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Richard Williams, guitarist for Kansas, says that it doesn't seem possible that his band is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. 'It really is incredible to me,' Williams told me in a recent phone interview. 'I feel like I've lived 10 lifetimes over the last 40 years.'  

From the start, the members of Kansas were unified in the belief that they had what it took to reach the big time. From their humble beginning as a local Topeka band playing proms and bars to (a few years later) racking up huge radio hits like 'Carry on My Wayward Son' and 'Dust in the Wind' and selling out two nights at Madison Square Garden, Williams says that when 'the big time' arrived, the members of Kansas had no idea how popular they had become.

Published in Music

Mick Jones, guitarist and founding member of Foreigner, laughs as he thinks of some of the changes he and the band have gone through since forming. 'These days we have nice, comfortable busses and nice, comfortable jets for traveling,' he said with a chuckle during a recent phone interview. Those busses and jets will bring the band to New Hampshire's Hampton Beach Casino for a sold out show on Saturday, June 29 as part of a tour that has kept them on the road since the beginning of the year.  

The accommodations are not the only changes since 'Feels Like The First Time' broke the band in the United States in the spring of 1977. Foreigner arrived in the era of excess, when bands of their stature weren't exactly encouraged to live like monks. 'The requirements in the dressing room are certainly different now,' he said. 'Where we used to have crates of champagne and all kinds of stuff in the old days, we now have health drinks and water. We don't have a big party to look forward to when we come off the stage,' he said laughing.

Published in Music

Guitarist Gary Rossington, founding member of Southern rock pioneers Lynyrd Skynyrd, feels like the last of a dying breed. 'When you look at all of the bands - especially from the South - that were around when we started, there aren't many of us left,' he told me in a recent phone conversation. 

As the sole original member in the current Skynyrd lineup, Rossington may also have been referencing his own role in the band. The October 1977 plane crash that killed original Skynyrd lead vocalist and lyricist Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and singer and vocalist Cassie Gaines, signaled the end of the Skynyrd name for a decade. Rossington spent years recovering from the crash that shattered both of his arms, legs, wrists, ankles and pelvis. A broken heart took longer to heal. 

Published in Music

Less than four years separated Jimi Hendrix's first London recording session for 'Hey Joe' in October 1966 and his final studio visit, a mastering session with Bob Ludwig (now of Gateway Mastering in Portland) in August 1970. In that narrow window, Hendrix recorded a body of work that continues to surprise, inspire and influence generations of fans and musicians alike.  

Since 1995, when Experience Hendrix (then headed by the late Al Hendrix, Jimi's father) gained control of Jimi's musical legacy, his core music catalog has been restored and a series of carefully compiled and annotated albums has been issued, each offering a bounty of previously unavailable material. The latest is 'People, Hell and Angels,' a collection of 12 previously unreleased studio recordings from 1968 and 1969 due on March 5 from Experience Hendrix/Sony Legacy.

Published in Music
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 22:11

Jimmy Page unguarded in Light and Shade'

As editor-in-chief for Guitar World magazine since 1989, Brad Tolinski has had the opportunity to interview most of his heroes to discuss music, life and how the two intersect.

His most significant interview subject has been one of rock's most notoriously private legends, Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin's guitar wizard, producer and co-writer of most of the band's catalog.

Significant not only because Page has agreed to be interviewed by Tolinski more than a dozen times, but also for the fact that he has revealed more in those conversations than with perhaps any other journalist.

Published in Music
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 14:59

Nancy Wilson of Heart

New book, new album and the joy of plugging in

There are few bands of Heart's stature and longevity who can lay claim to a year like this one. June saw the release of 'Strange Euphoria' - a box set containing a wealth of previously unheard material across three discs, along with a DVD of a 1976 Heart performance.

Published in Music

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