Magazine article Guitar Player

Setting the Record Straight with Punky Meadows

Magazine article Guitar Player

Setting the Record Straight with Punky Meadows

Article excerpt

THERE WAS A TIME WHEN PUNKY MEADOWS, AND HIS glamorous band Angel, seemed poised to be the "next big thing." They were on the same label as Kiss, and they had big riffs and big hair, but no big hits. Despite pockets of regional success, they ultimately didn't take over the world. Meadows was out of the music biz for many years, making cameos with Frank Zappa (he's the Punky in "Punky's Whips") and being impersonated by Paul Gilbert in Ampeg ads. But now, he's back with his first-ever solo album, Fallen Angel [Main Man].

Why release a solo record now?

I never stopped playing guitar. It's in my blood. I'll play while I'm watching TV. I come up with ideas for songs, record them real quick, and then keep playing. I more or less woodshed all the time.

How did you approach your guitar solos on the album?

Well, when I hear other players take a solo, my attitude is: "Don't impress me. Inspire me." It's all about soul, heart, and tone. That's what I was going for on "Leavin' Tonight," which is a ballad with a soulful and melodic guitar solo at the end. When I write a song, I'll typically write a different chord progression for the solo, so it can kind of become a song within the song.

You grew up around the Washington, D.C. area. Were you aware of players like Danny Gatton?

Danny Gatton and Roy Buchanan were friends of mine. They used to come to my house, and they'd sit in at my gigs. As players, those guys were from another planet. …

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