Foghat – The Roger Earl interview

by TW on June 28, 2009

FOGHAT 8 X 10 2008 low res 1024x819 Foghat   The Roger Earl interview

When the topic of great live rock and roll albums comes up, you can be sure that Foghat’s name will be mentioned. From their first live release back in 1977 to the latest Live At The Blues Warehouse, Foghat has been thrilling crowds with their blues-based boogie rock, giving their all at every show. In 2009, Foghat continue to deliver the goods onstage, a tribute to the band members who’ve carried on despite major setbacks. After the death of frontman “Lonesome” Dave Peverett in 2000, and the passing of slide guitarist extraordinaire Rod Price in 2005, it seemed that Foghat’s best days were behind them. But drummer Roger Earl wouldn’t let the band or its music die. He recruited vocalist and guitarist Charlie Huhn into the Foghat fold, joining Earl, guitarist Bryan Bassett and original bassist Tony Stevens. In 2005, Craig McGregor re-joined the ‘hat, replacing Stevens and solidifying the lineup that’s since released Foghat Live II and, now, Live At The Blues Warehouse. Earl and crew are determined to keep playing and making music for as long as they can, keeping Foghat in very good hands. Good news indeed.

ClassicRockMusicBlog.com spoke to Earl about Foghat’s past, present and future.

Let’s go back in time: Where did the stylized Foghat logo come from?

Roger Earl: That was originally done on our Energized album, by the Warner Brothers’ art department. At the time we recognized it as being something special – which it is, I think. It’s a very cool logo and very recognizable. From there, I’ve actually done some artwork for the Family Joules album, which is a studio album we did in ’04, I had to do the artwork for it but I had to make up some of the letters – that was fun. It’s a very cool logo. At one time I even toyed with the idea of doing an entire typeface, but we kind of got busy. [laughs] I used to be a commercial artist, and I can remember some of it.

That logo gives the band an identity beyond the music.

Exactly. In fact, that was one of the things that was discussed at the NAMM Convention, they wanted to do it because the logo was so visible. And a number of the smaller – obviously most of the larger record store chains are now defunct – what the smaller stores are doing to actually enable them to stay in business is selling other kinds of merchandise: T-shirts, sticks, hats, picks and stuff like that. So this will enable them to stay in business, which I thought was really cool. Instead of giving up, they’re finding other ways to make money. They were sort of excited that Foghat is a very recognizable logo. In fact, Foghat has always been up for doing “in-stores,” talking to fans. Every night, after shows we go out and meet our fans and do a meet-and-greet and sign anything they want to bring along. I think that’s important. I think it’s one of the reasons Foghat has maybe had such longevity – we’ve always been fan-oriented instead of locking ourselves up and not talking to anybody. It’s a fact of life: Without the fans – it may sound a little cliched – but you don’t have anything if they don’t turn up to see you or buy your records – as they say in the business, “You’re fucked!” [laughs]

On the cover of Rock And Roll Outlaws, the four of you are standing next to a plane with the Foghat logo on the nose. Did the band have its own plane then?

Not back then, we didn’t. That was just something that was stuck on the nose. We didn’t have a Lear jet until the Stone Blue tour, and to be honest with you – it was fun – but you never got a chance to hang out after… the fun of being on the road back then was if we had a day off we could go out and jam at some of the local bars, meet some other musos and have some fun. When we had the jet, we were based out of – we’d have a hub city like Chicago. That’s not a bad city to hang out in, good one in fact. We’d be down in Key West or… it was OK, but I preferred hanging out after. A number of times we would go out and jam after shows or on days off. I don’t miss the Lear jet, and, actually, I don’t miss the tour bus either. I think the way we all travel now is a lot easier. We take commercial flights; we just bring our guitars. I bring my snare, pedal, sticks and my cymbals; the promoter supplies the back-line to our specifications, and 99 percent of the time it works. We play two or three times a week – weekends mostly – then we get to go home, go golfing, go fishing, hang out with the grandchildren, become friendly with the wife. [laughs] Life is good. Life is really good.

The Fool For The City album cover is a classic. Whose idea was it to have you “fishing” in a manhole?

I think that was Nick Jameson’s idea. To the best of my recollection, Nick Jameson – who was our bass player on the Fool For The City album and our longtime producer and longtime friend – I think it was his idea. We went into New York City one Sunday morning – early – the photographer and our manager pulled up the manhole cover, sat me down and I got my [fishing] rod out and sat on a soap box and started fishing. Then along come a couple of New York’s finest in their car, and they said, “Hey. What are you doing? Do you have a license?” [laughs] “You got a fishing license?” Then they started laughing. They were great. They came out and took some pictures of them like handcuffing me and carting me off – just pictures. We didn’t use them. I don’t know what happened to them. New York’s finest: They’re the best. They worry about all the bad guys. They don’t bother you if you’re having fun.

I love the photo with the older couple. The guy has a look of disgust on his face that’s about 10 miles wide.

[laughs] Yeah. Right. They came out of their building and wanted to know what was going on and why people were lifting up manhole covers in the middle of the street. That was a fun shoot.

I later learned you’re a fisherman, something I’ve done for a long time, too.

Oh. I knew you were OK. [laughs] Yeah, I love to fish.

On the Night Shift cover, you, Rod and Craig are all sporting some serious mustaches, and Dave’s face is smooth as a baby’s bottom. Was there any pressure on him to grow a ‘stache for that cover?

[laughs] No, no, no. Actually, Foghat was always very much a band – though Dave was the lead singer and most prolific writer in the band – just about every song we did, everyone had input in it. The band itself – the nucleus of the band – always maintained control on what we were doing and what we weren’t doing, as far as what songs we were writing. The mustache thing was just one of those things. I don’t, it’s sort of like when you had hair or didn’t have hair. [laugh] No, there was no pressure on Dave, and if there was Dave probably wouldn’t have noticed it. It would have been like water off a duck’s back to him. The only thing that Dave cared about, particularly with the band, was music. Everything else, Dave wasn’t really bothered. Music was his life’s blood. I miss him. He had a huge print on this band. He was like our musical guide, if you will. Anytime we were on the road – on the bus or even in the hotels – Dave would always have sounds. He would always have new stuff or old stuff he’d compile. Back then I guess it was cassettes; later on it became CDs. He was like the band DJ: We’d get on the bus and we’d sit in the front, which was like the main musical lounge; the back lounge was for other nefarious stuff. [laughs] So we’d sit up there and Dave would say, “What do you want to do tonight? Do you want to listen to some blues? Some rock? Some rockabilly?” Or he’d pull out some really cool country stuff that we hadn’t heard before. Especially the last tour that we did together, back in 1999, Dave and I, in particular got… we were never tight, but we were always cool with each other. Dave and I always got on real well – there was never any problems between us other than a brief period when Dave left the country. It was a lot of fun. We’d stay up till the early morning hours and listen to music.

You guys toured with a bunch of bands. Did you ever share a bill with Rory Gallagher? I would think he and Dave would be kindred spirits.

I don’t think so. Dave really liked him, but Rory Gallagher was one of Rod’s favorite artists. We may have done [a show with him] back in England – it’s quite possible. I saw Rory on a number of occasions. Rod Price loved Rory; in fact, he named his third son Rory. Rory Gallagher was something special. We did a show in New York not too long ago – I think Arnie Goodman had a lot to do with it – and it was a Rory Gallagher tribute. I got up and jammed with a bunch of musicians and played some of the songs he made famous. That was sad, Rory not being there. He had such great heart and feel and was an incredible guitar player. Live, he was just like dynamite. He’d just blow you away.

Going back to the Night Shift and Fool For The City albums, you had a really big drum sound on those records. On Night Shift, your drums almost sound like John Bonham’s. How important was the drum sound for you?

It’s interesting that you should say that, because I particularly enjoy the drum sound on Night Shift. We were recording – Dan Hartman had a recording studio in his house in Connecticut, and that’s where we did it. The drums were recorded in this big, huge room – wooden floor and hard ceiling. The drums are an acoustic instrument, and the way to get a really cool drum sound is to use room mikes. When you put mikes up real close – often over the years producers will come in and start putting tape all over your drum heads. I was never into that, but sometimes you have to go along with them. But Dan wasn’t like that. I used a 26-inch bass drum – big drums, no tape on them – it was a Ludwig drum kit. Yeah, so I had a whole room to myself, and the interesting thing about that record is that Rod and Dave were having somewhat of a writer’s block, I think. So often what would happen is myself and Craig McGregor would be in there, Dave would be strumming rhythm guitar and have a mike, and Craig and I would sort of have to figure out how to play the rhythm parts. Dave would be mumbling along and go, “Solo,” and then he’d say, “Verse, bridge,” etc. Craig and I would have to transpose this into sort of a rock and roll tune. A lot of the tracks were done with a click-track, as well, whereas prior to that most of our recordings were done pretty much live in the studio. The only things we’d overdub would be lead guitar and/or vocals. And that wasn’t always the case either: On the Energized album, that was pretty much all done live except most of the lead guitar – that was overdubbed. But the Night Shift album was just the bass and drums, and Dave with an acoustic guitar and singing into a mike, letting us know where the changes were coming.

It did come off well: It’s a really good-sounding album. We have to give our producer, Dan Hartman, credit for that. He figured we were a rock and roll band. He knew the drums had to sound really good, and he was actually a really good drummer, himself, and a good bass player – great musician. He was a talented producer, I thought. But it was really one of the first times that it was like work for us in the studio. It was enjoyable because I think the end product – about ¾ of that I think is a really strong record.

I wish you had that drum sound on other records, because that’s how you sound live.

It is, and oddly enough I’ve been doing some session work with some other people – some friends of mine – we’re doing a record out in Detroit with some other fairly well-known musos. I’ll let you know later on if it’s coming out, but it’s sounding very good. One of the things that was really cool about it – I again had a big, DW drum kit, and the whole room was just for me. The guitars and bass and everything else were in other rooms, sot it’s just drums and because they’re an acoustic instrument they work and sound much better if you’re gonna use the room – again it’s wooden, you know, wood walls, hard-wood floors. I’ll let you know how that one turns out. It should be done by the end of the year. I’ve got lots of projects going on here. [laughs]

I know you play DW drums now. Did you ever collect drums or have you held on to some of your older kits?

There was a time when I used to collect drums, but [now] I live on a houseboat [laughs], so I don’t have such a collection. I do have the snare drum that I used on the Fool For The City album, which is an old Slingerland Radio King. My wife re-found it for me for my 60th birthday. I have my last Ludwig drum kit with twin 26-inch bass drums, which I used on The Return Of The Boogiemen album. But I use my DW drums now; I love DW drums. They’re very musical. I use a different drum kit just bout every day, unless I’m using my own, and almost without fail they sound great right out of the box. You have to tune them however you like them, but DW drums are terrific. You don’t have all those strange overtones like you get with other drums. The actual drums themselves are tuned: They have like a timbre to the shell. [DW vice president] John Good still puts each drum kit together, and it shows. The quality is undeniable… in fact, what happened is that I sat down – we were out at the West Coast one time and I was at a store – and just sat down at one of their drum kits in the store, and I went, “Wow! This is great.” And I tried them again at another store. I called up DW just before we were doing another live album and talked to them and they asked me – because I had been with Ludwig for about 25 years, endorsed their drums and was good friends with Bill Ludwig III – and I went down there and they took me around the factory. John Good and Garrison, who’s the artist relations guy there – great people. It’s fascinating: Everything is done to, like, aircraft standards – they make all their own screws, everything. So I go and sit in a room with John Good, and he said, “So, why do you want to use DW drums?” I said, “Because they’re the best,” really buttering him up. [laughs] He laughed and said, “We want to be careful. We don’t want people shopping and changing drum kits, for whatever reason.” I said, “I’m not like that. I’ve been with Ludwig for 25 years, and the only reason I don’t stay with them is because Bill Ludwig, who is a good friend, is no longer with them. And you make the best drums out there.” He said, “Thank you. Make out a wish list.” And I’ve never regretted it. Because of the way we travel – different drum kit every night – just about every decent back-line in the country is going to have a couple of DW kits, because they are the standard now. They travel well. I love them.

You’ve said that Foghat didn’t make records that the band members didn’t like, but there must be some records you like better than others. Which ones stand out for you?

I loved working on the first album, for a number of reasons. Working with Dave Edmunds was an absolute gas, as a producer and as a musician he’s brilliant. I loved doing that; in fact, without Dave’s help I don’t think we’d have got anywhere close to where we are now. But having said that, on the first album there were a number of people who helped us out: Todd Rundgren helped us out on a number of tracks. We had people coming in, helping us out playing and just hanging out and encouraging us. So, I like the first album. Fool For The City was probably one of my favorite records. That was the first album that we actually took time off the road – a long time off the road – it was deliberate. It was like the record company needed another album. The band was getting hot. We said the only way we’re going to do this is if we take time – we’d been touring for about four years, literally like 13 months a year and if we had a couple days off we’d go into the studio. But the Fool For The City record was recorded up in Sharon, Vermont, at a studio called Suntreader. Tony Stevens had been asked to leave the band again, and Nick Jameson, our longtime producer and friend, was now our bass player. Nick and I used to live up in Bearsville so were friends anyway. So Nick and I put some drums and a couple of amps and guitars in a station wagon and would drive to different studios. When Nick found this studio up in Sharon, Vermont – it was a huge room, a great big room – and I went down there and banged away on some drums, and he came down and played bass and guitar and stuff. We recorded some things, and we both agreed it was a great-sounding studio. Then when we were finished with some writing down here in Long Island, we went back up to Sharon, Vermont, locked ourselves up for two or three months and came up with a record.

One interesting thing about “Slow Ride,” which I had forgotten about but Nick reminded me recently, is that when we were recording the actual version of “Slow Ride,” about half-way through it the power went out. [laughs] We only had half a song. We came back to it a week or month later or something and had to pick it up where we were. So we’re listening to it, trying to get the drum sounds similar, doing the last three minutes of the song. That happened a few times: The power would go out – somebody would hit a [power] pole. We were out in the middle of nowhere – it was like a small mountain or a large hill, but it was in the middle of nowhere. Deer would run into the car; bears would be in the garbage can. It was a lot of fun. We got a lot done. That was really enjoyable doing that record. I learned a lot from that.

You mentioned “Slow Ride,” which was a huge success. Beyond the radio hits, what are your favorite deep tracks that you wish more people knew.

What we do each year – or what I do each year, anyway – at the end of each tour I’ll go through the records and CDs and try and get three or four new songs or old songs that we haven’t played in years, so we can put them in the set. In January, February, March, April – we have a band house down in Florida on 10 acres in the middle of nowhere. We rehearse and record down there. We sort of figure out which songs we like – there’s probably half-a-dozen songs we’ll always play, and then sometimes you run out of time. We’ve made like 18 albums, so there’s a lot of material to pick from. Favorite songs? “Night Shift” was one of my favorite tunes. I like the way we played on that. That was a really cool tune. “Don’t Run Me Down” – I thought that was a really good tune off of the Night Shift album.

I’d put “Terraplane Blues” on the list.

Yeah. In fact we played that last year. We rehearsed it again this year, but we put three different songs in this year: “Ride, Ride, “Ride,” which I don’t think we’ve played since we recorded it; “Third Time Lucky,” which the band never played. Dave used to play it on piano because Rod couldn’t play it; and another song, so something had to go. But, hmmm, we’re going to be recording this Sunday – “Ride, Ride, “Ride” and “Third Time Lucky,” that’s the only ballad we do. I had a little bit of a time trying to convince the band that we should do a ballad, because I was the one who used to say, “We don’t play no stinking ballads.” [laughs] But we got a request to do “Third Time Lucky,” and it worked out really well. Charlie Huhn, our singer, has a great voice – great guitar player, as well. In my opinion, he does justice to all the songs.

His voice is like a cross between Dave’s and Steve Marriott’s.

Actually, when he joined the band it sounded like Foghat and Humble Pie had joined forces. In fact, we used to tour a lot with Humble Pie, and Dave and I, especially, became real good friends with Stevie. We’d hang out as often as we could with him. He was special, he really was. Stevie Marriott was absolutely brilliant. I’ll tell you a quick story about him. In the early days when Foghat first came over, it was early ’72 I think, and we were doing a lot of dates supporting Humble Pie and/or the J. Geils Band, but I remember this particular one. For some reason – I think it was either Humble Pie’s crew or somebody – they were giving us a hard time about the use of lights and PA, “You can’t have this. You can’t have that.” It was just getting to be a problem, you know, we don’t ever do that to people, no matter who the opening act is. We have our stuff, and it’s like, “Go ahead and have this board and do whatever you’re gonna do.” Anyway we’re having a hard time, I think it was somebody on the crew. Stevie Marriott comes out and says, “Give fucking Foghat anything they fucking want and stop fucking with fucking Foghat. All right?” [laughs] He’s only about 5-feet tall, but he’s a very powerful personality. I love Stevie. Stevie was special.

You’ve mentioned Nick Jameson a few times. He’s always been the silent fifth member of the band, hasn’t he?

That’s correct. He’s kind of the fifth hat. Nick and I are good friends. After he left the band, he had his own band for awhile – he’s been acting for like the last 20 years, I think. He played in the TV series Lost; he was the Russian president in another TV series. He’s had a number of parts in films. Nick’s one of these people who can do everything. I hate him! [laughs] He could pick up any instrument and within moments he’s playing it. I’ll give you an example: He got married about five years ago on the West Coast, and my wife and I went out there, of course. And he decided, two weeks prior to the wedding, that he wanted to play zydeco music on his accordion. He got an accordion and wanted to play zydeco music. And he played at his wedding and he was absolutely brilliant. There were also a lot of drummers at his wedding, but we didn’t have a lot of drums so we raided the kitchen and took out pots and pans, so you’ve got a bunch of people playing on pots and pans and banging on chairs and tables, and Nick’s playing accordion. It was a lot of fun. Nick and I are tight. I’ll give you another example: When we were doing the Fool For The City album – Dave loved tenor sax and alto sax, he loved the saxophone. He always wanted to be a sax player. So when we were on the road, he would carry his sax with him and you would hear Dave practicing in the evenings, which was interesting. [laughs] We had a house, which we all shared, and Dave would be playing his sax in the evenings. Nick would come down and say, “Huh?” So Nick goes out one day and gets one at a pawn shop – I think they had a tenor and an alto – and Dave and Nick were practicing horn parts together. In fact, there was a song that we wrote for that album that never came out. I don’t know what happened to it. It’s called “Going To The Mardi Gras,” and Dave and Nick were playing all the horn parts on it. It was very cool. It’s out there somewhere. There’s a lot of that stuff. But that’s just an example of how talented Nick was: He picks up a horn, and he’s playing horn parts. And in a couple of days we’re doing sessions with him.

How would you describe the early ’80’s version of Foghat? You started making records that sounded more like Nick Lowe. The production was very dry.

I’m gonna blame Dave for that. [laughs] Dave was a big Nick Lowe fan, actually, as was I. You know sometimes music is all about… we had free reign and our own studio for a number of years, as well, right here on Long Island. So we had a chance to… Dave would say, “Let’s play this. Let’s try that.” Some of it was successful, but music’s all about taking chances anyway instead of staying in something you think is safe. I don’t know whether that was such a brilliant career move, but it was what we did. In fact, I thought the Tight Shoes album was a particularly good record. There were some good songs on there.

I really like the cover of “And I Do Just What I Want” from In The Mood For Something Rude. That’s a smokin’ tune.

Now that’s a song I like, “And I Do Just What I Want.” I think that was originally a James Brown tune, but James didn’t play it anything like that. But I particularly liked that version, yeah. It’s fun to play, too. In fact, on our last tour in 1984 that we did together, we used to open with that song. I found a VHS tape the other day of a show that we did in a club called Harpo’s, in Detroit. We did it for a local TV station. Maybe we should put that together and put it out? Anyway, we started out with “And I Do Just What I Want.”

Paul Butterfield was a guest for one tune on Zig-Zag Walk. What are your memories of him?

I used to know Paul when I lived up in Bearsville, back in the early to mid-70s. Nick and I would go down to the barn and we jam with some people from The Band, or Paul Butterfield would be there. I also played with Paul in 1977. We did a tribute to the blues at the New York Palladium. I don’t remember him playing on that album, but I remember jamming with him a number of times. He was a great harp player. It was sad when he died, as well. I think he struggled with a few demons, but he was an incredible player and I loved his East-West and earlier albums. They were just spectacular. Paul was cool.

You have a new live album out, a third official live record. How do you see the band’s legacy as a live act? I think many fans would say that’s where you’re at your best.

The other day I was talking to somebody, and I said, “You know, we’ve been doing this for 50 years. It’s about time we got it right.” [laughs] It’s kind of true, when you play for long enough… actually, let me take you back to when we did the first live album. We were on the road for about a month. Nick Jameson was out with the truck, following us around the northeast. And after each show we would go back into the truck and have a listen to it. Every time I’d go in there, I’d “Jesus. I can’t this fucking fast every time.” We were like punk band. Craig and myself had to sort of put the reins on. At the time, I would take the cassettes from what we played each night and go back to my room, put my headphones on and try to decipher why we’re playing so fast. We really had to pull ourselves back and try to get it into some sort of cohesive musical thing. It was like going down the rails, like a freight train with no brakes. But having said that, I think the first was terrific. I particularly liked our version of “Honey Hush” on there. Craig McGregor is a fabulous bass player and a really good friend – he’s my brother by a different mother. When he first joined the band he had some big boots to fill: Tony Stevens was a terrific bass player. Nick Jameson was probably one of the best musicians I’ve ever had the privilege to play with. So Craig had some pretty big shoes to fill. He’s a very dynamic player. When he comes on the stage and starts playing, the whole stage lights up and everybody has to kind of come up a notch. Having said that, he and I had to work on getting the grooves down. It was interesting.

The first live album was taken from two shows – from Syracuse and Rochester. We were playing War Memorials or something up there, I can’t quite remember, but it was taken from two shows. We had a lot more songs… originally we wanted to do a double album, but our record company or parent company, Warner Brothers, didn’t think that was wise. So that’s why we only got like five songs on the record. [laughs] We were headlining, so we could play for two hours and nobody would complain. But I think it’s gone like double platinum, or something. Maybe they should have let us do a double album? Anyway, that brings me up to the next live album, Live II, back in 2007. Again, we had a chance to just play, and Craig had re-joined the band about a year before that. It was going really well, like there was this spark back in the band. He brought a lot to the band, and I said, “Let’s do a live album.” We re-learned some stuff that we hadn’t played before. I was really pleased with the way that one turned out, even though some of the microphones weren’t working on the drums, but we had room mikes at the front. That was a lot of fun. Did you listen to Foghat Live II?

Oh yeah. That’s got “Terraplane Blues” on it.

Yeah. “Terraplane” was played a little bit too quick, but we’ve got it down; we’ve got a couple more versions of it. We’re gonna put out a blues album, I hope by the end of this year, and we have another version – live version – of “Terraplane Blues” from a show we did, which I’m really pleased with. I’m glad we’re playing that. I love playing that song.

Live II and Live At The Blues Warehouse both have “Chateau Lafitte ’59 Boogie.” That’s another Foghat classic.

Well, myself and Craig both love playing that. Playing shuffles for us is fun. Other than Hank Williams Jr., I don’t know who else plays them. I guess there’s a few people out there who play fast shuffles, but I love playing that stuff.

I want to comment on the first live album. That has an iconic cover, with the cut-out letters and pictures of each band member in the letters. It was also one of the records that made me want to be a drummer. I remember buying that when I was 10 and opening that up and seeing you in your sunglasses and long hair. And there’s one picture – I didn’t understand what was going on the time – but you’re in a hotel, getting dressed beside some woman, and I’m thinking, “Life must be pretty good for that guy.”

[laughs] Yeah, life was good. Life was very good. [laughs] We were having a lot of fun then, and we still do. I still really enjoy playing; I love what I do. I’m one of the fortunate few that get to earn a living doing something I really, really enjoy. And the guys in the band are terrific people. They’re all great players, as you could probably hear on Live II – they can all really play.

You know it’s difficult after you lose somebody of Dave’s caliber and Rod’s ability, especially his ability to play slide guitar. Actually, he and Bryan played together for a number of years with Dave’s band, so it wasn’t like Bryan didn’t know Rod and vice versa. Rod just didn’t like going on the road – that was the reason he left the band in the first place and the second time. I think myself and Dave loved being out on the road; it was a struggle for Rod to sort of enjoy himself out there. I think he was happier just playing blues or teaching, which is what he eventually ended up doing. And I think during the last few years of his life he was happy with that.

He was one of the few guys in rock that consistently played slide guitar throughout his career. There weren’t a lot of bands out there that had such a slide presence.

The Allman Brothers and maybe a few others, but yeah, Rod took it to another level. It was his instrument of choice, playing slide, which he picked up, of course, from all the early blues records. He was a big blues fan, and then he put his own stamp on it.

I’ve always thought his solo on “Stone Blue” is one of the great guitar solos of all time. Did you guys feel like he nailed that one, when he recorded it?

Yeah. He was spectacular. In fact, that was a difficult record to do, but not for any other reason than that the producer was pretty weird. Playing with the band was good fun. We had this huge mansion out on Long Island – the Woolworth mansion – and there was a big music room in there, with a big pipe organ. We set the drums up in there, and again we had a big room so there’s some pretty cool drum sounds on there. I think I used my old Slingerland Radio King kit from the ’40s on that, which was interesting. I like recording.

Like I said, we have a house down in Florida now, and we’re gonna start recording next winter – next January, February, March – start recording our next studio album, after we finish the blues record. We’ve got nine songs already, and we just want to do two more.

The reason I got into this in the beginning was to be creative, to make music. I’m just fortunate that I earn a decent living at it.

It’s a pretty good life.

Yeah. I know that. And I get to fish, as well. [laughs]

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