Brian Auger is a legendary keyboard player who was intimately involved in the 60’s British Invasion scene and has played with everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Rod Stewart, Led Zeppelin, Freddy King and The Trinity. Brian talks about starting in music at the age of 3, and being influenced by his older siblings to listen to jazz, blues, soul and crooners like Nat King Cole, Sinatra and Bing Crosby. He tells us about being offered a gig in the West End of London at a club that was a hot spot hangout for the best musicians in the city. These musicians took him under their wing and Brian earned his stripes playing 4-5 hours a night every day.
Brian talks about his time playing with Long John Baldry, Julie Driscoll and Rod Stewart and tells of the time John Baldry convinced him to take a chance on an unknown guitarist from New York named Jimi Hendrix and let him sit in with the band at The Cromwellian Club. This was Jimi’s debut performance in the UK and the seminal moment of his career. The Cromwellian was a popular hangout for players like Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton, and Brian talks about Clapton being in the audience that night and being completely blown away by Hendrix.
We talk to Brian about his band The Trinity with Julie Driscoll and his being a pioneer in infusing rock with elements of jazz. Brian tells us about his friendship with The Who’s drummer Keith Moon, the pranks he was subjected to at the hands of The Police guitarist Andy Summers, and the experience of playing harpsichord on the Yardbirds’ #1 hit single “For Your Love”.
Brian talks about his current project, his son Karma who is now a producer and a great drummer, about the pressures of being a professional musician and understanding why some people tend to crack under that pressure. Brian is appreciative of being lucky enough to avoid that kind of fate and being able to just enjoy being a musician. His advice to today’s artists is to play what’s in your heart and take your career into your own hands, using all the tools at your disposal through social media and the internet.