved us and sang our songs. Aberdeen was a hoot The Assembly Rooms; it’s round with the stage in the middle and the kids just walked round and round following the walls as we played in the middle. We got giddy watching them.
Did you know we played at the same venues – The Ballerina Ballroom, Nairn, and The Two Red Shoes, in Elgin? Wick was out of this world. In Elgin stayed at the same B&B as The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and other mega amazing bands? Unreal. We toured Scotland in the freezing cold winter, in thick snow. How we weren’t killed driving up those icy mountains I don’t know. We stayed at Myrtle House in Elgin. The B&B owner, Mrs. McBean, was really strict, she has bands there all the time. It was strange. We got breakfast – porridge every day. With salt on it! Weird or what? I hope we go back in the summer next time.
Favourite moment? Not sure yet. Ask me this time next year if we are still gigging.
What is your favourite colour, and how does it make you feel?
Blue. I love all shades of blue. I feel great wearing it, everyone says it makes my eyes, which are turquoise, look bluer. Hey, anything that turns the girls on eh! I’m joking, Renza and Stella say blue is my best colour. I wear lots of black and purple too.
Do you feel you are attractive to all women who admire your music? Have you ever had any strange gifts from fans?
Strange question. I can’t say I feel attractive to girls who like our music. I think they are attracted to musicians, full stop; and not just the girls if you get my drift! As for strange gifts, oh wow, if I were to tell you – you’d never believe it. And not just me, Zak gets the weirdest stuff, he keeps a case with it all in. What he’s going to do with it, is anyone’s guess. A girl mailed herself to me once – we were out when she arrived, and a neighbour had to take her in, unwrap her and feed her. She came by Special Delivery and nearly got sent to the sorting office to await collection. That is pretty strange, but it is not the strangest!
If you could have one wish right now what would it be and how would it help your current situation?
Right now I’d like to have a hit record and enough money to bring Renza over and for us to get married right away and live happily ever after. She could do her writing and come on tour with us and be with me always. I dunno how it would help things, what with Stella and all. But truly that is my wish, this moment, right now. I miss her so much. I’m gonna be so dead after this interview, I know I am.
Thanks, Scott, for agreeing to taking part in this interview. It has been a pleasure getting to know you. We hope you will come back again and update us on your progress. Good luck to you and Narnia’s Children.
Hey, no problem, it’s been a gas; thanks for asking me to talk to you.
You can find out more about Only One Woman on the global podcast network, The Authors Show, Channel 6, by following the link. Jane chats to host, Linda Thompson, about writing with Christina Jones, the backstory to Only One Woman, and much more…
Only One Woman: the novel
Two women, one love story.
June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together, they’re torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.
December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.
As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?
Not only a love triangle, Only One Woman is a trip back to the late 1960s and is sheer nostalgia, with world events and social change colouring the lives of the characters as they move towards a new decade. Only One Woman is for everyone who loves anything Swinging Sixties, guys and gals, who love the music, fashions, and vibe of the grooviest decade of the 20th century.
Tune into the Authors Show. Channel 6, Podcast to learn more about Scott, Renza, Stella, and Narnia’s Children, and their lives in the late 1960s.
Jane Risdon Facebook Author Page:
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Jane Risdon Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y8
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Available around the world via Amazon, and most digital platforms as well as Waterstones stores, and more.
Universal Link: books2read.com/u/mlEQPZ
Social Media links:
Only One Woman has a Facebook Page:
Only One Woman has a Blog:
Only One Woman: Both Renza and Stella have YouTube Playlists to enjoy as you read: