Exclusive Excerpt 5: Jon Hiseman's Playing The Band



Pick up the brand new issue of Rhythm and you'll find Jon Hiseman talking all about his illustrious career behind the kit. Jon has chronicled his extensive experiences with the likes of Colosseum, Tempest and many more in his memoir Playing The Band.

Yesterday we gave you Jon's take on the end of Colosseum, and today we fast forward 33 years to their return.

33 years later…Colosseum reunite

Soon the rumours of Colosseum re-forming started to fly and though Jon felt reasonably committed to it happening, the question was — when and where? It was now that fate took a hand. While Jon was on the road with Paraphernalia, he developed a persistent and severe sore throat. Jon explains: "We were on tour in Germany and following a gig in Freiburg, I visited Dr Alexander Heisler for treatment. We had known each other for some time, since both Paraphernalia and the United Jazz &Rock Ensemble had performed at the Freiburg Zelt Musik Festival, of which he was founder and artistic director. He was aware of the rumours and persuaded me, as only he could, that the festival would be the ideal occasion for our debut reunion appearance. He's a 'one-off'…a man of enormous enthusiasm and drive, laced with a sense of chaotic informality and I immediately felt that, though
it was a somewhat daunting undertaking, it would go well under his patronage." They agreed an informal deal and, on his return,

Jon contacted the rest of the band, discussed a set-list...and sent them all the relevant Colosseum CDs to help them re-learn their parts. The band then re-convened at Jon's studio: "We met up on 17th June 1994...I counted them in for Those About to Die and we played as if the band had never been apart! When Chris followed that with a fantastic performance of Skellington, I realised this was for real!" The depressing memory of those final days in 1971 was suddenly replaced with a sense of euphoria!

For more from Jon pick up the latest issue of Rhythm and order yourself a copy of Playing The Band.

Rich Chamberlain

Rich is a teacher, one time Rhythm staff writer and experienced freelance journalist who has interviewed countless revered musicians, engineers, producers and stars for the our world-leading music making portfolio, including such titles as Rhythm, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, and MusicRadar. His victims include such luminaries as Ice T, Mark Guilani and Jamie Oliver (the drumming one).