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“You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice!” Spotlight on The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Steve Boone

NEWS | FEATURES | PREVIEWS | EVENTS

By Spotlight Central

“You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice!” Spotlight on The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Steve Boone

Steve Boone is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted bassist and songwriter who is a founding member of The Lovin’ Spoonful, a group which in the 1960s had seven straight Top 10 hits. Spotlight Central recently caught up with Boone and asked him about his musical childhood, his rise to fame with The Lovin’ Spoonful, what he’s been up to lately, in addition to his future plans with the group.

 

You were born in North Carolina and grew up in The Poconos, St. Augustine, FL, and in East Hampton, NY. Were either of your parents musical?

Not as performers, but there was always a piano in our house. In addition, my father, in particular, had an enormous collection of recorded music — mostly 78 discs — and he also would listen to his hi-fi radio. So I guess you could say they provided a musical bed for me to learn from, but neither of them were active performers.

 



 
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We understand that, as a child, you enjoyed classical music, notably Liszt and Chopin, in addition to Broadway tunes from shows like South Pacific and Annie Get Your Gun, but it was hearing Buddy Holly’s “Peggy Sue” that made you want to become a musician. What was it about that particular song that got your attention?

The beat of that record was very original for a pop song; it was something I hadn’t heard before. And I had liked Buddy Holly’s voice from the very first record I’d heard him on, but mostly it was the beat of the drums and the way that particular song was performed that attracted me to it.

 

Growing up, you took piano lessons in Pennsylvania and also sang in the school choir. After moving to East Hampton, NY, your mom bought you a Gibson acoustic. What inspired you to play the guitar?

Let me answer that by saying one thing led to another. I was in a very bad car crash on the last night of my junior year of high school in East Hampton. I was out celebrating with one of my friends and we hitchhiked home. We dropped my friend off at his house, and on the way to my house the driver crashed into a tree. My injuries were so severe that I was going to be laid up on a sofa for at least 18 months where I wouldn’t be able to do any of my normal activities, so my mom bought me a guitar. She was hoping it would give me the motivation to do something else besides just watching TV and it did, so it really worked out.

 

Eventually, your older brother, Skip, invited you to sit in with his band, The Kingsmen, a group fronted by Joe Butler on vocals and drums. At first, you played your acoustic guitar with them and then switched over to a Gibson Les Paul, but ultimately ended up playing bass with the group, an instrument which you ended up enjoying. How did all this transpire?

Initially, I was kind of surprised that they offered me a job playing acoustic rhythm guitar because I didn’t think that anyone would be able to hear it in a rock band with electric instruments and amplifiers, but Skip correctly pointed out that all of the band members would hear it. I enjoyed playing in that band, although at first I didn’t really have any goal of doing it as a profession. The accident had wiped out my career goals of joining the military. I didn’t really know if I was going to go to college to study engineering — because I had really enjoyed working on automobiles — but after I switched over to playing the Les Paul, I enjoyed it so much that I thought I could be doing it as a job.

Then when our bass player, Clay Sonier, announced his retirement from the Air Force and told us he was moving back to Louisiana, he came to me and said, “I think you’ve got a good sense of rhythm; you could probably learn the bass. They’re gonna need a bass player, so why not have me teach you some stuff?” And that was my first step into the world of bass playing, which I grew to love almost immediately. I thought it was the most dynamic instrument in a band, so I really enjoyed playing it.

 

You just mentioned that you had thought about getting a degree in engineering and starting a career in automobile design, but in 1964, after a trip traveling around Europe, you came back to the States where you went to Greenwich Village to visit your brother Skip, along with Joe Butler. There, Skip asked you to take your bass and meet with two up-and-coming musicians. Can you tell us a little more about that meeting?

“Lightning in a bottle” is the way I would describe it. I didn’t know what to expect. I had no background other than the fact that these two young musicians — John Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky — were looking for a bass player, and that they were both working in the folk music industry.



 
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When I walked in the door of the coffeehouse for our first meeting, I immediately liked both John and Zal. They were about my age and really friendly, and once we started talking about music it was apparent that all three of us had almost identical likes and dislikes. That led to about an hour and a half of jamming on two guitars and bass on songs we knew — Chuck Berry songs and things that were current on the pop charts — and it was obvious there was magic with the way we clicked.

So that meeting was a very positive one for me, and I assumed the other two liked me as well. We agreed we had something in common musically and decided to keep the conversation going when we departed that day because this was just before Christmas and everybody was getting ready to head home for the Christmas holidays.

“You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice!” Spotlight on The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Steve Boone

After meeting John and Zal, you decided to postpone college and start a band with them. You hired drummer Jan Buchner, who found rehearsal space at the Bull’s Head Inn in Bridgehampton, LI, where you practiced. We read somewhere that Bob Dylan called your group “an experimental band,” in that you were trying out some new and different ideas. What were you doing that might have been considered unusual at the time?

I think what was unusual about us is more about what we weren’t doing at the time — and what we weren’t doing was fitting into the classic mold of a band with two guitars, bass, and drums. For instance, sometimes John would play the autoharp, a multi-stringed instrument that’s shaped like a zither.

And I think that one of the reasons Bob Dylan said what he did about us was because rather than being a rock band that took three-chord blues structures and turned them into rock songs, we approached our songwriting from the point of view of unusual supporting instruments: the autoharp, different types of guitars over string arrangements, and other instruments. We also tried to stay original in our approach to our songwriting so that each song didn’t sound like the one that came before it. That was something that very important to us.

Plus, I think that Bob’s impression of us as an “experimental band” — which I thought was the best impression of The Lovin’ Spoonful from anyone — was because we were experimenting with styles that nobody else was trying in the pop music world, and we ultimately went on to have success with them on AM radio.

 

Speaking of Dylan, we read that your brother, Skip, introduced you to Dylan’s music and that’s what inspired you to start writing songs. Is it true that one night Dylan invited your bandmate, John Sebastian, to play bass on his album, but you ended up playing on the session instead?

Yes, that’s right. I was in total awe of Dylan at the time so I had to recover from meeting him in person before being asked to sit down, put my bass on, and play what I had come up with for a couple of his songs. He made me a bit nervous, but I figured, “This is an opportunity I may never get again, so I’m gonna do the best I can!” And, over the years, it’s never been really clear if any of the bass parts to the four songs I played on made it onto the record, but when I listen to his Bringing It All Back Home album, I’m quite certain that it’s my bass playing on “Maggie’s Farm” that he used.

 

At this time, the band was really coming together, but it didn’t have a name. We’re told it was John who suggested The Lovin’ Spoonful. Do you know where the name came from?

Yes, I do. John was born and raised in Greenwich Village. Pretty much, his backyard was the coffeehouses of MacDougal Street, in addition to the other areas of the Village. And one of the artists who came to Greenwich Village regularly was Mississippi John Hurt who was a blues singer from the Mississippi Delta area.

John Sebastian was playing backup for Mississippi John Hurt and one of John Hurt’s songs was called “Coffee Blues,” where one of the lines is “I wanna see my baby ‘bout a lovin’ spoonful, my lovin’ spoonful” and John proposed it as the name for our band. At first, I thought it was a little too off-the-wall sounding, but as time went on and I learned more about its origins, I really liked it a lot.

 

You played your first gig as The Lovin’ Spoonful at the Night Owl Cafe, doing some originals, some folk songs, and some rock staples. How did that first gig go?

Terribly! [Laughs] But let me put it this way. When I say “terribly,” that was probably what the owner of the Night Owl thought. We thought it was pretty good, however, especially when you take into consideration the fact that both John and Zally had very limited experience with amplified guitars and so they thought, like in Spinal Tap, the only setting you needed on your amplifier was “11.” They played so loud that people were running out of the Night Owl holding their ears.

But the owner thought we had potential and said, “You guys are too loud and your songs aren’t well-learned yet. You’ve got to go practice, and then come back and talk to me again.” So we took that as good advice rather than a deal breaker, and we set out to start rehearsing in earnest. When we returned about three weeks later, we were much better, and an industry was born: rock music in the Village.

“You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice!” Spotlight on The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Steve Boone

You invited Joe Butler from The Kingsmen to join the group and, one day, while staying at the Hotel Albert, John brought in a song which started, “Do you believe in magic in a young girl’s heart?” Soon after, Erik Jacobsen produced a demo session of the song at Bell Sound Studio, but what were your thoughts about “Do You Believe in Magic” when you first heard it?

I loved it. I thought it was original. I had a little experience writing songs, but mostly they were strictly folk song-type songs, and “Do You Believe In Magic” was really a rock and roll song. It didn’t begin as a folk song. The lyrics were very good and the melody was just as contemporary as you could get, so I loved it the minute I first heard it.

 

You guys were playing three shows a night at the Café Bizarre where you were paid in either tuna fish or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ice cream. Then, as you just mentioned, you were invited back to the Night Owl. It was there that Phil Spector heard the band and wanted to sign and produce you, but you decided to stay with Erik Jacobsen. Why did you choose not to work with Phil Spector?

Well, first, it has to be said that everybody in the band really admired Phil Spector’s work and we were very impressed that he came to the Night Owl to hear us. When the band first started, John Sebastian brought a copy of Phil’s Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes album to rehearsal one day and said, “Everybody should listen to this album. It has inspirational moments on it.” And he was right. I loved it, and from the minute I heard that album I became a Phil Spector fan.

So Phil came to the Night Owl and listened to a couple of our sets. I was pretty darn impressed to think that he would come and listen to this band that was just starting out, and in the meeting we had after the performances, he said that he thought he could produce us. After the meeting broke up, we went our separate ways and agreed to meet again but, before that, the band members got together and agreed that we felt that Phil Spector — as much as we respected him — would try to create the “wall of sound” he was so famous for with our music and we didn’t think it would work well with our songs.

Plus, Eric Jacobsen was a fellow traveler for us. He was a folkie. He had wonderful ears. He definitely knew the best way to approach recording The Lovin’ Spoonful. And we felt we just had a better chance at getting music done the way we wanted it to be with Eric. So reluctantly we turned Phil down, but it was still very motivational for us to have been given that offer.

You ended up signing with Charley Koppelman and Don Rubin who arranged a deal with Kama Sutra to release your records, the first one being “Do You Believe In Magic.” To promote the record, you traveled to the West Coast where, upon arriving, you heard “Do You Believe in Magic” for the very first time on the radio. Do you remember that experience?

Steve Boone: Yes, it was a very “California”-like experience. The record company sent a promotion man to the airport to pick us up in a big Cadillac convertible. And as we were driving from the airport to the radio station — and I don’t know if this was prearranged or what, but it sure seemed like it — but we were in the car with the top down and we were cruising along the California highway, when all of a sudden, our song came on the radio! And it was pretty darn special, I have to say. Plus, I was pretty impressed with the fact that I was hearing a song that we had just recorded a month ago already being played on the radio in California.

“Do You Believe In Magic” became your first Top 10 hit in September, 1965. You followed that up with your first album, also called Do You Believe in Magic, which included songs like “Younger Girl,” “Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind,” “Night Owl Blues,” and a song which you co-wrote, “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice,” which ended up becoming the group’s second single. What was your inspiration for writing that song?

Steve Boone: That’s a cool story. Like you mentioned earlier, I took piano lessons when I was very young, and what stuck with me from those lessons was the ability to play chords on the piano. I had learned inversions and chord structure, which are two beginning elements of piano playing, and so whenever I found a piano or was near one, I would usually sit down and just play chords to see if anything came into my head.

One time, I was at the home of Joe Butler’s girlfriend’s parents. They had a piano in their Greenwich Village apartment, and while I was visiting, I sat down and started coming up with this melody. I liked it so much, and it reminded me of something that had just happened.

What had happened was: Zally, who was from Toronto, had said that one of his girlfriends from Toronto was coming to New York and he wanted me to meet her because he thought she would be an ideal girlfriend for me. Her name was Nurit Wilde, and when I met her, she truly was a super attractive gal and a very cool person with a nice personality. We immediately became friendly, but there was never the spark that would turn it into a girlfriend/boyfriend kind of thing, although we did get to know each other as friends and then never saw each other again for years.

But in the meantime, when I was writing the melody, I was thinking about how I was so impressed with her, and the thought of meeting her was going through my head as I was writing, and I came up with the line, “You didn’t have to be so nice, I would have liked you anyway.” That was the beginning of the song which I presented to John, and the next day or so we started working on completing it together.

Of course, John’s ability to write lyrics came in and really put the icing on the cake on that song. “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice” has always been one of my favorite Spoonful songs, and mostly that’s because the lyrics are so good.

 

And the melody, too! Now, around this time, you were introduced to Bob Rafelson and Burt Schneider who considered you for a TV show called The Monkees. You declined, and also turned down a commercial for Coca-Cola. That said, you appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. Apparently, Ed Sullivan wasn’t exactly a big rock and roll fan, but he liked The Lovin’ Spoonful. What was it like meeting and working with him?



 
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Very impressive. It’s hard to imagine, but in those days with just three channels on television, on Sunday night there was only one channel everybody tuned into and that was CBS and The Ed Sullivan Show. If you got on The Ed Sullivan Show, it didn’t matter what your talent was, you were going to do well. We knew that Ed didn’t particularly care for rock music. He was a traditionalist — maybe the ’30s and ’40s was his era of music — but for some reason — maybe because we had started out in New York — he just liked the band. And he had us back on his show, I believe, six times. So The Lovin’ Spoonful can thank those appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show as much as anything for our initial success because a lot of people on Sunday nights watched that show before turning in for the night.

“You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice!” Spotlight on The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Steve Boone

You played the Brooklyn Fox Theater with a line-up which included The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Then, you ended up going on tour with The Supremes. Even though there were some difficulties traveling on the road, some very positive things happened. For example, didn’t you get to compare notes on bass playing with Motown bass legend James Jamerson while on the bus?

That’s right. I guess for that era it’s not usual to say something like this, but I really didn’t know who James Jamerson was, despite the fact that I was a bass player. I was a big fan of the Motown recordings, so when I was told that James was the studio bass player on virtually all of the Motown records, I was very impressed, and when we were on the bus, I asked him if he wouldn’t mind sharing some tips with me.

It turns out that when we were reviewing the history for my book, Hotter Than a Match Head, my co-writer came up with the fact that James Jamerson almost never went out on the road. He always stayed behind in Detroit to be a studio player on the Motown recordings, but because The Supremes were trying out new and extra-special music, they had James go on the road with them. It seems the parts that he and the band were playing were so difficult they needed a top-shelf bass player to play them.

So it was fortunate that I got to meet him. And after I saw how great he was, I was so appreciative of the fact that he took the time to show me some tips. I asked him how to play The Four Tops’ song, “Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch),” with that very clever bass line of his. I played it for him the wrong way and he said, “That’s the way white boys play it!,” before showing me how he played it. And it was just an enormously good experience, not just meeting James, but meeting the entire band, and getting to know The Supremes, too, was an excellent experience for me.

You guys were inspired musically on that tour and started writing songs for your next album, Daydream. For instance, John wrote “Daydream” thinking about such Supremes songs as “Baby Love” and “Where Did Our Love Go.” You ended up playing a piano part on that recording, and we read that after Paul McCartney heard “Daydream,” he wrote “Good Day Sunshine” as an homage to it. But for the Daydream album, you wrote a song called “Butchie’s Tune,” which ended up being used in the 1966 film Blow-Up as well as in a 2012 episode of TV’s Mad Men. What inspired you to write “Butchie’s Tune?”

Steve Boone: There was a gal who lived in the Hotel Albert whose name was Miss Butchie. She actually went on to have a Hollywood connection in that she married Bob Denver of Gilligan’s Island fame, but in this era — 1964–1965 — she was living at the Hotel Albert, which was just north of Greenwich Village off University Place on 10th Street. She had a permanent hotel room there and whenever folk music people would come to town, they would stay at the Hotel Albert. It was a place that was friendly to musicians, not too expensive, and just a very welcoming space for musical acts visiting New York.

John had a place to stay — his parents’ house was in the Village — but when Zally and Joe and I needed a place, Butchie would always arrange to have a vacant room for us at the Hotel Albert, so I called her kind of like a “den mother” to the band. And when I was writing this song — which I wrote on the guitar where, again, the melody was first — I decided to write it is an ode to Butchie. So that’s what the song was about — paying tribute to Butchie — and I think it came out pretty nice. Joe Butler sang a very good version of it, and I was very pleased that it became part of the Daydream album.

After going to London where you played the Marquee Club in front of such well-known musicians as John Lennon, George Harrison, and Eric Clapton, you came back and finished up one of our favorite songs, “Summer in the City,” which was composed by you, John, and John’s younger brother Mark, who was only a teen when he began working on it. Can you tell us a little more about how that song came together?

There are three elements to a song — the lyrics, the music, and the arrangement. When he was still a young teenager, John’s brother, Mark, wrote that song. When John heard it, he said, “There’s a lot of potential there, but it needs to be updated,” and so John sat down with Mark and they updated the songwriting.

When we got into the studio, however, there was no middle-eight section, which is the section that usually comes between the first verse and chorus and the second verse and chorus, and is an instrumental section on most records.

So we were in the studio arranging the song and when we got to that middle-eight section, John said, “Hey, Steve’s been playing this part on the piano everywhere we go. Why don’t we see if it could fit into the arrangement?” I played it and it turned out that it fit perfectly, so it went right into the middle-eight section. And it’s been a wonderful treat for me because, obviously, it’s been a big-selling record over the years. It’s been played constantly on the radio, especially in the summer time. Also, it just seems to have a life of its own.

 

Just last year, it was voted Sirius XM 60s on 6 radio’s #1 Summer Song of All Time!

And it should be! Because it really did nail that “hot muggy summer night in a city” scene. I mean, it could be any city — it didn’t have to be New York — but it captured that mood perfectly.

 

And we really love the addition of that middle-eight. It’s sort of jazzy and has a bit of a George Gershwin vibe to it.

You know, several friends of mine who went on to play in jazz bands or just to enjoy jazz music made the same comment you did, and some people said it was their favorite part of the arrangement. All I can say is I’m very pleased with it and I’m very appreciative that John thought it was good enough to work it into the arrangement, and that ended up working out well for everybody.

“You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice!” Spotlight on The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Steve Boone

As kids, one of our all-time favorite albums was Hums of the Lovin’ Spoonful. In addition to “Summer in the City,” it has a lot of other great songs including “Lovin’ You,” “Darlin’ Companion,” “Nashville Cats,” and, also, “Rain on the Roof,” which features that very unusual French horn-like sound. Can you explain what that is?

Yes, that’s our tribute to Phil Spector, and let me explain what I mean by that. Phil Spector is famous for having French horns on his arrangements. Usually, they play a very triumphant sound [sings French horn fanfare], “Doo-doo doo doo-doo!” And Phil’s arrangements always worked because he had, like, 30 musicians playing on them.

So we thought it would be very clever as a tribute to Phil — and also as an arrangement piece — to imitate him. We knew Zally could make a six-string guitar sound like a piano. He could make it sound like a tuba. He just had a tremendous feel for creating different sounds on a six-string guitar, and in this case, he made his guitar sound like a French horn. So on “Rain on the Roof” — which had some fantastic guitar playing between John and Zally in addition to those French horn sounds — those parts were added as a tribute to Phil, but also as a part of the song to really help the arrangement along.

 

In 1967, Zal left the band and in 1968, John left. Joe continued to use the name The Lovin’ Spoonful, and you left to produce a group called The Oxpetals. Around this time, you were asked if you wanted to produce James Taylor. Isn’t that right?

That is right. In the summer of 1968, The Lovin’ Spoonful had stopped touring, and I took the summer off to, sort of, catch up on my spare time, because we hadn’t had any time off in three years.

One night, in the middle of the summer, these two guys came to my house. Both of them were working as road managers for The Beatles for the band’s American manager, Nat Weiss. They told me that they had met this guy, James Taylor, in England, and they brought me a copy of the album James had recorded for Apple. So, back in 1968, I listened to it and immediately knew that this guy was gonna be a monster — I mean, as a songwriter, as a singer, and as a guitar player — he had it all.

And, at the time, I was producing The Oxpetals, who were also managed by Nat Weiss. The Oxpetals had a record deal with Mercury Records, and although I was never totally satisfied with the master recordings we created, after I handed them over to Nat Weiss, Nat said to me, “I have an offer for you. I’m not sure if James would want you to do this, but would you be interested in producing James Taylor? His current producer is not going to be able to continue with James, who’s leaving Apple and going to Warner Brothers.”

And I said, “Nat, that’s a very kind and generous offer and I’ve listened to his album and I know he’s going to be a tremendously huge star, but I’ve had it in my heart to go sailing once The Spoonful stopped touring, and now that we’re not touring, I’m planning to go sailing,” and I turned down the offer with a huge “thank you.”

“You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice!” Spotlight on The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Steve Boone

In your 2014 book, Hotter than a Match Head, you talk about your many adventures as a sailor. You also talk about how, in 1973, you went to Baltimore where you took over a recording studio built by George Massenberg and were involved in recording some really well-regarded albums including Feats Don’t Fail Me Now with Lowell George and Little Feat and Pressure Drop by Robert Palmer. How did it feel being associated with this next era of rock?

Wonderful! Lowell George was a super talented guitar player, singer, and songwriter. Bob Cavallo was his manager — and was The Spoonful’s manager, too — and I knew Bob wouldn’t recommend anyone to me who wasn’t top shelf because that’s the kind of manager Bob always was and still is.

But one of the requirements for bringing Lowell George and Little Feat into the studio which was extremely difficult for us to accommodate was giving the musicians 24/7 access to the studio for an entire summer. I said, “That’s going to be difficult, so you’ll have to sweeten the pie a little bit,” and they did. They promised to send me more talent after the Little Feat sessions were over, and they followed through. So I was pleased to have that deal made and, also, very pleased to work with Lowell and all of the other people who came through the studio — Robert Palmer, Emmylou Harris, etc. — so it was a wonderful experience.

Our studio was originally located in an industrial park just north of Baltimore, but when we bought the studio at an auction, we had to move it out onto a barge that was built as a houseboat down in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore at a time when the Inner Harbor was quite literally just a broken-down waterfront area with no glamorous buildings or anything; it was just a neglected part of Baltimore. So we had the studio there and it was such a great experience working from around 1975 through to the end of ’77, recording these people and watching the Inner Harbor of Baltimore grow up all around us. It was a great time to be in Baltimore — which is still one of my favorite places in the whole world, actually — and a great experience for me and for the artists who recorded there.

 

Over the years, you’ve done a few duo gigs with John Sebastian, but in 2020, you, John, and Joe Butler appeared together on stage at the Wild Honey benefit concert to honor The Lovin’ Spoonful. Artists like Carney Wilson, Micky Dolenz, Marshall Crenshaw, Susan Cowsill, and many others performed. How gratifying was that experience for you?

It was super! To hear Susan Cowsill sing “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice” just made my day! She has a fantastic voice and has such a great on-stage personality. It was great meeting her, and the entire experience was just super — the band, the players, the performers, the producers, and Paul Rock who initiated the whole Wild Honey thing. Everybody who was a part of it could not have been nicer to us and made sure that we had everything we needed. We didn’t end up playing on every single song, but the songs we did play on sounded super good.

Plus Bob Cavallo and Eric Jacobson both came to the performance. I hadn’t seen either of them in years, so it was a super get-together with our original crew, which was just great. It was just so well done on the Wild Honey end of things, and John and Joe and I were all in good form for our performances. Plus, as I said, all the artists did a great job on the songs, and Susan did an especially great job singing “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice,” which is such a special song to me that it really made my whole evening.

 

The Lovin’ Spoonful has continued with several new members including drummer Mike Arturi, guitarist Phil Smith, and keyboardist Murray Weinstock. Unfortunately, due to COVID, however, most concerts were postponed for the past year or so. Going forward, do you and you bandmates have plans to continue doing live performances?

I’d like to think we do. After the Wild Honey show, I said, “If this is the last show we ever do as The Lovin’ Spoonful, I’m fine.” But, having said that, I also like performing. And my partner in the current version of The Spoonful, Joe Butler, told me on the phone the other day that he, too, wants to play. We’re both in our late-70s and, therefore, getting COVID would be a disaster for us, but I think the goal is for us to work again. How much remains to be seen, but we’re told the audience is there, so to answer your question: I hope we do continue to perform, and I expect we will.

 

In the meantime, what else have you been up to these days?

There’s a local radio station down here in Flagler Beach, Florida, where I live, that broadcasts a one-hour radio show of mine on Monday nights. Because the studio is a very small space, during the COVID situation, the show had to be put on hold, but we’re currently getting ready to start it up again, and when we do, the theme for the show is going to change slightly.

In the past, I played songs on the show that inspired me before The Lovin’ Spoonful and leading up to the creation of The Spoonful, but now I’m going to investigate the role the rhythm section has traditionally played in popular music — and by popular music, I mean going back to the early 1900s and then time-lining it up through the big band era, the small band era, the blues, early rock and roll, rock and roll, and then the era of digital recording.

On the show, I’m going to try to explain about the beat and the role that bass and drums play in popular music. I have a very strong opinion about how important these two instruments are in pop music — not just in rock, but how it evolved into rock — and if anybody’s interested, they can find it streaming on the internet on Surf 97.3 using Tune-In radio or their own favorite listening devices. It will run on Monday nights at 6 pm.

 

In closing, is there anything we forgot to ask you, or is there anything you’d like to say to all of the music lovers and fans who have supported you and The Lovin’ Spoonful for over 55 years now?

I want to say thanks so much for being there for the band all of these years, and for supporting us and our live performances! I’d like to think there may even be the possibility of some new Lovin’ Spoonful music. John Sebastian and I are always trying to come up with new original songs, and so who knows what the future holds, but I’d like to stay involved in music until I can’t play any more!

“You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice!” Spotlight on The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Steve Boone

To learn more about Steve Boone, please go to steveboone.net. For more information on The Lovin’ Spoonful, please go to lovinspoonful.com. For further information on Steve Boone’s 97.3 WQFB A Spoonful of Hits with Steve Boone radio show, please click here.



originally published: 07/08/2021



 

 

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