Hired Gun (2016) - Netflix doc about touring sidemen

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by dadonred, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. True, some of the sidemen were never recognized, but some broke out on their own. Maybe you could read the names of the session players from the "Wrecking Crew" on Partridge Family albums, but not on Association or even Simon and Garfunkel albums. Sidemen like James Burton finally got recognition with the issue of an Ace CD chronicling some of his sideman recordings dating back to 1956 with performers he toured with like Ricky Nelson, Dale Hawkins and Bob Luman. But I get your drift and what this new documentary covers is the next generation of sidemen.
  2. Lukather

    Lukather Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    Tonight I watched/rented "Hired Gun" off of iTunes. Outstanding, learned a lot. Amazing stories of musicians being in the right place at the right time, and the tough times working for an artist, and making little money and no fame, and the opposite, of course.

    The feature-length documentary, which has been screened to both critic and audience acclaim at SXSW Festival, Glastonbury Festival, MIFF, Calgary International and Noise Pop, introduces music fans to some of the world’s unsung heroes of the music industry through exclusive interviews and performances. These artists have played with musical legends such as Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, Billy Joel, P!NK, Ozzy Osbourne, Michael Jackson, Metallica, Bon Jovi and many more.

    “Hired Gun” is the story of the musical talent responsible for the most famous instrumental solos in the world, who have toured with the musical legends who hired them. The hired gun community lives and breathes music, and, for the first time, its members share their incredible stories and exclusive musical performances with the world in this inspiring new documentary.

    They are recognized as some of the best musicians in the world, and include Jason Hook (Five Finger Death Punch), Liberty DeVitto (Billy Joel), Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp), Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne), Phil X (Bon Jovi), Justin Derrico, Mark Schulman (P!NK), Ray Parker Jr. (Ghostbusters), Jason Newsted (Metallica), Eric Singer (KISS), John 5 (Rob Zombie), Glen Sobel, Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper), Steve Lukather (Michael Jackson, Toto), Steve Vai (David Lee Roth), Paul Bushnell (Katy Perry), Jay Graydon (Steely Dan), Derek St. Holmes (Ted Nugent), Chris Johnson (Rihanna), music producer David Foster, and featuring Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie, and more. These “hired guns” have mastered their craft and performed on the greatest stages and in high-intensity recording sessions, yet rarely receive credit for their work. In the vein of the 2014 Academy Award©-winning doc “20 Feet from Stardom,” “Hired Gun” details the highs and lows of touring life, the demands of session schedules, and the dedication required to play backseat to some of rock’s most iconic musicians.
  3. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident

    Bexley, Ohio
    I just watched. Great movie. Really points a bad light on Billy Joel. What's up with Newstead? Isn't he a little old for the whole sideways hat thing?
    johnny q likes this.
  4. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    Watched this a couple of weeks back. I thought it was great. Very entertaining. I had no idea Derek St Holmes sang on those songs and yes, Billy Joel, didn't come out of it so well.
  5. Somewhat Damaged

    Somewhat Damaged Forum Resident

    FYI there’s a feature length documentary on UK Netflix called Hired Gun (2016) about touring sidemen and studio musicians. I enjoyed it.

    ‘A documentary film about session and touring musicians that are hired by well-established and famous bands and artists like Metallica, KISS, and Billy Joel. These hired guns may not be household names, but are still masters of their craft.’

    Hired Gun (2016) - IMDb
    dgstrat likes this.
  6. Humbuster

    Humbuster Forum Resident

    Excellent flick, thanks for recommending.

    Worth it for the Jay Graydon story alone.
    dgstrat likes this.
  7. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    Agree, excellent documentary. Very entertaining and informative. I feel sorry for some of the those Billy Joel guys.
  8. Gretsch6136

    Gretsch6136 Forum Resident

    Yeah an excellent documentary. Unfortunately all those sidemen and women treated the live jams in front of a camera like some kind of competition. The playing, whilst technically competent was just awful musically. It was almost like '80s shred was making a comeback!
  9. carrick doone

    carrick doone Forum Resident

    Vancouver, Canada
    I really enjoy this kind of documentary and I enjoyed it but thought this was more like a "Life on the road with musicians" documentary. Unlike the Wrecking Crew documentary which highlighted and discussed the development and influence of a small group of sidemen on popular music of the time, this seemed to be a sampling of a group of hired guns for 80s - 00s bands. In that it seemed a bit superficial. I wanted more. I am certain this subject is more vast and deep.

    Having said that I enjoyed all of it. Rudy Sarzo's pieces were especially good and poignant. The story of drummer Liberty D was sad in the end. Alice Cooper's bits were great.
  10. groundharp

    groundharp Maybe your friends think I'm just a stranger

    There are 3 separate threads about this documentary, so they should be combined into one thread.

    Saw the flick a few weeks ago at a friend's house. One takeaway was that sidemen often get screwed over, which is nothing I didn't already know. But the example in the documentary of the Nine Inch Nails guy was pretty shocking: when he needs a bit more than the pittance he's getting from Trent/N.I.N., he's told there's a part-time job delivering pizza. Later, when that musician forms his own successful band, does he remember how he was treated and and decide to treat HIS sidemen better? No, he s**ts on them just as bad, or worse. I suppose that's about what should be expected from people who create that kind of nihilistic "music".
    The Hud and Szeppelin75 like this.
  11. Duke Fame

    Duke Fame Forum Resident

    Tampa, FL
    Yeah, I just happened to watch this about 2 weeks ago and Billy Joel comes off really bad. I should know better, but it was still a bit shocking.
    krock2009 likes this.
  12. groundharp

    groundharp Maybe your friends think I'm just a stranger

    An excerpt from a review I found @ mcguff.in:
    "Ex-Nine Inch Nails guitar tech turned Filter lead singer Richard Patrick doesn’t come off very well though, as he brags about how low he pays his hired guns and the mediocre touring conditions he lets them endure, having endured similar hardships before breaking out on his own."
  13. Don't nobody know what Buckethead looks like, and I doubt that's gonna ever change anytime soon.
  14. Eiricd

    Eiricd Forum Resident

    Well worth watching! On Netflix now...

    Billy Joel does come across as an a**e, but then again; I am sure he could share some stories too that would balance it out more...
    And all things considered, the original band did have a hell of a run. A shame about the bass player, but I felt the inclusion/emphasis on that part was unfair to BJ. Could have been anyone in pretty much any line of work...
  15. Lownotes

    Lownotes Forum Resident

    Denver, CO
    Agree! This doesn't, and shouldn't, replace The Wrecking Crew, Muscle Shoals, Standing In The Shadows, or any others. It is a companion to those, and a very good one!!
  16. segue

    segue Forum Resident

    hint: BH's ex and long-time collaborator is the amazing Melissa Reese who is now playing keyboards in G&R. She is Japanese a pop culture queen!

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
  17. GodShifter

    GodShifter Negative Creep®

    Dallas, TX, USA
    Speaking as a “hired gun” for several years, the movie is accurate to a point. That said, the day Rudy Sarzo is known as one of the “best musicians in the world” is the day I eat my bass guitar with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

    For the record, I played with Richard Patrick and he’s a good dude. He might suffer from self esteem issues, but he’s nice and easy to work for.
    Tree of Life likes this.
  18. dadonred

    dadonred I learned to pose before I learned to play Thread Starter

    Austin, TX
    You have to admit though Rudy scored some good gigs. I really liked him in this doc, grounded guy, considering.
  19. Somewhat Damaged

    Somewhat Damaged Forum Resident

    I walked out the room to do other things while they jammed. Like when I watched the 20 Feet from Stardom doc, it’s so obvious that the difference between a famous star and a technically accomplished supporting performer is the X-factor that makes them interesting in and of themselves. Technical competence is not enough.
    bpmd1962 and Dan C like this.
  20. townsend

    townsend Forum Resident

    Montrose, CO
    A number of individuals in this documentary came off as jerks. Billy Joel going after his band after his accountant/manager rips him off. Billy needs to get a life -- his reaction was totally misdirected. I like Filter and Richard Patrick's music, but he wouldn't be someone I would look forward to meeting. Steve Lukather came across as others have said he is -- great player but full of himself.

    Finally, Rudy Sarzo, the bassist, came across as cool as ice and introspective. A really nice guy, super talented as well. He's a guy I would enjoy hanging out with.
    Tree of Life likes this.
  21. Comet01

    Comet01 Forum Resident

    In the movie, Rudy comes across as a thoughtful, humble man.

    I was surprised to see 2 things on his Wiki page:
    1) He is the current bassist for The Guess Who (playing in Jim Kale's faux band) .
    2) "Sarzo is also an avid computer digital animator. When not touring or recording, he is a 3D technical director and co-executive producer at Ocean Visual FX in Southern California."
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
    dadonred and Zoot Marimba like this.
  22. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    I didn't think too much of the film - seemed like all the scenes of the 'hired guns' jamming (or playing solo.... yea, another drum solo) was there just to fill up time. The amount of interesting info was probably less than ten minutes.
    erikdavid5000 likes this.
  23. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group

    I saw it on Netflix and I thought it was pretty good. Good interviews, it was cool hearing these different stories, I enjoyed it a fair amount
    Szeppelin75 likes this.
  24. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group

    Yeah, I'm not sure if I've ever heard a bad story about Rudy
    dadonred likes this.
  25. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group

    I thought she was Brain's girlfriend or wife.

    As far as his face, hey, I never thought he'd do a recorded out of character interview, so who knows

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