as some of you (at least) know, I’ve been using the combo Rock N Roll Relics “Angus” Model (available at rocknrollrelics.net) and our own The Schaffer Replica™ Pedal (prototype) and, once here in California (where I still happily am, after a couple of months of relaxing with the family and working) I had the chance of meeting in person Billy Rowe, Rock N Roll Relics owner.
Billy – an extremely cool guy – not only is a guitar brand owner and fine artisan, but he also is… a rocker. He lives like a rocker. He is still out there going into studios and playing live… hope I can keep on doing this myself!
So Billy proposed me…
Hey Fil, why don’t we just get into a studio, you and I and two other guys and sort of wing one or three AC/DC tunes we like?
You have to understand that Billy is like us all here. An avid, age-less, true AC/DC fan. He’s been one since he was a kid, too, so much that he’s also seen the Bon Scott AC/DC three times playing live in the good ole days! I wish I could say the same.
I accepted immediately, and our adventure was set on the spot. A couple of days to organise in a friend of Billy’s studio – that ended up being nothing less than known guitar player and artist Gilby Clarke (ex Guns ‘n’ Roses guitar player, and more) – and it was done.
So I left San Diego, arrived in LA at Red Rum Recording (which is Gilby’s home recording studio and a very nice studio in general terms) and met Billy there. After a while, drummer Al and Bass player Dean came along and we were ready.
Ready to… wing it (“wing it”, I was taught, is a way in English to try and say “try”, “see how it goes”, “improvise trying to make it work” etc. – never had I used that word before but I have much since then!).
We were going to basically improvise a version of music only (no vocals) of our favourite band. And we did! A few takes of each of a few songs (will tell you more later), directly recording from the first take, both video and audio.
Audio setup was swift and quick, thanks to the fact that Gilby always keeps his recording room ready to shoot for his own clients and bands. We literally walked in with our guitars and I had both my Angus Model and Replica Schaffer Pedal and he had his Gretsch Malcolm signature.
All the other equipment was Gilby’s, who was generous enough to let us use it for free (all of this was for free!). Impressive, most impressive. I even walked into Gilby’s control room later on, only to be flattened by his platinum-albums hanging on the wall… I had never seen a platinum album other than in picture!
The gear we found there was two Marshall amps and two reissue 4×12 cabinets loaded with Celestion vintage 30s. The amps were Billy’s JCM800 (he used it for Malcolm’s parts, though in a very clean setting naturally) and I was lent Gilby’s own Marshall 2204 head, a vintage one just like mine.
Since the purpose was to “plug ‘n’ go” and “see if our combined gear will really cut it through a live band” we were happy to just use what we found there. We really want our stuff to work with what’s out there. We aren’t an AC/DC cover band… or not yet 😆
In a mere 4 hours we cut some tracks (not telling you how many yet), audio and video recorded them, mixed them and more.
SO much fun for me that it’s hard to describe… imagine me. I have played live for many years, but playing AC/DC is what I like the most in life.
The Schaffer Replica was ON the whole time. On, engaged and firing. I can say that everyone pretty much loved it…
Here to you.