by Willy van Buel
BLUEBEARD is a legendary Pomprockband out of the USA that released one LP titled 'Bad dream' back in 1979. This album is a first-class Pomprockalbum. Recently the band got back together again and even recorded new material. This new album will be reviewed very soon on our site. In the meantime Willy van Buel hooked up with guitarist Vincent Bitetti to chat about BLUEBEARD's past, present and the future.
Before going to the present,
please, can you tell us where and how it all started way back in
the seventies ?
How did BLUEBEARD formed ? [Vincent Bitetti] Long story...but, the band was formed in March of 1972. We all went to high school together but didn't hang out together (except Dan and Barry - they were in bands before). I really wanted Barry in the band and he said ''I don't want to be in a three guitar band". I said, we'll get a piano and he said OK - I bought a $50- upright piano that wouldn't even tune just to get him interested. We have been the best of friends ever since.
ask myself, how does a band finds their musical direction or
style ? I mean, as a band like BLUEBEARD, you were 6 guys with 6 different
characters, how easy or difficult was it to hold this line-up
Bitetti] It was not easy. However, Barry was the talent
(songwriter) and his songs were viable. We added our influences
in the arrangements and execution and a style was born.
Which were the bands or music
that influenced BLUEBEARD ?
[Vincent Bitetti] Barry liked intellectual music such as Jethro
Tull. He also liked Tom Waits - songs with meaning and emotion. I
liked progressive rock (Yes, Kansas, Tull, etc-and earlier Uriah
Heep, Deep Purple). Dan was a Zepplin fan (being a drummer).
Gayle was a blues guy (Muddy Waters, J. Giles, etc - Galyle plays
a mean harp!). Vince Penny liked classical music and progressive
rock bands like Gentle Giant. Bob Campbell was clasicaaly trained
but came from a Top 40 (non original music) band background and
had great versitility (and an incredible temper!!!).
In 1979 BLUEBEARD released 1
album. How was the reaction on this album, and how many copies
were sold ? [Vincent
Bitetti] The reaction from fans was great. The record industry
gave it a cool reception as New Wave was all the rage. Rock radio
though it lacked high quality production values so airplay was
scarce. We sold maybe 20,000 worldwide (the distributor went
under and we were never paid).
As you probably know, it's kinda
rare nowadays and people pay lot of money for a copy. Is there a
chance this entire album gets a rerelease on CD ? [Vincent Bitetti] There is a chance. Yes
(it would be remixed and digitally mastered, but 100% musically
Were there, back then, many bands making your kind off music ? [Vincent Bitetti] A few, but we were the most unique (in my opinion).
Which bands can you remember in
the scene back then?
[Vincent Bitetti] Stormer, Quiet Riot, The Motels, Van Halen,
Eulogy, Yankee Rose, Cheap Day Return
Can you remember the best gigs
or tours you did and with which bands? [Vincent Bitetti] Best gigs were at The
Whisky a Go Go and The Starwood Nightclub with Van Halen and The
Motels. There were others of course...
What is the most nicest thing
you can remember about BLUEBEARD part one ? [Vincent Bitetti] Passion to be the best
and be unique -not a sound alike.
What was the biggest
Bitetti] Getting money from major labels to make demos and then
being rejected. Specifically, not being signed to Chrysalis
Records (it was close).
How did it came to an end ? [Vincent Bitetti] Long story. The scene
changed overnight and we tried to adapt, but had no cash and we
got burned out on the business side of things and the passion
What were the reasons for the
Bitetti] As above.
What happened after the break up
? Did you all went your own ways or did you stay in touch ? [Vincent Bitetti] Stayed in touch. The
drummer and I had a band in 1993 called Human Heart (I have some
Were there still connections in
a musical way ?
[Vincent Bitetti] Yes. The core : me, Dan, Gayle and Barry are
still connected at the hip.
Now, 20 years after the BAD
DREAM release, BLUEBEARD is back ! Please, how did it all started
again and was it easy to bring back the original members together
? [Vincent Bitetti]
Too many long stories...!!! It started with an E-Mail from
England from a guy named Stephen Allen - he was searching the
internet for me... He was the cataylist. The Passion came back -
it was powerful. I decided to remix/redo the old album and some
other old masters. I have a friend that is a Producer (Barry
Fasman - was producer of the year in 1982 in the UK and has many
gold albums to his credit) and he listened and encouraged me not
only to proceed, but to get the guys together to record more
songs. We did this in a weekend and overdubed over a few months.
What happened to Vincent Penny
and Bob Campbell? [Vincent
Bitetti] Vince is still sround, but we decided that we wanted a
diffecent sound - back to the ''too many guitar deal''. Wanted to
showcase my and Barry's guitar talents (me electric and Barry
acoustic). We have NO idea where or how to contact Bob...
What or who turned the scale for
this historic reunion? [Vincent
Bitetti] Getting Barry to agree.
Ok, the last half year, we hear
many great things about many classic rock bands giving it a
second try, but aren't you afraid for the scene nowadays? [Vincent Bitetti] Don't care.
As you know, the US music scene
isn't excactly AOR or POMP friendly nowadays, and also in Europe,
the scene is still underground. What are the hopes for this
Bitetti] No expectations this time. It's a fate thing.
Emotional Balance (great title)
is the new CD containing 12 songs with 3 songs from the Bad Dream
album. Are the others, new songs, or are they old(er) songs ? Can
you please tell us more about those 9 tracks? [Vincent Bitetti] They span ten years
(1982 - 1996).
What I like about the music you
played in the seventies is this 'old' sound with many harmonies,
tempo's, mood-changes, keys all over, heavy guitars, good singing
and most of all good songs. Please, don't misunderstand me, I
like your new cd very much and every time I listen, I like it
more and more but the upfront keys are
gone, and I miss that a bit. On the new tracks, the acoustic guitars are in nearly every song present and the keys are more on the background, is this because Bob Campbell is no more with the band? [Vincent Bitetti] No, it is because we wanted to showcase the talents of Barry Leech and do something different - yet still retain the 70s/80s feel...
On some tracks, I thought, I
hear violins ( even pizzicatto on the first track " You keep
me waiting "). Are these real or are these sounds made by
Bitetti] Samplers - but...the producer is a string arranger so
they are very effective.
I saw, Robert Barry Leech did
all the songwriting. Do the other bandmembers have any input in
[Vincent Bitetti] We do. However, it is minor (we do get royalties) - our real contribution is arrangement, execution and style. Again, Barry is a musical genius and that was not showcased on the Bad Dream album.
When is the new release planned? [Vincent Bitetti] Hopefuly soon. We may want to avoid the Christmas rush - there is a song available on MP3.com, just type Bluebeard under Artist Search.
What will be the near future
plans after the release? [Vincent
I hope, there're plans on a
[Vincent Bitetti] Yes - we are all very excited - but it is
complex for many reasons and haven't sorted it out yet. We would
like to come to Europe.
Last question, do you have some last words for all the fans over here in Europe, and of course in the rest of the world? [Vincent Bitetti] Didn't know we had fans to be honest. We would love to hear from them. This is great news!
(A special thanks goes out to Eric Abrahamsen who made this contact possible)
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