MT Q & A with an
Milano 11 November 2007
MT: I got in a traffic jam here in Milan and that is why I am so late, but I'm ready to answer any questions about my career, no personal stuff please. Q.1: A few weeks ago you were at the Beacon Theatre in NY for J. Hendrix Tribute, what do you remember of J.Hendrix? MT: My personal memories of JH go back to 1967 when I first met him and to this day he still is probably the only guitar genius I ever met, and he continues to impress people, as shown by the interest he still generates ; I met Mitch Mitchell who is my own age and I also met R. Krieger of the Doors who is a most unique guitar player that I only knew from the Doors fame. Q.2:Your memory of the first time you met a guitar when you were a small child. MT: The piano was the first instrument I ever played, but didn't develop much skill on it. My mother had a younger brother stationed inand he heard US radio, bought a guitar and he started strumming on it, they were my earliest memories; I was 10 years old, they heard me playing and encouraged me to play, I think the first one was a Hofner President guitar. Q.3: First thing I want to tell you is that my son was named Giorgio Taylor as a sign of respect for you, I saw you 4 times with J.Mayall, the Stones, Alvin lee & B.Dylan what was the nicest experience for you?
MT: They were all nice experience, even if when I first met the Stones I thought they were an average blues band who wrote great singles, I quite like them but I became serious playing the blues when I heard Clapton playing with J.Mayall and that is when I discovered blues and the original masters playing (M.Waters, H.Wolf etc.); according to B. Dylan from since I was 15 years old I was into him (one of the greatest poet of 20th Century) and was a great privilege working for him for about two years. Q.4: What is difference from today's and past rock? MT: I mean, I suppose its difficult to look back over so many years and say who looks better, when I started playing everything was new and people were rediscovering blues music, now everything is available through the internet, when I started it was an underground movement and how's today music? I would name Kenny Wayne Shepherd as a good guitar player,lots of the guys are well known in the States but possibly not much in. Q.5: What is your ever favourite record? MT: It is impossible to single that out, and also the record that changed my life. I could say a couple of E.Presley songs,maybe the Beatles and the Stones that took music to a different level, I can tell you about Sgt.Peppers’ as for the Stones I never played much attention about them until I heard Satisfaction which is a great rnr song. Q.6: In your career what was the artist with him you gave and received the most? MT: There have been many peaks, no not many some were memorable, a few magical moments on tracks like Time waits for no one, Sway, but usually I have to say mostly during a live performance there have been many peaks. Q.7: You lived during one of the darkest moments in rock, Altamont,what are your memories of that? MT: I'm sure most of you are familiar with movie about Altamont: the movie is very accurate portrait of the chaos, lack of organization, it is amazing how naive we were just to do a free concert in SF,we all learned a lot from that experience that was never repeated by the Stones. I guess that anyone that hired the Hells Angels asks for trouble, we were in the studio recording B.Sugar, Wild Horses and You gotta move for S.Fingers. Actually there is something strange, I have no proof about this but it wont surprise me at all if the water supply was spiked with LSD,if you look at the strange expressions on the Angels faces, lots of band were treated bad even before the Stones went on, some journalists tried to be clever and blamed it on the Stones for a badly organized concert. ( Note: My idea: I thought the Angels were paid with free beer!) Q.8: can you tell us which guitars do you use, what are better for you? MT: I like Fender Stratocaster but I'm not associated with them but on stage I use Gibson Les Paul or SG, I'd like to think that all guitars I pick up I make it sound like me, my favourite amps is not Vox is Fender Twins. (note: he played with Marshall amps tonight). Q.9 (mine): Mick it has been 10 years from A Stones Throw are you working on a new album? MT: I always say I am, I am always trying to write some songs, I have lot of songs and instrumentals that have never been released, also some live recording to be released on not so distant future, I'd like to do a DVD documentary project. Q.10 (mine): Is it true you are writing your autobiography? I was writing my autobiography, I took a break for a few years, my memory is still pretty good, that is why I have to be careful not to talk too much today, an autobiography is in the pipeline, I just need the right publisher to give me lots of money. Q.11: I would like to know if you could play tonight Blind Willie McTell MT: Yeah, I have a new band we never rehearsed that much, we will play Blind Willie McTell, maybe we will do Alabama too (Note: he didn't) Q.12: I found formidable the live recordings with Dylan, is it possible to get more official releases? MT: (looks like he didn't get the question properly): No BD album is out of print, you can get them from amazon, as for unreleased tracks you will have to ask Dylans management, there are loads of stuff that will be released one day. I did only sessions for one album but it came out in 3 albums and a live one. Q.13: You came many times in , 10 years ago you played with Italian singer Ligabue, what is your impression of him and Italian music? MT: I saw one of Ligabue guitar players in one of my shows in London some years ago, as for Italian music I always liked opera, it has a romantic appeal for me. Zucchero is still popular, I don't know much about Italian or any other contemporary rock scene. It is not because I live in the past, but because most musicians of my age will give you the same answer: it is very difficult to give an answer on actual music as I am very busy with my work. Q.14: you collaborated recently with the great late Nikki Sudden, a memory of him? MT: Lovely man, he was a great Stones fan, I believe he was engaged at the time in writing a book on RW which I think it is finished and about to be published (!). Q.15: What was your feeling when you were asked to join the Stones? MT: Disbelief. Actually I got a phone call from J.Mayall that told me they were looking for someone to do some record sessions for them, because Brian didn't show up. On the first session I did the guitar parts on HTM and when they asked me to join I told them to give me a few weeks to think about it.