So I sent out a couple of these ’10 Questions with…’ One of the replies came from Billy Sheehan whom I have followed since about 1983. Billy has been in Talas/UFO/David Lee Roth/Mr Big amongst others.
Here’s Billy’s answer’s to my Questions….
|Billy! Thanks so much for doing this for me! The first time I came across Billy Sheehan was back in 1983 when I was flipping through Kerrang Magazine. There you were playing bass for UFO on there “Making Contact’ tour! Can you explain how all that came about as back than there was no social media and you’re in Buffalo New York and then you are in UFO?
Back THEN you mean. And on THEIR Making Contact record. These words are important. They have meaning. Please use them correctly. I’m hesitant to continue after seeing this, but I will try. Talas opened for UFO in Buffalo and they all saw me play. Michael Schenker used me on his first solo record ( though I ended up not recording ), and UFO called me to do this tour.
(deke says- Sorry Bill for not being that great with the English Vocabulary. I know you were hesitant to carry on. Thank You for continuing on…)
From there I picked up on import here in Thunder Bay a copy of “Talas’ Live Speed On Ice’. Up until that point I time I had never heard a Bass solo! Your ” 7718 (3A17)” is one the of the best. That live album is a great document of a band on the move. It was hard for me back than to find anything about Talas in magazines. What made you guys call it day?
I joined David Lee Roth. I thought that was pretty obvious.
(deke says- To the music fan we all know you joined DLR and thanks for skipping my question about Talas.)
One thing I know for certain is “unemployed’ is not used in your vocabulary. From the demise of Talas you join David Lee Roth which I know you have heard a million times over how good that band was! I will add that sentiment as well. ”Eat Em And Smile” is a fine display of musicianship as you guys set the bar very high on that album! What memories of that time standout the most?
No–there was no demise of Talas resulting in me going to join Dave. Wrong sequence of events. I left the band when Dave called me. I was never “unemployed”. You are the first person in 33 years to assume such a thing.
(deke says- Never meant “unemployed” as an insult Bill. I was impressed by the fact that you were always constantly working.)
One song that I would like to finally hear your answer on is that I have read over the years that the DLR band covered Kim Mitchells ‘Kids In Action’. Was that song recorded? If so why was it not released?
The entire story is in Guitar Worlds article about the DLR band by Greg Renoff. That’s the first time it was ever written about.
(deke says- Lot’s of folks did not know that the DLR band covered ‘Kids In Action”. I don’t play guitar Bill so I missed that whole Guitar World article. )
Keeping with a Canadian Connection here. Were you ever in Kim’s band ‘Max Webster?
Yes. Common knowledge.
(deke says- Nope Bill, not common knowledge as I never really heard Kim talk about it in interviews. Kim has said that he knows you but other than that…)
On Roth’s ‘Skyscraper’ album I really love your bass lines on “Two Fools A Minute” You and Steve Vai are a dynamite together. Any chance of doing any recording at all together? If so I guessed I missed it! My apologies …
Steve and I have recorded since then many times.
(deke says- Thanks for clearing that up Bill.)
From Roth you formed Mr Big and that is a band that has done real well right out of gate. My condolences on Drummer Pat Torpey passing away as well. I think its great that you guys are still out there playing Mr Big music as its timeless! How did Mr Big decide to pack it in was that due to Grunge sweeping North America back in 92-93 even though you guys were and still are huge in Japan?
It was due to nothing other than us being burnt out.
First ever album that you purchased?
Having a Rave Up with the Yardbirds
If you had to go with 5 all time favourite albums as a music fan what would they be?
Too hard to choose.
(dekes says- Never heard of ‘Too Hard To Choose’. I wonder if Apple Music has that one?)
Feel free to plug whatever it is that you are currently up to! On a side note. Thanks so much for answering my 10 “Fanboy’ Questions. I should have asked 30! Continued success Billy!
Thanks very much! My pleasure!
(deke says- Thanks Bill for answering when you didn’t have too. Funny thing is I was a huge fan of Bill’s before but when I got these answers back I kind of salted on the guy a bit. Talented yes but I dunno what the deal was but that’s Bill’s issue not mine. I did give my copy of Eat Em to Tbone lol. )