“The Party Album”

Words by Alexis Korner



 Sitting in Cologne, drinking a glass of wine with Willi in his office at W.D.R. ... good wine.


Del is enjoying it too. Barbara, Peter and Christian dropping by for odd minutes in between planning their Rock shows. We're talking about Willi's trip to the Philippines. At least, that's what I think we're talking about.


Anyway, I'm enjoying the wine too.


Willi drops his bomb-shell.


"I've been thinking, Alexis", says Willi, "What a great idea it would be if you organized a concert for your 50th birthday and we could film it for 'Rockpalast'." Del's face lights up fifty candles bright.


My face feels as through its crumbling slowly into the wine glass. I pretend I haven't heard what's been said.


Five pairs of eyes. They know I've heard. Only Willi was talking at the time; his speech is very clear.


That's how it started.


This album is about how it finished.


But, first, Del had to persuade me – and keep on persuading me – to go through with the thing.


It was entirely against my better judgment which, in the event, would have turned out to be my 'worser' judgment. Then came Paul's brain-beating contribution. He organized the where, when and how of it all. (Never been the same since.) All this time, the 'visionaries' were arranging the vision.


Someone had to be arranging the sound. Enter Jeff – for B.B.C. Radio One – and Pete for the Transcription Service. Without these two gentlemen we would never have had the tapes from which to make this album. And without Yolanda, we would never have had the magnificent birthday cakes which, I'm afraid, you can't hear. Neither can you hear the peach-coloured silk shirt and white shoes which Bobbie made me buy for the occasion ... after she had, reluctantly, accepted the fact that there was going to be an occasion at all.


Mind you there never would have been an occasion without the patience, understanding and innate lunacy of my very good friends Art and Chris and Colin and Dick and Dick and Duffy and Eric and John and Mel and Mike and Neil and Paul and Stu and Zoot, who all made such great, gutty music. And last, but not least, Sappho, my daughter ... no longer a Korner but still just as hooked on the music.


Thank you, EVERYBODY, for making a potential horror trip into an absolute ball.


"For this outstanding act of Valour, in the face of the most severe odds ... Order of 'Spontaneous Incompetence'. 1st.Class, with Diamond Clusters."


Alexis Korner


P.S. And, if you wanted something sensible, like the order of solos ... bad luck!



“The Party Album”