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The Flock

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with  Fred Glickenstein of The Flock from 2014

Can you catch the readers up on your musical history, both personally and in terms of the Flock? 

I have always loved music and, at age ten, was given a ukulele and taught how to play four chords, soon switching to guitar. After meeting up with high school friend Rick Canoff who sang, played saxophone and wrote lyrics, we formed a group called “The Triumphs” later to be called “The Exclusives.” One evening in 1965 I went to the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago to see a Battle of the Bands between an American group, The New Colony Six and a group from England called “The Robin Hoods.” Both groups were great and when I asked one of The Robin Hoods where they got their name he said, with a wonderful British accent, "it was between The Robin Hoods or The Flock." A huge bell went off in my head!! Our group, The Exclusives, was looking for a new name. "You mean there isn't a group called The Flock?" The Robin Hood said, "not that we know of". So that was it! The name Flock was imported from England and given to us on a platter. The Flock was born.
MSJ: So, what’s the story with the new Flock CD release? How did that come about, what’s special about it, and so on?
The new Flock CD is a collection of three projects done between 1976 - 1977 featuring three original Flock members and other very talented Chicago musicians/singers/writers. You will like/love it!
MSJ: If you weren't involved in music what do you think you'd be doing?
Your guess is as good as mine.
MSJ: Who would you see as your musical influences?
I was raised with music playing at home all the time, classical, Broadway/stage and popular music. Being born in 1947 I heard a lot of different styles of music. Was heavily influenced by the American Pop music of the 40s, 50s and 60s. Then came the British Invasion, The Beatles, etcetera.
MSJ: What's ahead for you?
Right now lunch is sounding pretty good. I have been working at The Hadley School for the Blind for the last 30 years and am planning to retire at age 70, a little over two years from now.
MSJ: I know artists hate to have their music pigeonholed or labeled, but how would you describe your music?
Flock music is a combination of rock, blues, country, jazz, classical and pop.
MSJ: Are there musicians with whom you would like to play in the future?
Anyone who could physically make it up the stairs to the stage. But seriously, I listen to music every day but no longer play…have been known to sing in the shower now and again.
MSJ: How has music changed since the old days of The Flock?
Music is music. Of course it has become more technically advanced.
MSJ: Do you think that illegal downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians?
Hindrance. There is no such thing as getting something for nothing. This creates karmic debt and will eventually have to be paid back.
MSJ: In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?
Karmically also not a good idea.
MSJ: If you were to put together your ultimate band (a band you'd like to hear or catch live), who would be in it and why?
Oscar Peterson, Pat Martino, Joe Pass, George Coleman, John Coltrane and Elvin Jones. All great jazz musicians! 
MSJ: If you were in charge of assembling a music festival and wanted it to be the ultimate one from your point of view who would be playing?
Every band in the world! Get ready for a long festival...bring your pillow and blanket.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
I listen to all kinds of music.
MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?
Last ones were the seven Harry Potter books.
MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
Probably a classical music concert at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA.
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
Turning my amp up to eleven!
MSJ: If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, for food and conversation, with whom would you be dining?
Christ, John the Baptist and Joan Rivers.
MSJ: What would be on the menu?
Chinese and BBQ.
MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?
When all else fails, try praying.
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 6 at
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