WHITESNAKE/WINGER guitarist Reb Beach has posted a lengthy update at his official web site regarding his collabroative project with KING'S X frontman Doug Pinnick. Read on:
"The producer pulled out because of other obligations and the label suggested Kip to produce, and I, of course, was thrilled! Kip [Winger] agreed to do it and I drove to Nashville and got a three-hundred-dollar speeding ticket. They clocked me at ninety, but I was doing a hundred when I spotted them and slammed on the brakes. I was lucky they didn't spot the open six-pack in the back. I got there fast though!
"Kip just throws himself into his work. We worked 15 hours a day. I brought Kip 120 ideas and he liked ten of them for the project. All of my ideas are unfinished because I never know how to finish them. I had a song tentatively titled 'Change the World'. It was a verse and a chorus. Kip took one listen and said in his patented Morris the Cat voice, 'That's not a chorus, it's a bridge.' He was right and we finished the song in ten minutes. I NEVER would have called it a bridge, for God's sake! The man is a genius. It is now the hit ballad song on the record. He took my ideas and went to the piano and said stuff like, 'OK, now go down a whole tone and play the verse riff, but change it a little for the relief section.' GO DOWN A WHOLE TONE??? Writers of this genre never go down a whole tone, let alone know what one is. The problem with going down a whole tone is that eventually you have to go back up a whole tone to get back to the chorus. No problem for Kip. I must have said, 'Oh my God, that's brilliant!' eight hundred times. This guy studies composition day in and day out. There were papers all over the place with fugues and sonnets and quintets and I DON'T KNOW WHAT THOSE ARE!! He would wake up at seven and go in and score for an orchestra before I got there every day!!
"The ideas I brought to Kip were like my babies. Having him listen to them was like having your underwear inspected by the Oakmont chapter of the Women's Bridge club. I sat there cringing while he calmly kept saying 'Next.' He then started using his thumb like a good or suck needle, going from 'thumbs up' to 'thumbs down' to 'thumbs sideways,' which meant just OK. I kept waiting for the thumb to go up. It stayed sideways and down for a long time. He did much of it while on the phone. I was making a castle out of the beer cans that were piling up on my side of the room.
"We wrote and recorded the basics to ten songs that, as you know, I have been writing for two years. The result is what at this point sounds like a really good WINGER record. It sounds like WINGER now because it's just me and Kip. That will change when Doug sings it. There are hits and jam songs, lots of riff-based rock with doubled guitars and big hooky choruses. It's just what this label wants. When the smoke had cleared, Kip made my year. He told me that I was not only a writer, but a great writer, and had missed my calling. He said I had a full record's worth of hit pop songs and although they were not right for this record, they were all number ones for another artist. He told me if I finished them I could get them placed in an instant. He also said if I wanted to do them he would produce. Kip is not the type to blow smoke. My family, especially my brother John, has always urged me to reinvent myself and release my pop stuff as someone else, or get these songs on the radio somehow, but hearing from Kip made me really believe it. It is the first time he has really acknowledged me as a writer, and he is the one who taught me how. On this trip alone he taught me so much my head was swimming. The main thing he taught me was how to FINISH the friggin' song!
"So I drove home with the basics and am now cutting solos. Since we were now cutting in Nashville and not L.A., we couldn't afford to fly in a drummer and put him up, so Frankie Banali [QUIET RIOT] was out. I still really want to work with him one day, because he is great. The label suggested Kelly Keagy (NIGHT RANGER) and Kip and I went 'Of course!!!' He lives in Nashville and when we did a jam together at the Hard Rock in Vegas, he kicked ass. He also sings his ass off, which is good for if we ever tour with this thing. Kelly just sent me his tracks, and he DID kick ass. He has his one great style that you can hear right away. He gave each song a new twist, and he LOVES the stuff. He has been calling me every day goin', 'MAN this stuff is great!' It really is a great record. Doug Pinnick is working on the lyrics now. Timothy [Drury; EAGLES, DON HENLEY] is doing the keys from his house. We should cut vocals and mix sometime in April, depending on how fast everyone does their job.
"So, as you can tell I am extremely excited! These records typically don't sell a whole lot, but I always like to think I could be one of those few artists that upsets the way things work in the music business. You know, one DJ goes gaga over it and gets flooded with requests. Then it gets on playlists and starts a domino effect. A MAN CAN DREAM CAN'T HE!!!!!!! One thing is for sure, you guys are gonna love it."