Horn stars play at the Vilar | VailDaily.com
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Horn stars play at the Vilar

Ted Alvarez
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily
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Emilio Castillo formed Tower of Power in the late ’60s, right in the middle of rock n’ roll’s psychedelic heydey. They might’ve been out of place at the time, but Tower of Power went on to outlast almost all of those bands and help define the funk and soul of the ’70s. Before their show in Beaver Creek, saxophonist, singer and band leader Emilio Castillo took some time to answer a few questions about the band’s life and legacy.

To tell the truth, I don’t. My horn playing is very elementary ” I’m a second tenor parts player, and I never solo. I expressed my emotions and feelings through the band. That would include lyrics , songwriting, rhythm ” all of the above.

I think some of the lowest lows were when were unable to get a record contract because much of the industry was calling us dinosaurs. They told us our music will never ever be popular. But some of the highest highs came ten years later when those guys were calling us legends. I always say, it’s a fine line between a dinosaur and a legend.



I certainly enjoyed my association with Huey Lewis. We toured and created with them more than anyone else. It was enjoyable, really rewarding and we performed for thousands upn thousands of people. It really helped us come back from the grave, even though we never really left. All my work with Little Feat was wondrous ” we thought alike musically. David Foster, Elton John, Carlos Santana ” (those) were always really musically rewarding.

I’d have to say Prince. I also like a guy named Remy Shand. Myself, I listen to a lot of gospel and praise; to me, all the real soul musicians have gone to the church. (Gospel artists) like Yolanda Adams and Fred Hammond are amazing.



It’s pretty much the same everywhere ” we just show up and do our best. We’re looking forward to being up in the high altitude, man, ” we don’t get out there that much.

The main thing that’s different is we’re doing all old soul music. After 19 albums of all original material, we thought it might be time to go back and cover some old soul we really love. The fans might want a treat of doing something a little different and wholly unique. It’ll be released as oon as it’s finished.

They contacted us because the boy’s father and the boy were huge fans, they told us their situation and said it would be a dream come true. It was one of the most fulfilling things we’ve done in our career, to see the boy on stage and really enjoying himself. It feels really good to do something in our career that’s not for ourselves.



We make our music really selfishly ” we make it to please ourselves. We’re not doing it to get rich or be big stars. We like that, but it’s not why we do it. And when we’re pleased with our music the fans seems to love it. We can go to work doing what we love and we’ve got thousands of people telling us, ‘hey, we love it.’ It’s not hard to do what we do everyday when that’s what you’re facing.


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