Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Interview with Styx's bassist Ricky Phillips by Don Chance

My husband Don and I are entertainment journalists for our local newspaper, and we often get the opportunity to interview people from the music industry.

Recently Don interviewed one of my favorite musicians, Ricky Phillips of Styx. I wanted to share that interview here!

Don Chance
Times Record News

A popular bumper sticker reads “I might not have been born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could.”

Many world-class musicians such California-raised Ricky Phillips, longtime bass player for the rock group Styx, agree completely.

Styx, REO Speedwagon and Ted Nugent’s Midwest Rock And Roll Express Tour will make a stop at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie on Tuesday, May 7.

For Phillips, an Austin transplant recently officially recognized by the Texas State Senate for his long list of major achievements as a musician, it’s almost like playing to the hometown crowd.

Phillips recently called from the Styx tour bus during a snowstorm on the road somewhere just outside of Minneapolis to talk about Texas, the band, the job, the honor he received from the State Senate and his life as a Texas musician.

“I love it,” he said of his home near Austin. “And to be recognized for the work I do like that is amazing.”

Phillips, who has recorded and performed with many major acts in his career, including The Babys, Page and Coverdale, Mick Jagger and Bad English in addition to Styx, said he had no idea that Senator David Lucio, Jr., a senior spokesman in the Texas Legislature, was a longtime fan.

“When I got a call asking me to do this – I knew Willie Nelson had had the honor, and the Dixie Chicks, and many, many others – I was kinda shocked,” he said. “It was a kind of ‘pinch me’ moment. When I got there, I realized what a huge honor this is. I’m a permanent part of the docket now. It was shocking, but a real honor. I’m a real Texan now!”

But Phillips is quick to credit luck, and being in the right place at the right time, for his success even more than his talent.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to be in the right place, to get the calls, and be in the eyes of certain people who see what you do,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of studio work and played with a lot of different kinds of music. The more you do and the more you accept and the more you hustle. They used to call it the ‘Hollywood Shuffle.’ And the more you are prepared and able to get along and contribute with whatever comes along and pleases others and the way they like to work, and they see that you are good and like what you do, it just opens doors. And they open up all over the place. I’ve been fortunate enough to get invited to do things with people that I just admired so much as a kid and in my craft, I’m just blown away.”

Phillips said fans should thoroughly enjoy Tuesday’s show at the Verizon Theatre.

“This tour features three great bands, and we are all firing on all cylinders,” he said enthusiastically. “Ted’s band is just fantastic, and he is bigger than life – his guitar is louder than life too! And REO is right on their game.

This is all ‘Midwest-influenced’ music on this tour. REO and Styx came out of Illinois and Ted is from Michigan, even if he lives in Texas now. Each band has a very different approach, but it goes well together. We toured together last summer and decided to bring it out again this spring. It’s a great grouping, and we are playing all the songs you want to hear, and I think we’re playing them really, really good.”

Phillips guaranteed that concertgoers will not be disappointed.
(We'll be there tonight!  Photos to come soon!!)


Mary (Bookfan) said...

Great interview. I loved hearing about groups from my teen years. I just know the concert had to be fantastic!

Sharon Galligar Chance said...

It was an outstanding concert!! A GOOD time was had by all!