SCHENKER PATTISON SUMMIT - Travails With Michael
by Martin Popoff
Consummate blues metal vocalist DAVEY PATTISON is best known for the albums he did in the '80s with GAMMA and ROBIN TROWER. A little greyer but still of full shaggy mane, the Scotsman is back as part of the SCHENKER PATTISON SUMMIT, recently having issued his second album of blues covers under that moniker (the Schenker being Michael, of UFO fame), for Shrapnel Records.
"Well, I'm very friendly with the guy who owns the label," explains Pattison, from his home in San Francisco. "Mike Varney and I have been friends for years, and Mike called me up and said, 'Would you be interested in doing this?' And I said sure. I mean, I'm always interested in playing with great players, and Michael is certainly that. Plus, Aynsley Dunbar (drums) and I are friends from over the years. So yeah, fun little project."
Michael has always had this reputation of a guy who doesn't listen to a lot of outside music, and yet this is all covers. Does he have to be educated on this material?
"I don't think he has to be educated on it, no. I think he just goes to it naturally. He probably grew up with most of this, as I did, in the old days, I guess. It's actually fun doing these covers. Because it makes it real simple. Because everyone more or less knows the songs and you just go in and do them. I mean, I did the whole record in ten hours (laughs)."
"I wasn't there when Michael did the guitar parts," qualifies Pattison, when asked about Michael's notorious meticulousness when constructing solos. "If I have a complaint about these albums, that would be it. It was all kind of done separate. The basic tracks for both the albums were done in Las Vegas, and then we got them back from there and I did the vocals here in the Bay area, and then Michael was flown in, and he did the guitar parts. It's not the best way, in my opinion, to do a record. If I had a wish list, it would've been to do the whole thing in Las Vegas, you know what a mean? Where the whole band is there together, and we just do it that way. But it didn't work out that way. I guess it's budget, basically."
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