Steve's Place

The Bill Lordan

By Steve Shail

  Bill Lordan.  There it was. The latest entry in the guest book on my site was from Bill Lordan! I was completely  surprised, to say the least!  Even though having other fans of Trower's music write in my book, (this for me, has been the best part of running my site), this was different. This was from Bill Lordan THE drummer.  The wizard of cymbals.  The man who has provided the beat for not only Robin Trower, but numerous others including the original funk group Sly and the Family Stone and he jammed with the legendary Jimi Hendrix.
  My initial introduction to Bill's talent goes back to the release of  FOR EARTH BELOW.  For me, the song that stuck out was "Fine Day".  The sound from the cymbal work on this song just blew me away! Then I listened to "A Tale Untold". IMO this was the best drum track I had ever heard. Even today listening to it, I am still so impressed with his technique.  It stands as one of my favourite examples of what I like to hear from a drummer.
  While I was working on the interview with Davey Pattison, I was looking for information and I thought I would write Bill and ask if he could help me out. Well, I not only received a quick response, but Bill had kindly included his phone number and said to give him a call.  Well, after a very entertaining 45 minute conversation, I asked Bill if he would like to do an interview with me as well. He enthusiastically gave me the Ok.
  As I was reading up on Bill to write this, I found a quote from an interview that Trower did for Circus Raves in 1975 and I felt it was the best way to lead into this interview.
 When describing Bill's contribution to the Trower sound Robin said:
"It's still Robin Trower, it's just gonna be a whole lot better. Bill's a great drummer, y'know. He's got to be one of the best drummers there are. I mean, you can't play with someone like that and not have it change you. I feel a lot better about the whole thing. These are our first gigs we've played with Bill, and y'know, the first night was classic! We went on, he was right for us. He knew he was right for us before we did. He'd been into us from the time the first album came out and he's been trying to get hold of me ever since, 'cause he knew he was The Drummer. He phoned me up and said, 'I'm the guy you want. Don't listen to anybody else.' And he was right. He was absolutely perfect. See, he's been into it right from the first album. Bill, on drums, has added so much, a completely new dimension."
And on that note, it is a real pleasure to introduce to you....
Mr. Bill Lordan.

(S.S.)   I'd like to congratulate you on the release of  your CD, BILL LORDAN EXPERIENCE VOLUME 1, EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL.  I've been listening to it for only a few days, but it is an excellent piece of work.  A real solid three piece rock album.

(B.L.)   Thanks very much. We feel that the title track,  "Emotional Blackmail", tells a story that everyone can relate to.  The cover is an artistic impression of the title track. The song, "Emotional Blackmail", goes back to my days  with the band Fortress, when I worked with
(current guitarist) Eric Turner.  We always liked that song and felt that it should be  recorded.  We liked how we used our voices in a chanting kind of way to convey the haunting feeling of the song.   It is a very moody piece. I think that all the tracks are very hard driving and filled with high
powered energy.  It is a CD that doesn't let you down.  I think that the music keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way until the end.  It is
almost a relief to hear the last track, "Let Me Be The One", which is a ballad, but it is intense and filled with passion.  The feedback that I have been hearing is that people can hear the influences of Hendrix, Trower and  ZZ Top.  I hope that  people  would also notice our blues roots.  I would  suggest not listening to this CD if you are wearing a pacemaker (laughs).

(S.S.)     I hear this started out simply as a couple of  friends getting together for some 'week-end  jamming'.  Tell us a bit about your band mates Eric Turner (guitar/vocals), and Mark Fry (bass) and how you got together to do this recording.

(B.L.)   This project started because I moved back to California in October of 1999.  In November of  1999, I did a project with my guitarist, Eric Turner, for my old friend Charlie Souza. Charlie played bass in Tom Petty's band in the early days.  He co-wrote one of Tom's early hits,
"Don't Do Me Like That".  The CD that Eric Turner and I recorded with Charlie Souza  will be available soon. (  Eric and Charlie and I were all in Fortress, which was signed to Atlantic Records.  When Eric and Charlie heard that I was in California, they had me rehearsing in the studio with them before my bags were unpacked!  It was a creative project that was inspired by Charlie.  The CD is his solo project and is a mix of R&B, Pop, Soul, and Rock.  Since we had worked together in the past, we had a natural chemistry, and the project flowed easily.  My solo CD project came together when Eric and Mark Fry and I got together for a little  jam/rehearsal.  The three of us had played
together in the past and we always had fun.  We jammed one night and everything flowed so well that we decided to get together again.  A week
later, we got together and worked out our songs.  Everything went so well that we decided to go into the studio.  Two weeks later, we booked Desert Moon Recording, a studio in Anaheim, CA. (
We cut all seven basic tracks in one day.  We did the overdubs in two days and mixed and mastered in two days.  Then it went to the factory
for pressing.  Everything went smooth. Mark and Eric and I have known each other for the last fifteen years.  In addition to working  together at times, we always got together once a  year for an annual jam.  We always had a chemistry when we played our music together.  This was never a planned project, it just came about because the timing was right for it to
happen.   Eric Turner has played and recorded for more than thirty years.  He has always been a musician and singer and has recorded for
Columbia Records, Atlantic Records, with Maranatha Records and has done several solo albums.  Eric is always fun to work with because he has custom built guitars, amps and pedal boards.  Over the years, he has developed his own unique style and sound using all of his  custom guitars.  Eric also has a rough edge, earthy voice that was perfect for the songs.
Mark Fry is a bassist who has played for twenty-five years, mostly with California bands. Mark makes custom basses in his woodworking
shop using specialty woods.  On this CD, he used  a Fender Fretless Bass reminiscent of the sound  that Jack Bruce had with Cream.  Mark uses
Trace Elliot Bass Amps.  I feel that Mark gave the songs a solid foundation.

(S.S.)    So it really didn't take too long to complete.

(B.L.)   To answer this question, Mark gives these calculations;  in 14 years, we jammed a total of  56 hours.  We had two rehearsals, then three days in the studio for recording and two days for mixing and mastering.

(S.S.)    You do a couple of Trower tunes ("King Of The Dance" and "Messin' The Blues").  Why these two  particular Trower songs?

(B.L.)   We did "King Of The Dance" because Eric felt that it was a great song and he wanted to make  an updated version.  He played a slide guitar solo which took it in a different direction from the original version.
"Messin' The Blues" has always been one of my favourites. We did this one because I co-wrote it with Robin and Jimmy and because it has one of
my best drum signatures.

(S.S.)    My personal favourites are "When The Sun Goes Down", "Across The Border", and also the bluesy "Let Me Be The One"

(B.L.)   "When The Sun Goes Down" is the relentless cowbell song.  To me, it is reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix's song, "Stone Free".  The song was a natural for our musical roots.  It has what I call  the "space gallop" at the end, which I got from one of my all time favourite drummers, Mitch
Mitchell.  We jammed on this song years ago,  and Mark Fry wanted to try it again when we got together just before going into the studio.  We all
liked it so well that we decided to include it on the CD.  "Across The Border" -  this song came from my  Fortress/Atlantic Record days with Eric Turner.  For me, the drums are like a Latin/Santana type of groove.  Some people are saying it reminds them of early ZZ Top.  I don't personally hear the ZZ Top style in this song, but Eric's vocals give it a rough sound that hints to ZZ Top.  Possibly, the title of the song alludes to the Texas/Border geography of LaGrange.  I think that any rough and gravely rock vocals with an outlaw type theme to the lyrics might be
interpreted as that type of sound.  On this tune, I played percussion and did my signature drum part, especially on the bell of my ride cymbal.
This has always been one of my favorite songs to play.  I co-wrote it with Eric and Charlie Souza. "Let Me Be The One" is a classic and timeless
piece.  The influence of Bobby Blue Bland (Saint James Infirmary).  On Eric's guitar solo, Eric  does a five note bend which is reminiscent of
the blues great, Albert King.  There is lots of emotion in this track.  I like how the sound of the desert wind at the end of the song takes you away
 ..... which is a settling way to end this CD after the non-stop onslaught of hard driving guitar, bass and drums.

(S.S.)    A frequent visitor to my web site and drummer  himself, Roland Kurz, has kindly asked me to inquire on what the current make up of your drum  kit is.

(B.L.)   My current drum kit consists of:
             A Mapex gold-plated brass snare drum, 6-1/2 x 14
             A DW 22 x 16 bass drum with gold hardware in
             Electric Blue finish.
             A DW 16 x 16 Floor Tom with gold hardware in
             Electric Blue finish.
             A DW 10-9 Rack Tom with gold hardware in
             Electric Blue finish.
             A DW 13 x 11 Rack Tom with gold hardware in
             Electric Blue finish.
             A DW High-Hat Chain Pedal and
             A DW Bass Drum Chain Pedal with custom
             shaved wood-beater.
             Pearl Cymbal Stands
             14" Quick Beat High-Hat Zildjian
             19" Z-Rock Crash Zildjian
             22" Ping Ride Zildjian
             16" K Dark Crash Zildjian
             18" China Crash Zildjian
             17" Paiste Custom Signature series Crash
             LP (Latin Percussion) Mambo-style cowbell
             2B Regal Tip, nylon and wood

(S.S.)    The bio on your web site states you started playing drums in school and acquired your first kit at 12. What was it about the drums or drumming that  attracted you to them?  Do you remember the make of your first kit?

(B.L.)   When I was in sixth grade, Sister Helen Martin asked the class "Who wants to learn how to play drums after school?"  I was the third kid to raise my hand and three students was her limit.  So I  started lessons with Sister Helen Martin after school, about three days a week.  When we started our lessons, we used practice pads made of wood and rubber.  She showed us the basic  rudiments.  The one I remember most was the double stroke roll, which she referred to as "the  momma- daddy"... right, right; left, left.  It  was Sister Helen Martin who sparked my initial interest in drumming.  My first kit was a four-piece Gretch White Pearl.  I have a black and white snapshot of my first kit  in my scrapbook, from 1961.  My first kit came  from Chester E. Groth Music, Marquette Street, Minneapolis.  As a kid, I would go downtown and see the drum kits displayed in the window.  The window displays of drums always intrigued me.

(S.S.)    As a teen, who were your major influences?  Who did you like to listen to?

(B.L.)   As a teenager, my major influences were  Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Elvin Jones  with John Coltrane, and the Miles Davis Group.
I also listened to R&B.  In 1963, I saw James Brown at the Minneapolis Auditorium.  He had three drummers, my favourite was Jabo Starks.
Another R&B influence was Al Jackson, from Booker T. and the MGs.  One of my other major influences was not too well known: Johnny "Red" Sullivan, who played drums for R&B singer, Chuck Jackson.  "Red" had four-way independent funk drumming beats.  When I watched him play, he was so funky, that I got  goose bumps on my arms!  "Red" left a big
impression on me.  These were the influences of my teen years.  I mostly listened to soul.  My favourites were Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, and Ray Charles.

(S.S.)    Did you have any formal training?

(B.L.)   Formal training????  Besides Sister Helen Martin, I had only one drum teacher for a very  short time.  He was a jazz drummer from
Minneapolis, named Bob Pope, who taught at  Chester E. Groth Music.  For the most part, I was self-taught, and I learned from listening to
records and exchanging ideas with other drummers.

(S.S.)    In your early years you were playing with bassist  Willie Weeks.  I have seen his name associated  with many recording artists including George  Harrison, Roy Buchanan, and David Lee Roth  to name a few.  Have you still kept in touch with him?

(B.L.)   We did stay in touch over the years, but since he moved to Nashville, in recent years, we have not  been in touch.  I know that he is currently on tour with Wynona Judd.  From time to time, I see him on T.V. with the band on their videos.

(S.S.)    You got to play with the late, great Jimi Hendrix.  When was this and how did you find yourself in such an enviable position?

(B.L.)   I was living in Minneapolis and playing in a  band with Willie Weeks called The Amazers, a gospel/soul group from Dallas Texas.  We met  Joey Davis Suthern, who was a friend of  Buddy Miles and through him, Joey knew Jimi Hendrix.  One day Willie and I, on kind of a bet or a dare,  said to Joey that we were tired of what we were doing and can he get us a jam with Jimi Hendrix because we were big fans.  Joey didn't say much, but came back a week or so later with a limo and  said we were going to New York.  Joey had made a call through Buddy Miles.  Willie, Joey and I flew to New York, Manhattan,  and stayed at the Penn Garden hotel across from Madison Square Garden.  That is where Buddy stayed.  We proceeded to the Cafe Au-Go-Go in Greenwich Village where it was all set up through Joey and Jimi for us to come down and jam.  It was a jam audition (laughs).  Jimi was looking for members to be in this new Gypsy Suns and Rainbows band that he told us about after dinner the first night.  We jammed three days in a row.... Willie on bass and myself on drums.  The  sessions were in the mid afternoon and lasted until evening.  After the sessions, we went across the street to a restaurant to eat with his entourage.  Some of the people around him were,  Floyd Rose (who was inventing special effects pedals for Jimi at the time), Floyd's wife or girlfriend was there too; there were lots of women coming by the table introducing themselves, who were all interested in meeting the star.  There were other people there, but I did not know them  and never learned their names.  On another night, Buddy Miles and Billy Cox were there as well as the large group of people who always seemed to be around Jimi.  After the evening dinners, we drove in Jimi's limousine and went back to Jimi's hotel to hang  out and talk for awhile before returning to our hotel. One evening, we went down to the club called
The Scene.  We saw a relatively unknown band at  the time:  The band was Sha Na Na!  At the end of most evenings, Jimi would go back to one of his places.... he had more than one place to get away from everyone and find some peace and have some space.  On the third night, we were at the dinner table and Jimi turned to me and said "I want you to  play drums."  Then Jimi said that he had a bass player, Billy Cox, an old friend from the army, so it caused a problem.  Jimi turned to Willie Weeks and asked him if he could play effects bass or rhythm guitar.  Willie was very proud and we were a package deal.... we wanted to stick
together and we were young.  I was 19 at the time and Willie was a couple of years older than I was.   So Willie said to Jimi, if I can't play the main bass I don't want to play at all.  Later, Willie and I went back to Jimi's suite and Jimi asked us what we wanted to do.  I said,  Willie and I will stick together.  Billy Cox wasn't  going anywhere.  Willie was better technically, a better bass player, but Jimi and Billy were friends and Jimi was going to be loyal to him.  I met Billy and went to Michael Jeffery's (Jimi's manager) office to talk about this.  Jimi really liked my drumming and thought Willie was a fine bass player as well.  After the meeting, Willie and I went back to the hotel and talked with Joey.  Joey said if you guys want to stick together and it's a package deal, we would just have to go back and tell Jimi that if you want Bill, you'll have to  take Willie too.
I was young and naive about the whole thing.  Overall, it was a great experience for a 19 year old kid to play with one of the greats.

(S.S.)    Were there ever any recordings made with you during these sessions?

(B.L.)   Unfortunately, we did not record the sessions with Hendrix at Cafe Au-Go-Go.  (Where was my little  Sony tape recorder then????).  There were people in the club during those sessions; I am unaware that anybody recorded those sessions.  It is possible that somewhere out there, someone might have a tape of  these sessions.  I am aware that obscure taped sessions continue to surface from time to time.  Someone might have something.... who knows?  It might be of some interest to guitar players that  Jimi played on the Fender amplifiers of Elliot Randall from SeaTrain.  He later was one of the first guitar players on the Late Night David Letterman Show in Paul Schaeffer's band.

(S.S.)    Tell us how the sessions went with Jimi.

(B.L.)   For the time that I was doing the sessions with Hendrix, a typical session went like this:  Jimi would start a riff and Willie and I would
come in and jam on it for awhile.  Then Hendrix would stop and start a totally different riff with a different tempo to see if we could keep up with
him.  It seemed like Jimi was trying to see if we could keep up with him and if we could follow  him.  Some of the ideas that he was working on,
playing with us, I believe, were from the CRY OF LOVE album which came out shortly after the time that Willie and I jammed with him.  Jimi was trying out his ideas and seeing how Willie's bass playing and my drumming fit with his groove.  I felt that we hung in there with him very well.

(S.S.)    Even with this, you still came close to  accompanying Jimi to Woodstock.  What happened?

(B.L.)   After the sessions, Willie and I returned to Minneapolis and resumed playing with the Mystics, a soul horn band.  At that time, Hendrix had not found a drummer he liked, and Mitch Mitchell was in England, where his wife was having a baby.  When the call from the Hendrix camp came to the booking agency for me to play Woodstock with Hendrix, it was my agency's policy not to give home phone numbers of clients.  Also, when the Hendrix people called, Willie and I were out of town with the Mystics on an engagement.  It was the timing of my being out of town and my agency not getting in touch with me that made the Hendrix-Woodstock connection not happen for me.  I can't tell you who called my agency, it might have been a manager or a road manager.  It was not until I returned from Minneapolis from the engagement with the
Mystics that I learned that I was called to do Woodstock.  The rest is history.

S.S.)     After the Mystics, you were in a band called Gypsy which spawned 4 albums.  Who were the musicians?  What type of music did you play?

(B.L.)   The musicians in the band Gypsy were Enrico Rosenbaum, vocals and guitar, Jim Johnson,  vocals and guitar, James Walsh, keyboards and
vocals, Willie Weeks was bass player on IN THE  GARDEN album.  The other albums had Randy Kates on bass, who was from Texas.  We always
said that we played "Gypsy Music, our own creation".   Gypsy had unique sound with three-part vocal harmonies and double lead guitar solos done in harmony.  We used some unusual time signatures. We originated in Minnesota, but moved to Los Angeles where we became the house band at the Whiskey A-Go-Go on Sunset Blvd.  We were seen by record people and were soon signed to a recording contract with Metro Media Records (Bobby Sherman).  That  was in the early '70s. Most of  the band lived in a "band house" in Laurel Canyon, which is just  outside
Hollywood.  On a typical day, we rehearsed right in the house a few hours everyday. The work we  did together really showed because we were a tight band.  When we were in L.A., we got a new manager, Don Hunter, from the Guess Who.  Don took us on the Guess Who tours as their opening act. He also got us a record contract with RCA,  the same label as the Guess Who.  The last Gypsy album that we did for RCA, UNLOCK THE GATES, we used Chicago's horn section on a few cuts.  I thought that working with the horns was fun and the sound was outstanding!  The horn section did a free-form sound effect piece where
they used the horns to make the sounds of a big city, like car horns blowing.

(S.S.)    The Guess Who were from my home town of Winnipeg.  I remember in the early '70s seeing  Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman at a club
called The Fireplace . What album were the Guess Who promoting during the tour you were on?

(B.L.)   I can't remember which album the Guess Who was promoting at the time; I think that it was the album that had "American Woman" on it.  I remember coming to visit in Winnipeg at that time and to hang-out with the Guess Who and with our new manager, Don Hunter.  We were
there for about a week.  We made arrangements to have road cases made to go on tour with the Guess Who. We did go for a beer with the guys
from the Guess Who at..... The Fireplace!  We also  went to a golf driving range to hit a few balls.  It was warm, so we spent time swimming in the pool at the motel.  I think that the motel was  connected to The Fireplace and I think that is where we stayed.  Don Hunter just wanted us  to  come up to meet the Guess Who.  While we were there, Don had us over to dinner to see his new house and to meet his wife.  It was his wife who
encouraged Don to sign up Gypsy.  She loved the first Gypsy album so much that she encouraged Don to pursue the band.  Don and his wife were very nice people. They were respectful and polite towards us.  It was a pleasant and positive experience to have them become involved with the band.   It might be interesting to note that Don Hunter had a very famous nickname which was given to him by the Guess Who.  The name they
christened him with was "Quasi-Moto".  It was  an affectionate name  which stayed with him.

(S.S.)    You eventually found yourself on the West coast  doing session work for artists like Ike and Tina Turner and Bobby Womack until one day when  you ran into Sly Stone.  Tell us about that encounter.

(B.L.)   The day I met Sly I was at Paramount Studios on Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles, I was waiting to meet Bobby Womack.  Sly walked into the studio with his entire entourage.  They passed me while I was sitting waiting for Womack.  They went into studio A.  One of the body guards, Bubba Banks, who was Sly's Sister, Rose's, husband, came out of the studio and asked me if I was a drummer, because he had seen me
sitting there with drum sticks in my hand when they came in.  He asked me if I would like to come in and play on some tracks that Sly was working on at the time.  I said that I would....  so I went into the studio with Bubba where I met  Sly.  Sly told me to "go out behind the drums
and put on the headphones and see what you can come up with to play on this track."  There were  two songs that night, "Livin' While I'm Livin' "
and "Say  You Will", which are both on the  SMALL TALK album which I later recorded with Sly on Epic. I played on the songs and when the        track came to an end, I looked up and saw that in  the  control room there was all this commotion.  So I got up from the drums and went in to see what was up.  That's when Sly turned to me and said, "You are in the Family Stone."  I got the  job, but I didn't know that I was auditioning for
Sly,  who did not have a regular, full-time drummer at the time.  He needed somebody to do both studio and live shows.  The ironic part to this
story is that I was in the studio at that time to meet Bobby Womack to see about playing with his band, but Bobby was late getting there.  So I  guess that there is something to the old saying about being in the right place at the right time.  We worked at Paramount for a few hours, then Sly decided to get us all into his limousine and go  to another studio.  I think the name was Hadgi Studio, I can't remember the spelling.  At that studio, we worked on tapes until the wee hours of the morning and then we finally all went home. That was my initial meeting with Sly Stone.

(S.S.)    You have said that you learned a lot about  drumming from Sly.  What did he teach you that helped  develop your unique drumming              technique?

(B.L.)  Sly gave me his concept of how to interpret his uncanny sense of rhythm.  Sly said to me.   "Lord", which was the nickname that Sly gave me because he never called me Bill Lordan.  He  just always called me "Lord".... but Sly said, "Lord, play sloppy tight and raggedy clean."  Then Sly sat down behind my drums and showed me what he meant by playing sloppy tight and raggedy clean.  It was kind of a disjointed, loose but tight placement of the beats on the drums.  It was how he placed the
kick drum and snare that was unlike the way a normal drummer would play it, but made so much sense and was very musical.  Then when he got up from the drums, he'd tell me to take what he showed me and put my 'polish' on it. He wanted me to take the concept and add my precision chops into it.  I think that Sly would have played it himself, but at that time, he preferred to use my chops.  Interestingly enough, did you know that Sly did indeed play the drums and all the instruments on his album THERE'S  A RIOT GOIN' ON.   Sly was most intrigued with a drum beat I came up with that we later titled, "Stick N' Lick".  We worked on it at the record plant in Sausalito.  We just laid down a backing track of it without any words.  This "Stick N' Lick" groove was an inspiration from listening to Jabo Starks, who was the original drummer for James Brown.  Just working with Sly Stone was encouraging.  Working in a band with this level of world-class musicians helped to inspire and develop my drumming style.  Sometimes when we were playing live, I thought that we were the greatest band in the world.  Everyone in the band held their own and were exceptionally talented players; there wasn't a weak link in the band.  Playing with these great players and working  with Sly helped me to develop my own sense of what was unique.

(S.S.)    How long were you with Sly?

(B.L.)   I was with Sly for about a year.... from 1973-74,  when I joined Robin Trower.

(S.S.)   Could you share with us your best Lordan/Sly story?

(B.L.)  My best Sly story is when Sly got married on stage at Madison Square Garden in front of  23,000 people. Before our show, they flew in
a Baptist Minister from Oakland, CA. to perform the service.  After Sly and Kathy were married,  we found out (afterwards) that the wedding was not legal because the Minister was not registered in the State of New York.  So, Sly had to fly the Minister back to New York, to fill out papers
to make the wedding valid.  There were many  celebrities at the concert and backstage that  night.  I remember seeing Miles Davis there.            Miles Davis was a big fan of Sly's and loved Sly's music.  Halston was also there. He had designed  our gold sequinned jackets for that night.
  Halston had given me an expensive roll of mylar,  (which was used for making jewellery), to wrap my drums so that it would match our outfits and it would look like my drums were made of gold.  Sly was always outrageous.... flamboyant and  flashy in his dress and in his production.
I always liked Sly's use of the colors red, white  and black.  The story behind that is that Sly  wanted to change the colors of the U.S. flag from
red, white and blue, to red, white and Black.  He  had the idea of having the colors of the flag to represent the colors of the people in this country.
He had a good message in his music and in his  philosophy about all races getting together and living in harmony.

(S.S.)   Now let's get into your years with Mr. Trower!  So there you were, touring with the great Sly Stone,  when, I thought I'd read, that you picked up a  music paper and saw an ad stating Robin Trower was looking for a drummer.  Were  you looking for a change, or was the opportunity to work with Robin one you couldn't  pass up?

(B.L.)  I actually found out about the audition from my friend, Donny Crissy, who was working at S.I.R. ....Studio Instrument Rentals.  S.I.R. was a studio rehearsal rental hall in Hollywood.  Donny called and told me about the drum auditions that were  going on there.  I had just come off a tour with Sly and I was living in Los Angeles at the time.  I  asked Donny, "Which hotel do you think Robin is  staying at?"  Donny told me that it was probably the Continental Hyatt House on Sunset Blvd. in
Hollywood.  (By the way, musicians referred to the Hyatt as the Continental RIOT House.... ).  So  I called the hotel, asked for Robin's room, and  they put me right through.  When Robin answered, I told him that I was Bill Lordan from  Sly and the Family Stone and that I was the guy that he was looking for.  Robin told me later, at   first he thought I was a Black guy, because of my accent.  From working with Sly, I'm sure that his slang had rubbed off on me.  So Robin and I   scheduled a time for me to come down to S.I.R.  and audition.  There were thirty-five drummers  who auditioned and I was drummer number thirty-three.  I was very happy with Sly at the time, but I always wanted to play with a three-piece power trio, since my audition with Jimi Hendrix in 1969.  I was curious to check Robin out because I had heard some of his work on the radio and I liked what I heard.  I liked Robin's style and I knew that my  drumming would fit his sound.

(S.S.)   So you were familiar with Trower's work prior to  this?  When did you first hear him, or hear of him?

(B.L.)  I first heard of Robin in 1973 when his first solo album was out, TWICE REMOVED FROM YESTERDAY.  I was never really that impressed  with Robin's first album, but I heard the potential of where it could go.

(S.S.)   What was it that you heard in his music, that made you feel you just had to be the drummer in this band?

(B.L.)  What I heard in Robin's music was the soulfulness  and feeling which had a rock and a blues edge.  I  have always played music that had soul and felt that my drumming would be a compliment to his guitar stylings.

(S.S.)   At the audition, did you just jam a bit, or did you try out some songs?

(B.L.)  At the audition, we actually played songs from his two albums.  I remember playing "Too Rolling  Stoned", "Day of the Eagle", Bridge of Sighs" and "Rock Me Baby", which was from his first album.  When we went to play "Bridge of Sighs",  it took some adjusting for me to play, what Robin  calls, "a slow-burn groove".  I was still geared-up  for playing the up tempo funk dance grooves from being on tour with Sly.  I had literally just come  off tour with Sly and I had very little sleep when
I went down to audition.  Just visualize this, one day I was touring with Sly and the very next day, I was auditioning and jamming on Trower's music!  When we were done with the audition, Robin said  that he would call me that night and for me to bring my scrapbook because he wanted to see my pictures of me with Hendrix.  Later that night I  went to Robin's hotel and we talked about me coming to England.

(S.S.)   Did you know why Robin was looking for a new drummer?  What was the situation with Reg Isidore?

(B.L.)  I never knew exactly why Robin was looking for a new drummer.  Donny Crissy only told me that Robin was auditioning for the position.  Later, I  found out that Reg Isidore was not up to the rigorous schedule and the demands of touring.   Robin's success was attributed to his relentless  and tireless touring.

(S.S.)   How soon after the release of  BRIDGE OF SIGHS  did you actually join?

(B.L.)  I went to England in September of 1974 to start rehearsals and to continue the BRIDGE OF SIGHS tour.  I think that the album was released  earlier in '74.

(S.S.)   Soon after joining, you went to London to help  finish FOR EARTH BELOW.  How long did  that take before you went on tour?

(B.L.)  When I went over to England to rehearse FOR EARTH BELOW, the rehearsals were in an old Victorian Church in London.  It wasn't an
abandoned church, but it wasn't being used for services.  It had a great acoustical sound for us.  After rehearsing for a few weeks, we returned to
Los Angeles to start recording FOR EARTH BELOW at The Record Plant, with Matthew Fisher producing (
 Matthew Fisher came on tour with us for a few of  the concert dates.  We cut the album and it seems like we went right  on tour and I remember that the first gig was in Rochester, NY, November 4th, 1974.

(S.S.)   You went on tour to help promote BRIDGE OF  SIGHS even though you were not on the studio recording....

(B.L.)  On the BRIDGE OF SIGHS tour, we opened for groups including Black Oak Arkansas, Foghat,  Frank Zappa, before starting to headline our own shows which came quickly as BRIDGE OF SIGHS  was climbing up the charts.  Chrysalis presented me with a platinum record for BRIDGE OF SIGHS  Click here to see it!   because I did all the touring and promotion  (interviews, radio, etc.) that lead to the success of   the album.  Freddy Mancuso was a promotion man for Chrysalis and was extremely instrumental in  getting radio airplay.  He was as tireless in his           promoting the album as we were in our touring.  I  feel it was that combination that led to the great  success of BRIDGE OF SIGHS. I saw Robin in March of 1999, in Milwaukee.  When he played "Bridge Of Sighs" the crowd was on their feet and were lighting matches and
lighters in recognition of that timeless piece.  To his loyal fans, the concert would not have been complete without "Bridge Of Sighs".  Fans love that song as much in 1999, as they did in 1974.

(S.S.)   Let's get back to FOR EARTH BELOW for a  minute.  What was the typical process of putting  together a song with Robin and Jimmy?  For
example, "Alethea" has that excellent drum solo.  How was this song put together?  Who was  Alethea?

(B.L.)   As far as I know, "Alethea" is a fictitious name.  The typical process for putting together a song  with Robin and Jimmy was that Robin had the basic idea for the chord changes to the songs.  Robin would show them to us and we would come up with the bass and drum parts to
compliment the arrangement.  We would  experiment with the ideas and run through it over and over until we were all satisfied that we had the best parts worked out.   The drum solo was on the version of "Alethea" on  ROBIN TROWER LIVE.  Robin wanted me to have a featured drum part in concert.  "Alethea" had the right tempo and groove for me to do my solo.  We put my solo in the middle of the song  after Robin's guitar solo and then the band would come back in with a climatic ending!

(S.S.)   As you mentioned, Matthew Fisher produced FOR EARTH BELOW.  Was this your first meeting with  him?

(B.L.)  Yes, I recall that I first met Matthew at the Record Plant in L.A.  when we were recording that album.

(S.S.)   Any comments about FOR EARTH BELOW you'd like to share?

(B.L.)  During our recording of FOR EARTH BELOW,  Sly was in the studio next to us.  Sly walked  through our studio with his entourage and I introduced Sly to Robin and they shook hands.   We also used a drum machine on the song,  "A Tale Untold".  It was a Rhythm King, the same
drum machine that was used on the SMALL TALK  album that I did with Sly in 1974 on Epic Records.

(S.S.)   The LIVE album was recorded February 3, 1975,  but was not released for quite awhile.  In a 1976  John Peel BBC Radio 1 interview, Robin explained how the show was taped for the Swedish  Broadcasting Corp. and that there were no plans  to have it released.  He goes on to say that you had listened to it and kept pushing to have it remixed  and released.  Robin added that it took you quite a  bit of time to convince both he and Jimmy to go  along with the idea.  Why were you so determined
to get this recording out?

(B.L.)  I was determined to get this recording out because it was one of our best performances of our European Tour.  It was recorded on an 8-track  and later bounced to a 16-track and remixed.  I felt that the way the band really sounded the best  was captured on this live recording which is totally different from studio recordings which tend to be somewhat sterile because you don't have the energy of the crowd to feel from.  The concert was at the music hall in Stockholm, where the Nobel Peace Prizes are given.  The reason it sounded so good is because it's structure is all wood; it is a resonate and warm sounding room.
  Although the music was recorded in Sweden, the album cover picture is from the Oakland  Coliseum "Day On The Green Concert", which was a Bill Graham production.  At the "Day Of  The Green Concert", there were 63,000 people in  attendance.  Our opening bands included, Gary
Wright, Dave Mason, Peter Frampton, and Fleetwood Mac.  It was called the "British Invasion".

(S.S.)   The song "Messin' The Blues" from the LONG  MISTY DAYS album became one of the bands  touring standards.  The studio version has a bit of a story on how it came to be recorded and why the song comes in already in progress.

(B.L.)  During the recording of this album, we had all been on break when, I went out into the studio and  sat down behind my drums and started playing a  groove.  Then Robin jumped in with a blues riff.
  Once the two of us got going, then Jimmy picked  up his bass and followed along.  Geoff Emerick  (co-producer) had just returned to the control room from the break.  He heard us jamming and immediately turned on the tape machine to capture what he was hearing.

(S.S.)   On a personal note, I always thought that "Caledonia" was one of the best Trower songs and also one of Robin's best solos on a studio
release.  I also thought that the drum track really  helped make this song.  The drumming on the  track after the second verse going into the solo,
always stood out for me.  Any comments on the album?

(B.L.)  While we were cutting the track, "Long Misty Days", our two roadies, who were from Scotland,  (Jimmy Bolton, Drum Tech, and Kenny Balentine, the guitar tech) would come into the control room and stand with reverence as if they were hearing their Scottish National Anthem.  The guitar had a droning, bagpipe sound which  I thought reminded them of their homeland.   Also, on "Caledonia", Robin wasn't sure if we had gotten the "keeper" take.  I kept playing my cassette of a certain take of a backing track, because I thought my drum track was solid.  Robin finally agreed with me after listening to  it a few times and that "take" became the foundation for the final version of "Caledonia".
  Before Jimmy came up with "Caledonia", he  kept singing the word, "California" for the  chorus.  There is an old song called "Caldonia"
that went... "Caldonia, Caldonia, what makes  your big head so hard?"  I think that the idea for the song came from a cross between California and Caldonia.

(S.S.)   Where, geographically, did the LONG MISTY DAYS tour take you?

(B.L.)  LONG MISTY DAYS was a world tour, which took us through the United States.  One of the highlights of that tour was the Oakland "Day On The Green" gig.  The very last song on that day was "SMO". which I co-wrote with Robin and  Jimmy.  Every one of those dates was SOLD OUT  because Robin Trower was at his peak.  Besides the usual U.S. tour for LONG MISTY DAYS, we toured in Europe, including these dates in 1976:  October 7th in Hamburg; October 8th in Frankfurt; October 9th in Ludwigshaven;  October 10th in Nuremberg; October 11th in
Dusseldorf; October 16th in Brussels, Belgium;  October 17th in Amsterdam, Holland and October 18th in Paris, France.  In January 1977, we went to Japan.  January  22nd, 24th and 28th we did concerts in Sun Plaza Hall in Tokyo.  January 25th in Osaka at Kosei  Nenkin Hall and January 26th at Nagoya Shi  Kakaido.  From Japan we went to Australia.  The  dates were January 31st at Perth Entertainment Center; February 2nd and 3rd at Adelaide  Festival Theater; February 6th at Melbourne Festival Hall; February 8th at Horden Pavilion  in Sidney; February 9th at Brisbane Festival Hall  and February 11th back to Horden Pavilion in  Sidney.
  Geographically and metaphorically,  the weather forecast for all of Britain is Long Misty Days.  One night, coming back from the  studio from LONG MISTY DAYS sessions, the  fog was what I call, "Jack the Ripper Fog".  The  fog was so thick, that we could not see over the
"bonnet" of Robin's Jaguar.  I have no idea of  how he got us back to the hotel!

(S.S.)   IN CITY DREAMS was a real departure from the  style of music we had been getting from Robin,  Jimmy and yourself.  This is actually one of my favourites because I remember playing this  album for the first time and being pleasantly surprised by its content.

(B.L.)  During the period of time of IN CITY DREAMS,  Robin was listening to a lot of Johnny Taylor's  work and thought that it might be good to work  with his producer, Don Davis (from Detroit) who also produced Aretha Franklin.  In a way, it was  a departure from the standard style that you had  gotten from Robin in the past.  It was another side  of Robin coming out.  It was his R&B side which has always been an important part of his sum total which makes the Robin Trower sound. In the song "Bluebird". which I thought was one of Robin's most beautiful melodies, the lyrics say,   "If you want to know His heart, just listen to the Bluebird sing."  These lyrics by Jimmy were  inspired by a period of personal spiritual growth.   The album was recorded in Miami at Criteria  Studios, the studio where Eric Clapton recorded
461 OCEAN BLVD.  During the recording, the band stayed at the house on Ocean Blvd.

SS.)   Rustee Allen, your former band mate from Sly and  the Family Stone, was brought in to handle bass  guitar duty.  What was the process that brought  about Rustee joining the band, freeing up Jimmy  to concentrate solely on vocals?

(B.L.)  Jimmy and Robin decided that they wanted to bring in another bass player so that Jimmy could concentrate on vocals.  I suggested to Robin that he give Rustee Allen a call.  Rustee was flown in from San Francisco to rehearse with us at S.I.R.  Rustee rehearsed with us, then he went back to Oakland for awhile before rejoining us in England to start rehearsals for the next album and tour........ it was always the "next album and tour".

(S.S.)   I thought the song "Smile" displayed  an  outstanding bass/drum collaboration.  Rustee had  a definite funk style to his playing.  What was it
like working with him again, especially given the different type of music being played?

(B.L.)  Working with Rustee again was the same as working with Rustee when we were working with  Sly, he was very solid and rhythmic.  Rustee
complimented this R&B side of Robin that came out in the IN CITY DREAMS album.

(S.S.)   "Further On Up The Road" has some audience sounds throughout.  Where was this recorded?

(B.L.)  "Further on up The Road" was recorded in the studio and the audience sounds were done by our road crew.

(S.S.)   Next came CARAVAN TO MIDNIGHT. I have never heard any of these songs performed in live  shows from this release, yet always felt that they would have been excellent in this format.  Did  you tour at all after its release and if not, why?

(B.L.)  We did not tour with CARAVAN TO MIDNIGHT.   I think Robin wanted to take some time off after all of our relentless touring.

(S.S.)   Between CARAVAN TO MIDNIGHT and  VICTIMS OF THE FURY, a couple of years went by.  What were you doing during this period?

(B.L.)  Between CARAVAN TO MIDNIGHT and VICTIMS OF THE FURY, I produced a band called "Child" in San Diego.  It was a hard rock band with a great lead singer named  Rick Reed.  I enjoyed spending time living in San Diego where  I had a beautiful home in Del Mar, CA.

(S.S.)   With VICTIMS,we saw the return to the old three piece line up.  What happened with Rustee, and why the decision to put Jimmy back handling both bass and vocals again?

(B.L.)  Rustee was back in Oakland and was involved in studio work there.  With VICTIMS OF THE FURY, there was a return to the three-piece line-up, quite possibly for convenience and economics.  Robin and Jimmy had already been  demo-ing the songs in Croydon, England at
Jimmy's house when I was called over to start work on the album.

(S.S.)   During this time, Jimmy Dewar had also recorded a solo album " STUMBLEDOWN ROMANCER".  (Which was made available in 1998 on Chrysalis Records and took me nearly a year to finally locate a copy..
           *Unfortunately, since working on this interview, it has come to my attention that not only myself,  but others have found it impossible to locate a copy of this CD.  Apparently it is out of print.  What can you tell us about this solo album?

(B.L.)  As I recall, I was living with Jimmy at the time. Matthew Fisher, who produced STUMBLEDOWN ROMANCER (and was the organ player from Procol Harum who made that memorable haunting solo on "A Whiter Shade Of  Pale"), lived just around the corner from Jimmy.
That was in Croydon, England.  One night,  Jimmy and I went to Matthew's studio, The Old Barn Studios. which was in Matthew's house..
You could say that it was an "in-house" studio, because it was actually where the living room would have been.  There were keyboards, a small
drum kit, the recording console, a variety of  microphones and the usual recording room stuff.   You can get the picture.  It was just before 1980 because I was in England doing the VICTIMS OF THE FURY project.
Jimmy and Matthew had me come in and play drums on a track, "Nature Child", that was still in the works... it was rough and not finished.  I totally forgot that I had cut that track until, (like most people, it has been difficult to locate), I finally heard STUMBLEDOWN ROMANCER.
    I knew that I had cut the track, but I did not know that it made it to the final cut to be included on the CD and I could recognize my drumming style, even twenty years after I laid  it down.  I was  pleasantly surprised because there are no credits for any of the players listed on the copy of the CD jacket.  It was great to hear Jimmy's voice again and I
know that this was the direction that Jimmy always wanted to go.  My personal favorites are "Stumbledown Romancer" and "Sands of Time".
 I thought that the songs were well structured and Jimmy's performance was soulful and passionate.

(S.S.)   So after VICTIMS, you went on tour and then again, we see another major change in the line up.  Jack Bruce has replaced Jimmy on both vocals and  bass.  How did the opportunity to work with Jack come about?

(B.L.)  Robin heard Jack's voice on the radio on a Cream song and thought that it would be a cool collaboration to work with this singer, bass player.  At that time, Jack was living in London and Jimmy Dewar was back in Scotland.  Someone at Chrysalis located Jack and set up a
meeting with Jack and Robin at Jack's flat in London, where Robin played him his song demo ideas.  Jack liked the songs and told Robin,
"Good tunes" and agreed to do the B.L.T. project.  From that point, we went into pre-production rehearsals for the album in London.

(S.S.)   You mentioned to me a couple of times,  how you wished there had been a tour with this line up.  Why were there no tours planned?

(B.L.)   There was a tour planned for B.L.T. and  Chrysalis very much wanted us to go out and promote the album.  Jack had done an album with my favorite drummer, Billy Cobham, David Sanchez on keyboards and Clem Clemson on guitar from Humble Pie.  They were committed
to a schedule to go out and tour with that project when Robin asked Jack to go and tour with B.L.T.  When Jack finished that tour and came back to London, he contacted Robin and said that he was available now to tour B.L.T., but Robin  said that it was too late and the record company would no longer give us the tour support because  of the amount of time which had elapsed since the release of the album.  The window of opportunity had passed us by.  There is a new window of opportunity twenty  years later as Jack, Robin and I are still active musicians and the possibility is still there for us to re-unite and do the B.L.T. tour that we never did.  It would be nice if Robin would come up with the idea of a B.L.T. tour.

(S.S.)   As a guitarist, I have to ask if, at any point during this time, you ever did any old Cream tunes while rehearsing?  I can't imagine, at some point, Robin not slipping into something like "White Room" or "Sunshine Of Your Love" just for fun.

(B.L.)  Yes we did jam on old Cream songs at rehearsals for B.L.T.   We jammed on "Sunshine of Your Love", and if we had toured, we would have incorporated old Cream songs into our live set  along with the Best Of R.T. songs.  Wouldn't that make for a great concert set!!!!?

(S.S.)    B.L.T. was your last studio release with Robin, as the next Trower album with Jack Bruce saw the  return of Reg Isidore on drums.  What were you up to at this time?

(B.L.)  After B.L.T., I joined a Contemporary Christian Rock Band, with my current guitarist, Eric Turner.  We travelled the world; Israel,
Philippines, Korea, Hawaii and we recorded Albums for Maranatha Records.  We played everywhere from prisons to high schools and
churches and large events.

(S.S.)  The next releases for Robin were, PASSION,  TAKE WHAT YOU NEED and IN THE LINE OF FIRE with a completely new band and the
introduction of Davey Pattison on vocals.  Did you continue to follow the music that they were putting out?

(B.L.)  I didn't really follow the music, nor did I have the recordings.  I heard the singles which were played on the radio of which my favorites were "No Time" and "Tear It Up".  I did tour with Davey Pattison and Dave Bronze (bass) in 1987 and someone sent me a copy of a video from one of the shows at New George's in San Rafael, CA. with that line-up.
Robin had called me back to England to work on the demos for the album IN THE LINE OF FIRE atthe end of demo-ing, Robin asked me about
going out on the next leg of the tour.  I said "yes"  and then started rehearsals for the live set.  I went back to Minneapolis and later flew to New Mexico to start the tour.

(S.S.)   This was, I believe , the "Tear It Up" tour. So you finished up the tour but when IN THE LINE OF FIRE was recorded you didn't end up playing on it.  Why not?
(B.L.)  The record company had put Eddy Kramer in  charge of this album and while it was being worked on in New York he decided to use two people he was familiar with on Drums and Bass.  So, for what ever reason, Dave (Bronze) and myself were replaced.

(S.S.)   While preparing the questions for this, I mentioned to Davey I was doing this interview and he sent back the following statement:
            "I always called Bill 'Big Yin' which is a Glaswegian term for 'Big One'.  Bill Lordan is one of the nicest people I have ever  met in the music business.  In a lot of ways. he is responsible for me being here in the U.S., and I  will always be grateful to him.  He is also a fabulous drummer, and when it comes to cymbal work, there is nobody in the world like him.  He
creates such a 'mood' with his drumming.  I would  work with Bill again at any time."

(B.L.)  I first met Davey after a concert in Glasgow, Scotland.  We had played the Apollo Theater there.  Back at the hotel after the concert, we
were all sitting around in the lounge area and Davey was there talking with Jimmy Dewar when  we were first introduced.  It was 1974-75 and it
was my first time playing in Scotland.  Jimmy and Davey were friends and Davey was like an understudy to Jimmy because he was into Jimmy's style of singing.  They both had a similar style of Scottish-soul singing.  We had a saying  amongst musicians in those days, that Scottish singers were the "soul brothers of Europe".  Also,  in that group of Scottish Soul singers, were Hamish Stewart from The Average White Band  and Frankie Miller who co-wrote with Robin on his first solo album, TWICE REMOVED FROM YESTERDAY, the song, "I Can't Wait Much             Longer".  And all of these singers learned from  a guy named Alex Harvey, an early days pop  singer out of Scotland.  Alex was like an early
version of David Bowie meets Alice Cooper who had a show of props and theatrics.  I was fortunate to have seen an Alex Harvey concert in those
early days.  In between the Trower Tours, there was a period of time that I had off and I was looking to get involved with another project.  I ran into a guy named Mick Brigdon, who was working for the Bill Graham management.  Mick told me about Ronnie Montrose looking for a drummer and a singer who was a cross between Jimmy Dewar and Paul Rogers, (Bad Company and Free).  I  said, "I know the guy you're looking for, Davey Pattison !!!"  Mick told me to get him a tape and I gave him the one that Davey did with Matthew Fisher.  Then I called Davey in the middle of the night, his time in Scotland, and I told him that
I'd given his tape to Bill Graham's management.  They later called Davey about coming to San Francisco to audition.  As it turned out, Davey got the gig and I didn't (laughs).  The job went to a drummer named Rick Gillette who lived in the Bay area .  But I was glad to help Davey out
because I always thought he was a great singer and he was a good friend to Jimmy Dewar and deserved this opportunity.  We always had a nickname for Davey, "The Wee Man" because although he was short, we all marvelled at how that big voice came out of that little guy.

(S.S.)    I never like to compare musicians, but because Jimmy Dewar and Davey Pattison were friends  and being familiar with their incredible voices, it must have been very strange for you to hear Davey's renditions of the songs you originally released with Jimmy on vocals.

(B.L.)   It was great working with Davey and a bit Deja Vu as he came closest to sounding like Jimmy, which I feel is a great compliment to his
talent.  I'm planning my next CD project and I have already asked him to sing a couple of old Trower songs that I want to include.  I'm looking
forward to working with Davey again.

(S.S.)    Musically, you've played with Robin over a longer period of time than any other musician.  From the early days of BRIDGE, through Jack Bruce and then with Pattison.  Having been through so many stages with Robin, what were the changes that occurred in both your style and Robin's
playing style?

(B.L.)   The change that I first noticed occurring in Robin's style was that he was evolving more into R&B roots and I was developing more of a rock style from what I had been playing previously with Sly and the Family Stone.  Robin continues to have that same style and sound and has
remained true to himself.  He has a way of sticking to his guns and not letting himself be influenced by the trends of the day, or as Robin would say, "the flavour of the month".  On VICTIMS OF THE FURY, Robin made a conscious return to the BRIDGE OF SIGHS concept.  The more obvious change was Robin doing his first ever all blues CD, SOMEDAY
BLUES, a type of project that he has always wanted to do.  When you hear Robin play these days, you get the best of all the musical changes
that he has been through from the beginning of his career.

(S.S.)    You have toured all over the world.  Which tour stands out in your mind as being your personal favourite?

(B.L.)   My personal favorite tour tour was the LONG MISTY DAYS world tour, because we did Japan, Australia, Europe, England and all of the States. Jimmy Dewar was in his best voice ever and I liked the song list that we had, which was the best of BRIDGE OF SIGHS  in addition to cuts of LONG MISTY DAYS, my favorite being  "Messin' The Blues" and "SMO" as my drum grooves lent themselves to the creation of those
songs.  Everywhere we went, the crowds were enthusiastic and the shows were sold out.  There was always a lot of excitement in the air at all of
these packed houses.  Often times we would come on stage to standing ovations.... before we played the first note!  And of course, Robin's guitar
playing was exceptional and consistent every night.

(S.S.)    When and where was the largest audience you ever played to?

(B.L.)   The largest audience we ever played for was in  1976 at the Oakland Coliseum, The Day On The  Green.... The British Invasion.  There were 63,000 plus people there that day.

(S.S.)    Where was the most unusual place you ever  played?

(B.L.)   The Jai-Alai Fronton in Miami, Florida was the most unusual place I ever played.  The concert  was set up in the Jai-Alai court... it was an unusual set up for a concert in that type of venue.  Jai-Alai is some type of game where the players wear some type of scoop on their hand and the game is like handball where the players fling the ball against the wall... then the other player has to get the ball and fling it back.
  Anyway, I thought that playing a concert there was unusual.  Otherwise, all of our other venues were the usual concert halls, large theaters,
auditoriums, hockey arenas and baseball stadiums like when we toured with Jethro Tull and Rory Gallagher.

(S.S.)    Tell us a bit about your family.  I understand  you have five kids and how many grandchildren??

(B.L.)   I have five children and eight grandchildren.  My son in Minnesota is a policeman now, but he played in the NFL for five years with the New York Jets, the Pittsburg Steelers and then the  Green Bay Packers.  He played the tight end position.  I also have a son who lives in Minnesota who plays bass and sings in a band.  My father is 84 and lives in RedWing, Minnesota near my oldest sister.  My other sister lives in
Colorado.  We all keep in touch through phone calls, letters and visits.  In fact, this weekend (March 11) we have some of my grandchildren
coming to visit who are the children of my  youngest daughter.  My partner, Kate, and I will be busy with the grandkids, taking them to feed
the tropical birds and fish here where we live and taking them swimming and for nature walks.  Of course I'll take them to the music room so
that they can have a chance to play "grandpa's"  drums.  I like having photos of the kids, so I'll  have Kate take lots of pictures of our visit.  We
will also read stories to the kids and fill them up  with lots of home cooking.  They will be on our turf here at our house, so there won't be any junk food or urban rap.  We will have lots of sunshine, fresh air and quality time.

(S.S.)    Outside of music, what else do you like to do?  Any hobbies?

(B.L.)   I enjoy swimming, bicycle riding and walks.  I especially like to go to Joshua Tree National Park to sight see and enjoy nature walks.  I have a daily routine of watching the sun set and soaking in the mineral hot tubs here in the Coachella Valley of  the California desert.  It is a nice, simple lifestyle.

(S.S.)    So what is next for Bill Lordan?

(B.L.)   We are planning BILL LORDAN EXPERIMENT VOLUME 2 which will include Davey Pattison on a couple of songs and also my son, Paul, who sings and plays bass.  We are planning some showcase/CD release parties in the Orange County area.  I have other studio projects that are being planned right now and, as I mentioned  earlier, I just finished a project with Charlie Souza.  We plan to work together again in the near future.

(S.S)   Bill, I would like to thank you for all the time you have put into answering my questions (and a big thank you to Kate for her tireless typing for you)!  Your excitement and openness towards this interview and myself was both energizing and contagious, to say the least.
   It has been a real pleasure getting to know you and I look forward to our continued friendship.

(B.L.)    I enjoyed doing the interview with you.  You have a great web site and I hope that this interview will contribute to the unique nature of information on it.  I would like to personally thank you for your enthusiasm and interest in myself and Davey Pattison and our projects as co-associates of Robin Trower.  You should know that Derek Sutton, Robin Trower's manager, said that he thinks you have the most professional looking Unofficial Robin Trower web site.
   I appreciate your help on putting together the Bill Lordan memorabilia book.  I also appreciate your link to the Classic Rock Page site, (  The ad for my CD looks great!  Nice job!
   Let's stay in touch so that we can make plans to get together to go to a Robin Trower Concert this summer in California. ( note : We actually did!!!!)
   Thanks again for everything!

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