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Progressive Rock Interviews

Ian Lloyd

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Ian Lloyd from 2010

You were in the band Stories way back when and had the hit song “Brother Louie”. What is the story of that band and will there ever be a reunion?

Michel Brown (LEFT BANKE - “Walk Away Rene”) and I formed STORIES in 1971 and went on to record 2 albums together, Stories and About Us.  “Brother Louie” was added to About Us after the record had been completed and Michael had left the band. If Mike had stayed, we never would have recorded that song. Ken Bichel replaced Michael on keyboards (including Mellotron and Arp 2600!) and Kenny Aaronson replaced me on bass guitar allowing me to become a traditional “front man”… So both new members played on “Brother Louie” and the third STORIES album Traveling Underground (which included our third Billboard

Top 40 hit “Mammy Blue” as well as fan faves “Bridges” and the space rock track “Earthbound Freefall”).

The closest to a reunion will be seeing my current band performing the hits and choice tracks from STORIES records, as well as songs from my current CD In The Land Of O-de-PO.  Other than that you might see me performing ‘Brother Louie” with Kenny Aaronson on bass and Rich Ranno guitar [He replaced Steve Love on the last STORIES tour and then formed STARZ].

MSJ: You’ve also been involved in a lot of musical projects over the years. I’d like to touch on a few and get your insights on your experience and contribution to them.


As the unofficial invisible member of the band my high power rock vocals can be heard all over their CDs. I actually introduced Mick Jones (Spooky Tooth) to Ian Macdonald (King Crimson) and from that meeting Foreigner was conceived.

Being a part of all their classic hit records is a tremendous feeling as they really helped pave the way for other bands that followed like Def Leppard, etc…

“Waiting For A Girl Like You” was lots of fun because I was recording backing vocals with Mutt Lang (a great producer and a tremendous vocalist…). As I remember we pushed each other to soaring heights! “Cold As Ice” was another fun track to work on as we did it as a group sing. All members of Foreigner were on mike for that one. It was tons o’ fun!

MSJ: Yes: 
 A chance to sing with one of my all time favorite vocalists…. Jon Anderson was an unreal treat to work with.  We’d sing backing sessions together before he’d leave me alone to finish up tracks (in the later evenings). We would also have breakfast conversations covering everything from Crystal Skulls to UFO encounters. That experience had profound lasting effects on my oneness with the universe.

Billy Joel: 

Getting an opportunity to sing vocal ideas in the great one’s ear at the piano and appearing on backing vocals on his number one hit “I Go To Extremes” was quite an honor.
MSJ: Survivor
Not on "Eye Of The Tiger" but I did get the chance to vocalize with Tommy Show (Styx) on the Too Hot To Sleep.
MSJ: Are there any notable ones I’ve missed?
Peter Frampton – "Art Of Survival" (with Eddie Kramer producing, and he’s always fun to work with) …..

Kiss -Stories and Kiss were in the studio recording next door to each other when Gene and Paul asked me to jump over to their session to be a part of the group scream on “I Want To Rock N Roll All Night”. Another small part of rock history

“Play To Win” (a Bryan Adams tune from my FAST FORWARD CD)appeared in Pumping Iron II.

Miami Vice (“Golden Triangle”) used “Water Music II”, (composed by myself and Bruce Fairbairne), including it in the show as a background mood piece. The two episode show was eventually released as a Miami Vice movie on DVD.


In what projects have you been involved with most recently?

Working on a CD project with John Ford (of the Strawbs). We’ve already begun recording.

Preparing to go back into the studio with Social Hero [to begin  their second CD]

I plan on starting work on my follow-up to In The Land Of O-de-PO as soon as the John Ford – Ian Lloyd CD is complete.

I’ve also written and recorded a Christmas song and have it ready for an end of the year release.

Singing the theme song to the soon to be aired Louie sitcom (on FX). This is going to be one funny show from one very funny dude- Louis CK (ROCKS!). It debuts June 2010.

MSJ: If you weren't involved in music, what do you think you'd be doing?
I’d be dead, or…. I’d be an astronaut, or maybe a dead astronaut!
MSJ: Who do you see as your musical influences?
Sergei Rachmaninoff; Gustav Mahler; Frankie Avalon; Gene Pitney; Terry Reid; Rod Stewart; Robert Plant; Paul McCartney; Jon Anderson to name but a few.
MSJ: What's ahead for you?
More Music - More Music - More Music and lots of live performances with both Social Hero and Ian Lloyd’s Stories and more special “Brother Louie” appearances!
MSJ: Are there musicians you'd like to play with in the future?
Paul McCartney / Peter Gabriel 
MSJ: Do you think that downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians? It's been said by the major labels that it's essentially the heart of all the problems they are having in terms of lower sales - would you agree?
Of course I do not agree with the record companies. Their lack of vision and imagination (that is a part of all creative artists’ endeavors) has placed the record companies in the state they find themselves in today. I’ll be kind and only say that they are reaping what they have sown!
MSJ: In a related question how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?
I’m a fanatic of rock as well as a recording artist. The more fans you have the more successful you will become. If someone gets excited about an artist and wants to record a show and trade them…Let them do it!

Give them a good reason to want your next studio project. Add special bonuses for purchasing a “hard copy” (CD), etc.  Look at Radiohead / Pearl Jam, and others as they lead the way into the landscape of the future.

MSJ: If you were to put together your ultimate band, who would be in it?
John, Paul, George  and Ringo – (Nuff Said!)
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?
Friday Festival Day ONE :

ELO / Jethro Tull / ELP / Pink Floyd / Genesis (with Peter Grabriel) / Yes (with Jon Anderson)

Saturday Festival Day TWO:

Melissa Auf Der Maur / Soundgarden / Foofighters / Stone Temple Pilonts / Them Crooked Vultures / Radiohead / Muse


What was the last CD you bought, or what have you been listening to lately?

Them Crooked Vultures  – they rock in a grand tradition

Gorillaz – modern funk music to dance to

Broken Bells – Dangermouse rules!


What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

Them Crooked Vultures– Great band made even greater with legendary John Paul Jones. Can’t wait for their next CD!
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
I can’t remember but I had lots of them (I think) 
MSJ: Finally, are there any closing thoughts you'd like to get out there?


Yes - We should all help and support the music we love!

And, of course everyone should buy my In The Land Of O-de-PO and Social Hero’s The Famous. [Shameless plug:]

Remember what Danny & The Juniors said - “Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay, It Will Never Die”!

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 2 at
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