Thanks to Leilani Wolfgramm and YouTube, a few of Fortunate Youth’s videos have been on an almost constant rotation at my house.
No one is complaining. I suspect that my cat, Manny Pacquimeow, loves them. Manny is not a cuddly cat. However, he’s been trying to get closer to the speakers when their music is playing. Who can blame him? Fortunate Youth’s music will elevate the spirits of even the moodiest cat.
Greg Gelb, guitarist/bassist for Fortunate Youth, took one for the team by responding to all of the questions I had. It’s almost everything that you and Manny Pacquimeow have ever wanted to know about Fortunate Youth.
Do you still have a rotating lineup?
Yes, we enjoy mixing it up!
What led to doing a rotating lineup?
In the beginning, songs would usually start on an acoustic and we would work through the parts, one person would play the rhythm, another the bassline etc. As it progressed it became a fun aspect of the show for us as musicians, as well as the fans and also relates to who may have written core elements to the song. We like to say that everyone wants to play the bass, “why?” because it’s fun!
Do you still have a Thanksgiving show in your hometown?
It is important for us to be home around the holidays with family and friends, so this has been a nice tradition that we have done over the years. A few years in a row we played at St. Rocke on the day before Thanksgiving, and this last year we played The Observatory (North Park San Diego and Orange County) as well as The NOVO at LA LIVE.
California just passed a law to legalize marijuana.Do you think marijuana will ever be totally legal in the U.S?
There has been tremendous growth in support of Cannabis and legalization over the last decade. As each state acclimates to the growth, it seems very possible that more states will follow and is definitely possible that over time, a majority of states will be on the legalization train.
What do you like about reggae – either performing or as a fan?
Reggae is a worldwide music that promotes Peace, Love, and Unity, which we stand for. We love the positive and supportive community that connects all of us music lovers across the globe.
Where was your first show?
First show was at Brixton in Redondo Beach CA. We opened for the legendary Abyssinians.
Tell me a little bit about your experience in Guam. What was the most positive thing about being there?
Guam is an amazing place with a beautiful culture. Everyone there is extremely welcoming and Reggae is appreciated all over the island. There are so many positive thing about Guam, but was definitely cool to walk in to any restaurant etc. and hear Reggae on the Radio.
How many Sugarshack Sessions have you done? When I think I’ve seen them all – a new one pops up in my YouTube feed.
We had a blast recording our first Sugarshack Session and are looking forward to what’s in store for the future!
What keeps you staying positive?
Music has always been a positive influence and now having the connection to a lot of amazing positive people through music makes it all circular.
What do you want people to know about Fortunate Youth?
We do our best to leave a positive impact on the world around us and want to work alongside others helping communities cooperate to build a better future.
Are you so rebel?
Yes I think we are. For us that song “phrase” is about anyone out there striving to do their best and keep pushing through the negative to achieve the positive.