Easy Music Guides

Easy Music Guides header image 1

Watch Major Lazer’s Galvanic Trailer for New Cuba Concert Documentary

October 20th, 2017 · Guitar

Major Lazer offer a behind-the-scenes look at their historic 2016 concert in Havana, Cuba while painting a fascinating portrait of Cuban youth culture in the new trailer for Give Me Future. The documentary will premiere November 17th on Apple Music.

Last March, Major Lazer performed a free show outside the United States embassy in Havana, marking the first major concert by an American artist in Cuba after Barack Obama reestablished diplomatic relations with the nation. The concert drew an astounding number of people and the new clip offers a look at how the unprecedented show came together.

But Give Me Future also goes beyond typical concert doc fodder. Part of pulling the concert together was ensuring that Major Lazer’s music was available in a country with little Internet access. The clip highlights the work of one self-described “pirate,” who says, “I like giving people information that’s hard to get.” Elsewhere, a young Cuban woman talks about why electronic music resonates with her, “I live in a city that’s suspended in time, slow paced. That’s why I love electronic music. I don’t feel so frozen in time. It gives me a future.”

Major Lazer will also release a compilation album to accompany the documentary, Major Lazer Presents: Give Me Future – Music From and Inspired by the Film. The collection arrives November 17th and features unreleased tracks from Diplo, Cuban artists featured in the film and more. 

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/watch-major-lazers-inspiring-trailer-for-cuba-concert-doc-w509754

→ No CommentsTags:

Rush Prep Unreleased Songs for ‘A Farewell to Kings’ Reissue

October 20th, 2017 · Guitar

Rush will include previously unreleased live recordings on the 40th anniversary reissue of the 1977 album, A Farewell to Kings. The box sets come out December 1st.

The new collection will be available in several configurations, available to pre-order. All of them will include the 2015 remastered version of A Farewell to Kings and a full Rush concert recorded February 1978 at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. The live concert includes previously unreleased performances of their “2112″ suite, “Closer to the Heart,” “Lakeside Park” and a Neil Peart drum solo. Rush engineer and original A Farewell to Kings producer Terry Brown newly mixed the Hammersmith Odeon concert from the multi-track live tapes.

For the new reissue, Rush also enlisted Dream Theater, Big Wreck, the Trews and Alain Johannes to record new cover versions of four A Farewell to Kings songs. Capping off the set is a previously unreleased instrumental studio outtake of sound effects titled, “Cygnus X-2 Eh” (a play on A Farewell to Kings closer, “Cygnus X-1″).

The 40th anniversary edition of A Farewell to Kings will be released digitally and as a three-CD or four-LP vinyl set. There will also be a super deluxe edition that comes with the three CDs, the four LPs and a Blu-ray audio disc with a new 5.1 surround mix of the album and three 1977 promo videos.

The three physical iterations of the 40th anniversary collection will also include new artwork from Rush’s longtime creative director Hugh Syme and new liner notes from rock historian Rob Bowman. The super deluxe edition comes with several exclusive items as well, such as a “King’s Ring” with a custom velvet pouch and neck chain, two lithographs featuring original artwork from Syme, a 12-inch turntable mat (also included in the four-LP set) and a reproduction of Rush’s 1978 A Farewell to Kings tour program.

Prior to the release of the 40th anniversary edition of A Farewell to Kings, Rush will release a new seven-inch single featuring “Closer to the Heart” with a custom large-hole adapter and new artwork from Syme. The seven-inch will be available November 24th for Record Store Day’s annual Black Friday event.

Rush A Farewell to Kings 40th Anniversary Edition Track List

Disc One – Original Album 
1. “A Farwell to Kings”
2. “Xanadu”
3. “Closer to the Heart”
4. “Cinderella Man”
5. “Madrigal”
6. “Cygnus X-1″

Disc Two – Live at Hammersmith Odeon, February 20, 1978
1. “Bastille Day”
2. “Lakeside Park”
3. “By-Tor the Snowdon”
4. “Xanadu”
5. “A Farewell to Kings”
6. “Something for Nothing”
7. “Cygnus X-1″

Disc Three – Live at Hammersmith Odeon, February 20, 1978
1. “Anthem”
2. “Closer to the Heart”
3. “2112″
4. “Working Man”
5. “Fly By Night”
6. “In the Mood”
7. Drum solo
8. “Cinderella Man”

Covers
9. “Xanadu” – Dream Theater
10. “Closer to the Heart” – Big Wreck
11. “Cinderella Man” – The Trews
12. “Madrigal” – Alain Johannes
13. “Cygnus X-2 Eh”

Disc Four – Blu-ray audio 
1. “A Farewell to Kings”
2. “Xanadu”
3. “Closer to the Heart”
4. “Cinderella Man”
5. “Madrigal”
6. “Cygnus X-1″
1977 Promo Videos
1. “A Farwell to Kings”
2. “Xanadu”
3. “Closer to the Heart”

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/rush-prep-unreleased-songs-for-a-farewell-to-kings-reissue-w509758

→ No CommentsTags:

Neil Young, Drake Remember Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie

October 19th, 2017 · Guitar

Neil Young and Drake remembered Gord Downie this week after the Canadian rocker died on Tuesday from terminal brain cancer. 

Both artists honored Downie for his role in elevating Canadian popular music. “Rest In Peace,” Young wrote on Facebook. “You have always been a true Canadian artist. My condolences to your whole family and all of Canada. What a great gift of music you have left here for us all.”

Drake struck a similar theme, posting a photo taken with Downie earlier this year at a Toronto Raptors playoff game on Instagram. “Rest In Peace legend,” the rapper wrote. “So glad we got to meet and have this conversation. You will be forever treasured by this country and missed by the world.” He finished his post with the Canadian flag emoji.

Young and Drake follow Feist, another Canadian artist who paid tribute to Downie on Wednesday with a cover of his song “The Stranger.” “I admired so much his honest way of communicating what he saw and the courage and conviction he searched with,” she wrote on Twitter.

Downie was diagnosed with brain cancer in December 2015 and revealed his disease to the public in May 2016. “Gord knew this day was coming – his response was to spend this precious time as he always had – making music, making memories and expressing deep gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived, often sealing it with a kiss … on the lips,” his family wrote in a statement after his death.

Downie’s final LP – a double album produced by Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew – is due out October 27th.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/neil-young-drake-remember-tragically-hips-gord-downie-w509707

→ No CommentsTags:

See Steely Dan Honor Walter Becker With Tender ‘Book of Liars’ Cover

October 19th, 2017 · Guitar

Steely Dan honored Walter Becker with a performance of “Book of Liars,” a song from Becker’s solo debut album 11 Tracks of Whack, in Buffalo on Tuesday. 

“[Becker]‘s usually standing right here, and it’s weird for me,” Donald Fagen noted before starting the song. Steely Dan stayed close to the original recording of “Book of Liars,” which is tuneful, downcast and biting. “I waited so long, girl, and I came so far/ To find out you’re not always who you say you are,” Fagen sang. His three backing vocalists added extra weight to the chorus, and Jon Herrington chimed in with needle-nosed runs on guitar.

Fagen knows “Book of Liars” well, having helped produce 1994′s 11 Tracks of Whack. When Steely Dan released their first live album, Alive in America, the following year, the LP also included a version of “Book of Liars.”

Becker died last month at age 67. “He was smart as a whip, an excellent guitarist and a great songwriter,” Fagen noted in a tribute letter written after his collaborator’s death. “I intend to keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band.” 

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/steely-dan-honor-walter-becker-with-tender-book-of-liars-w509716

→ No CommentsTags:

INXS’ ‘Kick’: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

October 19th, 2017 · Guitar

During their first 10 years as a band, INXS went from playing pubs across Australia to filling modest-size venues in the United States. But that wasn’t enough for the group, made up of singer Michael Hutchence; guitarist and saxophonist Kirk Pengilly; bassist Garry Gary Beers; and the brothers Farriss – guitarist Tim, keyboardist and guitarist Andrew, and drummer Jon.

The result of their rising ambition was Kick, their sixth studio LP, released 30 years ago this week. With its sensuous, danceable blend of rock, funk, pop and blues, the album peaked at Number Three on the Billboard charts, surpassing their earlier career-best ranking of Number 11 with 1985′s Listen Like Thieves, which generated their first Top 10 hit, “What You Need.”

Kick has been certified platinum six times over in the United States, and has reportedly sold 20 million copies worldwide. Four singles off the album reached the Top 10 in the U.S., with “Need You Tonight” becoming the band’s first and only Number One. A special 30th-anniversary reissue of Kick will be released next month. In honor of the milestone, here are 10 facts about the album, from its initial reception to connections with Eighties vampire movies.

1. Their label hated the album.
After the success of Listen Like Thieves, the band teamed back up with legendary producer Chris Thomas to take their collective efforts a step further. Recording for a good portion of 1987, both in their native Australia and in France, the band felt they had built upon the possibilities opened up by “What You Need.” After the album was finished, longtime manager Chris Murphy took it to Atlantic Records president Doug Morris. “He put his feet up on the desk and closed his eyes from the minute the record went on to the minute it finished,” Murphy said in INXS KICK: the Words, a book that accompanied the anniversary reissue of the album. “When it stopped, he said, ‘I’ll give you a million dollars to go and record another album. This is not happening, this is shit.’” After that meeting, in which he failed to persuade Morris how “Need You Tonight” fit perfectly into the zeitgeist, Murphy received a call from the worldwide president of Polygram, who according to Murphy, asked, “What the fuck are Andrew and Michael doing?” And just for good measure, the head of Warner Music Australia echoed those sentiments. “Three different record companies with no interrelationship are all telling me the same thing,” Murphy said. One positive response did come in, giving Murphy hope to press forward. “I got a call from my product manager in France,” Murphy said. “He wanted to tell me that the band were geniuses, and that “Never Tear Us Apart” will be one of the biggest singles he’d ever heard and all the other tracks were brilliant. That gave me the spirit.”

2. A renegade move from their manager saved the LP.
After the initial bouts of rejection, Murphy, in an intrepid move, arranged a somewhat-clandestine meeting with Atlantic’s radio promotions executives to play them some of the songs. While the rock and RB department staffers couldn’t figure out what to do with the heady mix presented before them, Andrea Guinness, who spearheaded college radio promotions, enamored with what she heard. Murphy booked a college tour – on his dime and the band’s – while the fate of the album was still up in the air. As “Need You Tonight” took off on college radio and the band sold out shows across campuses around the country, the efforts to make a major breakthrough in the U.S. began to pay off. Atlantic added the album to its fall release schedule. But the struggle was intense and according to the band’s official biography, INXS Story to Story, the members didn’t know how drastic the measures were that had to be taken. “I risked every dollar they had and every dollar I had on that tour,” Murphy said. “If it failed, there would have been a mutiny. It would have been the end of everything and I knew it.”

3. Hutchence and Andrew Farriss wrote all 11 of the original songs.
Buoyed by the success of “What You Need,” Hutchence and Andrew Farriss – the primary lyricist and songwriter, respectively – producer Thomas and manager Murphy wanted to bank everything on the Hutchence-Farriss partnership: Those two would write every song on the Listen Like Thieves follow-up. “That was the fundamental difference on Kick, Thomas said in Story to Story. “That songwriting partnership certainly worked – and it worked better than ever on that album. The massive success of ‘What You Need’ gave Andrew and Michael the optimism and confidence they needed to go further.” As Beers told Rolling Stone in 1988, “We understood that Andrew writes the best music, and Michael obviously writes the best lyrics, because he sings them. So we left it totally up to them.”

4. “Need You Tonight” came about at the last minute.
During the first phase of recording, with a European tour on the horizon, the band laid down a number of tracks for the album. However, Thomas thought that the band was still missing a major single, so Andrew Farriss and Hutchence were charged to come up with one. On his way to collaborate with Hutchence in the Hong Kong apartment he shared with bandmate Jon Farriss, Andrew came up with the familiar riff to “Need You Tonight” just as he got in the cab on the way to the airport. He told the driver he forgot something and needed to run back up to his place, where he proceeded to record a rough demo with the riff, a drum track and the bass parts. When he made it to Hong Kong, he gave the tape to Hutchence, who according to Farriss in INXS Kick: The Words, said “‘I think this is really interesting, give me five or 10 minutes,’ and he came up with, again, most of what was on the finished version.”

5. “Never Tear Us Apart” started on a very different path.
With Hutchence’s plaintive vocals, a distinctive guitar riff and the yearning cry of Pengilly’s sax solo, “Never Tear Us Apart” stands as one of definitive rock ballads of the late Eighties. How the song turned out is a far cry from its earliest incarnation. “‘Never Tear Us Apart’ was a piano song originally,” Thomas said in Story to Story. “It was a Fats Domino, bluesy, kind of Rolling Stonesy, early ’60s song. I heard it and thought we could do more [and] came up with the idea to substitute strings for the piano,” Thomas said. “That changed everything. It was what the song deserved, because in structure and lyrics, it was so strong already.” Andrew Farriss agreed with the decision, later telling MusicRadar.com that the strings “have the right kind of empathy for the vocal.” He also expressed his appreciation for his longtime songwriting partner Hutchence, who died in 1997, and his particular gifts. “He didn’t play an instrument, but his voice and his words were his instruments. He was phenomenal.”

6. Kick features the only cover song on an INXS studio LP.
Along with 11 original songs written by Hutchence and Andrew Farriss, the band squeezed in an update of a song they had some familiarity with in “The Loved One.” The song is a cover of a track by Australian band the Loved Ones, released in 1966. INXS took its first crack at the song in 1981, when it was released as an Australia-only single and video. The band covered it again for Kick, offering a different arrangement from their own original interpretation. It’s the only song the band has covered that made it onto one of their albums. “Good Times,” a version of a 1968 song original recorded by the Easybeats that featured fellow Australian Jimmy Barnes, landed on the soundtrack for The Lost Boys, with that track cracking the Billboard Top 50.

7. Kick finally broke INXS in England – thanks to a “Need You Tonight” remix.
While INXS first topped the U.S. charts with “Need You Tonight,” the band had some experience achieving that feat in other countries before, when “Original Sin,” from The Swing went to Number One in Australia and France back in 1984. However, breaking through in England proved to be difficult. When “Need You Tonight” came out there, it initially only went to Number 58. After it got a remix by Julian Mendelsohn, the song made it to Number Two, and Kick ended up becoming the band’s first BPI-certified platinum album. In 1991, INXS would headline a show at London’s Wembley Stadium in front of 72,000 fans.

8. For the “Devil Inside” clip, the band cashed in on a favor from Lost Boys director Joel Schumacher.
The budget for The Lost Boys was $8.5 million, and not much was left for the film’s soundtrack. Joel Schumacher reportedly made arrangements with INXS and Lou Gramm (of Foreigner fame, who was also part of the project): He would direct future videos of theirs if they were to appear on the soundtrack. While he didn’t collaborate with Gramm later, he did team up with INXS for the “Devil Inside” clip, which echoed the beloved vampire flick, featuring the band performing in a bar on a Calfornia beach at night before a crowd of surfers and bikers. The video was nominated for Best Editing at the ’88 MTV VMAs, losing to “Need You Tonight”/”Mediate.”

9. The album’s string of hits kept Kick on the charts for more than a year.
Kick maintained a presence on the Billboard Top 200 albums for well over a year, due in no small part to an aggressive singles campaign. “Need You Tonight,” “Devil Inside” and “New Sensation” went to Numbers One, Two and Three, respectively, while “Never Tear Us Apart” peaked at Number Seven. The title track, which Hutchence called “the great Zen song of all time” in 1991 (“Sometimes you kick/sometimes you get kicked”) didn’t reach the Hot 100, but it did make it to Number 33 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Songs Chart. The follow-up to that, “Mystify,” followed a similar path, making it to Number 17 on the Mainstream Rock chart.

10. The band partied with Guns N’ Roses and Iggy Pop after a surreal post-Kick gig.
In September 1988, INXS headlined an MTV-sponsored gig during its Calling All Nations tour that was the epitome of diversity: It featured the Smithereens; Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers; Iggy Pop; and perhaps, most surprisingly, Guns N’ Roses, who were the openers. The Gunners were booked for the show months in advance, and by the time it happened, they were getting their own taste of fame. As the date approached, GN’R wanted to back out – to no avail. According to Story to Story, Hutchence and Andrew Farriss met Axl Rose and Slash before showtime, and Hutchence offered Rose some tips on handling success. “There is always going to be someone greater than you – always,” he said. “And you know what? So what, man. That doesn’t matter. Just do fine work and enjoy yourself. Believe me, that’s what it’s all about.” The rockers didn’t take Hutchence’s words entirely to heart as they cut their set short. As Pengilly wrote in his expansive tour diary, “Guns N’ Roses finished early (sounded terrible).” But there was a celebration with most of the acts afterward, he wrote: “Bit of a party backstage and then some back to the bar at the hotel and eventually most off to the M.H. suite for party till very late, along with Iggy Pop, our L.A. friends, Duff (from Guns N’ Roses) …”

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/inxs-kick-10-things-you-didnt-know-w509052

→ No CommentsTags:

Chris Cornell, Dave Grohl Donate Items to Unique Addiction Recovery Fund

October 19th, 2017 · Guitar

Chris Cornell, Elton John, Dave Grohl, Iggy Pop and former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic are among the high-profile musicians who donated personal items used to create a unique line of timepieces, the Rock LTD Collection, The Hollywood Reporter notes. Cornell – who died by suicide at age 52 in May, contributed a guitar strap to the new watch line, which benefits the Recording Academy’s MusiCares MAP Fund, dedicated to addiction recovery treatment.

“Addiction is a disease, and we lose far too many loved ones to the illness each day,” the Soundgarden frontman’s widow, Vicky Cornell, said in a statement. “MusiCares is a crucial organization and the MusiCares MAP Fund 100 percent supports the music community in its fight to protect those battling this affliction.”

This year’s Rock LTD Collection, set to launch before the holidays, will include between 25 and 30 pieces priced from $1,200 to $1,800. The one exception is the Cornell piece, which will tour Nixon locations in New York, London and Paris in spring 2018 before being auctioned at a May 2018 MusiCares benefit.

Cornell, a longtime MusiCares contributor, was honored with the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award at the 2007 MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concerts. Nixon CEO Chad DiNenna told THR that Cornell signed on to donate his guitar strap prior to his death. “This is what he would want,” DiNenna said, noting that he consulted the singer’s family on plans for the project.

The 2017 Rock LTD line is Nixon’s seventh since launching in 2005. According to THR, the new collection includes John, a Sentry Chrono created from a “donated leather paisley-patterned belt”; Grohl, a Sentry constructed from a “donated plaid flannel shirt”; Novoselic, a Sentry utilizing a “donated Sound City denim jacket”; and Pop, a Sentry built from a “donated leather chain wallet and belt.”

Each of the hand-numbered watches will include a certificate of authenticity and be housed in a custom, etched case featuring the artist’s name. The pieces will be available at several global retailers – including Ron Robinson, Sun Diego and Toront’s Got Style – and Nixon’s flagship locations around the world.

In August, Vicky Cornell solicited fan messages for her late husband to post on his official website. “You have given us hope and strength to endure the pain of these very dark days,” she tweeted in her announcement of the project. 

Earlier in the summer, Seattle-based nonprofit Childhaven established the Chris Cornell Music Therapy Program, with Vicky Cornell pledging $100,000 as part of the mission to help children and families overcome the effects of trauma.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/chris-cornell-dave-grohl-donate-to-addiction-recovery-fund-w509622

→ No CommentsTags:

Hear Maroon 5′s Reflective Song ‘Whiskey’ With A$AP Rocky

October 19th, 2017 · Guitar

Maroon 5 have unveiled new song “Whiskey,” which features A$AP Rocky. The song hails from their forthcoming sixth studio album, Red Pill Blues.

The piano-led, reflective “Whiskey” sees the Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine looking back on booze-filled, youthful nights and love lost. “I never knew that love was blind/ ‘Til I was hers,” Levine croons. “‘But she was never mine/ Yeah, I was reckless, but I let it burn” he sings before the song’s namesake is turned into a simile on the chorus. “‘Til she kissed me like a whiskey,” he sings.

Meanwhile, A$AP Rocky’s verse reminisces on romantic memories with liquor-tipped metaphors. “I ain’t like the other cognacs/ Or the type of cat that’d never call back/ Or lose contact when you’re running out of rum and you make a run,” he raps. “All of that tequila’s a killer/ A little vodka break her off something proper/ Pop a cork and play spin the bottle.”

The new song follows the previously released Red Pill Blues track “What Lovers Do” featuring SZA, and album deluxe edition offerings “Don’t Wanna Know” with Kendrick Lamar and “Cold” featuring Future.

Red Pill Blues will be released on November 3rd via Interscope Records.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/hear-maroon-5s-reflective-song-whiskey-with-aap-rocky-w509695

→ No CommentsTags:

Hear Feist’s Heartfelt Cover of Gord Downie’s ‘The Stranger’

October 19th, 2017 · Guitar

Feist has unveiled a touching cover of Gord Downie’s “The Stranger,” in tribute to the Tragically Hip frontman, who died on Tuesday of terminal brain cancer at the age of 53.

“I send out this song with love, respect and gratitude in honour of Gord’s generosity of spirit,” the singer tweeted. “I admired so much his honest way of communicating what he saw and the courage and conviction he searched with. Thank you, and I love you.”

“The Stranger” was featured on Downie’s 2016 solo album, Secret Path, which was inspired by the true story of  Chanie Wenjack, an indigenous 12-year-old who died on October 22nd, 1966 while fleeing Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Canada. 

Feist also takes a stripped-down approach on her heartfelt rendition of the song, which mirrors the lonely, pensive vibe of the original.

Last year, Feist covered Downie’s “Flamenco,” which she dedicated to Downie shortly after his terminal brain cancer diagnosis was made public and before the Tragically Hip’s final tour that took place in Summer 2016.

Downie’s double-album, Introduce Yerself, was produced by Feist’s Broken Social Scene bandmate Kevin Drew. It is slated for release on October 27th via Arts Crafts.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/hear-feists-heartfelt-cover-of-gord-downies-the-stranger-w509696

→ No CommentsTags:

See Black Sabbath’s Emotional ‘Paranoid’ From Final Concert

October 18th, 2017 · Guitar

Black Sabbath perform the classic song “Paranoid” at their last concert ever in this clip from The End of the End, the concert film that documents the legendary heavy metal act’s February 2017 concerts in Birmingham, England.

This sing-along performance of “Paranoid” marked Black Sabbath’s final song onstage together, and following the song’s fitting final lyric – “I tell you to enjoy life/ I wish I could but it’s too late” – an emotional Ozzy Osbourne thanked the audience for decades of support.

“You are the fucking finest, the best. I love you all,” Osbourne told the crowd at the Genting Arena. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Following its one-night-only theatrical release on September 28th, Black Sabbath’s The End of the End will have a home release later this year in a variety of formats, including Blu-ray, vinyl and a collector’s edition box set.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/see-black-sabbaths-emotional-paranoid-from-final-concert-w509508

→ No CommentsTags:

Bruce Springsteen Remembers Tom Petty

October 18th, 2017 · Guitar

“Of course, you’re shocked,” Bruce Springsteen said two days after he dedicated the first preview performance of his New York solo residency, “Springsteen on Broadway,” to the late Tom Petty. “Tom’s only 66,” Springsteen went on, “and he had just played a week ago.” In our interview for Rolling Stone‘s feature tribute to Petty, Springsteen described the effect in his home when he received the news of the singer’s death on October 2nd. “There were shrieks of horror. You couldn’t quite believe it.”

In these additional excerpts from that conversation, Springsteen recalled Petty as an artist and friend. He also insisted that in Petty’s absence, the music will carry on. As Springsteen said in the story, “Good songs stay written. Good records stay made.” Petty “made a lot of great music, enough to carry people forward.”

There is this feeling, especially with rock roll artists of a certain, classic vintage, that as we grow up with them, they will always be there for us. The sudden shock of a leaving like Petty’s cuts deep.
Tom is my generation. We were from the same generation of rock rollers. And so you feel very close to those guys. There’s not that many of them that have survived. I felt a real kinship with Tom and the Heartbreakers. We started around the same time. We had a lot of the same influences. We took it in slightly different directions, but there were still so many places where we crossed over. He had a great band that he had for a very long time and a special relationship with [guitarist] Mike Campbell, like the very special relationships that I’ve had. And Mike produced Patti’s first album [Rumble Doll, the 1993 solo debut by Springsteen's wife, Patti Scialfa].

You and Petty both came up through the hard graft of bar gigs and cover versions, figuring out how to write songs – what you wanted to express – from that experience.
It was an old-school way that doesn’t happen as much anymore. It lent you a certain kinship. When you met each other, you had a lot of the same experiences, a lot of the same disappointments, a lot of the same successes. And my recollection of the time I spent with him was very lovely. When we left California, I didn’t see him as much. But when I did, it was like bumping into a long, lost brother. Patti and I – we were devastated. It’s unimaginable, losing him.

How would you characterize the musical differences between you and Petty?
Tom was a great classicist. He followed those forms pretty religiously. I veered slightly away from some of those things, into other things. But what was charming and exciting about the Heartbreakers was their formalism. It was kind of like the great bands of the Sixties, like the Beatles. It was a guitar band, something I envied very much. Because when we tried to push the guitars [in the E Street Band], it never quite worked for us. But they were a real guitar band.

And the music was beautifully written, beautifully constructed. He had an ear to the classics. But Tom’s attitude and personality, his own vision, gave it a modern edge.

Petty had a unique connection to women in the way he wrote about them. He didn’t idealize them; he told stories about them, grounded in a reality that his female fans recognized: “American Girl,” “Refugee,” “Listen to Her Heart.”
That was unique about what he did. It was an unusual way to go, and those were some of his most beautiful songs. “Here Comes My Girl” was one of my all-time favorites. Of course “American Girl,” but also “Free Fallin’” – it’s a song with a girl as the protagonist. He did something unique in that.

Petty once told me of a conversation he had with you at the time of his legal battles with his record company over “Damn the Torpedoes.” He said you gave him some very encouraging advice. What was it?
Well, I’d been through it [a reference to Springsteen's legal problems with a former manager in 1976–77, after the success of Born to Run]. I always knew one thing. They can take this away. They can take that away. They can’t take your talent. They can’t take the music. They can’t take the fact that you can walk out onstage on any given night and light up the room. And isn’t that the most valuable thing we have? It’s the gift. The rest of the stuff is going to sort itself out. It might be painful at the moment. But it will take its course, and you will come out on top, because you’ve got the magic. They can’t take the magic.

This is a push-comes-to-shove question: Do you have a favorite Tom Petty album?
I liked the record he did with Jimmy [Iovine] back in the day, Damn the Torpedoes. But I like some of the offbeat things too. I like Southern Accents and Wildflowers. Patti loved Wildflowers. It was the gentleness of it. And that particular song ["Wildflowers"] was just beautiful. So we’ve got a lot of favorites.

Actually, Jimmy Iovine was something else you and Petty had in common. You made Darkness on the Edge of Town with Iovine. You and Petty often seemed like you were on parallel tracks, more than other artists of that era.
I always felt that. We were always keeping an eye on one another.

Competitively? Genially …
Of course, genially – and competitively. [Laughs] That’s musicians.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/bruce-springsteen-remembers-tom-petty-w508746

→ No CommentsTags: