Hired Guns on Amazon

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Traintrack, Dec 3, 2017.


  1. Young Dad

    Young Dad Supporting Member

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    Reminded me of Neil Young And Crazy Horse. They were their own band, weren't even called "crazy horse" and Young took them on and made them his band. Then after a couple records he used another band. Then went back to crazy horse, etc, etc. Crazy horse have spent their lives waiting for the phone to ring.
     
  2. jammybastard

    jammybastard "I'm losing my edge, but I was there..." Silver Supporting Member

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    I started working in the music biz in the 80s. I worked as a PA, roadie, radio DJ, etc...while playing in bands and going to school
    I got see all sides of the business and saw a lot of guys like Phil.
    Most did not make it, as stars or sidemen, due to their attitude.

    Back then everyone thought they had a shot at the brass ring, no matter how much talent or sweat they put in.
    They also thought they could be abusive to themselves and others and still make it.
    Nobody wanted to be a sideman, everyone thought they could be a star.
    (Watch the documentary "The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years" for plenty of examples)

    If anything the collapse of the music biz has thinned the herd and separated the posers from the truly passionate.
    Now you better have all aspects (chops, attitude, health and no bad habits) and then a whole heck of a lot of networking to even get a shot at a sideman gig.
    Personally I prefer it this way.
    Unlike the 80's and 90's the professional musicians I work with these days are all grateful for the gigs, the fans, the travel, and the paycheck.

    The *only* downside is that a lot of the shows with younger musicians are not completely "live" like the show Alice Cooper puts on.
    There are a lot of young bands who have good players but are using tracks instead of musicianship & equipment to recreate the sound of their hits.

    That's due to 2 things:
    1. Economics. It's cheaper to bring out a MacBook Pro, virtual amps, keys and Ableton playing vocal and instrumental stems then all the gear the band used in the studio to create the original sounds.
    2. Most of the "kids" who make up the young pop acts (think Bleachers, DNCE, Foster the People) didn't grow up gigging and playing two 90 min sets a night like the old days. They grew up in the world of ProTools, Garageband, Melodyne, Beat Detective, etc...where you didn't ever have to play a song all the way through during the writing/tracking process.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  3. straightblues

    straightblues Member

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    Thanks for the heads up guys, that was great.
     
  4. RoryGfan

    RoryGfan Silver Supporting Member

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    Muscle Shoals, Sound City and Hired Gun make a nice trifecta that covers from the 1960's to the present.

    I was really surprised at how many of the newer players are treated, especially in salary issues and their financial futures.

    These docs are favorites of mine, as they "lift the curtain" and let you see the "real deals" in the music business.

    There are also more docs concerning various musical genres and specific artists. I hope that more will be made and that the news about them will be posted.
     
  5. monty

    monty Member

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    I think Phil is like 50.
     
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  6. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    For real...

    It’s funny, in Sarzo’s segment he talks about the cutoff point being 30 in his day. You almost never see sideguys under 30 anymore. Most are over 40, for that matter.
     
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  7. Bankston

    Bankston Member

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    This was a great documentary and it was cool to see Brad, Nita, and Justin Derrico, three of my favorite players, in there.

    While Brad definitely went on to fame and success with Night Ranger, he was very much a hired gun at the time and it was under difficult circumstances. Night Ranger wasn't signed yet but he, Jack and Kelly played together in other projects, including Stereo and Rubicon. Rubicon played the California Jam II in front of 250,000 people.

    Nita was playing in an all-female Iron Maiden tribute band when she got the gig with Alice. Now she's an A-List player.

    Justin is a freaking monster player. Love the segment where he's just shredding.
     
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  8. stimpson

    stimpson Member

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    watched this a couple nights ago, i really enjoyed it. my only real complaint is the editing. it jumps all over the place in a scatter brained kind of way

    .... Billy Joel looks like he needs a shower, meanwhile lets check in and see what's happening with Rudy Sarzo (again !)
     
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  9. coltranemi2012

    coltranemi2012 Member

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    Wtf??? He is like 51...im 35 and he looks much better than i do
     
  10. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the heads up, will definitely be watching that this weekend.

    Some great vids along these lines are on RJ Ronquillo's channel on YouTube. Very well done, and give a interesting take on being a hired player on the road. And I definitely covet that Barney Kessel, what a great jazz tone!!

    https://www.youtube.com/user/steelronkeel
     
  11. Neenja

    Neenja Member

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    Rudy Sarzo is, wait for it, 67.
     
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  12. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    Watched it last night, some interesting stories, but didn't really hold together as a documentary with a thesis or story arc.

    The perils of working as independent contractors for people with stunted emotional development and substance abuse issues came through loud and clear.

    Also, Jaco Pastorius was the "Jimi Hendrix of bass", not Cliff Burton (talented as he was).
     
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  13. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    I watched yesterday. What was most interesting is that Jason Hook (5 finger) is one of the producers of the movie. Aside from a good player, he sounds like a smart business person, and is good at self promotion.
     
  14. jmontgomery

    jmontgomery Supporting Member

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    I watched it last night. It’s a heavy metal version of 20 Feet from Stardom.
     
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  15. SRQGuitar

    SRQGuitar Member

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    Billy Joel came into a store that I worked at back in the 80s On Madison Avenue in New York City. It was the store that sold party supplies like coordinated plates napkins and decorations with themes and ****. We had all kinds of goofy novelty items as well. Billy Joel comes in with his entourage including Christie Brinkley, who we was dating at the time. They are all out partying after brunch and it’s around Easter. We are selling these headbands with rabbit ears on them and they all decide they need to run around Manhattan wearing these rabbit ears on their heads. Billy Joel goes to his money guy who comes up and asks for six pairs of our deluxe rabbit ears, which have the satin pink lining. As opposed to the plain white ones which were a little smaller and less expensive. So Billy Joel pulls his money guy aside and throws a little hissy fit and makes him put all the deluxe ones back except for one pair, which are for him, and he makes everyone else where the plain white ones so he could look special. Yup. Heck of a guy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  16. CJReaper

    CJReaper Member

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    Wow, 67 and not a single grey hair, amazing! ;)
     
  17. lespauled

    lespauled Member

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    I watched it, and was amazed how similar my life was as a consultant. Every single emotion they had about a gig ending, I had. Those feelings of where the F is my next check coming from? Yes, I've lived it. I just didn't get to play on stage. My stage was a computer.

    I had mixed feelings about it. It was great, but just too close to home.
     
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  18. DRS

    DRS Member

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    Just finished watching this.
    I enjoyed it and although I knew a lot of the things in the doc, it was great hearing it from the "horse's mouth"
    Came a way with a couple of things
    • Alice Cooper is as cool as I always knew he was
    • Billy Joel is an ass, which I also knew
    • That guy from Filter (a band I am ignorant of), Richard Patrick, is a dick. You'd think after being treated like $h!t he would treat others better
    • Jason Hook is a cool guy as is Liberty DeVitto and Kenny Aronoff.
    • I have new respect for Rudy Sarzo and Brad Gillis
     
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  19. The Interceptor

    The Interceptor Member

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    Just saw it and it was very entertaining.

    I think it is a salutary lesson in the merits of trying to make a living out of something that is your passion (and is also the passion of a whole bunch of other people). Evidently some dudes will give you a guitar solo for nothing (e.g. EVH's Beat It solo was gratis, apparently) - pretty hard to compete against that and make a living.

    Lucky for me I don't have any of the three ingredients required!

    The other observation was that the secret sauce was to be a songwriter. Plenty of dudes can play their arses off but not everyone can write a winning tune.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
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  20. magdream

    magdream Member

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    Pretty much this. The only thing I'd add is that Phil X came off a little douchey, like he was trying too hard to be cool.
     

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