British rocker Dave Mason was everywhere during the late ’60s and ’70s. He cofounded Traffic. He played acoustic guitar on the Hendrix version of “All Along the Watchtower.” He is said to have played without credit on the Stones’ Beggar’s Banquet. He did get credit for his guitar work on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, and he toured with Delaney & Bonnie and played with Derek & the Dominoes. Years later, he was a member of Fleetwood Mac for a brief time, and he recorded a duet with Michael Jackson. Dave Mason wasn’t the most prolific of songwriters, but the music he wrote resonated with generations of fans, beginning with a rambling jazzy song he wrote with Traffic called “Feelin’ Alright?”
“It was about not feelin’ too good myself,” the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer says by phone from his Santa Barbara home. “That’s the way I look at it.” We talk old times, new music, and today’s lack of radio exposure for artists new or old. “The problem with classic-rock radio is that they don’t play anything new by any classic artists. Don’t ask me why. I don’t get it.”
Mason put out a new record a couple of years ago and is gearing up to sell downloads from his website, but he says the internet doesn’t create the kind of exposure that an artist could expect from radio back in the day. “As far as making CDs and stuff, I’m pretty much done with that.” These days, writing and recording is largely for his own amusement, which he says “is essentially how it all got started in the first place.” Mason says there has been interest in him writing a book. Good call. Mason lived a rock star’s life with the best of them. “The stories I could tell,” he laughs, “and the stories I don’t wanna tell.”
DAVE MASON: Anthology, Thursday, December 30, and Friday, December 31. 7:30 p.m. 877-828-0891.