Interview ED KING

Hello Ed, We are really happy you accept to answer to some questions for our website (in French and English) "Road to Jacksonville", and you can see with its name that we are more fans than journalists, but we try to do our best to keep this music alive and well… I have watched Saturday Night Special Band dvd and I really enjoyed it a lot. My first opinion is that the sound is really close to Lynyrd Skynyrd sound, don't you think ? Sometimes we can see some differences between the sound and the image ; did you improve a lot the recording in the studio ?

The sound is exactly as recorded in concert.

I heard that Artimus Pyle really insisted to make you come in the SNSB. What did you make your decision, and why did you decide to join them ?

Their lead singer, Thane Shearon, is so good that I had to say 'yes'. I don't want a full-time job, so we only play once every 5 weeks or so.

For you, what is the main interest of the Saturday Night Special Band : to be a great Lynyrd Skynyrd cover band or to create new songs and to publish a new album ?

All we'll ever do is the old Skynyrd catalog...nothing more.
In the dvd, Artimus Pyle insists a lot about Ronnie Van Zant spirit.

What do you think about it and do you share the same feelings ?

I have a lot of respect for Van Zant's work but me and Artimus don't share the same feelings.

Since you left Lynyrd Skynyrd, many fans like me dreamt of an Ed King solo album. Didn't you think about it too ?

I am totally retired and have no interest in making any new music. I have quite a few tunes that I've recorded at home over the past decade and I might put out a CD of that stuff...and I may not. Haven't decided yet.

I know you must often hear the same questions but I hope you understand too that I have to talk about Lynyrd Skynyrd. I don't want to create a problem, but I only want to inform the fans that very often ask us about you and are sorry you are no more in this great band. For many fans, Skynyrd without you is not the true Skynyrd ! What do you honestly think about that ?

Even if Artimus and myself were in Skynyrd, it STILL would be lacking. It's really difficult to play without Leon Wilkeson.

When I watched this dvd, I had a question : what will think about it Gary, Billy, Johnny and the others ? Do you think they enjoy it ? Do you enjoy Lynyrd Skynyrd music today (Edge of Forever or Vicious Cycle for instance ) ?

I think it's pretty lame pop music gone bad.

We were happy when you were invited to play on "Sweet Home" to record Vicious Cycle dvd. We thought it was a kind of recognition to you. We didn't really know why you refused this proposition. Maybe it is too much painful ?

They tune their guitars a half step down and also have no respect for the old arrangements. And they play too loud. I was glad to stay home.

You know that Hughie left Skynyrd last year for the Outlaws rebirth. What is your feeling about this ?

I think they sound like shit with only two guitars. Hughie was the only 'real' guitar player in that band!

Since Hughie departure, Skynyrd has only two guitarists (Gary and Rickey). Fans hoped you come back in the band, is there really no hope for that ?

Nope. I'm happy to stay home.

Some years ago, we were really enthusiastic when you began to play with the Bonnie Blues Band, but unfortunately it didn't work. Do you sometimes play again with Jeff Carlisi (Deep South Band) ? Jeff Carlisi and Ed King together must create a fabulous music !!

Every once in a while I get together with Carlisi, Liberty DeVitto (Billy Joel's former drummer) and Mark Rivera (Ringo's band leader)...that is a real hoot and I love it. We're doing a Camp Jam in New York at the end of January in 2006. Jeff's a very close friend and I love his lack of tolerance for bullshit!

We often ask a question about the meaning, for you, of the words 'Southern Rock'. Are these 'true' words, or only a marketing operation ? (for instance, Don Barnes thinks it is a real expression, but Henry Paul thinks it is only for marketing and to sell more seventies southern bands records) What is your opinion about that ?

Southern Rock, I guess, is music made by any musicians from the South! I'm from Southern California, so maybe I qualify.

What do you think about the Southern flag that many bands use on stage ?

I call it a 'rebel flag'. It doesn't bother me but I don't use the flag when I play. I have no idea how I a matter of fact, I can't stand to listen to myself. Watching me play, to me, is pure torture. I'm real happy it sounds ok to so many people. In my opinion, I'm a hack. I'm the second luckiest guitar player who ever lived. (Rossington's the luckiest). Many guitar players are impress about the way you play (staccato) and your slide sound (Curtis Loew intro for instance). I have no idea how I a matter of fact, I can't stand to listen to myself. Watching me play, to me, is pure torture. I'm real happy it sounds ok to so many people. In my opinion, I'm a hack. I'm the second luckiest guitar player who ever lived. (Rossington's the luckiest).

Can you explain us how do you play and the guitars and amps you usually use ?

I only play a Stratocaster through either a Fender Deville or a Carr amplifier. I believe that 'tone' resides in the fingers more than in the equipment.

At the end, like every time on Road to Jacksonville, we ask the same question : if you have to end your life on a desert island, which would be the five albums you take with you ?

The same albums that have been in my CD player in my truck for 5 years. The Doors first album, Dixie Chicken by Little Feat, Sleepwalk by Larry Carlton, Bruce Hornsby's first album and FRESH CREAM. I never take them out.

Have you a last think to say to the French Road to Jacksonville website readers

For Skynyrd fans of their old music, there's a lot of info on my website.

Thank you Ed !

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