Here's an in-depth interview,with photos of Balance with Peppy and Doug

Check out these vintage Blues Magoos Clips from the 60s:
'We Ain't Got Nothin Yet'
'Tobacco Road'
'Pipe Dream'

 


1. First of all, would you like to tell us a little about yourself
>
> (birthdate, place, education, career, family etc...)?
>
>
>
> **** That's a tall order! But here's the capsule. Born In Manhattan, NYC.
> and raised in the Bronx from 4 yrs. - 14yrs old. I left home at 14 years
> old to play rock and roll. I was always being chased by the authorities
> for being delinquent from school. Finally a Truant officer cornered me and
> told me he would forge my birthday as I was turning 15 and change it to
> being 16 years old so I could legally quite school with my Mothers
> consent. This was incredible and something that would never happen in
> today's world. He risked his Job.
>
> As you know my wife of 18 years just passed away. I started my family life
> at the age of 37. I had to get an awful lot of rocking out of my system
> before I was capable of settling down.
>
> Glad I did though! My Son Jesse Doran Castro is my Godsend. He 's 17 and
> rock's his ass off. He plays Guitar, drums, bass, writes sings & engineers
> etc. I love writing with him and producing him. You can go to.
> www.jessecastro.com and scroll down to the myspace link to hear him. I do
> confess to playing some guitar solos and bass and singing backgrounds on
> some of it. He's on his way!
>
>
>
> 2. How did Balance form
>
>
>
> ***I had a solo deal that fell through while I was being managed By Leber
> & Krebs in NY who were the hottest managers on the east coast in the US.
> They managed the cream of the crop. After the deal fell through I was
> extremely frustrated because it took so long to get the deal and thought
> to myself that I should stack the deck and add on super well known
> musicians and package something that would be hard to ignore. I was very
> friendly with Paul Stanley from kiss and was reintroduced to Bob kulick by
> Paul. However I'd known Bob from my teenage years in the Village in NY
> because at that time I was on to deck to have a hit record with my first
> band the Blues Magoos and Bob was in a band that was just starting to play
> the circuit. Doug Katsaros and I had been working for some time together.
> When I first met Doug, through a former girlfriend I was blown away by his
> talent and quickly got him into the NY scene. I was always writing lots of
> material and started to collaborate with Bob and Doug as well and got
> Leber Krebs to back us in the studio to see what we could come up with. We
> took it from there.
>
>
>
>
>
> 3. If you listen to those two Balance records, it is obvious from the
>
> start that the keyboards are playing a vital role in the whole
>
> Atmosphere. It is a very unique and improvising style. They bring in
>
> mind a kind of a soundtrack sound. Do you agree with that?
>
>
>
> ***Yes! Doug was a child protegee and classically trained. He's truly an
> incredible musician. So his input was an extension of his training.
>
>
>
>
>
> 4. What do you remember from the recordings of those two albums?
>
>
>
> ****Being very positive that Balance would make some noise and that the
> band was capable of being a real contender.
>
>
>
>
>
> 5. Which one stands in your mind as a really special one?
>
>
>
> *** Do you mean which album or a particular song? Both albums had special
> things and the band was evolving and a work in progress as you can hear
> from the edgier 2nd LP.
>
>
>
>
>
> 6. Why Balance hasn't stood the test of time? From our point of view,
>
> it was a very promising band, indeed...
>
>
>
> ****Everything seems to come down to marketing and commitment. Really the
> label and management dropped the ball. Especially back in 1980. However if
> you are a Balance fan it's clear the band has stood the test of time
> because the music still holds up to this day. I get emails all the time
> from people all over the world like your selves complimenting the band. So
> in a way it does hold up. "In for the count" is being re-released as we
> speak in the UK on "Rock Candy" records from what I understand and Joey
> Kramer from Aerosmyth just wrote a quote for the liner notes. To this day
> it's one of his all time favorites.
>
>
>
>
>
> 7. Did you give any live shows? And if yes, are there any video
>
> documents for them?
>
>
>
> ***The only thing that seems to have survived is Video of the Band doing a
> well-known TV show here in the US. We did some touring but not much.
>
>
>
>
>
> 8. Were there any plans for a third Balance album? Are they're any
>
> Left over songs?
>
>
>
> ****I'm sure there are scraps lying around. However it wouldn't take much
> to write and develop new material. I've started to talk with Bob again
> about doing something because I'm hungry to keep myself active because of
> my wife's passing. Good therapy for me. I'm already doing shows with
> another old band and I'll probably Do some Blues Magoos reunions as well.
> It's 40 years later for them and they still are the most successful band
> I've been associated with in my career.
>
>
>
>
>
> 9. Do you ever think of a possible reunion or even a one-off show just
>
> for the old times sake?
>
>
>
> ****As you can see I'm wide open again and single!
>
>
>
>
>
> 10. You had also worked with Paul Stanley on his solo album in 1978 and in
> Kiss' Unmasked record.
>
> What do you remember from that period? How did this collaboration come
>
> up?
>
>
>
> ****I had a show called "Zen Boogie" that I was a co-author of that was
> playing in a theatre in Beverly Hills 1n 1978. Paul and I were hanging out
> almost everyday. Paul was in LA, because Kiss were filming their movie. He
> just basically asked me to come into the studio and sing. Doug also did
> some keyboard work and at that time Doug was the musical director of the
> show. As a matter of fact Paul is singing the backgrounds on " Falling in
> Love" with Doug and I on the 1st Balance LP.
>
> With "Unmasked" Bob and I and Vinni Poncia collaborated with Gene.
>
>
>
> 11. Before that you were in a band called Wiggy Bits. Tell us about that
> group.
>
>
>
> ***Wiggy was immediately following 'Barnaby Bye". Barnaby Bye had done 2
> LP's on Atlantic records and it was tuff getting the band off the ground
> on a national level. The label was dropping us so I moved on. Mike
> Ricciardella who was the drummer in Barnaby Bye stayed with me and we put
> Wiggy together. We started out with Tommy Mottola as our manager but again
> you can get lost when you're with someone who's high profile and has other
> bread-winning artists to please first.
>
>
>
>
>
> 12. You are currently doing reunion shows with the Barnaby Bye band, the
> band you had in the 70's before Balance. How are things going with Barnaby
> Bye?
>
>
>
> ***It's greatest of fun because unlike all the other bands I've had
> "Barnaby Bye" has amazing vocal abilities the likes of "Beach Boys, Bee
> Gees and the Beatles. Our old fans have come out of hiding the minute we
> decided to reunite. There's no games or pressure and everyone in the band
> has amazing songwriting credentials and I get to switch on and off on
> Guitar, bass and Keys. I'm in heaven and it's also the first thing I've
> dedicated myself to in my new life. There's the greatest vibe and love
> between the members who are Billy & Bobby Alessi ( The ALESSI BROTHERS)
> and I love playing again with Mike Ricciardella on Drums.
>
>
>
>
>
> 13. After all these years, are you satisfied with all that you have
> achieved in your musical career?
>
>
>
> ****Without a doubt! I've been a singer, songwriter, musician, author,
> rock star, and a Broadway actor. I've work with other amazing artist's
> who've recorded my songs and I've never had to suffer the boredom of
> becoming an imitation of myself by having to play the same songs for
> 40years. I love going back to them now because they are fresh again and
> I'm getting a chance to start all over again just for the love of it.
> Which is they way it's always been for me.
>
>
>
>
>
> 14. There are still lots of Balance fans out there, who can't get enough
> of those two records. Any message to them.?
>
>
>
> ***Absolutely! When I see that there are people in the world who
> appreciate my work it makes my die a happy man. To all the Balance fans I
> can truly say that those records were made for you. You have validated my
> talent and love of music and I am grateful to you.
>
> It also gives me great encouragement to want to do something new in the
> future with a Balance Return. All the best. Peppy Castro
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Ok, I think this is all for now! Peppy, thank you VERY MUCH for taking the
> time to do this interview with Rockpages.gr! Last but not least, this
> month our web magazine celabrates 3 yeard online and it's our 3rd
> anniversary. We would be more than obliged and honoured if you could say a
> few words about it(something like, "Hi, this is Peppy Castro from Barnaby
> Bye,Balance,etc. and I wish to Rockpages a happy 3rd anniversary,etc...).
> Your message will be post online with a photo of yours among other
> artists. You can check our anniversary page by clicking the logo which is
> on our web site (www.rockpages.gr)Thank You!
>
>
>
>
>
> Hi,
>
> This is Peppy Castro from Balance, Barnaby Bye and the Blues Magoos. It's
> gives me great rocking Joy to wish " Rockpages a Happy 3rd Aniversary.
> MANY MORE and Keep the free world rocking. You guys are the Best! Peppy
> Castro

Shadoe
Peppy Castro

Originally formed in the Bronx, New York, and joining us "live"
coast-to-coast from Manhattan, singer/songwriter, guitarist and founding
member of the legendary Psychedelic-rock group "Blues Magoo" and the
pop-rock trio "Balance", Peppy Castro joins us, welcome Peppy, a
pleasure speaking with you!

Peppy, "Blues Magoos" originally known as the "Trenchcoats" and formed
> in 1964, were denizens of the Greenwich Village club scene, making your
> mark in 1967 with rousing, full-throttle, psychedelic garage rock, how
> did you, guitarist Mike Esposito, keyboardist Ralph Scala, bassist
> Ronnie Gilbert and drummer Geoff Daking get together back in New York
> City?
>
> We might note, Doug is the brother of Kiss' Bruce Kulick and as irony
> would have it, you grew up with Frehley in the Bronx, teaching the
> future 'Space Ace' his first bar chords!
>
> Rolling Stone described "Blues Magoo" as "A lightweight, blues-rock
> band." What do you think of that description?
>
> "(We Ain't Got) Nothing Yet" taken from the Mercury LP "Psychedelic
> Lollipop" peaked at # 1 Cashbox, # 5 Billboard pop, December 10th 1966,
> an extraordinary and magical two minutes and ten seconds which is one of
> those little one-hundred twenty second blasts of pop which brought the
> transistor radio to life, the group's name was originally spelled "Bloos
> Magoos", why the change?
>
> How long did it take you to get discovered?
>
> Would you play the clubs ever night?
>
> Hopping on the release-bandwagon, your self-entitled Fontana album was
> re-issued at the height of your debut breakthrough, how were you
> originally signed to Mercury Records Peppy?
>
> On March 18th 1967, "Pipe Dream" from the album "Electric Comic Book"
> reached # 60 on the Billboard Hot-100, backed with the hit "B" flip
> single, "There's A Chance We Can Make It" issued soon after, on April
> 8th, Peppy, what was it like playing the legendary Avalon Ballroom and
> the Fillmore West?
>
> Break # 1 SONGS
>
> Live coast-to-coast from New York City with singer/songwriter,
> guitarist and founding member of the Psychedelic-rock group "Blues
> Magoo" and the pop-rock trio "Balance", Peppy Castro joins us, Peppy,
> "One By One" which you wrote peaked at # 71 on the Billboard Hot-100,
> June 10th 1967, Peppy, tell us about the classic fight with Jim
> Morrison and The Doors.
>
> In 1981, AM and FM radio was taken by storm with the debut of a studio
> project called "Balance" consisting of you, guitarist Bob Kulick and
> keyboardist Doug Katsaros, how did you form this group in the Bronx
> Peppy?
>
> Your debut single was "Breaking Away" taken from the self-entitled
> Portrait release, July 11th 1981 peaking at # 22 on the Billboard
> Top-40, Peppy, "Blues Magoos" opened for both Herman's Hermits and The
> Who, was that overseas or in the US, and what was that like?
>
> The follow-up single "Falling In Love" was issued Thanksgiving week -
> November 21st 1981, charting at # 58, with an 11-week run at pop radio,
> Peppy, why did "Balance" break up after only your second album "In For
> The Count" in 1982?
>
> Break # 2 SONGS
>
> Live coast-to-coast from New York City with singer/songwriter,
> guitarist and founding member of the Psychedelic-rock group "Blues
> Magoo" and the pop-rock trio "Balance", Peppy Castro joins us, Peppy,
> tell us about your days with "Barnaby Bye" in 1972, signed to Atlantic
> Records by Ahmet Ertegan after just one performance!
>
> You were in the Polydor-signed group "Wiggy Bits" and both you and
> Katsaros also appear on Paul Stanley's solo record, was that the event
> which may have sewn the seeds for the formation of "Balance?"
>
> Kerrang! Magazine quoted "Balance" as a group 'up to its naked thighs
> in gloriously smooth harmonies and melodies', I'd call that a pretty
> accurate description Peppy!
>
> In 1978, you authored "Zen Boogie", a pop musical produced by Steve
> Leber and David Krebs at the Solari Theater in Beverly Hills, give us an
> overview of the project Peppy.
>
> Tell us about your latest creation "Xstar."
>
> On a side-note, there's big money in jingles and you've been at their
> forefront for decades, campaigns for such Fortune 100 advertisers as
> 7-Up, Diet 7-Up, Baby Ruth, Campbell's Soup, Dr Pepper and Wendy's, are
> jingles a tough commodity to produce Peppy?
>
> Your most inclusive web-site is <peppycastro.com> and you just sold out
> some oldies concerts, where did you appear?
>
> Anything else for us Peppy, musical or otherwise?
>
> Live coast-to-coast from New York City, singer/songwriter, guitarist
> and founding member of the Psychedelic-rock group "Blues Magoo" and the
> pop-rock trio "Balance", Peppy Castro, Peppy, thank you so much for your
> time and for helping us feature your many greatest hits my friend!
>
>
>>>> "Peppy Castro" <peppyc@frontiernet.net> 7/14/2006 5:25 PM >>>
> Hi Shadoe,
> Just getting this. Would be happy to participate any way you would
> like. After a 30 year absence I Have 2 sold out shows tomorrow night
> with one of my oldie bands out on Long Island. Lots of fun...Will be
> back on Monday! All the best! Peppy Castro
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Shadoe Steele
> To: Peppy Castro
> Sent: Sunday, July 09, 2006 3:46 PM
> Subject: US Nationwide Radio Interview Request!
>
>
> Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:
>
> We would like to set up a brief pre-recorded interview (15 minutes or
> less via telephone) with Peppy for our weekly 5-hour music/entertainment
> special for our flagship stations 98.5KRZ/107.9KRF (both 50,000 watt, #1
> CHRs since 1980, R&R, HITS, FMQB, Billboard, Hitmakers reporter, BDS)
> and for inclusion and broadcast to over 145-select CHR/AC/70s-80s format
> stations in the Entercom Group nationwide. The 90-minute
> interview/music segment additionally airs over Sirius Satellite Radio
> Tuesdays at 8 PM & 11 PM ET on Channel 102 "Stars."
>
> "Inside Profiles" is also simulcast in RealAudio over
> http://www.madpod.com is now the largest media blog/pod web-site on-line
> to 81-countries, yielding 2 million + hits per/week. We'd like to
> promote national tour dates, forthcoming releases and related projects
> as well!
>
> 98.5KRZ/107.9WKRF-FM have been the # 1 stations in the market for 24
> + years with a 39.4 ARB - 12 + demographic in a 33 station market! Our
> roster of guests numbers well over 4000 through the past 20-years
> featured in our multi-format hours!
>
> Please check out our flagship station's website at
> <http://www.985krz.com> and click on the "DJ Page" for my career bio
> and stats!
>
>
> Cordially,
>
> Shadoe Steele
> Entercom Broadcast Group/Entercom Communications/Entercom Radio
> Network
> 98.5 KRZ-FM/107.9 WKRF-FM