NEW YORK AUDITIONS

When you’re in the guitar playing business and out of work, auditions are almost daily routine. I went to dozens of them, but as much as most acts wanted me, the feeling wasn’t always mutual. When I worked with Irene Carol, we ended up at the other end of the stick, and to parallel my personal experience, we seldom dug any of the applicants. We did like a man affectionately remembered as Alejandro, who drummed for Iggy, and a fabulous, married bass/drums combo fresh out of Rick Derringer’s band though. But that was all. Of those I auditioned for, Ian Hunter was the smoothest. We played a lot, and we did it more for the kicks than the actual audition. Three members of the E Street Band, Max, Gary, and Roy joined in and it ended up truly being a blast. When I left, I was received by an ovation from the foyer. Nice. The gig was mine to have, but the incumbent Mick Ronson had second thoughts about leaving, and we all knew Ian and Ronno were meant for each other. And so it went…


The most embarrassing audition I ever went to was for a lead guitar part in a band fronted by Tony Bennett’s sons. Somehow there was miscommunication and I ended up learning the wrong parts. I was put on the spot in the most absurd of ways. There was much talent there and I felt I could have contributed nicely, but then again, the studio was deep into Jersey, which posed a logistical issue.

Then there were the guys on the phone: “Would you say you look like Keith Richards?” or “You’ll be playing in the best Doors tribute band on the island!” As if Long Island didn’t have enough Doors tribute bands already… In perspective, everyone played a little bit off the identity defining game. (Thank God for the few who didn't give a shit about all that posturing!) And so it went on and on, until I finally realized that auditions were not where the game was at, for all the bands I ended up playing in steadily, happened without them...

Unique Recording, NYC