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Old May-08-2009, 11:29 AM
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Icon34 Wanderer Glenn's a premier rocker

Express & Star
Interview by Debbie Bennett
May 8th, 2009

Football and rock music ... they’re worlds apart for sure. But as Wolves bask in Premier League glory, there is one fan who is truly ecstatic about his beloved team’s fortunes.

Cannock-born singer and bass guitarist Glenn Hughes has lived in the US since the 70s, his Midlands accent long gone. But he claims he’s the football club’s biggest fan outside the UK.

"I’m gold and black through and through, really in love with this club," he says. "I’m overcome with emotion, as any other Wolves fan is, that we have won the Championship."

The former Trapeze and Deep Purple musician says he’s been a Wolves fan "since I was born".

But the star has had his fair share of "dark" times, just as the team did in the 80s.

"Let’s say when I was in ‘the fast lane’ in the late 70s and early 80s, I don’t remember my great team being in the Fourth Division. I don’t remember them almost going out of the football league.

"All I know is that when I came back on the planet again in 1991, I would fly in for so many games, from LA and wherever, and to see the transformation from the Graham Turner era which I came back into, to Graham Taylor, to McGee, to Hoddle and now Mick McCarthy.

"I’ve been with the team, kicking every ball, listening to the club in Tokyo, in Sydney. I’ve been all over the world and listened to Wolves World."

And as the team has risen to the well-earned ranks of the Premier League, Glenn has paralleled in his efforts to be great once again. After almost losing his life through drug abuse, he pulled himself together and began forging a solo career as well as collaborating with the likes of former Rainbow singer Joe Lynn Turner on the Hughes Turner Project albums.

Next month Glenn returns to the Midlands to play two very different shows at the Robin 2, in Bilston, to celebrate his 40 years in the music business.

Saturday, June 6, will see the singer perform some of greatest solo material, as well as songs from his time in Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple Mk III.

But it won’t just be Deep Purple.

"There’s gonna be Hughes/Thrall, solo stuff, things I haven’t played in a while and one or two songs I have never played before," Glenn promises. "The guys in my band are having to learn songs they’ve never played before."

On Sunday, June 7 the evening will be devoted to Glenn’s Trapeze days as well as to former band member and Glenn’s dear friend Mel Galley who died last year.

"The Trapeze thing is all about Mel," Glenn enthuses.

"It would’ve been 40 years of Trapeze this year. I’m the one carrying the flag and I’m sure if Mel was here and I wasn’t, he’d be doing the same thing playing the songs we played when we were younger, in the way we wrote them.

"I’ve been looking forward to this all year."

And Glenn is taking these gigs very seriously. The songs are very sacred to him and close to his heart although he’s known to crack a joke or two on stage.

Last year the singer performed an exclusive gig at the Robin and talked his enraptured audience through the history of each song he played, throwing in the odd humorous anecdote.

"Oh, and it will be fun," he says. "I’m celebrating on June 6 and 7 all the Trapeze music, all the music I’ve written, and there will be some spontaneity as well.

"I’ve got some high-powered friends of mine flying in from America. People from all over the world are coming to these two shows."

The gigs will be a rare treat for Hughes fans. In the past he has mostly played his latest material, the most recent being his album
F U N K, released last year, so for him to return to his Trapeze roots and Deep Purple days is excellent news for die-hard Hughes fans.

"I wanted to try something different. I also wanted to celebrate my 40th birthday of being a professional musician," he says.

Glenn is unstoppable these days, touring regularly and frequently popping back to the UK to visit his family and attend Wolves matches.

And with a stunning and varied back catalogue of music styles, he is now adding another string to his bow.

"I said five years ago that I wanted to work with an orchestra and now I’m gonna do it," he says.

"In Sweden there’s a famous piano player named Robert Wells who is huge and plays to 15,000-20,000 people with an orchestra. He’s invited me to join him this summer on eight shows in Scandinavia. I’ll be joining him for four songs.

"I’m finally doing what I set out to do. And next year I’ll be doing a handful of shows with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. It’s a huge honour for me."

But it’s Glenn’s Midlands fans that he is most loyal to.

"I’ve been living in America since the early 70s, but there’s still a part of me in the Midlands," he says.

"I was born here and this is where it all started. America took me in, early in Trapeze, and my music is very American based.

“When I come back here it’s special. The Robin is special place for me now, and I get treated really well there.

"I have the most amazing fans which makes it all worthwhile. I carry the message to people and they get something out of my songs."

And carry the message he does. Glenn is a regular user of Twitter (twitter.com/glenn_hughes), the online networking application, where he updates fans on where he is and what hešs doing throughout the week.

"I started doing this several months ago," he says. "My webmaster always wanted me to give fans the edge on what’s going on so I started Twittering the first week it came out.

"I have a lot of fans on Twitter now and they’re getting younger. It’s amazing to look at my audiences and see twentysomethings and teenagers. It’s great to see the older fans, but the younger ones are the future for me too."

Teetotal Glenn is fitter than he’s ever been in his 57 years. He jogs regularly near his home in Los Angeles and follows a healthy diet.

"They say I’m singing better than ever," he says. "I want to continually push the boundaries of an artist and to be the finest singer of my generation. I won’t stop until I get to where I want to be."

With all the health, vitality and enthusiasm Glenn oozes, let’s hope we hear "the voice of rock" for many years to come.

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Old May-08-2009, 3:09 PM
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Nice write up!

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Old May-09-2009, 1:26 PM
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wolfysmith wolfysmith is offline

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you can hear the writer of the article, Debbie Bennett, singing on Myspace here.

Currently Listening to Saxon, Wheels of Steel

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Old May-09-2009, 3:05 PM
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strat335 strat335 is offline

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NICE! Both the article and Debbie's music page
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Old May-13-2009, 2:19 AM
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wolfysmith wolfysmith is offline

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the same piece was also in last nights edition of the paper, this time in a long thin single column on page 8 with a nice face pic of Glenn.

Currently listening to Cheap Trick, Every Night and Every Day (Rockford)

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Old May-17-2009, 11:13 AM
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Keith Thompson Keith Thompson is offline

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Good old Debs (or young Debs). Never lets us down. She will be there at The Robin next month too.
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