Former Green On Red guitarist Chuck Prophet discusses life back on the road

A press shot of Chuck Prophet

Singer/songwriter Chuck Prophet first found fame as a guitarist of the US band Green On Red. After eight albums with them he began a solo career. He describes his new album, Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins, as a “California noir”.

Who was the Bobby Fuller referred to in the title of your new album, and why did he die for our sins?

He was a Buddy Holly protégé from El Paso, Texas, who came to Los Angeles and died there aged twenty-three. I’ve lived in California all my life, and his story reflects the dark side of the so-called Golden State.

There’s a lot on the album to digest. Alex Nieto, for example, was a Mexican security guard gunned down by police seemingly for no crime at all.

Police pumped a hail of bullets into him, thinking falsely that he was a gang member. It was later ruled that the cops didn’t use excessive force. I’d like to know how many shots they’d have fired had he posed any kind of danger.

Bad Year For Rock ‘N’ Roll, which references the Thin White Duke, is pretty self-explanatory.

Yeah. But aside from losing heroes such as David Bowie and Prince, our faiths in logic and decency were also soured by the Molotov cocktails of the US presidential election and Brexit. It’s about winning back one’s enchantment with rock‘n’roll – losing that faith and regaining it.

Do you think your ode to Connie Britton, the lead character in the TV series Nashville, is accurate?

I’ve no idea. I spent some time in Nashville recently and ran into her three times. I’d love to know if she can get off a driving offence by swinging her hair around. I bet she does.

Your former band Green On Red reunited in 2005 and actually played in the UK the following year. Could there be further activity from the band?

I’ll use the cliché ‘never say never’. We’re still brothers, or maybe like army buddies. I suppose it’s possible.

Do you perform any Green On Red songs in your set?

I’ve enough material of my own. My show is a rock‘n’roll show. If that’s your thing, then it’ll hit you.

Prophet’s tour begins on February 14.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.