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Bob Keane's Kingdom At Del-Fi
By MuzikMan
(more articles from this author)
1999-04-07
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First I would like to say Bob, I have so much respect and admiration for what you have done for the music business. You are a great role model. You give me the hope, courage and inspiration to carry on no matter what the odds are. I really love music and have always wanted to be involved on some level, now I am, and I feel extremely grateful to people like you and Bryan(Thomas). I hope that someday I will make a name for myself and really do something that will hold a place in time like you have Bob!

When I found out that I would have the opportunity to interview Bob Keane I was so excited! I couldn't sleep that night! This man is a living legend. I felt very honored to have this opportunity. To think of all the questions that I would have for this man is overwhelming! I tried to keep it simple and tried ask questions that hopefully he hasn't heard a thousand times before. Bob's E mail wasn't working all that great so he actually sat down a wrote the answers to my questions. I really appreciate that kind of effort from anyone, but a man of his stature and notoriety? Very impressive! Hope you enjoy the interview.

MuzikMan: How do you feel about the resurgence of Surf and Instrumental music? Do you feel that you can ride the wave for awhile?

Bob: "The 'resurgence'of surf music is not really surf music in my opinion. It is just another form of punk or garage-band music. The real surf music ceased to be recorded in the middle Sixties. As for "instrumental" music, I am not aware of any particular resurgence, and I am not sure what you mean by that term. Since we are not recording any new music, our catalog will be on the market for as long as people want to buy it. It is historic in one sense and therefore will be around in some degree for as long as there is a record business."

MuzikMan: Do you think the talent level of today is much better than what you dealt with say, 20 years ago? Or just more diverse because there are more tools available to the artist today?

Bob: "Talent is a big word, and there is very little of it in any creative form. The majority of the records and artists performing them are copies of some former popular trend or style. The difference in artists today is that because of the technology it is very easy for anyone to record themselves and try to get their product on the market."

MuzikMan: I feel the Surf music genre has tremendous amounts of talent due to the recent explosion worldwide. There seems to be so many offshoots or sub genre's emerging, are you intrigued by this?

Bob: "I am intrigued with any music that I believe will sell to the public."

MuzikMan: Now with all this success knocking at your door again do you tend to be on the conservative side with business decisions or due you prefer to stick with the go for it attitude that prevailed in the early years?

Bob: "I have no choice as to how I operate my business. Since I don't have limitless funds as the majors do, I am forced to be much more selective as to who and what I record. However, I am always looking for new sounds and new songs and new artists."

MuzikMan: What are your thoughts and feelings on the Internet and the new found opportunities it has created for the music industry?

Bob: "The Internet at this date is not a very profitable or successful method of selling records. Hopefully, people will eventually turn to the net to purchase music. From the standpoint of the record company there are many problems that have to be resolved before the Internet will be a profitable method of exposing and selling their records."

MuzikMan: Do you feel that the music has always kept you energized and feeling young? Or was there ever a time that you lost the fire burning in your belly?

Bob: "Music has always been a driving force for me, as a performer, and producer, and even an author. But I also enjoy the hunt, and the chase, and the danger of the business world."

MuzikMan: Looking back in retrospect on your career as a performer, artist, producer and label owner, what one thing would you change, if you could, that would have changed your life as you know it today?

Bob: "I would have moved to New York at the beginning of my career."

MuzikMan: Who is the one person that served as your role model growing up?

Bob: "Musically, my role models were Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw."

MuzikMan: What gave you the drive and inspiration to put it all on the line to create Del-Fi?

Bob: "I started my drive to become a band leader at the age of 15 and subsequently signed with MCA as 'the world's youngest bandleader' when I was 17. I have always been a leader of one sort or another, and I have been in other forms of business as such. I have always had a drive to create and produce something new in music, art or other businesses that I have owned."

MuzikMan: Do you think Surf will be around a bit longer this time because of the ever growing cross sections in genres?

Bob: "Again, surf is just another word for music made by young amateur musicians who are dreaming of big money and fame as a performer. Unfortunately, only a minority group of consumers support their efforts."

MuzikMan: What are your immediate and future plans with the label?

Bob: "My plans for the label is the same as when I started 41 years ago: to make great music, great songs and develop great talent."

MuzikMan: Are you ever going to say, I have had enough, and retire?

Bob: "Probably not."

MuzikMan: In closing I would like to thank you for your time and wish you and Del-Fi continued success!

Bob: "I hope that these answers to your questions will give you some satisfaction in whatever you are seeking. I thank you for your kind words about my career, and I sincerely wish the good luck you will need to become successful in this difficult business."

MuzikMan: Thank you Bob!


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