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Thread: Guitar Players: This is How It's Done

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM

    Guitar Players: This is How It's Done

    I've probably mentioned him here before, but Tim Pierce is a contemporary of mine from ABQ who came up through the local ranks at about the same time I did. We were casual friends, although he was closer friends (and even a roommate) of some of my other friends. (He did come over and jam with us at my parent's house one night when our band was rehearsing years ago. He was close friends with our singer at the time. Bobby Unser Jr. tagged along that night, too.)

    30 years or so ago Tim moved to LA and started playing with several artists, most notably Lita Ford and Rick Springfield. Since then, he has become one of the most respected and prolific studio guitarists in LA, having played on something like 20,000 recordings. (Or was it 30K...I don't remember.) A while back he started doing a series of short videos showing him at work in his home studio. To me, it's fascinating to see how a real pro does it. This video shows him adding tracks to a couple of country songs...he does this stuff with virtually no rehearsal, and in just one or two takes.

    Check out some of the other videos on his site if you're interested. Also, here's a list of some of the albums he's played on and artists he's worked with:
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    So, basically, He's probably played on just about 75% of the songs that have made it in the top 40 in the last 30 years.

    That's awesome.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
    What a treat that was to watch. Thanks for posting it Vaughn
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    thanks vaughn for some great music clips
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Man he makes it look so easy.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word boo. Robert Brault

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Nice to watch a great player do his thing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    So, basically, He's probably played on just about 75% of the songs that have made it in the top 40 in the last 30 years...
    That number might be a bit high, considering that he's played on a lot of albums very few people have heard about, but he has indeed played on a lot of hits. Some of my favorite playing of his was on one and only album. (And one that most people have never heard of.) He didn't play live with them, though. Mark Bonilla filled his slot on the road. He also played some cool stuff with Crowded House. He's also done most (if not all) of the guitar work on Rick Springfield's records over the years. There's even a recent video on Tim's site showing him and Rick clowning around and Tim test driving Rick's new car.

    On a tangent here, but Rick Springfield's longtime keyboardist, Derek Hilland, is another Albuquerque boy who's done very well for himself. (He's also played with Dio, Whitesnake, Iron Butterfly, and others.) Derek is an awesome player, very nice guy, and the brother-in-law of one of my best friends, Steve Brittenham. Steve played keyboards in the band I was in. We met years before that when I stole his fiancee from him in 1975. He still thanks me for that to this day.

    At the risk of repeating a story I may have told here in the past...

    Funny thing about Tim was that his first guitar teacher almost gave up on him and suggested he take up another hobby. Tim was well into his teens when he started taking lessons, and his first teacher was Bob Grothe, who was also one of my teachers. (In fact it was Bob who recommended me to the store and got me started as a teacher, in the same store he worked in, in a studio next to one of my other teachers.) Anyway, Bob taught Tim for a few months, and according to him, Tim had no sense of rhythm, no ear (couldn't tune his guitar), and in general had no knack for guitar playing. Then one summer, Tim stopped taking lessons and went away for a few months. When Tim came back for lessons that fall, it was like he'd been injected with guitar blood. He suddenly understood how it all worked. Bob was blown away by his skills. In a fairly short length of time, he became one of the most respected players in town. When he moved to LA, he was roommates with my buddy Steve Brittenham. (This was before Steve moved back to ABQ and joined our band.) Steve says Tim was always practicing. They'd go to the beach, and Tim would sit in the van practicing. They's have girls come over to party...Tim was in the back room practicing. He even took the guitar into the bathroom with him when he went in there to spend some "quality time". He built up his skills through hard work and perseverance.

    When our band was starting up, Tim's band was at the top of the local heap. We were even the opening act once for a large outdoor concert where Tim's band was the headliner. (The NM Rockfest, promoted by a buddy of ours.) That band didn't last very long, though, and at about that time, Tim moved to LA. Within a few years, we were the top of the heap band, and when our buddy decided to have NM Rockfest II, we were the headliners.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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