Russ Parrish

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Russ Parrish
20170614-032-Nova Rock 2017-Steel Panther-Satchel.jpg
Russ Parrish performing with Steel Panther at Nova Rock 2017
Background information
Birth name Russell John Parrish
Also known as Satchel
Rikki Ratchet
Born (1970-11-24) November 24, 1970 (age 47)
Redwood City, California
Origin Los Angeles, California
Genres Glam metal, hard rock, heavy metal
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals, bass guitar, keyboard, percussion
Years active 1992–present
Labels Universal Republic
Associated acts

Russell John Parrish (born November 24, 1970), better known by the stage name Satchel, is an American musician. He is best known as a guitarist in the comedic glam metal band Steel Panther.


Russ Parrish graduated from The Guitar Institute of Technology (G.I.T.) at Hollywood's Musician's Institute in 1989. After graduating, Parrish became an instructor through the early 90's while playing with Racer X offshoot Bad Dog with vocalist Jeff Martin and The Electric Fence[1] with Martin on drums and Paul Gilbert alternating guitar and bass. When Paul Gilbert joined Mr. Big, Parrish rented a room in Gilbert's Los Angeles home and house-sat for him when Gilbert would go on tour, simultaneously recording demos in Gilbert's home studio.[2] He has worked extensively with Gilbert and has writing credits on several Paul Gilbert tracks.[3] Parrish is seen playing bass (alongside Jeff Martin on drums) in the tuning section of Gilbert's "Terrifying Guitar Trip" video.

He played guitar for Jeff Pilson's band, War & Peace, appearing on the Time Capsule album, a collection of demos released on Shrapnel Records. After the break-up of War & Peace, Parrish was playing in a Thin Lizzy cover band when Jeff Martin introduced him to Judas Priest singer Rob Halford, resulting in Parrish joining Halford's band Fight and recording the War of Words album.[4][5] Upon exiting Fight he joined Cleveland's Outta The Blue, a local glam metal band that closed their show with Racer X covers, and who later became The Szuters. In 1995, Parrish played guitar in Kevin Gilbert's touring band in support of Gilbert's Thud album. He can be seen performing with Gilbert on Welcome to Joytown – Thud Live at the Troubadour, a DVD and CD released in 2009, documenting the band's 1995 concert at The Troubador in Los Angeles. In 1996, Parrish played guitar with Sebastian Bach on the song "Rock Bottom" for an Ace Frehley tribute album, Spacewalk (A Salute to Ace Frehley).[6] From 2002 to 2006, he also played guitar in a Van Halen tribute band with Ralph Saenz called The Atomic Punks. Around the same time, he was in a Rush cover band called Moving Pictures with Atomic Punks drummer Scott Patterson. Russ Parrish also appeared with Corey Taylor in the Ronnie James Dio tribute album entitled "This Is Your Life" on the track "Rainbow In The Dark". In the early 2000s, he was the leader of his own band, The Thornbirds, with Darren Leader, Jeff Duncan, and Dean Cameron.

In 2000, Parrish was simultaneously playing in various bands and acting in the production "Rockalypse Now", a play written by future Thornbirds bassist and occasional Steel Panther songwriter Dean Cameron.[7] Around this time, he and Ralph Saenz started glam metal cover band Metal Shop as the characters Rikki Ratchet and Michael Diamond, respectively, and appeared in a Discover card commercial as "Danger Kitty", a fictional one-hit-wonder band that spends all their royalty money on opulence and goes bankrupt.[8] In 2003, Metal Shop (now renamed to Metal Skool) released their debut album, Hole Patrol, and began incorporating original songs into their live sets. The "classic" Steel Panther lineup was also cemented by this point, with Travis Haley on bass and Darren Leader on drums, and with the Rikki Ratchet and Michael Diamond aliases being replaced with Satchel and Michael Starr, respectively. Six years later, the band renamed to Steel Panther and released their first album under the name, entitled Feel the Steel.


In his early days, Parrish used a white Ibanez RG770 with sharktooth inlays as his primary guitar. During the Fight era, he primarily played a Heartfield/Fender Talon and was endorsed by Fender alongside Vinnie Moore, John Norum, Richie Sambora, and Joe Holmes.[9][10]

Since his work in Steel Panther, Parrish endorses Kramer Guitars. He plays Kramer Pacer guitars into EVH 5150 III 100 watt amplifiers which go through EVH Cabs. He runs his Kramer Pacer to his amp through a Line 6 G90 Wireless Relay system. For pedals, he is currently using a Boss TU-3 Tuner, a Boss Turbo Distortion, and an MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay Pedal – all powered by a Voodoo Labs Pedal Power. In the past, he used Marshall JCM 2000 (both TSL and DSL) amps, and both Peavey 5150 and Triple X amplifiers. He also occasionally uses Yamaha THR amplifiers offstage. He uses custom printed Tortex TIII 1.14mm picks.

The Kramer Pacers that Satchel plays are made with US-manufactured parts rather than off-the-shelf Kramer Pacer guitars manufactured in Korea and/or Indonesia. The most noticeable difference is the bubinga skunk stripe on the back of the necks on all of his guitars. He currently uses a Seymour Duncan JB TB-4 pickup in the bridge, and a Seymour Duncan 59' in the neck, and an original Floyd Rose tremolo with an EVH D-Tuna is fitted to all his guitars. As of 2016, he has stopped using the D-Tuna and instead has a single dedicated guitar for Drop D tuning. He uses D-Addario EXL Super Light (.09 -.42) gauge strings tuned a half-step down to E flat(Eb).

In 2014 Kramer released a signature model featuring both a yellow leopard paint and purple leopard paint. It has the same body as a pacer vintage but has one volume knob, a Seymour Duncan SH-4 and SH-2.

While endorsing and primarily playing Kramer guitars, Satchel has also occasionally used other guitar brands as well on some occasions, including Pacifica series guitars by Yamaha as well as various acoustic guitars. His primary acoustic guitar is a Gibson SJ-200 in Antique Natural.

Satchel has been seen playing a Charvel guitar since 2016. It has been speculated[by whom?] that Satchel will be shifting his endorsement to Charvel, and that possible signature models may become available. On March 29, 2017, Charvel posted an article talking about his Custom Charvel Dinky Bengal Striped guitar, the new album, and the latest music video.[11]

In July 2018, the "Pussy Melter", a delay pedal preset which had been manufactured by TC Electronic in an endorsement deal with Satchel, was removed from sale and discontinued following widespread criticism of its "sexist" marketing strategy.[12] In the end however, the preset was renamed "Repeat Offender" but Satchel still released a distortion pedal named the "Pussy Melter".[13]


Parrish has cited Tony Iommi, Ritchie Blackmore, Buck Dharma, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Lifeson and Yngwie Malmsteen as his main guitar influences.[14]


Year Album Band Credited as
1993 Time Capsule War & Peace Russ Parrish
War of Words Fight
1994 Smoke On The Water: A Tribute To Deep Purple Various
1996 Spacewalk: A Salute to Ace Frehley
2003 Hey That's What I Call Sludge Vol. 1
Hole Patrol Metal Skool Rikki Ratchet
2004 All the Same The Thornbirds Russ Parrish
2009 Feel the Steel Steel Panther Satchel
2011 Balls Out
2014 All You Can Eat
2017 Lower The Bar
Under the Covers: Volume II Ninja Sex Party


  1. ^ "Paul Gilbert - Into The Fire". racerxsurgeon. 2014-11-07. Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  2. ^ "Amps & Axes #141 - Paul Gilbert". The Amps & Axes Show. 2016-11-07. Retrieved 2017-04-08.
  3. ^ "Paul Gilbert – Paul The Young Dude: The Best Of Paul Gilbert (CD) at Discogs". 2003-06-03. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  4. ^ "Russ "Satchel" Parrish – Metal Storm". Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  5. ^ "Russ Parrish - Fight - War & Peace". MusicMayhem. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
  6. ^ "Kiss Related Recordings; Spacewalk ; A Tribute to Ace Frehley". 1997-07-01. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  7. ^ "CRIME SCENE - Rockalypse Now". Sacred Fools Theatre. 2000-10-01. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
  8. ^ "Danger Kitty - Love Rocket Discover Card Commercial (Steel Panther)". Retrieved 2017-04-09.
  9. ^ "Fender promotional poster". Retrieved 2018-07-12.[better source needed]
  10. ^ "Fender promotional poster". Retrieved 2018-07-12.[better source needed]
  11. ^ Instruments, Fender® Musical. "Steel Panthers Switch Up A Few Things for 'Lower the Bar' | Charvel Guitars". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  12. ^ Waters, Lowenna (July 11, 2018). "TC Electronic pull 'sexist' guitar pedal following outrage in the musical community". the Independent.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Interview: Steel Panther''s Satchel". 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2014-05-19.

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