PAUL GILBERT Talks About The “Real” SATCHEL From STEEL PANTHER – “We Were Into TODD RUNDGREN And UTOPIA…”

July 9, 2024, a week ago

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PAUL GILBERT Talks About The “Real” SATCHEL From STEEL PANTHER – “We Were Into TODD RUNDGREN And UTOPIA…”

Greg Prato reporting for Ultimate-Guitar.com:

If we dig a little through the history of rock 'n' roll, we'll find that so many exciting combinations of musicians had their smaller projects. One of these interesting combos included guitar virtuoso Paul Gilbert and his friend Russ Parrish. To those who may not know, Russ Parrish later became the most iconic guitarist of all time in the most iconic band of all time — Satchel of Steel Panther.

While his band, Mr. Big, is preparing to release their new album Ten, Paul sat down with us to discuss his work and career. One of the things we touched upon was his friendship with Satchel.

You've worked with Satchel from Steel Panther. What is he like to work with and what is the real Russ Parrish like?

"Well, we spent a lot of time together because he was watching my house. So whenever I'd come back from tour, he was like my roommate. And we listened to a lot of the same music. At the time, we were into Todd Rundgren and Utopia, and sort of that progressive '70s pop. And also, Jeff Martin, who was the lead singer of Racer X and went on to be a drummer for Badlands. He was staying at my place too, because he had just joined Badlands, and I had extra rooms and he needed a place to stay."

"So, the three of us would just learn songs for fun. And we'd learn songs that we knew already just by being fans of the bands, but then we'd work up the arrangements."

"And we'd really challenge ourselves. Like, we'd do 'Good Vibrations' by the Beach Boys, which is a fairly sophisticated arrangement. You know, orchestral instruments and tons of harmonies. We'd figured out a way to do it with a three-piece."

"So, I'd be singing the Theremin line and playing the Mike Love 'I'm picking up good vibrations' on my guitar, while Russ is playing the Carol Kaye bass part and singing. So, we'd really be stretching ourselves."

"We did [Genesis'] 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' with three people. And we'd also just do stuff that was fun, some songs by David Bowie and weird 50s songs, like 'Stranded in the Jungle' by the Cadets."

"Growing up playing in cover bands, I learned a lot of songs, but we sort of kicked that into overdrive with the three of us. We called the band the Electric Fence. And that name has cropped up in bios of mine, but I always sort of cringe, because we never recorded anything. So, if anybody hears about it, and I guess you could probably go on YouTube and find some stuff."

Electric Fence from 1989:



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