Writing by zopa on Thursday, 23 of December , 2010 at 8:56 am
After a research on Internet, our friend Víctor “Zzero” Maqueda finally made contact with that strange man who joined Jean Michel Jarre in the single “Freedom Day”/”Synthetic Man“, Samuel Hobo. Nobody before, on the JMJ fan side, could ever make an interview with Hobo, so, we are glad to offer you this interview with this singer and musician. Enjoy it.
- Please, tell me about your first approach to Music as singer or player. Who were you influences?
The first time I heard Sonny Boy Willamson it was a revelation for me and Curtis Jones and Freddy King too.
- Did you have a music band in those early years? Where was you’re first concert or performance?
I started with to play with amateur band and right after I switched to Cutis Jones as an accompagnement harp player.
- When did you find JEAN MICHEL JARRE? He told us that you were studying in Paris (he also said your father is American) and there he meet you. He was amazed by your deep bluesman voice.
I’ve been introduced to Jean Michel Jarre by some his accointance as I was visiting a recording studio. During those days I was a teacher in Paris. The truth about my father is that the american cityzenship has been offered to him for services to the army during the second world war.
- In 1972 you released your first record, the 7” single “Freedom Day/Synthetic Man”. You composed the lyrics and JARRE the music. This record was released by Az Records in France and Italy, with different sleeve. How do you remember that special event?
This 7″ has been recorded at his flat using 6 Revox taperecorders all syncro together. He had one of the very first mini-moog . The acoustic levelling correction was made with egg boxes. Over all it was a very exciting experience for me.
- Did you composed or recorded more songs for release? Were there any “B sides” of that musical adventure?
There are no unreleased tracks .
- I know that there were some TV appearances playing this songs. Anyway is really difficult to get this video document. Tell me more about your TV and radio promotion with “Freedom Day/Synthetic Man” record.
We never had any TV appearances infortunatly for us and for you. In short Freedom Day/Synthetic Man was intended for clubs and radios air play.
- Did you play in concert this songs?
- There is a peculiar element in your public image: Your incredible glasses, that you showed in “Freedom Day/Synthetic Man” sleeve. It was a absolutely crazy and a little bit freak idea.
Yes, this public image you discribe was the reflection of our state of mind.
- 1973 was a continuation of your collaboration with JARRE. You wrote the lyrics for “Zig Zag”. This song was releases in several countries and published under several artist names: The Superfly, Jo Sherman, Electric Choo Choo Band, Foggy Joe… In which of this projects were you involved? What do you think about other artist versions, for example the Brazilian version of TONY LOPEZ?
I was unvolved the Foggy Joe name. I never heard of Tony Lopez and his version.
- “Zig Zag” was a success. Was used in TV and also included as part of “Les Granges Bruleès” OST, composed by JARRE. I think it was special for you.
I was pleased to know it had been used in OST movie .
- In 1973 you launched your second 7”, “Pusher Pusher/Just Come Back Home”. This record marks a new direction of your music. You recorded it with a complete band behind you. Tell me about this experience
I recorded Pusher Pusher doing all the track myself . The B side has been recorded with american musicians.
- After this release we didn’t know much more about you. What have happen in those last years?
After Pusher I recorded documentary music, songs for children “Titi et gros minet” Warner Bros Edition. Later I also recorded tales’music for France Culture and education shows. I was also working in a new single with my long time friend , the guitarist Francis Fima. He brought to the recording studio to my surprise the Muscle Shoats brass section . It is unforgettable memory to me. Unfortunately the single has never been released. I spend several years doing recordings with Francis Fima. Many of these recordings have been released and edited at Parsiparla Editions. Also I created my Swiss group “Trans Alpic Trio” and we released a CD and had many performances through Switzerland.
- In the present you still being in Music with CITYSHAMAN project. Let me tell you that it sounds great, as a revitalizing blues sound. Tell me about this adventure.
My encounter with V.S.V allowed me to create the Cityshaman Music with modern sounds, ethnics and jazz influences.
- What about the future?
CITYSHAMAN, DIGITAL MAGIC TEAM, LIVE EMOTIONS BAND, MATIN TRANQUILLE ALBUM with the guitarist Michel Gentils, HARMONICA NO LIMIT ALBUM of SAM BENZO are actually for sale on iTunes .
- Did you tried to contact JARRE after your early collaborations? I can sure you that he remembers you as a great musician and a very good friend.
Yes I tried to get in touch with him by the Facebook Network or MySpace , but the connection was impossible.I remember also Jean Michel Jarre as a good guy and a great composer and I hope to meet him again.
I am very pleased and honored for your interest in my life and music.
All my very best.
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