I was born in Camden, Alabama, raised in Marion, Ohio where I attended school. Ran away from home with a friend to New York City at age 16 because the Beatles Let It Be was opening at a movie house on Broadway...we went to see it. Dropped out of school to go on the road with Ted Nugent as an opening act in Canada, moved there for about 3 years. Came back to the states to take my physical for the draft to see if I qualified for ‘nam. Failed…only weighed 97 lbs. I played in a bunch of bands, put out a truck load of records. Got signed to a major label, made no money, got happy, started more bands, made more records. My current band is Blues Hippy and the Soul Underground with Myke Rock on bass, Jimmy Johnson on drums and Dan Ro James on rhythm guitar. And rock ‘n' roll, along with love, still pumps oxygen in to everything that I do. #1 Put together your fantasy band - it can contain any musicians dead or alive: My fantasy band would run a line up something like this…Jim Morrison on lead vocals and slam wordist. John Coltrane shootin' up some space saxophone in to the arm of the studios' vein. Alice Coltrane on acoustic piano to fill the black holes of space with an half gallon liquid groove of the Milky Way. Willie Dixon would be the atomic bomber on the upright bass. Playing notes low down ‘n' dirty til they would howl like the wolf in the cold muddy waters … plus he could provide some extra lyrics just in case Mr. Morrison got stuck for a line. Mitch Mitchell would most def have to be the drummer because he has traveled to other musical planets covered with angels and purple haze...and you better believe his drumming will take you there. My choices for guitars would have to be without a shadow of a doubt Dave Workman and Frank Harrison, yes people two local guys, but two local guys that can more than hang with the Jeff Becks, Buddy Guys and Eric Claptons. I have followed and admired my friends for years, they can rock, they can roll with heart and with soul. Now you may beg the question – Where does that leave Willie Phoenix? I would love to produce this fantasy band...picture these swingin' wild kool kats doing flipped over versions of my favorite things...Touch Me...and maybe even a way slowed down version of Hank Williams' Your Cheatin' Heart...well you wanted to know...that's my fantasy answer! #2 Tell us about your own top, most favorite musical performance: Hmm…I don't really have a top favorite performance of mine. I have been on the bill with so many of the greats – everybody from the Ramones to BB King and it's all been a blast, right down to all the local bar shows. I feel I am more than blessed to be able to continue night after night after so many years and still be in love with the romance of the performance. But with that being said, I will tell you a quick story. When I was on the A&M record label we were going around with Humble Pie...great band...and Steve Marriott. The Pies' main man always gave it his rockin' all. Well, we had been with them for a few days and we were starting to get noticed by the major press because, as some of you well know, when it's show time I come to play and represent Columbus. You can't be a slacker up there. Time to have fun, right? Anyway, Steve never spoke a word to me until we got to Detroit on Thanksgiving night. He marched right over, interrupted our sound check and invited us to have Thanksgiving with he and his band. Well, who would watch our equipment if we were all sitting down feeding our rock n' roll fantasies and faces? Steve said not to worry, his crew would watch our gear. That was right nice of him and truly in the spirit of things we thought. But lo and behold later that evening on the very first song, my brand new 100 watt Marshal stack started giving off what seem to be blue smoke under those Detroit stage lights. Meanwhile my guitarist Rob Brumfield – his new stack was doing the exact same thing. Then the amps died. I looked over to stage left, there was Steve Marriott smiling and giving the two thumbs up. We later found out that they had wrapped foil around our fuses! I was a bit mad needless to say. But looking back it's really funny, now that I think about it. I was too stuffed to even move. #3 Tell us about the most exciting musical concert/event you ever attended: My most exciting concert that I have attended – maybe I would have to say the Rolling Stones at the Schott right here in Columbus, and simply because they screwed up from a miscue on Start Me Up. I'm pretty sure it was the new bass players fault. Ron and Keith were laughing their asses off. Mr. Jagger was nowhere near amused, but it made me love the band even more because i saw a true human side to these guys as oppose to we are the super stars, and superstars they are! #4 What do you think is/are the most important issue(s) facing central Ohio today? I think children going hungry, being neglected is a problem. Let’s pay attention to our kids...feed them. It's a lot easier for the school system to do their jobs if children come to school fed and knowing they are loved. Let’s look after the's a very groovy and healthy thing. Take good care of our children. #5 When was the last time you jumped on a table to play guitar? Ha! The last time that I was dancing and playing guitar on a table top was very early in the year at Mudflats in Galena. As I recall I was wearing some new boots. Theatrical William Tell sort of wear. They were very slippery on the soles. Anyway, I lost my footing and everything around the table went down. Booze...Willie...chicks...their dudes...Fender tele still in my hands. I was still playing on the floor, but I was being pulled up from behind by this beautiful woman. I think she told me her name was Terry or something like that. But I do remember she kept whispering “keep playing baby...I got you.” And I said “Angel your wish is my command!” For showtime listings please go to or Blueshippy page on Facebook. Photo credit goes to Rachelle DeClue

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