In August after a mildly productive July, there was a nice change of pace. I was emailing back and forth with Mr. Gardener and he’d mentioned he was going to be in San Diego. In addition to him, Adam Franklin (Swervedriver) and Rob Dickinson (Catherine Wheel) were to be at the same event. Me and Chris and my friend Tosh drove down there on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
Mark Gardener was just as cool for our second meeting. Our timing was perfect, the sun was at its peak and Mark was in good spirits. He had brought a few friends with him and we all drank wine as the interview took place. I enjoyed interviewing him, though it was sad when he recounted the demise of Ride, a band I’d loved so much. After we wrapped I spoke with Mark for a while and he made a very gracious offer. I’d told him I was having trouble contacting many of the people on my interview list and he offered to help.
Rob Dickinson was up next; he was the most guarded and uneasy of any of the interviews up to that point. I heard of Catherine Wheel while working at my college newspaper. We did not do music reviews but record companies sent us CD’s anyway. Many of them I would collect and bring to St. Marks place to trade in for stuff I really wanted. The deep blue cover of “Chrome” caught my eye, a fantastic album cover of three people submerged under water doing some strange acrobatics (It was designed by famed graphic designer, Storm Thorgeson who designed “Dark Side of the Moon”). The CD was flawless from beginning to end, a great album. It was 1993 and everyone was deep into Grunge or actually the commercial form of it that was massive that year, I tried to get people in to the band but pop-grunge ruled the airwaves and few listened. During the interview I told Dickinson this info, which seemed to make the interview go smoother. In the end it was a pleasure to meet him.
Adam Franklin didn’t have much time but he was a good interview and fun to meet. We interviewed him outside; he was very warm and giving. We chatted a while before and after. Swervedriver is such a cool band, they are the most hard rock of most of these bands and they do it really well. Their songs invoke such classic imagery of the open road, dangerous yet serene. They have a great song called “Duel” named after the excellent Spielberg film about a faceless truck driver running an average man off the road for the entirety of the film. Their songs are raw yet insightful, a classic band.
A few days later, I exchanged emails with Mark, he made good on his offer to help me which led to my correspondences with former Ride manager David Newton, his help in getting me in touch with people was amazing and I started rolling more emails with various contacts in the UK.