Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sparks Drummer Project (8): Christi Haydon-Wilson!

Image result for christi haydon wilson1994's Gratuitous Sax and Senseless Violins was Sparks' first record in 6 years, and anticipation was high. The album was innovative, musically challenging but accessible, and altogether compelling, and a major hit in Germany and throughout Europe. Over time, it became THE album that grew on me most as time passed. Christi Haydon-Wilson played percussion with Sparks to support the album.

Christi was kind enough to talk about how she became a member of Sparks, and what Ron and Russell were up to in the years preceding the release of Gratuitous Sax, including the development of a film based on a Japanese anime comic book, Mai The Psychic Girl. Christi was the voice of Mai. We also talked about Cindy, the webseries Christi is co-producing with Larry Wilson, of Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and Adams Family fame. The website for Cindy is here and there's also a facebook page. Christi plays the fairy godmother "with issues," and is co-producing the series. And it's not too late to help the webseries air - there's a Kickstarter campaign in its last few days if you're considering a contribution. I am sure that even small amounts are very appreciated.

I am grateful to Christi for spending time talking with me and I hope you enjoy the interview.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Conversation with CJ Ramone!

I’d look over and see Johnny and Joey next to me, and I’d be saying to myself, “how did I get here?” And that was right up to my last days in the band. I still had that attitude.

Bassist CJ Ward was a member of the Ramones from 1989 to 1996, playing over 800 shows with fellow Ramones Joey (vocals), Johnny (guitar), and Marky (drums). CJ brought renewed energy and enthusiasm to the band, and played a big part in its longevity.

CJ was a huge fan of the Ramones, and joining the band was a dream come true. Hell, it’s EVERY fan’s dream come true! But CJ did it - and it was not without its challenges. Not only did he have to play well enough to meet the fans' high expectations; he was also replacing legendary Ramones' bassist Dee Dee Ramone, a punk icon and fan favorite.

CJ will release a new solo album, Last Chance To Dance, next month. The first single from the album, Understand Me?, can be heard here. If the album is anything like the single, we’ll have a treat on our hands in just a short time.

You can learn more about CJ and his current projects at his website and his Facebook page, and I also commend a 2009 interview with Mark Prindle that is well worth the read.