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Road Tales, #1: Name Droppers Anonymous

17th April 2003

(Photo - backstage with Gregg Bissonette after the gig... that's me, kneeling)Around 1991, my band Ice Tiger was a happening thing in our home town, and we were playing a couple of regular gigs every week that were pretty much standing room only.  Our drummer worked in a big drum shop, and they had, in conjunction with a major drum manufacturer, brought out Gregg Bissonette (who was then playing with David Lee Roth) to do a national clinic tour.  James (our drummer) was given the job of driving Gregg around, and keeping him entertained while he was in Perth.  This meant that on Saturday night, Gregg had the choice of sitting in his hotel room, or going to the gig with James.  We were suitably impressed with our drummer's guest, and put on a great show to give him a good impression of Aussie rock bands.  His reaction was to floor us all, by saying "Hey, you guys are great... mind if I get up for a play?” 

After approximately 3.25 nanoseconds of thought, I said "sure!” and we picked a few tunes that Gregg might know.  We talked quickly through our arrangements for the endings of the tunes, and we hit the stage for the second set, with a very special surprise for the crowd.

Our singer's announcement of a 'special guest' was greeted first with disbelief, then hysteria as Gregg climbed up behind the drum kit and counted us into 'Just Like Paradise', a track he had recorded with David Lee Roth on the 'Skyscraper' album.  We followed up with 'Yankee Rose' and 'Jump', leaving the audience (and us - let's be honest) gasping.  Hyped up by our superstar guest drummer's impromptu appearance, we played the rest of the gig like it was Wembley Stadium.  We blew everyone away with our show, including Mr. Bissonette.  Of course, there were no contracts or plane tickets forthcoming, just a great memory of having played with one of the best rock drummers around - and discovering, to our pleasure, that some rock stars are just regular blokes, and very nice ones at that.

Graham Greene


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