Robin Beck

She’s sung with some of the best and par­tied with the rest. Th­ese days she’s hap­pi­est hit­ting hubby with pans

Classic Rock - - The Dirt -

Hav­ing first been a back­ing singer for Chaka Khan, David Bowie, Melissa Manch­ester and Peter Wolf, among oth­ers, New Yorker Robin Beck hit big in 1988 when First Time, a soar­ing power bal­lad orig­i­nally recorded for a Coca-Cola ad, topped charts in the UK and across Europe. Since then she has re­leased a series of al­bums that con­nect the dots be­tween clas­sic rock and heavy-duty soul. Her lat­est is Love Is Com­ing, co-pro­duced by hus­band James Chris­tian, front­man with House Of Lords.

What’s the story with the new al­bum? I started writ­ing it over a year ago, then ended up meet­ing a rock god; Clif Mag­ness [Steve Perry/Avril Lav­i­gne] was some­one I’d ad­mired for years. I’d al­ready cov­ered Foot­prints In The Rain back in the nineties, but we’d never ac­tu­ally bro­ken bread to­gether. He started to send me songs and I be­gan to con­nect with them on a very per­sonal level. They felt like pieces of my life.

What’s it like work­ing with your other half in the stu­dio?

He’ll just lay it on the line: “No, too much,” “Too lit­tle,” “You’re not in touch with it,” what­ever . But James is a mas­ter and I trust him. We do fight, but we al­ways make up af­ter­wards. Some of my fry­ing pans have taken the shape of his head, but then his golf clubs are a lit­tle crooked too. We love each other to death – we’re the per­fect match.

How did the phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess of First Time im­pact on your life?

I wouldn’t have had the balls to say it back then, but I was scared shit­less. It hap­pened re­ally fast. I’d squeaked out an al­bum in 1979 [Sweet Talk], which I liken to a baby foot­print in a piece of clay, but First Time changed my life com­pletely. I’d get up in the morn­ing, go to the stu­dio, then af­ter­wards I’d go to the clubs and hang out with every­one from Rod Ste­wart to Ju­lian Len­non. David Bowie was also part of the crowd we hung out with in New York. There were al­ways par­ties and there were al­ways rock stars. That’s how it went ev­ery sin­gle day.

How long did you man­age to keep up that rock’n’roll life­style for?

I was do­ing al­bum af­ter al­bum. The nee­dle didn’t lift un­til my daugh­ter, Olivia, was born in 1997. I de­cided I was go­ing to take five years off, but the mu­sic busi­ness kept try­ing to pull me back in. New York is the great­est city in the world, but it’s hard in ev­ery way you can imag­ine. It’s bru­tal on your body. I’m not that way any more, where I have to put on my rock’n’roll re­galia to walk out the door. Now I’m putting on my sweats, a base­ball cap, some sneak­ers and I’m truckin’.

You made a big come­back when you toured Europe as part of the Rock Meets Clas­sic tour in 2012. How was that?

I was on the same bill as Ian Gillan, Steve Lukather, Jimi Jami­son and Chris Thompson. With Rock Meets Clas­sic, I felt like: “It’s what you al­ways wanted and now you get what you wish for.” I be­came very good friends with Jimi on that tour. He’d go: “C’mon, girl, you’re just so fan­tas­tic. Get out there, shake your ass and rock’n’roll!” I had the best time of my life. I lit­er­ally kissed the stage floor ev­ery night. RH Love Is Com­ing is avail­able now via Fron­tiers.

“First Time changed my life. Par­ties ev­ery sin­gle day.”

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