Myles Kennedy: The 10 Songs That Changed My Life

Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy has a big ol' dig through his rock'n'roll record collection.

Myles Kennedy: The 10 Songs That Changed My Life
Dan Slessor

Apparently Alter Bridge frontman and Slash co-conspirator Myles Kennedy has two left feet. Lucky, then, that music has helped guide him, every step of the way. Here are the ten songs that made him the bad dancer he is today.

The first song I remember hearing…

Stevie Wonder – Superstition (1972)

“When I was a little kid I used to watch Sesame Street all the time, and one afternoon Stevie Wonder was guesting on it. Watching him perform this song was a pretty profound experience for me, and now that I think about it I actually remember that one moment more than any other from my childhood. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen in my life, and later on singing along to Stevie’s records was what taught me to sing.”

The song that reminds me of school…

Guns N' Roses – Paradise City (1987)

“I remember hearing it all the time during that period: on the radio, blasting out of cars, at parties… It really was the soundtrack to my high school years. I thought it was an amazing track, and I definitely never heard it too much. Back then you didn’t pick and choose tracks on Spotify. MTV and radio forced them on you, and they played this more than most.”

The first song I learned to play…

Led Zeppelin – Rock And Roll (1971)

“This was the first song I was able to play in its entirety. I remember being in a grocery store with my mom and seeing this guitar magazine that had the tablature for the song in it. I asked her to get it for me and that night I sat in my bedroom working on it for hours. I learned the whole thing, including the solo. It was the first solo I learned, actually. That was a pretty empowering feeling.”

The song that reminds me of my first tour…

Big Wreck – The Oaf (1997)

“My first tour was with The Mayfield Four when we played with Big Wreck from Canada, who to this day remain one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. They made me want to watch them from the side of stage every single night, and I would make everyone else stick around for at least the first few songs. They were so good and The Oaf is a frankly brilliant song. The guitar part reminds me of The Who.”

The song that picks me up when I'm down…

Earth, Wind & Fire – September (1978)

“Hands down this track, I didn’t even need to think about it for a second. This is the song that always makes me want to dance, and trust me, you really don’t want to see that! You have to hope that it doesn’t come on when you’re in the same room as me, because I will start moving, and that will ruin you for life. They’re such a great R&B-slash-funk band, and this is a seriously funky track. It has a great horn arrangement and groove to it.”

The song I listen to when I'm angry…

Lamb Of God – Ruin (2009)

“This is such an angry song. When it gets to that drum break in the middle and then it goes into that next section I always get a jolt of adrenaline. Mark [Tremonti, Alter Bridge guitarist] turned me on to Lamb Of God when we were driving to early Alter Bridge rehearsals together. I became a believer pretty quick.”

My favourite song to play live…

Alter Bridge – Blackbird (2007)

“You can see the impact it has on people every night, and it still resonates with me, too. It’s wonderful to be able to immerse myself in it for seven minutes.”

The song that gets me going in the morning…

Steely Dan – Black Cow (1977)

“It’s not too much; it gradually wakes me up and puts me in such a good headspace. There’s something about Steely Dan, they did such a great job of taking elements from various genres and making them their own. I listen to that album [1977’s Aja], at least two or three times a week.”

The song that helps me chill out…

Sturgill Simpson – Keep It Between The Lines (2016)

“I’ve recently become a massive Sturgill Simpson fan and this song is a favourite. There’s something about this song that really connects with me. The record it’s off [2016’s A Sailor’s Guide To Earth] was inspired by the birth of his son, and a lot of the songs are him bestowing his knowledge of life on to his kid. It comes from the heart.”

The song I would like played at my funeral…

The Beatles – All You Need Is Love (1967)

“The lyrics really sum up my philosophy on life, the power of love and what it can do. I’d want people to hear that as they were celebrating – or not celebrating – my life. I would want them to leave thinking about those lyrics, and to step back into the world feeling positive.”

Myles Kennedy's album Year Of The Tiger is out now. He is playing this year's Download Festival with Slash and the Conspirators on June 14-16 – get your tickets now.

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