Interview Eddy Meuwese - March 9 2014
Hi Bobby, great to talk to you again and keep your fans updated on the latest of what is going on with their favorite vocalist.
Good day Eddy. I like doing interviews with you my friend, and I know some people like me as a vocalist, but there are many great singers out there that also, I like too. Most of them are great friends of mine, because I have no problems with anyone who can sing extremely well, and I do appreciate that they have good fans that follow them. I’m not abusive to any of my favourite singers, because we live very similar lifestyles, and we may learn many great things from each other by remaining friends.
Unfortunately a not so nice part of your life these days is the fact that you are not able to be a part of the 35th anniversary of the band that you devoted the biggest part of your life to, Toto. What are your thoughts and feelings about this happening to you?
I have no problems at all with this decision Eddy.While Toto was Celebrating their 35th Anniversary Tour, I was also Celebrating a 35th Anniversary release of the first Single Toto released, because I sang that first Single: “Hold The Line”. First of all, Joseph, who is now singing with Toto, is a very good friend of mine, and we’ve worked on several CDs (about 5) together, while having exceptional fun. I do not have a single problem with anyone in the band Toto, because they make their own decisions on who they want to have in the band. I’ve never known any musicians or singers in Toto that were not amongst the best of their kind. This is what makes Toto such a wonderful band, and I admire their recorded music, and live performances. I had such great fun while I was with Toto two different times for about 18 years. We made some fantastic music, and the CDs & DVDs we did together, were some of the best they’ve ever created. I look forward to their next new CD and DVD, because I’m certain both will be very “Top Notch”, and appreciated by every Toto fan (I’m one of them). I can’t wait to see & hear the new Projects. I’m absolutely positive they will create the best things to hear in today’s music releases. Get ready for a very good recording by Toto.
A more positive thing in your life is the way you are using some of your precious time for saving neglected, abused, and dogs trapped in Shelters (which can be killed within about 72 hours). The Organization is called “SavingK9Lives”, and you have a Non-Profit Organization called “SavingK9Livesplus.org”, which allows anyone who donates money, or makes an investment into the Organization to take whatever they “Donate or Invest” off of their Federal Income Tax. This interview is a great way to help you promote this magnificent course. Please first start with telling us how you came to this action to start a dog rescue organization, and please tell us as much as you can what the organization exactly does and stands for?
About 8 years ago, we went to a Dog Adoption, and found our first Dog, named “Simon-Sez” which we fell in love with. We began helping that Rescue Foundation we adopted our dog from, by becoming a Foster Home for any dogs that were being saved from health issues, or from dying in a Shelter after 72 hours. We fostered so many dogs for about 8 months, but one of the last dogs we fostered was one we fell in love with. We asked the owner of the Dog Rescue if we could adopt that dog, because we loved it, and it became such great friends with “Simon-Sez”, our first dig we adopted. I just thought it would be great to have another dog that was so friendly with Simon, and we loved this dog so much. The owner of that Rescue refused to let us adopt this dog, so we broke away from fostering dogs for her. Then, we decided to start our own Dog Rescue called: “SavingK9Lives, and we started a Non-Profit Organization”, which we spent any of the money in the non-Profit account on Saving so many abused and very ill dogs that needed any medical help to stay alive. We have several Vets who charge our Organization about only 10% of what other people pay for their Vet Bills. Our Dog Rescue is becoming one of the most famous, and greatest Dig Rescue Organizations in The USA. We have a Partner in South America, and one in Belgium, who are now starting to save Dogs in their areas. We have been planning to turn our Dog Rescue Organization into a TV Series soon. The idea is brilliant, and because of this, we will save Thousands of dogs instead of just hundreds.
Can you mention some celebrity’s names that already participated in saving the dogs and how did you get them interested in joining the good course?
I think if you would like to know some of the Celebrities who are involved in helping our Organization, the best way would be to go to these two Web Sites, and see whom they are: www.savingk9lives.com & The Non-Profit one: www.savingk9livesplus.org You can find the Celebrities who are involved with us, and they are such wonderful help for us.
When we spoke backstage in Dusseldorf you told me that you are planning to make this organization a worldwide thing. How is this idea progressing and what are the exact plans to conquer the world with this organization?
As I mentioned above, there are some very important people around the world who want to get involved with SavingK9Lives, because they know that so many dogs are mistreated, abused, become ill and people let them die, and the Shelters capture so many dogs, and kill them after a while. Because these important people around the world can see this happening, they want to become partners with our “SavingK9Lives” Organization, and begin saving dogs, the way we do here. This shows that these people around the world have a great Heart, and they care about keeping these animals from being abused and killed for no reason.
More about the musical side of your life now, you have several bands around the world, but how did you organize these Bands to play Concerts with you. How many Bands do you use while touring all over the world these days?
For about a year, I was using “The Bobby Kimball Band” from Sweden Eddy. Now, I have about 9 Bands all over the world, and I tour so much, I need to have some great players who can handle the music I perform. I’ve met some of the best musicians in so many different Countries around the world, while I was on tour Worldwide. What I do, instead of flying a band all over the world, is contact a couple of the most fantastic players I’ve met from the area where I will have a few concerts, or a long tour. I then ask them to assemble a group of players to do the concerts and tours. I know that because they are such talented players, there would be no possibility that they would ever hire any players who are not as fabulous as they are, because great players only want to be onstage with other great players. I send them a CD of the Set List about a month in advance, and by the time I arrive for the first rehearsal before the shows, many of them know the songs better than I do. This is very exciting, and so fun. By not flying a band around the world for a tour, or a few concerts, this allows me to make about 10 times the amount of money that I did in the past, when I had to pay for flights for a band to tour the world. Now, I get the Promoter to pay for the Backline Equipment, Hotels, My Flight, and he also pays the Band Members. These days, I Book my own Concerts and Tours, and I Manage myself, so therefore there is no Fee to pay an Agent, or a Manager. So many times after returning home from a long tour, there were several Thousands of Dollars missing due to “Unaccounted For”, or “Unexplained Extra Expenses”. This is never a problem for me anymore. I send a contract to the Promoter with an Unambiguous Fee for me, and in the contract, The Promoter knows that he must pay for the Band’s Fees, Equipment, Hotels, my Flight, and all Expenses. This way, my contractual Fee is a lot more that it ever has been. It just feels like a much better way to handle things for a tour. When I show up at the venue in the city where the musicians live, we always have such fun together, because nobody, “myself included”, Gives, or Takes Orders from anyone. An individual is the only person who knows all things which make him the most Happy, and therefore it makes no sense to try and tell anyone what they have to do, or cannot do. I want to remain Happy, and I want everyone around me to do only what they want to do, which will keep them Happy, and this surrounds me with a very Happy Atmosphere.
What are the next steps for you if we speak about a new CD or other projects you are involved in?
First, I’ve just finished the last Lead Vocals on my next Solo CD. It’s a fun group of songs, and some very good players from LA who recorded the Tracks. I still have a bit of work to finish the Tracks and Lead Vocals on 2 more Solo CDs. Since I’ve been touring about 200 concerts a year for 4 years now, and this did not leave me hardly anytime to get into the studio to work on the 3 CDs I had been trying to get done for about 6 years. I’ve cancelled some tours and concerts lately, and I’m practically living in the studio to get as much work done on those other 2 CDs as I can. I’ll be back in the Extreme Touring Mode again in Mid-March. Many times, I’m home for about 10 to 15 hours between concerts or tours. Then, I usually take a 15 to 23 hour flight to the next tour. During the past 4 years, I was at home for about 100 days a year. This is why I cancelled so many dates for January & February 2014. I’ve gotten so much work done that needed to be taken care of, while at home for a while this January & February. Soon, my schedule will get a bit crazy with a multitude of concert dates. I love touring and playing live though, so it won’t be a problem. One of the Solo CDs I’m about to finish is the Sound Track for a Movie I wrote about a true story that happened early in my life. I think the music for this Movie is some of the best I’ve ever created, but the True Story of this Movie is amongst some of the best “Life- Lessons” one can imagine. The Music fits this story so well, and I’ll release a Sound Track of these songs one day.
I know Tommy Denander is the guitar-player in this band. How did you first meet him and how do experience being on stage with this guy?
Actually, Tommy began to call me while I was living in Louisiana after I first left Toto. I think his first call was about 1994. We would talk for hours, and we became very good friends. Tommy and Luke were very good friends too, because they are both a couple of the best guitarists on this Planet. They had a lot of things to talk about, because they knew that their guitar abilities were very similar.Tommy told me that he was going to call, or e-mail Luke about 1997, and tell him that he should get me back into Toto. I’m not certain, but that may have helped me return to Toto. I was back with Toto for 8 years from 1998-2008. That was such a fun 10 years for me, and we created some incredible songs, recordings, and DVDs during that period of time. Then, the band dissolved in 2008 at the end of the “2.5 year” tour for the “Falling In Between” CD. Everyone in the band went their own way, and did their own thing, because they all wanted to do whatever would make them more Happy. Luke and Me were the only two Original Members of Toto touring with the band at that time. I think Luke didn’t want to play without at least 3 or 4 of the Original Toto Members in the band. I understand that feeling, so he wanted to play with his Solo Band then. After he quit the band, Toto dissolved. The rest of the players didn’t want to keep touring with only one Original Member (me), and neither did I. This is when I played several dates in Sweden with Tommy Denander, and it seemed so fun to play with that band, which became “The Bobby Kimball Band”. They no longer exist as my Solo Band, because I have 9 bands around the world now. I’m having a lot of fun with them, but many times I get Tommy to come and play with me all over the world. He knows all of the songs so well, and he’s one of my favourite guitarists. Several years ago, Luke wrote Tommy an e-mail and said they were equally as good as each other. I have a copy of that e-mail still. It was quite a surprise to read that e-mail. This was a monumental compliment from someone who plays guitar as fantastic as Luke, and this must have made Tommy feel like a God of the guitar with that statement coming from Luke. He is a great guy, and I enjoy playing with him as much as I enjoyed playing with Luke in Toto.
Not long ago your friend Fergie Frederiksen passed away. How do you remember him and do you have some nice stories to share?
Fergie was hired by Toto from a band in Louisiana that the guitarist and me had put together. They were called “The Levee Band” then. I got a call to come out to LA and sing with 3 of the musicians from “Three Dog Night” after the 3 singers left that band. They were on of my favourite bands in the world. When I moved to LA, “The Levee Band” broke up for a few months. Then, they got back together with a few new players, and they were called “Louisiana’s Leroux”. Soon, Fergie was hired by them to sing Lead Vocals. I didn’t know him then, but after he was hired by Toto in 1985, we became very good friends. He wasn’t with Toto for very long, and when he left the band, Fergie and I did a lot of concerts together. He was such a talented singer, and a wonderful human being. I was so sad when I found out he had Cancer the first time, but he beat that disease then. Later on, his Cancer came back, but much stronger this time. On December 15, 2013, I went to Mineapolis, where he lived, and played a Benefit Concert with 5 other singers to raise some money for him. He was in very bad condition at the time, and it was breaking my heart. I was really glad to be at that Concert, because I could tell he needed some help. When I heard that he had a Stroke and was hospitalised, I was freaking out. Then, the next day, I found out that he had passed away. It was truly a horrible feeling for me, because I had lost one of my best friends. Fergie was one of the nicest guys I had ever met, and I loved singing with him. I still miss him so much.
You live in Los Angeles but you play all over the world. I guess a plane would be your second or third home. How do you kill time at those endless flights and waiting on airports?
Since I don’t get a chance to sleep during the 8 to 10 hours that I’m home after a 12 to 15 hour flight, I need to wash my clothes, and put them back into my luggage. I have 2 pieces of luggage, which I have not unpacked in 4 years. I just clean the clothes, put them back in, and suddenly, I’m finished packing. Then, I have to be at the airport 2 or 3 hours before the next International Flight (18 to 24 hours long), so therefore, I have no problem sleeping on the plane. If I have a layover when I stop at another Airport, since I fly so much, I have Frequent Flyer Platinum Cards for several Airlines, so I just go to their comfortable Lounges and relax. One of the worst things I have experienced were so many canceled Flights that caused me to have to rebook all of my flights, because it was certain that I would miss my connecting flight. Luckily, I do have those Platinum Frequently Flyer Cards, so they take very good care of me, and often arrange a flight for me on another Airline that sometime gets me to my destination even earlier. I don’t go crazy at them for any cancelled flights though. I just go with the flow, and they take very good care of me. I’ve taken so many 24-hour flights over the past 4 years, it’s unbelievable. Up in the air is my second home, but I’m there much more than at my real home.
Soon you’ll be guest on the Frankfurter Music Messe. What will you be doing there and if this event any different from the famous NAMM?
Well, they have an Event the day before The Music Messe begins on March 11th. It’s called “The LEA Awards” Event. There is a “Red Carpet” that most of the musicians walk down on, and take Photos, and answer Interviewer’s Questions. Then, they have a Presentation of the “LEA Awards” (Live Entertainer Awards). I’ve been to this Event 2 times, but this year, they are going to present me with one of the “LEA AWARDS”. The CEO of The Frankfurt Music Messe is a very good friend of mine, and we always have a great time at this Event. The NAMM Show is very fun too, but The Music Messe is much bigger than NAMM. I’ll be singing at severally Music Equipment Booths this year, and I have 2 concerts to play after the doors close on March 14th in Gießen , and March 15th in Jena. I know this is going to be a very fun time this year at The Music Messe.
Your website just had a very fine make over done by our mutual friend Jos Jannes Aalders. Please tell me how you both got involved and how do you think the website turned out?
Jos (Jannes) had created a Web Page for Me and one for Toto. A Brother and Sister Team from Germany, who created the Toto99.com page had created my Web Site while I was with Toto, but after I was out of Toto in 2008, they stopped working on my Web Page. After seeing how good Jos was at creating a Web Page on me, I asked him if he would be my Web Master for my Official Web Site. He built the first Web Page that I liked, but soon ran out of space to add anything onto the Page. I got him a Site with Limitless Space now, so he can put anything he wants on my new Web Page. I love the way he rebuilt my Web Page, and now, I have to make sure I work very hard to send him all of the Confirmed Tour Dates, so he can post them on the Site. I try to get him all of the things I can for my page, but I have a ton of things to send to him, but I have to turn about 1,500 “90 minute Cassettes” into CDs, so he can post them on the Site. It’s some fantastic things on these Cassettes that I have, and nobody else has any copies of these things. My Web Page is going to be so full of very interesting things soon, and Jos is very happy about this…. So am I.
If you look back at your life in music, what are some of the greatest achievements you made and feel the most proud of?
I think one of the greatest things I’m proud of, was being Nominated for 8 Grammy Awards for the 1983 Grammy Show. It was one of the most awesome things ever in my life. When we won 6 of these Awards for the song “Rosanna” (and we found out that no band had ever won that many in one night), I was so proud about that.There are so many things that music brought into my life that I’m proud of. I’ve met some of my greatest heroes in the world, and people who musically changed my life forever.Also, just recording some of these wonderful Albums, CDs, and DVDs was a very high level of pride. Everyone played such great recordings, and I loved my vocals on those recordings. I’m very proud of those things. Another very proud moment in my life in music happened in 2010. I was inducted into “The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame”. That’s where I’m from, and when I looked at the list of Inductees, I noticed that Louis Armstrong was the first name on that list. I couldn’t believe I was in the same list as he was. He was so incredible, and there are many other brilliant musicians on that list. Check it out: www.LMHOF.org I’m so proud that I was inducted into “The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame”. There are some of the best musicians in the world down in Louisiana.
Of course the thing I love to do the most is end my interviews with my little word game, I mention some words and names and would love to hear your first reaction on them...
Something I started doing when I was only 4 years old. I had my first band when I was 8 years old, and I began playing Nightclubs at 12 years old. I’ve always played in a band since I was only 8 years old. It brought the most fun I’ve ever had into my life, and now, at the age of 66, it’s bringing even more fun into my life. Music is the one thing that I have loved more than anything in the world for all of my life. I’ll be playing, singing, ad writing music until I get laid into my grave. That’s how much I love Music, and it keeps me so Happy, and makes me feel like a kid, because I’m having so much fun being in The Music World.
I have always loved Touring, and playing Live Concerts, because the smiles on so many people’s faces always brings so much fun into my life, and with that, it elevates everything that keeps me HAPPY. The travelling part of Touring is what I consider: Work. Being Onstage singing and playing is what I consider the Vacation & Fun of Touring. Touring lets me travel to so many incredible places I would never get to see and experience if I was not a Musician, and I meet so many nice people all over the world. I love all of these things about Touring, so I have nothing bad to say about such an incredible thing as I consider Touring is one of the most interesting things about the Music Business.
One of the things I love about the Studio is, you get several chances to do your parts on a song, until you get it on the recording as perfect as you possibly can. When Toto first got together, there was nothing like Pro-Tools, so every Chorus needed to be Triple-Tracked, which took hours to do only one of the chorus. Before Pro-Tools came out, nobody could “Cut & Paste” the first Chorus to the 2nd & 3rd Chorus. It all had to be done by singing each part again, which took several hours. When I did all of the Background Vocals on “Girl Goodbye” on the first Toto Album, I spent 16 hours of one day getting it done. I took about a 45-minute break to have lunch, but the rest of that 16 hours, I was singing the whole time. The same thing for many of the Toto songs that I did all of the background vocals on. I was called by David Foster, who was producing an Album by “The Tubes”. David asked me to sing all of the Background Vocals on that song:“She’s A Beauty”. I spent 6 hours Triple tracking the entire chorus, but I loved the way that song came out. That’s only my voice doing the Background Vocals on that song. I love working in a studio still, and I always have.
When we adopted our first dog (“Simon Sez”: now almost 12 years old) from another Dog Rescue, we fell in love with the idea of saving these abused animals. We became a Foster Home for that Dog Rescue for about 8 months, but we wanted to adopt one of the Dogs we had fostered for a while, but the owner of the Rescue would not let us adopt this dog. That’s when we decided to start our own Dog Rescue: “SavingK9Lives”: www.savingk9lives.com Also, The Non-Profit Organization: www.savingk9livesplus.org Now, our Dog Rescue is one of the best-known saviours of Dogs in California, and several other States in the USA. We do Benefit Concerts to raise money for our Non-Profit Organization, which only let’s us spend any money taken in on Saving and Rescuing Dogs from Animal Shelters. In California, they can killa Dog that is brought into a Shelter within 72 hours. Therefore, we make certain that we pay very close attention to the web pages of the shelters, so we know what dogs are about to be killed there. If we pick up a Dog that is Ill, or doesn’t have it’s shots, Registration Tags, If it has not been Spade or neutered, our Non-Profit can pay to have all of these things done for these dogs, then they can be adopted soon after that. Our Non-Profit Organization Web Page is: www.Savingk9livesplus.org. I love the fact that we have saved so many Dogs in need of help, and our Non-Profit Organization pays the bills for the Veterinarian who brings back any dog that is injured, or very sick to a very healthy condition. We have been saving about 4 to8 Dogs each week now, and soon, our Dog Rescue will become a:“Reality TV Series”, and then, we will save Thousands of Dogs in need of help. It is a wonderful action on our part, and it makes us feel so grand when we save any dog.
This is a giant part of my life. There are so many things that I love to do. ……Music, Touring, Writing Songs, Being kind to people around me, and not Ordering them to do anything they don’t want to do… I love the Dogs we own, and I fall in love with most of the Dogs we save if they stay at our house for a couple of weeks. I love my Daughter, who is now 37 years old, and on December 20th, 2013, she just had my Grandson.I still love her Mom as well, because she’s such a nice person, and she’s taking care of my Daughter.I love being involved with the Business World as well. I’m an Officer/Stock Holder/Advisor for a Company called “Natural Power Concepts”. This is a Company that a genius friend of mine for 40 years, he has Invented & Patented over 200 “Green Energy Machines”. These Machines run on Wind, Solar, & Wave Power. They require no Maintenance, nor do they need anything put into them like “Diesel Fuel, Gasoline, or Coal” to create tons of Electrical Power. Plus, since nothing is being burned (and releasing harmful smoke or dangerous gasses into our atmosphere) to run the Machine, there is no harm done to our atmosphere from these Machines.The Web Site is: www.naturalpowerconcepts.com Another thing I love is a new Social Network that was built for Musicians only about 2 years ago. It was named after “NU Music Business”. The Site address is: www.numubu.com I’m on their Board of Directors, a Stock Holder, and one of their Advisors. It was only for Musicians at first, but now anyone can join this site. Some of the most wonderful things about it, when you join it, you can have “Limitless Friends”, (unlike FaceBook, which keeps your friends Limited to 5000). On NuMuBu you can 5 Billion Friends. They have just added something called “Free Live Streaming Video”, so you can just open your computer and Live Stream a Video to the world. If you do a concert, you can place your computer, or a Camera connected to the computer on the front of the stage, and the concert will Live Stream to the whole world. This is something I really love. I suggest that you join this site, and have a lot more fun with it than FaceBook. Also, if you do join it, please put my name in the search Box in the Upper Left Corner, and my page will come up. When it does, please send me a “Friend Request”. Take care, and I love all of you…
There are two points about the Internet when it’s involved with Music. First of all, this is where Internet Piracy began, and that changed the whole Music business. Before that came about, in the mid-80’s, Musicians were making the most money by Selling Albums and CDs. The Record Labels were constantly helping bands by Financing Tours for them, because this was the way the Label could sell tons of Albums and CDs. After Internet Piracy came into play, the Music industry completely turned over, and Musicians were no longer making most of their money by selling Albums and CDs. When a CD was released, many of the Pirates could copy the music, and sell it on the Internet, and the Musicians who made the CDs would not get paid, nor would they make their Publishing and Song Writer’s fee. Then, the way Musicians had to make their money was to go on the road and play Live to earn more money. Also, secondly, I think the Internet is also a good thing for some Musicians, because they can become well known by using such a massive Social Media Tool as the Internet. Everyone gets so much Information off of the Internet these days, and anyone can become well known by using the Internet to get some music out there, along with their name, and their History in Music.
Since I grew up in Louisiana, where the weather is sort of scary Cold, or Hot because of the high Humidity. I still love Louisiana and my friends down there, but since I’ve lived in LA for about 40 years, the weather here is so wonderful. Most of the year, the temperature is about 70 degrees “F”, which is about 21 degrees “C”. We get about 20 days of rain a year, but this happens within about 30 to 40 days. One thing that is a problem in LA is the Rush Hour Traffic. During Rush Hour, most 8 to 12 lane freeways look like a Parking Lot, because the cars are not moving. I love LA because anything you wish to buy is so easy to find out here. Plus, there are so many incredible restaurants all over LA. There are so many very famous people living out here, and I’ve met hundreds of them. This is a very cool thing about LA.
Well Eddy, if you look at one of my comments about Tommy in one of the questions above this one, you will know how I feel about Tommy. He’s a great guy, and a wonderful guitarist and songwriter. I was so amazed to know that Luke and Tommy were friends, and Luke’s e-mail that was telling Tommy that they were about equal talents on the guitar. Luke & Tommy are really great and wonderful guys in the music business.
Eddy & Nicole Meuwese (hahahaha):
Yeah,…..(hahahahahaha). Eddy, I was your very first Interview my friend. That was such a great moment in both of our lives, and so fun. When I met Nicole with you, I know you both loved each other so much. You’ve both been such great friends of mine since the first day I met you both. You seem to have so many great questions for any Interviews you do, and I enjoy doing them with you. I know you love your wife so much, and both of you are wonderful people in my eyes.
Since I’ve just finished the Vocals on my next Solo CD, which will allow me to release that Solo CD. It will be fun. It will be the first release on my new Record Label: “Future Memories Music”. Then, I’ll be touring to support that CD, but I’ll have to take some time off to go into the studio to finish the recording of 2 other Solo CDs. I don’t ever plan to stop singing/writing/playing/or Touring in my Musical Future. Music keeps me Happy, and feeling so great, I won’t give it up as long as I can. I’ll be playing with many of my very famous Musical heroes in the Future, and this will add to the fun of creating great Music. Nothing is more fun to me than being in the Music Business. Thanks for asking me.
Thanks Bobby, always nice to talk to you and hope We meet soon again...
Well Eddy, you know for a fact that we will meet soon. I’ll be coming to Germany to do so many concerts very soon, so we can meet over there guy. I hope the answers to your questions make you happy guy. If you have more questions, let me know, and we can add more answers to this Interview. Thanks for the questions, and I loved answering them. See you soon…………………
Bobby Kimball - Original Lead Vocalist of Toto
Interview by: Eddy Meuwese, March 9 2014