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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Uli Jon Roth week in review.

Well, last week was a busy, whirl-wind experience. San Diego's Brick By Brick had a great responsive audience, but seemed to serve as the band's rehearsal/warmup show. After the 2-hour show, Uli and the band met with the audience, who were very glad to see us. Some driving up from Mexico, and some brought old Scorpions albums to autograph as well as a couple guitars floating around for Uli's signature as well. This was my first time in San Diego - I've never been! The band stayed at a hotel near the Old Town "Gas-lamp District". Ate dinner at Casa Guadalajara with the band - great food and margaritas.

Thursday night was in Ventura at the Majestic Ventura Theatre. This is a large venue, an old theatre, similar to LA's Wiltern in size. This night featured a triple bill of my solo band, then Alcatrazz, and then Uli Jon Roth. Huge dressing rooms, back stage food and drinks - a taste of the rock star life.... all too brief. By tonight, I had finally gotten my act together, as I was having trouble learning the unison harmony solo part in "We'll Burn The Sky". While the stage sound was strange, the show went well - though the band would still love to have a set list. Big stage, big lights... always fun.

Uli likes to "free flow" every night. Calling out tunes as he goes, so sometimes it feels like a game of follow the leader. Keeps us on our toes!

The best thing about his gig is getting to play along side my favorite guitarist, favorite singer, favorite drummer, and new comrade, Bjorn Englen.

Alcatrazz put on a top-notch performance, and I have never heard Graham Bonnet sound better. Howie Simon, Tim Luce, and Glen Sobel were great, very tight.

Friday night, brought us to the Blue Cafe in Huntington Beach, CA. At first entry, the club seemed small compared to the previous night, no dressing room, towels, etc... BUT, this night proved to be our best. My band opened for Uli hitting the stage at 10pm. We played great. Having Kevin Chown back on bass felt good. He and the rest of the band, Maureen Baker on keys, and Glen Sobel on drums, really delivered. The audience grew throughout the night and was REALLY excited to be there. By the time Uli and the rest of us got on stage after 11pm, the audience was pressed up to the stage. Tonight, the band was really in sync. The intimate stage and size of the club had such a great energy, and the band could really hear each other well up there. Hands-down the best performance of the week, the 2.15 hour set was loud, hot, and sweaty, and the audience couldn't get enough. We finished up at 1:30am , met with the audience, sold some merch then headed home... My wife and I got back to the house around 3am - just in time to get 5 hours of sleep before having to teach guitar the next morning.

For more information about Adrian Galysh, including video guitar lessons, concert dates, clinics, merch and music, visit: 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Uli Jon Roth Rehearsal

Today the band had their first rehearsal, with out Uli. He doesn't arrive to SoCal till tomorrow, and with the NAMM convention, it would be difficult to coordinate any other rehearsal before Monday's.

The drummer, Glen Sobel, you may know is my regular drummer for my own gigs, and as always was uber-prepared, and luckily our notes/charts seemed to line up. This, however, is the first time meeting, let alone playing with Bjorn Englen, the bassist for these dates. Bjorn has been Yngwie Malmsteen's bassist for the last 4-5 years and has a strong feel for the tunes. Mark Boals, of course, also known from Yngwie's classic "Trilogy" album and others, was on hand for vocals.

Comedy ensued as Mark kept asking whether I would sing backup/harmony parts for every Scorpions song we ran through... I obliged with mixed results though better than I (and I hope the others) expected.

Overall we did pretty well, and it sounded rather tight. What you would expect from seasoned musicians, I guess.

These SoCal tour dates will feature a number of classic Scorpions songs, some Jimi Hendrix, and a couple Electric Sun tracks.

On Monday, we rehearse with Uli.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Uli Jon Roth Mini-tour Diary

I received the set list last week. I sorted through the recordings I have, then bought the songs I didn't have from itunes. I then sorted the recordings and put them into the order of the set list... some tracks, though, have chnaged over the years and Uli has asked that we learn the songs as they have recently been performed - youtube recordings are our reference.

The set includes a good number of classic Roth-era Scorpions songs, a handful of Jimi Hendrix and some Electric Sun. The plan: learn the songs in groups... Scorps first, Hendrix, then Electric Sun.

Today, I began to sit down with the Scorpions tracks - the difficulty with these, is dicerning/differenciating my rhythm guitar parts, as the original recordings/mixes can make it hard to hear individual harmony/guitar parts. I plan to make notes of the parts/sections in question and perhaps ask Uli about them over Skype.

Adrian Galysh and Uli Jon Roth

I will open for legendary ex-SCORPIONS axeman Uli Jon Roth and ALCATRAZZ (featuring Graham Bonnet) in January. I will also perform in Uli Jon Roth's band for these Southern California dates.

The details are as follows:

* Jan. 18 - Brick by Brick - San Diego, CA (Uli Jon Roth only)
* Jan. 20 - Majestic Ventura Theatre - Ventura, CA (Uli Jon Roth, Alcatrazz, Adrian Galysh)
* Jan. 21 - Blue Cafe - Huntington Beach, CA (Uli Jon Roth, Adrian Galysh)