An Interview with Eric Bazilian of The Hooters

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VIDEO PREMIERE: Eric Bazilian of The Hooters Speaks to Universal Feeling  with Folk-Rock Anthem "I Miss Everything" - Glide Magazine

Hooters co-founder Eric Bazilian has managed to weather the ever-changing landscape of the music industry for more than four decades.

Roaring their way through the Philadelphia club scene in the early stages of the 1980s, the Hooters would inevitably catapult to prominence following the release of their second album, Nervous Night. The band’s sophomore effort — fueled by timeless classics, “And We Danced”, “Day by Day”, and “All You Zombies” — went platinum, selling north of two million copies in the United States.  

Bazilian, who shared vocal and songwriting duties with fellow co-founder Rob Hyman, also handled the guitar, bass, mandolin, and saxophone playing on the album.

The mainstream success of Nervous Night garnered the attention of Rolling Stone magazine, which named The Hooters the “Best New Band of the Year for 1986.”

When The Hooters went on hiatus in 1995, Bazilian embarked on a creative journey that enabled him to tap into his inherent versatility and brilliance as a songwriter as well as test the waters with solo projects. Bazilian’s wide-ranging writing credits span from Joan Osborne and Patty Smyth — to Journey and the Scorpions.

Though the world has remained in a state of constant flux for the better part of a year, Bazilian, who splits time between Philadelphia and Sweden, has persistently forged ahead.

The multi-faceted musician is expected to release his latest solo effort in April; singles can be heard at EricBazilian.com. Other endeavors involve working with Philadelphia artist Alexis Cunningham and doing a series for his website called “Under the Hood,” while anxiously awaiting The Hooters 40th Anniversary Tour.

I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Eric discussing his Philadelphia roots, approach to songwriting, musical influences, gradual rise of The Hooters, and so much more.

Andrew:
Eric, first and foremost, how has the past year been for you navigating through the pandemic?

Eric:
It’s been interesting. Last year was supposed to be a big year for the band. We had a big tour – a 40th anniversary tour scheduled – and a bunch of gigs here, and I ended up being stocked away in Sweden, which was actually great. I think they handled it really well; certainly was a lot more business-as-usual here, and I don’t think any more people got sick proportionally than they did here in the US; probably less. Despite the reputation that they had in the beginning, as there were some issues in the elder-care homes in the beginning, they got that sorted out. So, that was a good place to ride out the pandemic, but then my mom got sick and I came back here, and then she passed away. And I’m still here.

Andrew:
I’m so sorry to hear that. Have you personally managed to stay healthy?

Eric:
Yeah, I have. One of the reasons I’m still [in the states], is that I was hoping to get vaccinated. I got my shot last week. So, another, I think, two weeks from tomorrow I get my second one. Then I’m out of here.

Andrew:
Glad to hear it. Well, to start things off, what is your recollection of growing up in Philadelphia and who were some of your musical influences?

Eric:
I grew up in a really great time. I was ten when The Beatles played on Ed Sullivan, so I’m that generation of boys who saw that and said, “I wanna do that.” I was old enough to be aware of it and got my first band together the next day with my two best friends. Old enough to see the whole sort of Folk-Rock scene emerge in Philadelphia around the second fret in a placed called The Trauma and later The Electric Factory. It was the Electric Factory where I went a bunch and I took some great photographs. I’ve got some great, great pictures from the Factory and from shows at the Spectrum; I’ve got [Jimi] Hendrix, the [Rolling] Stones in ’69. But I was a little bit too young to get affected by some of the negative influences that were around there. I was friends with a lot of older guys, and I saw them lose a lot of brain cells, whereas I was sort of like scared straight.

Andrew:
What age did you first begin playing an instrument?

Eric:
I started playing piano when I was six; my mom was a concert pianist. I’d sit next to her, watch her rock out and I thought, “I wanna do that,” so I took lessons for a while; but it wasn’t really for me. Then, when I was eight or nine, I had an uncle who played guitar and he showed me some chords. I got kind of seriously into it, even pre-Beatles. I preformed on the Gene London Show, which was a local TV show. So, when The Beatles thing happened, I already had a little bit of a skill set to apply to that, so I had my first band before I turned eleven.

I had various combinations of people – you know, it was hard to find people to play with who actually had skill at that point – at least, at my age. It wasn’t until I was 15-16 that I really landed on my first real band.

Andrew:
I’d like to take you back to 1971, when you met Rob [Hyman] while attending the University of Pennsylvania. Obviously you’ve carried on a lifelong friendship. How was that bond formed?

Eric:
Well, I was already aware of Rob and his band, Wax. [The band] had a write-up in Philadelphia Inquirer, I guess in my senior year in high school, and I actually saw them perform a couple of times. I saw them open for The Byrds, at the Playhouse in the Park and I saw them open at the original Electric Factory. My first week at [University of Pennsylvania], I went to this electronic music class and there’s the guy from Wax. We started talking, and someone had an acoustic guitar in the room, and I was playing it and he was like, “Hey, wanna come jam?” So, after the class I went upstairs to one of the rooms that had a piano, we started playing, and it was like, “OK, we speak the same language.”

First, I joined his band; his band had gone through some changes. The point where I met him, the band had two electric pianos, two drummers, a bass player, and a singer. So, what’s lacking? A guitarist. Well, I stepped right in and filled that gap. That band broke up at the end of my freshman year, which was when Rob graduated. The drummer in the band was Rick Chertoff, who decided that he wasn’t a drummer, that he wanted to be a record producer — an A&R guy. He moved to New York and got a gig with Clive Davis. So, that infrastructure was in place. Rob and David Kagan, the singer from that band, kept writing songs and right around the time I was getting ready to graduate, they get signed. Rick had signed them to Arista Records and they needed a guitar player again. That band was called Baby Grand; we made a couple of albums that got some critical acclaim, but not much commercial success. Around ’79, Rob and I looked at each other and said, ‘You know what, this is just not our future, playing this music’. It was very sort of progressive, kind of like Steely Dan on steroids; very cerebral lyrics but not really a fun live band.

Rob and I decided it was time to try something different and this was going to be our last band, our last shot. Our first thought was, “Well, let’s get a singer,” but there weren’t any singers readily available that we liked so we just figured, “Let’s try it ourselves and see if we can do it.”

I guess it worked – we’re not Lennon or McCartney, but I guess we were kind of George and Ringo. I’m not saying which one was Ringo [laughs].

Andrew:
Take me through what it was like coming up through the Philadelphia club scene in the early 80’s.

Eric:
It was really a golden age for live music in Philadelphia. I mean, there were clubs everywhere. When we first started, we cut our teeth on a club in Levittown; a place called Vernon’s, which is no longer there. It was like a little biker bar, and we would play five nights a week, four sets a night. That was sort of like Hamburg was like for The Beatles. Philadelphia had a lot of clubs. Dobbs was there already, and there was a club called Stars, which belonged to Stephen Starr, the world famous restauranteur, and it was a middle east restaurant that had been for a while, right off of South Street. That was actually the Hooters first gig in Philadelphia, probably August of ’80. Then, moving up the street you had Grendel’s Lair at 5th and South, which had been there since the mid-70s.

I remember, I guess a year after I graduated Penn, there was a band called Johnny’s Dance Band that would play there every Tuesday night. My friends and I would go religiously because they were an amazing live band. So, we were offered a similar situation later on in ’80 or ’81 where we did a Monday night residency there; we played there for almost a year. We went from having 50 people the first week to 75 the second week and by the second or third month, there was a line around the block – you couldn’t get in. Then there was a place called Ripley’s – The Ripley Music Hall – which opened up, I think the next block down, which was really a great venue. That had a balcony and really felt like a real concert venue. We played there every few months.

Then there was the Bijou Café; they had a lot of Jazz shows there, and it was at Broad and Lombard [Streets]. One epic show that they had there was Bob Marley and the Wailers opening for U2. Getting back to Grendel’s Lair; The Police played there, I think in ’78 or ’79 to like 20 people.

I’m sure there’s a couple more I’m forgetting, but you could throw a rock anywhere and hit a club.

The Hooters – Satellite – in the 80s

Andrew:
Was there a particular point during that run that you consider to be the band’s big break?

Eric:
I would say just a series of small breaks that were cumulative. Building our audience at Grendel’s Lair; we did open for The Who, The Clash, and Santana at JFK Stadium in ’82 – that was a pretty big show. I think there was sort of the feeling of, “Well, I guess we kind of deserve being here, but what the hell are we doing here!” I remember Mick Jagger came to that show, and he was hanging around backstage with us. It was really a big one for me, because The Who were one of my biggest influences growing up. Aside from The Beatles, probably seeing The Who live was a real turning point for me, just to see the energy they had. I remember seeing Pete Townshend walking around, but he just didn’t seem like he wanted to be bothered, so I never did walk up to him. But now, we’re in touch; he answers my emails very graciously.

It really was just a series of small steps, then we took a break to do Cyndi’s [Lauper] album and then in ’83, it was time to get the band back together and start gigging again. That was around the time we started shifting our musical direction a bit. Originally, we were pretty much strictly a Ska and Reggae band. Right around the time Rob and I were deciding it was time for one more shot, we saw Madness and realized there were no American bands doing that, so we really focused on that for a while. But then, ’83 – I’m a rocker at heart – that started working its way back in and we started messing around with some electronics. I’d gotten my first 808 drum machine and thought maybe it would find a place in the show. We tried that for a while, but that shoe didn’t really fit. So, that didn’t last long.

Andrew:
Probably my favorite song from the Hooters’ catalog is “All You Zombies”. What do you remember from recording that and what is the meaning behind that song?

Eric:
Actually, that would be a break! That would definitely be a big break, now that you mention it. We opened for The English Beat, and that show was broadcasted live, and next thing we know, they’re playing “All You Zombies.” So, we had to release that as a single.

We just wrote the song, and I don’t know that we’re really qualified to interpret it. It’s one of those songs that just kind of came to us, kind of fully formed, and we’re still trying to figure out what it’s about [laughs]. The song has a great history though; that is the oldest surviving Hooters song. We wrote that in January 1980, before we even had a band, before we even had a name. We just knew that we were forming a new band and that it was going to have a new name. The song has been recorded a bunch of times; we recorded that in our first batch of demos.

By the way, another break that we had, now that you mention it, was very early on. Michael Tearson, legendary disc jockey at WMMR, decided he was going to lock the door to the studio and only play the music he wanted to play. He actually called Rob and said, “Come on down here. You got anything to play?” Rob brought down our first demo tape and Michael played an instrumental that we recorded, called “Man in the Street.” And all of a sudden, that’s getting regular rotation on WMMR. So we did get a lot of support from radio, from WMMR especially, in the beginning.

But, “All You Zombies” was a song we wrote in January 1980, included in our very first show. We knew it was a special song, we knew it was a good song, but it just seemed like it was a really weird song. So, that was the one we’d start our first set with, just to get it out of the way. Then, a few months later, WMMR is playing it, so we released it as a single. We recorded it again on our Amore album, which was pretty close to our original arrangement, which was really like a three-and-a-half minute Rock/Reggae song. Then, we went in to do Nervous Night in ’84, and we were reunited with Rich Chertoff, a legendary producer who had done the Cyndi Lauper record. He said, “Ya know, I think we can take ‘All You Zombies’ farther. What would Pink Floyd do? What would Roger Waters do? What if this had been on The Wall album?” That’s when we really dug in and came up with the arrangement, the definitive version of “All You Zombies.” The version that Roger Waters came to see us perform in London and introduced himself to us, and ultimately invited us to play at The Wall concert in Berlin.

Andrew:
What was the touring like for Amore?

Eric:
It was regional; you know, we never really got out of the Philadelphia area. The farthest we got was Richmond, Virginia; we had a bit of a following there. We got to Delaware and New Jersey, but New York was a tough nut to crack. So, we were still pretty much considered a regional band, but we sold 150,000 copies of Amore, which, without a record company, was unheard of.

The school spirit contest had a lot to do with that, as well. WMMR had a contest where schools would send in three-by-five cards that said “WMMR: The Hooters,” and the school that sent in the most entries would get a free Hooters concert; we expected maybe like 100,000 of them. But, they never specified what kind of paper they had to be written on, so I heard that the schools were taking phone books into woodshop and chopping them up into three-by-five pieces. They would give the kids off for like a week, and all they would do all day is write “WMMR: The Hooters.” So, we ended up getting 26 million entries.

THE HOOTERS - Fightin' On The Same Side ('83; original album version) -  YouTube

Andrew:
Following the release of Amore, you and Rob spent time writing and arranging for Cyndi Lauper’s debut album, She’s So Unusual. Tell us about that a bit.

Eric:
Rick Chertoff, who had been the drummer for Wax, had gone to New York to be a producer for Arista Records, and then moved over to Columbia [Records]. He was given Cyndi Lauper to produce and brought Rob and I as sort of his musical “A-team.” We spent six months arranging the songs and while we were making the record, Cyndi had an idea to write the song “Time After Time” and she ended up writing it with Rob. It was the last song for the record and the first time I’d ever heard a raw version of the song and knew we were gonna hear it for the rest of our lives.

Andrew:
The band signed its first major record contract in 1984 with Columbia Records after years of gradual progression. What did that moment mean to you?

Eric:
I remember thinking, “Finally!” We had a huge regional success and I think there was a bit of a stigma for Philadelphia bands at the time; all the labels were in New York. They were much more willing to go to Athens, Georgia or Iowa to find a band then to come to Philadelphia. Since we were in Philadelphia, they’d say, “Well, come play in New York.” Well, we’d play in New York to 40 people. It was not really getting the point across. I think we had a bit of fire power with the success we’d had with Cyndi’s record and having Rick Chertoff at Columbia, so he signed us. It was an obvious hand-and-glove fit.

Andrew:
The positive momentum continued with the band’s most successful album, Nervous Night, which was released the following year. What do you recall from the tour in support of that album?

Eric:
Oh, that was relentless! The album came out in May of ’85 and in June, we did our first little tour. We toured two or three weeks with Don Henley to get our feet wet. As that was happening, we were told we were coming back to Philadelphia for a day to do Live Aid. Talk about a big break! I don’t think you get a bigger break than playing Live Aid; we were seen by a billion people all over the world. It’s funny, because Nervous Night didn’t really do much internationally; we never went overseas, we only toured the US for a year. We lived on a tour bus for over a year, which was really a lot of fun but also really kind of relentless and brutal at times.

We did a tour opening for Squeeze and then we opened Loverboy. Loverboy didn’t seem like an obvious fit at the time, but it turned out to be great; we brought something really powerful to that show. A lot of the people went to see Loverboy, but by the end of the tour, they were coming to see us. By that time, “And We Danced” was really working its magic on radio and MTV especially.

The Hooters – Nervous Night (CD) - Discogs

Andrew:
I grew up in Exton, and I’d always heard how the video for “And We Danced” was filmed there, at the spot that formally held the Exton Drive-In, which is long-gone. You might be able to clear this up for me, but where exactly was that location? I’ve long suspected it to be either the bank at the corner of Route 30 and Route 100 or the shopping center across the street.

Eric:
I think you’re right; it probably is where the bank is now. It was a whirlwind. We had the idea while we were in St. Louis, I think, and we went to a radio station that was out in the middle of nowhere, out by an abandoned drive-in. I remembered we looked at each other and thought, “Wow, wouldn’t it be cool to do a video at a drive-in?” It turned out, the Exton Drive-In had been closed and they were getting ready to tear it down. For one night, it was like an episode of The Twilight Zone – it came back to life. It was a wonderful experience; the director was a guy named John Jopson, who had a real vision for it. It was a long, long day and night and it was hot in July. We knew we had something really special going on there.

Andrew:
Earlier in our conversation, you touched on performing at the Live Aid benefit concert in Philadelphia in 1985. For a young, up-and-coming band, especially one with local ties like The Hooters, that had to have been an especially meaningful experience. It brought the band international notoriety as well.

Eric:
Live Aid came as a surprise to us. It also came as a surprise to [Live Aid organizer] Bob Geldof, with that famous quote, “Who the fuck are The Hooters?” Honestly, I don’t blame him; if I spent all this time putting together a show and I saw a band I’d never heard of, I’d probably would have asked the same thing. The planets lined up; it made sense for a local band to open the show, especially a local band whose star was really rising at that point. “All You Zombies” had been released as the first single and had done well. It hadn’t really been a chart-topper, but it had gotten us some recognition; it made sense for us to be there. We did two songs; we played for ten minutes, and we ripped it up. We definitely opened that show the way it deserved to be opened.

Andrew:
The Hooters played in front of a near-sold out crowd at the Spectrum in 1987. What is your recollection of finally reaching the status of a headlining act, in a major local venue nonetheless?

Eric:
To be honest, it was very exciting – I mean we almost sold it out! The only thing is I’m not sure we weren’t really ready to headline an arena at that point. We brought a theater production to the Spectrum. It was a great show, and we gave it our all. When I look at the video from it, I’m thinking, “I really wish we had rehearsed an arena-sized show for that venue,” because it really just felt like we were playing a big theater.

It was probably the high-point of our career in Philadelphia. Although, actually, I’d say the high-point of our career was when we sold-out six consecutive nights at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA. That was October ’85, and we still hold the record for consecutive sell outs there; more than [Bruce] Springsteen, more than [David] Bowie.

Andrew:
The Hooters motored through the remainder of the 80’s and early part of the 90’s before the band went on a hiatus in 1995. We ultimately prompted the extended pause?

Eric:
We’d been working non-stop for 15 years. Then, when the Joan Osborne album came out in ’95 and “One of Us” happened, it was sort of another direction to look at – being a songwriter and trying that on for a while. At the same time, Rob and I had sort of hit a wall with our songwriting for The Hooters; we had actually gotten signed again to Rick Chertoff’s label, the same label that the Joan Osborne record had been on, but we just weren’t really able to finish anything. It just really wasn’t clicking the way it had. We’d been looking at each other every day for 15 years and I think we needed a break from that.

That’s when the Largo album happened, and I don’t even know if you’re aware of that; that was supposed to be a Hooters record but ended up being sort of a grand concept that Rob and Rick had had. I played on all of it and co-wrote most of the songs, but it was sort of more of a cast of thousands; Cyndi sang on it, Taj Mahal, Joan [Osborne], Levon Helm, a lot of people sang on it – everyone but me; I didn’t sing a note.

Andrew:
During the band’s hiatus, you did some session work. Are there any songs out there that you played on that many wouldn’t know?

Eric:
A lot of people don’t realize that I played the mandolin on The Band’s version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.” It’s not the band’s biggest hit, but it is one of their most streamed songs. And the first thing you hear, is me. What else? “Kiss the Rain” by Billie Myers; huge airplay hit in ’98. I actually played literally everything on that track expect for the drums. When it comes to the Cyndi stuff, I’ve never really considered myself to be a session player, per se. The real session players are guys who can sort of put on different hats, like “OK this is a funk track, I’m gonna put on my funk hat. This is a little jazzy, I’m gonna put on my jazz hat.” I bring me to the session; if they want me and what I do, then I’m the guy to call. I may pull out something totally unexpected — they might call me to play guitar, and I might say, “Hey guys, let me try my hurdy gurdy on this.” The fact that I can play a lot of instruments keeps it interesting. It’s not always the right thing; I’ve been called on session where I’ve given it my best shot and they’re like, “You know what, you’re not the guy for this.” I’m like, “Yeah, you’re right. Maybe I know the guy who is, though.”

Andrew:
You co-wrote songs for a wide array of bands and artists, including Journey, Joan Osborne, Jon Bon Jovi, Ricky Martin, Matt Nathanson and LeAnn Rimes. How are you able to adapt and where does the versatility come from?

Eric:
Man, I don’t know; I really don’t know how I do it. All I know, is that I usually can do it. It’s just a matter of showing up for work. I get ideas, and I get inspired. A lot of it has to do with whatever kind of interaction I have with the artist.

For example, when I was in Sweden a few years ago, someone sent me an Irish-sort-of-a-Country singer in a Pop band called The Saturdays, which had done really well in the UK; she wanted to do something kind Sheryl Crow-like. We wrote a song like that, and it was cool, but she was Irish and really had this beautiful Irish Folk voice. I think we were getting ready to wrap-up, and she has this little guitar thing she had been playing and a little melody idea, and I just had this vision; we wrote this beautiful Irish Folk song about someone dying, about saying goodbye. I had lost my father a few months earlier and I didn’t know I was going to lose my mother a couple years later. It just came from the ether; it was her, it was meant for her voice. Not a song I would have normally written but being affected by having her there.

Eric Bazilian | Duesenberg

Andrew:
I’m fascinated with your songwriting diversity. Your range extends from Patty Smyth to the Scorpions!

Eric:
Well, you know, part of it is adapting and part of it is bringing me and my own perspective. Just [bringing] whatever skills I have in terms of telling a story with lyrics and melodies. I haven’t found a genre yet that I haven’t been effective in; there’s a lot I haven’t tried, and I’d like to. I mean, writing with the Scorpions was great because I’m a closet hard rocker. What a great opportunity to sit in a room and jam with those guys, to play Rudolf Schenker’s Flying V. I had a great time with those guys; I started working with them in 2003.

Andrew:
In 2000, you were inducted into the Philadelphia Walk of Fame on the Avenue of Arts. What did this particular accolade mean to you?

Eric:
I think we were among the first to get inducted into that. There was sort of a nagging thing in that back of both of our heads, like, “Why is this us and not the Hooters?” Eventually, The Hooters finally did get our star in 2019. It was a great acknowledgement of the work that we have done. My star is no longer there – someone stole my star. I think it happened this year; someone sent me a picture of it and it was gone.

Andrew:
I wanted to ask you about your solo career. You have The Optimist, A Very Dull Boy, and What Shall Become of the Baby? Where did the inspiration come to kind of venture off and pursue your own projects?

Eric:
I did The Optimist during the hiatus that we took. It was just something that I wanted to do; I wanted to create something that was my story. The thing about the Hooters songs is that it’s a shared story. With The Beatles, there were John songs, Paul songs, George songs. With The Hooters, Rob and I had to really both feel like we were singing the song, no matter who was singing it. I just felt like I wanted to do something that told the story of me; that ended of being The Optimist. I spent five years doing that album. Then, a year later, I wrote and recorded A Very Dull Boy in six days in a barn in Sweden.

It took a while before I felt like I wanted to release another solo album, and it wasn’t until quarantine in the pandemic, where I was stuck in a basement in Sweden, and then all of a sudden, I had a bunch of songs and I’m gonna put out an album. I’ve been putting out singles; I released my fourth one. I’m gonna release the album probably in April.

The album has a theme, kind of about not knowing really where home is. There’s a song called “I Miss Everything,” which is definitely my pandemic song, but it has a positive twist to it. If you go right to EricBazilian.com, you’ll see it all. I’ve also been doing a series called “Under the Hood,” where I dissect some of the classic tracks that I’ve done. I started with “All You Zombies,” where I show how I played every guitar part, bass part, the Mandolin part, the sounds I got and how it was recorded; it’s pretty cool.

Andrew:
What are some albums that mean the most to you?

Eric:
Everything by The Beatles, of course. I mean, The Beatles started it for me and that’s still the alpha and the omega for me, as far as Rock music goes. Then, I got into mostly British artists: Cream was big for me, [Jimi] Hendrix – although he wasn’t really British, but he kind of broke out of England.

A big one for me was Tommy, by The Who; that was really the album that pointed me in the direction of songwriting, because when the Beatles happened, I was 10-11 years old and too young to really understand the concept of the mechanics of songwriting. Well, when Tommy came out, Pete Townshend had done an interview in Rolling Stone, where he really explained the whole writing process behind it. That was the first time I really got my head around what goes into songwriting.

Andrew:
Name a few artists that you’ve always wanted to work with, but for whatever reason, never had the chance to.

Eric:
[Bruce] Springsteen — I would still love to work with him. I think he’s amazing.

Sheryl Crow – I was working with her in ’91; Rob and I played on an album by Taj Mahal. He was doing some gigs and I ended up playing in the band and Sheryl Crow was one of the backing singers. One day she said to me, “Hey, I just got a record deal. Wanna write some songs?” And we never got around to it.

There are so many artists out there that I’d love to work with…Lenny Kravitz, I think is great; he doesn’t need me, but I think it would be fun.

I’d be curious to work with Alanis Morissette.

Some of the most fruitful collaborations I’ve had are not the most well-known. Like, Amanda Marshall, a Canadian artist, had a huge album in ’97. I go together with her, and I wrote almost all of her second album, which was huge in Canada, and some of the best work I’ve ever done. I ended up producing the singles for that album.

Then, there’s an artist in Philadelphia named Alexis Cunningham who I met seven years ago when she was like 21. We had just been working pretty much non-stop and we finally sort of cracked the code on who she is as an artist and we’re getting ready to start releasing that as soon as the world is a safe place to start releasing music again.

Andrew:
Philadelphia guy to Philadelphia guy, if you’re a cheesesteak person, what is your go-to spot?

Eric:
Well, I’m vegan for the past five years, but Dalessandro’s; no question. I grew up kind of around the corner from there, and I kept going back there. Honestly, if I were to break my vegan principle, that would be the place. For me, it was always Dalessandro’s – the mountain of meat and whatever they did. I’ve found that they actually travel better than having them to eat there. Somehow, the grease of it and the sauce, they all just sort of merge. I think ten minutes – seven to ten minutes is the perfect travel-time for that.

Andrew:
Lastly, Eric, what’s next on your docket?

Eric:
Well, I don’t think anyone really knows what’s next on their docket. I mean, professionally, it’s to continue releasing and promoting singles from my album and then [releasing] my album. Hopefully, I’ll be able to start gigging. Then, the work I’ve been doing with Alexis Cunningham, getting ready to release that. I think most important is, finally getting to go out and do the Hooters 40th anniversary tour. It’s been re-booked for this summer – I don’t know if the world is gonna be ready for live concerts again, so if it’s not this summer, it’ll be next summer. I’m really excited about doing that. The other thing I’m excited about, is getting back to my family in Sweden for a while.

Image Credit: Kai Hansen Foto

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Published by Andrew DiCecco

Predominantly known for his NFL coverage, Andrew DiCecco is a Pennsylvania-based journalist with a profound passion for Rock music and its illustrious history. What initially began as a childhood hobby collecting CDs eventually evolved into a full-blown absorption into the world of Rock and Roll. An aspiring rock historian, Andrew seeks out every autobiography and documentary on Rock artists imaginable to further his knowledge to go along with a growing collection of vintage albums and magazines. Andrew’s musical preferences include, but are not limited to, Def Leppard, Van Halen, AC/DC, Guns N Roses, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions, Foreigner, and Journey. An innate appreciation for guitar heroes, Andrew cites Vito Bratta, Eddie Van Halen, John Sykes, George Lynch, Dave Meniketti, and Neal Schon as some of his personal favorite players. Andrew is also a regular listener to SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk, his primary source of inspiration.

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