George Duke Interview @ Wolfgang’s Vault

By the time this interview was recorded in 1978, Duke had recorded and toured with Jean-Luc Ponty, Frank Zappa, Cannonball Adderly, Stanley Clarke, and Billy Cobham — covering jazz, rock, and everything on the spectrum in between before heading in a more straightforward funk direction with 1977’s Reach For It and its 1978 follow-up Don’t Let Go. Duke openly admits in this interview of trying to avoid being pigeonholed in any specific genre, and has a lot to say about the state of music in the late 1970s. Indeed, his views are as relevant today as when they were first recorded.

Click here to hear the whole interview.

Note:

‘Whatever happened to Shuggie Otis?’ is the only unanswered question in this interview. As you know, Shuggie Otis played Bass on Frank Zappa’s song “Peaches En Regalia”, from his “Hot Rats” Album.

6 Responses to “George Duke Interview @ Wolfgang’s Vault”

  1. Rob says:

    I vaguely remember reading that Shuggie Otis passed away a couple of years ago. I could be wrong, though…

  2. Rob says:

    P.S.—After Googling Shuggie, it says he a semi-recluse and in poor health, but played some gigs in 2001. Rumors of his death may be premature (sorry, Shuggie!).

  3. Birdman! says:

    His 1974 album, “Inspiration Information” was rereleased by David Byrne’s “Luaka Bop” label a few years ago. At that time, he appeared on “The Conan O’Brien Show” and played “Strawberry Letter 23” (I couldn’t find it on Youtube, but you can listen to that song and some others there). Recognizing the name, I got the CD. Very sexy R&B and very highly recommendable. Like Prince, he plays just about every instrument on the album. I think “Luaka Bop” later released another album by him, but I haven’t heard it. Anyone with the slightest interest should check out “Inspiration Informmation”, though. Everytime I play it, people ask who it is and really dig it. Also, it has the original version of “Strawberry Letter 23”, which was a hit for the Brothers Johnson.

  4. andre says:

    He obviously became a recluse and decided not to step into the popular domain anymore in fear of being pigeon holed. Some people say he was a black rock artist, if you watch the movie Electric Purgatory , and then some people say he was funkateer. He was a deep artist, and didnt want to bullshit and most black artists like hiim have to bullshit to get any promotion, let alone sales.

  5. peter says:

    I read an interview with him where he was seething with hatred. I’ll have to see if I can track it down. He pretty much said he taught Frank and Beefheart everything they knew. He would refer to Don as a flatulant bee: Bee Fart. Love his Insp Info album, too. Yep, play it at a party and everyone wants to know what it is.

  6. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from andre:

    He obviously became a recluse and decided not to step into the popular domain anymore in fear of being pigeon holed. Some people say he was a black rock artist, if you watch the movie Electric Purgatory , and then some people say he was funkateer. He was a deep artist, and didnt want to bullshit and most black artists like hiim have to bullshit to get any promotion, let alone sales.

    Here’s a link to Electric Purgatory:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrdEHvREfdI

    The documentary is a little more than an hour. Very enlightening.

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