Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Found Link: Interview With Kansas Guitarist Rich Williams

Well I made fun of Rich and the rest of Kansas yesterday for being washed up so I figure I might as well link to this interview from Modern Guitarist. Rich talks about life on the road, touring with Journey and Styx (speaking of washed up) as well as the equipment he uses on the road. When asked about all the live albums Kansas keep churning out, he forgot to mention the real reason for their existence: easy cash-in! They have what, two hit songs? How else can you keep milking the cash cow? Oh yeah, greatest hit compilations, they have plenty of 'em too!

Interview With Kansas Guitarist Rich Williams
Rich: When we first got started we were signed by Kirshner Records, and they kind of left us alone with the music. They gave us a budget and let us record the album. There was some input, but not much beyond asking us to have some material that they could play on the radio. That kind of a situation just wouldn’t happen today.


Palmer said...

I am not a huge Kansas fan by any means but I think that the greatest hits compilation comment may be unfair.

I do not know who owns Kansas' back catalogue but often times bands are unable to stop them because they do not own the rights to their own songs. You no doubt know that Paul McCartney doesn't own much of his own songs from when he was with The Beatles.

Do Kerry Livgren, Rich Williams, and the rest own the rights to their material or does some holding company?

I don't know and I suspect that you don't either.

Paul Di Meglio said...

You're right. I don't know. Completely unfair comment. I agree. Although I'm sure it's not the first time I've made a stupid unfair comment of this nature. I'm prone to such behaviour. Sorry :)

However, that doesn't lesson my ultimate dissatisfaction with older artists cashing in on past successes over and over again. It has been nine years since the last studio album. Although I guess there is some merit to this recent live album, what with the orchestra and all.

Palmer said...

I agree with you that there are lots of older artists cashing in on past successes - no doubt.

Hawkwind compilations are everywhere and there's nothing the band can do about it because they don't own most of their back catalogue. You just have to go on a case by case basis.

Anyway, I enjoy the blog/podcast. I'll be linking to it soon at my own podcast:

Take care

Paul Di Meglio said...

Thank you very much for your support.

It's a sad state of affairs when artists can't keep the rights to their own compositions. You'd think that we'd have some sort of respect for composers in general. Just another reason for me to rant against the state of affairs in the music industry. This is art we're talking about. Not some commodity that can be bought and sold... grrrr

I have to give a guy like Paul McCartney respect, however. The guy clearly tries to take the high road and keeps writing and recording new music on a fairly consistent basis. The quality of the music may be questionable, but he certainly tries to do more than cash on his legacy with The Beatles. At least that's the impression I get.

Anyway, thank you very much for your continued readership of my little blog here. Feel free to call me out whenever you think I'm taking an unfair cheap shot. Hahaha.