Here you go as Mickey promised the answers to your questions. All of the answers are Mickey’s and have nothing to do with the owner of this website.
Ok I have a question , something that has probably been asked over and over but here it goes , what are your best memories that you have during your time with Nik ?
Although we had tremendous successes, and loads of great times on the road, my favourite memory is my very first meeting with Nik. I’d had his songs for about a month, I absolutely knew he was special, and while we got on well on the phone, I wanted to move things on quickly. So I arrange for him to meet me at Rondor Music’s offices in Chelsea where I was signed as a songwriter myself, and had recently signed Nine Below Zero to them, so they let me have the run of any spare office or the studio space. He called himself Nick Sheridan in his first letter to me.
I had arranged to meet this Nick Sheridan character at 1 O’clock so we could have a bite and a chat. At 1:15PM no Nick Sheridan? 1:30Pm…no Nick Sheridan? At 1 45PM just as I was wondering if he had changed his mind? About five minutes later an old Mini pulled up opposite the building. I took no notice, spoke to the receptionist who like me was getting worried it was all a wild goose chase, ..then the main door swung open and this little guy walked in with a question on his face…, I guessed it was him. Thinking back, I didn’t think about him as good-looking, only that he had a nice friendly face. We shook hands and I took him to the local Italian where we talked for a couple of hours. I loved his songs, I had plans, and told him as much. I liked him straight away. We liked the same kinds of music, and we laughed a lot. We got on like a house on fire. I even outlined my management agreement requirements with him. He nodded a lot, and seemed agreeable. I was so happy, I will never forget that feeling of driving back home with a smile as wide as the M4 on my face. It was like being on the tail of a storm that could blow away the rest.
So I find out he is really Nicholas Kershaw, so I ask…..’Why the Sheridan?’
‘Its my girlfriends idea!’
I thought, …oh well, we can deal with that later, let’s get on and conquer the world.
Do you wish you could have persuaded Nik not to take a back seat in 1989?
We were too busy trying to work out the next move. We had to cancel a european tour because ticket sales were too low. Recent press had caused Nik problems. His career had taken a blow and he had been dropped by MCA Records. I discussed new material with him and said let’s try to get another deal. Nik wrote a few songs, and ‘The One And Only’ was the lead track, but as hard as I tried, not one of the major labels was interested. As far as they were concerned, things had moved on and Nik was cold as ice, and old news. So, he had no option but to quit and see what the future would bring. He decided to write and bide his time.
How much do you want to punch Pete Waterman in the face for claiming credit for IWLTSGDOM? 😉
Peter Waterman is a talented person, he lives and breathes the music business. He has had a long and distinguished career, he makes things happen, …but he is a self promoting big mouth, and can be very cruel to make himself look good. He never produced Nik’s records, he managed the guy who produced Nik’s first two albums Peter Collins. He was involved in the process, and he did want to sign Nik publishing when he worked at MCA Music when Nik signed the record contract I liked him a lot, and I thought we were firm friends, but he is a fair weather friend and I have lost all respect for him since he started bragging about how HE produced Nik’s hits.
Was there an overspill of song recordings(never released) on any of the studio sessions for the MCA albums. If yes, would you envisage them ever seeing the light of day on super deluxe issues of each album in the future?
No spare tracks at all, ..unless you count the first version of ‘Wide Boy’ that didn’t make the Human Racing album. Not sure they kept it? However, there is a song Nik demoed at home called ‘Anyway’ which I loved but could never tempt Nik or Peter Collins to master.
Hi Mickey one of my favourite albums of Nik’s is Radio Musicola , what are your memories of the recording of that record , especially the brilliance of the song violet to blue ?
Violet To Blue was my favourite for a while, but Radio Musicola has taken its place a long time ago, but for me, all Nik’s songs are great. The album came at a very difficult time as there had been vast changes at MCA Records, and Nik’s career had taken a heavy blow in the UK and Europe. So all the talk was about America, and making an album that would suit American radio….. Hence the title. Running Scared was written for a film of the same name, but the film company chose another song and not Nik’s for the film. Working down at Swanyard was great, it was a state of the art studio,and the food was exceptional. I was there quite a lot, and loved to listen to the rhythm section putting the track together. Nik was producing so pop was out of the window, and I knew his remaining fans were in for some difficult listening. Thankfully they have grown up now and can appreciate the arrangements and production qualities.
Any song you suggested not to release only to have to eat humble pie later?
Yes and No. Maybe, Dancing Girls which I loved, ..but I wasn’t too keen on it for a single. It became a hit, but I would have prefered Gone To Pieces. I wanted Wide Boy on Human Racing, but apparently it never worked out good enough. I had a real battle convincing Nik to re-recorded it for The Riddle. I got my way in the end.
Is there a Nik demo that you really liked but was never released?
Yes, the song ‘Anyway’ a big brooding Stevie Wonder type song I think is amazing. It’s still gathering dust.
I’d like to know your experience of Niks career taking off on the back of WIBG and the big task of managing his schedule?
Well, luckily for me I’d already had success with Nine Below Zero, so I knew how to handle the touring, promotion. What took me by surprise mostly was the vast amount of press Nik had to do. I soon got MCA to take on a press agent Keith Altham who took the pressure off of all of us.
What were your thoughts ‘back in the day’ of Niks image and fashion? Do you think it helped or hindered him to be taken seriously as Nik states?
When I first met Nik he was a starving Jazz musician who had no idea how to dress. In fact he was a scruffbag. My wife Jean and I were ex-Mods so we always dressed in the most fashionable clothes. When we signed the management contract, Jean and I took Nik out bought him a leather coat, nice shoes, got his hair blonded up and then took him to MCA looking fab, After we had a succession of stylists who kept Nik up to date. Thing is, everyone dress the same, Nik was no different to George Michael, or Spandau.
Do you have one memorable Nik gig that stands out?
When did the moment come when The Krew members had to part from accompanying Nik?
When Nik was dropped from MCA the band sought other work. Simple as that.
How were negotiations and meetings with MCA from the release of Human Racing up until The Works?
The staff changed so often, we more or less told them what we were up to. The meetings got tougher towards the end.
Can you remember how you felt around the time Nik decided to take a back seat and write and produce for other artists?
Nik didn’t take a back seat, he was dropped, so he had no career. He decided to write and produce until something changed. .
Your favorite Nik album? And any memories surrounding the recording of it?
Has to be Human Racing. In my opinion it contains the best songs and the best production. It was recorded in a small studio in Brick Lane called Sarm East. Had some great times there before the success.
What was it like to see Nik’s fanclub build in membership numbers especially around the time of The Riddle?
It was an exciting time, employing someone to look after the Kershaw Klub, to sort the letters and merchandising. Although, it became a bit of a problem when things turned sour.
Have you had any scary moments on tour or in your time managing Nik?
Once in Berlin, when a drunken woman drove into our van on our way to sound check. We can laugh now, but then it was a nuisance, because none of us were hurt, but we didn’t get a long enough sound check.
…..Did you happen to ever meet David Bowie?
Yes I did, a couple of times at Harvey Goldsmith birthday party, and at a friend’s bash at Abbey Road studios. Just a quick hallo I’m from South London too! type thing.
In summary and in your own words….your journey supporting Nik?
Not enough time and paper here to tell you how much I loved the journey. Just to say, it was destiny from the moment I walked away from Nine Below Zero and started thinking about finding a talented singer songwriter. My first phone first conversation with Nik was enough to tell me this was going to be a significant relationship. Now I can honestly say that the universe does listen to a person who knows where they are going.