O68: This year you are celebrating 50 years of your album, Live Dates, what is the significance of this album for you personally, and as Wishbone Ash? How did the release of this album change the trajectory of your life and career?
AP: Live Dates followed our globally successful Argus album, which had taken us to the top of the UK charts. There simply weren’t that many genuine live rock albums produced at that time. Obviously, The Allman Brothers; Live At The Fillmore and The Who Live At Leeds come to mind, but Live Dates, with the iconic Hipgnosis artwork, was significant in that it was right up there with those albums in terms of energy and sonic excellence.
We are firmly known as an album band, so we were never acknowledged as a singles band. Therefore, the touring and live shows have very much been a corner stone of my life. You could say that Live Dates, in a way, initiated the trajectory of my life and career and I’ve been on the road permanently ever since.
O68: While your group was initially formed in England, you are currently living in Redding, CT. What’s your favorite part of Connecticut living?
AP: My wife and I have lived in this part of Connecticut for decades, and right here in Redding for over 40 years. Having traveled worldwide, I can honestly say this area beats pretty much any place that I’ve traveled to or worked in. The clearly defined seasons, the wonderful nature, the small towns, the cosmopolitan, liberal aspect of it – all resonates with me. For example, in my down time, I love to walk the trails, kayak and go fishing. I can truly relax here. Finally, I’m most comfortable with the fact that the history of the area is all around you, in the buildings and in the traditions, just as it is in Europe and that gives me a sense of calmness and continuity.
O68: Are there any pre-show rituals you and the group do to ensure a successful performance?
AP: I usually drink a shot of good scotch whiskey! Ha, ha.
O68: If you were given a wishbone, what would your wish be?
AP: Travel has given me a perspective and a wider global understanding which I’m grateful for. I’m all too aware of the tensions in the current climate that we’re living in. Without sounding trite, I would wish for more of that general understanding and pragmatism in the world.
O68: What can people expect from your Ridgefield Playhouse concert on June 14th?
AP: We’ll feature fan favorite songs from the aforementioned classic albums – those that folks might expect from us, plus a few surprises – songs from our most recent album, Coat of Arms. Being known as a guitar band, there will be a goodly amount of great guitar playing centered around the twin lead guitar format that we’ve pioneered through the years. •