The Press - Christchurch - New Zealand

Boz's horse sense

Feb 27, 2010 - by Vicki Anderson

VICKI ANDERSON caught up with Boz Scaggs before his show with Michael McDonald and the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band at Westpac Arena on Wednesday.

Boz Scaggs,with Michael McDonald and the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band at Westpac Arena on Wednesday; Vector Arena Auckland on Friday, March 5; and at Pettigrew Green, Napier, on Saturday, March 6. Tickets: 0800 Ticketek.


Do you have a horse-training facility you think Boz would like to see?

Email with your suggestions.

Hi Boz, how are you?

"I'm good, it's a great day here in Napa Valley, California."

How is Scaggs Winery going?

"Yes, I grow grapes and enjoy wine, we have about one hectare of land here."

I know you are fond of New Zealand. Is there anything you're particularly looking forward to experiencing on this trip?

"My wife and myself are really excited. I was going to sell everything I had and move to New Zealand at one time, it's the most beautiful place. New Zealand is a very special place in the world.

"We have a few days off in Christchurch so we're looking forward to that in particular. My wife is a horsewoman - she has a thoroughbred horse and she trains and does eventing, dressage, showjumping and cross country, so we'll be looking to check out some horse-training facilities. I don't know much about horses myself, but it's usually the countryside where the horses are so that's a nice reason to go in itself.

"When we travel it's a good way to connect with some of the locals. I think they're beautiful, but I don't understand horses. I love to watch them, but I don't really understand them."

When you were at high school with Steve Miller, did you ever imagine your life would turn out as it has?

"No, never in my wildest dreams."

I've spent the last week reading a series of interviews you've done over the years. I love one of the first you ever did, with Ben Fong-Torres and Rolling Stone back in 1971. There's a great story in there of you attempting to smuggle Indian hash. What has been the biggest change for you since 1971?

[Loud guffaws] "India . . . that's right. After some time, after having worked as a musician and having played at a lot more shows, one comes to realise in time that one has his or her own style of doing things. When you're young you're just copying things you've heard on the radio and you're searching around for who you are, what your personality is and what you mean to your audience.

"After some years you begin to develop your own style and you keep coming back to the same themes sometimes, even if you've been to another style of music. For instance, I've been working for the last few years with jazz musicians on standards and I still have my voice and my style, I have tools that I can use. I speak from a point of view where I'm still searching and learning and I'm still challenged by things. I know a bit more about what I'm good at and what things are about now. Trying new challenges makes life really interesting for me."

Beautiful answer. And, now, I guess things are full circle in a way, in that your son Austin writes the Smoking Section for Rolling Stone.

"He does. I'm a big fan of what he does."

It's an interesting lineup for this tour with Michael McDonald (Doobie Brothers/Steely Dan) and the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band celebrating 40 years since the release of the first record. What will the set-list be like?

"It'll be a bit of a greatest-hits affair, and we'll add in some songs from our latest albums, too. It should be fun."

You've had a number of hits, including Lowdown, and worked with some incredible artists. What has been the happiest moment of your career?

"To me it's when I run into an old musician friend, someone I haven't seen for a while. I get great satisfaction in being around other musicians, it's a very special kind of human being that is taken in by music. It's who I get to play with and who I get to share it with, which makes it very special."

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