On a beautiful spring day in 2003, a lively dialogue over how to present Eric Bazilian’s life story erupted between the artist, his management and this writer.

After scraping many revisions of a humdrum depiction of such a dynamic and remarkably gifted artist, I decided to write down all the things I wanted to know about him, then ask.

On Wednesday afternoon, I stopped by Starbucks for coffee then headed to Eric’s studio for our interview.

With my arrival, as with our past meetings, immediately, Eric sits at his recording console, clicks around on his Mac, turns the volume way up and plays me something he’s been working on. Today it was a happy, feel good Matt Nathanson version of "Laid".

Eric’s friend is there, so we chat for a bit. Eric answers a call on his cell from the auto repair shop, his son pops in to ask permission to play a new computer game, we listen to another song he’s working on, his friend leaves, I get my new digital voice recorder and questions out, then, as if on cue, the world around us hushes and we begin.

(The following has been edited to save space. The original recording will be available soon on this website, so check back later.)

roberta perry: I don’t know a lot about your family. Your mom is a concert pianist, your dad is a shrink. That, in and of itself probably provided for a very interesting childhood.

eric bazilian: Every childhood is interesting. It was interesting. My earliest musical memories are sitting next to my mom at the piano watching her get totally transported when she played. She was into Chopin. Chopin was her favorite. That’s what I remember the most.

My dad was a shrink, and at the time he was also doing his residency and getting his practice going. I never saw him. I never saw my dad. My earliest memories of my dad, until I was ten, I thought my father was a newspaper or a stamp catalogue. He was into stamps. He was the usual remote father, working too much, and without the skills to raise a son. But he made up for it over the years. We got to be good friends later. And now, he’s kind of like having a brother. The men in my family seem to get younger with age.

rp: Do you have any siblings?

eb: I had a sister for a while. She was adopted when I was 13 and she died in ’94. A drunk driver took her out. I was in Germany, about to go on stage when I got the call. I went on and it was a memorable performance and then had to fly out to San Francisco. You know. The real tragedy that I didn’t know her that well in the early years because I was out of the house by the time she was 4 and she had a very difficult adolescence and I was away. I was gone. In college, off doing my thing. And right before she died, we finally started to get to know each other as adults. But you know, miss her. I miss all that we never really got to do. I have a nephew from that.

rp: What plans did your family, what did your parents expect you to do?

eb: Go to college and get a career. My grandmother, of course wanted me to go to medical school like my father had. And I was ready to do that. Honestly, it was something actually I wanted to do. Here’s a bit of trivia for you. While we were recording a Cyndi Lauper album, I was studying to take the MCATs. Around that time in my life, I decided that that part of my brain had been laying dormant for some years and I wanted to give it one last shot before, just to see if I liked it. And I loved it, honestly I did great on the test. I enjoyed studying for it. But then I looked around at what the rest of the medical community was like and you know, I realized that, you know, I was on a path. I was a better musician than I ever would have been a doctor.

Actually, the irony is that my mother gave me the most resistance towards doing music as a career. She never really wanted it. She was kind of forced into it. She showed tremendous talent very early on. Then her mother totally bullied her into this. My mom actually was the youngest full time student ever at Curtis. She actually left public school when she was 9 and was full time at Curtis studying under Rudolph Serkin who was apparently a very famous player and teacher. Then when she was 14, she couldn’t take it any more. She hated performing. She was really, she had terrible stage fright. She had performed on national TV on the Fred Waring Hour from New York and then she got pregnant and you took that as an excuse. And she stopped performing after that. She just thought it was a ridiculous idea, setting up bad expectations. She actually discouraged my father from helping me and thank God he didn’t listed to her. He supported me for a number of years after college so I could do what I was doing. I went straight from college into the Baby Grand thing, which was a lot of work and no money.

rp: So when you went to Penn and you were studying physics, was that just keeping in line with science?

eb: Yeah, my earliest aspirations were, aside from being an astronaut, were to be a scientist. I wanted to be an astronaut. I wanted to be the first pre-pubescent in space. I was obsessive on it. I can still tell you the exact length of John Glenn’s first orbital mission around the earth. 4 hours, 56 minutes and 12 seconds. You know, it was science. And electronics. I got my ham license when I was 9, ham radio license, and I used to sit in school when I was bored out of my mind in public school, in 5th and 6th grade drawing schematics for like transmitters and receivers and stuff. Then the music thing. I mean, I studied music, I was into music. Took piano lessons for a number of years, but I was very bored. I just couldn’t deal with the classical piano discipline and stuff. I wasn’t patient enough. Then I started learning some guitar from my uncle, my father’s brother who was a folk singer, performed occasionally. So he taught me my first chords, my first song. I actually performed on TV. I was on the Gene London Show when I was 10. I did "El Preso de Nueva" in Spanish. So when I saw the Beatles, that fateful February 9th, I already had the groundwork. I knew a few chords, enough to get myself in trouble.

rp: So, piano was your first instrument? Then you moved into guitar, then pretty much was it?

eb: Yeah, those were the first 2. Guitar was the passion. Absolutely still is. The thing I realized later, in college, especially during my little scientific relapse in the 80’s, was that music and science were the same thing for me. That I approach them the same way. And I don’t think it’s that I approach music scientifically , I think it’s that I approach science artistically. I think that science, it’s a very emotional thing. I would get very emotional doing physics. The thing I loved about physics was that it was so concept intensive. It’s one thing to look at an equation, a very simple, elegant equation, like E=mc2, boy that’s so elegant, and it seems like, oh yeah, I get that, sure. But to really get it and put it to use is like the struggle. Just the struggle of getting your head around that and what it really means and that enlightenment. It was the same thing as figuring out that guitar part and that lyric, it’s a big Eureka. It’s figuring out how it all works.

rp: When you were studying for the MCATs, when you were doing the Cyndi Lauper album was there a specific moment when you realized and was it at that time or when you were younger that you knew that music was pretty much going to be your life?

eb: It was when I saw the Beatles. That was it, I saw them and I said I want to be him, I want to be him, I want to be all four of them, that was it I just knew.

rp: It always comes back to the Beatles in Ed Sullivan and what was it about that that spoke to you?

eb: I never could really explain it, it was a non-verbal thing, it was just, I knew. I saw the joy that they were having, that the audience was having… To be able to stand up there and make beautiful music and have such a great time and have all those girls screaming at you and to be changing the world. I saw the power, I saw the power. And I knew that I could do it.

rp: That’s half the battle I think. I sometimes think the worst thing is knowing what you want to do and not knowing how to do it or not quite being, having, not even skill, because I think you can learn the skill. I think there is a huge difference between somebody that is technically good and artistically good. And I think you can be, I don’t know if technically good can ever transpire to artistically good.

eb: Well it’s a lot easier to go from artistically good to technically good. That’s the thing and that was really where… it took me years to learn that. I went after the technical side of it at first and I really piqued as a guitar player at 16. I hadn’t really addressed the songwriting issue yet. I was more into parroting stuff I heard on records and then into soloing, being the guitar player in a band, but in terms of telling a story through guitar playing, that took me years. That’s called growing a soul. And I went at it from that direction. It took me years. And I had to set the other thing aside for a while. And there was a sacrifice, I have never gotten back to my apex of technical proficiency. But I don’t really care that much. I don’t really miss it.

rp: I think there would be a lot of people that would disagree with you as far as the guitar playing.

eb: Well if they heard me when I was 16, they’d understand. And even if you listen to the Baby Grand stuff, there was guitar stuff on there that was just, I’ve never equaled on that level, on the technical level. But on the other hand, what I gained is so much greater than that. So much greater.

rp: So how did songwriting evolve for you?

eb: The thing is, that I was so young when the Beatles thing happened, that it didn’t really register, that songwriting was such an endeavor. I saw the credits on the records. It was all Lennon and McCartney, and George Harrison wrote a few, there were some covers, and I understood that at some point they sat down and wrote these songs but, that wasn’t my focus in the beginning. It didn’t even occur to me that I would write or that I would want to write songs. Then in my first band, my first real band when I was 16, the rhythm guitarist/lead singer of the band wrote the songs by himself, which was great. He wrote great songs. It was perfect. I arranged them and did all the guitar stuff and played some piano sometimes. And he was the singer songwriter. It wasn’t until The Who, it was Tommy, that made me really focus on the songwriting possibilities. I think it came from reading a Rolling Stone interview with Pete Townshend where he really got in depth about the writing of the album and how the whole story evolved and the songs and just seeing how the recurring themes, not just within the album itself but from album to album like the underchur theme was actually part of a song called "Rael" on The Who Sell Out, which to me just absolutely blew me away. It was so cool that he had transplanted a theme from one thing to another thing and that’s something that Pete Townshend has done a lot, like a song called "Pure And Easy" that was on his first solo album that is the ending of "The Song Is Over" from Who’s Next. He’s always done that which I think is an amazing thing. So that was when the song writing possibilities… but even then I didn’t really apply myself to it. I would write songs from time to time, but it wasn’t until much later in the Baby Grand days when I saw Rob and David do it and I learned a lot from watching there process, seeing how It worked, then they finally let me into the inner sanctum. I would write songs with them.

rp: There seems to be a threesome or a variation of that threesome that always works together and seems to do very well together. Let’s talk about Rob for a second. I know that you guys met in college, when? Do you remember the specific meeting?

eb: The exact moment. Well, I knew who Rob was. I had seen Wax perform a couple of times before then. And I remember him as just being the kind of like, way too serious guy sitting at the electric piano. Even then. Yeah- we were in this electronic music class together, it was a synthesizer class. They had a moog synthesizer, a real moog synthesizer, which was the size of that wall. And you could play one voice at a time on it. The thing with all the cables, you had to patch everything manually, you get a sound out of it. It was a small class at Penn and he was in the class and I recognized him from it. And then one day I was sitting on the floor with another guy in the class playing the acoustic guitar and Rob walked in and he was like, "Oh wow". And we got to be friends. Blah, blah, blah. One thing leads to another.

rp: How do you guys approach writing music together?

eb: How did we? Well, um, for years we would get together and play without trying to write music. We would just jam. Which was such a release for him, and for me, he was the first person I ever met that I could actually have a musical dialogue with. I could play, he could play. Just someone who had the skill and the creative insanity he had. It was just amazing. Then we wrote a couple of instrumentals together. It wasn’t until the end of the Baby Grand thing, when we started writing songs for our next band, which was going to become the Hooters, that he and I found our process. There were a couple of songs where we would jam out these song structures. We would always start with the music because that’s what came more easily to us. Then I think there was one song that I went off and write some lyrics to and one he went off and wrote some lyrics to, but the real moment where we clicked, where it really happened was January of 1980 at the original "Ranch", the Umbria Ranch in Manayunk where we wrote a song that became "All You Zombies". I remember so specifically how that happened. We already had decided we were going to do the Reggae Ska thing, as inspired by Madness, The Selectives, The Specials and it started out as an up tempo thing with those chord changes and we were trying to find something to sing to it and I remember specifically Rob slowed it down and started singing "All you people show your faces" that was it. Then I sang "All you people in the street", then together we went "all you sitting in high places" and then we were stuck for a last line, then I said can we do something with the all you people. Now he’s the one that actually said the word zombies, now it had the ring of familiarity to me and it took a while to realize it was a Robert Hyland story, a science fiction story. Wild story. It’s mostly been out of print. It’s this bizarre time travel paradox, gender bender thing. I think it was written in the early 60’s. That was it. We wrote that chorus and the next day we went in and it was the first time in my life I heard the voice in my head going "Holy Moses met the pharaoh", singing down in that octave. And that was it, we just knocked out those verses in an hour.

rp: Alright I want to stay with that for one second, "Shadow of Jesus", "One of Us", "All You Zombies", "Satellite", "Driving in England", "Saint Teresa", you know, I call them your God songs. So I looked all the lyrics up to see how many references there were to biblical or religion or God and you know…

eb: I don’t know. I don’t know.

rp: Are you a particularly religious person?

eb: No, I’m not at all religious. Obviously it has some sort of a pull on me because I keep going back to it. The Hooters songs, "Zombies", "Satellite", in those the God thing, the biblical thing they’re cultural icons. It’s story telling. Even "One of Us" I think is a human story. It’s not so much about God as it is about people, being God-like, if there is such a thing. So obviously there’s a whole thing going on that I’m unaware of just bubbling under the surface that keeps reaching out and grabbing. Jody Foster’s character in Contact, when they grill her, that’s me. When they ask her, do you and she can’t say she does, but in the end she does. I can’t quantify it. I have such respect for whatever the forces are, to give it a name, to make it finite in any way, I can’t do that. I don’t know if it is respect or awe or just laziness.

rp: So let’s go back up to the Hooters for a second. So with doing 3 weeks in Germany this summer, you’ve got one show in Philadelphia. Is that bittersweet?

eb: No, it’s just sweet. I wish we had more in Philadelphia. No, I don’t really care where we do a show as long as we have a great audience…and this is a, not an end, this is a beginning, this is not going to stop.

rp: That’s good, that’s very good, your fans will be very happy.

Yes, Oh yes, I mean. Everybody says, when are you going to do another record and I’m not even thinking about that. If it happens, it happens, but honestly, doing the show in Philadelphia made me realize something. People that come to our shows want to hear the hits, they don’t even want to hear new music. We have some fans that want to hear the new music, but in terms of the big audience that comes, they want to hear the hits, and you know, that’s what I want to play. We did that show at the Spectrum, we did it in 45 minutes, we did boom, in and out. A show shouldn’t be any longer than that.

rp: No, I think that’s going to be a great show. That’s going to be really cool, and it was funny ‘cause I heard an interview fairly recently with somebody, I forget who it was, it was a female and she said that they go in there and it’s like, Oh, did you even know I have a new album, ‘cause all they want to hear is the older stuff.

eb: Yeah, you know, I have my solo shows now to get my creative state, my creative performance off, because, I mean the thing with the band is, and I used to bang my head against the wall with this, there’s no room for spontaneity with that. We got up on stage and we knew every note we were going to play, every move we were going to make and I really resented it for a while. But, you know what, that’s the way that thing is, it’s just the way it is and you know, if you accept it for that and see the good in it, it’s a wonderful thing. And, I have my solo thing where I can get all soft and fuzzy and sarcastic and charm the audience with my biting wit and humor.

rp: Of all the things that you do, you know, you write music, you produce albums, songs, you’re a musician, you’re a performer, what do you want to do?

eb: I want to spend time with my kids! Yeah! No, what do I want to do, look, all of the above. The thing is, the thing that drives it is playing guitar. That’s the thing that gives me the most visceral gratification. But you’ve got to have something to play, so you have to write songs. You know, performing and playing guitar, playing guitar while performing, that’s my favorite thing to do. That’s what drives me, but it all works together. Although, I’ve found that working with great guitar players, like when I worked with Billy Idol, I had Steve Stevens, who is an amazing guitar player, a great guy and he was great to work with. He could play stuff that I couldn’t play, that I would have to really work at, it just sort of flows out of him and as I was working I’d say, "Can you do that again?" and he’d develop that and it was amazing. But ultimately, I’m a hands on guy with that.

rp: When an artist comes to work with you, do you have a plan in mind, or how does that all…

eb: I can have a plan in mind, but, honestly, plans are like, whatever… I try to have it, sort of, mapped out. I just know that I’m going to get in and it’s going to work. It will be done on time and it will be as good as it can possibly be. Sometimes I have to formulate a plan for the business types. They want a production schedule, you know, here’s what we’re going to do, but once we’re in there, it is what it is.

rp: Tell me a studio story.

eb: Well, let’s see, there’s one, it just popped into my head. It was recording Amanda Marshall, which was just… She was the one who ignited my producer gland, ‘cause up until her, you know, I was on the production team with Cyndi, Joan and the Hooters stuff, but I didn’t really feel like taking on that heartache of being responsible for a whole thing. I think, I love writing songs, playing stuff, putting in my two cents, but Amanda was the first time I thought, you know, I want to do this thing from soup to nuts. Uh, with her I really wanted to get into it. Part was because I liked her so much and part of it was because she was the best singer I ever heard in my life. She’s just an amazing, phenomenal talent. So, the last thing we did here was a song called, "If I Didn’t Have You," and she was on a flight at noon back to Toronto. This was it, this was the end and we had this track. We had it for the last run of the song writing. We loved the track, but we didn’t like the song, and we started and we punched the track up, got all this cool stuff going on and it wasn’t until about three or four in the morning that we started addressing the- OK, how did the song really go, and around seven or eight in the morning was when we really landed on the chorus, on the big hook, and we were ready to go- ready to record that vocal. I remember, I had a new mic I was trying out and I set it up at the end of the room downstairs ‘cause I had some acoustic treatment there. I remember, she did this vocal and there was one point at the end when I said, " I want you to hold this note as long as you possibly can and then do a dazzling malysma riff afterwards, and she did. And I remember, at the end of that take, I was just as out of breath as she was and just thinking, being actually sad, because it was very possible that I would never record a better vocal than that for as long as I live.

rp: Who are some of your favorite artists?

eb: Currently? Over time, you know, starting with the Beatles and Stones, earlier Stones. I like them with Brian Jones. To me they suck without Brian Jones. T Rex, The Who, Frank Zappa, and I went through my Fusion days with Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To Forever, Bill Bruford’s first solo album is genius. Yes, I was into the real progressive stuff for a while, one stage of Genesis, before they turned into a pop thing, U2, Springsteen, actually, in a way, Springsteen was as inspiring as the Beatles. Just to see the live possibilities. You know, there’s never been a better live performer than him. I saw him 30 times in a year in ’73-’74, and actually, here’s the surprise, The Dead. I was way into The Dead. I saw them a bunch of times early on and, to this day, I’d say Jerry Garcia really inspired me as a guitarist. He still does. And Bob Weir, too. His chordal thing, his sort of orchestral way of doing melodies inside, he’s very John Lennon-like. I’m sure no one’s ever compared him to John Lennon but really the result was the same. They would create this whole orchestral thing with a single guitar.

rp: And outside of Revolver, is there any other album that is just way up there for you?

eb: Oh, tons of them. The first Bruford solo album, Mahavishnu Orchestra’s Birds of Fire, Tommy, My Generation, Todd Lundgren’s Hermit of Mink Hollow, Jean-Pierre Rampal and Claude Bolling’s "Suite For Flute and Jazz Piano," The Shaggs’ Own Thing, that particular album, Autosalvage, that’s one of their records that’ll never come out on CD, it’s a New York band, 1966. Quicksilver Messenger’s first album, "Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica and Radio Head’s OK Computer has become that for me lately. Sigur Rós, The Untitled Album is growing on me, but the one I really like is the one before that Ágætis Byrjun. The first Nordman album, Har Och Nu, Värttinä’s Kokko, the list goes on and on.

rp: What was your favorite project of all time?

eb: The Hooters, absolutely, hands down. At it’s best. And of all that, I’d say, Amore and Nervous Night were the most exciting.

rp: What is your favorite memory of the Hooters?

eb: There are moments on stage- one of them is in Melbourne, Australia and realizing, at some point in the show, that I’d forgotten that I wasn’t at home and it felt so much like we were playing toward a Philadelphia audience. That was a live one. In the studio, actually, the last week of recording Nervous Night during which we re-wrote all of the verses, melodies and lyrics and half of the choruses. After spending months and months on these tracks and then realizing that the songs were not that good and just catching the magic and doing it all at the last minute.

rp: Is there a moment in your career that you’ll never forget?

eb: Writing "One Of Us." Thinking more about it, things that really stand out are more periods of time where I was just feeling more creative. It would be like things that would last for a couple of weeks, like working on the Hooters’ record. Rob and I went away a lot to write songs. Sometimes just the two of us, sometimes with Rick. We went away to the Poconos. And I just remember those. Like the first time we went away, Rob and I went to this resort called Pocmont near Bushkill Falls and it was like a geriatric resort, but it was perfect. We had a couple of rooms and I think we had like two halves of this building, I set up my little studio and we just had the best time. We were just laughing, watching stupid stuff on TV and getting ideas and recording them. It was during that that we wrote the germ of And We Danced. Writing One Of Us came during, that was a very creative period time too, just writing the whole Joan thing. But that night, writing that and I talk about this all the time, but you know, it really was, the planets lined up and said here’s a song that is going to change your life. Use it well.

rp: Who have you always dreamed of working with?

eb: Besides the Beatles, and I came so close with Ringo this last swing. But it’s funny, at some point I realized that I didn’t necessarily want to work with the people that I really admire. I don’t know why. You know I’d love to work with Paul McCartney on the one hand, but on the other hand, there’s no way he’d listen to me and I would beat the crap out of him. I’d slap him silly, I’d say Paul, what are you thinking? You’re the guy that wrote I’m Down, you’re the guy that sang Long Tall Sally, you know, you’re the guy that wrote For No One, what are you doing with this "Freedom, I will fight for my right to freedom", you know, he’s like the sleeping Paul.

rp: I guess it’s like maybe you’d find out something about people you have a lot of respect for that makes them more human.

eb: Well that has happened. And I’ve met Paul and he’s amazing. I mean he was just so nice and gracious. George was too, rest his soul. And Ringo, God almighty, I mean I’ve never met anybody that made me feel more comfortable, cultural icon or not. He walked in, he hugged me, he was just Ringo. I would love to work with him and I think I will. Then there’s Pete Townshend, but I’ve heard that he can be a bitch to work with. Lenny Kravitz, who I have just total respect for, but he doesn’t need me. That’s the thing, most of the people I really admire, they don’t need me.

rp: But it’s kind of interesting to think of the different perspective you can bring to something. You make a pot of soup, you don’t need to have the carrot in there, but the carrot is going to bring something.

eb: That’s what you hope for. But I guess really that the people I would aspire to work with would be the people who don’t do what I do. You know, great singers, that’s why working with Amanda was so inspiring. She can do one of the things I absolutely can’t do, which is be an amazing female singer. Anastacia, I think is amazing. She might be as good as Amanda as a singer. My friend Billy Mann is working with her and played me something he did with her and it was, I gotta do something with this girl. When Joan told me she was going out with the Dead, I got to admit, I was a little jealous, because they got somebody else being Jerry Garcia. And that should have been me. You know my dream gig for years? I wanted to be the other guitarist in the Who. I had this fantasy that someday Pete Townshend was going to want me to play all the electric guitar parts while he played the acoustic, and years later when he was having this tendonitis thing, he actually did that. He got another guy to play the electric guitar part and that killed me that that wasn’t me. Same thing as when Antonio Banderas got to play Zorro, that was my part.

rp: Obviously life changes after you have kids. Do you find yourself, besides the obvious stuff, having to deal with kids, being a father and all that kind of stuff, have you noticed any difference in your songwriting?

eb: No just, not that I can be objective about. My perspective on life has changed, so that’s found it’s way in I’m sure.

rp: What brings you joy?

eb: A rare moment of peace. Being out here late at night, and just hearing 2 notes in my head, and when the sun comes up, having a complete thing that expresses perfectly something that I was feeling. Laying down next to one of my kids, or both my kids and going to sleep. Putting this guy to bed is nice (gesturing to his son, Simon). Reading with him or having Simon read to me. The first time you ever read to me, that was joy. And physical activity brings me joy. Mountain biking and skiing. All those things that I don’t do enough.

rp: What’s your favorite milkshake?

eb: Actually it would probably be vanilla ice cream with Heath Bar. That actually would be a Blizzard. It’s a Heath Bar Blizzard.

rp: Yeah, he’s (my husband) more of a purist.

eb: Yeah, vanilla. Yeah, I’m a purist too, like with pizza, plain. I only eat plain pizza.

rp: What are you most proud of?

eb: All of this. I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve managed to make some timeless music for the rest of the world and at the same time have this family and this home. And people come here and just enjoy it so much. Like this past Monday, when I had Matt Nathanson and his cellist and the manager here. They were just freaking out over the studio and the yard and then Sarah made everybody dinner, and we’re sitting outside and I just see these guys lighting up. When everything works, that’s joy, when everything works.

rp: And what do you want to be remembered for?

eb: Making people happy.

rp: Do you have down time?

eb: Oh hell yeah. All the time.

rp: What do you like to do in your downtime?

eb: Oh you mean downtime, like relaxing time. That’s Sweden. The first part of the summer, when I get over there and I just deflate. I sleep for the first week and then I read voraciously. I read 10 books last summer. I can get some downtime here too. When I’m finished working I need to decompensate. No, no.no.

rp: Decompress?

eb: Decompress, not decompensate. Then I’ll go in the house, that’s when I’ll just sit on line, and read the news and my email and play these ridiculous computer games. And physical activity, mountain biking. I just discovered that this year. Scott turned me on to it. On the one hand it’s really relaxing and on the other hand it’s so intense. Not just the physical demand, but the mental demand. You know, you lose concentration for one second and you’re toast.

rp: Yeah, I know that all too well. And the last thing I want to know is when you get into, not necessarily a rut, but let’s say, you keep musically going back to the same flavor of music and all that kind of stuff and you want to be different, how do you break out of that? You know some people will pick up a left-handed guitar if they’re right-handed…

eb: I just pick up another instrument. Or you know, I’ll try to alter myself chemically. No. Or sometimes I’ll watch a movie or read a book.

One thing we didn’t talk about was the whole photography thing. And that was a major thing. And between 15 and 17…

rp: I didn’t know that.

eb: Yeah, you know at one point it was kind of neck in neck. Playing music and taking pictures of it. I had this whole routine down where I would go to the Electric Factory, the real Electric Factory, on a Friday afternoon, I’d be the first in line with my camera. During the show, I would photograph, I would take 10 rolls of film, go back, go home and develop the film, let it dry overnight, then I’d spend all day in the darkroom printing. Then I’d go back down in the late afternoon, sell the prints to kids in line, and then when I got in, I would get right up front and hand a few to the band. And as often as not, they would send somebody out to find me, and buy more pictures from me. And I got to be friends with some of the bands, I got to be friends with Ten Years After, Rod Stewart was a big fan of the photos I would take. And Elton John, his manager bought a bunch of stuff from me. But I have some amazing photos. I mean I’ve got pictures of The Who the night Tommy came out in the US, I’ve got the Stones on their ’69 tour. I’ve got Hendrix. I’ve got Cream. And over time, the prints I’ve given away and lost, but my cousin, I had given him all my negatives for safe keeping. He just brought them all over, so I have a huge box filled with years and years of negatives.

rp: Well that’s it for me.

eb: Okay! Boy that was good!