Former Foreigner vocalist Lou Gramm pulls no punches in his new autobiography, Juke Box Hero.
In the book, which was co-written with Scott Pitoniak, Gramm leads readers on a journey from his humble beginnings in Rochester, New York, to the biggest stages in the world. He recounts his stint with Black Sheep, plus the ups and downs of working with guitarist Mick Jones in the band that made him famous.
From the diagnosis that nearly took his life to his solo career success and fascination for muscle cars, Gramm’s book is an honest portrayal of self-reflection from one of the greatest voices in rock history.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Gramm to discuss Juke Box Hero and get his thoughts on being inducted with Jones into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 13th.
You Can read my complete Guitar World interview with Lou by Clicking Here!
When I heard my very first KISS album back in the 1970′s, a seed was planted and I realized I wanted to be a rock star. I remember picking up my grandmother’s hand-held potato slicer (which kind-of resembled a guitar) and played it til my fingers bled. Which come to think of it, happened rather quickly. Those little metal tines sure were sharp.
In the mid 80′s, I seriously began working on my craft. I’d sit up in my bedroom and play guitar for hours after school. I even remember getting mad at myself if I fell short of my set goal and only practiced for 2 1/2 hours instead of three. I couldn’t let anything (not even dinner or mowing the grass) interfere with my progress. Whether it was trying to figure out the lead to ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’ by AC/DC or mastering a section from my guitar lesson music book, I accomplished it.
Back then, I had no fear.
It wasn’t until 1987 that I had my first chance to actually get out of the bedroom and play in front of an audience. I was the sole guitarist in the pit band for the school play and also performed the song “Flashdance” on stage with the school choir. That’s where it all began.
Over the next few years (oh, ok… decades… I’m 43) I played in no less than seven different bands with various degrees of success. I remember a lot of the lows, like playing hair metal in dive bars for 6 people. I also remember the high: performing in front of 6,000 people at Musikfest. But whether it was six or six thousand it didn’t matter. The message was the same:
I had no fear.
I’ve never really been concerned about playing my music in front of an audience. Nope, no stage fright here. Whether they loved it or hated it, I didn’t care. As Frankie said, I was doing it “my way”.
Which leads me to the real meat of this post.
Last month, me (along with a great friend and artist) had the opportunity to write and publish my first children’s book. I was interviewed by the local newspaper about it (piece of cake) and did an on camera, live TV interview (ok, I’ll admit, that one was a bit scary). I was even offered the opportunity to read my book to a group of children at a bookstore next week to help raise funds for a local organization, and I jumped at the chance. Not only would it be for a good cause, but it would also be a good outlet for the story. In retrospect though, as the day beins to draw closer, I’ve realized something:
I have fear.
There is something about reading in front of children that intimidates me. I could bring my guitar and sing songs all day long without worry. But reading a book (MY BOOK) is a whole different story (literally and figuratively). It’s funny to think that I can already tell I’ll be looking for reaction from their faces; hoping that my book will be worthy enough for them.
It’s odd how someone my age, who’s played so much music in front of people of all ages, would suddenly be nervous when it comes to a small amount of children. But I think I know the reason. When we’re kids, we discover early on how much it means to fit in with others. We all grow up wanting affirmation from our peers that what we’re doing is cool in their eyes. It’s important to kids that they feel a sense of belonging with each other, and I think one of the reasons for my own “cold feet” about reading the book has something to do with my subconscious mind still wanting to fit in too.
Regardless, I know the event is going to be fun and I’m really looking forward to it. Although some of my fear may rest with the fact that this whole experience is something completely new to me, I’m going to face it. For as is the case with music, the show must go on.
See you there.
A lot of people have been asking about my interview with Eve Tannery of WFMZ. So for those who may have missed it or just want to watch it again, here it is. Enjoy!
Thanks go out to Eve and everyone at WFMZ for taking the time to hear about the book.
You can read more of the “Doodle” story and purchase your own copy
by Clicking Here
I suppose it’s best to start from the beginning. It was somewhere in tenth grade when our paths crossed for the very first time. Now, thirty years is a long time to hold on to such memories but bear with me here. It was definitely the first year of high school; a time when the future seemed oh, so bright and the feeling of being in the home stretch of public education was finally starting to settle in.
Although I had just started playing guitar and dreamed of one day being the next Eddie Van-Halen, my original intent going into high school was to become a doctor. I had even taken some courses to help prepare me for my journey, including algebra and Latin. I really wanted to help people.
Anyway, I was sitting in tenth grade history class; a required subject, but one that I fell in love with right from the start. It was the only class in all of my years of education where I actually sat in the front row. I know this not because I was a nerd or anything (seriously, I wasn’t), but because last spring, Michele reminded me.
Michele, who also happened to be in the same class, could tell you exactly where I was sitting in proximity to her location and the classroom door. She has an amazing memory (in fact, when we reunited with each other last spring after too many years, it was one of the first things she pointed out remembering). I’m sure that if she thought long and hard about it, she could probably even tell you exactly what I was wearing. My guess is that it was a J’s Subs T-shirt and Lee jeans that I liked to wear religiously in those days.
High school years can be trying times, and mine were no different. But with all of the peer pressure and trying to find out where I fit in, I always found solace in art and music. And although we had never become friends and were nothing more than “another classmate” to each other, I do remember that Michele was also in my art class at one time too. Perhaps it was because she had written the word “Dokken” or “DIO” on her math book that jars my own memory about it. After all, she was a “metal head” too!
I always enjoyed doodling and writing poems in those days, never realizing what it might eventually turn into. But as the years went by, the hunger to become “Eddie” soon began to outweigh the desire to take the Hippocratic Oath, and music and art would become my life.
After high school was over, Michele and I both went our own separate ways. She would go on to become an educator and artist. As for me well, I did what most struggling musicians often do: bounce from job to job, attend community colleges and play the occasional bar gig or party. Eventually, I was able to balance my love of art with steady, full time employment.
Over the years, I have been extremely blessed to have been able to write and record my own songs and interview many of my favorite musicians for news articles, but there was always another dream I had running in the back of my mind: to one day write a book of my own. But as is often the case, life always seems to have other intentions and the dream would always wind up being placed on the back burner. Then last year, I began to have this idea for a rhyming story about a little girl and a dog. It was a spiritual story; one where both characters wonder about how things were made. The time was finally right. It was something I knew I had to do, but what I really needed was someone to come in and do the hard part: the illustrations. That’s when fate stepped in.
With our “big” 25th high school reunion approaching, the class of 1987 students began reuniting with each other via Facebook. It was there that Michele and I connected again. She was now living in Ohio but mentioned that she was going to be visiting the area and (along with another amazing friend) we all hooked up for dinner one night. I bounced the idea off of Michele, who coincidentally, also had the same dream of publishing a book. After a series of back and forth emails and months of organizing, proof-reading and spell-checking, “Doodle” finally came to life. It may be a children’s book about innocence, spirituality and wonder, but on a personal level, it’s also about friendship, reunions and good memories.
But the story doesn’t end there.
Shortly after the release of the book, Michele asked me if it were possible to donate her share of the profits of the book to her friend, whose daughter Ashley has been ill for quite some time. Ashley will soon require a bone marrow transplant and her medical bills are astronomical. Without hesitation, I decided the best thing to do was to donate 100% of all of the profits we make from the book to Ashley.
Check out the video of my interview discussing the Story Of Doodle and our mission:
The cost of each book is $7 and can be purchased online via Create Space or Amazon.Com. Depending upon where you order, we will receive a different royalty rate per copy. If you order through Create Space, we receive a royalty of $1.95 for each book. Purchasing through Amazon’s website will give us a royalty of .55 cents per copy ordered.
If you get a chance, please check out our “Doodle” Facebook page. Even if you don’t purchase the book, please consider giving the page a “Like” and share it to help raise some awareness. We’d greatly appreciate it!
Because in the end, while creating this book has fulfilled a life-long dream for both Michele and I, there is nothing greater than accomplishing that dream than with a true purpose.
For more information about Ashley’s Army Click Here
Click here to purchase your own copy of “Doodle”.
Chris “Breeze” Barczynski is a true success story. Born and raised in small rural Pennsylvania towns, he aspired to one day play professional football, but fate had other intentions.
In the early 90′s (following a devastating football injury while playing in London) he returned home to discover his true calling did not lie on the grid iron but rather with a microphone and a guitar.
For the next twenty years, Breeze would sing lead vocals and perform with a variety of bands like “The Honey Buzzards”, “Sweet Brother Rush” and “Citizens of Contrary Knowledge”. During that time, he not only opened up for some of the biggest names in music, but also licensed his songs to hit television shows, became a semi-finalist on Star Search and even sang as a regular on the hit TV show, The Singing Bee.
Now, after spending the last dozen years honing his craft in the New York City area, the former Lehigh Valley, PA resident is ready for another change. He’ll soon be making the move to California in search of new adventures and inspiration. He’s also in the process of finishing a book about his life experiences thus far.
I spoke with Breeze about his days performing in the local music scene as well as his forthcoming book chronicling the life of a music man.
Tell me a little about your upbringing.
CB: I was born in Reading, PA and went to grade school in and around the Hershey area. I came up playing trumpet and drums and when I was in 6th grade, we moved to the Lehigh Valley. I knew that in order to get to college, I was going to have to pay my own way, so I played sports. I played football, ran track and wound up going to college on an academic scholarship with every intention of having a professional football career.
When did music become your main focus?
CB: I played professionally for two years in England in the Budweiser League (before it became the World League) and suffered a severe knee injury that ended my childhood dream. I returned to the U.S. and sank into a deep depression. I was 23 years old and beginning to think that I had nothing to live for.
Then one night, I went to an open mic blues jam in Dayton, Ohio and sang a Muddy Waters song. That experience rekindled my love of music; which literally saved my life. I came back to the Lehigh Valley in 1991 and auditioned for a blues band. Soon after that, I started The Honey Buzzards and we played the area from 1994-2000.
What are some of the best moments you remember from that time?
CB: We got to open for a lot of great acts like Green Day, Collective Soul, Blue Öyster Cult and Kansas. We opened up for Sugar Ray in front of 12,000 people. We also opened for Hootie and The Blowfish on the same day that the video for their song “Hold My Hand” had its world premiere. I remember standing with Darius Rucker staring at the television screen and watching it for the very first time. That was a cool experience. We wound up signing with a management group who had worked with bands like LIVE and Fuel. We had some success with a song called “Fighting Gravity” and almost won a record deal through Garage Band.
What did you find most difficult about those days?
CB: We were trying to be an original band but were playing in cover rooms. That was the catch 22. With our management, you had to either be cover or original. Trying to do both was difficult. We were always walking the fine line between original and cover band and it was really confusing people. So, we decided to change the name of the band to “Sweet Brother Rush” to try to secure a deal. We came close, but it didn’t work out.
Why did you eventually make the move to New York City?
CB: I really wanted to put together the band that I had always dreamed of. A band where everyone respected each other as both men and musicians. One without ego and a band that just made great music: Citizens of Contrary Knowledge. We’ve had great success; licensing songs to things like Showtime’s “The Tudors” and a few indie films as well. Nickelodeon also licensed our entire CD for two of their kid shows: “Drake and Josh” and “Zoey 101″.
Tell me about how you wound up on The Singing Bee.
CB: In addition to Citizens of Contrary Knowledge, I was also been performing with a 22-piece big band that did a lot of corporate events around the country. Through that band, I met a keyboard player named Russ Graham who ended up becoming the Assistant Music Director on The Singing Bee. They were in LA trying to audition singers for the show, but it just wasn’t working out. So, Russ called me up one day and told me that the gig would be perfect for me. He said, “Do whatever you can to get here. We need you!” [laughs]
From all of my years playing cover music, I have about 2,000 songs running in my head that I know the lyrics to and can sing along with. Because of knowing so many, I just knocked it out of the park. I met with music director Ray Chew, who I’ve also worked with on several other projects since. When I get to LA, I’m going to reconnect with him and also look at putting together another band on the west coast.
Have you ever taken vocal lessons?
CB: I haven’t. I came up singing a lot of rhythm and blues and my voice blended well for that genre. There was a time though where I did reach out to a vocal coach to learn proper technique and taking care of the voice. I remember there were situations where I was playing 6-7 nights a week with The Honey Buzzards and at one point, I did 12 one night shows in a row. It was a lot of driving around and singing and that put a lot of strain on my voice.
How about your guitar playing?
CB: That’s a work in progress. I picked it up a long time ago when I first started playing in the Valley. I consider myself a singer who plays guitar. It’s the only instrument that I write with.
What’s your songwriting process like?
CB: There’s no real formula for it. Some songs I’ve written in ten minutes and others, I’m still writing ten years later. I’m more into being a lyricist and writing melodies and find it easier to write with a co-writer who plays piano or guitar. I love collaborating.
Tell me a little about your new book.
CB: It’s called “The Chronicles of the Music Man“. I grew up in the small towns of Pennsylvania and was taught certain things by my parents and teachers, as well as by government and idols. I’ve gotten to a point in my life now where I know most of what I was told or learned about was just bullshit. The book is my attempt at taking people through the “Forrest Gump” stories of my life. Explaining what I thought before, what I went through and learned and why I may not necessarily believe what I did before. I want to take people through that process and maybe get them to think a little differently about the world. It contains surreal stories of my life and the lessons I’ve learned from them as well as lyrics and poetry. I’m also recording a CD of music inspired by the stories to accompany the book. I’m editing it now, and hope to have it out in the next few months.
Godspeed to you Breeze on your next adventure!
Article first published as Winds Of Change: The Chronicles of Singer Chris “Breeze” Barczynski on Technorati.
This may come as a shock to you, but the truth is I’m not quite as hip as you think. At least, I never used to be. Oh sure, I write and play music and all of that fun stuff. But there are some things about me that you probably wouldn’t believe.
Here are just a few of them:
1. I’ve never EVER listened to (or owned for that matter) a single Jimi Hendrix or Led Zeppelin album from start to finish. Nope, not one. I know, you’d think that a guy my age who plays guitar would have at least spent his early years immersing himself in every nuance of a Hendrix or Page solo. But in reality, I’ve not so much as spent a minute learning a single note. And although I’ve heard their songs played over and over on the radio, I’ve never actually purchased an album or listened beyond what filled the airwaves when there was nothing else on.
2. I’ve never watched a single episode of any of today’s hit television shows. People “ramble on” (did you like that Zeppelin reference?) about how funny shows like Two And A Half Men (both with Charlie Sheen and Ashton Kutcher), How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family are. But when prime time rolls around on television; well, let’s just say that I always have something better to do.
I was about to mention that the same goes for my choice of literature. From the very beginning, my reading material had only consisted of comic books, guitar magazines and Stephen King novels. About the only time any literature of “culture” came my way was when it was forced upon me in high school english classes.
Novels like George Orwell’s “1984″ and “Animal Farm” found their way into my possession during those years, and I certainly do remember having to do book reports on them. But honestly, I couldn’t tell you a single thing about them. In fact, I don’t even remember “reading” them at all. My way of thinking was always: if it didn’t have a superhero, a guitar god or some kind of monster in it, it wasn’t on my reading list.
But in the past 24 hours, that officially changed.
Yesterday, I finished “Of Mice And Men” by John Steinbeck. A book written in 1937 by a guy who won the Nobel Prize for Literature. That last sentence alone would usually be enough to have me running for the hills, but considering that the story was only 105 pages and I’ve always wanted to see what all the hub bub was about, I decided to give it a go. And I was glad I did.
I won’t bore you with the details of the story (aside from encouraging you to read it, if you haven’t), but I will tell you that I’ve discovered a whole new realm of wonder. Things that I had previously thought were dull, boring and dated have suddenly become new, interesting and exciting. It’s opened up a whole new way of thinking for me and has gotten me out of the “box” I was in.
In a way, I think I’ve hit the lottery. I’ll be able to read “1984″ and “Animal Farm” with new found perspective. I can also buy a Jimi Hendrix or Led Zeppelin album and listen to them freshly for the first time. All of the classic things I should have allowed myself to be exposed to long ago will be new to me.
I must say that I’m a bit embarrassed that it’s taken me this long to come to my senses. But I can’t wait to explore everything that’s always been right under my nose.
Dave Rose runs Deep South Entertainment, a successful business and artist management company that’s been around since 1995.
Over the years, he’s worked with some big names, including Michael Sweet, Bruce Hornsby, Marcy Playground and Allison Moorer, to name just a few.
Rose’s own musical journey began as others often do: with a guitar and a dream. But shortly after he began regularly performing in bands, he discovered his true calling relied less on the art of making music and more on the act of helping others learn from the experiences he’s had. Thankfully, he’s shared that knowledge in an amazing new book.
Everything I Know About The Music Business I Learned From My Cousin Rick: The Musician’s Practical Guide To Success is a mouthful of a title, but it’s also one of the best books a musician can read on how to really become successful in their craft and enjoy the moments along the way.
Based upon the epiphany he had when his cousin (Rick) played him the first Boston album, Rose’s book is part “biography” and part “how-to.” It’s also a valuable resource for musicians of all levels.
If it’s something a band is going through now — or has done in the past, Rose has been through it. From writing songs and booking gigs to recording albums and creating a fan base, Rose shows you how to achieve real success in music. Success that’s not measured by the number of albums sold or the money earned from gigs, but rather from the goal that anyone who’s ever picked up an instrument should have in the first place: the desire to make great music.
Novice musicians will find plenty of informative information on things to avoid when building up their band; while those with more experience may find themselves looking into a mirror at times as they turn the pages. In either case, Dave’s book is a fast, fun read.
I had the chance to speak with Dave about his new book and some of the lessons he’s learned along the way. – Read the complete article here.
Nearly forty years after his death Jim Croce, the man whose hits include “Time In A Bottle”, “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” and “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” continues to inspire generations of fans with his music.
Having been the victim of bad record deals over the course of his career, Croce never saw the fortune that went along with his fame. Relegated instead to earning a few dollars a week writing songs while at the same time shopping for clothes in thrift stores. But Jim never lost his passion for music, his wife Ingrid or his son, Adrian James “A.J.” Croce.
Croce, who would have turned 70 on January 10th, 2013, died in a plane crash shortly after a show in September of 1973. In the years since his death, Ingrid Croce has received several requests to help tell the story of the working man’s singer, but all were ultimately shelved when attempts were made to embellish the real story behind Jim’s life and times.
Fortunately, Ingrid (along with current husband Jimmy Rock) has finally released the real story of her late husband’s life and career. The book, “I Got A Name: The Jim Croce Story” is an inspiring and intimate look into the lives of Jim and Ingrid Croce, both of who were working folk musicians in the late 1960′s. From Jim’s early years performing while barely making ends meet, to the partnership and love he shared with Ingrid, to the ill-fated flight that abruptly ended his life, “I Got A Name: The Jim Croce Story” is an honest, accurate portrayal of one of the greatest story tellers of our time, told by the one person who knew him best.
It’s the end of a very productive year. One that included electing a president and dodging the end of the world. It was also one filled with writing many blog articles as well.
In addition to my own regular rants about everything from Spiderman to politics, I had the chance to speak with a variety of artists about their latest projects; be it in film, television, books or music.
As I wait out a nuisance December snow storm, I thought I’d take a look back on just some of the highlights I’ve had this year. For me to mention all 213 posts I’ve written in 2012 would be impossible, but rest assured I do love every single one of them!
Ladies to Watch:
I have been extremely fortunate to have met so many wonderful and talented women this year. Here are just a few of the ladies you need to watch in 2013.
Ashley Watkins: Ashley and I originally connected to discuss her role in the horror movie “Pelt”, one that pays homage to the classic slasher films of the 1980′s. She is amazingly good in the lead role of Jenny, where she runs the gambit from being deathly afraid to hilariously funny. (Hint: The film is available to stream on NetFlix: watch her in the campfire scene).
But it’s Ashley’s performance in the short film “Beside Her” that really had the biggest impact on me. This film runs far, far deeper than just two women involved in a relationship. Ashley is breathtaking in the role of Rachel Moretti. If you get a chance to see this film on the festival circuit, I highly recommend it. I can not wait to see what 2013 brings for her.
Carrie Carnevale: The writer and director of “Beside Her”. I have to admit that I never was a big fan of the so-called “short” movies. I mean, how can you possibly get your point across in that short of amount of time? But Carrie’s vision about the lives of Dr. Rachel Moretti and Sofia Rios changed my mind. As the tag line says: “In one brief moment in time, their love for each other is measured beyond the norms of their everyday lives.” I have to agree. Watch out for Carrie in 2013!.. Now if only I can get her to become a Seahawks fan….:)
Elina Madison: I spoke with Elina a few times over the course of the year. She is one of the coolest, most down to Earth people you’ll ever meet with a huge new year in store! Be sure to watch for her in HUFF! coming out in April.
Gabrielle Stone: You will be hearing a lot from this lady in 2013. She’s the daughter of Dee Wallace (ET/Cujo) and Christopher Stone (The Howling) and has no less than four movies already slated for release in the new year.
Jenna Stone: Not only is Jenna a great actress, but she and I share a metal connection. You see, she played the role of someone in the crowd at a RATT concert for one of their recent music videos and I was actually in the crowd at a RATT concert back in “the day”. Watch for her in “HUFF” and “Edge of Salvation” coming in 2013.
I started this topic on my blog after I met Lisa Jey Davis. Her story moved me so much, not only because of what she’s been through during the course of her life, but her positive outlook is something I think every one of us needs to have.
Today, Lisa owns her own company, writes blogs and articles for various websites and even records videos with inspirational thoughts for the day.
There’s something mysteriously cool about Kimmy Kim and Frutron and their Hollywood is Hard Channel. These talented ladies had me in stitches with their antics (perhaps it’s because I’m a sucker for wedgie videos). I posted just a few of my favorite episodes from their channel to go along with my interview with Frutron. Be sure to check them out!
I’ve been a musician for 25 years but never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d be writing about, (much less speaking to) artists like John Taylor (Duran Duran), Steve Howe (Yes, Asia), Steve Hackett (Genesis), Lita Ford or Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan (Survivor).
I also spoke with Nathan East, who for years played bass for Eric Clapton; Steven Adler from Guns N’ Roses (who now has a new band and is the healthiest he’s ever been); Greg Howe (who grew up on the same streets as me in Easton, PA and has a new band for 2013: Maragold) and Doug Marks (the man who first taught me how to shred with his Metal Method guitar lessons).
These, and many other interviews were the ones where my hands were literally shaking as I was dialing the phone numbers. These are the artists whose music had a major impact on me.
Speaking of music, it just wouldn’t be proper if I didn’t give a shout out to two of the coolest guys I met this year. David Banks (an actor, musician and true metal-head who you will be hearing about in the movie CUT!) and Dee J Nelson (a phenomenal south paw guitarist who also has big things planned for 2013).
As a non-professional, uncompensated writer, I hope that you found my articles and rants to be beneficial and had as much fun reading them as I did writing them. Feel free to comment on some of your favorite articles below.
I hope you’re along for the ride in 2013 and wish you all the best the New Year has to offer!
Bassist John Taylor’s autobiography, “In The Pleasure Groove: Love Death and Duran Duran” is an insider’s look into one of the most iconic bands that dominated the charts during the “Second British Invasion” of the 1980′s. To date, Duran Duran has sold more than 100 million records and performed to sold out audiences in countries all over the world.
John’s book goes into great detail about many aspects of his life and career. From his early upbringing to the origin and meteoric rise of Duran Duran as well as its mid 80′s hiatus, when the band split into two hugely successful side projects:The Power Station and Arcadia.
John also pulls no punches in discussing his addictions to sex and drugs. His journey back is a true tale of inspiration.
The chapters are compact and the pages practically turn themselves. Filled with stories and photos from John’s personal collection of memorabilia, “In The Pleasure Groove” is a must-read not only for fans of Duran Duran, but also for connoisseurs of all things 80′s. It’s also a message of hope for those seeking inspiration in the face of their own addictions.
I had the pleasure of speaking with John about his new book and more in this exclusive interview!
What made you decide to write a book at this stage of your career?
I think now is a good time to write a book. I’ve got enough perspective and feel I’m on relatively safe ground emotionally and can go back and dip into those smoking, swirling times and not get caught up in it. I can be objective and speak cleanly about it. Also, there’s still time to come. I don’t feel like the end is near or anything like that. I have huge amounts of memorabilia from the early years of the band and also had a dozen or so really key scenes I thought would make for a perfect book.
I had spoken with someone who had read the book and mentioned how much they loved the scene with Sting where, as a child I went to see The Police perform. You can’t make up stuff like that. What’s written is absolute verbatim; exactly as it happened. It’s the kind of scene that would not have been impactful if I were sitting with Simon (Le Bon) doing an interview on CNN or speaking with you. It would be a total waste for me to try and lay that act out into that kind of an interview. I felt the only way to really give it the full impact was to write it. And it was fun! There were a lot of scenes I had fun writing about.
You mention the influence your Mom had on you quite a bit in this book.
My mom just loved pop music. When I was at a very young age, I really picked up on the way that she related to The Beatles. I also talk in the book about going to church and the Catholic songbook. How incredibly well written those songs were. Ones that appeal to people from the age of 4 to 90. Extraordinarily well put together, especially melodically.
Have you noticed anything different about the way people try to make it in music today?
I’ve lived in LA almost twenty years and am struck by how many of the musicians I meet tell me how they conceive of becoming successful. They’ll say: “Start by getting a lawyer, then get a deal, write some songs, then put a band together.” Its like, “Yeah but, when are you going to do a gig?” [laughs].
I went to the greatest of schools. I went to The Beatles primary school, the David Bowie secondary school and The Sex Pistols college. By the time I was 18, I already knew how to make a band and a record. It wasn’t arrogance. I really believe that if you want something badly enough and are prepared to really go for it, I see no reason why you won’t have success.
We [Duran Duran] did have extraordinary chemistry but it took time for the band to come together. We had to make some changes along the way and they weren’t always out of choice. Guys left us. Nick (Rhodes) and I were stranded by our first singer, but we didn’t drink over it. We kept moving and made the best of the situation.
My wife is a real worker who taught me the phrase, “Work Begets Work”. Instinctively, I think I always knew that. You always want to make things happen and I think that’s part of wanting to write the book too.I’m not sure where it’s taking me, but it feels good and I’m glad that I wrote it.
Do you have any regrets?
I don’t honestly believe in regrets. If you’re happy with yourself right here, right now and can feel good about your relationships, then I can also feel good about everything that’s happened to get me here.
Is there a message you’d like people to take from reading In The Pleasure Groove?
The recovery aspect is important. I was exposed to such a powerful, profound method of recovery. I was very fortunate. I was brought back from the dead. It was a few years ago but I wanted to communicate that because there are a lot of people struggling with addiction. I wanted to find a way to put that out there in plain man’s language to let people know that there is hope out there.
Article first published as Duran Duran Bassist John Taylor – In The Pleasure Groove on Technorati.