Basically my first gig was Trapeze back in 1970 when I was only five years old. No just joking. We had played in the UK for a year or so, then we came to America and we got our first break opening for The Moody Blues on a national U. S. tour and consequently we did a show in Dallas and on the way home Tapeze were invited back to Houston and Dallas again to headline a couple of clubs and we did so well that Texas really got into the band for some reason. I think that's where our career started simply because of a couple of shows in those two markets. I think every band, every artist, breaks out of a market whether it's L. A. or Mississippi, whatever. We just broke out of Texas and I'm forever grateful for that. I left Trapeze in '73 and joined Deep Purple. At the time they were the biggest signed rock band in the world having four albums on the Billboard Top 100. I couldn't turn it down although Trapeze was doing pretty well. I was in Purple in for three years, made four albums, toured all over the place, and then I took some time off. Did a solo record. Then I got new band with Pat Thrall and we did an album called Hughes And Thrall which has critical acclaim all over the place. Sold some records and made some friends. I did a record with Tony Iommi in Black Sabbath actually called Seventh Star which was really good in '85. Then I did an album called Phenomena. I'm giving you basically the ones that people have probably heard of. Phenomena which is an album with myself and Mel Gaba from Whitesnake and Neil Myers from Whitesnake and Cozy Powell from Whitesnake. It's like a big gothic type album. Did an album with Gary Moore called Run For Cover and there's some soundtracks with "Dragnet" with Tom Hanks and Dan Akroyd. Did a video with those two guys on MTV. At the time it was the most requested video for about six weeks. I did a movie called "The Highlander" with Sean Connery. Did some music for that and a lot of different work and then pretty much in the early '90s I started making my solo records and I've done eight solo records in ten years. Doing pretty good.
Sounds like it. When and what got you interested in playing bass and pursuing a career in music?
I was named after the America World War II hero Glenn Miller, trombone player from the Second World War who was in the Army and his plane went down and the Glenn war mystery is a big, big thing still. My parents are huge Glenn Miller fans and they named me after Glenn Miller. I was taught to play the trombone when I was 8 years old like Glenn Miller was so I started reading music at an early age and I started getting --- you know I've got to tell you that everyone has a gift in their life whether it's accounting or carpentry or teaching. Glenn Hughes has been given the gift to sing and play and write music. It's very obvious that I've been given this gift and I try not to abuse it.
I understand that when you were in Trapeze that's when you met John Bonham of Led Zeppelin?
Yeah. He was a really good friend of mine. John used to come and pick me up --- actually I used to drive to his house on the weekends and we'd play in London. He would drive me to the show and he would jam all the time with Trapeze. It was his favorite group and at one point he really wanted me to join Led Zeppelin. He'd try to, I guess, have John Paul Jones thrown out of the group. I said "no I don't think you should do that John. I think you should just leave it as it is. He was a character.
You've put out a good number of solo albums. Is there any particular one that stands out the most?
You know I'm going to tell you the standard answer to that. The next one. I just finished the last one in March and it comes out in the summer. I really want to say that it's the best work I've done I think ever. As when you put it up to my other albums it really, really, really does sound great. I'm really proud of all my work. I'm really proud of it all. I don't think I've done a bad record. I just think some of my records are very diverse as they always will be because I've been given the gift to sing in a rock/pop/jazz/funk/soul format. But this album, the next one. I can't give you the title right now but it'll be out sometime in summer.
You have a record label called Pink Cloud Records. What made you decide to have your own label?
I did that because the last some recordings that I had recorded that aren't in the rock format, because I have whether I like it or not, I was famous for playing in hard rock and I have other avenues I like to paint my pictures in. That'll be the soul and the funk genre. Obviously jazz and the thing is, is that I have my own record label to release those kinds of titles.
Can you tell us about your video "The Making Of Days Of Avalon"?
I did it last summer on the beach and in the sound station in L. A. My friend directed it. We sat and listened to my album and we really fell in love with this song. He decided to cut it on this cut. It's very long, it's over six minutes long so henceforth MTV doesn't play videos that long. I didn't really make it for that purpose. I made it to show people the other side of Glenn. It's a ballad and it's very, very cool.
I understand that Matt Sorum played drums in the promo clip of "Days Of Avalon". How did you get hooked up with him?
Well Matt's a good, good friend of mine. He played on my album Feel in '95. I've known Matt 10 years. I knew him when he was starting out in Guns N' Roses. Matt is one of my close friends. He's a sweet guy. I've had the oppportunity to work with people I really like and Matt is one of those guys. He can play the drums like nobody else and he was available to play on the clip of "Days Of Avalon" and it was great to have him.
Can you tell us about your album Return Of Crystal Karma?
Oh yeah, that's a great album. Over a year ago I was attempting to write music for a new which was going to be Return Of Crystal Karma. I had the title about a year before that and I wanted to have something a little strong because basically that album for me is a great rock record and it really is a great album. A lot of people love it. Got great reviews. So that album was a return to rock for me. As I said some of my records are very diverse in nature stemming from all over. When I say rock what is rock? I ain't Limp Bizkit. I ain't Black Sabbath. I'm Glenn Hughes and I try to portray that in what I do. Return Of Crystal Karma is a very diverse record but it's extremely hard rock record.
I was listening to it this morning.
You like it?
Yes I do. I was very impressed with it. I was like "this guy is really heavy". What are your favorite tracks off the album?
I like "Days Of Avalon". I like "Midnight Meditated". I like "This Life". I like "The Other Side Of Me". As you can see I'm probably giving you the more funkier titles because that is my favorite kind of music. Funk rock. That's where it started in Trapeze. It's Texas' fault you know.
Return Of Crystal Karma is a double CD. The other CD is a show you did in South America. When and where did that show take place?
That was in Sao Paulo, Brazil and funny enough I didn't record all the tour. I only recorded the one show on ADAT and I took the tape home. My record company said "you know we would like to talk to you about maybe putting that as a bonus CD". I said "well you know it's just one show". An artist normally record ten shows and picks the best nine and this is just one performance. I listened to it and I went "you know it's very real, very raw". Some of these live records these people put out are very slick and this is as it happened and it's totally spontaneous.
They normally take it back to the studio with them and take out all the glitches and make it sound perfect.
A lot of people have added stuff to their stuff and samples. This is just the way it was and I'm happy with that.
You did "Piece Of My Heart" on the forthcoming Nazareth tribute CD. How did you get involved with that and when is the CD coming out?
Angela I get a lot...how do I say this? I get more than my fair share of people calling my office to work and Nazareth, those chaps are friends of mine from years ago. They opened for Purple a lot and I liked that song. They sent the format to me and I went and sang it and sent it right back. I thought it sounded pretty cool.
I understand that a deceased member of The Village People bears your name and that there was some confusion.
In the late '70s The Village People were kind of popular and somebody in a magazine put my picture next to his and said which is the real Glenn Hughes. Apparently the leather man guy biker had the same name and the same spelling as me. You know what? I never really thought about it but I just said to myself "you know there might be somebody somewhere, one day that confuses that issue". Star Magazine did a piece on it and they apparently told my office that they knew it wasn't me but they wanted to go ahead and put a spin on it to get...it's just another tabloid moment. I've had a few of them and it's not really funny to me anymore because I've been inundated with questions about it. My website has had over 200,000 in the last month only this year. A lot of people thought I'd died. It's kind of funny in a way that I was buried in my leather man outfit. If you could understand how many times I've talked about it, it's unbelievable.
It was a stupid thing for them to do.
I've been on every bloody talk show/radio show with all these DJs, these morning crews, "Hey! Hey! Hey!". That crap. The guy's dead for Christ's sake. Let him rest.
Peter Criss of KISS has his rounds with that particular tabloid I remember.
In the '80s my mother and father picked up a tabloid in the U. K. and it said I was dead in that one as well and it was all totally wrong and it was not really cool. When your mom and dad are still living and they read that shit.
You're an awesome dude. You've risen from the dead twice.
How about that?
Fans are curious as to when you'll be touring the States. I understand that you're getting ready for a European tour.
We start Europe May 25th in Madrid and we're going to do Spain and the U. K., Netherlands, France, Poland, Germany, Sweden, and Finland. I'm coming home but I leave off with an organization called Voices Of Classic Rock which is myself, Mike Reno from Loverboy, Micky Thomas from Starship, Bobby Kimble from Toto, John and Terry from Rainbow, Edgar Winter and Chuck Nedron, John Cafferty. We are strength in numbers and we play all over the place so you might be seeing us on that.
That'd be great. Any other comments?
I just want to say hi to everybody out there and check out www.glennhughes.com for more info on the man who's not dead.