My 2008 Phone Call from Nazareth's Pete Agnew

Marie Lowe By Marie Lowe, 26th Mar 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Celebrities>Music

When you work as a journalist, you never know who you may end up meeting, interviewing or receive a phone call from.
Even small-town Oklahoma journalists can experience encounters with celebrities. I have been at my job 10 years now and one of my first celebrity encounters came on a Saturday morning in 2008 while at work over the phone.

The phone call

Pete Agnew, who gained fame as a member of the band Nazareth was calling my small-town Oklahoma newspaper from overseas before taking the stage in Germany as part of the group's 40th anniversary tour. What rock music fan has not jammed to the tunes of "Love Hurts" and "Hair of The Dog"?

Nazareth background

For those with no knowledge of the band here is some background.
According to former band member Manny Charleton's Web site, Charleton started out as a guitarist in the 1950s with a band called Mike Satan and the Hellcats. In 1968, Charleton joined The Shadettes, a group formed in 1962 by Agnew and Alfred Murray in Scotland.
Soon the band consisted of McCafferty, Charleton, Agnew and Darrell Sweet and the group changed their name to Nazareth in 1970. Charleton was with the band until 1990. Since then he has performed solo and as members of other bands.
Billy Rankin replaced Charleton and performed with Agnew, Darell Sweet and Dan McCafferty and Jimmy Murrison and Ronnie Leahy joined the group in the '90s. Sweet passed away in 1999 and Lee Agnew stepped in as the drummer.

Why Agnew called

Agnew was calling the newspaper where I work to express his concerns with Charleton, who at the time was playing in America and calling his band Nazareth.
Charleton and his American band members were scheduled to perform in Oklahoma that night.
Agnew wanted to make sure that fans knew they were not going to be enjoying the original sounds of Nazareth, as he and the others were on tour overseas in Germany. Agnew said that Charleton and other former members of legendary rock bands are teaming up with a company out of Florida called Artists International Management, (AIM).
The former members tour the country using the name of their former bands. To some the marketing tools are not clear, and some fans may think they are seeing the original band.
Charleton and his new bandmates were the second group to come to our town at the time using a classic band name. A few months before Bad Company, featuring former lead singer Brian Howe, came to town and Molly Hatchet later performed.
Charleton's promotion did not set well with Agnew as he indicated he was in a court dispute with Charleton. Agnew posted a press release on his Web site, about Charleton and his group to and clarify confusion.

The current status of the bands

Today, seven years since my encounter, Charlton’s website is and has no tour dates listed.
Agnew and his band Nazareth are still touring with dates scheduled in Finland.
The AIM group still markets versions of classic bands such as Little River Band, Molly Hatchett, and a mix of Boston and Styx called Bostyx. Visit their site for more information on the bands they promote.
I believe true fans of bands know if they are about to enjoy the sounds of the original band or a mix of original and new members. In the meantime, a note to all journalist, be nice when you answer your phone, you never know who will be on the other end.


Manny Charleton, Nazareth, Pete Agnew

Meet the author

author avatar Marie Lowe
I earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Central Oklahoma.
My motto- Life is like a marathon, the closer you get to the end, the more it hurts.

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author avatar Carol Roach
27th Mar 2015 (#)

sounds great, I have had interviews and emails from some great people

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author avatar Retired
27th Mar 2015 (#)

My favorite pieces are one on one interviews. The first time I interviewed a US Senator my knees were knocking together. Now I can't WAIT for those moments!

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author avatar WOGIAM
27th Mar 2015 (#)

You have an interesting job and i am glad you enjoy doing what you do.

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author avatar Marie Lowe
27th Mar 2015 (#)

Thanks all. There have been a lot of highlights of my "career" last year it was witnessing the execution of Clayton Lockett, referred to as Oklahoma's botched execution. I will have to write a story on that some time.

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author avatar Yvette van Niekerk
29th Mar 2015 (#)

You sure have an interesting job, I think you are so blessed. ;-)

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