Roberta Parkin, Redferns The version of Squeeze touring this summer with Cheap…
- Posted on Jul 12th 2010 12:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
"People do sort of claim ownership of a band and have an idea of how it should be," Tilbrook tells Spinner. "In people's minds, John and Paul would always get on, and there would be no trouble."
"That was one of the weird things that enabled us to get on for so long: It wasn't like we were great mates," Tilbrook says of Difford, the lyricist who, since Squeeze's formation in 1974, has written words to go with his music. "But we had love and respect for each other, for what we did, and an appreciation for what each of us could bring to the table."
That has never stopped them from butting heads, and over the years, Squeeze has twice called it quits. The first split came in 1982, after the band had scored a string of UK hits -- among them 'Cool for Cats,' 'Up the Junction' and 'Tempted' -- and established itself as critical favorites in the United States. Difford and Tilbrook regrouped three years later and continued on until 1999, when the co-frontmen again parted ways. They didn't reconnect until 2004, when they allowed author Jim Drury to interview them for the book 'Squeeze: Song by Song.'
"The thing about Chris and I is we had our falling-out, and it was a long, slow, gradual thing that culminated in us splitting up in '98 or '99," Tilbrook says. "We had a few years where we didn't really talk, and we did [Drury's] book together, in which we were both very honest about who we've been, and I think that lanced a few boils, as it were, between us and enabled us, in the most fantastic way, to renew our friendship."
Squeeze staged a reunion tour in 2007 and is making the rounds this summer with Cheap Trick and the English Beat. Next month, the band will release 'Spot the Difference,' featuring rerecorded versions of its greatest hits.
Had sessions for that album -- an attempt to reclaim their classic songs from Universal Music, which own the original recordings -- not taken as long as they did, Tilbrook and Difford would have followed through with plans to begin working on new material. Tilbrook suspects they will write together again, although he can't say for sure when.
"With Squeeze now, we're always pulling the same way and we're really getting along," Tilbrook says. "It's the most fun it's ever been for us."