Chuck D is one of the most important figures in the history of hip-hop music. He is the founder and lead rapper for the hugely influential (and controversial) band Public Enemy, which created a powerful mix of politically-charged lyrics and layered, aggressive sounds. Their second album, 1988′s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, is widely regarded as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time, and is considered to be hugely important for making rap music popular with white audiences. Other notable Public Enemy albums include Yo! Bum Rush the Show (1987), Fear of a Black Planet (1990), Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black (1991), and How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul??? (2007).
Chuck D answered the following questions by email on 1/6/12 for a preview article for Public Enemy’s 1/14/12 concert at the Majestic Ventura Theater. (L. Paul Mann photo)
Jack Casady played bass guitar for the Sixties band Jefferson Airplane, which is best known for the hits “Somebody To Love” and “White Rabbit”. Their albums Surrealistic Pillow, After Bathing At Baxter’s, Crown of Creation, and Volunteers are amongst the best of the psychedelic rock genre. Casady also played on “Voodoo Chile” with Jimi Hendrix, and “Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves)” from David Crosby’s first solo album. As the Sixties wound down, Casady and Jefferson Airplane lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen’s attention shifted to their new band Hot Tuna, which focused on acoustic and electric folk- and blues-based music. (L. Paul Mann photo)
Wanda Jackson is often referred to as the “Queen of Rockabilly”, and for good reason. After some success as a country singer, Elvis Presley himself encouraged her to try singing rockabilly, resulting in a string of hot tracks including “Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad”, “Mean, Mean Man”, “Fujiyama Mama” (which hit No. 1 in Japan), “Funnel of Love”, and “Let’s Have a Party” (which was a Top 40 hit in the U.S.) She blazed the trail for women in rock ‘n’ roll, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. Not content to rest on her laurels, earlier this year she released an album of smoking covers called The Party Ain’t Over, which was produced by and featured the guitar of Jack White. (L. Paul Mann photo)
Leo Kottke is an extraordinary acoustic guitar player, with a style that draws on folk, blues, and jazz, but comes together in a way all his own. His musical career took off with his 1969 album 6 and 12 String Guitar, and since then he has released dozens of albums and entertained countless audiences with his guitar prowess, singing, and hilarious stories between songs.
This interview was conducted by phone on 11/18/11, and was the basis for a preview article on his 12/2/11 concert at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara.
Alan Parsons has had a truly amazing career in music. His start was as an assistant engineer on the Abbey Road and Let It Be albums by The Beatles. He went on to engineer Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother and their sonic masterpiece Dark Side of the Moon. He also engineered and/or produced works by Paul McCartney (Red Rose Speedway, Wildlife), The Hollies (“The Air That I Breathe”), Pilot (“Magic”), Al Stewart (“The Year of the Cat”), and Ambrosia. He then focused his attention on The Alan Parsons Project, with classic albums including Tales of Mystery and Imagination, I Robot, Pyramid, Eve, The Turn of a Friendly Card, and Eye in the Sky, and songs including “Eye in the Sky”, “Games People Play”, “I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You”, and “Sirius”, the latter of which is particularly beloved by fans of the Chicago Bulls.
This interview, conducted by phone on 11/1/11, was done for a preview article for a benefit concert by the Alan Parsons Live Project at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara on 11/12/11 for the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County.
Andy Shernoff was the primary songwriter for The Dictators, a seminal New York City proto-punk rock band whose huge influence was sadly never matched by huge record sales. Shernoff also played bass, keyboards, and sang many of the songs. The band’s first album The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!, released in 1975, is a brilliant mix of irreverent lyrics and youthful energy. Two more albums followed – 1977′s Manifest Destiny and 1978′s Bloodbrothers. Their last studio album was 2001′s D.F.F.D. (“Dictators Forever Forever Dictators”), which is arguably their strongest album after their debut. Shernoff also played bass on Joey Ramone’s 2002 solo album Don’t Worry About Me, and has produced and/or played with various other bands/artists. He currently is playing solo shows at Manhattan’s Lakeside Lounge.
This interview was conducted by email, with answers received on 10/18/11.
Don Fleming is a musician and producer who has had his hands in an amazing number of projects, mostly in the alt rock universe. As a musician, he was a member of the Velvet Monkeys, B.A.L.L., Gumball, and Half Japanese. As a producer, he has worked with Sonic Youth, Hole, Teenage Fanclub, Alice Cooper, The Dictators, The Posies, Screaming Trees, and more. Don recently released a cool EP called Don Fleming 4 which includes contributions from Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon.
This interview was conducted by email, with answers received on 10/10/11.
Fanny has a distinguished place in rock and roll history as the first all-female rock band to record a full-length album (the self-titled Fanny in 1970) for a major label. In this pioneering band, June Millington sang and played guitar, and her sister Jean Millington played bass guitar. Fanny released a total of five stellar albums in the 1970′s (the last without June), and toured with many of the era’s biggest artists. Both June and Jean played on albums by Ringo Starr and Barbra Streisand. June also played guitar on Cris Williamson’s classic Women’s Music album Changer And The Changed, and co-founded the Institute for the Musical Arts. Jean also performed on albums by David Bowie and Keith Moon. The sisters recently released the album Play Like A Girl.
This interview with June and Jean was conducted by phone on 8/19/11.
Tony Kaye was the keyboard player in the original line-up of Yes, and played on the albums Yes, Time And A Word, and The Yes Album. After touring with the band in support of the latter, he left Yes and played in Badger, which released two albums. He rejoined Yes for the 90125 and Big Generator albums. He also toured with David Bowie for the Station To Station tour. Kaye is currently playing keyboards in CIRCA:, which recently released the album And So On. This interview was done by phone on 8/15/11.
Nolan Gasser is an acclaimed composer, with compositions including American Festivals and two pieces written for NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope. He is also the Chief Musicologist for Pandora Media, Inc., which provides the popular Pandora Radio streaming music service; he is the architect of all five Music Genomes (Pop/Rock, Jazz, Hip-Hop/Electronica, World Music, and Classical). Moreover, he is the Artistic Director of Classical Archives which is the web’s largest classical music site.
This interview was done in person on 2/25/11 at UC Santa Barbara.
Mark Volman and long-time collaborator Howard Kaylan were founding members of The Turtles, whose 1960′s hits include “Happy Together” and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe”. When The Turtles disbanded, Volman and Kaylan joined Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, and due to contractual reasons adopted the names Flo & Eddie. Flo & Eddie performed on the Zappa albums Chunga’s Revenge, Fillmore East June 1971, and Just Another Band from L.A., and in the movie 200 Motels. Flo & Eddie also sang background vocals for T. Rex, including on the worldwide hit “Get It On (Bang A Gong)” and the albums Electric Warrior and The Slider. And that’s just scratching the surface. They also sang on records by notable artists including Bruce Springsteen (“Hungry Heart”), The Psychedelic Furs (“Love My Way”), Stephen Stills, Alice Cooper, Ray Manzarek, Keith Moon, The Ramones, and Blondie. Volman is also the Chair of the Entertainment Industry Studies program at Belmont University in Nashville.
This is from a phone interview with Volman on July 29, 2011.
Linnea Vedder is the drummer and one of the singers and principal songwriters for Cliffie Swan, whose new Drag City album Memories Came True is a delightful blend of pop, psychedelia, and sweet harmonies. Cliffie Swan was formerly called Lights, with two albums released under this name including the wonderful 2009 album Rites. This interview was conducted by email; Linnea’s answers were received on 8/1/11.
The legendary Van Dyke Parks is in the middle of his new vinyl singles project, which will encompass six records with gorgeous sleeve art from some of today’s most notable artists. These are available by subscription from bananastan.com, and as Parks puts it, “Downloads from iTunes insures aid to those stuck in the digital ditch.”
These singles represent the next chapter in an amazing career in music for Parks, who wrote the lyrics for the lost-Beach Boys-masterpiece Smile which is finally scheduled for release later this year. Parks also played keyboards on many albums and songs including The Byrds’ Fifth Dimension album, Tim Buckley’s self-titled debut album, and the should-have-been-a-hit “Magic Hollow” by The Beau Brummels. His production credits include the first albums by Ry Cooder and Randy Newman, both with Lenny Waronker, and he has also done arrangements for U2, Laurie Anderson, Joanna Newsom, and the song “Bare Necessities” from the Disney movie The Jungle Book. His solo albums include Song Cycle from 1968, and the Caribbean-tinged Discover America from 1972.
The following interview was conducted by email, with answers received on 7/27/11.
Neil Hagerty is a guitarist and songwriter who got his start in the uncompromising underground band Pussy Galore, which released albums including Groovy Hate F*ck and Dial ‘M’ For Motherf*cker. When that band broke up, Hagerty and girlfriend Jennifer Herrema turned their attention to Royal Trux, which recorded multiple albums during the 1990′s including Cats & Dogs and Thank You. Royal Trux’s best-known song is “The Inside Game”, which is on the soundtrack for the movie High Fidelity. After Royal Trux broke up, Hagerty released a couple of solo albums, and also recorded with The Howling Hex.
In 1997, Hagerty’s book Victory Chimp was published. An audiobook version of Victory Chimp was released on 6/21/11, which is the day that the answers to the following questions were received by email.
When “Weird Al” Yankovic was sixteen years old, he gave a home-recorded tape of original and parody songs to Dr. Demento, who broadcast them on his radio show. This was the beginning of Yankovic’s career in comedic music, which really took off in 1984 with his hit song with “Eat It”, a parody of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” with a hilarious video which spoofed Jackson’s own. He has released many other popular parodies, including another song by Jackson (“Fat”) and songs by Madonna (“Like A Surgeon”), Queen (“Another One Rides The Bus”), Nirvana (“Smells Like Nirvana”), Coolio (“Amish Paradise”), and Chamillionaire (“White & Nerdy”). He also writes a number of original comedy songs. His new album, ALpocalypse, is being released in June, 2011.
The following interview was conducted by phone on 6/13/11.
Singer-songwriter Bill Callahan first started releasing his recordings under the alias Smog in 1988. His earliest releases were lo-fi home recordings, but as the years passed his recordings gained more polish, albeit without completely losing their grittiness. Fittingly, his song “Cold Blooded Old Times” appeared on the excellent soundtrack to the 2000 movie High Fidelity, being the type of song that the movie’s music-obsessed characters would put on a mix tape. Starting in 2007, Callahan started releasing his music under his own name, his latest album being 2011′s Apocalypse.
The following interview was conducted by email, with answers received on 6/9/11.
Jon Anderson is, quite literally, the voice of Yes, the band whose albums The Yes Album, Fragile, and Close To The Edge are amongst the most beloved of the progressive rock genre. Songs from this era co-written by Anderson include “Roundabout”, “Yours Is No Disgrace”, “I’ve Seen All Good People”, “Heart Of The Sunrise”, and many others. His first solo album was 1976′s Olias of Sunhillow, and he sang on Yes’ 1983 runaway hit “Owner of a Lonely Heart”. Anderson also had a long-running collaboration with Vangelis of Chariots of Fire fame.
Anderson recovered from an episode of acute respiratory failure in 2008, returning to performing solo shows in 2009. He has a new album called Survival & Other Stories which will be released in mid-June, 2011. The following interview was conducted by email, with answers received on June 2, 2011.
(Robin Kauffman photo)
Rickie Lee Jones is an acclaimed singer-songwriter who released her first album in 1979 and won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1980. Her song “Chuck E.’s In Love” was a huge hit, as were her first two albums, both of which reached the Top 5 in the U.S. She went on to release a dozen more albums in various styles, and her 1989 duet with Dr. John, “Makin’ Whoopee!”, won her another Grammy Award.
This interview was conducted by email, with answers received on May 20, 2011.
Jason Reeves is a singer-songwriter originally from Iowa City, Iowa. Shortly after moving to California in 2005, he met Colbie Caillat and co-wrote many of the songs on her debut album, Coco, including the hit singles “Bubbly” and “Realize.” He also co-wrote songs on Caillat’s follow-up album Breakthrough, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, plus “The Show,” which was a hit in the United Kingdom and elsewhere for Lenka.
His 2007 album Magnificent Adventures of Heartache and Other Frightening Tales won acclaim for its heartfelt pop-infused folk songs, and his album The Lovesick will be released by Warner Brothers this year.
Steve Wynn was the vocalist, guitarist, and principal songwriter for The Dream Syndicate, a key band in the guitar-driven neo-psychedelic Paisley Underground style which emerged in early 1980′s Los Angeles. Their first album, the Velvet Underground-influenced The Days of Wine and Roses, is considered an early classic of the alternative rock genre. The Dream Syndicate recorded several more albums, including 1984′s Sandy Pearlman-produced Medicine Show. After The Dream Syndicate broke up, Wynn continued his prolific career, with acclaimed albums as a solo artist and with Gutterball, The Miracle 3, and The Baseball Project.
This interview was done by email, with answers received on 3/1/11. It served as the basis for a preview article for the 4/1/11 concert by The Baseball Project.
Gary Lucas has been described as “The Thinking Man’s Guitar Hero” by The New Yorker, a “Guitarist of 1000 Ideas” by The New York Times, and a “legendary leftfield guitarist” by The Guardian (UK). He first gained acclaim for his work with Captain Beefheart (aka Don Van Vliet), appearing on Beefheart’s 1980 album Doc at the Radar Station and 1982′s Ice Cream for Crow. Lucas was also Van Vliet’s manager during this time. He has since released solo albums – the first being 1990′s Skeleton at the Feast featuring effect-heavy interstellar guitar instrumentals – and albums with his band Gods and Monsters, whose ranks once included Jeff Buckley. He has worked with many other artists, and was nominated for a Grammy for co-writing Joan Osborne’s song “Spider Web”.
The Gary Lucas & Gods and Monsters album The Ordeal of Civility will be released on Knitting Factory Records on May 10, 2011. This album is not just for fans of avant guitar – definitely worth checking out!
This interview was conducted by email, with responses received March 1, 2011. Lucas responded from La Habana, Cuba.
Jorma Kaukonen was the lead guitarist for the Sixties psychedelic band Jefferson Airplane, which is best known for the hits “Somebody To Love” and “White Rabbit” from the album Surrealistic Pillow. His signature song is the instrumental “Embryonic Journey” from the same album. Other acclaimed Jefferson Airplane albums include After Bathing At Baxter’s, Crown of Creation, and Volunteers. As the Sixties wound down, Kaukonen and Airplane bassist Jack Casady’s attention shifted to their new band Hot Tuna, which focused on acoustic and electric folk- and blues-based music. Kaukonen has also released multiple solo albums, including 1974′s masterpiece Quah. Kaukonen continues to tour in Hot Tuna, and with his wife owns and operates the Fur Peace Ranch which runs a yearly music and guitar camp.
This interview was conducted by phone on February 23, 2011.
Brute Force is the recording/performance name of Stephen Friedland. Friedland was a member of The Tokens in the mid-1960′s, and composed songs recorded by The Tokens, The Creation, Cyrkle, and The Chiffons. In 1967, his bizarrely brilliant solo album I, Brute Force, Confections of Love was released, including songs such as “To Sit on a Sandwich” and “Tapeworm of Love”. He is best known for the 1969 single “King of Fuh”, which was admired by George Harrison and John Lennon and was released on Apple Records. Unfortunately, Captiol/EMI refused to distribute this single because some of the lyrics sounded like profanity. In October 2010, Confections of Love was re-released on CD, with “King of Fuh” as one of the bonus tracks; also that month, Apple Records released Come and Get It, The Best of Apple Records, a compilation containing “King of Fuh”.
This interview was conducted by email in January 2011.
James Jackson Toth is an insanely prolific indie folk songwriter and musician who has recorded most frequently under the name Wooden Wand. His latest album, Death Seat, was produced by The Swans’ Michael Gira, and has been receiving a lot of great press from the likes of The New York Times, Interview Magazine, and Crawdaddy, and is definitely worth checking out.
Here is an interview with Toth done by email, with questions sent and responses received on 12/29/10.
John Doe is one of the primary songwriters and singers for the band X, along with Exene Cervenka. X’s 1980 debut album Los Angeles, produced by Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, ranks as one of the best punk albums of all time. This was followed by other acclaimed X albums, and a solo career that explored more of a roots music direction. Doe is also an actor who has appeared in a variety of films and television shows.
This interview was conducted by telephone on 11/4/10, while Doe was driving to the airport for a trip to Las Vegas. It formed the basis of a preview article for X’s XMAS concert on 12/16/10 at the Majestic Ventura Theater.
Mike Watt co-founded, played bass, and composed many of the songs for the influential indie-punk band The Minutemen, which sadly was silenced when guitarist D. Boon died in a car accident. Watt has also played with fIREHOSE and, since 2003, The Stooges.
On October 1 and 2, Watt was a guest musician for Yoko Ono’s performances in Los Angeles, the second of which was reviewed here. This interview, conducted 10/8/10, covered his thoughts on these concerts, plus his recent projects with The Missingmen and Floored By Four.
Will Oldham has been steadily releasing records for nearly two decades now, under different names including (rarely) his own, Palace Brothers, and, for most of the last decade, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy. His music receives much (well-deserved) critical acclaim: for example, his 1999 album I See A Darkness – the title track of which was covered by the late Johnny Cash – was ranked as the 9th best album of the 1990′s by the influential indie-arbiters pitchfork.com, who say that it “confirm[s] that Oldham is indie’s detached and brilliant DeNiro.”
This is the transcription of a phone conversation with Oldham on 9/20/10, and formed the basis of a preview article for his 10/27/10 concert in Santa Ynez, California.
Bryan Adams is the all-time best-selling male Canadian artist, having co-written and performed some of the best known songs of the 1980′s and 1990′s, including rockers like “Cuts Like a Knife”, “Run to You”, “Summer of 69″, and “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started”, plus the ballads “Straight from the Heart”, and “Heaven”. He has also brought us mega-hit songs from movies, most notably the theme song “Everything I Do (I Do It for You)” from the Kevin Costner film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, which spent a record sixteen straight weeks as the No. 1 song in the United Kingdom. He has also hit No. 1 with “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?” from Don Juan DeMarco, and “All For Love”, performed with Rod Stewart and Sting from The Three Musketeers. He even did the soundtrack for the 2002 DreamWorks animated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.
This interview was conducted by email, and formed the basis of a preview article for Adams’ 9/26/10 show at the Granada.
Paul Kantner was a co-founder, singer, rhythm guitarist, and songwriter for the Sixties psychedelic band Jefferson Airplane, which is best known for the hits “Somebody To Love” and “White Rabbit”. His songwriting credits include “Crown of Creation”, “We Can Be Together”, “Volunteers” (co-written with bandmate Marty Balin) and “Wooden Ships” (co-written with David Crosby and Stephen Stills). Kantner stayed onboard when Jefferson Airplane morphed into Jefferson Starship.
This interview was conducted by phone on 4/21/10. It formed the basis of a preview article for Jefferson Starship’s 4/30/10 show in Santa Barbara.
Mike Watt’s musical resume is about as cool as they come. He co-founded the influential San Pedro-based indie-punk band The Minutemen, playing bass and composing many of their songs. After Minutemen guitarist D. Boon tragically died in a car accident, guitarist Ed “fROMOHIO” Crawford joined up with Watt and Minutemen drummer George Hurley to form the somewhat underappreciated late-80′s and early-90′s band fIREHOSE. And since 2003, he has been playing bass with re-formed (but perhaps not reformed) punk rock godfathers The Stooges, fronted by Iggy Pop.
This interview was conducted by phone on 2/9/10.
Cris Kirkwood is the bassist for the Meat Puppets, which released the indie rock classic albums Meat Puppets II in 1984 and Up on the Sun in 1985. They hit their commercial peak with 1994’s album Too High to Die, which featured the minor hit “Backwater.” Their visibility was helped immensely around this time by Kurt Cobain proclaiming the Meat Puppets to be one of his biggest influences, and by brothers Curt and Cris Kirkwood joining Nirvana onstage at their MTV Unplugged performance of three songs from Meat Puppets II. But things crumbled shortly thereafter, in large part because of Cris’ escalating substance abuse problems.
This interview was conducted over the phone on 1/8/09, and formed the basis of a preview article for the Meat Puppets concert at SOhO. Be sure to read Cris’ hilarious answers to “The MOJO Questions” at the end.
Justin Roberts was in the Minneapolis-based indie rock band Pimentos for Gus before becoming an award-winning children’s musician who writes clever, thoughtful songs with a well-crafted power pop sound. His latest CD is 2008′s Pop Fly.
This interview was conducted in person in Evanston, IL on 6/25/08.
Jeff Barry is one of rock and roll’s most accomplished songwriters. He was recently selected for a 2010 Ahmet Ertegun Award by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Barry and his songwriting partner Ellie Greenwich co-wrote such early rock and roll classics as “Be My Baby”, “Da Doo Ron Ron”, “Chapel of Love”, “River Deep, Mountain High” (all co-written with Phil Spector), “Leader of the Pack” (co-written with George “Shadow” Morton), “Hanky Panky,” and “Do Wah Diddy Diddy.” Later, Barry co-wrote the bubblegum smash “Sugar, Sugar” with Andy Kim, and theme songs for the television shows “The Jeffersons,” “One Day at a Time,” and “Family Ties.” Barry also was the producer for many well-known songs, including “I’m A Believer” by The Monkees, and early Neil Diamond songs such as “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon” and “Kentucky Woman.”
This interview was conducted in person on May 6, 2008 in Santa Barbara, California.
Mark Tulin was the bass guitar player for The Electric Prunes, which is best known for 1966′s psychedelic garage-rock classic single “I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night),” the lead track on the highly-regarded Nuggets collection compiled in 1972 by Lenny Kaye. The Prunes’ original line-up also released 1968′s psych obscurity Mass in F Minor, a Catholic mass, sung in Latin, composed by music producer/arranger/composer David Axelrod – the track “Kyrie Eleison” from this album was on the soundtrack for the generation-defining movie Easy Rider.
This interview was conducted in person on 8/23/09, and formed the basis of a preview article of the Spirits In The Sky concert at Muddy Waters Cafe on 8/27/09. We started talking about the upcoming show, and then covered The Electric Prunes.
Billy Corgan is the lead guitarist and singer for Smashing Pumpkins, one of the best known alternative rock bands which broke through in the 1990′s. Their 1993 album Siamese Dream is widely recognized as one of the best and most influential albums of the decade.
After the phenomenal concert by Billy Corgan and the Spirits in the Sky at Muddy Waters in Santa Barbara on 8/28/09, Corgan was casually chatting with fans outside. Amidst various random questions and people asking him to sign things, some of us in the crowd managed to have a conversation about the music business. Here is a transcript of how it went down:
Steve Young is a singer and songwriter whose best known song is “Seven Bridges Road,” which was covered by and became a Top 40 hit for The Eagles. He also wrote “Lonesome, On’ry And Mean”, which became a trademark song for Waylon Jennings, and “Montgomery in the Rain”, which was covered by Hank Williams, Jr.
This interview was conducted by phone on 1/5/10, and formed the basis of a preview article for the Steve Young with Van Dyke Parks and David Jackson show on 1/23/10 at the Lobero Theatre.
Ted Nugent is known as the Motor City Madman for his gonzo persona, music, guitar playing, and right-wing punditry. He was in the Detroit band The Amboy Dukes best known for the 1968 acid-rock song “Journey to the Center of the Mind”. After going solo in the 1970′s, he recorded the multi-platinum classic hard rock albums Ted Nugent, Free-for-All, and Cat Scratch Fever, plus the live album Double Live Gonzo!
This interview was conducted by email, and formed the basis of a preview article for Nugent’s show on 1/22/10 at the Chumash Casino.
Todd Rundgren has worn many musical hats, from principal songwriter and guitarist for the 1960′s Anglophile band The Nazz, to the pop meister who wrote the 1972 hit “Hello, It’s Me” and co-wrote the 1983 anti-work anthem “Bang the Drum All Day,” to a member of the prog-rock ensemble Utopia, to the lead singer of The New Cars after Ric Ocasek decided not to join a reunion of The Cars, to the producer of Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell, The New York Dolls’ debut album, and albums by many other artists including Patti Smith, Grand Funk Railroad, and XTC.
This interview was conducted by phone on 11/23/09, and formed the basis of a preview article for Rundgren’s show on 12/05/09 at the Majestic Ventura Theatre at which he performed the entire album A Wizard, A True Star.