Tom Rush: "I'm Less Concerned With the Past Than the Future"
Do you still do an annual New Year's show in Boston with your friends? It seems that your music blends well with your humor. How did you develop your ability to connect the way you do with your audiences?
I just did another show there last week, so it's looking like the annual tradition may be reestablished. As for rapport, I'm not sure. I just love sharing my enthusiasm for the music with the audience, and it seems to work.
Speaking of which, it's so cool the way you go out to meet and mingle during intermission and after the show. Have you always done that?
No. Back in the day, it was considered very uncool to sell merchandise at shows; the record stores wanted all the action for themselves, and the record companies supported that. I started selling stuff before it was cool, and it seemed to work. And it seemed to work a lot better if I went out and signed stuff. And I discovered that it was fun to connect with the people I'd just been playing for.
One of my favorite Tom Rush tunes -- shared by millions as far as that love is concerned -- is "No Regrets." Is there a backstory with that song? It's such an incredibly beautiful piece of work, and it's been covered countless times. Are there any covers of that song you liked in particular?
My new girlfriend had just come up from New York to spend a weekend with me in Cambridge. I put her on the plane back to New York City, and as I watched it fly away, it felt strange being alone. That's it. As for my favorite version, the Walker Brothers in England had a huge hit with the song. That's probably my favorite because it put my first two kids through college.
Are you the nostalgic sort? Do you ever look back in wonder at your amazing career? Ever wish you could relive certain aspects of it, revisit certain individuals you were perhaps acquainted with back then?
No, I'm much more concerned with trying to figure out what's coming next. I'm not saying I'm any good at that, mind you, just that I try. I suppose it would be good to go back and try to correct some missteps, make apologies where they were due, but as I've said, I'm less concerned with the past than the future.
What are your plans for 2014?
Ah! Now you've backed me into a corner with all this "thinking about the future" nonsense. My plan for the new year is, basically, to somehow get through it. We've just decided to home-school our 14-year-old for the balance of the year, so that will keep me quite busy enough. I'd like to write a bunch -- songs and other stuff -- and get back in the recording studio for a while, and then invent that thing I've been thinking about to save the world. Wish me luck!
Anything you'd like to add?
Tomrush.com is the source of all knowledge and all merchandise... And you can sign up there for my occasional newsletter wherein I ponder all sorts of imponderable things.
Tom Rush performs at 7 p.m. Sunday, January 12, at the Amaturo Theater in the Broward Center of the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $35. Call 954-462-0222. Visit browardcenter.org.
New Party Rules for Millennials
10 Best Hipster Bars in Broward and Palm Beach Counties
Top 20 Sexiest R&B Songs from the '90s to Today
Top Five Things That Make New Kids on the Block's Donnie Wahlberg a Hipster
Ten Best Florida Metal Bands of All Time