Woodstock veterans Canned Heat were not just another blues/boogie band. They had some top talent on their team - to name just a few, frontman and major-league blues record collector Bob Hite, musicologist, harpist and bottleneck guitar player Alan Wilson (one John Lee Hooker once remarked that Wilson played his own music better than he himself did!), and a gifted drummer who'd begun his career in the mid-1950s playing with Mexico's top pop acts.
It is with this drummer, Fito De La Parra, that I speak this time. We discuss his career before and with Canned Heat, for whom he still plays.
In the fifties, he was known for his covers of R&B tunes. But there's much more to “Mr. White Bucks” than that. By his early twenties, he was a college student (Columbia), a happily-married father, a television personality and a best-selling pop singer. He has starred in over 20 films, not to mention emceeing television variety and talk shows in the 1950s and 60s, one of which showcased a then-new band from England called Pink Floyd. He's appeared in TV programs like Rod Serling's “Night Gallery”.
We discuss the storied career of the star who started out as the emcee of a teen talent show in Nashville.
Dum Dum Girls (named, yes, for Iggy Pop's "Dum Dum Boys") began as a bedroom recording project for their front woman, Dee Dee Penny. In this interview, I talk about the band's beginning, Penny's spiritual relationships with poet Patti Smith and the late Lou Reed and the band's upcoming tour and new album.
You're probably familiar with his 1976 signature song, Dream Weaver. But did you know that Gary Wright was a close friend of former Beatle, George Harrison, and played on a lot of his albums? Did you also know that he began his career in show business at age 9, or that he had his own band, Spooky Tooth in the mid-seventies? Today I talk about those things and more, including his autobiography, which is now in stores.
To call the all-female group, Lez Zeppelin a tribute band would be a bit like calling Jimmy Page a guitar player. Indeed, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin are ardent fans of these four hard-rockin' ladies who play Zeppelin's entire repertoire virtually note-for-note. They even go so far as to replicate entire historic Zeppelin shows! They have fans - and tour - all over the globe. It would not be too big a stretch to call Lez Zeppelin the reincarnation of Led Zeppelin.
Today, I speak with lead guitarist, Steph Paynes, about how her band's records were made (they hired Led Zep's sound engineer, Eddie Kramer to produce!), how and why her band formed a decade ago, how she actually met Jimmy Page and the other Led Zep members, and her band's plans for the future.
Jerry Yester was playing with the Lovin' Spoonful even before he stepped in to replace Zal Yanovsky. We discuss his career on the LA coffehouse folk music circuit before the Lovin' Spoonful, his eventual involvement in it while still in the Modern Folk Quartet, his role in replacing departing Spoonful member Zal Yanovsky, and his plans for the future. We also talk about his brief relationship with Frank Zappa and his "Straight" record label.
Best known for her signature songs, "Brand New Key" and the anthemic "Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)", Melanie got her big break at the original Woodstock festival. To say she was performing 'without a net' would be putting it midly, but our lady pulled it off spectacularly.
In this interview, we talk about her Woodstock experience, as well as the stories behind her hit songs and her musical career, which began when she went to the wrong Brill Building audition studio!
David Laflamme is best known as the violinist and front man for the band, It's A Beautiful Day. We talk about how the band got its name and how its signature song, White Bird came about.
Turns out LaFlamme is also an inventor. He designed a radically-improved electric violin, which we talk about in addition to his band's history, and his plans for the future.
In this almost hour-long interview, Richie Furay, one of the key members of Buffalo Springfield and Poco, talks about his brief stint with the former band, his relationship with two of its members, Neil Young and Stephen Stills, and his tenure with the latter band (which is still a performing unit). We find out how Buffalo Springfield's signature song, For What It's Worth came to be. We also talk about his current projects, including The Richie Furay Band, and being pastor of Calvary Chapel Church in Broomfield, Colorado.
Poet Michael C. Ford was a friend of the late Ray Manzarek, as well as one James Douglas Morrison. They met at film school in the early 1960s. He was once considered for the position of bass player in The Doors. Here we discuss his brand new album, Look Each Other In The Ears, which not only features his latest poems but the last-ever musical back-up tracks by all three remaining members of The Doors. We also discuss, among other things, how he learned poetry under the great beat poet, Kenneth Patchen, his first-ever public reading in 1969, and his first appearance on vinyl on SST Records in the mid-80s.