Hello Eddie. Thank you for responding to this interview with Road To Jacksonville, a French webzine devoted to southern rock.

RTJ : Where and when were you born?
Eddie Stone : I was born in Atlanta Ga. on Feb. 21, 1952. I’m an old guy! LOL

RTJ : Do you come from a musical family?

Eddie Stone : Yes, My Father played steel guitar and my Grandmother played guitar.

RTJ : At what age did you start learning keyboards? Did you start on the piano or did you start on the organ straight away? Did your parents encourage you?

Eddie Stone : I started on guitar at 13, at 14 I started teaching myself how to play organ. Over the years I’ve just taught myself piano, although it is not my main instrument.

RTJ : What were your musical influences when you were young?
Eddie Stone : My earliest influences were country and western stars like Hank Williams Sr., Marty Robins, Merle Haggard and George Jones. then came the Beatles and most of the British invasion groups along with the Beach Boys and Motown and the Stax record artists..QUITE A MIXTURE!!!

RTJ : What bands did you play with when you were a teenager?

Eddie Stone : My first group was the Nightriders, the only guy still playing is Zeke Zirngiebel, who went on to play with Warren Zevon, and Tower of Power, along with many TV and movie soundtracks. The second group was the Four Sons, a talented cover band. then in !972, I hooked up with 4 of the members of Stillwater but we were called Hiway. Next was the US Army!

RTJ : When did you decide to make music your profession?
Eddie Stone : In 1968 I decided I would be a professional musician, although the seed was planted when the Beatles were on the Ed Sullivan Show.

RTJ : Did you see the Allman Brothers Band or Lynyrd Skynyrd on stage in the 70s? Have you seen any of these musicians on the streets of Macon?

Eddie Stone : The answer to both of those questions was YES!!!!

RTJ : Apparently, you were very friendly with the future members of Stillwater. Did you play with them at that time?

Eddie Stone : As I answered earlier, yes I was, If I hadn’t been drafted into the army, I’d have been a member of Stillwater as I am now.

RTJ : In an interview, you say you were in the army. Was it voluntary or were you a conscripted soldier? How long did you stay there?

Eddie Stone : I was in the Army for 2 years, I was drafted or as you say conscripted.

RTJ : When and how did you join Doc Holliday? Was it after the army?

Eddie Stone : I actually joined Roundhouse, which became Doc Holliday, just before I got discharged out of the Army, that was 1973.

RTJ : It seems that you are at the origin of the name of the group and that it was chosen by a vote of the listeners of a radio. Is it true ?

Eddie Stone : That is true, I came up with the name Doc Holliday by reading a book about western outlaws. I found out that Doc Holliday was originally from Georgia. We had 2 other name, with I can’t remember, and our local radio station had a contest and Doc won!

RTJ : How did Doc Holliday land a contract with A&M?

Eddie Stone : Our management company, CMC, who also managed Nantucket, set up some record company showcases in New York City and A&M offered the best deal.

RTJ : What memories do you have of recording the band's first album?

Eddie Stone : We were very excited to be recording at BeeJay studio in Orlando Florida with Tom Allom producing. He produced early Black Sabbath, all Judas Priest, and many other big LPs. We spent about 6 weeks recording it.

RTJ : At the time, Doc Holliday was touring with quite a few stars: The Outlaws, Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet, Black Sabbath. What memories do you have of these bands and do you have any anecdotes about them? What was your relationship with them?

Eddie Stone : We got along well with most everyone we toured with. Our first one was The Ghostriders Tour with The Outlaws. The second was with April Wine and Loverboy, great tour. Then was, Point Blank, Pat Travers, Molly Hatchet all great guys and a great tour. Then my favorite, The Mob Rules Tour with Black Sabbath and our friend Ronnie James Dio. Add lots of dates with Gregg Allman, Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Allan Coe and many others.

RTJ : The members of Doc Holliday were good friends with the Nantucket musicians. How was touring with them? Are you still in contact with them?

Eddie Stone : Touring with them was like being on the road with your “Brothers”. They showed us the “ropes” of touring. Yes i’m still friends with all of them.

RTJ : Doc Holliday signed to A&M, did you run into the guys from 38 Special and have any contact with them?

Eddie Stone : Yes I knew Jeff Carlisi very well, I’m still in touch with him.

RTJ : The guys from Doc Holliday were famous for rocking the hell out of it and few bands dared follow you. I hear Billy Jones from the Outlaws was hanging out with you. Is it true ? If so, what kind of man was he? Was "gatorade" effective the day after a fiesta? By the way, what was that, some kind of lemonade?

Eddie Stone : Billy was a dear friend of ours who used to ride on our bus a lot during the Ghostriders Tour. He was a good man!!! I miss him Gatorade is a glucose sports drink, when combined with Alka Seltzer, It is a cure for an alcohol hangover LOL!! It works, I still use it today , although not as often LOL!!!

RTJ : How was the recording of the second album "Doc Holliday rides again"? Apparently the band had to rerecord it.

Eddie Stone : WELL!!!! We went in the studio to record Rides Again with lots of ideas and we recorded it and the record company didn’t like it! they said it was too slick and polished! So….. We went back in and rerecorded it again very live and not so many overdubs and no horns or female background vocalists. In the end it was the right decision.

RTJ : Around this time, Doc Holliday did a few dates with Point Blank. How was it ?

Eddie Stone : The boys in Point Blank were good dudes, they introduced us to Texas and we loved it!!

RTJ : Doc Holliday toured a lot. How many dates a year back then? Was it hard to hold on?

Eddie Stone : Back then we were doing 200 plus dates a year. Not for the weak hearted!!!

RTJ : In 1983, Doc Holliday began a surprising musical shift. Was it the band's personal choice or was it A&M that forced Doc Holliday to change its style?

Eddie Stone : It was record company and management deciding that we needed to move in a different direction. BAD CHOICE!!!

RTJ : According to Bruce Brookshire, producer Mack said early on that he didn't like the Hammond B3. How did you take it? How did you adapt your keyboard sounds to fit the trend of the moment? Wasn't it difficult for you to accept this musical change?

Eddie Stone : I learned a lot recording that album BUT, I didn’t agree with it! I went from a Hammond B3 to a Roland synthesizer. Not my choice!!!!

RTJ : In your opinion, was "Modern medicine" a mistake in strategy? The band must have disappointed their early fans. Did the album sell so poorly?

Eddie Stone : I felt it was too much, too soon!! ZZ Top did it BUT they stayed true to the blues. Yes the album sold poorly.

RTJ : What did you do between 1983 and 1986? Did the band continue to perform on stage? Apparently you and Bruce and John started another band, The Next. What kind of music did you play and make a living out of it?

Eddie Stone : We were not sure what to do the Next, although there were some good songs, were not welcomed with open arms! It was tough to make a living out of it!!

RTJ : What made you all decide to do another Southern rock album ("Danger Zone")? Why did you leave the band after recording the record in 1986? What did you do next? Have you played in other bands?

Eddie Stone : We were contacted by the magazine Kerrang that a new Label called Metal Masters wanted to do an LP with us So that brought us back to our Southern Roots!!

RTJ : In the 2000s, you played with Grinderswitch. How well did you know Dru Lombar? What memories do you have of this experience?

Eddie Stone : I knew Dru from when Grinderswitch used to take us on the road with them before we had out recording contract. Steven Miller, their keyboardist and dear friend of mine had passed away and Dru wanted to do another album so he contacted me. It was wonderful recording and playing with Dru and making The Ghost Train to Georgia LP. I miss all the Grinderswitch brothers so much!!

RTJ : Under what circumstances did you return to Doc Holliday?

Eddie Stone : I came back during the Better Road sessions.

RTJ : Why did the group stop its activity in 2011? What did you do between 2011 and the new Doc Holliday?

Eddie Stone : Bruce was very active in being the Pastor of his church and I believe he was tired of touring.

RTJ : How did the new Doc Holliday come together?

Eddie Stone : I was working on another solo project and Bruce contacted me and told me if I wished to continue Doc Holliday without him, he would approve of it.

RTJ : Why didn't Rob Walker continue with the band?

Eddie Stone : Rob had to have hand surgery. He spent too many hours for many years, practicing and his hand just wore out. He is somewhat better now but not any any shape to tour. I miss him playing in the band! He is one of my favorites of all time. He and Michael Gilbert were phenomenal together!!!!

RTJ : Being now the only original member, you're kind of Doc Holliday's boss. Haven't you been tempted to give more room to the organ on some tracks?

Eddie Stone : Well, I think you may see some of that in this next record, we’ll see!!

RTJ : What gear do you own? What do you think is the best keyboard/amp combination?

Eddie Stone : I own a Hammond B3 with Leslie cabinet, I’m also a Hammond endorser so usually I ply the new Hammond XK5 digital organ with the Leslie 3300. I also use a Korg Grandstage digital piano.

RTJ : Do you prefer to play the organ or the piano? Who are the great keyboard players who influenced you the most?

Eddie Stone : I mostly play organ although when I’m playing with Wet Willie, I mostly play piano. I’ve been playing with them for about 15 plus years now. My influences are Booker T, Felix Cavilerie, Gregg Allman, Bobby Whitlock, Steven Miller, Chuck Level, Jimmy Smith, Jon Lord, and on and on lol.

RTJ : You also play the guitar. Do you master this instrument as well as the organ?

Eddie Stone : I played guitar first, then organ. when I first came back to Doc Holliday I did several tours playing electric guitar only, no keyboards. But we gradually got back to the B3. Although I do most of my writing on guitar.

RTJ : You have released two solo albums. But in the days of Doc Holliday, your name doesn't appear much on the song credits. Why ?

Eddie Stone : Well….. I don’t think I was ready as a writer. I had lots of ideas but few finished songs. I’m much more comfortable writing now. It seems I’m always writing something now! lol!

RTJ : How did the rehearsals and composition of the Doc Holliday tracks go?

Eddie Stone : We would go into rehearsals and Bruce would have a song idea and we would work until it was finished. sometimes 12-14 hours a day. when we finished that one we started another one. If John or I had an idea we might work on it. But mostly we all wrote alone, at home. The tracks were marathon sessions also. Most songs were ready to record when we got to the studio, although some were written or completed in the studio.

RTJ : You still signed three major titles of the group's repertoire ("A good woman's hard to find", "Moonshine runner", "Southern girls"). How did you come up with the idea for "Moonshine runner"? Are you the one singing on "A good woman's hard to find"?

Eddie Stone : Moonshine Runner was written while talking about the old moonshine runners of the southern mountain country. One thing led to another and then it was a tractor trailer running moonshine!! I am the one singing Good Woman, and Don’t Go Talkin’, Southern Girls, and later I sang verses in Heard It In A Love Song and sang Curtis Loew.

RTJ : When I saw Doc Holliday in Paris, on stage you were uncorking beer cans with your teeth. In a photo from a rock magazine from the 90s, we see you holding a guitar with the neck between your teeth. Where does that strength in your jaw come from?

Eddie Stone : I HAVE NO IDEA!!!!!

RTJ : Bruce Brookshire often made a joke about you that you looked like one of the guys from Status Quo. Yes, you look like Rick Parfitt. Do you agree ?

Eddie Stone : I see some resemblance!!

RTJ : Did you manage to make a living from music during these two years of confinement due to the coronavirus? Have you ever had to have a food job?

Eddie Stone : No, it was very hard to make a living during CoViD. We are still feeling the effects today. It’s going to take years for the music industry to recover. I had it early and had a very severe case and almost passed from it. Thank God I’m starting to feel a little better. No, I never had a food job!!!!!!

RTJ : How do you think a Southern musician can survive today? Are there still a lot of places to play live in the US right now?

Eddie Stone : We do not have the network of clubs to play live music like we did in the 70’s. I think southern music will survive thanks to bands like Blackberry Smoke and the Georgia Thunderbolts. We just have to keep on believing.

RTJ : In your opinion, is it easier to make a record today than in the 80s? Do you think the music business has changed a lot?

Eddie Stone : It’s much easier to record today because the equipment is now somewhat affordable. Having said that it’s much harder to make a great album today because there is no record company input, no great engineers or producers at your disposal, and the music business, as we knew it, does not exist today. No real record companies just corporations and lawyers. But that’s another topic for another day!

RTJ : What are your musical projects? A new solo record or a new album from Doc Holliday? Which musicians will you invite to play on it?

Eddie Stone : I’m working on a new Doc record and a new solo album. I will use some or all of the “new” Doc musicians on the Doc project and I’ll use all of my many musical friends on the solo project. I look forward to using my Wet Willie family on this too!

RTJ : How do you see the future of southern rock? Do you think this musical trend is losing momentum?

Eddie Stone : The future of Southern Rock is still good as I mentioned before there is some good new talent with us old folks helping out also. I believe all music styles run in circles. There have been many times that southern rock has been pronounced dead but it always seems to revive itself. I’m a believer of that.

RTJ : Doc Holliday has always been a very talented group with a formidable efficiency on stage. How do you explain that the group did not achieve the same notoriety as Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot or the Outlaws?

Eddie Stone : I think that we maybe came out a little too late. Had our first LP been released a year or 2 earlier, we might have been as successful as the others you mentioned. Those circles I spoke about earlier. Having said that we maintained a good success in Europe and Scandinavia that still lasts today.

RTJ : What are your best and worst memories with Doc Holliday?

Eddie Stone : My best memories are the love of my other bandmates, getting our deal with A&M, all our tours and playing Madison Square Garden in New York City with Black Sabbath and our festivals in Europe and Scandinavia. My worst? Losing our A&M record deal, our bus burning up on the April Wine Tour, losing our brothers Herman Nixon and Rica Duane Skelton and not playing with my original band mates going forward.

RTJ : Do you still see former band members Bruce, John Turner, Daniel Bud Ford, Danny Lastinger? If so, what happens to them?

Eddie Stone : I still talk to John, Bruce, Bud, Danny and lots of our old roadies. Bruce is still pastor of his church, John is in IP, and Danny is semi retired and Bud is writing a book! I’m still chugging along and playing Southern Rock with Doc Holliday, Wet Willie, Stillwater and rumor has it I might play a Rock Legends Cruise playing keyboards with Marshall Tucker. I’ll keep you posted!!

RTJ : Of all the artists and bands you've shared the stage with, which ones left you with fond memories and why?

Eddie Stone : I would say that 99% of everyone I’ve shared the stage with, playing or touring have left me with fond memories that can fill a lifetime!! We are a brotherhood of southern warriors!! Keeping the dream alive!!!

RTJ : What advice would you give to a young organist who wants to get into music?

Eddie Stone : Study the folks who came before you and then develop your own style. I’m seeing that the Hammond Organ is making a big comeback on recordings of all genres.

RTJ : Finally, a traditional Road to Jacksonville question: If you were to end your life on a desert island, what five albums would you take with you?

Eddie Stone :

1. Deep Purple - Made in Japan,

2. Hank Williams Sr - Greatest Hits

3. Allman Brothers Band - 1st album (The Allman Brothers Band - Translator's note)

4. The Beatles - Rubber Soul

5. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Pronounced, Lynyrd Skynyrd

Five is a real hard choice!!!!! Thank you, I’m so sorry it took so long!!!!!!!

Question: Olivier Aubry - Translation  : Y. Philippot-Degand

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