Twin Cities musician GB Leighton discusses the Springsteen song that started his career

After three decades performing and more than a dozen albums, the band GB Leighton has a healthy following in Minnesota and beyond.

They’re led by Brian Leighton, a passionate soul who loves what he does. The Shoreview native formed the now 4-person band in 1988. The group performs nearly 200 shows a year.

On Friday, December 31, 2021, GB Leighton will play a New Year’s Eve show at the DoubleTree by Hilton Roseville Minneapolis. The concert begins at 9:00 p.m. and tickets are $45. The evening includes a complimentary snack buffet and a champagne toast. The hotel is also offering special rates on hotel rooms so you can celebrate comfortably. Get details here.

I chatted with Brian Leighton about the vibe of his concerts, his battle with testicular cancer, and his hopes for the new year.

Photo credit Patrick Tanner.

Give Me The Mike (GMTM): Okay, you might say the holidays have a special meaning to you and the start of your career. A Bruce Springsteen song is what inspired you to sing?

Brian Leighton (BL): Yes. Santa Claus is coming to Town when I was 10. It was a bootleg you could only hear on radio. I was overwhelmed.

GTTM: What’s your favorite holiday tune?

BL: I think Silent Night. I’ve played it before and the melody is so perfect.

GMTM: If someone hasn’t attended a GB Leighton concert, paint us a picture. What’s the vibe? What are we going to expect? Who’s there?

BL: You can come alone or with friends. It’s a family. It’s a party. Singing, dancing. I’m here to make you forget about your job and your problems. I try to put a smile on the faces of people who come and see us. Even if it’s me acting like a fool or being crazy.

It’s about the fans. They’ve met friends (or family now) over the years and they come to see each other as much as they come to see me.

GMTM: Complete this sentence: The type of music you perform is a cross between ____ and ____.

BL: Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp.

GMTM: For those who don’t know, how did the name GB Leighton come to be?

BL: My name is Brian Leighton Glodek.
It was the last application I filled out.
Last name, first name, middle name.
gb leighton

Photo credit Michelle Tanner.

GMTM: It’s a New Years Eve concert, so I want to ask — are you setting any resolutions or goals for the new year?

BL: I’m trying to be healthier these days. I just want to stay in shape and keep singing. I’ve got some years left in me and I love singing.

GMTM: If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?

BL: The guy who owns Sony Music. Ha!

GMTM: Anything else you’d like to add?

BL: It’s fun to watch these artists like Dylan, Springsteen, Sting, who get to sell their whole collection of songs for hundreds of millions of dollars. But I’ve got 120 or so songs that no one has made famous yet. I’ll sell for $30 million. Ha! There’s hits in there. I know there is. They just never got the chance. But I’m not angry. I’m not bitter. I just want my words to live. And they will, I know, with my fans they will. I’d just like the world to know the words of another guy who’s been through cancer, baldness, alcoholism, stress, depression. I write what most people feel and try to turn it into a positive.

My career has been amazing. I don’t know how many more years I’ll be around here, but I’d love for my music to live on.
And I think it will with some. Not all. Just some.

There’s nothing wrong with being positive. Negative people will try to bring you to their level but they can’t if you don’t let them.

Thank you Minnesota.

My home.

I’ll always be proud of where I grew up and who I became because of that.

Tickets to GB Leighton’s New Year Eve’s concert at the DoubleTree by Hilton Roseville Minneapolis are available online. To see where else GB Leighton is performing, check out their website.

Give Me The Mike received compensation for this content.

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