Indy: You were with the Outlaws at the beginning. Have you been playing all that time since?
HP: Well, bands that go out of fashion do tend to get reduced for quick sale. But yeah, I've been in and out of the band through all the ups and downs. By the late '70s, I'd left the group to start my own career. I came back from '83 to '89, and we released what I think was a really decent record on Sony. But it was clear that people weren't all that interested in what we were doing. We always maintained sort of a core cult fan base, but as far as popularity was concerned, we were clearly missing in action. I think part of the reason [Southern rock] came back was Lynyrd Skynyrd re-forming and Kid Rock professing affection for the genre.
Indy: I've heard that you originally recorded an even longer version of "Green Grass and High Tides." Were you surprised that a song which clocks in at close to 10 minutes could become such a huge hit?
HP: The song was basically a ballad and then we added the rather extensive outro to it. I think if your record has substance and captivates people's interest, it could reach 10 minutes without losing them. I mean, the solos on the outro of "Green Grass" are pretty Goddamned good.
Indy: You've also been re-recording all your old '70s hits. Why's that?
HP: Well, it's 2008, and to be working on the strength and legacy of a record that was made 35 years ago, it just doesn't seem fair to the songs or the audience. I think we have an obligation to put a current face on some of that music. And, of course, getting out of the BMG business is always a move in the right direction, from the standpoint of commerce.
At Cowboys, Oct. 4.