Anyone who witnessed Savoy Brown
leave the blocks in 1965 would speak of a similar epiphany. Back then, the band
were the spark that ignited the blues-boom, signing to Decca, opening for
Cream’s first London show and boasting a lead guitarist who was being
namedropped in the same reverential breath as peers like Clapton and Hendrix
(with whom Simmonds jammed). Already, the guitarist was emerging as the band’s
driving force. “I had a vision,” he reflects. “When I started the band back in
1965, the concept was to be a British version of a Chicago blues band. And the
exciting thing now is that vision is still alive.”
Soon, Savoy Brown had achieved
what most British bands never did – success in America – and became a major US
draw thanks to their high-energy material and tireless work ethic. “There’s far
too much said about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll,” Simmonds told Classic Rock.
“It’s a cliché. We were all extremely hard-working guys. When we came over to
America, we were like a little army. I look at that time as being filled with
Times changed, of course, and by
1979, Simmonds had moved from a London he no longer recognized – “The punks
were everywhere!” – to settle permanently in New York. The Savoy Brown band
members came and went, and the music scene shifted around him, but the guitarist
stuck thrillingly to his guns and reaped the rewards, performing in iconic
venues like Carnegie Hall and the Fillmore East and West, releasing thirty-odd
albums, and later enjoying a well-deserved induction into Hollywood’s Rock Walk
Even in the post-millennium,
while his peers grow soft and drift into semi-retirement, Simmonds retains a
vision and an edge, spitting out acclaimed albums that include
2011’s Voodoo Moon, 2014’s Goin’ To The Delta, 2015’s The Devil
To Pay – and the emphatic new addition to Savoy Brown’s
catalogue, Witchy Feelin’. “I'm amazed that I still have the energy inside
me to play guitar, create music and write songs,” he considers. “I’ve been
blessed in my life and I thank God for that. I’ve never been a believer in holding
on to the past – I don’t look over my shoulder and congratulate myself. I
always want to climb the next mountain – and I’m very pleased with this new
You can purchase Witchy Feelin’ the new album by Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown at
And don’t forget to purchase a copy of my book
entitled Check the Gs -the true story of an eclectic American family and their
Wacky family business … or the second edition entitled … Wacky Shenanigans on F
Street- ‘Proud to be Politically Incorrect in Washington DC’ ... available now
at amazon.com. You’ll live it!!!
Roger Earl is the man with the
beat. Pounding his drums for over 40 years, this British rock ‘n’ roller is
partial to rock & blues (always has been).
Roger left school at 16 to pursue
a career in commercial art in London. to support his ‘drum & cymbal habit’.
He did this for about 4 years (quite successfully) until he joined SAVOY BROWN
at the age of 20 (“I didn’t receive payment for the first 6 weeks from SAVOY
but at least I was ‘semi-pro’. I continued auditioning for other bands during
lunch hours and after work during this time because I still wasn’t sure I had
the job”) He auditioned for people like The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and
Jimi Hendrix, among others.
His five albums with SAVOY BROWN
(one of the hippest blues-rock acts on either side of the Atlantic) between
1968 and 1970 were ‘Getting to the Point’, ‘A Step Further’, ‘Raw Sienna’
(which became a British Blues Classic), “Blue Matter’ and ‘Looking In’.
During a couple of lunchtime
sessions, Roger, Dave Peverett, Colin Earl, Bob Hall (Savoy’s Pianist) and others,
cut a rockabilly album called “Warren Phillips and the Rockets. He also played
drums on Chris Jagger’s first album and Mungo Jerry’s debut album in 1970.
SAVOY BROWN did their first U.S.
tour in 1968 with greats like B.B. King, Albert King, Paul Butterfield Blues
Band, Charlie Musselwhite, the J.Geils Band and saw great artists like Bobby
Blue Band and Buddy Guy. After touring the U.S. he knew he ‘was home’.
In December of 1970, Roger and
Dave Peverett left SAVOY BROWN to form FOGHAT. They hooked up with Rod Price
and released their first record in 1972 on the Bearsville Label (a subsidiary
of Warner Brothers) and followed with their first U.S. tour. They became an
immediate success, following up the gold debut with lots of other gold
albums….Rock n’ Roll, Energized, Rock n’ Roll Outlaws. 1975’s Fool for the
City, which included ‘Slow Ride’, made them superstars. They continued the gold
with Night Shift, their 1977 ‘Foghat Live’ (which went Double Platinum) and
Stone Blue. These were followed with Boogie Motel in 1979, Tight Shoes, In the
Mood for Something Rude, Girls to Chat and Boys to Bounce and Zig Zag Walk.
By the early 80’s, Punk was in
and musical tastes were going through a transition period. Rod Price had left
the band (replaced by Erik Cartwright) and Lonesome Dave had returned to
England. Settled comfortably on Long Island, New York, Earl admittedly ‘didn’t
know how to relax’. He played with the New England Jam Band on weekends for
awhile with people like James Montgomery, the Uptown Horns John Butcher,
Charlie Farran, Fran Sheehan, Elliott Randall and Mark Rivera. But soon the
remaining three members, Roger, Craig and Erik began touring again as Foghat.
In 1993, the four original
members of Foghat reunited at the request of producer Rick Rubin. Although the
project with Rubin never materialized, they recorded ‘Return of the Boogie Men’
and were on the road again. The road, as it always had been for this ‘most
traveled’ hard rock blues band, proved still kind to them. Three generations of
fans were still boogie-ing to their music. By 1999, Rod had left the band again
(replaced by Lonesome Dave’s great friend Bryan Bassett) and Lonesome Dave
became seriously ill. He passed away on February 7, 2000. After several months
of not knowing what to do, and a great deal of pressure to keep the band alive,
Roger contacted Charlie Huhn (hoon) and asked him to join the band. The rest is
history in the making. Now, 7 years later with a studio CD (Family Joules), a
new DVD (The Official Bootleg Vol.!) and a new Double Live CD ‘LIVE II’ the
band is doing better than ever!
When asked what made him emigrate
from London, England to Long Island, New York (of all places) he simply
says…’when we got off the boat, it was the first place there.”
Roger Earl is still hammering
away….still a noisy sod. And this rock’n’roll, road-warrior wouldn’t have it
any other way. He says, in the immortal words of Lonesome Dave Peverett, “I’m
gonna roll til’ I’m old, gonna rock til’ I drop!
Foghat comes full circle with their newly released album entitled UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Drawing from their collective musical influences, the band not only brought in
some special guests from their past who helped launch and inspire the Foghat
story, but also invited some new friends into the mix to continue the journey
of this never idle band.
They started recording at their Florida studio, Boogie Motel South in
2013. In addition to Foghat members Roger Earl, Craig MacGregor, Charlie Huhn
and Bryan Bassett, two additional figures helped shape the sessions -
Buddy Guy alumni, Scott Holt, who lent a hand in the writing, and added
fantastic guitar and vocals to several tracks, and Grammy winning
producer/songwriter, Tom Hambridge.
With their resident genius, guitarist Bryan Bassett at the helm, the
project was going slow since Bryan was doing triple duty, playing,
writing and recording the tracks, while in the midst of a Foghat tour. So Tom
Hambridge came aboard. According to Roger Earl "I met Tom when
presenting 3 awards to Buddy Guy and Tom (his producer) at the Memphis Blues
Awards. Tom said that he was a fan, and would love to produce a Foghat
record. Putting that in the back of my mind, this was the perfect opportunity.
Tom came down to Boogie Motel South to meet the band and we clicked and started
writing together immediately. Working with him was inspirational!
During this time, an opportunity arose for some ‘other’ recording at Dark
Horse Institute in Nashville for a friend's graduation project.
Scott, Bryan and Roger recorded 6 tracks and a new ‘band’, ‘Earl and the
Agitators’, with Scott Holt as lead guitar/vocals was born. They are
now playing some dates opening for Foghat with Roger and Bryan doing
double-duty. This great experience prompted Foghat to move the recording
of “Under the Influence” to Dark Horse Studios where they brought in two of
their major influences.
Foghat was ‘spawned’ from the British Blues band ‘Savoy Brown’ in 1971, so it
was fitting to ask Savoy founder and guitarist Kim
Simmonds to join in.
As Roger Earl puts it “Kim gave me my shot!” As soon as Kim
started playing, everyone was mesmerized!
Included on this release is a new recording of ‘Slow Ride” to celebrate the
40th anniversary. They invited Nick Jameson, (original bass player
and producer of ‘Slow Ride’ on the 1975’ Fool for the City’ album) to play
along with Foghat bassist Craig MacGregor who played bass on Foghat
‘LIVE’ (1977). They had a blast, and Foghat lead singer, Charlie Huhn, was
as usual at the top of his game with his incredible vocals and guitar work!
And to round out the project the amazing Dana Fuchs added some of her
bluesy/sultry vocals to a couple of tracks!
Three years in the making, Foghat had fun with this record and the result is an
eclectic blend of rock and blues with a little funk and R&B on the side for
good measure. It showcases the combined talent of all of the members both
in the writing and the playing. This band never stops! RAY SHASHO INTERVIEWS ROGER EARL
ON BBS RADIO 1 POSTED ON YOU TUBE
Purchase Foghat’s new release
entitled ‘Under The Influence’ at amazon.com or visit www.foghat.net
For Foghat Tour Dates (including
Record Release Party at B.B. Kings, NYC – September 21st, 2016) visitwww.foghat.net/tour/
Roger Earl is the prodigious drummer and founding member for rock & blues legends Foghat. Earl is the only band member to appear on every album that Foghat has ever recorded. Roger Earl’s ingenuity is responsible for embracing and sustaining the Foghat legacy.
Savoy Brown: In 1968, Kim Simmonds decided that his band Savoy Brown
needed a new direction and brought in Chris Youlden as their lead
vocalist, Lonesome Dave Peverett on guitars, Rivers Jobe on bass, and Roger Earl
on drums with perhaps one of the bands strongest lineups to date. Savoy
Brown toured and recorded extensively spawning the albums Getting to the Point, Blue Matter, (featuring the hit single, “Train to Nowhere”) A Step Further, (featuring crowd pleaser, “I’m Tired,”) Raw Sienna and Looking In. Savoy
Brown quickly developed a huge fan base in the U.S and became a
mainstay on progressive rock format radio and concert arenas worldwide.
Foghat: In 1970, new bassist Tony Stevens, rhythm guitarist and vocalist Lonesome Dave Peverett, and drummer Roger Earl left Savoy Brown to form their new band Foghat. In 1971 they brought in slide master Rod Price
(Black Cat Bones) on lead guitar and Foghat was officially launched.
The band prominently expressed its British blues roots early on with the
release of Willie Dixon’s penned “I Just Want to Make Love to You.” With the addition of their mega hits “Slow Ride” , “Fool for the City” and the commercially successful Foghat Live album, (selling over two-million copies) the band became mainstays on FM Rock radio worldwide.
Throughout the 70’s the band toured extensively, usually supporting
headliners, but eventually became the headliners while selling out
arenas and stadiums. After numerous personnel changes the original
Foghat members reformed in 1993.
In 2000, Lonesome Dave Peverett died of pneumonia and complications
stemming from kidney cancer at the age of 56 years old. Then in 2005,
‘The Magician of Slide’ Rod Price died after suffering a heart attack
before falling down a flight of stairs. Price was 57 years old. Most recently: Foghat’s current line-up is the strongest since its heyday and features original drummer Roger Earl leading a rejuvenated and talented band of rock and roll musicians. Slide guitarist Bryan Bassett was a founding member of Wild Cherry(“Play that Funky Music”) and also played with Molly Hatchet, vocalist and guitarist Charlie Huhn performed with Ted Nugent and Jerry Shirley’s Humble Pie, while bassist Craig MacGregor shared his musical talents with legendary artists such as Muddy Waters and Johnny Winter to name a few. Foghat’s most recent release entitled Last Train Home (2010) has received rave reviews. It’s a back to basics rock & blues triumph!Last Train Home is an incredible blend of blues classics and brand new Foghat material. The album also features Roger’s Brother, Colin Earl on keyboards, Lefty “Sugar Lips” Lefkowitz on harmonica, Eddie “Bluesman” Kirkland on vocals and guitar, and Jeff Howell on bass. The album spawned “495 Boogie” which was the foundation for their latest single "The Word of Rock n’ Roll." The lyrics for the song were written by Phil Dessinger one of their fans after winning a contest.
Foghat will be performing at ‘Born to Ride Day of the Dead Jam Music and Motorcycle Festival’ on SaturdayNovember 2nd
at England Brothers Park in Pinellas Park, Fl. Foghat will be joining
co-headliners Paul Rodgers (Bad Company) and Joan Jett &The
Blackhearts along with Blackberry Smoke, Molly Hatchet, David Allan Coe
and Soul Circus Cowboys. -For tickets and information visit http://borntoridejam.com/ or call 1-877-987-6487 to charge by phone. For additional information call 813-531-4051. Gates open at 11am.
Recently, I had the great pleasure of chatting with the original
drummer and founder of Foghat, Roger Earl about meeting Willie Dixon,
their latest studio release Last Train Home, touring, Kim Simmonds & Savoy Brown, Dave Edmunds, and of course my infamous ‘Field of Dreams’ wish question.
Here’s my interview with the legendary drummer, singer, songwriter,
chef, wine entrepreneur, leader and founder of classic rock legends
Foghat … ROGER EARL. Ray Shasho: Hello Roger, how are you doing? Roger Earl: “Hello Ray, I’m doing okay, how are you doing?” Ray Shasho: I’ve been chatting with a lot of drummers here of
late … I talked with Corky Laing most recently and Billy Cobham before
that. Roger Earl:“I love Corky, he and I are good
friends. Billy is a great-great drummer, I saw him a couple of times
actually and he does stuff that mere mortals can only dream about.”
(All laughing) Ray Shasho: So how’s the tour coming along Roger? Roger Earl:“The tour has been doing great this
year; we’ve been all over the place …north, south, east and west and we
keep seeming to be yo-yoing a lot from east coast to west coast and
that’s okay. Yea, so it’s been a very exciting touring year and it’s not
over yet, we’ve still got lots of dates to do.” Ray Shasho: You’ll be performing in Sarasota, Fl. for the ‘Thunder by the Bay Motorcycle Fest’ on January 11th 2014. Roger Earl: “We’re also going to be performing at
Born to Ride Day of the Dead Jam Music and Motorcycle Festival in
Pinellas Park on November 2nd. Actually we have a home down in Florida
and also a studio in DeLand, halfway between Orlando and New Smyrna
Beach in the middle of nowhere. We have a band house there where we
record, rehearse, and kickback in the winter learning some new old
songs.” Ray Shasho: I watched the original Foghat lineup perform six
times, mostly at the Capital Centre in Maryland. You guys supported a
lot of bands like the J. Geils Band and Black Oak Arkansas before
finally headlining the 18,000 plus arena in 1978. Roger Earl: “Two reasons I remember that. We
recorded there one time and another time we flew in there and it was
back in 1977 when we had our own plane for awhile and I forgot to put my
sneakers in my bag and had to play barefoot. It wasn’t such a problem
once the pedals warmed up a bit. So that’s why I remember the Capital
(All laughing) Ray Shasho: Foghat’s “The Word of Rock n’ Roll” single is a
great tune! This was actually a contest where the fans added the lyrics
to “495 Boogie.” How many people actually contributed to the lyrics? Roger Earl:“We recorded it on our last album Last Train Home and
it was an instrumental, my Brother Colin played piano on the album and
was really cool. So he came up with the song. He just started playing
and I said that sounds great Colin, let’s do that one! So we ran through
it once to get the arrangement down and the chords, then the second
time …that was the take. Foghat has never done an instrumental. Then a
good friend of ours who is a deejay, Charlie Ocean, wrote the lyrics and
renamed it “Big American Blonde,” and then recorded it on the song. But
it was a little risqué and never really made it on the radio. So the
idea was to mention about doing the vocals for it. Unfortunately,
Charlie passed away in July of 2011.”
“We decided to run a competition for all our fans to write the lyrics
and also had to sing them to some degree or another. Actually the
quality of the songs was really impressive and some of the singers were
really-really good. It was difficult but we narrowed it down to about
three songs. The band, Ken Dashow from WAXQ Radio in New York City, and
Jeb Wright a good friend of ours from Classic Rock Revisited were the
judges. We picked one, Phil Dessinger was his name, he wrote the lyrics,
we redid it and mixed it and there we have it. The song has a very
positive lyric line to it about being on the road and enjoying it. It’s
kind of like a basic rock and roll song, like a Chuck Berry kind of
thing. Where would we be without Chuck?” Ray Shasho: Where would we be without the early ‘American Blues’ artists? Roger Earl: “I’ve been a big fan of the blues since I
first began listening to it. I also got the chance over the years to
play with a number of my heroes. I played with Muddy Waters, John Lee
Hooker, and went and had dinner at Willie Dixon’s house. Muddy was a
beautiful man, really-really cool, and Willie Dixon was just fantastic.
What’s really cool is when you meet your musical heroes and they don’t
let you down. They were very gracious and had lots and lots of stories.”
“One of the things I remember about Muddy is we did this show called
Foghat’s Tribute to the Blues at the New York Palladium. It was to raise
money for the New York Public Library; they didn’t have a decent blues
record collection. It gave us an excuse to get together with our heroes
and actually play with them and we were doing just fine at the time
financially. Anyway, we’re backstage and we’ve been in New York City for
about a week rehearsing with everybody. Muddy was backstage and looked
over at one of the performers on the stage, Eddie “Bluesman” Kirkland
and looked over at Eddie and he said … “I know you.” And I said to
myself, how cool is that, because you can never remember everybody’s
name, you meet hundreds of players, musicians, and people. What a way to
greet somebody … “I know you.” What are you going to say, no you don’t!
So I stole that from Muddy. If I can’t remember somebody’s name, I go,
“I know you.”
“Muddy was special and a beautiful man. It was a sad day when we lost
him. Willie Dixon … I think was one of the greatest influences
certainly on blues music and contemporary rock and roll. He was
beautiful. We went there …myself, Dave and Rod actually turned up in the
Southside of Chicago and had dinner with him and his family. Everybody
in the family played guitar or piano. We were all sitting down and
eating and talking. Of course we asked Willie about certain songs and
stuff and he says …”Yea.” So he sends one of the kids upstairs to bring
down a 78 rpm of some obscure tune and I remember Rod Price and Lonesome
Dave drooling. But we’ve stayed in touch over the years and it was a
sad day when we lost him.” Ray Shasho: Many of those early blues legends never seemed to get the due praise and credit they truly deserved. Roger Earl: “I think Willie did okay, he had that
one issue with Led Zeppelin’s management where he wasn’t given credit,
but I think that got settled. But not by Foghat mind you … who was the
first to give credit where credit was due. That’s how we got to meet
Willie Dixon because he wrote “I Just Want to Make Love to You” and
obviously performed by Muddy Waters. That was our first big single over
here and came off the first album in 1972. Then in 1977 we released Foghat Live
and the single off of that album was “I Just Want to Make Love to You”
which was a hit again. By then Willie was saying, “Who are these Foghat
“We had a three day spell playing in Chicago. On the first night,
Willie’s daughter came down to see us. The second night she actually
came back with her Brother Butch who I believe later became Willie’s
road manager. Then on the third night we played there they brought their
dad down. So there we were standing around with Willie Dixon, and as
far as we were concerned in the presence of greatness. He was a tall man
and had this incredible smile and a wonderful way with people. I
remember Dave introduced him on stage and said, “Without Willie Dixon
there would be no rock and roll.” And that’s pretty close to the truth.
Then Willie invited us over to his house and we managed to talk with
him a number of years after that.” Ray Shasho: I had the opportunity to chat with one of your
old bandmates from your Savoy Brown days Kim Simmonds. Kim is such a
great guy. Roger Earl: “Actually, I recently inducted Kim into
the New York Blues Hall of Fame. I live out on Long Island and decided
to take the train, in case we decided to have a few drinks. I got there
and Kim was playing at a place called the The Iridium. Kim and I keep in
touch; we talk two or three times a year. So I went inside and told
Kim, they’ve asked me to induct you into the Blues Hall of Fame tonight.
He gave me a look, like … Oh dear, Rogers inducting me?”
“At the ceremony I started by saying …Kim gave me my shot and I’m
forever grateful. I think Kim might be playing better than ever and his
voice has dramatically improved. He sounds like a great singer now. It
was a lot of fun, I got up and played a couple of new songs with his
band and had a good time that night.” Ray Shasho: I wouldn’t mind seeing Roger Earl on a Kim Simmonds/Savoy Brown album or Kim Simmonds on a Foghat album. Roger Earl:“I would do that! We’ve actually
discussed it but we’re never quite able to organize it with our varying
schedules. There is the possibility though …but time is rolling on.” Ray Shasho: Roger, I have to apologize for not getting the opportunity to review your last studio album entitled …Last Train Home
and especially for not having the opportunity to rave about it … it’s
definitely a kick-ass album! So I’ll be reviewing it with this interview
and I’m giving it (5) stars. Roger Earl:“Thank you! Actually we were really
pleased with the way it turned out. It wasn’t a difficult record to
make. It’s something Dave and I talked about a number of times when Dave
was alive but we never got to do it. Foghat always recorded one or two
blues songs on their albums and it was something I wanted to do. I said
to the guys in the band, everybody pick two or three songs that they
wanted to do, then we’ll get together down in Florida and we’ll play
them. The ones that work we’ll do and the ones that don’t we’ll just put
on the side. It wasn’t difficult; it really was a labor of love. It was
really enjoyable; I got to play with my Brother Colin who plays piano.
Colin played on our first album and a few others from time to time but
was busy with his band Mungo Jerry and then his subsequent band the King
Earl Boogie Band. We never really got the chance to play together.
Eddie “Blues Man” Kirkland who we played with back in 1977 came down and
we played for hours and hours. It was very special and we really had a
good time.” Ray Shasho: The band is incredible and with quite a resume.
Slide guitarist Bryan Bassett was a founding member of Wild Cherry and
also played with Molly Hatchet, Charlie Huhn played with Ted Nugent and
Humble Pie, bassist Craig MacGregor played with Muddy Waters and Johnny
Winter to name a few. And of course Eddie “Blues Man” Kirkland
contributed on the album. Roger Earl: “I think what Charlie did with Ted
Nugent was certainly some of Ted’s best stuff. And there’s also
something to be said for taking over for Steve Marriott of Humble Pie.
Unfortunately our bass player Craig MacGregor couldn’t make this record;
he had a problem with a nerve in his left hand, but he’s back with us
now better than ever. A good friend of mine Jeff Howell who played with
numerous bands and Foghat from time to time played bass on it and did a
fantastic job. We also had a harp player, Lefty “Sugar Lips” Lefkowitz
who is also a good friend of mine. So we had the Foghat blues band.” Ray Shasho: With the horrible way the music industry has been
over the past twenty years or so, it was really refreshing to hear a
pure rock and roll album again. Roger Earl:“The album wasn’t hard or a stretch for
any of us, it was actually a real joyous bunch of sessions that we did.
We started off with rehearsals here in Long Island and finished
everything down in Florida. Most of the songs were done by the second or
third take. But there’s an attitude to playing blues and rock and roll.
It was a lot of fun doing it … in fact, I might do it again!” Ray Shasho: Rocker Dave Edmunds was instrumental to Foghat’s debut album. How’s Dave doing these days? Roger Earl:“I haven’t talked with David in a number
of years. Dave doesn’t tour too much; the last time he did was with
Ringo Starr. I have a great deal of respect for Dave Edmunds. When we
were doing our first album and we basically got a record deal through
Albert Grossman, Dave and Foghat were using the same studio. Dave had
the nightshift and we were taking over from about midday to midnight. Of
course the sessions would crossover and we would go in and listen to
him and then he would hangout and listen to us. We were struggling at
the time, we could play but we weren’t producing. It may have been our
management at the time. We were struggling with the tunes so we asked
Dave to help us out. I seem to remember when we started working on “I
Just Want to Make Love to You” and it might have been the first song
that we started working with Dave Edmunds. He just sprinkled some of
that magic dust on it, in fact the whole album I think, even the ones
that he didn’t like, finalize, or work on initially. The album wouldn’t
have been nearly as successful as it was without Dave. He’s a great
musician and producer.” Ray Shasho: Did you play skiffle music when you were young? Roger Earl: “I was about four years behind on that.
But yes, when I was about eleven years old I just moved into senior
school and I remember we did have a skiffle group and I had a standup
tea chest, a broom handle and a piece of string. I think that lasted
about a week. Then after that, it wasn’t until I was about thirteen when
I made the decision that I needed to play. My father took me to see
Jerry Lee Lewis in South West London and I was never the same after
that. Jerry Lee had a huge impact on my attitude to music, what and how I
wanted to play. I could never quite master the drum work he had during
the early Sun Record days. My father brought home his first records and
introduced the household to Jerry Lee Lewis. He’d put them on the record
player and say … “This boy can play the piano!” (All laughing) Dad
played piano as well.”
“As far as the drummers go … Earl Palmer from New Orleans was one of
my earliest influences for playing and also Fred Below who was on most
of the early Chess Record recordings. You’ve got to give the drummers
some credit too. (All laughing)”
“Around the same time we met Willie Dixon in Chicago, we had a night
off somewhere and Dave and I went out to this place called Mother Blues.
Dave and I walked in and I go over to the bar like I often do. Dave is
just in the doorway transfixed and looking at the stage. So I get my
drink, wonder back to Dave and hand him a glass of wine. He says to me,
“Do you know who that is playing drums?” I said no. He said, “That’s
Freddie Below.” We went up and talked with him during the break and
shook hands. Dave was more mesmerized than I was. We both got up and
played a few tunes. I’ll never forget Dave saying … “You know who that
is?” I think it’s imperative in music to never forget about being a
fan. It’s the joy of music why we do it for. At least that’s why I do
it.” Ray Shasho: Roger, I thought it was interesting that you auditioned for both Jimi Hendrix and Arthur Brown. Roger Earl:“Actually, the reason why I auditioned
was that I was already in Savoy Brown and at that point hadn’t been
paid. It was a blues band. I still had my day job, I was a commercial
artist. We were doing about two or three shows a week and came in to
work looking very tired. After about two weeks, I went up to the
manager’s office which was the same as the booking agent and his name
was Harry Simmonds, Kim’s Brother. So I said Harry, I haven’t been paid
yet, am I going to get paid? Harry said, “You haven’t been paid, we’ll
have to see about that.” This went on for about six weeks and I thought
maybe I’d better start looking for work. If they don’t want to pay you
there must be a problem.” Ray Shasho: So the real reason you left Savoy Brown was because you weren’t getting paid? Roger Earl:“I think it was just time for a change.
We both did well after that. Kim’s band Savoy Brown went on and made
some terrific records and Foghat did the same. It probably wasn’t a bad
move in either of our parts. Kim’s still here and he’s a great player
and I’m looking forward to playing with him again sometime. Things have a
way of working out.” Ray Shasho:Bassist Tony Stevens had rejoined Foghat for awhile, what is he up to lately? Roger Earl: “Tony Stevens was always difficult to
work with; he was always getting fired from whatever band he was in. He
was the only one who got fired from Savoy Brown. He went off to England
one time when we were supposed to be starting a new tour. Basically it
was not a happy relationship and it wasn’t working. So he got fired and
then sued us for the name and went out as Foghat. He had been bought out
of Foghat for thirty-five thousand dollars back in 1974 … and that was a
lot of money back then. When he was invited to join again, he didn’t
get any rights to the name Foghat and he decided he wanted to be Foghat.
So we were in a huge lawsuit and we won. Half a million dollars later …
I’m on the road again and he’s in Thailand or somewhere. Let me put it
this way, there’s no love lost there.” Ray Shasho:In the summer of 2010 …Bobby Rondinelli replaced you for some gigs? Roger Earl:“I took a fall and broke my back across
three vertebrae. That’s never happened before; we were playing this
Casino in Oklahoma and I went on stage to check the monitors and the
drums and I went to step up on the side of the drum riser and there was
nothing there. So that wasn’t a lot of fun. Promoters live on a rather
thin profit margin these days so I called Bobby. Bobby Rondinelli is a
great drummer and can do just about anything … and we’re good friends.
So, he did a good job for awhile. I got back ASAP because I didn’t want
anybody taking my place. (Laughing)”
“Then another time we were in Canada and I went down to sit on my
drum stool and it collapsed underneath me. But I’m doing fine now; I
work really hard on keeping healthy.” Ray Shasho: I heard you’re quite a connoisseur of wines? Roger Earl: “Not really a connoisseur, I just like
to drink the stuff. We do make some fantastic wines called Foghat
Cellars. We just released a 2010 Chardonnay, a 2010 Pinot Noir, and also
have a 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon coming out. It’s a lot of fun. I met
Steve Rasmussen in 2007 when we played the California Mid State Fair, we
did two shows there, both sold-out, and then he sent an email to our
manager saying … you’re probably already doing this but would you be
interested in making some Foghat wine? I started giggling and drooling
and said …Yes please! Yes please! You can visit Foghat Cellars at www.foghatcellars.com.” Ray Shasho: I understand you’re also a great cook, I watched ‘Roger Earl’s Rockin’ Kitchen’ on You Tube recently, what is that all about? Roger Earl: “I do like to cook any chance that I
get. I have in my house about a dozen people to cook for. About six to
eight people is the perfect size because you can talk and hear each
other. It came up …Why don’t you do a TV cooking show? So we did a
couple of pilots and it turned out interesting … so we’ll see. But I
like my job of playing drums… that’s my favorite. Craig MacGregor our
bass player is also a chef. So the band doesn’t go hungry when we’re
recording or rehearsing down in Florida.” Ray Shasho: Roger, here’s a question that I ask everyone that
I interview … If you had a “Field of Dreams” wish, like the movie, to
play or collaborate with anyone from the past or present, who would that
be? Roger Earl: “Give me a minute, that is like your
wish list isn’t it. Hands down I would love to play drums with Jerry Lee
Lewis, Chuck Berry on guitar and Willie Dixon on bass. I might have a
contemporary singer, someone like Paul Rodgers who is probably one of
the greatest singers out there or one of my favorite early singers is
probably Chris Youlden of Savoy Brown. Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry,
Willie Dixon on bass and me playing drums … that would have been a
‘Field of Dreams’ for me.” Ray Shasho: One of my favorite singers is also a favorite of yours … Humble Pie legend Steve Marriott. Roger Earl:“Oh, I can spend an hour talking to you
about Steve Marriott. We toured incessantly with Steve Marriott and
Humble Pie and the J. Geils Band. Stevie particularly endeared himself
to me. It might have been one of our early big shows and we were
supporting Humble Pie. For some reason the crew was giving our crew a
hard time about the sound and the lights, about what we had or couldn’t
have. I think either our road manager or manager had mentioned it to
Steve, who was five foot something, and he walked out on stage and said…
Alright, don’t give f*ing Foghat any f*ing problems, give f*ing Foghat
whatever the f*ck- f*ing Foghat wants, alright? And we never had another
problem. We became good friends with Stevie after that. Dave and I
would hang out with Stevie into the early hours of the morning,
listening to music and getting ripped. Stevie was special and I loved
the man.” Ray Shasho: Roger, thank you so much for being on the call
today, but more importantly for all the incredible Foghat music that
you’ve given us and continue to bring. We’ll see you in Pinellas Park on
November 2nd and in Sarasota on January 11th. Roger Earl: “I look forward to it Ray and it’s been my pleasure.”
Foghat will be performing at ‘Born to Ride Day of the Dead Jam Music and Motorcycle Festival’ on SaturdayNovember 2nd
at England Brothers Park in Pinellas Park, Fl. Foghat will be joining
co-headliners Paul Rodgers (Bad Company) and Joan Jett &The
Blackhearts along with Blackberry Smoke, Molly Hatchet, David Allan Coe
and Soul Circus Cowboys. -For tickets and information visit http://borntoridejam.com/ or call 1-877-987-6487 to charge by phone. For additional information call 813-531-4051. Gates open at 11am.
Very special thanks to Chip Ruggieri of Chipster PR and Rose Nangano Coming up NEXT … My latest interviews with the legendary John Mayall of The Bluesbreakers and Julian Lennon chats about his incredible new album.
Contact classic rock music journalist Ray Shasho at email@example.com Purchase Ray’s very special memoir called ‘Check the Gs’ -The True Story of an Eclectic American Family and Their Wacky Family Business … You’ll LIVE IT! Also available for download on NOOK or KINDLE edition for JUST .99 CENTS at amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com- Please support Ray by purchasing his book so he can continue to bring you quality classic rock music reporting. “Check the Gs is just a really cool story ... and it’s real. I’d
like to see the kid on the front cover telling his story in a motion
picture, TV sitcom or animated series. The characters in the story
definitely jump out of the book and come to life. Very funny and scary
moments throughout the story and I just love the way Ray timeline’s
historical events during his lifetime. Ray’s love of rock music was
evident throughout the book and it generates extra enthusiasm when I
read his on-line classic rock music column on examiner.com. It’s a
wonderful read for everyone!” …firstname.lastname@example.org
British Blues extraordinaire Kim Simmonds recently accomplished a remarkable rock and roll milestone by celebrating forty five years with his legendary blues/rock band Savoy Brown. Since 1966, Simmonds has been founding member, lead guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter of the band. Savoy Brown was part of the UK blues progression that helped to regenerate and popularize blues music in America throughout the 60’s.
Simmonds originally formed The Savoy Brown Blues Band in 1965. The original lineup of Savoy Brown included Kim Simmonds on lead guitar, Bruce Portius on vocals, Bob Hall on keyboards, Martin Stone on guitars, Ray Chappell on bass, and Leo Manning on drums. The lineup appeared on their 1967 debut album Shakedown, featuring a collection of blues cover tunes.
In 1968, Simmonds decided that the band needed a new direction and brought in Chris Youlden as their lead vocalist, Lonesome Dave Peverett on guitars, Rivers Jobe on bass, and Roger Earl on drums with perhaps one of the bands strongest lineups to date. Savoy Brown toured and recorded extensively spawning the albums Getting to the Point, Blue Matter, (featuring the hit single, “Train to Nowhere”) A Step Further, (featuring crowd pleaser, “I’m Tired,”) Raw Sienna and Looking In. Savoy Brown quickly developed a huge fan base in the U.S and became a mainstay on progressive rock format radio and concert arenas worldwide.
In 1970, lead vocalist Chris Youlden departed. Shortly thereafter, new bassist Tony Stevens, Lonesome Dave Peverett, and Roger Earl, left to form their new group Foghat along with ex-Black Cat Bones guitarist Rod Price. Foghat went on to score big commercially using Kim Simmonds formulation of blues-rock-boogie from Savoy Brown. Critics claim that Savoy Brown should have been a commercially successful supergroup if it weren’t for all the personnel changes over the years.
In 1971, a new Savoy Brown lineup was formed that included former members of Chicken Shack along with vocalist Dave Walker (later joined Fleetwood Mac, Black Sabbath). The band released, Street Corner Talking. The album brought the band their best chart success to date featuring Motown classics, “I Can’t Get Next To You” and “Tell Mama” which took the band to platinum status.
Kim Simmonds /Savoy Brown are the epitome of what rock and roll was… and should always be. Deep-rooted, pure, artistic, manifesto, virtuoso, everlasting… these are the components that should land Kim Simmonds in the rock and roll hall of fame. Savoy Brown is genuine rock and roll heritage.
Savoy Brown’s current lineup is Kim Simmonds on guitars and vocals, Joe Whiting on sax and vocals, Pat DeSalvo on bass and Garnet Grimm on drums. Their latest release, Voodoo Moon credits Andy Rudy on keyboards and Ron Keck on percussions.
When you listen to Savoy Brown’sVoodoo Moon, you’ll understand why the band is genuine rock and roll heritage. Simmonds exhibits some of the greatest rock and roll lyrics to come out in years on Voodoo Moon. The opening track called, “Shockwave” is the quintessential rock and roll tune. Simmonds illustrates many of the greatest rock/blues catchphrases of all-time on the next track called, “Natural Man” a slow- rockin’ blues tune that recreates iconic bluesmen of past and present.
The next track… “Too Much Money” showcases sly melody with innovative guitar licks. “She’s Got The Heat” has got lyrics that could only have been written by rock and roll lore ... She pours on gasoline she makes the flame go higher. It’s a rock and roll boogie number featuring Kim Simmonds notorious slide- guitar wizardry and a tune that will certainly rock hard in front of a live audience.
“Look At The Sun” is another awesome melody with hints of Jim Morrison meets Frank Zappa meets Savoy Brown. Great guitars, great vocals, great sax, great song! Simmonds guitar virtuoso dazzles on the next track, a kick-ass instrumental spotlighting guitars and sax called,“24/7.”
The next track is a cool slow bluesy number called, “Round and Round” followed by the album’s title track, a daunting bluesy anthem called, “Voodoo Moon.” The last track on the album, “Meet The Blues Head On,” is an affirmation by Simmonds … Don’t run and hide you’ve got to meet the blues head on.
I had the great opportunity to chat with Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown last week. Here’s my interview with the real deal. Legendary blues innovator/ guitar virtuoso/ songwriter/vocalist/rock and roll icon… Kim Simmonds. Ray Shasho: Good morning Kim, you must be a morning person to want to do an interview at 9a.m. Kim Simmonds: “Good Morning… yea, I’ve been a family man for all of my life so that will get you up in a hurry.” Ray Shasho: First of all, I’d like to say congratulations on your 45th anniversary, that’s quite an accomplishment. Kim Simmonds: “It is, isn’t it…hey I survived!” Ray Shasho: I can’t imagine new bands having that kind of staying power. Do you think music has changed much over the years? Kim Simmonds: “Life changes, music is changing, the music business is much the same when I first started; people are still using exactly the same equipment, still using Marshall and a Gibson you know? When I started I had a Vox amplifier and a Fender Telecaster and that’s what people are using now, so the equipment hasn’t changed at all. When I went to see The Clash play back in 1979, I went to the back of the stage and it had Savoy Brown all over the PA, they were using our old PA, the music was completely different, it was a new world, but they were using Savoy Brown’s old PA.”
“What has changed and probably affected the music business is the technology on the recording side. All I use to record is sixteen-tracks. You can go into any studio and have hundreds of tracks to use… why use any more? I limit myself and I think that helps. I think the new technology is fantastic, but it’s too beguiling, and I honestly think that you’ve got to control it. I think that’s affected music a lot nowadays, I see it with high profile artists from the classic rock generation that record and do things and get really plugged into the technological side and I think to myself, “Why the heck are they doing that? I mean… when they started they were on four-tracks, and they could never be better. So that’s the big change, and again it’s great and it should be used, but you’ve got to control it.”
“What the younger crowd is going through …they seem to be quite happy. I’ve got a young teenage daughter who’s looking to perhaps go into musicals and become an actress; so that hasn’t changed. The beat goes on. It may not go on the same way when you were a teenager, but it’s going on. It’s not going to be the way we envisioned it but it’s going to still happen. When we’re dead and gone, it’s all still going to carry on exactly the same.” Ray Shasho: Is your daughter a musician like her famous dad? Kim Simmonds: “She was in the school orchestra, stuff like that, and could have been a very good musician, but it’s just nothing she’s interested in. It’s kind of illuminating when you have children who are quite talented and you think, ‘Well, they could be a musician” but you’ve got to want to do it, and you’ve got to have that calling. She could have been an “A” musician but it just didn’t interest her, so she’s gone on a different path and she’s quite academic, but I think she has perhaps a dream to be on stage as an actress or be on Broadway.” Ray Shasho: Just once in today’s age, I’d like to pull up next to a car with a couple of teenagers who are stopped at a red light, and hear rock and roll music blasting through their car speakers instead of hip hop or dance music. Kim Simmonds: “That’s why people were so upset with disco because it was just dance music. I’m not against dance music but it tends to be the common denominator.You’re not talking about virtuosity you’re talking about getting people to dance. It’s a lot different than playing an instrument with virtuosity. The great thing about blues, rock, classic rock, jazz music, and especially in the old days, there was some kind of virtuoso musician involved. A young kid 18 or 19, but somehow or another, this kid could play the drums, the guitar, the keyboards, operatic voices some of these guys had. And so there was this talent that had a virtuoso type of appeal. And that I think is the classic hallmark of classic rock. If you listen to Deep Purple you’re not just listening to a dance band, you’re listening to virtuoso musicians playing, You’re listening to some of the best organ playing, guitar playing, and drumming you’re going to hear. That is an element that sometimes get’s missed from current music. There’s not that virtuoso element.” Ray Shasho: I snooped around your website and saw that you were playing a gig soon with Johnny Winter at the Egg in Albany, New York, and then really got excited when I saw the announcement you made stating that Savoy Brown are going to be one of the headliners on the Hippiefest 2012 tour featuring…Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer, Leslie West and Savoy Brown. Kim Simmonds: “Yea, I signed on with it, and I think this particular lineup makes sense for me. I’ve been offered it before, but this time I think it makes complete sense.” Ray Shasho: I covered the Hippiefest 2011 tour by interviewing Dave Mason and Mark Farner. Than…I did a review of the show at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. That show was a huge success. I think the 2012 lineup will have the same impact or perhaps an even bigger impact than the last tour. Kim Simmonds:“Oh really, that’s great to hear and good feedback…Great!” Ray Shasho: Baby-Boomers are starving for entertainment from their generation; reliving those unfettered times. Anytime you put a show together of this caliber it’s going to be a huge success. Kim Simmonds:“And I think we’re all the same, I’m a professional musician and probably a little bit different than the average fan, but I was on Sirius Satellite Radio the other day, my wife’s got it in her car, and I had it on classic rock and some track came on and I thought, “Man, this is really good stuff you know,” and I’m really enjoying it... and it was Iron Butterfly from the Metamorphosis album. I wasn’t a big Iron Butterfly fan back then; it wasn’t my kind of thing… I was more into the blues thing, and there was a lot of hype around them, but I’m telling you it was a breath of fresh air. It sounded great, it was well constructed music, it played well, it was engaging, and I suddenly realized…and I know that I’m part of the classic rock generation, but I was surprised how good they were, a band that I hadn’t given much consideration to. So I could see if I were a fan and not playing and making my money from this, I’d probably buy the album and engage myself even more into that time period, realizing it doesn’t get much better than this.” Ray Shasho: I’ve always thought that bands like Savoy Brown, The Yardbirds, The Animals, John Mayall/The Bluesbreakers etc. were way ahead of their time for recognizing the great American blues artists and reintroducing their music to America, while adding their own twists to the songs. Kim Simmonds:“Thanks, and a lot of other musicians have also said that to me. It’s always nice to hear, I don’t know what we were doing that was that different. There was a lot of taste-makers in Britain at the time. One of them was my older brother so I was very lucky to have people like that and his friends, the guys that discovered the American music in its blues form that was going on. Through those taste-makers it funneled down to would-be musicians like myself and my contemporaries. I think we were very lucky to have mentors around us that said, “Hey listen to this… listen to that.” And that’s where it comes from really. It’s probably happening to us right now, you can never see it when it’s happening in your own time. But when it becomes part of history, it’s very easy to see that Howlin’ Wolf was great, it’s very easy to see now that he’s on a postage stamp. It’s very easy to see that Howlin’ Wolf is great, but back then it wasn’t. Only a few people realized… this man is fantastic! And it was those few people who realized that, who were able to convey on to other people. So I was the benefactor really of people like my brother who brought me up and said, “Hey, listen to this stuff,” and I was very young.”
“I grew up listening to Bill Haley through my brother. Even now when I play, “Rock Around the Clock,” it’s probably the best rock and roll album that’s ever been recorded. It’s not because I’m sentimental, I don’t live in the past at all, but I do recognize it happens to be a fantastic record and remarkable, I’ve studied a little bit on how they recorded it and its phenomenal. And there’s nothing better than listening to rock and roll or blues on a 78. I started listening to rock and roll on 78’s, my brother’s collection… Elvis, Little Richard. “Good Golly Miss Molly” on a 78 just sounds outrageous! Elmore James or Otis Rush, you put these blues guys on a 78 and still today it’s a phenomenal sound.” Ray Shasho: I loved the 45’s, I played them on the air when I was a Top 40 deejay and collected them when I was a kid. I really liked the way 45’s sounded. Kim Simmonds:“I still have my 45 collection. Guess what the first 45 that I ever bought was? This would be around 1961 or 62.” Ray Shasho: “The Twist” or “Let’s Twist Again” by Chubby Checker? Kim Simmonds:“Very close! It was, “Twist and Shout” by The Isley Brothers. And I loved it because it was a rocker, pre-Beatles, and the ‘B’ side was an instrumental… which I loved.” Ray Shasho: So were these some of the guys that you emulated while you were growing up? Kim Simmonds: “Again, I had great mentors, so I quickly realized that from the 1950’s, Bill Doggett was the premiere R&B band, and they had a lot of big hits. His guitar player Billy Butler was a huge influence on me. Billy Butler would play some jazzy blues stuff, and he would play in a style that was easily assimilated for someone like myself. But it was finesse and very sophisticated. So the very first single that I recorded with Savoy Brown was called, “True Blue” and that is a Billy Butler & Bill Doggett instrumental. That was the very first thing that I recorded for Purdah Records with the band. So, that’s how big of an influence he was on me. I had a foot in the 50’s because of my brother, but I’m very much of a 60’s person of course. But all the stuff that we recorded in the 60’s, had a foot in the 50’s.” Ray Shasho: I remember buying albums when I was a teenager based on what the front cover looked liked. I’d listen to a group no one else knew about, and I’d feel so underground. Kim Simmonds:“My latest Voodoo Moon, they put out on vinyl. The box came a couple of days before Christmas, and then I had a New Years Eve party, a friend of mine was here who was a big record collector and he deals in records. He said, “I’ve got the LP let me give you a couple of copies,” and that was the first time that I really looked at it. We put it on the table and it looked so magnificent. The artwork, it was just like… wow, look at this thing, it was like a revelation to suddenly realize how good an album looks. Like you said when you went into those record stores years ago and picked up an album you had this fairly large piece of artwork to assimilate and you could tell from the artwork what was inside. It wasn’t a compressed piece of art; it’s like looking at a painting. When you see a photo like a Van Gogh, it’s all compressed and all smoothed out, like what you see in a book. Then when you go to the museum, it’s a revelation. Because it’s all these brush strokes and scratches, you can hardly look at it because you’ve seen this compressed version in books, and then when you see the real thing it’s a shock. It’s the same when you look at a record album… it’s six times bigger.” Ray Shasho: You can also read the lyrics a lot easier too. (All laughing) Let’s talk about your latest release, Voodoo Moon; I think it has all the makings of a great rock/blues album. You made a statement on the inside of the CD cover stating that it’s some of the best lyrics that you’ve written since the early 70’s, and I have to agree. I especially loved the lyric; She pours on gasoline she makes the flame go higher, from the tune “She’s Got The Heat.” Kim Simmonds:“I’m so happy you said that because I thought that was a very good lyric and we struggled with that song. Greg Spencer is my producer, he has been for years, and we tried that song in various tempos and different styles and I really had to hang on to that song because all of a sudden I was getting the feeling that this song might not make it. And I kept saying to myself and people around me; listen to this, “I think that’s a bloody good lyric.” So, I’m glad you said that, because people have said they liked the song, but nobody has said exactly what you said, “Hey that lyrics not bad.”” Ray Shasho: Only a rock and roll legend can write a lyric like that. Kim Simmonds:“Well thank you, I tell you what, I knew I had something and it doesn’t come very often.” (Laughing) Ray Shasho: And it’s a tune that must be played live in front of an audience. Kim Simmonds:“Yea, we max it out. In fact, often when I play it live I don’t play the blues slide on it, I play rock and roll guitar like Link Ray. And that suits the song very well. But I did it on the album with the slide to keep it into the blues genre.” Ray Shasho: On the song, “Meet The Blues Head On” it sounds like you’re making a personal statement. Kim Simmonds: “The whole album is a personal statement.I think any of the best songs are when you make some kind of personal statement and certainly the best blues songs. So when I first wrote that, I didn’t have it personalized and my agent and sometimes manager Steve Ozark said when I played him the demo, “I don’t hear enough of a personal statement from you,” so I worked more on the versus to make them more personal and it made more sense. So I think it is important to make a personal statement and you’ve got to carry it through the whole song.” Ray Shasho: How long did it take to complete Voodoo Moon? Kim Simmonds: “I mean, “Natural Man” I’ve had the title for years, and I’ve had “Voodoo Moon” for years, and it’s there on the shelf and you come back to this stuff and think, “Is that a good title? It isn’t a good title?” You just don’t know. Is that a good line or am I kidding myself …Do you know what I mean? And that’s why Greg Spencer is the producer, I run the songs by him and he can tell me what’s good and what’s bad, because I don’t know. It’s very difficult to know when you’ve got something and that’s why so many people make so many bad records or so many bad songs, because you don’t know yourself, you have to have someone on the other side to tell you.” Ray Shasho: Savoy Brown was always a great blues/rock band but never enjoyed huge commercial success, and then three of your bandmates leave Savoy Brown to form Foghat using basically the foundation of Savoy Brown to score big commercially. How does that happen? Kim Simmonds: “They took all my ideas when they left, which I didn’t mind because I was moving on to other ideas. And we were great friends, don’t get me wrong. It’s only natural when they left that they would sound like Savoy Brown. I just think that they were able to stay focused on that path where I was more the vagrant artist and went this way and that way in search of myself. I think Dave with Foghat stayed on that path, honed it down, and they were one of my favorite bands, and they’re a great band. Rod Price was a great guitar player and never got a mention. He did some bloody good work on those Foghat records and never gets a mention.”
“It’s as simple as that, they just stuck to the path, which is a path that I’d given them, and I just chose to go a much more material route. I was very happy for their success and never had any bad feelings at all. Loved Dave and I still love Roger. It was a very fulfilling relationship and I’m so sad that both Dave and Rod are gone.” Ray Shasho: Wrapping up, Kim I heard that you picked up a new guitar recently and really digging a new sound? Kim Simmonds: “Yea, it’s a DBZ made by Dean Zelinsky from the old Deans Guitars. And this new guitar I think is going to take me a little higher. People already are commenting on the sound. So I think I may have found on top of everything else, an instrument that brings out a little bit more from me, and I’m quite excited about it. I’ve already made a couple of demos using it because I’m thinking of doing an instrumental solo album down the line. I played a couple of demos on New Year’s Eve for Greg and he loved the guitar sound. He said that’s the guitar sound you’ve got to use. So I think I’m moving forward.” Ray Shasho: Kim thank you for being on the call with me today, but more importantly thank you for 45 great years of blues and rock and roll music. I hope to see you in the rock and roll hall of fame one day soon because you truly deserve it. Kim Simmonds: “Thanks Ray, it’s been a real pleasure talking with you.”
Savoy Brown/Kim Simmonds official website www.savoybrown.com Order Voodoo Moon by Savoy Brown at amazon.com
I want to thank Mark Pucci Media for arranging this interview www.markpuccimedia.com Stay tuned for more information on Hippiefest 2012 concert dates.
Coming up next Ray’s interview with legendary Byrds frontman Roger McGuinn
Order Ray Shasho’s great new book called Check the Gs –The True Story of an Eclectic American Family and Their Wacky Family Business. Get your copy at amazon.com or iuniverse.com
Normalcy is a myth and anyone who tells you differently isn't very normal. "Check the Gs" is a memoir from Ray Shasho who tells of his own offbeat upbringing working in the family business art gallery, from a young age. Of Cuban and Syrian descent, he tells a very American story of coming from everything, seeing everything, walking the line of the law and much more. A fun and fast paced memoir, "Check the Gs" is a worthwhile addition to many a memoir collection. ~~ MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW