Few artists can boast platinum-selling albums while fronting several different groups. But that?s exactly what Paul Rodgers has done over the course of 28 albums.
His personal highlight reel includes success with Free (1968-1973), Bad Company (1974-1982), The Firm (1984-1986) and The Law (1991) ? not to mention his solo works and his recent pairing with Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen.
And now comes his first-ever solo DVD, ?Live In Glasgow,? a companion to his CD released in April. Running better than two hours, the show features two new songs and several that haven?t been performed in 35 years.
In this interview, Rodgers touches on all aspects of his career, including his working relationship with Led Zeppelin?s Jimmy Page and his enormous love of the blues.
Goldmine: When you have such a rich catalog of material, how tough is it to decide what goes on the DVD?
Paul Rodgers: Well, there were a couple of thoughts behind this particular set list in a sense, because playing in Europe, I tend to find that the material I wrote with Free is much more predominantly loved. And the opposite occurs in the States. When I?m playing there, it tends to be more of the Bad Company material. So I leaned heavily into my Free songs for this tour and some of the songs I hadn?t played in some 30 to 35 years? songs like ?I?ll Be Creeping? and ?I?m A Mover.? The DVD is almost like a snapshot of one?s musical career.
GM: After the demise of Free, how did Bad Company change your perception of what you wanted in your next band?
PR: Free was a great band, and I have great affection for what we did and what we achieved. We really weren?t prepared in so many ways for the size of the market in America. We were thrown on tour with Blind Faith, and we went from playing in tiny little blues clubs ? which we loved ? onto these huge stages, and I realized at that point we needed a manager and the right set of equipment to be able to handle this size of venue. We were just completely overwhelmed, and so those are the things that I learned, and, in putting Bad Company together, a manager was very key to that. And that?s where Peter Grant came in.
GM: Bad Company tasted Gold or Platinum success with virtually every album you released. Do you have a favorite album among the lot?
PR: I always think my NEXT album is gonna be my favorite album, but having said that, it?s an interesting thing. Each of the albums is almost like a diary of where the band is currently at. When Bad Company started, we didn?t have an image; we didn?t have an identity. We almost didn?t have the name at that point ? it came from the song you know. We had a lot of songs and a lot of enthusiasm to play together. And it became this entity, and it was suddenly hugely successful ? it was quite amazing and took us all by surprise. And then when, we got our breath back after having toured and the album ?number one,? we sat down and went ?Wow! What did we just do??(Laughs). And, of course, everything is gonna be different from then on, because now it?s a follow-up, and it changes the whole perspective of what you?re doing. You kinda have to live up to what you?ve done before, and it?s always gonna be a challenge.
GM: ?Rock & Roll Fantasy? was your comeback single in 1979, three years after your last hit record ? an eternity in those days. Was it nice to see that the public still embraced the band?
PR: Yeah, there was a lot of pressure at that point for us to come up with something in the single genre, or whatever the expression. And I remember getting an amplifier that I messed around with, and I got all these ki