Humble Pie
Smokin’ (A&M)

Steve Augeri Eats Humble Pie: Solo rocker and former frontman with Journey and Tyketto Steve Augeri told us about his love for a Humble Pie classic.

Steve Augeri: Well, to pick my favorite album of all time is a near impossibility. I can’t help but tie in my life at the time the record was released, how it both effected me and my world and culture around me.

(A&M)

So, perhaps an album that may not get as many nods from your readers and the fact that it didn’t necessarily break any major records sales either. That album is Humble Pie’s Smokin’, released in 1972.

It’s been talked about that that specific year gave us some of the greatest music ever recorded. I would not disagree.

But back to my opening comment. There are artists, bands, and records, that if given more time to really dwell on it, I may have answered differently, i.e., The Who’s Quadrophenia, Bowie’s… well almost anything Bowie, but Bowie’s Lodger had a serious hold on me when it was first released in ’79. Big game changer for me. Peter Gabriel’s Infidelity and So. Jeff Buckley’s Grace.

It was 1974 and I was treated to my first Rock concert at NYC’s Academy of Music on East 14th. The one time Gilded Age’s premier Opera houses turned Rock &Roll  Palace of decadence. “The Pie” was the headliner with either Jo Jo Gunn or Mother’s Finest as the support act, if my memory doesn’t fail me. It was my introduction to the world of all that I would ever dream of for the next 3 decades until my over night success, ha!

But I digress, 9 tracks. Count ‘em. Only nine tracks. Back then albums rarely exceeded 45 minutes. By the time the needle is rounding the spindle of side 2… you’re dying to flip it back over and start again. And of course you do, several times.

A quick mention about the cover art, it’s front, the Iconic “Smokin’” Rolling Paper packet and its memorable rear cover photo of the band happily indulging in era appropriate recreational actives.

The very first sounds that jumped from your Mom and Dads Fischer bookshelf speakers, remember that’s what they called them, was the masterful Stevie Marriott’s (whom I happen to share the same birthday), voice commanding “Roll it Baby”. Then, the more than appropriate cowbell, and the legendary duo of a grinding Hammond and Leslie. And after the departure of superstar guitarist and vocalist and everybody’s darling Peter Frampton, appears this  cat Clem Clemson who makes pure magic with a Les Paul and Wha-Wha pedal. That’s “Hot and Nasty”, and that sets the scene for what’s to be an incredible organic sounding, and equally, if not more importantly FEELING collection of songs. Riff Rock done right. Rock and Soul at its finest. No doubt about it!

Other notable stand-outs are a cover of Eddie Cochrans “Come On Everybody” which after hearing “The Pie’s” version, you wonder how you could ever go back in time to the original. Just a brilliant example of a pure Rock and Roll band. Ask “The Crows”. They’ll tell ya. That’s perhaps why when “Shake Your Money Maker” was released I was an instant and their biggest fan.

I suppose “30 Days I the Hole” will be most fans favorite. Probably most airplay and recognition. Gritty, tough, threes chords cranked through Marshall ampliificatonon at it’s most basic formula of guitars, bass and drums. All you’ll ever need to put a smile on my face. Oh, and of course the larger than life voice of little Steve Marriott. All of 99 pounds dripping wet.

Steve Augeri Eats Humble Pie: Steve Augeri’s single “If You Want” us out now. His new album Seven Ways ‘Til Sunday is out this summer.

LA Weekly