|Birth name||Robert Wachtel|
May 24, 1947 |
New York City, New York, United States
Robert "Waddy" Wachtel (born May 24, 1947) is an American musician, composer and record producer, most notable for his guitar work. Wachtel has worked as session musician for other artists such as Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards, James Taylor, Iggy Pop, Warren Zevon, Bryan Ferry, Michael Sweet, and Jackson Browne, both in the studio and live.
- 1 Early years
- 2 Films
- 3 Session and touring work
- 4 Misconceptions
- 5 Legal issues
- 6 Equipment
- 7 2000 to present
- 8 Discography (partial)
- 9 Filmography (Partial)
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Wachtel was born May 24, 1947, in Jackson Heights, Queens, in the New York City Borough of Queens. At about age 9–10, Wachtel began to learn to play the guitar, taking lessons with teacher Gene Dell (who insisted that he learn to play right-handed despite being naturally left-handed) until about age 14. At that age, he says, he began writing songs.
Wachtel also studied with Rudolph Schramm, who was the head of the NBC staff orchestra and went on to teach music at Carnegie Hall. Schramm tried to get Wachtel to take piano lessons, but Wachtel was intent on playing guitar so Schramm agreed to give him guitar lessons three times a week about rhythm, melody and harmony.
After performing with local bands in the New York area, Wachtel formed his own band, The Orphans, who played in Connecticut and New Hampshire. Eventually the band settled into a regular bar band routine, playing in Newport, Rhode Island, where Wachtel took lessons from Sal Salvador. When the Orphans disbanded, he formed another band, Twice Nicely. At the suggestion of Bud Cowsill (of The Cowsills), he brought Twice Nicely to Los Angeles in 1968 where they recorded a few demos, but after two years, Wachtel decided to work as a session player, recording with The Cowsills and produce their albums.
He also played in the Oscar's awarded short film Session Man in 1991. Wachtel has composed and played instruments for film scores including Joe Dirt, Up in Smoke, Nice Guys Sleep Alone, The Longest Yard, The Benchwarmers, Grandma's Boy, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, Strange Wilderness, The House Bunny, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop. He has also composed, produced, or performed in songs with Warren Zevon, Joe Walsh, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt and others.
Session and touring work
By 1973, he played with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks on their first album Buckingham Nicks (credited as 'Waddy', no surname), and on tour. Later, when Nicks and Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac, he played rhythm guitar on their 1975 album Fleetwood Mac on the track "Sugar Daddy".
In 1980, he wrote, recorded and sang lead vocals on an album for producer Peter Asher with members of Linda Ronstadt's band, including musicians Don Grolnick, Dan Dugmore, and Rick Marotta. Both the group and the album were titled Ronin. Released on the Mercury label, the record never charted.
He has appeared on hundreds of albums over the years. Other artists and bands he has worked with include The Everly Brothers, Jackson Browne, Kim Carnes, Rosanne Cash, The Church, Bob Dylan, Silver Condor, Gilby Clarke, Melissa Etheridge, Bryan Ferry, Bernard Fowler, Andrew Gold, Don Henley, Carole King, Miranda Lambert, The Motels, John Mayer, Maria Muldaur, Randy Newman, Steve Perry, Iggy Pop, Bonnie Raitt, Keith Richards, Adam Sandler, Bob Seger, Carly Simon, The Rolling Stones, James Taylor, and Tom Waits.
Production credits include albums by Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards, Jackson Browne, Bryan Ferry, The Church, Sand Rubies, George Thorogood and the Destroyers and Warren Zevon. Wachtel co-wrote several songs with Zevon including "Werewolves of London". He also co-wrote the Warren Zevon song "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead" from the album Mr. Bad Example. He performed and co-produced the first two Zevon albums.
Wachtel also shares co-writing credits with Stevie Nicks on a few tracks such as "Annabel Lee", and "I Don't Care".
Wachtel has been credited on some albums as Bob Wachtel (short for his real name Robert), but some online sources have incorrectly credited him as Richard Wachtel on the albums that he was credited as having played guitar on them - in fact, there was never a Richard Wachtel who played on any of those albums and the thing may have originated when someone substituted Richard for Robert, thus causing the myth to snowball.
Wachtel and his wife Annie were arrested in 1998 on suspicion of possession of child pornography after illicit images were found on their computer after they had taken it in for repair. The case against Wachtel's wife was dismissed; Wachtel pleaded no contest and was placed on probation for three years.
According to Brett Tuggle in an online Q&A session, what happened with Wachtel and Annie was blown out of proportion by the press and dismissed anyway. Furthermore "there is no way that Stevie would have him in her band if she thought he was guilty of any wrongdoing."
Wachtel plays a 1960 Gibson Les Paul and 1956 Fender Stratocaster. He said in a 1980 interview that the newest made guitar he owned was a 1964 Fender Stratocaster. In September 2014 the Gibson Custom Shop chose the 1960 Les Paul Waddy Wachtel guitar for their new Collector's Choice series.
2000 to present
Wachtel has performed regularly at the Los Angeles venue The Joint since 2000. The band includes, Phil Jones, Rick Rosas, and Jamie Savko, with regular guests Bernard Fowler, Blondie Chaplin and Keith Allison.
With Karla Bonoff
|1977||Karla Bonoff||Columbia Records|
|1979||Restless Nights||Columbia Records|
|1982||Wild Heart of the Young||Columbia Records|
With Joe Walsh
|1983||You Bought It – You Name It||Warner Bros. Records|
|1985||The Confessor||Warner Bros. Records|
|1991||Ordinary Average Guy||Epic Records|
With Fleetwood Mac
|1975||Fleetwood Mac||Warner Bros.|
With Stevie Nicks
With Keith Richards and the X-Pensive Winos
|1988||Talk is Cheap||Virgin Records|
|1991||Live at the Hollywood Palladium||Virgin Records(Dec 15, 1988)|
|1992||Main Offender||Virgin Records|
|2010||Vintage Vinos||Mindless Records|
|2015||Crosseyed Heart||Republic Records|
With Linda Ronstadt
|1976||Hasten Down the Wind||Asylum Records|
|1977||Simple Dreams||Asylum Records|
|1978||Living in the USA||Asylum Records|
|1980||Mad Love||Asylum Records|
|1982||Get Closer||Asylum Records|
|1998||We Ran||Elektra Records|
With James Taylor
|1976||In the Pocket||Warner Bros. Records|
|1981||Dad Loves His Work||Columbia Records|
With Warren Zevon
|1976||Warren Zevon||Asylum Records|
|1978||Excitable Boy||Asylum Records|
|1980||Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School||Asylum Records|
|1982||The Envoy||Asylum Records|
|1991||Mr. Bad Example||Giant Records|
|1978||Up in Smoke||Lou Adler||with Danny Kortchmar and Lee Oskar|
|2001||Joe Dirt||Dennie Gordon||N/A|
|2003||Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star||Sam Weisman||with Christophe Beck|
|2006||Grandma's Boy||Nicholaus Goossen||N/A|
|The Benchwarmers||Dennis Dugan||N/A|
|The Last Request||John DeBellis||N/A|
|2008||Strange Wilderness||Fred Wolf||N/A|
|The House Bunny||Fred Wolf||N/A|
|2009||Paul Blart: Mall Cop||Steve Carr||N/A|
|2011||Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star||Tom Brady||N/A|
|Jack and Jill||Dennis Dugan||with Rupert Gregson-Williams|
|2013||Jimi: All Is by My Side||John Ridley||with Danny Bramson|
|2015||Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser||Fred Wolf||Digital film|
- Gans,, David (March 7, 1980). "Waddy Wachtel: Confessions of a "Mafia" Guitarist". Bam Magazine. Bam, The California Music Magazine. 5 (74): 40. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
- Kutina, Scott E. (February 1, 1981). "International Musician And Recording World, Waddy Wachtel". Volume 3. International Musician And Recording World. pp. Number 2. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
- "Werewolves of London", Johnny Black, Blender, April 2008
- "In The Studio With Redbeard: Warren Zevon". Interview with Warren Zevon. In The Studio. 2008. Retrieved 2015-02-05.
- Waddy Wachtel Follows In Gary Glitter's Footsteps
- MORNING REPORT – LEGAL FILE
- "Guitarist Gets Probation in Child Pornography". Los Angeles Times. October 16, 1998.
- "Collector's Choice #14 Les Paul "Waddy Wachtel"".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Waddy Wachtel.|