SINGER RON KEEL DISCUSSES HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY, TOURING, GENE SIMMONS AND YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

RonKeel400 Greg Prato of Brave Words spoke with frontman Ron Keel. Excerpts from the interview appear below.

BraveWords: What made you choose to write an autobiography, Even Keel, at this point?

Ron Keel: I think the only reason anyone should write a non-fiction book is if they’ve got a good story to tell, or important or interesting information to convey. And I’m always telling stories…whether in interviews, sitting at a bar or around a campfire, whatever. Songwriters and entertainers are usually storytellers by nature anyway. About ten years ago, I started writing my stories down, usually on long flights or road trips to pass the time, and found I really enjoyed the process. If I hadn’t put a hard deadline on publishing this year, I would have kept on writing for at least another ten years – but I really wanted to release the book simultaneously with my new album which is pretty much my autobiography set to music.

BraveWords: How would you describe Gene Simmons as a producer? (Simmons produced Keel’s The Right to Rock and The Final Frontier)

Ron Keel: You know, I think the marketing, make-up and money masks the fact that Gene is really a genuinely great human being with an intense passion for music, and also a deep knowledge and respect for rock & roll history. Not only what Gene did for my career, but what he taught me about making great albums – those lessons are still with me in every recording session I do.

BraveWords: I was surprised Keel never opened for KISS in the ’80s. Was this ever discussed?

Ron Keel: Believe me, I begged. I’m not sure why it never happened either, but never say never – maybe that’s one more dream that will come true. I can tell you, Gene was very active in trying to help us get gigs – I remember him on the phone with Ozzy, telling Ozzy he should give us the opening slot. Ozzy ended up going with some band called Metallica, but Gene gave it his best shot!

BraveWords: Something else I was surprised about – since Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley used to collaborate quite a bit with outside songwriters during the ’80s, that you didn’t collaborate with either on a KISS tune, while such others as Tommy Thayer and Kane Roberts did. Was this ever discussed or attempted?

Ron Keel: It should have I guess, because Gene gave me a lot of input on his songs which we recorded, and he of course had a lot of input on our tunes, and we worked really well together, but it was probably a matter of time. When we were in the studio recording those albums, we were focused on the task at hand and there wasn’t much opportunity to just sit around with instruments and notebooks and create, we were pretty busy making albums. And when it was time to get away from the sessions, we’d go out to eat, or go to a club or a concert, or go to Gene’s place and watch KISS video clips.

BraveWords: A few years ago, I wrote the book The Eric Carr Story. Did you ever cross paths with Eric?

Ron Keel: Eric hung out a few times during the recording sessions, but we never got to know each other well. My impression of him was that of a really nice guy, quiet and humble when he was not behind the kit.

BraveWords: Who were some bands that Keel toured with back in the ’80s, and what are some standout memories of those tours?

Ron Keel: Of course the final leg of the Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet tour stands out – they were at their peak, these were huge arenas sold out for two or three nights (we did three nights back to back at Madison Square Garden on that tour). Another high point for us was our sold out headline tour of Japan in 1986, opening for Van Halen at the Texxas Jam that same year. Coming back to my old hometown of Phoenix opening up for Mötley Crüe in the same arena where I used to fight my way to the front row and dream of being up there centerstage. The 80’s were great, but I’m very fortunate to still be experiencing peaks that are just as gratifying – like last year’s Monsters Of Rock Cruise, when we did two badass Keel gigs, I did my solo gig, I got to sing with the guys in Cinderella, did the all-star jam with Frank Hannon, and capped it off when Lita Ford asked me to join her onstage to do the Ozzy part on Close My Eyes Forever. This year we celebrated Keel’s 30th anniversary by killing it on the main stage at the M3 Festival in Baltimore, and you can’t put a price tag on kicking that much ass.

BraveWords: What are your thoughts on Steeler, and working with Yngwie Malmsteen at the time?

Ron Keel: Steeler has a special place in metal history and certainly a special place in the hearts of the fans. Of course I tell the entire story of Steeler in my book, focusing on the positives and skipping over some of the speed bumps, but Steeler was part of a magical time in rock history during the heyday of the Hollywood metal scene, and nothing can change that. And the album we released (1983’s Steeler) has become a cornerstone of that era, so I’m very proud of that fact. Yngwie and I were both too stubborn to compromise, and it wouldn’t have mattered anyway – he would still have quit the band to join Alcatrazz when he got the call from Graham Bonnet, no matter what the situation with Steeler might have been.

Read more at Bravewords.

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source: bravewords.com

Comments

  1. Great interview. Underrated talent.

    • Connollysblackcaddilac says:

      Richman your posts are awful!

      • Why are so nasty and angry? Are you lonely? I’ve been posting funny stuff here for a few years. My name appears in RED. Don’t you see? Many other bloggers thank me for my sentiments. I’m LOLed more than anyone else around so move along with your lame ass blog mame and wish you had a girl like RICHWOMAN who is beautiful.
        CONNOLLYSBLACKCADDILAC COMES UP TO ONE DAY
        WHEN I’M WALKING DOWN THE STREET MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS
        HE LOOKS ME UP AND HE LOOKS ME DOWN
        HE SAYS WHAT BE THIS AND WHAT BE THAT AND WHY YOU GOTTA LOOK LIKE THAT
        I KINDA LAUGH AND SAY I AM COOL I AM DREW BREES

        • pete lytel says:

          What does the “red” mean??

        • If you’re going to make a point that your name appears in red the least you can do is inform as to what that means.

          • It stands for “right ear dominant” Pete. You have to speak on his right side or he won’t answer you!

        • craziecabbie says:

          I agree with Connollysblackcaddy your posts stink dude !

          • Did you read his Amazon all the stuff you can get for 10 dollars post??!! OMG!! HILARIOUS!!! That was a while ago but I still laugh just thinking about it! LOL–LOL (I’m still thinking about it). LOL, LOL, LOL–damn, I cant stop THINKING about it.
            All opinions and views welcome here from what I’ve heard.

        • You need to calm down richman, I’ve noticed you and milkman insult a lot of people! I’ll pray for both of you!

          • Hey Silly Face, notice all this came out of CONNOLLYS insult of me. I complement KEEL and then get bombarded by guys who are neither funny or interesting. As for MILKMONEY, hes an ally of mine in the KISS wars along with DR and very few if any others. Strength in numbers and God be with DR and MILKMONEY. Any other pro-Gene and Paul guys out there need to come foreward.

      • His posts are interesting. Why do you say that?

      • RICHMAN despite his repetitiveness usually delivers interesting and sometimes funny material. A lot of the other guys just whine and wish it were still 1985, but RICHMAN has opened stuff up sometimes leading to 20 or more replies. CONNOLLYWHATEVER just posts vulgar stuff that is uninteresting and sophomoric. The ALL HELL’S BREAKING LOOSE as above has ran its course some time ago. I am MILKMONEY, admire my wisdom and worship my deeds.

        • Thank you MILK, but that last sentence makes you sound like a maniac.

          • The All Hells Breaking Loose will never run its course. If you ain’t down with Robert Kennedy’s doppelgänger, I’ve got two words for ya……your loss.

          • Richman, your posts are always interesting and/or funny. Don’t let haters bother you. Keep on rockin’ brother!

          • Saxon4ever says:

            Dude, I was just reading these posts and You do sound mentally unstable and paranoid. Not critizing you, just an observation.

        • craziecabbie says:

          Milkman you and the Richguy are clowns, stop ruining everyone else’s posting experience with your nonsense! Get out of your parents basement and get a job!

          • CONNOLLY, CABBIE, LYTELL and TALKTOPETEABOUTNONSENSE are all the same guy who is neither interesting or funny. The charade is up. You are unmasked. Attorneys call that bolstering. Look at the support I receive from JAMES P and MIKE B. Both good boys. I have friends, you have animosity. I wish you well.

          • Richman’s posts are cool and entertaining! He should keep up the good work!

          • I AM MILKMONEY. I am brilliant and a true intellectual. You guys turn on each other and whine and rant and talk tough. I state facts and entertain. I am not aligned with Richman or anybody else. I keep things balanced and I realize when I should go away. I must stay for now. Many of you do not like me but you must learn to co-exist and embrace my words. I have a job and I own my own place. It is you people that need to change and reevaluate your lives. I have no religion so I require no ones prayers.

          • Yeah, right, o.k., hey Milk dud, this one’s dedicated to you,

            MILK DUD COMES UP TO US ONE DAY
            AS WE’RE WALKING DOWN THE STREET
            MINDING OUR OWN BUSINESS
            NOW HE LOOKS US UP, AND HE LOOKS US DOWN
            AND HE SAYS HEY MAN
            WHAT BE THIS, AND WHAT BE THAT
            AND WHY YOU GUYS GOTTA LOOK LIKE THAT
            WE JUST KINDA LOOKED AT HIM AND LAUGHED
            AND SAID HEY MILK DUD, WE ARE COOL,
            WE AIN’T NO MILK DUD FOOLS!
            -sing it milk dud-
            ALL HELL’S BREAKIN’ LOOSE, HEY HEY HAVE YOU READ THE NEWS,
            ALL MILK’S BREAKIN’ LOOSE, OVERLOADING HE’S NOTHING BUT A DOUCHE!

  2. Frank Rizzo says:

    All hail Ron Keel’s Iron Horse! Guitarist Matt Bradley is one of the best unknown players in the world hands down!

  3. Dave Stabley says:

    This is a GREAT book, and the new album is one of the best I have heard in a very long time. One of my favorite parts of the book is the way he does trash anyone other than himself. Really nice to see someone taking responsibility for their actions and their life. Eddie I really hope you will consider bringing Ron on that Metal Show. I know he would be a great addition to the many great people you have had on the show. Ron is a GREAT story teller and performer. Can’t wait to see him on the MORC 2015!!

  4. Why is Ron Keel writing an autobiography? Who cares? Really? I should write a book about my latest bowel movement. I think it would sell about as well as Ron’s.

  5. Ron Is The Real Thing!!! This man is not only a Great Musician and Cornerstone of Rock and Roll, but a Great Guy with a True Undying Passion for his Fans and Music! A True Road Warrior of his time!!

    Tim Mercy
    Albuquerque, New Mexico USA

  6. It wasn’t mentioned how he decided to become a country music artist in the 90’s. I’m sure that’ll be in the book, at least I hope it is because I still can’t understand why he wanted to do that. He’s had an interesting career so I’m looking forward to reading his book.

  7. DeweyWebber says:

    Final Frontier is still one of my all time favorite albums.

  8. I still remember the first time I heard The Right to Rock and saw the video. I absolutely loved it. Hair Nation plays a live version of it that is killer. Not sure how Keel didn’t do better in the hair band era. But they were solid. I agree with Dave’s comments, seems like Ron is in a good place. Good band and Ron had a very strong voice even live.

  9. I predict this will sell….14 copies.

  10. Ronnie Lee Keel didn’t work out for him when the country craze was big,so it’s back to rock I suppose….

  11. You dopes will listen to anything, apparently.

  12. Met him once at a kiss convention. Nice guy, but nobody gave two shits who he was. He probably wouldn’t get recognized at his own family reunion.

  13. Ron Keel is a great musician. I saw him perform with three times with Steeler and several times with Keel. The guy knows how to put on a great show and perform in front of an audience.

  14. Wonder if Ron brings up the time he had auditioned for Black Sabbath in his book? I read about it before in Sabbath Bloody Sabbath book, wonder if he mentions it again for those who missed it? Good to see someone new write about their life in the music business hope Ron’s book sells good!

  15. Not as cruel as in Kiss & Tell Gordon Gebert saying Ace would “miss his grandmother’s funeral if he had a chance to get laid”. 43 copies. I rember them getting “Cupped” at a Van Halen show.

  16. Well talktopete, just being honest. He was a nice guy, but he thinks he’s David Lee Roth or Steven Tyler. I was embarrassed for him.

  17. Wasn’t Milk Money a ’90s movie w/ Melanie Griffith as a hooker with a heart of gold?!?

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