Monday, February 18, 2008

NHOR : We touched on this briefly a little bit ago, and although Jimi wasn't the main catalyst for the formation of Blue Cheer, the band did go on to play several shows with Hendrix. Did you interact much with Jimi or the other members of The Experience?

DP : We played quite a few gigs with Hendrix. I met them all. I met Jimi a few times. I didn't get much of a chance to interact with him. I did interact with Noel Redding some, but it was mostly just partying.

NHOR : What was your impression of Jimi as a person?

DP : The first time I met him I thought he was a really great guy, a really nice guy. When I saw him in New York a year or so later, he was still a nice guy, but he was very full of Jimi, which is what happens to a lot of people. He didn't do anything that I should put him down for, I'm just saying he was very self centered at that point.

NHOR : There are many legends which have been built up throughout the years about the band...two of the most notable have been that during the recording of the second album 'Outside Inside' the volume was so loud that it had to be recorded outside, and secondly regarding the volume, that one time it was so loud that a dog which was sitting on top of the amps exploded. Are any of those urban legends true?


DP : The first one is true. We recorded the album on Pier 57 in Manhattan. The second one isn't true. If I'd ever killed anything with my music I wouldn't be playing. I've heard this many times, but no, we didn't kill anything. We might've killed the punch bowl and the whiskey though. (Laughs)

NHOR : I'm sure P.E.T.A. will be glad to hear about that....Speaking of 'Outside inside', that album was engineered by Hendrix's right hand man Eddie Kramer, who went on to produce Led Zeppelin and Kiss as well as many others. What was it like working with Eddie?

DP : Eddie was a genius. There was a lot more work being done with the producer, Abe Kesh, than Eddie. But Eddie was a great guy to us. Now you have to take into consideration that here we were, three young guys, who when we worked with him was the first time we'd ever done any real production. So I'd imagine in some ways we were quite humorous because we didn't know what we were doing. We had a good time in the studio with Eddie.

NHOR : What do you feel that he brought to the recording that you didn't have before?

DP : He bounced up the level of personnel that we were working with. He's an incredible engineer. That jumped us up to a whole new level.

NHOR : One aspect besides the heaviness which has remained a constant throughout your career in the band and solo has been a pronounced blues influence. What was it about the blues that initially drew you to it, and who were your early influences?

DP : My first blues influence was Jimmy Reed. When I grew up, listening to rock & roll, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley...it all works out of a blues pattern. I'm a firm believer in that if you can't play the blues, you can't play rock & roll. It's really simple. There's no complicated deal with rock & roll, not as complicated as people try to make it. Rock & Roll is 10 % technique and 90% attitude. You can do more with one note and the right attitude than you can with fifty notes and no attitude. It's your delivery, how you deliver the package. Otis Redding was a big influence of mine, and James Jamerson from Motown, Duck Dunn from Booker T & The MG's was another.

Over the years I've had many influences. I'm still influenced today, some of whom people might not even know. My brother was a tremendous influence on me. He's dead now. He didn't teach me how to play music, but he taught me how to learn. Duck McDonald is one of my strongest influences, not because he plays in my band, but because he's such an excellent musician.

No comments:

Jeremy Spencer 2014 US Tour