Joe Lynn Turner: The Usual Suspect.
Joe Lynn Turner talks about his new solo album, life with Richie, nursing Yngwie and some other great stories!
Thanks to Ron Higgins for his work transcribing this interview!
Hey Joe, Nice to talk to you.
Right. I appreciate your time.
No, I appreciate your time. I mean, what took us so long to get on the phone and do an interview? I'm not sure.
I don't know, because I love your site. I'm always on it.
I'm always checking things and checking new releases and who's doing what to whom. Honestly I am because I really do appreciate your take on what's good, what's not good, and so on.
Well, hopefully I get it right most of the time.
Oh, I think you do. That's what I mean, most people get it wrong most of the time, so you're on the other end of the spectrum.
Thank you, Joe. I appreciate that.
I mean that. No kidding. I'm not just kissing your ass. I'm not. I'm just saying, I check and see what you do. I listen to sound bytes and I go, Hmm, I think Andrew's on it. You're really a music person, so that's why it's great to talk to you.
Thank you, Joe. I appreciate it. I've been a fan for a long time, so the feeling's mutual. I have to say as someone who's bought your records from the word go, I'm very pleased to say that I think The Usual Suspects is up there with some of your best ever.
Well, I appreciate that. I was holding my breath, waiting to hear what you were going to say about it. I do appreciate that, Andrew. I thank you. I didn't try to make it my best or worst, I just got something else kicked into me and I said, Let me get back to some commercial rock some melodic stuff. Melodicrock.com, huh?
I belong on that site for sure. No, honestly, that's what happened. I had about 4 or 5 different tracks suited and I just said, All I'm doing is making another blues rock record and I said, Nobody gives a shit, you know?
I said, let me write some songs that have some structure and that's when I got into it and I think the body of that combined with some of the older sounding, more bluesier sounding stuff works.
I like what you've got. You've got a rocking start. A little soulful sort of blues ballady sort of middle section and then you rock again at the end, so it flows well.
Exactly. It's a quilt.
It does. It flows well and I don't think the record is a great departure from anything you've done before but I think the songs are just spot on.
I appreciate that because that's really what I wanted to do, I wanted to get back into crafting some songwriting that I know I'm capable of that I've been writing for other people here trying to get deals and what not, and I said, I should use this songwriting talent on myself again. This blues thing, people are getting the wrong idea. Oh, just another album from Joe. Oh there he is swimming in circles. I read it all, you know.
And I try to be above it, but it's difficult.
I'm much the same. People give me some stick sometimes with the things I do. And it's hard to take criticism sometimes when you feel so passionately about it. How do you handle it?
Well, Ritchie, I've got to give Ritchie credit again. When I was a young thing coming up, well I wasn't all that young, but I was immature that's for sure. I didn't know the ropes and Blackmore taught me the ropes. He always said one thing to me and it stuck.
We were in Germany at the time and I was reading a review and somebody had said, Sure Joe Lynn Turner can sing, but can he sing for Rainbow
and he's a bit on the gay side, and all of this. And in the meanwhile, I'm not gay at all, I'm the furthest thing from that and some of my best friends are gay so I have no problem with gayness or homosexuality or any of that. It was just like, What the fuck does that have to do with music? And I started to go off and Ritchie said, Settle down. He said look. If you believe a good review, then you've got to believe a bad review so henceforth, don't believe any fuckin' review. You know exactly what you've done. You know if it was good or bad of if you challenged yourself in any way. So throw the paper away.
That's an interesting take.
I never forgot that. If you believe a good review, then you've got to believe a bad review. Don't believe any reviews. He said, What do you care for? Ritchie is a true
Voltaire the French revolutionist, I'll share this with you, he said that he had contempt for his audiences because he said that audiences are like cattle. They bring you up, they bring you down, they push you around, they criticize you, they adore you and then they leave you flat. When you get too old they kick you to the side. And this was coming from Voltaire and I said, Wow, that's pretty deep stuff. And I try to look at the public as just people who
they're much like relatives, you know, they're always telling you, When are you going to get a job, you're not doing this right, you're not doing that right <laughs>. So you've got to take them with a large block of salt. When they don't like something that you've put up or something you've said or you've quoted or you've given certain things to, you're going to get a lot of that because, first of all, it's your site.
So fuck 'em! <laughs> That's what Ritchie would say. It's you doing it. But secondly you take into consideration how they feel, but at the same time, if you did that, it wouldn't be your site. And it's the same with the music, it wouldn't be my music. Do I write
I always credit the fans for this. I say look, Without you guys, I'm unnecessary. If you didn't want to hear me sing, if you didn't want to hear me do this, who the hell am I making records for? I'm certainly not making them for me. You don't. If I were to do this for myself, I'd make completely different types of albums.
If it was just for me. I know where I've come from, I know where I've been and I think you've said something before, which I will interject here, you said in an oblique way, they don't want you to really get outside of that corner, out of that pocket. They want you to be the same.
And you've got to try and be the same.
Yeah. They remember you a certain way so they want to remember you that way. If you depart from that, then they say, What in the fuck are you doing? You, know? <laughs> It's almost like the mafia. The more they let you out they try to pull you back in. That's an old phrase around here. It's hilarious because that's the one I use, They pull me back in. Here's the melodic song. I love all this stuff, but you just can't do what you want to do. It's impossible.
And you've got to try to be different while being the same as well.
Isn't that strange?
It is. It is.
Do they call that a dichotomy of sorts?
It is. You're absolutely right. It's always a popular topic of debate on the message boards. When somebody tries to do something different. Should they have? You know.
Well, here's the thing that I don't agree with, and I must share this with you, I don't agree with people like, and it's happened in the past with good friends of mine like Skid Row, they went completely over to like this whole grunge thing or some other bands that have tried to not be themselves. That is something that I don't agree with. That is unauthentic. You're not that. You didn't start as that, but now you're trying to be that. No matter how you cut your hair, no matter how many piercings you get, that's really not you.
I couldn't agree more. Something I quite often bring up myself, I'm all for everybody sounding and moving forward, and I hope bands do, but name me one band that's been successful changing their stripes.
Look, I look at AC/DC. They never change, and they never will.
And that's them, and fuck everybody. I love them. Everybody loves them. You know what I mean? They're just it. They're just a hard rocking band, and they don't give a shit. No frills. They're not going to do stuff just because you like it. I say stick to your guns, and they do. That's the only thing that I disagree with. They say, You could've been more modern. Modern how? Copy Pearl Jam? Oh, they're not modern. Let me think. Linkin Park? You want me to rap?
You know what I mean? It's very obvious when you depart from yourself.
I think you've been very true to yourself on Usual Suspects.
You know, someone likened it to a quilt, I hear Fandango, I hear Rainbow, I hear
You know, it's all you but yet it all works, whether it's Jacknife which is the old slammin', blistering rock and roll thing, or if it's the sort of melodic Rest of My Life with the R&B, you know, it's all me.
So, it's a quilt. It's a patchwork quilt. I think, and I hope, Andrew, and you can benefit me by this, I hope when people listen to it, it's an eclectic album, but yet at the same time there's a thread running through it.
Oh yeah. Definitely. I can hear little bits of everything and I was really pleased with that. I just thought that the song quality was extremely high.
I'm looking forward to reviewing it.
I appreciate it. It's about time I got a good review, well I haven't got a bad review, but it's been a long time since I've got an excellent review, anyway.
You know, it pissed me off because I know what I can do. I think, between you and I, I've dropped the ball a few times in the past and I didn't quite come up to the goal line. I'd be all around it but never quite cross it and it was kind of because I just went fuck it, you know. I'm not trying to
what do I have to prove and all this kind of crap. But I said that's not it. My attitude was wrong, Andrew. I admit that and I say to myself, this time I just said, You know what I've got to do? I've got to write a record that I like.
If I like it, other people will like it because I like music. Hello. And stand back from it. And also, I got nudged by people like yourself and journalists and managers and record companies and even Serafino got in my face about it. He says, People love you as a melodic rock singer. That's what you're known for. I said, But I was always blues based. With Ritchie I was always blues based. That was the magic of Rainbow. We had a hard rock sound with a blues kind of singer who could transcend all of that and people just sort of go, Well, that's different, but yet the same, but not. And that was the magic about it. So they said, Look, come back a little bit to center. And I said, You're right. So I scrapped 3 or 4 songs and I wrote 3 or 4 new ones and that's when the songwriting quality came up and I must admit I was tickled just doing this. This is great. I don't care if the songs are too sappy. Fuck it.
You've done well. Stuff like, Power of Love I think will be a fan favorite. Nice little anthems. Good strong vocals. Some great melodies.
You know, I was really wanting to hear what you had to say out of everybody. I've talked to journalists before, but I really keep abreast of what you're doing and I respect what you're doing so therefore I respect what you say.
Thank you, Joe!
I mean that, Andrew. You've put up one of the best sites. It's in my bookmarks, I refer to it constantly. I check out new things and I read what you have to say and your reviews and I get the sound bytes and all of that and I use the site as a meter of my music, of what I'm going to buy and what I'm not.
Well, I get a lot of great feedback, and that's all that I can ask for.
You've done marvelous things.
I had no idea where this site would go when I first started it. I'm still amazed that it is what it is. <laughs>
Well, I think that you're authentic. That's what really touches people.
Well, I don't hide behind the site... I want to talk to others that love the music too. You try to make yourself available, don't you?
I sure try to. I really do. There's nothing worse than being inaccessible. I don't mean that about like Ritchie because I thought that he was a very accessible person, but just misunderstood.
I mean that. I mean, he's always accessible when you want him. But at the same time he just didn't like many peoples approach to him.
So he backed off because he felt that he didn't really want to put himself through this.
Yeah. That makes a lot of sense.
It does. I'm totally accessible. A journalist asked me the other day, he said, What do you think of this album. I think it's the best of your best. Have you reached the mountain and the top, and all of that, and I went, What? Mountain top? Best of the best? I don't know. Yeah, I think it's a good CD and I like it, but they're like children. I love them all but differently. Maybe this is a special child. He said, What's your quote? I said, It's not for me to quote. It's up to you to quote. That's why you're calling me, right? It's my opinion but if you want me to say, It's the best fuckin' think I've ever done, I read other artists quotes about their own stuff and I have to laugh. You know,
Now I can die happy, it's the best fuckin' thing I've ever done and it'll blow you away, or something crazy and I go, Really? Can you say that about your own stuff?
I'm glad you said that because that does kind of annoy me too, because then they say that the next interview you do.
That's what they always say, It's the best thing I've ever done, I've reached the pinnacle of my profession, and I'm always like, Look, I don't know, I said, You listen to it. You tell me. I'll respect your opinion and your critique and I'll keep it as just that, an opinion and a critique. We all know what opinions are, so
but anyway it's just great to talk to somebody who actually knows what they're talking about <laughs>.
I hope so. I hope I can bluff my way through it.
It's like they say, If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.
It works for me sometimes!
It works for me as well. <laughs> I've been sliding by for years on that. Seriously though, getting down to it, putting the accolades aside for both of us, I'm glad you liked the record, I really put some time into this one. I did the vocals at my house, so I've got the dog running around and phone calls interrupting me and everything. So I think that's part of the magic of it, because I felt so comfortable at my house in the studio here as opposed to being in a clinical studio. It makes a big difference to me because I was doing most of them barefoot and my wife talking to me and I'm going, Yeah, honey, I'm doing a vocal. You, know. Normal. Natural.
You've got your long time buddy Bob Held there with you. How important is he to the process?
Well I'll tell you, I answered this question once before this weekend, it was in a different manner, but Bob Held knows who I am. He likes the polished product. I could get many different types of producers or produce it myself but Bob gives me a hard time. For example, Power of Love had a completely different lyric. Similar melodies, but a whole other song. He said, This is not up to your par. I said, What are you talking about? It's my favorite song on the album. He goes, No. We need something that's going to reach, that's going to give hope, he says, you don't have that on the record and I kind of resented it for two days, I'm coming down to the end of the album, it's the last vocal I did and I'm like, you always put me in this position, but I always respect what he says.
Again I knew that if I pushed myself it's like you said, it's an anthem and I like it much better. That's one of the sparkling traits that Bob has He can push me to the point where I want to punch him yet he's right about me reaching more of my fulfillment of purpose. You don't find many people that (a) you can trust, and (b) that can stir you to the point of long time friendship violence. You know, best friends can say anything to each other and that's what Bob fills the role. He'll say, I don't like that vocal there, and I'll say, But I love that line. That was a great line. Lou Gramm could have that line, Paul Rodgers could have that line, all of my favorite singers you know, I'll bring them up. I'm bringing up Elvis, I'll bring up everyone from the dead if I can to support my argument and he'll go, Nope. I want one more, and I go You're killing me here! I fuckin' sung it 12 times, and he goes, I need one more I need it to have that thing, and I go, What thing? That Joe Lynn Turner thing. He goes, I don't believe it, I go, You don't believe it? All right, well, believe this, and I'll sing something and he'll go, That's it. Next And I'll go, You mother f
you cock sucker
<laughs> That's the importance of Bob Held. He knows how to push my buttons the right way so that I don't settle.
Is that the same as working with Ritchie.
Yeah, Ritchie was like that. He'd just raise his eyebrows at me and go, Is that it? and I'd go, You're right. And then I'd go in and realize what I had done. I might have sang it better, but I didn't believe it when I sang it and he can always pick up on that. He was the first one to come in, I'll never forget, with Street Of Dreams, we were in Copenhagen and, first of all, the song evolved mythically because the music was 4 different jams, and I put these 4 pieces together because I sat with the tapes and said, All right, let's put this piece with that piece and this piece with that piece, and he goes, Okay. And then I come up with the title and melody and hook and sang, I might say, one of my better moments and he came in to the kitchen of the studio
hang on a second
..so Ritchie came up to me and he says, I can't play. I can't play the solo. And I said, What do you mean? and he goes, The vocals are intimidating me. And I go, What?
This is a true story. I said, What do you mean? He goes, Shining moment for you. I went, Well, thanks, but I go, But Ritch, come on. He goes, I don't know where to start, I don't know where to go, I'm all confused. I went to the refrigerator and grabbed 2 Heinekens and said, Sit down mother fucker let's get into this. You've just got to go in there and be an extension to the song. You know you're a song man, you know you're not full of guitar pyrotechnics, you don't give a shit about that, you can do it, but you don't care about all of that. He played the most melodic solo after that.
I can still sing it to this day. And that's what it's about. He was like that with me and I think at that moment I was like that for him. They say the greatest gift you can give someone is that self revelation, you know? I think I at least gave it back to him a few times.
Absolutely. You're whole history is sort of linked back to where you started.
You guys did the best, his work as well. It still acclaimed as some of the best stuff that was ever done, isn't it?
Well, I think we had a magic and chemistry. Look, I love all the other singers, Dio was great, all the Dungeons and Dragons themes and all that stuff is great, but I think we came into a modern age that elevated Rainbow, whatever was between us, the tension, the mutual respect, whatever it was, we had it and it worked and I still believe it could work today.
Do you think that you would ever try it again for old time's sake?
If he was up for it, I'd be there in a heartbeat. It's really up to him because I know what we had and I miss that. That's like a hole in you soul. There was the eternal partner, there was my match. That was like a soul mate. We were also very connected on other dimensions such as all of the supernatural and paranormal stuff. We both loved that, it was incredible that ran through our lives. I just knew that we had this connection. The blues and so on and so forth. And perfectionism. Not settling and besides I had a real affection for him as a mate because he really took me under his wing and grew me up. He protected me, he was always on my side if somebody was coming down at me. He threw himself in the way of critics and band members. You've got to love somebody like that if they'd do that for you.
I'd like to see it happen, but obviously Ritchie's in his own spot isn't he?
God bless him because I know he's doing what he wants to do.
He's making records for himself isn't he?
He really is. And he couldn't give a damn about anything
I gave a little bit of a tribute for his birthday on I guess it was the other day an e-mail, somebody that's got blacker than purple. I think the last comment I said was, I just want to say, Cheers mate, I'll paraphrase it, To many years of great music, to a man who follows no one and nothing but his heart. That's true. He follows no one and nothing but his heart. He loves to do that Renaissance music. So be it far from me to say you've got to come out and do this. But you know what? It's not that I want to take him away; I just want to add to it. I'm lucky enough, I hope they
Candice and himself, they offered me a duet on the next record.
I did hear that. Yeah.
That was fabulous. That came out of Carol Stevens, they wrote me an email and said, We always liked you, Joe. The rest of them we couldn't give a hoot for. <laughs> I was very impressed with that. I just wrote back and said, Well, we've never had problems. Really. Ritchie and I never had problems.
That's something to look forward to then, isn't it?
Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. I told Carol Stevens, I said, Look, when you get ready for the material if they want me to co-write, if they just want me to sing, I'm available because I like to stretch out as well. I find it difficult that people allow you to stretch out, and I think this would be an educational process for everyone including me. So yeah, that would be great. I'd love to get back together. I don't care if it would be for just one album or what, but I think we could write some great songs.
I do too.
In the meantime, I try to be reminiscent. In my own material, I try to say, Well this is where I come from, and it was a large part of my life. How would Blackmore approach this and how would we do it if we were in Rainbow?
Yeah, I think you've definitely got some of that in the new record.
Yeah, it's definitely got some Rainbow-esque stuff on there.
For sure. Someone also mentioned that your work with Yngwie is probably regarded as probably his best album ever.
I think so.
That's 2 for 2 then, isn't it? You must be proud at least of the legacy of that.
I am, Andrew. Honest to God. Again you can't talk about my life without Yngwie. Odyssey is a pinnacle. I love it.
It's my favorite album that he ever did.
It's one of my favorite albums that I ever did. Again it came together and I think that when I get together with these ornery guitar players I used to be an ornery guitar player, I am one I was a guitar player first and a singer second so I think I understand these guys. I don't know, I just get a whip and a chair and I go in there like a lion tamer and I try to bring something else to the table. One thing I must mention to you, a journalist I spoke with this morning from France or somewhere, they said Crystal Ball sounds so reminiscent of Joe Lynn Turner yet there's no credits of you. And I said, Oh no. He's at it again because there was a time there when Yngwie was taking my name off of all of the publishing credits.
Fuck yeah. I was like going, What? Where is this happening? What is this about? I said, You better go and check the original credits because you'll see that I am co-writer of Crystal Ball. Melody and lyrics. Hello. That's probably why you hear me. So I think he's up to his old tricks that Ying Yang.
I don't know what's up with him. I mean, I saved this guy's life. I was there. I was the elder in a mass of confusion when he wrecked up that Jaguar.
I only vaguely recall that. What happened?
Oh, well geez, Andrew. I was there getting ready to do the Odyssey record and I flew back to New York to get 6 months worth of clothes to fly back to LA to do the record, and by the time I got back, it was May Day weekend, May 7, or something like that, it's a big weekend in Sweden. They were drinking and doing all kinds of cheese and the drugs and all of that. He went out about 8:00 in the morning when the 7-11's would sell beer again, I suppose there was a curfew on it or something. He was coming back with oodles of beer to continue the partying and he wrecked his Jaguar with Thomas his good friend and a friend of mine as well that I became friendly with, and they both ended up pretty banged up.
Here is the thing, I'll just give you the highlights. His manager Andy Truman, he used to manage the Bay City Rollers, was taking all of Yngwie's money, he was taking all of the advances so Polygram put me in as a spy and said look you've got to get involved in this. Now, here's a guy that's doing tons of cocaine he's got guns all over the house, he carries guns with him, he's out of his fuckin' mind, he talks in the third person every time he said something it was like, "Well Andy says," because his name is Andy Truman, and I said, "Well, aren't you Andy?" and it was really freaky because, you know, you hear somebody talking in third person, you think, this guy's a wing nut.
Yeah, what's up with that?
You fuel that with cocaine and booze and everything else and guns. He tells me, "Yngwie, he's going to be all right, and he's had a bit of an accident. He picks me up at the airport, right, so I go, "All right." I dress up a bit and shave and put on a jacket and say, I'll go to the hospital a little later. So when I get to the hospital, he's straight up to the ICU. I said, "He's in the ICU? The intensive care unit?" And they go, yeah. And I'm like, man, he's in a bad way. I look in through the glass and his head is 5 times the size.
And he just looks like some beast. He's not responding. He's not talking and the doctors say he's in a coma. I go, Coma? Andy Truman never told me he was in a coma! He said he was a little banged up. That was it. So a couple of days later the administration -- I'm there every day, of course with Jens Johansson and Anders Johansson and everything, and I'm sorting out, because these poor guys, Yngwie wasn't paying them really well, or at all, and they were living on the floor in a one bedroom apartment. They didn't even have enough money to buy any underwear. It was unbelievable.
So I'm trying to sort them out and get them a living space that's more humane and also trying to deal with the hospital and the administration and stuff because I was the older of the bunch and had more experience and they needed $80,000 or they were going to pull Yngwie out of ICU. Andy Truman is all in favor of this because he doesn't want to spend any money, does he? And I said, "Andy, if you pull him out of ICU and you bring him down to LA Country which is where the "common people go, because Northridge was a very select hospital and he lived close to Northridge so they flew him in on a chopper. That's how bad he was. They had to use Jaws of Death to get him out of the car and fly him in because he was going to die right there.
So this is really serious, right? So Andy doesn't want to do this because he's full of advances and out of his mind and doesn't even realize that if Yngwie dies, there goes his meal ticket. So this is all just absolutely surreal to me and absurd. So I get $80,000 from Polygram wired to the administration to keep him in Northridge. Meanwhile, Andy is trying to get me to go down to County Hospital to say, "Oh, it's nice down here, everybody down here is great." And I'm like, "Andy, its death down there. You walk in and you smell death. I've been there. I know what it's about. No, he can't leave. Even the doctor said that if he leaves for an inferior institution he's going to die. So meanwhile, Polygram's got me watching Andy Truman, they're trying to get rid of Andy. Andy doesn't know that I'm a spy reporting back to Polygram. I could've been shot. This is real intrigue. This was 007 shit.
To make a long story short, Yngwie comes out of the coma, I don't know how many weeks it is, but he finally comes out. We were there every day. He had bleeding in the brain which could've been retardation. Sometimes I think maybe he did bleed in the brain. So he actually recovers from this, now he's on powerful medication, and of course I'm trying to monitor him and he goes out one night and starts doing cocaine and shit so, as big as he is, I grab him and slam him up against a wall and said, "Look, you fuckin' die on your own 24 hours, not on my watch!" I said, "I'm just so sick of this bullshit." I threw him up against the wall and jumped back in the car and sped off. I was livid that he would actually do this. So he got the message and he's kind of straightened out a bit but other than that he was going to die without anybody caring for him.
That's amazing. Whatever happened to the manager?
They got him. They finally pulled all of his power away from him, they didn't give him another nickel, they re-routed Yngwie's funds, I think that's when Jim Lewis was still with Polygram and became Yngwie's manager (and that's a whole other story, the way they broke up) and really Jim went to bat for Yngwie and the last I heard was that Andy's wife left him and stole everything, including the Roller, she took the Rolls Royce, everything, and he was trying to track her down. At one point, Andrew, I must interject, we had a 24 hour security guard, fully armed in front of Yngwie's house, this was for over 2 months because we were afraid of Truman. He would drive by and some of his other compadres would drive by and we would see them peering into the house trying to see what was going on. We were afraid that they were just going to come in blasting away one day. And, of course, Yngwie's got guns, so he's like, "I'll shoot them and kill them," and I'm just like, "Just calm down, man. You're not going to shoot anyone."
No wonder you only did the one record! <laughs>
Well, yeah. And the other thing was, originally, we were supposed to have Eric Singer as the drummer, Bob Daisley as the bass player. It was going to be a super group. It was all looking really good. As you can see, Bob did play on a few tracks, but Eric unfortunately got pushed out, but he did all right for himself.
And he's a fabulous drummer and a wonderful guy. A very funny guy. We're friends to this day. What I'm trying to say is that Yngwie just wanted to have full control of everything. I think, personally, he could've gone much, much further in his art and music if he would've just let other people in. Yeah, but he was going to die. Like the doctor said, if he does not come up from this coma, and he was bleeding from the brain, in 3 days, they said if it didn't stop and it stopped now, they said it's over for him.
He will be brain dead and we will keep him on the respirator but he will be a vegetable.
So I kept him in that hospital, made sure the administration was paid, because hospitals have no heart, they just have money, money is where it all comes from, at least here in the states. To make a long story short, that's why I claim, quite humbly really, that I was instrumental in saving his ass. That's why I can't understand why he's got this bone of contention about me.
That's probably why, isn't it?
It might be. That seems very psychologically normal. Love and hate's a fine line. But anyway, I wish him well but I wish he's stop taking my name off these songs.
Well, we won't hold out for a reunion then. <laughs>
<Laughs> No, I don't think so. I told him last time I talked to him, I emailed him, "Good fuckin' luck, mate." But apparently he seems to be doing all right.
Yeah, not too much bad press from recent times.
So that's the story.
You went on to work with Bob not long after that, so what's the story?
Right. We did Mother's Army.
What a great set of albums. I love the first one.
You know what? I got an email from Jeff Watson who emailed Aynsley Dunbar, and I emailed Bob and we're all starting to think about maybe putting that all back together.
Yeah, do it because Jeff's a wonderful, wonderful guitar player, isn't he?
He is, a wonderful writer, guitar player, a great guy. Bob is too. Lyrically Bob and I, those albums were hard rock, man. They were really deep profound stuff.
Not commercial at all were they?
No. they were meant to be a Pink Floyd twist to them.
I still love the first one the most.
Yeah, By Your Side and all those great songs, yeah.
You changed your voice somewhat for the first album, didn't you? There were some comments that, Oh, Joe's voice is shot, but that was never the case, was it?
No, I can be a lot of different characters really.
Yeah, when you listen to The Usual Suspects, you're as soulful as ever, but your voice was really raspy on that one, wasn't it?
Yeah, we kind of tried to want it to be, during that period of time the raspy vocal was sort of in. To be honest, there was a lot of pressure to try and at least make this stuff fit in. I said, Well, if that's the case I'm going to sing a bit gritty. Maybe the grit button was up too much.
Oh, I love it. I thought it was great.
Yeah. Here's the thing. That's what Ritchie always liked. Ritchie always liked that I could do this operatic shit, pointed, clear as a bell, but then I could growl at the bottom.
I love the growl. I hope you do another record. That would be really interesting.
Well, we're toying around with the idea now. It's in the e-mail stages.
That's great I do talk to Jeff every now and then. We've done a couple of interviews and stuff. A longtime fan of Night Ranger. That would be great.
Did I ever tell you about the time JLT toured with Night Ranger?
No, I don't believe I've heard that.
We got kicked out of Tyler, Texas. It was nasty. It was the Joe Lynn Turner band. My bass player was going out with a stripper and he decides to bring her out on the road. She decided to try a designer drug one night in Tyler, Texas and we were opening for Night Ranger. Well, my set was relatively free of incident, but I guess she was getting off during Night Ranger and right in the middle of Sister Christian she comes out and does her act.
She took this huge flashlight and did preposterous things with it. The cops came. There were children at the concert. They surrounded us and made us sign disclaimers that we would never come back to Tyler, Texas. So we got kicked out.
Terrific. The life of a rock and roller.
It was really funny because Kelly was throwing sticks at her and Brad was coming over to the side of the stage to me and saying, You better get her off the fuckin' stage and I'm saying, What do you want me to do? Walk out and pull her off? Get one of your roadies to get her off. So finally Jeff just gets frustrated and picks her up and walks about 20-30 feet and dumps her on the side of the stage.
Now if only somebody would've bootlegged that on video. That would've been great.
I wish we had it. It was hysterical. Yeah, I hope we get that thing back together. We had no luck with that band. What I mean by that is we had no apparent management. Carmine's manager Warren Wyatt, I have nothing nice to say about this guy.
Yeah, I've had some dealings with this guy too.
I don't know what your experience was like.
Ours was terrible. He actually took the money for the record. We couldn't finish the record. By the time we got the lawyers on it and found the money. He gave it all back minus his commission, like he was owed a commission! What balls does that take? He takes all the money and he kept saying, Well the Japanese don't like what they've heard so far so they haven't given me the rest of the money, but he had the rest of the money in his bank account. So if we do it, I'm not going to do it without proper management and a record label and all of that. Because that's when it goes awry. Everyone's got an uncle in the business. Carmine brought Warren in and we wouldn't even talk to Carmine after that because Carmine sided with Warren and that's when Aynsley came in.
Yeah, Aynsley's a great drummer. That's a good pick.
He just emailed back and said, I'm up for it. That's great. Let's do it. I can't wait to see everybody again. We'll see.
That would be awesome. I should also mention while we're here the Hughes/Turner was a couple of pretty nice albums for you. I talked to Glenn a few months back. Are you done with that for now?
I haven't talked to Glenn for a month of two but I know that he's doing the Iommi thing and he's got Soul Mover out now, which is a great album, I'm happy for him. So HTP has to be in hiatus. I would never say that we wouldn't get back together for another album or two and I hope he feels the same way.
Yeah, you two, your voices are just a great match for each other.
Thank you for your words. It had never been done to my knowledge and never quite that good.
Yeah, especially the first album, I really still enjoy it.
Me too. I have to tell you. It was quality stuff. I think we both sort of raised the bar. Together we gained inspiration in our own solo careers.
I agree. I think it gave you new momentum to your solo career. You were just doing an album for Japan but it's really shifted to the European side now hasn't it?
Yeah, I just signed with Yamaha in Japan as well. That's a good label there. They're going to try to do other things with me over there like bring me into their sound products and their commercials for their motorbikes and things like that.
Yes, so I was and now I'm full blow into Europe and looking towards this record release in the US.
Yeah, Stu [Stuart Smith] mentioned that, he was going to talk to you about that.
I appreciate your thoughts on that. I think we're going to do it. Getting back to Glenn. I love him like a brother. We just put a couple of years together, it was phenomenal, now it's time to sit back, breathe, and do other things.
Well that's cool. In a couple of years time you can get back together again and hopefully there will be a third album.
You know, somewhere down the line I do too because it was magic. I'm just so fortunate to be hooked up with such wonderful people in my career, for the most part anyway, including Malmsteen, the guy's brilliant regardless if he can be an asshole sometimes.
He makes some great music, no doubt.
He's brilliant. I'll always give that to Yngwie. He was a forerunner. The guy's just crazy good. But I would love to do it with Glenn, but I wish him all the best with the Iommi thing and he's got Sanctuary here for the Soul Mover and I hope they can do something with that. He really deserves it, he's such a fantastic singer and he's a great person.
Absolutely. I love talking with him. He's always full of life.
He sure is. He's one of the funniest guys I know.
You've recently, you've probably seen it, but Rescue You got a CD released in America, that was a good move.
Can you believe that Wounded Bird?
I can't. So many people told me, You've got to re-release Rescue You and all this stuff, and I'm like, Do you know what that entails? You've got to go there and wrestle the people at Mercury and Electra and they're not going to press this record if it's 20,000 copies. They won't. That's the reality of it, isn't it?
So then this Terry goes along and whatever he did, I love him for it, because now you can actually buy Rescue You on CD and it's a damn good record.
Yeah, I've got the original Japanese release but I think that even that was only out for a short time wasn't it?
Absolutely. It was never meant to be released for much longer. I've got 2 copies of that one that's still in the packaging and I'm not even touching them.
I don't blame you.
Because that's the only place that you could buy the CD -- Japan. And vinyl, of course. I still see vinyl popping up every now and again. Regardless. I think that Wounded Bird thing is a great outlet for stuff, he's got some Yes things on there and Allman Brothers.
Some old acts. A lot of great stuff.
You can't get it on CD.
There should be more of it. There should be less resistance from the majors to license it off for someone else to do it because they're not going to do it, are they?
No, it's just collecting dust.
You know what. My manager had gone back a few years ago and looked into it and they just laughed and said, If it's not going to sell 150,000 albums, then we don't give a shit.
Yeah. Isn't that sad?
He said, I know it's not Joe's day anymore but at the same time there are plenty of fans in the US and everywhere that would love to hear this record. It's not going to be crap, but no, we don't expect to sell 150,000 records. They just laughed and said, It's not worth it. However he did it, and whatever he did, and whom he paid to get this
some day I'm going to email him and just say, Terry, give me the low-down.
And based on what you've said there, I guess you do have one unreleased album still in the vaults, don't you? The follow-up to Rescue You.
Is that right? That's never been released anywhere, has it?
Well, no. You know what's happening though. One of those drunken nights on the road, somebody must've been in my party room and nicked one of the tapes.
Serafino had it for years. He's been getting different artists to do different songs of mine from that era. <laughs> And I find it really funny because I never got to record them properly myself. And he's always, can I get Terry Brock to do this song, and somebody else to do that song. And I go, Sure, go ahead if you want. And then he wanted me to do those songs on this album and I said, No, no, no. Look, that's a different time. If you want me to do an album like that from that time then I'll do that album. Now's a different time. Really, yeah, there's an album there, but I'd do it as an album.
Because you can't just put Forever Now the song in the mix with the stuff I've just done. I don't know, maybe you could, I just hear it. Yeah, that was strange because the tape got around and the next thing you know, people are all going, When are you going to do this song? What about that song?
You're like, Where did you hear that from?
Yeah, I'm just amazed and then I go, drunken stupor, that was it. Somebody nicked the tape.
You'll have to release it officially now then won't you?
It wouldn't be a bad idea if I at least got commissioned to go and do these 8 or 10 songs and call it Demos.
Call it Demos.
I'll look and see what I've got in the can. I'll see what I've got on the 24 track. That's almost ancient, isn't it?
Yeah, exactly. You could put an album out in between and just say here's a collection, or compilation. That would be great.
Yeah. I think so. I might just have to do something like that because I love those songs and all. They're a real big part of me.
Exactly. And just like people want to hear Rescue You, they want to hear anything, don't they?
Yeah, they want to hear what it was once, what it was then. A return to their youth, or a return to the good times, whatever you want to call it and I can't blame them because that's what I do. My daughter is 15 so I'm up on all the new stuff.
Forget about it. Thankfully, she was brought up on Beatles and Hendrix. She's got a great ear, plays classical piano, and now she's learning guitar. And she's bitching at me because I don't have time to teach her so she's learning on her own and she's humiliating me. I go, Where are you learning from? She goes, The internet. So I'm like the absent father. I'm going, How about on Monday? but then Monday comes and I'm like, I'm too busy right now. But to make a long story short, I'm up on all the new stuff but I go back to all the old stuff because it just makes me feel good.
Plus, it was great fuckin' music! I mean, what am I supposed to listen to? Ashlee Simpson?
<laughs> What they call talent is unbelievable.
I know. It's sad isn't it?
It really, really is. I mean, hello. And this is, she sold 3.5 to 4 million records.
I know. It's depressing isn't it?
It is. We're all struggling to sell 20,000 records. It's absurd.
This classic rock thing is sort of returning though.
I think so, yeah.
I hope you see it on your end. Because I'm feeling it with the little feelers that I put out. But who's to say. Everybody's been saying that for the last 10 years. I think this time it really starts to feel like people are getting sick and tired of the crap. All we want to do is just get a bit of nostalgia and look back and say, Ah, that is when people could play and sing and write songs.
You're doing a lot for that with the site and all because there's a place to go, like a haven. You're almost like a shelter for me because nowadays it's like just go to Melodicrock and you'll find out. All of your buddies are over there.
I'm just happy it's working
I've had some really crappy visions in my years! <laughs>
<laughs> Haven't we all. I've written some pretty shitty songs as well. It's splendid to talk to you, really...
Thank you, Joe. Look I've really enjoyed this time on the phone.
My pleasure Andrew!