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Interview: Larry Greene "Chemistry, an intangible thing that makes a memorable record"

Norberto Lacarriere
Lacarriere Noticias
February 17, 2020, Exclusive interview

35 years rocking thousands of hearts and counting.

An upcoming Fortune live DVD, soon to be released.

Top Gun Over the Top

Fortune is a Los Angeles based band, long time known in the Adult Oriented Rock scene with such hits as "Airwaves" (from the early 1980 movie "The last American Virgin"), "Thrill of it all" and "Stacy".

This genre deals with melodic compositions and feelings, with maturity and nostalgia, and with urban stories where dreams and deeds (good or bad) melt in catchy and non offensive songs.

Together with bandmates Richard Fortune, Mick Fortune and Dave de León, Larry Green has emerged sucessfully, regardless of the break Fortune was in.

So, singer and writer and a man whose voice can be found in the classic 80’s films "Top Gun" and "Over the Top" talks about past, present and a promisory future where the group has much more to give.

LN - Larry Greene, thanks for accepting this dialog. 35 years ago a record was released and became a big referent in the AOR scene. Many people even consider it as a "soundtrack of their history". How does that make you feel?

LG - " It’s really nice to know how much people liked that record. We thought it was a good at the time, but we had no idea we’d still be talking about it after all these years".

LN - The 1985 Fortune album has a very unique style. Lyrics structure are truly smart. Where did the inspiration come from?

LG - "It’s too long a story to tell you where the inspirations came from on each song, but I penned the lyrics, and because I sang them, worked most of the melodies. But overall I think it was Roger’s majestic keyboards, and Richard’s guitar, that set us apart.

"We had a certain chemistry. It’s kind of an intangible thing what makes for a memorable record. You can put together an amazing group of musicians and still never find that.

I think it was a blend of where we all came from.

"Roger had a classical upbringing playing the church organ in Ireland when he was little kid, and Richard was a hot-rod rock n’ roller. I was pretty much a snotty street rat singing hard rock and blues. The combination just sort of worked for some crazy reason – kind of like a nuclear family that has toys and pets".

LN - What can you tell us about the latest album ? What kind of stories or personal experiences were involved on them?

LG - "Mick Fortune was approached by one of the guys who booked the Rockingham festival in the UK. They asked if we wanted to play a show at the festival. We hadn’t played together in years, but they said we had a lot of fans that would love to see us. That show went really well, and they asked us to come back the next year. Between that time we recorded an EP of four songs we’d written years ago but never released. When we went back to Nottingham for the festival, the EP sold out – so we figured we’d find a label and do a new one.

"Frontiers Records in Italy offered us a two record deal and a spot at the FRF Festival in Milan. So there you go…the rest was just cruising looking for paradise".

LN - You are one of the few bands that remain loyal to your style, in the same way bands like Journey do. How hard is it when music industry forces others to make the stuff that sells instead of making music that fulfill emotions?

LG - "I think we all know you have to stay true to yourself. It’s one of the only things a record company can’t take from you as an artist.

"Let’s face it - he adds -, a leopard who’s figured out how to change its spots might still be a leopard – but who’s gonna believe ‘em? "

LN - You performed classic songs during the 80’s as a solo artist. Any plans of doing something like that or maybe different for any other project?

LG - "I guess you’re referring to the film songs I did on Top Gun and Over the Top…etc? I was just fortunate enough to break into the internal machinery of the post-production film and TV world back then. I still work at it today".

LN - Harlan Cage was a great project you did with former Fortune keyboardist Roger Scott Craig (who also played for Nina Hagen, Liverpool Express and 101 South). Would you like to do some other things with that band?

LG - "Well, I love writing with Roger. So if he wanted to do another HC record, I’d probably do it. That said, I don’t quite know how we’d fit it all in. Time takes with both hands – if you know what I mean".

LN - Fortune remained silent for many years. Why?

LG - I’ve been asked that question many times. Basically when Camel Records had it’s falling out with MCA and the label went bankrupt, it sort of stunned us all into silence. Everyone kind of went their own ways until recently".

LN - What should we expect from Fortune in 2020, a year that has just begun with so many challenges ?

LG - "There’s a DVD of Fortune that was recorded live at the Frontiers Rock Festival in Milan Italy, that’s scheduled to be released in a few months. We’re also committed to doing another record that’s set to be released next year. So hopefully you’ll hear us wandering across that time line into tomorrow’s trouble I imagine".

LN - There are younger guys or girls that like the "vintage music", Has Fortune lived that experience?

LG - "That’s funny. Yeah, that was us – nailing flyers on telephone poles by the Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip, saying "come see us play and we’ll give you pictures of our first bands!" We do live what we’ve experienced don’t we? Hopefully we can still find a way to make it fun for all".

So this is the man and the wisdom his music and life has given. And yes, there’s always a new way to be found and make on it a thrill of it all.

-- Norberto Lacarriere, February 17, 2020