Kansas is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this yr with an intensive North American tour. The band presently consists of unique guitarist Richard Williams, bassist/vocalist Billy Greer, vocalist/keyboardist Ronnie Platt, violinist/guitarist David Ragsdale, keyboardist/vocalist Tom Brislin, and unique drummer and supervisor Phil Ehart. Gold mine in regards to the new 39-song profession bundle.
GOLDMINE: Congratulations on this stunning new bundle, an amazing addition to the Kansas assortment.
PHIL EHART: Nicely, thanks. We’re very pleased with it and we’re very grateful to Inside Out as a result of it was their thought and so they did a lot of the work of placing it collectively. What an amazing label.
GM: Talking of labels, let’s return to the start of the Kirshner label. I noticed your debut efficiency Don Kirshner’s rock live performance In 1974. A brand new report retailer in Buffalo was known as the Report Theater in my hometown of Cleveland. Its sq. footage was enormous. So the next weekend I drove my greatest pal John there with my comparatively new driver’s license and acquired your debut album, the primary of many Kansas albums I’ve purchased through the years.
PE: We had been comparatively younger, 18 and 19. It was one thing to listen to: “You are going to be on TV and you are going to play dwell. Do not make any errors.” We had been too inexperienced to fret about something, we had been simply completely happy to be there and have a good time. We glance again now and really feel like we had been a bunch of people who smoke. We had fun and performed nicely.
GM: You continue to do. The brand new assortment opens with a brand new model of the primary music out of your debut album, “Can I Inform You”, the primary music from the TV live performance. It is strong and quick. The brand new lineup sounds nice.
PE: Thanks very a lot. Agree. I’m very happy with the present workers.
GM: After 4 albums, the band lastly hit the Prime 40 with “Keep on Wayward Son,” with all the varied elements, together with electrical guitar, by my spouse, Donna, Richard Williams.
PE: Up till then we had been tasked with being the opening act for each band on this planet, nevertheless it was an enormous studying expertise. After ‘Keep on Wayward Son’ turned such a radio hit, it allowed us to go from opening act to headliner, which was a rising expertise.
GM: “Level of Know Return” was a Prime 40 hit from late 1977 to early 1978, adopted by my favourite music of that yr, “Mud within the Wind,” that includes Robby Steinhardt’s fiddle solo. it was a success. Final month, I spoke with Tiffany about her prime 5 rock songs of all time, together with Mud within the Wind.
PE: Shock! Wow. Thanks, Tiffany. how is he
GM: Along with the sound we first heard within the Nineteen Eighties, he has develop into a high quality songwriter with a number of albums again to again. Items of Me and shadows, each in Deco.
PE: That is good to listen to. Our paths crossed without delay. After engaged on the Kirshner label till 1982, we moved to the CBS Related label in 1983 after which had been picked up by MCA within the mid-Nineteen Eighties. Then Tiffany joined the label. We had been invited to the MCA workplaces and thought it was fairly cool to be invited. We arrived and noticed a banner. We appeared up and sang, “Welcome Tiffany.” We did not get a banner, however he did. All the things is OK. Our response was fairly humorous. Glad to listen to your constructive response to his new music. Good for him.
GM: I used to be listening to the previous one American Prime 40 The Present with Casey Kasem From 1979 when “South Wind Folks” was within the Prime 40 and he talked about you had been in Atlanta. Did the entire group transfer from Kansas?
PE: Most of us did. Once we had been nonetheless going robust with our first three albums, we used to go right down to Atlanta and play at Alex Cooley’s Electrical Ballroom. It was a fairly large membership and you can play there for every week. We spent weeks there and acquired to know the neighborhoods. We had been all single then. We discovered that there have been many fairly girls within the metropolis, and at the moment the ratio of about ten girls to each boy within the largest metropolis in an space of about three or 4 provinces, so many ladies got here there for work or faculty. , leaving their small city, the climate was nice. Topeka had all of the snow. After some time, we requested ourselves, “Why are we coming again to Topeka?” Ultimately, everybody moved to Georgia besides Robbie, who moved to Florida. A few of us are nonetheless within the Southeast such as you. My spouse, Laurie, and I dwell exterior of Atlanta with our kids, and our daughter attends Kennesaw State College.
GM: We additionally lived in Kennesaw. Let’s proceed from the start of the Nineteen Eighties. After Steve Walsh left and launched his great solo album in 1980 Shemer-Dreamer In Kirshner and then you definitely fashioned the Streets with Billy Greer, you wrote Kansas’ third highest charting single “Play the Recreation Tonight” with John Elefante on vocals and I really like his voice.
PE: Sure. John nonetheless sings fantastically at present. He is an efficient man and a great pal. It is all the time good to listen to his new music. He sends me his songs and we alternate emails. We nonetheless be in contact. It was an fascinating time. He joined the band at a really tumultuous time, with Steve leaving however John fortunately approaching board.
GM: You named your daughter. In 1983, a couple of months after our daughter Brianna was born, you launched the album Acute Measures, with a fiddle on it as Robbie left the band. The catchy single “Preventing Hearth With Hearth” sounds a bit like Survivor to me, which was very acceptable for the time.
PE: I am going to take that as a praise. They’re an amazing band. It was bizarre for us to not have fiddle in our music, however we went that method for some time after which Robbie got here again, could his soul relaxation in peace.
GM: Sure. I wrote an article about him within the 2021 Memorial, and his widow, Cindy, offered a pleasant sketch of the 2. The flip facet to ‘Preventing Hearth With Hearth’ was ‘Incident On The Bridge’ which is sort of boisterous and the keyboards remind me of an Asian band. I am so glad either side of this single made it to the brand new compilation.
PE: Asia is one other good group to check with. Thanks very a lot. It is an amazing music that we have by no means performed dwell.
Fabulous Flip Aspect: Incident on the Bridge
One facet: Struggle hearth with hearth
Billboard Scorching 100 debut: September 3, 1983
Peak place: #58
CBS Related ZS4 04057
GM: The brand new bundle features a good complete guide written by Jeff Wagner. It entails the story of David changing into the band’s new fiddler after Robbie’s departure and including fiddle elements to the tape to the Kansas songs.
PE: David Ragsdale has been our violinist for many years now. Years in the past he known as me and was upset that there have been no extra violinists in Kansas. He would ship me tapes, play violin to our music, and persuade me that I used to be actually value including to the band. He is a very good man and an unimaginable musician. David has been an amazing addition to the group. He is a very good guitar participant.
GM: You hear it instantly within the music “Summer time”. It is such a catchy music.
PE: Sure. We performed that music dwell for a couple of years, it was quite a lot of enjoyable.
GM: The great a part of this anthology is the inclusion of newer materials that older Kansas followers could have missed, together with “Summer time” and the title monitor. Absence of presence. This can be a masterpiece. Brianna and I like it.
PE: Thanks very a lot. Zach Rizvi, who was within the band on the time, really wrote that music with Tom Brislin, who was nonetheless within the band. This can be a title that I got here up with and threw it at them. Tom took it as a title for the lyrics and simply did an amazing job with it. It is a very highly effective music.
GM: Ronnie Platt’s vocals are very robust on the recording.
PE: Steve left some actually huge footwear to fill after coming again after which transferring on. Ronnie stepped in and did an unimaginable job and continues to be with us at present. He admires Steve, the way in which Steve sings and his expressions. Ronnie has achieved an amazing job of staying near the unique provides however including his personal type. We did not desire a Steve Walsh clone. We wished somebody paying homage to Steve. Ronnie has his personal voice, type and stage presence. He is an efficient boy.
GM: The brand new 3-CD assortment has 39 songs with no more room, but when it could possibly be a fortieth music, and it is one other lengthy music like “Absence of Existence,” I might advocate “Incomudro – Hymn to the Atman.” ” out of your second album A music for America. Your drum solo at 1:40 from 6:50-8:30 within the 12 minute monitor is my favourite drum solo.
PE: Oh my god, thanks. It contains quite a lot of drum solos, so thanks.
GM: The pace, the electronics within the center, and the way the total sound of the music comes collectively is unimaginable. I listened to it loads on my 1975 transportable 8-track participant with headphones to completely benefit from the stereo expertise.
PE: Nicely, thanks very a lot. Writing that music was a nightmare. They did not have good dubbing strategies again then. I needed to play the whole 12 minutes, together with the drum solo, pay attention and ensure there have been no errors. My stress degree was to the moon as a result of each time I needed to play that solo flawlessly or we must do it yet again. I may maintain one without end. I had to ensure I preferred it as a result of I must take heed to it for the remainder of my life. All my life I’ve not wished to take heed to errors. I used to be fortunate sufficient to play a good solo. Thanks for taking the time to take heed to all 39 songs and extra through the years. You might have achieved an amazing job gold mine, and I loved speaking with you.
Learn extra about Kansas in our subsequent article Gold mine April/Could 2023 print version
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