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In Words: Reb Beach

- Reb Beach - April 2002 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Reb Beach live

Reb Beach - April, 11th 2002 (by email)

Most hard rock fans will know the name Reb Beach from his previous bands, now he released a solo album and so it was time to talk with Reb Beach! Actually this was done by email....

Most of your past is known and for new fans, check out the website! So let's start when you replaced George Lynch in Dokken.... How come that you joined Dokken? How much influence do you had on the song writing of Erase The Slate?

I have to say I had a lot to do with the songs on Erase. I think that is one big reason I got the gig, because I had tons of pertinent song ideas. I joined Dokken, because it is the best rock guitar gig I can think of.... Well, and they asked me.

Now you finally release your solo album. You worked on a solo release before you joined Dokken. Erase The Slate was released back in 1999 an now in February 2002 your solo album Masquerade hit the stores. What happened in the meantime?

That was a jazz fusion record I did before Alice (Cooper - editor). I went right from Alice to the Dokken record.

The album was mainly recorded by you, Tommy Bellin and Dave Throckmorton. I guess you could get some big names, but chose to do it that way. and you decided to sing on the album as well. Why not working with a singer?

It was a small budget record for Japan. It was MUCH easier for me to just do it myself. Singers have to do it their way, and I wanted this done my way.

Are the songs written during the years? Or do you wrote this songs especially for this release?

Bleed, Love So True and Ghost are about four years old. The rest were written for the record.

When you writing songs, do you have to be in a special mood to do hard rock tunes? Is it hard not to mix up different genres?

Who says it is bad to mix up different genres? If you can do it con&vincingly, I think it keeps the listener from getting bored, while showing the artist's versatility. Ask Queen.

How much influence could Tommy and Dave took?

Tommy played the parts I wrote, but played them flawlessly and in the pocket. Throck definitely brought the record up a notch. He is up there with Morganstien and Weckl.

From the lyrics.... Which song is most important for you? What inspires you?

I only wrote the lyrics to Ghost and Bleed and Love So True. I stay more 'inside' with my lyrics than Bill Hickey who did the others, and writes in a much more cerebral style than me. I hate lyrics. I just like to rock.

Which song do you think represents Masquerade best? Why?

I'd have to say I struck personal gold with Fanatic. It has everything I wanted to convey musically on the record, in one song. Great riff, great chorus, it's scary with a Led Zep outro. Winger wants to do it this summer.

Have you already experienced the burden of being a singer and guitarist live? Many find it difficult to do both live....

I have been doing it all my life. I did all the backgrounds myself in Winger. I was in front of the mic 80 percent of the time. It is a matter of practicing the feel of the rhythm between your vocal and your guitar parts. It just takes practice.

Can we expect to see you live? Or will you just do a few guitar clinics?

If the record does well, I will tour. I will do Winger for the next six months, though. I haven't done clinics in years.

What's most important for you doing clinics? To give inspiration to young guitarists? How much do you think you can influence / inspire the people?

I have no idea. I don't consider myself a master of the guitar like my heroes. I just like to make people laugh.

Do you enjoy more playing hard rock / metal live or to do fusion stuff?

I have never done the fusion stuff live. I think I have to rock though. It is definitely in my blood.

When your looking back, do you think that being rated as one of the most talented guitarist at young age had a positive effect on you?

Success breeds confidence, and confidence helps IMMENSLY.

Also you worked with big names very early. How was working with e.g. Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and Chaka Khan?

Bob Dylan called me 'Whammy Bar' for six weeks, and Chaka was the sexiest fat chick I have ever met.

Which musician you worked with impressed you most? Why?

The Bee Gees. They sang every song a cappella for me, in perfect tune, with no tuning reference.

Who you would like to work with one day?

Steven Tyler!

Coming from Pittsburgh you moved to New York and later returned to your hometown. What's the difference between the cities as music cities?

Pittsburgh has no music scene, and New York IS the music scene.

Who much did the touring, the different places and cultures effected you?

As with anyone, traveling the world is a learning experience that rivals what can be taught in any school. Of course, being a beer drinking pothead, I have forgotten most of it.

You played almost everywhere, any place you would like to go to play one day?

I would like to play on a big cruise ship on some exotic route.

After all those years do you remember a certain show? A special one?

My twenty seventh birthday at Red Rocks in Denver in a thunder storm. We just kept playing, and the crowd and I were one. I felt like Ben Hur!

At least, any funny story to tell from your days in the music biz.....

Well, there are a million of them. The story of when the snake defecated on my pedal board at the L.A. Alice show is too disgusting. Most of them are disgusting. This one is okay. Don got into a boating accident and was prescribed Vicidan (a strong narcotic that anyone in rock is no stranger to). He ate like ten of them before he went on-stage, and washed them down with a bottle of wine. In the middle of the show, he whacked me in the head with the mic stand. I saw stars for seconds, but kept on playing. Jeff, on the other hand, was hit with more force, and landed on the ground in front of me. I didn't know he was hit, and wondered why he was shaking like he was being electrocuted. I thought he was kidding, so I began kicking him. I felt bad when they took him to the hospital.

A really interesting interview in my opinion and I hope that one day I'll have the chance to talk to Reb Beach personally... It would be a pleasure! Hope this chance is coming soon... Perhaps if he's touring with Winger... ;-)

Claudia Ehrhardt


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