Hello, great to have you with me. Are you a first time or an avid listener to the show? Well, hopefully you already know that each week you can count on me to bring you an interesting chat with one of the biggest name music artists from the 60s 70s or 80s. No exception today either, as we’re about to hear from one of the founders of this band. I wonder if you can guess the man and name the group?
If you thought to yourself, well, that’s blood, sweat and tears, and wondered if maybe my next guest was guitarist singer and founder Steve Katz. You get first prize, because that’s exactly who we’re about to chat with. Steve may not be quite a household name. But he’s played on an incredible string of recordings during the 60s and 70s He appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival with the legendary blues project. Woodstock with blood, sweat and tears, and even produced Rock’s most celebrated speed addict Lou Reed. Steve was born in Brooklyn in New York and proved to be a gifted musician in his early teens. Anyway, why am I telling you his story? Let’s hand it straight over to Steve Katz to fill you in. Steve Katz. Welcome to a breath of fresh air. It’s terrific to have your company to your professional career started in the late 50s. When you were on this local TV program you sang Tammy and April love. Tell us a bit about that.
Well, you know it’s funny is that we have a car that every time you open the door it’s it plays the chorus to Tammy does my lover what I feel doo doo doo doo. So I keep singing the song every time we go to the grocery or something. I got fired actually, from that job. We move studios and they said, Well, you can’t pick your songs this week. We want you to sing it’s a grand night for singing from state fair. I couldn’t learn it. You know, it’s like all through school. You know, if I didn’t, wasn’t interested in something, I just didn’t learn it. And this is live TV. So I went to the studio. That night. I was supposed to sing it and they said, Well, you didn’t learn it. We’re gonna have to type it out. So they did that. And I started singing the song. It’s a grand night for saying that. I looked down and it’s single spaced, and I can’t see where I am. So it was supposed to be a 30 minute live program turned out to be a 35 minute Live program because of me. And I got fired that night at 13 years old.
Was it the first and only time you’ve been sacked?
You mean since then? No. I guess a couple of times.
The first one has the most impact, though, doesn’t it? How did you leave there?
Well, that’s the thing. So traumatic. I became a rock and roll musician because of the trauma.
No, that’s not what really turns you to rock and roll was it?
No, it was. Me rock and roll was when well I loved rock and roll but my friend Danny KALB came up to us teaching him to play school, fretted instruments and Danny Kim is 1965 and it was just after Dylan played at Newport Folk Festival and he switched to electric guitar bars. And so all my friends that were you know, I was a folky and all my friends that were folkies were trading in their guitars you know, and Earning electric guitars. So there I was teaching acoustic guitar and Danny comes up and says, I need a rhythm guitar player for my band. And because his rhythm guitar player went to Europe and I said, Well, you know, I never played an electric guitar wouldn’t know what to do I know that has dials and I see like a chord coming out of it. But otherwise, what do I do? He says, Welcome to the night owl tomorrow, which is one of the clubs in the village. And we’ll plug you in, you know, so I had this, the Armand pickup, which you put on my acoustic plugged in it, but he put it on 10 and plugged it into an amp and the amp was on 10 also. So this huge sound came pouring out of the amplifiers. I felt like I was being attacked by a bunch of rhinoceroses. It wasn’t until my third acid trip that I really turned, you end up loving that sound. Well, feedback. Anyway, I took the gig. And there I was, I was supposed to write a paper on Yeats and the Byzantium poems. But I had this opportunity. So I went on the road, we played a gig. And I just had such a great time playing music with other people that I grew my hair long I got myself some bell bottoms, Tom Jones shirt, got myself a hippie girlfriend, and I started smoking pot, and I was in heaven. So it was a choice between that or doing a paper on the 18 Byzantium poems. It was a no brainer.
I know which one I pick
Kyle was a blues guitarist and vocalist, he became a solo performer and session musician performing with people like Judy Collins, Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan before forming the blues project in 1965. With Andy Kohlberg Michael Bloomfield Tommy Flanders and Steve Katz, when you went to audition for Danny in the first place, there’s a terrific story about how you actually turn down that amp to zero, in case you made a mistake.
Well, because of the feedback, it was so horrendous that I turned my guitar down to zero. And I just kept playing and it’s just blue stuff that I knew. And then he came over me and he said, Wow, I really liked the way you play, which was totally off the wall. Danny just passed
I’m sorry to hear. But I mean, he couldn’t have heard you playing if there was no amplification, right? He didn’t, he just fantasized that I was playing. This is Danny out thread. And anyway, that was the blues project that was the beginning of the blues project.
You said you were teaching guitar at that stage already, when you’ve got together with Danny Calvin the band but before that you’d actually studied guitar under the tutelage of Reverend Gary Davis. Yeah, mainly Dave Van. Ron was my teacher. And then I would go up every now and then I would go up to Reverend Davis’s house in the South Bronx. And I took a couple of lessons from Reverend Davis, but mainly I drove him around.
What do you mean, you drove him around? Well, I became his road manager. I mean, there was a few of us that were that road management when Gary Davis you know, he’s he was, remember, he’s blind. Gary Davis.
You were just a teenager at the time when you must have just had your driving license.
But yeah, I took him. I took him to gigs. And I was 18 years old or something. He and his wife and he lived in a little hovel, and take guitar lessons or pick them up. And then they moved because Peter Paul and Mary did one of his songs Samson and Delilah if I had my way, and so he got royalties finally moved to a nice house in Queens, you know, one of the boroughs in New York City. And there was one night you want to hear this story? Yeah.
Okay? And he called me and said, Can you pick up the Reverend Davis wants to go down to the Village Gate and on Bleecker Street and he wants to see Sonny and Brownie Sunday. Terry and Brownie McGhee because he and Sonny, you know came from North Carolina. They were old friends. Sure I’ll come pick him up, you know. So I picked him up we go down to the Village Gate and it was Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, opening the show for Roland Kirk. And so we watched Sonny and Brownie do their set. And then I went backstage I took Reverend Davis backstage, you know, we held them by the arm to come backstage and Sonny Terry is blind. Reverend Davis is blind. And Roland Kirk was blind. So we go backstage and Reverend Davis bumps into Roland Kirk and they start hugging each other and crying It’s been years they never knew each other right? I’m pulling Reverend Davis say Sonny’s over in the corner over there please wherever Davis police team is a very funny guy.
blue skies my blanket.
So you were already writing into music and then the introduction into Danny Cobbs band took you then into a different direction.
Right. Before I joined the blues project. I was a blues person Lou blues lunatic actually. And one of the great things about my past that I have great memories of was meeting Mississippi John Hurt. And, of course, Reverend Davis and Son House Skip James when they were rediscovered.
Tell us about meeting Mississippi John Hurt. Well, not only meeting but we spent two weeks staying in the same apartment in LA when Stephen Grossman myself who was he was in the jug band. We’ll go back to that Stephen and I went to California for the summer of 64. And the week before Mississippi, John Hurt was staying there. And they would put us up in an apartment. So we were all staying in the same apartment. So I got to hang out with John Hurt for you know, week and a half or so. And he’s like my second father. He’s just like the most wonderful person gentle. He was just a fabulous person.
That must have been amazing for you. Because if you were a bluesman from way back, he would have been one of your heroes, one of your mentors.
I mean, he would talk to me and then all of a sudden, I wouldn’t be there because I would be like, you know, just a liquid thing on the ground, you know, because I was so in awe of him. So John would say, Steve, Steve, can you stand up and there we play the ash Grove. And we asked this kid who we knew we played with him and he’s a great guitar player. So we said, hey, why don’t you play with us? We’ll start a band. So for two weeks, we were the Gramercy Park sheiks and that kid was right Kotor
What a time to grow up in music though it was just exploding all around you?
I was so lucky and am so lucky to have experienced so much of that stuff. You know the what Dave Van Ronk used to call the folk scare.
Why did he call it the folks get?
Because everybody was scared that they’re gonna start making money ever Well, all the folk music people were like communists or socialists, and all of a sudden they thought they had hit records, you know, like the the rooftop singers, you know, and the Kingston Trio. And the scary part was that oh my god, this is gonna be like, top 10 Records time, you know? So that was scary. Really, seriously scary. They didn’t know what to do if I hit it big.
Well, not seriously scary because we all had a sense of humour about it. Thank God for the sense of humour, but they certainly hadn’t got into it to make money. They got into it for altruistic reasons simply to make good music.
That’s the point is that you know it because you’re, you know, I think Van Ronk was like, like a communist. He there’s a wobbly, International Workers of the World, whatever. And if you’ve never had a hit record, you know, he wouldn’t know what to do. He would be like, it’s like Phil Ochs. Phil was a friend and friend Phil, when he died, he committed suicide. And I My theory is that Phil was so involved in the anti war movement. You know, the whole Vietnam anti war movement, that once the war ended, Phil had nothing to live for anymore. And he was bipolar. Anyway. So very sad story.
There was so many young musicians and college dropouts around Greenwich Village at this time, who were as obsessed with American roots music is Steve. People like Maria Mauldaur. John Sebastian, were at the helm.
Well, Maria and John were first in the even doesn’t jug band. We had a party with the question jug band, and Maria met Jeff Mulder. And she threw up all over him at the party that we had. And Jeff asked her to marry him, which I thought was like that. That’s when I realized, well, people are really strange, or they do strange things to kids in my generation, which is the generation right after Dylan and Phil and half of us were blues people and half of us were like bluegrass and old timey people. We were kids and we wanted to play music together. So jug band music was the common denominator,
Right, jug band music became huge at the time. But you played the washboard?
I was the washboard player. Because there were so many guitar players in the band. I said, Hey, if I’m gonna be in this band, I better learn how to play something else so I played washboard wasn’t that bad?
That’s definitely enough of their who really don’t like jump in music. Thank goodness Steve Katz moved on from it quite quickly. Hang in there to see where he goes next.
Thanks for being here. The Blues project and Blood, Sweat and Tears. Steve Katz has three Grammys quadruple platinum albums and three gold singles. He sold close to 29 million records. And he’s still making albums today. Did you actually have to take lessons to learn how to play a washboard?
No, no, no, when I was a kid I used to play bongos and you know and so when I play washboard I put it on my lap instead of on my chest and so I put symbols on are finger picks and it’s like playing bongos except your hands move horizontally also. So do you lament the loss of washboards today?
Oh god yeah are you kidding sure
You know I mean I’m gonna fix it you know for the odd Cajun band you know, but either the sound of a washboard I just recorded it in the new blues project album that we just did. And there’s I said to the guys I’m gonna put a washboard on there and of course they left their sides off but it sort of works.
The album is new. And you know, I thought it was gonna be Oh god, I gotta do this. But you know. And because it was just Roy, the original drummer and myself. And we have three fantastic musicians playing on it. And we didn’t now we’ll know. I figured, oh, God, but you know what? It came out great. I think it’s maybe the best album I’ve ever done. And that includes all the BS and T stuff.
That’s a very big call. The Blues project in its day recorded three albums. And in its first incarnation, you did a song called Steve song, which was the first original song that you’d ever recorded. Tell us a little bit about Steve song.
Want to hear that story? Yeah, yeah,
I want to hear all your stories. Well, the record company that we were with was really awful. It was a forecast, which is part of MGM. And these were the early days of the music business or semi early days. And we recorded our album, they had the artwork and everything and we went on the road. We had a tour. Nowadays, there are no cell phones or anything, right. And we had a manager who was like a moron. And he was fielding all of our calls and stuff like that. So they called him and they said, Jeff, we have the tapes. This is the projections album. We have the tapes. We have the artwork that we’re missing the name of the second song on the first side. So Jeff goes second song for her side seconds. Oh, that’s Steve song. Thanks Jeff. hangs up the phone we get off the road and I look at the mock up of the album cover and I said what the hell is Steve song was was called My originally called September 5 That was the title so they changed the title on me. Now the problem is so when I go out and I do solo shows I play with the blues project, but I always tell the story to people in the audience because I want them to know that I would never name a song after myself. That’s the story of Steve song so I can live with this you know I tell people hey, you have pets they die you get another pet this is I mean there’s this is still getting AirPlay for Christ’s sake and they’re calling his theme song
Hey he’s still embarrassed about that. It’s very embarrassing
What were you writing about in that song anyway? Obviously not about yourself.
No, that was the first song that I ever written. And that’s when you know, all of us that were doing the folk rock thing. We’re playing with tunings and stuff like that. And I wrote that and G tuning. You know, those are the days with like Joni was doing different tunings that were just amazing. And what she did with them was amazing. So we were all experimenting and and that was my first experiment. The song itself was about a girl that left me. Most of my songs were about girls that left me because after the first one, I started making royalties. And I’m saying wait a second. I think I’m onto something here. So a girl would walk out on me and I would like smoke a joint and have a shot of Jack Daniels and write a song. This happened for years. How many girls left you hundreds? No, no. Not that many. I guess the word it’s not exaggerating. The word is embellishing here now.
but you must have had a hand in encouraging them to go I’m sure they didn’t want to go willingly. You needed new material.
I practically threw them out because I If you’ve got a smile here Yeah, can you can you leave
Steve says if we want to know more, we’ll have to read his book. It’s called Blood sweat and my rock and roll years. And in it he tells about having affairs with famous female focusing is making love to Jim Morrison’s girlfriend when Jim was drunk and abusive, partying with Elizabeth Taylor and Groucho Marx dining with Rudolph new rave, and being told to get a haircut by both Mickey Spillane and Danny Thomas. It’s the unlikely story of a nerdy rock star, the nice Jewish boy who got to sit at the cool kids table and school, the hot chicks. Okay, so let’s get back to the timeline. After the Monterey Pop Festival, the blues project, Steve started to turn away.
Well, I was moving in a different direction anyway. And Danny was very strict about where he wanted the blues project to go. Al had left before just before Monterey, and I was starting to work with Bobby Columbia and writing different songs and stuff like that. So I was sort of like on my way out at that point, anyway, played Woodstock also, but Monterey was just incredible. Woodstock was horrible.
Hang on a minute. Why? Because of the rain. The rain?
Yeah. When you’re, you know, you’re standing in front of a microphone. If you touch it, you could die. Like, it’s like you don’t want to sing like an unrequited love song when you’re about to die, you know. Anyway, Monterrey was great because I got to shake hands with Otis Redding. And I had dinner with Jimi Hendrix backstage. I am so jealous. It was just a hotdog stand but still, I shared a bag of potato chips with Jimmy and maybe some ketchup as well. No, no ketchup, just a bag of potato chips.
crinkle cut or flat traditional? Yeah. So Monterey Pop Festival finishes, you’re on the way out from the blues project. What happens next to your Steve Katz?
Well, I got a call a couple of months later after Monterrey I got a call from Kooper from Al. And he said he wanted to go to England and start his career over again, is that I guess, like we Kendricks did, and he said, I want to do a benefit at the cafe or go go on Bleecker Street. And would you and your friend Bobby, back me up. And I said Sure. That’d be fun. We did the benefit. And nobody showed up. But Al made enough money to get a taxi to the airport and back. So I said well, you might as well stay here and start a band. And that’s the next step when we started a band and the band you started was was blood sweat and tears.
so you formed blood, sweat and tears without. And blood sweat and tears was very different sound wasn’t it? It was very different from the blues project. Because we ended the horn section, which is something that Danny didn’t want in the blues project. If he was a little bit more malleable, acceptable to Him, we probably would have done it but it wasn’t. And so Al had to leave. And he wanted to start a band with horns and I agreed with him. We were both listening to the Buckingham time and chargers album, which had the horns from the Chicago Symphony on it not doing stock r&b parts, but almost symphonic kind of parts and it was produced by Jimmy Garcia who produced our second album. So we wanted to do something like that. That’s why did you want to add them so badly? Well, I can only refer you to our first rehearsal when we were doing like Morning Glory, the Tim Buckley song that I did. And when the horns came in, I almost had an orgasm. It was like, wow, you know, you’re surrounded by the sound that’s so big and it just lifts you up. And it’s an incredible feeling. Just an incredible feeling to not only just to play with musicians that you’re fond of that you really have a good time work. With and listening to me, but when you hear a horn section come in behind you. It’s like whoa I almost couldn’t stop the beautiful feeling and I think that went through that that whole first album a period we only took two weeks to do that first loves to win the den evac?
You mentioned Tim Buckley if I can just digress for a second. He was a good friend of yours, wasn’t it? Yes. What an incredible musician he was.
He was great. Yeah. So the saddest thing that he died as young as he did, yeah, Timmy was a great person. He improvised. And that’s what he loved to do, which is your favourite Tim Buckley song, while the Morning Glory, the one that I sang.
Moving on again, Steve Katz, it wasn’t long before you ended up leaving blood, sweat and tears. And before we get to leaving, why did you call it blood, sweat and tears to start with?
I was in bed with a girl and I forgot to take the phone off the hook. And the phone rang and I picked it up. Stupidly, you know? And the girl said, How about blood sweat and tears? Were looking for names. I said fine. And I hung up the phone. So of course, you know equal Columbia Records and it was a done deal. And did that go leave you to it? Oh, yeah, they will let me so for my wife, and we’ve been together 36 Fabulous years.
But what’s the secret to marital success listening to everything that she says and
doing it? I think it was probably I like it
1968 Al Kooper left blood, sweat and tears less than a year after forming the band to concentrate on producing. He’d already arranged some of the songs for the group second album, and the future was primed for singer David Clayton Thomas to take over.
We held auditions. And it was actually between David and an old friend of mine when they Dick Wagner and Dick Wagner was a great guy who was a good singer. David was a great singer, but sort of like had well, I won’t go into it. But anyway, but we wanted the great singer we wanted to hit records and Dick and I wound up working later on and with Lou Reed and rock and Rolando. I know but if we could just sit with blood, sweat and tears for a bit so you’ve added the horn section you’ve got David Clayton Thomas in as lead singer, and the album sells 6 million copies and brings in three number one singles, which was totally unheard of for the year 1969 It’s sold more albums than the sound of music was the one that sold more albums than then we broke that record. But it was it was 6 million just in the United States. 20 something million around the world.
Wow. Were you feeling with that success?
Well, when I started playing rock and roll and I decided not to be a doctor or a lawyer that my parents wanted me to be actually they wanted me to be both. They stopped talking to me and until we until you made me so very happy was became a hit song. And then I got a call from my mother and she said Steven, we knew it all alone. So that was that was what I’d felt like you serious about that. They stopped talking to you because you didn’t follow the path that they wanted you to follow embellishing a little bit, but they were pretty pasty. They were pretty cool. They still they still offered to bring me pot roast and do my linens.
blood sweat and tears were on a roll. Stay tuned because there’s always a twist of fate when things seem to be going so well. This is a breath of fresh air with Sandy Kay.
three hit singles in 1969 was totally unheard of blood, sweat and tears was riding the crest of a wave. And Steve Katz was having the time of his life.
It was pretty amazing. I was lucky in that I was part of a an eight or nine piece band. So I didn’t have a star thing going. And you know, I had my house in the country and stuff like that. So it was sort of anonymous, which, which I liked. So you’re telling me it didn’t change your life very much having those hit singles.
It changed my life in that I lost a lot of friends. The Blues project, the first blood, sweat and tears now I had like a bunch of hippie friends or underground, what do you call a counterculture? You know, it’s very political at the time. And I lost most of those friends because they figured we sold out, sold out, we went into the studio and made some records and they were hit. So I became a little bit bitter over that
What an extraordinary thing to happen just because you’d gone mainstream!
Well, there’s gonna be a movie coming out called What the hell happened to blood, sweat and tears. And watch for it because it was the same director. And he did the Harry Nielsen biography, and also the chasing train the John Coltrane biography. And he interviewed all of us, and it’s about our Eastern European tour, the Justice Department came to us and they said, We’re gonna take away David Clayton Thomas’s green card, because he has like a he had like a small felony conviction. He was a teenager or something in Toronto. So they said, but you know, maybe we won’t if you guys do us a favour. And the favour was to do a State Department tour of Eastern Europe. So it was extortion, basically, because this is the Nixon administration, which I hated. But they wanted us to represent American youth. If anything, we did not represent American youth. You know, in Loveless, all American youth were smoking pot and how she show all the time, you know, but we had to do this, it was extortion. And we couldn’t talk about it I talked about in my book, I think was the first time like five years ago that we talked about it, because it was a big secrets. John Scheinfeld took this story up and decided to make a movie about us and how the government blackmailed us basically. So he went to the FBI, he went to the State Department, he went to the Nixon White House. So what was left, you know, of the archives. He put together a film. It’s like a thriller.
So I mean, when you were doing that tour, you must have been a huge hit.
Yeah, absolutely. It was like the best audiences like these kids were starved. We did two concerts in Bucharest. After the first concert, the government said, Oh, you have to dress more conservatively. Now. We were the worst dressers in the world. So we didn’t have any extra closing or anything. And we have to play more jazz and let’s rock and roll. So we just did the opposite. We got kicked out of the country. We’re supposed to do a benefit for Transylvania flood victims. They kicked us out and they try to take our film and stuff like that. It was in the experience was working for the State Department. Horrible but the experience of going there and playing for those people fabulous.
Steve Katz so you continued with blood, sweat and tears for six years, you won three Grammys, you were voted Best Band by the Playboy jazz and pop poll. And you won three major downbeat awards. But you decided to leave the band at the height of their success. Why did you leave?
Because it was getting too much jazz oriented. And I’m not a jazz player, I can hardly read. And we were having rehearsals were Herbie Hancock would come up. And we were doing songs like Bill Evans, and Bill would be in the studio. And it’s like, what am I doing here? I just wanted to get back to rock and roll. And I had the opportunity when Lou Reed asked me to win blue, and I got friendly. So Lou had just come come off of a very depressing album called Berlin. And it was very depressing, but it was very beautiful. I suggested to Lou that in the in the cellophane that RCA wrapped it and they should have put like single edge razor blades, because it was so depressing. So Lou said, What should I do after this? I said, Well, I think you ought to like put together a great band and do some of the underground stuff. So that’s what we did. And that was my ticket out of blood, sweat and tears and back into rock and roll. When I do my solo show. Halfway through it. I say I know. You’re doing all these folk songs. And what do people want me to do? You want me to do spinning wheel right? But I hate the song. So I’m going to play you my guitar part, the spinning wheel, which I do I play my guitar part, which is like four beats. And it’s very funny. You know, people would come up to me and they’d say, you guys smoked a lot of pot then didn’t you? And I said yeah, if you had to play that for six years, you’d be smoking a lot of pot also, which is basically what it boiled down to you know, I just didn’t want to play spinning wheel anymore.
Did you really dislike the song? Yes. Why? It was a stupid song that you painted pony and like the spinning wheel. Give me a break.
This one had nothing to do with women leaving here at all right?
No. I mean, I would rather work you know. I mean, Lou asked me to work with him. And God knows His songs were incredible. So we work together for three years, three albums,
What was he like to work with?
Impossible. But you know, we got along. I mean, I’ve seen Luke just torture people. But I never had that with him. He always had respect for most of the musicians that he worked with. And of course, when he was doing a lot of speed a lot of drugs, I would have to take my phone and put it off the hook because he would call me all the time and it was really sort of like very odd fun to talk to him on the phone. You know you’re talking to a meth person. But he was very intelligent, incredibly funny. And there were things about Blue that I really loved actually and then there were things that I really didn’t like most people would say he was impossible.
Sally can’t dance studio album that we did didn’t want any part of it. You know, I would ask him to do vocals. He’d be in the bathroom shooting up, you know? And then he would come out at four o’clock in the morning when we’re all like so tired and Electric Lady. And he would say Okay, I’ll do my vocals now. Like, what are you kidding? We’re going to sleep. So I’ll just put the tape I’ll just run it through the 12 songs and I’ll keep singing. He was just very hard to deal with.
And yet you’ve persisted. I can imagine you’d be pulling your hair out trying to deal with somebody like that. But you must have really believed in his creative side to persevere with.
Well, if you look at my head, you can see that it was successful. But I did finally pull my hair out. This is the Lou Reed. I was doing other things. Also, you know, and it was fun, you know, to get involved hanging out with Andy Warhol and stuff like that through Lou so that it was some fun times.
I bet they will. And of course you talk about that in your book, too, don’t you? Yes. So when you finally finished up with Lou Reed, where do you go next?
I did independent production, produce some people like Elliot Murphy. And then it was time for divorce. My first wife, I needed to work I needed a job. And so I became the vice president of Mercury Records for a few years. Oh, I left out a whole band. I was in a band called American Flyer after Lou. I was with American Flyer. And that was fun. I mean, we only did two albums. We never went on the road. But George Martin produced the first album so I got to work with George for a month or so.
That was really fabulous. George was everything that you think about George handsome and nice and talented. That’s the way George Martin was.
Well, so working with him must have been a lot different to working with Lou Reed?
Oh, God, you know, I wouldn’t run around the studio in Malibu like little puppy running. If George had to do this with the Beatles. I didn’t do that wasn’t Beatles. And George is a cat.
did you learn a lot from him?
I learned a lot. Yeah.
And after that, that’s when you went to Mercury Records. You went off to Ireland for a time.
I wound up producing a signed a deal with Dick James music. And I brought in horse lips and Johnny Guitar Watson. And I went over to Ireland to meet with the guys in horse lips. And we had a great time to get as they asked my boss that if I could produce them. And we ended up doing three albums with horse lifts, which were some of my best memories working with those guys was around that time then you also passed up on YouTube. Yeah. Sorry for that one.
Their mentors were horse lips, and they were kids. And we would be recording and they would come by their manager was Paul McGinnis. And Paul would give me tapes of them all the time and they were pretty awful. But they would come out and hang out when the studio just to see us recording. And then Paul said, Well, can you come to mechanicals? They’re doing a gig and I’m gonna have was Muff Winwood Steve Wynn was brother come from Warner’s in England. And I want you guys to be a an Armin and decide whether you want to sign these guys. And I went to see him and I said, Paul, I’m sorry. And I have to pass. So I Yes, I passed on U 2.
Is that something you still regret? No.
I don’t regret anything in my career, in your career or in your whole life? In my whole life. No regrets.
No regrets. That’s what life is about. You know, it happens and it happens. Things do happen for a reason, you know, and I’m still alive. I feel great. I’m married to a wonderful woman.
So you’re back out there today, aren’t you? You’ve just recently released your first solo album called The Juggler. I know that you’re also a professional photographer. And you’ve got a book out.
I know. I’m having fun.
Steve Katz. I’ll let you go. You’ve been so generous with your time and I’m so grateful that you’ve pointed us all to the new album, and to the movie that’s going to come out. You’ve just been a delight. Well, thank you, Sandy. And you too. And let’s let’s talk again and it’s been fun.
The amazing Steve Katz, who founded blood, sweat and tears, and has gone on since to do so many projects, just as a reminder, Steve’s book is called Blood sweat and my rock’n’roll years, and his first solo album is called juggler. I’ll have links to both of these on the website, a breath of fresh air.com.au. And while you’re checking them if you feel like requesting a future guest, please do. Thanks for your company today. I’ve really enjoyed being here with you and I hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about Steve Katz. Take care of yourself, until we meet again. I’ll see you next week. Same time. Bye now.