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"Flash" - 1971 to Present

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sherrynoland View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: "Flash" - 1971 to Present
    Posted: November 21 2010 at 19:29
In 1980 I met Ray Bennett at "The Rainbow", a musician's hang-out on the Sunset Strip in L.A.  I had never heard of his Brit progrock band "Flash", even though a few years earlier I lived only a few blocks from the Strip and must have driven past the huge billboard on the side of the Whiskey-A-Go-Go displaying their infamous first album cover - a 'flash' of panties artfully designed by Hipgnosis. 

The band had broken up abruptly several year earlier, in spite of a whirlwind two and a half years of successful touring, three notable albums and a Top Forty single.

I liked the man - very much - so I listened to the music.  I liked it.  I was very impressed.  I learned the Flash story, met the band members, who were all living in L.A. at the time, and encouraged them to reunite.  A couple of rehearsals took place, but it all ended badly when a drunken Peter Banks started a punch-up with Ray at a weekly jam session at The Central, the club on Sunset Blvd. now known as The Viper Room.

I've lived with Ray ever since, following his career and what now seems like the inevitable road that led to Flash's reunion in 2010.  It's been a long and winding road!

I'm starting this thread as a dedicated spot on PA to share all things Flash.  I'd love to hear from any of you who have stories to tell, or questions or comments for the band.

I'll start the thread by posting a very up-close and personal conversation/interview with Ray and lead singer, Colin Carter, recorded at Ray's home (and mine) in Las Vegas.  Colin and Ray talk publicly for the first time about Peter Banks, the "Flash" break-up, their reunion, progressive rock and much more.  Hope you enjoy it...





Update:  Since this interview was recorded, Flash was warmly received at their reunion debut headlining the 2010 ProgDay Festival, and a good time was had by all.  They played a mix of their classic repertoire and new tunes as well as a cover of the Nine Inch Nails song, "Hurt" which one reviewer called the "surprise" of the festival.  Ray and Colin like the Flash version of the song so much, they decided to include it on the new album, which has delayed the release date, but should be well worth the wait.


Edited by sherrynoland - August 24 2013 at 00:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steven in Atlanta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 22 2010 at 10:58
Picked up the 1st Flash elpee when it was released - the Yes connection was the catalyst, of course, but the Small Beginnings single, which was getting a bit of Top 40 airplay, definitely sealed the deal. Later that year, they came through my town (Charleston, SC) opening for the most unpleasant Black Oak Arkansas. A great set, too, with an early airing of Black & White, if I recall. I remember being slightly disappointed that Tony Kaye wasn't along for the ride, but the sound was still great and full. Particularly loved that dirty and grimy bass sound from Ray which was easily as distinctive as Pete's nimble fretwork. Colin's vibrato at the time irked me a bit, particularly since his pitch appeared to be so good, but I've since grown to enjoy it as part of the whole Flash vibe. Glad the music is still live & kickin' today, which is the best part.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dick Heath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 22 2010 at 11:09
Saw Flash as support to Beck Bogert Appice at Loughborough Uni 1973 - one of the best double gigs I ever witnessed - and Pete Banks was definitely flash that night wrt his playing.

Edited by Dick Heath - November 22 2010 at 11:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote topographicbroadways Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 22 2010 at 12:12
i love all 3 flash albums but know little about the band so this thread is brilliant and i had know idea about a reunion thats great stuff
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 22 2010 at 21:31
I was fortunate to see Flash back up Wishbone Ash at the Chicago Auditorium Theater in 1973!  Ray called it the "Wishbone Flash" tour, the band was brilliant!!  

Thanks for starting this thread, Sherry!  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 23 2010 at 00:31
Flash...then and now...



1972 performance of one of their radio hits, "Children of the Universe" from the first album...

The video says this video is unavailable for copyright reasons, but it's still there on youtube. Can't seem to get it to post here, however, so here's the link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eO0POPPs-1U


In the rehearsal studio for the first run-through of the same song this year with the new Flash line-up...




Edited by sherrynoland - July 28 2013 at 17:24
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zhang00 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 23 2010 at 03:12
I like FLASH, which gives my life a lot of fun!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dick Heath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 23 2010 at 03:59
Originally posted by cstack3 cstack3 wrote:

I Ray called it the "Wishbone Flash" tour, the band was brilliant!!  

My brother, who was a keen fan, embroidered a tee-shirt with the slogan Flashbone Yes for his then 3 favourite bands.
The best eclectic music on the Web,8-11pm BST/GMT THURS.
CLICK ON: http://www.lborosu.org.uk/media/lcr/live.php
Host by PA's Dick Heath.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 23 2010 at 19:18
Hi,
 
I have to admit that what brought me to this album was not the cover ... but the fact that I had loved "The Yes Album" and immediately got the other 2 albums, and this was way before "Fragile" came out.
 
At the time, what got me into what is now called "progressive" (many bands of which are not even close!), were the album covers and at the time, only Hipgnosis created covers that were interesting and said a lot about the music that was inside in the LP itself. Some of it was very pretty and attractive ... the rest ... at your own risk, since after all you are in California and the dis-eases (hehe!!!) get passed around as easily as a joint ... no different than anywhere else I suppose!
 
I can not, at the moment, tell you if it is good or great in my estimation. At the time I didn't think it was that good, and thought that it was a 2nd rate YES, but I don't think that my tastes then were as open as they are today, and again, I will have to listen to it again.
 
A lot of that music at the time, specially the London scene, lost its attactiveness for me. Why? It was getting repetitive and sounding the same, and the best music was already on KNAC, and not in KLOS or KMET at all ... and I went to the rest of the European scene, with whom a had a closer connection, being from Portugal. The Spanish and Italian scene were easy and right at home, the French was great, and the German scene even better.
 
That cover, on the first and second albums, were in my walls for many years. And I can not even tell you what the music sounds like ... which is bad in many ways ... but I also had in my walls about 50 other Hipgnosis covers and posters that were more indicative of the music I liked and loved and still listen to.
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, instead of paying for a guru or church or social program!



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 23 2010 at 23:38
Originally posted by Dick Heath Dick Heath wrote:

Originally posted by cstack3 cstack3 wrote:

I Ray called it the "Wishbone Flash" tour, the band was brilliant!!  

My brother, who was a keen fan, embroidered a tee-shirt with the slogan Flashbone Yes for his then 3 favourite bands.


That's a riot, Dick.  Very clever, indeed...Big smile

I've heard others say that about the BBA/Flash gigs.  Wish I could have been there.  I can imagine.

Steve in Atlanta - Ray groaned when I mentioned the gigs with Black Oak.  Nuf said....but glad you appreciated Ray's bass playing.  Thanks for remembering with us.

Moshkito - glad you liked the covers!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 27 2010 at 16:26
Flash's reunion debut headlining at ProgDay 2010...


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 30 2010 at 16:06
Nothing definite or official yet, but...

Stan Whitaker - HTM/Oblivion Sun, and Ray Bennett - Flash, are discussing a joint tour.  Both bands have a new release scheduled for early 2011.  Should be interesting....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2010 at 19:24
Happy Christmas to all...Flash style!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2010 at 00:54
Does anyone need subtitles?!!  There was no alcohol involved in the making of this very spontaneous, live recording, I promise.

Ray is hard at work putting finishing touches on the new CD.  Was hoping for a Christmas release, but after playing the Nine Inch Nails song, "Hurt" at ProgDay, they decided to include the song on the new album.  Should be ready early 2011.

Ray and Colin send warm wishes to all for the holiday season, and look forward to a rocking New Year.


Edited by sherrynoland - December 24 2010 at 16:27
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TODDLER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2010 at 07:35
Originally posted by sherrynoland sherrynoland wrote:

Nothing definite or official yet, but...

Stan Whitaker - HTM/Oblivion Sun, and Ray Bennett - Flash, are discussing a joint tour.  Both bands have a new release scheduled for early 2011.  Should be interesting....
Stan from Happy the Man? Stan is a brilliant guitarist! Thank you Sherry for the thread. I found Colin to be very jaded and sarcastic regarding the nature of the subject matter on prog, composing, past events, etc, Jaded in a good way though. Colin cracks me up. Ray had some truly interesting points and being the spokesman for the most part, he reveals a great truth about the life style of musicians. The music business has always been unjust and a bit of a joke. It's a very sad and difficult situation. Stan Whitaker was filmed recently on a DVD about prog where he simply states "There is really no place for Happy the Man to play". I find that pathetic and insulting! Personally because I travelled the circuit playing up the street from them, and they basically weren't given the chance. Although many people loved them never causing a breakthrough connection globally. Flash, I did not folllow closely enough during the mad times but, I hope they remain content with their future efforts in whatever project they pursue. Ray was SOOOOOO correct in his statements regarding the difference between prog in the early days and the modern compartmentalized version of it today. Both Ray and Colin are characters and I wish them happiness in their calm pursuit in music. thanks for this thread Sherry! You are great!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2010 at 16:23
Thanks for your comments, 'Toddler'. 

I've never heard Ray spend much time talking about 'the music business'.  Just as he doesn't categorize the music he does, he doesn't draw conclusions about what's possible, so he's just as enthusiastic as ever.  He loves what he does and is confident that others will too. 

Like the line from one of his early songs, "Children of the Universe" -

"Be prepared to live your life with little on your table. 
Save your hunger for your soul."
 

He meant it, and has followed his bliss wherever it led.

He's truly happy for this opportunity to carry on with Flash.  Like Yes, Flash is one of the few 'prog' bands to have had a Top 40 hit.  He's convinced it can happen again.  Keep listening.  I guarantee there will be lots of surprises!

http://https://www.facebook.com/FlashFeaturingRayBennettColinCarter

http://www.reverbnation.com/flashbennettcarter#!/artist/artist_songs/1101042

http://www.myspace.com/flashbennettcarter




Edited by sherrynoland - July 28 2013 at 16:38
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TODDLER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 25 2010 at 08:07
I'm sorry Sherry. I was up in the ether with that statement. I meant Ray's history of the Flash band. His history on Peter Banks and the direction of the band. All is fascinating! Sometimes band members dread talking about the history of the band and it's change of members, transition from one style to another, etc.  But, to the fans it's like reading an important book in prog history. For me personally, a discussion on the history of a band regarding the change of members has to do with being part of a business as well. Where some musicians may decide on a different musical direction which affects business and style of a band in the long term relationship. This may be the way I personally look upon things. In point I must add that Ray is an interesting guy and I love his history on the Flash band, current events or past activities, and just hearing Ray and Colin having a conversation with you has inspired me to purchase the Flash collection. I wish there were more people like you Sherry, doing this sort of thing, where it has a direct influence on fans to buy the band's music. What you are doing has a better affect on fans than the boring internet search into a band's history. Making this interview available to us all is a kind and thoughtful idea. I really appreciate the fact that Ray and Colin would participate and that you have gone the distance. This is the best way to get into FLASH! .....reading and watching the interview on this thread! thanks Sherry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sherrynoland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 25 2010 at 16:15
It's my pleasure to share all things Flash, and I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it.  Ray is a very cool guy and absolutely unique, so it's not really surprising to me that his music is too.  And when Ray and Colin get together, it's really something to see and hear!  Lots of fun.  I'm looking forward to the new CD.  It's truly a bit of a miracle that they're together again and it feels good!  Looking forward to lots of gigs in 2011 - hopefully coming to a theatre near you! 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JeanFrame Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 27 2010 at 16:27
I read your interesting interview with Flash member Ray Bennett, I genuinely enjoyed it, but was a bit puzzled to read that he said he had never heard of 1-2-3 or Clouds. This is from Marmalade skies:-

http://www.marmalade-skies.co.uk/june1971.htm

 

Ex-Yes guitarist Peter Banks rehearses with Clouds but does not join the group.



I guess Ray and Peter don't talk to each other much!


PS Sorry I mistakenly sent this by private message first, apologies for the repetition, being a newbie is my excuse!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rivertree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 27 2010 at 16:52
Cool Thanks for sharing this, Sherry... interesting thread ... now will check this flashy band asap Smile  HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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