Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pheaturing Les Dudek


Hello, welcome to another entry of the Phile. I hope you're having a good Summer. The Phile is a proud sponsor of...

Two weeks in a row there was a Foghat reference so it's now my all-new favorite TV show, which pretty much means it'll be cancelled in no time. If you haven't seen it, check it out on Monday nights on Fox. So, this is the first time that two women have been on the International Space Station at the same time. That can only mean one thing: zero-gravity pillow fight. NASA says that there may be 100 times more water on the moon than they thought. There’s so much water that BP is planning to go there and ruin it. Sarah Palin called marijuana a “minimal problem” in America. She admitted that she herself has tried pot, which could explain some of the things she has said over the years. It’s all baked Alaska talk. There’s so much going on in sports right now from Wimbledon to the World Cup, it seems like there’s something for everyone to not care about. I’ve said this before, but tennis is just waving with equipment. I like listening to tennis. It’s calming, like listening to the ocean, but without the sound of bubbling oil. Hundreds of people are already camping out for the premiere of the new Twilight movie. And most of them are teenage girls. It’s what Roman Polanski counts to fall asleep every night.
U2 was supposed to play at Glastonbury this year but they had to cancel because lead singer Bono hurt his back. I think it’s because he carries the weight of the world on his tiny leprechaun shoulders. Every country in the world has music festivals now. In Afghanistan, they have al-Qaida-palooza. President Obama and General Stanley McChrystal are calling it quits. According to the general, they haven’t been intimate in months. So, with the Twilight craze happening all over again there's a new Twilight theme inspirational poster out right now.



Speaking of movies, have you seen Toy Story 3 yet? I cried like a big fat baby. If youu thought it was sad with the ending they have now in the movie you should see what the original ending was supposed to be. I think I have a still from it, kids.




Andy is going off to college and his toys realize that with the death of childhood could come the breakup of their toy family. The army men bail out first but the rest stick around and await their fate. Should they hope he brings them to college? Will they be happier stored in the attic? Or will they get to experience new life as the playthings at a daycare center? Only when the third option becomes a reality do they realize that being stuffed in a box might not have been such a bad thing after all. It's literally redundant to say this because I'm just part of a chorus of yay-sayers, but this fantastic Pixar film is not only perfectly animated but also perfectly emotionally on point. Like last year's Up, but in an entirely different direction, this series of films aims right for the sadness and ache that comes along as life shifts around you. And it distinguishes itself from other sentimental kid-aimed movies in that it gets the universal sense of loss that comes with growing up and moving along, unafraid to confront the fears of the people (or in this case, anthropomorphic non-people) left behind. It's so moving you're probably made of rock if you don't shed at least a few tears before the credits roll. Like I said, I cried like a big fat baby. Attention All Grown Men, Let This Be A Warning To You: You might bring a handkerchief along. Or some tissue. Whatever you have. A long-sleeved shirt will do. You're going to need it. And yes, I'll say it again, I openly sobbed during the entire final five minutes. Oh, one more thing, Miyazaki fans, get ready to squeal with joy: Totoro. He's in it. From 1 to 10, it gets a 10, and I will buy it on blu-ray.


Manute Bol
October 16, 1962 - June 19, 2010
So that makes up for Gary Coleman then, right?


1374
In a sudden outbreak of Dancing Mania (aka "St. John's Dance"), people in the streets of Aix-la-Chapelle experience terrible hallucinations and begin to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapse from exhaustion. Many of the sufferers are afflicted with frothing at the mouth, diabolical screaming, and sexual frenzy. The phenomenon lasts well into the month of July. Nowadays, ergot madness is suspected as being the ultimate cause of the disorder.
1947
Businessman pilot Kenneth Arnold encounters a formation of nine flying saucers near Mt. Ranier, Washington, exhibiting unusual movements and velocities of 1,700 mph. No explanation is found for this first report of flying saucers in the recent era, but it does earn Mr. Arnold legions of skeptics and an eventual IRS tax audit.
1948
East Germany blockades the city of West Berlin.
1957
The U.S. Supreme Court rules that obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment, though a dissenting opinion included with the ruling notes the issue of prior restraint renders this a terrible decision.
1993
Yale computer science professor Dr. David Gelernter opens a padded envelope in his office when it suddenly explodes. Gelernter loses the sight in one eye, the hearing in one ear, and part of his right hand. In this condition he manages to walk down five flights of stairs and over to the university hospital a block away. It is the handiwork of the Unabomber.
2004
Rapper DMX is arrested at New York's JFK Airport after he and a partner were trying to steal a car. While attempting to flee, DMX plows his SUV into a security gate while claiming to be an undercover federal agent. He later pleads guilty, blames Valium and receives jail time.




Today's guest is an American guitarist who recently re-released all his albums on CD finally. Tonight he'll be playing at Fishlips in Bakersfield, California and on July 16th he'll be in concert here in Orlando at the Rockin' Lake Eola Concert Series. Let's do this... please welcome to the Phile... Les Dudek.


Me: Hey, Les, welcome to the Phile. Let's do this interview, sir. So, how are you?

Les: Thanks for inviting me, Phile. I'm so, so, getting over a cold, let's just say I've been better.

Me: I met you a few times over the years. The first being at the FBI club in Winter Park where you played with Foghat and Pat Travers in the early 90's. Do you remember that?

Les: Yeah, I do vaguely remember that show. It's been a while. Was I any good? I've done a lot of shows with Travers.

Me: Congrats on having all your albums out now on CD, sir. What album are you most proud of?

Les: Yeah, you can get all of my CDs now at www.lesdudek.com. Well thanks, Phile, it took many, many years to finally get the interest to get all my records out on CDs. You asked which album am I most proud of? Well hell, Phile, I'm most proud of all of them. People just don't realize how hard it is to give birth to a record or CD. I mean technically it may be easier to record these days, but, business wise, it's a pain in the neck to get any interest from so called, (real record companies). That is, if there's any real record companies still out there.

Me: I read somewhere that you build your own guitars, is that true? Also, you are an avid biker. How many of each do you have?

Les: No, I didn't build my guitars, Phile. But I did design the two new Strats that I play now, of which I call (Mom & Dad), to my specific specifications. But I didn't actually build them, and Fender guitars didn't have anything to do with them either. Rather, I gathered all the components and coordinated their birth. I had Billy Fels assembled them for me. And they are bad to the bone. You won't find these Strats off the rack. Yes, I've been a biker all my life, and will always be a biker. I was 16 years old when we built my first bike. It was a 1957 FLH Panhead Harley-Davidson. I hope you realize that there is only one real motorcycle, and it's called a Harley-Davidson. I ride a Harley-Davidson Wide Glide right now. You can see it at my Myspace site, myspace.com/lesdudek.

Me: So, Les, do you still live in Orlando? Were you born here, or did you move here when you were a kid?

Les: I never lived in Orlando, and I wasn't born there either. I live in Polk County, Florida. I was born on NAS Quonset Point, RI. A US naval air station that was near Wickford, Rhode Island. My Dad did 30 years in the US Navy. He was a radioman who flew on PBY's during WWII, mostly in the Atlantic theater, and was stationed in Quonset Point RI when I was born. We moved to Polk County Florida seven years later in 1959. So I grew up and went to school in Polk County where I live today.

Me: When did you start playing guitar and was the Allman Brothers Band your first real musicians job?

Les: I started playing guitar when I was 10 years old. I started playing out in teen centers and bars, throughout Florida in 1965. The Florida bands that I played with were, The Steppin' Stones, The United Sounds, Kayle Payne Blues Band, Blue Truth and Power. I already had studio experience recording with Blue Truth and Power before I hooked up with The Allman Brothers. So no, the Allman Brothers were not my first rodeo.

Me: How did they find you and hire you and how many records of their did you play on? You played on "Ramblin' Man", right?

Les: Right after Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident at the end of October 1971, my keyboard player in Power (Peter Schless), heard that Dickey Betts was putting together his own band. Peter and Dickey knew each other from their Sarasota, FL days, before there was an Allman Brothers Band. Dickey didn't know if ABB was gonna stay together or not after Duane died. He was already thinking about the future, and was looking for new players. So, Peter and I drove up to Macon, Ga one weekend to hang and jam with Dickey. Pete and I went back to Florida, and a couple weeks later I got the call to come back to Macon. I recall many incredible jams we had in Macon, Ga. I lived there for a little over two years before moving to California.
While in Macon, all of a sudden, I found myself signed to Phil Walden and Capricorn Records. Next thing I know I'm in the studio standing where Duane would have been standing, and I'm playing lead guitar on a tune called "Ramblin Man" with Dickey and the rest of the original Allman Brothers Band. I was the first guitar player to record with ABB after Duane died. I played half of all those guitar parts on that tune. It was a very magical moment to say the least.
I remember Phil Walden was pushing hard for me to be in ABB, but after Berry Oakley (original ABB bass player) died in another motorcyle accident almost a year later from Duane's accident, the tone changed with the band. Dickey desided he didn't want another guitar player at that time. We still hadn't finished what would later become "The Brothers & Sisters" album yet. One snowy night in Macon, Dickey and I got together with our acoustic guitars. Dickey said we need an instrumental tune for the new ABB record. So he played me the verse section of a new tune he had started. We kicked it around for a while and Dickey got frustrated and went in the other room. I stayed with it, and came up with the bridge section for the tune, or where it goes to "G". It happens twice in the song. I showed it to Dickey, and he loved it so much that we threw our guitars in the back of his truck and went to play it for everybody. Dickey now had all the main parts to the instrumental, everytning else was just solos and arrangement. So, that snowy night in Macon we gave birth to the song called "Jessica". It took us an entire week to record that song in the studio. That's a live recording from the original session, no overdubs.
Dickey said he didn't want me to play the guitar harmonies with him on "Jessica", even though I helped him write it. Because he didn't want the critics to think I was gonna be in the band. He said "Ramblin Man" was enough guitar harmonies for the record. So I played the acoustic guitar on "Jessica" and Chuck Leavell played all of what would have been the guitar harmonies on piano. And they also desided to add another keyboard player, (Chuck) instead of a guitar player, me. I remember Dickey marching me into Phil Walden's office to advise him that I co-wrote "Jessica" and I deserve to get co-writers credit and royalties from it. To this day I've never been credited for co-writting "Jessica" and I've never received one penny in royalties.
Last time I spoke with Dickey in 2000 he told me he felt real bad about the whole "Jessica" issue with me not getting any credit and royalties. I told Dickey, "You don't have to feel bad about it anymore", he said, "really why?" I said, "you can just cut me a check for what you owe me." Dickey said, "Oh, I don't feel that bad about it." I said, "Well after over 30 years of not paying me my royalties, I didn't think you felt bad about it." That's the last time we spoke. Funny thing is, he's all mad at me cause I asked him to cut me a check, for what he knows he owes me. So go figure... For the record, I still love Dickey, I always will, but I'm very disappointed that he let a brother down. Because that song is a part of my heritage too. Bet you didn't know you were gonna open up that can of worms did ya, Phile? To finish answering that question, yes, I played lead guitar on "Ramblin' Man" & acoustic guitar on "Jessica", and those two songs were originally on ABB's "Brothers & Sisters" album. But they have also been on countless compilation ABB albums and a few major movies, like "The Exorcist" to name one.

Me: How long did you play with Boz Scaggs? I would love to interview him, that would be cool.

Les: I hooked up with Boz Scaggs right after I found out that ABB was gonna hire Chuck Leavell instead of me. I was with Boz for a little over four years mostly touring and I appeard in several of his videos. I also appeared on Boz' biggest record "Silk Degrees". And Boz produced my first Columbia Records solo album. But oddly enough, for as long as I played with Scaggs, I appeared on more of his old band mates records then I did with Boz. I'm talking about Steve Miller. Boz played guitar with The Steve Miller Band in the very beginning. After the Joker tour in 1974, of which I play with Boz and Miller, Steve invited me for a short stay with his band. We went to Seattle to record. Those recordings appear on the "Fly Like An Eagle", "The Book Of Dreams", "Living In The Twentieth Century" and "Wide River" albums.

Me: Speaking of interviews, I interviewed an old friend of yours... Mike Finnigan. Did you read that interview? Are you and he good friends still? Now if I can only interview Jim Krueger...

Les: No, I haven't read your interview with Mike Finnigan. I love Mike Finnigan no matter what, but, I don't know how he feels about me, ask him some day. I know he's one soulful cat, and I have nothing but respect for the Finns. And it's a damn shame that the DFK band didn't take off and make it big. Cause that band would have lasted a very long time. We had four major singers and four major song writers in that band, so we had tunes by the truck load. And everybody played their ass off on their axes. Two drummers, two keyboard players, two guitar players and a bass player. What a band! We openned for Kansas "Dust In The Wind" tour in 1978, they turned on the house lights right after our last song every night, because we smoked them so bad, they didn't won't us to do an encore. Yeah, when it comes to DFK, the world missed a damn good band there, boy howdy. Get the CD while you can at my web site.
Phile, you obviously didn't do your home work, you'll never get the chance to interview Jim Krueger, the "K" of DFK. He died back in the early 90's. He was one hot bad ass guitar player. I was very honored and proud to play in a band with "The Bruiser", that was his nick name. And you talk about a song writer, he wrote that song that Dave Mason got a hit with, "We Just Disagree". We played that song in DFK, and when I play out now if I have my acoustic guitar with me, I'll play that song in Krueger's memory. God bless you, Bruiser.

Me: You, Mike and Jim had one album out together... is there any chance you would do a reunion?

Les: Yes, DFK as we called it, put out one studio record together. And it took a long time, but it finally came out on CD. I fought hard and got two bonus tracks added to that CD release that weren't on the original release. They were two original songs we recored for the album, that were cut because of vinyl time restrictions. I felt it was important to put those to bonus songs on the CD since there never will be another DFK CD. I even wanted to include the DVD that we made with the CD set. I thought it would have been a great touch to include the DVD & CD with two bonus tracks, but the record company didn't want to do the DVD part. What can I say, most record people just don't get it. Unbelievable... So, to answer part two of this question, since Jim Krueger died, there will never be a DFK reuion. But you can buy the DFK CD at my web site for now, so get it while you can. It's worthy of a spot in anyone's CD collection.

Me: You were almost in Journey, Les. You dodged that bullet. How did that almost happen, and are you glad or do you regret not being in that band?

Les: I was invited to the very first Journey rehearsal by their manager Herbie Herbert, I hope I spelled his name right. He said he was starting a new super band and he wanted the two guitar heros of the Bay area to be in it, Neil and myself. I had already recorded a few demos and was shopping around for a record deal. As it turns out, the same day I was going down to S.I.R. in San Francisco, which was a rehearsal hall, I was invited to a meeting at Columbia Studios right across the street. I went to S.I.R. first and hung with the Jounrney people for a while and when it came time for my meeting with Columbia I took a brake and walked across the street.
I had no idea what so ever, what Columbia wanted with me. To my surprise, I was greeted by the President and Vice President of Columbia Records and they offered me a solo record deal on the spot. The rest is history, I started my solo career with Columbia Records. Do I have any regrets about not being in Journey? Well yeah, I have some regrets about all the bands I've turned down over the years. Ask me who all they were some day. But I think if Journey had the musical direction and Steve Perry in the very beginning, of which they didn't have yet, I would have stuck it out with Journey. So yeah there's a little regret there. It was a timing thing. Steve didn't join the band until over a year later.

Me: Did you prefer a solo career?

Les: As it turns out, yes I do prefer a solo career. It's much easier to make decisions when your solo, but it was never an ego thing with me to be solo. I just felt that since I was already offered a solo deal with Columbia, oh and by the way, that same week I was offered a solo deal with Capital Records too, I would have more say as to what direction I wanted to go musically.
And I must say, even though DFK was probably the best band I was ever in, that project distroyed my solo career with Columbia Records. If I wasn't coerced by my manager at the time to be in DFK, I would have had a much greater success with my own solo career. It was a stupid move for me to go from solo to joining another band, when I already had three solo records to my credit and I was on the verge of a hit album. The promotion on my third album "Ghost Town Parade" got lost behind the whole DFK thing.

Me: Congrats I guess on going out with Cher! How long did that relationship last? You were in a movie with Cher called "Mask". Was that before or during your relationship? Greg Allman went out with her before you I believe.

Les: Yeah well, as it turns out, that was my second big mistake. I think at that point my record company was throwing darts at my pictures. Even though I have no regrets what so ever about being with Cher, in fact I have nothing but fond memories of her, it was a bad mistake for my music career. I was still licking my wounds from the DFK fiasco, when I was approached by Cher to do an album project with her. "Black Rose" was the name of that monster. I figured what can it hurt, I wasn't doing anything, and artists play on other artists records all the time, what's the big deal, so I agreed to help her. Well boy, I caught total hell from my record company over that one. She was with a different record company then me and my record company was pissed. Most likely, that "Black Rose" project sealed my fate with my record company. It really was a good band, but nobody cared after Neil Bogart died. He was the President of Cher' record label. So when he passed, that was the end of that. She literally moved me in with her for three years. I totally lost my idenity. Had a great time. But lost everything as a result. My musical credibility got shot all to hell. I did manage to squeeze out one more record with Columbia Records at that time, "Gypsy Ride", it came out and took top picks in all the trades Cash Box, Record World and Billboard marked it for huge success. But by then my record company lost interest and didn't care anymore so they just let it die. That was a real shame, because there was some hits on that record. Cher even co-wrote a tune with me, which is kind of eerie now when I think of it, called, "Don't Trust That Woman". Yeah freaky ain't it? But ya know, it's a damn good tune. Elton John even did a different version of it on his "Leather Jackets" album. After we broke up, she was kind enough to try and get me envolved in a movie project, so that was very nice of her and I really needed the work at the time. The movie was "Mask", I was a biker. Boy that was a stretch wasn't it? Oh well, it was a great experience to be in an Oscar winning major motion picture and I'm very thankful for that. So to hell with all you pissed off record companies that have fallen along the way side since 1984, I did an album and a movie with Cher and I'm proud of it, so there. Hey honey if your reading this, give me a call. I'll be happy to do another movie with ya any time. I need the work. Greg Allman was married to Cher a few years before I was with her. Greg and I don't talk anymore. I have absolutely nothing against Greg Allman what so ever. In fact, I'd love to play some more music with him before we leave this big rock. But sadly, for what ever reason, his ego won't let us be friends... I still love him though, there I said it. What ever it is Greg, please get over it, I miss ya.

Me: When was your last album out, Les? I know you kept busy writing music for TV shows such as "Friends". Is that something you like doing? Do you still write for TV?

Les: My latest CD came out as a private release on my little record label Eflat Productions in 2002. Titled "Freestyle". It's what I call my archive album. I heard people were bootlegging old radio simulcasts I did years ago. So I thought, I bet I have enough tunes recorded in the can that I can create another CD, and put it out. Sure enough, I did. These are songs that I never released before, because some nimrod in a record company didn't like them. But that doesn't mean they're not good tunes. I have two songs that the late Jeff Porcaro drummer of ToTo played on. Jeff played drums on five of my CDs. The song "Freestyle" was co-writen by Stevie Nicks and myself. So the "Freestyle" CD really is a treat. You can listen to 20 second sound bytes of all my tunes from all my records at my official web site www.lesdudek.com just click on the album covers. As for the TV music. It's what we call mail box money. I haven't done that in a while but it's fun stuff to do at home, and you can make some great royalties from it. But I don't have any plans for that in the future. Rather, I'm ready to do a new CD with new songs. I just need the money to do it.

Me: You still play live across the States I know. Who is in your band?

Les: Yes, I still do shows when it makes sense to do them. I'm always looking for great players. I use Dan Walters a lot on bass guitar/vocals. I've been talking with Bobby Caldwell about playing drums with me. Don't know if that will happen or not. I've used Billy Carter and Bryan Hawkins on drums a lot over the years.

Me: Les, go ahead and plug your website and anything else you would love to plug. I hope to see you again one day. I wish you all the luck, and take care.

Les: Well, thank you, Phile. I hope to see you again soon and good luck to you as well.
Yes for the first time ever, you can get all seven of my albums now available on CDs at my official web site www.lesdudek.com at the "STORE" page. When ordering, at your request in the comment window, I will personally autograph your CDs to you. Just ask! My store takes all major credit cards and it's safe and secure. And we guarantee all orders. Let's face it folks, there are no more CD stores like there use to be, so if you want Les Dudek CDs go right to the source, go to my web site and get them there. Also it looks like a new Les Dudek DVD is in the works, so be on the lookout for that, it will also be available at my web site, www.lesdudek.com. For concert information we invite everyone to plaese visit the "Dates" page. All confirmed dates will be posted there, so stop by often for concert updates. If you see no dates, it's because there is no dates, but when we have dates they will be posted there and on my Myspace site. Thaks again.



There you go, another entry done. Thanks to Les for a really great interview, Wikipedia, and my son Logan for letting me use his computer keyboard as mine was working. The Phile will be back next week with musician Wishnefsky and the announcement of the 10th book in the Peverett Phile Book Club. So, until then, spread the word, not the turd, don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye love you bye.






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