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Chris Coco on Fleetwood Mac, Miami and UK Magazines

Author: Jonty Adderley
Saturday, January 18, 2003
"If you talk to most people about Ministry magazine it's not really missed. It was never really about music. And musically, the scene is more interesting right now."

As DJ magazine's definitive editor through the 90s, Chris Coco Mellor is eminently qualified to discuss the decline of the UK dance media, though three years after quitting to concentrate on making music and DJing, he's distanced himself from both the media and the mainstream club culture helped create and sustain. Not that he's fussed about its ongoing problems.

"The people who are currently losing out are the ones who've been making a lot of money off of not doing very much for a long time," he suggests.

It's about business cycles to those kinds of people whereas for me I'm interested in the music."

Sitting in his West London studio on a cold winter's afternoon, he's both cheerful and content, clearly at ease with the cards in his hands.

"Now it's about finding new ways of promoting records, pursuing the little things, not really thinking about having a hit record, rather concentrating on making it good. Which is how it used to be."

Applying that principle directly to his own music, he collaborated on Rui De Silva's worldwide hit Touch Me and more recently released a high quality slow burner of an album called Next Wave. Featuring collaborations from Nick Cave, novelist Iain Banks and Hollywood movie star Patrick Bergen, the album is both accomplished and original, reflecting his chilled out sensibilities and bold willingness to experiment.

And also included as a last minute addition is his 12 minute version of Fleetwood Mac's Albatross, the haunting 1970's anthem that marked guitarist Peter Green's swansong from the group. The new version also features the same Peter Green on guitar, some 30 years after he vanished into virtual obscurity amidst tales of LSD, madness and serious mental illness.

Skrufff (Jonty Adderley) What possessed you to tackle Albatross-
Chris Coco: "It's a classic chillout record that you often hear DJs playing at sunsets in Ibiza, and people who are old enough, all have memories of it because it was number one for ages (in 1970). It's also one of those records that sticks in your head. We also did it because we've always liked the track and our manager one day said he's spoken to some bloke at Music Week (UK trade magazine) who thought we should hook up with Peter Green and redo the track. We thought twice about it initially because it's already a classic so what could we do to it, but on the other hand I thought we may as well say 'Yes' because the project probably wouldn't happen. Then it did."

Skrufff: What happened the first time you met Peter Green-
Chris Coco: "We only actually met him twice altogether. Obviously, he has a reputation for being completely off his head and the first time we had to go down to the 100 Club to meet him, because he was being interviewed there for a film documentary about the blues. He's difficult to describe because in a way there's actually nothing wrong with him, it's just that he doesn't have the inhibitions that prevent most people from saying what they're thinking. What he says is exactly what he's thinking, all the time. The interviewer was asking him stupid questions and Peter was analysing the question, pulling it apart and taking the piss out of the journalist, which was quite funny."

Skrufff: How did you persuade him to work with you-
Chris Coco: "We saw him after the interview and started talking about Ibiza and that was the thing that hooked him in- he said 'I wanted to go there in 1969 because I heard that everyone there was free and the women didn't wear any clothes'. Those were the two reasons he wanted to go, which shows not much has changed in Ibiza in 30 years. He's never been there. Months of negotiations with his social worker and lawyer then followed because he's a ward of court so everything that he does has to be sanctioned by<