"Magazines...Nitzsche on The Rack"

HITWEEK... 9th of September 1966 Dutch Pop Magazine Interview

Why should I try and get an interview with Jack Nitzsche? Because he is mentioned on the back of the Rolling Stones LP's for a while and because somebody from Hitweek called him 'the genius behind Spector'. I went to a record shop because I wanted to have more information about Jack. In the shop I listened to his LP, "The Lonely Surfer". It is a LP with instrumental tracks, filed alongside movie themes such as "Mondo Cane" (also available in the Netherlands, I've seen it once in Concerto .) I'm not awfully fond of instrumental records but "The Lonely Surfer" is actually very good. On the cover of "The Lonely Surfer" sits a nice boy in a nice suit. The text on the back cover is written by Jack's friend Phil Spector, he is the one who gave Jack the nickname 'Specs' ('Specs' means boy with glasses). When I rang Jack Nitzsche he asked me if I could ring back after the 15th of August: the Rolling Stones are busy with recording in Hollywood until the 12th and not even Life magazine can be present at the recordings.
When I met Jack Nitzsche in a restaurant in Hollywood, he looks a bit different to when I had seen him on the picture cover. A boy with hair like a medieval page, a little bit curved in the back, in a beautiful green velvet jacket. Between the hair and the jacket a friendly head, with two intelligent eyes behind a pair of glasses. Jack orders a fried egg with bacon. I order a hamburger for myself, after all I decide that this is a nice combination in this fashionable restaurant.


I asked him if he is also one of the frustrated jazz musicians, who arrange pop music. That's not the case, answers Jack. He came to Los Angeles to go to a conservatory. He met Sonny Bono (Sonny and his even grubbier girlfriend Cher, both bought a Ford Mustang and had the chairs upholstered with mink fur by a car decorator; one for the male and one for the female; this shows that everybody has there limitations !), who worked in a record company and became involved in pop music. Jack Nitzsche does not regret the fact that he discontinued with his saxophone study. He is convinced about the fact that it will be pop music that will be popular in the future. The one and only music where something is happening. ("The Mother of the new music!"). Somewhat differently, to what a lot of other people in Europe believe, Jack Nitzsche is explicit that England is still heading in front of America. The Rolling Stones and The Beatles are boys who act out new things. They have a high position, so they can allow themselves to go in their own direction.

Jack Nitzsche got acquainted with The Rolling Stones before they became famous. During their first tour through America. After this he joined a TV show in England in which the Rolling Stones were involved and Jack and The Rolling Stones became good friends. He is presently with the recording of the record in Hollywood and joined them with a lot of instruments; piano, harp, percussion etc. He has a lot of admiration for the Stones. He told me that they are ahead of their time. They are already making plans for the time that they will not be famous anymore. They sometimes apply themselves to the producing of records. Mick Jagger has already produced two records. (The last one "Out Of Time" by Chris Farlowe) which both became hit records. (Two out of Two.)
Jack Nitzsche had never heard of FLUXUS . But he is in favour of rotten records such as "Daydream Believer", "Yellow Submarine" and "Monday Monday"
Also the Stones will have some rotten records on there new LP . Apart from that Jack assured me that there would be more startling things on the Stones LP.

It becomes clearer and clearer as we continue with the conversation about pop groups who are active over here. I ask Jack Nitzsche if a singer can make a lot of difference compared to a good producer and a arranger, he answers; 'not very much'. He means, by the way he answered that particular question; 'it makes no difference'. What we miss in The Netherlands is not a Lovin' Spoonful or Mama's And Papa's . There are enough bands who can play guitar and sing. We miss Phil Spector, Brian Wilson, Jack Nitzsche, Bob Crewe, Burt Bacharach, Berry Gordy; we miss the people who really dig pop music (so not Jack Bulterman or Janie Bron ), who know what pop music is about and are not trying to get Frank Sinatra inside by way of Rob de Nijs and Cliff Richard. Jack Nitzsche really believes that the teenagers at the moment are smarter than a year or five years ago.; 'You can't sell them bad records anymore'.

Two years ago Jack Nitzsche moved to Spain for a while, with his wife, children and P.J. Proby. To start a new business. It did not work very well. In Franco's Spain people are prejuiced against men with long hair and other expressions of free thinking.
Jack Nitzsche is busy with establishing his own company " The Original Great Western Gramophone Company". The first band he will produce are the Satisfactions, who already have some fame in Los Angeles. But again Jack made me understand that the artists are not that important, as long as the others (producer, arranger) are good.

When I ask Jack if he has some snapshots to include with this article in Hitweek (I forgot my camera) it appears that he does not have these elementary stars accessories in his possession.
This will be different in a few years, when we realise who the real stars in pop-music are.

Hitweek Interview by Frits Boer, (Los Angeles correspondent).

Translated from the Dutch by, Wendy Bouter. (Thank You Wendy!)

J.H. Ket, supplied the information on Hitweek, further translations and placed the interview in the context of the times and social-cultural dimensions. The NOTES are his additions. (Thank You Hans!)

Hitweek was active from (about) 1965 until 1974 during there earlier period they used the name Hitweek and Witheek. They were a kind of "underground/counter culture/anti establishment" magazine with outspoken views about sex, drugs and R&R. Therefore they hardly got advertisements from (record) companies.
The late sixties & early seventies brought another name change to Aloha. In this latter period they were heavily involved in politics (Provo / the White bicycle plan / against the royalty) to name a few.
Concerto a good record shop in Holland; grubbier meaning Bohemian; limitations typical for Hitweek, they were against exploitation of animals/nature by the capitalistic enterprises, Greenpeace avant la lettre); rotten This is funny, Hitweek, sometimes had their own underground language. Lullig (the word used in this article), is a conjugation of the word lul (the literal meaning is cock but usually meant as asshole/jerk) but Hitweek started using the word in a positive way. So the word "lullig" has the meaning of "relaxed or groovy in a special way". Difficult to find a good British equivalent; new LP I think they mean songs like "Lady Jane", "I'm Not Waiting", etc; FLUXUS (1961) was a name for a worldwide movement among artists (musicans, sculptures, painters, poets) who saw art not as an object to be sold but as a social/political event. i.e Yoko Ono and Willem de Ridder (who was one of the founders of Hitweek). Jack Bulterman, Janie Bron A&R people in the lightweight pop segment of the Dutch record industry at the time:

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