Tony and Bob talk about how The Monroes got their start, with Bob inheriting the band name from its earlier iteration with group members Rick Elias and Craig Bartok, (currently a member of Heart). After Rick and Craig moved on to other projects, Bob reformed the group with Eric Denton on keys and Tony Ortiz on vocals. Finding an undeniable group chemistry and camaraderie, the new group instantly clicked and The Monroes were signed to Alpha Records, a spin-off of A&M Records.
Tony and Bob tell us about their other members, drummer Jonnie Gilstrap and guitarist/songwriter Rusty Jones and the experience of watching their band hit the Billboard Charts. They go on to talk about the incredible experience of playing live on the Merv Griffin show.
Tony and Bob talk about losing the personal relationship they enjoyed with Alpha Records upon the label closing its US offices, finding their music being “lost in the shuffle” at CBS Records, and finding new inspiration in focusing on family and delving deeper into developing their songwriting craft. They give aspiring artists some advice on the songwriting process and tell us about their newly released and well-received material and about possible plans for a reunion.
Tony and Bob finish out the interview with some more stories from the Merv Griffin show and advice for the current crop of musicians to keep at their craft, to focus on the long-term goals, to surround themselves with fans and people knowledgeable in the business and to not buy into the hype of super-stardom.