The sad news we got October 30 was that Norton Buffalo, singer-songwriter, country and blues harmonica player, record producer, bandleader and recording artist best known as a versatile exponent of the harmonica, and perhaps best known for his work with the Steve Miller Band, had died.
In September, Buffalo Norton was diagnosed with stage 4 Adenocarcinoma (Cancer) of the lower right lobe. The next day, he found out that it had spread to his brain. He sought treatment at Feather River Hospital in Paradise, California, and died there October 30.
Back in April of 2006, Norton was performing in Honolulu, Hawaii as part of the Crater Celebration, inside the Diamond Head Crater in Honolulu. A long extinct volcano with lush green walls and tropical foliage surrounding a dirt floor, the site was back alive again after 26 years with no major use for rock events (and a long history before 1980 as site of the many ‘Crater Fests’ and ‘Crater Celebrations’.
I was fortunate to interview Norton in the US Army barracks there, which served as a broadcast site that day, as I spent the afternoon there broadcasting live the day before the concert. Norton was my guest, and I recorded this interview.
It’s a pleasure to share it as the December Classic Interview Player issue, along with several choice videos of Norton through the years performing his heart out, fantastic photos, links and background notes.