I had some spare time so here are the articles, enjoy:
Chris Rea: I’m incurable!
Chris Rea has been seriously ill for years and tolerates his illness more and more badly. Before yesterday’s concert, the singer admitted in his interview given to our paper Pepper he would never be cured. He, however, doesn’t consider his life’s biggest pain this disease wasting his body but the fact he’s not the head of the family he wants to be.
As far as I know you’re suffering with a grave illness; your doctors forbade you to do concerts but you keep doing that. Does that mean you’re better?
No. I will never be cured. My pancreas, duodenum and bile had to be removed. Therefore I get injections seven times a day and I have to take 34 different pills every morning. But I’m still alive thank God. Music keeps me alive. I decided to give out all the art and music left as long as I can.
So do you live for the music?
Partly. Music fills my everydays but I’m working on other things, too. I have recently published my album containing three CDs, two LPs and an 80-page book but I still have things to say. It’s not yet announced, I’m working on a book called Blues and the dance. In which I examine the blues music’s influence on people start dancing and being happy of the blues.
How can you tolerate your illness?
I do that pretty badly, seeing I’m a hypochondriac. I drive my doctors crazy because always find out having some deathly disease besides the actual ones. They argue for nothing I’ll stay alive; I do never believe them. I unfortunately have enough to worry without it since I’ve become diabetic and my circulation is bad, too.
How are you able to bear yourself playing in two bands, running a label and writing a book at the same time?
Easily. It’s not an effort for those who really like playing music. I am not that kind of mediocre rock star who continuously blows his own horn while doing nothing. I only do that I love doing.
And how can you spare time for your family?
Unfortunately I cannot. I always felt guilty I could not perform my duties as the head of a family; because family is sacred for me. My daughters Josephine and Julia study at the university so they cannot travel with me. I can rarely see them but when this tour is over we’ll be together again.
Guitars when they sound
Monday’s been the night of surprises in Budapest Sport Arena, and of pleasant surprises at that. Because Chris Rea’s concert began almost on time: under the name of The Delmonts appeared four veteran musicians along with Chris Rea himself as his own prelude band and they were playing only instrumental songs for half an hour reminding the 50’s ancient-rock music spiced with country and blues.
And if, seeing the scenery of dozens of beautiful guitars, the penny hasn’t dropped; after a few minutes of music it became fully clear: tonight’s about guitars. Combined with a bit of history lesson since The Delmonts was a 50’s band playing instrumental guitar music changing for the blues after a decade under the name of The Hofner Bluenotes.
Their tribute paid Rea in this concert with an other surprise. They weren’t wasting time for some set-changing; not making people wait for an hour as it’s usual before the headliner band but without any pause ‘the concert itself’ began. In the first part – in spirit of the Hofner Bluenotes – less-lyrics-blues songs were played. Apart from a few lights there wasn’t any special sight, only Chris Rea stood in the middle of stage making strange, twisting gestures as he wanted to wring even more sound from those frequently changed, beautiful guitars with their help. Though he’d already thrown the 6-8,000 people of audience into a fever. Some were dancing while some playing air-guitar; they didn’t need extra stimulation.
It’s been enough to see on him, without any words, it wouldn’t have been the illness that finished him but being unable to play. That’s why it happened so: he retired two years ago and his health isn’t perfect these days; he works as a fanatic. The Blue Guitars album contains 11 CDs, and his most recent one The Fabulous Hofner Bluenotes is of 3 CDs, 2 LPs and a book. To be able to do this and saving himself from composing short hits he founded his own label as well; he is absolutely on his own nowadays. He doesn’t even obey his doctors since he’s touring again, only slowing a bit down, that’s all.
And only the passion of music was glowing off the stage in the last third, too, when he started performing the thousand-times played big hits. Truly, as a final surprise, he didn’t play them in the radio-way at all but a bit madden, re-arranged, putting the importance on guitars.
After one and a half hours of the Hofner Bluenotes the audience could claim only one encore section. It could have been a fine surprise, however, if we received some more extra songs. Though, thinking that twice, there must be a surprise kept for the next concert in Budapest.
Rea feels alright in Europe
Instead of hand-shaking he grabs my hand and pulls me into the room. He doesn’t give the interview in a separated hall but in his own hotel room. Chris Rea isn’t a hypocrite: we sit to talk among an unmade bed and scattered stuff. He doesn’t want to show himself different as he is.
And it’s really about talking since after I say some words he begins to conversate:
-Gee, are you not American? Your dialect is like you’re living or have lived there – he asks kindly and when I tell him it was mentioned before and therefore people I know in London don’t like me that much he starts giving his view of the British. It’s totally like having a chat with someone I know.
-In London people live their own lives shut; they don’t like aliens. They are like an exclusive club. I always had problems with British reporters.
What are reporters in the U.S.A. like?
I do not go to the States. I’d been there about 14 years ago; been in New York, Texas and L.A. I received great reviews but despite it I don’t feel like having a go there and they don’t miss me that much. I love working in Europe, people here love me.
It’s interesting. Musicians usually want to be famous in the United States.
There is a difference between musicians. There’s one who wants to be famous and making a lot of money. But ones live for the music itself and not for being famous and known wherever they go.
You’re touring again. Previously you wanted to retire but you changed your mind. Why?
I didn’t changed my mind, I did not want to retire. There were mis-translations caused by linguistical differences. I have said we wouldn’t organise that typical Chris Rea tour again we did before. I like to have something else, something calmer because of my health problems. But I wanted no retiring.
How long can you bear yourself without music?
Not a day. I play every day. I’ve played my guitar before the interview.
What do you think, seeing present’s young musicians, is there anyone having such a successful career like yours?
I cannot see too much chance for them. I don’t think there is any, actually. But it’s not because of them but because labels do not supply good and talented musicians. They don’t need them in the world of digital music. And what’s more we’re living in the world where labels are only interested in money. Nowadays they are standing in a row waiting for the American Idol to finish and be able to publish the winner’s recording. Then this winner is thrown away in a year when they are looking for a new winner…
Your new album has recently published. Do you already know what the new project will be?
I’m fully aware of the next two. A danceable blues material will be one of them. I like experimenting with musical styles.
It’s not the first time you visit Hungary and Budapest. What kind of memories do you have of the country and the capital city?
I don’t want to lie. I’ve been here a lot but not seeing too much of the city. Been very busy every time. I have also been in the Hungaroring race four or five times but the way no one knew. Those cases I arrived with and within the racing team.