Q & A with Dave Thompson

Dave Thompson

Dave Thompson


Dave Thompson
, author of Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall chats with Houston Press’ Bob Ruggiero. The following is a snippet of that interview. Please go to their site for the whole Q&A.

What made you decide to tackle a Roger Waters bio?

Mainly, the fact that there has never been one — and because his solo career (which has now lasted twice as long as the Floyd did) deserved it.

Of course it’s been mentioned in books about the band itself, but the waters are always muddied by the other band members’ presence (if you’ll excuse the pun). By concentrating the book on Waters alone, it gives the reader an unimpeded view of what has actually been a single, solid career arc.

To you, what is the lasting appeal — both musically and narratively — ofThe Wall to make it still so popular enough for Roger to do two world tours of it?

I really don’t have a clue; I’ve never liked it! But in simple terms, it was created as “an event,” it was staged as “an event,” and people like events. It’s a lot like when a classic movie or stage show is revived; people go along so they can say they were there.

There is more to it than that; The Wall does have an underlying message that a lot of people either agree with, or have placed their own interpretations upon. It’s almost become a political manifesto for the underdog, and there’s a lot of people who need that. Personally, I’d prefer him to be touring new music, but…well, that gives us something to look forward to.

Keep reading this interview on Houston Press’ website!

 

Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall is the first full biography of the author of The Dark Side of the MoonWish You Were Here, and, of course, The Wall. It traces his life from war-torn suburbia to the multitude of wars he has fought since then – with his bandmates, with his audience, and most of all with himself. Packed with insight and exclusive interviews with friends and associates, Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall dismantles the wall brick by brick, revealing the man who built it in all his glory.

Q & A with Mike Eder

Mike Eder, author of Elvis Music FAQ, answers some questions about his book on Elvis Information Network.

Mike, thanks for agreeing to an interview, I’m really looking forward to the book finally getting published. How long have you been working on your book ‘Elvis Music FAQ’ ?

Mike Eder: I have been working on it since the fall of 2011. I did the initial chapter for the proposal and then wrote most of it in from June to December 2012. Editing has gone on pretty constantly since then, ending only about one month ago. I had input on pretty much every aspect of the book. Backbeat has a great team who came up with a lot of great ideas, but they were very respectful of me as the author at all times. It is a nice feeling.

It must be hard to gather so much information and then distil it down to a publishable size!

Mike Eder: It is because I am a completest by nature. I basically used my Elvis record collection to write this book. I have read over 300 Elvis books myself so I knew what really had NOT been said. Or at least I didn’t feel it was said in the same way. I do cover every song and make some sort of comment on each one. I did draw the line on home recordings as they weren’t really meant for public consumption and truthfully there is too much we just don’t know about to cover them as definitively as I like to generally. Every tour is mentioned and given a review of sorts, all the films, and every major record, LP, EP, or 45, released during Elvis’ lifetime.

The FAQ series of books tend to cover some quirky stuff and I also had fun doing chapters on “borrowed” songs, records made by imposters, etc (see below left). I always try to be accurate on my dates and most importantly to have a balanced perspective. I am hard on myself that way but the great thing about doing an FAQ book is that you can take your subject seriously without losing the reader. These aren’t dry reference books, but rather meant to be thought provoking and fun. I want there to be a degree of entertainment for the reader.

I know what I like as a fan of Elvis, and music books in general, so I try to make it a book people will want to thumb through again. At the same time I put basically as much information as a typical reference book might have. Whether you have one scratchy 45 and a Christmas comp CD, or every pressing known to man, I aimed to make it work for any kind of Elvis listener. I want it to be a different sort of project in that any sort of fan can take something away from it.

Do you have a favourite period 50′s, 60′s or 70s?

Mike Eder: Well my very favorite Presley recordings generally come from 1954-60 and then 1968-72. I like a lot of stuff from 1961-67, and bearing in mind his troubles at the time, I also find much to enjoy during the later years. Though from a live standpoint the pickings get slim by 1976. Still I think the two periods I mentioned are when Elvis was enjoying what were ultimately two different kind of peaks.

There is no secret that Elvis was a great artist who made some bad records. I try to make sense of those and maybe try to understand how many of them came about. Elvis must bear the blame for making some bad decisions, yet I have no anger or disgust at him for not always making the best choices.

Throughout his career Elvis performed so many different types of music, do you think that your reviews might reflect your own taste in music? 

Mike Eder: One thing I would like to point out is that I am a huge fan of most any sort of rock, folk, blues, country, and gospel from the early fifties to the early seventies. I tend to focus on that one period of music history, but my tastes within that time are quite wide. I think that has put me in the unique position in that I like most of the styles Elvis tried. I have no hang up about him doing pop songs, if they are good pop songs. I like hard rock and I like love songs. It all depends on what I get from it myself.

Aside from the kind of historical factual information that a responsible writer does not let their own feelings color, I ignore other critics and try to tell the story that I get from the music personally. My own take on the whole Elvis Presley story is different than those that have been published before and I hope that’s why I have been able to gain readers over the years. I don’t want to come off like my tastes are more definitive than anyone else’s, I only want to make a case for what moves or doesn’t move me.

Keep reading the interview on Elvis Information Network!

 

Elvis Music FAQ is for anyone who has been inspired by an Elvis Presley record. Following in the tradition of the FAQ series, in Elvis Music FAQ, a lot of rare information is woven together in one concise, entertaining package.

There are chapters about every year of Elvis’s career, including a look at his pioneering original record label Sun; insight on his management; the continued importance of television in his career; a summation of each Presley concert tour; the inside scoop about the role Elvis’s band members and songwriters played in his sound; stories about the amusing musical oddities created by those trying to ride on the Elvis success train; details about the contentious role drugs played in his career; and, finally, a full review of every record the King ever issued.

Q & A with Marc Roberty

Marc Roberty is the author of Eric Clapton-Day by Day, The Early Years and the soon to be released Eric Clapton-Day by Day, The Later Years.  Here, he gives an interview on Music Tomes. Follow the link for the rest of the interview.

When did you first hear Clapton?

I first heard Clapton in 1965 when I bought the “For Your Love” single by The Yardbirds. I actually liked the poppy sound. Then I played the b-side, “Got To Hurry”, which changed my world. As a 10 year old kid I had not heard such guitar sounds before. I was intrigued and wanted more. After a lot of research I found out it was Eric Clapton’s guitar and he had just joined John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. I have followed him ever since. It also made me appreciate the guitar as an instrument which led me to Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix.

The two volumes of Eric Clapton, Day by Day blend biographical elements, discography, and detailed tour details, down to the setlists. How did you decide on this format, rather than writing a biography or a discography?

I wanted to put together all aspects of Eric’s musical life over the last 50 years and hopefully produce the ultimate reference book on him. I felt a simple biography or discography would only cover certain aspects of his musical career.

Take us a little behind-the-scenes with a little overview of the research you did for these in-depth books.

I have quite a large collection of old music papers, which are always a good source of information. I spent many months in various newspaper archives going back to 1963 onwards to research tour dates and venues, as well as concert adverts. On top of that I had a lot of help from Eric and his office allowing me access to tour itineraries, etc. I interviewed a multitude of musicians, producers and engineers which were very enlightening and revealing.

Go to Musictomes.com to keep reading!

Eric Clapton, Day by Day presents Clapton’s professional life in music in a day-by-day format, giving details of which bands he joined and left, all recordings made – both released and unreleased – as well as guest appearances he made on other artists’ records, and concert tours.

With Eric Clapton’s 50th anniversary in the music business approaching in 2013, now is the perfect time for this comprehensive biography.

Q & A with Neil Daniels

Neil DanielsThe following is an excerpt from an interview with Neil Daniels, author of Reinventing Metal, from Classic Rock Revisited. Please visit their website for the full interview.

I finished your Pantera book.  WOW.  That is a good stuff, man.  I like how you focus on the entire band and not just Dimebag. 

If you look at the band from Cowboys from Hell onwards you see a short body of work that is vital to the progression and growth of modern American metal. They made a huge splash on the scene and throughout the 1990s with Slayer they were the two bands that kept the flag flying for metal. Dime was also an incredibly gifted guitarist and obviously became one of the greatest in metal. Before Cowboys they made fun party pop metal. Don’t forget they were just kids self-releasing their own music. Their live shows went down with a storm and they were hugely popular on the Texas club scene. Dime – then known as Diamond Darrell – proved his worth very early on.

What do you learn about a band like Pantera when you spend so much time researching them and talking to people about them?

Anselmo is certainly a complex man with a difficult past. I’m looking forward to reading his book. He’s a fascinating individual. I didn’t speak to any members of the band but rather ex-members, producers, roadies, friends. I think it gives the book an objective slant.

As for the split, it takes two to tango. I think everyone had their own part to play but of course everyone has their own side of the story. The second Down album killed it for the band – Rex and Anselmo were concentrating on Down and Pantera was coming to an end. It was a nasty break up but most band break ups usually are. But I don’t think one individual can be blamed.

If you could go back in time and do an interview with anyone in the music business, who would it be and at what particular point in time would it be?

There’d be a few – Tina Turner in the 80s, Billy Joel in the 70s, Freddie Mercury after Live Aid, Ozzy during No More Tears; there are too many to name.

With a wide array of research and many first-hand interviews with those who knew the group well, Reinventing Metal is an unauthorized, first-ever biography that focuses on the entire band Pantera – from its Texas high school start to the global mega-success that anchored Pantera as one of the most important metal names ever.

Q&A with Paul Bowman

Paul BowmanPaul Bowman, author of The Treasures of Bruce Lee, answers questions from Jim Bessman at Examiner.com. The rest of the Q&A is posted on Examiner.com.

This is such a beautiful book. But there are so many—hundreds, probably. Why another?

Well, you’ve just hit the nail on the head, right there: This is a beautiful book. As soon as you see it, you realize it’s not simply a book, and certainly not a book like any other. This is a collector’s item unlike any of the other books on Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee’s family and the publishers worked together to make sure of that. I’ve seen a few reviews of the book already and they all seem to agree that it’s not a book you simply read, it’s one you experience. And I can’t take any credit for that. I just wrote the words.

But I think the words do important work, too: They set out some key facts about Bruce Lee’s life and significance, rather than repeating myths and legends.

It’s subtitled “The Official Story.” What makes it “official”?

It’s official in that it was commissioned and overseen by the guardians of Bruce Lee’s legacy–his own family. In other words, this is not just a storybook about Bruce Lee. It’s the story of Bruce Lee. True, there are others, but none that work in quite the same way as this book–narrative plus unseen photos and facsimiles of memorabilia, etc., which make it a great experience.

How did it come about?

I believe Shannon Lee wanted to see a book like this. I was honored to be asked. I’d like to think she asked me because she likes my other writing on Bruce Lee, but that’s really for an academic audience, so I suspect she suggested me because she saw me in Pete McCormack’s excellent recent documentary about Bruce Lee, I Am Bruce Lee. Anyway, I know most of the facts and fictions about Bruce Lee, and the publishers were given access to the Lee family archives of photos and memorabilia.

Keep reading this interview at Examiner.com!

 bl packshot

Bruce Lee is remembered not only as the martial artist who inspired people to better themselves physically and mentally but also as an actor, a writer, a director, a teacher, and a philosopher. Authorized by Bruce Lee Enterprises, The Treasures of Bruce Lee tells this unique man’s story – his aspirations, his family life, his passion for martial arts – as never before, through painstaking research, never-before-seen memorabilia, and rare, unpublished photographs. It includes 5 posters and 15 removable facsimile items from the Bruce Lee Archives, including handwritten poems, membership cards, and Lee’s illustrations and notes on all aspects of martial arts.

Q & A with John Kruth

The following is an excerpt of an interview onMilwaukee.com did with John Kruth, author of Rhapsody in Black: The Life and Music of Roy Orbison (Backbeat Books). Visit onMilwaukee.com to read the full interview.

Let’s talk some more about Orbison. Had anyone written a book about him before? If not, that seems almost hard to believe. If so, what did you aim to do differently?

This is the first time I’ve written a book about someone that has already had a book, in this case two, previously written about them. I don’t want to be a jerk but the first one I read was so poorly written that it actually inspired me to take up the mantle and set things right for the man. The second book, “Dark Star,” by Ellis Amburn is quite good. He’s a fine historian who wrote for Newsweek. But I felt he didn’t delve into the music the way I would have liked, which left an opening for me. Being a songwriter and a singer – and I say that in all humility in the same breath as mentioning Roy Orbison, I feel I have an unusual gift/ability to get to the core of what it’s all about, compared to someone who hasn’t had the experience of performing, arranging and living the music.

Did you learn anything that came as a surprise to you?

Surprises? How great and how lame some of the MGM tracks were. Check out the album “Hank Williams The Roy Orbison Way.” I’d never heard it before, and most of the musicians I interviewed didn’t even recall recording it. It’s wild. It sounds like a Lee Hazelwood/Nancy Sinatra production. They took Hank to Vegas with that one. But the story of his life fascinated me, the way he was able to overcome incredible tragedies and managed to continue creating in spite of the devastating cards that fate dealt him. Ultimately, Roy was a sonic alchemist who turned pain into beauty.

How much time did you spend writing the book?

Three years….

Keep reading this interview on onMilwaukee.com!

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Orbison’s singing has inspired everyone who has heard it, from Springsteen to k. d. lang, and laid the very foundation for goth. While fascinating from a pop culture standpoint, it is Orbison’s life’s journey that makes a great story that has yet to be told to its fullest. Rhapsody in Black doesn’t shy away from or trivialize the personal pain, alienation, and tragic events that shaped Orbison’s singular personality and music. Roy Orbison wasn’t merely a singer but a sonic alchemist who, in the end, transformed unfathomable human misery into transcendent melody and platinum records. Rhapsody in Black: The Life and Music of Roy Orbison contains new interviews with over 20 people who worked closely with Orbison throughout his life.

Q & A with Howard Kaylan

A very happy birthday to the inimitable Howard Kaylan! Here’s an excerpt of his interview with Rock Cellar Magazine. To read the rest of what Kaylan has to say about his book, Shell Shockedand his successes with The Turtles, visit their site here.

Rock Cellar Magazine: Why choose to do the book yourself, not with your partner Mark Volman?

Howard Kaylan: It never crossed my mind, a dual auto-biography? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that done before. We’re not attached at the hip like some might think. Mark lives in Nashville and I live in Seattle. We moved as geographically far away from each other as we possibly could and that’s what I think keeps us going as a duo. Had we lived in the same town for the last 20 years we’d have been a disappointment to each other and would probably be fighting and at each other’s throats, much like a married couple. You need separation and you need your own space.

RCM: It takes a special kind of person to be the lead singer of a band. Why are you that person?

HK: I figure it’s a nothing-to-lose proposition, I’ve always felt that. I wasn’t really an American Idol kind of kid but I was encouraged by my folks to sing at family gatherings and to join every possible vocal group and choir. I would have to say they were the cause or the influence. There was nothing professional about it. I remember my brother and I took tap dancing and that was frightening. That was sort of an entry to show business.

If you put on tap shoes you’re saying I’m either in for the count or I’m ready to come out and I was way too young to make that decision (laughs).

RCM: When did you realize The Turtles had broken through in America?

HK: Only Happy Together did that. Until that time we were constantly looking over our shoulders because we were hearing a lot of negative information from our record company and our manager was dubious. They kept us on edge purposefully. They had a thing going on between them—record company and management–and they felt we were always “the boys” no matter how old we were or what we were talking about business-wise.

We were “the boys” and I don’t think it’s changed to this day. The Foo Fighters are still “the boys”. Unfortunately for the record company Dave Grohl ain’t a boy so they’re up against it when they try to look at it that way.

As far as we were concerned, we still had the innocence. We were still really babies and we had no generation that preceded us to give us the information that we could follow. We were blind and sort of stumbling our way through it. We knew as soon as we signed with those clowns (White Whale) that it was a bad deal. But it was a deal. We were so desperate to get a deal. Our parents having the right to take the deal away from us in court really pissed us off. It was like, “Don’t do this, Mom, this is my shot.” I know we’re getting ripped off but if we don’t sign this piece of paper we’ll never get this f**king chance so don’t deny me my future or I’m gonna go to UCLA and be miserable on your dime.

Finish reading the interview at Rock Cellar Magazine!

Shell Shocked: My Life with the Turtles, Flo and Eddie, and Frank Zappa, etc.

If Howard Kaylan had sung only one song, the Turtles’ 1967 No. 1 smash hit “Happy Together,” his place in rock-and-roll history would still be secure. But that recording, named in 1999 by BMI as one of the top 50 songs of the 20th century, with over five million radio plays, is only the tip of a rather eye-opening iceberg. For nearly five decades, Howard Kaylan has been a player in the rock-and-roll revolution. In addition to his years with the Turtles, Kaylan was a core member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention and the dynamic duo Flo and Eddie, and part of glam rock history with Marc Bolan and T. Rex. He’s also given street cred and harmonies to everyone from John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen and Alice Cooper to the Ramones and Duran Duran, to name just a few. Howard Kaylan’s life has been a dangerous ride that he is only too happy to report on, naming names and shedding shocking tales of sex, drugs, and creative excess. Shell Shocked will stand alone as not only one of the best-told music-biz memoirs, but one with a truly candid and unmatchable story of rock-and-roll insanity and success from a man who glories in it all.

Q & A with John Kruth

credit: Paul Hoelen Mandarine Montgomery

 

John Kruth is the author of Rhapsody in Black: The Life and Music of Roy Orbison (Backbeat Books). The following is part of a Q&A on MusicTomes.com. Please visit their site for the full interview.

 

 

 

You’ve previously written about the life and music of Townes Van Zandt and Roland Kirk, how did you come to choose Roy Orbison as your next subject?

I have pretty eclectic tastes and listen to all sorts of music from Don Cherry to George Jones to Ravi Shankar to Glenn Gould to Captain Beefheart…. but ultimately its passion for my subject when it all comes down to it. You better love your subject! Roy’s classic sides for Monument, to me, are some of the greatest records made in the last century from the way they were written, performed and recorded. Also the story of his life fascinated me, the way he overcame incredible tragedy and managed to continue creating in spite of the devastating cards that fate dealt him. Ultimately he was a sonic alchemist who turned pain into beauty.

Orbison’s widow, Barbara, has a notoriously tight-grip on all things Roy, and as you chronicle in the book, had a lot of control over Roy himself. Did this present any problems in your research or in contacting people who knew and worked with Orbison?

In my earlier 2 biographies I worked closely with both of the widows. I wish I could have spoken with Barbara but I was warned by a number of people that she would want to control the contents of the book. So I avoided any contact and just quietly forged on. There were a few people who declined interviews with me because the book is unauthorized. Sadly Barbara was ill and has since passed away. I was hoping that she might’ve liked my book and I could have interviewed her for the 2nd edition.

What did you run across in your research that surprised you?

Writing a biography is kind of like going out on a date with someone you really like but you don’t know all that well and the relationship is suddenly on the fast track and things are unfolding at an alarming rate. There are plenty of surprises, some set backs but you made the commitment. Perhaps it’s more like a shot-gun marriage – cause you gotta see it through at least until the baby arrives! Surprises? How great (and how lame) some of the MGM tracks were – check out the Hank Williams record that Roy made. I never heard it before, and most of the musicians don’t even recall recording it. Its wild, sounds like a Lee Hazelwood production.

Keep reading this interview on MusicTomes.com!

 

About the Book

Orbison’s singing has inspired everyone who has heard it, from Springsteen to k. d. lang, and laid the very foundation for goth. While fascinating from a pop culture standpoint, it is Orbison’s life’s journey that makes a great story that has yet to be told to its fullest. Rhapsody in Black: The Life and Music of Roy Orbison doesn’t shy away from or trivialize the personal pain, alienation, and tragic events that shaped Orbison’s singular personality and music. Roy Orbison wasn’t merely a singer but a sonic alchemist who, in the end, transformed unfathomable human misery into transcendent melody and platinum records. Rhapsody in Black contains new interviews with over 20 people who worked closely with Orbison throughout his life.

 

 

Q & A with Gary J. Jucha

Gary JuchaGary J. Jucha is the author of Jimi Hendrix FAQ. Here is a snippet of an interview he did with Music Tomes. Visit their site to read the whole interview!

In the introduction to the book you give a great account of how you first began to pursue the music of Hendrix. What inspired you to write the book?

Frankly I was asked by Robert Rodriguez the FAQ Series Editor if I was interested in possibly writing a book for Backbeat. He had seen a piece I wrote about The Clash at my old website and contacted me. At the time, I didn’t know he meant a book for his FAQ series and so – 9 being my favorite number – I sent him a list of 9 music related titles on subjects that I thought would make good books and that I could write better than anybody.

I can’t remember all of them but I do remember suggesting The Clash in America, which would solely focus on The Clash’s concerts and recording sessions in America as well as their cultural impact on the country they had been bored with, and Jimi Hendrix: The Posthumous Years. I believe that as timeless as the three Jimi Hendrix Experience studio albums are, that it his posthumous recordings that have really contributed to his enduring fame. We had some back and forth discussions and that resulted in me writing Jimi Hendrix FAQ: All There’s Left to Know about the Voodoo Child.

Was there anything that surprised you in your research?

I was dismayed by his neglected childhood, by how many of his tales were really tall, and how isolated he was at the time of his death. But wanting to stress the positive let me say that what was really a discovery was how truly talented the Band of Gypsys was. That’s Jimi’s all black trio that included Buddy Miles on drums and vocals and Jimi’s army buddy Billy Cox on bass and vocals. Their legacy rests almost entirely on four concerts played on two consecutive nights after a few weeks rehearsal. Now they had been playing together at recording sessions since May 21, 1969 – a few of which are on the new People, Hell and Angels collection – but their performances at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East still stand out.

For example, “Machine Gun” is one of Jimi’s Top Ten iconic songs and that comes from these concerts. And the contributions of Jimi’s fellow gypsys to that song are profound. Billy’s ominous bass line and Buddy’s rat-a-tat-tat drumming really contribute to the song’s mood. And the notable thing that most people don’t realize is they played “Machine Gun” at all four concerts and all four are worth hearing. The one that’s readily available on Band of Gypsys is even arguably not the best version. Others include snatches of “Star Spangled Banner” during Jimi’s solos and I think Jimi didn’t want to release those versions because then it would make “Machine Gun” an anti-Vietnam War song and not the anti-war song that he wanted it to be. (All four versions are available on 2 Nights at the Fillmore, a 6-CD collection.)

Keep reading this interview on Music Tomes!

A modest man but highly competitive musician, Hendrix set the stage for many of the most significant musical movements to emerge between 1970 and 1999, including heavy metal, fusion, glam rock, and rap. Voodoo bluesman, sonic producer, the lyricist that out-Dylaned Dylan: these are what snatch our attention 40 years after his death, as do his “aw, shucks” smile in photos and the raw sexuality of his concert performances. It’s hard to find the man under all the falsehoods told by friends, business associates, and even Jimi himself. Jimi Hendrix FAQ attempts to present the facts in a fast-moving, fan-friendly read.

Q&A with Tom DeMichael

Tom DeMichaelTom DeMichael is the author of James Bond FAQ, and today, we’re celebrating Daniel Craig’s birthday! Below is an excerpt of an interview with Tom on Out of the Past. Check out their website for the full interview. 

Which are your least favorite Bond movies? Why?

As I mentioned in my book, I find the 1967 version of Casino Royale to be intolerable – but as I also noted, it’s not considered to be an “official” Bond film. Of the 23 Bond films produced by Eon Productions, my choice for least favorite Bond film would be a tossup between Moonraker and A View to A Kill. Moonraker, because I think Michael Lonsdale – despite his normally fine abilities as an actor – completely underplayed his role of Hugo Drax. Plus, the whole scene with Jaws and his newly-found girlfriend Dolly saving Bond and Holly Goodhead aboard a space shuttle makes me want to turn off the whole film at that point. A View to A Kill forces us to believe that Tanya Roberts is a geologist, villainous May Day is stronger than Oddjob – a character portrayed by a former Olympic weightlifter, and that Roger Moore – bless him – could still be a sexy and action-packed 007 at the age of 58. Both films suffered from a weak script and a general lack of creative direction and inspiration.

Which actor will play the next Bond?

Daniel Craig, who has brought to the screen much of the rough and cold demeanor that Ian Fleming’s original James Bond had, is contracted to star in the next two Bond films – known currently as Bond 24 and Bond 25. At 45 right now, Craig would be only near age 50 when that arrangement is completed. Seeing how Roger Moore lasted until age 58 and Sean Connery returned as Bond at age 53 in Never Say Never Again, it’s not unreasonable to think that Daniel Craig could re-up for another tour of duty as Bond toward the end of this decade.

So, considering that Craig is going nowhere in the foreseeable future, the gossip still rages as to who the “next” James Bond will be. Initial thoughts have tagged Robert Pattinson – from the Twilight movies – as a possible candidate, along with actors like Christian Bale and Guy Pearce. Considering the latter two would be 45 and 50 when Craig finishes his shift, they are unlikely. Henry Cavill, only 30, has also been mentioned as a possibility and actually tested for the role of Bond in 2006′s Casino Royale.

Despite their varied abilities, all six actors who have played Bond were relatively unknown, and certainly not A-list performers, when chosen for 007. Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan had made their names in television series prior to taking the iconic role, and the rest came to the table with experience ranging from print model, stage performances, and secondary roles in feature films. It’s very likely that next James Bond will come from similar backgrounds.

What is the future of the franchise?

The James Bond film franchise is very unique in the history of cinema. It’s relatively unprecedented for a literary character to be brought to the Silver Screen managed by the same production team for fifty years. Certainly, you have Tarzan and Sherlock Holmes and Charlie Chan – like Bond, portrayed by different actors over the years – but none of those series were controlled in total by a single creative entity. The Broccoli family members – first Albert, with partner Harry Saltzman until he split in the mid-70s, then stepson Michael G. Wilson and soon after daughter Barbara Broccoli – have maintained the roles of producer since 1962. Today, Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli continue to successfully push the buttons for the franchise. Waiting in the wings is Wilson’s son, Gregg, who has been involved with the Bond films since The World Is Not Enough and was most recently an associate producer on Skyfall. It’s generally assumed that he will take over the executive reins at some point in the future. But Michael Wilson is in his early 70s and Barbara Broccoli is only in her early 50s, so they have many years left before turning over the keys to the 007 offices to Gregg.

In terms of the films themselves, you need only to look at the fact that the most recent Bond film, Skyfall, brought in more than $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales. That doesn’t include Blu-Ray, DVD, on-demand, and all the merchandising. I don’t think there’s any doubt that James Bond will return – for many, many years to come.

Keep reading this interview on Out of the Past!

James Bond FAQ is filled with biographies, synopses, production stories, and images and illustrations seldom seen in print, leaving little else to be said about the world’s favorite secret agent. This book includes a foreword by Eunice Gayson.