Vince Welnick Live Interview 4/28/98 at 10 PM EDT, 7 PM Pacific.

A Big Success!

We had over 650 people in the auditorium, and over a 1100 unanswered questions at the end of the event. A transcript is posted below.

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Geoff Gould : Welcome to tonight's special AOL Live event. My name is Geoff Gould, and I am the AOL GD Forum coordinator. Tonight we are pleased to have Vince Welnick here, actually he's on the phone from a live in-store appearance in Oregon.

Today, Vince's Missing Man Formation was released on BMG/Arista, and of course is available here at AOL keyword: gdstore.

Welcome Vince

Vince Welnick : Nice to be here.

GG : This record is mainly an MMF that's no more, correct?

VW : Its a hybrid, half live album, half studio; half of the vocals are from a new band, and of course Bobby Strickland was in both bands.

GG : Who's in the new band?

VW : Me, Bobby Strickland, Trey Sabatelli, Robin Sylvester on bass, and John Wedemeyer; and everyone sings now.

GG : I've got a question from KPBGUITAR:

Question: How did you feel when Jerry Died?

VW : I felt as bad as I've ever felt in my life; at one point I didn't think I'd feel well enough to play again, but I knew that he'd continue if it had been me.

GG : EatAFutoN sez:

Question: What older Dead tunes were you planning on bringing out towards the end?

VW : Well, Saint Stephen, Cosmic Charlie, and um.......any others......

GG : Did you rehearse those?

VW : Yea

GG : Ene97 sez:

Question: What Dead song touches you the most now?

VW : I'd have to say Stella Blue.

GG : Any reason?

VW : It touches me deeply every time I hear it. I sing verses here and there; it moves me even more so now that he's gone.

GG : Tell us a little about songwriting with Hunter and Barlow, whose songs are on the new MMF CD.

VW : The song with Barlow was written when Jerry was alive, and may have made it into the setlist; I co-wrote it with Bob Bralove. Samba In The Rain was suggested by Hunter... the lyrics to golden stairs are from the Box of Rain collection. We worked on that and Samba closely together. Samba was suggested by Hunter after I sent him a piano demo.

GG : JSR8220 sez:

Question: Did you always wanna be a singer?

VW : I hadn't......I started out as an instrumentalist, but thanks to the beatles, I discovered I could sing these harmonies. When I presented songs to Jerry, he would say "You wrote em, you sing em!"

GG : So you never sang lead in the Tubes?

VW : Just little cameo leads, but there were others leads singers in that group.

GG : JFGrande2 sez:

Question: Vince, what was your favorite song to play with the Dead?

VW : Thats a tough one......boy oh boy.....too numerous to mention.

GG : MAGENTA53 sez:

Question: Are you planning to tour in support of the new CD?

VW : Yes, I'm out right now.

GG : Other gigs to plug?

VW : May 25th House of Blues in LA, outdoor festival near LA (Desert Jam '98) the 23rd, and the 24th is San Diego at 4th and B.

GG : Ponyrydr2 sez:

Question: How is the group doing now, any new recordings?

VW : I have enough material for a new album; we may go into the studio during the summer.

GG : Snoo11 sez:

Question: What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

VW : Uncle Gaylords lotus cream; kind of like lemon with almond strips in it; completely addictive! Never had any ice cream like it.

GG : Is Uncle Gaylord's still in business?

VW : I don't think so. I wouldn't know where to get it now. My 2nd favorite are the Cherry Garcia pops, different from the ice cream. Something about the chocolate on the outside of the ice cream.

GG : Guildspln has a pretty specific piano question:

Question: Vince...hows it going?? Wanted to ask you how you compare yourself to fellow great pianist Page Macconnell from Phish and John (Jojo) Hermann from Widespread Panic, and if you know them on a personal basis?

VW : I didn't know Phish had a key player. I've never even heard them. And I've heard Widespread but am not familiar with their songs.

GG : KayCee71 wants to know:

Question: I want to know if any certain show sticks in your mind as the most memorable for you... Oh, & thanx for givin me plenty to smile about, you were hot on the keys...= )

VW : Thank you very much. I was always fond of Las Vegas because it was outside and my family would come see me. And I liked Deer Creek as well as Boston Garden. But Vegas.....for my Dad to get to see me.

GG : CosmicKC says:

Question: Love the music you are doing. I would love to see MMF do a tour and stop in Chicago. Any plans for this???

VW : Yes...hopefully the House of Blues, but we need a couple more gigs over there. We'll have to write our congressman to get over there.

GG : CindyBowi wants to know:

Question: How long did it take to write the material heard on the Missing Man disc?

VW : A couple of months.

GG : MISTI 2 sez:

Question: What is it like being on TV? Do you ever get nervous?

VW : Yea, its hard to avoid the shit eating grin.

GG : Moodeewmn has a deep background question:

Question: Please tell us a little more about your background--what you were doing before joining the Dead.

VW : Geez...before the Dead, I played with Todd Rundgren, and the Tubes for 17 years. And before that, the Beans.

GG : NCardilli sez:

Question: Why the XB2 instead of a real Hammond organ?

VW : The Dead's idea. I now have a real hammond.

GG : MAGENTA53 sez:

Question: What kind of music have you been listening to for inspiration?

VW : Oooo....most recently......every kind!

GG : Jera Rune sez:

Question: Why did Kimock and Vega leave the band?

VW : Conflicts with scheduling meant Missing Man cancelations, so they went back to Zero.


Question: Do you plan to write more with Robert Hunter?

VW : Yes , whether he likes it or not! I've been stealing songs like "Emperor's Suit" from Box of Rain . Also look for "Walker After Midnight" out of Box of Rain .

GG : Available here of course [shameless plug].


Question: How many instruments can you play?

VW : About six.

GG : SGuacamole says:

Question: How has MMF changed with Steve Kimmock? Is the sound different?

VW : More lush vocals, but the sound is surprisingly similar.

GG : QTPiE587 has a question:

Question: How did you and the rest of the band come to the decision to no longer perform after Jerry's death?

VW : Don't know.

GG : DeadNC sez:

Question: Whats up with the Pirates Ball, Vince ?

VW : Which ball? Get it?

GG : Doobiphil sez:

Question: Hi Vince! A real pleasure to chat with you. My Q: How long after that 1st show in Ohio til you realized that the deadheads accepted and even love you! P.S., that ohio show you debuted at was great, you were very understated and respectful of Brent.

VW : Thank you. I realized that before I left the building. The Dead Heads are all about unconditional love.

GG : Brent was in the band a long time, and often felt like the new kid in the band. How did that work with you?

VW : I always felt a part of the band and still do.

GG : Nimrod862 sez:

Question: Is it true that you have been working with Harvey Mandel? If so, what kind of project is it?

VW : Harvey tried out for the band; for a guitar part. But Harvey needs to be Harvey.

GG : A1A J PIK sez:

Question: Vince, It is an honor to be talking with you.I have been an avid Tubes fan since 1975 and saw you several times with the band. I am curious as to what caused the break up in 1985 and what your most memorable musical moment was?

VW : First of all, thank you. I think Fee left for financial reasons. One of my most memorable experiences was almost getting fired for life by Bill Graham due to a drug parody........... purple Kool Aid!

GG : SJCanny sez:

Question: Are there any plans to release the last of the Dead's original material?

GG : I guess the songs played near the end?

VW : They would have to be live versions. We didn't get far enough in the studio before Jerry died.


Question: What roads that you took do you feel got you where you are today?

VW : The road of no return. The road of no turning back. I've burned all bridges behind me in pursuit of the music.

GG : Comment from Hapiphish:

Comment : I wish only to tip my hat. After 37 years of music study-piano major, it is an honor to share my thanx for all of the GoOdTiMeS over the years on tour. Best of luck with the new album Vince

VW : Thank you, and keep playing the music.

GG : DuKK TaPe sez:

GG : He said, "How was your day?"

VW : Bright and cheery.


Question: Any advice to the ones that want to get into the music business?

: You'd better love it more than you value a livelyhood.

GG : Mkleiser sez:

Question: Vince- Is it true that you encouraged the Dead to play Here Comes Sunshine? Did you encourage them on any others?

VW : Yes to Here Comes, and Attics of My Life.

GG : A1A J PIK says:

Question: Vince, what do you think of the new Tubes line-up and CD, and would you play with them again if given the opportunity?

VW : I don't think about it, and I'll play with them when Fee puts on the big shoes. It would have to involve all original band members.

GG : Are you happy with your new album?

VW : Absolutely ecstatic.......and the band is making me very happy.

GG : Many want to know when you're coming to their area?

VW : Write your congressperson!

GG : N2Straw sez:

Question: Did you do any covers?

VW : No, but would like to do an entire CD of covers sometime.

GG : CindyBowi sez:

Question: Where was the new album recorded?

VW : The live parts were in Studio E, Sebastopol, Ca. The studio part was at Club Front. Pianos at my home.

GG : Thank you Vince for being here tonight.

VW : Party, fun!

GG : That's all folks.....We'll now adjourn to the after-show party in the Rose Garden! We bid you good night.

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