This interview with Glenn Hughes was made on July 2 1996 a few hours before a concert of his in the town of Uppsala, Sweden. He had a new album called “Addiction” coming out within days and there were also a couple of Deep Purple MK 3 live albums (recorded in 1974 and 1975) released around this time. I first met Glenn Hughes backstage at a Judas Priest concert in Stockholm back in 1987 and interviewed him on several occations from then on – first for magazines like Metal Hammer, later basically just for my DEEP PURPLE FOREVER magazine. He was always very frank and open with me, I felt that we had a very honest thing going for a few years and it´s nice to look back at this period now. This is one of these chats and with me I had a few friends – Lennart Hedenström (who at the time had a Glenn Hughes webzine called Coast To Coast – this was his first time meeting up with Glenn in person. He would later work on the official Glenn Hughes website, basically building it from scratch) and Staffan Eriksson (webmaster of the DPF fan club site). This interview was published in DEEP PURPLE FOREVER 15 and this is actually (can you believe it!) the short version! A week after this chat, Glenn Hughes did a tour in Japan for the “Addiction” album. Hold on to your horses folks, you are in for quite a ride – there´s plenty of good stuff in this one! Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Van Halen, Toto, you name it…
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(Glenn starts up the chat with these words) – Before I do an interview with someone from the PR tells me what they are going talk about and I have the answers already. You are always asking me things that I honestly am being very honest about. (to Mike)
ME: I know that.
– I may look back at this and go “Why did I say that?”. You´re getting the honest…
ME: You know if there´s something that you don’t want to be printed…
– No, there is nothing. Because I want the people that like me or like my music to know who I am. There shouldn´t be any secrets from me. In fact there´s not one secret I don´t think anyone of you… I have told everybody my darkest things. Let me tell you one thing, I think the darkest secrets are the ones that kill you! I think a secret… I can´t have any secrets. I have a big mouth. I open up my soul to everybody. [laughs] I have said some stupid things in the past. When I was “ill” I said some things but you know… I have nothing to hide anymore. I have absolutely nothing to hide.
ME: It´s always a pleasure to interview you. That´s for sure.
– Did I make the cover this time? (pointing at the new issue of DEEP PURPLE FOREVER)
ME: There are quite a few pictures there.
– Good boy. (laughs)
ME: It’s the (Deep Purple) MK 4 story in there. I worked for some time on that.
– This is… It´s all in Swedish?
– I will have someone translate it for me.
ME: While on the subject of Deep Purple, there are going to be three live albums released this year with MK 3.
– On Simon’s label RPM?
ME: Ummm… no, let me see the new live in Europe is on…
– From MK 3?
– Good, good, good, good, good!
ME: Well, there is going to be one double CD from Connoisseur Records. From the last few concerts with Ritchie.
ME: Alternative takes. And I was going to ask, these releases… are you informed or do you sign anything or are they just a surprise to you?
– Surprise! I was told this, by Per Holmgren, about a month ago, that they were going to release them. Truthfully, when you mention anything of my work with Deep Purple I think of “Ahh, royalties”. Umm, first and foremost for me… “was the work good”? The only disappointing work that I have ever done with Deep Purple was “Last Concert In Japan”. For all obvious reasons… we were all shit-faced. That to me was the only time I considered to have been any bad work. So everything I have done with Deep Purple I think is pretty decent, bootlegs or not, I don´t care.
ME: I guess you have seen the California Jam CD that is out now?
ME: It´s on EMI Records.
– This is great news for me! Is it worldwide?
ME: Yeah. Should be selling a few copies. Frankly, I´m surprised you didn’t know about it.
– I didn´t know about that. That´s great. I sure will let my accountant know about it. (smiles)
ME: Let´s spend a few minutes in the past before we talk about the current things. Here´s a question about the 70s. I read somewhere that Tommy Bolin had asked Robert Plant to sing with him at some stage. Was that just a rumor or is that something that you know about?
– Robert was introduced to Tommy by me. They had a friendship happening there. As far as any working relationship I didn´t know anything about that. It´s possible. Might be a rumor but it could be possible. Tommy, as you know, was very varied in his musical taste. I don´t think that Robert might have done it, but… it probably would have been interesting.
ME: With the Zeppelin connection, I wanted to clarify a thing that happened in New York on the last tour, with John Bonham strolling up on stage…
– Yes, absolutely…
ME: OK, what happened exactly?
– John Bonham and I have a history together. We were friends. Trapeze was John Bonham’s favorite English rock band, and he used to take me to gigs in his car, and he would jam with Trapeze on the encores. So John was a very good friend of mine. The night we played at Radio City Music Hall, in NYC, the second night, he was very drunk, and he wanted to come on stage to tell the audience about the new, “Song Remains The Same”, film coming out. So he got the microphone, and he was very drunk, and he started playing around, you know. And after that it took me… Well, something happened really bad that night. I mean he was out of his mind and he started getting a bit strange.
ME: So he felt bad the next day perhaps?
Staffan: Can I ask a question about “Stormbringer” and “Come Taste The Band”? Was there any material that are still unreleased.
– No, I think what most bands did back then was that we rehearsed twelve songs and recorded them. We didn’t really have any extra songs. We knew what songs we were going to record. It´s different now. There´s so many songs to choose from. I´d love to think that there were extra songs but there really wasn´t. There might have been a few suggestions for “Come Taste The Band”, but they didn’t make it.
ME: How about demo material? Did you record anything at that stage?
– No never with MK 3, with MK 4 that would have been appropriate, but we never really had the time.
ME: So Purple really went into the studio and really wrote and did songs…
– What we did, every time we went into the studio. We went first to Clearwell Castle with MK 3. Both times before “Stormbringer” and “Burn” and we wrote the songs.
ME: And recorded them the same day also?
– We wrote them, we rehearsed them, and then we went to Munich to record them. And with “Come Taste The Band” we went to SIR studios in Hollywood, which was then called Pirate Sound, on Sunset Boulevard. We wrote and we rehearsed and then we went to Munich to record. We wrote what we considered the best twelve songs for the album, or how many songs there were.
ME: Well that´s it for the old stuff I think. Could we start talking about the current happenings around the time of “Feel” perhaps?
ME: Now let me see… Did you change the record company in Japan after… The “Feel” album was the first on that label, right?
– No, “From Now On…” was the first.
ME: OK so you are still on the same label in Japan since that time. I heard a rumor that they have asked you to do another live album. Is that true?
ME: OK, but they already have one!
– The first one was done two years and two months ago…
ME: Are you up for it?
– “Am I up for it”?
– You haven’t heard the new album have you?
ME: No no no…
– I think when you hear it, you´ll understand why I want do it. It´s a very strong rock album. I consider it to be, I think, the best rock album I have ever done. So I thought “Well, if this is a good album, a rock record…”.We´ve discussed this, you and I, about me doing other kinds of music. I want to do about maybe two more rock albums and then I want to move into something a bit different, and I think some of this new stuff should be recorded while I´m on tour playing it.
ME: I think up to this point that, generally the favorite album that people have is probably the live album. Have you heard about that?
– Yeah. I love it.
ME: Have you thought about the songs, the old songs…
– Yeah definitely, I have chosen the songs I would do live. It would consist of a lot of Trapeze and maybe one Purple song. I try to stay away… There´s only so many times umm… There´s only so many songs that I can play of Deep Purple and they are the songs that I wrote or sang on. I wouldn´t wanna do anything further than that. The thing is, and you can understand this, in the future I want to start taking away the old songs and only play new songs. It´s gotta be that way. I can´t keep doing “Burn” forever. I can´t keep doing it.
ME: No. I gather that, if a Japanese company wants you to do a live album, they want you to do… They probably want something… Have they sort of…
– No, they haven´t suggested anything. What I will do is, I will record five or six brand new songs from “Addiction”, and the rest will be a Hughes/Thrall song and a Purple… You will probably know which one because I will be doing that live tonight.
ME: I think another live album will be nice as long as it´s a different one.
– I promise you… I promise myself this, I´m not going to make a “Burning Japan Live II”, but if it does come off I know who´s going to play (on it) and it´s going to be great. I understand by the look in your eye and the tone of your voice, you probably would be worried of me doing a new album and another live album. The Japanese, love live albums and they pay me really well. I felt that “Burning Japan Live” was for a classic rock, Glenn Hughes type of fan that likes Deep Purple, would love the album. But I have to now change it and do something different.
ME: Lennart told me this morning that there were some funk songs recorded originally for the next album that were perhaps not popular with the record company. Are they finished songs or demos?
– They are demos that could end up as bonus tracks for the future. One of the songs is called “Against The Grain” and the other is called “Down The Wire”, which I did with Richie Kotzen. I wrote them and recorded them in his house. The thing with me, and you know this, I have got two sets of music. Let´s call it the Deep Purple sounding rock, which is easy to play for me. Simple! And I have the things I´m growing with all the time which is like Rock and Jazz and Funk and Soul, which to me is Glenn Hughes. It’s all me. It’s definitely me. At some point I’m going to have to say good-bye to one or the other. We gotta be honest with each other. Let´s just be really honest now. I´m not in Deep Purple and this is a working unit that does reasonable well. I´m a solo performer and I want to compete. I´m going to throw a few names that might have you go “WHAT?”. I want to compete with Elton John and George Michael. I want to compete with these people that sell millions of records. I´m not gonna be doing it making this kind of music. You know that. For art´s sake it would be interesting to do this kind of music or this kind of music, but I want to sell millions of records and I believe my voice is capable of selling those records.
ME: OK. Here´s a question that might be… Are you writing softer and quieter songs on the side?
– THANK YOU! You definitely… yes, yes, I´ve got a handful of songs now that I think are the best songs I have ever written. I have played them to a few persons and they like them and…
ME: But they are not for this particular phase?
– Definitely not. What I have done, and I haven´t told anyone this in an interview, I have made a commitment… and I´m not good at making commitments, ’cause if you listen to “From Now On” and “Feel” they are two completely different albums… when “Addiction”… the Japanese record company said to me “why can’t you make a record for the people that like Glenn Hughes to rock?” and I thought “do I have to do that? Why can´t I just play like… “Feel” and do everything I like?” So I said “OK I´m going to make an album of rock music”. So if “Addiction” sells well I will do another one, but I can´t keep making rock music… you know to me if you don’t sell more than 100,000 copies it´s a failure. And you know, for me, in the end of the day I got to look at what´s in five years time. To start now it´s gonna take five years to do what I want to do. I can´t… You know… with all the respect for the Deep Purple fans, which I have, there´s about five million fans that I don’t have, and I´ve got get to those people. But I think that my real fans will like the other music as well. I think so.
ME: Yeah I think so. No question about it! Could you perhaps mention a title of any of those songs so that we can recognize them when they do appear in the future.
– Yeah, there´s a song called “Lay Me Down And Heal Me” and there´s a song called “I Can Prove It” and there is more stuff I haven’t finished yet.
ME: I will keep my eyes open for those titles.
– Yeah, and, you know, there is some stuff I have done in the past that I might… I might get together with Geoff Downes and write some more songs. Have you got some of that stuff? (asking Lennart)
LH: Yeah, and I love that stuff. It´s almost only keyboards and your voice.
– Yeah, and that´s what I want to do. What I have been doing recently is, I have been buying a lot of CDs and listening to the competition… we can call it the competition if you like. I´m not feeling comfortable making albums that only 50,000 people are going to buy. I mean I want to make a lot more records. So I have been listening to what´s been going on musically, and what´s going on musically is, to me, there is a lack of singer/songwriters right now. And I gotta break through. I can´t keep “schlepping” around the world playing clubs. It´s.. you know… Ian Gillan might like to do that but personally I don´t dig it. I mean I meet some people and they say “What are you doing playing in this place?”. And I think “Yeah, what am I doing playing this place?”.
ME: It´s kind of strange, because we obviously hear soul music on the radio every day. So you should be on the radio every day too, but it may take a while to establish… the right record company perhaps.
– Well, that´s what we are talking to right now. There´s about three record companies in America that are interested making the other music. And this week I´ll, possibly, sign a new record deal with an American label for “Addiction”. So we´ll have a release in America. So things, since the last time we spoke, have got better. But it´s taken a while. I told you the last time I didn’t expect things to happen right away.
ME: Last time we spoke you said you wanted things to happen a stage at a time.
– Yeah, but it´s been slow. It’s been very, very slow. The question is when am I going to make the transition or move. The last couple of years I have been making a very good living with the Japanese record company, and they have been making it very hard for me to make a move, you know. But I think I should do another live album with them and I´d like to do another rock album and then I´d like to think of moving on to something else.
ME: Have you considered doing a duet with a female singer? Have you approached someone, or?
– Anne Wilson from Heart wants to do one. I know she´s been interested in doing that, but this has been like, in the last five years. She´s sent people to talk to me.
ME: Is that for a Heart album?
– I don´t know. Maybe for a movie or something? There´s a million girl singers I´d like to do things with. You know, we have to look at the two different careers that I have. Sometimes it´s been a curse because people say “I wish Glenn would either do rock” or “I wish he would do the other”. To me, my real dream is why can´t I do it all? Did we ever talk about Sting and about what he is? You know he came from the Police which was very, very popular. When I left Purple there was a time when I didn´t do anything, which was unfortunate. But for me, when I say to a record company “Why can´t I just do funky rock jazzy soulful songs”. And they go “No, we want you to sound like you were in Deep Purple”. And that says to me, why can´t I just be able to grow. Like this guy (Sting). So it´s taken me a while and it´s been very frustrating. One thing that I don´t want to do is make a wrong move, in the next couple of years, because that could be fatal. But I know one thing, I´m only one song away… one small song away from achieving a great success.
ME: Let´s talk about the lyrics you have on the new album then. So you may feel a little bit frustrated…
– Have you read them?
ME: No I haven´t, but can that frustration be heard in the lyrics?
– On the album, which is a very confrontational album… you see what I have done on the new album… it´s called “Addiction” for obvious reasons… it´s an album that… I wanted to be a bit more serious about my lyrics on this album. Wanted to a be bit more in depth and to have someone understanding what I was singing about, rather than singing about boy meets girl. What I did was opening my own wound and for my own rehabilitation, after five years of being clean, I wanted to go back and look to see what I have been doing. And see if it could help me as a person. So some of this stuff is very angry and some of it is very sad, but it´s a very good album.
LH: Would you say then, that it is a very dark album?
– Very dark. For me it’s very dark. And I have to ask myself… I always think “What would other singers do?”. When I was singing with Black Sabbath I said to myself “Would Paul Rodgers be singing this?”. And I said “No he wouldn´t do that!”. So every time I sing something that´s dark I have to ask myself “Would so and so sing this?” and I have to keep telling myself “No, but you can sing this yourself. You can make it your own!”, you know. So it´s a bit special.
ME: Do you think the lyrics came out dark, because you felt perhaps that you were forced into an album like that.
– In some respect but the lyrics were dark because my mother was very ill and we thought she was going to die. I had a virus for two months with a F102/C40 temperature for two months. It was like I couldn´t get out of bed and I was making the album and I was very depressed. It was one of these periods where I was under a lot of pressure. Some of the titles were like that.
LH: You were talking before on how you want to get on with your solo career.
– It´s frustrating that’s why.
LH: Yeah. But just a hypothetical question…What would happen if a major band asked you to join? For example on the level of Van Halen or Toto or whatever. Would you even consider it?
– It´s been suggested that… One of those bands has asked me to join, but not this year. Umm I´d like to tell you “No, I wouldn´t do it” but I would have to say “I would possibly think about it”, because… I have told Mike this, and every year I see him I get cleaner and more and more in the world, I feel… if my fans are upset because they didn´t hear from me for 15 years I´m more upset for not being able to work. So for me I want to, let´s just say… The one thing that I really do admire about Ian Gillan, he’s a good singer, but one thing that he´s always done is that he has kept busy, and Roger Glover, they´ve always wanted to do things. Some of it hasn´t been that good in places, but I admire what they do. I really do. And for me, I want to keep working, but I don´t want to make that wrong move. You hear what I’m saying? Because every time I meet somebody of that nature (person in band that wants Glenn to join) they always say to me “Why don’t you come singing with us?”. I say “That´s really nice, but…”. The answer to your question is, I probably would do it if I saw… let´s just say that now I look at life in different terms. I look at a project now for me it takes a year to do and it normally takes three or four albums of a solo performer, like David Coverdale and the early Whitesnake, to happen, to grow. So I´m still early stages yet. But this “Addiction” album, I´m going to be honest with you, is an album for me that is going dictate to me what I should do after this.
LH: In a way, when you talk about “Addiction” it sounds like a one-off. And not like you´re going to continue in that direction.
– Well, I have a follow-up theme for the album. Let´s just say that the album does better than “Feel”. And I am talking about Japan first of all because that´s where I sell most of the records. Umm then I will follow it up with something in the same sort of direction. If it doesn´t do particularly well, and I might change my mind again next year. You see the thing is I´m not as fortunate as the rest of the guys in Deep Purple. I don´t have a large bank account. So it´s like I have to look at… and I have said this to you I´m a business man now, and I have to think… now when I make this new album in order to put money away to make this other album. That´s what I am doing. I´m putting a lot of money away to be able to make my own record. I´m deciding what to do. I mean…
ME: So if a band like Toto or Van Halen asked you to join and you could still have your solo career then it might be an option you think? Is that possible in business terms you think?
– Yes definitely. For instance the Tony Iommi album I´m doing, is going to feature, I shouldn´t say this, but it´s going to feature four or five very, very big name singers on it, contemporary alternative singers, that are going to sing with me and I´m going to be writing the music. So this could be something that is also interesting.
GH: (Looking at Lennart) Have you heard anything through the internet?
LH: Yeah, Bill Hibbler e-mailed and said you have been writing with Tony Iommi.
– Yeah, I can´t say their names right now because… there are four or five very, very famous new artists that want to do the album with Tony and they want me to play and sing on it with them so…
LH: What we heard was… the rumor, from the beginning, was that you and Rob Halford were to sing on it.
– He´s possibly one of them, but there are some other people as well. For me, this whole thing about the Glenn Hughes continuing story of… when I went into treatment five years ago because of my addiction I wasn´t able to live correctly, and I had no money because I spent it… everything, because I wasn’t well, and since I´ve been well I made quite a lot of money, but I´m putting it aside for my own reasons to make the right kind of music to buy a studio in my home and…whereas before I used to throw money at… as Ian Paice did say it used to go through my fingers. What I´m doing, and I hope everybody understands, that I´m now very, very clear… that I know that in the next two or three years I´m going to make the transition into being a radio artist rather than a… you know, it´s very sad to see some artists of my generation who are going around 200 days a year doing these clubs, and they don’t have the opportunity to have this voice, or whatever, the gift that I have, to be able to change direction. And I tell you who did it very well, and the name I´m going to bring up, you know, you may go “huaaaa”, but Michael Bolton ten years ago was a hard rock singer, and then he changed into this thing. You must remember that twenty years ago… most of the Deep Purple fans now are probably old now and not in the fan club anymore. For me, there are a lot of people that don´t know who Glenn Hughes is, and the people I have to get to are, you know… For instance, when we were doing… I mixed “Addiction”, Soundgarden’s producer came in and he said “who´s that? Wow! this is unbelievable!”. So to get all the new generations of people into me… I believe it´s only a matter of time and it´s only a matter of luck, faith and being in the right place in the right time that will do it. I have a lovely gift and I love to sing but how much better can I get every year? Somehow I´m singing better every year. I mean what´s it gonna be like when I´m 50?
ME: OK, you live in Sweden a few months of the year and you live sometime with your mother, in England, I think. How much time do you spend in America now?
– Six months a year. I´m on a tax thing now. When I was in Deep Purple I was three months in Italy, three months in England and six months in America and I´m on the same thing now in Sweden, England and America.
ME: Of course it must be a lot a easier to get in touch with the right people in the States?!
– Yeah, I´m having a network of new people I have met in America who are the… let´s call them the new breed of A&R guys. I have met through, and this is wonderful, through my “being clean and sober” (lifestyle) I have met at alcoholic meetings some of the very highest executives who love Glenn Hughes. So being clean and sober is not only good for me as a person but it´s also good for me as a musician! But I tell you what, it´s taken five years to get the respect back. Five years!
ME: You have been asked by a few bands in the past. Is it true that Glenn Tipton wanted you to join Judas Priest?
– Last year! He asked me to come down and sing. Eddie Van Halen told me last year… He said to me that, when they were auditioning Sammy Hagar, that if I would´ve been clean and sober I would´ve gotten the gig!
ME: Any more offers like that that we haven´t heard of?
– Ummm… no! Nothing that is interesting. Just the odd super-group, that I would never do again.
ME: One thing that is interesting is that when you did the rock albums, you did it with a certain set of people because you had to.
– That´s right.
ME: But, in the next phase of your career do you have, sort of, your eye on a particular musician that you really would like to work with.
– Umm yeah… There are two guitar players possibly three that I would have work with me. Guitar players isn´t a problem. My whole thing is… with the solo… like that kind of career like a Phil Collins type of thing it´s just session guys in the band. With the rock thing it must be individuals.
ME: So it´s going to be a little bit easier.
– Yeah. You know, there´s a couple of songs, titles, that I have told you about and you’ll never see these floating around because, I recorded these two years ago, and it is the only time I´ve never made a copy and given it to anybody because they are very special! When you hear the songs you´ll understand why. They are very good. We said this last year, I said “It’s only a matter of time for me” and I say that with all optimism because I really honestly believe, the way I´m singing and the way I´m as a human being something has got to happen… if it doesn´t happen it´s not the end of the world. I have been in the biggest band in the world. I have got the platinum albums. I did California Jam. You got the memories of Glenn Hughes. It´s not like I´m going to die. It´s that I´m… I believe that God, and I know a lot of Swedish people don´t believe in God, and that’s OK. I believe that God made me clean and sober to have this second chance.
Staffan: Yeah, and I think so too, that you might get a second chance from somewhere.
– Well, I´m having it now. When I have a bad day, If someday I may wake up and, you know, I´m pissed off or something… I say to myself “why am I pissed off? I’m clean and sober and I feel great!”. I´m not saying, you know… If somebody was to have a drink. I don´t give a shit. As long as I don´t drink or anything.
ME: The Journey thing, do you think that might have an impact on America somehow? They used to be big and…
– I hope so. Let me just say this, if rock ´n´roll takes off again big like that… The very last thing you should know about why I want to change. I don´t think… and Pete Townsend said something like “I hope I die before I get old…” I don´t personally at 50 years of age, in six years, want to be holding my crotch and screaming. (laughs) I don´t want to be doing that. I´ve got a great regular voice that I can sing with wonderfully and… My girlfriend, who is a lot younger than me and she said “You don´t have to scream anymore Glenn, because people come to hear you sing! People come to hear the Glenn Hughes tone, of your voice!”. I said “Really?! They don´t wanna hear me scream?”. “No, they don´t wanna hear you scream they wanna hear you sing!”. I did a concert last, (to Lennart) you may have heard about this, about two Christmases ago, in LA, where it was taped for live radio and I did “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” and it went over live all across America and I had a five minute standing ovation. It was seven o´clock in the morning and I didn´t scream once! And everybody loved it! [laughs] So I said “Maybe I shouldn’t scream anymore!?”.
ME: That was with Mark Bonilla, right?
– It´s good, because what I talk to you about is… when I do an interview with Kerrang or magazines like that. I have to be like “Oh yes, ah well…” and “Oh really”… It’s all that shit…
LH: (to Mike) You should charge him then! (laughs)
– I´m hoping that in the fan club, there are a percentage of people that like Glenn Hughes. I have to say when I saw the guys in Purple in Stockholm…
ME: Three years ago…
– I must say they were all very, very nice. I had not seen them, you must understand, in a long, long time. Ian Paice, in particular, was extremely overwhelmed and crying that his friend was back from the dead! Because I was dead ten years ago! These moments in my life… If I can not be the kind… I believe that if you´re kind and thoughtful to your fellow human being, everything will come to you. I have had, as I said, the gold albums and the awards and the best singer in the world (poll wins), but to me the most important thing is to be a human being. You´ll never ever hear of me ever saying “no” to an autograph or if a fan is waiting for me I will wait an hour to see them. This is, you know, the real me!
ME: That´s great! How many concerts do you think that you will do with this particular band?
– Well, the idea for the summer was, because I took a place in Stockholm for three months with Åsa (his girlfriend) was, Joakim Marsh, who I think is a great guitar player, I wanted to put a band together around him. For all my fans that want… and I thought I´d play the bass and sing and get a keyboard player and a drummer, and play in the summer some older songs, more Trapeze stuff and then have fun and then for the “Addiction” tour, if it comes off… It may never come off, you know! And I tell you why. To put a band across Europe and to the far east, you´ve got to have a lot of money in the bank. If the record company wants to promote it, that´s fine, but if they don´t, it´s going to cost me 100,000 pounds to do it. So I will have to take a look at that. So the reason I did this for the summer was for me to have fun and to sing and another reason is to show people I´m around.
ME: Would you consider opening up for a bigger act?
– Yeah, I…
ME: Have you been offered that at any point since you came back?
– When (Deep Purple manager) Bruce Payne was managing me I asked him if I could open for Deep Purple and he said “No”. I was supposed to open for UFO last year in Germany but they broke up.
ME: So you have…
– A lot of bands won´t have me opening up for them because the singers get strange and worry about it. It used to happen in Trapeze a lot. The answer to this… I think what you are asking is, would I open for somebody. The answer is yes! I opened up for David Coverdale, 18 months ago in Holland, and Gary Moore, and that was fucking great. I loved it. I loved that!
ME: Obviously when you open up for a big name act you meet a lot of new people.
– That´s absolutely right.
ME: But on the money situation, is that as expensive? Are we still talking about the same money?
– When I do a concert tour, I don´t even think about making money. I think about getting to sell records and selling T-shirts. That’s what I am doing, you know. I think that everyone that sees me sing (firmly tapping his finger against the table)… and you should be the one telling me this, not me, but I´ve been told that when you´ve seen Glenn Hughes sing you’ve seen somebody that´s totally different! Somebody that can sing anything. Anything at all!
ME: I think I have…
– You know, I can´t say that because it would be like… stupid. When I sing it´s like… there´s nothing that I can not do. It comes from him up there… and it goes right through. It´s wonderful. I love to sing! And I don´t say that… I don´t think it´s me singing. It´s from above. It comes directly through me. But you know that. I have talked about that many times.
LH: The next thing I want to ask you about is related to Gary Moore, and we´ve all heard to death about the things that happened in 1984/1985…
LH: …but another thing you worked with him on, is the G-force project.
LH: I have heard very little on how it came to be and why you left and so on…
– OK. This is an interesting story. Thin Lizzy were playing in town, in LA. They had a gig and Gary Moore umm… called me and I was a big fan of Gary Moore´s and he said “I´d like to have dinner with you. Can we get together and talk?”. Before we even had the first drink he asked me to form a band with him. And back in 1979 I was like doing nothing and I said “Of course I would like to form a band with you! I love this guy!”. So he left Thin Lizzy. In fact he didn’t tell Phil Lynott. He left him in the middle of the tour and he moved into my house. And after one week of Phil Lynott not getting a replacement, Phil Lynott called me up and said “If you are hiding Gary Moore I will come and kill you!” (laughs). So I had this “crazy” Irish guy (on the phone), now I was trying to hide Gary Moore in my house… So eventually Phil was OK about that because… So Gary Moore and myself put a band together and we got a drummer named Mark Nauseef and we started.. he started, a lot of the songs were Gary´s of course. A trio and it was very, very, very good. Nothing could… There´s some things, stuff on tape but it can be very hard to find. I was singing 60%, he was singing 40% and I was playing the fretless bass and it was very, very cool. But because of my inability to cope with the situation… It was probably the first thing since Purple after three years of being… let´s just call it… at home sitting on the couch drinking beer. I wasn´t capable of dealing with what I would consider to be a successful band. So I fired myself on my birthday. We had a birthday party. Sharon Osbourne was our manager. She had a big birthday party for me and I got so drunk that I said (imitates being drunk) “I´m gonna leave the band”. And they said “OK, great” (laughs). So that was the end of that.
LH: Did you ever play live?
– No, just rehearsals and demos. Umm… and the demos and the songs that you would have heard, were the songs that were on G-force. Things like… I know there’s a song called “Hot Gossip” and there´s a song… “She Wants You” something…
LH: “She´s Got You”?
– Yeah, that one and maybe one more and there´s a couple of songs I wrote that, I don´t know if you have copies of it… After the “Run For Cover” session (in 84/85) Gary said a lot of things about me in the press and he was insulting me and my family. See, I don´t care what he says about me as a musician but…
LH: Let me move on to the next one. I have heard some demos that are supposed to be related to Don Dokken.
– Yeeaahh, you´re very good aren´t you? (laughs) Yes!
LH: You are singing on several songs…
– Four songs!
LH: There is only one song that made it onto his album (“Up From The Ashes”).
– Yes, I wrote that one, the ballad, yeah. He called me to come to his house and it was at the time when he left Dokken and he was to do a solo album. First of all he wanted to get a guitar player an that was when I brought John Norum in to do it. And then Geffen didn´t like Don´s lyrics. So they asked me if I would write melodies and lyrics for him. And only one of those songs was used just as you say.
ME: Wasn´t that the thing you did with him that sparked off a series of situations that lead to you working with David Coverdale doing that Whitesnake thing?
ME: Wasn´t it him (Dokken) who told…
– Yes, you know who it was… yes (astounded) it was him. It was because… yeah, because John Kalodner was the same A&R guy at Geffen. You see what happened was, I´m sure David Coverdale… Coverdale told me he wanted to recreate the Deep Purple sound but I´m sure Don Dokken was part of that.
ME: Have you ever met Steve Morse or seen him somewhere?
– Old friend of mine! We knew each other briefly when I was living in Atlanta. A very nice man!
ME: Yeah, he is. I saw a guitar clinic with him. He is a very funny guy!
– A funny guy! A sincere guy and obviously a together guy!
ME: Have anyone ever considered to do a Tommy Bolin tribute album?
– I would be the first in line to do it. When I got myself more established I´d be the first one to go to a major record company and get the money to do that. It´s like when you are doing films it´s like… when you hear now of a band getting a record deal… when I was in Purple and the last twenty years it hasn´t been a problem getting a million dollar record contract, and now if you get 50,000 dollars you´re lucky. Because people don´t have any money or if they have money they want to spend them on Michael Jackson or something. I´m competing with bands that go and make albums in garages. I don´t want to compete with these kids on skateboards that can´t sing! I don´t want to do that!
ME: Do you think that the 80s was bad for rock in the sense that the budgets were big and the bands could spend lot of time in the studio.
– Yes! Here´s the greatest thing about the 80s for Glenn Hughes, in the 80s, if I ever wore make-up you didn´t really see me. You didn´t see a lot of me in the 80s. You saw guys with make-up on and David Coverdale with his hair teased up, and gold jackets. All the bands that, if you think about it, that were very popular in the 80s, like Dokken, Motley Crue and Warrant, all these bands you know are all dead, dead… and they´re going to have a hard time coming back. So for me I wasn´t very popular in the 80s. Guys from the 70s are coming back popular now, so I´m considered to be cool!
ME: So you´ve been in Sweden for a while…
– I love Sweden!
ME: Have you picked up any of the language at all?
– Yes, I´m learning it. I´m taking a course right now. I will be able to speak Swedish next time we speak! (laughs) I mean, because I live with my girlfriend.
LH: (to Mike) So now he will be able to read your magazines!
ME: Oh shit! (laughs)
– You know, because she speaks Swedish to me every day. So I have to learn it. It´s not an easy language to learn. It´s really not easy to learn! I will be doing fine. I can understand when you are talking in Swedish. I know what you are talking about. Until I speak it properly I´m not gonna talk. I just want to say to everybody, and it´s nice to meet you all, for anybody interested in Glenn Hughes whether they like Deep Purple or KLF or Hughes/Thrall, I think the real Glenn Hughes fan understands me totally and they don´t have to worry about me becoming Michael Bolton, but they have to understand that in the next few years I´m going to be doing something that is more for the global market.
LH: (Asking about a session that was a hit) KLF, “America: What Time Is Love”…
– That´s great, of course!
ME: We had a Deep Purple party here in Uppsala yesterday and we played that song.
– Someone said “Who´s that singing? Who’s in that band, that rapping guy?” (laughs)
LH: (Asking about the Glenns participation in the hit movie “Dragnet”)
– Great song! “City Of Crime”, with Dan Aykroyd.
LH: Do you think that´s a great song?
– My performance was good. It wasn´t a great song but Dan Aykroyd was there when I sang it and he was cheering me on. So I…
ME: He is a fan isn´t he?
– Yes, he is a big fan.
LH: (Asking about Glenns stint with Black Sabbath and the album “Seventh Star)
– Well, here is, let´s call Tony my newest best friend because we´ve been working for two weeks now. I just left him yesterday. Possibly, unlike Ritchie, this is the nicest man (laughs). A very nice guy. Who has been shit on like from very high places. I´m helping him putting together his new album. My fans say this is a good vocal performance (pointing at “Seventh Star”) by me. So OK.
LH: Have you stayed in touch through the years?
– I met him at the MTV Awards last year. He asked me to do his solo album. It took a year to get together. And I´m doing it, basically, to get respect back from him and his management.
Michael Eriksson / Lennart Hedenström / Staffan Eriksson (1996)
(Top image – Glenn in Japan 1975 with Deep Purple – shot by Fin Costello)
(No part of this interview may be quoted without permission)
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