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Interview – James Morley, RAISE THE FLAG – Bon But Not Forgotten, June 2012

| 12 September 2012 | Reply

By Shane Pinnegar

The name James Morley will be familiar to any Aussie rock fan – from cover band obscurity in Perth, he flew East to audition for The Angels (Angel City to our U.S. readers) and got the gig, touring the world, recording in the Bahamas and generally living the rock n’ roll dream. Since then he made a solo album – Freewheelin’ – and has dabbled in all sorts of musical pursuits from acoustic cover duos to hard rock madness… this month he heads around Australia with the RAISE THE FLAG guys, celebrating what would be Bon Scott’s 66th birthday.

Shane – Hey James – thanks for taking the time to talk to us.  You’re heading out on tour with Raise The Flag to celebrate what would’ve been Bon Scott’s 66th birthday. How do you explain his enduring appeal 30+ years after his passing?

James – Coz he’s bloody good! Seriously, the guy’s a poet, a singer, and a showman, its rare to have these talents at the level Bon had in one person.

Shane – How much fun is it, hammering all those classic songs out with guys like Izzy Osmanovic, Eddie Parise, Mick Adkins and Yak Sherritt – and last year, Dave Gleezon, Skenie, Simon Wright and so on?

James – It’s better than playing them with me mum! Its great, theyre all such good players and we all grew up in the same era listening to similar stuff so it kinda just all fits together which comes across in the sound.

Shane – Part of the thing that really appealed to me was that RAISE THE FLAG don’t just play the “greatest hits” – who decides the set list?

James – It was mainly me, I’m a die–hard fan and i don’t usually listen to the “same old” hits, I really like album tracks like “Gone Shootin” from Powerage, thats my fave track & album.

Shane – What surprises will there be this time round?

James – No Nudity !

Mark Evans, Skenie, James, Mick Adkins and Simon Wright with Bon Scott’s statue – Fremantle, 2011

Shane – Do you have a defining memory of when you became aware of AC/DC?

James – Yeah, a friends Dad was a record company rep and gave me a copy of “If You Want Blood” at football practice in 1978 – I never looked back.

Shane – Going back to your days playing with The Rookies and Strawberry Blonde at Rockwells and thereabouts (yeah, there’s some memories!!) – it was a huge leap of faith for you to fly East to audition for The Angels. You must have felt you really were the guy for the job?

James – Well, we were basically an Angels & AC/DC cover band in those days, like many cover bands, so I knew their stuff back to front, and I could drink anyone under the table at that point!

Shane – Did your time with The Angels live up to your dreams and expectations?

James – It was interesting… I got laid a lot which was always my dream, what else do you get into a band for !!

Shane – I can’t imagine you’d have many regrets about that time?

James – Not really, I’d do it all pretty much the same.

Shane – You’re also playing some classic rock and old school metal with Croz & The Monsters on June 30th – how did that one come about?

James – Ahh, that was a case of the boys wanting to get together for a blow and jam out some old heavy metal / hard rock faves we played many years ago. It sounded great so it’s just something we’ll do for a bit of fun here and there. Not too many bands around playing that sorta stuff [nowadays].

Shane – Perth fans will of course be very familiar with local legends David Crosbie, Jamie Page, Rob Watson & Mick Burn – has there been any talk of writing original material or is this purely a fun project?

James – Fun, Fun, Fun !!

Shane – What was the first gig you ever went to?

James – Geezus, no idea… probably my own .

Shane – … and the first record you ever bought?

James – Black Sabbath… Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.

Shane – Wrapping up, if you could go back in time and be a part of the recording of ANY song or album throughout history, what would it be – and why?

James – Powerage, for obvious reasons: It’s the best album ever recorded, in fact I’d be happy with being the tea lady at the recording studio for that one!

Shane – Finally, what for you is the meaning of life?

James – Enjoy it, reproduce, and get the hell outta here.

Shane – Thanks again and good luck with the gigs! See you there!

James – Cheers, Rock On !

Category: Interviews

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