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Adrian Gurvitz recalls jamming with Jimi Hendrix, the inspiration behind ‘Race with the Devil’

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Adrian Gurvitz recalls jamming with Jimi Hendrix, the inspiration behind ‘Race with the Devil’

Adrian Gurvitz’s father was the tour manager for The Kinks, but he was determined to carve out his own identity as an artist — and he did just that starting at age 8.

Since picking up his first guitar, the now 69-year-old English rocker-turned-producer has enjoyed a thriving career that has spanned over five decades. As the lead guitarist for Gun, he achieved his first major hit with “Race with the Devil” in 1969. But he ultimately moved to Los Angeles where his life took an unexpected turn professionally.

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Fox News spoke with Gurvitz about the inspiration behind his famous track, jamming with Jimi Hendrix and whether he’ll ever return to his rock roots.

Fox News: Are you surprised many artists today still consider “Race with the Devil” to be a holy grail of sorts when it comes to guitar playing? 
Adrian Gurvitz: Yes, and it’s pretty great. So many people from all over the world have covered that song. I guess it was a pretty famous riff. I met a girlfriend in London one day, and she went back to America and she sent me three albums. One of them was Moby Grape, a flower-power rock band. One was Buffalo Springfield, and the other one was The Byrds.

But Moby Grape had this song called, “Hey Grandma.” The guitar sound was very kind of fuzzy. I don’t know, I just got it in my head, but when we went to the studio that day, that was the kind of sound that I dialed up, and that was the riff.

I was off to the studio to make this record for a producer, and when I got there, all I had was the guitar riff. He said, “Well, what else have you got?” I said, “Nothing. I’ve just got this guitar riff.” He said, “Do you think you could write a verse?” The name of the band was Gun, so I thought, “You better run, you better run, you better run from the devil’s gun. The race is on, the race is on, you better run from the devil’s gun.” Then did the riff again. Literally, we made the record up, and it was the first record I ever recorded. I’d never been in the studio before.

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Fox News: You played at several London speakeasies with Jimi Hendrix. What was that like?
Gurvitz: Jimi came into town around ’67, ’68. We all used to go to a club that was actually called the Speakeasy. Everybody used to go there after a gig. Pete Townshend would be in there, Hendrix would be in there, [Eric] Clapton. We met loads of people, and I used to go there all the time. We were all there every night. That’s where we found our girlfriends.

One night, I was there and I met Jimi. We chatted away, and he said, “Hey, man, you want to get up and jam?” I said yeah. It was my first time getting up and jamming with Hendrix. We played for about an hour. It was a real moment… We ended up playing three, four times together.

There was another club in South Kensington, where [Paul] McCartney and [John] Lennon — everybody used drugs. I went there one night and Jimi was already there. He said, “Come on, man, you want to jam?” This time he picked up the bass and he let me play guitar. I was s—- scared, I was like, “How the hell do I get through this?” It was a scary night, but I think I did OK.

Fox News: It sounds like both of you became musical comrades.
Gurvitz: When he did the Monterey Pop Festival, I went there with my best friend to hang out and see the show. In the middle of his set, he started to play “Race With The Devil,” which just blew my mind. I never thought Jimi would play my song, Then later, unfortunately, he OD’d, and that was one of the saddest days ever. Nobody played like Hendrix, let me put that right down right away. Nobody. I think he was the greatest electric guitar player of all time, and will ever be. But I had fun pretending to be a little bit like him. I loved him.

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Jimi Hendrix performs at the Felt Forum on Jan. 28, 1970 in New York City, New York. — Getty

Jimi Hendrix performs at the Felt Forum on Jan. 28, 1970 in New York City, New York. — Getty

Fox News: Did it surprise you that he passed away at such a young age?
Gurvitz: Well, of course, but it was just — I don’t know. I don’t know about this 27 club, it’s like everyone who’s 27 dies and becomes a superstar. He vomited because he’d taken in so much, whatever he’d taken in that night… and he suffocated in it. Otherwise, he would still be here today. I think that Jimi was just into everything. Whatever he could take, whatever he could do. Surprised? I’m not sure I was totally surprised, because people that do a lot of drugs and drink a lot, mix them together, stuff like that is going to happen. It just happened to the greatest guitarist that ever lived. I was shocked, obviously. He was there that night at Speakeasy with me, and I think I remember him leaving the club with some German girlfriend. But I was in total shock. The greatest loss ever.

Fox News: How did you and Stevie Wonder become such good friends?
Gurvitz:  I’d met Stevie in the Record Club during the ‘70s. My son Darien became friends with Kailand, Stevie’s son. They’ve become best friends. Stevie is like family. He lives two miles from my house. His son literally grew up in my backyard. He also took my son on concerts and tours. We spend birthdays together. We’re just intertwined as a family. He’s an amazing guy. I love him.

Fox News: How was it transitioning from hard rock to pop and R&B in the ‘80s?
Gurvitz: I sold a lot of rock albums, but I was really into some softer records, like Boz Scaggs, and a lot of the ‘80s music, or the late ‘70s music. I just got into the soul records. It kind of led me away, a bit, from rock. Every now and then I went back to it for a minute, but I kind of divorced rock. Of course, I regret it now. Well, no, you know what? You can’t regret anything.

My life just went a different way. I had four children. I love my kids. Who knows what would have happened to me if I’d of carried on with rock. I’m still making records every day and enjoying it and loving it. I don’t know, maybe rock might’ve led me down a wrong path… There were a lot of other people that I knew were dying… and they all were attached to rock.

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I kind of took a different view of things. And you know, one of the biggest influences was my mother, because I adored her. She was the greatest person I’ve ever met in my life. I used to look after my mom and my grandmother. I had a responsibility of making sure I was there for them, and rock kind of takes you away a little bit from responsibility. I guess that’s the answer.

Fox News: Is there any chance you will return to rock?
Gurvitz: I’ve got to tell you a funny story. My son, who is 23, Ben, who is the most phenomenal guitar player I’ve ever heard at 23, he lives for all the old rock, not interested in pop. He came over the other night for dinner, and he says, “Dad, you’ve got to do one thing for me before you die.” I said, “Well, hopefully, I won’t die this week, mate.” He said, “You’ve got to do another rock album, please. I think people would love it. You’ve just got to do it. Do it really real, no pro tools. Get into the studio with your 24 tracks, or get the right players, the really authentic, and do a rock album.” He says, “I’ll even produce it with you.”

I was blown away that he wanted his dad to go back and do a rock album. Then I said to my wife, “I’m going to do a rock album.” She says, “It’ll kill you.” No, it won’t. She said, “Yeah, but you love working and making all the records and running your record company. Why would you walk away to do that?” I said, “Maybe I can find some time to do it.” It’s on my mind to do…. Maybe I’ll go back.

Singer Andra Day (L) and record producer Adrian Gurvitz arrive at the 3rd Annual Hollywood Beauty Awards at Avalon Hollywood on Feb. 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, Calif. — Getty

Singer Andra Day (L) and record producer Adrian Gurvitz arrive at the 3rd Annual Hollywood Beauty Awards at Avalon Hollywood on Feb. 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, Calif. — Getty

Fox News: What has kept you motivated to work with other artists?
Gurvitz: You know what, I don’t even know. I think that, because when I moved to California and I wasn’t really around the European British market who mostly knew more about what I did, I enjoyed producing and songwriting. Somehow it led me to produce other people. It wasn’t so much pressure…. It actually came to my mind the other day where I said to [my wife] Elaine, “I think I’ll do an Adrian Gurvitz album. I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t. I’ve been doing all these records and producing all these records for everybody. Why don’t I do an Adrian Gurvitz album? I’m sure a lot of fans would enjoy it.” Just put it out there, as a vintage thing. Like, here I am.

Adrian Gurvitz, British singer-songwriter, posing for a studio portrait, in February 1979. — Getty

Adrian Gurvitz, British singer-songwriter, posing for a studio portrait, in February 1979. — Getty

I think a few years ago you had to have a record label to do that, but now you don’t. You can just put your record out and it’s out all over the world. And I certainly don’t need anyone to help me to make the record, other than musicians. It is a good idea to do that, but I don’t know the answer. Life, like Lennon said, happens while you’re busy making other plans. I was making other plans.

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Lara Logan, formerly of CBS, sounds off on media’s treatment of Trump, other liberal bias

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Lara Logan, formerly of CBS, sounds off on media's treatment of Trump, other liberal bias

Former CBS News journalist Lara Logan says the mainstream media is not allowing President Trump to be “normalized” as the nation’s leader and accused CNN, among others, of passing off opinions as fact in a Fox News interview set to air Sunday.

“I’ve never seen the press corps behave the way they do today,” Logan told host Mark Levin on “Life, Liberty & Levin. “So, it stands out to me because it’s a departure from what I’ve seen throughout the last three decades. There is something actually much more significant about what you’re seeing happen with the White House press corps.”

LARA LOGAN TALKS NEWS STORIES IGNORED BY THE MEDIA

Logan added: “Why is [Trump] not allowed to change how the White House operates in terms of its communications and the rules of the White House press corps and how these things happen? He’s not allowed to be seen as an instrument of change. That’s a propaganda talking point of the progressive political movement. He’s not allowed to be normalized as a president. So whatever changes he makes have to be resisted by the Resistance.”

Last month, while appearing on a podcast hosted by former Navy SEAL Mike Ritland, Logan said that journalists were “mostly liberal” and pushing narratives. The comments that lead to a backlash against the former correspondent.

Logan said she was “cheering” when former ABC News “Nightline” anchor Ted Koppel told an audience earlier this month that President Trump was not mistaken that the “establishment press” was out to get him.

“I know I’m not the only journalist who’s watching in horror as opinion and pejorative language is passed off as fact,” Logan said.

The former “60 Minutes” reporter also criticized “CNN Tonight” host Don Lemon for not admitting he is an “opinion person” and called CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter “anti-Fox.”

“He’s not allowed to be normalized as a president. So whatever changes he makes have to be resisted by the Resistance.”

— Lara Logan

“I was wondering myself this morning … Is Don Lemon an opinion person? Like, I know Sean Hannity is [on the] right, he makes no secret of it. So does Tucker Carlson. So does Laura Ingram. But what about Don Lemon? Is he an opinion person?  Rachel Maddow, I know where she sits. So what about people like Don Lemon … There’s a lot of opinion in his show,” Logan told Levin.  “In fact it’s almost all opinion from beginning to end and Stelter, who is the media guy… appears to be the anti-Fox guy.”

GUTFELD ON LARA LOGAN’S BLUNT TRUTH ON MEDIA BIAS

Logan also told Levin that  America’s academic institutions and newsrooms lacked political diversity.

“It’s no secret that the vast majority of academic institutions in this country are liberal,” Logan said. “So what bothers me is that one political ideology dominates all of your academic, almost all, of your academic institutions. And that same political ideology dominates all of your newsrooms, almost all, of your newsrooms. I mean, let’s face it, until Fox News in television. Where did you go if you weren’t a liberally minded moderate, if you, like, if you wanted to hear an alternative point of view or a conservative point of view?”

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‘Knightfall’ star Tom Cullen recalls working alongside ‘Star Wars’ icon Mark Hamill, befriending Kit Harington

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‘Knightfall’ star Tom Cullen recalls working alongside ‘Star Wars’ icon Mark Hamill, befriending Kit Harington

Tom Cullen admitted he was starstruck when his childhood idol, Mark Hamill, appeared on set for the first time.

The “Star Wars” icon and BAFTA-winning voice of The Joker, 67, is going from lightsaber to sword in Season 2 of History Channel’s drama series “Knightfall.” The actor plays Talus, a battle-hardened Knight Templar veteran of the Crusades, who survived captivity for 10 years and is tasked with training and new initiates to the Order.

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Cullen of “Downton Abbey” and “Gunpowder” fame stars as headstrong Templar Knight Landry who will embark on a journey that explores the dark, brutal side of the 14th century.

Tom Cullen in History Channel's "Knightfall."

Tom Cullen in History Channel’s “Knightfall.”
(History Channel)

“My younger brother is on ‘Knightfall’ as well this season, and we grew up obsessed with ‘Star Wars,’” Cullen told Fox News. “So it was a real treat for us and everyone who got to work with him because I think that Mark is so interwoven into lots of childhoods. But the thing about Mark is as soon as he arrives on set, he is just the most humble and hardworking guy. He’s so much his character in the show that you kind of just forget who Mark is and you just see his amazing character. And it was a pleasure to work with him. He’s great in the show.”

The 33-year-old revealed that the Hollywood star was incredibly humble and easily approachable while filming the gritty show.

“It was so surprising,” gushed Cullen. “You always have so much fear when someone is that famous, that they might turn up and not be the nicest people, but he couldn’t be a lovelier man and he’s become a really good friend…. And there’s a lot of young actors on the show. Some of them, it’s their first… job. And he kind of just came in and took everyone under [his] wing and would tell stories. It was a really special experience.”

‘VIKINGS’ STAR TELLS ALL

Mark Hamill in "Knightfall." — History Channel

Mark Hamill in “Knightfall.” — History Channel

Cullen has plenty of reasons to celebrate, other than the opportunity to work alongside Hamill on a show he stars in. “Knightfall” first premiered in December 2017, just a few months after Season 7 of HBO’s wildly popular fantasy drama “Game of Thrones” concluded on August 27 of that year. Several TV critics pointed out “Knightfall” was the ideal choice to fill the void.

But Cullen warns both shows are completely different and it wouldn’t be fair to compare one with the other.

“I mean, ‘Game of Thrones’ is amazing,” said Cullen. “I have many friends in it and I love watching it. So, it’s not a bad thing to be compared to ‘Game of Thrones,’ but we’re a different show, and there are lots of similarities, I guess. But we’re trying to do our own thing. I would say if you like ‘Game of Thrones,’ you should definitely tune in. And if you like ‘Vikings,’ which is also on History — it’s an amazing show as well. We’re kind of all sitting in that ballpark, but trying to cut out our own little corner in it.”

Cullen has a close connection to “Game of Thrones.” His good pal is Kit Harington, who famously plays Jon Snow. The two actors have known each other since drama school and, in 2017, co-starred in the historical miniseries “Gunpowder.” Cullen shared there’s one memory of his time attending the Central School of Speech and Drama in London alongside Harington, 32, that still sticks out to him.

Kit Harington stars as Jon Snow on the HBO hit series "Game of Thrones."

Kit Harington stars as Jon Snow on the HBO hit series “Game of Thrones.”
(HBO)

“I came from Wales, which is a really small country next to England,” he explained. “I grew up in rural Wales and so I was suddenly in London and it was very exciting. And I had a girlfriend, but we kind of broke up as soon as we got to London. I was absolutely heartbroken. Kit came over to my house and took me out. And I didn’t know him at all. We got very drunk and he looked after me. So that’s my first memory of Kit.”

‘VIKINGS’ STAR’S SURPRISING PAST

But these days the pair have been keeping busy with their shows. And Cullen, in particular, had to embark on a no-nonsense training regimen that involved wearing a 50-pound costume for hours to get in shape and fight like a knight.

“It’s super intense,” said Cullen. “… The Knights Templar themselves, they used to train about six, seven hours a day. And then the rest of the time they’d pray. That was their life. It was kind of a mix of warrior and monk. … But for us, the training was very much about being able to carry the heavy weight of the costume and to physically get through the difficult schedule. It’s every day for seven months in freezing cold weather and boiling hot weather. I broke my toes on the first two days.”

“I tend to work every day, nearly in every scene,” continued Cullen. “So the times that I have to learn the fight scenes are often on my lunch breaks or on weekends. Just snap times. And then you’re suddenly in battle with 100 people around you swinging swords. You just have to really dive in and go for it. It can be pretty scary. You do get some wacks because you don’t always remember the choreography. Sometimes it’s real. And that’s probably the hardest part, but it’s also the most fun as well.”

While “Knightfall” takes place hundreds of years ago, Cullen insisted the medieval period has plenty of lessons for audiences in 2019. And as the story unfolds, things will only become more shocking.

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“I think the medieval period, in general, is a really fascinating period of time because I think that in many ways, that was the birth of our modern society,” said Cullen. “For example, the Knights Templar, who are the centerpiece of ‘Knightfall,’ they set up the first banking system and they became kind of the world’s first conglomerate, which is a bit of history that I didn’t know before the starting this show. And I think that we feel the history of that period still vibrating in the world that we live in today.”

 
“Knightfall” premieres March 25 at 10 p.m. on the History Channel.

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The five biggest ‘View’ bombshells we learned from ex-host Jenny McCarthy

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The five biggest 'View' bombshells we learned from ex-host Jenny McCarthy

Jenny McCarthy‘s time on “The View” appeared to be anything but a walk in the park.

The former co-host, who appeared on the ABC daytime talk show from 2013 to 2014, opened up about her time to Ramin Setoodeh in his upcoming book, “Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View.”

McCarthy, who is currently one of the judges on Fox’s “The Masked Singer” and has her own SiriusXM radio show, apparently was “miserable” every single day she went to work.

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“It really was the most miserable I’ve been on a job in my 25 years of show business,” she admitted in an excerpt of the book published on Vulture.

Here are five bombshells we’ve learned:

1. McCarthy claims Walters once ‘blew up’ at her

McCarthy appeared on the show in 2007 to promote her own book, “Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism.” She says that the show’s co-creator, host, and executive producer Barbara Walters wanted to speak with her beforehand.

“I walked into her dressing room and she blew up at me,” McCarthy said. “She was screaming, ‘How dare you say this! That autism can be cured?’ My knees were shaking. I remember my whole body was shaking.”

“This lasted for about seven minutes,” she added. “Finally, someone pulled me out of the room. I went back to my dressing room, not knowing what the f— to do. One of my heroes just chewed me a new a—hole, and I’m going on live TV. I’m freaking the f— out.”

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2. Walters allegedly told her she ‘had to change’ outfits 

Walters supposedly controlled what McCarthy wore on-air.

“We would all show up in the makeup room. Barbara would check out what I was wearing. If she didn’t agree with it, or it didn’t complement her outfit, I had to change. Mind you, she doesn’t look at anyone’s clothes but mine,” McCarthy claimed.

“She wanted to start dressing like me. There were times when she’d say ‘change’ and she’d make people run out and get that dress in her size. I was a human Barbie doll.”

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3. There were apparently on-set feuds

Walters and “The View” co-host and moderator, Whoopi Goldberg, feuded all the time.

McCarthy claims the former “Today” anchor would ask Goldberg if she could moderate and the EGOT winner would shut her down.

“There was a war between Barbara and Whoopi about Barbara wanting to moderate. This is one of the reasons I decided not to ally with Whoopi. It broke my heart when Barbara would shuffle to Whoopi and say, ‘Can I moderate, please?’ And Whoopi would say no,” she recalled. “How can you do this to a woman who paved the way for so many female journalists?”

4. She was supposedly told to fix a bathroom problem 

There was once a problem happening in the backstage bathroom and Walters told the radio host to “do something” about “a tampon floating in the toilet.”

“I don’t know what to do. She’s standing in the hallway where the guests are, yelling at me about a tampon. I don’t know,” McCarthy said. “Maybe in her brain, she went, ‘I’m the youngest, newest person here, because obviously she has her period and left a tampon floating.’ This is Barbara Walters. I’m not going to yell at her. So finally, I said, ‘I’ll take care of it. I’ll take one for the team and I’ll flush it.’”

WHOOPI GOLDBERG EXPLAINS LONG ABSENCE FROM ‘THE VIEW’: ‘I CAME VERY CLOSE TO LEAVING THE EARTH’

5. McCarthy was in tears at works 

They hired McCarthy to replace conservative TV personality Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

“They did try to change me. They wanted Elisabeth back and I wasn’t Elisabeth,” the “Two and a Half Men” actress insisted. “I would literally have meetings before the show of them trying to input opinions in me to go against Whoopi. I was going to work crying. I couldn’t be myself. My fans were telling me, ‘Where’s Jenny? They aren’t letting you be you.’”

Walters’ rep declined to comment when contacted by Fox News.

“Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View” will be released on April 2.

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