By Jeff Gilder
I admit that I may have been a bit nervous prior this interview. After all they ARE The Chairmen of the Board.I've done hundreds of interviews-most with people I had not met before the interviews and many I had never heard of before the interviews. Over time I've developed a method for getting through those and can usually produce a decent result. But this was The Chairmen of the Board.
When I think of this band, words like legendary, dynasty, and world-class come to mind. I've been listening to and enjoying their music since my teens. I wasn't sure what to expect and I didn't know all the details of the history behind the new band members until I began to do some research for the interview. I was very much interested to hear how the New Chairmen of the Board came together.
In talking with Ken Knox one can tell what this means to him. Keeping the legacy of General Norman Johnson and the Chairmen of the Board going is personal to Ken. General Johnson was not just a band member and business partner to him, they were friends. Losing a friend is one thing...taking the lead to carry on his legacy is another...especially when that friend was General Norman Johnson, a man who had a world-changing impact on the music scene in his lifetime.
I can't imagine the pressure Ken must have felt, and probably still feels at times. Would he be able to find suitable members to carry on the tradition? Would the fans accept the new generation of the band? Would the new Chairmen of the Board be able to rise to his and the industry's expectations? His dedication and determination to find the right and talented replacements for General Johnson and Danny Woods has definitely paid off.
There is no question the new guys have what it takes to carry on General's legacy. Richard Carey Figueroa and Thomas Hunter seem to be the perfect fit. All three...Ken, Riche, and Thomas at one point during my interview said, "Having the opportunity to be part of the Chairmen of the Board is a dream come true". Regardless of one's beliefs, God, the Universe, and/or General Johnson himself had a hand in the formation of The "New" Chairmen of the Board. After being in their presence this afternoon and hearing their new single,"You", I'm convinced of that.
Seeing them perform together on stage at the House of Blues tonight was a treat. Witnessing their acceptance by their adoring fans was awesome. I think this generation of The Chairmen of the Board will make some world-changing music history of their own. I intend to enjoy every bit of it.