Sunday, March 26, 2017

Review of "We Have Company"

This review of Bobby Skafish's Eckhartz Press book "We Have Company: Four Decades of Rock and Roll Encounters" was written by Rick O'Dell for his smoothjazzchicago website. Here's a small sample...

I also liked how the interviews are not in transcript form. Bobby adds an essential personal element--he tells us what’s going through his mind before, during and after each conversation. (If I was still teaching my Radio Programming course at Columbia College, I’d make this book required reading—as an instruction manual on how preparing for an interview involves both researching relevant facts and applying the right emotional tone appropriate to each guest.) And, to his credit, he hasn’t cherry picked his best interviews to be included in the book, either. There are remembrances of conversations that went very well (David Bowie, Robbie Robertson) but also some that just didn’t seem to click (Heart), one that required him to take a extra creative approach to make it work (John Lydon, AKA Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols) and others where he felt he wasn’t quite on his game (Chrissie Hynde & the late James Honeyman-Scott of the Pretenders; Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music). Some interviews proved to be pleasant surprises (Alex Van Halen, Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony of Van Halen). Another produced an unexpected disappointment (Jackson Browne). All in all, though, Bobby--ever the pro--was able to find the right balance point between minding the musician's ego and putting on an entertaining radio show for his listeners.

And if you grew up in Chicago, you’ll appreciate Bobby’s references to places you likely frequented back in the day. Among them: Sounds Good Records up on Broadway and Ashland; Wax Trax Records on Lincoln; International Amphitheatre; Club C.O.D.; Poplar Creek; Quiet Knight; ChicagoFest. It’s all icing on the cake in a book that’s a fun and fast read.

Read the entire review here.