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The Continuing Saga of the Ageing Blue Orphans - CHRIS P. MANSBRIDGE interview.

Thursday, 19th Dec 2002

Probably not many of you will recognize the name Chris P. Mansbridge but recently I was lucky enough to be able to compare notes with him about one of Thin Lizzy's more obscure albums The Continuing Saga of the Ageing Orphans. Chris has given me permission to include his recollections here for you. Enjoy....

 jt: I understand that you had a hand in the creation of this album.

Chris: Just a bit of historical fact you might like to know, I was the 'tape op' on this record, and also cut it in the cutting rooms at Decca (my first cut!)

I remember the sessions very clearly. An engineer called Adrian Martins was training me. We did the overdubs at Decca West Hampstead, Studio 2.

GARY MOORE came in to do overdubs (I could get anal about what he used! but I won't -- LOL) and MIDGE URE. Phil had a terrible cold and his mum turned up to session.

It was fun to work on and PHIL produced the sessions. He even played us demos of what later became the BLACK ROSE album, I think.

It was one of my most memorable times as an assistant 'engineer/tape op'.

jt: I notice that you refer to the album as 'The Continuing Saga of the Ageing Blue Orphans'. This is the first time I've heard 'Blue' in the title! Was that a working title for the album?

Chris: I seem to remember that is what we were calling it during session.

Decca was a great place to learn the trade, we still had blokes in white coats and tea breaks! Spent many a time getting stupid announcements over the tannoy to be read out!

jt: Was that the only time you got to work with Phil?

Chris: I did also do some further work as 'tape op' at Decca No 2 with PHIL LYNOTT (Adrian Martins engineering). He came in to do some demos with a song writing friend (I can't remember his name now). The session included BRIAN DOWNEY on drums and KIRBY Gregory on guitar (guitarist from STRETCH).

jt: Working at Decca you must have been involved in some really interesting sessions. What other artists have you worked with?

Chris: I used to work at Decca as you guessed. I've also worked with JUSTIN HAYWARD (MOODY BLUES) and various other Decca artists. They used to hire out Studio 1 which was the Moody's own studios (Threshold Records) and I worked as assistant engineer on some interesting sessions, such as LULU which had the BLOCKHEADS (IAN DURY's band) doing the backing tracks!!!! Others included STATUS QUO (in doing some overdubs).

jt: What other artists have you worked with in your post-Decca days?

Chris: After Decca, I went on to work for freelance studios, working on demos with bands such as THE BLOW MONKEYS, and doing an album with a punk band called THE LURKERS.

I also worked with a really forward thinking band called AIRSTRIP ONE. A great band, they were signed with Polydor in 1982. I co-produced an album with them and DAVID GRANT (LYNX) but nothing seemed to happen with them. A shame.

jt: Are you still involved in the music business today?

Chris: I don't work in the music business anymore in engineering, although I have studio in house. I play more now (guitar) and do a proper job (websites etc) hahahaha.

Special thanks to Chris for sharing his time and thoughts with me and for allowing me to share them with you.


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© Copyright 2002 James Taylor - Used by Permission