Molly Hatchet is still workin’ hard, playin’ tough, livin’ fast, and still Flirtin’ with Disaster! That’s why we’re stoked to have these awesome Southern Rockers performing and partying with us all week on the High Seas Rally.
While we await the October rally at sea, we caught up with Molly Hatchet band members Bobby Ingram, Tim Lindsey, Shawn Beamer and John Galvin to learn more about their love for music and motorcycles, and their excitement to celebrate both on the High Seas Rally.
HSR: The High Seas Rally has been the only biker rally at sea since 2003, what are you most looking forward to on the cruise?
BOBBY INGRAM: We are all excited to perform on the High Seas Rally cruise. We have been all over the United States and many countries around the world over the past decades and have performed at countless bike events, rallies and festivals. To be invited aboard and to see all of our friends that have attended the many bike events is going to be a memorable experience for the entire band. We look forward to seeing all of our friends in the Caribbean.
HSR: How cool will it be to perform “Flirtin’ with Disaster” as we cruise the Caribbean with a full ship of bikers celebrating the freedom of the open seas?
BOBBY INGRAM: It gives us the feeling of the American spirit and freedom that we all enjoy in the company of our biker community friends. Bikers of the Caribbean on the High Seas Rally cruise headed to Mexico and the Caribbean! We can all celebrate “Flirtin’ with Disaster” on the high seas. Let’s make this cruise the best ever together!
HSR: You’ve played at motorcycle rallies before. How do bikers stack up among the best crowds you’ve performed for?
TIM LINDSEY: They are true fans, loyal, down to earth, friendly, and “Flirtin’ with Disaster” has become their theme song. We could not do it without them.
HSR: Do you guys ride? If so, what kind of bike and what are your most memorable rides?
SHAWN BEAMER: I started riding motorcycles at the age of 6 years old when my father bought me a 1971 Honda Mini Trail 50cc minibike. My father had a Honda CT 70. We used to ride on trails together in Maryland where I am originally from. Since then my love of riding has never waned. When I turned 12, my younger sister inherited my Honda Mini Trail and I received a Honda XR75. I rode that bike until I was in my mid-teens. When I turned 15, I got a Honda 350 four. You can get your restricted license in Florida to ride on the road. I rode that bike for years until I got a Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster. I didn’t want a bike with saddle bags or a lazy boy recliner on it. No offense to guys who ride baggers. I always loved the looks of the Sportster because as a kid Evel Knievel was my hero. To this day I still love wind therapy.
HSR: You guys were already rocking hard when American Southern Rock really started to surge. How do you view your influence on the genre and where it’s gone since you guys started out?
BOBBY INGRAM: Born in Jacksonville, Florida and still live there, I have seen the American Southern Rock genre develop from the late ‘60s forward. Jacksonville is the home of Southern Rock and many groups have started there and some groups still call it home like Molly Hatchet. The Southern Rock anthems had “jamming” in almost every song. It was extended lead breaks and improvisational jams which coined the genre. Musicians in Jacksonville would come up and play with all the different bands and each night was a full tilt party and musical journey. Those were the days then and now! Molly Hatchet hit the scene with a multi-guitar-based lineup in the late ‘70s. Over the years Molly Hatchet has brought keyboards into the mix, expanding its sound and now taking over harmony parts with the lead guitar breaks. The new “Battleground” double live album is on point with the harmony blending of guitars and keyboards. We have supported the ideology that the Southern Rock genre’s longevity is inherent with the songs that were written, and the songs still performed.
The overall Southern Rock genre has kept its unique style and culture from the early days. The fans have been long-dedicated to Southern Rock and we have all grown up together. Many of the veteran listeners have brought family members of all ages to the shows and have passed on the genre as the decades go by. The songs are written from our experiences. The life experiences are translated into lyrics and music, and are played in every show. The rebel freedom has only gotten stronger through the years and the support for the genre has broadened into many countries in Europe and the Pacific Rim. The same excitement exists as we all grew up together with Southern Rock by our side. We celebrate the Southern Rock family for dedication and support!
HSR: Molly Hatchet has some of the greatest album covers of all time and they seem to have a lot in common with biker artwork. What inspired all of your album covers?
BOBBY INGRAM: Back in the day, over 40 years ago, the first album covers were painted by Frank Frazetta and various other popular artists. The portraits were already painted before the albums were written. He was a fantastic artist that added to the Molly Hatchet identity with all of our listeners. Since 1996, Paul Raymond Gregory has been the exclusive artist for the band. I first met Paul over a phone conversation from Germany to the United Kingdom as we were recording the Devil’s Canyon album. He asked me what the album was about and the overall expression the band was translating. One phone call … and by the time we completed the mixes for the album he was finished with a spectacular album cover that said visually what we were saying through our music. From that first album until the latest release “Battleground” we have been working together in the exact same way. One phone call to describe the album verbally and then he goes to work. Then I get the album cover. What is amazing is that he takes the title of the album, the album conception, the song titles, and creates the oil paintings. Now over 24 years later he is still an integral part of the Molly Hatchet legacy.
HSR: We know you guys are kickass musicians. What other awesome talents do you have that we may not know about?
BOBBY INGRAM: Over the past few years I attended law school when not on the road touring. I am now preparing to sit for the Bar Exam. I like to read Supreme Court cases for their concurrences and dissents. That must sound extremely boring, but it has merit in its own right. I also like to go to movies, play golf, and work on my English Tudor home.
SHAWN BEAMER: I really love cinema. Movies have always been a passion of mine. I have a collection of 3,000 of my favorite movies of all time. I love the process of film making. I find it very interesting. It’s almost as cool as the process of recording records and writing songs to me. If I wasn’t a musician, I would have loved to have been involved in film in some way.
JOHN GALVIN: Playing for our biker brothers is one of our favorite things! But when I’m home I like to hit the car cruises, which, in Detroit, are many! The Dream Cruise in August is the biggest car cruise in the world! Aside from that, I keep busy doing benefits with local musicians, and my church. I also hit record shows, as I collect music of all kinds! The rest of the time I spend with family and our 9 rescue cats.
TIM LINDSEY: Well I believe I’m a great fisherman (don’t laugh). I write great songs that I play for my dog, he loves them. I love to garden; I can grow great collards.