Lenny LeBlanc Interview
Muscle Shoals Alabama has been Lenny LeBlanc's home for the last eight years. And just recently Lenny released his first solo album on Muscle Shoals Sound Studio's own label. Titled "Breakthrough," the record was produced by Barry Beckett who also worked with Bob Dylan and Delbert McClinton.
Lenny and his onetime partner Pete Carr formed the LeBlanc-Carr Band, and were the opening act for Lynyrd Skynyrd's last fateful tour.
We take you back to those days with Lenny and looks ahead to a most promising future.
Q. What do you like about recording at Muscle Shoals?
A. I just like the people down here. I became friends with all the people at Muscle Shoals. They're like brothers over there. It's just real close. When you're doing an album you need to be in some place where you're comfortable.
Q. You're a native of Daytona Beach, Florida. What was the music scene like when you were growing up?
A. It was great. That was when Duane and Gregg Allman were still there. They were commuting back and forth to Jacksonville at the time. Pete and I had a local band back then (1969) and on weekends Duane and Gregg would sit in with us. It was a good town for music back then. It was a good place to start. You could make a decent living playing clubs.
Q. Did the guys in "Skynyrd" ever invite you to ride in their plane?
A. About two weeks before the plane crash which was in Statesboro, Georgia, at a college, the opening date of the tour, Pete and I were talking to Ronnie Van Zandt, and some of the other guys. Pete had known them for quite awhile before, in (he late tin's, early. 70s. They offered Pete and me two seats on the plane 'cause they had 'em available. We declined because we felt the rest of our band would feel funny if we were flying and they were driving. We didn't want any dissension to arise in our band. It was really kind of strange when we heard the plane crashed.
Q. Was anyone worried about the danger in riding in that plane?
A. They were all concerned about the plane. Everybody was. It was due to be totally overhauled in Baton Rouge. It was to be serviced when it got there 'cause it was runnin' real bad, and several of 'em remarked about that earlier. But you know how those things are - you're in a different town night after night, and you can't always find someone who can work on the plane when you're around. When you're out there on the road, it's hard to get things like that together. I can see how it got overlooked.
Q. Did you ever think you'd make music your career?
A. Until I was fifteen, I was a surfer. That was my life. I went over to a friend's house who I used to surf with and saw his little brother and all his friends playing guitars. They asked me to sing with them in a talent show. We won, and I just got hooked on it and forgot about surfing.
Official Website: Lenny LeBlanc
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