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interview Georg Bayer...
by Yves Philippot

RTJ : Hi Fogman. As you can see, we are a Southern Rock music, but also Classic and Blues Rock music,

RTJ: The last (and only for the moment) time you answered a RTJ interview, in 2004, it could be the last one because you wanted to stop singing with Lizard. You gave a special concert that should have been the last one, but here you are again, as Lizard’s singer, and we are very happy to ask your some questions. But first our readers want to know what happened in your life since the 8th of october 2004, and then how, from “Aushilfe” (“Outside help”, NDR) last year, you finally announced your real come back in the band. Can you tell about this two points?

Georg Bayer: First I want to thank our fans from France and the people from RTJ that you keep our music alive.
You should know that I'm not a professional singer-that means I don't make my living with music. I'm working as a producer for german television and as you certainly can imagine this is a fulltime job. I had to take my hollidays to go on tour and that wasn't good for my family especially for my children. For Lizard I was not only the singer and songwriter but as well manager and booking agent.We were touring every year in Europe and we released an album every second year. Thats a lot of work. That was at that time too much for me to handle. So I had to give up the band to find the time for my family. On the other hand I spent sometime to recover from a wrong medical treatment that handicapped me for a long time. When the band asked me to rejoin we decided to change management, that means Volker does the buissiness and I'm just the singer.
That makes it a lot easier for me.

RTJ: The strange thing now is that we hear about Lizard because we can buy the CD or the DVD of your retirement’s concert! Is it right to suppose that soon the band and you will have other musical projects?

Georg Bayer :We have already started writing new songs and are planning to go to studio this year.
Also Bruce wants to make a projekt together with us after the success of our tour in June.
There will be another tour like this next year and maybe we make an album together.

RTJ: You told us how difficult it was for you to plan a tour in France. Now that you’re back in Lizard,
will we have the pleasure to see the band on stage in our country, and is that problem important for you?

Georg Bayer : We still don't have a serious offer, maybe some of the people from RTJ can help or some of the readers.(Sure, we’ll do it if we can!) I would very much like to play in France and Bruce as well.
Maybe we can make something together.

RTJ: In France, where you never played, you are not yet really well-known. It’s a pity but it’s a fact.
We know here, since your interview in 2004, that you like the ABB very much, and that you discovered the southern rock listening to a famous ABB’s instrumental. Isn’t it strange for a man that became later a singer?

Georg Bayer : I was a singer before that. My first band I had in 1969 at the age of 15, we were playing songs from a German band called Ton Steine Scherben. Later we had a band that played Blood Sweat and Tears and Chicago. Can you imagine we were 12 people on the stage sometimes.

RTJ: In the ABB, we never found an exclusive lead singer, and now Greg and Warren have to play their keyboards and guitar parts, even when they have the lead vocals. Why did you choose not to follow this way, or do you regret not to have done it? Do you play an instrument? What is your relation with the intruments?

Georg Bayer : I don't think that Gregg has to play the organ-for example in his own band there's one of the best keyboard players alive: Bruce Katz, so they really don't need Gregg on the organ, but he likes to do it. But I never wanted to play an instrument, I wanted to be frontman and singer.

RTJ: I think that you write the lyrics for Lizard. You have to write them in english.
How do you do, and how do you feel that, this time you will talk about that or that?

Georg Bayer : I don't think too much about that. I always hope that everybody understands what I'm trying to say. When I get a song from Christoph or Volker i will listen to it for a long time to find out which feelings I get when I listen to that melody, then I try to sing with it, no matter what words come to my mind. Then when we go to record the song I listen again to the band when they play the basics and during that time I write the words to the song-I have already a story in my mind at that time. Sometimes I ask Bruce whether he understands it.

RTJ: Bruce Brookshire is a great friend of yours. Doc Holiday recently recorded a CD only with covers from bands
that influenced its members. I think that you listened carefully to this CD. How do you find those covers
and the idea of such a CD?

Georg Bayer : In the last years many bands have done projekts like this and sometimes it's really good.
To make it like Doc Holliday to show their roots makes sence to me. Some of the songs are my favorite songs as well, for example "Fire on the mountain" or "Bad Company".

RTJ: If you had to record that kind of CD, what could be your song choices?Some songs from Gordon Lightfoot,
"Heart of my soul" from Molly Hatchet, "Wild Horses" from the Rolling Stones, Gregg Allmans "Ocean awash the gunwale", Free's "Mr. Big" and "Tuesdays gone" from Skynyrd.

RTJ: The southern rock scene moved during the three last year. What is your opinion about this evolution and the new bands on the top today, like for example the Derek Trucks Band or Ghost Riders? Do you like particulary one or two bands, now that Savoy Truffle doesn’t seem to exist anymore?

Georg Bayer : I'd say that I love very much Wind as a band and the musicians. They are a fantastic band and nice people as well. Derek Trucks is a fantastic musician, he and Warren Haynes are the best guitar players today, without a doubt. But I miss Dickey Betts' style in todays music. I have not seen the Ghost Riders so I can't say anything about them, but I will meet Liquid Groove Mojo this year and I'm excited how they are. I heard that Savoy Truffle is now the band from Chris Duarte and I would like to see that show. He's top Texas Rocker and they are fantastic musicians must be excellent.

RTJ: “Older” southern rock bands had to organize their come back and have changed their line-ups. We saw recently the “new” Point Blank, the “new” Outlaws, the “new” ARS, a three guitars-Blackfoot without Rickey Medlocke and Jason Spires, and the return of Dave Hlubeck in Molly Hatchet. Did you listen to them? What is your opinion about those
“new-old” bands?

Georg Bayer : Some of them are very good and I think it's very important that they play again. Especially the return of Blackfoot is amazing, I really missed that band in the last years.They do a great job. The Outlaws need a good album to make a real Comeback. Hughie is a great singer and guitarist and he's able to write excellent songs so he should
do that-then they can be one of the top bands of southern rock again.

RTJ: The french part of the southern rock is also growing. The german media for southern rock seem to appreciate very much the recent General Store Band’s CD. You told us that you like Calibre 12, and it’s a great pleasure for us because John Molet plays a great part in RTJ, but do you know more recent bands like General Store Band, Texaroma or Plug’n Play? Did you have time enough to know better than three years ago french bands like Natchez or Truckers?

Georg Bayer : I have already the CD from General Store Band and I like it very much. I think your scene is very interesting and I would like to see some of your bands live-maybe here or together with us in France. Lets do it!

RTJ: Do you sometimes have time to surf on the web and read the english (or the french) part of RTJ?

Georg Bayer :RTJ is for southern rock a very importand medium and i read it every now and then.
Your magazin is very good and one can feel how much love and understanding you have for hand made music.

RTJ: Did you know that the Southern Rock Lizard is a real species of lizard, endemic to South Africa?

Georg Bayer : I've read everything about it in the internet, because when you search for the band you'll find the animal.

RTJ: In 2004, we asked you about your five favorite recordings to bring with you in a desert island.
But today, what would be your five favorite rock singers?

Georg Bayer :
Bob Seger
Bruce Brookshire
Gregg Allman
Chris Thompson
Danny Joe Brown

RTJ: Thanks, Georg, for your kindness, for your support and for your answers distinguished content.

Yves Philippot