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Brad Gillis

Messages
2,317
Brad Gillis was thrust into a bad situation following the unfortunate and untimely death of Randy Rhoads. While on the surface playing for Ozzy Osbourne would be a major Plus, having to do so in the wake of the loss of guitar phenom and beloved Randy Rhoads made taking the job something of a double-edged sword

It was clear that Bernie Torme was just not Suited to replace Randy even in the short term because the man is just too Bluesy .. Great player .. Mad skills .. but out of his element and unable to adjust so quickly. Ozzy needed someone that could play .. Really play .. And fast. Sarzo pointed out Gillis to an ever inebriated Ozzy who just wasnt coping with Rhoads' passing. He hired Gillis and got right out on the road recording "Speak of the Devil" .. as much of a fan as I was of Randy's I wasn't one to expect Gillis to be an exact replacement - most fans loved Randy so much that they had unrealistic expectations of Gillis. They were jaded, and Gillis felt it, along with a drunken, depressed Ozzy mistreating him.

Personally, - looking back - Gillis did well by Ozzy. Speak of the Devil is a rather good album and Gillis sounds great.

Brad Gillis also played some really great stuff with Night Ranger. The band was always a little too soft for my taste but Gillis always caught my attention by playing some very interesting and technically impressive material

These are some of my favorite examples of his tasteful and interesting guitar playing


I love this solo
And this one as well
 
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GibsonGeek

Member
Messages
1,342
I’m a big fan of Speak of the Devil. This album was my introduction to Ozzy. I was a young kid in 1982, so I was not familiar with Black Sabbath prior. All I knew was Kiss.

All these years later, SOTD remains one of my top favorites. I just dig the overall sound of it, and I think Gillis does an outstanding job with the guitar parts. I get that my perspective is different from those whew grew up on Sabbath, but this album WAS my gateway to Sabbath and all things metal.

Imagine my disappointment when I learned Ozzy was in Black Sabbath, so I rush out and buy Live Evil. There’s an 11 year old kid with a serious WTF moment when the vocals come in. To this day, I cannot stand that album.
 

Bankston

Member
Messages
15,960
Brad is one of my first guitar heroes, along with Billy Gibbons, Lynch and EVH and his '67 Red Strat is still one of my favorite guitars of all-time.

Back in the day MTV actually showed concerts on Saturday night. I remember seeing Brad with Ozzy on the Speak of the Devil Tour and then with Night Ranger live from Japan. Watching him tear it up was one of the sparks that made me want to start playing.

I got a chance to tell Brad that story during soundcheck at a club gig we opened for Night Ranger in 2014 and he was such a nice, cool dude. He signed my poor-man's copy of his Red Strat and gave me a pick.

He's one of the most underrated guitarists of all time with a voice that is uniquely his own.
 

Wolfgangsta

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,584
I'm a big Night Ranger fan. Love BG's playing and how he uses the FR in cool ways as part of his style rather than just as a party trick. Don't Tell Me You Love Me is one of my favorite songs. And, IMO, Midnight Madness is a great album from start to finish. Even Sister Christian.
 

viper

Member
Messages
370
Like many of you, my introduction to Brad Gillis was through his brief stint With Ozzy and via the MTV concert and Speak Of The Devil album. And in some ways that show/album was my introduction to the deeper parts of the Sabbath catalog, so I’ve always had a soft spot for it. Granted he’s not Iommi but he did a great job filling in in a pinch.

Night Ranger preferences are the first two albums and BOY what a tag team with Jeff Watson. But back on point with Gillis... I too loved his whammy work and how it developed into his sound. Great player!
 

Billyzoom1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
549
Brad Gillis was thrust into a bad situation following the unfortunate and untimely death of Randy Rhoads. While on the surface playing for Ozzy Osbourne would be a major Plus, having to do so in the wake of the loss of guitar phenom and beloved Randy Rhoads made taking the job something of a double-edged sword

It was clear that Bernie Torme was just not Suited to replace Randy even in the short term because the man is just too Bluesy .. Great player .. Mad skills .. but out of his element and unable to adjust so quickly. Ozzy needed someone that could play .. Really play .. And fast. Sarzo pointed out Gillis to an ever inebriated Ozzy who just wasnt coping with Rhoads' passing. He hired Gillis and got right out on the road recording "Speak of the Devil" .. as much of a fan as I was of Randy's I wasn't one to expect Gillis to be an exact replacement - most fans loved Randy so much that they had unrealistic expectations of Gillis. They were jaded, and Gillis felt it, along with a drunken, depressed Ozzy mistreating him.

Personally, - looking back - Gillis did well by Ozzy. Speak of the Devil is a rather good album and Gillis sounds great.

Brad Gillis also played some really great stuff with Night Ranger. The band was always a little too soft for my taste but Gillis always caught my attention by playing some very interesting and technically impressive material

These are some of my favorite examples of his tasteful and interesting guitar playing


I love this solo
And this one as well
Love Brad Gillis. That outro solo on Crazy Train that you posted was great.
 
Messages
2,317
I'm a big Night Ranger fan. Love BG's playing and how he uses the FR in cool ways as part of his style rather than just as a party trick. Don't Tell Me You Love Me is one of my favorite songs. And, IMO, Midnight Madness is a great album from start to finish. Even Sister Christian.
Personally .. His work with the Floyd is off the chain. .. he was right on the Floyd Rose when it wasn't even popular .. he only got better I mean if you listen to his Floyd Rose work on the later Night Ranger stuff you'll notice that he got much better at it and he was already intense

I know for certain that there are few people that can use a Floyd Rose as masterfully as Brad Gillis
 
Messages
2,317
His tone on SotD is fantastic
Absolutely .. and that was 82 .. a lot of people didn't receive him very well .. I think it was mostly that they loved Randy so much that no one could replace him .. this guy had huge shoes to fill and I think he did an amazing job .. like I said at the time Knight Ranger was a little too soft for me and they became very very commercial by the time they get to Sister Christian but the Solo in that is crazy .. Great Floyd work .. at the time, I don't think anyone could have stepped in Randy Rhoads' shoes any better then Brad .. Seriously

Rudy sarzo is the one that pointed him out to Ozzy
 
Messages
2,317
The ability and the sheer balls it would have taken to step into that extremely high profile role as fast as he did is damn impressive.
Exactly .. he had that to deal with and the fact that Ozzy was drinking way more since Randy's death trying to deal with the emotional torment so he was actually treating Brad Gillis poorly .. that was a tall order for Gillis .. I think that I can count the number of guitar players at that time that could do something like that on one hand .. Exceptional player
 

gman1951

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,580
Probably my favorite 80's guitarist, bar none. I remember him from his Rubicon days in the Bay Area and he always played to complement the song. Although JW is/was amazing, BG's solos are the ones I remember from NR. His solo in Sister Christian is brilliant and a benchmark for subtle and effective use of the FR.
 

Jim Roseberry

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,301
Met Brad Gillis when they did a show in Ohio.
Was pouring rain and the wife and I were hanging out backstage.
Got a picture with Brad while stage-hands were squeegee'ing water off the stage.
Nice guy... and a monster player.
Wound up opening for Night Ranger a couple years later.
 

Robmo

Member
Messages
37
I saw Night Ranger open for Sammy Hagar in I think 1982. I was there to see Hagar mainly, but I had no idea what a guitar show I was in for. Gillis and Watson were absolutely amazing, very musical while still technically brilliant. But Sammy and Gary Pihl did not disappoint, they too were great, more my style playing-wise and more attainable honestly.
 




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