I recieved this newspaper article from the June 25, 1977
Daily Mirror newspaper many years ago as a teenager. I had a very sweet and dear
teenage penpal from the East Side of London, who I corresponded with and would exchange
newspaper clippings and articles about Cat Stevens, as she knew I was a huge fan of his.
In return I would send her articles and clippings of the people she was a fan of at the
time. So this article is very special to my heart, as they came from a very special friend
from my youth. Thank you Olive George, for these wonderful
articles. Can you believe I held onto it all these years?
- Special note to Olive:
If you are reading this, please send me an e-mail I would love to hear from you again, and
catch up on old times and reconnect with you after all these years.....Christine.
A CAT WHO WALKS ON HIS OWN
- By Bill Haggerty
- Daily Mirror
- Saturday June 25, 1977
stage makes me nervous. Im scared people expect to much)
Cat Stevens: "
There is always something more to say"
- Ask Cat Stevens if he is happy and he tells
you: "Its a good time for me._____ Im content___Ive got most of
what I want."
- What, then, is it he wants but doesnt
- "I want to be happy," says Cat
This brief snatch of
conversation may give you some indication of the complexities of the Cat, a star for ten
years now and still staggering as he comes off the bend on the final lap of a marathon
A teenage success with a
bunch of pop singles like "I Love My Dog" and "Matthew and Son."
Stevenshe will be 30 next month caught tuberculosis and was out action for a
It was during this period
of recover and convalescence that he plunged into the serious self - examination that was
radically to change his direction of his life and his work.
Thats when I
grew my beard, which is now my identity," he says, peering from behind dark glasses
In his New York hotel room while on a visit from his home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
"In the hospital I
covered all the mirrors with paper for a time because I really was going through this
problem of finding my real self."
"When I finally took
down the paper there was this beard: And it looked so right."
I believe that any trauma
can be used positively or negatively.
"After my illness, for
example, I could say, gone through life worrying about not having enough jumpers on. But
instead I said to myself. Wow! Im happy to be alive, and took a direction
Id missed before."
Physically that direction
took him to Rio. Looking for sunshine, he jumped on a plane, having no Idea how far away
Rio was, and liked it so much that he decided to stay.
"I arrived the week
before Carnival I and all these incredible people were dancing through the streets, I
thought the whole place had gone mad. "Then I got the bug and now I get a terrific
creative charge just from being there.
Son of a Cypriot
fatherdad still runs a restaurant in the West end of Londonand a Swedish
mother, Cat is sensitive, perceptive and as the ten original albums he has made prove,
When it comes to
interviews, however, he is far from articulate, a fact he recognizes and acknowledges at
one point by grinning and saying " Sorry I cant remember what we were talking
We were ta1king about his
Im basically shy.
Thats why started writing songs as a way of expressing myself."
"I like being on
stage, but that makes me nervous, too. Im scared that people will expect too much.
All Im realty selling is my own taste, you see, and I want people to share in it,
and if they dont I feel rejected.
Stevens says he has shed
most of the feelings of guilt that once inhibited him. One of them was over the amount of
money he earned, but now be is involved with a number of charities, a subject he is loath
"The funny thing
is." he says, "as I live in Rio everybody thinks tax exile, yet the amount
Ive spent on traveling and doing this and that, well, I dont think that
Im any better off than I would have been had I stayed and paid the tax.
With his latest album,
"Izitso," in both the British and the American charts and the single from it,
" Remember The Days of the Old Schoolyard" and set for chart entry,
professionally standing has never been higher.
Privately, however, he is
something of a loner. A single man, he has nobody with whom to share his Success.
True." he says,
"and that does occupy my thoughts. But I believe that God give me that, vhen the time
"I believe in Allah,
in God and in living by his laws. Im not afraid of deathIf one Is going to be
afraid of something, its eternity that scares me!"
Having demonstrated that
his is an enduring talent, Stevens is wealthy enough not to have to worry where his next
guitar string is coming from. What then keeps him working?
Yes, I could stop today
doing what Ive always thought I was meant to do. But there are so many things left
unsaid. Theres always something more to say
Its when you have nothing
left to say that youd better shut up
He does not see a great
deal of his family, but I Cathes really Stephen Georgiou and they still call
hint Steve maintains a close relationship with them.
is doing really well because its Jubilee year," he says.
The first question I always
ask him when I phone is, Hows business?" And he always says:
Hows business with you?"
He smiles broadly.
Business is obviously cool