I have been a fan of Prog Rock for more years than I can recall. there is just something about the style of music that draws me in. While I am hardly alone in loving this genre of music, it is rare that I have the opportunity to talk with an expert. My knowledge has been gained from years of listening and watching from afar. My guest Billy James on the other hand has been at the sharp end of the stick for many years.

Musician, author, and owner of a PR company Glass Onyon there are few trick questions that you can foist on this guy. I tried one, and he didn’t miss a beat!

This guy knows his Moog’s, Melatrons, and Theremin’s. From Amon Duul to Yes, he has been there. I have talked with Billy a couple of times, and he is one of those guys that you just start chatting with, and before you know it, the time is gone. My plan was for a 30 minute show, it ended up just under an hour!

Kicking off with some history of the genre, oh, who many of you can name the seminal bands? I’ll bet not many. I might disagree with Billy a little, he claims King Crimson were the originators, while I prefer The Nice with their Five Bridges Suite as the perpetrators of the crime.

In the grand scheme, it does not matter who invented the genre, what is important is that the genre exists. Exist it certainly does, the old school has given way to a new generation. Are they as good, are they as creative? Thats a question that could only be answered by spending many years immersed in the subject, and even then the question would be impossible to answer. The answer is complex, what is old is what it is, what is new is something different. Billy has some interesting thoughts, the old school proggers were mainly classically trained, the new breed are not.

Give the interview a listen, oh, and you will get to hear a couple of tracks both old and well, new, but still old. You will also get to hear an instrument that few have!

Good times, break out the tie dye and come play on the psychedelic side of life!

I have only known Billy for a couple of months, but he certainly is an interesting guy. I will give him a shameless plug. If you are an aging prog rocker, or even a new kid on the block, Billy is your man. You can get hold of him through his web site.

Simon Barrett


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