Q: Apart from playing in bands with Cliff Townshend (Pete's father), little is known about your dad's musical career. I'm guessing he must have been a singer, is that correct? Did he write songs? What instruments, if any, did he play?

Billy: My dad was a singer and a double bass player. He began as a singer in the Oscar Rabin band and then as singer in the Squadronaires, with Cliff Townshend. He did not write songs but taught me alot about harmony when I was very young.

Q: You have written songs with your brother Mike. Has he written any songs on his own or with other writers?

Billy: We mainly write together, but I remember one song that he
co-wrote called
"POCKETS". I can't remember who the other writer was, but it was recorded at Eel Pie Studios in Twickenham with Mike on piano, Kenny Jones on drums and Pete Townshend on guitar.
Q: Has he ever recorded or performed live in his own right?

Billy: No.

Q: Can you talk about writing songs and singing with your son Morgan and the
work you are doing on his new album?

Billy: I am on call to write and perform with Morgan all the time. He is looking for a new record deal at the moment, and has many songs to present. He is also writing some film music.

Q: Your daughter Amy sings on your new album. Does she write songs or play a musical instrument?

Billy: Amy writes songs as well, and is currently singing and writing for various bands including Morgan . She plays piano, and goes to music college.

Q: What about your niece Rose Smith?

Billy: Rose sings and writes also. She has just finished an album, I can’t remember which record company that signed her.

Q: Can you recall your earliest memories where music had an impact on you, what artists and songs first affected you and how this all led to your own musical beginnings?

Billy: Singing harmony with my Dad, Mum, and sister Sue, in White City, where I was born. Dad taught me how to play the uke. I bought my first single with Sue in Shepherds Bush market, "WHEN WILL I BE LOVED" by the Everly Brothers. The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Kinks, Keith Richards, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, it would take too much time to tell you the other subtle influences, though just as important.
Q: Can you describe a typical day for you in the Immediate days?

Billy: NO!

Q: Did you write any other songs for Del Shannon besides "LED ALONG", "CUT AND COME AGAIN" and "FRIENDLY WITH YOU"?

Billy: No.

Q: Did you write any other songs for other artists who were signed with Immediate or otherwise?

Billy: Dana Gillespie recorded "LONDON SOCIAL DEGREE".
Q: Did you continue writing songs during the years you were living in the States? If so, have any of those songs surfaced?

Billy: I never stop writing, and so some of the ideas will have surfaced on the albums that are currently available on Southwest Records.

Q: How did the live duo with Ronnie Lane come about?

Billy: That is a long story. ‘Tell not all that you know.’

Q: What was the significance of calling yourselves FOOT AND MOUTH?

Billy: See above.

Q: Your live setlist included "WHEN WILL I BE LOVED" by the Everly Brothers and some Bob Dylan songs. What Dylan songs did you do? What other covers did you do? Did you do any originals?

Billy: "I'll BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT", "TONIGHT I'll BE STAYING HERE WITH YOU". See above.

Q: Which one was FOOT?

Billy: Me.
Email Interview with
Completed October 23, 2001 - Questions by Mike Griffiths
Q: Can you discuss the writing and recording of LOVE SONGS?

Billy: This will take me so much time to answer, and to be quite honest , it might ‘tell more than I know’.

Q: What are the lyrics to the backing vocals in the last section of "WHITE LIGHTNING"?
Billy:
                                                                                            
"COUNT UP TO TEN WHEN I TELL YOU TO BREATH IN
             
I WILL TAKE OUT EVERYTHING WHILE YOU'RE SLEEPING
       
COLOURS WILL FUSE IN WITH HEAVENLY MUSIC
                    
WHEN YOU AWAKE IT WILL HAVE A NEW MEANING."

Q: In the insert for the Southwest release of LOVE SONGS there's a period picture of you sitting on a sofa. There are a few albums spread out next to you. One is JOHN WESLEY HARDING by Bob Dylan, another is GOING TO A GO GO by The Miracles, and there is (what looks like) an unfamiliar Billy Nicholls album. Do you know what it is?
Billy: It was a piece of art work by Malcolm Harrison, who played on the LOVE SONGS Album. The first LOVE SONGS Album cover.

Q: You started work on another album shortly after LOVE SONGS. How much was recorded? Were any of those songs ever released?

Billy: NO.

Q: On the Meher Baba album WITH LOVE, the lyrics of the second bridge and last verse of "WITHOUT YOUR LOVE" are:

"YOU'RE AT THE LOWEST LEVEL AND YOU'RE ABOVE                                                               

YOU'RE IN THE SEVENTH HEAVEN AND YOU'RE IN LOVE                                                          

SAY IT WAS JUST A WHIM, THERE AIN'T A SINGLE THING                                                        

WHO WOULDN’T BE WITHOUT YOUR LOVE."

These are replaced on the WHITE HORSE version with:

"AND IF I EVER WANDER AWAY TOO FAR                                                                                 

YOU COME A-LOOKIN' FOR ME WITH OPEN ARMS                                                                    

I COULD FORGET MY HOME, JUST LIKE A ROLLING STONE                                                       

BUT WHO WOULD I BE WITHOUT YOUR LOVE."

Q: Why the change? Were the WHITE HORSE lyrics written later?

Billy: They were written later for the WHITE HORSE album because I was stupid enough to be talked into changing them, just like "EVERLOVING ARMS",                                         

"HOW COULD A MAN WHO SAILED THE SEVEN SEAS,                                                             

GO ALL THAT WAY AND THEN COME BACK TO ME."

Those were the original lyrics.
Q: The WITH LOVE version of "GIVE IT UP" includes a middle eight which
was omitted from the
WHITE HORSE version. What are the correct lyrics?

Billy:                                                                                                                                

"EARLY IN THE MORNING, NIGHT AFTER NIGHT                                                                        

I LOOK AT YOUR PICTURE, AND I DON'T KNOW WHY                                                               

LIKE AN ELEPHANTS MEMORY, I CAN'T FORGET                                                                       

AND IT'S COMING BACK DOWN ON ME, I'M LIVING IN DEBT."

Q: Also on WITH LOVE, there is a song titled "MEHER". It is credited to a Paul Wyld although it sounds like Pete Townshend. Who is Paul Wyld?

Billy: An Australian BABA lover. I sang on it and I think Pete did as well.
"TALK TO ME"?

Billy: Co written with Phil Manzanera and Dave Gilmour.

"
THERE IS NOTHING TO STOP ME"?

Billy:
Me, DEMO.

"
WHITE HORSES"?

Billy: Co Written with Mike Nicholls and Paddy Malone. YET TO BE RELEASED.

Q: Can you list what songs of yours the following artists have done?

The Outlaws?

Billy: "CANT STOP LOVING YOU"

Kiki Dee?

Billy: "UNDER ONE BANNER"

Marilyn Martin?

Billy: "HOMELESS"

Jon Astley?

Billy: "I DREAM ABOUT YOU"

Phil Manzanera?

Billy: "
TALK TO ME"

Ruby Turner?

Billy: "IT'S MAGIC"

The Chieftains?

Billy: "WHITE HORSES"

Q: Can you supply the details of your vocal work with the following artists?

Asia?

Billy: Backing vocals. A concert in Japan.

Keith Richards?

Billy: Backing vocals. Guitar festival in Seville.

Joe Cocker?

Billy: Backing vocals See above.

Dave Gilmour?

Billy: Lead vocals at the Columbian Charity concert at the Albert hall with Sam Brown. The song was "COMFORTABLY NUMB" and others.

John Ilsley?

Billy: Backing vocals. His solo album.

Lulu?

Billy: Backing vocals on re-release of "SHOUT" single.

The Chieftains?

Billy: Writing and recording, plus backing vocals at the Belfast Grand Opera Hall.

Ian Dury?

Billy: Backing vocals, Musical Director at the Chiswick Family Rescue 'Snowball' concert.

Jack Bruce?

Billy:
Backing vocals. Guitar festival in Seville.
Michael Schenker?

Billy: Backing vocals. On his album with Steve Stills.

Lou Reed?

Billy: Backing vocals at Carnegie Hall for 'A Celebration of Pete Townshend's Music'.

Sinead O'Connor?

Billy: same as above.

Justin Hayward?

Billy: Backing Vocals. On his solo album NIGHT FLIGHT.

Eddie Vedder?

Billy: Backing Vocals for the teenage cancer concert at the Albert hall.

Bryan Adams?

Billy: See above.

Q: Can you talk about the individual songs on your new album? When were they written and recorded? What inspired them?

"
PENUMBRA MOON"?

Billy: Written and recorded late seventies and finished with the help of Morgan and Phil Chapman this year. The Studio in the seventies was Eel Pie, Broadwick St, Soho.

"
RUNNING AWAY"?

Billy: See above, Except The Chapel Studio In Goring upon Thames.

"
LOVE FINDS YOU"?

Billy: See above, Except Eel Pie Studio in Twickenham.

"
OLD JEALOUSY"?

Billy: Same as above.

"
REVERIE"?

Billy: Written a couple of years ago with my brother Mike. Recorded at 16 Park Road Twickenham. The strings were added on at the Townhouse Studios Shepherds Bush, and finished at A Major Studios Shepherds Bush.

"
THAT OTHER GUY"?

Billy:
See "PENUMBRA MOON". Except the engineer was Mike Pela.

"
WARRIOR"?

Billy: See "PENUMBRA MOON".

"
WHITE CITY LIGHTS"?

Billy: See "PENUMBRA MOON".

"
VELVET RUT"?

Billy: See "PENUMBRA MOON".

"
BROWN AND BEIGE"?

Billy:
See "THAT OTHER GUY".

"
GIVE ME LOVE"?

Billy: See "PENUMBRA MOON".

"
ALONE AGAIN"?

Billy: Written in the Late Eighties with my brother Mike and recorded at Eel Pie Studios Twickenham, Statement Studios in Chertsey, and A Major Studios Shepherds Bush.
Q: Can you talk about your involvement with the planned animated HAPPINESS STAN project?

Billy: I don't know what is going on with that project.

Q: Have you ever performed live as a solo artist?

Billy: Only with other bands - too many to mention.

Q: Do you have plans for future live shows?

Billy:
No.

Q: Can you talk about your plans for an acoustic album?

Billy: I will let you know as soon as I have decided on the tracks.

Q: Are you planning a 'Best Of...' compilation?

Billy: Not yet.

Q: SNAPSHOT II? Is this a real possibility?

Billy: Yes.

Q: What about a volume of unreleased '70's material?

Billy: A good idea.

Q: Billy, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. Also, special thanks for all the great music.

Billy: I'm sorry it’s taken so long to answer the questions, and that some of the answers are brief. Thanks for taking the time to ask them.
Discography

Singles

1968 - Would You Believe / Daytime Girl (Immediate Records 063) U. K.

1973 - Forever's No Time At All / This Song Is Green (Track Record 2094 109) U. K.

1974 - White Lightning / Hopeless Helpless (GM Records GMS 018) U. K.

1977 - It Doesn't Take Much-Give It Up / Through Thick And Thin (Capitol Records 1C 006 85 258) Germany

1990 - I Won't Be The One / Dancing Shoes (Expression Records EXPR 7 - 2) U. K.

1990 - I Won't Be The One / Dancing Shoes / Without Love (Expression Records EXPR 12) U. K.
(12 inch single)



LPs
















1968 - Would You Believe (Immediate Records IMCP 009) U. K.
Would You Believe / Life Is Short / Feeling Easy / Daytime Girl / Daytime Girl (Coda) / London Social Degree /Portobello Road / Question Mark / Being Happy / It Brings Me Down
















1974 - Love Songs (GM Records GML 1011) U. K.
Winter Rose / Gypsy / Traveller's Joy / Stay Awhile / Sometimes / Kew / Hopeless Helpless / Overnight Train / White Lightning
















1977 - White Horse (Capitol Records ST 11687) U. S. and Canada
It Doesn't Take Much-Give It Up / Over And Done With / Love In A Mist / Can't Stop Loving You (Though I Try) / Through Thick And Thin / Without Your Love / Everlovin' Arms
















1990 - Under One Banner (Expression Records EXPAL3) U. K.
I Won't Be The One / Movie Made In Heaven / Put Love In Your Heart / Free The Children  / Dying Star / So Positive / Without Love / Dancing Shoes / Under One Banner 



1998 - Would You Believe (Tenth Planet Records TP 042) U. K.
Would You Believe / Life Is Short / Feeling Easy / Daytime Girl / Daytime Girl (Coda) / London Social Degree /Portobello Road / Question Mark / Being Happy / It Brings Me Down
















1999 - Snapshot (Southwest Records SWLP003) U. K.
Would you Believe / Happiness Song / Cut And Come Again / Casey Jones / Always On My Mind / I'm To Blame / Feeling Easy / Umbrella Song / It Brings Me Down / Life Is Short / Good Day Goodnight / London Social Degree / Now She's Mine / Being Happy / Walking Through The Park / Portobello Road / It Brings Me Down
*Previously unreleased 60's demo recordings




C
Ds


2000 - Snapshot (Southwest Records SWCD 004CD) U. K.
Would you Believe / Happiness Song / Cut And Come Again / Casey Jones / Always On My Mind / I'm To Blame / Feeling Easy / Back About 4 / Umbrella Song / It Brings Me Down / Life Is Short / Haven't Any Money / Good Day Goodnight / The Fortune Teller / London Social Degree / Now She's Mine / Being Happy / Love Is All Around / Walking Through The Park / Portobello Road / The Rest Of My Life / It Brings Me Down
*Previously unreleased 60's demo recordings - CD has five additional demos than the  LP

1997 - Would You Believe (VICP-61475) Japan

1998 - Would You Believe (Southwest Records SWCD 001)
Would You Believe / Life Is Short / Feeling Easy / Daytime Girl / Daytime Girl (Coda) / London Social Degree /Portobello Road / Question Mark / Being Happy / It Brings Me Down / Would You Believe (original)

1999 - Would You Believe (Sequel NEMCD414) U. K.
Would You Believe / Life Is Short / Feeling Easy / Daytime Girl / Daytime Girl (Coda) / London Social Degree /Portobello Road / Question Mark / Being Happy / It Brings Me Down / Would You Believe (single mono mix) / Daytime Girl (single mono mix) 
1998 - Love Songs (Southwest Records SWCD 002)
Winter Rose / Gypsy / Traveller's Joy / Stay Awhile / Sometimes / Kew / Hopeless Helpless / Overnight Train / White Lightning

1997 - White Horse (VSCD 530) Japan

2001 - White Horse (Southwest Records SWCD 005) U. K.
It Doesn't Take Much-Give It Up / Over And Done With / Love In A Mist / Can't Stop Loving You (Though I Try) / Through Thick And Thin / Without Your Love / Everlovin' Arms

1990 - Under One Banner (Expression Records EXPCD 3)

2002 - Under One Banner (Southwest Records SWCD 007)
I Won't Be The One / Movie Made In Heaven / Put Love In Your Heart / Free The Children  / Dying Star / So Positive / Without Love / Dancing Shoes / Under One Banner 
















2001 - Penumbra Moon (Southwest Records SWCD 006)
Penumbra Moon / Running Away / Love Finds You / Old Jealousy / Reverie / Warrior / White City Lights / Velvet Rut / Brown And Beige / Give Me Love / Alone Again














2005 - Still Entwined (Southwest Records SWCD 008) 
Still Entwined / There And Back Again / Keep On Dancing / Only A Passing Show / Ladies In Vogue / No Secrets At Ginos / Catherine / Brake On My Heart / Guardian Angel  / Memory Lane  (to read a review
click here)


Southwest Records is Billy Nicholls' own label.  All the titles are in print and available at the Billy Nicholls website at:
http://www.nicholls.co.uk/

Southwest Records
16 Park Road
East Twickenham
TW1 2PX
UK

southwest@nicholls.co.uk

billy@nicholls.co.uk

And...


The following Meher Baba albums feature Billy Nicholls tracks:

I Am 1972 

Forever's No Time At All
This Song Is Green

With Love 1976

Give It Up (first version with unique bridge)
Without Your Love (first version with different lyrics)
I Gotta Know

The above albims have been compiled and re-released as part of the 2 CD set called Jai Baba which is available at Pete Townshend's Eel Pie (commercial site) available at:
http://www.eelpie.com/




Plus...















Organized - Morgan  Label: Source 5263032 Released 07/10/2000

Flying High (Billy - backing vocals) / Something He Said (Billy - lead vocals) / Sitting In The Sun / When I Close My Eyes / Paparazzi (Billy - lead vocals) / Soul Searching Part 1 / Soul Searching Part 2 / Here Comes The Rain (Billy - lead vocals) / Organized / Miss Parker / At The Flamingo Hotel / Fistful Of Love / Heaven Come Quickly (Billy - lead vocals)
*Billy sings lead on four songs



This is a real family affair with significant contributions from Billy.  Billy's daughter Amy Nicholls and his neice Rose Smith also sing.  Billy sings lead vocals on four songs and prominent backing vocals on another.  There are no songwriting credits but the sound of the music (and the publishing credits) point to possible Billy’s songwriting involvement on several tunes.  According to the Billy Nicholls website “Flying High” is written by Morgan and Billy.  Oh, and by the way, it's an excellent album!

For more on this album go to this website for an entertaining and informative visit:
http://www.m-organ.com
Q: The WHITE HORSE album opens with a great song called "IT DOESN'T TAKE MUCH" which after a minute and thirty seconds segues into "GIVE IT UP". Is there a longer version of the song?

Billy:
No.

Q: Was there more material recorded with WHITE HORSE?
If so, what?

Billy: "MAMA SAID", "SONGBIRD". Maybe more.

Q: Did WHITE HORSE ever play live?

Billy: No

Q: Why was there such a gap between WHITE HORSE and
UNDER ONE BANNER?

Billy: Pete Townshend, The WHO, and other things!

Q: Between UNDER ONE BANNER and PENUMBRA MOON?

Billy: See above

Q: The following song titles are listed at the BMI website as written or co written by you. Can you add some background on each title?

"
DRIFT AWAY"?

Billy: Co Written with Jon Lind, DEMO.

"
EVERY YEARS ANOTHER DAY"?

Billy: Me, DEMO.                               

"
GET READY FOR SUMMER"?

Billy: Me, DEMO.

"
GETTING MARRIED"?

Billy: Me, DEMO.
Thanks Billy!
Join the Billy Nicholls mailing list at: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/billynicholls/
And finally...