This interview is with the heavy metal guitarist Lou Rone, who speaks about his influences and the many rock legends that he has had the pleasure to play and associate with over the years. Lou speaks also about his albums "Alone" and "GuitarSlinger" on Gulcher Records and proves to a rock legend himself, and a guitar hero.
Hi Lou, how are you. How did you meet Johnny Thunders? Any rememerances of him?
LR > I met Johnny around 1967. Funny, he took the F train from Queens and I usally took the B or D from Brooklyn at West 4th station, gee it's seems like yesterday. We both looked at each other walking up that long ramp from our trains around 8pm or so and we both started talking to each other like we knew each others. Funny, we both had eyeliner on and we had our hair down half way to our backs and teased to the heavens with tons of dippy doo and spray - we looked like twins. I looked more like a girl and that was my calling card at that time. We then became friends. That's how it was those days, we both were going the same way to the same club!
You journeyed to the UK to become the 4th Yardbird - did you audition for the Yardbirds?
LR > Ha, that's funny 'cause that's what the plan was but when I got over there my sister got me into all the clubs (never had to pay) and introduced me to everyone. My sis was a big time model at the time and lived in the UK. Before I got to England I met Blinky Davidson of the Nice who heard me play at a jam and fell in love with my playing, so when I got to the UK we started a band. He left the Nice ya know, but I never liked his direction so I left his group. Then i started to jam with Keith Moon and we started to talk band someday soon, so my Yardbirds thing got put on hold!
You jammed with a number of notable guitar players in the UK - Keith Moon among them - please tell us about this?
LR > I meet Moon at the Speakeasy club one night. Me and Roger Glover (of Deep Purple) started to jam and he (Moon) joined in, gee we sounded like a freight train, so heavy. I played like Van Halen way before he ever sounded like him. Both of us loved Jimi Hendrix, so I guess that's where it came from.
When I left England Moon said "when ya come back, kid, let's do something." I never went back, I met my wife and stayed in NYC, and started my own group Cross. We recorded in Electric Ladyland in '72 and had a 45rpm that was played all over the place on radio, etc.
When did you first start playing guitar, and who are some of your influences?
LR > I started way back in '62 but as a bass player. I had a Kent that really sucked. One day I heard a bunch of new tunes on a jukebox: "Let Me In," "Wonderful Dream," "The Wanderer," and that was it. I got rid of the bass and played guitar lead, the horns in those tunes blew me away: "that's what I wanted to sound like" I said to myself. Then it was Link Wray, Chet Akins, Hank Garland, Leon Payne, George Harrison... Of course it was really Beano that changed me, that album turned my whole life around. That Clapton album, man, it floored me, plus his earlier Snake Drive blues tune. I learned every lick on that Blues Breakers album. Got it in early '67...
Main influences; Hendrix, Clapton, Lee, Harrison, Wray, Garland, Miles, Ayler, Coltrane, to say a few!!
what are you doing when not playing guitar?
LR > Ha!! Like the old guitar player I am, I watch TV, books, play video games with my grand kids, and stay away from clubs and young dolls, ha, way too old for that party life nowadays ha!!
Of all the guitar players that you worked with, whom would you say was the best - who impressed you the most?
LR > None, except for the ones I jammed with like Jeff Beck @ The SpeakEasy Club, England '71 with Cozy Powell on Drums, plus others that night and other nights. I had jams with plenty of guitar players thru' the years and none, I mean none ever blew me away, including the ones that made it big, and I jammed with a lot of 'em. Only a few blew me away but they were playing gigs with Jimi (Band of Gypsys), Freddy King and Fat Albert King, those cats blew me away so good. Ya know, I met Freddy and played his guitar back stage, that was the best night of my life doing that!!
How did you meet Eddie Flowers of Gulcher Records?
LR > Never met him in person, but he was so kind to help out on the graphics on the records, a wonderful cat, hopefully someday I will meet him in person!
What do you think of today's rock or heavy metal guitar players?
LR > Gee, I hope I don't get into trouble with this one. I don't like anyone today, none blow me apart like the old guys did. Maybe it's my age or who I grew up with, but the other day I was listing to the first Led Zeppelin album, man, Page was killer on that, and that was '69 I think. Man, they don't make 'em that good like that anymore, like I am sayin' what can rip me apart like those old ones did in the past, it's been done so many times. I'd say the last guy that was on the money was Halen - that kid was good scary good!! Gee, what can anyone do that would be different and new today, wish I knew!!
Any plans for the future?
LR > Ha!! Cut my wrists, haaaaaaaa only kiddin', each day at my age I am thankful I'm still here!
Just hope to get my book out before I exit this world, and oh yeah, would love to hear and see my music in some big time movie or TV show, that would be the cherry on the cake for me!!
Thanks Lou Rone!!