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What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?

Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Never One for Striped Trousers: Talking Shop with Steve Howe


Rock gods typically fall into two distinct camps: the ones who live off heroic deeds of yesteryear and the ones who plug along, pushing themselves because they can’t live any other way.

We can think of numerous instances of the former group, some of whom are on an endless loop of remunerative “farewell tours”—and more power to them. As always, so long as people are happy to pay them, why should they have any objection to separating fools from their money?

There is not, on the other hand, a surplus of the latter category: the artists that are (rightly) comfortable celebrating past achievements, but are compelled to reside in the here-and-now while ceaselessly contemplating tomorrow. When it comes to the great guitar players, that list is small, indeed. Age, boredom, lack of inspiration or just plain laziness all conspire to deprive artists of their chops. Simply put, disconcerting numbers of these former icons cannot duplicate the licks they laid down several decades ago, and they can’t be bothered to try.

It is therefore refreshing and encouraging that Steve Howe, undeniable prog-rock deity, is able to do his classic compositions justice while still exploring and discovering new ways to express himself. I had the welcome opportunity to speak with him as he prepared for the big American tour Yes has planned for this summer (after three months in Europe).


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