Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
nurktwin

Ron & Scott Interview

Recommended Posts

Yes, thanks so much for putting those up here! That interview is great!

So nice to see these guys get some much deserved focus. Funny how you can really sense their personalities from this little piece. Scott - the weathered and experienced Mr Cool in the face of whatever goes down, who has seen it all and takes on the world with a disarming smile. Ron - a bit more self-conscious, still seemingly with a trace of miscievous youth, energetic, and seemingly enjoying the situation. Serious yet almost eager, like he's been longing for some attention and have so much to tell and talk about. I just love that, God bless his heart - I always figured Ron was the Heartbreaker with the most of that (possibly second only to Howie.) Since I'm not that used to seeing these guys interviewed, I like to see how they react and interact. It's fascinating, when one guy talks, to watch the face of the other. Kinda revealing, I think.

 

So I did, like three times.. and I'm not sure.. Is Scott trying to put a polite lid of "ehh-now-you-better-shut-up" over the subject, when Ron begins to answer a question, starting out for something that seems to be very interesting and revealing, bubbling with excitement over certain contributions and operating procedures of the band, that I personally would love to hear more about? Does Scott, for some reason wanna down-play something, withdraw back into some shadow and putting the focus back onto TP? Why does he do this? Am I the only one noticing this?

 

I am left with another sad hunch, that what TP frequently says - in this case about band contributions - is slightly off. For image reasons? One can imagine. Either way, I get the feeling that Ron seems willing, for a second, to expand on the official version that is Tom's, on how they work within the band, adding their personal input and touches to the mix, if ever so small, all adding their parts to the texture. But Scott then seems eager - as if he had seniority say (which I guess in many ways he does over Ron, ironically) - to give Ron the eye and gently take over, suggesting a far less adventerous/generous atmosphere surrounding the recording sessions, describing a more or less finished material that TP brings to the table. That is, at least a slightly different story than is usually described in media and by TP. In implying that being a Heartbreaker is about taking orders, doing the easy stuff, keeping "inside the box" - and that the rest is up to TP (and supposedly Mike and Ryan) - he certainly seems to describe the way "Hypnotic Eye" was created. And as much as I would like to think he speaks nonsense, most clues suggests that he is right. Still, I wonder what else may be at stake here? Why silent Ron in order to seemingly contradict the official TP view? Does he think the Heartbreakers needs to stay more in the shadows, or does he think that TP think so? Strange right? (And since he speak like this - will he still be in the band at the end of this tour? :D )

 

Is there a "box"? If so, is Scott right in suggesting the Heartbreakers is expected to be neatly tucked inside it? Nothing more than TP's mindless tools? No? If not, then why not let Ron expand on his thoughts? Is it merely that there IS a box - but only in terms of inteviews and what can be talked about publically, that the official story should be controlled and directed by TP only? I never suspected as much - at least not to such lenght - after all, Mike and Ben has been allowed to talk quite freely in the past, sometimes even stating opinions that seems to differ from TP's (knowing perhaps that they are irreplacable in this band). Now Scott, gently but noticeble seems to wanna put a lid on Ron before he starts talking too much about what bass line was his idea and what was... well, it is a bit strange to witness to me. It's like I can trace an uncecrtainty in Scott here. Disarming and loveable as always, he acts like he's defusing a potentially too informative situation, assuring us they just do easy stuff, follow orders and such. For some reason he seems to think one step further than Ron, deciding it better not saying anything tangible at all, then to overstep into TP's domain of controlling the band's public image.

I don't know. By all means, this is all speculations on my part. But I find that part of the interview really odd and fascinating. Just to be sure, I see it as Scott wanting to change the subject. That's all. Question is why.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shelter, my old friend! :)  Those are interesting observations you make. As you already might suspect -  I don't quite see it the same way. :lol: No, actually I think you're perfeclty right, I just don't see Tom's image as a critical issue here. I don't think that that's what this is about. I believe Scott is trying not to go too much into detail, not to give too much away from the Heartbreakers' working processes much as a magician would not tell his tricks. But as far as that goes it's a pretty bold thing to say that they just play simple stuff. I imagine it to be true, actually. If you're a really good musician technically, like the Heartbreakers all are, Petty's songs are not that high a challenge. He doesn't do complex, intricate compositions like Brian Wilson or, say, Sting or Paul Simon. Plus they are a band that could play blindfold and probably with one ear closed and still blend perfectly together. So they already know what to do with a song that Tom brings in, simply because they've already played so many of his songs and for such a long time. He's not really doing Tom a favor actually, I think you're right here, too!

They are veeeeery good musicians in a band that's been together for decades, they just know what to do with a Tom Petty song. I guess the songs don't allow for too much experimentation, or simply don't need it. That does not necessarily mean they don't come up with their own parts. And maybe they've tried to experiment with arrangements in the past but by now they know very well what Tom likes and what he doesn't. And they probably don't want to argue any more, because it's his name on the line and everything and he has the last say. That would fit what Scott says about taking the easy way, wouldn't it?

So, you're probably right in that there may indeed be a box where the Heartbreakers get tucked in. But isn't that the way with all solo artists? A little sad, and a little bit of an ego-thing... but I guess that's the way it is. :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just don't know enough about them and how they interact to get much of an in-depth read on this.  Going from interviews I've read and just the general perception of how bands interact, I think they pretty much know what to play, following Mike's tenet of serving the song.

 

Sure, in the playing one of them could hit upon a lick they all like and it becomes incorporated into the song and there's probably other songwriting decisions that arise in the studio but I think they all know they are there to serve the songs, bring Tom's songs to life and whatever personal creativity they can put into the songs is on them. At this point, they probably know how much of their own stamp to use in the song and how much to just hang back and groove.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. And all very interesting too. Not that I'm judgemental in this, just that to me it seemed like Ron was starting to say something and Scott stepped in to stop him. I just find that fascinating. I'm sure you are all right in saying they know what to do (and them being the stars, not us.. why yeah, that seems safe to say!). Still I can't help to wonder what Ron was trying to say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Not that the "Anything.." version is anything less than wonderful, but the song talked about starts after 3.40

 

Thanks for posting, haven't heard that in a while. Absolutely fantastic song and version! 

 

Sure, Ron is over the top here! But what about Ben.. the mystery magic of it.. and Stan.. the sharpest edge of senses..?! It's so raw. They are ALL on fire. Define rock'n'roll, you ask - and you might get a picture of this performance. Classic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, right! I often claim that the band never sounded better live than they are in recent years. Still there is no denying it.. the type and level of rock'n'roll revealed in this recording here, is nowhere to be found in 2014. It reaches way beyond it's mark, no bull. It beats perfection any day and it display raw nerve. While short of today's equipment and sound quality, yet reaching for tech and skills to come, in terms of heart and mindset, they had it all, right then and there, in 1977. It's just rock'n'roll,pure and simple. And while this band more than any others know how to sound like it still, more admireble than ever even, for what it really is, it's also long since dead. I suppose that's why a certain level of real music will always be archeology. Dig, dig on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of speculation on the inner workings.........

 

Petty and Blair were and are pretty close from all reports.

 

I know that even in the earlier days if Petty or Campbell thought they had a better idea for bass in a new song, they played it on recordings.  They brought Duck Dunn in for a recording or two as well, first or second lp?

 

As Ron says himself in the interview, he gets a lot of input on what to play by all his band mates.  He seems like a very easy going guy.  He would need to be.

 

I personally love how he plays and was so happy to see him back in the band.  Howie was great, but I like Ron's playing better.

 

Early 60's Jazz into an Ampeg SVT.  Classic, no substitution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for posting this great interview. Scott says he is always playing "the easy stuff". Knowing the album he co-produced with Jackson Browne, and played keyboards and guitar on, too, "I'm Alive", my guess is that Scott Thuston could do so much more musically than is necessary for his gig in Heartbreakers. After all, he is a great guitarist and a keyboard player as well. And the Heartbreakers already have Mike and Tom as guitarists and Ben as their keyboarder. So it's kind of revealing that on the question about finding his space as one of three guitarists, his reply is sometimes he just turns down the volume of his guitar. 

I feel Scott should record a solo album of his own songs one day. He sure enough has got the talent to pull that off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...