RTJ : Hi George. First, thank you to accept this first and last (?) interview to our southern rock webzine. It appears that, for the 2004 last gigs, LIZARD will perform with Stefan Kossman, former FLATMAN singer. Can you explain us the main reasons why you do stop LIZARD ? Is it the end of this band, as it is written on your website "die band" ?
George Bayer : No it's not the end of Lizard-it's a new start with the most talented
Southern Rock Singer in Germany, my good friend Stefan Kossmann.
RTJ : LIZARD is now, for many people, the band number 1 in Europe. Do you think
that other German bands can become as great as you are today in the same musical way ?
George Bayer : For me only two bands in Germany are able to reach that status, Flatman and
Nocturn, but i'm afraid that Nocturn's break was too long. But the best band in Europe that plays a southern style, is Wind from Italy. The best European Southern Rock/Blues Band we ever played with. And they are very nice people too.
RTJ : Is it easy for a band such as LIZARD to play in Germany ?
George Bayer : For an original band that plays their own songs, it is never easy when you
are not one of the great bands from the seventies. Most people are listening to cover bands and the old songs from the seventies. But I think that's not a german problem.
RTJ : What is you best show souvenir with LIZARD ?
George Bayer : Together with Jethro Tull at a sold out open air festival on a beautiful
RTJ : You were on TV with LIZARD and Bruce Brookshire in the early 90's. Is it
possible to see you on a video ?
George Bayer : We were more than one time in television and when we release our DVD you
will see some footage of different concerts and clips we did in the past.
RTJ : For what I know, LIZARD has never played on stage in France. Do you know
the reason why ? What do you think about French rock in Germany ?
George Bayer : That's rock business, you never know why people that ask you for some dates
don't confirm them. That happened with three different promoters in France.Why not, i think it's time for the french Southern Rock Bands to play here, for example at the next gator parties.
RTJ : You got the opportunity to let DOC HOLLYDAY play in Germany, and to play
with them. Do you think they soon come back and will you play again with them ?
George Bayer : I'm sure Lizard and Doc Holliday will tour again in the next years. At the
moment there is no plan for a tour in the near future.
RTJ : With DOC HOLLYDAY you played in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, etc. What
does stay in your memory from these tours, and can you tell us a special souvenir from them ?
George Bayer : The best thing i remember was the gig at the Sweden rock Festival when the
Swedish people sang our songs along with us. Great feeling.
RTJ : What are going to become LIZARD musicians ? (some of them will play with
Eddie Stone and John Samuelson at the end of November 2004 on tour in
George Bayer : They stay together as Lizard and some of them will play also in other bands,
like they did it all the time. Christoph and Klaus, as well as Wolfgang our sub drummer will join Bruce or Eddie from time to time.
RTJ : You made a group project with Bruce Brookshire and two former Whitesnake
musicians, Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden. Some years later, can you tell
us how did it happen and how did it work ? Now, would you do this again ?
George Bayer : When the first Lizard broke up, i had to full fill a contract with Long
Island Records, so i decided to make a record together with Bruce, Bud and Cadillac from Doc Holliday. I have met Bernie and Mickey the year before and asked them if they would join us, because in my opinion they were the best guitar duo in Europe. The recording was very hard for me, because they were stars and the managers did a lot of monkey business. But I've learned a lot at that time. It was the only possibility for me to survive as a rock singer and two years later it led to the new Lizard band. I don't want to miss the experience and i want to thank everyone that was involved with Borderline.
RTJ : When you were younger, what kind of music did you listen to ? What were your main influences ?
George Bayer : When i was thirteen i had the opportunity to see Ten Years After and Chicken
Shack and from that day on i was a dedicated Rock fan.With out a doubt the best band of all times are the Allman Brothers !
RTJ :How did you discover southern rock ?
George Bayer : When i heard for the first time Jessica in the radio!
RTJ : Recently, Fred of Home of Rock was hard enough with Lynyrd Skynyrd in an nterview with Rickey Medlocke. What do you think about the cds they have recorded since 1996 ?
George Bayer : Johnny is a good singer, but he is not such a good songwriter like Ronnie
was. I think that's the problem of the band. And it's not easy to replace such an excellent guitarist and songwriter like Ed King. Don't misunderstand me
all of them are great performers but the old band was something you can't copy.
RTJ : Do you enjoy bands such as SAVOY TRUFFLE, TISHAMINGO or CATAWOMPUS that seem to give a fresh movement to southern rock ?
George Bayer : Without a doubt. Especially Savoy Truffle is a very good band.
RTJ : What do you think about southern rock future, as we can see that the ALLMAN
BROTHERS BAND has problems to do an European tour ?
George Bayer : The problem is that they fill stadiums in the USA and so they ask for too
much money. They could easily play the costs are too high. Southern Rock will have a future as long as some bands will play it.
RTJ : What do you think about French southern rock, with bands like CALIBRE 12,
NATCHEZ or TRUCKERS ?
George Bayer : I only have an album from Calibre 12 and i like it very much.
RTJ : Some of our readers knew and enjoyed the German group STREET SURVIVORS,
who created a song whose name was given to our webzine, Road to Jacksonville.
Did you know them and do you know what did they become ?
George Bayer : Yes i knew them and i have the CD. But i don't know what they are doing
RTJ : I recently discovered HEMP BELLS, a band from Berlin. Do you know them ?
George Bayer : Never heard of them but maybe Fred knows something about them.
RTJ : As we always finish our interviews can you tell us, if you had to finish your life on a desert island and you were allowed to take 5 albums (and 1 or 2 paintings if you want), which one would you take with you ?
Lake- First Album
Skynyrd- One more...
Doc Holliday- First Album
Anything from Gordon Lightfood.
No paintings, but pictures from my wife and my children.
RTJ : Thank you to answer to our questions, and we hope to see you soon on stage.