Monday, February 18, 2008

NHOR : What's the biggest difference that you've seen in the music business from when you started out versus today?

DP : I'll tell you the thing which probably bothers me the most. When I was a young man coming up in the world, trying to learn my instrument, socializing and coming up in the scene in San Francisco, when you went to a concert, what you would find is a psychedelic band, maybe a country band, a blues band, and a jazz band all in the same night. All at the same place where you just went to. All very good, so there wasn't so much an emphasis on," If you didn't like this sort of music, you can't be my friend". If you don't like rap, I don't like you...if you don't like punk, we have nothing in common. These kinds of things that exist today really bother me because it's not anything what music is all about. It's just the opposite. Music is meant to bring us together, not drive us apart. I think today, what's happening is the music scene is pretty fragmented. I think that's the ultimate result of people grasping at things to try and make it different. It's rock & roll for God's sake. It's NOT complicated. It's about rebellion. It's about being enraged, not being satisfied. Wanting more. Knowing that there's more to this big blue marble that we're on than George Bush. (Laughs)

I love rock & roll. I call it my woman, and it's the only woman that's been true to me all my life. Not to put any women who I happen to be seeing down or anything, but always, when the smoke cleared, music was there. This bass has been the most faithful thing I've ever had. I mistreat her, I abuse her, but she doesn't leave me.

NHOR : What has been the most memorable gig you've ever played?

DP : I would say probably the one which I was the proudest to be part of, and remember vividly was in Detroit, Michigan, with Iggy & The Stooges, The MC5 with Blue Cheer at The Grande Ballroom. I mean, all three bands shook that place down to the foundation. I think it was the first ever in the history of rock & roll, power rock & roll concert. I don't think one had ever taken place before then. Nobody ever thought about putting three of those kind of bands together. So, we may have inadvertedly been a part of this fragmentation, which I spoke of earlier. Although, I've got to say that show was absolutely incredible. Iggy just blew my mind. We'd never seen anything like him before. Nobody had. But nobody had seen anything like any of these bands. We love Detroit and we've played there several times in the past three years as a matter of fact, and every time we go there we have good, real rock & roll people turn out.

Not to mention my favorite bass player James Jamerson from Motown comes from there. If you listen closely to what I play you'll see they're very much rooted in rhythm & blues. I listen to this day to Stax/Volt and Motown. It's still so relevant. Even the topics they sing about are still relevant. I believe in getting into a groove and really driving it home. And they do this. I just love it. I'll get into my car sometimes and I'll just put on Motown stuff and go for a ride. Have you ever seen the movie 'Standing In The Shadows Of Motown'?

NHOR : Yes, that's a great documentary...

DP : This was before they had click tracks, and how they used to keep everyone in time was a strobe light. All those hits were made in one room by one band, The Funk Brothers. It's just absolutely amazing. I think things like that still happen today, but they're not commercial enough. I go to jam sessions and different sessions with people I know in California, but it's nothing that's commercial. No company's going to come and pick this up. If they thought that they could push some fashion, perhaps they'd get you on MTV maybe. (Laughs)

NHOR : All throughout though, even though you had a big hit with "Summertime Blues" you've always been somewhat of an underground band....

DP : We've always been renegades man, and always will be. We've always pretty much broken all of the rules. We've managed to find our way and survive. We love what we do, and we love the people that come to hear us. I say it in our shows...but, we're a three piece band, but we're actually a much bigger band, because without all you people we wouldn't be here. Without our fans, we wouldn't make this music. It's akin to mastrubation otherwise. We need you. As a matter of fact our fans are the most important thing. We appreciate the people who participate in our shows. I will be very honest and frank with you. The audience feeds me. They make me able to do things that I didn't know I could do. They're very powerful. All of our audiences are very good people, and I always pick up on people in the audience and interact with them.

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