By Chris M. Junior
With his brief West Coast solo tour scheduled to begin Nov. 25, Eagles bassist/singer Timothy B. Schmit checked in on Thanksgiving Eve to let fans know what they can expect at each show, plus shed some light on what his legendary band might be doing in 2012 and beyond.
Your tour starts on Black Friday. Does that mean you will be taking it easy on Thanksgiving so you don’t have a sleepy turkey hangover when you hit the stage in Phoenix?
Timothy B. Schmit: “Actually, I don’t have a huge thing planned for Thanksgiving. Two of my daughters have other plans; they’re grown up and starting their own lives. So it’s going to be my son – my youngest – and my wife and I: It’ll be real easy, midday, and then I’ll get ready to go out [on tour].”
On 2009’s “Expando,” your recent solo album, you handled more than just bass duties. Will you be jumping around from instrument to instrument on this tour or just sticking to one or two?
TBS: “Mostly I play guitar and a little bit of bass. I’m surrounded by some great musicians, friends of mine, who do jump around (laughs).
“We hand the bass off to quite a few people in this show. There are a couple of multi-instrumentalists. It’s pretty cool. I’m really having a good time. It’s my show, but I think it comes off more like a revue because I have a lot going on up there.”
In addition to songs from “Expando,” what else can fans expect to hear each night on this tour?
TBS: “A little taste of my past – a couple of Poco things, and of course a couple of Eagles things, the ones that I sing on. And maybe a favorite song or two of mine.”
Talk about the mental and physical differences between fronting a band for an entire show and when you’re onstage with The Eagles.
TBS: “It’s really a lot different. In many ways, it’s a lot easier to do my role in The Eagles and play in front of 15,000 or 20,000 people. As far as mental strain, it’s a lot easier to do that than to play a small place where I’m doing it all, where I’m at center stage at all times.”
Speaking of The Eagles, Joe Walsh recently talked about plans to celebrate the band’s 40 anniversary in 2012. Is a lengthy tour a strong possibility? And what about any archival or new releases?
TBS: “It’s interesting because I read that from Joe, too, and I meant to talk to him about that. We did our last [Eagles] show of the year last Saturday in Las Vegas, and we flew home together. I meant to talk with him about [what he’s said] because I’ve been saying the exact opposite (laughs).
“I have not heard any mention of any shows; there’s nothing on the books right now that I know of. I think eventually, when we do go back on the road – and I’m not even sure it’s going to be this next year or not – we will definitely have to do a lot of revamping of our stage show because we’ve been doing sort of the same thing for a long time.
“And we’ve played everywhere, so we’ve got to change it up a little. I think it’s smart to not go out really soon because we’ve been everywhere. You can’t go back to these same places if you were just there not too long ago. It doesn’t work out real well.
“But there are some things in the air regarding other possibilities, not just touring. There’s going to be a ‘history of The Eagles’ at some point, which will maybe be a two-part documentary. And maybe there will be some new music coinciding with that. I don’t know; this is all just unofficial maybes. This is stuff that’s been bandied about.
“There’s even been talk about a possible Broadway thing that has to do with the history of The Eagles, but that would be two, three, four years away. I don’t know; we’ll see what happens. I’m hoping that it’s not over, and I don’t really think it is. I don’t think anybody thinks it is; we’re just going to take a little break for a while.
“Almost everybody is doing a record. Both Don [Henley] and Glenn [Frey] are working on solo records, and Joe I believe is finished with his. And if I have the time, and it looks like I will, I’m going to be working on my next one.”
Timothy B. Schmit on tour (schedule subject to change):
Nov. 25: The Compound Grill – Phoenix
Nov. 28: Belly Up Tavern – Solana Beach, Calif.
Nov. 30: The Coach House – San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
Dec. 2: Cashe Creek – Brooks, Calif.
Dec. 3: Canyon Club – Agoura Hills, Calif.
Dec. 6: Rio Theatre – Santa Cruz, Calif.
Dec. 8: Tower Theatre – Bend, Ore.
Dec. 9: Skagit Valley Casino – Bellingham, Wash.
Dec. 12: Kirkland PAC – Seattle
Dec. 13: Aladdin Theatre – Portland, Ore.
Photo courtesy of Timothy B. Schmit