* Surfer Blood, PIONEERS! O PIONEERS (Final Show) , Imaginary Air Show @ Vinyl Music Hall 04/29/13


“On Oct. 27, 2013 Todd Vilardi shared the influence of Lou Reed on his Facebook page. Following Reed’s death that day, Vilardi posted a photo of the Velvet Underground, Reed’s high school picture, and a paragraph about his legacy.

‘sometimes it is blue, and sometimes it is green’ was Vilardi’s last post that day. The words were a quote from the audio artwork/radio broadcast of Delia Derbyshire & Barry Bermange’s “Colours” which accompanied the post.

The last time I saw Vilardi, he was enjoying an evening with his wife Shannon. We talked a bit and laughed a lot. Then he smiled. It was beautiful watching Vilardi play and even more powerful seeing him smile. It was the gift he gave whenever he listened to, talked about and played music.

Vilardi was music. No matter how many times I saw him, no matter where he was, or however long that moment lasted, I was always moved.

Todd Arturo Vilardi died on Oct. 28, 2013″  – Excerpt from my November 8, 2013 Pensacola News Journal Music Matters column.

One of the last times I saw Todd play was with his band Imaginary Air Show at Vinyl Music Hall. West Palm Beach, Florida rock band Surfer Blood were headliners of the show that included Imaginary Air Show and the final performance of O Pioneers! O Pioneers!

– Michael L. Smith



MICHAEL SMITH: This is my crazy question, I always have to ask you a crazy question; you can only pick one…would you want people to make love, get married or fight to the music of Ballyhoo!?

HOWI SPANGLER: Make love, man. Make love. Yeah, we were in California playing and this girl came up, and basically, her boyfriend told us that they have sex to our music, so that’s pretty rad.


(taken from my interview with the Ballyhoo! frontman for the Pensacola News Journal’s Music Matters column ahead of their show at Vinyl Music Hall).

Michael Hulin-Smith


* dada 20th anniversary tour: dada, 7Horse, Jerad Finck, Elyse Therose. 02/25/2013

Martin Scorsese knows music. The Hollywood director, whose track record of iconic films includes Raging Bull and Taxi Driver, is known for assembling songs to capture the mood of his movies.


His most recent film, 2013’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” is faithful to Scorsese’s formula of flowing rock n’ roll throughout a film’s journey. One of the most popular songs from the film is is “Meth Lab Zoso Sticker” by 7Horse. The song was originally released in 2011 on their album “Let the 7Horse Run”. The California duo is made of Phil Leavitt (drums/lead vocals) and Joie Calio (guitars and vocals) who also play with Michael Gurley in 90’s rock band dada.




20 years after the release of dada’s debut album “Puzzle”, the group celebrated by hitting the road for an anniversary tour, but on a night that included Elyse Therose, Jerad Finck and dada playing their biggest hit “Dizz Knee Land”, 7Horse also performed.

Exactly 10 months before  “The Wolf of Wall Street”  Christmas day release date,  7Horse played “Meth Lab Zoso Sticker” at Vinyl Music Hall.

– Michael L. Smith




* Dark Star Orchestra @ Vinyl Music Hall 02/19/2013 + INTERVIEW W/ ROB KORITZ 02/19/13

Donna Jean Godchaux started her career singing vocals on legendary recordings of artists like Elvis Presley and Percy Sledge. On February 19, 2013, the Grateful Dead vocalist performed with the Dark Star Orchestra at Vinyl Music Hall in Pensacola, Florida.


The woman whose voice is found on “Suspicious Minds”, “When a Man Loves a Woman” and other recordings from her days as a session singer at legendary Muscle Shoals Sound and Fame studios is still making her voice heard.

Deadheads were treated to a special concert as the wife of late Grateful Dead keyboardist Keith Godchaux played with one of the world’s greatest Grateful Dead tribute bands.

One week before the concert, I interviewed Dark Star Orchestra drummer Rob Koritz for the Pensacola News Journal Music Matters column.

– Michael Hulin-Smith


Rob Koritz Full Interview

MS: How did a classical and jazz drummer end up in the greatest Grateful Dead tribute band in the world?

RK: (laughs) That’s a great question. Even though I was studying classical and then studying jazz, I was still a Deadhead all the time. That was really when I was getting into the Dead and listening to jazz and even classical and other styles. I could hear where the Grateful Dead’s influences were coming from. Jazz is all over what they’re doing. I just became a really big Deadhead and then, while I was here in St. Louis playing legitimate gigs, for lack of a better term, jazz gigs, original bands and all that, I started playing in a Grateful Dead coverband with the other drummer and that’s pretty much how it happened. And I did that for a lot of years and left that to pursue some other things and a couple of years later, found out about Dark Star and they brought me in and that’s pretty much how it started almost 14 years ago.

MS: What’s the coolest about this entire Dark Star Orchestra experience for you?

RK: Probably, the very coolest thing about it has been the opportunity to play with so many of my heroes. I got to play with pretty much every member of the Grateful Dead, a bunch of other bands who’ve had a huge influence on me growing up. It’s actually kind of neat to have them sit in with us and gotten to play with them. That’s something I never could have imagined when I started playing with this group. That a pretty cool thing.

Is there one highlight, one particular moment where it just blew your mind that you were playing with this person?

RK: If I had to pick one time that really got me, it was probably one of the earlier ones. It was in 2002, the first time Bob Weir came and played with us at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco. At that point, we hadn’t really played with anybody. I think we might have played with Donna at that point. We hadn’t played with a whole lot of Grateful Dead guys and I was just like, “Wow. This is amazing. I can’t believe he wants to play with us. He’s enjoying himself.” He’s very talented.

MS: I know the thing is, with fans especially, with the new deadheads growing up, who didn’t get to see the Dead, what’s been the response from the next generation of deadheads for you?

RK: That’s actually one of the coolest things about this gig. Is getting to play this music for so many people who didn’t get to see it when it was performed by the Grateful Dead. First of all, I think it’s just so amazing, it’s really a testament to the music that there’s still new fans coming on almost 20 years after the band stopped performing. It shows how important this music is in the American music vernacular. I think it’s great that they want to come out. Hopefully, we’re doing it justice and turning them on and giving them a little, very little taste of what the Dead might have been like back in the day.

MS: Aside from the Grateful Dead, what kind of music did you listen to growing up?

RK: I grew up listening to country, the oldies, reggae, early rap and hip hop, classical, rock n’ roll, jazz. You know, pretty much almost everything, even show tunes, playing show orchestras. I literally listened to everything. I still do. The only stuff that I don’t listen to is really heavy metal and speed metal and stuff like that. And not a real big fan of new country either. When I listen to country music I like to listen to the old guys.

MS: The original guys like Haggard and Cash.

RK: Yeah, Willie and Waylon. Kris Kristofferson, Hank Williams, there’s a ton of great old country. I don’t really listen to the new stuff, contemporary country.

MS: How did you make the transition from listening to actually playing music?

RK: I started playing, I got a snare drum and six months of drum lessons on my 7th birthday. It was “Six months and see how it goes.” And that’s what the present was. I started playing when I was seven and started taking lessons and took lessons from seven years old all the way through graduating from college.

MS: You went to the University of Arizona.

RK: I did my classical stuff at the University of Arizona, yeah.

MS: What is the most challenging part of the music you’re playing now?

RK: The most challenging part of this music these days is, part of it is you have to be challenged to listen. You can’t play this music, especially with two drummers, without being totally aware of what every other person onstage is doing. That’s the only way improvisation works. So, the biggest challenge is keeping your ears open all the time. Second challenge is trying to get the eras right that we play. Making sure that stylistically I’m playing in the 1970’s or 1980’s and doing that justice while at the same time, I get to express myself creatively and still be me. That’s the only real big challenge.

MS: We all know there’s rabid, diehard Grateful Dead fans, so I can imagine the concerts; what’s the craziest thing you’ve seen at one of your concerts?

RK: Oh man, I don’t know. I’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff. I couldn’t give you an answer on that. I’d have to think about what’s the absolute craziest thing I’ve ever seen at a concert. I don’t know. There’s lot of different things. Definitely, just when you think you’ve seen it all, something else happens.

MS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

RK: As in music?

MS: Yes.

RK: That’s a great question. Sorry, this is my last day at home before I start this tour. Great question, no one’s ever even asked me that question in all the interviews I’ve done.

MS: Thank you.

RK: Play for the song. Don’t worry about playing for yourself and trying to fit in everything you know how to play. Play for the song. Play to do the right kind of accompaniment. Play for the singer. Play, if it even means playing simple, you play completely simple; you just play what’s right for that song.

MS: That’s excellent advice. A lot of guys don’t do that. They try to put everything in one song.

RK: Yeah, like, “Hey, look at me.” And that’s not what it’s about. It should be “Hey, listen to us.”

MS: who shared that with you?

RK: Gosh, you know. I’ve heard it from a couple of different people, but I remember hearing it from my band leaders and when I got into college studying jazz and then you can pretty much, I grew up reading-I still read it-all the Modern Drummer magazines and I don’t think you can go through an issue without seeing an article where somebody said that because it’s just the most important thing.

MS: what would Rob of today, tell a younger Rob just starting out?

RK: Practice more. That’s an easy one. (laughs) Practice more, be more dedicated.

MS: Are you pretty tough on yourself? Are you pretty critical of your work?

RK: Yeah, I’m probably my worst critic, for sure. I’ve gotten better at it over the years. I’ve learned how to let go of things because they happen so fast. I’d be mad at myself for something I did, but it happens so fast, the audience doesn’t even notice it. It’s all in your head. So I’ve learned to let go a lot.

MS: As far as being a family man and an artist, how do you juggle it all with the tour, and everything?

RK: It’s really hard; today’s the hardest day of the year for me. I’m about to leave, it’s only January. I’m about to leave tonight for the longest tour of the year, what will be our longest tour in 2013. I’m leaving tonight. I’m going to kiss my wife and my 19 month old son goodbye. It will be over a month before I see them again. That’s the tough part, but we all chose to do it. I think that’s every artist’s dilemma. You don’t want to choose between your family and what you love to do, so you have to find a way to do them both, but it’s definitely very hard when it comes time to leave to go on the road.

MS: This is my crazy food question; do you prefer crunchy or creamy peanut butter?

RK: Do I what?

MS: Do you prefer crunch or creamy peanut butter?

RK: (Laughs) That’s funny. I had a peanut butter and jelly last night and it was crunchy. It was crunchy. It was honey roast crunchy.

MS: Is there anything else you want the fans to know?

RK: I want them to know that they are what we’re doing, we do it because we love this music and it’s that important to us. I want them to bring a friend. And anybody that might be skeptical because we’re a cover band or tribute band, or whatever you want to call it, Deadheads can be pretty particular fans, give it a chance because, most times, you come out and give it a chance, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you hear.


* Alan Parsons Live Project, That 1 Guy, Wolff @ Vinyl Music Hall + INTERVIEW W/ ALAN PARSONS 02/21/13

“I’ve been talking about Pink Floyd for 40 years and I think it’s time to stop now…I realized that it’s the 40 anniversary and everything, but they’ve made millions and I haven’t.”  Alan Parsons


Alan Parsons shut the door on “The Dark Side of the Moon” with one sentence. Not many artists can turn their back on a chapter in their life that includes one of the best selling albums of all time, but there aren’t many artists like Alan Parsons.

His earliest gig took him to Abbey Road to work with The Beatles. “The Dark Side of the Moon” is one of many projects. Parsons is proudest of the Alan Parsons Project.

Parsons chose Vinyl Music Hall in Pensacola, Florida as one of eight venues for the 2013 Alan Parsons Live Project U.S. tour.


One month before the Pensacola concert, I called Parsons as part of my feature for the Pensacola News Journal. We talked about life, music and his career. His upcoming tour was billed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the release of “The Dark Side of the Moon”, but Parsons would have none of that.

AP:  You’re in Pensacola, right?

MS: Yes, sir. Pensacola, Florida.

AP: And it’s a newspaper?

MS: Yes, sir. The Pensacola News Journal. I’m a music columnist. We’re honored to have you. I know that there are only eight select cities that you’re doing the Alan Parsons Live Project. So I do appreciate that. Thank you.

AP: No problems, no problems.

MS: Alan Parsons Live Project is a special treat for music lovers. What are you most excited about sharing during these special performances?

AP: We’ve been doing this about as long as you might think and only since 95’ that I’ve been playing live and, considering we made our last album in 87’, that was quite a wait. We’re there to entertain; we’re there to share the hits with people who haven’t heard them live. It’s a very different experience having the hits in a live situation instead of a recorded situation. We’ve had really good reactions in general to the live shows. Although, I’m sorry to say that Pensacola isn’t one of them, we’re doing a show in Clearwater, Florida with a symphony orchestra which is going to be really fun. In fact that’s a real opportunity to recreate some of the (phone cuts out)

MS: 40 years, “The Dark Side of the Moon.” What is the greatest memory you have from that ambitious project?

AP: Too long ago. Sorry. You know what, I hate to be boofy on this, I’ve been talking about Pink Floyd for 40 years and I think it’s time to stop now.

MS: That’s fine with me. You have a body of work that’s amazing.

AP: I realized that it’s the 40 anniversary and everything, but they’ve made millions and I haven’t (distinguished English laugh)

MS: In a recent interview you stated that you really weren’t considered a musician on the Alan Parsons Project, but with all of the titles you’ve earned; engineer, artist, musician and now actor as well, how do you consider yourself?

AP: (laughs) The acting thing is just an amusing side, I don’t know if it will go anywhere. My wife gave me a couple of acting lessons for my birthday. I’m excited about it. I’ve had a couple of small parts in movies. I come from a family of actors; Oliver Reed is my cousin, my great grandfather was Sir Herbert Beerbohm celebrated contemporary of Oscar Wilde and both my mother and uncle were…it’s a new sideline.

MS: With everything you’ve been through; your experience, what would Alan Parsons of today tell a younger Alan just starting out?

AP: I think I was probably predestined to be in recording because I was always interested in recording. I studied piano. I was a recording enthusiast amateur when I was young. I did have an enthusiasm for recording from a very early age. I kind of went on a quest to find out more and bid my way through school towards a job in a recording studio.

MS: As far as recording, decades after you started in this industry, Dave Grohl and his band the Foo Fighters won a Grammy for their album recorded on tape. How do you see this affecting the recording and engineering of records now?

AP: It is different. You don’t see tape machines anymore. Everything is recorded to computer like most things computers have completely taken over the world and recording is just like anything else. I still use essentially old school techniques and I don’t sit at a computer, I still sit at a console and work with music and performances and I leave them.

MS: This is a crazy question; do you ever have friends come over and say, “Alan, I just got a new studio system or home system. Can you check it out and tell me if it is good or not.” Do they ask you that?

AP: Almost every day of my life. Yeah. It’s one thing to be considered the next artist. I don’t think I often seriously help people in that problem. What I have done, I don’t know if it’s in the bio, but I did a DVD series about sound and sound recording. So that was an attempt to pass on some of my knowledge to others in a more general sense.

MS: With so much knowledge you have, I can’t even imagine trying to pass that down, but I have looked at the series.

AP: In ten hours of video you can get quite a lot of information across apart from going to someone’s house and saying, “Yeah, you made the right choice there and the wrong choice there.”

MS: Would The Beatles have survived in today’s music industry? Would they have “made it”, would they have succeeded in today’s industry?

AP: I think so. Had they never happened and they happened now, I think Beatlemania would be just as strong as it was. They really did have something that nobody else has ever emulated. So yeah, I think they would make it.

MS: Of all the artists you’ve worked with, who blew your mind like nobody else?

AP: There is one guy and he is perhaps less unknown to American audiences, his name is Roy Wood and he was one of the founding members of ELO and he was also in The Move, way back. He’s just an incredible musician and as a producer, he has every note in his head before he goes into the studio. He has such an amazing sense of what he wants to achieve in music. And he’s a great player too. He can pick up just about any instrument and play it.

MS: As far as your musicianship, how often do you practice?

AP: Oh, I don’t practice at all; I’m really just a rhythm guitarist in the back row. I have to do some practice with the tour coming up. My main role in recording is being an engineer and producer and I’ve been doing quite a lot of that lately with other artists. I just an album with Steven Wilson, if you know who that is, so yeah, I’ve been concentrating on activities outside the Alan Parsons solo efforts.


MS: With all the experience you have, what is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

AP:  I think just the experience, I wouldn’t say the advice, just the experience of working with some of the best in the business and obviously the people in Pink Floyd and the associated producers and engineers were all incredibly influential on the way my career materialized and I’ll always be grateful for that, just having the experience of working with so many great artists and producers and engineers. You could hardly ask for a better upbringing than Abbey Road Studios, working with the greatest records of all times remains.

MS: What’s your fondest memory of Abbey Road? I can only imagine, so many things happened there, but is there one moment that sticks out in your mind?

AP: Not really. Every day was an experience. I just remember walking up the steps every day. I was on the staff, it was my job. Walking up those steps every day and saying “Wow. This is the best job that anybody could ever ask for. I just felt very blessed and very lucky to be there and being paid for it to boot.

MS: With your body of work-there are so many things that you’ve done-what do you feel is your greatest contribution to music history?

AP: I’m very proud of the Alan Parsons Project. In particular, the first couple of albums, I’d be happy to be remembered for those if nothing else.

MS: Do you prefer crunchy or creamy peanut butter?

AP: (laughs) You know, I like creamy. In the U.K. crunchy didn’t exist until I was probably 10, 11, 12, years old and I loved it then. And I like almond butter in particular. I think almond butter is better tasting.

MS: We have good food here. I hope you have time to enjoy the South here in Pensacola, especially because we have great food. We’re on the water so it’s…

AP: What’s the local specialty there?

MS: It’s seafood. Seafood is the biggest thing here, but there’s everything for you here. When you come downtown, there’s so much here.

AP: We’re big seafood lovers, my wife and I. My wife’s family used to-or still does own a crab restaurant in Pennsylvania.

MS: Oh wow. Then you’ll be right at home here. We have great seafood here. Do you still have time to shop for vinyl when you go traveling?

AP: I pretty much stopped vinyl, I have a record player, but I haven’t used it very often. But I realize that there’s an upsurge in vinyl sales and when we put out our boxed set of Alan Parsons in the summer, there might be a new release on vinyl as well.

MS: Mr. Parsons, my last question for you; is there anything you would like to add for the fans coming out to Pensacola, Florida to see you?

AP: Please come. I know that there are still tickets available. I’d love to fill the place. I’m sure, especially if they’re fans of the music, they won’t be disappointed with the live show.

–          Michael L. Smith


* The Pretty Things Peepshow @ Vinyl Music Hall. 02/14/13

A burlesque show on Valentine’s Day.


The Pretty Things Peepshow provided a special treat for couples at Vinyl Music Hall. The company, which was formed in New York by Go-Go Amy, returned with Donny Vomit, Lil’ Miss Firefly, Vivacious Miss Audacious and The Two Man Gentleman Band to the popular Pensacola, Florida venue.

-Michael L. Smith




* The Marshall Tucker Band, Timberhawk @ Vinyl Music Hall + INTERVIEW W/ DOUG GRAY 02/17/13

My father is rarely impressed. Be it by nature or by spending a lifetime in the Navy, seeing things he would never forget and things he wishes he could.

Pop stopped by the office to treat me to lunch after my interview with Doug Gray, founding member of The Marshall Tucker Band. I was interviewing Gray for the Music Matters column of the Pensacola News Journal.

Gray was in between 40 years since their biggest hit “Can’t You See” was released on their self-titled, debut album and one week away from their concert with local support from Timberhawk at Vinyl Music Hall.


Gray called a few minutes early.

DG: I just wanted to make sure that I called. It’s either supposed to be 10:15 A.M. or 10:30 A.M. I can’t keep up with my publicist, you know.

MS: Thank you, Doug. Let me tell you a quick story; I told my father that I was interviewing you, He served in the Navy and he told me, he lit up, he never lights up when I tell him I’m interviewing somebody, but he lit up when I told him that I was interviewing Doug Gray because he used to listen to you on all the bases and he was impressed.

DG: Tell him to light up a little bit more; I was a sergeant in Vietnam myself.

MS: Thank you for your service (I yell to my father) Pop! Come here while we talk. My father’s walking in right now. I’ll ask you the first question; Mr. Gray, you said that you were a sergeant, where again?

DG: I was in Vietnam in 67, 68…

Pop: Oh, man, I was in the 10th grade then. How are you doing, sir?

DG: You know, I’m just riding around, man. I doing these interviews making people think I’m young. (We all laugh)

MS: The Marshall Tucker Band is tagged as a Southern rock band, but I always saw you as a rock band with a lot of influences. For example, your solo album “Soul of the South”. What kind of music did you listen to growing up?

DG: I grew up in Spartanburg, South Carolina so, believe it or not, we had more rhythm and blues and bands like The Tams and the Four Tops and stuff like that, so if you listen to “Soul of the South” you’re listening to something that was my particular choice of music at the time. Soulful stuff that you could bed your woman and dance with her and do all that crazy stuff. I was basically listening to B.B. King and we don’t live to far from where James Brown hung out all the time. I used to go and I’d be the only white guy that could sneak in and get away with it at the auditorium here. Man, I’d sneak in and go in there and talk to the band and end up hanging out with them ‘til four or five in the morning. I learned not a lot about music, I just learned a lot about people. That enabled me to go out there and still do what we do today and then all of a sudden, we end up last year, we played the Grand Ole Opry doing country music. So, I really don’t know what kind of band we really are.

MS: With the history of touring, recording and performing, what’s been the most amazing part of this entire Marshall Tucker Band experience for you?

DG: The most amazing part is, if you look out there and you see kids 20 years old dancing and singing the lyrics to our songs. That’ s the most amazing part of it all. And I know it’s because that they’re in a lot of movies and beer commercials and stuff like that, but when they hear new bands, I mean, let’s face it, Zac Brown is doing one of our songs at the end of his show. Then you got groups like Poison which I never really listened to, but you got groups like that and then you got a new country band coming out called Parmalee,  I haven’t really heard the song, but they’re doing one of our songs too, so I guess that could be the reason that a lot of these young people coming to see us and we still get our old people. I’m 64 years old man, they’re coming to see the guy that landed from that place on the moon, you know what I mean?




MS: Yes, sir. That leads to my next question; with everything you’ve seen so far in the new generations coming up, what can fans expect on this new tour?

DG: In all honesty, we never stopped touring. We originally had the original band that lasted eight years and then we never stopped touring; we took off whenever one of our comrades in 1980, he died in a car wreck and we stopped for about four months and didn’t do anything. So we continuously play. We don’t set up for one tour and go out and work the whole year and play that same show. We play our favorite show every night because there’s something like 23 or 33 CDs out there worth of music and we’re known to stand up there and change it around at any time, and I think that’s what keeps a lot of people coming back and that’s what’s going to make people come back this time.

MS: As far as live shows, when was the moment that you decided to let the audience sing “Can’t You See?”

DG: Well, when I realized when Toy was no longer in the band, when he decided to stay at home before he passed away, which was about 30 years ago. I just decided that there would be a time, since that was, I sing 99 percent of those songs, so Toy needed to sing that song because he was testifying. That was his way of testifying, was to sing that song. And now you look out there and men and women and children, Indian chiefs and crazy people and all these people are singing that song. And what I did was 30 years ago, I just decided that I would stick that microphone out there since it’s been played and nominated for all these different things, I stick that microphone out there and they enjoy it the same way as the way that they’re enjoying it, just singing my heart out along with them.

MS: On that same note, the songs been recorded by so many people-nothing compares to the original, but who has come the closest to doing it right, doing your favorite version of can’t you see?

DG: I think Zac Brown’s doing it right now. Zac Brown has my nephew in the band so I had to give him a little slide there, you know. (We laugh) He’s the one that gets out there and sings that song, you pull it up on Youtube, it will knock you out man. His name is Clay Cook and he studied with me when he was 15 until he was 25 then he went off to Berklee (College of Music) and wrote some stuff with John Mayer and then he went to Zac Brown and now he’s producing a band called Blackberry Smoke. What you got is a bunch of guys who know how to play and somebody’s kind of directing traffic. That’ what we all need.

MS: Well, Mr. Gray, I just have two more questions for you. I thank you for your time. There’s a lot of mystery surrounding “Can’t You See”, it’s almost like “Stairway to Heaven”. What really inspired Toy to write it?

DG: Well, what I think it had to be was, every time, regardless, times have changed and I’m so glad that they have, time’s changed from a long time ago when a woman could scream at a man and get away with it, a man could scream at a woman and get away with it and to be able to testify through the words “Can’t you see what that woman’s been doing to me?” I’m going to find me a hole in the wall, I’m going to crawl inside and die” that used to be what it’s all about.  With Toy, I thought we all grew up in that period of time, he wasn’t talking about his wife, he wasn’t talking about anything except for maybe what he saw going around.  Some of that song primarily came out of just seeing the things around and how they all approached…it’s just really…you’d think you’d come out of the bathroom and “Look, here’s what I just wrote.”, but it didn’t happen that way. It came out, he said “Write these lyrics down, go take a freight train all the way to Georgia” which you know we were in Macon, Georgia recording the entire time. So, you got to think about all those things put together. Do I see woman out there singing that as much now and I’m kind of happy that it’s happening. Women are singing these songs and they’ve got other people with them and the times have changed so much and I really think that’s good; a guy can be with his wife. I’ve stood out there sang “Can’t You See” a million times I’ve listened to a club band do it and it’s an anthem for a lot of people that ‘s going through a hard time, I guess that’s a quick way to say it. It’s really an anthem for people that’s going through a tough time with their wife or their or husband or whoever and a lot of times you want to crawl up in a ball and die and I think that’s what that songs all about. It approaches and touches so many different types of people.

MS: With your history in the music business, what’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

DG: To not get into the music business. (We all laugh)

MS: Excellent.

DG: I always say that, I started when I was seven, my mom and daddy took me to-my dad was in the Air Force- and he took me to an AmVets club and he said, “Alright! Get up there and sing some of those songs you copied from Elvis.” I was seven years old and you could get away with taking your son in there to the AmVets club and he took me in there and he’d have a drink and then they’d go there on Saturday night, there wasn’t a whole lot of places to go back then and he’d go and say “Alright, you’re all the time singing that Elvis Presley stuff, get up there and sing.” I got up and sang “Love Me Tender” one night and all these people dancing and slobbering all over each other. I made $5 and that was my first entrance at seven years old to my music career.

MS: Excellent way to start. This is my crazy food question, Doug. Do you prefer crunchy or creamy peanut butter?

DG: Oh, it has to be creamy. Well, I tell you, I just got asked that question yesterday by this girl, ok. She wasn’t reviewing me or nothing, we were just talking, I figured out where she was going, alright. We were having dinner and I looked over at her. She said, “What’d you prefer, crunchy or creamy?” I said “Well…” I don’t want to have to go there, a lot of things went through my mind, but I’ll treat you right, right now. (We all laugh) I said, “Peter Pan Creamy” and she said, “Aw, yeah. That’s my favorite kind.” And she never finished her sentence so I said, “Well, maybe I should’ve waited to see what she said first, you know.” (We laugh)

MS: Is there anything else you’d like to add for the fans that are coming out to Pensacola, Florida?

DG: Just tell them all to come and have a good time cause I know if they come and give it a chance, if they’ve never heard the band. We’ve been through many generations and people’s got their grandkids off, they’re not keeping their grandkids at night or their kids are out now, just come on out and experience this again and maybe we’ll recreate a memory that they had a long time ago.

MS: I’m dragging my dad’s ass out there. We’re going to shake hands with you when we get there.

DG: I’ll tell you what, I’ll be there waiting on it and listen, I ain’t going to have no crunchy on my hand. Ok! (We all laugh).

– Michael L. Smith

Here is a link to my Pensacola News Journal article “Marshall Tucker Band, Dark Star Orchestra on Vinyl stage this week.”

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