15 July 2009
After an exciting few weeks travelling around various festivals interviewing an array of interesting people comes the bit I hate which involves transcribing loads of tapes and hitting various deadlines which start with yesterday(seriously).
I feel a bit guilty because I am constantly reading about well respected journos struggling for work while I seem to have more than I can handle.Things have defintely changed since I started writing in the seventies.For a start the money is not that great which is why I indulge in another profession to supplement my meagre income.Also I have to fight to get copyright on my work.Having said I am lucky enough that the magazines that I write for (Mojo,Classic Rock,This is Rock) giving me plenty of freedom to write about stuff that I’m interested in.On top of that Mojo is a great payer(and Phil Alexander is easily one of the best editors around),Classic Rock provides a steady income and This is Rock provides the icing on the cake.I am lucky to be writing about a genre of music that has always been and as far as I’m concerned always will be popular and well supported.When I saw people like Jeff Beck,Black Sabbath and ZZ Top(even The Only Ones)all those decades ago I knew they’d still be popular today.I just got back from a festival in Holland and alot of the audience were in their teens and rocking out to the sound of Sammy Hagars new band-Chickenfoot,singing along to an album that only came out a month ago.Rock music will always have an audience.
Which is why I am sitting in front of this keyboard trying to hit deadlines.At moment soundbites seem to be the popular thing.-magazines doing specials on guitarists,favourite albums etc-which is great because if you know what they want in advance you can just add the questions to the interview.
I was suprised how obliging and thoughtful the musicians are with answering the questions and I’m always turned onto new players or records when I do this.
My recent victims have been Gilmour,Beck,the Metallica boys and I am hoping to get an interview with Steve Lukather,an underrated player who also played with Michael Jackson(check out Barney’s excellent piece on Thriller).
Did a quick interview with Ronnie Dio,someone I’ve known all my life but haven’t spoken to in years.He’s currently touring with Heaven and Hell(the other Black Sabbath) and I saw him play at the Gods of Metal festival in Milan a couple of weeks ago.I told him I was sorely dissapointed that he and Iommi didn’t converse with the audience in Italian.Amongst a volley of expletives he admitted that the only words he knew were pasta and macaroni and Tony was pure Brum.
Another illusion shattered…..