BILLY SUTER with an occasional column in which he chats to popular musicians about their musical likes and dislikes. The spotlight is on Durban guitarist SHAUN DRAGT, who is joining The Reals band as a special guest for their new show, Tribute to The Travelling Wilburys. It runs at Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre in Cunningham Road, Umbilo, at 8pm on Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11, and 2pm on Sunday, May to 12 – and again at those times from May 17 to 19. Tickets cost R150 each and booking is at Computicket or by phoning Roland at 082 499 8636.
Latest news from you?
The Travelling Wilburys tribute show is top priority right now. We will play all that band’s hits as well as material associated with individual members of this supergroup – Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. Our band has Barry Thomson on guitar and vocals, musical director Dawn Selby on keyboards and vocals, Mali Sewell on drums and vocals, Jason Andrew on bass and vocals, and me as guest guitarist.
What is your favourite song right now?
Highway Tune by Greta Van Fleet.
The last album you bought?
I bought Throwing Copper by Live again, as my original album got scratched through many years of in and out of the case. The newest album I bought was Anthem of the Peaceful Army by Greta Van Fleet.
Two of your favourite songs of all time?
Highway to Hell by AC/DC and Pound Cake by Van Halen.
Three of the finest albums ever?
Live’s Throwing Copper, is one as fine lyrics and much emotion were poured into this album.
Van Halen’s 1984 is another. A bit more commercial, but with mega-hits like Jump and Panama, what’s not to like?
The third is Highway to Hell by AC/DC. The vocals and musicianship set the tone for the band’s future as well as inspiring many other artists.
Song you hate the most right now?
Anything on radio. It’s absolute rubbish. Mumble Rappers and bubblegum pop. I can’t get around the fact that somebody at these radio stations gets paid to put the playlists together.
Worst song in history?
Friday by Rebecca Black.
Song you most associate with your teens?
Blink 182’s What’s My Age Again?
Song you most associate with your early childhood years?
Ferry Cross The Mersey by Gerry and the Pacemakers. I heard it so often!
The size of your music collection and the artists represented most there?
I’ve run out of space in my CD rack. I now have albums stored in boxes where hopefully, one day, my son can rummage through and see if there is something he likes. The artists most represented are rockers AC/DC. I have every single one of their albums – even the crappy ones.
Favourite radio station and DJ?
None. They aren’t really DJs are they? They get told what to play and talk a bunch of crap to pass the time. They’re basically talk-show hosts who occasionally play rubbish songs.
The local artists you most admire?
We have such amazing local talents who don’t get the recognition they deserve. I’m really digging Francois Van Coke, Dan Patlansky and all the theatre musicians that put in many hours of hard work.
Artists from abroad that you most admire?
Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters, as well as ex local boys Seether.
Most over-rated people in the recording business?
Rappers and any R&B artist. They’re all running out of ideas so they sample older artists’ material… then people lap it up and think that they’re geniuses. Drives me nuts!
The best comment I ever heard was when Paul McCartney did a song with Kanye West and Rihanna, and some guy said that “Whoever this McCartney guy is, he’s about to get really famous”. I just thought, what is this world coming to when you don’t know who Paul McCartney is. Makes you want to slap the parents.
Pet hate/s about the music scene in South Africa?
South African rock bands don’t get the radio time or the financial rewards they deserve. And the ones who do get recognition are overplayed.
The one music act you would give the world to see perform live?
Most of the bands I listen to have members that have passed away, but if I could go back in time, I would love to see the original line-up of AC/DC.
Ever asked a music personality for an autograph?
I asked Barry Thomson of The Reals for an autograph after one of his gigs. That meeting changed my life. It’s always nice to meet your hero and even better when he/she turns out to be a really cool person.
Music acts you have seen live and loved?
Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Metallica, Live, Offspring, Guns N’ Roses (although the sound at FNB Stadium was pretty bad), Collective Soul, 30 Seconds to Mars and Korn.
Best singing star ever?
For me, it has to be the late Chester Bennington from Linkin Park, as that’s what I grew up on. If you had to say of all time, then it’s Freddie Mercury.
The greatest musician of all time?
I would have to say Chuck Berry as he bought rock & roll to the masses.
Best band in history?
The Rolling Stones.
The styles of music you most enjoy – and least enjoy?
I love rock music. I hate rap, hip-hop and R&B.
The most embarrassing artist represented in your music collection – and why is it there?
I bought a Vengaboys album… only because the girl I was going out with at the time liked them. I was hoping to get in her good books as well as get a bit of “extra attention”.
The one song that will always be guaranteed to get you on to a dancefloor?
Everyday by Eric Prydz.
The musical teaming you would most like to see?
I would like to see Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin get back with Guns N’ Roses.
Your choice of karaoke song?
Don’t do karaoke. I’m the guy who judges people from behind a beer at the bar. If I don’t have a guitar slung around my neck, my confidence goes out the window. It takes a lot of balls, or a lot of booze, to do karaoke. I don’t drink enough and my balls are pretty average-sized.
The first song you ever performed for an audience?
Woodstock by Matthews Southern Comfort.
Guilty pleasure: a song you really feel you shouldn’t enjoy, but secretly do?
Pink by Aerosmith.
Worst decade for music?
Now. But with the emergence of bands like Greta Van Fleet and Black Veil Brides, I have confidence things are turning around.
Hottest-looking music celebs?
I really dig Lita Ford (in her younger days) and Orianthi Panagaris. Any blonde with a guitar slung around her neck is hot.
The song you’d like to be played at your funeral?
Alright Now by Free. The title is self-explanatory. Everything is going to be all right once I’m gone.
The song you find the saddest (and why)?
Sailing by Rod Stewart. My mom used to play it on repeat, and it always played with my emotions.
Two dead music icons you’d most like to invite to dinner?
Malcolm Young of AC/DC and Randy Rhodes, Ozzy Osbourne’s ex guitarist.