Video: Earl Slick on the Nuances of Being a Sideman and Writing Riffs for Bowie

A few months back, we had a chance to catch up with Earl Slick on the phone to talk about his upcoming documentary, Rock 'n' Roll Guns for Hire: The Story of the Sideman.

The purpose of the documentary is to shed light on the sideman — how he or she differentiates from a session player and what the sideman's role is on stage. The documentary is full of famous musicians whose names we have and haven't heard but whose playing we'd immediately recognize from our favorite tunes.

As a followup to that initial conversation, we were stoked to welcome Earl into the Reverb studio to play a bit for us and talk more about what being a sideman means to him. While he was here, Earl also talked us through the origins of a few of key Bowie riffs including the opening to "Stay" and "Golden Years" from Station to Station.


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