with Gordon Grody
Patrik Andersson and Roberto Mariani
and R: First of all, thank you Gordon for participating in
Tell us about you vocal background and early career, how did
it all start?
roommate Vicki Sue Robinson got signed to RCA and her producer
heard me and signed me as well. She was riding on a big hit
record at the time. Turn The Beat Around.
In the late seventies you did a solo album and also worked
as lead vocalist in tracks for historic disco producers like
Gregg Diamond and Meco. Did you enjoy singing the disco/soul/dance
did…it was an exciting time for the dance scene and very much
song and groove oriented. Long hours but really fun
When and how did you come in contact with Fred Petrus?
actually can't recall but I think I had a reputation in the
NYC session scene and he contacted me. I was singing background
good deal with Diva Gray and Luther
Talking about the great Italian producers, composers, and
musicians of the Petrus team (Malavasi, Romani, Gianolio,
Trevisi), did you enjoy working with them?
I remember working with Mauro the most
During your time with Fred you worked with singers like Frank
Floyd, Bobby Douglas, Luther Vandross, Diva Gray, Leroy Burgess,
Tawatha and so on. How was it to be surrounded by all these
great gift and quite a blast as well. They were all the greatest
at the time
In the 1980 Petrus/Malavasi albums the vocalists are not listed.
Am I wrong if I'm quite sure that you are the lead vocalist
in many tracks of the Macho "Roll" album? Did you also take
part in the vocals of the other two albums of that year ("Welcome
Back" by the Peter Jacques Band and the historic "The Glow
Of Love" by Change)?
know about Welcome back. Wasn't on Glow of Love and was lead
vocalist on Roll
You were a part of the great successes of B. B. & Q. band
and Change in 1981 and High fashion in 1982 among others.
But you did also sing on the much more unknown projects Zinc
in 1982 and Silence in 1984. Especially Zinc offered an interesting
and innovative mix of European pop and American funk. What
are you thoughts about the music produced by Petrus and Malavasi
during the years you participated?
creative and they gave me a lot of creative space to do what
A really rare and very hard to find album is the first Silence
LP "Goodtime Baby" that was released in 1982, two years before
the "The Beast In Me" album. Were you the lead vocalist also
in that first album?
That was more of a rock band album and we all really believed
in it but Freddy had trouble selling it to labels. I thought
it was great stuff
To some people Fred was not a very pleasant person being both
intimidated and ruthless, something that became even stronger
after the severe economical difficulties he faced in 1982-1983
that led to serious problems paying the artists he hired.
What are you thoughts about Fred as a person and as a professional
businessman in music and did you recognize any economical
problems during 1982-1983?
had a terrible reputation for not paying on time or just not
paying at all. I'm not sure why he behaved this way. He lived
right across the hall from me so maybe I did better than others
in getting paid on time
R: You sang some tracks (like the well known single "Hypnotized")
in another 80's Italian production, Pulga/Ninzatti's second
Pink Project's album "Split". Have you ever been in Italy
(my country) to record vocals for Petrus or other producers?
but would love to work with any of those guys again. Tell
them that if you speak with them.
Fred was murdered sometime in 1986. What do you known about
that tragic event?
little except it was over non-payment
Talking about the present, I've read that beside your vocal
and arranging work for other artists you are also an important
vocal coach in New York (Alicia Keys among others!). Do you
love teaching? Any
advice to young singers that want to start a musical career?
When I was starting out there were plenty of singers trying
to make it. Now there are many more. Almost everybody thinks
they can sing which is a problem. I recommend to any singer
to really practice their craft and sing anything they can
as much as possible. Finding a skilful teacher always helps.
and R: Thank you Gordon!
thanks to Mr Grody for his open minded attitude through out
in May 2007 by: Patrik Andersson and Roberto Mariani