A rock and roll mainstay will be headlining a rare live show at the Casino Theater in Newport on Friday, January 20. Guitarist Chris Spedding, best known for his studio work supporting just about every major artist to pass through the UK music scene since the late 1960s, will lead a trio of equally talented players, bassist Tony Garnier of Bob Dylan’s band and Anton Fig, known for his work on the David Letterman show.
Thanks to Newport Live, we are giving away two pairs of tickets to the show. E-mail Ken Abrams at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, January 13 at 5PM to enter. Please put “Spedding tickets” in the subject line.
The band is coming together for a short tour to honor the late Robert Gordon, who passed away in 2022.
“We’re playing a show in New York City, a tribute to Robert Gordon, who I played with for many years,” said London-based Spedding in a recent phone interview. “I’m extremely happy to be working with Anton and Tony because they’re not just rock players, they can do anything. Wherever I want to take the music, those guys can go there with me.”
Don’t expect a rock show with screaming guitars, Spedding noted. “There’s a limit to what you can do with the trio, if you’ve got records with loads of guitars, that doesn’t always work, I will play some things from my records going back to the early 70s, some things that work with a guitar trio,” he explained.
As mentioned, Spedding recorded numerous albums on legendary sessions over the years playing with artists including Paul McCartney, Elton John, Chrissie Hynde, and Harry Nilsson. He’s been an integral part of Roxy Music, and works frequently with Roxy founder Brian Ferry. His guitar chops are second to none, he’s considered to be in the same league as Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. Spedding has also made a dozen albums in his own name, and recorded the #1 UK hit “Motorbikin’.”
His career has taken him around the world. “I actually spent quite a long time in the States, I moved there in 1978, I came back to the UK in 2006, more of my professional working life has been in the States than in London. I was in New York, and Toronto, and I played Rhode Island before. The last 20 years, I spent a lot of time with Brian Ferry, I was part of the Roxy Music reunion tour in 2000, and have worked with them ever since,” noted Spedding.
Spedding has experienced memorable recordings throughout his career, including working with Harry Nilsson, for the album Nilsson Schmilsson. Another big moment came in May of 1976 when he produced the Sex Pistols’ first demo tapes. He describes the experience.
“You might expect me to have lots of stories. They showed up about one in the morning as we had agreed, they set up, and they started playing. I switched the tape on and recorded a few takes. They weren’t messing around. It was their first time in the studio. I’m afraid I don’t have any Sex Pistols bad behavior stories. It’s probably more newsworthy to tell you they were actually very good, very efficient, and very diligent in the studio. We got three songs down in the space of five hours. It was a success. I’m still friends with them all.”
Spedding continues to record and tour in his 70s and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. He recorded a neo-rockabilly album with Gordon before his death that was released late in 2022. Don’t miss this one – a rare show indeed!
Click here to listen to Hellafied, the new album on Cleopatra Records.