Jean-Jacques Burnel
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Larry CROCKETT - Interview - Friday 1st June 2012
Salle 3000 (Lyon)

(c) Copyright Larry Crockett
(c) Copyright Cite Centre de Congres

  1. Nice to meet you again Larry.

  2. (c) Copyright Rock-Interviews

    Yes, my pleasure.

    AM : We first met in Lyon in 2009 when you played a gig with your friend Eric Bibb. Do you remember?

    I remember, yes, I do.

    AM : Larry, let's go back to the past, could you please tell us where you were born, where are you from?

    I was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, it's like the "banlieue" (suburbs) of New York. Should I speak to the French public or just all international concerns ?

    AM : International.

    OK. I was born in New Jersey, Red Bank, the town of Count Basie in fact, I grew up there and then later moved to New York, Brooklyn for a little while before I come to Paris.

  3. Do you remember when did you first touch a drum kit?.

  4. (c) Copyright Rock-Interviews Whoa! Well I touched the snare drum, maybe 6 months before I touched the drum because my father wasn't sure if I was going to actually stick with it so, because he gave me a bass first because he was a bassist and I never touched it, I wanted to play the drums you know so he bought me a snare drum to see before he bought me the drum set, so I touched the snare drum, I think I was around 6 years old shortly, after the drum set came.

    AM : Where did you study music?

    I went to Rutgers University, New Jersey, it's a great school for music.

    AM : Who were your teachers?

    We had some famous jazz teachers on piano, I studied piano for classic composition you know I mean, Kenny Barron and the Jazz band director was Paul Jeffrey and my drum instructor was Michael Carvin, great teachers and great musicians. Also, I was very fortunate.

  5. What is your nickname?
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    I have several, but I guess the one which stood out the most is Mr Sticks. First I was actually kid Sticks when I was little, then I moved up to Sticks, they started to call me Mr Sticks, I don't know that's how it is.

    AM : You are a man of many talents : You are a musician and a songwriter. You have worked with the biggest names in the music industry, pop, rock, R&B, soul, blues, jazz musicians. Can you name some of them?

    Well, I don't like to talk like that, I don't like to blow my horn, as we say in my town, but I've been very fortunate and I worked like you said with different artists from different genres, back to Sam & Dave, Sam Moore, Martha and The Vandellas, Four Tops, a commercial with Elton John, in Japan rock super star named Kohei Otomo, a Korean star called Shin Hyo Bum, from Blues Dakota Staton, the great Liz McComb, fantastic and incredible, the great Eric Bibb, there are so many, I'm sure I'm leaving out a lot but I've been very fortunable, that's true.

  7. You played in famous venues in the US like the Blue Note, where else?

  8. (c) Copyright Rock-Interviews Yes, Blue Note, Madison Square Garden that was a big highlight, the Cotton Club when it was around, it's a great venue, there was a club called the Bottom Line it wasn't internationally known but in New York it was a very popular club with great musicians came through town but it's no longer there, but I was fortunate for that.

    AM : And in Europe too?

    In France Le Palais des Congrès and the Olympia, in London, the Royal Albert Hall.

    AM : You also played in Asia?

    Yes, I love playing in Asia actually. I played in Korea, I was working with Martha Reeves and we toured with The Commodores at that time, and Japan several times. I love working in Asia, it's different and people are very nice, so I really enjoy that.

    AM : What is your favourite venue and your best memory?

    That's a tough one! There are so many and my memory is not that great to begin with! But I guess one of the best places I've enjoyed playing actually was Japan. Musically it's been a lot of highlights so it's difficult you know. With Lizz Mc Comb I remember playing in the studio and she is so special. I was playing and she played something and sang something in such a way that I just almost wanted to cry when I was playing in the studio, you know, I wanted to stop, listen and just cry but you know you can't stop, so that was a highlight, there is a lot of highlights to work with her, but a lot of highlights to work with Eric Bibb as well, so that's a tough one, so I couldn't sing aloud you know but the place I would say where I had the best time playing would be in Japan.

  9. In 2007 you released a CD called My wish.
  10. (c) Copyright Rock-Interviews

    Oh Yes, a little plug here (holding up the CD)

    AM : With 15 tracks on it and one was written with your friend Eric Bibb, do you remember the title?

    Yes, I don't have to look, it's Leaves. Leaves are falling. It's a beautiful song, I like it a lot. It's a ballad, it's a symbolic song for life, you know leaves are falling, we pass on as well as human beings, the lyrics reflect that. It's a pretty melody we wrote together, it's a very nice song.

    AM : You also just released an album called Peace Revolution.

    Yes, Peace Revolution, that's what we need!

    AM : This is it.

    Okay, oh you're well prepared Anne-Marie, plug plug number 2, Peace Revolution (holding up another CD).

    AM : What is it all about?

    Well it's about promoting positive living actually, but it's a lot of fun songs as well, it's not a serious CD. some songs are serious, Life Illusions is a song which talks about life and how we can look at it differently and enjoy it more, you know, but the title song Peace Revolution is really what it says, we need a peace revolution on this earth and it can start with me and you, so you don't have to think so big but this is what I hope to generate peace out there in the world.

    AM : What is your favourite track on this CD?

    Let's see, that's a tough one, it's like who is your favourite child you know? It's really like that! I like them all, but I think the funny one that I like the most is Momma's Got a Gun, because I played it for my mother and she just laughed, so I think that's one of my favourite songs, it's funny, witty, and it's got a good groove so check it out, Momma's Got a Gun!

  11. You are not only a musician, you are also a songwriter and a writer.
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    Yes, I love to write.

    AM : You wrote Drum Set Rudiments, Life Illusions, Sex & Drumming, The Left Hand...And you also wrote this small book called 101 Keys to Success in Music and in Life.

    Yes, this is the book. It's a small book but there are some helpful things, positive messages that I think we can all use, positive reminders, maybe everyone actually knows all of these things, but when we are caught in life we tend to forget some other things that we know, so I like to sometimes just open up the book and just see what page it lies on and it's like a reminder of something to do, it helps you and like the title says music and life, so it's a positive book, a real american book I think you know, go...we can be the best in ourselves not better than anyone else, we can be better people, better musicians, if we just try and practice, strive and brave our goals and things like that, just another thing I thought that maybe would help people coming up and young musicians too, yeah I wrote that a while ago, it's a good book.

  13. Your latest book is called Peace Revolution, what does this book deal with?
  14. (c) Copyright Rock-Interviews

    I have actually the writer's edition, it's the final draft, but it would be in a book size form. Yeah I wrote it after the CD, after the song and it's basically a book of short stories and they all illustrate some point, some aspect of peace, so some stories are funny, some are sad, but they are all true stories, and at the end a tie to an element of peace, and how to get, to have more peace in our personal lives and eventually lead to peace around the world, in the world, so that was the idea, to go along with the book, to go along with the CD actually.

  15. What are you doing when you don't tour and write music or books?
  16. (c) Copyright Rock-Interviews

    Sleep! (laughing) No, I mean I love to write, I love to study, and write music and practice. I guess time off I like to visit nature, I like to walk in the forest it gives me a lot of pleasure and feeds my soul which I need sometimes after a tour. Yeah I like the nature, going through the forest and walking.

    AM : And also sometimes you like to answer the questions of lot of different journalists!

    Yes this is one of the latest issues of a French drum magazine called Batteur, it's the April issue. They did a nice interview, a nice spread this is it (showing the magazine), and another two pages.

    AM : That's a lovely one!

    He asked some nice questions, it was a concert we gave at the New Morning in Paris and we had a great time, I'm happy it came through, the director Marc Rouvé is a really nice guy and I think he did a good job, asking different questions and coming to the show, so it was very nice, I was happy.

  17. Why are you here tonight in Lyon?
  18. (c) Copyright Nelly Santos

    Yes beautiful Lyon, it's a "Belle ville". We are playing a concert tonight with Lizz Mc Comb, we have a big band tonight with three horns, an organ guitar, percussions, drums, bass, it's a big and good show.

    AM : Who are the musicians?

    We have on bass Reggie Washington, on keyboards Harold Johnson from California, Reggie is from New York, we have on guitar Richard Arame from Guadeloupe, now he lives in Berlin, Phil Makaia on percussions and Gwokas from Guadeloupe, he lives in Paris, Ronald Baker on trumpet from America, I think Baltimore, a great trumpeter, Xavier Sibre on saxophone, Pierre Chabrele on trombone and Liz Mc Comb on vocals and piano and plus myself on drums.

    AM : Larry, thank you very much for your time. Have a great concert tonight with Lizz Mc Comb.

    Thank you very much. I just like to say thank you, you're a very nice person. I met you a few years ago, I remember that and I always hope to come back and see whenever I'm in town and it's a pleasure to finally do an interview with you on Merci and I thank the public for the support they have given me through the years. Thanks a lot. Merci beaucoup !

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(c) Copyright Larry Crockett
(c) Copyright Cite Centre de Congres