Carl Wayne - A Jekyll and Hyde Character
New Musical Express, 2nd March 1968
Nick Logan continues his spotlight on the MOVE
Vain, arrogant, blunt - but also very likeable...
Carl Wayne is fast gaining a reputation as the enfant terrible of pop. Quote starved journalists go to him notebook in hand assured of provocative copy. If there's a controversy raging, Carl is likely to have had a hand in starting it or at least will have forthright views to offer.
He is blunt, can be arrogant, is an extrovert, self-searching, self-sufficient, a rebel and a born leader. That all makes him sound something of an ogre but he is not.
He is pleasant to talk to and likeable - though you leave with the impression that he might not be so nice to work with.
The others in the group have nicknamed him Jekyll and Hyde. He can be nice one minute and objectionable the next. Carl is of the new breed of pop stars - of the Jagger-Townshend type - honest and unafraid to speak his mind.
And the mind itself burns away on continual red alert behind a face which has been described as looking as though it has been lived in by several people. He agrees with that and is conscious of lacking the good looks of a Peter Frampton or Scott Walker. Nevertheless his is the type of ugly-attractive face very much in vogue.
Like fellow Move Bev Bevan, Carl is an only child and lives with his mother in Birmingham. His parents were divorced when he was two. Like Bev, he feels a deep sense of responsibility towards his mother and she is the main reason why he wants to succeed financially.
He sees money as a compensation for his ill-feelings when he eventually leaves home to get married. One of his greatest pleasures is buying things for her and he says he would be happy if he reached the financial status where he could afford to give his mother an income of about £20 a week.
At 24, Carl is the oldest in the group and its natural leader. He had four years' experience running his own group and feels that was why he was asked to join the Move because the other four needed someone to arrange things for them.
For that job, Carl was a wise choice. He is critical and demanding, striving for professionalism not only in the group's music but in the things that lead up to a performance. He is a harsh critic if enough effort is not being made, if things are not done properly.
"Being the oldest in the Move and having been in the business longer I was looked on as a big brotherly figure," says Carl. "Everyone depended on me. I love people asking me for advice and I don't think I could exist if they didn't. I am very vain in that respect."
Carl also admits to being vain in enjoying attention and being the central part of anything.
"I could never be part of a unit in which I was the least interesting member. But sometimes I feel inferior in the Move because I am older than the others and they are all pretty good looking. When girls are chasing the group I feel the odd man out."
He is a great conversationalist and will talk to anyone on any subject. He says "The question is always asked: "Is your education wasted?" It never is. With a good education your brain becomes more alert in any conversation.
"Things leave a greater impression on your mind. When I read a paper the impression it leaves on my mind is deeper than it would leave on say Roy's or Trevor's who didn't have the opportunities I had. Consequently I can converse on any subject and my greatest pleasure is talking to different people on different things. Nearly everything interests me. I am willing to listen to anybody's views. The greatest form of education is listening to other people speak. I have learnt a lot of things being in the Move from meeting different people, from talking to you and other journalists."
We talked about the group's violent and controversial image.
"I must make this clear," said Carl. "When we started we were a new group from Birmingham and that was all. Our image came from Tony Secunda (Move manager) and it got us noticed. But I am not really aggressive. My fear when I joined the Move was of ending up about 25 not having had a hit. I am very grateful to Tony because he has given us pride in ourselves and for this I will be eternally grateful. But controversial to me is a word that is used too frequently. You can be controversial if you disagree with what people say even if you are right. We are controversial because we don't conform to the out of date running of things. I think we have our own opinion about how things should be run and we are very outspoken."
I asked Carl if he has ever found himself deliberately being controversial to shock people or to please journalists.
"Yes, it has come to a stage where people come to interview us and expect us to say something that will cause a storm. I think sometimes we must say things just to please them."
Carl recognises his virtues but he is also honest about his faults. He says he has lots.
"If I find a fault in anybody I keep playing it up and playing it up until I cause an argument and then I regret it. I can never hold anything back."
He does not believe in life after death. "I am fatalistic," says Carl. "I believe that when you go you go." But one of his fears is of getting a fatal lingering disease that would make him bed bound while other people around him continued enjoying life. Carl believes that if that happened he would find the courage to commit suicide. He is an ardent supporter of mercy killing.
This fear of illness stems from childhood when up to about the age he started school Carl was an almost permanently sick child, suffering through about 14 different illnesses and being given up twice by doctors. But he managed to fight his way back to good health and at primary school he was a keen sportsman with ambitions of being a professional footballer. His dreams were dashed however when he passed the 11 plus and went on to a grammar school where they taught rugby only.
Carl proved a good student but not a natural one. "I think when you are an only child you tend to depend on your mother and a determination set in that I would try to be as good as possible for her. Now I am very thankful that she was insistent on a good education."
This determination has been carried on by Carl through his life. He doesn't believe in marriage, says it is an ancient custom, but would marry to please his mother. His girlfriend is a local girl, Pauline, who he has been going out with for four years.
"If I got married I think I would be a very proud father and in some ways would expect too much of my children. But it is an awkward position for me because I am an only child and an am all my mother has. Love for one is different from love for another."
Perhaps the fact that Carl doesn't like to be dependent on other people is the reason why he has not very close friends, though he has hundreds of acquaintances. He says he hasn't really got the time to make close friends but can go almost anywhere in the country and be guaranteed to meet someone he knows.
We talked about his future.
"One thing I have always been very definite about is that the Move is not for ever," says Carl, "and another is that I never fool myself that I am indispensable. No one is."
He has many ideas. They include developing into a solo singer, "not on the sexual side," but on the cabaret side and he would jump at the chance of an acting part - "something satirical would suit me."
He says that if the right opportunity for a solo career came up tomorrow he thinks he would take it. He'd also like to try some kind of journalism and is keen to write a book. I asked him what he was looking for in life, and if he thought he could find it.
"I think I will always be searching for something. I don't think I will ever be satisfied with what I've got. Fun is the thing I am looking for all through my life. Variety, good health and happiness, I think that sums it up."
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