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lunes, 3 de agosto de 2009

THE CATHERINE PORTER INTERVIEW






1) Do you consider as a QUEEN fan? Since when do you like QUEEN? And, from 1 to 10, in which grade would you consider as a QUEEN fan?

I have been a Queen fan for a long time, longer than I can remember! I think what first attracted me besides their incredible musicianship and Freddie's wildly wonderful voice and stage antics, were the fantastic, complicated and extremely memorable harmonies. I am a sucker for a good harmony.

2) Which do you consider as your all-time favourite QUEEN song and album?

Oh my, there are just too many! Honestly, I can't really choose!

3) Did you have the chance to see QUEEN in concert? If so, When? Where? And how many times?

I never did get to see them live, though I did see them on tv.

4) When, in which circumstances, and what effect had on you, the first time you heard the song “Bohemian Rhapsody”?

Bo Rap, i mean, who doesn't fall in love with that song the first time you hear it? I think each time I heard of it, I picked a different harmony to sing along with. And then you have Brian's iconic solo and then that crazy Scaramouche/Galileo bit, finished off with the Wayne's World head banging section! I mean, it's CRRRAZY, but amazing! And I love that when I toured with Brian, we did part of Bo Rap every night! What a thrill!

5) In which circumstances did you know about Freddie Mercury’s death on November 24th, 1991 and how did you take those sad news?


Like everyone, I was so very sad to hear of his passing. Gone too soon. It's always devastating seeing someone's star go out before their time. And for someone so iconic and talented, it was a very sad day. But much like Michael Jackson, what a legacy Freddie has left behind! Such amazing songs, incredible presence and irreplaceable flair!

6) How did you meet Brian for the very first time? What was your impression about Brian after meeting him in person? And how did you arrive to THE BRIAN MAY BAND as a backing singer?

Well, this is probably one of the wildest things that has ever happened to me and I am so glad it did happen! The year before I joined the BMB, I was touring with a show called THE MUSIC OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER with Michael Crawford. It was a very classy concert, full orchestra on stage. We were all dressed to the nines in gowns and party frocks and I got to sing ALL I ASK OF YOU from Phantom of the Opera with Michael Crawford, plus some of the songs from JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. I met a girl, Riva Rice, on opening night at the Royal Albert Hall in London who was starring in Starlight Express. I never thought of her again until 8 months later she called to see if I wanted to come over from the States to audition for Brian's band. How she thought I would be perfect for that job after seeing me in the Webber thing was beyond me, but I sure was glad she called! She had just met Brian when he took his kids to see Starlight Express and expressed an interest in having her audition to be a backing vocalist in his band. It was an offer I couldn't refuse. I flew over, we worked on the audition songs, went in and met this tall and SWEETER THAN SWET man, sang a few songs for him and that was it. Later that night, they called to say Riva and I had gotten the job and we were going to go on the road opening for GUNS-N-ROSES! We were BEYOND THRILLED! The only problem was, Riva still had a few months left on her Starlight contract, so she wasn't able to do the job. They replaced her with Shelley Preston.

7) Among all the performances you did with THE BRIAN MAY BAND in 1993, which or which ones do you consider your fave ones or which did you enjoy most?

I LOVED doing all of the shows, both opening for Guns-n-Roses as well as the solo gigs we did. They were ALL fabulous, but if I had to choose a stand out experience, I would say my favorite was the Tonight Show with the BMB. We had a blast being on it. Jay Leno was hilarious and such a doll. I won't forget him coming up to me and saying, "Hey Cath" like we had been old friends. And having Slash play with us was always a treat. And don't you just love youtube that you can watch all of these today?





8) Which QUEEN song did you really enjoy most and loved to sing in every concert in those days? Was there any QUEEN song you would have liked to sing as a backing singer in those days, but was not in the set list?


Well, though my neck probably suffered from it, I loved singing and dancing/hair tossing to TIE YOUR MOTHER DOWN. When Brian kicked in with that guitar riff, the whole place would just erupt! From a backing singer's point of view (as well as being a fan), I loved singing WE WILL ROCK YOU every night too. I used to want to pinch myself to see if it was really happening! And though it was a Brian May song and not a Queen song, I loved doing LOVE TOKEN and getting to be sassy out there with Brian. Not sure the fans dug me shouting at Brian during that, but I hope they knew I was just acting!

9) Tell us about the one and only Cozy Powell. How was he in person?

Cozy was a diamond, a real sweetie. He loved his job. Best in the world. And he had a great sense of humor. I remember one night we were in the hotel bar after a gig, playing the "band name game" where you go through the alphabet, thinking of bands, starting with the letter A. If you can think of a band no one has mentioned, you stay in, if you can't think of one, you are out. Cozy finally excused himself from the table at the letter R, unable to think of another band name. 10 minutes later, we were still on R going around and around the table and a waiter came over to our table with a message from Cozy. "The gentleman called and wanted me to say the word "RAINBOW" to you." Well, we all just BURST out laughing!

10) How was your relationship with the other backsinger Shelley Preston? After that tour, did you keep in touch with her? Have you ever seen her in the last years?

As I said earlier, Riva Rice and I were meant to go out on tour together, but because of her Starlight Express contract, they had to replace her. Generally bands like to use girls who are friends before so as to avoid any complications out on the road, but they took a chance that Shelley and I would work well together. In all honesty, though we remained very professional on stage, to me it was the biggest disappointment of that tour that we didn't really get along as well as I had hoped we would. We did a few recording sessions after the tour for Brian, but really didn't keep in touch. I certainly wish her well, though and think she's not only beautiful, but very talented.

11) Do you have any funny story about the band from those days? Who was your kind of “soul mate” within the band?

I have to say, since I did not get the connection I had hoped for with Shelley, Spike Edney became my tour hero. His sense of humor and lightness about it all really helped me to gain much needed perspective. Spike enjoys his life, loves his job and his music and it was infectious. We had a great time.

12) Have you seen the musical “WE WILL ROCK YOU”? If so, what do you think about it? Were you ever called to participate in that musical?

I had the pleasure of going to the opening night of WE WILL ROCK YOU in London. It was fantastic! What a fun show! I did actually audition for it and was cast as an understudy to the original KILLER QUEEN, but did not think that was something I wanted to pursue at that time. I was just embarking on my solo career and I released my first solo album, SOMETHING GOOD," shortly thereafter. I did, however, love seeing it and am so proud of them for carrying the torch on and on to different cities around the world. A few years later, I had the pleasure of working with Ben Elton on the Rod Stewart show, "Tonight's the Night."


13) How did you meet Roger Taylor for the very first time?

Roger came to one of Brian's gigs, so I met him briefly. After the tour, an opportunity came up to do some backing vocals for him on "Old Friends" and I went down to his studio in Surrey. Instead of giving me a session fee for that recording, Roger did an exchange of a few days of recording of my own songs in his studio! Amazing! I actually finished the vocals to those recordings at Brian's studio, so they were both wonderfully generous to me.

14) Did you have the chance to meet Freddie Mercury or John Deacon? If so, please, tell us about those meetings.


I never met Freddie. I felt like his spirit travelled with us quite a bit, but never got to meet the man in person. I did meet John Deacon once or twice. As you know, he doesn't exactly make that many appearances, so it was fun when he showed up at a 4th of July party we had at Spike's house! It was a "Come as an American" party. Brian and Anita were there too- all dressed up!

15) Tell us about how were the recording of the tracks “Old Friends” for Roger in 1994 and “Let Me Live” for QUEEN in 1995.

The "Old Friends" session was a little intimidating at first. Roger basically said to me, "See what you can come up with" without me having spent that much time with the tracks. It took me a while to loosen up, in fact, we went out to get something to eat and came back to re-attacked it. I managed to eventually come up with some good stuff. I think he was pleased. Well, I hope he was, because he used it on the album!

"Let me Live" was another great experience. That session actually took a few days down at Roger's studio, but we all had a ball. It was quite amazing to hear Freddie's voice in the cans as we sang and great to watch Brian and Roger at work on the harmonies. And as a bonus, the catering was fantastic!

16) You have worked with Paul Rodgers. How was your meeting with him for the very first time?

I first met Paul when he came to sing with the SAS Band. I was in the original SAS when it was simply SPIKEY'S ALL STARS. I was running from doing a show in the West End to do gigs with them at Shepherds Bush Empire. It was such fun singing backing vocals for all of these great singers- from Tony Hadley, Kiki Dee, Chris Thompson, Stevie Lange and even Brian would make the occasional appearance. Paul was amazing. He opened his mouth to sing and I was in heaven!

17) What is you opinion about “QUEEN + PAUL RODGERS? Did you have the chance to see them in concert?


The only time I got to see them was on their first tour. I went to visit at Sound check at Giant's stadium. My daughter, Ruby was about 6 months old, so I wanted Brian to meet her. Unfortunately, due to her age, I couldn't stick around to see the concert, but I got to catch up with Spike, Jamie and spend a little pre-show time with Brian. I love that they got to tour again, this time with Paul and have the fans get to hear a different interpretation of the songs as well as get to see the fellas rocking out to some new ones!

18) Why did you include the QUEEN song “Somebody To Love” in your album and why did you choose as the main single? Which is your favourite song from your album “GEMS FOR RUBY”? Is there any other QUEEN song you would like to record as a cover in the future?

When the producers Danny Saxon, Mark Jaimes and I decided to do this covers album, there was no question in my mind that we would include a Queen song. After all, this was an album of songs where I could share a bit of my musical loves and history with my daughter, so it was pretty obvious that Queen had to be included. All the songs we chose were HITS and because we were reinventing them, we wanted to treat them very respectfully. Finding a Queen song that worked at a slower tempo was very difficult, but SOMEBODY TO LOVE was always one of my favorites and just happen to work brilliantly in a different tempo. We recorded the song and then sent it to Brian, hoping to get his approval. I never imagined that he'd end up playing on it, but we sure were lucky he did!

STL was the obvious choice for a first single and definitely my favorite on the album. Brian's 'guitartistry' seemed to really personalize the album even more for me. As far as other Queen song choices go, I was lucky in that this was the first one I chose and it worked! I had toyed with doing LOVE OF MY LIFE too, as I so fondly remember Brian singing that on stage with just guitar throughout our tour and the audiences singing along. My favorite song? I should ask, what is YOUR favorite?


19) How is a normal day in Catherine Porter’s life? How is being a Mum?

NORMAL day? No such thing. It varies. My daughter Ruby is 4 now and very active. She keeps me busy. My husband, John Shivers, is a sound designer for Broadway shows and travels quite a lot. Whenever I have a second to myself, I plot my next move. I have started to audition for shows again, this time on Broadway, and so far it is going quite well. I am also working on the next phase of promotion on GEMS FOR RUBY and will be going back to London in the Fall to do some more gigs and promotion. We have yet to decide what the next "single" will be. Any thoughts?




20) Which are your future plans in music? Anything more you would like to add for ROYAL TRILOGY?

I'm thankful to the Queen fans for all of your support. Since we toured back in 1993, I have felt that the fans are some of the sweetest and most generous folks I've ever known. Just wanted to send a big thank you to you all for continuing to cheer me on. Keep checking http://www.catherineporter.com/ for updates coming soon.



Thank you so much for your time and for your kindness in answering all these questions for ROYAL TRILOGY. Really much appreciated! And thanks for your nice and sweet friendship! God bless you Catherine!

MY PLEASURE!

C xo


(Pics taken from the website
www.catherineporter.com , have been showed here by permission from Miss Catherine Porter)




10 comentarios:

  1. Uf! amigo luchito, te lo dije ya lo que me parecio cuando me comentaste todo esto, lamentablemente no manejo completamente el idioma, pero esperare si subes la traduccion...
    pero respecto a tu blog, me parece interesante, claro, esta hecho por una gran persona con experiencia y opinion, eso me encanta
    Un beso enorme desde Temuco...Chile, mi querido amigo... tu sabes lo mucho que te quiero!!
    Abrazo de oso panda para tí!!!

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  2. Hola mi querida Rocío! Muchas gracias por tu comentario en el blog. Ya era hora de tener una opinión de mi gran amiguita chilena.

    Te comento que la entrevista y la nota que hice de Catherine Porter en español, está también en el blog, y es el anterior a este post. Te doy el link:

    http://royaltrilogy.blogspot.com/2009/08/catherine-porter-sweet-talking-voice.html

    Gracias por tus palabras y sigue visitando el blog todas las veces que quieras y comentando en los posts que desees.

    Un beso grande y un abrazote de oso panda.

    TQM

    Tu amigo de siempre.

    LUCHO

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  3. Wow!! Thanks for such a lovely interview - and thanks for the effort of having it in english!!

    Abigail from Malta

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  4. HELLO MY DEAR ABIGAIL! My lovely Maltese friend, thank you so much for writing your comments in the blog. Thanks also for your kind words.

    Yes, this has been a very special post for me, and I posted it in English as a way of saying thanks to Catherine and also because I wanted my QUEEN fan friends who don't speak Spanish, could read this interview.

    I got your lovely message and a little later I am going to reply, dear Abigail

    Keep on visiting the blog and writing in English ay comment you like.

    A Big kiss and a Bear Hug for you.

    Your forever friend.

    LUIS

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  5. Catherine Porter se involucra musicalmente con Brian May en la era post Mercury. Ella es dueña de una linda voz. Me gustó su versión de "Somebody to Love". Ese video se hizo en New York City. Allí se puede apreciar el Central Park, Times Square, la estación "Rockefeller Center" del tren subterráneo, etc.

    Lástima lo de la muerte del baterista Cozy Powell en el 98. Que esto sirva de lección a las personas, que cuando están al volante, se tiene que estar con las dos manos en el timón, además de usar el cinturón de seguridad, y por supuesto, no estar en estado etílico. Tres cosas que fueron causas de la desaparición de Powell.

    Saludos.

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  6. Hola Daniel! Gracias por tu comentario en el post sobre Catherine Porter.

    Antes de este post, está la nota que hice junto con la entrevista, pero en español. Si puedes dejar un comentario allí, sería estupendo.

    Fue una pena lo de Cozy, un músico tan brillante que se fue antes de tiempo.

    Un gran abrazo.

    LUCHO

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  7. Espectacular.!! Yo soy muy reacio a tener cuentas en facebook..o.. hi5.. u otras.. pero si eso por esto.. conocer gente tan allegada a Queen, creo que valdria el riesgo hacer una cuentita. jeje. muy buena entrevista Lucho. Gracias!!

    Saludos
    Karlriv

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  8. Hola Carlitos! Muchas gracias por tu comentario.

    Vale la pena tener tu cuenta en Facebook, al menos en lo personal, son mas los beneficios que he podido obtener.

    Un gran abrazo y sigue visitando el blog.

    LUCHO

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  9. Luis, I loved this interview. It is great that you have sought out some new angles on what is a "well-trodden path".
    I am looking forward to seeing what questions you will have for me.

    Your friend,
    Barry Mitchell

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  10. HELLO BARRY! How are you my friend? Thank you so much for your very kind words and comments. It means a LOT for me.

    It is greatto have you here in the blog, and although the posts are in Spanish, please feel free to take a look at them and to write a comment in English. Yesterday I posted about Freddie for his 63th Birthday.

    A big hug and soon I will be sending my questions. Thaks for accepting to do this note about you.

    Your friend in Peru.

    LUIS

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