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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Triumph – Live at Sweden Rock Festival (2008) CD/DVD review

Released on: Frontiers (Europe), TML (US / Canada). Release date: Available now!


I guess Triumph are known as the ‘other’ rocking trio from Canada, often overshadowed sadly and unfairly, by the more prog rock style of a certain band named Rush, who tend to write more, less radio friendly songs in general.

TriumphRik Emmett (Guitars/Vocals), Gil Moore (Drums/Vocals) and Mike Levine (Bass/Keyboards) – were formed in 1975 and had a style more akin to classic / melodic hard rock, but were often compared to Rush, due to Rik and Gil having a similar vocal style in octaves to that of Geddy Lee (Bassist/Keyboard/Vocalist - Rush).

For me, discovering the band from my own perspective, their brand of music was much more hook laden and easier to familiarize myself with – Great sing-along material for the average rock fan! – so I personally prefer these guys.

No, Gil Moore is no Neil Peart, but then Neil Peart can’t sing, Gil dos a fine job of doing both!

I do believe also that Rik Emmett could give Alex Lifeson a good run for his money and Rik sings lead vocals alongside Gil Moore, so there is a difference.

Mike Levine vs. Geddy Lee, well, perhaps that’s where Geddy pulls back some points for Rush … You call it folks, but before you do, remember they do take two different rock roads generally.


I was excited when I heard these guys were reuniting to play two big festivals and there was also much talk of further touring too.
Rocklahoma was one festival and this was the other.

It’s interesting when you watch the Press Conference in Sweden, in the bonus footage that the band initially declined taking the headline position for the show and opted for an earlier in the day slot and then kicked themselves about doing that, since the band are renowned for their big stage and light show.
Suffice to say, there’s times during their set where it does seem a little silly to let off flash bombs …, in daylight!

I was also I suppose a little surprised by the final setlist for the show too, as ‘Hold On’ – An all-time personal favourite of mine. – which I thought was popular – Even if not a hit … - was not included in the set, perhaps a better choice than ‘Blinding Light Show / Moonchild,’ but what do I know? Maybe in Sweden it was the other way around?

Anyway, enough of my opinions and gripes, on with the package’s run down!


‘When the Lights Go Down,’ opened the set here, and I just wonder if maybe ‘Allied Forces’ might not have been a better choice, but then again, maybe building to that was the right way to go.
Clearly in the crowd at the front and in segments of the crowd were pleased just to have Triumph there and as time went on in the show, it was obvious that they had won more new fans!


By the way, great to see Rik Emmett’s partner in crime from his solo work, Dave Dunlop cranking out riffs on second guitar as well.

A good number in the set next from a fans standpoint was ‘Lay It On The Line,’ which is warmly accepted along with some great guitar interplay between Rik Emmett and Dave Dunlop, before ‘Allied Forces’ takes control!

The DVD has a lot of visual pre-cursors between each of the tracks, including at the beginning the set, with the laser created image, introducing the band, as on the previously released video from some years back, ‘A Night of the Triumph!’

Hopefully, the actual crowd at the festival got that all too and it hasn’t simply been added to the DVD, for effect?

‘Never Surrender’ next, seems to be popular with the Swedish crowd, again reflecting good exchanges between Dunlop and Emmett but it does also seem as I mentioned previously, that the support of the band got stronger, as the set progressed.

Great to see ‘I Live for the Weekend’ in the set here, as when I saw the band play the UK back in 1980, in was in support of the ‘Progressions of Power’ album on the back of the single, which gave way to the UK tour name of ‘I Live for the Weekend UK Tour.’
Great track that was also a minor UK Top 60 hit single at the time.

Much as I know a lot of the band’s reputation has been achieved by recognition of great light and stage shows in the past, the actual track ‘Blinding Light Show / Moon Child’ that is offered up next, seems to lose the band a little momentum in the set here.
It’s kind of a deep track generally, that combined with ‘Moon Child’ as it was on the band’s first album, ‘hang’s’ the track out for over ten minutes, with some self-indulgent moments obvious. This is where I think say trading this segment for say ‘Hold On’ and perhaps also, ‘World Of Fantasy,’ it would’ve come across better.
Maybe it’s just me though ….?

Then the band eases into their famous cover song, Joe Walsh’s ‘Rocky Mountain Way’ which brings the crowd back with them a little more, as it’s a popular tune the world over.

‘Magic Power’ next, which was a Top 10 hit single in the States - Although sadly it never created the same success for the band in Europe, which still evades me. – is well received and without doubt is another of my favourite Triumph songs, goes down well.
Rik does seem to struggle a little with this one, but you know it’s still a winner for me.

A serious jam is had next on ‘Rock & Roll Machine’ and once more Dave Dunlop and Rik Emmett play well off each other, with Rik even allowing some limelight for Dave, who is clearly a greatly talented player. Little wonder that Rik tours with the guy!


They close the package here with ‘Fight The Good Fight’ and it all seems to be over too quickly, with just a ten song set – OK, eleven if you include Moon Child! – but then it has clocked in at just over an hour.

It’s a good set, yeah, would’ve, could’ve been better for me personally and maybe many other fans, if they’d switched song different songs in their set, but they obviously went with what they felt comfortable with.

The bonus features include the aforementioned press conference, which is interesting, especially when they are asked about any new Triumph album or material and they come back with answer that tells the press, let’s see how this goes, as this is our first union in over twenty years … Of course, this concert took place four years ago, so I think that answers its own question, plus Rik is really the only ‘active’ musician of the trio, since Gil won’t let go of the reins for long, of his Metalworks studio and business.

Mike has his own ventures too, so sadly I do think it’s doubtful that we’ll see new material or any real touring from these guys again.

Enjoy this for what it is folks, a trip down memory lane.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Official websites:

Exclusive Interview with Toto's David Paich 2012 - Part 1

Interview with Toto's David Paich 2012

David Paich ... He's da man!

The interview that you are about to read, I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to capture, as Toto's keyboard player extraordinaire and vocalist, David Paich is:
a) an incredibly busy guy, b) a guy that rarely does interviews - This is his first full length interview in years! - c) is so much in demand and d) is a bloody fantastic guy to track down and talk to!

This man has made so much music with so many artist's not to mention his own band, Toto, who gave us classic hit's like 'Hold The Line,' 'Rosanna,' 'Africa,' 'Stranger in Town' and so many more, but all of these great tracks, were all part of some killer albums too.

Sadly with the success, there has also been tradegy and sadness through various illnesses, but also the band seemed to have had to travel to Europe more often than not, to feel appreciated.
Sure there is a fan base here in the States, but it seems so much smaller and to me, it's just wrong how much they are ignored and overlooked in their homeland. Shameful ...
I do hope that this interview will possibly evoke some great memories in many old fans, who maybe got lost along the way, but are ready to listen some more to some serious talented, if not some of the greatest musicians in the world and I mean that! 
I am incredibly grateful though to a few people who really deserve name checks, for making this happen - Not forgetting David himself! - so a massive thanks to first off, my new, 'old' - Almost feels that way now mate! - friend, Stuart Smith (Heaven and Earth, The Sweet), who without his help, David would never have picked up the phone! - Cheque's in the mail Stuart! Ha ha! ;-)
My good friend and former work mate, LeeAnn Hoffman, for helping with the mammoth task of transposing the majority of this interview in her own time, thank you so much, you know exactly how time consuming this is! You're a star!
Of course David's family both personal and the band (Toto), for letting David take the time out for the initial interview, as well as the back and forth with a few updates, corrections to my misunderstandings / mis-hearing, during the original phone call at the end of February this year - I kid you not, right David?! - and so much more. Cheers to you all, Simon Phillips too for his 'English edge' that gave David and I some laughs throughout.
Finally, last but by no means least, to my wondeful, yet long suffering and very tolerant - sometimes! ;-) - wife Rhonda and of course my kids, Julia and Liam, for the many hours that 'Chambers of Rock' takes me away from them.
OK, so, here we go an interview with THE man behind the keys who alongside his 'brothers' in Toto, has been the sound you have all heard on so many albums and singles, from Toto and so much more!
I caught David as he had been getting ready to do 'his' bit in this years Grammy's, primarily with the tribute to Paul McCartney this year, with 'Music Cares' and his life's contribution to music ... I think they should do one for David Paich myself!

David: Hello

  AW: Hello David?
David: Yes, this Alun?

AW: Yes how you doing sir?

David: How you doing Alun? I’m great man.

AW: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. We finally caught up!

David: My pleasure, yeah it’s great to hook up here. Sorry, it’s been so crazy and I’ve been busy here doing this …, getting ready for “music cares” This is honoring Paul McCartney this year. So I’m helping put together the show for him and It’s a quite an extravaganza, you know?

AW: I’m sure, I’m sure. It’s going to be a lot of fun though for you, right?

David:  Yeah, should be. So anyway “What’s going on?”

AW: Well, I’ve been running this blog site for just over two years now and I’ve previously written for other sites. I just wanted to go out on my own and see how it went and …

David: Absolutely …

AW: Well you know, it’s been pretty good so far.  It’s not outstandingly, you know, not over the top or whatever, but it’s had about 110,000 hits in the last two years. So it’s….

David: Hey that’s great, that’s a good start.

 AW: It’s relatively good, you know? So yeah, it’s not too bad and I’ve just spoken to a few people this year.
I’ve spoken Howard Leese a couple of weeks ago. This is Stuart ….

David: Yeah

AW: This is Stuart (Smith) and his contacts thing, you know?

David: Right, absolutely, exactly, well you know were slowly getting up to speed here and everything but once we have exchanged our contact information it goes a lot faster. You know, Stu knows me so we’re like siblings. Sibling rivalry out here, so we kind a slosh around out here a little bit, but once we get contacts you know? I have my busy periods. He has his periods, but he’s doing a great new album here with “Heaven and Earth.”

AW: Right, Right, Yeah.

David: He’s got some neat stuff happening you know? So me and Stu have been friends for a while. We played together and played at some police fundraisers and have crossed paths here and done some different shows together … So he said “Dave I got a friend, Alun … You should …, would you mind doing an interview with him? I said no, not at all, ‘cos I rarely do them and Stu …, any friend of Stu’s is welcome here. You know? So ...
AW: Well, thank you.

David: And I would be glad to chat with you for a few minutes here.

AW: Yeah, I greatly appreciate it David and I also greatly appreciate you’re extremely busy. An extremely busy man, but thank you so much for your time and I’ve always been a big fan of Toto.

David: Thanks so much.

AW: Or 'To - To' as we say in England as probably Stuart says, Right?

David: That’s right. Now where are you? You’re in England right now, right?

AW: No, no, no …

David: Where are you?

AW: I’m in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

David: In Michigan? OK.

AW: Yeah.

David: Is that near Detroit?

AW: Exactly, yeah.

David: I got ya, OK.

AW: I’m about an hour away from downtown Detroit.

David: I got ya.

AW: Yeah, I moved over here in 2000 working in the automotive industry. The ol’ Rock Reviewing thing’s on the side. I’ve played in bands for years but you know it’s … This became a side line and now it’s taken over.

David: Sure. What made you move to Detroit?

AW: I’ve worked in the automotive industry, you know, in my day job for years and years and years. But …

David: Well that’s the place to be then. You know?

 AW: Yeah, Yeah so from that standpoint it was a good move AND I got to see most of the bands that never came to play England.

David: Right

AW: Back in the 80’s, and all those bands I loved. Although I did see you guys. So …

David: Oh you did? OK …

Alun: Yeah.

David: I hope we played OK, you know?

AW: Laughing.

David: I have a lot of friends that I play with now, that are from Detroit, that were ex Stevie Wonder players. You know?

AW: Sure

David: One of them is Ray Parker Jr., who wrote “Ghost Busters …”

AW: Right.

David: One is Michael Bearden. One is Greg Phillinganes. And these are all guys who came out of Stevie Wonders band. So…

AW: Right

David: I’m a big fan of the Detroit stand and Stevie Wonder, specifically Stevie Wonder and that whole thing that came out of Eight mile and that whole area right there.

AW: Yeah.

David: The Detroit sound has been associated with the Motown sound pretty much …

AW: Absolutely. Yeah, I mean it’s, it’s such a happening place. I mean for me to move from Portsmouth, England which is on the south coast there.

David: Right.

AW: To Detroit is like …. It’s as if …

David: Like a culture shock ...?

AW: Right … (Both laughing)
Well it is in many respects ...

David: Needless to say that’s like a culture shock, you know …?

AW: Yeah, but no, I meant for me, it was almost like moving from Portsmouth to London in England.

 David: Right, right …

AW: You know? It’s that …

David: Now Portsmouth that’s like a …, that’s like a harbour town, right?

AW: Right, It’s a big naval dockyard.

David: That’s right, right …

AW: But many bands used to come through Portsmouth and I caught a lot shows there in Portsmouth and if I didn’t see them in Portsmouth, then I see them in Southampton or I’d go the other way, along to Brighton. I mean, they’re all coastal towns (Cities), you know?

David: Right, right, right.

AW: And then of course when guys like Toto would come over, they would play like one day in London or ...

David: Right that’s about our speed … We do one day at Hammersmith.

AW: Right, right.

David: And that’s really about our speed.
You know hopefully were gonna get back there this summer. We’ve just been doing, you know going out about six weeks a year. I’m playing now with our band. We are trying to re-brand ourselves.
AW: Sure.

David: In the United States we switched management over to … We were looking for a new manager and so I called my friend Gene Simmons from Kiss and said “Gene will you manage us?” He laughed and said “no,” but he says that he recommended Doc McGhee who is with us right now so we are trying to re-brand ourselves. Here in the States, needless to say, we haven’t over saturated our market here. But you know with the way the TV is and everything like that, we do have a following here … We thought we’d give it a go here for the next two or three years, ‘cos our thirty-fifth anniversary is coming up in about a year and a half here, so we felt we’d just get back into it and see what the market is like here, you know?

AW: Right. No, no, no … It’s great and I mean you’re kind of jumping ahead to some of my questions which is great, but...

David: I’m sorry, we’ll just start at the beginning here …

 AW: (Laughing)

David: I’ll let you start.

AW: (Still laughing).

David: The interview …, the interview has officially started as of 3….2…1….now. Ok?!

AW: (Laughs) No, no problem at all David. I mean I’m happy to bounce around here anyway. You know and…

David: Yeah, great.

Alun: … And that’s the way it goes. And I know it can jump around anyway, but OK, no, no problem at all, no.
I think it’s great that you guys will get to play the UK again. I know a lot of friends over there that love the band and I saw you on the ‘Seventh One’ tour back at Hammersmith in ‘88.

David: Right, right. Well you know, we also did a full UK tour in ’96, actually opening for Tina Turner, playing a whole bunch of big outdoor shows.
For me, the highlight was the last two nights were at Wembley Stadium, which was just a huge deal to us.
AW: Wow! So how did that come about happening? I can’t believe I missed that? What was wrong with me?!
David:  Well, we got that gig, that tour, thanks to your fellow countryman Simon Phillips, as we were at a Prince gig and there happened to be someone there Simon knew, that basically got us the nod to get hooked up with Tina’s tour. It was great!

AW: Wow, no kidding. Well, I still have fond memories of that great night in London in ’88 and it was a great album, I loved it.

David: Well thanks, thanks very much.
Yeah I’m fond of that album; it’s one of our decent albums. You know I kinda like the first Toto album, the fourth one, and the seventh one and they are pretty much, premier albums there you know? So …

 AW: Yeah, yeah. It is good stuff. It really is. And I mean one of the things I did want to ask you was from the get go is “How is Mike (Porcaro) doing?” because I know ‘Brotherly Love’ has not long come out … 

David: Right

 AW: But, How’s he doing himself?

 David: Well Mike is, Mike’s you know, I’d like to say Mike’s doing better but Mike’s … The words I can use are, Mikes hanging in there. Mike has a great attitude. In general it’s the prognosis that isn’t great you know…

 AW: Right

 David: He’s kinda been going downhill for the last three years here ‘cos it’s a very slow degenerative process.

AW: Yeah…

David: But again Mike mentally is fantastic and if you talk to him his spirits are up and he’s … He’s great and he’s like the old Mike Porcaro except that he’s disabled, he’s in a wheelchair and can’t move … You know?

 AW: Right.

 David: Can’t walk and can’t play which is a total …
Just a heart breaking drag, you know what I mean?

 AW: Yeah

 David: To have a guy you grew up with, a bass player like this, that has this affliction you know what I mean? Which is one of the reasons we’re trying to get out there and make people more aware of ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and to try and raise money here and give his family a little comfort zone here, ‘cos we’re not doctors, we can’t cure what he has but we can help his family a little bit … But his spirits are good, but He’s got a lovely wife and she is surrounded by a wonderful family. There’s like an Italian dinner, like every Thursday night over at his house and Emil Richards and all these Italians you know? A get together and they like have an Italian dinner like you see on TV.
Seriously, that getting together with friends and family is just so precious, it really is. It kinda raises his spirits and he’s a real trooper there you know?
But it’s a sad situation and I pray that he’ll be with us long enough for them to find a cure.

AW: Yeah, absolutely I mean, that’s something else, it really is.

David: It reminds me of like when The Faces had you know Ronnie Lane it’s that same kinda thing, you know, where you can’t do anything about it but it’s like before and Mike doesn’t like to be … Doesn’t want to be a poster boy for us.

 AW:  Uh huh.

David: All that kind of stuff, but all Mike is trying to do is raise awareness on it.
It’s sad when it’s such a key musician and a kind of a brother that we grew up with, when that happens, you know?
It just makes you more aware of how, well it just shows and proves how mortal we all are.
You know what I mean?

 AW: Right.

 David: I will pass on the word that you asked about him. I’m sure they’ll like that and a just tell anybody there, that Mike is … His spirits are good, and hopefully they’ll find something to cure this soon, and sooner than later.

 AW: Right.

David: That he says hello to everybody out there, anybody that’s a Toto fan, Mike gives his love, you know?

AW: Oh that’s great, that’s great … Oh yeah I’ll certainly share that.

 David: His lovely wife Cheryl who is an absolute angel, you know?
Never complains … I just wish the world was full of people like her.
You know Mike and Cherrie are a real true love story, they really are.

AW: Right … Oh man

David: Never a peep out of her …

 AW: Ah … That’s fantastic, isn’t it? I mean that we’re thankful for our other halves we have, nine times out of ten, you know?

 David: I’m telling you … It’s just we take so much for granted. Thanks for asking.

 AW: No, no, no, absolutely not at all and I mean that.
I kind of wondered if that was part of the reason why …, you kinda dropped out of the scene with Toto a little bit there.
You know, it wasn’t quite the same band anymore for so many years.

David: Why I dropped out of the scene?

 AW:  Yeah. Yeah.

 David: Well I had two things going on. Not only was it not the same band after that but I had a sister, I had a sister who passed last year.
She had a very bad illness … She had to have a double lung transplant which was successful.

AW: Right

 David:  And she was back in business and everything she had a pulmonary fibrosis.

AW: Oh boy…

David: And she had it …It was very, very hard for her and so I was on her support team. I really wanted to stay home and kind of help with her family and everything for about four years there and then she had that operation.
She was doing magnificently. She dropped weight and went out and got a job. It was just like, I couldn’t believe it … It was like a miracle. She was like….

AW: Yeah.

David: She was like …, all of a sudden became 30 again.

 AW: Right.

 David: Then had a little bit of a problem, a backlash here ... With the lungs taking … After about a year and went into the hospital, well you know when you go into the hospital … She caught some children’s disease ...

AW: Oh man, yeah …

David:  ..., because her immune system was down ...

AW: Was down, right?

David: So the Christmas before last, that’s when she made her transition.
So that’s basically what I was doing and so with her …, little by little and I was getting older. I was trying to hang up my road boots here so ...

AW: Yeah.

David: I was recruiting Greg Phillinganes and Mike would’ve been in the band, but when Mike came down with ALS, it was just like, well it started to get like too many people were being recruited in here … That was a shocker and we had to get Lee (Leland) Sklar, ‘cos there aren’t very many people that we will bring in, and to keep Toto going here.

 AW: Oh, absolutely.

David: We almost stopped when … We were gonna stop when Jeff passed.

AW: Right.

David: … And because we had all these buildings booked, it would have been very difficult to cancel.

 AW: Yeah.

David: We thought we would do it to help support the album that he had written with us and everything and the whole tour.
So we kept that going, but with the advent of Mike, then you start bringing in Simon Phillips who’s a great …, another Englishman who we have …
We are working on a dictionary right now that’s English to American. You know?   

AW: (Laughing)

David: ‘Cos he says things like Al-u-min-ium and Cal-i-opy still, just to bother us you know what I mean? (Laughing)

AW: (Laughing) Oh that’s funny.

David: I say, I’ll meet you down the toad … Down the frog … You know, all that kind of stuff!?

AW: Frog and toad?! Road ... (Laughs)
David: You’re gonna be in a lot of barney, you know? All that kind of stuff …, anyway …

AW: Barney Rubble. Trouble … Yeah.
David: Yeah right … So Simon Phillips and I are going to make this English / American translation book, you know?

 AW: Ha ha! OK David ….

David: Back to our recruits here, Lee Sklar … There’s only a couple people that we’ve known for years, that we would have even thought of ever continuing on, one is Lee Sklar …

AW: Right.

 David: … Who has known Mike and Jeff for years ...

 AW: Sure.

David: … And he’s a great player and came to kind of our aid.

AW: Yep

David: He said, listen if you ever need someone I’m here and the other one is Nathan East, who we all grew up with too, you know?

AW: Right.

David: So there’s not very many depth in each field there. We only have one or two people that can come in and be honorary Toto members here. You know, so we’re … They just went out and did the best they can and a little bit and then I started getting antsy to play again.

AW: (Laughing)

David: And then our manager said, ‘Well why don’t we … - You know were trying to do all this … - do a benefit in town for Mike?

 AW: Right.

David: So the band decided instead of just doing the odd benefit show, we could go ahead and do a proper tour, that way we could help Mike out a whole lot more financially. It was a much more beneficial idea.
It goes without saying that Mike Porcaro was a key musician in Toto, no question.

AW: No kidding.

 David: So that’s why we got back together here and with (Mike’s) brother Steve (Porcaro) from the original group and me, (Steve) Lukather and Joseph Williams who’s on the “Fahrenheit” album and Nathan (East) and a we got a pretty damn good band right now!
I’m really excited about this new band.

Toto Press Shot 2012

AW: Right, well that’s great, I mean everything ….

David: I wish you could hear the new band.
AW: Oh me too man ..!

David: Really great!

AW: Believe me!

David: Hopefully we’ll be playing the States here in a couple key cities here in the next year and a half and you’ll be able to hear this band. This is a very good representation; it allows us to do music we weren’t able to do, because of having Joseph (Williams) in the band now.

AW: Right.

David: Joseph can sing everything plus we cover material from albums that we didn’t do before you know?

AW: Right and you …

 David: That kind of thing you know?

 AW: Right and you know, when you moved on without Joseph before I was like, ‘Oh man,’ you know

 David: I know …

AW: And you know, (sighs) I do … I have periods in my life … Well no I don’t have periods of Toto that I really … (Laughs) Well I do …!
There’s a lot of periods that I really loved too like, I like the “Isolation” period, but I mean I love the early stuff too like ...

David: I like that too, you know? I mean … Every …, there’s …
Each album we did, we put our heart into …!

AW: Right

David: … And felt that that was just as valid a Toto, as any Toto around, you know?

 AW: Right.

David: Because we were so used to working with other artists …

AW: Right, sure.

David: I thought Fergie … (Fergie Frederiksen) I thought that was a great job that he did on that album. When we tried to make that work, you know, because we were going through every … Steve Perry and Journey were the big people at the time, but …

AW: Exactly

David: He was one of the singers … Jeff Porcaro we weren’t into spending too much time auditioning singers as you can tell.
If we could find someone and if they could cut the mustard, we’d go, ‘You’re hired!’ (AW: I’m laughing)
There you go, you know what I mean? We figured, hey we can handle the rest.

AW: Right

David: That’s pretty much how that happened, but I like very much, a lot of material off that album and it was a fun tour, touring those days you know?

 AW: Yeah and you know I mean I saw you guys as well at Pine Knob up here in 2002 and it was…

 David:  Oh yeah?

AW: Can you remember that night?

David: Ermmm …

AW: Do you know why? There was a massive storm and the weather was treacherous…

 David: I don’t know if I was with my band in 2002 there.

  AW: I thought you were?

David: I might not have been with them at that time. I think Jeff Babko who’s on the Jimmy Kimmel show right now, came to my rescue because my sister first got sick right there.

AW: Ohh??

 David: I’m not sure I did the Pine Knob but it sounds so familiar because I’ve toured there with Boz Scaggs and Seals and Crofts and it’s always storming there, you know what I mean?

AW: (laughing)

 David: It’s always storming in Pine Knob (Laughs) and I went to one, what was the last time we were at Pine Knob?

AW: With The Tubes. It was 2002 or 2003 with Toto because um, my wife got the tickets and she couldn’t make it. The Tubes pulled out...!
David: Right, yeah I was there with them doing that, because I remember, because the reason I remember is because James Ingram my friend Steve Trudell ...

AW: Right.

David: Who was working at Pine Knob there he took me to see Pink.
I think Pink and Lenny Kravitz played the couple days after we played ...


David: … And I went to see them with … Me and James Ingram went to see Pink.

AW: There you go.

David: I pretty much remember that, yeah.

AW: I couldn’t believe it, because it was like, the Tubes pulled out, there was a massive storm warning and everything and …

David: Yeah.

AW: And there was hardly anyone there, but you guys…

David: Yeah, yeah.

 AW: You guys, it was the “Through the Looking Glass” tour …

David: Oh right, that’s right.

AW: It was a good night and basically, I mean, you had the stage to yourselves.

David: There weren’t too many people there.

 AW: No.

 David: I think it was early … We did an earlier show …

 AW: Right.

David: It was still light out or something like that.

 AW: Right

David: And then it started getting stormy or whatever.

 AW: Yeah.

David: Good memory! You have a better … Your memory is better than mine. I’ve seen so many shows. It’s like all …,
‘Oh which show was that? You know? (Laughs)

 AW: Yeah

David: I like Detroit. Detroit and Pine Knob, I have a place in my heart for Detroit and Pine Knob, like I said, because we started there with Boz Scaggs and Seals and Crofts. I even think I worked there with Sonny and Cher when I got out of high school.
That was the inception of our Toto band when me and Jeff and David Hungate performed, that’s when we all first got together, the three of us, was out of high school and were touring with them when they were very big. You know?

AW: Yeah, yeah.

David: So that was back in the late, middle 70’s. You know what I mean?

 AW: There you go.

David: But I’m getting old. Someone’s hit the old switch. (Both laughing)

AW: Well I hit the big five O myself this year. So there you go!

 David: You did? Well congratulations it’s all….

AW: I’m not there yet ...!!! (Laughing)

David: It’s all up hill now you know? (Laughs) No you’re not there yet, we are still in our fifties, me and you, so that’s a good thing you know? I’m personally, I’m preparing myself for the …, all that other stuff that comes you know?

AW: Right

 David: Anyway if I’m still playing on stage rocking and rolling and if Mick (Jagger) and Bruce Springsteen are still out there, it’s ok to rock!

AW: Absolutely!

David: If you can still do it.
Anyway, where were we?

AW: Ok, yeah, so I mean we were talking about the live stuff and everything and talking about, obviously you getting the band back together again to do these shows for Mike and of course it got to something bigger and … I mean I know that I think over the years it’s not something you guys really were hidden away from, from speaking about, but it’s, it’s been a little disappointing for you over here in the States. Hasn’t it … And Europe’s been a bit more open arms for you when you’re touring.

David: Yeah it has and you know its two fold partly because, we, we were getting the offers across …
The kind of show that we wanted to do when you’re not a, a dancing band or an entertaining band …

 AW: Right

David: We were more like Genesis.

 AW: Right.

David: And like that kind of band, so we wanted to put a show together with lights …

 AW: Right.

David: And staging and stuff and that required money and we were getting great offers from Japan and Europe.

 AW: Uh huh.

David: They were throwing money at us!

AW: Right.

David: Where in the States …

AW: It wasn’t happening, right?

 David: It was so big over there and you always have to start, kinda from scratch at the bottom again here. We didn’t want to.
We’d already toured so many …, with so many other bands here. We thought we’d build up our whole repertoire outside the United States and then come in and take it by storm here …

AW: Right.

David: But it didn’t happen quite that way, because our build up after Toto ‘Four’ when you start changing personnel all of a sudden, the record business starts changing. Our record company…

AW: Sure

 David: … Started changing precedents, instead of keeping the same one …. And the whole business changed there.
So we just stayed out, kind of …, in the United States here, playing.
We played casinos every once in a while and did some stuff, but a …

AW: Right.

David: It’s been a kind of an uphill struggle in the United States here.

AW: Yeah
Editor's Note: Totally undeserved if you ask me too!

 David: And we miss it, because we know we have fans here.

 AW: Right, right.

David: That’s like us, we’ve always wanted to come back here which is why I think that’s why we’re giving it some second thought in trying to hit it this year. We’re probably gonna end up playing the next jazz festival down in New Orleans next year.


 David: And doing some different … We’re gonna play a day of rock!
There’s a rock festival in Denver, so we’re just starting to look at these other possibilities that we didn’t entertain before …

AW: Uh huh, right.

David: …. For one reason or another because I wasn’t touring and we’re going through some catharsis in our band here you know?

 AW: Absolutely.

David: Different modes, you know, so …

AW: Yeah.

David: Hopefully we’ll get back in here and with … If we can make, like I said some roads ….
I have some friends in Hall and Oats

AW: Yeah
David: … And stuff, if you can make a couple of guest appearances on TV and get some kind of …
AW: Some promo work, right?

David: Branding power! Get a little more branding power right here you can get ubiquity, get right back up again, you know?
Get on “Dancing with the stars” and do an Elton or 'American Idol.'
Make a guest appearance on there.

 AW: Right, there you go ....

OK folks, at this point I'm wrapping up Part 1 of this very lengthy interview, Part 2 soon to follow in the next few days!
This took a lot of editing and formatting, but I think you'll all agree, it's worth the wait!
Thanks for sticking with me here folks!
My aim here at 'Chambers ...,' is to try and bring a good mix of classic and hard yet melodic rock to fans of the music' attention.
I have many friends that were out of touch with the music scene and when they get back in touch with me, I tell them about the site and so many of them have kindly thanked me for sharing what I do, especially with bringing a little history on each artist, as I do it.
Hope you feel the same way too.  
Cheers, Al
Remember to keep up with David's and Toto's activities.