Ira Black seems to come along with his own tagline – “the best hair in metal”. With a background that includes bands like Metal Church, Westfield Massacre, Lizzy Borden, and Vicious Rumors, among many others though, there’s no question of his impressive guitar abilities. Ira stopped by the red carpet before going in to take the stage at Randy Rhoads Remembered, and I was able to grab him for a quick interview about the show.
Just want to start out getting some of your thoughts on tonight, what an awesome event, Randy Rhoads Remembered.
Oh man, I’m just blown away by this thing, ‘cause it’s like…Look, the funny thing is, I always wonder about this, someone like Jimi Hendrix who was such a great guitar player, if he hadn’t passed away, would he be as legendary as he is now? And it’s a hard thing to wrap your mind around because basically, these are great players and stuff and a lot of times great players don’t get their accolades until after they pass away, just like a lot of times it’s like that with art – you know, painters and other artists as well. So this is where we stand. Randy isn’t with us anymore unfortunately, and we’re celebrating him. I think when he was alive, he got a lot of accolades and people respected him – people loved Ozzy when he did that material, you know? He came out after Black Sabbath and blew everyone’s mind with this new thing. He merged with L.A., coming from England, that metal scene over there was a little more dirgy and dark, and then he mixed with Randy, who was like a seventies guitar player in L.A. whose music was a little more happy sounding, more energetic, more fun. So to be here in Southern California tonight, and to be part of all this, having grown up listening to this, I’m honored. It’s – “Wow”, you know? Like, pinch myself. What guitar player wouldn’t want to be doing this!
So what will you be performing tonight?
I’m going to be playing “Steal Away the Night”.
It’s Bashfest, so you’ve got the Rush tribute that was last night, Bonzo Bash tomorrow, and Randy Rhoads tonight. Anything else going on in Bashfest for you, Ira?
Well, I played last night with the NAMM Metal Jam with Neil Turbin and Michael Angelo Batio, we opened for the Rush Tribute. And I’ll be here hanging out at the Bonzo Bash too, I’m not playing it – maybe another time, who knows. Zeppelin’s another one of my favorites, of course. Sabbath and Zeppelin, what else do you have? So much comes from that, you know?
Also, when we were talking before the interview I mentioned that I caught you at the Ultimate Jam Night at the Whisky the other night, do you play those often?
Oh yeah, there’s 90-plus that have happened so far and I’ve probably played somewhere around 75 of them. So if that’s a lot, then yes, I do. My girlfriend Jessica Chase, she does all the PR and Social Media for Ultimate Jam Night, and Chuck invited me to play the second Ultimate Jam Night that happened, so I’ve been there ever since that. The first one happened at NAMM two years ago, so two nights ago was Ultimate Jam Night’s Two-Year Anniversary, so there’s a little history on it.
Nice! A lot of great stuff going on and I’m sure you’ve got to head in now, so thank you for taking the time to talk with me.
Thank you, I appreciate it. Have a good one.
For the rest of my red carpet interviews from Randy Rhoads Remembered, check out my review of the show as well as the interviews page.