Q. What is your song "The Arizona Way" about and why did you write it?
A. It's not about Arizona's
natural beauty. The Arizona Way is about the spirit of the people
who live here. Most of them came, like I did, from elsewhere--looking
for a better way. I'm telling the story of the creation and discovery
of the Arizona way.
Q. What does "The Arizona Way" say to your listeners?
A. I'm saluting them. It's like a handshake. It says "I know where you're coming from and maybe even why." My own story is in the song too. So when I sing it we trade understanding for recognition.
|Q. How did you get
started in music?
A. Somebody loaned me a beat up
silver trombone when I was 11 years old. I was addicted to
a transistor radio and my favorite song was "Stranger On The
Shore." Then I started singing gospel music in a pentecostal
church and playing a friend's ukulele. My dad gave me a $15 Silvertone
guitar from Sears and I started
making up songs. The first one was a spiritual called "Through To The
Q. Did anyone in particular influence your playing style?
A. Merle Travis, Segovia, Chuck
Berry, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Joe
Pass, Nokie Edwards and Carol Kay.
| Q. How about your
A. Too many to catalog! Harry
Nilsson more than anybody.
Q. How did you become an Arizonan?
A. I left Los Angeles in August of 1984 with an aching heart. I drove to Phoenix to visit my Arizona native mother. I had no air conditioning in my car so I was humming "By the time I get to Phoenix I'll be charbroiled." Later I wrote a song based on that experience called "The Hotfoot."
I worked two jobs in the daytime and
played lead guitar in Phoenix honky tonks at night. Phoenix was
booming with new skyscrapers, shopping centers and suburbs springing up
It was a vibrant environment (still is) and I made my home right
in the middle of it. I found happiness here.
|Many good songs have been sung about Arizona. there's so much here in Arizona to inspire artists of all kinds. My contribution, "The Arizona Way," concerns the people. So I'm happy to send it out for each and every one of us Arizonans.|