5 Fast Facts About Steve Forbert
“Romeo’s Tune,” that’s the song by Steve Forbert that most people know. And by “most people,” I mean “most people of a certain age.” (I can say that … I am one of them.) The sweet, upbeat love song that opened his second album, “Jackrabbit Slim,” hit No. 11 on the Billboard charts in 1979. While that was his most commercial success, Forbert developed a loyal following with strong songwriting, 14 albums and constant touring.
He returns to Charlotte on Sept. 11 for an intimate performance of his bluesy Americana songs at Stage Door Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. It’s $22 for the general admission show. Click here for tickets and more info.
Page Leggett of Charlotte is a formidable Forbert fan. Forbert’s debut album, “Alive on Arrival,” sparked comparisons to Bob Dylan. “It made the world think he’d be selling out big arenas throughout his career,” says Leggett, a freelance writer. “That’s not how it has played out, but in his live shows, you really get the sense that he is just grateful to make a living at something he loves. He really connects with his audience — with his music and the stories he tells about the songs.”
His most recent album, “Over With You,” returns to the theme of relationships, “… the good, the bad and the in-between,” Forbert said in an interview with American Songwriter. Click here to read the full interview.
Here are five fast facts to know about Forbert:
1. He was Cyndi Lauper’s boyfriend in 1983’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” video. “How can you not love that?” says Leggett, who provided this tidbit. He appears at the 3:44 mark, but go ahead and watch the whole thing.
2. Forbert’s tribute album to Jimmie Rodgers, “Any Old Time,” was nominated in 2004 for a Grammy Award in the Best Traditional Folk category. June Carter Cash’s “Wildwood Flower” won.
3. In 2013, Blue Corn Music reissued “Alive on Arrival” and “Jackrabbit Slim” as a double-disc package featuring bonus tracks from each album’s sessions. “Slim” features a live version of “Romeo’s Tune,” recorded in New York City just after the album’s release.
4. Forbert put together an exhibit called “Highway of Sight” from “fine-art photography” taken on tour using a 2005 LG cell. Many shots are on his Instagram page. “They’re beautiful, tightly framed moments of classic Americana: old signs, empty bottles, cars that aren’t made anymore. Each photo looks like the start of another song,” says Ryan White in a recent Sacramento Bee article. Click here to read the full story.
5. His new song, “You’d See the Things That I See,” is subtitled “July 6, 1957: The Day John Met Paul,” and was inspired by Forbert’s visit to John Lennon’s childhood home.
“Seeing John’s bedroom, which still contains his orange and yellow acoustic guitar; lingering in the foyer where he and Paul practiced their vocal harmonies; standing by the garden wall that borders the grounds of the Strawberry Field orphanage; and then traveling a mile or so to see where Paul grew up, was very inspiring to me,” says Forbert on his site. “I ditched the lyrics I was working on for a new song and instead tried imagining some of the thoughts John might have had on the evening of July 6, 1957, after meeting Paul for the first time.”
Bonus: Rod Davis, a member of Lennon’s group, The Quarrymen, allowed Forbert to include in the song’s video some recently discovered photos taken by Davis’ father on that fateful day.