JOE LYNN TURNER SPEAKS
AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH FORMER RAINBOW SINGER, AND CURRENT SOLO ARTIST AND LEAD SINGER FOR MOTHERS ARMY.
I recently got the chance to speak with Joe Lynn Turner about his career. With the release of the RAINBOW Remaster CDs, JL's Rainbow days are getting another look, and with him being so busy with recent solo, tribute, and Mother's Army projects Joe Lynn Turner is sure to be in the spotlight for many fans who've followed him since he stepped in to the big time on Rainbow's "Difficult To Cure" album in 1981.
For more on Joe , check out his brand new site www.joelynnturner.com
Pre Fandango days - local bands? any recordings?
JLT: We did all home studio stuff, recordings. I mean, we'd gone into studios and stuff but it was all on a local level. The one band that i would say took notoriety was a band called "Ezra". It was a very heavy band, we did Deep Purple covers and originals like them. I played guitar at this point, and i also did singing. We did like Highway Star, Rat-Bat Blues, - you name it. We also did stuff by like Flash, Children of The Universe, and Yes, and all that kind of stuff, so it was a heck of a lot of stuff for me to cut as a guitar player. My chops were a whole lot better in those days. This Ezra thing, we did quite well on a local level, which sort of prompted us to go a little further. I got kinda stuck in a Hard-Rock...got fed up with all that; meaning - as a musician you really want to expand and i love all kinds of music, so when the opportunity came around to start this band "Fandango" I was more than ready because at that point the Eagles were big and things like that , Poco, Marshall Tucker, so it was kind of a 5 part harmony - double guitar - Allman Brothers type of thing, and we played locally and (again) became very successful locally - filling up the clubs, high schools and what have you. There was a big following in the Tri-State area - New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, and Pennsylvania too. And from there we recognized by some A & R guys and got signed to RCA Records.
You Guys Did a lot of different types of stuff...
JLT: Very eclectic type of stuff!
You did 4 albums!?
JLT: We did 4 albums, we had pockets in the US where we were being played a lot on the radio stations and actually could fill some clubs and things like that. So we had pockets where we were successful, not to any measure where we went to any super-notoriety or anything. We had a lot of great writers, and everybody at this point was very hungry and young, so we weren't very aware of what shouldn't be done and what should, and there was a lot of arguing, and a lot of hammering about you know - you want your own voice to be heard. And eventually that became the demise of the band, aside from the fact that we got robbed on tour! We were on tour with Wet Willie, Allman Brothers, and Marshall Tucker -- this big shed-fest, and we were playing the Chicago Fest as a matter of fact -- the Beach Boys, Billy Joel - whole bunch of people were out there at this concert, and that night when we got to the hotel - of course the band all went out and the roadies were playing cards and the truck was parked up against the wall, the roater was taken out for safety precautions, and it was pissin' down rain. To make a long story short, these guys knew exactly what to do, these thieves, and they stole our truck. So about 80 Thousand dollars worth of equipment was gone; it went right into Canada! And then from Canada alot of the stuff - road cases, guitars, clothes, everything - ended up in like Japan, Germany -- it all got air-lifted some place else and sent out.
Was that the nail in the coffin?
JLT: Yeah, it really was. But we tried to recover from that. RCA was very helpful, they gave us like 30 or 40 Grand to try and get back on our feet, and we were kind of emotionally wiped out because me and the other guitar player Rickey Blakemore - we had like wicker covered Marshall cabinets, our own home racks and things, so we were left to foot petals and strange guitars, and strange drum sets ...
A lot of personal stuff!?
JLT: Yeah, a lot of personal stuff, the stuff in the road cases. The wind got knocked out of us, and it was very hard to recover. In a nut-shell that's what I'd have to say. But we went out after and tried to do the tour, and we tried to make that last "Cadillac" record, but at that point there was sort of a venom inside the band as well because the 2 main writers were screaming for writing, me and the bass player who also wrote good songs - we wanted to write; so now everybody's taking a chance and doing some writing and the albums became even more eclectic -- which meant they were all over the place. It was a very talented band, group of guys, good strong songwriting, but there was not one identity of the band. The band's identity was that whole eclecticity, you know 'who are they? you can't put your finger on it'
Did anyone in either of those bands (Ezra or Fandango) go on to anything else of bigger success?
JLT: No, not really. They all made aspirational attempts, but nobody really cracked it except me and I think that brought on a lot of resentment, and I mean - I'm friends with them today but I don't see them. And Rick died, Rick was in a car crash. In fact my daughter's named after his fiancee who died with him. It was a real Romeo & Juliet story. He was up at the Renaissance there in New York state and some guy on medication, 80 years old, lost control, fell asleep - whatever and jumped over the divider and his car happened to be in the way, and it took them both out.
What year was that?
JLT: I'd say it was about '83. Oh, you asked me if anyone had gone on further - he actually played with Kim Larson in Gasoline Alley in Copenhagen, Denmark. Kim Larson had a really big following in Scandinavia and Europe at the time, he was kind of a David Johanson - looking character. The whole project was called "Gasoline Alley" and I know Rickey had been touring with them, so he did at least get a taste of what it might be like to do something on record.
Were some of the songs on your solo album not credited to him?
JLT: Because we had written them then, I mean "The Game of Rock n Roll" for example - that was such an old song, and i still think it's a timeless song. Regardless of whether you like this version or not, the whole lyrical tongue and cheek campiness of rock stars, ya know - "you got a manager, and a shiny car, a heavy weight lawyer, and a bodyguard.............." and all this kind of stuff, and it was kind of cool. We had written a bunch of stuff, but that one was certainly perfect for "Hurry Up And Wait" because Hurry Up And Wait has kind of got a tongue and cheek attitude about the whole thing anyway. I mean it's got some really great stuff on it, commercial rock, but it just seems to fit, and it was a good tribute to do that.
Q: How did you, being from the States, New Jersey -- hook up with Ritchie Blackmore?
JLT: Interesting story. Fandango was over, I was living down in the West Village of New York City with a lot of the other bohemians, and living very poorly of course, with a couple of roommates and sleeping on a mattress of the floor - that kind of thing. I was playing guitar and singing still, I would do anything - sing, play - whatever you wanted me to do! So i would go to a lot of auditions, and I realized that I wasn't getting the gigs because everytime I'd be in the back line playing rhythm guitar, or even lead guitar, or singing background - I kinda had a charisma I guess, and I would out-shine these artists that these A & R guys were trying to promote, so I was never getting the gigs. So I was like, "what the hell is it with this? I can't get a gig!" So I was getting pretty down hearted and pissed-off, rightfully so. I said to myself 2 weeks previous to Ritchie's phone-call that "I've really got to be my own man; the only way I'm going to do this is to take the ball of wax in my own hands, and be my own lead singer, or guitar player, writer, - whatever." Never mind this trying to join a situation or get higher or whatever! So, I get a phone-call one day towards the evening. I'd just come in from another disgusting day of walking around New York trying to find work and hook up things. This guy named Barry Ambrosio is on the phone and introduces himself, and I Don't him, but he says "I know you from Fandango" and he started asking me 1001 questions, and I said "what do you work for the IRS or something? Like what's up with you?" And he said "No, I'm actually sitting next to Ritchie Blackmore, I'm a friend of his and HE would like to speak to you." So, I was like slack-jawed, and went well "put him on!" And he comes on and says "Hello mate...." and I said "Hello mate yourself, I'm a big fan of yours", and he says "well I'm a big fan of yours!", and I said "Really". And he says "I've listened to all your Fandango records", I said "Great, thanks". And he says "We're looking for a new lead singer for Rainbow, are you familiar with Rainbow?" And I said "Well, I got the first album that Dio did, and I like that". But there was so many other bands that hit the wall at that time, bigger bands, that my tastes not changed, but Rainbow kind of got buried with their first album. I was familiar with some of the other stuff, but i wasn't learning it off by heart or anything. So he says "we'd like you to come out and try and have a singing'". And I says "well where and when do i got to be....." and he says "Today!" and I'm like "Now? I don't have a car, so I'll have to take the train" And he said he was out on Long Island, and the train service runs out to Long Island, New York. So I figured out a schedule and called him back at the studio he was at - which happened to be Kingdom Sound. I got the next train out there, got out there, they picked me up at the station, brought me in straight to the microphone. I was nursing a cold at the time, I had a head cold, and I didn't care; I had to push through this and my voice teacher at the time always taught me to sing above a cold. So I started doing backgrounds and stuff to tracks like "Surrender" and what not. And then I noticed they were wiping off Graham Bonnet's tracks, and I was like "what's up with this?" And I'd started to do a few leads, and they said can you improvise? And they'd play a track and said "just mumble something over this, sing some bluesy hard rock over this" And then Ritchie came out with a couple of Heinekins in his hand and said "you got the gig if you want it". So I kinda figured since I was working out here for the last 6 hours you know , and they were doing a lot of talking back and forth behind the glass and I was standing out there like a goldfish in a bowl worrying what's going on.
Q: Who was making the decision?
JLT: It was Roger Glover, he, the manager, Ritchie's ex-wife Amy.
So he comes out with the Heinekins, he clinks me one, and we decide right there that I'm in the band. They didn't even let me go home they got a hotel room for me and put me in a hotel that night. I called my girlfriend and said "look I won't be coming home, looks like I got a big gig, I'm freaking out, I'm excited, and they're keeping me in the hotel, here's the number....." And I started right in the studio the next morning on the "Difficult To Cure" tracks. And the rest is really history, that's how it all started!
Q: When you joined the band, the band had done a lot of heavier stuff prior to...........
JLT: Yeah they were a bit more..I'd like to call it "dungeons and dragons".
Q: Starting with the "Down To Earth" album and the albums that you were on.......
JLT: The Down To Earth album was a bit more commercial. They had the Russ Ballard thing going on..
Q: How did you feel about those (Russ Ballard) tunes?
JLT: I love them! I think Russ Ballard happens to be a great great writer! And i won't even get into, by disparaging him by saying that "I Surrender" - the way it came out - I had an influence in that, but he would absolutely not accept any re-writes or polishing. He said "you can do what you want to it - but I'm keeping my publishing!" So Ritchie looked at me and I looked at him and said "f**k it - we'll just do it!" I mean I needed a break, i was in no position to argue. But I had re-written certain things and melodies, but overall - it's his song! Somewhere there's a demo of him singing it, and you get the idea - "oh yeah, it's much better now!" ha ha. Anyway, I loved the Russ Ballard stuff, I thought he was a great writer with Argent and all that, I had no problem with him. But it was that Rainbow was actually making a concerted attempt and a concentrated effort to try and get this commerciality - not blatant commerciality, but a melodic hard-rock form. I was at the right place at the right time because that's my instincts; my instincts are hard-rock and melodic. I'm not a screamer, that's just distasteful. I'm a Paul Rodgers fan, Glenn Hughes fan - I love singing, when people can emote and really sell a lyric in a story, so I guess that's where the perfect marriage was coming from, and we just tried to follow suit.
Q: And the last few albums there was even more keyboards........
JLT: yeah, there you go! With David Rosenthal, Ritchie wanted a bit more color to it. He gave everybody a piece to stretch out with like synthesizer solos, the B-3 solos and what-have-you. The band sort of went through a metamorphosis, and obviously commerciality wasn't bad because we were doing very well. I know we pissed off a lot of the hard core dungeons and dragons fans because we weren't writing about castles and monsters and medieval kings and all that stuff, but we were doing a lot of super-natural spiritual stuff. We were doing a lot of stuff that borderlined on seances and the other side of this life.
Q: Now when you guys wrote together - you, Roger, and Ritchie, - did you do the lyrics mainly??
JLT: What Ritchie would do is he would grab say Bob Rondinelli on drums with his Taurus blue pedals, and they would go into the rehearsal place for a couple of hours and just jam on all kinds of riffs; and then Ritchie would hand me this 2 hour tape (ha ha ha) and go "alright - write some songs!". And nothing would be necessarily cohesive, in fact I can remember "Street Of Dreams" - which was a later song of course, but they were all like that; I remember putting 3 or 4 different pieces together and showing him how these 3 pieces of music went together and how they make up the song because he'd write all the pieces but they would all be in different formats and arrangements.
Q: You guys went through a few personnel changes as far as keyboard players and drummers. Was Cozy Powell ever in the band with you?
JLT: Cozy got out of the band just as I got in the band, and that's when Rondinelli came in. I did know Cozy very well, he came over to my house in New Jersey after I got married, and we had dinner and we were talking about being in Blue Murder and a whole bunch of other things, and of course John Sykes wouldn't hear of it because I'd gone out with his girlfriend earlier and it was becoming very incestuous. But he (Cozy) was a fine fine man, and I think my quote when asked was 'we lost a prince in the industry'. Because Cozy, not only was a world-class drummer, but he was also a fine guy, and you don't find many of those; you find usually egotistical assholes!
Q: Highlights as far as Rainbow goes - favorite tracks? shows?
JLT: Well Madison Square Garden of course because it's my hometown! Budokan of course - because it's Budokan! And then we played even larger stadiums where there was 80 thousand people - 'Summerfests' and things like that! But as far as the more memorable shows - my first show we played in Kolmar, France, and it was a warm-up gig. It was an outdoor gig, a shed with a roof, and it was my first gig, and i was scared shit. During Long Live Rock N Roll Ritchie and the guys gave me a piece where I got out to the audience and started them clapping and singing and all this, and of course they be French speaking they were trying to do the best they could, and to make a long story short, I started getting bits of food thrown at me and I was getting really irritated during this Long Live Rock n Roll part and I got really pissed off with the lights and all I didn't know where it was coming from, and I said "ah - F**k off!" and as I threw the mic down I looked and the spotlight had just caught somebody in the pit and there was Ritchie Blackmore and the rest of the band - they had the food trays from backstage Hospitality and they were throwing baloney at me and pretzels and chips - and it was them! Ha ha ha ha. So I felt like a complete idiot (ha ha). And this was my first introduction to like "you better learn to take a joke!" In other words you can't take your self too seriously! And that's something that I think is probably the greatest thing that Blackmore has ever taught me. Whether or not he subscribes to it anymore - I'm not too sure, because sometimes I find he pretends to take himself seriously to intimidate people, but I know better - that "it's all a laugh" - as he used to put it. But those are the moments that i remember vividly because they were major embarrassing or learning moments, and they were cornerstones of what I've learnt and became today.
Q: Favorite Rainbow songs??
JLT: They're like my children, it's very difficult to love one more than another. ...... There's some special ones like Stone Cold, Drinking With The Devil, Street Of Dreams, Can't Let You Go, Jealous Lover...
there's so many that were so cool and so good, we really had a run of luck, and when i say luck I mean we do get lucky when the chemistry's really happening, and our chemistry was really high for a couple of years, and we wrote some really impactual stuff. But otherwise it's really tough, because each one of these songs is sort of like a biography, or it reminds me of a place in my life - where I was at the time, and if anybody wants my biography when I'm gone just listen to my records, and it's all about what I've lived through, and it's all based on truth.
Q: Now the band broke up when the Deep Purple thing was .........
JLT: Yeah that was.........
Q: Were you a little bitter or what?
JLT: No, I'll tell you what I'm bitter about. The manager actually put me and Ritchie against each other on a trip back from Japan once. He came to me and said "Oh we want to put back together Deep Purple and everyone's into it and everyone wants to do this, and you now have a lucrative solo deal with Elektra Records and you're going to do really good and blah blah blah...and then we can always put Rainbow back together." OK, this is the manager's words in a nutshell. And I'm like "Man, no problem. You mean Ritchie really wants to do it?" - "Yeah" - OK then what the hell am I going to say, because without Ritchie - there's no Rainbow! So I said "yeah, and I do have my contract with Elektra and I'm excited about doing a solo deal, and also I feel very important by helping one of my favorite bands in the world - Deep Purple, get back together!" I felt very instrumental, and I sort of had a smile on my face. Well what happened was he went over to Ritchie and said "Joe just wants to do a solo deal, he so full of ego now." And Ritchie was really disappointed because he wanted to keep Rainbow together, and I never knew that until last January. I found out through a mutual friend of ours. And I've said this in the press and I want him to know that we were duped, in a word 'duped!' And he (the manager) played both sides against the middle for monetary gains, and there we were. So I was bitter about what the manager did.
Q: Any hard feelings a few years ago when Ritchie put the band back together without you?
JLT: Not at all! In fact those guys were playing with me first - they were my band. I can document that, they were in the Joe Lynn Turner All-Star band playing around. We played for a couple of years before Ritchie picked them up, and of course he did the right thing. They came to me out of respect and said "hey would it be OK if we joined Rainbow?", and I said "first of all I'm not your father! and I don't own you, but i really appreciate you guys coming to me with this kind of respect, but go for it - be blessed my child, but BE warned! All that glitter ain't gold, he's a tough cookie sometimes, so just wear your helmets!" And sure enough they came back later on and told me some absolute horror stories! Ha ha ha ha. So, I had no problem at all. I was pretty much flattered that he would steel my band, ha ha. But I wanted those guys to get notoriety as well.
Q: So there was no plan for you to get into Rainbow?
JLT: No, i don't think he even considered me because he wanted all new blood. That's one of the famous Vampire-Blackmore things -- he needs new blood to generate. After the fiasco we had been through with Purple and everything. He and I were the only 2 that still stood fast, and he wanted me in that band. He took a 2 million dollar deal from BMG to get Gillan back in the band, because there was no way he wanted Gillan back in the band. This is obviously another story....... What happened was I got pushed out. The only bitterness I have about that -- and I've seen all the guys several times, I've seen them 2 nights at the Hard Rock & House Of Blues, hung with them back stage, hugged, and all that crap. I harbor no ill feelings, but everybody knows where the body's buried, everybody knows what they did - and if they can live with that -- fine! I'm a big enough man to forgive -- not forget, but to forgive! And I really felt i got back-stabbed!
Q: How did you feel about the album you did "Slaves & Masters"??
JLT: Slaves & Masters was a great product. We got crap out of it; it was "Deep Rainbow", and all this kind of shit! What the hell do you expect ? -- we got 3 people from Rainbow and 4 people from Purple, so now what? You got me singing lead, so the color and face of the band's going to sound like Rainbow, but I'll tell you this, and little did I know that that was one of Ritchie's favorite albums, I read it in articles, and he's told me, and then I read it in print and I know anything he says in print he wants out there! So he said that was actually one of this favorite records. And to make a long story short, we got a lot of shit from the Deep Purple Fan Club, Simon Robinson and all these guys. Here's what I want to say, and I've been saying it, so the last laugh is mine -- Look at them now! They sound like the Gillan Band meets the Dixie Dregs! It doesn't sound like Deep F**kin' Purple!! We had at least - with "Wicked Ways" and a bunch of different songs, we sounded like Purple! We had the Purplesque attitude, but we also had some Rainbow styles because how far can you take these musicians out of their environment? We are what we are! So it's got to sound like that, but it still sounds - to me, closer to the truth of Deep Purple rather than what's been coming out lately! It sounds like some avant-garde --- I don't know what the hell that is!! And I think it (Slaves & Masters) was a far better album, although people would argue, than "The Battle Rages On". I didn't like that album.
Q: Did you do the demos for The Battle Rages On?
JLT: Yes - in a word! And I just heard that they are on some bootleg, I believe you can get it from Lost Horizons, Chris McLaughlin - this guy in Japan, and I know him, and I'm going to e-mail and call his ass and ask "what the f**k is goin on with this?" - because I want those!
Q: Did you write anything on that?
JLT: Yes. When I heard The Battle Rages On, I heard diluted tracks of what we were writing. We had some very strong material because at that point Ritchie was very concerned. We brought in Jim Peterik of Survivor, and he was writing with us, and we had some really cool stuff! We had this one called "Lost In The Machine" -- which was f**kin' heavy. We had another called "The Stroke of Midnight", another called "Little Miss Promiscuous". We were just ripping it up with social statements, and all that kind of stuff. And we were sort of becoming like an angst band, but with a commercial attitude, and a lot of great music! But the other guys were just ...you know - "Oh - the 25th Year reunion, we can't survive without Ian Gillan." And then when BMG came in and slid in the 2 million bucks to Ritchie to give him a solo deal just to get Gillan back in, he said "sure!" And i can't blame a guy for that kind of dough going over his head! So the cruelest thing, and what I am pissed off about is the fact that they said I couldn't sing! Now that's a lie, because I could sing, I never lost my voice. I read an article of Ritchie's and he said "somebody had to be the goat -- somebody had to take the fall, and it was Joe. They sacrificed him. And he said "those 3 guys really made it rough for him. God knows Joe had his own problems at that time....." because I was wrestling with my own inner-demons and I had a bit of a drug habit - I'm not going to powder it at all, and I am completely back. But what I'm trying to say is that they were giving me that psychological trauma. Here I am in one of the most legendary bands in the world, and all I'm getting is shit from the inside! It was pretty tough stuff. I needed a permanent couch attached to my back, I needed a psychiatrist or something, because I couldn't deal with the betrayal and the back-stabbing and the nice to your face and then kick you in the ass. And I couldn't believe these guys. Ritchie was not a part of that -- it was the other 3.
Q: Do you still have a friendly bond with Ritchie?
JLT: Oh yeah. We don't call each other all the time, but every once in a while we'll call and say "let's go out to dinner", and we never do. But some of our good mutual friends are always passing along "hellos" from him and Candy. Everybody's so busy that we never do get together, but I'd like to make a point of it possibly at the end of the summer or fall to just get together with him and say "hey - for old times sake let's have a few beers!". And I would (to answer a question you didn't ask!) ...I'd love do a Rainbow reunion because # 1 - I think the fans deserve it! and #2 - I think we can really create some great music together again -- if Ritchie is of the mind that he really wants to do another hard-rock album. Right now, i happen to know that Ritchie has always been a minstrel man; he's always been a medieval - renaissance type of guy. He told me he was born out of time, and he's always felt these other lives, and so on and so forth. So this does not surprise me - what he's doing. And everybody's like "what the hell's he doin? Has he lost his mind?", but actually he's found his mind and he's found his soul. He loves this kind of stuff. There was a German band that he would take a tape of on tour with him, and play it for me all the time, and I he would go follow them around like a groupie when we were off tour; and he would go to these castles. Now he's doing the same thing with his "Blackmore's Night" thing. So he's happy, and the rest of yous can piss-off if you don't like it!
Q: You worked with Yngwie Malmsteen. Tell me, did Bob Daisley play on "Odyssey"??
JLT: Originally it was supposed to be me, Bob Daisley, Eric Singer on drums, Yngwie, and Jens Johanssen on keyboards. We had meetings, we had rehearsals, the shit was sounding great, and then Yngwie freaked out and couldn't take the egos or whatever -- couldn't take Bob being of notoriety, me being of notoriety, because what Jim Lewis at Polgram was trying to do (who's still his manager by the way) was bring us up to "super-star" status. It all looked good on paper, but Yngwie, psychologically and emotionally couldn't handle it - in my opinion (not only my opinion - but everybody else's opinion!), and he really just flubbed it, and then he got in that terrible accident, and the whole bottom just dropped out. Because I was with Bob and Eric for a couple of months, trying to put things together, and yes Bob did eventually end up playing on a couple of tracks, but it was nothing that it was supposed to have started out to have been. He got Anders Johanssen back and went back to what Yngwie felt was comfortable. But regardless of any of that, the Odyssey record still happens to be - in my opinion , one of the best works he's ever done. And I think people have testimonials to that. So I say it still stands the test of time, and it was a sparkling light in his career, and I think he's been trying to chase that ever since really. But none of the records come up to snuff like that.
Q: In latter years you've done a lot of 'tribute' stuff, you've got a new solo thing out.....
JLT: Yeah I did some tributes for a while. It was fun to do Cream, 'Purple -- he Friends from New York Purple - which was really outrageous, left-field stuff with TMC Stevens! Did an AC/DC tribute - that was fun, and I love doing different stuff because it's always a challenge. Then I got serious again and started to do some solo records and some "undercover" stuff - which i really loved doing.
Q: And the Mother's Army stuff!?
JLT: Ohh - this last one I love! I love them all, but i think the band's got a real sound and real style. And with this "Fire On the Moon" - I think we've really captured something.
Q: the only thing is alot of the stuff you do now is Japan-only releases!
JLT: Yes. A lot of it's import , you're right! And certain things in Europe like USG has released "Planet Earth" and things like that. But oddly enough (I've got to tell you) we're doing 10 out of 10s as far as the reviews in Europe; they're were going "best hard-rock album of the year" ..."Incredible lyrically"...."the music has got this and that...." , and JVC in Japan dropped us! So right now we are label-less. We wrote 6 more songs, we turned them in , 6 which we love - the same style as Fire On The Moon, if not better, so we know it had nothing to do with that. The whole thing in Japan is just upside-down and ass-backwards right now with their economy and all. So we're kind of grateful that we got dropped by JVC, because they weren't treating us right, they never really promoted the records, never took any time out for us, or anything like that. And I really think this band could be a mainstream, really something to wrecken with if somebody got ahold of it with the right publicity.
Q: What are you doing currently??
JLT: My next major project is to go with Nikolo Kotsev of Brazon Abbott. I just had dinner with Glenn Hughes here in New York 2 weeks ago, who'd finished his tracks, and we are doing a 2 CD set of a rock-opera about Nostradomus! It's major - it's f**king brilliant! I don't want to let the cat out of the bag, but i believe Doogie White's on it, and there's going to be a cast of very notable people - women as well, and this is an opera - a rock opera on Nostradomus right in time for the millennium, with his whole life. It's been one hell of a project for me to write on. I've heard the Glenn tracks and he sang great, it's just coming out phenomenal! So that is what I do at the end of July. I also do a small festival over there in Mannheim - where Nicko lives, we're going to do a small outdoor festival - one night. And then I also did a Heaven & Earth project with Stuart Smith, the guitarist, and now it looks like there's a couple of sheds up there in British Columbia, and he's got Paul Rodger's manager Chris Crawford helping him out, so they're threatening there's a slight tour coming down in August, a couple of festivals, and some clubs all the way down to LA, but I've yet to see this materialize. And concurrently I'm starting a web business for musicians, which is going to be a complete full sight to help aspiring and professional musicians, but mostly the undiscovered talent that's out there. We are going to be like an MP3 sight, but in the meantime we're going to try and help the musicians. We're going to have data banks for legal advice - because musicians end up on the wrong side of contracts all the time! We're going to help some kid with some advice, where to go, what to do - whatever he needs!? Classifieds, employment rosters. It's a full range site "musiciansask.com", and we're right now in meetings to try and 5 to 7 $million to try and fund this thing, because there's no site out there like this that actually helps the musician. What we're talking about is having a home-page for the band, a bio, picture, a couple of MP3 downloads, you know - trying to get the band's exposure, single artists - whatever. Put people in touch with people internationally, you know if you've got the music and they've got the lyrics. We're going to have bulletin boards. And this was all thought of by a group of musicians with notable credibility who really want to help musicians because we're the most kicked around artists in the world, you know they take our money, they steal our songs...One of our slogans is "it's our music - let's take it back!" We're sick of the A & R f**king people, the big 3, and the big goofball record companies signing all these like Rickey Martin and shoving these little Spice Girl shit down our throats, we're sick of all the angst and 4-chord wonders out there, that sea of talentless people -- we really want to see some music come back. And I think this thing is going to fly.
Q: Favorite singers?
JLT: Paul Rodgers, Glenn Hughes, and there's a couple of unsung heroes I admire like Kelly Keeling, then Paul Carrack. I love Robert Plant, and I'm just sort of bringing up where my butt comes from. What nails me is a singer that can do that soulful thing and basically still rock.
Q:Any rare / unreleased Rainbow tracks you remember?
JLT: Just some demos, nothing for release.
Q: You released 2 albums of cover songs -- why??
JLT: Pony Canyon and I had an idea to do this. I like remakes, and some of these are my favorite songs. The C.D.s were well received.
Q: Did Ezra play any Uriah Heep songs? Did you consider any Heep songs for either of your covers' albums?
JLT: Ezra played the popular heep songs of the day. Yeah, it might be a good idea to cover some heep songs.
Q: Are you familiar with Heep much? Any favorite tracks, albums..?
JLT: I wasn't the biggest Heep fan but I liked them well enough. I can't remember off hand.
Q: Any memories of touring with YJM in Russia?
JLT: Plenty of them. Cold, Cold,Cold! We were there for 5 weeks. Alot of technical difficulties. Great audience responce! Made me appreciate home sweet home.
Q: Who was the 'King Of Dreams'?
JLT: Real smooth dancer refers to Ritchie the rest is a parody of myself.
Q: What do you listen nowadays... What do you think of modern popular genres such as Panthera-like alternocrap, techno/rave bullshit, commercial american pseudo-punks, or for example power-metal, prog-metal, doom/death/black or something...?
JLT: I listen to Ugly Americans, Sonia Dada, bands probably not to many people have heard of. I don't like much of the new crap, well I like matchbox 20, 3rd Eye Blind, I liked Brother Cain a couple of years ago, the bad seeds album in particular. Gotta run I'm off to Finland to do an album.
Q: Have you heard all the Rainbow remasters yet?
JLT: Yes, they sound great. I'm so glad they re-did these. And on VH1 they've been playing the shit out of us, because down here it's "the bad boys of rock" all month and they've been playing "Stone Cold" and things like that, so my phone's been wringing off the hook. It's kind of funny to see it all come back for a week.
I would also like to mention that I got a great web-site joelynnturner.com, and it's brand new; we've revamped the whole site, and there's all kinds of new features and a lot of cool links, and e-mail so everybody can e-mail me there.
Copywrite Kevin J. Julie , July '99