In 1995 and using an Earthlink account, I created the first Nektar fan website. I wanted to rekindle awareness and appreciation for some of the greatest music ever recorded. In 1996 I purchased Nektar.com to try and get more traffic and notice. It worked big time. Nektar started selling again and the band, the label and the fans took notice. The site was a huge success. Both Roye and Derek Moore got involved and eventually after a long time apart, Roye and Mo got together and then the real miracle happened, Nektar, reformed. Due to some miscommunication with others I thought were taking over the billing, I lost my web hosting and eventually the site, but that’s another story.
I put together an elaborate site at the time that had a lot of content, much of which I have archived. Below is an incredible interview I did with the legendary Roye Albrighton in 7 parts. I transformed my questions into topical headers based on each of Roye’s responses to create a Chronological tale by Roye Albrighton.
The image headers below are from the original site. 🙂 Enjoy.
THE ROYE ALBRIGHTON CHRONICLES PART I
Interviewed by Attila Juhasz, August 30, 1996
NAME: Roye Albrighton
BIRTHDAY: February 6, 1949
PLACE OF BIRTH: Coventry in the county of Warwickshire /England
PARENTS: Arthur and Anne Albrighton
Well I started as just about anyone at infant level, then on to what was then called secondary modern, my parents had itchy feet so we moved around quite a lot although close to the same area..after secondary, I went on to high school but there was so much going on in the music scene that I left school at the age of 15 or was it 14..any way it was certainly way before I should have..
Now where havn’t I..from when I first started learning guitar I used to overnight in a phone box..no seriously..I had to because my father wasn’t exactly in favour of me being a musician and so when I got back late from the local clubs where everybody used to meet and just exchange ideas he would be waiting for me ..so the best thing would be to stay in the phone box..only because nobody I knew had a spare room..anyway..I have lived in stockholm sweden..hamburg..seeheim which you will know from Mo that we all ended up..then in Munich..on to morristown N.Jersey..then N.York.. then back to Munich..then on to Regents Park in London..then back to the States..and finally..Stafford England..
I started learning to play guitar at the age of about 10..only because my brother used to be a television engineer and used to fix elderly peoples tv’s for free and one day one of these people gave him an old spanish guitar that only had one string on it as a gesture of kindness..Of course I found it and the rest was history..
I think a lot of music that I have heard has inspired me without knowing it..of course I loved the Beatles ..who didn’t..and Jimi (Hendrix) was an enormous hit with me, he left a mark on my soul that will never be removed..I love musicians music, and I love the peoples music. I also love the classics, there is some earth shattering stuff that used to come out of those great composers and I look forward every year to the last night of the proms just to hear Mars and Nimrod played by the local symphonic..
PLAYING WITH JIMI HENDRIX:
How on earth did you know about the jam with Jimi..Well that was a story unto itself.. I had been playing in a club with a band in Gothenburg Sweden and we all got invited to see the Hollies at an old coffee grinding cellar turned into a nightclub..At this particular time in my musical life I was into Jeff beck in a big way and being a silly young fool I used to make it plain to other people that I was..Except this one night, the Hollies were playing and in walked Jimi who happened to have his birthday..I thought I was seeing things..then behind him was Mitch but no Noel Reading..After a while it was obvious that Jimi was going to play a little while but with Tony hicks on bass..this I had to see but a tap on my shoulder from the bass player of our band and with my guitar in his hand [which he had taken out of our truck] led me to believe that something was going on.. it was and I got ushered to the stage where the band had already started playing [guess what]..Red house]
PRE-NEKTAR BAND RAINBOWS:
WOW… RAINBOWS……..where do you get your info from..the F.B.I… My god that was a long time ago, but yes it was a 4 piece and we recorded 2 singles on the C.B.S. label..the first was called Rainbows and the second was a little tune that kept rolling around in my head called New Day Dawning..only 2 singles and then we went our separate ways…
THE BIRTH OF NEKTAR:
It was with this band Rainbows that led me to go to Germany and play at the Star club in Hamburg where the resident band was Prophecy or Prophets..during the day I got so bored that I used to go down to the club and meet with Ron Howden and we used to jam together until it was time to open the club to let the early crowd in..A year or so later I was rehearsing for a part in the backing band for the london debut of Hair, when I received a telegramme from Mo asking if I would be interested in joining up with them because the guitarist was leaving..
THE NEKTAR CHEMISTRY:
I knew that what we had was a great combination because it was almost as if we were connected at the hip..in fact it got quite frightening at one stage..we used to think along the same lines and just go off into a jam around a jam that was based on a line from one of the songs we were working on..it was all very weired..communicating like that without speaking a word or even nodding at one another..but the chemistry was perfect…
THE FIRST RECORD DEAL:
I’m not sure you have this the right way ’round..our original record deal was set up in germany by Mo and Bellaphon records..and Marty scott didn’t come into the picture until our first release in the states which was by then our third album in germany [remember the future]..
RECORDING JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EYE:
Recording Journey was to say the least a complete dream..what I mean by that is that we had played the complete album so many times by then in it’s entirety [live] that recording it in a studio like Dierks had it’s moments of bliss and moments of frustration.. most of the tracks were already arranged..all we had to do was play them..but the sound that we all wanted and knew that we could get live seemed to elude us for some reason, that has been plaguing Nektar all through the recording years on every album..we could just not get the sound we really wanted.. After the release of journey, I think we all felt the same..the sound was at fault but we were so excited by this time because we already had Tab in the ocean ready for the studio and we were working on Remember the Future which everyone we met said that that’s the one..we were on a high and nothing could stop us and the ideas just kept coming…
FAVORITE TRACK ON JOURNEY:
I think my all time favourite track on journey has to be The Dream Nebula 1+2..although I liked all of them I think even by todays standards, that was some of the gutsiest and evocative bass playing I have ever heard..Mo used to knock ’em dead when he used to play that Gibson bass and I have many fond memories of that time..
THE ROYE ALBRIGHTON CHRONICLES PART 2
“A TAB IN THE OCEAN” – “SOUNDS LIKE THIS”
Interviewed by Attila Juhasz – September 5, 1996
ON NAMING “A TAB IN THE OCEAN”:
..Actually this album was to be called A DROP IN THE OCEAN but during a little get together, like we did when we decided on a name for the band somebody..and I shan’t mention who for fear of recriminations..he/he..wondered what would happen if all the oceans of the world were spiked with L.S.D. Needless to say we all laughed our socks off at the prospect but later reflected on the subject and hence a lengthy discussion followed and from that the album took it’s name..
INFLUENCES AND WRITING “TAB” ..
As far as the music goes..I can only say that this recording was influenced [on my part] a lot by YES..although many would probably say different..I blame Taff for the actual start of the writing of it, he came up with that marvelous keyboard run/in which led to the guitar/bass rif of which is not too far removed from[ Axis bold as love]..
..This album was [if I remember correctly] recorded in [excuse the pun] record time and we had lot’s of studio time left on our hands..so we just carried on doing more tracks of which some you would here on FUTURE…
FAVORITE TRACK ON “TAB” ..
Of course it goes without saying that my favourite track was Tab but for live purposes I think Crying in the dark was the one..it just used to lift the audience probably because we used to stretch out the intro quite a lot …
RECORDING “SOUNDS LIKE THIS”:
You could say recording this album was a musicians dream and an engineers nightmare.. well the idea behind it was to capture once and for all the sound of Nektar in a live enviroment but also have total control over the recording of it…..well that was the original idea except dieter bit off a little more than he could chew..by that I mean everybody was up for it but I don’t think that the technology in those experimental days were..but we had a lot of fun doing it…it was a very raunchy album with lots of guitar flying about and lots of leakage from the mikes and lots of wine drunk by everybody..this was to be our last visit to the dierks studio not because of wanting a change [although history shows different] but because we were finding ourselves slowly becoming in demand and the UNITED STATES was beckoning us…
NEKTAR ON THE MOVE:
Sounds was an altogether new experience for us and would later come in good use for the Roundhouse tapes…DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC was actually released as a single in germany ..much to the protests of us all..but the record company thought it time that we tried our hand at the commercial side of the music industry ..I ask you?????..hair down to our kneecaps..beards that you could plat..wearing afgan coats..and they wanted to make us Megastars…..? The track WINGS..was a little song that we all liked and never realy thought that people would take seriously..but somebody in ENGLAND did..in fact Bob Harris who was compairing a TV show at the time used it together with some film footage of seagulls off the coast of dover to promote the track as a single..so England had finally heard of us..it’s at this point in time that things really started to move for the group NEKTAR…
THE ROYE ALBRIGHTON CHRONICLES PART 3
“REMEMBER THE FUTURE” – “SUNDAY NIGHT LIVE AT THE ROUNDHOUSE”
Interviewed by Attila Juhasz – September 5, 1996
PREPARING FOR “THE FUTURE”:
Well before we knew it, it was 1973 and we had a new album to make, a new studio to record it in at a new location and the vibes in the Nektar camp were really running at a high..We were ready for this one, and there was no rush to finish it, experimentation was the order of the day and in fact we were told [in not so many words] that we could do whatever it takes to make a good Nektar album..
RECORDING “REMEMBER THE FUTURE”:
..So be it, and we started what I can only describe as the most fruitfull recording session that we ever did [Recycled came a close second]..This was to be our first venture into the self production side of things..don’t get me wrong..I thought Peter Hauker did OK with the old albums ..but in the 70 ‘s record producers were not like they are today..
..today it’s big bisuness and very hard work to keep on top..in those days they tended to sit back a lot more and listen and when they thought that something was not right they would give a little cough and say [do you think that’s wise]..I can safely say that Nektar produced R.T.F. completely from the first note to the last and I think it shows…I for one had great fun recording and eventually playing it live in the new format ..because R.T.F. was originally a 1 hour piece of music [non stop]..
..Barry Hammond at the Chipping Norton Studio’s where we recorded R.T.F. was a pleasure to work with..he understood from day one what it was we were after and made every effort to oblige..that was all part of creating..obviously sometimes we were stuck for a sound or a phrase to fit the part..he never stopped giving ideas to the situation..and between Mick Brockett and the rest of the road crew [as was then] and Barry..they were as much a part of that production as we were..
..This album was eventually mixed in quadrophonic stereo because many people of my age will now tell you ..that was supposed to be the new thing…Yes I would agree..especially when you sit in the middle of 2 pairs of 400 watt studio monitors at about 95% of their driving capacity… but only 0.1% of the population knew what qaud sound was..and to top it all..three different systems were available..so which system do you mix or cut for…luckily we did a bog standard stereo mix which is what can be heard to this day..
FEELINGS ON “FUTURE”:
..R.T.F. will always have a special place in my heart as the album at the pinnacle of the Nektar years…….
HOW “SUNDAY NIGHT AT LONDON ROUNDHOUSE” CAME TO BE:
This was an all together different kettle of fish..we were as I remember it..half way through a major european tour and the word came across that we were to record another album..LIVE???? I thought it was a joke at first but after the mist had cleared nobody was laughing..least of all me..But we had to make the best of it..personally I would not have recorded this album as it was..because we already had RECYCLED ready and we could have recorded this instead..still we were not as yet calling the shots…so off we went to record ROUNDHOUSE..
THE LIVE PARTY:
Just to put a spanner in the works..we decided to record more material that we were working on for the album after RECYCLED….as you can see by now, we were always 2 steps ahead of our recording obligations, and always had a backlog of material ready for use..
..And so ROUNDHOUSE became the one Nektar album that had no meaning or direction as such..instead it was one side live at the Roundhouse..and the other..live in the studio…basically a hash of previously recorded tracks mixed with a live birthday party [tape decks left on record while we jammed away to our hearts content] Oh yes..it was Mo’s birthday..
THOUGHTS ON “ROUNDHOUSE” AND THE OUTCOMES:
..I personally think that this album could have been avoided..and a fuller and better production of another done at a later date..but our record company were calling the tune….and we had to basically do what they insisted upon..
..However..lot’s of goodies were in the pipeline for us,and it wasn’t the confusion of recording Roundhouse that was going to deter us from doing what we thought best..
..I will say however that when we put our minds together [which we often did] if we thought the direction was not going in our favour..or for the benefit of the music..then we would have our say..and we had enough of a clout in Germany at that time to convince our record company that we knew which way the rabbit was going to run….
THE ROYE ALBRIGHTON CHRONICLES PART 4
AMERICA – “DOWN TO EARTH” – THE SHOW
Interviewed by Attila Juhasz – September 9, 1996
EXHAUSTING SCHEDULE TAKES NEKTAR TO DR. ROBERT:
If you were to look at the Nektar yearbook of 1974-1975, you would probably say that we were out of our minds..we were touring / recording / rehearsing / recording / touring..non stop for virtually the whole 24 months and it was starting to show, we were feeling a little worse for wear and somebody had the idea that a visit to a Harley street specialist might do the trick..little did we know that the man we were to see was none other than the famous Dr. Robert..Yes..thee Dr Robert..the acclaimed man of the Beatle days, mind you all he did was give us a huge shot of vitamine B and sent us on our way..but believe me ..that did the trick and we were back to our old selves again..
OFF TO AMERICA AND “DOWN TO EARTH”:
..At last, we were to embark on our first tour of the States..the excitement in the camp was at an all time high,and just before we left we managed to spurt out yet another album that was due for release in Germany, in the form of DOWN TO EARTH..
..This was Nektars MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR album, everybody in those days seemed to record at least one LP that seemed to have nothing at all to do with what they were really all about..although I thought it was a good album, it really didn’t hit the mark in Germany and lot’s of our fans over there were starting to wonder if we were starting to loose all control..personally I didn’t find it that bad and the idea behind it was good..but you cannot argue with your public..they always know best..
THE VISUAL EXPERIENCE:
..Still very important things were taking place at that time and we were heavily involved with getting everything right and ready for the US tour…
..I must admit that what we were about to do had never been seen or heard of in the states..the involvment of light and sound in a form that seemed to be connected in some way as to give the impression that they were one of the same thing [a living thing]..
..oh they had lighting that we could easily rent in the states..but that was the normal run of the stuff stage lighting..this was something else and I think I will leave that to the expert MICK BROCKETT to explain how that all got to that level….
We had a marvelous theatre to rehearse the show in right in the middle of St.Louis and of course, music shops were never far away..We had taken everything we had with us over to the States for fear of not being able to get the equivalent over there..at one point I think I heard that we had taken up the best part of 6 palletes on a 747 freight jumbo..we took everything..even the cut glass that Mick needed for the lights.. unbelievable..
SUCCESS AND MISFORTUNE: It was a great success and when we heard that R.T.F. was heading up the charts [with a bullit] we thought that this was it..When we got back to Germany we were presented with a gold album for sales of R.T.F. and life just seemed to be good to us..
..Unfortunately like most good things, they must inevatably come to an end and in the next part I will try to explain how stupid mistakes on the part of people not even being involved in the creation of Nektar music could destroy what was gradually becoming one of the hottest bands around….
THE ROYE ALBRIGHTON CHRONICLES PART 5
CONFUSION “RECYCLED” DEPARTURE
Interviewed by Attila Juhasz – September 13, 1996
THE EURO/U.S.A. CONFUSION:
We were surprised actually that RTF got as far as it did in the US[for a first release that is] and by rights it was normal that as soon as it started to fall, a new product should be readied for release…the idea is that if you leave it too long then people tend to forget about you especially if you are a new band….All very well and good but when record company’s cannot agree upon who is to pay this and who is to pay that, it ends up that they forget just who pays for it all in the end anyway..and while a year long bickering session went on between certain partys in europe and certain partys in the US, somebody forgot the most important thing of all and that was to release a new album..
DOWN TO EARTH
(bad timing?) So confused were they about who should pay for what that they eventually released the wrong album…DOWN TO EARTH was not for the American market, but RECYCLED was and I believe to this day that had they released RECYCLED directly after RTF and not waited a year and released EARTH then Nektar might have been in a different position today..possibly even still together…I don’t say that they were to take all the blame, we were just as much at fault for being so stupid as to stand by and watch it all happen…. Still we had our chance and unfortunately blew it….but the most exciting album was yet to be made and although I thought that RTF was a great album…RECYCLED was my all time Nektar favourite..
…It was quite comical when we arrived at the studios in france for the recording of Recycled..the studio hadn’t been finished and they were waiting for tape machines and outboard gear to arrive…I remember Larry Fast just shaking his head in disbelief it was all a bit gobsmacking..I think that any other band would have probably freaked but all we could do was sit and laugh about it all..still we used the time to our advantage and rearranged a few parts that were niggling us before the actual recording started..
..I think everybody enjoyed laying the tracks down for that album and I was very impressed at Larry and the part that he played in lifting the album to a new dimension with his incredible ideas and abilities in the synth department.. Again a lot of experimentation was going on and when we eventually mixed it down we had virtually 2 different sounding sides to the record..Side one was open and full of ambience..while side two was dry and direct…a strange combination indeed… but I liked it..it was an album to remember in the future and a pleasant finale to my time with the original band..
..Still..I had ideas that I could achieve other things and headed back to Germany to meet with my record company and maybe a solo career…that’ when I really got kicked in the teeth……….
THE ROYE ALBRIGHTON CHRONICLES PART 6
SNOWBALL THE LOST NEKTAR TAPES POST-NEKTAR
Interviewed by Attila Juhasz – October 28, 1996
RETURNING TO THE U.S.
Returning from the US was a real difficult decision for me, as I really didn’t know what I was going to do with myself..I had turned a few things over in my mind and because I had a fair few ideas for new songs I decided to approach my record company and ask about the situation regarding a solo album..this was to be my first mistake..I was flatly denied any possibility of a solo career or any future recording with this record company..
And so..I happened to run into an old friend that I knew from the old old Nektar days who was managing a band in the south of germany called SNOWBALL..this was to be the remnants of a jazz rock band called KLAUS DOLDINGERS PASSPORT..and a good band it was as well..very lively and full of beans..
WE DID AN ALBUM
..We did an album together called DEFROSTER and it was basically a pile of songs that they had written without a vocalist/guitarist, and so enter Roye..It wasn’t exactly music for the masses but it was exciting live and it gave me some good practice on chords that I had forgotten over the years..
..One thing I did learn while I was with the band was that volume wasn’t everything in the world of live rock music..I had become quite fond of a little amplifier that I had brought back from the states with me called a MESA BOOGIE this was the best recording amp that I had ever used and it was only a lot later that I found something I liked better..
..We did a few short tours of the immediate european countries and even did the east meets west concert in Berlin which I must say left me a little in dought who was the performers and who was the audience..
So SNOWBALL came and went and here I was still looking for a band..It wasn’t until a once close friend of mine introduced me to a gentleman who was in the commercial film industry that the idea of putting Nektar back together again for another album was really a prospect…
THE LOST TAPES
…He had suggested that I nip over to jersey and sit down with the other boys and see what we come up with..I still have some of those tapes we did in MO’s cellar and believe me if that lot had made the studio it would have been some of the best music that anyone had heard from Nektar..But alas is was not to be..too many years too many internal problems..and so..TAFF and I decided to look for another rythmn section..at least one we could work with…
A NEW NEKTAR IS BORN
…and so along came DAVE PRATER and CARMINE ROJAS..who were one of the most stunning drums/bass combo I had heard in a long time..they were up for anything and david has to be one of the most powerfull drummers I had ever played with..while carmine had the sweetest touch on the bass but could pull the fillings out your teeth when needed…a great combination…
ENTER MAN IN THE MOON
…Between Paul Higgins, myself and several others, we literally built a 16 track studio in jersey and spent the entire summer recording MOON..at the end of this we realised that 16 was not enough so we had to transfer over to 24 in another studio where Paul was working at the time..and while we were there we decided to mix it anyway..and so man in the moon was released to the public in europe and I’m sorry to say not in the USA…
…Not a bad album..although I think a lot more thought could have gone into it and a damn sight more hard work too..One thing I do know though is that the first chance I get to re/record the title track I will..it didn’t come off as I had planned but next time ’round it will…
And so Nektar was finally put to bed and there I was once more without a band..although I was messing around with a group in london called QUANTUM JUMP who’s bass player is resposible for the production of WAL basses and the keyboard player is now one of the most sort after producers in london itself…
…Still I needed a band to work with..so I decided to go back to NYC and see what I could find…I was living in an apartment belonging to a friend..doing nothing really…reading the ads for bands that needed guitarist or vocalist..I even went to an audition for a band that had advertised for a rythmn guitarist and at the end the manager came up and said..the guitarist would be interested only if I would play at half the volume and without any effects plugged in….it was about 5 minutes later that I was enjoying a hamburger on broadway….
I spent my 30th birthday in NYC and had the best time ever..suprising how many bars there are on broadway………Time went by and still nothing happening..it was on my way back from an evening of stuffed potato skins and propping up a bar that I heard the distant sounds of a band rehearsing…way up in one of the appartment blocks on broadway…
…To cut a long story short I rehearsed with this band and eventually played a night with them in the place I had the potato skins and it was good..the keyboard player was definitely well into billy joel and played a mean piano..however..through the guitarist and the shop he worked in..I found the guitar that I had always wanted..it was a SCHECHTER ..although I spent more than I rightly should have on this guitar it was well worth it and I play it to this day..a beautifull machine….
MILES COPELAND [The Police]
Anyway things were looking up because I had met an old friend by the name of Miles Copeland [of police fame] in NYC and he was interested in what I was doing with myself these days..as it turned out..he was looking at putting a band together with a bass player pal of ours from the english band CLIMAX BLUES BAND..as that band had folded and the bassist had an awfull lot of songs to sing..well I had a lot too so it was to be that I went back to the UK to meet up with him and run through a few things together…enter GRAND ALLIANCE and the start of a new album……..
THE ROYE ALBRIGHTON CHRONICLES PART 7
THE COPELAND PROJECT, TOURING AGAIN, CONCLUSION
THE COPELAND PROJECT
Derick Holt was the bass player with the CLIMAX BLUES BAND who were touring the USA around the same time as Nektar were..in fact when we were not playing they would hire our PA and personell for a few weeks at a time…
…I met Derick as I got off the train in STAFFORD which is now where I live in England..I asked him how I would recognize him when I see him because we had never actually met before…he said you will..and sure enough I did…he was the only person on the station platform wearing a clowns nose…
… We wrote some good music together of which only some reached the studio..and having put the album together we went on tour to the states together with a drummer by the name of BRENDAN DAY..a really good all round drummer that was grossly underestimated in the musical circles in Britain…
ON THE ROAD AGAIN…
…We toured with the likes of ZZ.TOP and other artists but what surprised me was that POLICE were looking for a support act for their new tour promoting every breath and Mr Copeland who was there manager and ours now…didn’t put us on the tour..it would have been perfect..but I suppose politics plays some strange games sometimes…
…We played concerts and bars and just about anywhere just to play..but we ended up going back home and writing some more songs for what we thought was going to be another album..Alas Mr Copeland decided to pull the plug on us and to this day I don’t know why…maybe he read the message in the bottle…
… Derick went on to do NIGHT OF A THOUSAND GUITARS with lots of the old rock guitarists from way back..BRENDAN is playing with a club band and I remarried my guitar..I still play now and again when the mood takes me [live that is] but I do an awfull lot in my hobby room…
…I must have spent a fortune by now on gadgets for hard disk recording and all that that entails…but like all musicians who have purple blood I just can’t leave it alone and no dought will be laid to rest one day with a guitar at my feet…
I hope you have all enjoyed my story..and remember..the breaks are only just ’round the corner…if you see one ..grab it…you may not get a second chance….
I would like to extend a sincere note of gratitude to Roye for sharing with us his wonderful story. For this Nektar fan, it was an honor and a treat.