This page is dedicated to archived interviews with bands and artists from all genres of music. We will be adding to this page on a regular basis and will try to keep it organized newest to oldest!
A lot of us classic rock and blues fans are getting up there in the years so we will use large type throughout the site so you don't have to hunt for your readers :D
Joe "Survival" Caruso at Earl's Hideaway 8-16-15
Artimus Pyle at Earl's Hideaway 7-5-15
Eric Saylors of the Steepwater Band at Pinto's Lounge 6-25-15
Rockin' Jake at Earl's hideaway 6-21-15
Lauren Mitchell at Earl's Hideaway 5-23-15
Joey Gilmore at Lou's Blues 5-3-15
Anni Piper at Lou's blues 5-3-15
Smokin' Joe KubeK and Bnois King at Earl's Hideaway 4-26-15
Tab Benoit at the Hengar Center 4-12-15
Zohra Van Zant Earl's Hideaway 3-29-15
Mike Estes and Jay Johnson of Skinny Molly Bike Week 3-12-15
Michael Allman 3-12-15 Bike Week
Preacher Stone Earl's Hideaway 2-1-15
Kirk McKim Pat Travers Band King Center 12-11-14
Jimmy Allen Sine Cocoa Beach Pier 12-9-14
J.T. Curtis 11-7-14
Selwyn Birchwood at Earl's Hideaway 7-27-14
Daddy Mack from the Daddy Mack Blues Band 7-20-11 at Earl's Hideaway
Sean Chambers from the Sean Chambers Band and Blackfoot at Earl's Hideaway
Betty Fox at Earl's Hideaway
Tommy Castro at the Tampa Bay Blues Festival
The Blind Boys of Alabama at the Tampa Bay Blues Festival
Nikki Hill at the Tampa Bay Blues Festival
Charlie Wooton of the Royal Southern Brotherhood at the Wanee Festival
Biscuit Miller from Biscuit Miller and the Mix at Earl's Hideaway
Samantha Fish live "War Pigs" and interview at the Sea Blues Festival
Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply interview by Isaac Rodriguez
Wayne Nelson of the Little River Band interview by Isaac Riodriguez
Chris Hicks of the Marshall Tuck Band interview by Isaac Rodriguez
Cathy Richardson of Jefferson Starship interview by Isaac Rodriguez
Damon Fowler at Earl's Hideaway
Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown at Lou's Blues
BEFORE WE DID VIDEO WE DID A WHOLE BUNCH OF TYPING:
Phil Ehart of Kansas at the Magic City Casino
By Michael Yanko Rock Legends Photographers Hosted by the Magic City Casino in Miami, the Classic Rock Legends Festival was a huge success and one of the best-run festivals we have ever been to.
Special thanks to Kansas management and Phil Ehart for making time for a fun interview.
Q: You’ve been touring for about 40 years, who is your favorite band to tour with?kansas
A: Well, that’s a good question. The band that we enjoyed the most touring with was Queen. That was the “Sheer Heart Attack” tour and we did 40 gigs with them, and then we came back and toured with them a year or so later and toured with them again. That was really enjoyable because our band was just starting to come into its own as far as being able to play with a headliner, and Queen was just starting to explode, and it was really exciting to watch them. It really helped us a lot because of the exposure that they were bringing in. Every night we would stand on the side of the stage and watch them play. That was really cool.
Q: What musician past or present would you like to jam with?
A: Hmmm. I don’t know why I’ve thought this in the past, but I’ve always wanted to play drums on a Foreigner song. I really like Foreigner and I really thought it would be cool to play drums on one of their songs. I’m not much or a jam guy, but Foreigner has great drumming songs, and they’ve always — out of their plethora of a million drummers — had great drummers, and the drum parts are always cool and the songs really rock. I always thought it would be fun to play with Foreigner.
Q: What was your funniest or most embarrassing moment on stage?
A: Wow, there’s a number of them (laughs), I think without a doubt at the end of song called “Miracles Out of Nowhere” I would reach around for my drum tech and a beater — a mallet for a gong – and swing it around and try and hit this gong and this bomb would go off behind the gong. Ya’ know, a real dramatic thing. This was back in the heyday with 20,000 people or whatever, and I reached around and grabbed it and as I turned the beater got caught in a glockenspiel that I had. It got caught, and I thought he was still holding on to it. I didn’t know it got caught, so I’m yankin’ on this thing as hard as I can thinking he’s holding on to it. The glockenspiel is going back and forth, and of course the song ended and I looked over and Steve Walsh, he was on his back from laughing so hard and I didn’t know what it had gotten caught on. Of course I’ve got like 6 super-troopers on me, every light in the house is on me and I’m sittin’ there jerkin’ on this thing. That was very very embarrassing. (laughs again)
Q: I understand you guys have a new album?
A: We do not. We have a documentary coming out. We have our 40th anniversary documentary that Sony is doing, but nothing new.
Q: Do you have a favorite band or artist that has come out in the last 10 years?
A: Foo Fighters! Love them!
Q: You guys were a big hit on the Rock Legends Cruise, did the band enjoy playing on the boat and mingling with the fans and everything?
A: (nods head) Yeah, we didn’t know what to expect. I’m not sure anybody did, but we really enjoyed it, we really enjoyed it, it was great! The way it was organized blew us away. It was so organized and so together. It was really windy so it was tough playing on the outside deck but other than that it was excellent! I’d recommend that to any band out there!
Q: Other than yourself, who’s your favorite drummer?
A: (laughs) I’m definitely not my favorite drummer. I have quite a few favorites, ya’ know, I really like Ian Paice of Deep Purple. I really Like Phil Collins. I like Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins from Foo Fighters, they’re great. I like Todd Sucherman from Styx; a lot of great drummers out there!
Q: What about back in the old days — the old drummers?
A: That was Ian Paice, he was “my guy”!
Q: We’ve been seeing a huge resurgence of the popularity of classic rock, and I’m sure that you guys have seen that too! How much of that would you attribute to social media?
A: Oh wow. I think the biggest resurgence of classic rock is classic rock radio. I think because until just a number of years ago that didn’t exist. It was kind phil-ehart-drumsof a time when bands like Kansas were fading out, then like MTV started stuff like that and some of our bands started coming back. Us, and Heart, and Foreigner, and Journey, and REO, ya’ know, Rush, and Styx. All of us that came up at the same time kind of went quiet there for a few years while radio tried to figure things out, then all the classic rock radio came out and we had a place for our songs to go, and we have been there ever since. YouTube has been great, that really helps us to get our live show out there too! Then you have things like movies, video games, commercials and stuff. That all helps, too.
Q: What is your favorite venue to play in?
A: Oh boy, good question, um, I don’t know. There’s so many that I like to play in, I don’t pay that much attention, um, Red Rocks, probably in Colorado, yeah, it’s an incredible place to play, but most of the time the audience is dark, the hall is dark, lit stage, so all I can see is the stage. As a matter-of-fact, many times I’ve gone to places we’ve played and sat out in the audience and said “wow, this is such a cool place” (laughs). We played Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. recently and that was a really cool place. Red Rocks is a natural amphitheater, it has two great big natural valley type things, ya’ know, red rock walls on either side and behind you, it’s just a natural amphitheater. It’s, it’s, it’s almost, um, it, it’s almost disconcerting to play there because you get so caught up in where you are that sometimes you forget what you’re actually doing. “Oh yeah, I’m playing!” God, for a second I was enjoying the sunset or something.
Q: And the last question I have is what advice would you give to a young drummer that wants a career in music?
A: Ehhhh. There really is no advice, it’s a, I would say, if you want to play any instrument and have a career in music, make sure you have fun. Make sure you have fun because there’s a pretty good chance you won’t be successful. And if you are not successful, that’s OK, you can always look back and say “I really had a good time, I really enjoyed playing in the band, and it was a lot of fun.” You don’t want to take it so seriously that, if by chance, you don’t make it that you become really bummed, and really disgruntled with the world, really down on yourself, you know, just have fun! If you make it, great, if not, you had fun! Q: When did you know you were going to make it? A: (smiles) I always knew. I always knew. Isn’t that weird? I, I, I knew! I knew! I don’t know why, but like, I wasn’t anything special. It’s not like we were in a music Mecca, we were out in the middle of nowhere. But I knew that if I could just get somebody to see this band, if I could just get somebody to see it, I knew that we’d have a chance.
This interview was reproduced as close as possible to the audio pulled from the video. Special thanks to JR and Kansas management, Phil Ehart, and everybody else that made this interview and concert possible.
10 Questions with Dewey Bunnell, founding member of the band America at the Casino Miami Jai Alai
Interview and photos by Isaac Rodriguez Rock Legends Photographers
Q: What music or musician inspired you to be an artist?
A: When I was young in the 50’s my dad would play Elvis, Bill Haley, and the Everly Brothers, those were the early years, but I think once I picked up a guitar in the early 60’s I would have to say immediately The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and the surf instrumental music. Then I quickly got inspired by the Beatles, like everyone else I suppose, also the singer and songwriters of the 60’s. But if I would have to pick one band I would say it’s a tie between the Beatles and The Beach Boys.america-2
Q: When did the band America originate?
A: Technically we started as the band America in 1970. We were a band in high school in London England. We went to an American school in England. My father was in the air force so we had this band in high school. We graduated in 1969 and we started writing our own material. So, America was sorta born in 1970.
Q: Are you planning any tours outside the U.S. ?
A: Well already this year we did a tour of New Zealand, a tour of Italy, and late last year we were in the Philippines, so we do travel a lot to other countries like Australia, Central America, and France, but right now there is nothing specifically planned. We are now winding down the end of our year now. There is some work already booked for 2014 but we’ll see what happens; the agency takes care of that, William Morris Agency.
Q: Is there a band in particular that you would love to tour with?
A: We have been fortunate to tour with a lot of great bands like Chicago and the Beach Boys themselves and bands like that, classic rock bands. I love lots of bands, there is nobody specific. We just played a show with The Doobie Brothers, there’s Three Dog Night and bands like that. We don’t do full tours with bands so much. In the New Zealand tour we worked with Pat Benatar and Bachman and Turner so there 3 bands down there for that tour. So it just depends, we like a lot of artists, it was fun for us to work with Chicago and The Beach Boys. We may do some more work with the Beach Boys in the new year. Q: What would you say was the funniest or most embarrassing moment on stage? A: ( laughter) Embarrassing moment on stage… wow! That’s difficult, we have had times when the equipment failed. In one of the shows in Italy recently all the lights, and all the gear went down. It was because they were being powered by generators, and the generators literally ran out of gas. That was kind of embarrassing. We haven’t had anything terrible happen to us on stage. A couple of summers ago my voice was completely gone, we were in in Las Vegas. I went to the doctor and was given some medication, which I thought would resolve the problem before the show. I thought if I could only get thru this, so backstage we changed some of the songs around. In the last minute when we got on stage I had no voice at all. So we did the whole show with Gerry singing my parts. That’s a bit embarrassing. america-3
Q: Do you have any albums or projects in the works?
A: Right now we are promoting last year’s version called Back pages. The band has been around 43 years now, we did an album of cover songs that other artists we love have written, like Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Jimmy Webb, and Joni Mitchell. We are considering and discussing right now a volume two of that. There is no specific project right now in mind. We are just going to see how the new year unfolds.
Q: Other than your current band members, is there anyone past or present that you would just to get on stage and jam with?
A: Oh, man! Yeah, I always love the jam bands, The Allman Brothers, The Grateful Dead. Some of those kinds of bands were terrific. Santana. Actually we got to go on stage onetime years ago with Santana, so I got to play congas with Carlos playing. To be very honest with you I am traditionally very much a member of this band America. I feel most comfortable with our songs, and our guys. I am not the greatest jammer to begin with. But I certainly love to join people, and we have gone on stage with bands and sang encores. That is always fun. I love all the bands that do extended jams, I love blues bands. Yeah, I would like to get on with a blues player like Buddy Guy or BB King. I could play the guitar at a blues fest for a little bit, so that would be fun.
Q: Do you have a favorite city or venue to play in?
A: As for touring we have always loved Italy for some reason. We like the people and the outdoor venues are really nice. There are some venues that we go back to every single year, and they have become a second home. There is a place in San Diego called Humphrey’s we play in every year. There is also a casino called the Mohican Sun and we have literally played there over twenty times so, we feel comfortable in those places. A nice theater or performing arts center is perfect for us. We have some videos that we present behind some of the songs, and the sound is always good in those venues. Virtually all the big cities have a performing arts center. Those are our particular favorites, but we like all the venues. Casinos are great, looking forward to Miami by the way.
Q: Out of all your songs, do you have a favorite that you just love to play?
A: Well, I usually say “Ventura Highway”. Out of all big hits its “Ventura Highway”. It sort of stays young at heart with that nice free wind blowing through your hair. So if I had to pick one song I would pick that. But of course “Sister Golden Hair”, all the big hits are important to us.
Q: Have you heard of the Rock Legends Cruise?
A: Yes I have. I am not much of a cruiser guy. I can’t do boats that well. But I have heard of them and some of my friends have done that.
Q: Is that something that would interest you if contacted?
A: Ya’ know, we have discussed this before. I am not good on the boats. We have done a few before. We did a cruise out of Singapore, and I am just not good on boats unfortunately.
I would like to say thank you to Michelle, Richard, and Rene for making this interview possible. It was an honor and a pleasure for me to do this.
10 Questions with Charlie Daniels
By Rock Legends Photographer Isaac Rodriguez
Photos by Isaac Rodriguez (These are edited excerpts from the interview)
Q: The fans from the Rock Legends Cruise have been asking to see you play. Is that something you would consider?Charlie Daniels Live
A: We did a cruise one time, and (laughs) we had kind of a bad experience due to weather. It was a rough cruise. I just don’t know, we have to see about that.
Q: What artist past or present that you never played with would you just to get on stage and jam with?
A: BB King, hands down. I’d love to get up and jam with BB.
Q: The inspirational postings that appear on Facebook, do you do that personally?
A: Actually I do it on twitter, it comes up on Facebook. I do one every day, usually some bible scripture and I hope it’s something inspirational that will be encouraging to the people.
Q: What was your embarrassing or funniest moment on stage?
A: I was on stage one time in Washington with my pants unzipped and I didn’t know it.
Q: What music or musician inspired you as an artist.
A: A lot of people inspired me. I started playing when I was fourteen. I wasn’t into country I was into progressive music, especially when I started playing the fiddle. When Carl Perkins, Elvis, Jerry Davis guys came along, I got interested and moved on to the other side, the rock side. I have been inspired by a lot of people, and a lot of styles in the music that we play.
Q: Have you taken an interest in any new fiddle players?
A: I really don’t know. I don’t keep up with things. I live pretty much in my own world out there. I’m really busy just doing what I do. I run into somebody once in a while, or see someone on TV but I really don’t know who they are.
Q: Is there a particular song that is just your favorite to play?
A: I like to play all of them, because I get a chance to play it better tonight than I did last night, and better tomorrow than I played it today. So I enjoy playing all the songs.Charlie Daniels on Stage
Q: Do you have a favorite cowboy hat? Or do you have a collection of cowboy hats?
A: Not really, I usually keep an extra one or so around. I change every summer I get a straw hat and every fall I get a felt hat. If I wear it out or something I’ll get another one. I just get them as I need them. I don’t keep them, I don’t usually keep them. I give them away to charity events or something.
Q: Do you have any new albums or projects in the works?
A: We are recording a new album now, should be out in the spring.
Q: What would you say is the difference between the original Charlie Daniels band and your band of today?
A: Well, just different players. I have not changed players a lot over the years. One of our players got killed in a car wreck a couple of years ago. Tommy Crane was in the band for a long time. I have not changed drummers in about thirteen years now. But I think it’s gotten better. To be honest with you I think this is the best band we have ever had. The players are really good, and the caliber of musicians is really, really high. These guys play really well. So I think it’s gotten better. This band is more capable of playing more different kinds of music and it’s tighter. I just think it’s a better band.
Q: Do you follow any of the new southern rock bands?
A: Not really, I don’t know what’s going on. I am so caught up in what I do. Playing a lot, I write two columns a week for our website. Constantly writing something, I always doing something doing interviews, appearances, recordings, it just takes all my time being me so I don’t know who anybody is.
I would like to thank Paula from the Charlie Daniels organization for scheduling this interview, and a very special thank you to Tom Bell. Without him this interview would have not been possible.
By Isaac Rodriguez Rock Legends Photographers
I had the pleasure today of meeting and watching the band Firefall perform. Firefall delivered an awesome concert which had the crowd cheering and singing along. This performance was at The Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale, Florida on November 12th. This is an awesome venue with very reasonable prices for their events, and a very friendly and helpful staff. I also had the privilege of interviewing Mr. Jock Bartley, one of the founding members of the band. A special thank you to Michelle and Lisa for making this possible.
Q: What music or musician did you listen to that inspired you as an artist?Firefall Live
A: The main group of course was the Beatles when they came out, and they changed the world. Beatlemania took over! They were great song writers and singers, but when I heard Eric Clapton play for the first time the heavens opened up and I said “I want to do that”.
Q: Do you have a favorite city you just love to play in?
A: We live in Colorado, and outside of Denver is Red Rocks which is an outdoor amphitheater. It is beyond belief, it is gorgeous, mother nature at its finest. Also Maui in Hawaii is not bad, but I would say near my home town of Denver at Red Rocks is my favorite.
Q: Do you have a favorite song that you just love to play?
A: The two favorite songs that Firefall plays that I absolutely love is “Cinderella” because it sounds so magical when we play it. Also the song “Mexico” where I get to play lead guitar. Rick Roberts wrote that song , and I was pretty much born to play that tune. It just really fits with my style.
Q: Do you have any tour plans outside the U.S. ?
A: Right now we don’t have any. We have been to Japan a number of times, have played in Germany and France a few times. Right now there is nothing planned outside the U.S. I’d love to go, so if you know of anyone that wants to book us let us know.
Q: What would you say was your most embarrassing or funniest moment on stage?
A: ( laughter) We toured a lot with Fleetwood Mac during the Rumors tour in 1977. The last gig we played with Fleetwood Mac was front of 75,000 people. I had just bought a pair of really tight black satin pants. I was dancing around playing lead guitar, and on the very last song I split my pants, and there was no underwear underneath. So I kind of just backed up into my amp, I don’t think anyone out front saw anything, but there was a couple of hundred people backstage that did. So that was an embarrassing thing.
Q: Is there a group or individual other than your current band members that you would just love to jam with?
A: There is a lot of people, and I have been really fortunate to have been able to sit in with a lot of great bands like The Doobie Brothers, Heart, John Mayall and the Blues Breakers. I would love to play on stage with Ringo Starr of The Beatles. That probably will never happen, but it’s a good dream to have.
Q: Do you have any new projects in the works?
A: We are going to be making a new album in the next three to six months. It will be out sometime in 2014. So we are working on a new Firefall record. I have a couple of projects including I wrote a song a number of years ago called “Walk more softly” which is about people being nicer and more respectful to each other. It’s also about taking better care of the environment. I also do a lot of work in elementary and middle schools giving assemblies and playing songs. I am teaching kids about being more respectful to each other and also the planet. That really feels good and hopefully changes a few kids’ lives. Firefall on Stage
Q: Is there a question you would like to answer that no interviewer ever asked?
A: No, can’t think of one.
Q: We have asked them all?
Q: Is there a favorite band that you just love to tour with?
A: Back in the day it was really fun to travel with The Doobie Brothers. Also Fleetwood Mac, but I don’t think we are that level anymore. I would love to play more shows with The Doobie Brothers.
Q: Have you heard of the Rock Legends Cruise?
A: I have. Q: Is that something that, if contacted, would interest you?
A: Yes, and we would love to go on a cruise where we go to Belize or the Caribbean. We would play one or two shows, do little seminars, and whatever, we would get close to the fans. Sign us up, we would go on the first cruise offered. So yeah we would love to do it.
Q: What would you say is the difference between the original band and the Firefall of today? A: The original Firefall was very magical, and the sound we made which people still hear on the radio today is what we sounded like, and was what people came to know and love. It was the 70′s so we had a couple of guys in the band who did not take care of themselves in terms of drugs and alcohol. So one of the main differences is that in the current band we are all adult grown men. We know how to take care of each other and be responsible, and pull off the gig every night. One of the main differences is that now we are in top shape every night.
Interview with Jay and The Americans at the Mardi Gras Casino
By Isaac Rodriguez Rock Legends Photographers
Q: What music or musician did you listen to that inspired you as an artist?
A: [Sandy] He and I (referring to Howie) — we saw a television show called the Frankie Lane show and a group called Frankie Lymon and the teenagers came on and played “Why Do Fools Fall in Love.” We got impressed with that and then we saw the Everly Brothers on television and we decided we wanted to do that too. [Sandy] Howie you tell him who inspired you? [Howie] To be a singer? [RLP] Just to be an artist in general. [Howie] Honestly, Mario Lanza. He was a star in the movies in the 50′s, he was like an opera singer. Mario Lanza was an operatic singer. When I went to Radio City Music Hall and see whatever movie was there, there he was. So I would say WOW! I would love to sing like that.
Q: At what age did you start performing?
A: [Sandy] We all performed when we were kids. Yeah we were kids – teenagers.Jay and the Americans in concert [Howie] We used to make up routines when we were in public school together. We did “Chattanooga Shoeshine Boy.”
Q: How did Jay and the Americans originate?
A: [Sandy] We were just four guys that sang harmonies on the street corner. We had two different groups and both groups had recording contracts to put out records. Nothing happened with the groups, they broke up, reformed and became Jay and the Americans.
Q: Do you have a favorite city or venue that you just love to play in?
A: [Sandy] Madison Square Gardens because we are New York boys. [Howie referring to Jay] I’m sure this guy down here from Chicago would say the Chicago slaughterhouses (laughter). [Jay] The Chicago Theater is a cool place to play. [Howie to Jay] It’s not Madison Square Garden, it fits in the locker room of Madison Square Garden (laughter from all). [Sandy] We travel a lot so we like a lot of places – actually everything is nice. You want to know the truth? It is a privilege to play and have people turn out and pay to see you. It does not matter what city. It is a privilege and should not be taken for granted.
Q: Do you have a favorite song that you just love to play?
A: [Sandy] We all have different ones, mine is “Walking in the Rain.” [Howie] “Some Enchanted Evening.” [Jay] “Let’s Lock the Door.” [Marty] “This magic moment.”
Q: What was your funniest or most embarrassing moment on stage?
A: [Sandy] When Marty’s tooth flew out of his mouth. [Jay] How about when Marty fell down in Vegas? [Sandy] We got new boots (referring to the Vegas show) and everyone said scrape the bottom of the boots or put duct tape on the bottom. [Marty] I like to run out, I am the first one out with the guitar. I said I would be fine, I ran out on stage and I went flying feet first up in the air and ass on the floor. But I never stopped playing, never missed a beat. The shoes were so slippery I was slipping around. [Sandy] The good thing about it was we did two shows that night and people stayed to see if that was part of the act.
Q: Other than your band members, is there any group or individual that you would to love play and jam or play with on stage?
A: [Sandy] I would like to play with Steely Dan. [Jay] That’s funny because all my idols like Elvis and Orbison are gone. [Sandy to Jay] Yes but you would like to go on stage with Jay and the Americans. [Sandy to RLP] See he was younger, so he grew up listening to us, so for him (referring to Jay) he is living that right now. [Jay] This is my first time around with Jay and the Americans. These guys have done it before. To them it’s kind of fun to see me do it for the first time. For me I’m working with the real guys.
Q: Is there a group or individual that is your favorite to tour with or that you would love to tour with?
A: [Sandy] Well, we toured with Roy Orbison, who is a favorite for all of us. We toured with The Rolling Stones, and we played with The Beatles. To be honest with you I think Roy Orbison was the best. [Howie] I thought the biggest thrill was working with the Beatles because that changed music.
Q: Do you have any new projects in the works?
A: [Sandy] Yeah, we have three new CDs in the works. We rerecorded all hits with Jay no. 3, the new lead singer for eight years now. We wrote a lot of new stuff, also favorite stuff that was done by other people and was rearranged and recorded as well. So we got three CDs, and a book is in the works that should be coming out soon called “Magic Moments”. This is the story of the group from the beginning to the present. So, we got a lot of stuff going on, and people keep threatening to do a Broadway show or a movie.
Q: What is the difference between the original Jay and the Americans and the group today? A: [Sandy] We are having a lot more fun now, there was so much pressure when we were kids. [Howie] We are a lot more versatile now. [Sandy] In the beginning people were telling us what to do, the record companies, the managers, the agents, were all telling us what to do and how are careers were going to be. Now we took control, slowly but surely. As we started with more hits, we started producing our own records, managing ourselves, and now this time around we are totally in charge of everything. There is no pressure from the record companies saying we have to record a song that sounds like the last hit. It’s all the things we are doing that we want to do, not because we have to do it. It’s a lot more fun, we like each other a lot better. Back then we were kids, now we are grandfathers. So you have a different mental approach to life. Some of the songs we used to sing to our kids we now sing to our grandchildren. Like I said, we have been doing it for only 52-and-a-half years, so maybe by the time we are doing it for 62-and-a-half years it will be better. I don’t know how it could not get much better than this.
A special thanks to the band, and Lisa and Michelle from the Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale, Florida for your cooperation in making this interview possible.
Thanks to Kim at Seaside Music Management, Isaac Rodgriguez got a chance to interview Burleigh Drummond at their show at the Miramar Cultural Center on October 12th:
Q – What music or musician did you listen to that inspired you as an artist?
A - Of course the Beatles were a huge influence to me and the entire band. Me personally, my father was a full Colonel in the army, so I was picked up by a driver to go visit him. The guy played nothing but B bop jazz. That’s when I was in the 5th and 6th grade, so after a year of listening to that music every time I visited my father it was a huge influence on me. So, jazz became an obsession of mine because of that. Then personally I got into world music of the drumming of Africa and Ghana. I studied that in college, but I mean from a band’s perspective, we were very influenced by the early baroque music of England which would be Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, and people like that. But at the same time huge Beatles fans, so it was a mix of all that; everything.
Q – Do you have a favorite city or venue to play in?
A - Southern Florida is one of my favorite places to come. Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Miami. I love it down here and Ambrosia seems to be popular down here so it’s working out well for me.
Q – Do you have a favorite song that you just love to play?
A – Yeah, I mean Ambrosia songs, I can’t say there is one I don’t love. Even after 42 years they are still challenging to me. I still have to work at it so it’s not like you can sleep through the gig – you have to be there.
Q – When did you started playing the drums?
A – I started about the 5th grade. Those drives to see my father were a huge inspiration for me to start because hearing that music everyday got me going.
Q – What is your most funny or embarrassing moment on stage?
A – Well embarrassing yes. We were in front of 10,000 people in Pittsburgh, and I said, “It’s great to be here in Philadelphia.” Have you ever heard 10,000 people BOO?
Q – Have you guys ever done or would you like to do a world tour?
A – We have done pockets of the world like Asia, Japan and the Philippines. there are many places we have yet to go. In fact we were just talking about going to Israel – we would love to do that. I also have a chance with another artist to go down to South Africa and I am looking forward to that. There are many places yet we have not played and we are dying to go play.
Q – When did Ambrossia originate?Ambrosia's Christopher North
A – 1970 we started, of course we were only three years old at the time (laughter). We started in 1970, we did our first album in 1974, and it came out in 1975.
Q – What is the difference between the Ambrosia of the beginning and now?
A – In the beginning we were very idealistic, and we still are. We had a lot of dreams and were very influenced by these amazing musicians that we were hearing and we had no fear about going there. Whether we could play it or not we just threw ourselves into it. I think the only difference now is that we can actually play it.
Q – Is there any group or musician other than your current band members that you would love to get on stage and jam with?
A – Well its funny that you said that because we just did a show in Virginia Beach, and a band mate of ours who was in the band for about six months was Bruce Hornsby and we are talking about playing together with him again. We very much respect him as a musician.
Q – Other than the band members, how many individuals travel with you as part of the road crew?
A – We are pretty broken down. We travel with just the band and an occasional mixer. Even so, sometimes we don’t travel with a mixer because everywhere you go there’s so many amazing sound technicians. I mean the whole level is very high now. It all depends on the show and what we have to do. Sometimes we bring a crew, sometimes we don’t.
Q – Is there any member of the current road crew that has been the since the beginning?
A – Oh yeah, when we use people it’s usually people that has been around for a long time. We are pretty loyal people.
From Isaac: It was a privilege today to be able to meet the members of the band Ambrosia and to obtain a personal interview with Mr. Burleigh Drummond, one of the founding members of the band. The band played at the Miramar center for the performing arts in Miramar, Florida. Their performance was outstanding to the enjoyment of the audience. I highly recommend that anyone go see this band perform if they come to a venue near you. I would also like to take this opportunity to give a special thank you to Kim from Seaside Music Management for making this all possible, and to the staff of the Miramar center of the performing arts for their cooperation. For band info and tour dates: www.ambrosiaweb.com
Interview with Scott Raines of the Artimus Pyle Band
By Michael Yanko Rock Legends Photographers
We have been friends with Artimus Pyle for about 15 years and he hasn’t changed a bit. Artimus is famous for being the drummer with Lynyrd Skynyrd during their prime and for carrying on the memory and direction of Ronnie Van Zant after the plane crash in 1977. Artimus always assembles excellent talent for his ”tribute to the original Lynyrd Skynyrd” bands but the lineup he has today is the best ever!
Scott Raines Live
We’ll do an article and interview with Artie in the future but for now let me introduce Mr. Scott Raines, lead guitar for the Artimus Pyle Band. I first met Scott, guitar player Jerry Lyda, and keyboard/lead vocalist Brad Durden in an elevator on the first Rock Legends Cruise in 2011. I immediately liked all three of them and we talked about how they met and also how they got hooked up with Artimus. I’ve seen them perform five shows and I have to tell you that these three along with bass player Tony Black and Artimus really bring the Lynyrd Skynyrd rock and roll like it was played in the 70’s! They are all great guys and very fan friendly and if you ever go to one of their shows you’ll probably meet them and love them just like we do!
Scott is from Slocum, Alabama and was playing bars in south Alabama in north Florida as a young teenager. He Taught his older brother how to play guitar so he could go out to play at bars and his brother could watch over him and his parents would let him go.
Here’s our interview:
Michael: What one song do you personally like playing the most?
Scott: Swamp Music and playing, singing Curtis Lowe.
Michael: What song do you don’t play that you wish you did?
Scott: “Ain’t no good life” off Street Survivors.
Michael: When I met you, Brad and Jerry in the elevator you told me about how you all got together. Refresh my memory.
Scott: I’ve known Jerry and Brad since the 80s and played the same circuits. We always said that 1 day we need to be in a band together. Jerry called Scott in July 2010 and told him Artie wants to put together a band. Tony was already playing with Artie for a few years.
Michael: How did Artie find you?
Scott: Found Jerry at the store (Jerry owns Musiccity in Asheville).
Michael: You guys all seem to be great friends in public. Is it the same when you guys are off the road?
Scott: Everybody gets along awesome. I’ve Seen the tough side of Artie. It takes a lot to bring it out of him. Scott Raines and Friends
Michael: What was your most embarrassing moment on stage?
Scott: I laugh at myself a lot but I don’t get embarrassed.
Michael: What venue that you’ve played at was your favorite?
Scott: The Studio B on the Rock Legends Cruise or BB Kings NYC.
Michael: The lineup that APB has right now is incredibly tight. God forbid that something happened to any of the guys but if it did, do you already have backup people for each guy that can step in and do a few shows?
Scott: Yes, we have a guy that can sub bass or guitar.
Michael: You were on both Rock Legends Cruises and obviously one of the fan favorites. I know that you guys truly enjoy the meet and greets and interacting with the fans, but is it overwhelming on the cruises having fans everywhere you go?
Scott: We love interacting with the fans. Sometimes we have to drag Artimus away because he’ll stay and talk until the last fan has left the building, and sometimes we have to go in order to catch our flight for the next show (laughs).
Special thanks to Scott for taking the time to speak with me! If you love Lynyrd Skynyrd music then you must go out of your way to catch the Artimus Pyle Band! Be sure and check out these three YouTube videos: Video 1 Video 2 Video 3 Check out the band’s website here.
Still Rockin’ the World:
Interview with Foghat’s Roger Earl
By Michael Yanko Rock Legends Photographers
I’ve got to admit, we’ve fallen in love with Foghat. Not just the music, but the guys in the band are absolutely awesome as well! As a matter-of-fact, the whole Foghat family is awesome!
Foghat is one of the tightest bands on the circuit today and the current lineup sounds so much like the original band that if you close your eyes you may find yourself transported back to the 70′s! Founding member Roger Earl started in the 60′s with Savoy Brown, then started Foghat back in 1970. The band initially featured Dave Peverett (“Lonesome Dave”) on guitar and vocals, Tony Stevens on bass, and Roger Earl on drums when they left Savoy Brown in 1970. Rod Priceon guitar/slide guitar joined after he left theBlack Cat Bonesin December 1970. The new lineup was named “Foghat” in January 1971 The current lineup of Roger Earl 1970-present, Craig MacGregor – on and off since 1976 to present, Bryan Bassett – on and off since 1990 to present, and new front man Charlie Huhn – from 2005 to present is incredible to hear and are one of the nicest, fan friendly bands on the road today!
Be sure to check their tour dates often and don’t miss them when they come to a venue near you! .
I recently got a chance to interview Roger Earl and ask him a few questions:
Q- Why did you leave Savoy Brown and form Foghat?
A- Tony Stevens got fired- Lonesome Dave and I wanted to do more Rock n Roll than blues.
Q- What one song do you personally like playing the most?
A- No one in particular, maybe Road Fever or Slow Ride.
Q- What song do you no longer play that you wish you did?
A- Trouble Trouble, Hole to Hide In, Highway Killing Me? Might do that one again.
Q- When you were looking for a new front man how did you find Charlie?
A- Did a show a show in Toledo and Charlie was doing Humble Pie. Dave and Roger both really liked him. Foghat bannerQ- Once he auditioned did you know right away he was the right one?
A- There were 2 or 3 other guys we considered.
Q- What was your most embarrassing moment on stage?
A- I’ve never had one… maybe sliding down the ramp on my butt at the Super Dome but it wasn’t really embarrassing because I was laughing- I still gets nervous before every show.
Q- What venue that you’ve played at was your favorite?
A- The warehouse in New Orleans , Dave and I talked about moving there! Glad we didn’t. Wherever we are is really the best. This band would play anywhere. We’d be happy to play in a box!
Q- It wasn’t so long ago that great classic rock bands like yourselves were struggling to fill your schedules and bring in crowds. Now it seems like everywhere you go the great classic rock bands are making a resurgence and packing venues and filling schedules… how much of that success would you contribute to social media?
A- It’s important because of the music distribution.
Q- How long have you and Linda been together?
A- 15 years married we were friends and she was the office manager since the 70’s. I married my best friend!
Q- Today when most bands are on the road the venues supply the front and back lines and usually the drum set. Was it like that back in the day or did you have to bring your own sound system and drum set with you?
A- We always carried own equipment until the early 80s and usually used the same company. Now we bring pedals, sticks, cymbals, guitars.
Q- So what’s it like on the road today with traveling lighter making it easier to get around? A- After 3-4 days on the road you are ready to go home.
Q- What do you like to do in your off time?
A – Love fishing and gardening.Foghat Jokesters
Q- The lineup that Foghat has right now is incredibly tight. God forbid that something happened to any of the guys but if it did, do you already have backup people for each guy that can step in and do a few shows?
A- Yes except Bryan. Charlie and I ride bikes and play golf to stay in shape.
Q- You were on both Rock Legends Cruises and obviously one of the fan favorites. I know that you guys truly enjoy the meet and greets and interacting with the fans, but is it overwhelming on the cruises having fans everywhere you go?
A- Everybody loves it and gets lots free drinks. We really love it!
Foghat will rock your socks off live, be sure to check them out when their tour brings them anywhere near you! They also have a new single out that you can download for free on their site. And you have to read the station wagon story at the bottom of this page. Special thanks to our friends Linda Earl for setting up this interview and Roger for making time for us! Love to you and all the guys!
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