Singer-songwriter Eric Andersen got his start over 50 years ago as a folk musician performing in the legendary venues of Greenwich Village and writing classic songs like “Thirsty Boots”, “Violets of Dawn”, and “Close the Door Lightly When You Go”. Since then his style evolved in various interesting directions, and many of his albums are highly acclaimed, including his 1972 album Blue River which is a somewhat hidden gem of the singer-songwriter genre.
Andersen has also intersected with many notable musicians and artists over the years, including Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, Janis Joplin, Patti Smith, Phil Ochs, and Townes Van Zandt. Aesop told us that “a man is known by the company he keeps,” and by that measure singer-songwriter Eric Andersen is clearly one cool dude!
This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Andersen’s concert at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara on 4/22/17, as part of the Sings Like Hell concert series. It was done by phone on 4/7/17. (Paolo Brillo photo)
Patti Smith and her band first rocked the world forty years ago with her fusion of poetry and primitive three-chord rock. Their 1975 debut Horses is regularly ranked as one of the most influential rock and roll albums of all time, and Smith went on to release other acclaimed albums – and to continue to thrill audiences – throughout the decades, all the while growing as an artist.
Smith’s secret weapon throughout most of her musical journey has been guitarist Lenny Kaye, who provided accompaniment at her first public poetry reading in 1971, was in Smith’s band during her 1970’s heyday, and rejoined when Smith returned to action in the mid-1990’s. In a parallel life, Kaye also put together the well-regarded Nuggets compilation which rescued a smokin’ set of 1960’s garage rock gems from obscurity.
This interview with Lenny Kaye was for a preview article for the Patti Smith concert on 1/27/15 at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara. It was done by phone on 1/22/15.
Review of Patti Smith, Philip Glass concert on 2/14/09 at Campbell Hall, UC Santa Barbara
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.