APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster
APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC

Page 2 of 2 Previous  1, 2

Go down

25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC - Page 2 Empty Re: 25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC

Post by Soulmonster Sun May 16, 2021 2:12 pm

MAY 2006
BUMBLEFOOT JOINS THE BAND


ya never know when one of those moments are gonna happen, when life is gonna take a big turn, right?

_____________________________________________

Bumblefoot had been considered for the band already back in July 2004, but nothing came out of it [see earlier chapter].

It was through a recommendation - we started chatting in 2004, and it all came together by 2006. It's been a good year…

It was about four years ago that we started talking. Joe Satriani recommended me and then I got a funny email from Chris Pitman, the keyboard player, and we all just started talking. It took a minute for us to get it together but we started touring in 2006.

I got to know Joe [Satriani] after reading some interview he gave to a French magazine where he mentioned that he was a fan of my playing. I tracked him down and reached out to him, and we struck up a friendship. Then, in 2004, he invited me to jam with him at one of his gigs in New Jersey. It was him, Deep Purple and Thin Lizzy. I think we played [Freddie King’s] “Going Down” together. Anyway, a little later on he mentioned to me that he had dropped my name to someone in the Guns N’ Roses camp because they were looking for a new guy to replace Buckethead. He wanted me to know that if anyone from Guns got in touch it wasn’t a joke. And soon after that I heard from [Guns N’ Roses keyboardist] Chris Pitman. He sent me a funny email, real obnoxious. I wrote back, and we started talking. Then I began talking with management and then with some of the engineers working on Chinese Democracy. So we’re going back and forth, everything’s sounding good, and then there’s this long stretch of nothing. Until one day it was, “Hey, we’re rehearsing in New York. Wanna come down and jam?” So I went down and me the band, met Axl, and we hit it off. I came down again the next night, then the next week, and the week after that, and then before I know it [in May 2006] I’m onstage with the band at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York.

It was about 5 years ago. I got an email from Joe Satriani to tell me he recommended me for the gig (Guns N’ Roses) so if someone did reach out that I knew it wasn’t a joke or something. Very soon after, one of the guys from the band emailed me and we started talking. I started talking to guys working on the album about recording and then spoke to management. Eventually we hit the road and started touring and in between legs of the tour started recording tracks for the album, putting my 2 cents into it. That was it, and here we are.


In reality, the debacle in 2004 had resulted in a sour relationship between Bumblefoot and the band's management but they "managed to just talk it out":

It ended up causing a little battle between me and management, and that's why we didn't speak for a good year and a half (laughs). They then contacted me, and said "Do you want to work this out?". I was still all pissed off, because management really took it to extreme measures - that I won't even get into - trying to get me to say that I lied to get publicity, and I refused. I should also mention that that management is long gone - they're not around anymore (laughs). I was pretty pissed at them, but we managed to just talk it out, and come to an understanding.

The tour was coming together. We were talking for about two months, then things sort of fell off. Then a year and a half later they got back in touch and said, “Do you want to give this a shot? Give it another shot?” [...] the whole time I was actually telling them, “No.” Like in the beginning I told them no, and it became this fight between me and their manager at the time. When they got back in touch, because of that fight, I was still like, “I don’t want to deal with you guys.” Then we started smoothing it out and I said, “Okay, let me come and jam,” and they were cool guys. They were a great band. I like it a lot.


And his relationship with the management improved:

Once I was in the group, then we were getting along fine. It was just before then, they were misunderstanding what I did, and they were assuming the worst. I tried to stop rumours from spreading, but I just made it worse. I just really didn't know just how guarded you needed to be with things when it comes to a band like Guns N' Roses, or any band with big name recognition. Once we chatted about it a year and a half later, everything was fine. I get along with everyone - you have to be a real dick for me to not like you (laughs). I'm pretty easygoing.


Reminiscing about the first auditions:

We started jamming late April, early May 2006. Each day we'd play a few more songs, after two weeks we started doing shows.

(Laughs) My memories of the original audition... I try not to remember. I try to block it out of my mind (laughs). What can I remember from it? Umm... I would just come down, park my car in the lot down the road, and just walk in. Everybody would be there. I think the band was pretty exhausted from the audition process they had gone through before I showed up; I think they had spent months checking out different guitarists, and were ready to get onstage. It was different. I had never played in someone else's band before, and I always did my own thing. Sure, I've jammed with tons and tons of people. I've played with all different people, but to be a member of someone else's band officially, I never really did that. I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know if I would be welcomed and treated like family, or if I was gonna be treated like just some co-worker in the next cubicle. I didn't think about it. I didn't try to analyze what was going on, or how I was being treated or not treated. I just thought "Alright, look. I'm here to make music, and that's what I'm gonna do, and that's it", and that's all I focused on - to do the best I could.

[...] when the tour was confirmed we started jamming. I came in and played 3 songs, came back the next day with another 3, and after 2 weeks we hit the road.

And then they had a tour going in early 2006 and we picked it up. And I they were in New York City jamming and I just came down and we just jammed to three old songs. Cool, let's do it again tomorrow night and did another three songs and did that for two weeks or so.


Talking about meeting Axl during those rehearsals in New York in 2006:

The thing I remember is that he walked in carrying a huge tray of hamburgers. At that point I hadn’t eaten red meat in a long time, and I thought, What a perfect way to break that streak and have some beef. So I had a burger with him, and my God – that was the best freakin’ burger I had ever tasted! Maybe it was because I hadn’t had red meat in a while, but it was fucking good. But what I didn’t know at the time, and I’ve since come to learn, is this: Wherever we are in the world, Axl knows where to find the best burgers. We’ll be in Japan and he’ll find these little Kobe steak burgers that are just… wow. So I trust him when it comes to ground beef. Oh – and I also remember we were jamming to one of the new songs and he yelled in my ear that it reminded him of “Hey Bulldog.” So I thought, All right, he’s a Beatles guy. Cool.

[Being asked if he was nervous:] Nooo, not nervous, had no perceptions other than our own dealings through management two years prior. I don't buy into rumors and hearsay, I meet people, have my own experience with them and go with my gut. We were jamming in NYC to some of the newer songs, it was totally normal, we ate some food, made some music, it was good vibes. I hadn't eaten red meat in a few years and his friends brought in a big tray of hamburgers, I figured it would be a memorable way to break that streak, and had one of the burgers. Lemme tell ya, after so long without it, that was the absolute best fucking thing I ever tasted. So that's my memory about it – jamming in New York and eating my first real burger in a long time. Good stuff...


And being asked how much Axl knew of him:

He knew the stuff I had done on Shrapnel. He knew the song “I Can’t Play the Blues” [from Thal’s 1997 album, Hermit] and I think he said that was one of the things that made him want to check me out. But I don’t know if he really knew too much. I don’t think anyone did, other than real guitar freaks.


And why Axl picked him out of all possible guitarists:

[laughs] I ask myself that all the time: 'Why me? Why me?!' [laughs] No, seriously…I don't know. I don't think he ever told me. Actually, of all things, I think it was because he'd heard a song of mine called I Can't Play The Blues, which was on an old album I did for Shrapnel Records. I guess he liked all the crazy stuff I did on that song. Axl gravitates towards players who don't play all the normal patterns and licks.


Richard would later say they needed someone who could play Buckethead's parts, and not many people can do that:

When we brought Bumblefoot in it was trying to find someone that would fill the void when Buckethead left. That is a very difficult task because there are not many people that do that type of thing.


So Bumblefoot was hired a very short time before the band started rehearsing for the Hammerstein Ballroom shows in New York City in May 2006. Del James would also explain how it came about:

Guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal is also GN'R family. Prior to the European tour, auditions were held in Los Angeles but the band did not find the right guy to replace Buckethead. Truth be told, the band was hoping that Buckethead would come back and made very effort to make that happen. When it was apparent that Bucket would not be re-joining, the band had to move forward. Joe Satriani is how the Guns camp first heard of Bumblefoot. GN'R's Pro Tools engineer "French" Eric Cadieux has worked a lot with Satriani and Satch recommended Bumble to French Eric. One thing lead to another and prior to the band's four-night stint at the Hammerstein Ballroom back in May, Bumblefoot was part of the fold.


Before the rehearsals, Bumblefoot made sure to learn the music:

Oh, yeah. I believe that you have an obligation to not waste someone’s time. I made sure when I went in there I knew every guitar part, bass part and even vocal line. If I’m going to learn the song, I’m going to learn the whole song, not just my part. I want to be able to cover anybody’s ass.


Yet when it came to the new Chinese Democracy songs, Bumblefoot had to learn them in the studio while rehearsing and were not allowed his own copy to take home and practise:

In fact, when I joined the band, I only had a week to learn all the songs and then hit the road. And to learn the Chinese songs, they wouldn’t give me a copy because they were so worried about leaks. I had to learn all of that stuff on a pair of headphones in the rehearsal room on a laptop just listening and taking notes.


Bumblefoot would later say he had only been playing with the band for a week before the first show of the tour took place [The Journal News, November 3, 2006].

On May 5, Axl talked to Eddie Trunk's Friday Night Rocks radio show, and wouldn't reveal that Bumblefoot had been hired:

It's pretty much the same [lineup] that we had in 2002 but it's, like, there will be somebody else there but I'm not gonna say who.


After it had been revealed that Bumblefoot was the new guitarist, Axl would discuss him:

We got from Buckethead to Bumblefoot (laughs).

The other guy had a chicken bucket and a mask. This guy has a guitar that’s, like, a bumblebee that’s a foot with wings. [...]  I did get him on a Les Paul for most of the songs. But he still pulls out this other thing.



BUMBLEFOOT'S INITIAL RELUCTANCE


Bumblefoot had initially been a bit reluctant to join Guns N' Roses:

I was actually pretty iffy on the whole thing. A big reason for that was because at the time I first started talking with the Guns organization, the whole Dimebag [murder] situation was still very fresh. And I was wondering, Will people blame me for the original band not getting back together? On top of everything else, do I have to worry about that? Also, I kind of liked where my life was at that point: I had gotten myself back on track; I was doing my solo thing, working in my own studio recording other bands, giving guitar lessons, licensing some of my music for TV, touring a little bit. I wasn’t rich and famous, but everything was on my own terms, and I dug that. My life was mine – my fuckups were mine, my successes were mine, and there’s something to be said for that. So I wasn’t sure if I wanted to drop everything I had been working toward.

I had some concerns about things I'd inevitably have to give up – the teaching, producing; my own touring. I had my life on my terms, which was something that took a long time to make happen. But sometimes it's better to not over-think things; you can think yourself right out of meeting your own potential. It's better to just jump in, and life will figure itself out. I jumped in, and have no regrets.

I did have some hesitation at first, because I had just got my life where I was completely master of my own domain in every way. My life was totally mine, and I had it balanced perfectly between teaching music at the college, doing guest gigs, putting out my own albums and touring with that. Producing other people, doing things in the studio, I had a million things going on. I had it perfectly balanced, and I just knew that if I joined Guns that the majority of those things would have to stop because I wouldn't physically be there to do it, and it wasn't something I could do on the road.

It was a question of, do I want to give up all of these things? Even though playing with GNR is a much bigger thing, it's all about happiness, satisfaction and gratification. A lot of things that mean more than being on the map, fame or whatever else. Not that I ever did it for that. It was more like I met with them, we jammed and hit it off. Once that happened, I had a personal connection towards it, and we just kept it going.


Still, he decided to join:

Sometimes you just have to say, “What the fuck!” That’s the truth. It’s very easy to over think yourself out of anything. You can come up with a million reasons to not do something, when the reality is that you should just shut the fuck up and do it. You make it work. It’s like, these are your balls – juggle them. Of course, my balls are pretty lopsided right now. I have this little one over here that represents me, and then there’s this big one over there that’s Guns N’ Roses, which is, like, 10 times the size of a normal ball.


Bumblefoot was apparently not sure how long his tenure with Guns N' Roses would be, and would talk about returning to his job at Purchase College:

I would love to if they would take my crazy self back. I miss it. I miss the students ... and all the professors. It's just a great place to be. ... It's kind of a hiatus, but we're just not sure how long this hiatus is going to be. Every semester I'm like, 'Oh, Guns booked more shows.'


And talking about what he missed about his university job:

[...] I miss being in a room with a bunch of hungry minds where we share ideas and experiment and explore things ... reach new epiphanies, even if it's sitting in front of a computer screen and showing them a new technique for making a snare drum sound consistent and strong.


This suggests Bumblefoot had only been hired for the tour.

Being asked if he had been a fan of Guns N' Roses:

Right from seeing Welcome To The Jungle on MTV for the first time at three o’clock one morning, I knew they were special, that they would go on and do something magical. I felt the exact same way after seeing Vision Of Love by Mariah Carey, and Britney’s Hit Me Baby One More Time.


And how much he knew about the band when he joined:

Honestly, I didn't follow them much;  In the 2000s I didn't know much about them, just the basics: that Axl was there, that the rest of the original members were gone, but I didn't know what state the group was in.  About Chinese Democracy, I only knew the name and that it was not ready after a long time of working on it.

I had no idea what was going on with their shows, I didn't know what to expect… then I was surprised at how big everything was when I walked in.
Vuelta en U (Costa Rica), May 2, 2010; translated from Spanish


And if he knew any of the guys from before:

No. Before, I met Bucket once or twice. Never met Slash.



LOOKING BACK AT GETTING HIRED


Well, it was actually awhile ago. It was in the summer of 2004; I got an email from Joe Satriani, and he said that he had recommended me for Guns N' Roses. They were looking for someone to replace Buckethead, and told me in case someone got in touch, so I knew it wasn't a joke or anything. At that point, I really didn't know that much about Guns N' Roses and what they were doing, where they were at album wise, touring wise, so I took it lightly. I said "Ok... If they call and get in touch, I guess we'll be playing some bars... whatever's going on (laughs)". They got in touch, and it was about a year and a half before we started working together, and it was at the very last minute. I didn't think it was gonna happen at that point, and honestly, I was very happy with what I was doing - I had my own albums that I was putting out, and I was touring with that. I was producing a lot of people, I was teaching at a college and really enjoying that... My life was completely in my... not control as it were, but I was doing everything I wanted to do, and I was really happy with it. I knew that if I joined Guns N' Roses, I would have to give up a lot of things, so I wasn't really that quick to jump into it.

About a year and a half later, they had a tour ready, and they got in touch, and we started talking again. They said "Hey, do you know some of the songs?". I said "Yeah. Tell me what to learn", and they named three songs. I just came down with my guitar, and just plugged it into whatever they had there - a Marshall or whatever it was - and jammed with them, and just had fun. That was it. They then said "Hey - you wanna come back tomorrow, and do another three songs?". I said "Sure", and we did that. Every night, I would come down knowing three more songs, all of the older material and everything. Then while I was there, I would try to learn some of the newer songs.

At the time though, I had a tour booked. This was in April of 2006, and I had my own tour booked in May and June. I was gonna be going from Iceland to Russia with my band, and touring to promote the 'Normal' CD. I was talking to management, saying "Well, I need to know - either this is gonna happen, or it's not. I'm not cancelling anything until this is definite". Finally, at the last minute they said "This is definite". I told them even before I came down - I said "If you want me to come down, it's because I'm pretty much in the band, because you're hiring me, because you want me, because I'm in, and because we're doing it. Otherwise, I'm gonna be doing what I'm doing".

It was over 8 years ago when GNR reached out. At the time, I was releasing my own albums, touring, producing great bands, guest guitarist with cool artists, licensing music to TV shows & videogames, teaching music production at a University, my life was complete and gratifying and the thought of putting all this aside to join another band... I told them no. A year-and-a-half later they reached out again and we worked it out. I had to cancel an upcoming Bumblefoot tour from Russia to Iceland, stop teaching, put producing on hold as well as my own albums, and took a chance that I'd be able to juggle everything. We jammed 7 times, I learned all the unreleased Chinese Democracy songs by listening on a laptop for a half-hour with pen & paper in hand, and hit the road.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Thu Feb 17, 2022 1:21 pm; edited 15 times in total
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 14157
Plectra : 69656
Reputation : 825
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC - Page 2 Empty Re: 25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC

Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 27, 2021 5:12 pm

BUMBLEFOOT BEFORE GUNS N' ROSES


Ronald Jay Blumenthal, or Ron Thal or Bumblefoot, was born on September 25, 1965. Before becoming a guitarist in Guns N' Roses, Bumblefoot worked as a professor teaching music production at Purchase College [The Journal News, November 3, 2006].

According to The Journal News who had interviewed Bumblefoot's students and faculty, Bumblefoot was a "an amazing guitarist and a regular guy"; when confronted with this, Bumblefoot replied:

Maybe a regular guitar player and an amazing guy. (Laughs) I think I'm pretty regular. And as far as playing guitar, all that stuff is all a matter of opinion. If people like what I'm doing than great. If they don't? Then I guess I've got a little more practicing to do.


Talking about how me het his wife:

I’m from Brooklyn and she’s from Queens. We met twenty-two years ago and been together ever since. It was actually a blind date. People tried to set us up for six months and we wanted no part of it. Then, finally, it was, like, ‘Alright, yeah, we’ll get together’ and we were just bent on hating each other just to prove everybody wrong. Then, she tried to get rid of me by asking me questions about science and parallels between matter and anti-matter and the asymmetry of the universe. I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh! She has a brain!’ and we started talking and, yeah, there you go! Twenty-two years later we’re having breakfast in North Carolina.



BECOMING A MUSICIAN


Talking about his obsession with music in his early days:

Well in the, you know, mid 70s I had heard Kiss Alive album and 75 and that is what made me... that was my first love, that was the first thing that really got me inspired and excited and- [...] It was the greatest... It was the album that launched, like you know, a thousand of the bands and yes, it was that. Also the Beatles, I was a big lover of the Beatles. As I grew up - trying to think of some of the first albums I got, was Boston's first album. [...] There was Parallel Lines from Blondie. Love that album. Billy Joel, The Stranger, that one that was one of my first albums. [...] We didn't have Internet, it wasn't so easy to explore and find music. Either you went to a record store, you know, you go with your parents while they go shopping and say, "Oh, could we go to the music store?" you know, you go there and they leave you alone in there while you just browse through album covers and if you see one that looks cool it's like, "Oh, what's this one, 'Killers', Iron Maiden? That looks cool, I'm gonna try this out," and you go and buy it based on that- [...] And you find a gem. But, there was that and then there would be, "Hey, my older sister just got Yes, Going For The One, let's listen to it!" And listen to it and, you know you, just hear something that freaks your little child mine out. And so yeah, that was actually that album, Yes, Going For The One was one of the first albums I got. So I had a sort of eclectic diverse rock collection going on as a kid and from there I got into, you know, a lot of Ramones and Sex Pistols, some Dead Kennedys we listened to. You know, and then of course all the classic rock stuff that at the time was just rock and I was, like, we were 10 years old and, you know- [...] I still remember everything, like, you know, I remember hearing on the radio while I was going to school that morning and getting ready that, you know, John Bonham was found dead and, you know, Led Zeppelin was a big part of growing up. And of course The Stones. Everyone had the Hot Rocks album out of course. There was AC/DC, the new album with the new singer, you know [playing Back in Black]. It was like, "Wow! He's good!" I remember like the fear and concern I had when I found out Paul Di'Anno was out of the band and they got this new guy. I didn't know what to expect and then, you know, hearing [playing Iron Maiden] and when he does that [singing Iron Maiden] and like, "Oh shit, he's got pipes! Yeah, you can do this!" And then the first thing comes out [plays the guitar] I was like, "Yeah!!" So yeah, yeah, I remember all that stuff so vividly. I'm just growing up with, you know, classic rock and then, you know, old school metal, which was just metal, and I would always go every Sunday to Rock And Roll Heaven, this little record shop in a flea market run by this nice married couple, John and Marcia, John Sesulu [?], and- [...] And he would always say, "Hey, check this one out, you might like this one," and, like, "It's called Angel Witch," and it was just turning out to be the craziest stuff [...] And then he's like, "Hey, check out this one!" [play the guitar and sings]. And, you know, you just get me all, like, he would point me in the right direction that guy. He's like, "Check out this band," "Check out this one," and I would go there and get all my weird Australian imports of AC/DC stuff and all the, you know, picture discs of Maiden and whatever else and I would just try and find every weird cover of the album 'Hero, Hero' from Judas Priest and stuff like that.


Talking about wanting to become a musician:

When I was 5 years old I got the Kiss 'Alive' record and that's what made me want to be musician. That's what made me want to do this.

Oh man, this goes way back to when I was about 5 years old. All the older kids in my neighborhood were into KISS. Then I heard the KISS Alive album for the first time and it just blew my mind! I wanted to be a drummer and so did my brother. So we got into this contest where whoever had the faster drum roll got to be the drummer. Me being 5 and him being 8, he was a little bit faster, so he ended up being the drums. So I was like, “OK, I want to be a bass player because Gene Simmons is badass with the fire, the blood and the high shoes!” Bad shoes! [laughs] So, I went to a place to start taking bass lessons and at this point I was about 6. The bass was taller than I was and the strings were thicker than my fingers, so that wasn’t going to happen. So they lied to me at the music store and told me that by law you have to play acoustic guitar for two years before you can switch to bass. So I was like, “OK, if that is what I need to do I will do my time, man! I am gonna take it like a man, like a 6 year old man, and do it!” So I got into it and just stuck with it and forgot that I was supposed to switch to bass. Twenty years and I forgot! But I do play bass now too, but I play it like shit because I never did get those bass lessons when I was 6. So it all kinda worked out and I have gotten to do everything, although I am the world’s shittest drummer. So it is a good thing that I didn’t take the drum lessons!

It was the whole KISS thing. A lot of people from my generation heard the KISS Alive album for the first time and it got them so psyched up that they felt like they needed to experience that themselves – then spent the next 20 or 30 years working towards it. It’s the same kind of story. I was 5 years old and all the older kids in the neighbourhood got KISS Alive. Where I grew up there seemed to be two ages of kids: all the kids that were my age, and all the kids that were two or three years older. And the younger ones seemed to get exposed to a lot of the culture of the ones who were a little bit older. So I was five, six, seven years old and going out buying Boston’s first album, Yes’s ‘Going For The One.’ Blondie’s ‘Parallel Lines.’ Ramones’ ‘Rocket To Russia.’ Really getting exposed at a much younger and maybe even more impressionable age. And KISS and the Beatles, those were my two favourites that made me really wanna make music. KISS made me wanna get up on a big loud stage and put on a crazy show, but the Beatles made me truly love music. That’s what made me want to lock myself up in a studio, splice up tape, turn it backwards. All that kind of stuff. That was the creative inspiration.

When I first began, I jumped right into band activities - I started writing songs, had a band logo, merch, started making demos, planning shows... only problem was I couldn't really play guitar yet, haha. But there's one philosophy I always believed in – you only need to be good enough to play your own songs... or whatever song you're playing. I wrote songs I could play, and did the most with my limited abilities. I started taking 1-on-1 guitar lessons, private lessons with different teachers and continued for 8 years. I started with reading, a lot of reading, then music theory, then classical and jazz, while always playing rock on my own and training my ears, learning songs just by listening. I would drop the needle on the record for a few seconds, remember the sound I just heard and would try to match it on the guitar. I would try to learn an album a day – the Scorpions, Judas Priest, Kiss, Ozzy, Iron Maiden... then tougher things like Yes, Van Halen, Jethro Tull, even Tchaikovsky.  It was great for the ears, and great when I wanted to jam with people, because I'd know a lot of songs. After I stopped taking lessons, I kept studying on my own, and would try to find patterns that linked other aspects of life to music, try to see how music, math and emotions all connected. I even programmed my old Commodore64 computer to write random music, haha. Crazy kid...

I had an overactive brain like wow. I would be outside in my yard, I'd be five years old, and have a stack of encyclopedias and I would be reading the encyclopedias just memorizing information about everything I could while everyone would be in the front, you know, just playing football and stuff and they'll like, "Come play with us!" "Yeah, one minute" and I'm... stuff like that. And I was a real just, I don't know, I just had this like incredible hunger for like everything there was to sponge up about everything. Oh yeah, I got dumber with age. Now I'm just a stupid rock star. Oh, but yeah, I was a smart kid. And I think part of the... what I loved about music besides just, you know, loving music, was just trying to understand the math behind it and I was as a kid I was definitely into all the theory and everything and trying to just find on my own, you know, just come across all the different links between things in life and the math that makes music work and yeah.

[...]  I was 5 years old and all of the neighborhood kids were like 4-6 and then there was the next generation of kids that were 7-9 and they all went out and got the KISS 'Alive' album that had just come out. So I heard it through them and as soon as I heard it, it was like a little spark came on and I was like, that is what I gotta do with my life! So, immediately, I need to get a band together, writing songs, doing promotion, making demos..and make it happen! [...] This was a 5 year old all motivated! Immediately I got together with some of the neighborhood kids and started writing songs and borrowed a guitar from one and I didn't even know how to play it. I would lay it on my lap and just strum it and hit it..and I had no idea whatron4 to do with it, but I started writing songs and the only thing I wrote about was what my little geek brain knew about like the solar system and the planets. My first song was a rip off of 'Fox On The Run' called 'Jupiter Is Nice.' But yeah, yeah...I really wanted to play bass because, out of everyone in KISS, it was Gene Simmons that wowed me the most. I wanted to spit blood, fly up to the rafters, breathe fire and play a bass! So I went to the store and the nearest place where they sold instruments and gave lessons and I was a tiny little kid and I was like "I wanna play bass!" My fingers were probably thinner than the bass strings at that point and they looked at me and somehow they conned me into playing guitar.....You need to play acoustic guitar for two years before you play bass...... and I'm thinking to myself, "that's a strange law", but if that is what it takes, fine! So I started taking guitar lessons and strictly academic stuff, reading and all eighth notes and sixteenth notes. Going through all of the reading books, Book 1 and 2 and 3 and my teacher would throw me a bone every once in awhile and teach me a song, the first song I learned was 'Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo.' And what was funny and coincidental is that one of the guys in Guns N'Roses, that was HIS first song too. Richard Fortus...

So that was how it all started ....writing songs, I started putting on concerts in my basement and the local school, we'd have cups of confetti to hand out for the end of the show and they'd all throw the confetti in the air and my poor Mom would have to clean it up.

I’d go over my friends’ houses and would check out thier older siblings’ albums that would be lying around. I think the first one I spotted was Paul McCartney ‘Ram’ at age 5. I immediately started checking out the Beatles. It was Kiss ‘Alive!’ that really got me riled up though, it made me want to do what they were doing. Spent the rest of my life taking that road.




Bumblefoot in 1978



And why he quickly became so skilled at playing the guitar:

I was just really, really focused. And I practiced a lot. And I was the kind of kid who was into things like music theory. I found it to be really fascinating. I was interested in the math behind it all. It was like food for the brain; it wasn’t just mindless stuff to me. But I needed to keep my brain occupied – otherwise I would do very bad things. And I did. I would vandalize the neighborhood in the most creative ways you could imagine.

I took lessons when I was a kid for a good eight steady years of just weekly lessons, very academic. From there I started teaching out of the basement. Then I started teaching at a music store, and then in my early 20s I set up the music department at a private school. I was teaching music for children there, I set up a jazz band, a choir, music history… a whole music program for this private school. Right before that I was teaching at a music institute that a chain of guitar stores in New York had. At some point I worked my way up to teaching music production and guitar at an actual legitimate college in New York State.


And leaning to play Eddie Van Halen's Eruption backwards:

I had to – it was a challenge. And yeah, this was the early Eighties, and there was nobody like Eddie. Before that I was into Kiss, AC/DC, the Beatles. But the first time I heard Van Halen, it was like nothing else. I had “Eruption” on cassette, so I popped out the reels, flipped them over and popped them back in. I literally wanted to be able to play the song forward and backward. And at 12 years old, I could do it.


And getting hooked up with Mike Varney from Shrapnel Records:

I suppose that’s when I went “legit.” This was in the late Eighties. I had been gigging in bars and clubs around the New York area, trying to get a deal for my band, AWOL, and also playing in cover bands, doing, like, every Rush song known to man. But in addition to all that I started making these weird, strange instrumental songs, mostly for my own amusement. And a friend said to me, “Hey, you should submit this stuff to one of those guitar mags that showcases unknown players.” So I did. And the guy who got in touch with me as Mike Varney. He put me in his “Spotlight” column [in Guitar Player magazine], gave me a nice write up, and we stayed in touch. I wound up appearing on a few of his compilation CDs and also a few of the Guitar on the Edge compilation records his brother [Mark Varney] put together. Mike was also talking to me about doing a full instrumental album, but I always said no, because I wanted to be part of a band. I grew up on Kiss, the Beatles, Van Halen – I wanted it to be four names up there. I didn’t want to be known as the solo guitar guy. [...]  I never considered myself just a shredder. I’m more like a songwriter that tastelessly plays way too many notes for the song. [laughs] But that said, it’s still the song first. And as a guitarist, the most amazing thing you can do is come up with one of those riffs that every player wants to learn: “Smoke on the Water,” “Paranoid,” “Stairway to Heaven” and, dare I even suggest, “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” If you can come up with something like that, you’re golden. All the other bullshit doesn’t matter.


And his main influences:

Definitely Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen. There were plenty of others, from Charlie Christian (old bluesy jazz) to Andre Segovia (classical) to Alan Holdsworth (fusion) to Yngwie Malmsteen (neo-classical) but the ones that had the most impact were definitely Eddie and Jimi.

Guitar-wise, I was always into Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen really opened my mind up to a different way of looking at things. For the most part, I really played a lot like Angus [Young] when I was a kid and was totally into that vibe. When I heard Eddie Van Halen for the first time, I was like, “What? What the fuck is he doing?” and that kinda changed the road that I was on. [...] Well definitely Eddie. Hendrix is there, for that feel and he had such a fucking vibe to him. It is so hard to say. Even Yngwie [Malmsteen] because, to me, I think of the ones that had such an impact on music or guitar players, or both. People started shredding because of him. He’s to blame for that because he inspired a lot of people that went on to take what he did and add it to their schooled, jazz approach that they had to things and suddenly you have all the shrapnel artist for next 10 years. So he has to be given a lot of credit for being a major inspiration for a lot of people. I could even throw in some people that you wouldn’t expect like Elliot Easton from The Cars because he was so fucking tasty in what he played. If you want to go down that road, you could even say Ace [Frehley]. You can sing his guitar parts more than you can even sing the vocal to a KISS song. You could go on forever, people were great for so many different reasons either by what they contributed or by how something hits you individually.


And his love of KISS:

I was 5 years old, and the older neighbors (they were around 8 or 9 years old) played me the KISS Alive! album, it had just come out. I was an instant KISS fan. Next memory, besides putting the KISS Army sticker on my bedroom door, or seeing an occasional commercial on TV for a concert or album and getting all riled up, was playing drums to Detroit Rock City for our 2nd grade talent show. (I wanted to be a drummer originally...) Then getting the KISS dolls, and seeing them live at Madison Square Garden in '79 - it was my first concert, and not much topped it. All this had an impact on my life, the direction it took, and why I'm doing what I'm doing today.

[Being asked why he started playing guitar]: Well because I was a really shitty drummer. Yeah. And I wanted to, you know, I heard KISS, I was five years old, I heard the KISS Alive album and I was like, "That's what I want to do that right there." "I want to put on makeup and dress funny." Uh so yeah, so I wanted to be a drummer and it didn't quite work out and I was like, "Well I want to be a bassist cuz Gene Simmons is the shit, he scares me I'm five," and you know, "I want to spit blood and fly and I want to breathe fire and fuck chicks and..." Actually no I didn't want to fuck chicks when I was five. So I remember I was six years old, I was having a birthday party and invited two girls from my class thinking that, like, if I invite them both that I'd be able to get with both of them at the same time. Yeah didn't work out. It did not work out in any way but that's another story. So yeah once wanted to be a bassist but you know I was too young, you know, bass strings like fucking cables, you know, for a five-year-old, you know, thickening my fingers so I started on guitar and I stuck with it.




Bumblefoot in 1986



Bumblefoot would frequently use a fretless guitar from the French guitar company Vigier:

Vigier Guitars has been making one [fretless guitar] for 20 years, but very few people had embraced it. From the first time I heard it I thought it was the coolest thing and started using it. Been playing Vigier guitars since '97, got a fretless in '99 - gets such a unique sound, real fun to play.

Dig playin' both, each has somethin' about them. Fretted guitars you can really dig in and bend the strings till your fingers are chewed up, but fretless has a freedom you don't get from a fretted guitar. I kinda dig soloing with the fretless, Vigier makes the ones I use, with the metal neck. And they made the foot guitar. They gave me the fretless to check out, I think it was the NAMM show in 1999. The first 5 minutes were strange-but after an hour or so, it all started comin' together. CHEck 'em out at "www.vigierguitars.com",

Vigier Guitars has been making a fretless for 25 years, but none of their artists really jumped on it. I figured I'd give it a shot, and see what comes of it. Definitely a different approach - no bending strings, vibrato more like a cello - takes a minute to adjust, but after that it feels natural.

The company Vigier, they were making this [fretless] guitar I had discovered it in 1998-99 and I asked them if I could try one out and that's when I started using it.


In early 2006, Vigier would release a Bumblefoot signature guitar:

Yes, Vigier just put it out in January 2006. Nothing crazy, not a flying foot or a chunk of cheese - a 'Normal' guitar, customized with the pickups and wiring I use (split coil and out-of-phase settings,) non-floating vibrato (stays in tune when you break a string,) and a hole to stick your thimble when you're not using it Razz

Yeah, about the thimble (metal cap used in sewing that you put over your fingertip so you don't get jabbed with the needle...), I keep it on the little finger of my picking hand and tap with it - after the neck ends and the string keeps going, I use it to get the higher notes.


Bumblefoot would also occasionally use a thimble for tapping:

I don't think I'm doing anything physically different from other players, maybe just the choice of notes and phrasing. Maybe the only difference is the metal cap or thimble on one of the fingertips so I can tap above the fretboard and still get sustained notes off the string. You can hear that in the song "Guitars SUCK", the real high notes, that's all tapping with the thimble.


At one point, Bumblefoot played in a cover band called Leonard Nimoy:

I did have a cover band back then. What cover songs were we doing at the time… We were doing covers of GN’R. [...]We’d do “Brownstone”, “My Michelle”, uh, what else… I think we did “Jungle”. A bunch of stuff off of Appetite. I had a band called Leonard Nimoy – you know, the guy on Star Trek? He played Spock – and we would do covers of AC/DC, Kiss and Aerosmith, Guns, and… It’s pretty funny, we would – no, I shouldn’t even get into that story, it’s too much! We just did some crazy shit.

[...] I had a cover band with some friends called Leonard Nimoy - we did a few songs off Appetite when it first came out, I think we did Brownstone, Jungle and Michelle... I remember the first time hearing Guns - it was 3am and I caught the Jungle video on MTV. I remember thinkin', "this is gonna be BIG..."



THE BUMBLEFOOT NAME


Bumblefoot adopted his stage name when helping his wife prepare for a veterinarian exam:

In the early 90s, my girlfriend was in veterinary school and I was helping her study - one of the animal diseases was named Bumblefoot. One of the treatments was to rub hemorrhoid cream on a bird's foot. It was all so bizarre that I wrote a song about some kinda fucked-up superhero named Bumblefoot. I used the idea for the artwork on that instrumental CD, then named my band Bumblefoot, eventually it became my nickname. It fit the band, kinda quirky experimental sometimes-Zappa-ish Mr.-Bungle-ish sounding...

Yeah. And I can say she's now been my wife for 10 years, so she must have done good on the test. It was one of those sleepless nights and she had a thousand pages to memorize and one of the diseases in her book was called Bumblefoot and I thought it sounded like such a silly sounding name that I ended up writing a song about a superhero called Bumblefoot. And then it ended up becoming the name of my band and then my own nickname. Now, I'm stuck with it. And now I'm stuck in this cool band with the name of a Saturday morning cartoon character.

The name Bumblefoot happened about 15 years ago, my girlfriend was studying to be a veterinarian, one of the diseases she was learning about was something that birds and rats get, called Ulcerative Pododermatitis, also known as "Bumblefoot" One of the treatments for the disease was to rub hemorrhoid ointment on the bird's foot. It all sounded so fucking ridiculous, I went and wrote a song about a superhero called Bumblefoot, a few years later, started up my band and called it Bumblefoot, and it sort of morphed into my nickname. What the fuck was I thinking..........?

Kids, don't do drugs.

My wife was in veterinary school many, many years ago and she is a veterinarian now, she passed! Thanks to my help, of course! I was helping her study and one of the diseases was called Bumblefoot and I was like, “What the fuck is that? That is so stupid!” So I am reading about it and it said that turkeys get this disease and that one way to treat it is to rub hemorrhoid cream on their foot. I was thinking, “This is so idiotic! I am naming my band Bumblefoot!” It sorta became my nickname, which worked out to not being the best thing in the world. Especially following someone named “Buckethead” in a band. You get all the jokes like “Buckethead and now Bumblefoot? What’s next, Bumperdick?” Everyone has something to say, but whatever! At the time I guess I was more in a Monty Python state of mind where I thought being named after a giant fucked up foot might be funny and good for the rest of my life. So I wake up one morning and I am taking myself a little more serious or I should say that other people are taking me more seriously and the name is, I wouldn’t say a detriment, but it makes you scratch your head.

It was the early 90s, my girlfriend was in veterinary school and I was helping her study. One of the diseases was Ulcerative Pododermatitis, also known as Bumblefoot. It was a disease that turkeys get, and one of the treatments was to rub hemorrhoid creme on its feet. It inspired me to write a song for my band at the time about a superhero called Bumblefoot, and when I had my first record deal in the mid-90's, I called the debut album "The Adventures Of Bumblefoot", with an album cover showing this apocalyptic scene of mayhem and destruction with this winged striped foot flying overhead. When the deal finished I started my own band, called it "Bumblefoot", that was around '97, '98. Over the next 10 years of putting out albums and touring, the name 'Bumblefoot' was connected to everything I was doing musically, and it went from band-name to nickname.

That name goes back to the early 1990’s when my wife was in veterinary school. She was studying to be a veterinarian and one time I was helping her study and that was one of the diseases. It’s called Bumblefoot or the technical term “ulcerative podermatitis.” It was such a silly name and I was thinking to myself that would be a cool idea for a song. So I wrote a little song called “Bumblefoot.” Then when I had my first record deal in the mid 1990’s, my first record was called ‘The Adventures of Bumblefoot.’  It was this big apocalyptic cover of death and destruction with this big winged foot flying overhead. After that I started a band called ‘Bumblefoot’ and that’s kind of what did it. Having the band since 1997 and putting out ‘Bumblefoot albums’ it just became a thing where when people met me and I introduced myself as Ron, they would go oh yeah, “Bumblefoot!”  It kind of became the nickname from doing the band because the band was pretty much a solo thing. I wrote everything and it was my guitar and singing.

Yes, it was my wife, when she was just my girlfriend and she was studying to be an animal doctor, veterinarian and I was helping her study and that was the name of one of the diseases. It was very strange disease, where a turkey or different birds can get it. It's infection on the bottom of their feet and one of the ways you treat it was to rub hemorrhoid cream on their feet, which I thought was so stupid and make me laugh. It's just so ridiculous, that inspired a song and I wrote a song called "Bumblefoot" and that song led to another song, which led to the album, which led to the band, which led to my nickname. From there it just inspired the other songs, where I would take different other animal diseases and write songs around them. That was sort of direction, the concept, I guess, just as I was making the album.


He would also emphasize that Bumblefoot was only one side to him:

[Bumblefoot's] not me, it's a side of me. It's a Ziggy Stardust, not a David Bowie.


And that in Guns N' Roses he would consider himself to just be Ron:

Ulcerative pododermatitis is its full, fancy name. 15 years ago I was helping my wife study for veterinary school when we discovered it. It was the stupidest thing I ever heard, so I used it for a song title. Then an album called The Adventures Of Bumblefoot [1995]. It’s well-suited to my solo work, which is quirky and Mr Bungle-ish, but personally-speaking I might’ve outgrown it. I don’t feel like Bumblefoot when I’m onstage with Guns. In that environment I feel like Ron. Does that make sense? [...] Well, I have this multi-personality disorder [laughs]. I put on my funny foot-shaped guitar and I’m being Bumblefoot. But I’ve got a Flying V and I’m playing with Axl and my name is Ron. It’s hard to explain.



1995: THE ADVENTURES OF BUMBLEFOOT


I had a band and got signed to a small indie label that released the two out-of-print albums. [...] So I signed the deal, part of the deal was the label wanted an all-instrumental guitar album from me - that was the first album, "Adventures..." [...] .

I remember it all like it was yesterday. I lived at home with my parents. I had all my equipment set up in the basement, where I would be sitting on the chair, the mixing board in front of me and a little foot switch under my foot. It was a summer time (laugh) I remember how the air-conditioning would go on and it had really loud motor. It cooled down the whole house, so I couldn't record every time it went on. And I would have to wait for it to shut off for 10 minutes and then lay tracks and then go back until it would stop and wait. Sometimes I would go upstairs and turn up the thermostat, so that the air-conditioning wouldn't go on (laugh) and my mother would realized some hours later that the whole house is so hot and start yelling at me. I remember it all completely, very vividly. Writing the songs for it, the excitement for doing my first solo album. Before that I was just doing single songs for different guitar compilation CDs. I started doing this in 1991, 1992, 1993. So this was 1994 and I was finally doing my first album.


In 2010, Bumblefoot would re-release this album at Shrapnel Records [chinesedemocracyforum.com, October 2009] and he would be asked if he now when looking back at the album would have changed something:

[...]Shrapnel is re-releasing the album after 15 years, and we're adding a few extra tracks from a video game I did music for around the time the album was first released. I spent 6 months transcribing the album, as detailed as possible. Notation, TAB, fingers, picking, everything the hands do on every guitar track for every song (the 12 songs, not the bonus tracks) It's about 200 pages, all I have to do is add some text info, photos, tweak the layout and get 'em printed. Hope to have it available by mid-2010.

I wouldn't change anything. Not now. I think I go through a pattern with every album I do - I finish the album, I'm happy with it, a week later I start hearing the things I'd change, I'm haunted by more and more changes... it's actually *me* that's changing, I start to feel like I've outgrown the album, like it represents who I am less and less as time goes on. Then after a few years I accept it as part of a previous chapter of life, and I'm ok with it, and feel good about it. The only thing I ever would have changed was some of the vocal screaming in the song 'Q Fever' – my voice was blown out from recent gigs, and couldn't deliver the intensity of what I wanted to do. I had a deadline, I couldn't wait a few days for my throat to heal and retry it with the vocal tone I pictured. But I'm ok with it. It's imperfect, as albums should be – they should be *human*, imperfect like a real person. Shrapnel Records is the label that released the album originally, and are re-releasing it. I worked with them on it, I updated the artwork and added bonus tracks from a videogame soundtrack I did back then, around the same time the album first came out. I'll be selling autographed copies of the CD at www.baldfreak.com - it's the official webstore for all my CDs & merch. And I'll be donating $5 from every autographed album to Multiple Sclerosis research. I also made a transcription book of the album - it took 6 months to write out, it's 200 pages. It has every detail of what I played on the album – notes, fingers, picking, tablature... that'll be at the webstore too.

My first album 'The Adventures Of Bumblefoot' came out in 1995, on Shrapnel Records in the US, Roadrunner Records in Europe & Japan. It's an instrumental guitar album, and every song is named after an animal disease, a concept that began with the first song 'Bumblefoot' (aka Ulcerative Pododermatitis) That's where my nickname 'Bumblefoot' began. The album got a good response from critics and press, reader's polls, it was a nice beginning. Two years later, I finished the record deal and the label stopped manufacturing the album. It was out-of-print, and there was no way to get the album.

Sometimes I'd see them on eBay, selling for up to $150. I even saw one going for $600... last year Shrapnel contacted me and said they wanted to re-release the album. I was so glad – we worked together on it, I prepared the artwork for the digipak design (original was a jewel case) and added 5 bonus tracks from a video game soundtrack I had made for a Sega game also in 1995. The album will be available online at my webstore ( http://www.bumblefoot.com/store/ ) in August – the CDs will be autographed and $5 from every album will be donated to Multiple Sclerosis research.

I also made a transcription book for the 'Adventures' album. I listened to each recorded track and re-learned the parts, I wrote out every detail of everything I played on the album, did the typesetting for all the music notation, TAB, fingers, picking, everything. It took six months to write out, and is so accurate and detailed, definitely something 'guitar geeks' like me will enjoy, haha. That will also be available in August at the webstore.

I wasn't planning on my first album to be instrumental, it was what the label (Shrapnel Records) wanted – my vision was to have a band, that's what I always wanted.  But I wasn't going to stop moving forward just because it wasn't immediately happening the way I planned it. Life never happens the way you plan it, it's filled with compromises, and that isn't always a bad thing.  It turned to be a special album, something unique for its time (1995).  We re-released it in 2010 with additional tracks from a video-game soundtrack I had scored in '96.  I released a 200-page transcription book for the album as well, it was nearly a year of work making that book.  I transcribed it myself, completely accurate with fingers, picking, musical notation, tablature, for every track of every song.



1997: HERMIT


"Hermit" was released in 1997, it was the second album released under the artist name "Ron Thal" - it's out-of-print along with the first album in 1995, "The Adventures Of Bumblefoot."


Talking about the difference between Adventures and Hermit:

I had a band and got signed to a small indie label that released the two out-of-print albums. The band sounded like the stuff you hear on the "Hands" CD (debut Bumblefoot album released 1998). We were gigging in and around NYC, I was teaching music, playing in cover bands with friends and doing some photography on the side. [...] I guess that's the main difference - the first "Adventures..." album was all instrumental, the second "Hermit" album was more of what I do, singin' and band-oriented stuff. Never wanted to be a guitar hero, just wanted to make songs and be in a band.



1997: HANDS


This would be Bumblefoot's first album released as Bumblefoot. Being asked if there is any difference to album released by Ron Thal and by Bumblefoot:

Yes - you can find Bumblefoot CDs anywhere on the internet. You can't find Ron Thal CDs - I don't own the rights to the albums, the label won't re-release them, your only choices are to buy them for $100 on eBay when someone sells one, or "illegally" download them. Although it doesn't seem very illegal to download an album, if the record label makes it impossible for people to buy.



2001: 9/11


The album was half-instrumental and was gonna be called "Guitars Suck," but as I was finishing it up, the terrorist attacks in the US happened, and I felt I needed to do something helpful with the album, so I donated all the proceeds to the Red Cross. I changed the name so people would easily identify it as the benefit album.



2002: UNCOOL



2005: NORMAL


In the mid-2000s Bumblefoot got addicted to mood-altering medication, got overweigh ("Bumblefat", as he would refer to himself back then) and experienced a writer's block [Guitar World, February 2009].

At that point I knew things had to change. So I decided that it was about time I got my shit in order. I weaned myself off the meds, started exercising and finished my next album [2005’s Normal]

I went as long as could without making music, until it felt like I was denying myself something valuable to my soul,' he told me. 'For a year-and-a-half I was content, at peace – at its best it felt like a celebration with a slight buzz. I got past whatever I needed to, I was out of the hole, all healed up, ready to put the crutches down, so I did. I remember wondering if-and-when things would start to revert back to how they were before. It was weeks after stopping, I didn't feel any different yet, but people started to ask me 'what was wrong?' he recalled. 'They said I looked, I guess the best word would be 'conflicted'. My face was changing - people saw it, but I still felt fine. Not long after, it hit me, while waiting on line at the Post Office - I remember the feeling, it was like seeing the first dead leaf on the ground and knowing Summer's over. But ya know, I wouldn't change a thing. That’s what I meant before - it's about experiencing life and having something to share.


Explaining the title of the record:

Normal brings you into the world of an insane musician who takes medication and experiences what it's like to be 'normal' for the first time - but the medicine silences his ability to make music. Eventually he must choose which life he wants. The songs on Normal follow his journey, leaving you to ponder, "What's 'normal,' anyway?"

"Normal" is a true story of a musician who was suffering from depression. He starts taking medicine, and for the first time in his life, he feels "normal". The only problem, he soon realizes, is that the medicine is blocking his ability to write music, his head was once filled with music, and it's now silent. Through the album he evaluates different parts of his life from a new perspective. Eventually, he feels he must choose what's more important to him - the happiness with silence, or music. In the end, he chooses music, but takes with him everything he just experienced, everything he realized about life, that there is no "normal", there just is what is, and what we make of what is.

The album is about *balance*, realizing that good and bad are only ideas, they only exist in our perception, and they are interlocking pieces that complete each other, creating the whole. They're one and the same, a piece of one in the other, and they only exist as what we choose to see them as. Getting to experience the same life from two opposite points of view make you realize, there is no pretty, no ugly, it's how we choose to process what we see - the object doesn't change, how we objectify it is what changes. And it is something we absolutely choose. We can't control what we will encounter in life, we can only control our reactions to it.

The Normal album touched on making the choice, whether to continue on meds and sacrifice creativity, or get off them so I can do what I love, making music, at the risk falling back into Hell. In the end you realize you're not powerless, it starts with your perception of things and how you choose to react to everything. It's where life was at self-discovery-wise, learning to give up control and not try to change what we can't, and to just roll with it all, to learn, and draw from your experiences. I think an emotional charge can push creative moments, I think it's a personal expression, a look inside a person, I think free thinking helps creativity flow, but I don't think artistry completely coincides with mental disorder. But I'm the wrong guy to ask, haha.


Being asked if it is autobiographical:

Yes, for the most part. Some of the silly songs that break up the story a bit aren't completely autobiographical, but the overall concept is.

[...] the fifth Bumblefoot album "Normal" was recently released, we did a European tour in October/November of 2005, made a video for one of the songs, got some radio airplay, some TV shows played the songs as background music - always funny when that happens, ya don't expect it, suddenly ya hear it and I'm saying "What the...?" as if I'm hearing things...


With the release of "Normal", Bumblefoot had seven records out:

So there are seven albums released, the first two are "Ron Thal" albums and near impossible to find, the other five are
"Bumblefoot" albums.


And being asked where one can get his albums:

I release them myself on the internet, but not in stores. They're at my site, Cdbaby , Amazon, iTunes - you can get them anywhere in the world , as long as ya can get on the internet...


Last edited by Soulmonster on Sat Apr 02, 2022 7:30 pm; edited 12 times in total
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 14157
Plectra : 69656
Reputation : 825
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC - Page 2 Empty Re: 25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC

Post by Soulmonster Sun Jul 18, 2021 6:39 pm

MAY 12, 2006
THE FIRST WARM-UP GIG AT THE HAMMERSTEIN BALLROM


For the first show on May 12, the band would debut three new songs, I.R.S., There Was A Time, and Better. For My Michelle, Sebastian Bach would join the stage and duet with Axl. This would also be Bumblefoot's first show with the band.

Review in Los Angeles Times:

Rose, wearing jeans, a black leather shirt and sunglasses, his hair in cornrows and tied in a ponytail, got a hero's welcome as he led the band through its traditional opener, "Welcome to the Jungle." His frame looked a little heftier at age 44 than in his street-waif heyday 20 years ago, but he kicked and scampered around with spirited energy, and his raspy voice had its old barbed-wire edge.

That was the start of a solid, smooth-running 2 1/2 -hour set that was dominated by vintage fan favorites, with no tirades, no impulsive departures from the book, unless you count a guest appearance by Skid Row's Sebastian Bach, singing with Rose on "My Michelle." There was also a lot less of the tension that fueled the band's performances in the late '80s and early '90s, largely because this is a different Guns N' Roses, with the original lineup -- most significantly, Rose's colorful, guitar-wielding foil Slash -- gone and new players in place since the late '90s.


The New York Times would mention both Robin and Bumblefoot:

The newest of the seven musicians backing up Mr. Rose on Friday, one of its three guitarists, is Ron Thal, also known as Bumblefoot. (One of his guitars has been designed to look like the bottom of a foot, with bumblebee stripes.) He takes up the role of the pyrotechnic shredder, vacated in 2004 by the guitarist Buckethead. At certain points in the show, including a few discontinuous unaccompanied solos, he accelerated to impressively fast chromatic runs; he also played some lavish, Hendrix-influenced blues language. Why this band’s gut-level songs now require the ornamentation of a wizardly guitarist at all remains unclear. It makes the band more atemporal, more Vegas-y, than necessary.

It was the group’s principal guitarist, Robin Finck, who made the sweetest and most grounded music of the night, and seemed most comfortable at work. An off-and-on member of the band for nine years now, Mr. Finck assumed most of the lines in the old songs formerly played by the guitarist Slash. But when he improvised, he spun out simple patterns, shaking the guitar’s neck and getting warmth and resonance out of each note or chord; his own unaccompanied solo, just before the concert’s final number, was a beautifully coherent, non-shredding couple of minutes, the best of the less-familiar music played in the show. He gave himself to the crowd, even literally, diving in to the audience three times.


Chicago Tribune:

Wearing a black leather shirt, blue jeans and boots, the mercurial singer was a flash of SoHo cool and Hollywood glam, his serpentine-dance a mix of defiance and sexuality. Rose still has cornrows, and he appeared physically lean and in great spirits. Confidently prowling or manically darting about the stage, he consistently hit piercing highs that probed melancholic pain and flexed a range of shivering wails, shuddering croons and scorching yowls that attacked like a starving animal ripping into prey. Led by stage-diving guitarist Robin Finck, Rose's seven mates executed signature riffs and bluesy rhythms with a sonic fullness that suggested that, this time out, they prepared.


Near the end of the show, Tommy would tell Axl how much fun he has having and the two of them would hug:

Near the concert's finale, bassist Tommy Stinson told Rose how much fun he was having. The singer embraced him, symbolizing the chemistry that the group maintained throughout the evening.


Bumblefoot would later mention that he had been learning some of the songs just a few hours before hitting the stage, and that he had just had seven rehearsals with the band before playing live with them [GNR Paraguay, March 2012]:

I was having fun, but had to concentrate on song arrangements. I was still learning songs a few hours before going on stage, I had songs written out in my pocket, haha. But I had faith that everything would be ok, I accepted that everything would happen as it was meant to.

The hardest part of the gig was remembering the new songs - I didn't have copies of the new material, only heard them once through headphones on a laptop at rehearsal, and had to learn the songs just from that.  We started making plans in the Summer of 2004, but a tour didn't happen until almost two years later - we got together in NY and started jamming just a few weeks before the tour began, then hit the road, and started recording tracks for Chinese Democracy soon after that.

The main concern was the new songs. They were afraid of leaks, so I had to learn them within a very short period of time on a laptop in the rehearsal room (laughs). I had little notes that I’d put on one of the speakers just in case! But after the first show, which went without incident, I felt better. I remember the first show with 100,000 people in Madrid, Spain (on the 25th of May, 2006). It was the first time I was seeing that sort of endless sea of heads. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel differently from when I was playing in small clubs.

About a week to get ready, and to learn all the Chinese Democracy music. I had a half hour to just listen on a laptop with headphones, and just write notes, and I had those notes on the side of the stage when I started doing the shows, because they wouldn’t give me a copy of the music. And at that point they were so worried about leaks and all of that, and they didn’t really know me well, and so just to play it safe, that’s how it went. So it was definitely an extreme challenge, at least for the new stuff. The old stuff, everybody knows. Who doesn’t know the songs off Appetite and Illusions? So that wasn’t a problem. But we had about a week to get it all together.

We only had seven rehearsals and my biggest concern was knowing the music off the yet-to-be-released Chinese Democracy album. There was so much concern over music being leaked that they wouldn't give me a copy of the songs to learn them. So I had to learn half an album of complex arrangements by listening to the songs for a half-hour on the road manager's laptop at the rehearsal room. That was the challenge.

We jammed 7 times and hit the road. I learned the Chinese Democracy songs by listening to the demos at the rehearsal room one time with a pair of headphones, a pen & paper, a half-hour. That first show was weird, I had that piece of paper sitting on top of the ‘side fills’ (big PA speakers on the sides of the stage aimed at us) with little reminders of how the songs went - Hey Bulldog’ for the song Riad... they were so worried about demos getting leaked at the time and wouldn’t give me a copy of the demos, so all I had was that half-hour listen and those notes to go by.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Thu Mar 31, 2022 2:17 pm; edited 10 times in total
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 14157
Plectra : 69656
Reputation : 825
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC - Page 2 Empty Re: 25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC

Post by Soulmonster Tue Aug 24, 2021 2:49 pm

THERE WAS A TIME


One of the songs that was debuted at the May 12, 2006, show at the Hammerstein Ballroom was There Was A Time.

Axl would later mention that it is the hardest song they do live:

That's the hardest fucker we do.
Las Vegas, USA, June 6, 2014


Axl would later discuss what parts of the song he wrote:

I wrote Robin’s bit in the second verse. There’s microscopic bits throughout usually woven down in the other guitars. There bits throughout the end, the basic power chord bit was originally mine, there’s a ghost like bit that formed the basis for the end vocal melody right before Robin’s riff’s in one side in the outro before Bucket’s solo and as it gets to the very end there’s lot’s of little over dubbed bits woven in and out very small but structured bits.





There Was A Time
From the alternative Red Hand album artwork
Credit to troccoli



There Was A Time
From the alternative Grenade album artwork
Credit to troccoli



And Bumblefoot would talk about Buckethead's iconic outro solo:

I think one of the biggest stand-out solos on [Chinese Democracy] is definitely Buckethead's solo at the end of There Was A Time. I think it is beautiful, it's just, you know, everything about it goes to great places. It's one of the highlights of the album. Yeah, definitely that. Well done, Bucket!
Fret 12 Video Interview, May 2011


Last edited by Soulmonster on Thu Dec 16, 2021 9:00 am; edited 1 time in total
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 14157
Plectra : 69656
Reputation : 825
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC - Page 2 Empty Re: 25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC

Post by Soulmonster Wed Aug 25, 2021 11:06 am

I.R.S.


One of the songs that was debuted at the May 12, 2006, show at the Hammerstein Ballroom was I.R.S.




I.R.S.
From the alternative Red Hand album artwork
Credit to troccoli



I.R.S.
From the alternative Grenade album artwork
Credit to troccoli



Last edited by Soulmonster on Thu Dec 16, 2021 9:00 am; edited 2 times in total
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 14157
Plectra : 69656
Reputation : 825
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC - Page 2 Empty Re: 25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC

Post by Soulmonster Wed Nov 17, 2021 3:34 pm

BUMBLEFOOT, TOO QUIRKY FOR GUNS N' ROSES?


Bumblefoot would say that at first he was unsure of whether his stage name, "Bumblefoot", would fit with the image of Guns N' Roses:

You know I spoke to them about that before joining the band. You know, "Does Bumblefoot match the coolness of Guns N' Roses?" If this was Primus or Mr. Bungle or a band like that it would work. But they were like, 'Naw man, that's you. Keep it.' ... It's not me, it's a side of me. It's a Ziggy Stardust, not a David Bowie.




Bumblefoot in 2005 with his Foot Guitar



Later he would discuss wearing various outfits while playing shows:

You know, there's not much that I wouldn't wear. I remember one time around Passover, I did a gig where I dressed up in all my old Bar Mitzvah stuff, and in between songs was just preaching all this stuff about building pyramids and 3,000 years of retribution; kind of like a militant rabbi. Another time, I did a gig where I wore a big pair of sweats and stuffed 20 sweaters into it all, and looked like I was 400 pounds. There's pretty much nothing that I won't wear. But as you know, I wouldn't want to embarrass (Guns N' Roses) the way I would be willing to embarrass just myself. But yeah, I would wear a space suit. I'd be cool doing that.


In 2010, when asked if he had been asked to change his style, responded:

I was brought into the band because of who I am, I was brought in to be me. I was never asked to change. Even when I played my fucking 'Foot' guitar (http://www.bumblefoot.com/gear/08-vigier-flying-foot-guitar.php) when I first joined, no one stopped me. They should have, but they didn't, haha...


The Flying Foot guitar was abandoned after it broke down during a show in Istanbul in 2006 [see later chapter], and Bumblefoot would mention that Axl had been joking about his guitar in the in-ear monitor during the show:

haha, I was playing and hit the bar, and suddenly little strips of yellow and black wood hit my feet. That guitar had been through 8 years of tours, it was a matter of time before it gave out. It was time to put it to rest. The whole time I'd be soloing, a certain singer would be breaking my balls, saying stuff in my in-ear monitors like "Get a real guitar, that thing's a toy...", HAHA! Man, he fucked me up good sometimes, haha!




Bumblefoot in 2010 with his double neck Vigier



Bumblefoot would not be the first band member who changed his looks after joining Guns N' Roses, the same happened with Robin.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Thu Dec 16, 2021 9:00 am; edited 3 times in total
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 14157
Plectra : 69656
Reputation : 825
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC - Page 2 Empty Re: 25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC

Post by Soulmonster Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:58 pm

2005-2012
TOMMY AND SOUL ASYLUM


In 2005 there were rumours that Tommy would replace the late Karl Mueller of Soul Asylum [Sp1at, September 2, 2005]. But Merck denied these rumours and said Tommy would only do two shows with the band:

Tommy has not joined Soul Asylum. They are longtime friends of his and he is doing two gigs with them in tribute to their late bass player Karl.


Tommy would also mention the shows in a mailing list update:

And lastly, but not at all leastly, I've been learning some Soul Asylum songs for a show in N.Y.C on Oct.26th at the Bowery Ballroom. Yep, I'll be filling in for Karl. I'm told he would have wanted it this way so this is for him as well as Danny, Dave and Mary Beth. At the moment, that's all I know for certain.


Despite Merck's assurances, Tommy would contribute to Soul Asylum's Silver Lining which was released in 2006 and would occasionally tour with the band in the period 2005 to 2012.

We’re all old friends from high school. After [bassist] Karl Mueller passed away in 2005 from throat cancer, his widow Mary Beth asked if I’d fill in for gigs the band booked before he died. When the band went to finish the record they’d started, she asked me to do that, too. Apparently Karl had a list of people he wanted to take his place in the band, and I was on it. I like those guys a lot—fortunately I’ve been available to do shows with them the past couple years.


In 2011, Tommy would discuss the common thread between Soul Asylum, Guns N' Roses and The Replacements:

Just that they’re all rock bands. And that they all have fairly emotional singers who are a little bit on the dangerous side. And they’re real—they’re all the real deal. I guess I got lucky enough to not have to play with people who aren’t.


He would also mention that he was more comfortable with Pirner (Soul Asylum) and Westerberg (The Replacements) than with Axl:

I’m probably more comfortable with Dave [Pirner, of Soul Asylum] and Paul [Westerberg] than I am with Axl [Rose], just because I’ve known them longer and I’ve been friends with them longer. That’s not to bag on Axl in any way—it’s just to say that I think I’ve managed to get along with Dave and Paul better.


The band had also planned a new record to come out by the end of 2011:

We still have a few things to finish up. Just last week, I was working on a couple things. Hopefully we'll get it out by the end of the year. It's a little hard because we are spread across different states, but we've been really working hard on it.

A new record is probably going to come out in the New Year. We worked off and on this whole last year and I think there’s enough material now that all we have to do is mix it and get it out. There’s actually a record deal in the making as well.


Talking about his involvement with the band:

Soul Asylum, I've known those guys since we all went to school together, Dave and I anyway. They're good guys and we have a good time playing together. That's more a labor of love.

[...] I just went to school with the guys in Soul Asylum, and I like to play with those guys whenever I get the chance. They are good guys, and we make good music together.

When Soul Asylum’s founding bassist was suffering from cancer and his wife Marybeth told me that I was on the top of his list for his replacement in Soul Asylum should he pass away, it was truly overwhelming. When I was asked to do some shows, there was only one suitable answer. Now after a little more than six years, the answer is still yes. That is of course, when I’m available, as I am and have been committed on and off to Guns N’ Roses for the last 12 years.

Having gone to West High School in Minneapolis with Dave Pirner, played shows, gone to the same parties and basically done and gone through a lot of the same shit as Soul Asylum, it seemed like an easy fit. I have since surmised that the camaraderie we have both onstage and off is a total Minneapolis thing. There was a whole attitude and disposition about the bands from Minneapolis from the ’80s that is totally unique to Minneapolis. I think the ‘Mats, Hüsker Dü, Soul Asylum, as well as a few others, all had it. It was almost like some unspoken protective coating. On the one hand, we could be a bunch of smug outcasts that knew there was something going on but were actually scared about what that might be, while on the other hand trying to figure how we fit into it or not.


And emphasizing that Guns N' Roses was his primary commitment:

My first commitment is to Guns, but Soul Asylum are great friends of mine, I can pretty much come and go with that. Their new record will probably [come out] in the first or second quarter of the new year.

I am getting booked up with GNR stuff from May to July. They are talking about doing the States again, but I don't know how that is going to work out. If I can find some time, I want to play with Soul Asylum. I love playing with those guys. I just got my final mix of what the new album is going to sound like. I helped make that record and I think it's pretty good.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Thu Jan 27, 2022 5:23 am; edited 7 times in total
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 14157
Plectra : 69656
Reputation : 825
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC - Page 2 Empty Re: 25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC

Post by Soulmonster Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:18 pm

2004-
THE COMPULSIONS WITH RICHARD, FRANK AND BUMBLEFOOT


In-between tours and work with Guns N' Roses, Richard and Frank would play with Rob Carlyle in the New York-based band The Compulsions [[Press release, February 3, 2004; Blabbermouth, February 24, 2011].

As far as the Compulsions, for me, are...it's fun. It was a way for us to have an excuse to have fun together, play with friends and... It's not anything new, you know, we're not trying to break any new ground or do anything nobody's done before, but to do something that was familiar and felt good to us, you know.


Richard and Frank would be featured on the EPs "Laughter From Below" (2004), "Demon Love" (2008) and "Been Through Hell" (2009) [Press release, February 3, 2004; Blabbermouth, February 24, 2011].

Carlyle talking about Richard:

I’ve worked with a lot of different guitarists over the years. But Richard is in a league of his own. Seems like the guy can do pretty much anything on guitar, from straight up blues rock to shredding to totally out there, avant-garde-type stuff and everything in between. And as a live performer, he’s really fun to watch, right up there with legends like Jimmy Page, Keith Richards and Jeff Beck. Doesn’t get better than that.


In 2011, they released their first full-length album, Beat The Devil [Blabbermouth, September 11, 2011].



Beat The Devil
October 2011



I’ve been doing The Compulsions gig for a while now. My buddy Rob is the singer and I started doing it for fun in my down time. The songs are just fun rock songs. It’s a blast to do. Just good times jamming with friends. It just seems to have sort of taken off now with this new record we just put out. There are a lot of labels that want to sign the band now and lots of offers coming in for shows and festivals. The Beat The Devil record was a total blast to make. We recorded with my boy Hugh Pool at Excello Studios in Brooklyn. Hugh’s such a joy to work with and is an amazing musician.


Talking about the album:

It was recorded in Brooklyn at a studio where we've worked before, a friend of ours owns the studio and it's just a big room, one big room, and yeah, it was a lot of fun. It's the way rock and roll record should be made. You know, just everybody in a room going for it [?].

This is mainly, it's Rob's project, you know, this is like his baby. So he wrote all the songs and we sort of came in and made them...took his ideas and made them songs.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Sat Feb 12, 2022 7:32 am; edited 4 times in total
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 14157
Plectra : 69656
Reputation : 825
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC - Page 2 Empty Re: 25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC

Post by Soulmonster Thu Dec 16, 2021 8:59 am

2005-
PISSER WITH RICHARD, FRANK AND BUMBLEFOOT


One of the New York side bands that Richard and Frank played in, in addition to The Compulsions, was Pisser. In 2005, Pisser was starting to achieve some interest from record companies:

A few years back, I was in a band called Honky Toast with some of my closest friends in NYC. It was just a fun band that would play when we were all in town at the same time. We were just having fun with it and we played a few shows. Before we knew it, there were all these A&R; guys coming to the shows and a huge bidding war started. It was a great band, but didn't really happen for a variety of reasons. Pisser is the same singer and the same drummer from Honky Toast. It is just a fun, kick-ass, rock band. The same type of thing is starting to happen again though. We'll see what happens.

Pisser is a a band that rose from the ashes of Honky Toast. Again straight ahead rock and roll, my favorite stuff to play. Yeah Anthony Esposito [=bassist in Pisser] that... I've known as Esposito for maybe like 1986-87, I've known him for a very long time. I've worked with him in different bands. He's a good friend of mine. I consider him a friend first. Yeah, he plays with Ace Frehley. Actually Ace put this band together at Schoolhouse right? At Anthony's studio. So yes, so Anthony I've known for a long time. Eric J. Toast and we also have Rob Bailey on guitar. Again, it's a straight ahead rock and roll band. There's a MySpace page, you guys go check it out, it's super awesome.
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 14157
Plectra : 69656
Reputation : 825
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC - Page 2 Empty Re: 25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC

Post by Soulmonster Sat Jan 29, 2022 10:11 am

AXL'S STILL CAREFUL WITH DRUGS AND ALCOHOL


Axl was still not escaping the band's bad boy reputation and even in 2001 would people be curious about whether he was using drugs:

He doesn't use drugs. I’ve known Axl for ten years and I’ve worked with him for seven and a half. There has been nothing, no drugs ever.  He has quit smoking, too. Absolutely nothing. […] He has a drink every now and then. […]  Axl doesn’t accept [drugs] in his house or in his band, not anywhere. Not even smoking is allowed in the studio, no one smokes near him. You have to go out if you want to smoke. I’ve never witnessed anyone doing drugs.
Bolsa de Mulher, January 22, 2001; translated from Portuguese


Axl would also talk about drinking when visiting Eddie Trunk's Friday Night Rocks radio show in May 2006:

I didn't really drink that much, I just didn't... it was only like a couple of months ago that I started hanging out a bit in Las Vegas and then coming here and, you know, I want to get involved a bit with the club world and stuff like that so it was a bit fun, but...but alcohol really dries my throat out so that makes it a nightmare to try to tour... I can do okay, I was like kind of imitating Tom Waits tonight for fun. "I sit here on the stairs".


In 2012, Axl would say he focuses on staying out of trouble before shows, but that it can be tough to "pull in those reins" after a show, probably alluding to partying:

It's a matter of trying to stay out of trouble and stay focused. I don't have a lot of bad habits until after the show. After the show, pulling those reins in gets a little tough.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Tue Feb 22, 2022 11:58 am; edited 1 time in total
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 14157
Plectra : 69656
Reputation : 825
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC - Page 2 Empty Re: 25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC

Post by Soulmonster Sat Jan 29, 2022 11:34 am

MAY 2006
AXL MOVING TO NEW YORK CITY?


Axl had earlier expressed infatuation with New York City and considered moving there (1988-1989: AXL GETTING USED TO STARDOM).

Before the Hammerstein Ballroom shows in May 2006, Axl again spent some time in New York, saying how much he enjoyed it:

Another snow storm, right? A couple of months ago? I was here during that. New York's been really great to me lately. I've been out here, having a great time, everybody's been really cool... [...] ...checking out the pulp (?) scene and listening to different music. So it's been great. [...] I've been staying in a hotel but basically since I haven't left I would say I am living here.


In a break in touring in 2010, Axl would again spend time in New York City [The New York Post, July 29, 2010].
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 14157
Plectra : 69656
Reputation : 825
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC - Page 2 Empty Re: 25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC

Post by Soulmonster Sat Jan 29, 2022 11:39 am

2006
AXL'S PUBLIC APPEARANCES AND THE SOPRANOS


With the tour happening in 2006, Axl would be spending much more time in the public eye, including doing some low-key, impromptu interviews (including at radio KROQ and at Formula 1 Grand Prix) and media appearances like the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards where he presented The Killers with a trophy and being a spontaneous guest at Eddie Trunk's Friday Night Rocks radio show.

At the 2006 VMAs, Axl would also compliment Christina Aguilera:

Axl Rose was backstage in the greenroom at the VMAs, right near my glam squad, and I heard that he made everyone in the room quiet down so he could hear my performance. When I met him backstage, he shook my hand and said, 'You are one of the greatest vocalists of our time'. Isn't that sweet? Because in my day, Guns N' Roses were, like 'it.'



THE SOPRANOS


Axl was a huge fan of The Sopranos TV series and attended a season finale in New York City at the Museum of Modern Arts on March 7, 2006 [NY Daily News, June 14, 2007]. During touring in 2007, Axl also had the three latest episodes shipped to him overseas [NY Daily News, June 14, 2007].



Axl, James Gandolfini and unknown
March 7, 2006
Soulmonster
Soulmonster
Stage manager

Admin & Founder
Posts : 14157
Plectra : 69656
Reputation : 825
Join date : 2010-07-06

Back to top Go down

25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC - Page 2 Empty Re: 25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 2 of 2 Previous  1, 2

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum