Bruce Duff recently wrote a book entitled 'The Smell Of Death' about life on the road. The book was inspired by real life events on a European concert tour with Jeff Dahl. Bruce was a magazine writer for magazines such as 'Rip,' 'Creem,' 'Music Connection' and 'Billboard' from the 1970's through 2005 before writing this book.
He played bass for Jeff Dahl and they visited several European countries over the course of several weeks. The tour operated on a shoestring budget and the band had to deal with the minor annoyances of downscale day to day life on the road. Bruce played in France, Germany, Denmark, Italy and Spain on Jeff Dahl's tour. From country to country, they had varying degrees of reception from the audience, as discussed in the book. On some days the group lived like kings; the next week like paupers.
Bruce also relates personal frustrations and experiences from life on the road as a rock and roll musician. The band was tormented by groupies, or the lack thereof. Sometimes Bruce and company lived off cold cuts and beer for days on end while traveling from venue to venue for live shows. He watched as vices and ailments plagued his comrades. Bruce's book delineates the pleasures and perils of being a traveling musician.
Examiner interviewed Bruce on a recent visit to Austin, Texas to promote his book.
E: So how did the 'The Smell Of Death' book project start?
Bruce: I shopped it around to some publishers. They said it wouldn't sell. My wife ended up knowing someone who worked in publishing and helped me get it going.
E: What are your musical influences? Anyone I know?
B: Paul Revere and the Raiders were a huge influence on me. I still listen to them. I used to watch 'Where The Action Is' as a kid on TV.
E: What else should we know about your book?
B: Well, the intro is written by Cheetah Chrome. He's the guitar player in the band the Street Walkin' Cheetahs, whom I signed.
E: What about your past history?
B: I was the head of A & R at XXX Records. Their biggest claim to fame was that they released the first Jane's Addiction record. I was at XXX for a decade and I learned a lot while I was there.
'The Smell Of Death' is published by Rare Bird / Barnacle Books.
Thank you to Chrome PR for the interview opportunity with Bruce.