Apr 21

“Getting The Holy Ghost Across”


Yes, it was released on this date in 1986.


Time to take it out for a spin.



Apr 21

Cool. Thanks. And included is the great bass playing from the great Iain Denby and Bill, sax from the great Ian Nelson, percussion from great Preston Heyman ... production from great Steve Nye. What happened to Steve Nye? Where'd he go to?

Actually Steve didn't produce the album, alec...I did. I think Steve engineered some of the overdubs. But most of the basic backing tracks were recorded in my home studio and then overdubbed elsewhere. 😉

Apr 21Edited: Apr 21

Ah, yes.


Engineer : John Leckie, Leon Phillips, Steve Nye (tracks: A2 to B1, B3, B4)


Forgot about the great John Leckie.


Leon Phillips I may not be familiar with outside of Getting The Holy Ghost Across but I like the name of his website:




GTHGA is masterpiece and very different from anything that had happened previously, to my way of thinking, anyway. I always think of it as the beginning of something new.


Keyboards [Additional]: Andy Davis.


Says Andy played on John Lennon's Imagine album as well.


What was Preston Heyman like to work with on those tracks?


I get this one-take-and-it's great sense from him.


Preston's got a unique touch to percussion and it's sort of similar to your unique touch to percussion, actually.


Photography [of Bill Nelson]: Sheila Rock.


The great Sheila Rock.


Sheila can rock a camera just like Mick Rock can but in a completely different way.


Always liked that photograph.


Had assumed it was a moment captured from a dimly lit Rosicrucian ceremony that was underway.


The photo' also reminds me of a Jean Cocteau drawing or painting.

Yet another Bill Nelson album that will stand the test of time. A fabulous masterpiece 👍👍

Apr 22

My first BN album. Not a bad place to start. Bought from Boots, (yes, Boots), in York back in the days. I bought it principally on account of the 'what in the hell is going on here' cover.

Apr 22


Looking at Google Maps there seem to be several Boots in York. It reminds me of when I bought a Bill Nelson cassette in Walgreens. Doubt that there's a Boots in Booze, North Yorkshire.

Apr 22

I seem to remember that Hidden Flame was in heavy rotation within my circle of friends back in the day. The band I was working with did a pretty good cover, but dropped it from the play list as the club owners wanted dance songs that were on the radio.

I was about 16 when I got that album and was 'Living for the Spangled Moment'. What drum machine were you using on that one, Bill? Good Mick Karnish bass lines on some of those cuts too.

I think I was using an obscure, (and now extremely rare,) drum machine made by AHB, but after all this time I can't remember for sure. Anyway, it's the one in that old p[hoto' of me sittimng in my 'Echo Observatory' studio in Haddlesey House, holding the drumsticks over the pads of the drum machine, (which was a sort of metal briefcase looking thing.) Gosh, way back in the 1980s! So much music under my guitar's bridge since then!

May 12

What did you use? "The AHB Inpulse One drum machine." Really? "Yes. I like it very much, but I don't think I'm being unfair when I say that it's been incredibly unreliable. I ordered a version of it before it was ever available in the shops, after it had been widely advertised in the music press. But the company had technical difficulties putting it into production so it was quite a while before I received mine. It's just been fitted with MIDI, and the sound library for it is all on cassette which takes a little while to load. It's slower than putting chips in but it's a damn sight cheaper than having to have chips of your own 'blown'. And you can send them a tape of any sound and they'll digitize it for you, send you a cassette back and you just load it up. As I say, mine's been unreliable but it was one of the very early ones. I still like it, basically because it has drum pads which you can actually play in a natural way like conventional drums. On this album, I used it to play all the basic snare/bass drum patterns, which I stored as short sequences in the computer part of it. Then I played those back repeatedly and embroidered things over the top during fills. Preston Heyman actually came in at a later stage to add acoustic percussion to several of the tracks and also a bit of Simmons kit. As for the other musicians - I used Iain Denby on bass who has his own band in Leeds called Secret People. He's very talented and young and worked with me on the last tour I did of the States. Andy Davis played some additional keyboards on the album and he was with Stackridge originally, then The Korgis, and also did some stuff with Tears For Fears. I met Andy when I auditioned keyboard players for the American tour. Actually, I find auditioning musicians for a band is a nightmare, which is why I try and find every possible excuse not to put a band together! Particularly because when I play things on keyboards at home, I haven't got a clue what I'm doing. And when you have to explain it to somebody who's actually a keyboard player, it gets very embarrassing because they ask you what chord it is and you don't know! So Andy had the unenviable task of trying to figure out what I had played, but he was very good and his personality was right." Source: http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/getting-the-holy-ghost-across/1614

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