Sep 042008

RTH: Brian Jones- or Mick Taylor-era Stones?

Paul Kopf: Man…Obviously anything mid-1960s, so BRIAN!!! But I also like Mick, too. But in the end the music with Brian is so cool!!!

RTH: Which do you prefer, the Peter Sellers-Ringo Starr movie or the Badfinger album?

Paul Kopf: LOVE the album…”Carry On Till Tomorrow”…man! The film is fun, too, though.

RTH: Is there any hometown love left for Sammy Hagar?

Paul Kopf: Sammy’s real cool…records at the same place we do so we’ve hanged a bit. Some of his stuff is cool. “Red”, “Turn Up the Music”… He and Cyril can be quite funny together.

RTH: Considering each woman in their respective prime, Debbie Harry or the Queen of San Francisco Rock, Grace Slick?

Paul Kopf: Woah… Tough one. But I think Grace ’til she started talking too much, then I’d split and hang with Debbie, who I got the chance to meet this summer in the UK, when we were over there. She’s a sweetie. She likes Magic Christian, too which is way cool!

RTH: If Magic Christian were to tackle one song by the Grateful Dead, what would it be?

Paul Kopf: They didn’t write it, but they did do it: “Turn On Your Love Light”. Also “Golden Road” might be cool. Actually, a Jerry Garcia solo track like “Sugaree” might be cool, too.

RTH: I saw Blondie open for Elvis Costello and Genesis (yuk) at Philadelphia’s long-gone 100,000-seat JFK Stadium around 1981. At one point in Blondie’s set, between songs, Clem Burke and Jimmy Destri were yapping for some reason. Clem removed a cymbal threw it at him, Frisbie style. Has he ever thrown a cymbal at one of you?

Paul Kopf: No but he jumped COMPLETELY over my head in Austin when we had a equiptment malfunction to get to the mic! I mean there are pictures in some SXSW picture gallery of it! Right over my head as I turned back to him. It was scary! Clem can be a little intense at times on stage. So he keeps you on your toes, but he’s the ULTIMATE pro. Amazing drummer. And I love the guy.

RTH: Battle of the Bands: Magic Christian vs The Flamin’ Groovies vs The Plimsouls vs Blondie – who wins?

Paul Kopf: Tough call again but I hear Debbie can fight, man! She’s from NYC too, so they’re naturally crazy and full of angst, but I don’t know… Those Plimsouls and Groovies guys are tough as nails as well, but I’d take us! We’re a bunch of nuts and, besides, because of all the experiences through the years the guys have picked up a few tricks of the trade that the other bands might not know. And Eddie’s from Texas! They kick ass down there.

RTH: Thanks a lot, Paul. Hope to see you in Philly. Anything else you’d like to add?

Paul Kopf: Keep rockin’ people!!! And I hope to see you at an MC show or two back east in the coming weeks.



  7 Responses to “The Rock Town Hall Interview: Paul Kopf of Magic Christian”

  1. sammymaudlin

    Cool! I haven’t heard of these guys. I love, love The Groovies and the songs the Magic Christian myspace page are pretty nifty.

    Where can I go to buy the album. I’ve got filthy lucre burning a hole in my pocket.

  2. 2000 Man

    Thanks for the swell interview. I’ve been keeping an eye on Magic Christian here from Cleveland, waiting for the album to come out. There’s some great clips of the band on YouTube, like this

    It’s cool to see Cyril still has that guitar. I like the way they sound, and it’s too bad Keith Richards got his ripped off, though I suppose he could have bought another one.

    It’s interesting that Paul likes the Chris era Groovies the most. He seems to sound a little more like Roy. Either way, I like them both and I think I’m gonna like this band a lot, too. 5 1/2 hours is as close as they seem to be getting to Cleveland, though. I don’t think I’ll be able to pull that one off, but you never know.

  3. Mr. Moderator

    2K, I’ve been thinking EXACTLY the same thing about Paul taking the Groovies back to their earlier sound. I think the best of the Groovies’ music from the Cyril-Chris era splits the difference between Brian-era Stones and mid-60s Beatles. Their cover of “Ups and Downs”, which I mentioned a while back after hearing the Paul Revere and the Raiders version on one of HVB’s Thrifty Music series not knowing was a cover, may be my favorite recording by them. I like it even better than their “hits” from either period. The Magic Christian stuff reminds me of that sound.

  4. Excellent interview, the Mod. I’ve been listening to their album a lot lately. It’s chock full of instantly classic sounding pop.

  5. Hmm, I waited to see MC for a long long time (two years after the classic “had tickets, blew it off” incident) and went about a year ago. Good stuff, lived up to my dreams, yadda yadda…but there was something weird: the singer was kinda vibing Eddie. Making (several) inside jokes that Eddie did not look like he appreciated (I forget the specifics). I dunno, I guess I’m surprised that Eddie is still in the mix here.

  6. Mr. Moderator

    cdm, how was the show? I was at a fundraiser ithat ran a lot later than expected. (Andyr, gotta tell you about the Flyboys in attendance!)

  7. Great! Really Great! Almost greater than Great, if that’s possible.

    Keep in mind that I have no ability to be objective about this. In fact, I had one of those out of body experiences that I’ve had a handful of times over the course of the years where I look down at myself during a rock show and am embarrassed to see such a fawning, starry-eyed fanboy.

    It was a high energy set that was tight, but ragged in all the right places. I don’t have a set list but aside from their own stuff, they played Anytime at All by the Beatles, Out in The Street by the Who, a blazing version of Anyway you Want It by the Dave Clark 5, and or course, Shake Some Action.

    It’s easy enough to fake your way through British Invasion style pop/rock and get satisfying results but to see people really nail it is another thing altogether. Maybe it has something to do with being there when it happened originally and then obsessing over it for 40 years.

    Cyril was playing that Dan Armstrong Lucite guitar through a 65 Twin reissue. (H said that he’s been talking to the Dan Armstrong folks about reissuing that guitar) He didn’t use a pick. He also had an SG with a psychedelic paint job exactly like that one that Clapton, Harrison, and, I think, Todd Rundgren played.

    He very well could be the nicest guy in rock and roll. Really friendly and full of entertaining stories (copping acid for Cream, getting the title for Teenage Head from Kim Fowley –go figure, Dave Edmund’s secret to proper mastering “lot and lots of compression… Pancake it”).

    Eddie was really solid on the bass. He was playing a Fender through an Ampeg SVT with one of those gigantic cabinets (8 12s?). He also played guitar for the entire set with the Parallax Project and did two Plimsouls songs and two songs that the Plimsouls used to cover. The only one I can remember right now is Everyday Things.

    And Clem Burke… Holy Crap! For years now I’ve been hearing how this guy is one of the best of his generation but to see it live and that close was stunning. He’s so quick and precise but at the same time so fluid. I’m not sure what I was expecting but he’s another really, really nice guy. Gracious and down to earth.

    Paul, the singer, is an excellent front man. Lots of energy and a fantastic Look. I think that he was looking forward to meeting you, Mr. Mod, because when I mentioned RTH he was pretty psyched. By the way, it’s a shame that Paul’s moose knuckle doesn’t receive any credit on the album because it really is like the 5th Magic Christian.

    Parallax Project and Berretta76 turned in really good sets and it felt like we played well (but I can never tell). All in all, a Great night. This one will keep me going for quite some time. GREAT!

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