You don't tend to work in the conventional terrain of chords and melody...
No, you're not looking for the chorus lines or anything like that. You just try things - a certain sound, perhaps. Then you'll try something against it and if you like that, you maybe discard the first thing and gradually fill up the layers that way. When I was at art school, one of the teachers said that whenever you make a mark, you have to review every other mark you've made, and I think the best music is made like that. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't have time for that and end up with the verse, verse, chorus, change key, go home approach.
So is it easier for you to work the floor pedals with or without shoes? I wonder how many musicians do prefer barefeet.
For the PG shows I need shoes. The stage has a lot of trip hazards. At the moment on other things (KB, my band) I prefer to play barefoot, if the temperature allows. KB for sure.
Where there any songs that were rehearsed for the Before The Dawn shows and not used ? If so what were they ?
There was just one: Never Be Mine.
Let's say there's a certain "sound" you got on tracks you played in the 80's using a Steinberger Guitar... how do you get the same sound when playing those tracks today seeing as you are not using Steinbergers now? Is it easy to get a similar sound from different brands/makes/styles of guitars?
In some ways it's a similar sound. I try to be a bit weightier these days. It's a bigger system than I used to use; probably punchier too. I think give a player any combination of instrument and amp that they'll sound like themselves after a few minutes of fiddling about.
Isn't it better to drive a van through austria and germany and have contact with your own fans?
Yes, there's something very good about touring with the band.
Do you give your guitars names like BB King?
No. They're tools.
I would like to know how rehearsals work. How do you prepare yourself for them in the very beginning. Do you listen to all the songs or do you study notes and chords to get into the music? Do you have "rehearsals before rehearsals"? (This in relation to the KB shows).
It all starts with a lot of listening. We all made our own notes and when we gathered as a band there was an MD (Musical Director) there with lead sheets, dots and chords, of the structures of the songs. I'm the only one who doesn't read so I made sure I was pretty thorough with my own learning and idiosyncratic notation. (My notes would make little sense to anyone else). There was a brief small scale rehearsal before the whole band convened. Of course each tune needs to find its own weight and way. It's what makes playing and performing a joy, as a group of people come together and try to create something dynamic and emotional.
How did you get on a Roy Orbison record?
I was flying to LA and went to the airport to check in. ‘Mr Rhodes, you do realise that this ticket is for tomorrow’s flight?’ Of course, I didn’t. ‘Let me see if I can get you on today’s flight.’ So I flew into LA and called T-Bone [Burnett], explaining that I was already in town. ‘Oh, come over. I’m doing a Roy Orbison track and need some guitar on it. I asked Roy Cooder who’s working in the room next door but he says there are too many chords. I’m not sure it was true, though. T-Bone’s a good storyteller!