THE MYSTIQUE OF ROBIN TROWER: SOULS, SIGNS AND PHAROAHS

 

My wife Mimi had one of those rare “life moments” a few years ago while she was in Egypt. And she had Robin Trower along for the ride.   

“I was on vacation by myself,” she tells it, “and among the many treasures I visited there,  I went to the Valley Of Kings, where Tut and other Egyptian kings and pharoahs are entombed. Somehow I found myself completely alone in this one tomb, with ‘Bridge Of Sighs’ playing on my cassette player. It was a moment I’ll never forget and Robin Trower was there with me.”   

Trower, the affable rock guitar legend, blushes through the phone at this story about how his classic 70’s album was someone’s soundtrack for a visit to the tombs of Kings. “Well…that’s wonderful…that’s a wonderful story. I shall definitely treasure that, definitely.”  

Treasures abound, in the tombs and in rock history, and Robin Trower himself is one, for the ages. 

Trower, who just turned 66 this month, has had one of those music careers many rock greats have: no real “top of the charts” success (although he’s had four gold records), but tremendous critical and fan acclaim, and no wonder, considering two profound early entries on his resume.  

First, he was part of a time-capsule rock moment as a member of Procul Harum, whose song “Whiter Shade Of Pale” was a rock staple of the late 60’s. Then in 1974 after going solo, he released “Bridge of Sighs”, which with it’s mesmerizing title track, plus true classic axe burners like “Too Rolling Stoned” and “Lady Love”, would become a seminal rock album with licks reminiscent of the late Mr. Hendrix, but with a style all Trower’s. Why does he think “Sighs” remains a rock staple over thirty years later?  

“I said when I was making ‘Sighs’ that I wanted to make music that went from soul to soul. The whole idea of what I was trying to do was to play as soulfully as possible, and try and touch people, you know, like I’d been touched by my heroes. It appears I’ve done that.”  

Jack Bruce from Cream and Robin Trower have collaborated on several projects.

Recently, Trower collaborated with rock “hero” and legendary Cream bassist Jack Bruce on a 2008 co-release called “Seven Moons.” It’s not the first time these two rock greats have joined forces, they released two albums together in the early 80’s as “Truce” and “BLT.”   “Jack came up with the idea of writing a couple of new tunes to add to our two old albums we were trying to remix and repackage, so we got together and started writing, and we ended up writing four or five things, and then we just said, well, let’s do a new album.”

After not touring for a period mainly because of his dislike of the sound you ‘d get live, Trower tours these days with a vengeance, sometimes with shows back to back to back. And it’s his pure love of the instrument he has truly mastered, and continues to thrill audiences with, that keeps him out there playing live after more than 45 years at it.  

“I love to play guitar. That’s the beginning and the end of it, really. Anything that gets me playing the guitar is a good thing. I would find it really hard to move forward as a player if I didn’t get out there in front of an audience. Just from a chops point of view, it keeps you up to the mark, as it were.”  

Chops? Oh yeah. SIGH.

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