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Gregg Rolie Discusses Ringo, The Rock Hall, Santana, Journey, and Life

Written by Randy Patterson

Posted June 2017

Gregg Rolie by Maryanne Bilham 001Photo by Maryanne BilhamOdds are pretty strong that you have heard Gregg Rolie on some of your favorite songs but you probably aren’t familiar with his background and his huge accomplishments.

Let me fill you in.

The first big band that Rolie was involved with – and made his voice and organ work internationally recognizable – was the original Santana band. The opening organ notes and his voice on “Black Magic Woman” is, to this day, instantly recognizable. It took the band to Woodstock and, ultimately, provided Gregg’s first induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The next huge band Rolie helped form was none other than Journey. He was keyboardist and vocalist/co-vocalist on the band’s first six albums. He left the band (“retired”) in 1980. However, Gregg recently re-joined the boys of Journey for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, making it his second induction to its sacred halls.

EverythingKnoxvilleLogoEdited the past six years, Gregg has been keyboardist/co-vocalist in Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band. How cool is that? I recently called up Gregg to chat about his induction, his work, and what it’s like working with Ringo.

As I did in my recent interview with Rolie’s All-Starr Band mate, Todd Rundgren, I mentioned about meeting him backstage a couple of years ago at a Ringo show in Greenville, North Carolina, and how gracious and friendly each of the band were to their guests.

“You know what? That’s because everybody

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