“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.” (Robert Burns: To A Mouse, 1785)
Sound Elixir is Shit.
Not that we planned it to be, it just is. It all began after the 2XS tour ended and Nazareth parted company with A&M Records in the US and Canada after a 12-year relationship. I’m not altogether sure why. One reason could’ve been the band’s gradual decline in popularity over there. Another I heard from friends at A&M later who said our manager, Jim White, put so many unreasonable stipulations into a new contract they had to say, “Go Fuck Yourself.” Jimbo negotiated a new deal with MCA (again conspiracy theorists I trust say he’d already done the deal under A&M’s noses.) MCA requested a new album, not only for the US but also for Phonogram in Europe, eager to capitalise on the success of Dream On. I say a new deal, but not for me. Nazareth were still (quite rightly in my opinion) regarded as McCafferty, Agnew, Sweet and Charlton, which I believe the non-inclusion of Locke ultimately cut the band down to a 5-piece. I was still on A&M/Phonogram’s radar for reasons already covered in this story. It was around this time the rest of the band began referring to me as “Billy Bethlehem, Son of Nazareth.”