Sunday, May 6, 2012

Advance Interview Steve Kimock Tour 2012

Interview with Steve Kimock 4 May 2012
Interview by  Conall O'Brien

Steve Kimock, John Morgan Kimock ZERO NY, NY 2007

Steve Kimock is touring in 2012 for the first time in many years. Beginning in early May,  joining Steve will be  Bernie Worrell on keys (Parliament Funkadelic, Talking Heads), drummer Wally Ingram (Sheryl Crow, David Lindley), and bassists Andy Hess (Gov’t Mule, Black Crowes) and Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green, SKB). 

Creating images of artists is the primary focus at Concert Photos Magazine, however when the offer was made to do a phoner with Steve we eagerly jumped at the opportunity.
The second portion of  the taped interview is being transcribed and to be published with photo recap article of next Saturday 12 May 2012 show in Portland, ME. 

Steve Kimock 2012 Tour dates here .

CO: We bumped into each other at Yoshi’s nightclub in Oakland (CA), when you were playing with Henry Kaiser and Bob Bralove,(ed- 1998 Bob Bralove's Second Sight, with Henry Kaiser
and Steve Kimock. ) we were both out having a smoke on the sidewalk. You quit smoking cigarettes, correct?  

SK: Yes, although I still want a cigarette every 10 or 15 secs…

Commenting to Steve that I heard his mother was a music teacher, and with Mother’s Day coming up if it would be safe to say that his Mom was a early influence on his music career he commented  

SK: “Mom was a K-3 teacher, In Kindergarten she would play the piano and sing songs for the kids, we had a piano in the house and once in a blue moon my mother would sit down and plink out a melody but that wasn’t really her focus..  My Aunt Dottie (sp), was a folk singer of some note, back in the day… she sang with Pete Seeger and stuff like that, she was kind of the real deal, and my cousin Kenny, of course, kind of got me into the whole electric guitar &  rock-n-roll thing, so yeah my mom encouraged it for sure, and there wouldn’t have been any connection to music, any real tangible connection to music without family…  but I think that’s probably true with most guys, most musicians, would have early..…..

CO: Early influences..

SK: Yeah, the early influences are from family.  Not a lot of guys started out late, Henry Kaiser started out late, for example –I think he was a late starter. … but (laughter) (he) is the exception to every rule. 

CO: I see your tour is kicking off (May 9th) in Bethlehem (PA), where you grew up…  and it looks like this venue is located on the site of the old Bethlehem Steel plant , it’s called Steel  Stacks ?

SK: True…

CO: or Musikfest  at Steel Stacks.. How do you feel about playing at that venue, does that have any significance to you, having grown up in Bethlehem?

SK: Wow, it’s not…  it’s not happening without some sense of irony, for sure, because …..  I mean I kind of declared my love for music at a pretty early age, early enough that  _most of the family_ was giving me some kind of shit for it, or grief, whatever prints nice for you guys … 
Ya know ,“What are you doing?, ”You should get a  job .. get a  job… at Ingot Mold”, everybody told me. “Ohh, you gotta work at Ingot Mold”, they would say in their Dutch/ Pennsylvania Dutch/ Bethlehem kinda (sic) way.  “Wear a suit and get the hazardous duty pay and go down in there and scrape impurities off of the inside of the walls”.  

SK: The steel companies completely dominated the landscape and culture in every way, the trains would just stretch endlessly wherever you stood,  you’d look up and down and you couldn’t see the end, ran 24 hrs a day ,and I remember lying in bed at night , when I was a kid during the summer time, giant trains would couple and uncouple their cars, bang/smash, the sky would light up, incredible red glow of molten swag  filling the sky, it was like hell. It was really bizarre.

SK: And it was so huge and permanent, then it folded up so quickly, when it finally went, and so dramatically, nobody could believe it. 

SK:  I mean every day of my life, up until maybe my young teens, a train car, like miles, and miles, and miles of trains would pull up… filled with scrap metal with every kind of junk, just metal scrap to dump it to be resmelted. 

SK: It got to the point where it was cheaper to ship all that stuff to Japan and get it turned into steel, and ship it back then it was to do it right there at the steel company, and the whole town just kinda like(laughs) you know the collective disbelief was kind of palpable.   But I bailed out for California, and everybody thought I was nuts, ya know, “ Get a job at the steel  company why don’t you?”. 

CO:  Hmm, Pretty ironic. 

SK: Ya know and then it was gone. And now, I’m still playin’ and the steel  company is cloooosed , it’s just gone, um  and it’s weird, it’s weird to grow up here and have that be the case  …. Especially considering that some,  at least some part of everybody’s consciousness in my family, as it was directed towards to me, was like ”This is just a passing thing, you need to go do this…Here’s your permanent, here’s your job security over here- Ingot Mold”.  Ya know ,so…

CO: So with a name “Steel Stacks”, is that (venue) name kinda like a tribute to the working man, to this day…. err?

SK: Well, no… If you could see the place (Steel Stacks), it’s located in front of these giant Steel  Stacks. <laughter> Yeah,  It’s kind of like Two Rock, I have a amplifier called Two Rock, everyone wonders what Two Rock is, but I lived in California, right down the street..Two Rock is a town… Everyone is like “Oh what’s that  mean?”.  That’s a place.  And if you drove through there, there’s nothing there, (just) a couple of farm houses, and then way over there behind a big high fence there is a Naval Air station Coast Guard kind of thing. And then on the one hill where you can see something  there’s Two big Rocks, that’s it… Two Rock.

SK: Yeah so, Two Rock / Steel Stacks.

CO: So you left PA, what was it the mid 70’s?  and went to SF Bay area?

SK: Yeah, I don’t remember exactly when it was. And I actually left twice. We got the notion that we could go out there, got together and got some money from a guy and flew out and checked out around about where would be going, north of San Francisco and stayed there for awhile. We were like yeah, this is great we went back and packed up. It was a long time ago, so I don’t remember the years

CO: Around ’86 –’87 during the time you were playing with Zero,  I used to catch you at CHI CHIs on Broadway (North Beach, San Francisco), I’m sure you remember that.

SK: Oh yeah..  Chi-Chi Club. 

CO: Those were the days

SK: OMG, yeah. 

CO: It was like we’d either see Jerry ( Garcia) at the Stone,

SK: right next door, yeah

CO: or you were playin’ it was like either ZERO or Jerry was playin’ , what seemed to go on for eternity and I mean it seemed like it was never going to end.

SK: It was fantastic (Laughter) two of the fantastic parts about it were.. ..the absolute vacancy of the Chi Chi  club anytime Garcia was playing, ya know obviously, he was right next door at the Stone, right,

CO: Yep.

SK: There were would be nights were you would go outside, the streets would be filled with people, partying, freaking out..   (audio dropout 12:38)  

SK: Nobody in there, it would be me and (John) Cippolina, Greg Anton ..going WTF? Ya know, that was some funny stuff. Also if you ever stuck around to the end of the night, one of the most exciting parts of the Chi-Chi club gigs was the load out.  Cause by the time we would get done, the bars would be closed, and that street, with all those clubs, the strip joints and bars – everyone would just haul out all their empties out to the curb and so as you were loading out there would be shirtless drunken thugs hurtling bottles back and forth across the street at each other, and the whole load out was normally accompanied by bottles flying by, and hail of broken glass.

CO:  You probably weren’t aware of this, but you were talking about how vacant the place was when Garcia was playing next door to the Chi-Chi Club… I remember one night there was a Sapporo beer  promotion , and they were giving these raffle tickets, if you bought small Sapporo bottle, you’d get one raffle ticket, if you bought a big Sapporo beer in the aluminum can you’d get three raffle tickets. My good friend Jim A. and I cornered the market with the raffle tickets as we were the only ones buying the big cans Sapporos, and we won all this Sapporo branded stuff, Mirrors for the wall, T-shirts. We practically furnished the house with all these Sapporo  giveaways  from that evening.

CO: We used to really enjoy those ZERO shows with John Kahn, Cippolina, Banana, 

SK: Yeah, me too… those were good days.
Steve commented that it’s been many years since going out on the road, he’s been at home being DAD mostly- which he loves… he loves his kids and his kids love him so much and that he is very close to his kids. 

SK:  Eventually you go ”Well ..(laughter) if we’re going to keep a roof over the head here, and put food on my family - as George Bush would say(laughter)  …if I’m going to put food on my family, I’m going to have to go out and work.  So I thought, OK- here I go I’m going to go out and just sort of direct my destiny a little bit. While I’ve been sitting home being a DAD, which again has been awesome, as I said, I’ve gone out and selectively chosen to bridge the gap… financially. I go where I’m invited basically, and this is a little different than saying OK I’m going out and doing a bunch of work. The economics these days are daunting, to hit all this stuff, you need a bus, the trailer, a crew…

Steve Kimock, John Morgan Kimock ZERO NY, NY 2007
CO: As you probably know, I’m up here in Maine, I’m really pleased that you’re coming  to Portland, ‘cause that’s usually the end of the line for a lot of tours, being as it’s kind of out of the way, so I just wanted to say thank you very much for swinging up this way.

SK: Oh, you’re welcome. No offense to my fans in Florida, because I love Florida, I’ve got family in Florida, I go down there often enough, but if I had to go to the very end, it’s like nobody goes there cause it’s not on the way to anywhere, I’d rather go north, than south.
The bottom line is that the folks who do manage to make it down to the show are going to get some great music. 

CO: Right

SK: And the word of mouth will make it just that better. 

Rest of Conall's interview with Steve Kimock in one week... stay tuned to concert photos magazine

Steve Kimock- Spring Tour 2012

May 9 ArtsQuest/MusikFest Cafe - Bethlehem, PA
May 10 Stage One - Fairfield, CT
May 11 Brooklyn Bowl - Brooklyn, NY
May 12 Port City Music Hall Portland, ME
May 14 Middle East - Boston, MA
May 15 Higher Ground - Burlington, VT
May 16 The Tralf - Buffalo, NY
May 18 Beachland Ballroom - Cleveland
May 19 Bottom Lounge - Chicago, IL
May 20 Old Rock House - St. Louis
May 21 Bluebird Nightclub - Bloomington, IN
May 22 Exit/In - Nashville, TN
May 24 Plaza Live - Orlando, FL
May 25 Tampa, FL The Ritz Ybor
May 26 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse
May 27 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Culture Room
May 29 Charleston, SC Pour House
May 30 Asheville, NC Grey Eagle
May 31 Raleigh, NC Lincoln Theatre
June 1 Charlottesville, VA Jefferson Theatre
June 2 Baltimore, MD Soundstage
June 3 Harrisburg, PA Abbey Bar
June 4 Washington, DC Howard Theatre  

Shows -

© 2012 Conall O'Brien All Rights Reserved - 

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