Deadlines

Friday, February 26th, 2016

Mojo blurb“Strange how something can feel depressing and uplifting both at the same time. That’s exactly  how it was when I was writing this eight-page piece on Lemmy of Motorhead in the new (March 2016) issue of MOJO. Losing Lemmy  at the end of last year was heart-breaking; I’d known him for decades – since our first interview in 1980 when Ace of  Spades came out – and over the years we became friends.  It was hard-going, poring through a stack of all our old interviews, like a box of old photographs in an empty room. One minute I’d be smiling at all the stories and the memories they brought back, and the next I’d be misting up, knowing we’d  never talk again.

“Then the deaths just kept on coming. Less than two weeks later  it was David Bowie – someone I first met in my teens and whose music was such a big part of my life that, so soon after Lemmy, I couldn’t bring myself to write about. A week after that it was  the Eagles’ Glenn Frey;  once again I was going through my filing cabinet to find our old interviews and write an obituary and tribute for MOJO. (It will be in the April issue).  Suddenly  the word ‘deadline’ had taken on a horrible new meaning. So I was very happy to go to Nashville last week to interview Graham Nash, who’s alive and well at age 74 and still making great music.

“Meanwhile, I’ve just posted one of my favourite interviews with Lemmy on the Interview page of this website. We did it ten years ago at his favourite hangout, the Rainbow Bar and Grill on Sunset Blvd. I think I’ll go pour myself a long, cold screwdriver  – Lemmy’s favourite drink’ – and raise a toast to absent friends. Take care of yourselves, everyone.”-Sylvie.

http://sylviesimmons.com/lemmy/

Got her MOJO working!

Monday, October 26th, 2015

A triple helping of Sylvie in the year-end issue of MOJO (dated December 2015, #265).CR8dkoFUYAAdy0R

First of all there’s the cover story: Sylvie’s 15-page  exclusive interview with Elvis Costello.  Then there’s her essay on Bob Dylan in “MOJO Music Guide Volume 1″, a free gift with the magazine. And there’s also a live review of Sylvie’s concert with Howe Gelb and an incredible line-up in Denmark at the Aarus Festival! For more photos from the show, including the grand finale, scroll down to the last news entry below.Howe Sylvie etc mojo

 

Prisoner in Disguise

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

I just noticed that today is Linda Ronstadt’s birthday. Hope it’s a happy one.

I spent an afternoon with her a few months back and really enjoyed her company. She’s a very warm woman, forthright and self-deprecating – much happier talking up others than herself, although it’s plain she’s not the kind who’ll stand for nonsense, and certainly not from any man. Sixty-eight years old, and what a life! You’ll have to find a June edition of MOJO for the full story. But here’s something I didn’t have room for in the article that made me smile; it made Linda laugh out loud as she told it. 

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“The thing about being ‘a star’… well it was weird. It took away my anonymity and I remember distinctly feeling that was a drag. But I wasn’t really that social and I wasn’t into parties and stuff that much. What we mostly did as musicians was hang out in each other’s living rooms or hotel rooms and play one song after another – all the old Everly Brothers and Merle Haggard songs, all the great songs that held up on only guitar.
“Anyway, JD Souther called me the other day and said he’d found a note I had written him.

“We had been staying at the Plaza and we’d been up all night playing music and I’d gone up to my room at some point and I slipped this note under his door saying, ‘Dear JD, you have my purse, my shoes and my guitar – which is a distinct disadvantage – so how can I get them back?’ I must have been in the same hotel or I wouldn’t have left my shoes, my purse or my guitar. And I remembered: that night we were in the hotel room playing and singing Prisoner In Disguise and Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd were there and we were REALLY into it, singing the whole dramatic, loud ‘You must be a prisoner!’ We were stoned too, we’d smoked some pot and done a couple of lines of blow.

“And all of a sudden the door just explodes into our suite – there was a connecting room to our suite that wasn’t ours – and it was some man who had been trying to sleep and it was three in the morning and we’d woke him up!. His face was purple with rage. That was the first time I’d ever not had people listening and liking it. He HATED it! We were so shocked. We were just siting there with our mouths open. It was so funny. I don’t think he had any idea who we were. We weren’t ‘stars’, we were just these noisy people.”
 

 

Postcards from the Mexican Riviera

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Hi! There’s nothing like going  a rock festival where you have to pack a swimsuit and snorkel as well as the other essentials (ukulele). This one’s called One Big Holiday and is being held in the Hard Rock Hotel, a seaside resort near Cancun. Indoors there’s rock memorabilia, outdoors there’s pools with cocktail bars that you can swim up to, so I can be healthy and unhealthy all at the same time. And tonight I’ll be seeing the first of My Morning Jacket’s three headline shows on an outdoor stage backing onto the ocean. I think I’m going to like it here! sylvie x

Brilliant opening show last night – stars in the sky, sea breeze on my face, Bob Weir from the Grateful Dead onstage with MMJ, jamming. Bob’s band Furthur played a festival here last week called Paradise Waits and he doesn’t seem to want to go home. This morning I breakfasted on fresh papayas and guavas and went for a run on a white sand beach, the air so soft you want to cuddle it. There’s a few special activities going on during daylight hours –  bingo, karaoke, outdoors yoga, the sort of stuff you’d expect at family resorts or on senior citizen cruises, not  indie rockers. But here’s Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips – MMJ’s special; guests – judging a lip-synch competition. He’s doing a good job of it too, if anyone’s looking for a cooler,  better-looking replacement for Simon Cowell. Here he is in his swimmies, singing along to and critiquing the contestant who tackled Bon Jovi’s Living On A Prayer. I’m sending you a pic of me standing next to Gene Simmons’clothes. And one of Wayne Coyne sitting without clothes.sylvie x

 

I’m standing in a lagoon, where I’m up to my waist in warm saltwater, with 50lb of whitebait swimming in circles around me. Everywhere I look there are pale thin people with tattoos and beards and ironic sunglasses. Uh-oh, I appear to have been misfiled in the Portland lagoon. Oh look, here’s Bob Weir again! “Some of my best friends are fishes”, he says. Can’t argue with that. sylvie x

Flaming Lips in confetti ban horror! Er not really, but it’s true they were told not to bring the exploding confetti machine – probably a good idea when the stage is that close to the water, unless they make the confetti out of algae or whatever fishes eat. Some of the proceeds of the festival  have gone to various conservation and environmental groups in the area, which is a great idea. I just walked past the stage they (the Lips, not the fish) were sound checking Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. It sounds gorgeous. And I think it’s the first time I’ve seen Wayne when he wasn’t wearing a swimsuit. He says that Bob Weir took MMJ’s Jim James snorkeling and that he (Bob) is going to go skinny-dipping with him after tonight’s show. Wonder if there’s a flash on my iPad camera…? sylvie x

I took a selfie this morning, lying on a hammock with my uke, singing a song. I’m having such a hard, hard time (!), to quote a wonderful song by Brian Lopez, ‘Pray For Rain’. It rained here for ten minutes today, but the sun came straight back out and the air is sweeter than ever, soft and pillowed. Life is pretty damn good sometimes. sylvie x

Well it’s time to go home. I’m writing this last card on a bus headed for the airport, full of indie rock fans and an older couple who it turns out are the drummer from MMJ’s mum and stepdad.  The driver’s playing a mixtape of golden hits of the Seventies, which wouldn’t be my choice of hangover music but  people here and there are gamely singing along to Bonnie Tyler and England Dan & John Ford Coley.  I’ll be back in San Francisco some time after midnight, which gives me a day to write my review for MOJO then head back to the airport to fly to Tucson and finish my album. See you soon, Love, sylvie xx