Lenny Kravitz has had quite the career as one of the last remaining pop guitarists from a long forgotten era and has collected some pretty interesting stories along the way. The ageless rocker and "Hunger Games" actor released his 10th studio album with the glam rock filled Strut back in 2014. After touring the world to promote it, he went back to his reclusive and relaxing life at his home/studio in the Bahamas.
Lenny was the surprise guest on Rolling Stone’s podcast which aired earlier this week. The veteran musician was his casual and cool self while talking about what he’s currently working on at his tropical island/studio.
“I’m pretty deep into a couple [albums] actually,” he mentioned when asked about what he’s been working on since getting off the road with Guns N’ Roses, having opened a few dates on their Not In This Lifetime tour in 2016. “One that I’m finishing now will come out this year and I’m feeling really good about it … It’s nice having two things that are completely different and that will be ready to go. There won’t be a break between the next two [albums] and after that, I’ll probably be on the road for the next five years straight. This is going to be a run.”
In addition to giving fans an update on the next two-album cycles which will be starting later in 2017, Kravitz also took some time to look back and reflect on some of the world class artists who influenced him early on in life such as family friend and jazz icon, Miles Davis. Lenny's mother was actress Roxie Roker, and in addition to starring on the hit show, "The Jeffersons", she was also "like sisters" with Cicely Tyson, the wife of Davis.
“Miles was really cool with me," he mentioned about the legendary trumpet player. "We were flying on a plane together the last time I saw him. We were flying from Los Angeles to New York and he came up to me, telling me how much he liked [Let Love Rule] and was so proud of me."
He also shared a more formative memory about the time when Duke Ellington and his band surprised him during one of his earliest birthdays. One of the best things a music-loving kid could imagine.
"When I think I was about five, it was my birthday and we went up to the Rainbow Room where Duke was playing. We showed up for the sound check and he sat me on his lap while he sound checked and played the piano. Then they played 'Happy Birthday' to me during the show.”
Duke Ellington and Miles Davis weren’t the only incredible artists that Kravitz was lucky enough to get to know. Towards the end of the episode, he explained his relationship with the late Prince, commenting on how the two met and how even he had no idea that his longtime friend was in poor health.
“After my first album [Prince] called me and asked me for a meeting, and we met and stayed friendly until the end … He was so healthy; every time we’d go out to eat he’d have this little soup or a salad, he didn’t really drink much, or at all ... You couldn’t bring meat into Paisley Park, or alcohol even. I remember because when I was there filming a concert with him, my cousin who was working with me at the time snuck some Jack Daniels in and he got banned for Paisley Park for life."