you get some questions which I have written down. Some of them maybe sound
like we don't appreciate the Blackfoot reunion. This is wrong! We (and especially
I) do appreciate it very much. But there are a lot of open questions in front
of hearing Blackfoot in 2005 by ourselves. What you told me yesterday is very
much self-explanatory and I will take a few of your words in our article.
So if you have time and patience please give us your point of the different views. You can handle the questions as you like. Ignore them, answer them or blame them...
Thank you very much! I hope to see you in Sweden in June.
Last time you spoke with us, in June 2001, you told Martin that there will be maybe an acoustic album with Axe. Martin translated some stuff from your awesome autobiography and you told him that you want to move from Denver to New Orleans with your studio equipment. All in all it seemed that the chapter Axe wasn't finished at that time. We have never seen a new album, your autobiography was sadly never released as a book and Axe was not seen since them. What happened with the plans? Is Axe history now ?
Axe, got put on hold after we became aware that a new record could not generate the costs that it would take to make a new CD. Axe, living in several different parts of America, had to make enough money in order to pay for a new recording. Even with me owning a studio, it wasn't making enough to pay the bills. I will never say never, but I don't see any recording in the near future. We all still talk often, but are on to other things.
First time you joined Blackfoot in 1984 Charlie Hargrett left the band and he wasn't member anymore on "Vertical Smiles". On this album your name is mentioned in the credits as co-writer of "Ride With You" (which is one of the few good songs on that album in my opinion). Didn't you had any other function on that album?
On both Vertical Smiles and SIOGO, I came into the studio with Blackfoot, to help with different tasks, Michael Osborne and I both. I co wrote a song or two, just generally helped where I could and mostly partied.
After Blackfoot broke up and your solo album got not the best critics you joined Rick Medlocke again to tour as Rick Medlocke & Blackfoot. What was the reason to be not part of the 1987 album?
is, and I have said this many times, that I barely remember even recording
or writing that album, I should have waited until I had fully recovered from
the accident, but I didn't.
I worked with R.M up until the actual recording, through all the writing and preparation for the record, and the tours up until the recording started. About that time I was really starting to recover from the accident and wanted to move into something else. It was a great band, but I really didn't have my heart in it the same way it had been with the original guys.
In your autobiography you talk a lot about drugs and other unhealthy things. Is to talk/write about a kind of therapy and prevention?
I tell the truth about these times for me, I was deeply into drugs, mostly to hide the pain I felt over the loss of Michael Osborne, and Axe. I just didn't know it at the time. I kept doing drugs even through my tenure with Angry Anderson, I didn't truly quit until Dec 5 1990. That was the last day.
Who asked you to be member of the Blackfoot reunion?
All of the
guys Greg T, Charlie, and Jak called and showed up at my house in New Orleans.
I seemed to them to be the logical choice, when R.M made it clear that he
didn't wish to play with them. Ricky is one of the top front men in the business,
and I could or would never try to imitate him, I told the guys that if they
wanted me to join it would be based on the things that I do best, not on filling
R.M. shoes. We had long talks about it, and decided that the real proof was
in the music, so we sat up in the studio and played for days. As Greg has
said, we knew after 5 minutes that the band was holding up its end of the
legacy, it sounds just like Blackfoot. with a different singer of course.
But with all the punch and magic it had before.
As I have said in other places, as time goes on, the press and some of the fans, get to thinking that a band is made up of the talent of one main person, I dont really believe that. The minute you hear Jak Greg and Charlie, even by themselves play Train Train, you know in your heart that that was the people that recorded that song. No one can ever replace R.M, but Having been a part of the original band, I seemed like the right person to plug into the slot.
To be true: When I heard first time about this internet petition to bring Blackfoot back on the street I said that it is a crazy idea. Blackfoot was away for 20 years and we had so many unholy reunions the last years... What makes you sure that this reunion will work?
What has made it work, beyond anything we expected, is that the guys, all of them, still play with the same or better power than when they left. This is rare as you know, so many older bands would be better if they just stayed at home. But the music lifts all of us to be greater than ourselves and to put out the energy that we must. If we had done the first gig and come off the stage not completely spent, that would have been our last show. But what happened was quite different.
Are there new songs? If yes please give us details.
There a a few new songs, a couple that Jak and I had written for the new Blackfoot album circa 1986, that never happened and a couple of brand new ones. We were trying to take Blackfoot back a step or two to Marauder and Tomcattin In (1986) I mean, and these songs J.S. and I wrote were in that general direction. You must remember that Spires, wrote or co wrote all of the Blackfoot songs.
Rick Medlocke told me seven months ago that he is the owner of the name Blackfoot. Is this question clarified now?
There was a legal question about it, we went to Federal court and were able to work through the problems and as far as I know, everyone walked away happy.
He also said that he doesn't think that Blackfoot without him is the real Blackfoot. A point of view which isn't to underrate. Ok, 3 out of 4 original members plus you as "second generation" member is not too bad. Please give us the reason to go to Sweden and celebrate Blackfoot 2005 as the real Blackfoot.
his feelings, I am not sure that Axe would be Axe without me, but at the same
time if all the original guys wanted to reform and I chose not too, I would
wait until I heard it to make a comment. As I said earlier, I don't think
that any of us were sure until we actually played the songs, but we were sure
I think you just said it, Its the original rhythm section with the two other guitarist that ever shared the stage. Not as with so many reformed bands who have 1 or 2 guys, or none of the original people, but everyone except one, and important member of course, but I sing a little and play a little too. If we had thought even once that we would hurt the legacy of Blackfoot, we would have never struck the first note.
I think its an outstanding band, playing outstanding songs that they created. It's a chance for everyone to see the guys play all of the hits, like they were laid down. You know there have been a lot of people who have put together all-star bands and done some Blackfoot, done it well too, but nothing can compare with seeing Jak, Greg and Charlie doing the original parts, and as for me, I just play what I always played in Blackfoot, the only difference is that I am singing the songs now as well.
What can we expect at the gig? A tribute to the old times of Blackfoot or a brand new band?
It doesn't really work to call it a tribute band, with all the slots but one filled with the real guys, and it is not really a brand new band. We are playing what we consider to be the most fun moments from all the early Blackfoot years, of course the length of the show decides how many tracks we can play. We have even dipped back into No Reservations. And I promise the crowd that even if I could, and I cant, I would never try to fill RM shoes, I love his fronting too. But, I will sing and play my ass. And if the American shows are any gauge, most people will walk away very happy.
Will there be other gigs in Europe?
I think so, there is talk now, but nothing firm, too early.
thing is the website www.blackfootrocks.com .
There is not too much information to find. Who is responsible for it?
We had hired someone to do this, they have not kept up with the work. A new site should be up by next week, a great site with lots of interactive stuff.
Let's talk about the inconceivable messages in your forum on www.bobbybarth.com . One of them you ask if he is Nalli. I guess you mean Al Nalli. What happened that you think that he writes such kind of bullshit?
No man, That was just a joke. I don't think that Al or anyone from his organization would write something like that. I get about 1 out of 100 emails like that, where someone feels like I am stepping on RM toes, and they try to say something shitty about it, I mostly just invite them to the show and tell them, if they still feel that way after they hear it, the beers on me.
This is your personal space to tell the people what they can expect.
I think I have pretty well covered it, I will paste my first response to the Blackfoot situation from my website, I still think it sums it up nicely.
I have received
lots of emails about the Blackfoot reunion. So I will take this space to answer
some of the questions about it. It all came as quite a shock to me, but a
pleasant shock, nonetheless. Many people seem to be taking sides as to the
value of the band without Rick Medlocke. I have always cared a great deal
for R.M., and have been thrilled at his success with Lynyrd Skynyrd, any of
us who have been around all these years should be happy for someone who reaches
some type of security and notoriety, after working so hard for a lifetime.
So that being said, I have always felt that R.M. was one of the best front
men in the Biz, to me that was the joy of standing next to him on stage, I
learned a lot. But bands, Axe or Blackfoot or any band is made up of a group
of people, not one person. Most often, over the years, someone begins to come
to the forefront in the press and in the minds of the fans as being "the
band." Such is the case with Rick and Blackfoot. By virtue of the overwhelming
star presence he has always had, it was only natural that he would be the
figurehead for the Blackfoot, you can't complain about that, you can only
be happy that someone in your band is endowed with that talent.
But there is also a behind the scenes machine that makes the music what it is, in recordings, and in live performances. That in the case of Blackfoot was Charlie, Jak and Greg. The endless hours of rehearsing and touring, a nonstop exchange of ideas, all the good times and the heartbreaks that the band members and all concerned parties go through, those are very important elements that shape a bands sound and who they are. I was lucky enough to spend a few years with both the original lineup and the later incarnations of the band, and was thrilled and flattered when I was asked to be a part of this new venture. I know that all the members of the band have always wanted to take the band back to the fans, and in some cases worked hard toward that goal. But as I mentioned before, and as all of you know, Rick has been with Lynyrd Skynyrd for a number of years, and wants to stay put, hell, you can't blame him. But I am not sure that that should keep the other guys from taking the band back out on the road.
Many will disagree, some say you can't have Blackfoot without Rick, it will just be a tribute band. All I can really say to those folks is, name me another "reunion band" that has all ¾ of the original lineup, and 1 second generation band member. Seems to me that most have maybe 1 or 2 original members, or in some cases none of the original guys in them. So when the guys asked me to join up, I thought that it would be one of the most legitimate "reunion" bands on the road. Look, I don't sing like Rick, I don't play like Rick, I would feel stupid even trying, so I have no intention of trying to fill his shoes, I intend to do what it is that I do, and bring to the mix, my 35 years of experience as a singer and guitar player. I believe that the band will be a monster, and that the Blackfoot balls to the walls vibe will remain intact, if I didn't believe that I would not even play the first note. I hope that all the ruffled feathers, will smooth out and all of us can get back to what we really know, Rock and Roll music. I wish only the best for Rick and all concerned and I look forward to seeing what the future brings.