Feb 082008


Name three rockers you’ve had to deck.

No comment.

And if you didn’t deck Robert Fripp were you at least tempted to kick that stool out from underneath him?

I like Robert F. Once I got him to put the sheet music of Bach arranged for 2 guitars away and jam on Shadows tunes we got on fine.

What was available for eat/drink in Conan’s greenroom?

I remember sandwiches and coffee.

Portuguese chittara or sitar?

The former.

Is that your guitar on David Essex’ “Rock On”?

There’s no guitar on “Rock On”.* It’s Barry Da Sousa on drums, Herbie Flowers on bass (with delay effects), and strings. I think Ray Cooper was on percussion too.

Did the inside of EMI’s Harvest label offices smell more of weed or Nick Mason?

I never ventured inside and I doubt Nick did.

Elvis or Eddie?

Costello or Van Halen?

Is that a Triumph in the “Motorbikin’” video?

I have no idea. It was stock BBC footage and was incredibly lame in my opinion.**

James Burton or Scotty Moore?

Both great. Both heroes of mine.

Better hair: Bryan Ferry or Chris Spedding?

Mine’s natural.

Thank you, Chris, for your time and all your great contributions to the record collections of our Townspeople!

Another good interview with Chris Spedding!

*Ed. note: We knew there was no guitar on “Rock On” but Mr. Spedding didn’t seem to catch on to our dry British humor.
**Ed. note: So much for trying to score some “cool points”.


  7 Responses to “Don’t Call It “Rockabilly”. RTH Interviews Chris Spedding”

  1. Mr. Moderator

    Great work, Sammy! Spedding’s final answer in Dugout Chatter made my day.

  2. 2000 Man

    I’ll second that. I really enjoyed the interview, but I wanted to wait to comment because I wanted to click on all the cool extras. I like his sound. I’m gonna listen to Here Come the Warm Jets and pay a little extra attention. Thanks, sammy. That was really worthwhile!

  3. BigSteve

    His image being sort of a bad boy, it was a pleasure to find Spedding being such a gentleman in the interview.

    I wonder if not calling early rock ‘rockabilly’ is an English thing, or who the ‘we’ is in “we never called it rockabilly.”

    It’s good to know the secret to his sound (Gibson through a Fender no effects). Spedding is the only current player of a Flying V who comes to mind.

    His work on those Island-era John Cale albums was incredible.

  4. Mr. Moderator

    I loved his rockabilly answer. I’m not old enough to have been present at the genre’s purported birth, but I do recall its rebirth in the late-70s/early-80s. I find the term limiting and distracting, bringing to mind too many of the totemic items that followers of the Stray Cats cling to dearly. I always thought it was cool that Spedding played a Flying V. He played that stuff like it was ROCK ‘n ROLL, and it was cool to see that suspicion borne out in his comments.

    I didn’t know he had a Bad Boy rep. From what Sammy told me, he was a total gentleman throughout the courting process. His story of jamming on Shadows tunes with Fripp was great.

  5. BigSteve

    I think one thing calling it rockabilly does is clarify that the music came from country music as much as R&B. The Brits and the revivalists tended to lose sight of rock’s country roots.

  6. BigSteve

    Oh, and the ‘bad boy’ comment was meant to imply that I was judging by his Look. I wrote the book on projecting ‘bad boy’ while being a sweetheart inside. Ok, maybe I just read that book.

  7. 2000 Man

    BigSteve, your country roots comment is spot on. I got turned on to country in the 70’s and found that there was a lot to like (more to hate, but the stuff that feeds off the rock and roll mainline is great). All I ever hear from my classic rock loving friends is that rock came from the blues, and when I bring up the fact that all the studio guitar players from rock’s earliest days were white, country players they completely ignore me and tell me it’s all about Muddy and the Wolf.

    I won’t deny that the blues are a huge part of rock n roll, but so is country. I think I tend to lean more towards the rock music that has less blues/more country.

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