Edward Van Halen welcomes me to 5150, his legendary 24-track home studio, with a handshake and a slap on the back. For a split second, I am unable to return the warm greeting, as I am dumbstruck: standing in front of me, it seems, is not Edward but his evil twin.
What do the University of Vermont, a restaurant named Nectar's and Michael Jackson's Thriller have to do with each other? They were all instrumental in the formation of one of the world's most recognizable jam bands, Phish.
It’s hump time in Toronto. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and company have rolled into town, ready to begin preparations for this year’s version of the Summer Stones. There are stage models to be examined, promotional campaigns to be mapped out, lighting schemes to be configured. Oh yeah -- and music to be played
"Some people just don't understand," he sighs. "They say, 'You're crazy to leave Ozzy, Zakk. You could have played arenas forever. Now you're going to have to play small clubs.' Well, fuck you. I'm not in this for a rock star lifestyle. I'm in it to play my guitar. And I'd play it in a toilet if that's the only place people would come hear me."
Zakk Wylde has a diverse palate and has, over the years, bagged many gigs as a guest guitarist for artists of nearly every genre, including a spot on American Idol with singer and Idol finalist James Durbin earlier this year, wailing away on the Sammy Hagar classic, "Heavy Metal," from the movie of the same name.
There was one overriding theme throughout the night. It was related to amp choice. And no, it wasn't that the majority of the players chose the amp with the most distortion (the Marshall) over the ones with less gain (the Fender and Vox). It was that nobody knew how to turn the amps on.