Emilio Castillo has guided Tower of Power through 42 years of lineup changes, with more than 60 musicians making their way through the ranks during that time.
The instability would drive some people crazy, but the Detroit-born Castillo — who started the brass-fueled R&B/rock group after moving to Fremont, Calif., in 1967 — says he’s used to it by now.
“Yeah, when we were young and we’d lose somebody, its seemed like the end of the world,” Castillo, 59, explains. “But it started happening at such an early age in our career, and we always overcame it and always got great people to come in.
“We just found out you don’t have to be afraid of change. We’re very comfortable with it now. We have a motto in the band; it doesn’t matter who’s missing, we’re going to encore. Whenever anything happens, we’ve got it covered.”
A number of Tower of Power alumni showed up to celebrate the group’s 40th anniversary in 2008, which led to the recording of “The Great American Soulbook” covers album. But Castillo says he’s also ready to hear the band make some new music — though he acknowledges “we’re slow when it comes to stuff like that.”
“We’re starting to edge towards it, I think,” Castillo says. “We’ve got plenty of material, a whole bunch of new material. We’ve got a lot of guys, so there’s always a lot of ideas. We just have to get ourselves in gear to record it, which I think we will soon.”
Tower of Power and Dale Bouey perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 20, at Sound Board in the MotorCity Casino-Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $44.50 and $54.50. Call 866-782-9622 or visit www.motorcitycasino.com.
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