Phil Alvin died – twice – while on tour in Spain. Complications from an abscessed tooth put him in a hospital in Valencia, where he flatlined and had to be shocked back to life two times. In typical rock n’ roll fashion, when he finally woke up – he felt perfectly fine. Phil’s band, The Blasters, have their first new record in seven years out called Fun on a Saturday Night. We talk life, death, and the stories behind the songs on the new record – including “Breath of My Love,” about a deranged lover with a knife in her hand. We also go back to the origins of the band, and some advice he got from R&B legend Big Joe Turner.
Dave Alvin’s 30-plus year career has had a lot of twists and turns. He helped form roots rock pioneers the Blasters with his brother Phil, he joined the punk band X near the end of their existence, and has led an acclaimed solo career. Many of his songs have become hits for other people, most notably “Long White Cadillac,” later a hit for Dwight Yoakam.
In 2011, Alvin released Eleven Eleven, which made Icon Fetch’s Sweet Sixteen year-end wrapup. Now, his record label has reissued the album in a deluxe edition – featuring a disc of live performances, another featuring several unreleased songs from the sessions, and a live DVD. Icon Fetch talks with the man whom Rolling Stone called “an under recognized guitar hero” about some of the great stories behind the songs on the record, and the origin of some of the unreleased material.