Stephen John Kalinich interview
1. Thank you for taking your time to do this interview, Stephen. I would like to ask you about your childhood and teen years. Where did you grow up and what were some of your influences back then?
I grew up in upstate New York. Raised in Binghamton where the Chenago and Susquehanna Rivers meet. My influences were Bill Hayley and later the Beatles, Stones, and PF Sloan.
2. When did you start playing and working with music? What can you say about that early years of your carrier?
I started writing articles about Word Peace as a teenager. I became obsessed with bringing peace in the world. I was optimistic thought the whole planet could transform and change through love and peace could prevail. My view was simplistic but the core of it in the formative years stays with me. I just realize it is not as easy as I thought and the power of darkness and greed are stronger in the world than I ever imagined. My idealism is now tempered by what can work in this reality we are living within.
3. As a poet and performer you appeared at legendary venues such as The Troubadour (Los Angeles). Would you like to share experiences from then?
My first performance at The Troubadour was mid-1960. Doug Weston was still alive. I was the last one to perform. I played with a 4 string guitar that I made. I was not a great player but I held the audience spellbound as I recited and chanted my songs and poems. Doug came up to me after. He was a huge man and said that was great and courageous. The first person who took me there was Roger from the Byrds who were not formed yet. He was called Jimmy then.
4. In 1969 you recorded A World of Peace Must Come which has been unreleased till 2009. I would like if you could share the whole story about the recording and releasing it…
I recorded it in the late sixties. It was not released officially until a few years ago by Matt Sullivan on Light In The Attic Records. Over a 40 year wait. It is a long story and a vast endeavor. There are many levels to it. It is an album to foster World Peace. There was not a thought of commerce just a sincere wanting to address the Peace issue in this insanity we live within every day. Matt became aware of me through Daniel Rutherford who is the husband of Marilyn Wilson of the Honeys now. He has been very helpful in my career.
If you’d like to ask any specific questions about the album I would be happy to answer them.
5. You are dear friend with The Beach Boys. I would really appreciate if you could share some interesting stories, that happened to you with them!
When Little Bird came out I was living in a motel room with my wife Renee. I did not have a phone so I used the pay phone on the corner as my home number. I could hear it ring from my room and I would run out an answer it. One of the calls was Al Jardine who thought it was my home phone so I heard the first recording of Little Bird over a pay phone on the corner of Sunset and Kenter in West Los Angeles in 1968. There are many more stories if you want more. That is a fun one.
6. What happened in the 70’s and later on…?
I wrote more songs with Dennis such as Like Rainbows, A Time To Live In Dreams, and many that were not released. Then later I was a staff writer for Motown Jobette Music and later Irving Almo after my contract with Brother Records was broken.
I wrote for Mary Wilson, Odyssey, David Courtney. The information is on www.stephenjohnkalinich.com and www.stevekalinich.com
7. What are you doing these days?
I have a new album out called California Feeling on MsMusic Productions. It will soon be released on vinyl. I have performed in the fringe festivals in Brighton in the U.K., and many other countries, I recorded an album called Galactic Symphonies with Richard Durrant as well as an album named South Downs Way with Peter Lacey on Pinkhedgehog. I’m now writing with Nashville Producer Jon Tiven and David Marks of the original Beach Boys.
Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2011
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