Interview: Pat Vegas of Redbone

Sometime last year a movie called ‘Guardians of The Galaxy’ came out. It was an epic and very entertaining flick that had everyone around the world raving about it. However, one element of it all that made it even more sublime was its soundtrack. All of the music, as powered by Star Lord’s ancient cassette tape, added a flair of classical nostalgia to the science fiction and superhero themed film. Probably, most notable of all of the songs included was Come and Get Your Love made famous by the Native American group, Redbone. Out of a sense of natural musical curiosity, I decided to see of any of the members were still accepting interview requests. As luck would have it, the talented Pat Vegas, co-founder, singer and bassist of the band, took some time to answer some of my questions!

Pat shared his rather personal attraction to music. “Like a magnet I was drawn to it. My entire family is in music from my grandfather on. I formed Redbone from a need to communicate to the world the way the Native American was being treated.” Through their music and attire, they attempted to reveal the culture of Native Americans. In fact, each of the musicians of Redbone, Pat’s brother Lolly Vegas, Tony Bellamy and Pete DePoe (the classic line-up), hailed from various Native American tribes: Cherokee, Yaquis, Apaches and Shoshones.

That passion for Native American culture can be seen in Pat’s favorite work. I asked about what that piece was. “[It was] Chant 13th Hour because it talks about the need for another hour to be added to our time system because we need another hour for peace and understanding.” I think that may apply to everyone in the world today.

Redbone have had the privilege to play at some impressive venues in their career. Mr. Vegas shared his favorites. “That would be Madison Square Garden and the Washington Monument for 250,000 people because of the amount of people that we could reach at one time with our message.”

Again, being a musician is not without tough moments on the road. “We were in Bremen, Germany about to go on in front of 40,000 people when [one of my band mates]… sadly had taken some acid and forgot how to play [their instrument].” I guess that is a part of rock and roll right there. It is bound to happen sometime.

As a musician that holds a powerful and unique position in the musical space, I wondered what Pat thought of the business today. “The feel of music today is all techno and computerized and takes away the soul. The importance of jamming together with the group and live musicians and becoming one and being live … creating a song from scratch is the highest form of communication. It brings people together. The young artists today don’t realize what they’re sacrificing. The human touch [and] the human factor.” On that note, I inquired about who his favorite musician was today. “At the moment, only my son PJ VEGAS.” You have got to admire this man’s love of family.

Pat continues to explore other mediums. “Yes, I plan to go forward with my painting that I’ve been doing for years and will be having an art show, hopefully very soon. I also am exploring the 13th note and experimenting with the ghost notes.”

One thing that Mr. Vegas would like is for his music to reach others. I asked if he would change anything about his tunes. “I wouldn’t change a thing except maybe more air play as I feel my music is sacred and the world needs it now.” I agree, even if it takes a movie to revitalize his music, there is some form of success there.

To end, I wanted to hear more about what Pat has been up to. “I’m currently working as a solo artist with a backup [band] and I have a CD that [has] been out selling steadily for three years now, ‘Speed of Sound.’ I am planning to have a new CD [come] out very soon.” He also hosts a radio show, ‘Chance to Have It All,’ with his co-host Acela Cortese. I think you will all enjoy this little slice of great music that needs to be heard more. Redbone’s music is a great piece of musical history that can make listeners feel good. What is better than that?


Jam On.





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