In mid December 2007 I received an e-mail from the editor of the German edition of Rolling Stone asking if I would be willing to re-work an interview I had conducted with Willy DeVille in April 2006 for a special section they were planning to run on Willy for the magazine's February issue. Willy and the Mink DeVille band were starting a mini-European tour in mid February to help promote his new CD Pistola and the article would tie in with it.
Well I wasn't about to say no to something like that, and I suggested that perhaps I should try and get in touch with Willy to bring things up to date - talk about the new CD, and anything else Willy felt like chatting about. By the time we had agreed on details it was Wednesday the 19th of December, and it turns out the world stops the Friday before Christmas so I had three days to get hold of a copy of the new CD, and set up an interview time with Willy.
So it was pretty hectic to say the least; figuring out the logistics of getting me a copy of the CD was the hardest part - seems couriers are busy at Christmas and nobody was going to guarantee an overnight delivery between New York City and Kingston Ontario. But something happened on the final Friday that made me think no matter what, this is going to work out just fine. A DVD of a tribute to Edith Piaf showed up in the mail for me to review - a DVD that had been produced by Willy's record company no less.
Now for those who don't know, Edith is pretty special to Willy; it was because of her that he ended up in Paris in 1980 recording Le Chat Blue and working with many of the same people she had worked with. A question I regret not asking him was what it was like for him to play at the Olympia in Paris - he recorded a live disc there - where Edith had ruled the stage for years.
Talk about synchronicity. An hour later the Fed Ex guy knocked at my door with a copy of Pistola. Sometimes you know the stars are shining on you and this was one of those times.
Now I was under strict instructions from Willy's wife Nina - who does her best to act as the business manager for a guy who loves to play rock and roll and in his own words: "I just want to focus on the art and the music right - that business stuff ..." Well Nina wanted to make sure I got Willy to talk about the disc and the tour - and in our way we did.