Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Frank Prince, Jan 3, 2018.
The ‘80s were terrible for stage wear.(unless you dressed like these guys...)
I've seen them live a few times, although it has been a while. They were always very tight as a band and looked like they were having a blast. I especially enjoyed the antics between Jeff Watson and Brad Gillis.
Gillis is a monster player (just listen to Ozzy Speak of the Devil). Night ranger was too pop/keyboard for a hard ass metal head like me.
I think what says the most about them is that I still enjoy listening to them. There's lots of bands from that era that I just can't stomach listening to anymore. On top of that, it's a weird list of bands from back then that have stood the test of time.
I was always a Gillis fan myself. He had more fun with it, more down-to-earth. Might have been the incoming familiarity due to the Ozzy stint, however short. Watson was the one who seemed to take himself too seriously for my tastes.
If you like Watson's playing you should check out the Montrose tribute: he plays with Frank Hannon of Tesla on "Frankenstein".
One of my favorite alltime vids!
Jeff Watson always gets mentioned for 8-finger playing, but his picking articulation and accuracy and smooth vibrato make him special yo me.
PS: I actually saw him being the bandleader for an all star live band at some kind of tribute a few years ago. If anyone knows what that is or has a link please post it. Thanks
I’ve seen Brad Gillis sit in with bar bands and he does the same thing.
I refer to it as “being Brad Gillis.”
The faces, the posture, all of it.
Nothing but respect.
He and Jeff can both play.
It's called showmanship. We opened for NR in November 2014 at a packed club show here in Houston. Brad hammed it up like he was playing to an arena crowd.
When I was younger I lived the LA area for a year on an AF base.
That led to many military days/nights at the amusement parks. We had one in '78 at Knott's Berry Farm and it was raining pretty hard. The only real place to hang out to let it pass was the indoor theater.
A band named Rubicon was supposed be playing, but their gear was held up and the show was delayed. A few of the guys came out and sat on the stage talking to anyone that would engage.
I was ready to ride more rides so we bolted out of there.
A few years later I see Night Ranger and damn, a couple of them look familiar. I had a chance to shoot the shii with Brad Gillis and blew it off to ride the Corkscrew one more time... I did not start playing guitar until 79/80 so it probably did not matter all that much and had no idea who they were.
Sing Me Away is my fav.
I loved that album! I remember the intro track (Man In Motion) key bass line bottoming out my car speakers!
Brad Gillis used to hide his IIC+ so noone could steal his settings. His tone was well regarded back then, and still holds up.
I think Alan Fitzgerald is from my hometown, but Wiki can't confirm it.
Speaking of Brad's great tone - I love his tone on the intro solo of "When You Close Your Eyes" - that to me is a quintessential, gooey Mesa tone. Sweet.
I'm fully prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt and believe that he's always been on, but in my book that at least has got to be about the sloppiest-looking air guitar playing that I have ever seen.
Worse than that.. BG isn't vene plugged in. At least Watson has a lead in the jack. lol
So glad 80's is a done era. Now we get to deal with cover band fakery on just as bad a 80's scene. Tribute band we saw doing this groups never were plugged in, all tracks. Lots of smoke and lights though... and older dudes in Spandex lol
I had the pleasure of seeing NR at the height of their success on the 1986 Seven Wishes tour. Fantastic show.
Jeff Watson has always had one of the best and fastest single-stroke picking hands in the business, and strongest forearms to go with it. I picked up a ton of my technique from him in my teens during the 80s. Everyone talked about his whole 8 finger technique, which was cool and unique, but I was more interested in the less talked-about facets of his skills. Jeff Watson (along with Gary Moore) was the one who taught me to play fast clean sixteenth note figures, like all those runs that comprise his solo in Don't Tell Me You Love Me. When I first learned to correctly play his opening 12 string acoustic part ftom Goodbye, I learned it on a 12 string, and it was mother hard to play at first. It took a lot of practice as well as forearm and hand strength to get all 12 strings down and still get all the stretches and additional notes he includes in the chords. While many of my peers were all agog over Yngwie, trying to master sweep arps, I was listening to Jeff Watson and working on high-speed single-stroke picked sixteenth phrases with a metronome, seeing how many I could continuously string together up and down the neck, moving from key sig to key sig without stopping.
I recorded this on VHS off of MTV, and watched it many times. Gillis is my guy. Just love his style. Always thought Blades wasn't actually the bass you were hearing because of the number of times he would have both hands off the bass and it was still playing.
I had already bought tickets to see Ozzy, in High School...must have been '82 '83? Randy had just died...had no idea who was going to play guitar.
Was blown away by the MUSICAL way Brad played with the wammy bar! Eddie obviously was doing his thing at that time, and Uli had/and was doing amazing things with the bar....but Brad set the mark at that time.
On the strength of that memory, saw Brad with Nightranger a year or so later. Really great! Great showman. Trying to remember who opened...The Producers (What she got, that I ain't got) or maybe it was Shooting Star? (Criminally underrated band!)
As I said. Nothing but respect.
Oh, and after seeing Brad I had a Kahler put on my Korina Destroyer....YEAH I KNOW!!! Played that thing through the 80's though.
I was watching Night Ranger live videos today - and that
is the exact thought that occurred to me - I wondered if
the Keyboardist was covering the bass parts and he was
just fronting. A couple of them he did look like he was playing
too - maybe they have just worked it out for the act. I know
for sure he is playing on the records.