It’s been over a decade since James Brown passed after declaring “I Feel Good” one last time. So, the question arises – who is the hardest working man in show business? We nominate Glen Burtnik. The musical slave from New Brunswick, New Jersey is a respected solo artist and a beloved former member of Styx with two stints in that classic rock band before bowing out in 2003. Now, he’s going from strength to strength with a late career boost provided by his Beatles influenced outfit called The Weeklings. A poster boy for frequent flier miles you can often find Glen paying homage to the Summer of Love, the British Invasion, ELO and Christmas at various times throughout the year. He took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to be interviewed by our resident in house alien.
Q: What is currently happening in your musical universe at the moment?
A: Easier to answer questions about UFOs. I just got back from a two night show in Bermuda of a big production of mine (20+ people) named SUMMER OF LOVE, which has two shows this weekend. Tomorrow my band The Weeklings play NYC. I just got off the phone planning the 2018 NJ Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (I’m Musical Director) and there are a few large orchestrated shows coming up. Oh yeah, another band I’m in, The Orchestra, is planning shows in Turkey and the UK. And The Weeklings are planning to go back into the studio to record very soon.
Q: What is your personal “Stairway To Heaven” as far as recording or performing goes?
A: Well, the big hit I wrote with Patty Smyth is the obvious answer, I guess.
Q: Most people consider that our Universe began in one of two ways – planned creation or random chance. What process best describes your approach to making music?
A: “Play”. They call it playing music. I play with an instrument or a beat or a word phrase or title and develop what is most fun.
Glen Burtnik on stage in New Jersey. (file photo – SoundPress.net)
Q: “Out Of This World” is a well-known popular phrase than can mean not mundane and certainly amazing. Can you recall a moment in your career, life and times that was nothing short of amazing?
A: It was 1991. I had a house I was living in. I was into smoking cigars. It was summertime. My wife was out and I was alone. So I thought I’d go out to my pool. We had a type of floating lawn chair (with a drink holder). I lit myself a cigar and got in the pool to float in the chair. Total spoiled rockstar relaxation moment.
Just then, while floating, I hear a delivery guy come around back with a special delivery – a Champaign bottle on ice with a pair of glasses arranged very nicely (not boxed). Apparently the record company was sending this congratulatory gift for the fact that a Styx song I was on was a big hit.
I laughed. It was too perfect. I poured a drink and got back in the pool with my cigar and drink.
Q: You’re tasked with putting together a Galactic Supergroup to represent Earth and Rock music. What’s that configuration going to look like?
A: Stevie Wonder, Jaco Pastorious, George Gershwin, Jimi Hendrix, Laura Nyro with Levi Stubbs & Aretha Franklin on vocals. Dylan on lyrics. Bill Bruford on drums.
Q: There’s been a lot of talk about “alien technology” helping mankind achieve great advances in recent decades. On the musical front technology is always changing and advancing. Any recent discoveries or favorites you’d like to share?
A: Noop. New technology tends to frustrate me.
Q: Last but not least. Ever see a UFO?