Est. 1999

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I raise my hand and touch the wheel of change
taking time to check the dial

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Photo Shoot/Promo Package

These wonderful photographs are from a photo shoot from the very early 70's which coincided with the release of the Mona Bone Jakon, Cat Stevens first album in America to hit the shores. These Black and White photographs were all from  the A&M's MBJ Promo Package. It contained these  8 x 10 photographs produced on glossy Kodak paper and came along with an A&M Bio of Cat Stevens, which was sent around to radio stations throughout the US and Canada.. Some of the other photographs shown here, appeared on albums/ 45's/sheet music/ and articles. I may be mistaken but, I think the photographer for these (fleece jacket photographs) was Grazia Neri and the MBJ jacket and like photographs are from Richard Stirling. They have a very Andy Warhol look  to them, giving you the look and feel of the early 70's late 60's era. I personally think these photographs taken by Mr. Neri  have capture the essence of Cat better than any other photograph of Cat I have seen. He placed Cat  in his own environment, on Basing Street in London, instead of in a wooded area like in the Tillerman shoot or in a sensual shirtless pose as in the Teaser shoot. If you look closely, you'll  notice these photographs actually represent a city bred Cat Stevens' urban mood/personality in them. You can almost hear the words from songs such as Trouble or Time /Fill My Eyes echoing to you as he is standing next to the graffiti wall of Basing Street.

Pass me my hat and coat
Lock up the cabin
Slow night treat me right
until I go
Be nice to know

                                                                      Cat Stevens


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MBJ Promo Photographs

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Similar Photographs which appeared in publications

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Appeared in an Italian Magazine

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From a Japanese 45

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Cat Stevens Poster from the 70's

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Morning Has Broken Sheet Music

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Back side of the "View from The Top" LP



A & M

xxxx xxxxx LA xxxx xxxxxx,
TELEPHONE xxx-xxxx
(A Biography)

Once upon a time, in a flat above a restaurant called Moulin Rouge, in the heart of a magical town called Singlitter City, there lived a young boy.

He grew up in the city, amidst the steady rumble of traffic, the rush and bustle that never stopped, the smoke and dirt, the bright lights and the few patches of grey grass.

And because there was no real place for him to play in safety, the boy grew up with other interests besides playing conkers or raiding orchards. He learned for instance, about music and the happiness it can bring people.

The boy and his parents were Greek, so the music that played to him while he was growing up was the music of that wise and ancient country. Full of richness, emotions, joy and sorrow, pain and pleasure, it was a good music to have as teacher, and the boy Learned well.

As he grew older, the boy started to write his own music. He was very good, and before long he came to the attention of a very important man who knew how to make people famous.

Now, not only was the boy very talented, he was also very handsome, so before long he and his songs were well known from one end of the Land to the other.

A lot of people bought his songs and magazines printed pictures of him which girls stuck on their bedroom walls so as to have him near them in their dreams.

The boy became very famous, worked very hard at his new job, traveled a lot, appeared in a lot of shows, and wrote songs for other people, who in turn became famous.

But all the time the boy became more and more unhappy. The songs people wanted him to sing were not the songs he wanted to sing. He was writing songs which were far better than the ones he was famous for, and try as he would to change their minds, the people who controlled his fame and fortune did not want him to sing those songs.

The boy became ill. So ill in fact that when he saw a doctor he was told to spend at least three months in a hospital or he would die.

So the boy went into the hospital for three months, and while he was there was able to think seriously about himself and his life. He did not like what he saw in himself, and so determined to make a complete break from the past.

For more than a year he did not work, but concentrated on his new writing. The money he earned from his early fame was enough to give him complete freedom, and gradually what he felt to be the real him surfaced.

Eventually he was sure he was ready. With the help of some friends and sympathetic people, he went into recording studios for a month and recorded a collection of his new songs.

The change from boy to man was complete. CAT STEVENS is back, proud and happy. And so are we.


Q. How old are you now?

A. 21.

Q. We all know about ‘Matthew and Son, ‘I Love My Dog’ and...

A. ... ‘Here Comes My Baby’, ‘First Cut Is the Deepest’...

Q. Of course, I’d forgotten you wrote that.

A. Oh, a lot of people didn’t know I wrote that.

Q. And then, well not then, but about that time...

A. ... it started, I started to drift off.

Q. You went away for three months, to hospital.

A. Yeah. That was a result of the pressures of my life then. I was too hung up on what I was doing to worry about my health, and I just let it get to a head, and it got to the stage where another four weeks in the state I was in and I would have copped it. I went into hospital in September, 1968 and stayed three months. My lungs were really screwed up, really a mess.

Q. What did you do while you were away?

A. Oh, I took a load of records and books, and just got down to sorting myself out. I really got into meditation there, and that really helped a lot - that and Yoga.

Q. Do you still practice Yoga?

A. No, because I can’t get the peace I need in my flat. That’s why I’m looking for somewhere to live away from traffic and all the noise. I’d like to live by the Thames.

Q. What was so dissatisfying about your old way of life that made you want to change it?

A. Everything. The whole process I went through, being with a big anonymous company like Decca who are very into the Top 20 thing, very pop conscious. There are a lot of heavy pressures in that kind of set-up, all in a very fickle direction. In fact no direction at all apart from making instant large figures on paper.

There were the heavy agency figures who really didn’t know me. Like the minute I said I wanted to develop, that the stuff I was doing wasn’t really me or what I wanted to do, that didn’t interest them. What did interest them was how much I was getting that night and making sure they got half the bread before. That’s all they were worried about. And I just wanted a complete break from that because it just wasn’t the way I wanted to go. It was the way I had hoped it would go from the beginning, but it just didn’t work out that way.

Q. So how old is the material on "Mona Bone Jakon"?

A. Oh, very new. All written in the last three months or so.

Q. Well, what’s happened to all the songs you’ve obviously written in the past 18 months?

A. I’ve still got them, but the new songs are settled. Everything I wrote while I "as away was in a transitional period and reflects that and the doubts I was having. I wasn’t sure about my music, which was very frightening. You know, not believing in yourself is very scary. I was listening to too many people and that made me unsure of everything. I had to be sure about myself first, and I am now. I’m absolutely positive. It’s what I want, it’s what’ s happened on record, it’s the way it should be.

Q. The album is very much on your shoulders too. There are no huge orchestrations to hide away in, just you, your guitar or piano, and small units of sound.

A. That’s exactly right. It’s something that hasn’t come out before. I used to play things like this to people and they’d ask why I wasn’t doing it on record, so I had to do it this way. Now it’s all down to me. What we did was to record the songs simply, then discuss with Del Newman, the arranger, how they could be improved. Not just added to, but improved, and we were very lucky because he was into what we were doing. That was one of the things that got out of hand before. Because it was all done on the session with these clockwork players who just read the music, sat down and played it. They didn’t feel it, or care about it. Sessions in the old days used to scare the hell out of me. I used to get all knotted up days before, just being scared about it. And you just can’t work in that frame of mind. So we just hit it from the roots with this album. Just me and guitar and piano. It’s the only way really.

Q. So what happens now, after this album?

A. Well, there’s talk about film music. I was supposed to be writing for a movie last year, but it was one of the things the studio cancelled when that money panic happened in Hollywood.

Q. Do you have a set-working pattern, or do you literally get a turn on at odd moments which may result in a song?

A. No. I eat, sleep and drink my music. It really does take up all my thinking time. It could be titles, anything. Anytime, anywhere, that’s the pattern. And when it happens, you just have to get it down because it may be important.

I got into electronic music quite a bit during The Big Rest. It’s good because it’s slightly upside down, freaky, and is a side of me, which comes out there. Then there’s the sweet, classical side that I occasionally rest on. But electronic music is disturbing. Stockhausen is still pretty incredible, and there are some people in Norway doing interesting things. Italians have a great feel for making electronic instruments.

Q. Finally, do you miss anything at all about the old days?

A. Not one thing. Truly - not a thing. The whole mess was a REALLY BIG DRAG.


CAT STEVENS - Vocals, guitar, piano
HARVEY BURNS - Percussion
Arrangenments by DEL NEWMAN
Front Cover illustration by CAT STEVENS


Side 1

LADY D’ARBANVILLE (3 mins. 40 secs.)
POP STAR (4. 10)
TROUBLE (2. 30)
Side 2
MONA BONE JAKON (1 mins. 38 secs.)
I WISH I WISH (3.45)
KATMANDU (3. 17)
TIME (1.26)
FILL MY EYES (2. 58)


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Special Thanks To:   Jill Mallow, *Keith Balaam, George Brown, Linda Crafar, Bruce Lawrie, DJ Illingworth, Gerardo Roman, Chris & Annie Abrams, Patricia Squillari, Harry Schmieder, Sue Vukson and all who have contributed either with material or support to help make Majicat magical.
* This site is dedicated in the memory of Keith Balaam. ---<----<----@