Review Fix Exclusive Q & A: Robin Trower- Part Two

RF: Did you feel the need to stretch your wings, so to speak, from “Procol Harum?” What led to leaving?

Trower: I was starting to write more and more music, songs, and there wasn’t space for it in “Procol Harum,” so I had to get on with my own thing.

RF: Why is “Bridge of Sighs,”which is your second solo album, a landmark recording?  I got a re-mastered version with  John Peel’s BBC radio sessions on it (the bonus tracks)  Why does it hold up as such a classic? Well, in my opinion, I’m sure in almost everyone’s opinion.

Trower: I think it was definitely a coming together, it was kind of like of peaking of everybody’s talents that were involved. That was the thing , the writing was very strong: The recording sound was sort of huge for that time. Everybody had a big part of it, and obviously the main thing is the songs and James Dewar’s vocals.

RF: Oh yes, fantastic vocalist, and Reg Isidore on drums had just an incredible sound on the recording, too.

Trower: He has a lovely feel, really lovely feel.

RF: I’m actually reading a book about Geoff Emerick and his production of The Beatles(“Here, There and Everywhere”)  How was it working with him?

Trower: It was great.

RF: You wrote in the liner notes of him miking  the instruments in different areas of the studio?

Trower:
Yeah, I think he may be the first guy to  record“loud guitar” well and create that huge sound. He was and is a wonderful engineer.

RF: The band version with Dewar and Isidore,What made it so special? Was there any difference playing with Reg Isidore  or Bill Lordan ( Trower’s two drummers at different times)?

Trower: Yeah, there’s a quite a bit of difference. Bill was more technically gifted, if you like; he was quite more complex rhythmically. Isidore was a soulful drummer with a unique sound.

RF: Was it true that the album was recorded in two weeks?

Trower: Yeah, I think it was 17 days or something like that. A few of the tunes, we were already playing live, you see, so they were more or less complete.

RF: Also, when I’m looking inside the CD, was that picture taken by London Bridge?

Trower: Yes, on the Thames.

RF: Yes, a great shot, just a wonderful picture.

Trower: I think it was a TV show we were miming to.

RF: Were they great guys to work with? Were they great people, too?

Trower:
Absolutely; they were really wonderful.

RF: That’s a nice combination, then

RF: Did you ever visit the Bridge of Sighs in Venice?

Trower: No, I never did.

RF: You did a big Shea Stadium show in 1976 with Jethro Tull and Rory Gallagher?

Trower:
That’s right.

RF: Before that, I guess The Beatles and Grand Funk Railroad were the only  bands that had played Shea, which no longer exists. You have Citi Field, the new home of the Mets; but what was that experience like playing in this giant stadium ?

Trower: You’ve got to remember that we were already used to playing big places. For instance, when I was in “Procol Harum,” we did the Isle of Wight Festival (in England), which was huge. It wasn’t that much of an eye opener as it were. It was great; I remember it being a great night.

RF: When watching you play at B.B. Kings, I just have the impression that you really enjoy playing a lot. Now does it ever grow old? You really seem to be relishing it, and are  just very happy in the moment.

Trower:
Yeah, that’s right. That’s the thing that keeps the whole machine running, the fact that I love to play so much

RF: Early influences on guitar: Were they many? A few?

Trower: Well, really, the first big influence on me was Scotty Moore (Elvis Presley’s guitarist )That’s really why I wanted to have a guitar in the first place, because I loved this playing.

About Steve Janowsky 88 Articles
Steve Janowsky is a former co-host of the Rocktologists theme based classic rock show radio show on WKRB 90.3 fm, which was voted the best classic rock podcast in the country by Dave White of About.com. Some of the interview guests on the show were Simon Kirke ( Free and Bad Company), Carl Palmer (ELP), Vince Martell (Vanilla Fudge), Randy Jackson (Zebra) and Frank Marino of Mahogany Rush. Janowsky is also an English and Journalism instructor at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY and is an avid guitar player and songwriter.

1 Comment

  1. Another fine interview. Trower’s a class act. Those bonus BBC tracks on the re-issue of “Bridge Of Sighs” are quite strong and, IMHO, worthy of a separate release. Even though BOS is considered his classic, I’ve always been partial to “Long Misty Days” (maybe because it’s the first Trower album I owned), which tends to be somewhat overlooked. It’s quite strong, so give it a listen, if you haven’t already.

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