March 27 2012
Las Vegas, Nevada
Just back from the first Slash show of 2012 in Toronto, Canada. This one in particular was under the title Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators. It was the first with the name The Conspirators and the first with my new little brother, Frank Sidoris on guitar. It was also the first time You’re A Lie, the first single from the forthcoming album was ever performed live. The song is doing huge. Number one most added song at Active Rock Radio. That’s Active not Classic. That means NU school. That’s exciting for someone like Slash who’s been around as long as he has. Things are shiny and vibrating at a high intensity right now and it’s about to go off the charts within the next few weeks.
All in all the Toronto show was amazing as was the entire trip. Got to see my Brother, John (from both Age Of Electric and Static In Stereo) and his amazing lady, Jenn. Got to see lots of familiar Canadian faces and even enjoyed some poutine. Google that shit! Yum.
I wore a Sloan shirt cuz they’re my favorite Canadian band to commemorate my love for the country of my birth. Slash played Oh Canada at a motocross event while we were up there. All in all it was a very patriotic trip for this prairie boy.
Today, as part of my celebration of being home with a bit of a day off I took in the newly opened KISS mini golf here in Vegas with my fellow KISS nerds Greg Verdusco and Mikey Ramone. Greg is in the amazing Las Vegas band, Bloody Villains. Check em out. Mikey Ramone was my first roommate when I moved to Vegas. He has amazing taste in music, books and movies. We share a brain there.
The mini golf is a blast. I’m sure I’ll be there many, many times. Where else can you have some laughs with your friends, play a pseudo sport while Under The Rose from The Elder is cranking? Nowhere that’s where.
Before Toronto I’d been rocking with the Sinners in Vegas. We did the closing ceremonies of NASCAR which was totally epic. Always a blast.
I made my way to LA early for rehearsals with Slash and the gang. My dear friend, Cheryl hooked me up with a knee doctor in LA. Yea, I’ve somehow developed a bad knee along the way. They call it ‘runner’s knee’ though I don’t really run. I guess it’s just improper use and not warming up for 20 years of performing. This body of mine gets pummeled pretty good on stage night after night and I don’t really take time off. I go from Slash to the Sinners and back again. Might be time to sit on a beach somewhere with some brightly colored beverage adorned with fruit slices and garish umbrellas but let’s be honest I’d rather stick needles in my eyes. Why would I take a vacation from playing music when I love it so much? That just doesn’t make sense to me. On top of the fact that the beach means sun and sand and people. Nah. Not for me. I need dark and loud music and people!
Anyway, it turns out my Doctor in LA is also Steven Tyler’s Doctor. My friend Cheryl hooked me up with the Doctor and she works for Steven. I crossed paths with Steven several times on my trip out there. Keep in mind I have crossed paths with Steven a thousand times in my life.
I even managed a visit to the set of American Idol. I never stayed for the show. Not that interested to be honest. Never really watched it but I know my Mom loves it. I saw Steven in his trailer/bungalow. His trailer is not much smaller than my house. The man is a star. He’s bigger now than he ever was. He’s on fire. Endless, boundless energy. We should all be so lucky. I don’t have his energy now! The man is 63 years old.. I can’t imagine. If I’m still doing it at his age I will certainly feel blessed.
Instead of Idol I was off to rehearsal with the Conspirators! Rehearsal for a tour of the size we are about to take on is a whole other animal. We have two entire stage rigs being worked up so one can go to Europe while we are touring the US with the other. You have to have the same amount of amps for both rigs, same amount of guitars, wirelesses etc etc etc. It’s a giant undertaking. As we’re rehearsing on the A rig the B rig is being shipped up to Toronto.
It was good to get back into playing the old Slash set. We only worked in the one song from Apocalyptic Love as the album won’t even be released for another 2 months. We will be playing a lot of the album once it’s out though.
We had to get ourselves up to speed plus working in Frankie who is fitting in great. In no time at all we were super tight and ready to tear it up!
A surprise visit from Rick Neilsen of Cheap Trick was upon us one of those days. Always an immense pleasure. He had been to American Idol earlier to visit Steven as they are to be touring together this summer. Rick was completely nonplussed by the entire Idol phenomenon and we had a laugh about that.
It’s not lost on me that one day I’m talking to Steven Tyler and the next Rick Neilsen. These are two men that are responsible for me playing music in the first place. Life is so weird.
Rick was great and a whirlwind as always. Just like that he’s gone! He is a character and a half that guy.
One day at rehearsal I went next door to meet Robert Trujillo from Metallica and Brooks Wackerman from Bad Religion. They were jamming next door for some Bootsy Collins tribute. Robert is a super nice guy and a monster player. Brooks and I talked a lot as I know Jay Bentley from Bad Religion from when he lived in Vancouver. Jay and I even jammed a time or two. Brooks is an amazing drummer and will be out with Tenacious D this summer. I’m dying to see the D. I’ve never seen ‘em live. I know every song!
We had another late night dinner with our old pal, Eric Singer from KISS, of course. It wouldn’t be LA without some food time with Eric. Speaking of energy that man makes Steven Tyler look like he’s standing still. Always fun to hang with Eric. You know what a huge KISS fan I am.
They played on Kimmel while we were in rehearsals and then were off to the opening of the very mini golf course I was at today.
I, for one, am excited about the new KISS album. I always am. Life goes on but there’s always something KISS related to look forward to!
We did an acoustic set in the back room in Guitar Center Hollywood that was totally awesome. I have to say that the first time I set foot in that back room was 1989 and I heard angels sing and doves took flight when I entered it. Well, metaphorically. On those walls are hung some of the most coveted items imaginable. Pieces I had never seen in person before. I’m not talking about Van Gogh paintings I’m talking about my kinda art-guitars! It is truly hallowed ground back there and here I am all these years later playing back there in front of 3D cameras. Truly bizarre. Life is weird.
The fine folks at Hagstrom sent over a hollowbody Viking bass for the set and it was absolutely perfect. Sounded great and looked gorgeous.
We ended up doing two new songs for the acoustic set, Not For Me and Far And Away. It was awesome to be able to debut those babies. Can’t wait to play the whole album live.
The acoustic set was awesome. Can’t wait to see it.
Afterwards we made our way to Barney’s Beanery, a legendary Hollywood spot with our friends Alecks Paunovic, Adam Beach and his gal, Leah Gibson all from the Canadian tv show Arctic Air. How crazy is that? They had come to our acoustic set. Adam is a big actor. Google him he’s in a lot of stuff. He’s native American from Winnipeg and is in everything from Joe Dirt to Cowboys and Aliens. Always good to catch up with our fellow transplanted Canadians. They’re everywhere, you know? And they look just…like…you!
After a few more days of rehearsal we made our way to the Great White North. We stayed at the Royal York, the epicenter of the Canadian Music Week convention so it was overrun with music biz folk. Everywhere I went and looked I’d find people from my past in the Canadian music industry. Even saw my old manager, Ray Daniels. He’s been Rush’s manager from the very beginning. It was great to catch up with him.
You know the rest. We came, we saw, we kicked ass, we bailed. Next thing ya know I’m at a dentist appointment on my first day back. Don’t you hate when you go to the dentist for a simple check up with no pain or discomfort or concern at all only to find out you need this filled and this crowned etc etc? Dammit! I went in for a check up and stayed to get a buncha work done. I figured better do it then rather than be on stage in Tokyo going, “Agh! My bicuspid!”
This morning off to the eye doctor to set up one, final laser treatment on ‘the eye’. You remember ‘the eye’ don’tcha? The one that decided to detach from it’s retina in Europe in 2010 and had me catching a one way flight from Moscow to LAX. Then a quick jump to Vegas. No Fun. No Fun At All. But I’m ALMOST 100%. This last round of laser surgery should be the clincher. Lasers…what an age we live in…
Then KISS mini golf, Cash For Chaos (my fave punk rock clothing store in Vegas) then Zia Records (my fave record store in Vegas) then home. Tomorrow is Fitz’s birthday and I may or may not have gotten him a gift or two from the KISS mini golf gift shop. I’m not saying anything.
I have gigs with the Sinners this weekend then I head back to LA to shoot a video for You’re A Lie. Plus we are going to be on Jimmy Kimmel on April 10th. Then we are on the Golden Gods Awards with Marilyn Manson, Sixx Am and more. Gene Simmons is being given some kind of lifetime achievement award. Going to be a crazy night.
Then I’ll be back in Vegas for a stretch with my Sinners before I make my way across the US with Slash. Soon after that we’ll be in the UK and Europe for festival season. My favorite!
Apocalyptic Love comes out May 22nd. I promise to do a song by song play by play when it ‘drops’. That’s what ‘the kids’ say!
See you all very, very soon!
Your loyal and humble servant