The Ollie Halsall Archive
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Shaw Theatre

28 April 1992

KEVIN AYERS Lady Rachael
Belgian TV

May I

Palau Gran, Barcelona

Shouting in a Bucket
Palau Gran, Barcelona

Run [Take It Easy]
Palau Gran, Barcelona

Everybody's Sometimes

Palau Gran, Barcelona

Didn't Feel Lonely

Palau Gran, Barcelona


'Tal Cual'
Spanish TV 1982

Shouting in a Bucket Blues

'Tal Cual' 1982
Spanish TV 1982

Am I Really Marcel

'Tal Cual' 1982
Spanish TV 1982

Another Saturday Night

Tal Cual' 1982
Spanish TV 1982

Flying Start
Spanish TV 1987

Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes
Spanish TV 1987

Another Saturday Night
Spanish TV 1987

(Teen Voices)

Belgian TV 1975

Full video here

Why Are We Sleeping
Dortmunnd 21 April 1992


Musical Express

Spanish TV 1981
With John Cale,
and Andy Summers


Uncut magazine
November 2008

Ugly Things magazine #30

Shooting at the Moon: The collected lyrics of Kevin Ayers
The complete illustrated lyrics.




The Confessions of Doctor Dream 1973

Dr Dream album cover

Didn't Feel Lonely

While Tempest were recording Ollie's song Dream Train, [at Air Studios, London with Geoff Emerick] Kevin Ayers was in the next studio working on his album, Confessions of Doctor Dream and invited Ollie to play on one of the tracks. Ollie enjoyed himself so much, he decided to de-camp' to the Ayers band

June 1 1974
Ayers Cale Nico Eno

Live at The Rainbow Theatre

June 1 1974 album cover

May I

Shouting in a Bucket Blues

Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes

Everybody's Sometime

Two Goes Into Four

Although he is present on them, titles in italics do not feature Ollie on lead guitar]

Similarly, he doesn't play any lead guitar on the John Cale, Nico and Eno tracks.

Until 1998, the only official live Ayers/Halsall release - and then only three tracks. The solo on May I earned Ollie a place in Terry Theise's 'Top Ten' [see below] nearly three years later (Guitar Player magazine, January 1977)

Top Ten

Sweet Deceiver 1975

Sweet Deciever album cover


Guru Banana

City Waltz

Toujours la Voyage

Sweet Deceiver

Diminished But Not Finished

Circular Letter

Once Upon an Ocean

Farewell Again

Titles in italics include OH only on bass, acoustic, vibes or vocals]

Elton John piano on Guru Banana & Tojours la Voyage

Yes We Have No Mananas 1976

Mananas album cover


Mr. Cool

The Owl

Love's Gonna Turn You Round

Help Me

Ballad Of Mr Snake

Everyone Knows The Song


Mr Cool features Ollie's only known use of wah pedal! I have long regarded these two albums (Sweet Deceiver & Yes We Have No Mananas) as among Kevin's finest achievements. Apart from some superb guitar, Ollie also provides most of the Deceiver bass parts.

Rainbow Takeaway 1978

Rainbow Takeaway album cover

Blaming It All On Love

Ballad Of A Salesman

View from the Mountain

Rainbow Takeaway

Waltz For You

Beware of the Dog

Strange Song

Goodnight Goodnight

Hat Song



Buy Stiil Life With Guitar CD NOW!

That's What You Get, Babe 1980

That's What You Get album cover

That's What You Get

Where Do We Go From Here

You Never Outrun Your Heart

Given And Taken



Money, Money, Money

Miss Hanaga

I'm So Tired

Where Do The Stars End

Titles in italics include OH only on bass or vocals



Buy Stiil Life With Guitar CD NOW!

Percussion [film soundtrack 1983)

Dr Dream album cover

Includes Howlin Man from From the album As Close As You Think
[See below]

Diamond Jack and the Queen of Pain

Diamond Jack album cover

Madame Butterfly

Lay Lady Lay

Who's Still Crazy

You Keep Me Hangin' On

You Are A Big Girl

Steppin' Out

My Speeding Heart

Howling Man

Give A Little Bit

Champagne And Valium

Diamond Jack

Deia Vu 1984

Deia Vue album cover

Champagne and Valium

Thank God For A Sense Of Humour

Take It Easy

Stop Playing With My Heart

My Speeding Heart

Lay Lady Lay

Stop Playing With My Heart

Be Aware Of The Dog

OH plays guitar on only Champagne and Valium and My Speeding Heart but appears to play bass on everything else

As Close As You Think 1986
'Kevin Ayers featuring Ollie Halsall'

As Close as You Think album cover

Note the incorrect spelling 'Ayres' on the front cover

 Stepping Out

 Fool After Midnight

 Wish I Could Fall

 Only Heaven Knows

 Too Old To Die Young

 The Howlin' Man

 Never My Baby

 Budget Tours (part one)

 Budget Tours (part two)

The credit 'Kevin Ayers featuring Ollie Halsall' could almost be reversed - such is the balance of the collaboration. Indeed, Never My Baby is, to all intents and purposes, a Halsall solo performance.

As Close As You Think

Falling Up 1988

Falling Up album cover

Saturday Night in Deia

Flying Start

The Best We Have

Another Rolling Stone

Do You Believe

That's What We Did

Night Fighters

Am I Really Marcel?

Marcel features quite possibly the most elusive solo of Ollie's entire career, even remarking on it himself in a 1988 interview. Quite how he achieved the final note will remain a mystery


Still Life With Guitar 1992
Extended version 2002

Still Life With Guitar album cover Still Life With Guitar album cover

Original cover | 2002 version

Ghost Train

I Don't Depend On You

Don't Blame Them

It's getting very near the end and if Ollie's composition Ghost Train isn't now one of the most poignant pieces of music you've ever heard I'd like to know what is. What a shame the live 'Another Year Goes By' chorus came too late for the album version.

Ollie plays just acoustic on Ghost Train and Don't Blame Them and vibes on I Don't Depend on You.

The 2017 album The Happening Combo includes Ollie's original demo of Ghost Train.


Market Square Records

£7.99 plus postage

Buy Stiil Life With Guitar CD NOW!

'Starvin' Marvin Siau

First Show in the Appearance Business

The BBC Sessions, 1973-76s

BBC Sessions  album cover 2 BBC Sessions  album cover


Another Whimsical Song

Lady Rachel

Stop This Train

Didn't Feel Lonely

The BBC Sessions, 1973-76 is a double CD with earlier Ayers tracks, so probably a better buy.

Too Old to Die Young 1998

Too Old to Die Young album cover

Didn't Feel Lonely


Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes

Farewell Again

BBC radio sessions 1975 with Zoot Money keyboards.

Starvin Marvin Band

The Happening Combo 2017

The Happening Combo (CD)


Issue Is or Issue Ain't*

Speeding Heart

Somebody Mean*

Lay Lady Lay

Leaving It All Behind*

Gimme a Little Bit

Ghost Train*

Another Time Before

* Halsall solo demos some of which appeared on Ayers albums. Other tracks are alternative versions of songs from the Kevin Ayers album, Diamond Jack and the Queen of Pain. The album also includes, four songs by Lady June Cramer and Marvin Siau's origina demo of Another Time Before, which became Another Rolling Stone on the 1988 Kevin Ayers album, Falling Up.

The 2017 album The Happening Combo includes demo versions of the following tracks:

Lay Lady Lay
My Speeding Heart
Give A Little Bit

The Happening Combo (CD)


Exceprt from Stylus Magazine interview 2007 [?]

Mike Atkinson: It was round about this time that Ollie Halsall came onto the scene. He then stayed with you, as your closest musical associate, for the next eighteen years. At a time when an awful lot of collaborators were constantly coming and going, what was it about Ollie that led to the two of you sticking together for so long?

Kevin Ayers: [long pause] Gosh, that's a really hard one. I think it was just instant empathy. I met him while I was in the studio doing Dr. Dream; I think he was working with members of Colosseum at the time. I needed a guitar solo for "Didn't Feel Lonely Till I Thought of You." I opened the door, and there was this guy walking along with a white Gibson. I said, "Do you fancy doing a guitar solo?" Sure, he said… and then came in and did this stunning solo, after listening to it just once. That was it. That was love, you know?

MA: Ollie worked with you closely on the next album, Sweet Deceiver [1975]. This is a problematic one. I listened to it again this week and absolutely loved it—I had forgotten what a good album it was—and I really do think that it's one of your most underrated albums.

KA: Well, thank you for saying that. [emphatically] Thank you very much for saying that.

MA: Still Life with Guitar came out in 1992. Shortly after its release, Ollie Halsall tragically died—and then you didn't release another album of original new material for fifteen years. It's very tempting to draw certain conclusions from that.

KA: Well, you've got it, yeah. [pause] I mean, you've answered… it's a rhetorical question.

MA: OK. Well, I could delve further, but I kind of don't want to.

KA: No, I don't think you should.

Interview by MIke Atkinson originally published by Stylus Magazine 2007[?]


Read full interview here

Ollie Halsall is one of the most under-rated guitarist in the world - he played the shit out of people like Clapton and Jeff Beck. He was really adaptable and could go from the gentlest song. really listen to the song, not just like a guitar player, but sensitive to a piec of music. But he could also be as hard a rocker as anyone.

=My favourite Ollie quote is: "There are only two people I'd play free for: that's you and Randy Newman." It was an enduring collaboration: It was love at first solo.

At the time, I had a nice big house in Mallorca, and he and his girlfriend [Zanna Gregmar] moved in - and we did a lot of work in and around Spain. We'd started collaborating and writing songs. It was like the musical equivalent of having a partner.

I don't want to give everything away, really, but he started working with Spanish bands, as I didn't have enough going on, and they were paying him loads. And he hated it, and he fell into bad ways . . . and died of it. It was a massive loss of a friend and a great talent." - Kevin Ayers Uncut magazine, December 2008stening to it just once. That was it. That was love, you know.

  Musician who earns little


A "misunderstanding" between two friends led to them each being fined £5 when they appeared before the Canterbury magistrates on Friday. Kevin C. Ayers of 4 Russell Drive, Swalecliffe, pleaded guilty to carrying an unqualified passenger on his scooter whilst a learner driver, and Nigel H. Stoneley of 57 Westcliffe Gardens, Herne Bay, admitted aiding and abetting him.

They were stopped by the Police at Rheims Way, Canterbury, on January 12, when both admitted that they had provisional licences.

Ayers told the court that he agreed to give Stoneley a lift after asking him if he had a licence. Stoneley had said that he had. Stoneley agreed but said that he had told Ayers that it was provisional licence,


although Ayers may not have heard that, "I though he had a full licence and we just misunderstood each other," he said.

Ayers, who is 20, told the court he was a musician.

The Deputy Clerk (Mr. S. Solly): And what do you earn as a musician?
Ayers: Very little - but I write as well.
Mr. Solly: And what do you earn as a writer?

Ayers: Very little.

The Kent Herald newspaper
24 February 1965

Thanks to Barry King for finding this little gem and to Martin Wakeling for publishing it in the magazine Why Are We Sleeping. And thanks to Kevin for making me laugh.

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