Miles Davis' son Erin and his nephew Vince Wilburn Jr. sit down on the Rhino Podcast with hosts Dennis "the Menace" Scheyer and Rich Mahan to discuss life on the road with Miles and his lost album from the 80's, Rubberband. You can listen to the full podcast below.
ON WHEN THE ALBUM WAS ORIGINALLY MADE:
SCHEYER: "The two original producers, Randy Hall and Zane Giles worked with Vince Wilburn Jr., who is Miles Davis' nephew, and he performed on the original album sessions. So this is one of those those albums out of time, meaning that it was made back then, but it's very much brought up to today."
ON WILBURN JR.'S CHILDHOOD MEMORIES OF UNCLE MILES:
WILBURN JR.: "Miles would come to to Chicago to play Chicago and my parents - back in the day, you didn't have TSA - you could meet the passengers at the gate. So coming from the gate back to the car, he would always get stopped. You know, I didn't know the magnitude of who he was when I was a kid, but you know, people would want to shake his hands, get autographs. It didn't dawn on me like 'this is Miles Davis' 'till later on..."
You know, it was captivating to witness it as a kid, for any kid, if they are into music from, you know, cause you get another perspective. You see the band, you see the interaction of the musicians, you see the stage hands, you know, the, the lighting, the sound, the monitor mixer. Even back then, you know, you see all this, the workings of a concert.
I gravitated towards the drums. And I don't know if it was Tony Williams or Jack DeJohnette, but Tony Williams told Wallace, Roney the trumpeter that he knew I was going to be a drummer.
"My mom would always make me have a haircut, get a haircut. Cause I knew Uncle Miles was coming and I always knew Uncle Miles would get me a hamburger from room service."
ON WILBURN JR.'S AND ERIN'S INTERACTIONS PRE-COLLABORATION:
ERIN: "Well, I don't know if it was a collaboration, I would just ask [Vince] a thousand questions. I started going on the road with the band in 1985 in the summer. I was 14 and he was playing drums. You know, it was the best thing ever I had ever seen. I just wanted to be a part of that forever. So I started working on the road crew. He would be playing, it's sweating, you know, they were cooking some songs. He would wave at me over and I'm like, 'Oh, he needs something.'"
"So I run over there and I'm 14 right. And he was like, give me a kiss, like this wet kiss with all the sweat. But man, those days, I mean, here's the guys who were in the band back then. It was John Scofield, Darryl Jones, Steve Thornton, Vince, Robert Irving III, and the dearly departed Bob Berg, who also took me under his wing, which was, I thought was a really cool person."
ON MILES' FORAY INTO SOUL/POP/R&B WITH RUBBERBAND:
WILBURN JR.: "Personally, I think he wanted a pop hit, you know, he wanted to be radio friendly and Warner Brothers was very radio friendly, you know?"
ERIN: "But also you gotta consider that his ears were not. genre-based or time-based. It didn't matter what year it was. If he thought that the notes and the musics and the tones were weaving together to use Keith Richard's phrase, "weaving" together nicely, he would just like it. So whatever was going on on the radio that he liked in the 80s right?
WILBURN JR." Yeah, yeah. He dug it...The concept, you have to understand, he wanted to be radio and MTV accessible. So he reached, yeah, and he'd, he'd reached out to, to Zane Giles, who had a string of hits at the time, and Randy Hall, who wrote "The Man with the Horn." And they went over to American Ray Parker studio and they started this Rubberband."
Listen to the full Rhino Podcast episode here.