It’s been nearly three decades since commanding pop composer Dwight Twilley — who appears solo in Oakland next week, touting his 40-track anthology “The Best of Twilley–The Tulsa Years — has played the Bay Area. At his Big Oak home studio in Tulsa, he’s been making a lot of albums, but says, “I haven’t been playing that much.” Yet a strange set of circumstances — including the inclusion of his 1977 cut “Looking For the Magic” in movies such as “You’re Next,” Backcountry” and “Diary of a Teenage Girl” — have him hitting the road again, selling out gigs in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles..
So why finally try a solo tour?
We actually got to a point where I was like, “OK, I think we’ve recorded everything. I don’t think there’s anything left to record.” And I never thought I would do it, but somebody talked me into doing a couple of acoustic songs at a show where I was playing with the band, in Canada I think. But it turned out that I liked it. And the audience really liked it. So then I just started playing around, all over the country, and it’s cool because (wife) Jan and I can go out by ourselves, without the whole entourage.
You’ve been hit with a lot of death — your original band partner Phil Seymour passed n 1993, and your longtime guitarist Bill Pitcock IV died a couple of years ago. How do you recover from that?
We just really know our art, you know? And we have our own laboratory, the Big Oak Studio. And of course, losing Bill was devastating, because we worked so closely for so many years. Practically every night, we were together working. And we had guest guys come over, but at the end of the day, if you had me and Pitcock in the studio, with Jan engineering, you really didn’t need much else. We could make a record as easy as spitting in a bucket. We made a ton of them.
And this new anthology?
We got lucky. With all these records that we made with weird little labels, we ended up owning all the masters. And we thought, “Hell, we own all these. Why don’t we just create a best-of for all the work that we’ve done here in Tulsa?” It has seven bonus tracks and a 20-page full-color booklet. We did one cover, “Let Her Dance,” which Phil did, and there’s a song that Phil and I recorded before we were signed called “Pop Bottle.” I dare say it’s a pretty impressive piece of work.
IF YOU GO
Where: Starline Social Club, 645 W. Grand Ave., Oakland
When: 9 p.m. Oct. 25
Tickets: $22 to $25
Contact: (510) 593-2109, www.starlinesocialclub.com