Robert Gordon Interview

Robert Gordon has been singing since he was fifteen. He claims that at 12 or 13 he knew he was going to pursue a musical career. And what a career it's been. He first signed with the now defunct Private Stock Records where his debut album, "Robert Gordon With Link Wray" released in 1977, received critical acclaim. Another album for Private Stock titled "Fresh Fish Special" saw Gordon's version of Bruce Springsteen's "Fire" included.
Robert Gordon now records for RCA and last year saw the release of his "Rock Billy Boogie" album.
What makes Robert Gordon tick?
Read on.

Q. You must've realized that looking like you do, recording an album named "Rock Billy Boogie" on RCA -that people would draw comparisons between you and Elvis.
A. The album was like my two previous albums for Private Stock, which were recorded before Presley's death. I bring my own style into a song.

Q. When you perform, you do dress the same as on your album cover?
A. To tell you the truth I have a whole closet filled with clothes of that style. It's no parody, that's what I live! I'm not trying to recreate the music but trying to expose it to a new crowd. It was an important period of rock 'n' roll.

Q. Did you have to struggle for acceptance?
A. Every musician has to struggle. It's only been the past three years that I've gained some kind of     acceptance.

Q. Why don't we have any Sam Phillips or Sun Records around today?
A. I don't know. That's a tough question.

Q. Are songwriters coming out with better songs today than twenty years ago? In other words, is Barry Manilow better than Leiber/Stoller?
A. It's a totally different mentality. Leiber/Stoller wrote great songs for Presley and a lot of tunes for the Coasters.

Q. Can rock 'n' roll and disco both survive?
A. There's room for all kinds of music. I don't think rock 'n' roll will ever die. It's part of everybody's life now. You can hear it all the time whether it's 50's, 60's, 70's, or 80's.

Q. How do you know somebody's a success in rock 'n' roll, how do you measure it?
A. I guess the main thing is getting a hit record and the money follows. It's funny because when you get acceptance, you become mainstream. Programmers don't know quite where to put my stuff, which is real rewarding to me.

Q. If your recording career ended, where would that leave you?
A. I'd still work. I've been doing it since I was 14,15. I'd just keep singing.

© Gary James All Rights Reserved