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Billy Gibbons Gives The Lowdown On "Hardware"

Posted May 2021

BFG Color Reduced

Note: Due to the manner in which this interview was conducted, you can either read the following or scroll to the very bottom of this page and watch/listen to an edited version of the e-mail exchange between Boomerocity and Billy Gibbons.

 

The blues. Rock. Mystique. Intrigue. Other worldliness. Uber-coolness.

All these words come to mind when one hears the name, Billy Gibbons, from ZZ Top. I mean, c’mon! The guy founded and been in ZZ Top for over fifty years, plays great music, has very cool guitars, and has been in some of the most iconic music videos that ever aired on MTV . . . back when MTV played music videos.

Boomerocity had the privilege of interviewing Billy Gibbons a little over four years ago (here). Then, as now, the interview was conducted via e-mail and, while I, of course, would have much rather spoken directly with Gibbons, I was – and am – thrilled to be able to catch up with the fabled ZZ Top guitarist.

Because the Reverend Billy Gibbons has a new album coming out titled, “Hardware”, now was the perfect time to touch base with him again to chat about the project.

Billy answered my first question – which involved how he was weathering the pandemic – by saying:

“Well, it’s been a very unusual succession of ‘Taco Tuesdays’. The ‘BFG Three’ (“Billy F. Gibbons”) trio followed Matt “Big Beat” Sorum - who led us 20 miles overland into within shifting sands through California’s high desert, near the famed outpost in Joshua Tree, which found us making discovery of a recording studio. We got there just to check things out and ended up staying for three months!”

“Hardware” is Gibbons’ third solo album. I asked how this one is different for him to put together than the other two and the ZZ Top albums.

“This new outing can be thought of as a continuing excursion into the unknown. Lending ourselves to the creative energies of the desert found days turning into nights and back into day. It was the elegance of losing track of time to some extent. And, as the sessions in the studio began to unfold, the approach turned quite ecumenical. The first BFG solo album was aimed toward the sounds of Havana. The second release was all about the blues and this most recent, ‘Hardware', is anybody’s guess. I mean we have surf guitar blending into western film themes. Talk about something of a departure! Surf music in the middle of a bone-dry desert!?!? Go figure!”

Artists never like to be asked which song is their favorite because it’s akin to asking a parent which child is their favorite. With that in mind, I asked Gibbons which song he would point to as a calling card “Hardware”.

“That might be somewhat difficult to answer right off the bat. However, I suspect we should start at the beginning. Side one, track one, is ‘West Coast Junkie’, and, no, it’s not about hard drugs but, rather our ‘jones’ for the California experience. We dig the surf and the sand and whatever’s in between. The lyric is somewhat autobiographical: ‘I’m a West Coast junkie from a Texas town and when I get to Cali it’s gonna go down’, and ‘gettin’ down’ became the order of the hour.”

“Desert High” is one of the songs on “Hardware” and the music video is on this page. As you can hear, it has a very Jim Morrison-esque vibe to it. I asked Billy what the story is behind the song.

“It’s the album closer and something of a collection of verse with a prose-like tone with, of course, references to ‘the Lizard King.’ The song paints a mind picture deeply inspired by the desolation of the desert. The Mojave really holds a place of mystery and intrigue and it inspired us to sum things up in a way not dissimilar to maybe a theme for some western film.

“Our pre-ZZ band, The Moving Sidewalks, actually shared performance bills with the Doors so there’s a personal connection in it as well. Similarly with Gram Parsons, also referenced in the delivery. We met Gram while admiring a vintage touring bus parked in front of a theater when he came over to chat about it. We thought he might have been the driver, but he introduced himself as ‘Gram’ and being in the band. We knew we had met the man himself.”

One of the songs on the album is, “Stackin’ Bones”, with duet, Larkin Poe. I asked Billy why them and why that song.

“Well, they’re just so talented and different, aren’t they?!? We met them through Tyler Bryant with whom we toured. Rebecca and Megan found their way to quite a few backstage sections at ZZ shows so we asked Tyler who they were. Turns out Tyler’s married to Rebecca. We then heard them play at a sound check and we were immediately taken aback. If there was going to be any guest musician on this album, it just had to be Larkin Poe and the collaboration with us is Click Below To Order Your Copyhardwarecoversturdy propulsive, isn’t it?”

And what are the good reverend’s plans once the pandemic subsides?

“Gonna get out there with both ZZ Top and our BFG outfit as soon as the coast is clear. It’s way time to turn it up and play some loud sounds. As the scheduling return, live entertainment dates with — Matt Sorum, Austin Hanks and yours truly from the ‘Hardware’ sessions will be hitting the deck!”

In my last interview, I asked Billy how he wanted to be remembered and what he hoped his legacy would be. Since it has been a few years since then, I thought it appropriate to once again close with it.

"’He came in, he strapped up, he plugged in, he turned it up, he rocked out.’ Seems like a legacy of substance, no?

Yes, it most certainly does.

You can keep up with all things BFG at the good reverend’s website, BillyGibbons.com, and ZZ Top at, well, ZZTop.com.

 

The Narrated Version of the Above Boomerocity Interview With Billy Gibbons

Danny Zelisko Gives Us All Exce$$ To His Life In The Concert Business

Posted May 2021

 

DannyZelisko 001Concerts.

Remember those? They existed before the pandemic and were a heck of a lot of fun.

Sigh!

Baby boomers certain may vaguely remember attending concerts. If you were a teen in the seventies, eighties, and beyond - and lived in the Phoenix area and attended concerts at Dooley’s, Compton Terrace, and Celebrity Theater, then there’s a better than even chance that those concerts were brought to you by Evening Star Productions. That company was founded and ran by Danny Zelisko.

In an industry (concert promotion) whose reputation is rife with stories of rip-offs, cutthroat dealings, and the like, Danny Zelisko is one of the good guys in the business.

I’ll stop right here to say that I often receive comments from friends and Boomerocity followers who say that I have quite the life because of the people I get to talk to and meet for Boomerocity. While that is true, Danny Zelisko is orders of magnitude far and above anything I’ve ever got to do. He’s not only met many more artists than I have, but he is also actually personal friends with many of them. People like Alice Cooper, Kris Kristofferson, Sammy Hagar, and many others. They’re not acquaintances. They’re FRIENDS and THAT is a testament to the integrity and principles that Danny conducts himself in the concert business.

Not only is Danny a man of strength and integrity in the concert business, he is also generous with his time – especially All Access Cover 2when it comes to putting in a good word for a friend. A case in point is in my second interview with Journey’s Jonathan Cain in 2018 (here), Danny was kind enough to take time in his busy schedule to provide some comments about his good friend for that interview.

Danny has written a book about his life in the concert business entitled, All Exce$$ - Occupation: Concert Promoter. If you are like I am and are a business geek as well as a music nut, then this book is a must-have for your personal library. It is uniquely written and printed in a way that best presents Danny’s fascinating story.

With the book out now, it provided the ideal platform to interview Danny Zelisko. Again, he was generous with his time and shared his valuable insights and fascinating stories during our nearly hour-long chat. That interview is below. It’s fun. It’s in-depth. It’s insightful. It’s well worth your time to listen to it. After you do so, click on the book cover on the right to order All Exce$$ directly from Danny’s website, DZPLive.com.

The Boomerocity Interview with Danny Zelisko

 

 

 

 

Dirty Honey's Marc LaBelle and Corey Coverstone

Posted April 2021

 

Dirty Honey, L-F:  John Notto (guitar), Marc LaBelle (vocals), Corey Coverstone (drums), Justin Smolian (bass)Boomerocity first heard of Dirty Honey in late 2019. I was supposed to catch their gig at The Basement in downtown Nashville but I had the dates wrong and missed the show.

The loss was definitely mine.

The band is amazing. Really, truly amazing. Think Aerosmith. Think Cream. Think Zeppelin. Think Black Crowes.

All. To. Gether. Yeah, altogether but with their own distinctive sound. Baby boomers love Dirty Honey because these young men write and play rock and roll the way we loved listening to in our teens.

Yeah, they’re that great. They really are.

Back to 2019.

To say that 2019 was a breakout year for Dirty Honey would be an understatement. Recorded in Byron Bay, Australia with producer Nick DiDia (Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine), the band released its self-titled debut EP in March 2019. That is the music that hooked me on them.

The band didn’t waste any time before making music history when it became the only unsigned artist ever to hit #1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Chart with its debut track "When I'm Gone.” The band's second single, “Rollin 7s,"went into the Top 5 at Rock Radio (and was still headed up when COVID changed everything), and the music video has racked up more than 5.5-million YouTube plays. Between the Fall of 2018 and early 2020, Dirty Honey opened for The Who, Guns N' Roses, and Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & Dirty HoneyClick Above To Order Your CopyThe Conspirators, performed at more than a dozen major summer festivals, Additionally, Dirty Honey was named Canadian Rock Radio's #1 International Breakout Artist of 2019, the band was nominated as Best New Rock/Alternative Artist for the 2020 iHeartRadio Music Awards, and

Rolling Stone wrote about the band as an “Artist You Need To Know.”

Well, Boomerocity is introducing you to Marc LaBelle (vocalist) and Corey Coverstone (drummer), both of whom I spoke with via Zoom. The rest of the band is made up of John Notto on guitars and Justin Smolian (bass). I spoke with them about their self-titled full, debut album. Great guys with amazing talent that I predict will take them far and will keep us all entertained for many years to come.

Watch my interview with Marc and Corey, below. Share it with your friends. The order “Dirty Honey” by clicking on the album cover on the left side of this page. Keep up with them on DirtyHoney.com, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

The Boomerocity Interview With Dirty Honey

Marty Raybon Talks About Every Road

Posted April 2021

Marty Raybone April2021Long-time country music fans have most certainly heard of – and been fans of – the band, Shenandoah. Founded in 1984, they have enjoyed success from thirteen studio albums (two of them certified Gold).

They have enjoyed five number one hits on Billboard, “The Church on Cumberland Road,” “Sunday in the South,” “Two Dozen Roses,” “Next to You, Next to Me,” and “If Bubba Can Dance (I can Too).

The band’s latest album, “Every Road,” has just been released and is getting rave reviews. Of course, in addition to Shenandoah’s superlative sound, the band got a little help from its friends. Country greats like Zac Brown Band, Luke Bryan, Ashley McBryde, Dierks Bentley, Cody Johnson, Lady A, Brad Paisley, and Carly Pearce.

Can you imagine having friends like them to help you out on your album?
Well, Shenandoah has just those kinds of friends and the band’s co-founder, Marty Raybon, took the time to chat with Boomerocity about the album, about the impact of the pandemic on the music business and on the band, and about the addition of the band’s new amazing guitarist (and Click Below To Order Your CopyEvery RoadBoomerocity friend), Austin Crum (read our interview with him here)

Please watch this interview with Marty, below. After you’ve finished, share the link to it with your friends. Order “Every Road” by clicking on the album cover on the left side of this page, and then follow Shenandoah on their website, ShenandoahBandcom to see what the latest is with them and if they’re playing near you. They will be hitting the road soon and their itinerary is building back up as the pandemic restrictions begin to loosen up.  

 

The Boomerocity Interview With Marty Raybon

Nigel Glockler Talks of Saxon's Inspirations

Posted April 2021

 

UDR037 saxon battering ram nigel A 72dpiNigel Glockler is certainly no stranger to Metal Heads and Saxon fans. Nigel has been the drummer for Saxon since 1981 after earning his chops as a sought-after session drummer in the U.K. Glockler also beat the skins for the super group, GTR as well as for Asia and other groups and artists.

Saxon has a new album out titled “Inspirations” – a collection of covers of the band members favorite songs by some of their favorite bands. Released March 19th of this year, via Silver Lining Music, Inspirations gets things rolling with the release of Saxon’s crunching take on The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It Black’. Nigel’s bandmate, Biff Byford, commented: “Loved this band since I first saw them and heard them. I liked the Beatles, but the Stones appealed to my rebel side; their iconic look… so many great songs, such a great attitude in the music!”

 

91FKXHmCwTL. SX522 Click Above To Order Your CopyThe release of ‘Paint It Black’ is also accompanied by a behind-the-scenes video which was filmed during the band’s recording session earlier in the year.

From the super-charged melodic romp of The Beatles’ ‘Paperback Writer’ to their freeway mad take on Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Stone Free’, Saxon show their love and appreciation with a series of faithful, raw and ready tributes.

Below the interview video towards the bottom of the page is this album’s track listing. After watching/listening to the Boomerocity interview with Nigel, a) share the link to it with your friends; b) click on the album cover to the left to order your copy of Inspirations; c) follow Saxon by visiting their various social media sites also located below the interview video.

 

The Boomerocity Interview With Nigel Glockler

Track Listing
Paint It Black
Immigrant Song
Paperback Writer
Evil Woman
Stone Free
Bomber
Speed King
The Rocker
Hold The Line
Problem Child
See My Friends