A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Hired Gun

I watched it last night, however it was released in 2016.

Eric Singer is a legend and the doco cemented that for me.

Between 2004 and 2008, Kiss wouldn’t tour when Alice Cooper was touring and Alice wouldn’t tour when Kiss was touring.

All because of Eric Singer. Both acts had him as a Hired Gun.

And what happened to Billy Joel?

He turned down being produced by George “Beatles” Martin because Martin wanted to use session guys and Joel was loyal to his current band members only to boot 1/2 of em a few years later and then drummer Liberty DeVitto sometime after that after he asked for a pay rise.

Jason Hook from Five Finger Death Punch is involved as Producer so there is a focus on heavy metal/rock acts.

And I didn’t know his past pre FFDP, as the touring guitarist for Mandy Moore and Hillary Duff. It didn’t mention if he played on the albums of those artists. And while these touring gigs could be lucrative, they can also end abruptly.

But it was the Hillary Duff gig that got him noticed by Alice Cooper, so when that finished up, Alice was there.

And there was a bass player who was a hired gun for the band Filter, was paid hardly nothing and said it was his worst experience ever and now he does voice overs.

The guitar player for Pink’s band was mentioned. I forgot his name so I just googled him.

Justin Derrico.

There is footage of him jamming. Derrico brings out some Mixolydian lines, string skipping and sweeps. The dude can play but the last time he played on a Pink album was in 2012 for “The Truth About Love”.

You get to hear how Jason Newsted borrowed money from his friends to fly out for the Metallica bass player audition after Cliff Burton’s death. Once he got the gig, he was put on $500 a week until he became a full member a year later.

Or Derek St Holmes, who sang “Stranglehold” but was never part of the band and people believed that the voice of St Holmes was Ted Nugent.

Rudy Sarzo is there as well, as his stints in Ozzy and Whitesnake were as a hired gun.

The documentary focused on the death of Randy Rhoads and showed footage of the crash, which I think took away from what they were trying to achieve with the doco but as a Randy Rhoads fan I was still glued to the TV screen. They could have spoken about the death like they did for Cliff Burton. I suppose there is never an easy way of dealing with these kind of things.

And Steve Lukather did a lot of session work but his main focal point was writing a song for George Benson. And it’s well known that Lukather and Eddie Van Halen were involved in “Beat It”. Lukather made sure to mention how he played the bass and guitar riff.

But.

At what state was “Beat It” in, before Lukather came and did the bass and guitar riff.

Was it just a keyboard song originally and Lukather needed to come up with something?

Was there a scratch riff for him to refer to?

Or was there someone else’s “Hired Gun” idea there for him to build on?

Or was he given the demo version and told to play it like that but in his style?

Some “unknown” Hired Guns to me are Brett Garsed who did work with John Farnham and Nelson along with Carl Verheyen who was a hired gun for Supertramp before becoming a member and he did a lot of session work for other artists, sometimes without even been credited.

And of course when Bob Ezrin was talking about “hired guns” playing on albums and not being credited, I immediately thought of Kiss and how towards the late 70’s, they started to get different players to perform on songs, but still sold the idea that the band members played on all the tracks to their fan base.

In the end, I wanted a bit more from “Hired Gun” however it was still a cool to watch.

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7 thoughts on “Hired Gun

  1. I remember watching that several years ago. I thought it was pretty interesting how the big artists like Alice and Rob said that pretty much there are a very small handful of good players out there and everyone knew who they were. And it seems like those people played for about everyone at some point in time, just bouncing around to get a bigger paycheck or whatever.

    And Steve Luthaker – I think he played on about half the stuff that was released in the 80’s. He has some of those uncredited solos and other parts, and also a bunch of credited stuff. I remember an article four years ago or something like that which listed a ton of stuff that he did that he didn’t get in the album credits for. At one point I think Aerosmith called him in to do a solo that Joe Perry wasn’t able to nail down or something like that.

  2. I really liked this as it did shine a big light on these hard working men and women who don’t quite get the recognition but who we’ve all heard at one time or another. I loved Alice on it because he knows a good guitar player when he sees one. And the Billy Joel stuff was just sad. He became a major douche! Great stuff here sir!!

  3. Jason Hook comes across as a great guy in this doc. Amazing stuff on here as that whole Liberty deal with Joel is sad but thats the music biz and not music friends.

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