Rick Derringer Interview

Rick Derringer is back. And with a new rock'n'roll album titled Guitars and Women (Blue Sky/CBS Records) that will be very popular before too long. Just released, it is already getting strong radio airplay. Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen contributed two songs and Todd Rundgren co-produced the album.
We are very proud to present this special interview with one of rock'n'roll's finest talents.

Q. I read an article on Elvis and it said he never learned how to handle success. How were you able to handle success?
A. I came from a conservative, mid-western background. I had no aspirations of becoming rich or famous. I saw music only as a hobby and was prepared to make money in art. With Elvis it was more of a long term ambition of his to be a star. He created this fantasy situation in his head, which then became real life.

Q. You were only 17 years old when "Hand On Sloopy" (McCoys) became a hit. You then went on to concert tours; TV appearances, and more records. Many groups today, out on that first national tour with that first album, are in their mid to late 20's. Could a 17-year-old today do what you did?
 A. That likelihood becomes feasible as radio wants to hear more "new" than "old." The new artists have more access to the media. Sure, the radio will play "Fleetwood Mac" and the "Eagles" but they want the music to be vital now so they'll play "20/20" and "The Yachts."

Q. Do you remember those early "McCoys" tours? (The McCoys performed in Syracuse * at the War Memorial with The Rolling Stones and The Standells in 1965.)
A. I remember. We opened every night before The Rolling Stones.

Q. Is it physically painful to perform  rock  music  every night?
A.    I'm    seriously   thinking about   entering   marathons. It's amazing how developed
athletically you can become in a 2 hour show every night.

Q. What's different this time around on your album?
A.  My last several albums were "group" albums. They were recorded that way and promoted   that   way.   This album is my "solo" album. I think people have been confused about my music. On this album the lyrics are more mature and the songs are a little more mature.

Q. What do you listen to?
A. I like hi-fidelity clear-sounding records. I like Roy Thomas Baker records, heavy rhythm sections, Ry Cooder, and the "Tusk" album.

Q. Why haven't we seen someone like Elvis or The Beatles come along in the 70's?
A. Probably because the musical audiences have gotten so large that no one artist can appeal to everybody.

© Gary James All Rights Reserved