Host: As a member of Poco and the Eagles, singer/songwriter and bass player, Timothy B. Schmit helped make some of the most memorable music of the seventies. He's been heard on hits by Steely Dan, Crosby Stills & Nash, Randy Newman, Bob Seger and the list goes on to include his work as a solo artist. Here's just a taste of the music of Timothy B. Schmit.
Plays medley of Here We Go Again, I Can't Tell You Why & Boys' Night Out.
Host: Before we begin our classic calls, lets go back to 1972. The year of the Watergate break-in and also the year that PLO terrorists murdered Olympic Israeli athletes. It was a heavy time and people were turning to the music of Poco with a song that made everyone feel better about being alive, "A Good Feeling To Know."
Plays A Good Feeling To Know
Host: That one really brings back some good memories for me. That was "A Good Feeling To Know" from the album of the same name and my very special guest, Timothy B. Schmit. Welcome to Classic Call
TBS: Thank you.
There are a lot of folks out there waiting to hear from you and gonna have some good questions for you, so shall we go?
TBS: Let's go!
Todd/LA: I'm a bass player and a big fan of your's for a long time. I was wondering how your bass style has evolved since your days with Poco and the Eagles up until your career now.
TBS: Actually, I've sort of downplayed my bass playing and I'm doing more singing and songwriting. I actually only played bass on one tune on my new album--a song called "Don't Give Up." So I actually don't play it as much as I'd like to. Maybe I should get it out a little more. What do you think?
Todd/LA: How long have you been playing?
TBS: I've been playing bass since mid-high school. I don't want to tell you exactly when that was.
Todd/LA: I'm a big fan. Keep playin' that bass. It's great!
TBS: Alright! Thank you.
Host: Do you write songs on a bass or a piano or...?
TBS: No, I'm a guitar writer.
Vanessa, Plattsburg, NY: What do you think of MTV and it's impact on the music? Do you think it's helped it or do you think it's helped promote more music?
TBS: I think it was a logical next step. It's a good one. I mean, videos are fun to do actually. It's definitely a good promotion. It's probably the next best promotion from playing live. Actually, more people see you. I view it as a good thing.
Vanessa: Where were you when you saw your first video? And your reaction?
TBS: The first time I saw myself on MTV was in my living room with some friends; with the producer of my first album, actually, because we knew when it was gonna be on. They actually brought champagne and some snacks and we just kind of laid back and watched it. It was fun.
Pat, Boston: I'm a fellow bass player too. I used to play out and stuff and I kinda know what it's like to have a crowd and I'm just wondering what you think was your most memorable experience playing with the Eagles?
TBS: Hmmm....There were several actually. One that sticks in my mind was when we played Giants Stadium in New Jersey and we headlined that & I believe Heart was on the show. And I remember after the show, the crowd was still roaring and we were raced out through the parking lot in New Jersey State Police cars and we were rushed into waiting helicopters and we hovered above the stadium for a while, while there were spotlights, skylights whirling about us and we kind of headed to New York City. I looked at my then-girlfriend, now my wife, and said "this is Beatles stuff. This is cool."
Host: Tim, what do you say we explore some of your new music?
TBS: Yeah, let's do that.
Host: This is from your second solo album; your debut album with MCA, "Timothy B." This one is called "Don't Give Up."
Plays Don't Give Up
Host: Timothy B. Schmit on Classic Call. Something that you haven't given up and that we were talking about during the song....You've had what could almost be called a second career as a session singer. How do you engineer all that activity? It's a busy life.
TBS: Actually it could be busier. I don't actually do as many outside session projects as people think. I would actually do more. I really enjoy doing it. If I'm not doing that, I'm trying to write songs or whatever comes around. I'm really trying to motivate on the solo thing. I hope to be doing another solo album after this. The session stuff that comes in between is great.
Host: Who have you been working with lately? Any names we know and love?
TBS: I just did a session for Randy Newman last week. Actually it was 3 weeks ago. I did it with Don Henley, J.D. Souther and three girls. That was a lot of fun. That was the most recent one.
Joyce, Orlando: I've notice there is a lot of R&B influence on your new album. I was wondering who or what inspired this new style?
TBS: It's not a new style by any means. I guess it's just never come out in my music before because I've always been involved with other people. I've always enjoyed listening to R&B music, especially the old stuff like Al Green, Aretha Franklin and those things. I've always really enjoyed it so I guess it was just a natural course that came about that this influence is there.
Joyce: Oh, it's great!
TBS: Thank you!
Chris, Detroit: What's the focus on your new album? How's it different from working with the Eagles and with Poco?
TBS: Well, the obvious difference is that it's a solo album and not a collaboration between a bunch of people all trying to get their stuff on a record. However, mine is a lot of collaboration with other people. There's a great songwriter and new friend of mine, Bruce Gaitsch, who's from Chicago, who writes a lot of great stuff with me. And I also did a lot of songs with Will Jennings, who's done a lot of fine work in the past with people like Steve Winwood. I think the main difference is you have to really focus it all on yourself and make sure it's what you want. You don't really have that many people to bounce it off of.
Debbie, Phoenix: When you were with the Eagles, I heard you coauthored the song, "I Can't Tell You Why." I love that song! Could you just tell me your inspiration behind it?
TBS: Hmmm, it's almost hard to remember. Most of the songs I write are of a personal nature. And that was just...probably some events were happening in my life which prompted that. I don't really want to get into it real heavily, but it was just something that was going on in my life at the time and it was sort of hard to deal with, so I decided to start writing about it. And then I gave my ideas to Glenn Frey and Don Henley and they helped me finish it.
Host: It must be great to know how much people really appreciate what you've done and the music you've written and everything.
TBS: Yeah, it feels real good, definitely.
Host: She was asking about a song you wrote. Let's go back to 1973 and another song you wrote. a song from Poco's Crazy Eyes album. This is "Here We Go Again" on Classic Call.
Plays Here We Go Again
Host: That's a great song--Timothy B. Schmit and Poco with "Here We Go Again" on Classic Call. And you wrote that song.
TBS: Yeah, I did--a long time ago, and as I was just saying, I really haven't listened to that song in a long time.
Host: Were those happy times for you and the band? I mean, you spent a lot of time in Poco.
TBS: Yeah, it encompassed a complete spectrum of human emotions. We were on the road all the time. I was on the road nine to ten months of the year for two to three years solid. We lived together and we worked together and we played and fought together. It was sort of like a marriage. If you're around people that much, you really go through the spectrum.
Host: A lot of people love Poco more than they love any other band and they sit around and wait to get a new copy of an old album of theirs and your voice is always there.
Host: This is one that you co-wrote and sang lead on, one of the biggest hits for the Eagles and one of my all-time favorites, "I Can't Tell You Why."
Plays I Can't Tell You Why
Host: Ah, that's beautiful. The voice of Timothy B. Schmit. The album was The Long Run and the year was 1979.
Ron, Columbus: Are you guys planning a big reunion tour?
TBS: I hear that a lot from all sorts of external people, and papers and stuff, but no, there's nothing planned right now--not to my knowledge, anyway.
Ron, Columbus: That's too bad...What does the "B" stand for?
TBS: The "B" stands for Bruce.
Aliki, Boston: I'm really excited about this new album of yours. I've been waiting for it for so long. I was just wondering if you were excited about this new album and are you planning on going on tour soon?
TBS: So far, I think this is my best project I've been involved withl especially as a solo artist. It really was fun to do. I think there's a lot of good music on it. As far as touring goes, there's really no plan right now, although I hope to pull that off and get it together and do that because I really do miss playing live and so maybe sometime soon you'll see me out there doing that.
Gary, New Orleans: I know Siedah Garrett sang three songs on your album. How did you two meet and how did she get involved?
TBS: She's a friend of my producer, Dick Rudolph. We needed some girls to sing on a couple of things and he suggested that we use his friend Siedah Garrett. He said "you'll really like her and she's fun to be with" and all that. We let her bring in another girl, Julia Watters, and we had a really great evening with some great singing. I got to sing with the two girls and it was a lot of fun. I believe that was before her Michael Jackson stuff and that was how it happened. I met her through my producer.
Host: As long as we're on the subject of your new album, "Timothy B.", and singing with Siedah, let's play your song with her, it's called "Boys' Night Out."
Plays Boys' Night Out
Host: That's Timothy B. Schmit on Classic Call with "Boys' Night Out" from his new album "Timothy B." Sounds like you might have needed a boys' night out when you wrote that. It kind of evokes a good feeling of the title of that song, Timothy.
TBS: Yeah, that's what it is!
Lisa, Cleveland: I was just wondering, your single "Boys' Night Out" that was just played; I was wondering where you would go on your boys' night out?
Host: Have to be careful on this now!
TBS: Actually, when we were almost finished recording, when I had done all my vocals on this album, my producer and co-producer, Dick Rudolph and Bruce Gaitsch, and again it was just the three of us, we actually had a boys' night out. We decided we were gonna go hit some spots and kind of bar-hop for a little while and we ended up staying in one spot and closing it. That was it. That was as far as we could get. We all went home ...felt bad the next day.
Gary, Norfolk VA: Do you think the aura and feeling of that time and the power that music had back then is still around today, despite MTV and despite all the media hypes and the big money grossers? It doesn't seem back then, especially in the early seventies, like money was why you and the Eagles and other bands were out there. Now it seems like the big bands are out there for the money. That's the way I feel.
TBS: Well, it's all been a business. It always has been and money has definitely always been in there. It's not the sole reason why I ever got into music. I don't think I knew when I got into it that it would be my bread and butter, but it is, and it was back then. We made a lot of money ourselves. It may have been downplayed. I guess bands are making more now, the big ones. But the Eagles made a lot of money too. I don't think it was a financial thing that was the difference. I think maybe it's more of a cultural feeling that we're talking about.
Gary: Do you think that feeling and that spirit that was captured than and was special then is still around today?
TBS: Oh yeah It's there, I'm sure of it. Have you ever been to a Springsteen concert or any big act?
Gary: Oh yeah!
Evelyn, San Francisco: Now that you're running your own show and you can pick who you want to work with, who do you like to collaborate with?
TBS: So far, right now, the ones who worked with me on my last album, or my current album, and it's Will Jennings, who has worked a lot with Steve Winwood, and many, many others. When "Boys' Night Out" was on the charts, he had three others on the charts too with people like Whitney Houston, probably Winwood and maybe someone else. My other friend is Bruce Gaitsch, a Chicago guy who now lives here and provides me with a lot of great inspiration and great music. So far, it's worked real good and smooth and fast which is really a bonus.
Evelyn, SF: I have your album and I really liked the picture too. I just wanted to tell you that.
TBS: (Laughing) Good, I'm glad you do.
Show closes after playing Everybody Needs a Lover
Back to Keep On Tryin'.