welcomes as our guest musician, band leaders and song writer, Nevard Tellalian. Nevard started playing piano by ear at age five, and became a professional musician, band leader, songwriter before the age of twenty and a former Island recording artist.

Her main instrument is the piano, and she plays the guitar, and has said she is able to play the blues harp, “but not expect Little Walter.” Nevard as recently published her memoir, Musical Road Kills:And Other Tales. Some With Morals. Some Without

Norm: Good day Nevard and thanks for participating in our interview.

Nevard: Hi there, Norm…and thank you for taking the time with me. 

When did you first become interested in music and why were you interested?

Nevard: I was lucky enough to grow up in a household where music was king!  All kinds...but most particularly Armenian father was an Armenian...and a darn good stride piano player. His favorite musician was Satchmo...and he's up there on my list as well!  We had a ton of New Orleans jazz about and more modern jazz..Dizzie, Cannonball, Miles Davis...i can remember Kind Of Blue..and Round About Midnight...and I can remember belly dancing to Armenian music!

My mama was from Mississippi so Blues and Country were from her neck of the woods...and they were king too. Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Robert Johnson..her brother says he met him...and country.. Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Hank Williams, and Patsy Cline.  All sorts of Gospel.

Norm: Were you influenced by old records and tapes? Which ones?

Nevard: Oh goodness, yes!  It was in every cell of my being.  I used to sing every Baptist hymm ever written, oh those chord progressions are gorgeous, used to listen to every LP from BB King, Memphis Slim, Slim Harpo, Bessie Smith, Mose Allison, Pat Patricks, everyone. 

They were joyous road-maps for me.  Got to meet BB...when i was a pretty little girl... sat on his lap as he told me about Lucille.  My brother was opening for him.  i thought....ohhhh I wanna be him.  He was so sweet...took the time with me..and didn't have to. Patsy Cline? 

Oh boy!  I  loved Crazy…found out later that Willie Nelson had written it and sold it for something like 50 bucks.  Also my folks' besties were Ivan Romanoff and his wife, Lesia.  They were mainstays of the CBC...Canadian staples.  That male chorus is amazing. I have no idea where they met!  But they lived in Toronto...and we were in CT. Also lots of classical music was to be had....and beautiful things like Gershwin, Irving Berlin..what didn't he write? 

Norm: What trends in the music world do you see and where do you think it is heading?

Nevard: Digital. Digital. Digital. That's where it's heading!  it's a shame's taken the soul out of recording.  

Norm: What do you think of some of these music-based television shows as American Idol, America's Got Talent and others? 

Nevard: Crap, crap, and more crap.  Most of them are over-souling.  God would you have told Otis...that he needed more notes??  NAAH…didn't think so.  Hell, they seem to have all gone to the malmstein school of vocalization. I don't listen...unless i want to scream at them. 

Norm: What inspires you?

Nevard: Anything that's got fire in the belly. Strangely, only a few music types of things sound different now. Most pop stuff sounds about the same...using the very same four producers.  Only Metal, Reggae, Ska, and Blues sounds all that organic.  

Norm: How many times in your career have you experienced rejection? How did they shape you?

Nevard: Rejection?  I don't recognize it when it hits me.  Mainly because I don't give a rat's a**.  Most people thought we were playing all originals ...which was far from the truth.  We simply played what we wanted to play...what we felt like at the moment.

So it was nothing that anyone had heard on the radio.  Ha ha ha. They generally loved us or hated us.  We were accused of starting a riot at some college. Very funny.  I had some great teachers.  Cub KODA taught me how to deal with a hating crowd.."YA GOT the good shit, GIVE it to them. They don't dig it?  GIVE IT TO EM AGAIN" I went to his site a while ago..missing him...we lost him...and I read about him doing that exact thing?  Played the same song about 4 or 5 times! 

That's why I began my book with the lyrics to his song...WELCOME TO MY JOB.

Norm: What would you like to say to musicians who are reading this interview and wondering if they can keep creating, if they are good enough, if their voices and visions matter enough to share?

Nevard: Oh, they know if they're good.  if they're different. Everything matters enough to share. Tell them to learn from the pioneers.  The people who really suffered for their music. 

Norm: What motivated you to write Musical Road Kills and where did the title come from?

Nevard: Well, putting food on your table as a musician involves quiet a bit of travelling. after a while you feel like road kill because it’s a rather disastrous and grueling life in the boys' bus.  I say disastrous because everything happens to you on the road. Let's what? Like showing up at a club that's burned down since you've been there last. Llike your van blowing up and all the windows blowing out in the middle of nowhere at about three in the morning.  

Norm: What would you say is the best reason to recommend someone to read your book?

Nevard: If they're someone who really has the passion for music and wants to make that their life, I've got stories that show the good and the bad sides. You decide if you're too delicate for it.  i also show where creativity is born inside you. 

Perhaps the worst part of a musician touring is that your chances of ending up alone are greater—especially if you're a woman. Probably the worst part of being on the road.  Probably the best part is meeting the pioneers of our indigenous music. 

No, they're almost all gone now. I don't name many because i'm not a name droppper. It’s unattractive.  If you need to know you can contact me, if i'm in a sharing mood i'll fork em over.  

Norm: What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book?

Nevard: Well, I guess I’ll have to be their pioneer.  Honestly,i hope they're left with some funny stories and a knowledge that all the proceeds....not just the NET…will be going to two cancer research foundations.   

Norm: What was the most difficult part of writing this book?

Nevard: I finished this book in 2009 and I wrote about my greatest love up to then.  I didn't name him...didn't want that for him.  It felt very he did.  It was a painful writing...had to break it up into two parts to get through it.  Grief is a horrible thing. it's physically lacerating. It never leaves you. And I loved him so very much. 

Norm: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Nevard: Are you kidding me?  Finishing it!  I hate to's a lonely task, and that's only the beginning!  

Norm: Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it?

Nevard: That is will be my first and last one.  Ta daaaaa!  

Norm: Where can our readers find out more about you and Musical Road Kills?

Nevard: Go on my WEBSITE

Norm: What is next for Nevard Tellalian.

Nevard:   Well, I haven't been on a vacation in 20 years!  How does that sound?  Wanna go?   

Norm: Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors.

Ha! Thanks, Norm!  

Follow Here To Read Norm's Review of  Musical Road Kills