Tommy: Ted, you have been rocking for the better part of 5 decades now. When the Amboy Dukes hit with Journey to the Center of Your Mind, did you know then what a rock & roll legacy you were about to create?
Ted: I had no idea, as I was obsessed with the musical creative process of jamming with like minded music lovers. All we ever wanted to do was emulate our black heroes like Chuck Berry, Bo Diddly, Little Richard, James Brown et al. In 2016 that still remains the overwhelming drive everyday! Lucky, lucky me, huh!
Tommy: You still put on what looks to be a physically draining show night after night. What goes into your health regiment for giving your many fans the best performances possible?
Ted: Thoughtful, logical prioritization of health, family, work ethic and spirituality. 67 years clean and sober has its rewards. The ultimate health food of venison provides the rocket fuel for my sacred temple, spirit and soul. I am also surrounded by gung-ho dedicated professionals in every aspect of my life who constantly inspire me. My sheer love of the music is a force to reckon with.
Tommy: Have you ever thought of retirement yet, and what that would mean for you?
Ted: My life is so wonderful it’s scary, so I will continue to immerse myself in my passions and those of my loved ones. Everyday I wake up I realize everything I do is illegal in France, CA & IL. I’m going to do more of it.
Tommy: You have always been a premier guitarist. Who are some of your favorite players past, present and future?
Ted: I have been so fortunate and blessed to have experienced intimate jam sessions with many of the world’s greatest guitar masters: Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddly, Jimmy McCarty, Johnny Winter, Rick Derringer, Billy Gibbons, BB King, Freddy King, Ricky Medlocke, Rick Nielson, Eddie Van Halen, Ronnie Montrose, Derek St. Holmes, Chris Duarte, Jonny Lang, Brad Whitford, Joe Perry, Brad Gillis, Dave Amato, Joe Bonamassa, Bugs Henderson, Andy Timmons, Eric Johnson, Wayne Kramer, Richie Sambora, Tommy Shaw, Gary Rossington, and so many others whose names would not be recognizable, but nonetheless, inspire me no end with their unique musical visions and artistry. The Angus Youngs, Joe Satrianis, Steve Vais and so many others will always kick me in the ass to pursue uncharted guitar adventure, as clearly there is no limit.
Tommy: You were a part of the Damn Yankees and what a great band that was, any chance of a reunion?
Ted: None of us would shut that door, but the logistics of arranging schedules is a royal bitch. But we all remain hopeful! Those guys deserve me.
Tommy: What do you think of what the music business has turned into and do you support ‘streaming’ services?
Ted: Sadly, nobody is going to invest a fortune into good orchard land, all the farming equipment necessary, the fertilizer, the seedlings, the nonstop Herculean work effort needed to grow apples, then bring them to the fruit stand for people to take home for free. Got that? Rip-off technology has murdered the creative spirit and we will probably never hear from many gifted musicians because of it. It breaks my heart really.
Tommy: You were probably one of the first rock stars to get his own radio show and since then we have seen several follow suit. What’s your take on radio today and do you think it’s healthy?
Ted: There are many killer radio shows across the land. Thank God for classic rock!! I also truly enjoy when artists like Alice Cooper continue to celebrate the dynamic music soundtrack that so enriches our lives. I expect I will have my own radio show in the not so distant future.
Tommy: Do you still like writing and recording new music, and what goes into that process?
Ted: Fiery all American R&B rock-n-roll erupts with a life of its own on a daily basis. It’s so much fun it’s stupid. It is impossible for me to walk past one of my guitars without fondling it madly and creating pure animal breeding music everyday. I still crave the stuff.