John Sebastian’s musical journey has taken him from Greenwich Village to The Lovin’ Spoonful to Woodstock to a notable solo career, with a lot of hit songs along the way including “Do You Believe in Magic”, “Daydream”, “Summer in the City”, and the theme song for “Welcome Back, Kotter”. A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer as the leader and primary songwriter for The Lovin’ Spoonful, Sebastian at 72 years young continues to write, record, and tour.
This interview was for Sebastian’s concert at SOhO in Santa Barbara on 10/12/16. It was done by phone on 10/4/16. (Photo from johnbsebastian.com)
There aren’t many people who can truthfully say, “I was a teenage Zombie.” Two of them – Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone – are Zombies again, part of the reformed British Sixties band that brought us songs like “She’s Not There”, “Tell Her No”, and “Time of the Season”, and the acclaimed album Odessey and Oracle recorded just before they broke up.
If “Argent” sounds familiar, it’s also the name of the successful band that Argent founded after The Zombies, which is best known for the hit song “Hold Your Head Up”. Over the years, Argent has also recorded with other artists, most notably The Who on their 1978 album Who Are You.
This interview with Rod Argent was done for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the 9/4/16 concert by The Zombies at the Libbey Bowl in Ojai, California. It was done by phone on 8/23/16. (Andrew Eccles photo)
“Everything happened in 1966 for The Spencer Davis Group,” says someone who would know – Spencer Davis himself. And what a year it was for the band. They started off with a UK Number One song “Keep On Running”, which knocked The Beatles’ single “Day Tripper” / “We Can Work It Out” off the top spot. Another UK Number One song, “Somebody Help Me”, followed a few months later.
But the highlight of the year for the band was the release of the timeless classic “Gimme Some Lovin'”, co-written by Davis, Muff Winwood, and Muff’s kid brother Steve, the band’s lead singer who also played organ and a bit of guitar.
Now, 1966 wasn’t actually the only year that things happened for The Spencer Davis Group. Their song “I’m A Man” was released in early 1967 and hit the Top Ten; a couple years later it was memorably covered by Chicago. But Steve Winwood left the band in 1967 to form Traffic, and as Spencer Davis puts it, they “lost a huge amount of momentum”.
This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the concert by The Spencer Davis Group as part of the Happy Together Tour at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara on 7/13/16. It was done by phone on 6/29/16. (Liz Barry photo)
Bruce Johnston has had an incredible career in music. In the early days of rock and roll, he played shows as part of the backing band for Ritchie Valens, and he did one performance in the backing band for Eddie Cochran. Then, after a stint as a young producer for Columbia Records, he was asked to fill in for a few concerts with The Beach Boys, which turned into membership in the band for thousands of concerts and the recordings of some of their best-known albums including Pet Sounds, Smile, Friends, Sunflower, and Surf’s Up. Along the way, he also did vocal arrangements and sang background vocals for Pink Floyd’s The Wall, and wrote “I Write the Songs”, which was a Grammy Award winning Number 1 hit for Barry Manilow.
This interview was for the 1/30/16 concert by The Beach Boys at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara, CA. It was done by phone on 1/8/16. (L. Paul Mann 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.
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.