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Emilio Castillo (Tower of Power) - Driving With Dave Koz

Jul 09, 2022
I'm Dave Koz and this is

driving

with me come on so here we are with a legend. I can drive a living legend right now. I'm very, very excited, how does it feel? You know it's true but you'd never tell. Would you like to know for a fact the day things weren't so great for us in the late 70's and early 80's? I learned from a dinosaur to initiation it definitely changed for us you know now it's legend I'm going it's a very fine line between a dinosaur and the institution it's a straight line although that's a lot of fun so Emilio Castillo the founder of the

tower

of

power

leader and founder and driver force and creative guru of

tower

of

power

now i have to say this is what we have been friends for a long time but before i met you i idolized you and that band its no secret our power is my favorite band of all time love those albums they still do actually but I would imagine this is something you would listen to daily because you're on tour you know every day every night how many dates a year they're doing these days we go out 200 days a year, but that's not our concert. of them are traveling out of dates but 200 days a year we are away from you unbelievable they are almost like clockwork so i imagine you hear this from not just me but tons of musicians tons of artists that have come through to that. you and and and bow to you and say thank you how much it feels after so many years of doing this knowing the impact that you know it feels great and it never gets old you know it's like listening and not just famous people and not just musicians fans tell me your You know I just want to thank you you changed my life you are the one you know you are the thread that ran through my life you don't know how you have affected me I name my son Emilio you know things like that man and you are like I mean he is just a blessing in my life. so it never gets old and i listen to it a lot and it helps and after 50 years this is a great celebration tonight we are 50 years of we are celebrating 50 years of funk tower of power a big anniversary this last year and did you have any idea when did you start?
emilio castillo tower of power   driving with dave koz
I want if you don't mind, could you take us all back to those early days of when you got the band together and had any idea of ​​those 50 years? later you'd still be doing it I had very low vision I was a teenager I was 17 when Tower Power started I had a band called The Motels for about a year and a half before the same thing you know we're just changing their name and I love the band called the east bay spiders really tight soul band i just wanted to be as good as them and i was willing to do that and they got a gig and a bar in sacramento if i could get sackler yeah yeah where that was my vision so yeah just a sacramento from oakland californi a it's not like a big back then back then it was huge it was like you know it was unreachable for millions like that's what big guys do in sacramento yeah i love it and so when they got together it was Generally speaking, the core of the gang was there for all those guys at the same time, you and doc.
emilio castillo tower of power   driving with dave koz

More Interesting Facts About,

emilio castillo tower of power driving with dave koz...

The DOC. he was there from the beginning, well no, I had the band called Motown. My brother was the drummer, like before Garibaldi. I had rock on bass. although back then his name was Frank Hughton, we called him Frank, a French franc and Jody Lopez on guitar, and you know, we were so good and then I was doing this gig, we were going to open for a band called The loading zone, they were famous hippie soul babies. and they showed the movie on the deadlines and they were big and we're opening the show for them at the Alameda County Fair and they had an anthem on b3 and I was used to playing a b3 at the nightclub I played at and when I used to go out and do these other r gigs like a fair or whatever i had to stop with a fake organ from fox you know and i saw they had a v3 so i asked around your hall and back then you know b threes don't he moved so easily like this right now, you know? so they were willing to let me use it, but they sent this guy to interview me to find out if I knew how to take care of it, if I was going to put a Coke in it and spill it later, and they sent this guy Steven to cook them. he was mugged before i got his name and that he was there to monitor your b3 talk to me to see if he was going to be ok to use his b3 they wanted to leave him on stage you know they didn't want to move but they were going to move him if i was a jerk yeah and he says do you know what kind of man you have and i say well have you ever heard of a gang called the spiders and they just did it? a gig at bury us a bowl and the spiders open for them and they get their ass kicked last week and sadat says yeah i know the spiders know wow yeah you r bands like them i go what we try to be where you know that's what we're aiming for and he says yes you can use the organ just like that I told my he says you know I play after hours and v3 all the I know I shouldn't get you drinks but you know you can use the other one like this that we play to our sadness and after the sadness, he comes up to me and says that you have a good container and we did.
emilio castillo tower of power   driving with dave koz
We were squeezed by the three horns on the bed. we doing songs like jackie lee duck and carlos baby ba d y baby off us yeah we had sounded good he says you got a good band ago thanks he says yeah just one thing wrong yeah what is that it?, says your horn section. by the way he needs a bit of background because of the way I play baritone saxophone check that out yeah so we can imagine I gave him an audition actually we just decided that we work on the audition more intensively we were trying to add a trombone and the whole chum boat there's our school we're square we're trying to teach them steps in the back of the song they just didn't know nothing and we just made a pack you know um no more trumpeters weird as we are since you know trumpet players can be weird yeah and I had invited him to audition and forgot to tell the guys and when I showed up mind you this is the first EP we know of.
emilio castillo tower of power   driving with dave koz
We are a bunch of little street kids. I am the suburb. that's the thing with doc he's so amazing and so infectious to watch it's just his total commitment yeah well that's what i told the guys here they were label what is this this baritone sax he said , we told you no more weird old players. you know this guy has a quirky personality let's take a look at him as soon as he played a couple of scoops everyone's eyes went wide and we got up and he came over that day and then he and i became best friends i mean literally he became my best friend that day and forever that's an amazing g thing and look what you guys have created what was happening in oakland california because oakland is ok it's still considered a hotbed for music but a lot of people left oakland it seems like it's a very rich area of ​​the country for music especially in that well I guess the whole Bay Area in the late 60's yeah but Oakland and in particular you know Sly and the Family Stone were it was getting popular right before i met doc, rocco and i used to crash this nightclub.
I've climbed this fence and got in the back and we spent our weekends in there looking at things signed by criminals before they made a record, you know, and they were based in Oakland and there were all these Oakland Sun stars. like freddie hughes you know jessie mr. soll James and we were all into it and sly was also a disc jockey at the time a case old radio Wow, you know, and everyone was listening to it, it was a huge disjunction and that was the scene in the East Bay in San Francisco. I know I was the Grateful Dead or Jefferson Airplane, you know Quicksilver Messenger Service, all that kind of stuff and we watched it from afar, as you know, that's kind of weird, what's that? but very soon it began to enter the fabric of the East.
Bay people were coming out there wearing weird bell bottoms and playing awesome music and we knew when Doc came in the back because he had been the roadie for the loading zone and so had been to the Fillmore West a few times, you know? We knew that's where we had to go, we weren't going anywhere playing their little sold out nightclubs in the East Bay and we started aiming for the movie or, you know, by the grace of God, we auditioned on a Tuesday night. night, Graham Duggan, that was the place. it wasn't l before i took a choice b place in the bay area it was the place in the nation in the world the right people's careers were made for shows they would do in the movie yeah i remember back in 1996 i had a show at the Fillmore and I will never forget that experience of being in the halls, yes.
I remember people telling stories about being in the 96 aisles. That was the original movie. and I actually auditioned there for him when I was a very young teenager. He told my mom that these kids need to go back to the garage and practice a little. I've never been into soul music and we auditioned at the Fillmore West. a couple of years later the wait was where they met because she told me the story a long time ago about Aretha Franklin running into her in the hallway was yeah what did I miss at the Fillmore Fillmore West?
Hollis Fillmore West, yes, and she did that. album we read the li i was at the fillmore that was what they paid for but you guys opened for her yeah yeah it was interesting coming here i had a fight with bill graham at the time that lasted about a year and even though we were fighting this shows you know the mark of the man he was so good he knew we were the best act to open for her and he put us all weekend yeah that was great smart smart this smart move so i wanna get you in the head your musical. head on for a second if i could ask you if you can share with us your favorite artists of all time who is the main inspiration for what you do and then i also want to ask you to put it in the spot for your favorite Tower of Power song, Well, that's an unfair question. my parents were musicians but they played records you know a d I grew up in Detroit until I was 11 and my dad was a bartender he was into the night life and you know a lot of black friends so we would hear things like plates and ink stains, you know Dinah Washington was huge in my Matt King coal and you also know bill Doggett honky-tonk and Elvis when it first came out my parents just loved records and I love songs and singers and I was a very good impersonator, so my mom said i could sing just you sitting on the toilet at 6 years old with a dub and that's a picture yeah and then after i got into music and really got her soul music you know , Burt Bacharach songs and all those songs that came out of 1650 Broadway you know Barry Maness for a while and you know Carole King and Gerry Goffin and all those New York writers who did those great songs on the ceiling you know Bob Hillia rd wrote anytime in our deal come i took the jimmy webb doc got me into writers like jimmy webb and burt bach arach so where did the funk come from because you guys are just a minute We love James Brown, we love Dyke on the Blazers.
Well I should say we started making our own version of funk. I always like to travel with rhythms. My brother was the drummer, so he would make up these weird rhythms and dictate them to him. You know we were just practicing. until we got this weird beat and then we do 99 and a half with a weird beat, you know, and when my brother left the band and David Garibaldi came in, now I've got a drummer that's just like me, he wants to do everything. it's got a weird groove and we started head banging and coming up with all this really unique stuff she was like a treat to me you know I might say can you do this right how about this and he's like yeah but we could do this and you? knowing back and forth with my head stuck and doing tes The amazing beats and, you know, I was always kind of a go-between for Rocco, you know I would come up with these weird soda lines and then he innately had this great soulful feeling and the way Dave was playing, it just fell into place and we both, I mean, we're just because we didn't even really know each other, right?
You basically put them together, it was a fluke, yeah I heard Dave play one night, he was filling in for a drummer on the neck. we have worked on monday and tuesday nights and i told the guys that they need to watch this german news for me i was at the time i was going to leave the band but my brother was leaving and i changed my mind my brother told me i like not I know you should do that and at that point I told the guys I'm going you know we're going to get that guy and Willy Fulton and everyone was like but seriously they heard him play there's no question they did.
It didn't sound great and Rocko and Dave immediately fell into the pocket imm Immediately it was like a telegraph between Richard Davis going to goun goun they were like a telegram like brothers were born apart yeah that's so awesome ok so now I'll put you in place, okay, give me your top three that you love the tower. your favorite songs you know you can change them eventually i wonder how her name is just so much oil on the floor when i recorded that song ii felt in terms of productionwriting terms of singing a solo ingen groove in every aspect of that record urban renewal i thought we were shooting silvers of content magic wasn't a hit but i was proud of it i just felt we had found our hit and that song and they'll take the star I remember telling my manager this is the biggest song where the regret is just phenomenal you know the horn range myth my Craig Adams Lenny's phenomenal tenor solo Pickett, Chester Thompson's phenomenal organ solo, Lenny Williams is killing it. the vocals i have the girls coming to the end singing in the background the chords all about it i just knew it was the best record we ever made you know it came to nothing but well you know today is more important than you ever see and it's so true because it's that you knew you had something it's just timing yeah and we've been playing long enough you know 45 years is on every show almost not always but we play it all the time you know we love it's fun to play that's really very exciting and I can't tell you how much it means to me but not just me but every musician on board whether you're a saxophonist bassist drummer singer guitarist if everyone has been influenced in any way by the work you've done fact it's fun the audience when we play we cover things i understand the brass boys are standing on the chocolates the satyrs are in front of me tom the drummers you know? you know?
Peering through us trying to see Dave. Do you know all the bass players here? The keyboardists on that side. There are so many musicians that come. the fact that this show is happening on my birthday the week of my birthday my actual birthday i'm you know it's like the best birthday present i've ever gotten or will ever get and of course i have to pay for it but it's ok i don't don't care but i just i want you to know how much i love and appreciate you so much and this is a dream come true to have the opportunity to not only have you join us but to hang out and celebrate the lasting legacy of the tower of power my friend thank you so that's how i get a big piece of cake oh yes i'm a big sharer Emilio Castillo that's God bless you - thank you yes you

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