Author Jeff Slate

On Sunset, the new album from Paul Weller, was just released on July 3, but the U.K. music legend says he’s already deep into the making of its follow-up when he calls from his Black Barn Studio in England to discuss the making of On Sunset and how’s he’s been filling his days during the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the cancellation of his 2020 live dates, including a fall tour of America. “The first track — ‘Mirror Ball’ — was going to a b-side for the last album, True Meanings, but it was too good for that, I thought, and…

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Ronnie Wood is a certifiable rock legend. Keith Richards’ guitar foil in the Rolling Stones since the 1970s, Wood had already made his name as a member of not only the Faces, but the Jeff Beck Group, and had been a mainstay of the London music scene since his days in much-loved but near-forgotten band The Birds, before joining Mick Jagger and company. But the now-sober Wood has added several interesting jobs to his long resume since joining the Stones. He’s been a go-to session guitarist, a DJ and TV interviewer, world-renowned painter and author. In recent weeks, Wood’s social…

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“David Bowie’s work in the 1990s has sadly been overlooked and underrated,” guitarist Reeves Gabrels, who worked with David Bowie throughout the decade, told me in 2016. “We had Tin Machine, he reunited with Nile Rodgers and Brian Eno, toured with Nine Inch Nails, and made a drum and bass record followed immediately by a back-to-basics record. How is it possible that people missed how unique and amazing that is? He was working and changing and evolving in a way that he was during the heyday of the 70s. None of his contemporaries were doing that, that’s for sure!” Gabrels…

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“It’s about playing from your heart,” Carlos Santana says about why he believes his music, and remarkable guitar playing, has stood the test of time. “It’s about being gut-bucket honest. For real. No shucking and jiving, no slippin’ and slindin’, no making excuses. You’ve got to give it all you got, from the center of your heart, and be true and be true and be true to every note that you play. That is the requirement for cooking this kind of food: Sincerity and trueness, and playing with intense intensity and with intention. That’s how I play my guitar. You…

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Robby Kreiger and John Densmore of the Doors remember 1970, when the fabled Los Angeles band released Morrison Hotel, played some of its most incendiary shows and began one last, great album together. As 1970 dawned, The Doors were imploding. After his arrest in Miami in March 1969 for allegedly exposing himself to an audience, lead singer Jim Morrison was facing a long, sordid trial, and (after an October 1970 guilty verdict) the very real prospect of jail time. The band, a formidable live unit by that time, were effectively banned from performing as a result of the post-Miami fallout,…

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It’s almost impossible to imagine, but before taking the world by storm with Led Zeppelin, or even as a member of the Yardbirds, guitar legend Jimmy Page was just another kid, inspired by his musical heroes to pick up the guitar. As he tells Rock Cellar in this interview about his earliest days, which took place at Fender’s Custom Shop in California — where Page was visiting to put the finishing touches on the line of bespoke guitars based on the Fender Telecaster gifted to him by childhood friend and fellow guitar legend Jeff Beck, as well as the production…

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Noel Gallagher is one of the best interviews in rock and roll. In the countless times we’ve met up since he left Oasis, he’s never been less than willing to talk about anything under the sun, and is always hilarious in his inimitably witty, Mancunian way. But today, although he seems relaxed, he’s nursing, he says, either jetlag or a hangover — or both — and thus leaves his sunglasses on as we sit down for coffees in his New York hotel. We’re here to about his new E.P., Blue Moon Rising, the third in a series that couldn’t be…

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London Calling, the seminal 1979 record from The Clash, turns 40 years old this month, and still sounds as fresh, as groundbreaking and as genre-bending as ever. The sounds that front man Joe Strummer, guitarist Mick Jones, bassist Paul Simonon and drummer Topper Headon committed to tape in London’s Wessex Studios four decades ago — going far beyond the punk that made the band famous, to take in soul, jazz, reggae, rockabilly, the blues, and so much more  — have stood the test of time precisely because the band sought to shake off its punk origins with just the same…

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Debbie Harry is a certifiable pop culture icon. As the frontperson for Blondie, the chart-topping New Wave group that grew out of New York City’s fabled CBGBs-fueled punk scene, she became known worldwide as not just one of the premier fashion and style symbol of her era, but one of the most arresting lead singers of late-1970s and early-80s, and certainly the premiere female artist of the fertile, post-punk musical landscape. Her new memoir, the no-holds-barred Face It, is both a love letter to her early days fighting for attention amongst the litany of bands trying to make it on…

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Duane Betts has a lot to live up to. So it’s no surprise that the son of Allman Brothers Band guitar legend Dickey Betts, who was named for one of the greatest guitar players of all-time, Duane Allman, started out his musical life as a drummer. “I took interest in the drums at a pretty early age,” Betts tells Rock Cellar. “Drums and guitars were around, but I remember picking up the guitar and it just seemed really too difficult for me at the time. So I wanted to play the drums, and my dad got me a drum set.”…

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