Friday, November 5, 2010

The Legendary...AL PERRY!!!!

SLIT:  How did you get interested in music? Blues? Country?

AP: When I was a kid I used to sit in my room a lot. Just listening to my cheap transistor radio. Then, I think like many others I was swept up in the Beatles and the British invasion stuff. There it went to the Beach Boys, Byrds, Kinks, Cream, all that. I got a couple Mothers of Invention lps for 99 cents at the drugstore and those really warped me, though at such a young age I really didn't know what they were about.

I grew disillusioned with rock in the 70s though. Didn't much care for the singer/songwriter stuff, or the country/rock or even glam for that matter. I'd always wondered who it was on the songwriting credits I'd always see. Like, who is this McKinley Morganfield anyway? Muddy Waters. So, I went through a friends collection one time and explored all that stuff. Of course I was knocked out by all that stuff. I still am. There is always something new to discover.

I didn't get back into rock music until punk came along. That revitalized my interest.
Country sort of came later. Though my dad played Marty Robbins, Eddie Arnold and Tex Ritter over and over while I was growing up. Some of that must have sunk in through osmosis.
Used to be, the bar bands here were either country or hard rock/metal. I don't think you can really live in Arizona without encountering country. And to really appreciate it, it helps to have some life experience. You know, have your heart broken a time or two.

SLIT:  What was your first guitar?

AP: I got a cheap acoustic from my parents after eighth grade. I had guitar lessons for a short time. Just learned basic reading skills is as far as I went. I'd learn really simple rock n roll instrumentals. Mel Bay!  I have to confess I was into Clapton and all that early on. I got a Strat too. Wish I still had that guitar.

SLIT:  Do you play any other instruments? Are you self-taught?

AP:  I play bass, but that's really not different from guitar. And sometimes I used to play drums. And soprano sax. Free Jazz!

SLIT: What do you like better: sounds or songs?

AP: Songs are always where it's at for me. I think almost anyone can obtain a sound. But if there is a good song, that will always shine through, regardless of the sound.
SLIT: How did you get involved with Tucson's band scene?

AP: As I said I was into blues and I was playing with some guys and we'd play these parties. This was when I was in college. Finally we got a gig at the good ol Night Train. Just sort of went from there.

SLIT:  What bands have you been in? Which band went the "farthest"?

AP: I was in Subterranean Blues Band, Hecklers, Gila Bend, Anglers, Fraidy Cats. Even did very short stints in the Phantom Limbs, and Naked Prey. I've managed to go to Europe 5 - 6 times on tour. I made an album with Dan Stuart that sold a few thousand copies over there, and we did six weeks which was fun. I'm not real career oriented so nothing I've ever been involved in has gone "far". More like a series of dismal failures, really.

SLIT:  What's your favorite recording that you've played on?

AP: Tough to say. I am pretty self critical. I have a few things where I thought I did some great guitar stuff.

SLIT:  What's your feeling about lead solos?

AP: I am a guitar geek, and I like lead solos. I know that is not the 'correct' answer, but if a bands got a great lead guitarist I'm usually won over.

SLIT: How did you get started in radio?

AP: When Link Wray was going to come to Tucson in the mid-nineties, I was offered to fill in at kxci. I just programmed 3 hours of Link stuff, and someone else was engineering. Turns out that someone was Mike Landwehr, the program director at the time. I asked him how does one go about getting a show, and he said, "when do you want to start?"
So I went on late late night, and moved earlier through the years.
I'm such a fanboy, I love radio. It's easy for me.

SLIT: What's the best song you've ever written? Why?

AP: It changes. Sometimes I don't like any of them. Usually it's the most recent one that I like best. Maybe it's "You Make The Rules" which I haven't recorded properly yet. It has all the elements I like in my stuff: romantic obsession, abject self-abasement, good twang.

SLIT:  What inspires you, musically?

AP: Listening to the great stuff! Always listening.

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