Cat Stevens

March 10, 2018
 by Paul McGowan

In the early 70s I was serving my time in the Army as a disc jockey in Munich Germany. It sounds like an idyllic situation and it would have been if voluntary. But there were perks.

One of the best parts of my job was interviewing rock stars like Elton John, Frank Zappa, Mick Fleetwood, and my old buddy Giorgio Moroder. One of my favorite interviews was with Steven Georgiou, better known as Cat Stevens.

Armed with my trusty Nagra and microphone, I met Steven at a local coffee shop and we chatted for close to an hour, some of which was captured on tape and turned into an interview which I later mixed in his music. It’s a good memory and an even better listen 45 years later.

You can hear my interview with Cat Stevens on my podcast, Ohms Law. Here’s a link.

I know podcasts are new to many but they’re actually a really cool way to consume media. Just listen to the episodes here, or subscribe to Ohms Law on your Android or IOS phone or tablet. It’s really easy. Once subscribed you can listen when you’re stuck in traffic, or through earbuds on a walk, or at home on your computer. You can even ask Alexa to play Ohms Law.

If you have a moment, subscribe to Ohms Law on iTunes, or Google Play. Then, leave some feedback if you like it so others can enjoy it too. There’s a new episode every day. They’re short, generally around 7 minutes. The interviews are longer, about 30. I’ll try and offer an interview each Saturday.

Thanks!

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34 comments on “Cat Stevens”

  1. Paul, you are going to have to be more specific in Google Play. I put in Ohm’s Law in search, I think you can imagine what comes up. Yup, lots of calculators. I then tried Ohm’s Law podcasts, no better.

    In case you missed it, I really enjoyed the first podcast with Bernie. I wonder if he knows that he sounds just like Norm McDonald the brilliant comedian.

    For those who appreciate Norm, there is a whole series on YouTube with other comedians talking about Norm, and an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s show that is really funny.

    1. The Google Play Music app or an the app Pocket Casts ($4) are two easy ways to manage and consume podcasts on Android devices.

      If you already have the most current versions of Google Play Music or PocketCasts installed on your device, skip the following two steps:

      1. On any Android Device, launch the Google Play Store (the app store)

      2. Search for Google Play Music or PocketCasts and install or upgrade to most current versions.

      Using the Google Play Music app:

      1. Launch the Google Play Music app

      2. Press the menu icon (upper left) or swipe right.

      3. In the search bar (top of app), enter “Ohm’s Law” and press the search icon (lower right on keyboard)

      4. Once the search results appear, scroll all the way down to “Podcasts” – you should see Paul’s picture in what looks like an album cover – press Paul’s face.

      5. Scroll down a bit and press “subscribe.”

      6. Go back a step or two so you can access the app menu and press “Podcasts.”

      7. Press “Your Podcasts” and you should see Ohm’s Law with all the episodes which can be streamed or downloaded.

      Using the Pocket Casts app:

      1. Launch the Pocket Casts app.

      2. Press the search icon (upper right), enter “Ohm’s Law” and press the search icon (lower right on keyboard)

      3. There may be two results, press the first one.

      4. Once the podcast page appears, press the + icon (to subscribe).

      5. Go back a step or two to the app home screen, press the menu icon and press “Podcasts.”

      6. Press Ohm’s Law and you’ll see all the episodes which can be streamed or downloaded.

      1. Thank you, I thought he meant the Play Store. I played the first one through my system, just by going to the link provided.
        I was going to sign up to help Paul out.

      1. Working, thanks! He was a big inspiration to me musically. Used to play and sing his songs a lot back then. There was always this sense of humanity and a spiritual feel to his stuff which I liked, as did my girlfriend, which didn’t hurt ; )

        1. I feel like wise with his musicality it has such a organic humanity in his voice as he share’s what is heartfelt in his spirit .Picked up a the very best of Cat Stevens album Remastered on AM records has 19 of his tracks.Listing # 314 541 387-2 came out in 2000

  2. I apologize for not uploading my comment yesterday and I have to do it today, due to a CPU failure.

    About the topic:
      DEVELOPING CRITICAL LISTENING SKILLS

    The most effective, didactic and lasting, to achieve these skills is to attend as regularly as possible to a concert hall, where instruments and voices are heard in an environment without PA amplification.

    The brain will do the rest, store in memory, these sounds indelibly, and detect those that even remotely resemble it, as is the case of a Hi-Fi system, no matter how expensive it may be,

    1. You did post yesterday, I think it was 3 or 4 times. If you click on Community above, you will see Paul’s Posts. Click on that and you will see a list of the daily posts. I don’t think there is a time limit to post on any of the topics.
      By posting any more on the topic here, anyone who didn’t read it, won’t know what you are referring to.

      1. Anyone who reads my post today, will know what I am talking about, because the title in capital letters, speaks for itself.

        I have explained the reasons why it was not uploaded yesterday, and if I publish it today in yesterday’s post, no one will read it.

          What on the contrary will happen, as you prove with your answer.

        I did not know that you were setting the blog’s policies.

      2. Jeff, I think there is actually a time limit when posting to old topics. I once tried to post a reply in an old topic as a way of getting the email copy sent to the original poster without messing up any current discussions. I was not allowed to submit it.

        1. I did a reply to badbeef a few weeks ago about speakers from a post that was a year old and he replied as having received it. Strange you got the error.

          1. Larry, it was actually to you that I tried to make the posting. Since you had displayed interest in my ‘subwoofer project’ I was posting an update on progress. I couldn’t submit it, but then glitches are not unknown in computer systems 🙂

  3. It looks like we served the same outfit a few thousand miles apart. I was the AFKN technician on a remote microwave site (26 miles north of Taegu) in Korea in ’69. I was offered a studio job or the site duty, I think I chose wisely. The equipment was all tube based then but was very dependable. I can tell you being 26 miles away from any command authority (Stratcom Co B LL) and 140 miles away from AFKN headquarters is not bad duty.

    I live just south of Boston and I listen to a local college station (WUMB) that does interviews at least once a week, they are very interesting. They also have local artists in the studio often to let you hear what their music is like.

    Keep up the great work.

      1. Paul – Cat’s (/Steven G’s) voice sounds fab (which clearly it did all on it’s own). I’m guessing the two guys who ask the questions are the Current and the Then You. Do you recall what mic he was speaking into? Just professional curiosity.

    1. >>>>>> The equipment was all tube based then but was very dependable.<<<<

      I was Signal corps at that time. We were trained on tube radios for transmission. If my memory serves me right I remember reading "Elgin" on the radios.

      Thought it was odd… But later learned that tubes will survive the effects of an atomic blast where solid state would fail.

      Then when I got back in civilian life I learned about tube audio and my concept of solid state soured for years.. until solid state finally began to come into form.

  4. The AFKN microwave gear was the KTR1000 by Raytheon. This tube based gear was meant to be portable, the transmitter and the receiver were in an aluminum case and mounted on a tripod with a 4 or 6ft ft dish. The equipment was meant for remote feeds to the station but we used it as our backbone. My site got it’s studio feed from Taejon (45 miles away) and I fed the TV transmitter in Taegu (26 miles). The only recurring problem is the receiver used a string of 6ak5’s in a cascoded IF and those 12 tubes got noisy in about 6-8 weeks so I had to replace them about every other month. I was talking with one of the Korean techs that worked on the NEC system for Stratcom and he told me to try a Japanese equivalent to the 6ak5’s, after checking the tubes basing and maximum ratings I tried them and found they were a much better tube, when I left that site those new tubes had been in the system for 6 months and showed no signs of becoming noisy. I told HQ about them and they switched to the new tube system wide.

    The Stratcom side of the site used the NC microwave system that was hybird of tubes and solid state but they also had 6 sets of AN/TRC-29 and a couple of AN/TRC-24’s. The 29’s worked well but the 24’s were a pita..

    When I left the army I worked for Analog Devices as an engineering tech, I spent my time building and testing prototypes of discrete opamps and multipliers. These were potted assemblies that were about 2″ sq. They were much better than the IC versions of that era, I still have a phono preamp I built using them.

  5. The AFKN microwave gear was the KTR1000 by Raytheon. This tube based gear was meant to be portable, the transmitter and the receiver were in an aluminum case and mounted on a tripod with a 4 or 6ft ft dish. The equipment was meany for remote feeds to the station but we used it as our backbone. My site got it’s studio feed from Taejon (45 miles away) and I fed the TV transmitter in Taegu. The only recurring problem is the receiver used a string of 6ak5’s in a cascoded IF and those 12 tubes got noisy in about 6-8 weeks so I had to replace them about every other month. I was talking with one of the Korean techs that worked on the NEC system for Stratcom and he told me to try a Japanese equivalent to the 6ak5’s, after checking the tubes basing and maximum ratings I tried them and found they were a much better tube, when I left that site those new tubes had been in the system for 6 months and showed no signs of becoming noisy. I told HQ about them and they switched to the new tube system wide.

    The Stratcom side of the site used the NC microwave system that was hybird of tubes and solid state but they also had 6 sets of AN/TRC-29 and a couple of AN/TRC-24’s. The 29’s worked well but the 24’s were a pita..

    When I left the army I worked for Analog Devices as an engineering tech, I spent my time building and testing prototypes of discrete opamps and multipliers. These were potted assemblies that were about 2″ sq. They were much better than the IC versions of that era, I still have a phono preamp I built using them.

  6. Paul, Talking about Ohm’s Law, in the March 2 podcast about finding the right compromise in setting up subwoofers you mention “Paul’s Dozen” recordings you use. Do you have a link for that? I’ve found your much broader lists from 2014 and 2017, but not that one. Thanks,

      1. That’s the 2014 one and there were three consecutive lists in 2017. Maybe those are it, but your video suggested a separate bass oriented one.

  7. Paul, this was a fun listen. I just popped Ohms Law into the iPhone podcast app and up it came! I subscribed and listened via Bluetooth in my car while I drove between appointments today ! I don’t know how you find the time to do all of this, answer emails, take walks, have personal time and still run a company LOL

  8. Good listen. As talented as he was, I was never a great fan of Cat Stevens, but didn’t like the way he was treated after converting to (or taking up) Islam. Hadn’t really noticed his return, but good to hear he’s still at it.

  9. Jesus. Like you need another comment to this thing. I loved the Cat and also played his stuff (still do) but you need to bare yourself and tell the Zappa story. I can’t believe you mentioned FZ nd didn’t get called on that! Great Story!

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