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RYL: What is the first song you ever wrote? Tell us more about it…..

RICHARD FORTUS: I’m not quite sure. I know that it was with my first band (The Eyes). We used to rehearse in the basement of my parents house and we’d rehearse 3 times a week and write songs. I was about 14.

RYL: Today, you are starting a US Tour with the Dead Daisies supporting Kiss and Def Leppard; are you excited about the tour?

RICHARD FORTUS: When I was about 8 years old, KISS was HUGE to me. My entire life revolved around them! It’s so strange to hang out and become friends with people that you idolized as a child. It’s all very surreal.

I’ve been friends with the Def Lep guys for a while. When I was with Thin Lizzy, we supported them in Europe on a tour.

They are really wonderful people and fantastic musicians. We also just finished a US tour with Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd. They are 2 of my favorite bands. That was so much fun to watch those bands every night from the side of the stage.

RYL: What’s the best guitar playing advice you’ve ever been given?

RICHARD FORTUS: Listen

RYL: And the one you gave?

RICHARD FORTUS: Listen

RYL: You recently posted on Facebook a song you like a lot by the great Johnny Winter “Mean Town Blues”; what did he mean to you?

RICHARD FORTUS: Without Johnny Winter, you’d have no Stevie Ray Vaughn and rock guitar as we know it, would be very different. He pushed the envelope in a big way.

RYL: Which is the best guitar that you ever played? Do you own it?

RICHARD FORTUS: There is not a single guitar that stands out. I have my favorites, but there isn’t just 1 that is the be-all, end all.

There are so many great guitars and each has its strong points. I don’t have one favorite band either!

RYL: Which is the best verse ever written in a song, in your opinion?

RICHARD FORTUS: Maggie’s Farm- Bob Dylan “I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them. They sing while you slave and I just get bored”

RYL: During your career you played hundreds of gigs with different groups; to date, which is the one that you remember as the best ever?

RICHARD FORTUS: the best ones are the ones I have no memory of

(picture by KATARINA BENZOVA http://www.katarinabenzova.com)