On his Free Spirit live studio album, Rodgers said, “The union of the band began when we played a couple of charity shows in the U.K. The show set-list was Free heavy, where we played a lot of their music. The band just really impressed me with the way they interpreted those songs, and I promised them one day we would tour it. We finished recording off the DVD and the album.”
Rodgers listed the closing tune “Catch a Train” as his personal favorite song on the album, at the moment. “We recorded that with Free, but we never played it live,” he said. “The same holds true for ‘Love You So’. They are like new songs when we play them live. It’s wonderful.”
“There were many tour highlights but when Brian Johnson and Robert Plant joined me for a jam on stage in Oxford all hell broke loose,” he said. “The fans could not believe their eyes or their ears. We played the ’50s hit ‘Money, That’s What I Want’.”
On the key to longevity in the music industry, Rodgers said, “It is interesting that all the music has validity. Isn’t it? The music that I listened to when I was starting out was from a lot of blues musicians. Those guys lived their life, and that came out in their music. It is so amazing and so distinctive, and they have definitely stood the test of time. We may have drunk from the same well a little bit.”
He shared that he liked the music of guitar legend Link Wray. “I liked Link Wray. I gravitated towards him when I was 21, when I thought I was all grown up at the time,” he said, and sang the chorus of Link Wray’s “Fire and Brimstone” over the phone conversation. “I love that album,” he said, praising Wray.
For aspiring singer-songwriters, Rodgers said, “You will come across lots of temptations. Stick to your guns and be yourself, no matter what. Stick to your music and try to get better every day.”
North American Summer Tour
On August 14, 2018, Rodgers, along with Jeff Beck and Wilson will be performing at the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York, as part of the “Stars Align” Tour. “I am changing it up for the American tour. I am going to include some material, about six songs, from my Bad Company days. The songs go together quite well,” he said.
Rodgers continued, “I am looking forward to it. We are going into rehearsals next week. After Ann Wilson goes on, Jeff [Beck] and I will alternate and headline the night. I will have the best seat in the house, watching Ann and Jeff on the side of the stage. Jeff is going to be amazing. Jones Beach is a fantastic venue.”
Digital transformation of the music industry
Regarding the impact of technology on the music business, Rodgers said, “Technology has really exploded, and it is exploding every day. It is hard to keep up with it. I am really old school. I still listen to vinyl, and I still get a lot of pleasure from vinyl. I understand that vinyl hits the human ear like a nice wave. Digital hits the ear in steps, and I think you can detect that on some level. Some digital is very good. The iPhones are amazing these days. We used an analog desk on the tour, and that’s partially why we got an authentic sound.”
The iconic British rocker defined the word success as “peace of mind.” “When I left home at 17 years old, I realized that I was looking for three things: to survive, to find peace of mind and to make music while I was doing that, and that is what I am still seeking and that is what I am still doing,” he said.
Free Spirit is available on iTunes. “To all the people that came to the shows in the U.K., thank you. It was an amazing reception. It was a love-fest and people loved the music and they loved how we were putting it across. They demonstrated our love for us, and it was absolutely fantastic. It was the greatest tour of my life. I look forward to doing more,” he said.
To learn more about Paul Rodgers, his music and 2018 touring schedule, check out his official website.
Read More: Digital Journal reviewed Paul Rodgers’ live album Free Spirit.