THE JOURNEY ZONE
November 2000: Neal Schon Burrn Magazine Interview
November 1999: Steve Smith All About Jazz Interview
April 24, 1998: Journey Confirms New Lead Singer
June 1998: Neal Schon MelodicRock.Com Interview
November 21, 1997: Journey, Van Halen Hip News
April 1997: Steve Smith Modern Drummer Interview (Robyn Flans)
December 1997: Jonathan Cain Melodicrock.com Interview
Undated, 1997: Gregg Rolie/Michael Shrieve Pre-Abraxas Pool, Storm WWW Page Interview
Undated, 1997: Gregg Rolie Post-Abraxas Pool, Storm WWW Page Interview
October 1996: Journey Trial By Fire Interview
July 1995: Neal Schon Chat (Compuserve)
Autumn, 1994: Steve Perry Finnish Radio Interview
Undated, mid-nineties: Jim Welch Journey WWW Page Interview
October 1991: Larrie Londin's last Interview (James Byron Fox)
Undated, early nineties: Ross Valory and Kevin Chalfant of The Storm Rockline Interview
November 1989: Irving Azoff, This is your New Life Interview
November 1986: Jonathan Cain Keyboard Magazine Interview
October 1984: Steve Perry Song Hits Interview
June 1983: Journey Hit Parader Interview
May 1982: Aynsley Dunbar Modern Drummer Interview
July 1979: Robert Fleischman BAM Interview
Neal Schon Chat on Compuserve
(Spell-checked by jfwatermelon)
Original Location: http://home.nycap.rr.com/tam/nealcomp.html
Sponsored by the Rock Online Forum of CompuServe.
Glenn: Neal Schon IS HERE tonight and we're happy to have him as our guest.
Neal Schon: I'm very happy to be everybody's guest.
Glenn: Thanks Neal...who at age 15...
Neal Schon: You're welcome!
Glenn: Was offered the job of guitarist for Santana. Eric Clapton offered him the same job in Derek and The Dominoes in the same week. Pretty good week. I rip that verbatum from Neal's new...
Neal Schon: Yeah, was a great week!
Glenn: Beyond The Thunder, a finely crafted guitar album. I'd say that was a great week...Neal..thanks for coming... I'm going to go right to the floor as we have a bunch of fans w/questions...
Joseph S. Suma asks: Neal, do you plan to support the new CD? Will Jonathan Cain join you if so?
Neal Schon: Yeah, eventually I'm going to do another solo record before I do a tour, mainly because I want to have a full show... more music to mix in...do different things with the live show.
Jonathan: Yep, unless something happens between now & then!
Kathy Boynton asks: Your new CD is wonderful, I love it! Why do you say that you think Steve Perry is going to like it?
Neal Schon: I was right, he did!
Glenn: Here's hoping nothing happens!
Neal Schon: I thought he would like it because it's a very melodic guitar record and he likes melodic guitar.
Jose E. Castro asks: Neal, your new album is superb! How long did you work on it? What were your inspirations behind it?
Neal Schon: I worked on it for about 3 months, on & off, probably one solid month of recording; and my inspiration for making it was all the music I ever listened to...there's a lot of blues roots on here...I wanted the guitar to sound like a vocal, kinda like Aretha Franklin. There's a lot of R&B in here.
Glenn: There is also the Wolf sound that does indeed sound like a wolf! How'd you get that?
Neal Schon: Yeah, all those guys were tremendous influences on me...oh...a friend of mine brought over a tape of a wolf's howling...I tried to simulate it on the guitar with a whammy bar & some echo & came up with it.
Glenn: It works. and now the question...
Neal Schon: Thanks!
Glenn: Way cool. But we move on to the question...
Jeff Yeramian asks: Neal, is a Journey reunion in the future, and if so, which members will participate in the reunion?
Neal Schon: We're working on it.. watch for a press release in the future !
Glenn: There ya go!
Bernie Labarge asks: Hi Neal...The first Santana album you played on is still one of my faves! You and Carlos were SMOKIN'!! What was it like playing with that band at such an early age? By the way, you can't get that CD in Canada...Pity!
Neal Schon: Well, it was really a lot of fun for me to play with that band...I'm playing with the same band now (minus Carlos), and it's still a lot of fun!
Edward Bonny asks: Neal, It is really great to have you here on Compuserve. I have been a fan of yours since 1980!! Thank you for coming online with all of us.....my question --> What musicians worked with you on Beyond the Thunder? Did you pick them yourself or did it all just fall together?
Neal Schon: It was a small group of musicians, some of them I've worked with before...I picked Steve Smith & Billy Peterson...I knew Tony Saunders had a great sound...and Jonathan Cain had seen him play with Tommy Bradford, so I checked them out and got them on the record. And thanks for the welcome!
P. Balmer asks: Any plans to do another album with Jan Hammer? The first two were smokin...
Neal Schon: Yeah, actually I've been in touch with Jan and he apparently really liked the record...we're talking about working together on the next solo record...
Glenn: Fantastic! More "Smokin'" on the agenda!
Rob Lowe asks: Neal, glad to have you back! 1. Coming to Chicago anytime soon? 2. What was the inspiration for "Rhythm from a Red Car"?
Neal Schon: Chicago... yeah, eventually. I'm not touring right now...I just finished an Abraxas record, so the next thing on the agenda is to get this Journey thing happening.... who knows who's going to tour first!...Rhythm... I supposed Van Halen was the inspiration...
Neal Schon: It was the first song written with a guitar that Steve Vai gave me, also.
Mark C. Holley asks: recently I attended an Abraxas show, and I see you are still using the buried speaker. Could you give us a quick run through of your live rig? Also, did you have a chance to check out the Sedona CD we gave you?
Neal Schon: I've been changing it through the shows...I've been using a Roland ME-10 powered by a couple of Marshall heads...in stereo into two 4X12 cabinets. The buried speaker was cut down the volume because it's really loud on stage....The Sedona CD... yeah, I listened to it, it sounded good!
Bill M. Long asks: I saw the article about you in Jazziz magazine. You own a lot of beautiful guitars. Which are your favorite(s)?
Neal Schon: It's tough for me to pick a favorite, they're all great guitars... which I use is dependent on what project I'm working on, so I don't really have a fave.
Tom Ewing asks: Have you been doing much producing in your downtime...if so, with whom??? Do you think the same core listeners will follow you into this style of music from the Journey years??? Is that "Savage Steve Smith" doing the drumming work on "Thunder"???
Neal Schon: The first record that I ever produced was a Hard Line record...I'm often involved in the production even if my name's not on it on my own records...as for Journey fans... who knows? I would hopefully think so, but this is a completely new audience...we'll have to wait & see! It depends on how much Higher Octave wants to get the record out. Yeah, STeve plays on some of the tracks...the CD specifies which drummer plays on which tracks...Tommy Bradford also plays on some of the tracks.
Dan asks: Neal, have you heard any new bands in the last year or two that you particularly enjoy?
Neal Schon: I can't really say that I've heard anything that's really twisted my head around, unless it's something completely avant-garde, like Nine Inch Nails...I can understand where that's coming from, but overall, nothing new has really grabbed me.
George C. Patrick asks: What percentage of the album was written by you and how often do you practice these days?
Neal Schon: Some days I play all day long, but that's usually when I'm writing..I don't necessarily practice every day. I wrote about 60% of the record.
JDCorey asks: Hey, buddy...Let me first say it's musicians like you that make music worth listening to. Any plans on doing any interviews out here in L.A. live on the radio? I'm sure Uncle Joe Benson would like for you to drop by....
Neal Schon: Hehe! I don't have anything planned right now, but you never know... Thanks!
Steve G. Haney asks: I love your guitar work on the Journey album Dream after Dream---Do any of your solo projects have the same guitar feel as that album? Oh, and keep up the great work, I'm a big fan with a poster of you over my Strat.
Neal Schon: I'm going to be on Conan O'Brien tomorrow night, btw...
Glenn: ...playing with the Max W. Seven?
Neal Schon: Yes, Glenn. Beyond the Thunder is much more in the mode that you're talking about...
Glenn: playing "Thunder" stuff?
Neal Schon: if you liked Dream After Dream, you'll love the new one, I think. Conan... yeah, we'll be playing Boulevard of Dreams from the new record...
Neal Schon: ...and "Everybody's Everything" ( a Santana song) and maybe a blues tune...
Glenn: That will tell you how it sounds. Great cut.
Neal Schon: Yes, with the Max W. 7.
Rob Coy asks: Any plans to tour down to Puerto Rico? The weather is nice.... [:)
Neal Schon: I'd love to! Can't wait to! I think Abraxas will be the first band to play in Puerto Rico, the music fits perfectly there....
Robert Rennert asks: Hi Neal...Another big fan of yours. Q: Steve's work on the album is great, adding his usual creative genius. Have you kept in touch with him since Journey, (what's he up to these days?) Will you be working with him again soon?
Neal Schon: Yeah, I've been in constant contact with Steve, and I hope to work with him quite a lot in the future!
Jose E. Castro asks: Neal, What did you really think about Steve Perry's last album? Ditto for Jonathan Cain? Also, what ever happened to your "SCHON" line of guitars?
Neal Schon: I thought Steve's album was a good record. I enjoyed listening to his voice again, even if it wasn't Journey. I can't speak for Jonathan....I stopped making the Schon guitars a few years ago due to legal troubles...now I'm talking to Paul Reed Smith, so we'll see if he agrees to make them again.
Jeff Harris asks: Are you using a lot of outboard gear these days (i.e. a Bradshaw rig) or are you going straight into the amp for most things?
Neal Schon: No, I'm not using a Bradshaw rig. I go direct into the board in the studio and hardly every use amplification these days...I'm using sound processors.
Glenn: this next question is more of an FYI from Hong Kong. Wrong...it has been deleted....Next:
JIM KOHLHOEFER asks: On the Raised on Radio album [was] the song "Suzanne" was about someone one of you knew in school, [or] was it [about] Suzanne Sommers?
Neal Schon: I didn't write the song....It wasn't about anybody in high school that I knew!
Glenn: Hehehe! Maybe John Ritter in drag!
Miss Liss asks: Congratulations on your new CD! Here's my question--> How do you feel about the Ticketmaster "Scandal" and will you support the fight against unfair ticket marketing by using another avenue to sell tickets if and when you go on tour? Thanks and good luck!
Neal Schon: Heheh Glenn. The Ticketmaster thing is out of my league... I just want to stick to the music and let the management deal with that. Our tickets won't be too expensive, I don't think. As for Pearl Jam, I respect what they're doing, but it sounds like a big headache!
Glenn: Now this next person sounds desperate....
David N. Shettlesw asks: Neal, PLEASE tell us about HARDLINE!!!!
Neal Schon: Johnny & Joey Gioeli are working on a deal in Japan & I know that MCA wants to rerelease the album over there....They're working on a new album, a different band, but the 2 brothers are still there.
Dan Cloninger asks: How is the relationship with Steve Perry and the rest of Journey members?
Neal Schon: It's good, very healthy...I mentioned before that a reunion is in the works.
Melanie Owen asks: Neal, after 15-odd years of contemplation, what is your opinion on the three Journey albums done before Steve Perry? I think some of the coolest music you've done is on Next or the first one.
Neal Schon: It's completely a different thing...different strokes for different folks! I like it, it's just different.... I like different things about each album, every record is different.
Edward G. Murray asks: Hi Neal...Let's say the Journey reunion does work out...Will the tour be encompassing arenas or just small venues? Steve Perry likes the small venues but they wouldn't give the band the justice it deserves....THANKS
Neal Schon: I don't know yet...too many things that have to happen before we can even think about that.
Vincent A. Smith asks: Neal, I've been a fan since the early 70's. I named my son after you (he's 13 yrs. old now). How can I get an autographed picture for him? When are you coming to the Atlanta area?
Glenn: Neal...He either has a dad named Neal...or this guy's serious...quite a gesture.
Neal Schon: You can send a photo to Higher Octave (the address is on the record)...and I'll sign it & send it back.
Glenn: That's great...thanks, Neal!
Phil asks: Neal, how did you and Paul Rodgers get together, that was an inspired pairing, and did you guys tour together last summer?
Neal Schon: Thanks, btw, that's an honor!!
Glenn: I'd say!
Neal Schon: I met Paul Rodgers... he just called me up one day & asked me to come down and play on his Muddy Waters record... then he asked me to tour with him, and I did for a year and a half straight in Europe and the States....
Bernardo Merizalde asks: How do you help yourself to maintain creativity up and producing new sounds? Do you get involved in studying other artists' music?
Neal Schon: No, I get involved in my studio by myself with all kinds of different sound gear... that makes me create different things, you have to explore different things, try new sounds, experiment a lot.
Glenn: Didn't you really spend a lot of time emulating others when you were a kid? learning the guitar?
Neal Schon: Yeah, I did...a lot of the blues masters...Albert King, BB King, Michael Bloomfield...Eric Clapton, Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page... the list goes on & on...
Glenn: Now budding guitarists study Neal Schon!
Neal Schon: ...lots of jazzy guys like Larry Coryell, Wes Motgomery, Joe Pass..etc. There's a lot of info in my playing that I've sucked in from other players. I've definitely been inspired, though I don't try to copy them at all.
Jose E. Castro asks: Neal, What did you think about the release of Journey's CD boxed set Time? Do you think it represented the true essence of Journey? Did you have any input on the compilation?
Neal Schon: All of us tried to have input on it. I think we got 1/2 - 3/4 of what we wanted on it, and the record co. had their cuts as well. There were also a few new tracks on it that were originally vocal songs, but they ended up as instrumentals--Steve was busy with his solo record at the time.
Steve Palombo asks: Neal! Love Beyond the Thunder CD!! Keep it up....Will you be signing autographs in Manhattan after you do Conan's Late Show? I take it you will be perfoming. Will Conan be interviewing you?
Neal Schon: I don't know yet about the interview...If you're outside after we do the show, I'll sign autographs! It's great to be in NY, btw. Thanks!
Glenn: New York is a great town!
David Cornelius asks: Neal, my wife and I love your new album. We bought it sound unheard just because it was from the greatest guitarist in all the land! I noticed a classic guitar in the photography from Beyond the Thunder...Is that one of YOUR prizes? Also, does your wife offer any creative input to your work?
Neal Schon: My wife inspires me because she doesn't get in my hair. She gives me time to do my thing and that's inspiration in itself....The classic guitar...yes, it's mine!
Glenn: It's purrrty.
George C. Patrick asks: Did you ever have any formal training on guitar, if so when, where, and how did it go?
Neal Schon: I wrote a song called "Send Me an Angel" for my wife, btw.
Neal Schon: Training...I took about 3 lessons to learn how to tune the guitar & play about 3 chords, then I learned by myself, then I took jazz lessons from Art Bergmann after awhile. He gave me great insight into jazz improvisation. After about 3 months with him, I went off & did my own thing.
Edward G. Murray asks: Just me again....Have you listened to the band "The Storm"? It seems as though the lead guitarist was influenced by your sounds.
Neal Schon: Glenn, Gail S. says hi.
Glenn: Hey there Gail!
Neal Schon: Yeah, he definitely was influenced by me....
Glenn: Wish I was in NYC.
Neal Schon: He had always liked my playing... we've known each other throughout the years.
Brian D. Cain asks: Can you expain the timing for "Wheel in the Sky"? I've been working on it and I can't get the count right.
Glenn: Try answering that on computer!
Neal Schon: It's 4/4.... I'm not sure what you mean. I can't count either, I just know where to come in....Stop trying to count & just try to feel it.
Glenn: That's a good answer. Keep on turning. It'll come.
Rod Kelly asks: Neal, good to see you back in the highlite. Loved it when you did that gig with Sammy Hagar. Question: Are you and Steve Perry working on anything other than Journey projects? Steve used to play at my high school dances and you two are great together.
Neal Schon: No, Steve & I aren't working on anything right now.... We're talking, that's about it. Thanks for the compliments!
Rob Lowe asks: Neal, the Paul Rodgers tour was news to me. How can I get an updated discography of the albums you have played on? Also, I really enjoyed the instrumentals that you recorded with Jonathan Cain on Time. Are the lyrics from "With a Tear" and "Into Your Arms" available anywhere? Thanks.
Neal Schon: The album is called Muddy Water Blues.... I believe it's distributed by PolyGram.... There's also a live tribute to Jimi Hendrix that we did...it's a true live album...called The Hendrix Set. It's a smokin' record. I think the lyrics were never finished, so no, they're not available. We started on them, but just went on to other projects.
Marty McCray asks: Neal, I am a friend of Todd Jensen, who lives here in Portland. Can you tell us anything about Hardline? That was a great short-lived band. I'll be seeing Todd in about three weeks here at my home so I'll tell him about this conference.
Neal Schon: Thanks very much.... It was a great band, but yeah, short-lived. Tell Todd I said hello!
Jeff Harris asks: Do you really get into computer technology these days along with online services like Compuserve, or is this sort of a one-time shot?
Neal Schon: This is pretty much a one-time shot.. My son's the computer whiz in the house! I'm old-fashioned, I guess.
Glenn: Aren't all the sons and daughters kicking our cyber-butts?
Sam Reid asks: Just a quick hello from one of the Glass Tiger boys. We toured with you & Journey in 1986 across America - It was one of our best tours ever! Are you coming to Canada in support of your new album? Interested in doing some co-writing?
Neal Schon: Yeah, definitely, Glenn!
Glenn: No doubt.
Glenn: I ask for the parents' kid when I try to help....
Neal Schon: Hello, Sam! I remember the tour well...Yeah, I don't know when I'm coming to Canada...after the next solo record, then I'll try to tour...sometime next year, probably.
JDCorey asks: Howdy, again.... Have you checked out Boston on their recent tour? Something about those "older" bands that sound better with the original singer...Brad "Steve Perry" Delp is heading it up...(hallelujia)... :) What did you think of their latest album without Brad?
Neal Schon: Unfortunately, I never heard it.
ChrisPV asks: I love your live shows! I've seen you with Bad Eng., Hardline and the Paul Rodgers thing.... What do you think about when you're onstage?
Neal Schon: I stopped listening to rock 'n' roll a while ago...it's different now than what I used to love listening to...working on my own thing Chris. I think about playing the guitar...it's great to look at women in the audience but for the most part, I'm locked into the music that I'm playing.
Edward G. Murray asks: Have you heard about the Journey tribute band that is being formed in L.A.? You should apply as the lead guitarist that is influenced by Neal Schon! Great publicity, huh? :)
Neal Schon: I'm flattered, Edward, but we might beat 'em to it!
Mark C. Holley asks: Neal, of all of the instumental and vocal tracks you've played on, which of each are your favorite to play? "Mother, Father" always gets a great reception when my band performs it @ New George's in Marin Co. CA. P.S., how's Miles?
Glenn: little plug there for Mark's band. Nice move there, Mark!
Neal Schon: I don't know...I don't really have any favorites...they all have something special...nothing comes to mind right now...my catalog is really big!
Glenn: It's not how big it is, Neal...
Neal Schon: Miles is doing great!
Glenn: Oh...different setup...
Neal Schon: I'm really excited about how well my record's being received!
Glenn: [It] deserves to be received well!
Glenn: Now...we're about to wrap....
Neal Schon: Thanks, Glenn!
Glenn: We'll take two more questions from the queue. Thank you, Neal....
Neal Schon: It is, it's picked up a lot, and gaining momentum every week!
Glenn: Then we'll open the floor so you can applaud. Love the record...so do the fans here who have it!
Paul Bonrud asks: Hi Neal! I'd like to thank you for inspiring me to learn how to play the guitar. I love your melodic phrasing. Do you work out most of your solos in advance or do you improvise them? Thanks! :-)
Neal Schon: Thanks, first of all! I just improvise, I don't like to work out the solos. I do my best when I play what comes out of me & just let it go.... The more I work it out, the worse it gets, usually.
Glenn: OK, and the last question is a sampling of how many "thanks yous", etc., are in the queue that have not been brought to the floor.
JIM KOHLHOEFER asks: My cousin worked on the Hardline Eclipse album with you and brought down a couple of albums for you to sign, which you did. I just wanted to say THANKS!!! from a longtime fan.
Glenn: We all thank you for coming here tonight, Neal.
Neal Schon: Before that...
Glenn: Continued luck with Beyond The Thunder ...Go, Neal, Go!
Neal Schon: Question, I just want to say that these days I'm playing much better since I'm not using drugs...if you think that drugs will make you play better, they DON"T... the real heart & emotion comes out when it's natural. I've been there & it just doesn't help, I do much better now, I think. Now, Jim, you're welcome!
Glenn: Yes! and everyone...watch Neal on Conan tomorow and look for a complete transcript of this conference...
Neal Schon: Okay, everybody watch it tomorrow night!
Glenn: ...in Rock Online....GO ROCK ON it will be posted tonight. Thanks Neal!!!!!
Neal Schon: Thank you!
Glenn: And the floor is now OPEN!
David Cornelius: Neal, I hope you make a fortune on Beyond the Thunder! You Journey guys get back together real soon.
Neal Schon: Everybody go check out the new record!
Glenn: Everyone applaud!
Neal Schon: Thanks everybody! Now I gotta go....
Larrie Londin's Last Interview
by James Byron Fox
Original Location: http://www.techtrek.com/drumbo/larrie.html
In October of 1991 I got a phone call from my pal Larrie Londin, The Greatest Drummer In The World. I know that is a rather provocative assessment of a drummer whose name goes unrecognized more often than not, but I'm not the only one who holds that belief. "Larrie Londin is the greatest drummer in the world, at least, that's my opinion, and it should be yours too," said Chet Atkins as he introduced Larrie during the GUITAR MASTERS tour in 1991. Chet is a legendary performing artist, writer, producer, and certainly one of the most influential recording executives in the history of recorded music. His guitar playing is known the world over and he crosses over into every style of music. His distinction as "CGP," which stands for Certified Guitar Player, is his passport. Chet performs with symphony orchestras, he makes Grammy winning albums with legends of Country as well as Rock music and he's a regular at the Grand ol' Opry. He's a Vice-President at RCA responsible for launching hundreds of careers. He's got over 50 years of experience in the business of music and I could go on about his remarkable successes, but the bottom line is that he chose Larrie Londin for his GUITAR MASTERS concert series which showcased the talents of some of the most talented and versatile musicians in the world. Whenever Chet plays or says that Larrie was the greatest drummer in the world, lots of people listen.
I first met Larrie Londin when he came to Virginia Beach for a Guitar Masters Concert in September, 1991, and I spent as much time as I could with him, from picking him up at the Norfolk International Airport, trap case in tow and helping him assemble his drum kit, to taking him to some local nightspots after the show. I was hoping that some of his experiences would rub off on me and I urged him to relate stories about his amazing career that spanned four decades and scores of hit records with some of the world's biggest stars.
The day he called me from Nashville to invite me to Philadelphia. I made excuses; my job, my dog, the six hour drive, my own band's commitments, my perpetual lack of funds, but I arrived in Philly Wednesday afternoon, October 17, 1991, despite my excuses. In my heart I'm a journalist and a musician and this was a chance to spend two more days with one of Elvis Presleyís drummers. I could not resist. You see Larrie had become my friend. We hung out together at the hotel, backstage and on the streets of Philadelphia. I dogged him unmercifully and he answered every question I could think to ask, holding nothing back. I had an idea to help him co-write a book about his extraordinary life and call it, IN THE COURT OF THE KING, referring to the 9 years he spent recording and often touring with Elvis, replacing Ronnie Tutt. But the recordings and tours with Elvis were only a small part of Larrie's legacy. If not the best known, Larrie is one of the most listened to drummers in the world. He played on more hit records during his career than any other drummer with the possible exception of the legendary session drummer Hal Blaine, and his work covers the complete musical spectrum.
A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Ralph Gallant (Larrie Londin is his stage name) grew up in Florida, returning to Norfolk in the 50's and cutting his musical teeth on local groups like Gene Vincent and the Bluecaps. His Mom was one of the first roller-skating waitresses at DOUMAR'S, a prototype of what would become a national craze of drive-in hamburger restaurants. Larrie's early environment was saturated in Rock'n'roll music and it rubbed off on him.
He said his drumming career started in Norfolk by accident, and as I listened to his wealth of stories it seemed that he credited accidents with situation after situation which had thrust him from a Norfolk nightclub into the studios of Motown at the height of the "Motor City Sound," and on to a career in Nashville, where Chet Atkins was defining "The Nashville Sound." He went from being one of Nashville's only drummers to being Country Music's top studio drummer. Larrie played with the cream of the crop on literally thousands of sessions.
His accomplishments ranged from touring with Adrian Belew to The Everly Brothers, from TV shows with Tennessee Ernie Ford to The 1992 Command Performance for the President, from records with Stevie Wonder to Steve Perry and JOURNEY. All accidents? Diana Ross; The Supremes, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves; The Vandellas, Smokey Robinson, Joe Tex, Wilson Pickett, Lionel Ritchie, Jerry Lee Lewis, Boots Randolph, Charlie Pride, Randy Travis, Porter Wagnor, Dolly Parton, B.B. King, Albert Lee, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, England Dan; John Ford Coley, Bobby Bare, Merle Haggard, Hank Snow, Jerry Reed, Rodney Crowell, Rosanne Cash, Dan Fogelberg, Reba McEntire, KT Oslin, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Hank Williams, Jr., Chet Atkins; Elvis Presley . All accidents? It wasn't a string of accidents. It was hard work, taste and talent. Larrie was the first to admit that he wasn't the best drummer in the world, we both agreed that Buddy Rich had been the best, but Chet Atkins was right, Larrie was the greatest.
By the time we left Philadelphia, I knew I wanted to tell Larrie's story, but I also knew he was one of the busiest musicians in the world with studio commitments, concert tours, drumming clinics, product endorsements and his own video production company.
Our relationship continued to grow over the phone and through correspondence, but sadly, the Philly trip was the last time I ever saw my friend. On April 24, 1992 he collapsed following a clinic at North Texas State University and he spent four months in a vegetative state. There was nothing the doctors could do to bring him back from the coma. He lingered for months in a Nashville hospice and I hoped and prayed that he would somehow beat the odds and recover even though the best medical minds said he had suffered irreversible brain damage. I had forgotten about writing a book, I just wanted my friend back. He was down to earth and one of the nicest guys I ever knew and I missed him. As summer began turning to fall, I got the news from George Lunn, Chet Atkins' road manager, that Larrie had passed away. On August 24, 1992 the world had lost its greatest drummer.
Larrie's resume reads like Who's Who in music. It's impossible to listen to any radio very long before you hear his solid backbeat. He was a real musician's musician and I hope that someday he'll get the widespread recognition he deserves. The following interview is a compilation of our conversations.
JF: When did you first play drums?
LL: I was a teenager working in a Norfolk, Virginia nightclub that featured local bands. I was a cook and dishwasher. I moved a lot of beer kegs and I mopped up every night. One night the band's drummer didn't show up and I volunteered. I had never played a drum before but I figured it beat washing beer mugs and it paid better.
JF: When I was a kid in Norfolk I took some drum lessons from Master Chief Musician Kennith Malone (USN) who was head of the percussion department at the U.S. Navy School of Music at Little Creek, Virginia. When he retired from the Navy he joined Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass and ended up doing session work in Nashville. Do you know him?
LL: Kenny is a real prince and an amazing talent. When he first came to Nashville I used to throw a lot of work his way, especially stuff like movie and TV soundtracks. One day he asked me why I gave him so much choice work and I told him it was because I couldn't read the charts. Well, he started teaching me right then and within a year or so I could read well enough to hold my own. I still can't sight-read as well as Kenny, but I can blunder through most of the charts that come my way. I owe a lot to Kenny; he's a real fine player and a close friend.
JF: What was you first recording session?
LL: Believe it or not my first record contract was with Atlantic as a singer doing a very poor Elvis impersonation.
JF: That must be a real collector's item.
LL: I think my mother has the only surviving copy. It was dismal. It convinced me to stick with the drums and keep my mouth shut.
JF: How did you end up playing on all those Motown hits?
LL: The band I was in was signed to Motown. We were the token white guys on an all black label. I used to just hang out at the studio all day and do club dates at night. In those days Motown was a real factory and they used to run sessions in shifts around the clock.
Maybe The Supremes would be in there at 8:00 A.M. and then at Noon The Temptations would come in and cut a track or two. At 6:00 they'd all break so the musicians could get some dinner and by 8:00 P.M. Smokey Robinson or The Four Tops would come in and go until midnight. At Midnight another session would start and go on until three or four in the morning. By 8:00 A.M. it would all start again with Marvin Gaye or Stevie Wonder. That place just cranked out records around the clock (Berry) Gordy never slept. It was the ultimate sweatshop.
JF: Did you just ask to sit-in one day?
LL: Lord no. In those days Bennie Benjamin played drums on all the Motown records. Benny was a great soul drummer and I was nothin'. I was just a kid. I used to just watch him for hours. One day I was in the Motown office and Berry Gordy came rushing in and grabbed me. He said Bennie had just had a heart attack or something and the ambulance hadn't even arrived yet. Rather than cancel the days sessions Gordy told me to get down to the studio and play drums, that's what he paid me for. I was scared to death, I mean, here's all these great soul artists, and I'm this white boy from Norfolk, Virginia. I mean you don't get much whiter than that you know?
JF: It must have been great. What was it like?
LL: It was great and terrifying - I can't even remember the first track I played on, there were so many. It's just all a blur. We worked sixteen hours a day making five or six records each and every day and it all just runs together in my mind.
JF: Does anything stand out as particularly memorable?
LL: Oh sure. My first trial was to learn the Motown pick-up drum intro. If you listen to all those records you'll hear that each one starts with a drum lick. Each studio had a trademark drum pickup and you can actually identify the label by the first bar of the song. Benny had that trademark fill that started virtually every Motown cut and I had to learn it. I practiced it a lot. Over time I changed it just a little to give it my own signature but at first I tried my best to sound just like Benny. After he died I replaced him.
JF: In the book, THE BIG BEAT by Max Weinberg, Bernard Purdie claims that Bennie Benjamin was a junkie and that he (Purdie) actually played on some 500 of those Motown sessions, only he claims that the rhythm tracks were cut in New York and shipped to Detroit where vocals were laid on.
LL: Well, some of that may or may not be true about Bennie. Bennie was a very sick guy and it's no secret that he had a problem with the junk. As far as Purdie's claims go I don't want to get into a big thing about it but the guy's got some kind of a problem of his own. I mean - his memory's not too good.
JF: Without actually naming you he claimed that he, had to fix up go in and overdub a lot of the Motown stuff, because it wasn't right."
LL: Yeah, I've read that interview. He also claims he played drums on the early Beatles records too. There's no doubt that he was a great player, with King Curtis, James Brown, Aretha ... but I was there and I can tell you he didn't do some of the stuff he claims because I did it. Those sessions were live, vocals and all, and overdubs were unheard of in those days. If someone goofed we just did it over.
JF: In the Weinberg interview, Purdie seems to be hedging - he's very reluctant to name any of the tracks he claims he doctored with The Beatles or for Motown.
LL: Well, that's because he didn't play on COME SEE ABOUT ME, or BABY LOVE or SUGAR PIE HONEY BUNCH, or any of the others. Lots of witnesses were there, so ask them if it was a tape from New York or a fat scared white kid named Ralph. (Laughs.) I really hate to call someone a liar, but he called me one first. Ringo called his story rubbish and said you don't bother disputing that shit. Those were his words...I just never bothered. There were other drummers from time to time - Purdie may have been one of them. I don't deny that, but 500 tracks? I have fond memories of playing double drums with Stevie Wonder on the UPTIGHT sessions. It was a gas - he was soooo funky!
JF: You played with Stevie again many years later didn't you?
LL: Yeah, SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED, I'M YOURS around '69 or '70. Stevie is just such a genius. What he lacks in eyesight he makes up for with his music. He's got a great feel - so much soul.
JF: I heard you once say that you used to play tricks on Ronnie Milsap during recording sessions. Was it because he's blind?
LL: Ronnie Milsap is a great guy to work for and I used to have a lot of fun at his expense. When he would record his vocals live with the band he always did a peculiar thing with his headphone mix. Rather than a regular click track he had this cowbell track in his left ear really loud and he listened to the rest of the band in his right ear. I always got a kick out of that cowbell and I found that I could lay back a little - just off the beat -- and Ronnie would start leaning to the left where he heard that cowbell. The more I'd lay back, the more he'd lean. If I pushed the beat a little and got a fraction ahead of that cowbell he would lean to the right where he heard me. It was really funny man, and we had lots of laughs watching him lean this way and that. Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles have that leaning back and forth thing down, but I swear that if I laid back too much Ronnie would just fall over. We must have ruined a lot of tape messing with him like that. It was a riot but it was good-natured fun. I love Ronnie.
JF: When you left Motown where did you go?
LL: I did a 13-week stint on Tennessee Ernie Ford's summer replacement TV shows. It's a shock that he's gone so suddenly. I'll miss the ol' pea picker. (Note: Ford had died the morning this portion of the interview took place, October 18, 1991.)
JF: From there it was on to Nashville?
LL: Music City.
JF: How did you make that transition from Motor City to Music City?
LL: It was easy. I just wanted to keep getting a payday so I just kept working.
JF: You did a lot of television when you first got to Nashville, didn't you?
LL: I had learned the ropes on the Ford show, so I had an edge. I worked on Porter Wagnor's TV show for a while and it was some tough work. Porter was sometimes difficult to work with because of some of the stuff he was into in those days and he really used to beat himself up a lot. But, he was a real star, and he was always very professional, but we got into it more than once. He was always a fine judge of talent though - I remember when he brought a little girl in one day and told everyone that she was gonna be real big. When we saw her we all laughed because she was this tiny gorgeous little thing in a blonde wig and she was already real big, if you know what I mean. The guys in the band all joked about her thinking that Porter had found him some extra-curricular activity. But when she started to sing we all knew Porter was right. Her name was Dolly Parton.
JF: Tell the story about the 'orn'.
LL: I was working with Porter's band in the studio and his producer had a real country accent. I mean a Deep South backwoods drawl. We rehearsed the track and the producer in the booth said, "That's fine, but drummer... no orn." Well I was new and I didn't want to look stupid so I just nodded my head. We played it down again, and he says, "Drummer. I told you not so much orn!" I looked at the bass player and he just shrugged, so I said Okay. I had no idea what he was saying. So, we started playing it again and the producer stops us. "Drummer - quit it. No Orn!" I was really flustered so I said, "No what?" He came running out of the booth and grabbed a cymbal yelling, "No Orn, NO ORN! He was saying IRON. He called the cymbals Iron. (Laughs.)
JF: You also worked on the Grand Ol' Opry and on Hee-Haw?
LL: Yeah. There wasn't much in Nashville that I haven't been into to at least some extent it seems. In the old days they didn't allow drums on the Opry. It was a long uphill battle.
JF: In Nashville you've recorded with Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Charlie Pride, Hank Snow, and Elvis to name a few. What was the most memorable?
LL: Definitely Elvis. I started recording with him and the Memphis Rhythm Section in 1968 and it was one of the biggest thrills of my life. He was just real special.
JF: You went to Vegas with him?
LL: Yeah, those were wild times. You expected Elvis to be this God-like condescending kind of Rock'n'roll legend...and he wasn't like that at all. He was a good 'ol country boy - kindía shy. Moody. Yeah, shy. He was very polite and quiet spoken most of the time. He loved jokes and he liked to fool around on the bus and stuff like that, but he was nothing like some of the crap that's been written about him. At least I never saw it. He had problems but he wasn't a wild man except on stage. He was basically good, I guess. He had a big heart, always giving gifts. He treated his friends real good. He even treated strangers good. I remember one show we played in the mid-west somewhere Nebraska maybe - and Elvis had spotted this old couple in the audience. They looked like farmers. The old man wore faded overalls. They couldn't get close to him because of the crowd and he was giving out the scarves so everyone was pushing and shoving trying to get one. Elvis had one of his security guys escort these old folks up close to the edge of the stage, past the photographers and the police. Elvis wadded up one of his scarves and placed it very carefully in the old woman's hands. We all noticed because we had to vamp through the bows several times while he was doing it. After the show he came on the bus and he was real excited. He said he bet that couple would be surprised when they unwrapped that scarf. You see he had slipped a diamond ring worth about ten grand into that scarf. He thought they were poor, or maybe their farm was being foreclosed or something like that and that ring would help them survive. What Elvis didn't understand was that, those folks will never sell that ring no matter how bad things get. He just didn't realize what something like that means to a fan. Those folks probably never had any idea how much money that ring was worth, and even if they did, they wouldn't sell it at any price. Elvis loved doing stuff like that and he loved people. I never heard him speak an unkind word. He was always giving people gifts - Cars and furs and rings. He was very generous.
JF: There has been a lot written about Elvis over the years. Have you ever considered putting your experiences with him down on paper?
LL: I've had offers to write a book about Elvis, but you know, they really didn't want to publish the stories I had to tell. They only wanted the dirt - the scandal. I never saw him use drugs and I never saw him being mean to people. He had problems, everybody does, but he was a sweet guy - real religious, and he was patriotic, he really loved America. The publishers said nobody wants to read about that stuff. I just couldn't be a part of another book trashing him, he was a real good guy and he was always nice to me. The writers who badmouth him didn't know the real Elvis and some of the stuff they write about him makes me mad.
JF: In all the photos and films I've seen, you are always very close to Elvis onstage.
LL: That's funny. Elvis hated drum risers. He wanted the drums on the floor right next to him, as close as possible. He wanted to feel the bass drum kicking him in the ass. He roamed around stage, but at critical moments in the show - tempo changes and endings - he was always right there close - so that I could see him give signals.
JF: What was it like near the end?
LL: (long pause) I think everyone wanted a piece of him - and there just wasn't enough to go around. When he died it tore me up.
JF: What do you think of the stories that he's not really dead?
JF: Long after Steve Smith replaced Aynsley Dunbar as JOURNEY's drummer you showed up on their RAISED ON RADIO album instead of Smith. How did that come about?
LL: I just got a call from Steve Perry one day to come and play drums. I've heard some of the stories that surrounded that album, but I think the whole thing was kind'a blown out of proportion. The whole thing boiled down to the fact that Perry and the producer wanted to use a click track. I never knew whether Steve Smith refused to play with a click track because he felt it insulted him, or if he just couldn't handle it, I've heard both stories - but that's why they called me. I laid down the drum tracks and got my paycheck and that was the extent of my involvement. Steve Smith went out on tour with JOURNEY when the album came out, so whatever the deal was everything worked out okay in the end. It worked out especially good for me because Steve Perry had me play on his STREET TALK solo album and I even got a few points on that one. Oh Sherrie was a giant hit.
JF: You endorsed PEARL drums for many years. Everyone's seen pictures of you backing up Elvis with that double bass drum Pearl set. Why the switch to DW?
LL: A lot of times Elvis and the drums are all you see in those pictures. The lights always caught those white bass drumheads with the large PEARL logos. That logo has become a familiar sight on MTV over the last decade, but in those days I think the only logo anyone recognized was Ringo's LUDWIG's. The Japanese were very conscious of product recognition and they always treated me as a VIP whenever I played with Elvis. They gave me loads of drums, anything I wanted. It's just that they got too big, and they became less receptive over the years. Maybe the Pearl thing fell apart because the drummer with The Everly Brothers didn't carry as much weight as Elvis' drummer. When I played with Elvis I did carry a lot more weight than I do now. (Laughs) You know what I mean? I've dropped almost a hundred pounds and I'm on a special diet now. I had to shed some pounds - I was killing myself. My heart couldn't stand it. The PEARL drums were all specially built for me with customized beveling which added low end and allowed them to "sing."
JF: Why have you switched to endorsing DRUM WORKSHOP drums in recent years?
LL: Several reasons. First, DW makes a quality product. It's made in America and so many USA companies have folded due to the foreign competition. After endorsing PEARL for many years I felt sort'a guilty about that - there's been a big push to buy American. Eventually, every time I called PEARL for parts I'd get some Japanese speaking person on the phone and it was getting to be a real hassle, I just got tired of it. Don't misunderstand, PEARL make some quality drums but they also make some econo-models you know? Their low-end lines are kindía shoddy compared to the high end. I was reluctant to continue encouraging people to buy them. I mean, some kid might think he's buying the same kit I had, but he's not unless he's paying top dollar and had an inside line. For almost the same money he could get top quality drums built in America. That bothered me and I just needed a change. I had played some DW's and they were really fine instruments. The company approached me about possibly representing them so when my contract with PEARL was up I switched. DW is a great organization and I've had a lot of input with them. Working in conjunction with DW and the EVANS people, Pete Erskine and myself designed the Genera EQ Studio Bass Drum head system. They are sold in matched sets and feature a patented grillwork design on the front head instead of a round hole for close miking. It's the best bass drum sound I ever heard. Working with Drum Workshop and EVANS has been great. Both companies are totally dedicated to product research and development and produce only quality lines. It's the same with SABIAN cymbals, they are top quality and they manufacture them in North America (Canada). I also endorse PureCussion RIMS and ddrum products. I'm not a chauvinist patriot, I use some foreign equipment, mostly electronics like the YAMAHA SP12, and the AKAI sequencer but if all the American drum firms go belly up, musicians will be at the mercy of imports and I don't think that's right. DW supports me every step of the way. I travel with my trap case, gig bag; my Sabians and my electronics and DW makes sure the local music store delivers a DW set to ever gig. Theyíve never let me down.
JF: What do you think about all the technological advances in drum machines and computers?
LL: I love it. I have an ATARI computer with the Creator Program that runs my sequencers and records what I play. My son does most of the actual programming - I just know how to turn it on. It's really amazing stuff. I really like the control that sampling gives you in defining the sound. It saves so much time and trouble. On sessions I can play a chart once and lock it into the computer then I just play it back during the rehearsals and it keeps me fresh for the actual take. Lately I've been into sampling and Phil Collins just sent me some great ones that I want to use on my album.
JF: You've played on more hit records than any other drummer.
LL: (Grins) If you say so. I think maybe it's Hal Blaine.
JF: Or Benard Purdie?
LL: No (Laughs.)
JF: What do you have planned for the future?
LL: I'm working on the solo album and I'm launching a Video Production Company. I've been working with one of my heros, Joe Morello, and if everything works out I hope to do a video and a clinic tour with him after the MARLBORO MUSIC FESTIVAL "GUITAR MASTERS" concerts with Chet wind up and Joe gets some contractual things hashed out. I've also got some things on the books with Merle Haggard and Chet has asked me to play with him at the Presidential Command Performance next spring.
(Larrie Londin played at the Presidential Command Performance with Chet Atkins. On April 24, 1992 he collapsed following a performance and he spent four months in a vegetative state. He died August 24, 1992.)
Undated early nineties: Ross Valory and Kevin Chalfant of The Storm Rockline Interview
Part One: transcribed by Towanda for Jrnydv.Com
Intro song: I"ve got a lot to learn about love
Rockline DJ: "Iíve got a lot to learn about love, donít we all? Thatís the Storm on Rockline, and weíre going to take some calls, Iíve got Karen on the line from Old Line Connecticut listening to 106. HCN from Hartford
Karen: Hi, Ross how ya doin?
Ross: How ya doiní Karen?
Karen: Good, I was wondering first of all, if you were intentionally trying to, um, achieve like a Journey-sound (insert sound of glass breaking), with incorporating Kevin in there, he does sound very similar to Steve Perry and the duets that he does with Gregg and everything, I was wondering if thatís kinda intentional or if thatís just the way things are?
Kevin: Thatís the way the bones fell...
Ross: Well, thereís two ways to answer that, first of all you have 3 members of the former band in this band, you canít expect them to sound like someone theyíre not--
Kevin: Thatís true.
Ross: --and of course Kevin sings somewhat in the same style, and of course has the same range, but you know thatís what you get when you add it all up, itís not intentional, itís natural.
Kevin: Ya gotta make a living, ya know? Itís just that Steve got to the box office first, I mean what can I tell ya?
Ross: We donít want to keep you from that for gosh sakes...
DJ: Uh, Kevin, you have been told that you sounded a little like Steve Perry before you joined this band--
DJ: --correct me if Iím wrong but you went through a brief period of trying NOT to sound like him, right, but it really wasnít you then?
Kevin: Ah well, yeah, Like I said, I gotta make a livin.."
DJ: Well then weíll leave it at that then, laughter
Ross: But there was a point where ya know people were calling Kevin way back when Steve joined Journey for the first time saying, "Hey man, thereís this guy in Journey whoís doiní your stuff." [laughter.]
Kevin: Once again, uh, going back to the beginning, Karen, ya know, Gregg and I started writing together just for the sake of writing, Iíve got a song on Cherís new record and that sort of stimulated the "hey letís get together and start writing," and uh we never really intended, ya know, uh to have a band and just after that first song, of writing together, our styles were so ya know alike, that we looked at each other and thought, hey, man thatís just too good to give up, I think weíll keep it.
DJ: Yeah...Karen, thanks, letís talk to Steven in Newport Rhode Island...listening to 94 HJY in Providence. Youíre on the show Steven...
Steve: Hey Ross, itís great to have you back bud,
Ross: Alright, Rhode EYE-LUND...
Steve: Hey what originally caused you to leave Journey a few years ago and also along those same lines, what caused you to get back into a band situation?
Ross: Well with Journey people were going in different directions musically, and it was, uh, I canít say it was falling apart because people were just going different ways and it was time to do something else. I actually stepped out of the rock scene for a couple or three years and it was something hard to stay away from... so I met up with Kevin and Tim Gormand and Prairie Prince and we had the Vu going there for, oh, the better part of three years or so, and I had been actually added in an underground way for awhile, and then this came along...plus ya know, ya gotta make a liviní...[laughter]...we keep cominí back to that line, but letís face it, I donít really have any other skills other than music and I love to perform, so, here we go again.
DJ: I understand it would be good if we mentioned the guitarist in the band, Josh Ramos...
Ross: Oh yes, by the way, Josh Ramos, Josh Ramos, Josh Ramos, Josh Ramos, Josh Ramos, Josh Ramos...yeah we have all made, between you and I, Bob and Kevin, weíve made $40 bucks a shot, every time we mention Josh Ramosí name, we get a lot of money...
Kevin: Any kind of dead President you send our way would be fine.
Ross: Actually, heís a fabulous lead guitarist..
DJ: So there ya go, Josh...
Ross: Yeah, there ya go. Now, what would you like to know about him?
DJ: Uh, well, nothing at all...[screaming laughter from the guys] This is the Storm, "Show Me The Way," on Rockline, hit the song man...[song plays]
Ross: (pretending to be sobbing): Oh boo hoo hooooo I love those guys...
DJ [laughing]: Oh donít cry guys...please, no no, now Iím breaking up here, man, can we get some Kleenex please? Ok, so what inspired that Kevin?
Kevin: Well, my dog died, and....
Ross: No, the Tesla dudes used that one, Kevin!
Kevin: Oh well, then, lemme see....
DJ [laughing]: You guys are bad, man...
Kevin: Well no, I mean, you know...
DJ: Weíre with Kevin Chalfant and Ross Valory of The Storm, I understand youíre a walking sound effects machine...
Ross: Well, Iíve gone to electronic devices, Iím saving my voice for the stage, actually I want a career in radio Bob...
DJ: Well, youíve got the pipes my friend...
Ross: That big 16 ball voice, lemme tell ya...
DJ: Letís take some calls, we have Ron from, low and behold, San Francisco on the line, listening to 97.3 KRQR...
Ron: Hey homeboys, whatís up?
Ross and Kevin [laughing]: Hey, dude!
Ron: Congratulations on an excellent recording!
Ross and Kevin: Thank you...
Ron: Uh, real quick Iíd like to say hi to my friends at Rockline, uh, Mike, Mark and of course my old third baseman BC, keep up the great work guys!
DJ: Ron! Itís you!
Ron: Yeah! Hey!
DJ: Heyyyy Ron!
Ross: Oh! You mean RON! Yeahhhh Ron, from San Francisco!
DJ: Thatís it! The guy who played second base, I caught a grounder, threw it to 2nd for the double play and he never moved! Ron! Itís you!
Ross: Then he doesnít really wanna talk to me!
DJ: Thatís right! [Laughter]
Ron: Hey Ross, I do have a question for ya bud,
Ron: Did you ever think youíd ever be passing this way again with Gregg and Steve and what was it that made you really say yes to this project?
Ross: Well it was really hard to pass up, Gregg had a whole record deal promising with Interscope Records, and the company was really behind it and was ready to go for it with Bo Hill, who has a great track record is a producer, and no, I didnít think I would be passing this way again with Steve and Gregg at least with someting outside of the Journey future, which, I really donít know if thereís much of that left to be had, but it was kind of a surprise, and a welcome surprise and I think a lot of what makes us work so far so well is that we all know each other well and we all get along.
Kevin: We all played in separate bands together.
Ross: Yeah! Laughing
DJ: Yeah, thatíll do it every time. Ron, good to hear from ya, give me a call alright?
Ron: Bye guys!
DJ: Okay, take care, and go track that ball would ya? Thanks Ron. Hey, weíve got Bruce on the line from Monroevia California, heís listening to 95.5 KLOS, Bruce youíre on...
Bruce: Hey, uh, Kevin, this is Bruce from Monroevia...
Kevin: Hi Bruce...
Bruce: Iíve been a fan of yours since your Magic Mountain days...
Kevin: Oh yeah?
Bruce: Yeah, playing with the group called Zell Black...I was one of those longhaired blonde kids who used to come watch you play and you sent us some tickets to see you play with 707, just wanted to thank you and let you know that those 707 nights of watching you guys play, and specifically watching you play, were a really big part of my life and I really appreciate all your great music over the years and Iím happy to hear you on the radio again...
Kevin: Thanks Bruce...
Bruce: And also for Frank, who you may remember, Frank says hi also. I wanted to ask you, first off, what kind of 707 material will you be covering on your tour, are you going to be playing some of that, uh, you mentioned you would...uh, because thereís some really terrific material that really never...uh...was done justice, and Iím really looking forward to seeing you play it again, and also are you going to be playing any small gigs, I used to watch you play and shake your hand while you were doing leads and stuff, and Iím really looking forward to seeing you play perhaps in a really small venue and perhaps something real personal like that.
Kevin: Wow, are you hearing that Gregg?
DJ: Hey are you paying this guy, is he on the payroll or something?
Kevin: Wow man...
Ross: Yeah, where do we send the check?
Kevin: Uh, at this point, you know, weíre not lookiní at small venues, because of the way the record is rolling along, weíre not going to outrule it, or rule it out...
DJ: 707 material?
Kevin: Hmm, ya know, I donít know if weíre gonna really even have a place in the set for it, to tell you the truth, weíve got this record and uh, and Gregg did want to work a couple of the older songs he did in the early days, and uh, and uh, weíll just see, weíll have to roll with it....
DJ: Thanks Bruce, thank you for the call, we have to take a brief time out, weíre cominí back though I have three things I want to mention before we go to break though, Josh Ramos, Josh Ramos Josh Ramos
Ross: Gregg Rollie...dude, dude!
Part Two: transcribed by Towanda for Jrnydv.Com
After Budweiser, AT&T, Reeses Pieces, Ryder Truck and David Coverdale commercial regarding TJ Martel Foundation 730 Fifth Ave., NY, NY 10014
DJ: Welcome back to Rockline, weíre with The Storm right now with Ross Valory and Kevin Chalfant. We have a call from Rosie in Vancouver, B.C., a listener of 99.3 The Fox. Rosie, you areON....
Rosie: Hi guys!
Ross: Hi, uh, GAL!
Rosie: I was wondering why you thank Warrant and Winger in your credits?
Ross: Well, those other guys...uh...
Kevin: Well speaking of Josh Ramos, uh, we gotta tell this story, because (and thereís another $40 bucks), well, Josh has this little club that he hangs out at, right/ Ya know, and so one night after we finished recording we all went out to the club and Jimmy Hoyson, who has engineered the record, went out with us, and weíre sitting there and, well, he was introducing us all and ďHi, I want to introduce you to our engineer, this is Jimmy Hoyson, you know, Winger, Warrant, RATT,Ē right down the line, you know?
DJ: ...A list of credits?
Kevin: Yeah, a list of his credits, so that all the chicks heard him in the bar, right? So thatís kinda like the....
DJ: órunning gag, right?
Kevin: Yeah, the running gag like Arachnophobia, Three Men and a Baby, yeah, which kinda goes back to all the Ted Fieldís movies, ya know?
DJ: Yeah, yeah, there ya go Rosie, weíre gonna talk to Michael now, last call of the night, heís in Florence, Oregon, listening to 104.7 KLCX in Eugeneóhey there!
Michael: Hey guys! Whereíd you come up with the concept for ďYou Keep Me Waiting?Ē
Ross: Wow, take it Kevin, I had nothing to do with it.
Kevin: Laughing: Well, that song actually started out being namedĖwhat was it?ĖOh, The Waiting Game...and it kind of..uh...
Ross: ...Sounded too much like The Dating Game...
Kevin: It was just something that Ross and I had been goiní through, some frustrations, of our band [which] had not been signed yet, and it kinda carried over and it was sort of what I was feeling, and uh...ya know...I donít know! To tell you the truth, I donít know man!
Ross: (In a Don Pardo voice): Your time is up! SSSHHHHH (like static).
Kevin: Laughing, That was over a year and a half ago!
DJ: And, indeed, our time is upĖthank you Ross!, and what does he win, Don Pardo?
Ross; (Don Pardo voice again): Hey Bob!
DJ: Hey, thanks a lot guys.
Kevin: Josh Ramos, Josh Ramos, Josh Ramos...
DJ: I wish I could stop talking like this now...(referring to Don Pardo)...hey, if youíd like to drop a line, our address is P.O. Box 4383, Hollywood CA 90078. Special thanks tonight to Warren Christiansen and Allen Orman of Gaffen Records, to George Neimeyer of Q-Prime Management, also to Renee Sanford, Herbie Herbert, and the folks at Interscope Records, Frank Hanna, John Keith, Tommy Steel of Tesla and to Kevin Chalfant and Ross Valory of the Storm. Good luck with the record and the Bryan Adams tour.
Ross; (Don Pardo voice) That was really boss, Bob! And thanks a lot!
Kevin: I want to mention Scott Boorey, who is also our manager, we have two managers...
DJ: Anyone else we forgot to mention?
Ross; Yeah, Gregg Rollie, whoís also our manager...
DJ: Oh? Heís your manager as well?
Kevin: Yes, and also to all my friends and all my family, and everybody else in the world.
Ross: Whatís that dogís name?
Kevin: Oh yeah, that dog that died, yep.
DJ: Iíll be seeing you in a week and Josh, Iíll be invoicing you soon, thank-you-very-much.
Kevin: Thatís right!!
November, 1989: Irving Azoff, This is your New Life Interview
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November, 1986: Jonathan Cain Keyboard Magazine Interview
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October, 1984: Steve Perry Song Hits Interview
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June, 1983: Journey Hit Parader Interview
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May, 1982: Aynsley Dunbar Modern Drummer Interview
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July, 1979: Robert Fleischman BAM Interview
Last Updated 03 February, 2011 (DHG)