Saturday, May 30, 2009


"Those counting themselves among the British pop music intelligentsia are well-acquainted with the music of Max Eider. Throughout the 80s, Max brought his elegant, inimitable guitar style to the work of the critically acclaimed and feverishly fanned Jazz Butcher Conspiracy. His collaborations with former Bauhaus bass player and Love & Rockets leader David J as well as members of the British psychedelic noise-pop ensemble Spacemen 3 are legendary."

"Max Eider:The Best Guitar Player in the world!"

"The best guitar player alive right now is max eider of jazz butcher fame. he's just so damn tasteful, he's the most underrated guitar player of the century"

Pop, Rock
Indie Rock


Backing Vocals - Owen Jones (Jazz Butcher), June Miles-Kingston (ex Mo-dettes, see: and
Bass - Richard Lohan (he also played with Jazz Butcher
Drums - Paul Brook ( and - Mark Steeds (
Marc Hadley ( - Saxophone
Roger Clarke - Trombone
Producer - Max Eider, John A. Rivers (he also worked with Jazz Butcher,,
Vocals, Guitar - Max Eider
Engineered by John A Rivers and Francisco Cabeza (both worked with Jazz Butcher, Xymox, Dead can Dance etc.)/ Tape operator - Simon Kemp
Painting - Melanie Toney /Artwork - D Elvis Brando/ Photograph - Alastair Indge (he also worked with Jazz Butcher,see:

"My Other Life"


01 My Other Life
02 Sensitive Touch
03 Bel Air Home
04 Rosemary
05 It Has To Be You
06 Quiet Lives
07 Raking Up Leaves
08 Sense Of Motion
09 Let Somebody Down
10 Perfect Companion

Link to download:

You had tracks appear on several of the JBC albums ("Drink" or "Who Loves You Now?")—by the time The Best Kisser In The World was released in 1987, had the notion of a solo album been germinating in you for a long time? In other words, did you have a satchel of songs that had long before been filled to the brim?

Max Eider:
"I probably had about half of that album written before I left the JBC, and the idea of making a solo album must have occurred to me. I had written those songs, and I wanted to write more, but the JBC was essentially Pat's vehicle, and I knew Pat was too gifted and prolific for the JBC to allow me the songwriting space I increasingly wanted. And to some extent we were moving in different directions: I wanted to write tunes, and he, at that point at least, was more interested in the sound, and in making a harder noise.
Having said that, the split, when it came, was more about personal tensions. I thought he was becoming paranoid, borderline psychotic. It was only later that I realized that he probably, and with some justification, thought the same about me. We were drinking far too much, spending too much time with our heads up our own backsides, on the road, in the studio, back on the road. It's a familiar story.
The break was traumatic, for me at least, but I think it was the best thing for both of us. The Best Kisser disappeared more or less without trace, but at least I'd made the damn thing. And my leaving gave Pat something of a fresh start. Certainly he went on to do some of his best stuff without me—if I'm honest, the very best: Cult of the Basement and Condition Blue in particular are stunning albums."

"The Best Kisser in the World, the debut solo album by the former Jazz Butcher guitarist, first released in 1987, has already outlived two record companies and has every chance of seeing off a third."

"'A timeless lode of pop goodness that just oozes quality and class" (J Eric Smith, The Times Union, Albany)"Casually great." (Robin Gibson, Sounds)

"Eider can kick ass when required, with lightly commercial touch. A devil of a songwriter." (Mick Mercer, Melody Maker) (

"It's a fun title, at once bravado-touched and self-mocking, and that sums up the great, fine feeling of this disc. If Eider's mentor the Jazz Butcher isn't far away in terms of general inspiration and sound, Best Kisser still succeeds on its own modest terms, winning and wry, almost like a less willfully obscure or nutty Robyn Hitchcock. His singing voice continues as the light, breezy focus from early-Jazz Butcher hits; though nothing is as laugh-out-loud hilarious like the brilliant "Drink," everything romps about with good feeling. His guitar playing rushes along in both electric and acoustic modes, the latter more prominent in his co-production with John Rivers, with the occasional slower detours like the jazzy, tongue in cheek "Bel Air Home." Others from the general Jazz Butcher orbit pop up, including Owen Jones on vocals, while Paul Brook does a fine job on drums and Richard Lohan unobtrusively handles bass well enough. While there's a lot of the smirk about Eider's work in general, he still has a way of making things sound winning and straightforward — a bit like where Roddy Frame was at the time with Aztec Camera, if generally not trying so hard. Winners abound — the opening one-two punch of "My Other Life" and "Sensitive Touch" are Eider in a nutshell, fast but controlled, raving up in the least stressed out way possible, the full band merrily galloping along with him and his lyrical visions. "It Has to Be You" and "Raking Up Leaves," the latter with some great nightclub/lounge backing vocals and shuffling performances to recommend themselves, find him taking it easy with perfect aplomb as the cigarette smoke traces up through the air on a cool evening. Almost all that's missing is the Jazz Butcher himself, but Eider really doesn't need him this time around."(

"This was Eider's first (and to date, only) solo record after leaving the Jazz Butcher Conspiracy, and it's hard to imagine a more sly and sophisticated debut. Shuffling through styles, Eider invests every one of these songs with his trademark wry world view. Standout tracks include: "My Other Life," "Let Somebody Down," and "Quiet Lives." This record has been out of print for far to long: snatch it up before it disappears again."

More review:


Owen Jones (Jazz Butcher) - Drums, Percussion, Accordion, Vocals
Steve Valentine (Jazz Butcher,see: - Bass
Lynda Skulpone (Steve Valentine's girfriend,played also with jazz Butcher and member of LA band Saltypop) - Vocals
Pat Beirne (played on Jazz Butcher's Rotten Soul CD,see: - Mouth Organ
Pat Fish (Jazz Butcher) - Guitar (track 03)
David J (ex-Jazz Butcher) - Bass (track 05)
Nancy O'Higgins - Vocals (track 01)
Paul Vargas (is he from Breakestra??) - Trumpet (track 01)
Produced by Max Eider and Steve Valentine ( /Executive producer- John Akred
Mastered by Noel Summervillle ( at Transfermation Studios, Waterloo, London
Cover painting - Melanie Paraskeva/Drawings and design - Dave Coverly ( Artwork - Sophie Braham


01 Hotel Figueroa
02 All Your Good For
03 Her Life
04 Other Kinds Of Love
05 The Long Night
06 Restless Mind
07 Lazy Bones
08 Passionate Hearts
09 Sweet End
10 Life On The Line

Link to download:

"Max Eider spent the heart of the '80s as a member of the very hard working and critically respected Jazz Butcher Conspiracy, lending his classy guitar stylings to, and writing and singing some of the standout tracks on nearly two dozen albums, EPs, singles and compilations between 1982 and 1986. After five years of nonstop road and studio work, though, Eider and key co-conspirators Pat Fish and Owen Jones decided that they'd rather kill each other than work together further, and the original JBC self-immolated on the pyre of alcohol-fueled rock and roll dysfunction. While Fish continued on under the Jazz Butcher moniker well into the '90s, Eider issued a solo album (backed by Jones) in 1987, then later popped up on a couple of records by one-time Jazz Butcher bassist David J (also of Love and Rockets and Bauhaus fame).

Otherwise, though, the early '90s were a period of long sad radio silence from the man Jazz Butcher aficionados (and even Fish himself) referred to longingly as "the talented one." Fortunately, time heals some wounds, and Fish, Eider, and Jones regrouped to issue the live Glorious and Idiotic and the studio Rotten Soul, in 2000 and 2001 respectively, on the Vinyl Japan label. Whose head honchos, being good sorts, also asked Eider if he'd like to follow up his solo masterpiece, The Best Kisser in the World (which sells for a mint online these days), with another record of his own, seeing as how well his new songs on Rotten Soul had been received.

Eider took 'em up on their offer, and the new Hotel Figueroa picks up right where the brilliant Best Kisser left off, with ten killer jazz-pop cuts featuring Eider's distinctive Gretsch Double Anniversary (an axe that simply bleeds emotion from its very woodwork) guitar work and his reedy and equally emotional vocals. And lyrics: Eider's one of the world's most dyspeptic, yet insightful, chroniclers of the human experience, vis-a-vis men and women and love and hate and life and death and booze and lust and (did I mention?) love. Need a sample? How 'bout this one, from "Her Life:" "I could have been pretty if I hadn't got so drawn / I could have made someone happy if I wasn't quite, not quite so forlorn / Or maybe if I'd not been born." Kinda puts those "my woman done shot my dog down at the crossroads" blues numbers to shame, doesn't it?

Taken all together, Hotel Figueroa offers a refreshingly entertaining slice of pure song craft, lovingly recorded and respectfully performed by Eider, Jones and bassist/producer Steve Valentine, with guest spots by (among others) Fish and David J. And that love and respect goes a long way and means a whole lot . . . while the languorous Hotel Figueroa may appeal to the post-Combustible Edison tiki lounge ennui set, it's wholly lacking in the sorts of arch, tongue-in-cheek, aren't-we-clever self-referential schtick that defines most martini circle music these days. And it's a better record for it, a true work of art, a worthy distillation of a talented and under-appreciated player's very best work." (

"You may well know Max Eider as the exceptional guitarist with The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy or David J. You know the guy: tall and elegantly wasted with a sound like a tripped-out Wes Montgomery and fingers that grown men find troubling to gaze upon. His 1987 album "The Best Kisser In The World" is a much sought-after collector's item, and his 2001 release "Hotel Figueroa" even earned him column inches in Forbes Magazine! Tonight, for the first time, he presents his all-star orchestra, featuring Steven "Twin Cadillac" Valentine (bass) and Pat Beirne (harmonica) from the current JBC line-up, along with vocalist Lynda Skulpone (from Los Angeles underground band Saltypop), guitarist Simon Mawby (who has played with the Woodentops, Jimmy Somerville and the House of Love) and world-class drummer and vocalist June Miles-Kingston (who has played with everybody from Funboy Three to Everything But The Girl). Expect the lushest of loungecore backing to provide the perfect setting for Eider's bittersweet songwriting skills." (

"Eider, sometime member of the Jazz Butcher Conspiracy and artist behind one the 80's sharpest debut albums ("Best Kisser in the World") issues his first solo album since 1987. Everything you expect from Eider is here: beautiful playing, incisive lyrics and highly hummable tunes. The album is a bit underproduced, but that actually adds to its appeal. If you have fond memories of "Best Kisser," buy this record. If you've never heard either, buy both. Highly recommended."

"Max Eider (you may know his work with the Jazz Butcher) has just released his best solo album in 15 years, Hotel Figueroa. It’s killing, and taking no prisoners. Check it!"



Bass, Guitar, Vocals - Max Eider
Harmonica - Pat Beirne (played on Jazz Butcher's Rotten Soul CD,see:
Saxophone - Marc Hadley (
Vocals - June Miles-Kingston (see Max' 1987 album)
Guitar - Peter Crouch (ex-Jazz Butcher)(track 01)
Cover concept by the Artwork Committee/ Dave Coverly - Drawings (
Mauricio Carey - Design (


01 I Want
02 Secret Life
03 My Dreams
04 Dirty Old Man
05 Love's Blind
06 Closing Time
07 Sweet Nothing
08 Neutral Tones
09 Stupid Heart
10 It's Come To This
11 Kings And Queens

Link to download:

"Ex-Jazz Butcher guitarist Max Eider may’ve only made three records in the last 20 years, but what gems they all are. The new one — recorded in Eider’s Shepherd’s Bush, London home — with production help from janglepop godhead John A. Rivers — is a jazzy, dreamy tonic for anglophile hipsters of a certain age. Grab the fab “I Want,” as a free MP3, off Eider’s Web site and dip your toe in this balmy sonic pool." (The Big Takeover)

"As delicious and lovely and bittersweet and wistful as the best of his earlier solo discs and his works with The Jazz Butcher and David J. I can’t recommend strongly enough that you seek out and acquire this album" (J Eric Smith, The Times Union, Albany, New York)

"Back in the Bedroom is a wanton pop dream, taut with vicious emotional twists. Eider has the experience to make something seem blissfully inviting, masking the darkest doubts. This is a great album. Consider yourself notified." Mick Mercer (

"Sometimes, in the presence of song, a word will suggest itself. A word that encapsulates what an exhaustive review takes an age and uses miles of verbiage to articulate. In the case of Back in the Bedroom that word is "elegant"." (David Burke, Rock'n'Reel)

More review:

Max Eider (real name, Peter Millson) is a guitarist and songwriter.He studied English Literature at University College, Oxford, graduating in Trinity Term 1980. He played guitar with Pat Fish (The Jazz Butcher) from June 1982 until 27 November 1986, when after an alcohol-fuelled altercation with Fish, he left the band.
He went on to record a solo album, The Best Kisser in the World, which mixes up-temp indie-pop numbers ("Let Somebody Down" and "Quiet Lives") with songs in a moodier, jazz-influenced style. He also played on recordings by others, including Songs from Another Season by David J. He rejoined the Jazz Butcher for what was billed as the last ever Jazz Butcher gig on 21 December 1995, and has performed and recorded with Fish since, on the live album Glorious and Idiotic (2000) and the studio album Rotten Soul. 2002 saw the release of a second solo album, Hotel Figueroa, and a third, Max Eider III, appeared in 2007.(

"Unannounced, one Spring day in 1987, Max Eider's debut solo album The Best Kisser In The World arrived at the station straight from Big Time Records and I cut the rest of school, went home and listened to it. From the sweeping pop beauty of "My Other Life" to the acoustic shuffle "Sensitive Touch," to the wrenching ballad "It Has To Be You," The Best Kisser In The World was a quiet and affirming album. The severed musical alliance of the JBC, heartbreaking as it was, had yielded two separate camps and since they both sounded great, I could live with that.

By 1992, however, I was getting worried. Three years had passed and aside from his appearance on David J.'s wonderful trio of solo albums (Songs From Another Season, Urban Urbane, Crocodile Tears and the Velvet Cosh) Max Eider had all but dropped out of sight. The Butcher was cranking out albums like Big Planet, Scary Planet and Cult of the Basement and Condition Blue, but the Eider camp had grown silent. And it would stay that way for nine more years.

In 2001, Max Eider quietly released Hotel Figueroa on the Vinyl Japan label. Rich and rhythmic, it was the perfect follow-up to The Best Kisser In The World. While the latter contained exultant moments of pop bliss ("Let Somebody Down") and lovely, thoughtful ballads ("Raking Up Leaves") in terms of a song cycle, Hotel Figueroa was a meditative, quietly stunning blend of jazzy ballads ("The Long Night"), slow motion rags ("Lazy Bones") and sneaky rhythms ("Sweet End").

Again, totally worth the wait. Hard to stay mad at the guy.

Six short years later, the release of Back In The Bedroom finds Eider completing his musical triptych. Recorded in the musician's bedroom of his London home, the album is warm and rich and loaded with Eider's effortless gliding cadences. There's the gently swaying opener "I Want"; the prowling jazz of "Secret Life" and the rolling, graceful pop of "Love's Blind" but those don't even scratch the surface of how deep this album goes. Fueled by Eider's decidedly brilliant guitar work coupled with his euphonious delivery, Back In The Bedroom is an eleven-song collection of sheer sonic elegance. Pulling out songs as highlights is a necessary, albeit academic exercise, but allow me to continue in this adorational indulgence. "Sweet Nothing" comes with an understated, but undulating rhythm punctuated by a sublime saxophone; "Stupid Heart" is a sweeping wonder and "Kings And Queens" is a silky number about keeping our dreams company in spite of the realities and consequences of normal life."


The Best Kisser in the World (1987)
Hotel Figueroa (2002)
Max Eider III (2007)

"New solo album next year shock: Max is hard at work on a new album, with a provisional release date of some time in 2010."

More info:


Blogger Nan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:31 AM  
Blogger Nan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:37 AM  
Blogger Nan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:50 AM  
Blogger Nan said...

You removed my comment??? Coward. Just give me copy rights credit to the picture you stole. The one where max is drinking a beer and you cut me out of the pic. That pic was taken in 1999 at The Great American Music Hall in San Fransisco.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Nan said...

You removed my comment??? Coward. Just give me copy rights credit to the picture you stole. The one where max is drinking a beer and you cut me out of the pic. That pic was taken in 1999 at The Great American Music Hall in San Fransisco.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Nan said...

You removed my comment??? Coward. Just give me copy rights credit to the picture you stole. The one where max is drinking a beer and you cut me out of the pic. That pic was taken in 1999 at The Great American Music Hall in San Fransisco.

11:20 AM  

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