- Record Mirror
- Saturday October 12, 1968
- Courtesy of Linda Crafar.
Cats back. Dogs and Matthew
and his offspring and guns and things and now his wife. Not that he has a wife but
here she comes anyway because "Here Comes My Wife" is his latest record. I
should say his latest hit record because thats what its going to be, to put
Cat right back at the top again after his nine-month lay off.
Coughing and spluttering a
bit, and the doctor said it was TB. So off to the hospital for a few weeks' treatment and
then a nice long rest in the country. That was so long ago, and not even a record to
remind everyone of his existence.
Not that Cat really wanted
to remind anyone he was having a quiet time recovering and getting things together
again. And now he returns accompanied by the 1812 Overture to signify his arrival.
"It was all very
sudden, my illness," said Cat (we were having a quiet chat over a quiet drink in a
not-so-quiet pub). "I was rushed off to hospital and kept there for a few weeks. But
I had a long convalescence out in the country took things very quietly and
it gave me plenty of time to think. It was great being out of the pop business for a
while. Just relaxing and being among ordinary people who have nothing whatsoever to do
with pop. "It meant I could look at myself objectively from outside of myself.
In fact I discovered a lot about Cat Stevens the pop singer. For example I always thought
I had a very different image to the one I actually had apparently people thought of
me as a manufactured "star". Whereas I was always under the impression that I'd
made it on my own merits rather than because of any big publicity push or something. In
fact, as far as Im concerned, I did but thats not the sort of image I
have. But this image thing is strange apparently I'm considered to be a bit
underground on the West Coast of America. A sort of Tim Hardin figure theyve
"Since that long
lay-off though, I think Ive become more myself it was the first time since I
started that Id been away from the pop scene and wasnt involved in the big
hustle. I did a lot of writing, and some painting, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. In fact
Im determined to start painting again seriously now Ive got a very good
artist working at the moment redecorating my flat, and seeing him work has inspired me
even more. Hes turning the whole flat into a "piece of sculpture", where
everything relates to everything else. The bed is part of the cupboard and the cupboard is
part of the wall, and so on. I'm not having any corners in the place at all I
dont like corners. Theyre not natural theyre entirely man-made.
You look at anything in nature there just arent any corners. Man invented
corners, by cutting things away, or putting things together and I think its
an unfortunate invention. You can hurt yourself on corners. Theyre vicious things.
So Im not having any corners in my house!"
"But the convalescence
thing came to an end when I was in Venice having a bit of a holiday. I got a phone
call from my doctor in London saying the X-rays were fine. I was perfectly healthy once
more, and I could go back to work. So I flew back, and started to get things together
again. I wrote Here Comes My Wife during the lay off. Im not. married of
course but the song reflects my thoughts on marriage. Its very personal, and
only my point of view. There was a girl I once knew whom I came very close to marrying I
suppose but I backed out. The problem is that when you get married the idea is to
become one with your partner l think thats probably the
only way a marriage will work. But to do that means losing your identity. I think of
myself as an individual, and at the moment I couldnt think of sharing my life with
anyone. I suppose I could get married by the time I was 30 but by then marriage
will be a completely different thing. Perhaps youll be able to get married for a
year with an option on a further two just to see how things work out. Thats
how it should be, anyway."
"A lot of the songs I
wrote during my convalescence will be going on the album. I think theyre much
simpler, and a lot more personal perhaps, than what I was doing before. But theyre
still in the same style which isnt really surprising as its the same
person whos writing them! I tried to change my style, but couldnt I
think its good to have a style of ones own, though, rather than doing
something completely different each time. Its funny, though, because a review of
"Here Comes My Wife" in one of the pop papers said that it sounded a bit dated,
and so didnt stand much of a chance of being a hit. But if you look at a lot of
records in the charts, they have a sort of dated feel about them. Its not that
theyre particularly old-fashioned I think pop music is tending to get a bit
simpler now than it has been for a few months, and perhaps on first hearing, a lot of it
does sound a bit dated. But although theyre less complicated, I think theres a
lot more to a lot of the songs around now."
Ive always liked Cat
Stevens songs. In fact I like "Here Comes My Wife". In fact its
going to be a hit. In fact, as a matter of fact, its a certain fact.
Cat Stevens drew this
cartoon of himself, a composite parody of his stay in the hospital. It is very hard to
draw yourself. Ever tried it? We think Cat's done a good job!