Fleur the Kiwi
On our foray into the Bourbon Room at the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Vegas last month, Hazelzworld also espied Ron Keel, frontman of KEEL, a heavy metal band formed in 1984 and best known for the song “The Right to Rock,” a title and subject matter dear to our hearts. KEEL broke up in the late ’80s, but has been back together since 2009. During the interim, Ron did stints as frontman for Steeler, Saber Tiger, Fair Game … and even a brief moment with the legendary Black Sabbath; wrote music for TV shows and major motion pictures; and created a weekly radio show called Streets of Rock & Roll, which he hosts. Upon being cornered in the Bourbon Room, he good-naturedly agreed to a short interview.
DGT&G: You said in the Heart of Rock interview that you have a radio show. What is it?
Ron Keel: The radio show is called the Streets of Rock & Roll. You can go to streetsofrocknroll.com. We’re syndicated on 27 Internet/FM/AM affiliate stations around the world seven days a week. It’s a weekly one-hour show where we talk the rock and rock the talk. I interview rock stars, TV stars, authors, industry insiders, and we play a lot of classic rock and a lot of music. We also showcase a lot of new talent, new bands, and a little bit of everything. We have an unplugged acoustic segment each week. Some live concert cuts. A lot of rare stuff that you won’t hear anywhere else.
DGT&G: What is your Spınal Tap moment?
RK: They happen every day. Everything in that movie has happened to us for 30 years now. And we actually try and create those moments just so we have some stories to tell, to laugh about. I remember one time we were on tour and we had a couple of girls that handcuffed themselves to the bus. They’re handcuffed to the bus. We couldn’t leave, no one had a key to the handcuffs. [Laughter.] From then on, we’ve always carried a set of handcuff keys with us wherever we go. Just in case it happens again.
DGT&G: The Sunset Strip must have been fun back in the day.
RK: I was there through the ’80s, during 1981, and came up through the same scene that everybody else did—the Troubadour, the Whisky—it was a magical time to be alive and to be rocking in southern California, and I’m glad I was part of it.
DGT&G: Is Keel still around?
RK: Keel has been back together since 2009. We’ve toured Europe twice.
DGT&G: Any plans to come to San Francisco?
RK: I would love to. In fact I’m gonna be spending time up there in the next few months. I’m recording my first solo album with Frank Hannon from Tesla and Mike Vanderhule from Y&T. We’re recording all over the place, but I’ve got a couple of guys that live up there, so I’m gonna spend some time up there. We’re on the Monsters of Rock again in 2013. We’re on the cruise this year. We’ve done Rocklahoma. If you go to streetsofrocknroll.com, we have a new album out.
DGT&G: Who is producing?
RK: I’ve got a few people. I haven’t really decided yet. I have so many great choices, it’s hard to commit to one. I’ve got three or four people that I really like to work with, so I haven’t really made that final selection. We’re in the final stages of recording the demos. We’re getting the songs together.