Guitarist/singer/songwriter Dave Mason was a co-founder of the English psychedelic/folk rock band Traffic, and he stuck around for their first two albums, the second of which contains his original version of “Feelin’ Alright”, a song that became a huge hit for Joe Cocker.
Mason also had a notable solo career, with albums including his 1970 debut Alone Together and 1974’s Let It Flow. Some songs from Mason’s solo career are “Only You Know and I Know”, “We Just Disagree”, and “Let It Go, Let It Flow”.
As if all this wasn’t enough, along the way he also worked with other artists including Jimi Hendrix for his cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”, George Harrison for his first album All Things Must Pass, Paul McCartney for “Listen to What the Man Says”, and much, much more.
This interview was for Mason’s performance at the Santa Barbara Bowl on 9/1/16. It was done by email, with answers received on 8/16/16. (Chris Jensen photo)
There’s no denying that many classic albums have classic album covers. Think of Crosby, Stills & Nash sitting on a couch on their debut album. Or The Doors looking out the window of the Morrison Hotel. Or the handsome young James Taylor on the cover of Sweet Baby James.
It turns out that the same photographer, Henry Diltz, took those and many, many other album cover photos over the years, along with thousands upon thousands of candid and action shots of musicians in places like Laurel Canyon and at Woodstock. Diltz was also a member of the Modern Folk Quartet.
This interview was for a preview article for Behind The Lens at the Lobero Theatre on 3/23/16, for which Diltz will be sharing some of his favorite photos – and the stories behind them. Joining Diltz will be Pattie Boyd, the muse for the songs “Something” by George Harrison, and “Layla” and “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, plus an accomplished photographer herself. This was done by email, with answers received on 3/16/16. (Photo from morrisonhotelgallery.com)
Mike Finnigan has been a part of an amazing amount of rock and roll music over the last four-plus decades. A big highlight was playing organ on the tracks “Rainy Day, Dream Away” and “Still Raining, Still Dreaming” on Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland album. He has also played organ and/or sang with many other artists including Crosby, Stills & Nash, Etta James, Dave Mason, Ringo Starr, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, and Eric Burdon.
This interview was for a preview article for a benefit concert in Santa Barbara on 8/22/14 for The Rhythmic Arts Project (TRAP), an educational program that integrates percussion as a medium to address reading, writing, and arithmetic, as well as life skills, with children and adults with intellectual and developmental differences. It was done by phone on 8/12/14.
The Beatles invaded America fifty years ago, and The Animals weren’t far behind, with their definitive version of “House of the Rising Sun” spending three weeks at the top of the Billboard charts in 1964. Other hits followed for The Animals, including “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”, with the only constant bandmember during their 1960’s run being singer Eric Burdon.
After The Animals disbanded, Burdon continued to make great music, with War (“Spill the Wine”) and in a notable solo career. His latest album, 2013’s ‘Til Your River Runs Dry, shows that he’s still got it as a seventy-something.
This interview was for a preview article for Burdon’s birthday performance on 5/17/14 at the Libbey Bowl in his current hometown of Ojai, California.
(Marianna Burdon photo)
Dick Dale is known as the King of the Surf Guitar, and for good reason. He basically invented the surf music genre with his reverb-drenched distorted-Fender-Strat-through-Fender-amps gloriously-glissandoing staccato-picked guitar instrumentals.
Dale had his first heyday in the early 1960’s in Southern California, and roared back into popular consciousness when his signature song “Miserlou” was used to great effect in the 1994 movie Pulp Fiction. Now in his seventies, Dale still has the fire that he showed in his early recordings, and gives awe-inspiring concerts like the one from 2009 reviewed here.
The following interview was for a preview article for Dale’s scheduled concert at the Majestic Ventura Theater on 11/10/13, which unfortunately was canceled. But the interview is still worth reading. As you’ll see, it turned out not to be a standard Q&A; instead, after a shaky start on the part of the interviewer, Dale spoke at length about his life in music and beyond. This was done by phone on 10/16/13.
Micky Dolenz is best known as the lead singer and drummer for The Monkees, a group whose music and television show offered a fun, zany, and sanitized take on the emerging youth culture in the 1960’s. Although the television show lasted only two years, it has remained popular and influential to the present day. Dolenz’ vocals can be heard on songs such as “Last Train to Clarksville”, “I’m A Believer”, “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone”, “Pleasant Valley Sunday”, and “Porpoise Song”. Altogether, four of The Monkees’ albums and three of their singles hit Number 1 in the U.S. charts.
The following is from a phone interview with Dolenz on 7/5/12, for a preview article for the Happy Together Tour visit to the Chumash Casino on 7/12/12.
Greg Lake first made his mark as a founding member of King Crimson, for which he was lead singer and bass player. During Lake’s tenure, King Crimson released their debut album In the Court of the Crimson King, which is regularly hailed as one of the pioneering works of progressive rock, and included “21st Century Schizoid Man” and the title track. When this original line-up broke up, Lake joined with Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer to form the prog rock supergroup Emerson, Lake & Palmer (often abbreviated ELP), which became one of top bands in the genre. ELP’s albums included Tarkus and Brain Salad Surgery, and their best known songs include “Lucky Man”, “From The Beginning”, and “Karn Evil 9”, all of which were written or co-written by Lake. ELP broke up in 1978, but reunited in the 1990’s and beyond, most recently for a one-off 40th anniversary concert in London in 2010.
Lake is currently on a solo tour called “Songs of a Lifetime”, in which he performs songs and tells stories about his life in music. The following interview took place on 4/24/12 as Lake was on his way to a gig in Alexandria, Virginia, and served as the basis for a preview article for his 5/17/12 concert in Ventura, California.
Photo: Lee Millward
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)
Photos of Experience Hendrix concert, Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara on 3/4/10. (L. Paul Mann photos)
Here is a link to my review of this concert.
Review of Experience Hendrix concert at Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara on 3/4/10.