By the time he was three years old, Terry Lee Bolton was already rockin' out on drums. Though he later worked as a dishwasher and a record-store sales clerk, he says he was "born a musician." For the past 5 years, his contribution to the Nashville music scene has been a strain of Southern rock that combines elements of blues, pop and R&B, influences he tuned in while growing up in Detroit. Bolton has opened shows for everyone from Aerosmith and Ratt to Pam Tillis and Bill Anderson. He talks about Freddie Mercury, his best career move, and the mother of all leaky ceilings.
Describe your music style, please. Motley Crue meets ZZ Top meets Stevie Ray Vaughan.
What's the first album you ever bought, and where is it now? Steppenwolf, Gold. Traded it to a friend.
What song would you never want to hear again, and why? I love all music and I can't think of a song that bothers me enough to say I never want to hear it again.
What's the best gig you ever had? Every gig I have is the best at the time I'm doing it, but I played in Canada with 10 of the biggest bands in music in the middle of a cow pasture with AC/DC's sound system and 20,000 crazy fans in the rain.
What's the worst gig you ever had? We played in a club in Detroit where the dressing room was in the basement and the ceiling was only four and a half feet high and the bathrooms were up above us and they were leaking on our heads. You had to bend over to walk and sit down all the time just to be in a dressing room, if that's what you call a dressing room.
What record do you wish you'd made? Queen, A Night at the Opera!
If you could be someone else for 24 hours, who would you be? Freddie Mercury from Queen, before he got ill and died. That way I could have done a few things different in his life and saved his life so the music world would not have lost a great innovator of music.
What's your opinion on the Nashville music scene? I think that the music scene here has some great qualities. I think that there are a lot of great musicians here but they work too hard against each other and fight with each other over table scraps, instead of working together to build a feast. I have been able to do well here because I avoid the pitfalls of other musicians' disappointments and work very hard to do things myself, instead of waiting for someone else to do it for me!
Who are your favorite Nashville musicians/artists? At this time I'd say I really love Hank Williams III.
Who is someone you've worked with that you think is incredibly talented and everyone should know about, producer, musician or otherwise? Me!
What is your proudest moment in music? The day I walked out of my own bandwhich I worked 15 years to get to the point of recording and touring, playing to no less than 800 people a nightso I could put my life on the right track to building a successful career, instead of acting like rock 'n' roll was just one big get-high!
When and where will you be seen/heard next? I will be at 3rd & Lindsley Friday, July 23, for NAMM weekend. The show starts at 7 p.m. and it will be rocking! Tour dates are still being set!