Roots Report

Roots Report

Chris Spedding on tour in 1979. (Photo: Paul Ruta)

Okee dokee folks… The other day someone mentioned that they were reaching a milestone birthday and they were dismayed that they hadn’t achieved as much as they would have liked in their life. Having reached many age milestones myself, I let them know that all you can really do is give it your best shot. If you heap too much pressure on yourself to attain certain goals, you will be weighed down by disappointment. Life often gets in the way of your objectives and there is not much you can do about that.


When I was young, I had big dreams of being a rock star. I had no idea how to achieve this but that is what I wanted to be. I thought that if I went to college for music that would help. University didn’t last long, as the only career that a music degree was going to get me was teaching or performing as a classical musician. I quit school. I started working and soon I was engaged. My partner didn’t like the idea of me being out at night trying to play music, so I didn’t pick up a guitar for years. When that relationship crashed and burned I decided to go back to school for art. Music was just another form of art so I began playing gigs, too. Classes began to take over and I needed more money for tuition and art supplies. One thing led to another and I found myself bartending to pay the bills. School and work dominated my life and once again music took a back seat and faded away.

I was already in my late 20s and I was not happy that music kept being shoved aside. I decided that I would quit bartending and only do things that involved art or music to make money. I started gigging again and soon formed a duo that changed everything for me. Finally, music consumed my life and I was touring and gigging all the time. I managed to keep a handle on school and got my master’s degree. Then, after a few years, life happened again. Relationships and having “too many irons in the fire” caused me to burn out and melt down. I quit playing music.

For years I did behind-the-scenes work in the music community just to stay connected. My guitar collected dust. Between freelance graphic design, music production, and related music activities I had no time to play, and at that point, no real desire to. Then, while at an annual music conference, I dropped my name into a raffle at an exhibitor’s booth. The prize was a CD duplication package worth thousands. Surprisingly, I won.

That kicked me in the ass to get playing again. It took almost a year but I finally got my shit together and recorded another album. I started playing music again and have been ever since. I ultimately realized that music is in my blood and defines who I am as a person. It keeps me sane and is just as important as air and food to keep me going.

While I may not be a rock star, I have achieved a lot with music over my life. The actual story is much more complicated but that is the abridged version. Pretty much everything I do now is based in music – performing, writing and recording music, writing for Motif, podcasts, photography, event production, and more. Sometimes it makes me crazy and is overwhelming but I have learned to manage things better. Basically, what I am trying to say to you is – have dreams, but be realistic and evolve those dreams. Hell, my mother is 84 years old and has always wanted to write a book. She is writing poems and stories now to reach that goal.

Don’t give up but don’t get bogged down in disappointment. Life is a rough ride and if you keep in the direction of your dream, the road may finally get you there or at least somewhat close by. Read on…
Okay, so I rambled again. Here are some shows to round out the month of March.

The “Spaceman” of KISS, Ace Frehley will be landing at The Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket on March 29. Keep an eye out for my Roots Report podcast with him! Also at the Stadium are the formidable Femmes of Rock on March 16. Check out the podcast with founder Nina DiGregorio.

If, like me, you were never able to see Pink Floyd then you will definitely want to catch the next best thing – BritFloyd. They are a very impressive tribute to the legendary band-sound, lights and songs. They are at Veterans Auditorium on March 17. Also at Vets is the “rant king” Lewis Black. He brings his Goodbye Yeller Brick Road tour in on March 21, and has also joined me on the Roots Report podcast.

The Cher Show is at the Boch Center in Boston for three days only, March 15-17, for those of you who love the diva, her music, and musicals.

Tony Orlando will be tying a yellow ribbon for the last time at Mohegan Sun on March 22. Catch this legend before he knocks three times and is done!

Newport Live presents the Chris Spedding Trio featuring Anton Fig on March 22. Spedding has worked with artists such as Elton John, Roger Daltry, Roxy Music, and countless others. Fig was the drummer on David Letterman’s show for decades and played with too many big name artists to even list – basically EVERYONE!

The Greenwich Odeum has the last man (Monkee) standing, Micky Dolenz on March 24. Ted Neeley and Yvonne Elliman bring two days of music and Jesus Christ Superstar on March 30 and 31 (Yvonne is also interviewed on Roots Report).

That’s it for now. You can listen to my podcasts at