May 2014

Hi all!

Last night I saw something very special on TV! Gary Moore tribute to Jimi – it’s a blessing that I was able to find this amazing performance on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMOeZ63UxPA Please check it out, especially Gary playing songs like “Red House” and “Voodoo Chile” with Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox. It is so good that I just had to pass this on, also as a tribute from myself in memory of Gary, Jimi and Mitch. At last the winter seems to have gone and again it’s time to think about some festivals.

It seems a while now since we played Download with Kiss here in the UK and even longer since playing there in 1980 with Rainbow, Scorpions, Saxon etc. I think that most bands would agree that playing festivals is the best part about touring. The line-ups change so much, it means that you get to meet and mix it up with lots of fellow musicians that you may never otherwise get to meet. For example we did a show in Holland a few years ago with Neil Young. How good was that for us to play back to back in front of the same audience? Also getting to meet Neil was very cool. I must say that his rendition of “All Along The Watchtower” was superb. Although it’s great going to festivals now as a fan just as I did for so long as a teenager. It’s certainly far more relaxing and I certainly get to see a lot more of the bands.

This was a very special memory for me as a teenager, the great Jimi at the Isle of Wight festival in 1970. I was actually in the photographers’ pit. I don’t quite remember how I got there but I was determined to get as close as I could. Here is his superb “All Along The Watchtower” again thanks to YouTube! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJx5626euOo

I would like to mention that much to my disappointment, the producer of the track “Eminence Front“ elected to do some weird things with my solo on the finished version by copying and pasting all over the place. But the original as I played it and that was sent to him can be heard on the Steel Mill. Also for the record any references on YouTube or anywhere else of me playing on the track “Running Backwards” by Geoff Tate’s Queensryche are not true, although I did agree to play on the track it did not come to fruition in the end. Looks like another anniversary coming up: this time “Defenders Of The Faith” turns 30 years. Whilst it is very rewarding to have all of these anniversaries, it is also strange to think that one day albums like “Angel Of Retribution” and “Nostradamus” will be 30 years old. I guess I will be somewhere in my 90’s by then. Anyway that is a goal in itself to make sure that I am still around to celebrate their birthday. I will certainly give it a go! Have a great metal festival summer!

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