INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD X. HEYMAN FROM TheCelebrityCafe.com ARCHIVES
DM) How was it playing drums for such legends as Brian Wilson, Peter Noone
and Ben E. King?
RXH) It’s always a thrill being involved musically with artists I admire. It’s a “pinch me, am I dreaming?” experience when you suddenly realize – hey, that’s Ben E. King sitting next to me, singing in my ear. Brian Wilson lived up to his legend as being an eccentric genius and Peter Noone sang better than in his Hermits days. He’s got a beautiful high tenor range.
DM) Is it really true that you do volunteer work on the side?
RXH) I volunteer for City Critters, United Action for Animals, or anyone who needs help with stray animals in New York City.
DM) Where did you learn to play the harpsichord?
RXH) While working on “Cornerstone,” I decided to have some friends of mine play on some of the songs. Dave Amels is a fantastic organ player and contributed on “When She Arrives” and “Clear To Me Now.” He also has a collection of vintage keyboards. When he told me about his harpsichord, I thought it would be great for the song “When It was Our Time.” A few days later, he brought it up to the studio, and I just adapted my piano style to the harpsichord. When Dave and Dennis Diken were producing the Springsteen tribute album track, they thought of me for the harpsichord part on “Sandy,” which Ben E. King sang.
DM) What does the X in your name stand for?
RXH) My real and full middle name is “X.,” which is on my birth certificate. It’s in honor of General Xavier Cheeves, under whom my father served in the army.
DM) What is your favorite track from this album?
RXH) My favorite song on “Cornerstone” changes all the time. Right now (2:30 a.m. July 19, 1999), I’d say “If We Should Ever Meet Again.”
DM) What bands are you listening to now?
RXH) The only bands I’ve heard lately are friends of mine here in New York: The Rooks, The Grip Weeds, George Usher, Green Rooftops, Mannix, to name a few.
DM) Why did you let so much time pass between records (1991-1996)?
RXH) Recording your own album is an expensive proposition, without the budget from a record company. I could only do so much at a time. I also signed with a new label that never got off the ground, but I couldn’t do anything for two years. Next thing I knew, six or seven years had gone by.