ronws Posted June 1, 2010 Share Posted June 1, 2010 jonpall suggested a separate thread for trivia, with which I wholeheartedly agree. Deep Purple had another singer before Ian Gillan. This singer went on to form his own band, named after a ridiculous name for a part of his anatomy. That singer is David Coverdale and the band is Whitesnake. Actor Michael McKean, formerly on the show "Laverne and Shirley," is a singer and songwriter. He wrote and performed much of the material in "This is Spinal Tap" and "A Mighty Wind." Actor Keannu Reeves had a band called Dog. Actor Tony Geary, from the soap operas, has played the title role in a version of the play, "Jesus Christ, Superstar." Actor Ewan McGregor does much of his own singing, from "Velvet Goldmine" to "Moulin Rouge." Melissa Etheridge once said in an interview that she got some of her hoarsest vocal towns by waiting until her voice was hoarse, either from shouting at a sporting event or having a cold. David Lee Roth had a similar approach for some of his lowest gravelly bits. He would only go out on Friday nights for one or two drinks and a few cigarettes (he never smoked at any other time) and then go in the studio, his voice ragged out and get "impossibly" low. I have his memoirs, "Crazy from the Heat," where you can read it directly from the horse's mouth, so to speak. For the ability to perform, they had they "craziest" clause in their contract for shows. No brown M & M's, ever. If there were, that means the production crew didn't read the contract and Van Halen didn't have to pay. Why was this important? Because the stage and clearances must be to specific dimensions for Dave's acrobatics. Over 6 feet tall and able to jump over 5 feet in the air, he needed a stage built with some rebound and enough clearance overhead. Once, a stage was built to high and his beginning jump of the drum riser caused him to hit his head on an overhead lighting rack and caused a scalp laceration. He has gone by himself before a show and sanded, finished and cleaned the stage himself. He had to wear leg braces until the age of 11. At which time, he got into Kenpo Karate. He has a 2nd degree black belt in the style. But even so, especially on tour, he is in constant pain from his feet, especially. He is an example of the old adage, one that Axl Rose follows. Everyone parties except the singer. The singer's body is his instrument and it must be cared for, as if it were a guitar or saxaphone, or what-have-you. When you saw Roth on stage guzzling from a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey, that was actually tea. Per his own words, there is no way you can do what he does unless you are stone cold sober. The bottle of Black Jack is a set piece for image. Roth also sees the voice as a muscular instrument that must be trained. He would get into arguments with Eddie Van Halen in later years when there was talk of having Roth come back. Roth wanted to know what the set list was. In his view, some of the songs he had not sang in a few years and he needed to train his voice to the songs as being played now and what to do to make the show. Whereas Eddie just wanted a set list anyone could sing. Well, great. But any singer would need to train to that set list. It was Eddie that abused drugs and alcohol. Not until Eddie dried out from rehab could they actually get back together. As I pointed out elsewhere, Roth's big influences were big band jazz singers such as Al Jolson and Mel Torme. Axl Rose is a world unto his own. He often travelled separate from the band. And slept on a different schedule. He is a perfectionist. But he is not a dictator. One of the reasons for so many band member changes in the last 12 years is that he doesn't believe in holding a person down. If they really want to go and do something, do it and God bless you. That being said, he is the legal owner of the trademark and band name, Guns and Roses. Co-songwriters Saul Hudson (Slash) and Duff McKagan signed away their rights back in the early 90's. However, they share copyright to a large chunk of the songs and Rose saw to it that they got their royalties, after a mix-up in the paperwork. That is why Slash could perform "Sweet Child of Mine" with Fergie from the Black-eyed Peas on the vocals. When you see Axl grimace on stage, that is not just a pose for dramatic effect. It is to arrange his throat to resonate the higher notes. The move he does where he sways his upper body while only bending from the waist is for the same reason. I was one of the few to notice a similarity in his timbre and that of Janis Joplin and that was wholly by accident. I was listening to the radio and they played a Joplin sung immediately followed by a Guns and Roses song. I can hear in his voice quite a bit of twang and some distortion. Why are many singers reluctant to talk about the developement of their sound? Probably for a similar reason to Eddie Van Halen's secret. A trade secret, so to speak. For quite sometime, Eddie played with his back to the crowd. Not because he was shy. He didn't want people seeing the two-handed technique. Also, in interviews, he has purposely lied about how he made Frankenstein, the signature red Stratocaster that he started out with. Recently, he teamed with a guitar maker and the actual construction techniques he used are patented by him. In the same vein, I think, singers do that, too. It's their special trick, their money-maker, and they don't want to be eclipsed by "copy-cats." Singer John Fogerty still owns the band name Credence Clearwater Revival. So, the rest of the band still plays under the name Credence Clearwater Revisited and they singer, also named John, sounds very much like John Fogerty. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now