Tonawanda News

November 4, 2013

MUSIC NOTES: Interview 'bucket list' is wide and varied

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — At various times I have had bucket lists of artists that I really want to see in concert, and after recently interviewing one of my guitar heroes — Dave Davies of the Kinks — I realized that I have formulated an interview bucket list as well. Maybe I will be fortunate enough to have one of their publicists or the artist themselves read this and I can check a few off.

These are in no particular order:

My first artist is Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland. In 2008 I bought tickets for my wife to see Sugarland in Rochester. Honestly, I was hoping she would take a friend because the name Sugarland just didn’t seem like the type of band I would be interested in seeing. Boy, was I wrong!

Since 2008 I have seen the group eight times and purchased all of their albums. They are just one of the best live acts around. Nettles has a new solo album coming out and I have put in a few requests, but no luck so far.

The next one is Paul McCartney. I have attended two Ringo Starr press conferences, at the first one the person directly in front of me got to ask the last question, but the second time I was able to ask a question and that was pretty darn cool. I have been a longtime fan of The Beatles, and I am sure internally I would be like Chris Farley if I ever interviewed Paul, but I would have a lot of good questions for him. I have never even attempted to request an interview with him, the closest I have come is an interview with his official biographer.

Next is Linda Ronstadt. If you read this column regularly, you may have seen the piece I wrote about Linda Ronstadt a few weeks back. I am reading her book right now and it would be very cool to talk with her. I requested an interview but was given a book instead.

Meat Loaf would be pretty cool. I have followed his career closely because of the Todd Rundgren and Utopia connection, but his story is very interesting and his season on “Celebrity Apprentice” is one of my favorites. I have requested interviews, but no luck.

Then there is Bruno Mars. He is certainly one of the youngest on my list, but the guy is oozing with talent. I have both of his albums and songs like “Locked Out of Heaven” and “The Lazy Song” are just brilliant. I would love to chat with the guy and see how he enjoys all the success.

Speaking of success, then there is Taylor Swift. I saw her in concert a couple of years ago, and like Sugarland, I was hooked. Swift is a great performer, but her real talent lies in her songwriting — she can craft a wonderful pop song. All too often her personal and dating life overshadow that talent, and if I interviewed her it would be a discussion on songwriting. I have never requested an interview, but when her new album comes out I just might give it a try.

Next, there is Tommy Shaw of Styx. I think the best interview I ever conducted was with Dennis DeYoung, and I had the honor of interviewing Styx bassist Chuck Panozzo. Tommy and/or James Young would be very cool, to say the least. They are coming to Fallsview Casino this month, so maybe this time?

Finally, here is Gil Moore of Triumph. I have interviewed Rik Emmett twice, he is simply amazing, but I have always wanted to talk to Moore about the business end of Triumph and the design of their light show. I requested an interview once, but nothing came of it.

Thom Jennings writes a weekly column on the music scene for Sunday Lifestyle. Email him at