A  L E T T E R   F R O M
 M a d d y   P r i o r

July 1997

Dear All,

        It's a risky business, this writing down of thoughts. I realise that it is possible for a lack of articulation to be mis-represented as unconscious content. Gay tells me that I was patronising in some remarks I made in my last letter. This surprises me as it was not intended, and, frankly, I find the idea of patronising Gay laughable. Also I am very grateful to her for coming back into the band when my voice was showing the strain of too much hard living, drinking, talking and laughing. She covered for me, and made it possible for me to carry on. It may have been hard on the ego, but it was easier on the voice. As I say, no slight was intended, so the following is by way of apology.

        In the last letter I sent, I made reference to Gay Woods settling in and gaining confidence - it was an unfortunate turn of phrase. Gay has a long record of professional expertise in a number of musical situations of which Steeleye Span is but the latest. I apologise for any offence caused.

        And so onto other things. We have just returned from our attempt to enter the Guiness Book of Records for the most miles covered/hours spent in airports/interesting routing tour of the U.S. It was, in the event, very interesting, because we went to more unusual places - such as Little Rock, Arkansas - and experienced the cutting edge of climatic conditions in which to gig - Houston, eqipment moved from outside pouring rain to inside, whilst audience waiting. Water and electricity makes for an apprehensive gig. Who needs adrenaline ?

        The audiences were universally wonderful, and I began over there to get a measure ot the real value of the Net. It has been used by musicians for advertising/procuring gigs for two or three years, and audiences access it regularly, which is great for minority music performers like us, because orthodox advertising is expensive and so rarely hits the mark anyway. How many times have you only heard about a gig the day after? So even in England, the land of the Luddites, it's a way of getting to know tour listings of any band your interested in. Eduardo Mota runs a Web Page for me at

        and his e-mail adrress is

        Talking of bands.....Rick Kemp performed his first full gig with the band, and I'm delighted to report that it was absolutely stonkin'. this is not folk but tight tough rock. The new songs are great - look out for "Great Divide", "Pressure's Off", "Judgement Day" and more. His singing is stunning - where's it been all these years? - and the next album should be a corker................. Is that alright, dear?

        And so, as you will see form the list, there are some gigs with Nick & Troy - we've had some lovely reviews for the album - and Steeley have some concerts in Aug/Sep and an extensive tour in October. Lets hope the weather improves for all our holidays.


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