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Brad Gillis

Sam Sherry

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,070
At the time, he was readily shunned and rejected by Ozzy fans .. It was their loyalty to Randy fueling this .. In their hearts and minds at the time .. Noone could replace him. . . . I . . . remember the "Brad Gillis stinks compared to Randy" sentiment being rampant ...
Short version of a long story: In 1982 I had the pleasure of driving Brad around Hartford, CT, which was a stop on the Ozzy tour. At one point I was like, "So, life on the road?" He said, "Oh yeah. It's alllllll true {as in, 'not'}. Seriously, our typical fan is a 12-15 year old boy."

Based on that it's safe to assume that Brad took comments from some of the fans with an appropriate grain of salt. He knew why he was there -- to help deliver a great, musical show and to help make Ozzy's band sound right. To be clear, that's about professional confidence, not ego.

He was a great, gracious hang. I expect he still is.
 
Messages
2,319
Short version of a long story: In 1982 I had the pleasure of driving Brad around Hartford, CT, which was a stop on the Ozzy tour. At one point I was like, "So, life on the road?" He said, "Oh yeah. It's alllllll true {as in, 'not'}. Seriously, our typical fan is a 12-15 year old boy."

Based on that it's safe to assume that Brad took comments from some of the fans with an appropriate grain of salt. He knew why he was there -- to help deliver a great, musical show and to help make Ozzy's band sound right. To be clear, that's about professional confidence, not ego.

He was a great, gracious hang. I expect he still is.
i dont doubt it .. Seems to be a straight up dude ...thats cool that you had that experience .. Thanks for sharing
 

Billyzoom1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
549
Utilitarian is definitely not the word I would use to describe that solo or Jeff's playing in general.

Jeff's solo is a b**** to play correctly up to tempo. To this day I use that opening lick as a warm up because of the stretch and the precise coordination between your fingers and pick it requires.

And the 8 finger tapping in Rock of America, 7 Wishes, etc.? Forget it.

Jeff's a monster guitarist with a lot of feel.
Strongly agree...to consider Jeff something of a journeyman guitarist is to do him a disservice. He's tasteful, but has some burning chops.
 

Brooks

Member
Messages
5,218
When Blades left for Damn Yankees, Brad and Kelly tried to keep Night Ranger going as a trio with Gary Moon. I saw them play a dumpy club in the town I grew up in with no keys and Brad covered all the guitar parts, including Jeff's solos.
I saw this tour, it was excellent! The trio NR was more raw and rockin'. I still have the aluminum pick Brad handed me, its mounted next to Dime's & Rick Nielsons on my bar.
 

MBreinin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,773
Nobody handles a Floyd like that guy. He made that device into an instrument within an instrument. Only EVH and Vai are in the same league, and I think Gillis may be more skilled with it than them. I can listen to him just to hear what he will do with the damned bar. LOL.
 

thewhit

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,602
A few years ago a friend of mine who has been in the production/ live engineering side of the music business, invited Brad over to a jam at a mutual friend's house. Brad came wiht his girlfriend and as it was S.F Giants playoff baseball so he and a few of us sat in front of the tube and watched a lot of the game. Brad was as high energy as he is on stage, part time sitting on the very edge of the couch, lots of game related comments, emotional outbursts against the opposing team.. etc.

Later in the day we went downstairs where the home's owner has an amazing music room loaded with vintage Marshalls where Brad wailed away and put one of the Marshalls to the best possible use.
 

cragginshred

Member
Messages
1,816
Loved SOD when it came out. Listened to it backward and ford for months, recently looked for it and had to buy it in cd form from amazon. A little too much wammy but great playing thru and thru,.. he did introduce the 'flutter' technique on that particular recording.

I read Rudy Sarzo's book 'Off the rails' and in it he said for the Speak of the devil show Ozzy never showed up for the rehearsals and they had to prop a tv monitor for him to see the sabbath lyrics.

He added Ozzy was able to pull out a harmonica an nail the Wizard part at the show.

Side note: In one of the interviews (I believe included in a comment in this thread) Brad said he came into possession of the pedal board Randy designed and used. He reported the Ozzy camp actually owned it following Randy's demise and let Brad use it and keep it I guess? He went on to say he sold it in the late 80's.............Who has it now??
 

wmachine

Member
Messages
1,224
Night Ranger 1983 Japan.
Watson feature solo at 47:50
Gillis feature solo at 58:50
Don’t Tell Me You Love Me at 1:07:20

Some great tunes here, and chock full o Gillis/Watson shreds.
Fantastic concert. I have it "taped" and still remember when it first aired on MTV. NR has always been, and still is huge in Japan.
 

wmachine

Member
Messages
1,224
Brad is my guitar hero. I stalked a BG signature Fernandes for a long time until I finally got one. Was able to meet Brad before a concert in OH a few years ago. He added another signature to mine (offered to buy it even) and gave me a backstage tour. He even gave me one of his good metal picks right out of the pick holder on his guitar. Way beyond nice guy and an amazing talent. Yes, he helped pioneer the Floyd.








 

83stratman

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,604
You keep saying Brad was rejected. I don't remember this being the case at all. Most reaction from what I remember was why is Ozzy's new record all Black Sabbath songs? That leads me to...

Ozzy did all Black Sabbath because he got wind of Live Evil being made and released and he wanted to release a live record of Sabbath songs before Sabbath could release their live record. A FU of sorts.

At the time, he was readily shunned and rejected by Ozzy fans .. It was their loyalty to Randy fueling this .. In their hearts and minds at the time .. Noone could replace him

I was a teen then and i remember the "Brad Gillis stinks compared to Randy" sentiment being rampant .. I was more open-minded and appreciative that there was someone to step into the vacuum to keep Ozzy's crazy train moving forward after a horrible loss .. Gillis did a fine blend of his own stuff and Randy's licks .. I caught a little flak from my fellow Ozzy fans for trying to call attention to the fact that this guy who has stepped into Randy's slot is also a freaking monster player
 
Messages
2,319
You keep saying Brad was rejected. I don't remember this being the case at all. Most reaction from what I remember was why is Ozzy's new record all Black Sabbath songs? That leads me to...

Ozzy did all Black Sabbath because he got wind of Live Evil being made and released and he wanted to release a live record of Sabbath songs before Sabbath could release their live record. A FU of sorts.
I remember fans not digging Gillis .. Citing the sentiment "noone can replace Randy" .. That's why i mentioned it .. That's why i will continue to say it .. I remember taking heat for thinking "this guy is great"

In school .. In neighborhoods where my peers cranked tunes while doing whatever we were doing at the time .. In music stores .. In bars, clubs, and whatnot, many fans weren't receptive to Brad Gillis .. At least that was the climate here
 

kingsxman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,831
Brad has always been one of my favorite guitar players. And i'm NOT a fan of the floyd rose...but I LOVE the way he uses it. He doesnt use it as a "trick" like so many do..its essential to his style. He uses it in a very musical fashion.

I've always loved Night Ranger. They were one of the first concerts I saw. I remember seeing them back in Rochester Minnesota at the Civic center there when Midnight Madness came out. I remember thinking "why are they playing here?". I was just happy to see them. What is funny (or probably more sad when i think about it) is that i always thought Brad looked like a guy I wouldnt like. Pretty boy with attitude. Little did i know what a cool guy he was. After reading all these stories about him over the years and listening to countless interviews...he's really a guy you'd like to sit down and have a beer with. Just one of my favorites. Cant wait until his new solo album comes out.
 

wmachine

Member
Messages
1,224
Brad has always been one of my favorite guitar players. And i'm NOT a fan of the floyd rose...but I LOVE the way he uses it. He doesnt use it as a "trick" like so many do..its essential to his style. He uses it in a very musical fashion.

I've always loved Night Ranger. They were one of the first concerts I saw. I remember seeing them back in Rochester Minnesota at the Civic center there when Midnight Madness came out. I remember thinking "why are they playing here?". I was just happy to see them. What is funny (or probably more sad when i think about it) is that i always thought Brad looked like a guy I wouldnt like. Pretty boy with attitude. Little did i know what a cool guy he was. After reading all these stories about him over the years and listening to countless interviews...he's really a guy you'd like to sit down and have a beer with. Just one of my favorites. Cant wait until his new solo album comes out.
Actually, I think is it easy to come away thinking that. He always did "play with an attitude". Could be taken as him being a showman or him just being conceited. But it was the former. He just loves playing for others and is not the least shy about it.
 

John Quinn

Member
Messages
1,326
Had Gillis not spent time with Ozzy's organization, nobody ever would have heard of Night Ranger.
I know TGPers love guitar - but I will say this to my dying breath - If Jack Blades had not written 'Don't Tell Me You Love Me' and most importantly if Kelly Keagy had not written
'Sister Christian' we wouldn't ever be talking about Brad Gillis - beyond the Rhoads
replacement guy way back when. That's not taking anything away from Brad Gillis or Jeff Watson - it's just how the music business works.
 
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