Thanks for reading Part 1. Got some incredible pictures from Ivy Augusta that I will be featuring in Part 2.
So let’s get down to the big guns… Robby Krieger & Slash.
The first time I ever met Robby was with when the Perry Farrell/Satellite Party Band joined Robby & Ray Manzarek at the Whisky A Go-Go in 2006 for the The Doors 40th Anniversary. I was lucky enough to be the bass player along with them, Perry Farrell, Nuno Bettencourt, Slash, and others. That was the first time I met the great Celina Denkins, the amazing GM of the Whisky. Backstage there, that was a truly magical musical night…. Sing-alongs back stage in dressing room. That will be another post for sure…
Robby was not only cool as shit then, but since then: he has turned up for my School Of Rock Hollywood’s “The Doors” show with a guitar saying “Would you like me to play?” Um… “Here’s the setlist!” He played 4 or 5 songs with the kids that night, turning our little Doors show into one that will be remembered by all involved or present for the rest of their life. Oh and by the way at intermission he stayed on stage and did a Q&A with the audience! Seriously, how great is this guy?
He also did a Rock School Scholarship Fund (rockschoolfund.org) Doors concert with the kids from Neighborhood Rock School in Burbank also at The Whisky 7 years later (2013). RSSF is the non-profit charity that I co-founded with the wonderful Wendy Winks in 2010 to help kids who’s parents can’t afford to send their kids to rock schools across the country.
Robby shows up to rehearsal the day before the Hendrix show at SXSW, and after I remind him the times we have worked together (I don’t know why I do that, I just feel like I should… especially with the elder statesman of rock) I could sense he was more at ease knowing I was help running the show. The guy is a legend and I had his back.
He chose to do the underrated song “You Got Me Floatin'”, a song from ‘Axis: Bold As Love”. If you clicked and zoomed in the Cast List you could see that I tried to keep everything in it’s original key as much as possible as Hendrix liked to tune his guitar to Eb instead of E. Slash does this pretty much so I knew this was pretty much the way to go, but had no idea if Robby would be open to it as most of The Doors stuff was in “concert pitch” because of Ray’s keyboard. When he was open/cool with tuning his Gibson 1967 SG (yeah, “the one”) to the half step down tuning, I introduced him to Rem, our guitar tech / band tech for the show.
Rem has been with me since Coachella of 2008 when I accompanied Perry and Etty Farrell on stage at the dance tent in the late afternoon. I thought I was cool by bringing just one guitar (my Fender Telecaster) and one amp. A practice amp. One that cost less than 100 bucks. Rem was introduced to me and he saw I didn’t have a guitar tech, and offered to ‘be there’ for my performance. Boy was I lucky that he was there… My boots I was wearing… Well, one heel broke in the middle of the 2nd song and Rem came flying in out of nowhere with a roll of black duct tape and started taping my boot heel back together while I was playing the song!
2 songs later, it happened to my other heel.
Boom! Rem dives across the stage to do the other one! Rem. My shoe tech. So when Tom Morello texted me later that year and asked if I knew any good guitar techs… I gave him Rem’s number. He has done 90 percent of all of Tom’s US shows since then.
Robby performed on “You Got Me Floatin'”, “Red House” and “Hey Joe” as well as the encore “All Along The Watchtower”. Special, special guy he is… At one point after Mary (who plays Janis Joplin on Broadway) sang “Red House”, Robby gets on the mic and says, “Give a hand for Mary, she plays Janis Joplin on Broadway!” Applause. Then he says, “How about a hand for… Janis Joplin!” Big applause. Then, “How about a hand for Ray Manzarek!” Bigger applause. I see where he is going, and I’m getting caught up in the moment. “How about a hand for Jim Morrison!” Massive deafening applause! “And how about a big hand for… Jimi Hendrix!” Pandemonium! Dude is great, even on the mic!
Slash. Played with him a bunch. I know that sounds crazy to say. It is. I worshiped the guy as a kid. I will never forget when I turned 13 (a year after I got my first electric guitar), I had a small group of friends over for a little b-day party, nothing crazy- I don’t know, maybe around 8 kids? Got some gifts… But then someone gave me the “Appetite For Destruction” guitar tab book. I shrieked! “Eureka!” It was like the Holy Grail to me. I ran downstairs and even showed my Mom… I was like “LOOK!”. It was like someone gave me the keys to promised land. I learned the whole record. All the parts. All the fills. All the solos.
First time I played with Slash was at the Doors 40th. I really need to do a blog entry about that night. Some stories you wouldn’t believe… Like when Val Kilmer showed up to soundcheck… Anyway, Slash has been cool as shit to me and gracious as a mofo. One time after his gig that he invited me to jump and sing background vocals with his band at Red Rock in Las Vegas about 5 years back he said to me, “Carl. Wow. You’re so jovial” Jovial! Jovial? Wow, Slash has a good vocabulary -I remember thinking to myself.
When he showed up to Hendrix rehearsal, we had him slated to do like at least 4 or 5 jams. He walks in- plugs in, and after he says hi and gives me a hug and asks how I’ve been. I’ve been great Slash, “Workin on a lot of shit”. I don’t know why but that’s what I end up saying a lot. I think I got it from my friend Scratch from The Bronx. Wish Scratch and Slash could meet…
Anyway, he informs me that he is only doing 2 songs. I’m like, “Say wha?” and proceed to sweet talk him into doing a few more than 2. He affably agrees and away we go into rehearsal mode. We got rid of “Stone Free” But hey! Way better than 2! I think he ended up playing on 7 actually, including “The Star Spangled Banner”. Slash really is a player. He likes to play. And he will play forever and we let him go for as long as he wanted. The notes just flow out of him like George Duke played the keyboards. He just plugs in and rips. So reliable.
I want to give some shout outs and also say that there IS video on youtube of this concert. I know they professionally filmed the concert (because there was multi-cam stuff going on while we played and I believe there was two big screens for the crowd on either side of the stage), but not sure if it was professionally recorded. Hope it was! In the meantime feast your eyes and ears on these audience vids: (if you scroll down there are even more great pictures by Ivy Augusta (ivyaugusta.com)
Voodoo Child (Slight Return) * check out this in headphones and on the right side the crowd his singing/shouting along it’s fucking awesome and how fucking incredible does dUg sound??? Wayne crushes guitar solo. Eric “The Claw” on drums. This one was fun was channeling my own inner Billy Cox version of this…
FIRE * it actually goes into focus after the first 20 seconds so bare with it. Ty Taylor from Vintage Trouble on lead vocals here… He was fun as hell! Slash and I share a laugh at the next to last note because we couldn’t decide at rehearsal if it should be one or two notes. You can see it kind of here.
The Aftermath… * Robbie “Seahag” Mangano gets the business from his band mate Sean Lennon after he may have forgot to text him to tell him about this incredible concert. Mr. Lennon probably would have loved it. Cute video and they do a bit of Machine Gun…
The set list I wrote out for Rem on a paper plate
Me and my trademark frown/constipated look. My students used to say when I really was feeling the music, I gave the impression that I had smelled doggie doo doo. I think I learned that one from Jerry Wonda. Ps. That’s the Chewie bass (a 1983 Japanese Fender Squier Precision Bass) that I got for Christmas when I was 11.
Wayne and I after the show is over. I was happy.
Till Next Time..