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What musicians seem like the coolest people?


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I've never met any of these guys, but judging from interviews, footage and general reputation here's a list of some of the guys who I think would be cool, down to earth or just fun to be around. In no order:


Stevie Ray Vaughn (too late to know for sure)

Tom Petty

Joe Walsh

Dave Grohl

Alice Cooper


oh yeah...AXE

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I met Elvis Costello once and he was weird. His pianist Steve Nieve was weird to, but he was very nice and talked to me and my friends for a while.




I would love to meet Paul McCartney, its a dream of mine.


Tom Waits too, he's one of the most entertaining people I've ever seen in an interview.


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I've had the pleasure of interviewing and meeting many professional musicians as an arts and entertainment reporter.

Here's my short list of the coolest.

1. Dave Grohl, talking with Dave at Lalapalooza back in either '96 or '97 was great. He listened and asked questions. It was like he was a long, lost friend. Pat Smeers on the other hand was a complete prima donna.

2. George Thorogood, it was like hanging out with my cousin.

3. Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds. My first arts and entertainment feature article. Kim was a history lesson for the blues.

4. Rudy Schenker. What a great guy. Found out I was back stage and sought me out after the concert.

5. Arlo Guthrie. Awesome host of the Further Festival. Arlo could tell you the ins and outs of every performer there.

6. Duke Snyder, the guitarist from Garbage. Really opened up to the overall recording process of Version 2.0, the orange album.

7. Rick Nielson of Cheap Trick. Again, a nice man and guitar genius. He, like Snyder talked about the making of one of the bands albums and what it was like to be out touring again.

8. Mark Mothersbaugh and Bob Casale of Devo. Bob walked around backstage at Lalapalooza with me talking about all kinds of stuff. When it came time for Devo to do there set, he was polite and said we'd talk more later. When the band came on, he spotted me in the audience and pointed to me, as if to say "Yeah, I see you there." Mark was equally as cool. Talked about a lot stuff. Rugrats, and going out on the road again, etc. etc.

9. Kenny Wayne Shepherd. It was a delight interviewing Kenny. We talked blues and we talked equipment. He's a great guy.

10. Peter Furler from the Newsboys. What a great guy. Awesome attitude and gracious back stage host. Made sure I got something to eat!

11. Mike Ness of Social Distortion. I'm sorry, Mike is incredible. It was like a walk down memory lane. We grew up roughly a mile from each other in Orange County. Hung out at the same places growing up in the formative years but never really met each other until much later. I'll always be a fan of what ever Mike does.

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No more Mr. Nice Guy: Alice Cooper, a shock rocker back in the old days and now a fan of President Bush, says rock stars who've jumped on the John Kerry bandwagon -- Sheryl Crow, Dave Matthews, James Taylor and Bruce Springsteen among them -- are treasonous morons.


"To me, that's treason. I call it treason against rock-and-roll, because rock is the antithesis of politics. Rock should never be in bed with politics," the 56-year-old told the Canadian Press news service as he embarked last week on a 15-city Canadian tour.


Never one to avoid self-examination, Alice (aka Vincent Damon Furnier) added: "If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal." (We think he meant watching C-SPAN's "Washington Journal," or maybe he meant perusing the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, but either way you get the idea.)


"Besides, when I read the list of people who are supporting Kerry, if I wasn't already a Bush supporter, I would have immediately switched. Linda Ronstadt? Don Henley? Geez, that's a good reason right there to vote for Bush."


Meanwhile, the GOP announced Monday that the country duo Brooks & Dunn will headline the entertainment at the Republicans' convention next week in New York. Other talent includes country singer Lee Ann Womack, Christian rock band Third Day and gospel vocalist Donnie McClurkin. Party on!



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A lot of my work was done for the Irvine World News, it used to be Manning Media, in Irvine, CA. Then I worked with the Santa Barbara News Press. I've also written for a bunch of other papers. I'd love to get back into it if the conditions were right. I've also done sports for the Los Angeles Times, Santa Barbara News Press, The Times Press Recorder where I was the Sports Editor (Arroyo Grande, CA) and have been a general assignment reporter for the Santa Maria Times and Adobe Press (Nipomo, CA) that job almost killed me.

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Hey California Man...


I can certainly tell you're in a different world. <grin>


Let's see... Some of my interviews were with Johnny Cash, Mother Maybelle, Jimmy Driftwood, Bobby Vinton, Ian Tyson (just a cupla years ago), Skitch Henderson, Harry James, Jack Benny, Isaac Hayes, Bellamy Bros., Suzy Bogguss, etc. etc. Even Ted Nugent, but more for his hunting preferences than guitar. But then, he was into telling young musicians that you can't survive doing booze and drugs for long and put on as wild a show as he could.


Hmmmmm. It do make me feel old. But then, so does telling people I actually talked a moment with Harry Truman who's simply a figure from a history book to most folks on this type of a thread. <bigger grin>


Most of the interviews with truly professional entertainers have been pretty darned good, even if I had problems with some of the photography during a performance because of this or that reason.


But then, too, I think it's likely easier to do the "celeb" interview if you've been around a bit and done a bit of performance yourself, too. Stuntmen - I interviewed a batch of them last summer - and rodeo "champions" are kinda fun to interview, too, especially if an old guy has done some crazy stuff in his youth too. (Who me? Naaaaah. I've always been a paragon of conservative lifestyle regardless of politics.)


Bottom line is it seems up and coming musicians are sometimes hard to interview because they're still putting on a bit of a show for themselves. Real "pros" are easiest to get along with most of the time because they've been at it long enough that they're doing a job, and that job is entertainment. Even "pros" who are having personal problems can be hard to get along with regardless whether questions intentionally evade their problems. And sometimes people who perceive themselves "on the say down" can be a bit odd to talk to.


I still think Mother Maybelle is probably the nicest "professional" I've met in the biz. She definitely deserves to be a legend.


But... I never learned to golf. So... I guess that leaves out meeting "Alice."

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Actually I'm only 63 - but I got started in the Biz early. In fact, Johnny Cash and Mother Maybelle were some of my first "big name" entertainment interviews as a young small daily newspaper reporter/photog - and I wasn't yet 21 years old.


Yeah, there are a few tales.


The disadvantage to being "far" from metro areas is that you don't see all the hot acts and you don't have that much of a market. Paychecks ain't all that hot nowadays for a metro lifestyle, either, whether you're there or not.


I was seduced out of finishing college by the chance to go full-time before I was 21. I thought that meant I was awfully good. In retrospect I was relatively competent for the job at that time and place, but also cheaper than someone with more experience since I was just a kid. <grin> Some things don't change much, eh? I wasn't, of course, thinking along those lines when I was 20. Too soon old, too late smart.


On the other hand... the advantage to being "far" from metro areas is that when something "big" does come down the pike, you get to cover it even if you're "just a kid." Heck, I even interviewed a major presidential primary candidate (whom I'm certain nobody on this thread remembers) before I was 21.


Big ego trip, for sure. The problem for me always has been little talent but a decent drive to work hard to learn and develop skills. Some of my stuff actually has been used in history publications. <Argh! I'm not THAT old!> Met Sunnyland Slim, Little Walter, Gary Davis, Big Joe Williams the 9-string player...


But again, I did my developing in a somewhat different world.


Yeah, there are a few tales to tell. <grin> Just like some of the old live radio era guys told tales to me. (Would you believe I actually played live radio on the same mikes that Lawrence Welk had used a generation or two before?)


Actually the Isaac Hayes interview came when I was running a small national martial arts mag. That took me on some of my overseas trips, too... great fun too, but no bank account.


So technically I guess you could say ... yeah, it's been a good ride. I hope it continues a long time behind a keyboard that pays some bills. And I started awfully young so that writing/photography is a habit I find as hard to break as playing guitar. I got to see some great talent when I was young, and interviewed some of those folks. Heck, I still occasionally get to meet some pretty neat folks in the entertainment biz.


But now, where's the money for a new 175 or 335 with the Gibson nametag? <chuckle in an oldster sort of way>

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Real "pros" are easiest to get along with most of the time because they've been at it long enough that they're doing a job' date=' and that job is entertainment. [/quote']


I've had the opportunity to spend some time with some really great and famous musicians (and great people) over the years. Most of them are veterans of the jazz world, but a few were R&R or blues greats. The ones that seems nicest and most open are also the ones that are also the most accomplished, talented and sucessful. When they no longer have anything to prove or anybody to impress, they can finally be themselves. The oldtimers also realize that the reason they have been able to do what they have done for so long is that their talents are appreciated and "supported" ($$) by the fans of their music and other musicians.

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I hear ya' loud and clear.

I'm not going to get rich working myself to death as a newspaper guy, especially when your editor keeps throwing you more work you can do and more responsibilities than you want.

The 335 is where I'm at. I'd love to get my hands on one. If not that, the new Vox Virage.

Got to go now.

Peace to you.

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