**I am glad to see so many enjoying this wonderful interview with Benny. Please see his appearance schedule this week in Syracuse leading up to his concert at the Palace Theater on Saturday, Dec. 3rd.**
The love and admiration for Benny Mardones in Syracuse and all over Central New York has been there since I was in High School at Jamesville-DeWitt. Almost all the girls loved listening and if you wanted a chance to hold her hand, dance, or even skate with her, songs such as ‘Into the Night’ were sure bets to soften her stance and hold her tight. The fans in the area have long claimed Benny as their own and the love and admiration goes both ways. Benny loves the people here and considers it like going home when he performs here. Benny has a show at the palace Theater in Eastwood on December 3rd that will be the 1st of its kind for him. Songs, stories, acoustics, solo, and the band. Take a look at what Benny had to say during our conversation. It was one of the most personal discussions that I have had with anyone in music. He is gracious, genuinely cares about all of you, and is excited for his shows coming up and the future. Enjoy!
I want to thank you for taking the time for this, Benny. I know you must be busy.
Benny – My pleasure, David and thank you.
To start things off I want to congratulate you on getting married.
Benny- Thank you very much, it’s the smartest move I’ve made in many years.
You have the Christmas show coming up; do you have any thoughts on that as it gets closer?
Benny – Yeah, I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve never done anything like this before, so I’m a little nervous about it but, it’s going to be ‘the stories behind the songs” that I write. As you know I’ve had a pretty interesting journey in my life, and it’s looking at the lyrics of my songs as like reading a diary, you know. A lot of the stories are funny, a lot are not so funny, but the true stories are what I have never told the fans about over the years. I’ll have a lot of the songs with just me and my keyboard player, just like I wrote them, because I write on the piano. Then I’m going to have the band, acoustic like an unplugged concert, and then of course, the last half hour or forty minutes the bands going to go electric, more of a, you know, kick in the butt.
Yeah, that sounds great! Hopefully my wife and I will be at one of your shows.
Benny- Come to the December 3rd show at the Palace, man. It’s going to be something!
What do you think about the internet, has it increased your presence with the fans?
Benny- (Laughing) the internet is a double-edged sword, you know? (My six year old, Nikki decides to interject with a ‘Hi!’. Benny graciously says ‘Hello’ with a laugh) So, I have to be careful; my internet brain only goes so far. My son, he sits down and can reach Mars in about three minutes (laughs again), me, it takes forever you know. I know that it’s helped spread the music. I’ve noticed on my ASCAP sheet, where it’s being played, it’s now being played in Japan, all over Europe in places like Germany, France, and Chile and other places that before, you know, I don’t know that they had access to my music.
Yeah, it is an amazing tool. Now, Michael, you are notoriously close with your son, how is he doing?
Benny- My son’s doing great! He’s in Las Vegas shooting highlight films for MMA, UFC, deeply into it, he works for a company called Middle Easy and he goes to all the big fights and talks with all the fighters. Sometimes he goes with Nick Diaz, Chuck Liddell, or Randy Couture and spends an entire day at their training facility. He talks to them and puts together highlight reels for them, they love him. He goes by the name Lazie (Note-‘Lazie the Savage’ on MiddleEasy.Com) and you go can go online and see all his highlights, they are amazing.
I understand that you recently won an award at the Malibu Music Awards?
Benny- Oh yeah, “Rock Legend Award” as a matter of fact my manager just emailed me that it’s in.
At the show in Vernon Downs you mentioned that you are writings songs for the Broadway show ‘Rocky’, how is that going?
Benny- I spoke with Sylvester and they are all on track to get Rocky on Broadway. I wrote two or three songs for it that he absolutely loves, ones called ‘This is my Life’ and another one called ‘This Is the Night’, and ‘Unfinished Symphony’. So, that’s still alive and well, you know, in Hollywood, it takes forever! (Laughs)
How do you feel about all of the covers of ‘Into the Night” that have been coming out, and people that are incorporating parts of the song into their own?
Benny- It’s amazing, I’m grateful for it, it’s awesome, and I love it! The song has had such long life; it’s still the 25th most played song on American rock radio. No matter how many albums I’ve had out people still always come up and say; “Man, ‘Into the Night’ is still my favorite song” or “This baby was conceived to your music!” (We both laugh)
Have you ever thought of doing a Christmas album, Benny?
Benny- My producer came to me with this idea this past summer and we need to have this in the can next summer, you know? So my plan is, next Christmas, there will be a Christmas album out!
Here’s a goofy question for you; if you could live your life over, what’s one thing you would do over?
Benny- I would never have done, uh, I never would have done a lot of cocaine.
Me- I know Benny, I was a child of the 80’s, and it was everywhere.
Benny- So you know then. I wouldn’t change much of anything other than that, the ups and downs, that’s part of the journey of ones life and it makes you who you are today.
Marly wanted me to ask: How have you ever lived without your ‘gal Friday: Agent 99’?
Benny- (laughing loudly) she takes a lot of heat of me man! She keeps me apprised of everything. And my wife, Jane, she does the same thing, ‘you need to call this person, you need to read this email.’ She makes sure I see emails if someone is sick or in the hospital, or they are losing a parent or something. Things they reach out about. I always speak to them or go to the hospital if possible. I’ve been doing that my whole career and my fans, they know, if they need anything, I’m there for them.
That’s one thing I’ve heard from so many people is just how much you care and the connection they all feel with you.
Benny- I always thank God for saving me from having to have a real job, you know? By giving me a great voice and the ability to perform, so, I always feel like I owe. So I try and pay it forward, I’ve been there for my fans forever.
Last thing Benny and I’ll let you go: Anything you want to say to the fans going to the Palace Theater show?
Benny- When I was a little boy, I used to love going to my Grandparent’s home at Christmas. It was an escape from a house of horrors, it was an escape for my sister and I and we looked forward to it all year. I look at the Syracuse shows the same way, like a kid the night before Christmas. So, I can’t wait and there is nothing like walking out on stage in Central New York. It’s exciting and I feel like I’m home for good.
Thanks Benny for taking a moment to do this and looking forward to seeing you shortly!
Benny- No, thank you David and you have my number, call me anytime and for anything man. I’ll see you at the Palace!
Catch Benny on the web! www.BennyMardones.Com and look for him on Facebook!
Here’s your chance to hear and see Benny this week in Syracuse on radio and television before the show at the Palace Theater on Saturday, December 3rd.!
Benny will be on TK 99 and then on Sunny 102 on Tuesday November 29th – He will be on TK at 8:30 and Sunny at 8:45
Benny will also be on Bridge Street (Channel 9, ABC) in Syracuse on Wednesday November 30th at 10 am.
Bridge Street can be seen on NewsChannel 9 and 9wsyr.com weekdays at 10am.
The show is replayed weekdays at Noon, 4 p.m. & 8 p.m. on Digital Channel 9.2 (Digital Cable Ch. 890 on Time Warner/Channel 470 on FiOS). Shows are also replayed every Saturday from 6pm to 11pm.
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