- Interviews
Jimi Jamison - Interview 1

Well, it was with a degree of caution that I broke the first question to Jimi Jamison, the man who joined Survivor half way through their grand career, and helped add a bunch of hit singles to their roster.
I had to get straight to the point about what happened to the band after 'Too Hot To Sleep'. It has been a few years now, and I still don't think I have heard what really went on. So now Jimi's back, got that theme thing with Baywatch going on...and I thought it was a good time to get to the bottom of things.

Jimi, How's it going?
Everythings going really well. The band sounds great and we're writing and touring a lot.

Jimi, I don't know how to put this, so I am just going to get straight to the point.
What happened to Survivor after the 'Too Hot To Sleep' album?
And just how ugly did it get?!

You know, it never really got ugly. At least in my eyes. I mean , I don't hate or wish Jim, Frank or any of the guys any harm or bad luck. I hope they are successful and happy.
You see Andrew, I held (and I guess I always will) a special place in my heart for them. It was like a marriage and the songs were our children.
I didn't write any of the songs on Vital Signs, but on all the others I had a major role in the songwriting process, but like in a marriage, my children were taken away from me behind my back. I was never even consulted on the splits.
Instead, I found out that my name was left off songs that I had helped write only when the album came out and I saw the credits. I couldn't believe my eyes! I trusted and gave my heart and soul to the band only to be betrayed.
What really hurt me deeply was that when in the courtroom, on the stand, the guy I respected and loved like a brother the most, stated when asked, "Just how important was Mr. Jamison to the sucess of Survivor?......Jim Peterik said," He was no more important than someone on the road crew".

Well Jimi, I would definately call that ugly. And shitty. If I can ask one more question on the subject - how was the usage of the name 'Survivor' resolved?
A couple of years ago after months of litigation and days in court, a Wisconsin judge ruled, after questioning and viewing the evidence, that the right to use the name SURVIVOR, was just as much mine if not more.
Mainly because I tried to put the band back together but got no cooperation from them until I started touring successfully. At that point they became very interested in stopping me from playing.
Jim P. told me that they were going to take the name and just let it die. I guess, so that their names and legacy only would live on.
But what they didn't realize is that its not their names and legacy thats important ---- its the name SURVIVOR and the joy its brought to millions of people.

Andrew, At the request of their parents, I've talked to children with terminal cancer whose last wish was just to meet and talk to me because our music somehow eased their pain or got them through another day.
I don't think the public deserves being treated this way to just let Survivor die and I WILL NOT LET ONE OF THESE KIDS DOWN !

Do you hear from the other guys, Jim and Frankie at all?! (possibly a silly question)

Yeah, I thought that was silly question. The 'Too Hot To Sleep' album was released in '88, and you had your solo album in '91. Was it all of the above during that period?
Not totally. They didn't want me to do a solo album but they were tired of Survivor too. I was told that if I did a solo album they would just break the band up. I told them that we could continue with both but they said no. I continued to do both anyway.

What lead you to a solo record?
Broken Promises.

Looking back on that album now, do you have any specific thoughts or memories?
I only wish that it had been promoted.

So okay, it's a few years on now. What have you been up to in the Nineties?!!!
We are currently touring and getting a great responce from the old fans and making new fans because the new band has great songwriting ability and the wisddom to know that we are on stage to entertain the audience and not vice-versa .

Well it's been many years since we have heard your great vocals on any new records - What have you been working on?
We are currently writing and rehearsing for a Summer album release.

I am of course, leaving out the 'Baywatch' anthem 'I'm Always Here', can you tell us how that song came about, and how it ended up the theme for the show?
I received a call at my home in Memphis from Greg Bonann, the executive producer of the show. Greg stated that he was a big fan and wanted to know if I would be interested in writing the theme song. Of course I said yes so I flew to L.A. and joined forces with Corey Lyrios of Pablo Cruise fame to pen the song.
Greg and I have become good friends as a result and Corey and I were already pals. I can't say enough about Greg. Hes a great producer and the man has saved 100's of lives. The show is based on his experiences as a long time lifeguard.

Cool! Has that helped keep your profile up at all?
Oh, most certainly. To my surprise people ask about it a lot. As a result we play it in our live performances.

So as things stand right now, 'Survivor' is alive and well?
Alive, well, and kickin butt!

Can you tell us who is in the band right now?
Chris Adamson - guitar,vocals ( you won't believe this kid - think of Eddie VH, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray all in one body)
Hal Butler - keyboards,vocals
Jeff Adams - bass,vocals
Pete Mendillo - drums,percussion,vocals.

And the 64 million dollar question....Where, and when is the next album?!!!!
Well, I guess we're trying for that summer release.

Do you have plans for a release, label, or territories through which it may be released?
As of yet we're not sure where it will be released first but I'll keep you posted.

Are there any people you have collaborated with for the new songs?
Yes, but we have to many songs. We're narrowing them down now so I'd better not mention any writers names just in case one of their songs doesn't make the CD.

Sure. Is there a darker tone to these songs, considering what you have been through?
Not Really.

Looking back on Survivor up to the 'Too Hot' record, are there any good memories, and/or favourite albums you recorded?
I think 'Too Hot' was the best album Survivor has ever recorded. I enjoyed writing and recording it even if my name was left of the writing credits.

How about the cult status of AOR/Hard Rock. There is still considerable dedication and following out there for this music. Does that give you hope?
Sure there is. The only thing any band really has is hope.

Do you hear much from the fans?
Sure, we have a couple of fan sites with pics,tourdates,feedback,news and booking info on the internet. It seems I'm always answering e-mail.

So in brief, apart from everything else going on, what plans do you hold for the future?
Is there anything you want to do, besides get this record out?

Be Happy. Thats my plan.

How about a club tour of Australia?!!!!
I'm embarrassed to say I've never been to Australia. I'd love to do a club tour . You can really get close to the people that way. Actually some of my good friends are from Australia. All the guys in Little River Band are friends and really fantastic performers.

Well Jimi, I have to thank you for enduring my barrage of questions, and I think from answering them honestly.
I think that will earn you a few new fans Jimi.

Andrew, The questions were tough. But after the first one I really enjoyed answering them. Thanks for your interest.

Thanks Jimi.

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