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interview: Elliott Randal

An excellent musician in an interview that went from postponement to postponement for almost one year ... Eventually we made it!
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In such cases there is no need for many words. An excellent musician in an interview that went from postponement to postponement for almost one year... Eventually we made it! I have to say that 'Can't Buy A Thrill' of Steely Dan is an album that I truly love and it would not be the same without the sound of Elliott Randall. Besides, Jimmy Page has
the same view for years now. Rare musician. I enjoyed chatting with him and thus worth the wait ...

1/First of all Elliott its really my pleasure! So, give us a picture first from your wonderfull latest EP 'Still Reelin'!

still reelin' concept:    The making of this EP CD has been a musical journey lasting a half dozen years [...and what a long strange trip it's been] - I started the 'roadmap' for my new interpretation of REELIN' before the turn of the century. I've always heard a 'different spin' on this great tune - from the moment Donald and Walter played me the unfinished track, I heard the 2 harmony guitars in the interludes, knowing that one day I'd interpret those phrases using the Celtic instruments they were meant for. My quest took me to Bill Whelan (composer of Riverdance), who introduced some of Ireland's finest trad players to the mix. And finally, here it is.

I recruited my bandmates Bernard Purdie and Chuck Rainey from the 'Royal Scam' LP - I grew up with them in the studios, and just knew that they were the perfect players for this track. I traveled a lot in the process of putting all these fine musicians together - New York for Purdie and Marc Quiñones, Texas for Rainey, Ireland for some of the wonderful Celtic playing, London for the brilliantly subtle piano of Wayne Brown and the dulcet tones of Hamish Stuart... and finally to the great North of England for the topping - Tasmin Archer singing lead.

I finally feel that my 'painting' of an already great song is complete, and it gives me great pleasure to share it with you.

MANHATTAN ATTITUDE and WINDOW are 2 very differing instrumental visions of mine, very different moods, and some lovely musical interactions.

We end this mini-trip paying tribute to Bill Withers' tune, which was written to leave a smile of the face of the listener. LOVELY DAY gets a fresh vocal makeover courtesy of JAG (not to mention loads of subtle ER  ol' school synthesis as the piece builds)...
2/Are you workin' on a new project maybe? Is there a plan for the NEW year or something?
Many plans for 2011 - some are in mid-stream, i.e. completing my next CD, and a string of new 'couch videos' with some really cool musical friends [ http://www.youtube.com/ejrandall ]. I'm also looking at 4 new productions, 2 in the US and 2 in the UK. All very gifted artists; the music is exciting, and the one thing I love doing as much as playing the guitar is producing records.

3/Jimmy Page has said that your solo on 'Reelin' with the years' is his favorite solo of ALL time,as you know!!(I agree..)How do you feel really..?
Quite simply, I'm honoured that Jimmy enjoyed it, and delighted that he shared his view publicly.

4/And what about your memories Elliott from your collaboration with legendary names (like you are of course!!) like THE RONETTES,or meeting for the first time RICHIE HAVENS maybe...? What do you think now really..looking back?
I think I was about as fortunate as any young musician could possibly be, to have been able to hook up with as many talented folks as I did in my earlier years. Some, like Ritchie Havens, Genya Ravan, Frankie Valli, John Sebastian... are great friends to this day.

5/You're an amazing musician..ok..So,can you tell me your 'advice' (if i may say) to a young guy whos really wanna move to the music industry nowdays Elliott..?
I am constantly asked this question, and I say repeatedly: "...dedication, determination, sense of humour, patience, networking skills, an understanding of today's digital technology, more determination, yet more patience, and even more of a sense of humour" !!!

6/Playin' with STEELY DAN,DOOBIE BROTHERS,CARLY SIMON,PETER WOLF,and even TOM RUSH (one of my fav ever..) was,and STILL is a wonderful 'journey' i guess..So is there a good rock n roll story from us here?! An inside story you wanna share!? Or a special moment if you wish Elliott..like a photo in your 'deep' heart..you know..
Well, not wishing to embarrass anyone (and goodness knows, we've all had our moments)! Here's one - the last time I played with The Doobie Brothers - in 2000 I believe it was ...we all found ourselves at the hotel bar after the show. Here's where it gets different: The orders to the bartender were as follows: 2 Diet Cokes please...and 3 Perriers ... I'll have a Ginger Ale... You get the picture.
7/Fender Stratocaster..Jonathan Richman you know have a song called 'Fender Stratocaster' (laughs!!) So..your best 'friend' in the world i guess..?Your fender?
I would say that my Strat is the only physical 'item' in my life that I would be very upset about parting with. It's a wonderful instrument, and has been at my waist since 1965 - and it probably has a better memory of events than I do!! Having said that, in the last few years, I've be using some of my other fine electric guitars, and enjoying them so much, as each has its own sound(s) and personality.

8/And your fav album for 2010?ψOr maybe 5 albums you REALLY love if you wish, Elliott..?
Ouch - not really sure that I could cite a favourite album of 2010 ...would need lots of time to listen to lots of other records to even get started. I'm afraid that most of what I hear in the 'new releases' department is a bit 2 dimensional. By this I mean concept more than sound. "Back in the day" (I was hoping I wouldn't need to use that phrase), albums were like movies - it was a journey - one that had a beginning, a middle and an end; it told a story; it was a full three-panel painting! Now, "commercial music" is sold like single socks over the various eDistribution sites (iTunes et al.) - and one reason that the market has gone this way is because on many albums, there are only a few noteworthy pieces of music, and a lot of 2nd tier "filler stuff" - like the cereal in sausages. Where is the integrity, I ask??!! But this is an entire discourse, and I could spend hours in front of a lectern discussing these issues (and I have and continue to, in the interest of expanding young aspiring artists' horizons!)
The other option you've given me is "5 albums I really love" ...and since there are so many, let me refer you to my "Influences Page" which will more an interesting kind of answer the question: http://www.elliott-randall.com/influences.htm
Come visit me at my Artist Page on FaceBook and join up.
Thank you  very very much, Dimitris Antonopoulos!