2010 Music Issue — Who’s doing what now
We had a great time celebrating the GRAMMY Awards this year and met some brilliant musicians and cool people. The GRAMMY Awards set the stage for our Music Issue where we explore where we are with music right now, which, of course is influenced by where we have been in the past. The GRAMMY Awards are an interesting juxtaposition between old school and new, with it being such a long-standing and influential organization and event. One thing is for sure and that’s every artist aspires for that little statuette and all the prestige that comes with it.
We chatted with Mick Fleetwood of legendary band Fleetwood Mac. He’s now working with a blues band called The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band. It’s not common knowledge but before Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac was a blues band and Mick is going back to his roots with his latest creative venture. The new stuff is similar to the old stuff they played back in the 60’s as Fleetwood Mac.
Mick is a very sweet, older man who has a fatherly presence, he’s super mellow and seems wise. He lives in Hawaii, Maui to be exact, and he’s been happily touring in the last year with his blues band and musical legends such as Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers and the great Boz Scaggs. The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band was nominated for Best Traditional Blues Album for Blue Again. We had to ask about the old gang from the glory days of Fleetwood Mac and he said that they all still keep in touch and that everybody is happy and healthy.
Have to admit that when we got a chance to sit down with Jason Derulo we had no idea who he was, of course, since meeting him we are far more aware of his music, plus he has exploded onto the music scene with loads of radio play, top ten hits and an American Idol performance. Jason is handsome, young, eager and polite. He’s anticipated his success for years as he’s been in performing arts schools since age 5. The son of Haitian immigrants, he grew up in Miami and was quick to point out that he didn’t “grow up poor”. He did grow up with a large family as his grandmother had 15 kids. He must have gotten those delightful manners and joy of life from his big, happy family. His star keeps rising in part due to his ability to write his own music — a common theme among successful artists — gone are the days of having a lengthy career without being able to pen your own hits. Jason says that his newfound stardom is “awesome” and that he’s totally in love with his fans, whom he loves more than anything!
Contrary to Mr. Derulo we were very aware of LMFAO and didn’t anticipate them to be so likable based on their trashy party boy lyrics. We expected to encounter trashy party boy attitudes and we were truly impressed by their down to earth, likable personalities. Yes, they look odd, or at least they look like hipsters who want to be noticed. There is nothing subtle about their appearance or their delivery but if you are lucky enough to get them one on one then you will find them to be quite agreeable.
While not quite as irritating as their on stage personalities, in real life interaction they do maintain a sense of swagger as they say that their newfound success is all part of their “master plan”. They’re excited and say that stardom feels natural to them however they are quick to point out that two and half years ago they couldn’t get into clubs in Los Angeles and that the late DJ AM was very cool to them as he encouraged and inspired them to keep at it. They credit DJ AM as a major inspiration, not only for his encouragement but for the way he would merge hip hop and rock while spinning. While the boys are quick to point out that they were “nobodies” several years ago, they are both related, one a direct descendent, to Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records. Not sure how they can ever be considered outsiders but perhaps that’s why they are laughing so hard.
Pat Monahan of Train
After a several year hiatus, Train is back and we’re sure you’ve caught yourself humming along to their hit song “Hey, Soul Sister” which has had huge success with radio play and high scores on the billboard charts. We caught up with Pat who was funny and full of self-depreciation. He told us that he doesn’t bet on anything except golf and then he bets on Tiger Woods having a new girlfriend — yes, humorous indeed. He says that Train’s latest album, Save Me, San Francisco, feels a bit like their first album, Drops of Jupiter, which really put them on the map and allowed them to tour the world. The new album has put them on the road again and gets back to their roots before becoming a “big pop band”.
While on his break from the group, Pat moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. He did get some work on “CSI: NY” but found making his way as an actor extremely hard and has the utmost respect for working actors. He’s now back up in Seattle with his family who are enjoying their own creative pursuits with success. His son is a photographer who’s been shooting the band on a few shows. He must be good because he’s been published in Rolling Stone.
Pat is a huge Lady Gaga fan (who isn’t?) and was really looking forward to seeing Roberta Flack.
Super sweetheart, Jackson Browne, came around to chat with us and he was such a doll! He let us gush on for a bit about what an amazing musician he is and how our dads and brothers had introduced us to his music, we were gushing so much that his PR guy, Michael, had to interject with “Ladies, do you have any questions?”. Sorry, Mike, we were just a little bit overwhelmed with meeting the guy who did “Running on Empty”, for goodness sakes, could there be a better song…“people need some reason to believe”! Yes we do, Jackson Browne.
Mr. Browne is up to some new stuff these days including a new album and tour. He’s releasing an album called Love Is Strange, which is a 2-CD live set that was recorded in Spain while he was touring with his good buddy and music partner, David Lindley. You may be familiar with David’s guitar riffs in “Running on Empty”. He’s also a bit of a recluse but Jackson has found that playing in countries where David doesn’t speak the language is the key to getting him to hang out with the gang. “Why had I not thought of this before? Take him where he doesn’t speak the language and he will HAVE TO leave the gig and come with you to the restaurant, or to the club,” says Browne. “This was an unexpected strategy breakthrough in a pursuit that for a legion of friends, disciples and admirers has become known as ‘stalking the wild Lindley.’”
You can catch Jackson and David performing together this summer, check out the Jackson Browne website for tour dates and information.