Celebrity Spotlight: Teddy Wender
It spreads the message of compassion, understanding and brotherhood challenging all of us to work together to leave a better place for our kids. I first heard the song and loved it. I felt it was not quite finished and asked Neil if I could finish it. He said “go for it.” It’s a pop/R&B ballad with a reggae verse.
-Tell me a bit about how your career began.
I grew up in Great Neck, where the musical competition was fierce. My early career began playing in Rock & Roll garage bands on Long Island. I then moved into the city in the early 70’s and immediately got into a country rock band called White Cloud. We had a Top 10 song with Loudon Wainright III “Dead Skunk On The Road” and backed up Paul Jones, lead singer for Manfred Mann (London Records), Gordon Waller (Peter & Gordon) and Loudon Wainright III’s 3rd album and released our own album. In the mid 70’s I played as a studio musician playing with Johnny Winter, Rick Derringer, Odetta, Albert King and Dr. John to name a few. From there I started the New Wave band 3-D that was signed to Polydor Records. We put out three albums.
-What are some of your proudest accomplishments so far?
* Getting married!
* Being able to perform in front of big crowds. Taking the band from driving around the country, playing at Holiday Inn’s to playing at large arenas such as The Boston Garden, and having the Knicks locker room as out dressing room (J. Geils tour 1980)
* Finally meeting my idol Ray Charles through Ray Charles’ arranger, my Uncle Sid Feller, who was his eyes and ears and conducted his orchestra for ten years.
* Playing on Saturday Night Live
* Seeing my kids follow in my footsteps- Austin Wender “TryingMyBest” and Daniel Wender “event planner extraordinaire”
-Who influences you as a writer/artist?
Dylan, Beatles, Tom Petty. All of the Blues guys! Stevie Ray Vaughn, Traffic (one of my all time faves), Stevie Winwood, Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul,Dr. John, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard… just to name a few!
-Who are some people/companies you want to collaborate with?
Joe Bonnamassa, Joanna Connor, Larkin Poe, Susan Tedeschi, Billy Gibbons, Anna Popovic, Cat Edmonton, Samantha Fish
-What’s next for you? anything new and exciting in the works?
We just finished the Friends Forever CD featuring the songs of Hank Logan… my mentor and songwriting guru. The newest project which we are currently in the studio working on is a project of all originals entitled Theo.
-Tell me a surprising, fun fact about yourself.
I make a mean fettuccini alfredo with artichokes, prosciutto, fresh basil and parmigiana arregiano.
-What are you watching on TV these days?
The Hunter on Netflix.
-Anything else you want to tell America?
Peace will come if we all do our part.