Dream Gig: Rusty Anderson with Paul McCartney. (Input/Output)
Molenda, Michael, Guitar Player
If playing Beatles hits onstage with an actual Beatle isn't the supreme sideman gig, please e-mail alternate suggestions to GP. Los Angeles session vet Rusty Anderson snagged the coveted guitar spot after playing on McCartney's latest album, Driving Rain [Capitol]. Now Anderson gets to play things like the solo to "Maybe I'm Amazed" while a legend backs him up on piano. What could be cooler than that?
How was the first meeting with McCartney at the Driving Rain sessions?
I shook his hand and stuttered out my name like a little kid.
Did you get the feeling he was sussing you out before he selected you for his touring band?
Not really. I think any impression I made on him occurred when we were working on the album. He has been doing this for a long time, and he's very good at picking musicians who can work well together.
What gear are you using in concert?
Mainly my Gibson SG and Divided By 13 amps. The amps have a real full, vintage-like sound. I don't play very loud--I like to keep the stage volume down and let the monitor system do the work. Occasionally, I'll pull out an old Gretsch Corvette, and I use a Les Paul for slide parts. I have a rack stuffed with a bunch of pedals--such as a Pete Cornish Soft Sustain-2 that Paul turned me on to--and I control everything with a Digital Music Corp. Ground Control Pro. All the pedals are patched into an Axxess GRX-4 loop switcher, which has excellent buffers--the sound of my guitar doesn't change when I kick the effects in and out.
Was it a challenge having to learn so much material for the tour?
Actually, it wasn't. I was already so influenced by the Beatles that everything was a comfortable fit. …