The Lizards

It's been a while since we heard anything from the Lizards (more about that later!) but it's all systems go again now, with the upcoming release of your new cd Archeology, and also a live dvd. First of all, tell us about the cd - who does what on it, why did you choose to do an album covering songs by Free, Uriah Heep, Humble Pie etc - and how did you decide which songs to record, etc.
Early on, we developed a ritual of learning a cool cover before a tour, then recording it when we got home. These just piled up and now we're unloading them on the unsuspecting public. These are songs Bobby and I loved as were were growing up. Mike and Pat benefited from our vast wisdom!

And what about the live dvd?
The dvd is a telling record of our live chops, culled from four concerts. BB King's in NYC, where we're practically a house band, Sweden Rock Festival, and shows in Germany and Long Island, New York. I'm very happy with it, except that they misspelled Mike's and Glenn Hughes' names on the cover!

THE LIZARDSYou have a very distinctive look onstage, almost like the 60s never ended. Did they ever end? And how much is the retro velvet'n'silk part of your day-to-day lifestyle, home decor, movie and television show appreciation, etc?
I often say that I learned to play so I'd have an excuse to dress up. For me, it's an important part of rock. I wouldn't let our roadies dress the way some bands do... bands that Mike likes! I'm always dessed to go on stage. I might die tomorrow, and all my clothes would be thrown in the garbage, so why not! My house is a work of art. All the walls are painted by an old friend of mine - Rick Klemann - and there are odd artifacts everywhere. I'm a kooky guy, what can I say!

THE LIZARDSThe artwork for the Lizards albums also has a distinctive style. How did you go about finding artists who could get exactly the effect you were after?
Most of the art is done by Rick Klemann (the same guy whose artwork is all over my house!) although Dave Saunders did the art for "Against All Odds".
Rick and I talk it out and he sends me sketches until I'm happy. I think Bobby finds the theme silly. He said comic art wasn't heavy. I reminded him that Rainbow and Black Sabbath have used comic art on classic albums, including ones he played on... He just grunted.

What's happening in Hyperspace at the moment?
The Hyperspace record label is releasing some of the finest music in the free world... ours! Our two newest releases, The Lizards dvd and covers album, are on their way right now.

Your previous cd Against All Odds featured Glenn Hughes on vocals. What other singers would you like to make music with?
The singer I REALLY want to work with is Me! I quit singing in the mid-80s and it's the stupidest decision I ever made. I'm gonna try again this year.

You've opened the show for legends such as Mountain, UFO, Ten Years After etc. Any stories to tell?
Leslie West was the only rock legend who wouldn't have his picture taken with us!!
I remember Paul Raymond at the side of the stage, when we were filming our German segment of the dvd, while touring with UFO. He looked back at his band and said, laughing in amazement..."They're GOOD!" I guess they hadn't seen us play 'til then and doubted us.
The drummer in Ten Years After accosted Bobby and wanted him to give him lessons. They were better now than in the old days!

OK, now let's talk about the car smash. You had an horrendous accident that put you - and therefore the Lizards - out of action for a while. What happened and how long before you were able to play again?

THE LIZARDSI wrote off my purple sparkle Cadillac coupe deville hot rod! And broke my left thumb and also very badly broke my right ring-finger. Let's just say that I ended up as a harmonica player for a while. I actually thought that it looked really rock and roll to perform on harp in Cactus and the Blues Devils with my hand in a cast. I now must wear a glove to play. I cut off the fingers, except the pinky, and tape the little finger on top of my ring finger. Bobby says that I play better. I've had to improve my two finger technique, so everything isn't in triplets like before. I'm still using three fingers on my right hand... but I'm ok, thanks. Here's a picture of me with Mike, a few days after I came out of hospital.

THE LIZARDSWhat have been the proudest moments/events in your music career, and why?
I'm most proud of assembling groups of people, strangers to each other, and pulling art from the ether. Making stuff up is so much fun!

Any plans for a new cd of your own songs?
Next up, The Lizards will complete our 5th studio album of originals, "Reptilicus Maximus".

What other projects have you got going at the moment?
I'm writing a lurid, fictionalized auto biography. It's a pornographic rock odyssey and as I make up songs and describe them, I end up writing them for real. It's been very inspiring. I'm 450 pages into it and it's illustrated. Maybe it will be a movie... it's got a soundtrack!


What would you like the Lizards to be doing in five years time?
Writing, recording, making each other laugh... Headlining in our beloved Europe...

 

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THE LIZARDS


Get Ready To Roll - 6th August 2008
GET READY TO ROLL

 

 

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