We’ve long been fans of Couch Riffs, the YouTube series where host Mike Squires, who plays electric guitar in Duff McKagan’s Loaded, invites artists to join him on his couch in Brooklyn and jam along to some of their favorite – and sometimes unexpectedly so – songs.
Which is how we wound up witnessing Alex Skolnick play Devo’s Whip It and Vivian Campbell rip through ZZ Top’s Cheap Sunglasses.
Squires has now hit the 100-episode mark of the YouTube and podcast series, and to celebrate he’s put together a special Couch Riffs jam – which, given the times, involved everybody staying put in their own homes – on the Rod Stewart ‘80s synth-pop classic Young Turks.
The lineup for the song features Ryan “Fluff” Bruce of the Riffs, Beards & Gear YouTube channel and the band Dragged Under on guitar, Afghan Whigs’ Jon Skibic on lead guitar, the Killers’ Ronnie Vannucci on drums, Loudermilk’s Mark Watrous on keyboards, Alice in Chains’ William DuVall on vocals and, of course, Squires, still sitting on his couch, on bass.
The seemingly random choice of song, Squires says, “actually came from Ronnie Vannucci, who told me years ago before the Killers released Sam's Town that they were going to cover this song (it never happened). I remembered this and when we started talking about song choices I threw that out and he didn't remember!”
As for making it this far with Couch Riffs, he says, “Sometimes you think you're creating something very specific that you've fully imagined and realized, but life and circumstances have a way of showing you how it will be its best if you listen and take cues.
“In some ways Couch Riffs is the most fun I've had in any musically related project in my life and career. It is challenging and can be a real test of patience at times but is always worth the effort. I'm constantly laughing at the situations I'm finding myself in and always laughing directly at myself. It is an absolute honor and privilege every time someone says yes to the question, 'Will you be on Couch Riffs with me?’ ”
Squires continues, “It was an absolute pleasure making this and hosting each of my guests. I thank them for trusting me to present them to you and I thank you for watching and supporting the videos and podcast.”
For more information on the YouTube series and the podcast, head to Couch Riffs.