Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Peverett Phile Interviews: Webb Wilder

Hello, can you believe another post with another interview? This is my biggest one yet, with an old friend, and a legend... Webb Wilder. So, phans, here's Webb.

Me: Hello, Webb, welcome to the Phile. I have known you for over fifteen years now, thanks to my dad. How have you been? 

Webb: Hello! Well, I've been every way there is at one time or another over the last fifteen years! Seriously, I'm fine and appreciate you checking in.

Me: I am glad to see you are still rocking. For those that don't know you, what can you tell them about yourself? 

Webb: Well, I'm just your every day, garden variety "burnin' god of love," you know... Been playin' in bands since the late sixties, recording since the early 80's at which time I guess I started touring around the world. Did some films, radio, rode a few horses. I'm from Mississippi which is sort of the "home office" of Blues and Rock and Roll. It's a good place to be FROM. Ya gotta leave to do anything in the music bidniss. I've been in Nashville since 1982 but, have never pursued a career in Country music. Born to rock, I guess.

Me: Do you still go by the Webb Wilder credo? The only part I remember is 'wear glasses if you have them'. Can you remind me on the rest? 

Webb: You bet! "Work hard! Rock hard! Eat hard! Sleep hard! Grow BIG! Wear glasses if ya need 'em."

Me: You live in Nashville right now, right? We go up there often. Do you get recognized walking around town? 

Webb: I do get recognized but, mostly by people I know. I do have the occasional stranger come up and say something. It's nice. It's more mind blowing when it happens in other towns on the road which it does from time to time. Loved by DOZENS!

Me: I remember years ago you gave me a copy of your VHS called "Corn Flicks", which has a great play on name. Tell the readers what "Corn Flicks" was.

Webb: "Corn Flicks" was a collection of three short films, two of which I was in. There were some other bits in there as well. Those three films and lots more are currently available for the first time on DVD under the title of "Webb Wilder's Amazing B-Movie Shorts," through

Me: You had eight CD's out over the years. What was your favorite album to record? My favorite is "Doo-Dad". 

Webb: Well, there are 8 if you count the "Scattered, Smothered and Covered" collection. It contains material from other albums so, I've done seven, really. We're mixing the new one (which will be the 8th) now. "Town and Country" was the most fun to record for me. That doesn't necessarily make it the best. I'm very proud of all of them. "Doo Dad" was certainly singular. "Hybrid Vigor" was the only other major label "big budget" album. It came first so, I think a lot of lessons were learned on that one that were applied to "Doo Dad." The particular bunch of songs on "Doo Dad" and how they fit together to make the album are a big part of it's charm, IMHO. Thanks! Glad you like it.

Me: "Town and Country" was the last CD you released, as well as your Live DVD. Are you working on anything at the moment? 

Webb: Actually, "Acres of Suede" came out after "Town and Country." I think it's a helluva record but, didn't get much attention because the little label(Watermelon) was beginning to go under just as it was coming out. "Acres" and "T & C" are both out of print now but, selections from each are on the "Scattered" collection on Varese Sarabande." Of course Blind Pig put out some of the material from the live DVD under the title, "Born To Be Wilder." It came out on Dixie Frog in France as "It's Live Time!" We are in the mixing stage of my first studio album since 2005's "About Time" now. It should be out on Blind Pig in the Spring.

Me: I heard you have a show on XM. What is that like? 

Webb: I have not had a show on XM since the Fall of 2005 but, I was there for four and a half years. I was, in fact, one of America's first Satellite DJs. It was fun. Opened me up to worlds of things like e-mail!

Me: Your live CD "Born to Be Wilder" is finally released on iTunes, two years after the DVD came out. Is there a reason for that? 

Webb: I don't know. Did it really take that long? Could it be that the songs were available for download but, only through Landslide's website prior to Blind Pig's involvement? I have no answer but, will look into it. Thanks.

Me: When was the last time you played in Central Florida, and most importantly, when are you coming back? 

Webb: All I know is we were playing the Bamboo Room in Lake Worth and Skipper's Smokehouse in Tampa with some regualarity up until recently and I assume we will be going back to Skipper's. Not so sure about the status of the Bamboo Room. They were closed in recent months. Hope they reopen. Great club. We played in Key West last March, I think? We will doing a cruise in 2009 that departs from Miami in late February. It's called Cayamo: Journey Through Song. Lots of great people: Buddy Miller, Shawn Colvin, Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, John Hiatt, Patty Griffin and MORE! Read all about it at

Me: One thing that I think is cool, you kept the same band together for a lot of years. Is there anybody you wish you could play with that you haven't? 

Webb: Well, there have been comings and goings in the band. Jimmy Lester has been the drummer more often than not since 1985 and I'm proud to say he's with me today. Tom Comet has played bass and sung harmony since 1996. I always wanted to get Ian Maclagan (I'm a HUGE Faces and Small Faces fan) to record something with me. Maybe it can happen some day.

Me: My dad had a wonderful story about you when you both when guitar shopping in Washington I think it was. Do you remember that? And if so, I bet that was fun.

Webb: We were to play on the same bill on an outdoor show in Macon, GA. It got rained out. Your dad, myself and some of the others were kind of walkin' around town and saw an old Gibson SG Junior in a pawn shop. It was really nice but, nobody bought it. May have been a Sunday but, seems like they were open. None of us could spring for it and your dad was happy with his old Les Paul Juniors that he already had. It was fun though. The guitar would cost more today. That is a fact! WW

Me: I have to ask you about R.S. Fields. How did that partnership begin? And for those that don't know, explain who R.S. is. 

Webb: Well there's only one Field. No "S". He hates that! There is only one R. S. Field as well! He's a one of a kind guy. We are both from Hattiesburg, MS. We met when I was about 14 and he was about 16. We belonged to the same church and had seen each other around before that. Apparently, his mother was my first Sunday school teacher! He was a drummer in some good bands. I was a younger bass player in worse bands! We just kind of saw things the same way and got on a muscial path together. He was always a very prolific writer which coupled with his destiny to become a great record producer helped get me wherever it is that I am today! He actually was the original Beatneck drummer before Jimmy but, bowed out after meeting Jimmy and hearing him play, asking him to take his p lace. He produced all the records up through the live one. I'm co-producing the new one with Joe V. McMahan who played guitar with me in the mid to late nineties. R. S. has worked with all sorts of people from Sonny Landreth to John Mayall. He continues producing and writing to this day.

Me: And finally, this question is asked to all the people I interview. What is your favorite Foghat song? 

Webb: Well, it might be their version of "I Just Want To Make Love To You." Of course, "Slow Ride" and "Fool For the City" are classics. Always wanted to hear the whole album Dave Edmunds did on them. Was there more than one? On a related note, I liked the Savoy Brown "Street Corner Talkin'" album quite a bit. I especially liked "Tell Mama."

Me: Thanks, Webb, for taking time out to answer these questions. When we're in Nashville next, let's meet up for lunch. Stay in touch.

Webb: Yes, lunch! Eat hard, right? Thanks so much. Great to hear from you.

That was one of my best interviews yet. There'll be no interview tomorrow but on Tuesday come back for my interview with Fogdan. Yes, there's a guy called Fogdan. Until then, spread the word, not the turd. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I accidentally discovered Webb on TV late last night. I really enjoy these guys and their music.
I'd like it if they came out to do some gigs here in the SF Bay area!