Reforming the band

SQUEEZE: Re-formed band will release new album
Rolling Stone, 1985. by Christopher Connelly.

Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook have decided to re-form Squeeze, the band that made them critical and popular favorites. "It's great fun," said songwriter and guitarist Difford from London, where the band is currently recording a new album and rehearsing for a U.S. tour. "We've all matured quite a bit."

The surprise reunion, which comes two years after the band's unexpected dissolution, began on Christmas Eve, when Tilbrook - songwriter, main vocalist and lead guitarist - caught a set by former band mates, keyboardist Jools Holland and drummer Gilson Lavis. Tilbrook's excited call to Difford the next morning, though, didn't stir his partner's enthusiasm. "Glenn called me and said he thought it would be a really good idea to re-form Squeeze," recalled Difford. "I said, 'That's outrageous. I really don't think we should do that.'"

Nevertheless, Difford saw Holland and Lavis' set and was considerably impressed. Later "we got around in a room and got a few bones out of our teeth about each other," he says. "Gilson and I hadn't spoken in two years - at the time he was drinking quite a lot. Since then, though, he hasn't been drinking for a year, and he's a completely different person. He's extremely witty, he's very smart, he's right on the ball - all the things I've never, ever, known him to be." The band went into rehearsals with former Squeeze bassman John Bentley, but he was soon replaced by Keith Wilkinson, who played in Difford and Tilbrook's post-Squeeze band.

Difford called the band's reunion "inspiring." "Glenn and I feel we're reaching a new peak. Writing for Squeeze, you have five people who all take responsibility for it being a good song. With Difford and Tilbrook, Glenn and I have a tendency to get more frigid about what we write." Still, there are plans for another Difford and Tilbrook record at year's end.

Difford admits that the group's decision to reform is in keeping with their business-be-damned attitude - "We'd just re-negotiated as Difford and Tilbrook" - but the group and its "herd of managers" hope to turn their new LP (produced by Paul Young boardman Laurie Latham) over to their baffled record company by June 1st, so that its release will coincide with their U.S. tour, slated to begin July 14th. A single entitled "The Last Time Forever" should be in the stores by June.

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