Interview: Glenn Hughes talks Zenga sacking, aspiring to play the Civic and his father's death ahead of Wolverhampton show

Wolves fanatic Hughes talks about the club’s plight, losing his father and how he hopes to give another local band their own big break...

Glenn Hughes
Glenn Hughes

‘A lot of people are a bit embarrassed to talk about where they come from but that has never been the way with me – I think it is important to be proud of your roots’.

Cannock-born rock superstar Glenn Hughes revealed his local pride as he spoke about his father’s death, returning to the Black Country, sacked Wolves coach Walter Zenga and the US Presidential election ahead of his show at Wolverhampton’s Wulfrun Hall on November 9.

Promoting his first solo album in eight years – Resonate – the former Deep Purple vocalist and bass player will return home for the show next month, thousands of miles away from his current home in LA, where his friends and family will be processing the results of the latest election.

He said: “It is pretty ironic really, that when all of this election stuff comes to an end, I will be in Wolverhampton. At least I will be safe there.

“I wouldn’t like to pick a side out in the open because my family out here is so split down the middle, but I just hope whoever wins makes the right decisions, sorts out our economy and our safety. We can’t have another 9/11 happen again, we live in such a crazy time right now all over the world and I do think this vote is crucial to everyone’s safety in the future.”

Speaking to the Express & Star, the 64-year-old, who has lived in America for 43 years, spoke of his pride at being able to return home and play to adoring crowds following the upcoming release of Resonate, which was written during his rehabilitation from two knee operations and recorded in Copenhagen.

He said: “A lot of the kids might not understand this today but when I was a young guy trying to start out in music, the Wulfrun and the Civic Hall were the big aim.

“I remember seeing bands at The Ship and Rainbow in Wolverhampton, the Cleveland Arms and Three Men In A Boat pub in Walsall. There were just so many places to watch and play live music, but the Wulfrun and Civic were the ambition. I have a very good memory of where I come from, the Black Country is a great place for music and the people are amazing. It is something I have always tried to embrace.”

Earlier this year, Glenn returned home in tragic circumstances to be with his family after the death of his father William.

William had passed away just four hours prior to his son collecting an award inducting Deep Purple into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame at a ceremony in LA.

Speaking of his father’s death, Glenn said: “I had spoken with my mother a few days before and I kind of got the message that he was on his way out. He was always a huge supporter of my career and I know how proud he was I would be getting this award, which is such a rare achievement.

“It transpired he had passed away just hours before the ceremony, so I like to think he was looking down from the Royal Box smiling.

“I have dedicated that award to him because he deserves it, he gave me this life and always encouraged me to cherish it. If I could give one bit of advice to young readers it would be to love your family, you only get one and when they are gone, you really miss them.”

Despite the death of his father and the fact he spent the start of the year recovering from knee surgery, 2016 has been one of Glenn’s busiest yet.

He said that following his loss, music became a healer and he encouraged others to try the same approach. He said: “I really do believe music can help you in your darkest moments.

“My advice to anyone would be, if you have had a bad day or are having a rough time, make some time for yourself and just listen to some music that you really want to hear, something that will speak to you. It has always worked for me and I am sure it does for others.”

Following the late withdrawal of 80s American funk band Living Colour as the support act for his upcoming tour, which starts on November 8 in Leamington Spa, Glenn has decided to bring along Walsall heavy rock act Stone Broken as openers – another sign he is proud to promote his Black Country routes and try and help another local act get their big break.

He said: “I don’t really know what happened with Living Colour but I do have to say this, if I have my name printed on a ticket, you can be pretty damn sure I will be there.

“I just think it’s not cool on the fans to pull out like that, you really have to make these commitments. Anyway, who wouldn’t want to play the Wulfrun Hall in November?

“However, everything happens for a reason and now I have an opportunity to welcome a young Black Country band into this lifestyle. I remember when I started out, The Moody Blues really gave me that big break that I wanted so badly.

“Hopefully I can do the same for Stone Broken, I am really excited to see them perform.”

Another part of home that remains close to Glenn’s heart is his football club.

The avid Wolves fan watches as many games on TV as possible and despite living in the USA, still considers himself a true Wolves fan.

Despite the club’s recent takeover by Fosun Group and a £30 million investment in players over the summer, the club currently sit 18th in The Championship, just four points above the relegation places.

Of his team’s plight, Glenn said: “I am not into clubs just sacking managers all of the time for any reason but I think they got the wrong guy in Walter Zenga. I thought that at the time and my opinion hasn’t changed.

“I won’t name names but I know of at least four British managers who could go into that club this week and make a positive change.

“But I think the owners have the right idea, they are going about it in the right way.”

l Tickets for Glenn Hughes live at the Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, on November 9 are now available for £25 and can be purchased from wolvescivic.co.uk

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