Jeff Neill bringing back memories with Streetheart at Lethbridge Music Festival


 Jeff Neill, long time guitarist of Kenny Shields and Streetheart, like a lot kids growing up in the ’60s, picked up guitar after seeing the Beatles play the Ed Sullivan show.Jeff Neill of Streetheart. Photo by Richard Amery
“I heard the music and heard all of the girls screaming and I said, man, I want to do that,” he recalled.

“People associate music with memories. They want to relive a time before they had kids and jobs,” said Neill, who plays the Lethbridge Music Festival with Kenny Shields and Streetheart at Spitz Stadium, July 23.

While he writes music for movies and television, he realizes fans come to the shows to hear the band’s many hits from the ’80s like “ What Kind of Love Is This,” “ Action,” “Snow White,“ “ Hollywood,” “Miss Plaza Suite,” and “One More Time,“ to name a few.

“ New music is for young people. When I was growing up, I I did was listen to music and figure it out and play guitar until bedtime. Now, when I go to see someone like Paul McCartney, I want to hear all of the hits. And  when he plays new music, it’s like, I don’t know that song and I don’t have that album. So I get it,”  said Neil.

“I grew up in a very musical household. My dad was a musician and my mom had a lot of records,” he said.
“I graduated high school at 18 in 1974 and have been playing music for a living ever since,” he said.

“ Rock and roll was only about 20 years old then. Now it is 60 years old, just look at all the great musicians we have lost,” he said , adding he takes care of his health.

“I‘ve been lucky to have good genes. I’m healthy and I take care of that. The fans will always be there,” he said.

“ I feel privileged to play for the fans,” he said.

“ And it’s not just us, it’s bands like us and Trooper and Harlequin,” he said they have all benefitted from classic rock radio and a dedicated core of fans,who grew up listening to their music.
“It’s all about the fans. When I was growing up, rock and roll was a luxury after work and school. But for these fans, rock and roll is a way of life for them. They live this music,” he continued.

 He had a lot of  memories like co-writing most of Streetheart’s self-titled 1982 album, which spawned five hit singles.

“I remember ‘ What Kind of Love is This’ was the first idea I brought to the band. I remember getting the platinum record for it. It was the first award I ever got,” he recalled.

“ That’s my favourite Streetheart song, but if you’re asking me what my favourite Streetheart song to play, then that would be ‘Action,’” he said.

“ That is such a well written song. It slowly builds the momentum. Paul Dean, Spider Sinnaeve, Kenny Shields and, Daryl Guthell and Matthew Frenette had such a great chemistry together. And Paul is a great guy and such an experienced  and a fantastic guitar player. There isn’t a lot of wanky playing. He went on to write some great songs with Loverboy. He has a style. When he plays something, you know it’s him,” he praised.

“ But I can’t fill his shoes. I wear my own shoes and try to put my own stamp on his songs,” he said.

Kenny Shiled andStreetheart play the Lethbridge Music Festival at 5:30 p.m. , July 23 at Spitz Stadium.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 July 2016 09:45 )