© page design & idea by Marty Punsch this tribute/memorabilia page is a part of www.punschies-rockmuseum.de 2011 Exclusive interview with Walter Holtfoth, a long time friend of Paul Samson! February 2, 2009 1. Walter, where and when did you meet Paul? In late'88 I booked Samson for an appearance in my show www.dierocknacht.com. It was our first meeting and we soon became friends. Paul came with a bizarre line-up. It was a great gig and Paul was happy to play at such a nice venue/hall again. We presented Samson as "The Best of British Heavy Metal" -which was no exaggeration! Generally it was a bad time for Rock'n Roll. But all the same, Paul was impressed with my work as a rock DJ and told me that he had never seen anything like it before. After the show we talked for a long time and drank some beers together. A long friendship developed, lasting until his unfortunate early death. The highlight of our musical collaboration was a tour of clubs throughout Germany with Samson, Girl School and the Power Metal Band MP. It was a fiasco, because the fans were not really interested into this tour. It didn't bother us and definitely strengthened our friendship. At that time, I brought MP and Paul together. Later, Paul then produced their album Melting Point which was overwhelmingly praised by the critics. 2. You were very close friends, what a kind of a person was he? I can honestly say that he was a great guy. In private, he was a lot more thoughtful and serious than the public knew. He was very disappointed and upset with certain events concerning his comrades on the island. In the general music business, there was always cause for long debate. Otherwise, he was straightforward, cheerful, with a heavy dash of the blackest of British humor. I also experienced some sensitive times; his way with dealing with children was world class. Generally, he was optimistic and always thinking of new musical ideas. He was always confident for the big throw. He worked hard for his dream. Even a subject that nobody knows is, that he often worked as an electrician to make ends meet. For me, Paul was most definitely one of these five people that you meet once in a lifetime who you could describe as a real friend. 3. SAMSON unfortunately never had the big and well-deserved breakthrough. Why, in your opinion? I think that Samson, from my point of view concerning the musical ideas, were too early. They were somewhat ahead of their time. Paul Samson was certainly always a discoverer in respect to the singers around him. To be sure, a band plays with its shouter in the front. Bruce Bruce, later known as Bruce Dickinson is just a prime example. "Live at Reading" - incredibly cool music. "Riding With The Angels" - a song that was just too early. Only a few years later and the thing would have been launched. Just as it was musically mature by the time, Dickinson had already gone to Iron Maiden and then Samson was without a real frontman. "Don´t Get Mad - Get Even" later, with Nicky Moore, exactly the same issue. When they recorded it, the vocals weren't "up to date" anymore. It was simply bad luck. Today, it is an ongoing great number and also accepted by music lovers in general. I experience in my radio shows - again and again. Once I put this disc on, inevitably comes the phrase: "Wow - what a great number, who is that?" Paul, as a band leader, wasn´t always easy to handle. Often he told me about his anger associated with some names, which I can't name here. I also think that he felt ignored at times. 4. You've also collaborated musically. How did that come about?  Paul knew that I was often engaged as a singer and songwriter. I asked him one day to listen to some of my old songs that I still had from old concert recordings. I sent the cassettes to him in England. A few weeks later came the call: "we got it ..!" It was great for news for me because we had only spoken about listening to this stuff. He simply made four new songs out of the tracks without changing the compositions. I am still eternally grateful for that. 5. Was there an official release for this project? Yes there was, in fact! The CD was called "Dance the Dance" and I got something similar to a major deal at a sub-label of Zyx Records. The Company sold about 30 CDs to the public. On my own distribution I sold out all 5000 albums and after all I tore the contract with Zyx. Two years ago we re-released the album and included some unreleased material of mine. So there is it again and can be ordered now. Just send a e-mail to: andy@cleopharadio.de for just 15, - Euros plus shipping. 6. Do you have still contact to the SAMSON family? Unfortunately, no. Paul was been separated from Linda. There was only the contact between Paul and myself. I would have liked to have seen Linda again. 7. P.S. SAMSON was the last album. It was completed and finished by John McCoy and Nicky Moore after Pauls death. In my opinion, this album includes some of the best songs that Paul had ever written. How do you see that? Yes, they have really chosen the best material. I am very happy with P.S. Above all, you can feel that much more love and less commercial calculus were included into this album. Just a statement to a wonderful guy and a homage to one of the most creative guitarists in England. Pity that such a thing didn´t came true during his lifetime. But I almost think that Paul wouldn´t accept such a project today. Unfortunately we will never know. Many thanks to Walter Holtfoth for this  great interview and for providing following  two rare tracks of the album "TANZ DEN  TANZ - feat. Paul Samson" on guitar: INTERVIEW IN