The Cult, Stone Temple Pilots, and Bush at Rose

“Rock and roll never forgets,” the classic rock song goes, and Billy Duffy, guitarist and founding member of the British rock band The Cult, definitely remembers the whole thing. And with his band’s current “Revolution 3” summer package tour selling tickets in 21 cities all across the country, Duffy is obviously excited about going out […]

Billy Duffy of The Cult is still ready to rock


Founding members of The Cult: singer Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy (l-r).

By Tim Walker

“Rock and roll never forgets,” the classic rock song goes, and Billy Duffy, guitarist and founding member of the British rock band The Cult, definitely remembers the whole thing. And with his band’s current “Revolution 3” summer package tour selling tickets in 21 cities all across the country, Duffy is obviously excited about going out and performing the band’s now-classic songs again.

“It’s different for us. But it’s nice to go and do something a little different,” the musician says in his British accent when speaking with the Dayton City Paper recently from his home in Los Angeles. “Play with a couple of different bands in different venues. I quite like, and I think very fondly of them, those very relaxing, fun, barbecue tours, when you play those big outdoor places in the summer. Most of the gigs are outdoors—not all—but it’ll be a good vibe. We change it up, the format, and I’m grateful to play anywhere really, but it’s just nice to do it with different bands in a different way. Change the dynamic up a little bit.”

Duffy and singer Ian Astbury’s band The Cult, along with co-headliners Bush and Stone Temple Pilots, will be bringing their first-ever Revolution 3 Tour to Rose Music Center in Huber Heights on Sunday, July 22nd. The show will start at 6:00 p.m. and doors open at 5. An incomparable evening of classic ’90s rock hits, the three bands—who all perform full sets at every show, revolving their order of appearance for each city—will be rocking summer audiences with hit songs like The Cult’s “Fire Woman” and “Edie (Ciao Baby),” Bush’s “Glycerine” and “Machinehead,” and STP’s “Big Empty,” “Plush,” and “Dead and Bloated” on a nightly basis.

Billy Duffy and Ian Astbury formed The Cult in 1983 in England, although they didn’t adopt that particular name until the following year. Now based in Los Angeles, the bandmates are true rock and roll veterans, having survived lineup changes, hit singles, several break-ups, Astbury’s stint as lead singer of The Doors reunion, and the profound changes that digital downloading brought to the lives of recording artists. After being asked about the current state of the music industry, and his band’s place in it, the guitarist suggested that the more things have changed, the more they’ve actually just stayed the same.

“Things have changed, sure,” Duffy explained. “I definitely think that, even back in the day when bands were putting actual records out, musicians have always got a bit of the bad end of the stick. If someone analyzed what a recording contract actually is, when you actually calmly write down what happens, they make you a terrible loan which you pay back many, many times over. And then they own the thing that they loaned you the money to make, that you created. Forever. That’s not great, either. So that was the seventies and the eighties, and prior to that we all know what happened in the fifties and the early sixties, with guys getting completely… so what I’m trying to say is, there’s a precedent. The format of the abuse slightly changes, but as long as there are people with a drive, and they’ve got something to say, they’ll get their music out there. And I think that music’s still important to people in their everyday life.”

Duffy is widely known for playing a large White Falcon guitar onstage, and he recently signed a deal with Gretsch Guitars to manufacture a signature line of guitars built to the musician’s specifications. While not exactly the go-to guitar that most rock musicians would opt for, Duffy says there’s a reason he prefers to perform with it.

“The Falcon thing just started when I was a young kid,” he says. “I remember pictures of Neil Young playing a big white Gretsch—I’m talking about when I was 14 years old. I was just fascinated by these guitars. And then punk rock happened, and guys from the Clash and the New York Dolls played them. This guitar just kept appearing. I was just searching for a particular sound and a thing and an identity as a player. And the Gretsch kind of helped me do that.”

With his identity and band now firmly established in the public eye, Billy Duffy—along with the rest of The Cult, Bush, and Stone Temple Pilots—is certainly set to make a memorable appearance at the Rose Music Center.

The Revolution 3 Tour, featuring The Cult, Bush, and Stone Temple Pilots, will make a stop at Rose Music Center in Huber Heights on Sunday, July 22, 2018. The show starts at 6:00 p.m. and good seats are still available. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 937.610.0288 or go to rosemusiccenter.com.

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Tim Walker is 51 and a writer, DJ, and local musician. He lives with his wife and their two children in Dayton, where he enjoys pizza, jazz, and black T-shirts. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Walker at TimWalker@DaytonCityPaper.com

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