British blues godfather John Mayall, fresh from the release of the album ‘A Special Life’ which followed his 80th birthday last November, has spoken to the British press about his life and times, and his UK tour later this year.
At one point, his current international itinerary has seen Mayall and his current band play 59 gigs in 64 days, but he shows no need or desire of slowing down. “When I do the UK tour I’ll be 81,” he told Sheffield’s The Star of the tour, a huge run which begins on October 16 and lasts until November 23. Before that, he has North American dates from July clean through September, and precedes the British tour with a couple of shows in Russia.
Speaking from his home in Los Angeles, Mayall said: “I’ll go on as long as I’ve got the energy and good health, as you can probably judge from the new album. I feel as young as the musicians in my band, who are a generation younger than me. I think my body of work really speaks for itself. As long as I keep on doing it, that’s my mission in life.”
It’s 58 years now since Mayall formed the Powerhouse Four, and about 51 since the first line-up of his celebrated Bluesbreakers. He famously presided over a line-up that introduced many of the great British players of the rhythm and blues boom, from Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Peter Green to Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton and Mick Taylor. But, as ever, he declines to choose his favourite among any of the musicians he’s worked with.
“They’re all great,” he says. “You can’t compare one with the other because they all have their own personalities and take on things. That’s the mark of a good musician. They don’t sound like anyone else.”