Street of Dreams is a fabulous live recording. Can you still remember the gig? Did you always knew it was a special recording?
Yes, we knew that was a special night where we had a lot of synergy…both band and audience. It was circulating around as a bootleg for a long time and Cleopatra Records has issued the release because they felt there was a demand for it to be put out properly. It was recorded during the “Rescue You” tour. The set includes some Rainbow songs like “Stone Cold” and “Street Of Dreams.” There are some songs that were not on Rescue You like “I Found Love” and a cover of “Them Changes.”
You were the king of the world that night. How did that feel?
That night at the Boston Paradise, the band was on fire and so was the crowd. I can remember seeing the audience and I remember there was an awkward pillar enough to block some of the view. But the stage was an actual concert stage. Aerosmith and all those guys used to always play at the Paradise. I can remember how it felt because it was absolutely exhilarating.
Is it strange to you that they released an old recording?
Not completely. I knew it was very much in demand by fans and Cleopatra apparently thought there would be a market for it. I am glad they have released it properly and thank them for putting it out.
Were those the best days in music or is it me just being sentimental?
Those were special times for sure. More artists had actual talent, there was not a lot of “auto tuning” being used. If you were a musician back then, most of the time you had to have “chops” or merit. These days, there are more artists without a lot of talent that can become successful. Additionally, there was no internet like there is now. It was more exciting when an artist “came to town” and there was more mystique. Now, artists are all expected to interact with fans on social media and there are no secrets or mystery any more. It makes it all less exciting in my opinion.
What’s up for the next couple of months? And after that?
I am trying to play as many shows as I can! There are other things in the discussion stages that I cannot reveal right now but if everything comes to fruition it will be great. We just confirmed a couple of USA shows…in Las Vegas and in Hollywood.
“Edge Of Tomorrow” is the title of the forthcoming Sunstorm album and I recently filmed a video for it in Greece that is really spectacular. It is a song that is basically a lyric about the apocalypse that’s happening right now and the geopolitical situation in our world. So I went to Vikos Canyon, the deepest and longest canyon in the world, the canyon of the Gods.
The video director and producer Menelaos Sykovelis is an incredible artist. He knew that this particular location was where we should do this, where we should show the world what is happening in symbology, in symbolic form.
Do you still have goals you want to achieve?
Sure! I have been interested in doing more work for film, writing and possibly producing. But right now I am very focused on my current plans.
Who were (or maybe “are”) in the best live band you ever fronted? And what made (makes) them so special?
They are all great in their own unique way. As for making the biggest impact on my career…Rainbow and Deep Purple for obvious reasons! Deep Purple, because they were a huge influence in my career. I played Purple covers when I was a young musician. Fronting them later in life was surreal. Rainbow, because I was involved in helping Rainbow achieve more commercial success and that was a major goal for the band at that time. Even though my previous band, Fandango, recorded several albums for RCA, we were well known in the USA but not as worldwide as Rainbow. Rainbow was my chance to truly see the world.
What’s the song you wished you sang (but you didn’t) ? And why?
How about a song I wished I had written…”Heart of the Matter” by Don Henley.
There is a Survivor song called It’s the Singer Not the Song. And there is a country dude saying Song is King. What do you think?
The singer can make the lyrics and song come alive and be more meaningful to the listener. By the way…great song by Survivor and Jimi Jamison. RIP Jimi…a great writer and vocalist and a world class person as well. I miss him.
I am from the Netherlands, we are cycling a lot. When I am alone on a bike I can’t stop singing. Always the same songs. It’s either Bird of Paradise by Snowy White, Luka by Suzanne Vega, The Outdoor Type by The Lemonheads or King of Dreams of by you know who. King of Dreams is a really good song, don’t you think? And don’t you get tired of people saying that it is from the best or the worst Deep Purple album? A love it or hate it album? Which I think is nonsense. You can’t hate the songs on Slaves & Masters?
It is a great song and also a controversial video came out of it as it was banned in some situations because of the theme. Ritchie always said “Slaves and Masters” was one of his favorite DP albums. I still try and include the song in some of my current setlists.
How did you realize your voice was something special? Was there somebody who told you you could sing?
I actually started out as a guitarist when I was in a popular local band as a young musician. When we found our band in a situation without the lead singer being able to sing, I took over and the rest is history.
Check Joe’s website
Watch the official Rainbow video for Street of Dreams
Or the video for Endlessly (featured on Rescue You and Street of Dreams)