Success in the music business can mean a lot of things but it does not necessarily equate to longevity.
And if you don’t think longevity or staying power means anything to a musician just ask “The Knack.”
They had that 1979 international hit “My Sharona.” Despite their overnight success and instant comparison to legends like The Beatles they were basically never heard from again after “Sharona.”
I could go on but we get the point.
So, when I had the opportunity to sit down with Huey Lewis and the News veteran, co-founder, and drummer, Bill Gibson, I was determined to find out HLN’s secret to longevity thinking that there “must” be a formula or process that would rival Coca-Cola’s infamous trade secret.
Boy, was I wrong.
Instead, what I found was a sincere, straight forward, “what you see is what you get” working musician. You see, HLN was built on something simpler than a formula or process. HLN was built on friendship and a passion to perform (live) one’s own music.
To quote their mega-hit, HLN and Bill are built on “Heart and Soul.”
In an age when some performers are simply mailing it in and “reforming” for essentially no other reason than financial distress, I found Bill to be a refreshing reminder that this is not always the case.
So what gave me this overwhelming impression of sincerity and passion?
Well two things.
First, in a moment I will invite you to watch my interview with Bill and when he talks about “when it’s all over,” if you cannot read the passion on this man’s face you are simply not paying attention. He lives for music and “those 2 or so hours on stage” and it shows.
Despite all the arenas, all the hits, the lengthy tours and all the accompanying hoopla, Bill Gibson still comes across with that adolescent passion that we all felt in our younger years when we just couldn’t wait to get to our gig. Man, talk about keeping lightning in a bottle. Bravo B.G.
Second, although “Sports” is celebrating its 30th anniversary and HLN is making a number of national appearances on Jimmy Kimmel and Dancing With The Stars, et al., for the music connoisseur one only needs to listen to HLN’s “Plan B” album (circa 2001) and the more recent “Soulsville” (circa 2010) to realize that HLN is on a mission to explore new genres and not simply regurgitate their uber hits of years gone by.
HLN will play their hits of the past in tribute to their fans but there’s always something new in HLN land. And think about it, isn’t this consistent for HLN because they succeeded big in the 1980s when frankly, synthesized sounds and younger pop icons ruled the airwaves. That did not deter HLN from competing and garnering national/international then it’s not stopping them now either.
Today HLN is anything but business as usual. They are constantly pushing the envelope and themselves. Bravo HLN.
Bill, as HLN’s long standing drummer is the backbone of the group (to quote Phil Engel on drummers). He is the glue that kept us tapping to “I Want A New Drug,” bopping to “Couple Days Off,” and rockin’ to “Working For A Living.”
But now there’s more.
He now has us grooving and swinging to “Plan B’s” “We’re Not Here For A Long Time” and other HLN fan favs from the last two albums. Keep it going B.G.
So without further adieu, let’s hear from Bill. By the way, I want to especially thank Big Poppy Productions (www.bigpoppyproductions.com) for their assistance in filming and editing. Thanks Pops!
– K bo