Kevin Borich knows a little about Aussie rock. After all, the guitarist has been on the scene for over four decades and has supported and performed with the likes of ACDC, Ron Wood, Richie Blackmore, Status Quo, Elton John, John Mayall, and Santana. Kevin will hit Tassie this December with his very own Kevin Borich Express, and the legend gives us a rare insight into the Australian music industry’s past, present, and future.
Kevin’s rock based funk and blues has twice awarded him Best Guitarist by the Australian Rock Music Awards. With three EMI Gold Records under his belt, it’s no wonder he was also voted one of the all time greatest Australian guitarists in 2011 by Australian Guitarist Magazine. He started out with the La De Das in New Zealand (who were famous for their classic hit ‘Gonna See My Baby Tonight’) and has been part of The Party Boys and Kevin Borich Express. While he’s still thriving on the scene, Kevin says it’s not what it used to be – and that’s ok, too.
“You just have to roll with the punches. Times change,” Kevin shares.
“There used to be a lot of live venues. There was a great pub scene five days a week, and then all the poker machines came in – the poker machines don’t play too loud, they don’t write graffiti on the wall, they don’t get too drunk and they take people’s money – it’s perfect!”
“You can’t be stuck in the past. It’s very hard out there for live musicians, but thankfully I’m still doing okay.”
Kevin says that while the music industry has always been highly competitive, there are more people coming out today to compete.
“People get famous very quickly, but then they’re gone –it’s like Kleenex mops. People like us that have been around for quite a while, we’ve just kept in it by playing.”
Although the music has been Kevin’s life and joy, he would work with caution and strategy if he was starting out today.
“I’ve been warning my children. It’s really sad that I have to do that, but in reality, it’s pretty tough. If you’re really passionate about it and you really work at it hard, you might get somewhere.”
“The technology that we have these days is great for musicians, because you can get a really great result of the music that you write in your own home – you don’t have to go to a big studio and do all that. I have my own studio at home and that’s how I do all my stuff.”
Having performed in front of 60,000 people and having The Eagles’ Joe Walsh sleep on his couch, Kevin has some incredible memories to look back on – and when he does reminisce, he says “I just go boy, you’re a lucky boy to have to be in the right place at the right time.”
“Being good enough to be with those people is a wonderful gift that I’ve been given. I’m grateful for what I have.”
Kevin will be supported by Pete Cornelius and the DeVilles, who have been on the scene for 11 years with original and cover blues hits spread across seven full length albums. With Pete on guitar, bass and vocals, his new release ‘Tumbleweed’ features a talented crowd of Henry Nichols, Randal Muir, Kelly Ottoway, Ian Collard, Jane McArthur, and Carmel Claxton.
Catch the Kevin Borich Express at the Tapas Bar in Devonport on December 27, The Republic Bar in Hobart on December 28, The Iron House Bar on December 29, The Burnie Council Celebration at Burnie Harbour on December 31, and The Day After Carnival on January 1.
BY STEPHANIE ESLAKE
This article featured in Warp Magazine, December 2013.