So a question I'd like to respond to this week: "Was there ever a session that went wrong ... a bad experience?" Here's my story ... I remember no names. The studio was in Long Island, NY, in the 1980s. It was a day I wished I never had ... but it ended up OK ... and a big lesson was learned.
A lot has been made of the recent federal investigation of the illegal importation of rare wood, particularly a raid of Gibson Guitars' office and manufacturing headquarters. Whether or not the raid was Constitutionally viable, well, that's up for you -- or more accurately, the supreme court -- to decide.
When Crazy Damian Fanelli from Guitar World breezed into my store, Chelsea Guitars in NYC, with his posse of ne'er-do-wells, it was obvious they were up to no good. Matt, my manager, reached down and, grabbing the stun gun, unobtrusively pressed it into my right hand. Dylan, my floor guy, who we will discuss at length later, got up, grabbed the nightstick and, working his way around the Guitar World bastards, reached down and locked the front door.
When you think of Detroit, the first thing that comes to mind is probably cars -- you know, with the whole "Motor City" nickname and city's legacy regarding American automobiles. Yet, to go along with all those cars, the city has a lot of garages, garages where a lot of people might keep a guitar or two handy. How else can one explain the Motor City's incredible number of garage rock bands?
When I was writing our last Exposed column, I couldn’t resist including Blare N. Bitch, formerly of the ever-stupendous Betty Blowtorch. But I came up short when I tried to uncover what she was up to today. Luckily, Blare jumped in to give us the lowdown on what she’s been doing for the last couple of years.
The Big Four. Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth and Metallica. Not only are they our November cover stars, but it just so happens that today, September 14, they're playing just their second-ever U.S. show at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY.
I’m relieved that most people got the humor behind my last blog post. I want to stress the part where I said, “That’s not to say we bass players don’t have our own share of divas and douchebags.” I’ve been that douchebag. Geddy Lee was my first bass hero, followed by Stanley Clarke, Billy Sheehan, Jeff Berlin and pretty much anyone who could slap or play fast.
Monster Magnet had been kicking around for a few years by the time they released Dopes To Infinity in 1995. Spine of God (1992) and Superjudge (1993) definitely hinted at the potential of what was to come -- the blend of psychedelia, garage, heavy metal and space rock. But those albums didn't quite hit commercially.
I love playing guitar. I try to play as much as I can. But given my day job and various responsibilities, it’s tough to find the time to stay in physical shape. When I do get a chance to play, I find myself doing scales for dexterity and muscle building, with time for little else. It’s easy to fall into a rut: If scales are all you practice, then it’s likely your improvisational solos will sound like scales.
Let's face it, friends: Being in a band is like being part of a very, very, very dysfunctional family. Like any marriages, businesses or things you love, it takes love, work, vision, direction and effort to keep it going. There are always exceptions to the rule; however, I find that bands work best when they are lead by one. And before you start in on me and my ego, please think back to the time you were in the van with the fellas trying to decide if it was Micky D’s or Burger King en route to the gig in Topeka.