Bass legend, Billy Sheehan is my latest guest. We went back throughout his entire career, to his Talas years, joining David Lee Roth, to releasing a record last year. We talk about the late Phil Nero and his passing. “He was giving it 200%” Billy said about his vocal performance on the last album.
Winery Dogs 3 is out now. Billy talks about playing with Richie Kotzen and Mike Portnoy. Apparently, Richie stopped using a pick while playing his guitar. That’s a crazy story.
What did he do during the lockdown? “I did tracks for people.” He did over 600 tracks for bands and musicians from all over, and all styles of music. He told some amusing stories about doing that for people.
He gives an update on what’s going on with Mr. Big. He said they have a drummer ready to go, but that person is currently doing other things, so they can’t announce who it is just yet.
Billy goes home every year for the Musicians of Buffalo Annual Christmas Concert. He told me what inspired that and what a joy it is to play. We talked about a collaboration he did with an Indonesian band called Dewa 19. Tyler Connolly from Theory of a Deadman gave me a great question – who’s the best guitar player he’s played with? Billy has shared the stage with legendary players. His answer? “That would be tough”
On his time in David Lee Roth’s band “We had a riot…what an adventure!”
See Billy with the Winery Dogs at the Token Lounge on March 11th.
You can watch the whole interview below.
Local Music Venue Spotlight: The Machine Shop
Want to check out a really cool live music venue? Get to Flint, Michigan and visit the Machine Shop! It’s a club that the fans and musicians equally enjoy. One thing about the Shop, is that many bands who now play theaters or arenas, have played there. It’s so cool to see these bands grow and expand their audience. I can also tell you that those bands do not forget the venue, or how well they were treated there by management, staff and the fans alike. A testament to that is the fact that Vinnie Paul from Pantera was buried in a Machine Shop shirt.
Kevin Zink’s owned the venue for 21 years, and has booked over 2,300 shows there, many nights with multiple bands. Everyone from Kid Rock, to Shinedown, to Sevendust and Eric Church have played the Machine Shop stage. Kevin told me that the Cleveland based band, Mushroomhead, has played there the most times.
A panoramic view of the Machine Shop taken by Minty.
If you’ve never been there, Kevin describes the club like this – “I would describe it as kick ass, and then wonder about them since they have never been here! Hahaha! Seriously though, it is like 80s rock club, meets hot rod shop, meets tattoo shop, but with top notch sound and lights!” People have traveled from near and far to catch a band or bands there. “You name the country and there is a good chance someone has traveled from there to Flint, Mi.. We have seen people from Japan, Denmark, Brazil and many more. We have lots of people come from the far ends of the US to see their favorite band in the last of the real rock clubs.”
You’d think in the world of Rock N’ Roll there would be some crazy stuff on the bands riders, or backstage. Kevin says that doesn’t happen too often. “I don’t find crazy shit, just a lot of messes! Condoms are about the craziest on a rider, which really isn’t that crazy at all. The days of crazy seem to have gone away a bit. It is all pretty professional.”
Speaking from personal experience, The Machine Shop is staffed by very friendly, helpful people, who are also huge music fans. You can tell that the people who work there take great pride in making each show a memorable one for the fans.
With one look at their website, you can see that they host a wide variety of music, not just rock.
Check out some pictures taken at the Machine Shop by there in-house photographer, Minty.
I hope to see you at an upcoming show at the Shop. Oh, and don’t forget to snag one or six of their world famous t-shirts!