Showing posts with label #George Harrison. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #George Harrison. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 18, 2017




A  L  A  N    W  H  I  T  E


Alan White is considered by many to be one of the greatest rock drummers of all-time. With forty-plus years of performance experience and appearances on over fifty albums, Alan’s dossier reads like a who’s-who of rock legends.  With his consummate professionalism and easy-going nature, Alan continues to be an inspiration to fellow musicians as well as fans.

 In the summer of 1968, Alan was asked to join Ginger Baker’s Airforce, a new group being put together by the former drummer of Cream and other noted musicians from England’s music scene including Steve Winwood, formerly of Traffic.

In 1969, Alan received what he thought at the time to be a prank phone call, but was actually John Lennon calling to ask Alan to join the Plastic Ono Band.  The next day Alan found himself learning songs in the back of an airliner en-route to Toronto with Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton and Klaus Voorman.  The ensuing album, Live Peace in Toronto, sold millions of copies, peaking at number 10 on the pop charts.
Alan’s association with Lennon continued, recording singles like ‘Instant Karma’ and  the subsequent landmark album, Imagine, with Alan providing drums for the title song, ‘Jealous Guy’, and ‘How Do You Sleep at Night’. Alan’s work with Lennon led to an introduction to George Harrison, who asked Alan to perform on the album All Things Must Pass, including the hit single, ‘My Sweet Lord’,  released in 1970.
In June 1972, while on tour with Joe Cocker, Alan got a phone call from his manager, who said that Yes wanted him to join the band. His current tour was ending so he flew back to England for a meeting with Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, who told him that he was joining Yes or “they were going to throw me out the third-story window,” recalls Alan.

Three days later, on June 30th, Yes, along with their new drummer, opened their US tour before 15,000 fans in Dallas, Texas.  Alan and Yes gave each other three months to see if it would work out, and more than thirty years later, Alan is an integral part of the band, having played on every Yes studio and live album recorded since.
Founded in 1968 by Chris Squire and Jon Anderson, Grammy-award winning recording artists YES have created some of the most important and influential music in rock history, such as iconic pieces “Roundabout,” “Close to the Edge,” “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” “Starship Trooper,” and countless others. Its albums, including Fragile, Close to the Edge, Tales from Topographic Oceans, Relayer, Going For the One and 90125, have been certified multi-platinum, double-platinum, platinum, and have sold over 50 million records total in its career that has so far spanned almost five decades. Among the world’s most influential, ground-breaking, and respected progressive rock bands, YES continues creating masterful music that inspires musicians, fans and music lovers around the world.

Time off from the Yes’ hectic touring and recording schedule allows Alan to pursue other projects as well.  With longtime friend and technical guru, Reek Havok, he formed ‘Crash and Bang’, to provide music for the entertainment industry, including video games and television shows. “It also serves as a testing ground for new music hardware and software and new approaches to music and it’s psychological effects on the user and an excuse to plug the wrong things together just to see what happens!”, adds Reek.
In 2005, Alan formed a new band, aptly called White, who released their self-titled debut album in January 2006.  White performs regularly in the Seattle-area, when time permits.
In recent years, Alan has performed with a variety of artists, including Spencer Davis, The Ventures, Charlie Daniels and Eddie Money, to name but a few.  In 2007, Alan played alongside Keith Emerson, Simon Kirk and Yes bassist Chris Squire at the Ahmet Ertegün memorial show, as part of the opening act for Led Zeppelin.  He also conducts numerous drum clinics around the country and around the world to encourage and teach other drummers.
Alan and his wife Gigi are very active in the Seattle arts community, serving on the board of directors for Music Aid Northwest, Northwest Program for the Arts, and the Seattle Theatre Group.  Alan is also a member of the Seattle Chapter of The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Gary Wright Interview: The ‘Dream Weaver’ to perform on ‘Sail Rock 2013’ tour

 By Ray Shasho

Gary Wright is a celestial keyboard virtuoso, idyllic songwriter, and vocalist with powerful soulful pipes. Wright is an innovator of the synthesizer and over the years has managed to condense his many synthesized melodies into a single keyboard strapped around his neck.
Although born and raised in Cresskill, New Jersey, Wright founded the British rock group Spooky Tooth in 1967. Wright would later become most recognized for his two solo hit singles “Dream Weaver” in 1975 and “Love Is Alive” in 1976.

Gary Wright will be joining the ‘Sail Rock 2013’ tour along with Christopher Cross, Orleans, Firefall, John Ford Coley, Robbie Dupree and Player beginning August 5th in West Allis, Wisconsin. Visit for all the latest concert dates.

Gary Wright will also be performing a solo concert at the Largo Cultural Center on Friday October4th at 8p.m. To purchase tickets contact the Largo Cultural Center at or call the box office at 727-587-6793.

SPOOKY TOOTH: Gary Wright joined the band 'Art' in 1967. The ‘V.I.P.’S’ morphed into 'Art' after several lineup changes since its inception in 1963. The British R&B music ensemble had featured various distinguished musicians including Mike Harrison, Greg Ridley, Jimmy Henshaw, Keith Emerson, Luther Grosvenor, Walter Johnstone and Mike Kellie.
Keith Emerson (The Nice, ELP) left in 1967 when the name was changed to Art. The band eventually turned into Spooky Tooth with a lineup of Wright (organ, keyboards and vocals), Harrison (vocals, keyboards) Ridley (bassist), Grosvenor (guitar, vocals) and Kellie (drums).

In 1968, Spooky Tooth released their debut album entitled … It’s All About. The album featured covers by Janis Ian and Bob Dylan. Most of the other tracks were either written or co-written by Gary Wright.
The bands next release Spooky Two (1969) released on Island Records was hailed by critics as one of their finest recordings. The album featured many of the bands standards including “Evil Woman” and “Better by You, Better Than Me” a tune written by Wright and eventually covered by Judas Priest in 1978.
Spooky Tooth quickly became a highly sought concert attraction and a mainstay on progressive rock radio. The band shared the stage with such legendary music acts as Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones.

Bassist Greg Ridley left in 1969 to join Humble Pie, Andy Leigh replaced him.

Also in 1969, the group released Ceremony (Spooky Tooth and Pierre Henry album) a progressive collaboration with the French electronic composer.

Session musician: Wright left Spooky Tooth briefly to produce albums for Traffic and Rolling Stones producer Jimmy Miller and his production company. Gary Wright became an esteemed session musician and was asked to play on George Harrison’s triple- album set All Things Must Pass (1970).

Wright and Harrison began a long lasting friendship and musical collaboration that included Wright playing or sharing songwriting tasks on several of Harrison’s subsequent albums including … Living in the Material World (1973), Dark Horse (1974), Extra Texture (Read All About It)(1975), Thirty Three & 1/3(1976), George Harrison(1979), Cloud Nine (1987).

The Last Puff album (1970) primarily featured Mike Harrison while Wright focused on other projects. The release featured an incredible cover version of The Beatles, “I Am The Walrus.” Joe Cocker Grease Band members Henry McCullough, Chris Stainton and Alan Spenner were brought into the studio to work on the album.
In 1971, Gary Wright performed “Two Faced Man” with George Harrison on the Dick Cavett Show. He also played piano on Harry Nilsson’s #1 hit, a Badfinger cover tune entitled, “Without You.”

In 1972, Gary Wright and Mike Harrison reformed Spooky Tooth with a different lineup. The new lineup featured future Foreigner founder and guitarist Mick Jones.

Subsequent Spooky Tooth albums … (You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw (1973), Witness (1973), The Mirror (1974) and Cross Purpose (1999) (Reunion album without Wright, Greg Ridley returned).

Spooky Tooth disbanded in 1974.

Gary Wright and George Harrison visited India in 1974 as a guest of Ravi Shankar. Wright developed a longtime relationship with Shankar after the visit.

SOLO CAREER: Gary Wright released two critically-acclaimed solo albums on A&M Records … Extraction in 1971 and Footprint in 1972.
Wright signed a record deal with Warner Brothers Records in 1974 and achieved his biggest commercial success with the release of The Dream Weaver album (1975). The single “Dream Weaver” reached #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart and #1 on the Cash Box charts. The album also spawned the hit “Love is Alive” (1976) reaching #2 on Billboard’s singles chart. The album peaked at #7 on Billboard’s Hot 100 albums chart.
The song “Dream Weaver” has been spotlighted on numerous television shows and motion pictures.
“Love is Alive” was covered by several legendary artists including … Chaka Khan, Joe Cocker and Richie Havens.
The Dream Weaver album featured guest musicians …guitarist Ronnie Montrose, drummers Jim Keltner and Andy Newmark, Hammond organist David Foster and Bobby Lyle on additional synthesizers.
In 1981, Gary Wright scored again commercially with “Really Wanna Know You” (#16 Billboard Singles Hit).

Gary Wright Solo albums … Extraction (1971), Footprint (1972), The Dream Weaver (1975), The Light of Smiles(1977), Touch and Gone (1978), Headin’Home (1979), The Right Place (1981), Who I Am (1988), First Signs of Life (1995), Human Love (1999), Waiting to Catch the Light (2008), The Light of a Million Suns (EP) (2008), Connected (2010).

In 2004, Wright, Harrison and Kellie reunited Spooky Tooth for several concerts in Germany. As a result of their triumphant return they released the Nomad Poets DVD in 2007.
The same lineup played a series of European dates in 2008.

Most recently: Gary Wright toured with Ringo Starr and His All-Star Band in 2008.
In 2010, Wright released his latest studio album entitled Connected and features guest artists … Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter.
Gary Wright is currently writing his 'memoir' for the Penguin Group and should be available sometime near the end of 2014.

I had the great pleasure of chatting with Gary Wright recently about ‘Sail Rock 2013,’ Spooky Tooth, George Harrison, the music business, metaphysics and much-much more.

Here’s my interview with legendary singer, songwriter, keyboardist, music pioneer, Spooky Tooth founder, the original ‘Dream Weaver’ and soon to be published author … GARY WRIGHT.
Ray Shasho: How’s it going Gary, are you in California?
Gary Wright: “Very good Ray, no I’m looking at the ocean in Maui.”
Ray Shasho: Gary, we’ve actually got two different concerts to promote… first, the ‘Sail Rock 2013’ tour and then a solo show that you’ll be doing on October 4th at the Largo Cultural Center in Tampa Bay, Florida.
Gary Wright: “We’ve already done one ‘Sail Rock’ show in New York and then did a couple of shows without me because I’m on holiday now, but I’ll join them on the 5th of August in West Allis, Wisconsin just outside of Milwaukee.”
“I’ve always liked playing in Florida, so I’m also looking forward to performing in Tampa Bay.”
Ray Shasho: Your most recent album is entitled Connected. The album features Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter as guest artists. It’s an exceptional album. My favorite tracks are… “Satisfied” and “Can’t Find No Mercy” and your voice is superlative, much like it sounded in the 70’s.
Gary Wright: “I enjoyed making that album it was a lot of fun. “Can’t Find No Mercy” is my favorite track. My voice hasn’t changed really very much I still do all my songs when I perform live and still do them in the original keys. I’ve been blessed with that ability to retain that. Connected was a labor of love. I took my time doing it and trying to record it real simple, kind of like the way I recorded The Dream Weaver.”
“I have a new project that I’m working on right now … I’m writing a book and it’s coming out October of 2014. It’s my memoirs and my relationship with George Harrison and Ringo Starr and just basically my life story. The E-book version of the book, there will be new songs that will be on it, video sets, bonus material and all kinds of things that have never been released. It’s been a lot of fun; I’m about two thirds of the way through it. The Penguin Group is really excited about it and it’s been a fun experience.”
Ray Shasho: Gary, I’ve had several metaphysical conversations here of late with Mike Love (The Beach Boys), and Dave Davies (The Kinks). What sorts of techniques do you practice for spiritual awareness and physical and mental well being?
Gary Wright: “I’ve been meditating for thirty five years. I practice the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda which George Harrison introduced me to. What I found in Yogananda’s teachings was that they were amazingly advanced and really gave you the ability to reach a deeper state of consciousness. He just gives techniques, when you find the teachers or gurus from India, most of them tell you the rules of life to follow, the dos and the don’ts, and what you need to live a good life, but they don’t really show you the techniques to meditate deeply . So through the years I kept practicing it and do it regularly and it really has changed me dramatically. It’s a big part of my life.”
“Music is an extremely powerful force if used properly to uplift people. I believe music should be uplifting and not downgrading … it’s a very-very powerful tool.”
Ray Shasho: It used to be a powerful tool, not so sure about the stuff on mainstream radio though.
Gary Wright: “Unfortunately music devolved instead of evolved. The music business got into the hands of lawyers and accountants rather than the entrepreneurial creative people and that’s when the beginning of the end started. It’s all based on money instead of art and creativity.
Ray Shasho: Mainstream radio won’t promote anything new by legendary music artists … just the oldies. I’m always reviewing new music from the artists that I grew up with and they’re actually sounding better with age.
Gary Wright: “Most of them are turning to do just live performances and not releasing a lot of new material. Somebody told me the other day that Billy Joel wasn’t going to record any new albums, that he had no interest. Some people are saying … why make a new album if isn’t going to be heard. I have heard some new artists that are quite good but it’s just so hard for them, if they get one hit that’s great and very-very lucky if they get two. But it’s not a sustaining type of situation anymore, a career building industry like it used to be.”
Ray Shasho: Gary do you think there’s life out there beyond earth?
Gary Wright: “Oh yea, by the law of averages there has to be life elsewhere. The universe is so huge and I don’t think God would have created this whole big huge cosmos and just say there’s only going to be life on earth and that’s it. I believe in … and this is part of Indian philosophy as well, that there’s life in other solar systems, other planets, some more advanced, some not as advanced as we are, it’s all relative … all these things definitely exist. We’re all use to the paradigm that we’re oxygen breathing human beings, there might be life breathing ammonia gas or some other type of gas we don’t even know about. I don’t think God can be pinned down to any specific kind of thing, his ingenuity is incredibly great.”
Ray Shasho: How did you and George Harrison become really good friends?
Gary Wright: “I played on his album All Things Must Pass and we became friends. He invited me to play on future albums and played guitar and produced one of the tracks on my album Footprint. He also played slide guitar on another track. So we were good friends, he was my spiritual mentor.”
Ray Shasho: I watched the Martin Scorsese documentary on HBO entitled Living in the Material World (2011) which was an excellent film about the life of George Harrison. I was fascinated about a clip that revealed Harrison’s dissatisfaction with life as we know it on this planet and an eagerness to embark towards the afterlife.
Gary Wright: “He was referring to the astral world … that’s true. The astral world or heavenly realms are like a passage from earthy existence. This is a school that we’re in right now, learning to get rid of our flaws and all that, and go to the astral world which doesn’t have any disease or the vermin that we have in the world today …a universe made of light.”
“George did a lot of good for the planet with his music and was just a wonderful human being. I’m sure he’s being rewarded with some heavenly realms somewhere in the astral heavens.”
Ray Shasho: Two of my favorite Spooky Tooth albums were You Broke My Heart So … I Busted Your Jaw (1973) and Witness (1973) and I was very fortunate to see the band perform in concert that same year those albums were released.
Gary Wright: “Actually Eminem recorded “Self Seeking Man” and rewrote part of the lyrics to one of his songs entitled “Spend Some Time.” I wrote “Self Seeking Man” from the You Broke My Heart So … I Busted Your Jaw album and he changed the title.”
Ray Shasho: I watched a sort of recent Spooky Tooth reunion video on You Tube that featured classics like “Evil Woman” and “Waitin’ For The Wind.” You guys sounded incredible!
Gary Wright: “Thank you very much, probably from the Nomad Poets DVD in 2004. It was myself, Mike Harrison, Mike Kellie and some other musicians.”
Ray Shasho: Do you still talk with Mike Harrison?
Gary Wright: “I communicate with Mike Harrison and every now and then with Mike Kellie. We just had a song of ours sampled by Jay-Z and Kanye West from their last huge album.”
Ray Shasho: It’s obvious that you were influenced by rhythm and blues but added a cosmic element to many of your songs, who are some of the R&B artists that inspired you?
Gary Wright: “Ray Charles, James Brown especially, Bobby Blue Bland, Aretha Franklin and some of the earlier artists like Little Richard. Those were the main ones that initially inspired me.”
Ray Shasho: Gary, 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?
Gary Wright: “Probably George Harrison, he was such a creative person and a great friend.”
Ray Shasho: Gary, thank you for being on the call today, but more importantly for all the great music you’ve given to us and continue to bring. We’ll see you on the ‘Sail Rock 2013’ tour and at your solo performance in Largo, Florida on October 4th.
Gary Wright: “Thanks so much Ray.”

The ‘Sail Rock 2013’ tour stars Christopher Cross, Orleans, Gary Wright, Firefall, John Ford Coley, Robbie Dupree and Player. Visit for all the latest concert dates.
Gary Wright will also be performing a solo concert at the Largo Cultural Center on Friday October 4th at 8p.m. To purchase tickets contact the Largo Cultural Center at or call the box office at 727-587-6793.

Purchase Gary Wright's latest release Connected at
Gary Wright official website at
Gary Wright on Facebook
Gary Wright on Twitter
Gary Wright on Myspace
Very special thanks to Jeff Albright of The Albright Entertainment Group

Coming up NEXT … my recent interviews with Melanie and Roy Rogers

Contact classic rock music journalist Ray Shasho at

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 or - Please support Ray so he can continue to bring you quality classic rock music reporting. 
~~Pacific Book Review says Ray Shasho is a product of the second half of the 20th century, made in the USA from parts around the world, and within him is every trend in music, television, politics and culture contributing to his philosophical and comically analytical reflections collected in his fine book of memories. I found Check the Gs to be pure entertainment, fantastic fun and a catalyst to igniting so many memories of my own life, as I too am within a few years of Ray. So to all, I say if you have a bit of grey hair (or no hair), buy this book! It’s a great gift for your “over-the-hill” friends, or for their kids, if they are the history buffs of younger generations trying to figure out why we are the way we are.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Andy Powell talks about the longevity and mystique of 'Wishbone Ash'

 By Ray Shasho

Wishbone Ash is an ingrained rock and roll phenomenon, and since the bands induction in 1969, they’ve continued to captivate ardent followers as well as contemporary fans. The band’s latest release is entitled Elegant Stealth, and like a fine wine, their music seems to improve with age.
The British progressive rock group was originally led by the commanding guitar-duo of Andy Powell and Ted Turner. Wishbone Ash are pioneers for spotlighting two lead guitarists and immortalizing the Gibson Flying V guitar. The Flying V became the bands trademark and would instantly identify the group.

In 1970, the group opened for Deep Purple. While Purple’s guitarist Ritchie Blackmore warmed up on stage during a sound check, Andy Powell walked onstage and began jamming with Blackmore. Blackmore suggested the band to producer Derek Lawrence, who later helped the band score their first record deal with Decca/MCA Records. Their debut album Wishbone Ash was released in December that very same year.
The band’s most commercially successful release came in 1972 with Argus (Named “Best British Album of the Year” by Melody Maker). The early, original, and most successful line-up of Wishbone Ash featured Andy Powell (guitars/vocals), Ted Turner (guitars/vocals), Martin Turner (bass/vocals) and Steve Upton (drums).
Wishbone Ash became one of England’s most popular hard rock acts during the early to mid 70’s under the management of Miles Copeland III.
Despite numerous personnel changes throughout the decades, Wishbone Ash has managed to churn out 23 quality albums. The band has remained in the limelight despite erratic changes in the music industry, perhaps due to remaining close to its roots while recording and touring extensively.
Andy Powell has also worked on sessions with George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Kashif, Stewart Copeland, Renaissance and many other legendary artists.
In 1988, Andy joined Ted Turner on the “Night of the Guitar” tour featuring Randy California (Spirit), Steve Howe (Yes), Leslie West (Mountain), Alvin Lee (Ten Years After), Robbie Krieger (The Doors), Jan Akkerman, Peter Haycock(Climax Blues Band) and Steve Hunter(Mitch Ryder, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper).
The current line-up of Wishbone Ash features original lead guitarist, singer, and songwriter Andy Powell, Bob Skeat on Bass, Muddy Manninen on guitars and Joe Crabtree on drums. Their latest release Elegant Stealth will transport you to the band’s glory days of the 1970s.
Elegant Stealth is a superlative mix of progressive rock virtuosity.
Andy Powell defined his career with Wishbone Ash by disclosing …”We love the life, we live the life, and the life has been good to us.”
I caught up with Andy Powell between gigs. Wishbone Ash had just played Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis, Maryland the night before and the band was headed for their next show in Sellersville, PA.

Here’s my interview with original Wishbone Ash guitar virtuoso/singer/songwriter/ Andy Powell.
Ray Shasho:Andy thank you for being on the call today, are you living in the states these days?
Andy Powell: “I live in Connecticut and have been here for twenty five years. I know your area pretty well, use to vacation down there and of course did at least three or four albums in Florida.”
Ray Shasho:  You guys played at the Rams Head in Annapolis last night. I worked at WNAV as a deejay there back in the late 70’s. The Baltimore/Washington DC area has always been a hub for Wishbone Ash fans. What was the audience reaction to the new album?  
Andy Powell: “It was great, they loved it. They wouldn’t let us off the stage. We had people coming in from California, the UK, and one lady sailed to the show. (Laughing) So it was a great night.”
Ray Shasho: You mentioned the Florida connections …. What about AshFest?
Andy Powell: “Yea, we did that down in Port St Lucie at the Sandpiper Club Med a couple of years ago. We’ve also done them on cruise ships, and we have one every year in the UK… and yea that was a fun time.”
“We’re looking to do another one if we can. We actually did a poll on Facebook to see how many folks would actually like to do it again. If you go to our homepage, it’s linked to our Facebook page and you’ll see the poll.”
Ray Shasho: So what goes on at AshFest?
Andy Powell: “Typically it’s an opportunity for fans from all over the world to meet, that’s first and foremost. We usually have a couple of Ash tribute bands which is fun, and we actually have fans with their own bands playing our music. We sometimes have workshops, guitar lessons, and last time had mint guitars by Lucio who made guitars and displayed all his great pieces there. But yea, it can be anything; it’s like a festival really. But the website is always the first Port of Call to see what’s going on.”
Ray Shasho: What I admire the most about Wishbone Ash is that the band has stuck to its roots throughout the years and hasn’t “sold-out” commercially. Another band that comes to mind that also stuck to its roots is Savoy Brown, and I had this same conversation with Kim Simmonds.
Andy Powell: “Yea it’s true … I don’t want to say we haven’t gone off the rail from time to time in a forty two-forty three year career. But one of the pieces of advice that I always thought is to be true to your instincts. We’ve tried singles but realized we’re really a live band … an album band, and we basically play to our strengths now and that’s what we do. I think if you listen to our new album ‘Elegant Stealth’ you’ll hear the format … the sound intact and plenty of scope for us to flex our muscles and be who we are.”
Ray Shasho: Wishbone Ash distinguished itself by spotlighting dual lead guitarists and of course the notorious Flying V.      
Andy Powell: “In the early 70s all bands needed their own individual standards sort of experimentation and each band had its own star, whether it was ‘Yes’ or ‘Jethro Tull,’ and for us it was the twin lead guitars and it stuck with us and served us well. It added a real melodic threat to the sound… a lead guitar/rhythm guitar format wouldn’t be so melodic. The twin lead guitar really gives identity to our sound.”
Ray Shasho: What sparked the idea for having two lead guitarists in the band?
Andy Powell: “Well strange enough I use to play solo in R&B bands and would work with horn sections. The idea was we’d sit around and try to think about using the guitars like a horn section punctuating a song. One of the first songs we wrote was “Blind Eye” and you can hear very definitely those guitar parts in the song sounding like a horn section. So really that’s where it came out of … those teenage Australian bands, Hammond organ, horns, and ear training actually. I never realized there was ear training, and that lent itself to working out the guitar parts when we formed Wishbone Ash.”
Ray Shasho: Another British band that comes to mind with twin lead guitarist is Status Quo.
Andy Powell: “There are a few bands that use a two guitar line-up and they use them in different ways, Quo is one of them. But certainly in this country The Allman Brothers were a premium example of a twin lead guitar band.”
Ray Shasho: Status Quo is such a great band, but never seem to make it happen here in the states for some reason.
Andy Powell: “Yes and they’re huge in Europe.”
Ray Shasho: Another band huge in other parts of the world but unfortunately not in the states is Golden Earring. I did a piece on them for their 50th anniversary, and not many people in the U.S. realize the longevity of that great band.  
Andy Powell: “I know… they have such depth, I mean they go back to the early 60s. That’s a good comparison to us. They are a band that definitely had a similar type of mystique.”
Ray Shasho: Do you have any regrets for not scoring huge commercially?
Andy Powell: “Not really, everyone would like more fame and fortune, but we’re all passionate about music and enjoy what we do and overall we love the life, we live the life, and the life has been good to us. If you can function financially on the way … then that’s a nice bonus for a musician. I’ve been fortunate and music has been good to me.”
Ray Shasho: Some of your influences are Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac founder), Django (Jean) Reinhardt (Founder of Jazz guitar), and The Shadows.
Andy Powell: “Yea, it’s all the stuff you grow up with and get use to. It’s all good for me and still inspires me.”
Ray Shasho: Did you also grow up listening to American Blues and artists like Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters?
Andy Powell: “Absolutely, my favorite blues player was probably Albert King. I love Albert King’s playing and writing, it’s fantastic. Of course I’m familiar with all of the King’s …Freddie King, B.B. King, and all those players that influenced British guitar players back in the day …big time!”
Ray Shasho: Kim Simmonds(Savoy Brown) told me that it was virtually impossible to find American Blues recordings in England; someone had to share their knowledge of the genre with you.
Andy Powell: “It was very much an underground thing. I like to think that the Brits in some way re-educated the public because it was endangered of getting overlooked. They would get the records off from New York and bring them back on cruise ships and liners, and there was an underground club of people and enthusiasts that were sharing this stuff around … and there was really nothing on the radio.”
Ray Shasho: The Brits were huge proponents for rejuvenating American Blues.
Andy Powell: “And the rest is history. It’s been along torturous ride for the blues but it’s got prominence now.”
Ray Shasho: You did some session work with George Harrison?
Andy Powell: “I played with George and played with Ringo … fun times in the early 70s.”
Ray Shasho: What was your perception of George Harrison?
Andy Powell: “Just a really humble guy and modest, kind of cool sense of humor and a very gentle man.”
Ray Shasho: Talk about the connection between you, the band, and Ritchie Blackmore.
Andy Powell: “Ritchie was one of the first guys to give us a break. We opened on a show with Deep Purple and I started jamming with him on stage during the sound check. He saw our show and asked if we had a record deal and I said actually we don’t. So he made a recommendation to a producer friend and before we knew it we were being signed by MCA/Universal and we were on our way …it was great. So I owe a big debt to Ritchie to be honest.”
Ray Shasho: Do you still talk with Ritchie?
Andy Powell: “Funny enough, I moved to a town in Connecticut and it turned out that he lived there also. I hooked up with him again in the late 70s and I think he moved on to Long Island. But there was a brief reconnect there.”
Ray Shasho: The band’s latest release Elegant Stealth is a terrific album and reminiscent to the 70s glory days of Wishbone Ash.
Andy Powell: “Thank you so much. Like I said earlier the sound is intact and it’s a very honest way of recording the album. We’re getting great reaction from it … the fans love it and say we’re still productive and creative … so it’s all good!”
Ray Shasho: Some of my favorite songs on the CD are “Man With No Name” a powerful tune with Beatlelistic overtones and I also really like “Heavy Weather.” The selections are an incredible mix of music and I can actually hear other classic bands in many of the songs.   
Andy Powell: “There’s a lot of variety on this album and we’re fans of music too, we don’t want to be copyist, but you can’t avoid a little bit of influence coming here and there.”
Ray Shasho: I feel it’s one of the best albums Wishbone Ash has put out in quite a awhile.
Andy Powell: “I think you’re probably right and we appreciate it. We feel it too …you know?”
Ray Shasho: Andy, talk About the Road Works series.
Andy Powell: “Fans love to hear live recordings and what we try to do is record stuff on the go and offer that service to fans. So we’re recording every show so our fans can relive the concerts and actually hear something played live. We’ve got (2) in the series so far and planning to do another one. So it will just be an ongoing thing. You can pick up Road Works directly from our website. “This is Wishbone Ash- A Rocumentary DVD” will also be available later this year in the states.”
Ray Shasho: No confirmed Florida concert dates yet Andy?
Andy Powell: “I would love it. We don’t get too many invites down there but we’re certainly looking to get something going in November.”
Ray Shasho: Andy, thank you so much for being on the call today, but more importantly for all the great music throughout your brilliant music career.
Andy Powell: “Beautiful, I enjoyed the interview, keep in touch Ray!”

Wishbone Ash official website
Purchase Elegant Stealth –The latest release by Wishbone Ash at
Order Road Works at

Special thanks to the great Billy James of Glass Onyon PR for this interview.
Official website

*Coming up next my interview with Frank Marino of Mahogany Rush

Contact columnist/author Ray Shasho at
Order or download Ray Shasho’s exciting memoir ‘Check the Gs’ The True Story of an Eclectic American Family and Their Wacky Family Business at or for only .99 cents!

Ray Shasho has quite a memory, especially when it comes to what songs played on the radio during important times throughout his youth.  Combining his nostalgic recant of  Billboard’s Top 100, like some infomercial for a Time-Life Oldies CD collector’s set, along with his detailed whimsical recollections while growing up, and you have the “soundtrack ” for a truly enjoyable story called Check the Gs: The True Story of an Eclectic American Family and Their Wacky Family Business. ~~Pacific Book Review
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