"When rock 'n' roll first happened it was a threat to the mainstream. When Chuck Berry happened it was a threats white America. When the bad brains happened it was a threat to rock 'n' roll."
Popa Chubby: Regal and Delicious
His career has always been about moving forward and carving a place for himself in the imposing terrain of the music business, overcoming odds to continue growing and maturing as a creative force. Popa Chubby has built a constantly increasing base of fans across the world, where in many territories he is a star. A native New Yorker, Ted Horowitz's first gigs were in the NYC punk scene as a guitarist for what he reflects was a "crazy Japanese special effects performance artist in a kimono called Screaming Mad George who had a horror-movie inspired show." Right from the start he was immersed in rock ‘n’ roll as theater, and learned from George and others playing CBGB’s at the time that included the Ramones, the Cramps, Richard Hell, whose band, the Voidoids he joined that rock ‘n’ roll should be dangerous. He reflects, "Musicians like the Ramones and the Sex Pistols weren’t just bands. They were a threat to society."
The Blues however was the foundation of his playing style. He recalls, "Since I’d grown up on Hendrix, Cream and Zeppelin, when I started playing blues in New York clubs I understood that the blues should be dangerous, too. It wasn’t just from playing in punk bands. Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters were dangerous men. They’d cut or shoot you if they thought it was necessary, and Little Walter packed a gun and wouldn’t hesitate to use it. That danger is a real part of the Blues and I keep it alive in my music.” On his newest release, "The Catfish" (2016), Popa Chubby offers up 12 tunes that embody the badass attitude that defines the self-proclaimed “King Of The New York City Blues”. The Catfish is aptly titled as it delivers punch after punch of musical inspiration drawing on 25 plus years of street smarts and road worthy musicianship. The Catfish embodies the concepts that make Popa Chubby who he is. Regal and Delicious, the recording shines with multiple flavor and worldliness.
What do you learn about yourself from the Rock n’ Roll culture and what does the blues mean to you?
The main thing I learned is that to me rock 'n' roll stands for integrity individuality in the big middle finger to the system just like it always has the blues is about truth she can say this is a journey of altruism In a way.
How do you describe Popa Chubby sound and songbook? What characterize “The Catfish” philosophy?
The catfish is the king of the river everything that happens in the river goes to him Popa Chubby sound it's a melting pot of influences just like New York City.
How has the Blues and Punk counterculture influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?
When I was a punk rocker saying was anarchy rules that was definitely a cut off from the mainstream I try to maintain that attitude of individualism and taking a prisoners and all I do.
Which acquaintances have been the most important experiences? What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Working with Tom Down which is actually your next question was one of the pivotal experiences of my life and mostly Tom just told me to be myself he taught me so much in such little time also people like Hubert Sumlin and Johnny Winter.
The best advice I ever got was the play what I feel. It sounds simple but it's true.
"The main thing I learned is that to me rock 'n' roll stands for integrity individuality in the big middle finger to the system just like it always has the blues is about truth she can say this is a journey of altruism In a way."
Are there any memories from gigs which you’d like to share? What touched (emotionally) you from Tom Dowd?
I remember playing the blues challenge at KLON radio in 1991 and people standing to their feet when I had a note that was something else. Remember when I got signed to Sony and when I heard my record played on the radio for the first time and also seeing my picture in the window at tower records on Broadway.
What do you miss most nowadays from the music of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?
I always listen to music from other decades especially from the 30s 40s and even 50s and think man these guys were such amazing musicians they could read and play anything and they could play. What’s missing more than anything now is the ability for people to play music together. It's become such a solitary experience.
What are the lines that connect the legacy of Blues from Muddy, Cream and Hendrix to Ramones and the Cramps?
Man it's all in there just ask Iggy Pop!!!
What is the impact of Blues and Rock Punk music to the racial, political and socio-cultural implications?
Dude I'm just a guitar player seriously!!! When rock 'n' roll first happened it was a threat to the mainstream. When Chuck Berry happened it was a threats white America. When the bad brains happened it was a threat to rock 'n' roll. What is there to threaten the mainstream now?
Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?
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