- Veronica Magazine
- by Dick Tatham
- Courtesy of Chris & Annie
MORE ABOUT CAT
- REAL NAME: Stephen Adam Georgiou
- BORN: 21st July. 1948 in Middlesex Hospital,
- HEIGHT: 5ft 10 in
- WEIGHT 10st 9lb
- BROWN EYES
- FAVE ARTISTS: Julie Christie, Marlon Brando,
- LIKES: Sun-soaking, eating water melons
- DISLIKES: rainy days, people who are
narrow-minded about music
Cat Stevens is the talented
18-year-old performer who has zoomed to fame in recent months in two ways. One is his
singing. The other is his songwriting - both for himself and for other stars. Here he is
answering questions about both sides of his career.
Most fans know, Cat,
that you wrote your own first 'hit - I Love My Dog . Was this the first song you
Far from it! I had been
slogging away at songs for ages. I suppose I had written about 40 by the time I Love My
Dog was released - which was in September 1966.
Can you recall how
the idea for that song came to you?
I was walking one day
through St Jamess Park, London. People were exercising their dogs. They all seemed
to be enjoying themselves - both the dogs and the people. That was when the idea hit me.
Did you realise then
the song might turn into something special?
I did have a hunch. In
fact, I was so excited by the idea, I started jumping up and down. People must have
thought I was crazy!
How about your second
hit - Matthew And Son?
That was triggered off in
my mind by a wonderfully old-fashioned sort of shop I saw in a London side street.
But where in general
do ideas for songs come to you?
Usually in the countryside.
I often take a bus or train out from London to somewhere where there are green open spaces
with lots of peace and quiet. I then just start strolling across the grass and the ideas
usually flow. I jot the ideas down in a notebook. When I get home, I develop each idea on
a tape recorder.
Cat - you have
written songs for other stars. For example the hit by the Tremeloes There Goes
My Baby and Paul and Barry Ryans Keep It Out Of Sight. But do you
ever write with a particular person or group in mind?
Only person write for is
myself. I'm not trying to be conceited. I just mean that is the only way I am able to
If I get an idea for a song
and I think it sounds OK and I get pleasure out of singing it - then I push ahead and
complete the job. If other people hear my songs and want to perform them, I feel
flattered. Who wouldnt?
What was the turning
point in getting yourself recognised?
My brother David got me an
introduction to Mike Hurst who used to he a member of the Springfields.
Mike, at the time, was
seriously thinking of emigrating to America But he decided to delay things to see if he
could get me on to the scene in Britain. To handle my affairs, Mike teamed with Chris
Brough, son of Peter Brough, the famous ventriloquist.
They became my managers and
disc producers. They reached an agreement with Decca for the release of my discs - and out
came I LoveMy Dog!
How about yourself
just as a singer?
I'm out to learn all the
time- and I dont care how hard I have to work to make progress. I was very happy to
be included in the West End show starring Georgie Fame and Julie Felix, which ran from
late last year till early this. It was great experience.
I shall always go all out
to develop my own style. I don't believe in trying to be a carbon copy of someone else.
When was your very
first public performance?
That was back in July 1964
as an amateur. I appeared at a London pub, the Black Horse.
And your first TV
Top of the Pops - in
Cat, youve had
a lot of success in a fairly short time. You have probably made and deserved
quite a lot of money. What difference has it made to your life?
Not as much as you might
think. I am not one for fancy living About the only big purchase I have made since
becoming a chart performer is to buy a tape recorder for £80 - and I guess you
wouldnt call that wild extravagance.
The main difference, in
fact, has been in my personal approach to life. The bit of success that has come my way
has given me a lot of confidence - both as a performer and in my private life. Im
nothing like as tongue-tied as I used to be.
Any special ambitions
I'd like to travel a lot.
I'd also like a really great car. Say a Rolls - or a super American job.
Anything else to tell
Yes, please. About my new
disc - Gonna Get Me A Gun. I don't want the title misunderstood. It's only a sort
of way of speaking.
Fact is, I have been
thinking for some time of writing a show with a Wild West background and the title of my
record more or less springs from that.
Maybe Ill have the
whole show - words and music - written this year.
Im a peace-loving
bloke, so please tell the readers!