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Val Mabbs

Val Mabbs

Val Mabbs (pic: John Mackenzie) began her years at Record Mirror in 1968, editing the Readers' Letters page, before interviewing Leo Lyons of Ten Years After. With the encouragement of editor Peter Jones, Val progressed to interviewing diverse musicians and bands. She became Features Editor in the '70s. Her love of live music was reinforced by her years as a young mod, visiting numerous London venues to regularly watch the Who/Hi Numbers, Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames, and the many great bands then playing in small venues. Jazz, reggae, bluebeat and ska are also favourites, though, as a female writer in the '60s, pop groups were prominent on the interview list.  

A comment Val made when interviewing Status Quo in 1971, which apparently inspired them to wear their now trademark denim on stage, has since been quoted by Francis Rossi: "She said it was nice to see our new image," he says, "I thought what is she talking about? It wasn't an image, it was a lack of money! That was the first time I realised we had an image as such, and we have been protecting that image ever since." (Credit: Duncan Hill, The Brighton Argus, 10th December 2009).And yes, Francis, I still like Guinness!

Val contributed articles to Woman's Own, and was a source of material used in Billboard's "The Real Marc Bolan" special edition, published in 1972. Recollections of seeing the Who, both before and during her Record Mirror days are mentioned in The Who: I Was There, compiled by Richard Houghton.

Val fondly remembers her days working alongside Peter Jones and Lon Goddard (who also moved with Record Mirror to Carnaby Street under the Billboard umbrella), and at Shaftesbury Avenue with Norman Jopling, Derek Boltwood, David Griffiths, Charlie Gillett, Terry Chappell and more. She's working towards the book…

 

28 articles

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The Nazz: Rock N' Roll New Term For Last Year's Mistakes — Say Nazz

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 9 November 1968

STEWKEY ANTONI, Todd Rundgren, Carson Van Osten and Thom Mooney, the four members of Nazz — incidentally, a word discovered by the group while trying ...

Love Sculpture: How to follow an old Russian tune: what now for Love Sculpture?

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 11 January 1969

TRYING TO find a suitable follow-up for a 'pop' version of an old Russian tune is no mean feat. This, however, is the problem facing ...

Ten Years After: Tricks of the recording studio on new Ten Years After L.P.

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 1 February 1969

CHICK CHURCHILL, organist with Ten Years After, devoured a chicken sandwich and explained: "We've been working very hard lately and now that we're back in ...

Geno Washington: "Underground Music Is Dead" — Geno

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 8 February 1969

THE LAST time we met, Geno Washington was looking forward to a chart entry with 'Bring It To Me Baby', and contemplating the changes that ...

Jimi Hendrix: Mitch: Different Line-Ups Are Like Different Women

Report and Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 8 March 1969

THE AFTERNOON before the second Albert Hall concert for Jimi Hendrix and the Experience. The scene is set with amps piled high and roadies bustling ...

Jimi Hendrix: "Western Movie For Jimi" Says The Man Himself

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 15 March 1969

AFTER SPENDING some time trying to track Jimi Hendrix down, I finally found myself sitting in his rooftop pad drinking tea with Jimi and girlfriend ...

Amen Corner: A Day In The Life Of... Amen Corner

Report and Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 22 March 1969

AFTER A slap up Indian meal hosted by Terry Slater our small contingent of journalists and friends sped towards Tottenham in two chauffeur driven cars. ...

Keith Moon, The Who: Keith Moon: College Cheques Don't Bounce!

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 29 March 1969

AFTER MISSING our first arranged meeting due to an unexpected Radio One Club appearance, the highly effervescent Keith Moon burst into the bar to meet ...

Bob & Earl: The real Bob & Earl finally stand up...

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 17 May 1969

I ARRIVED at the Mandeville Hotel rather harassed after having spent twenty minutes in a taxi for a journey that would normally take five! I ...

The Move: Moving back to roots

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 24 January 1970

THE MOVE arose amidst the pioneers of a newer progressive kind of music. Perhaps the 'underground' of its time. Yet now they find themselves entertaining ...

Badfinger, Paul McCartney: Thumbs up for Badfinger

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 24 January 1970

WHEN THE gates of Apple were first thrown open to the talented public at large, many ambitious artists turned to the newly appointed 'Mecca' and ...

Bob and Marcia: Young & Gifted

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 28 March 1970

HARRY J., THE man who together with his All Stars, helped greatly to promote the reggae boom, as far back as October last year, is ...

Status Quo: The Consistent Status Quo

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 28 March 1970

SINCE THEY first entered the charts with 'Pictures of Matchstick Men' and later followed this success with 'Ice In The Sun' Status Quo have consistently ...

The Hollies: "I didn't like it at first," says Allan Clarke of the Hollies

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 18 April 1970

ALLAN CLARKE, though far removed from the patter of clogs and constant to-ings and fro-ings of the shift workers heading for t'mill, still remains very ...

Sacha Distel: Recognized At Last

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 16 May 1970

MUCH OF Sacha Distel's early publicity was based on speculation over his relationship with Brigitte Bardot. But as Sacha says, he never wanted to become ...

Cat Stevens: A Bottle A Day Kept Cat Away

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 4 July 1970

THERE WAS a time, a time, almost four years ago now, when the young Cat Stevens would rush into a theatre, down a vodka, and ...

Ray Stevens: Everything Is Stevens

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 18 July 1970

SOUNDS OF laughter seem to be a constant surrounding to Ray Stevens. Although it was four in the afternoon and Ray was wading through a ...

East of Eden: Jig a Jig up the chart

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 15 May 1971

TAKE A listen to 'Jig A Jig' and it does seem to have that simple "glad-to-be-alive" sound, much the atmosphere created by Mungo Jerry with ...

Slade: Now Slade Can Laugh Last

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 17 July 1971

THE BOOTS and braces, brawn and bovver image, worked fine for a time, but now Slade are loath to talk about their Skinhead image. But ...

T. Rex: Marc's science fiction film

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 24 July 1971

WITH THE surge or phenomenal interest that has arisen for T. Rex, Marc Bolan has become infinitely aware of the difficulties facing some fans who ...

John Lennon, Yoko Ono: John and Yoko: The Apple and the Grapefruit

Report and Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 7 August 1971

A VISIT TO THE LENNONS WITH VAL MABBS ...

The Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono: At home with the Lennons, Part 2: "Ringo's Sellers is my Paul"

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 14 August 1971

"THESE PAST two years have been very heavy," Yoko told me earnestly. "We've been having the Paul thing and the Kyoko thing going on for ...

Dawn, Tony Orlando: Tony Orlando & Dawn: Tony And Those Bogus Dawns

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 11 September 1971

Dawn's Tony Orlando gives Val Mabbs some straight answers ...

Heads Hands and Feet, Albert Lee: Heads, Hands & Feet: Dear mother, we love Albert

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 9 October 1971

Ray Brown of H, H & F talks to Val Mabbs ...

Yes: Now Britain says Yes

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 20 November 1971

AFTER WATCHING and listening to Yes there are many passages and musical experiences that remain in the mind, but not least of all the fascinating ...

Vinegar Joe: They Want To Be Top Of The Pops

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 13 May 1972

Val Mabbs talks to Vinegar Joe and finds that they want to be Top of the Pops ...

The Osmonds: They're Here! Amen — it's the Osmonds

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 4 November 1972

VAL MABBS REPORTS FROM HEATHROW ...

Focus: "People think we're a rock band, but we laugh about it"

Interview by Val Mabbs, Record Mirror, 3 February 1973

VAL MABBS undertakes a concentrated interview with unlikely hit-makers, the classicly-orientated Focus. ...

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