Soundtrack Of My Life: Kiefer Sutherland

Actor, musician and total dude

The first song I can remember hearing

Dawn feat. Tony Orlando – ‘Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree’

“It was on the radio a lot. My mum hated it. She was very opposed to the Vietnam War and hated the connotations of that song.”

The first song I fell in love with

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Elton John – ‘Your Song’ 

“I had a brother named Tom. He was seven years older than I was, so I ended up wanting to be him and do everything like him; I was probably the first kid in second grade that was an Aerosmith fan. But the first song that I really fell in love with? It would have to be Elton John, ‘Your Song’. I just love the melody and I thought he sang it so beautifully.”

The first album I bought

Bob Seger – ‘Night Moves’

“Bob Seger wrote really linear stories. It wasn’t like a Pink Floyd song, which was loaded with metaphors. He wrote a song called ‘Mainstreet’ and it was about a kid walking down Main Street, passing a pool hall and a strip bar. He wrote these fantastic stories about those teenage years and, like, that first girl, where you took her to the point and made out. I really connected with that.”

The first gig I went to

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Pat Benatar in Toronto, 1980s

“The first concert I ever went to was Pat Benatar in Toronto. I was 15 and it was embarrassing, but it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen. In fact, I met [guitarist] Neil Giraldo many years later and I said, ‘You’re the reason why I bought a B.C. Rich [guitar] and part of me won’t ever forgive you.’”

The first song I learned to play

Jim Croce – ‘Operator’

“It was the easiest chord configuration and my voice somehow worked with it. I remember really getting thrilled with knowing a song from beginning to end, including the bridge, and once I realised that was possible, I started to play a lot more.”

The song I do at karaoke

America – ‘Sister Golden Hair’

“If I’m drunk enough, I’ll do a song by America called ‘Sister Golden Hair’. You have to be drunk to start, so I’d expect that my performances of it are not great. I’m lucky if I keep my clothes on through to the end.”

The song by another artist I wish I’d written

Tom Petty – ‘Honey Bee’

“Oh, there’s a thousand. ‘Honey Bee’ by Tom Petty would definitely be one of them. It’s a simple song, but it’s such a badass rock tune and it’s so much fun to play. We played it last set but I certainly wish I’d written that.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Bruce Springsteen – ‘Born To Run’

“Oh, I haven’t thought about that! I spend most of my time thinking about the tombstone – I haven’t considered the song. Maybe Bruce Springsteen, ‘Born To Run’, or ‘Racing In The Street’. I think those songs would have encapsulated, on some level, my life.”

Kiefer Sutherland’s new album ‘Bloor Street is out January 21 and he will tour the UK next January and February

This interview was originally published in a June 2017 issue of NME

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