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, Kim Carnes, Randy Newman, Keith Richards, The Rolling Stones (lead guitar on "Saint of Me"), Jon Bon Jovi, James Taylor, Iggy Pop, Warren Zevon, Bryan Ferry, Michael Sweet, Jackson Browne, and Andrew Gold, both in the studio and live.
|Birth name||Robert T. Wachtel|
|Born||May 24, 1947|
Jackson Heights, New York, United States
Wachtel was born May 24, 1947, in Jackson Heights 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 on 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 producing their albums.
In 1972, he made an appearance in the film The Poseidon Adventure with the actual band on stage in the dining room when the ship capsizes.
He also played in the Oscar-winning 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 workEdit
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, Stanley Sheldon 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 with many different artists and bands.
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 on 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, but some online sources have incorrectly credited him as Richard Wachtel on albums on which he was credited as having played guitar.
Wachtel was arrested in 1998 on suspicion of possession of child pornography after images were found on a computer he had at home. Wachtel pleaded no contest and was placed on probation for three years.
A detective of the Los Angeles juvenile sex crimes reported that Wachtel produced copies of the computer stored images which he kept in his bedroom.
Wachtel plays a 1960 Gibson Les Paul and 1957 Fender Stratocaster. He said in a 1980 interview that the newest made guitar he owned was a 1964 Fender Stratocaster. Wachtel purchased the Les Paul guitar from Stephen Stills for $350. In September 2014 the Gibson Custom Shop chose the 1960 Les Paul Waddy Wachtel guitar for their new Collector's Choice series.
2000 to presentEdit
Wachtel performs regularly with the Waddy Wachtel Band in the Los Angeles area, notably at The Joint from 2000 through 2013. The band at that time included Phil Jones, Rick Rosas, Bernard Fowler and Blondie Chaplin, among others. He continues to gig with his band, with some personnel changes, while retaining Fowler and Chaplin. Many famous artists have performed with the band as special guests.
As of 2020, Wachtel is performing with a group of other Southern California classic rock veterans in a group called "The Immediate Family" along with Danny Kortchmar, Leland Sklar, Russ Kunkel, and Steve Postell.
With Andrew Gold
- What's Wrong with This Picture? (Asylum Records, 1976)
- All This and Heaven Too (Asylum Records, 1977)
- Whirlwind (Asylum Records, 1980)
With Ringo Starr
With Keith Richards
- Talk Is Cheap (Virgin Records, 1988)
- Main Offender (Virgin Records, 1992)
- Crosseyed Heart (Republic Records, 2015)
With Phoebe Snow
- Rock Away (Mirage, 1981)
With Jackson Browne
- The Pretender (Asylum Records, 1976)
- Lives in the Balance (Asylum Records, 1986)
- I'm Alive (Elektra Records, 1993)
- Looking East (Elektra Records, 1996)
- Downhill from Everywhere (Inside Recordings, 2021)
With Bonnie Tyler
- Bitterblue (Hansa Records, 1991)
With Bob Seger
With Melissa Etheridge
- Melissa Etheridge (Island Records, 1988)
- Brave and Crazy (Island Records, 1989)
- Yes I Am (Island Records, 1993)
With Helen Reddy
- Play Me Out (MCA Records, 1981)
With A. J. Croce
- That's Me in the Bar (Private Music, 1995)
With Jimmy Barnes
With Ronnie Hawkins
- The Hawk (United Artists Records, 1979)
With Michael Grimm
- Michael Grimm (Epic Records, 2011)
With Arlo Guthrie
- Amigo (Reprise Records, 1976)
With Tom Waits
- Bone Machine (Island Records, 1992)
With Richie Furay
- I Still Have Dreams (Asylum Records, 1979)
With Michael Sweet
- Real (Benson, 1995)
With J. D. Souther
- Black Rose (Asylum Records, 1976)
- You're Only Lonely (Columbia Records, 1979)
- Home By Dawn (Warner Bros. Records, 1984)
With Ivan Neville
- If My Ancestors Could See Me Now (Polydor Records, 1988)
- Saturday Morning Music (UpTop Entertainment, 2002)
- Scrape (Evangeline Recorded Works, 2004)
With David Nail
- I'm About to Come Alive (MCA Records, 2009)
With Jessie Baylin
- Little Spark (Blonde Rat, 2012)
With Diana Ross
- The Force Behind the Power (Motown Records, 1991)
With John Prine
- Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings (Oh Boy Records, 1995)
With Kim Carnes
- Mistaken Identity (EMI, 1981)
- Voyeur (EMI, 1982)
- Café Racers (EMI, 1983)
- Barking at Airplanes (EMI, 1985)
- Light House (EMI, 1986)
With Shannon McNally
- Jukebox Sparrows (Capitol Records, 2002)
With Feargal Sharkey
- Wish (Virgin Records, 1988)
With Debby Boone
- Debby Boone (Capitol Records, 1979)
With Delbert McClinton
- Never Been Rocked Enough (Curb, 1992)
With James Taylor
- In the Pocket (Rhino Records, 1976)
- Flag (Columbia Records, 1980)
- Dad Loves His Work (Columbia Records, 1981)
With Bonnie Raitt
- The Glow (Warner Bros. Records, 1979)
With Steve Perry
- Street Talk (Columbia Records, 1984)
With Linda Ronstadt
- Hasten Down the Wind (Asylum Records, 1976)
- Simple Dreams (Asylum Records, 1977)
- Living in the USA (Asylum Records, 1978)
- Get Closer (Asylum Records, 1982)
- We Ran (Elektra Records, 1998)
With Iggy Pop
- Brick by Brick (Virgin Records, 1990)
With Neil Young
- Storytone (Reprise Records, 2014)
With Rita Coolidge
- Heartbreak Radio (A&M Records, 1981)
With Colin James
- Bad Habits (Warner Music Canada, 1995)
With Carole King
- Thoroughbred (A&M Records, 1976)
With Stevie Nicks
- Bella Donna (Atco Records, 1981)
- The Wild Heart (Modern Records, 1983)
- Rock a Little (Modern Records, 1985)
- The Other Side of the Mirror (Modern Records, 1989)
- Street Angel (Modern Records, 1994)
- Trouble in Shangri-La (Reprise Records, 2001)
- In Your Dreams (Reprise Records, 2011)
- 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault (Reprise Records, 2014)
With LeAnn Rimes
- Spitfire (Curb Records, 2013)
With Don Henley
With Randy Newman
- Little Criminals (Reprise Records, 1977)
- Born Again (Reprise Records, 1979)
- Trouble in Paradise (Reprise Records, 1983)
With Aaron Neville
- The Tattooed Heart (A&M Records, 1995)
With Andrew Strong
- Strong (MCA Records, 1993)
With Jon Bon Jovi
- Blaze of Glory (Columbia Records, 1990)
With John Mayer
- Battle Studies (Columbia Records, 2009)
With Beth Hart
- Fire on the Floor (Provologue Records, 2016)
With Robbie Williams
With Bob Dylan
- Under the Red Sky (Columbia Records, 1990)
With Bernard Fowler
- Friends With Privileges (Sony, 2006)
- The Bura (MRI, 2016)
With Jackie DeShannon
- New Arrangement (Columbia Records, 1975)
With Ronnie Wood
With Lisa Hartman Black
- 'Til My Heart Stops (Atlantic Records, 1987)
With Amanda Marshall
- Tuesday's Child (Epic Records, 1999)
With Neil Diamond
- The Christmas Album (Columbia Records, 1992)
- The Christmas Album, Volume II (Columbia Records, 1994)
With Karla Bonoff
- Karla Bonoff (Columbia Records, 1977)
- Restless Nights (Columbia Records, 1979)
- Wild Heart of the Young (Columbia Records, 1982)
With Gilby Clarke
With Miranda Lambert
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Columbia Nashville, 2007)
With Joe Walsh
- You Bought It – You Name It (Warner Bros. Records, 1983)
- The Confessor (Warner Bros. Records, 1985)
- Ordinary Average Guy (Epic Records, 1991)
With Kenny Rogers
- Love Will Turn You Around (Liberty Records, 1982)
With Dolly Parton
With Wendy Waldman
- The Main Refrain (Warner Bros. Records, 1976)
With Warren Zevon
- Warren Zevon (Asylum Records, 1976)
- Excitable Boy (Asylum Records, 1978)
- Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School (Elektra Records, 1980)
- The Envoy (Asylum Records, 1982)
- Sentimental Hygiene (Virgin Records, 1987)
- Transverse City (Virgin Records, 1989)
- Mr. Bad Example (Giant, 1991)
With Bette Midler
- No Frills (Atlantic Records, 1983)
With Bryan Ferry
- The Bride Stripped Bare (EG Records, 1978)
With Sheryl Crow
- Threads (Big Machine Records, 2019)
With Graham Nash
- Innocent Eyes (Atlantic Records, 1986)
With Rod Stewart
- Vagabond Heart (Warner Bros. Records, 1991)
With Maria Muldaur
- Sweet Harmony (Reprise Records, 1976)
With Rosanne Cash
- Rhythm & Romance (Columbia Records, 1985)
With Tracy Chapman
- Matters of the Heart (Elektra Records, 1992)
With Leo Sayer
- Leo Sayer (Chrysalis Records, 1978)
With Van Stephenson
- Suspicious Heart (MCA Records, 1986)
- Buckingham Nicks (Polydor, 1973)
|1972||The Poseidon Adventure||Ronald Neame||Uncredited guitarist|
|1978||Up in Smoke||Lou Adler||with Danny Kortchmar and Lee Oskar (member of Yesca)|
|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|
|'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. 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 March 28, 2009.
- "Waddy Wachtel". The Penguin Biographies. Martin and Lisa Adelson. Archived from the original on May 29, 2012. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
- "Werewolves of London", Johnny Black, Blender, April 2008
- "In The Studio With Redbeard: Warren Zevon". Interview with Warren Zevon. In The Studio. 2008. Retrieved February 5, 2015.
- "Waddy Wachtel Discography". Waddywachtelinfo.com. January 1, 1980. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- "Guitarist Wachtel Busted For Child Pornography". MTV. July 10, 1998. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 29, 2008. Retrieved February 21, 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Shauna Snow (July 11, 1998). "Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- "Guitarist Gets Probation in Child Pornography". Los Angeles Times. October 16, 1998.
- "Brett Tuggle Q&A Session, September 2000". Fleetwoodmac.net. Archived from the original on March 23, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- "Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press". Los Angeles Times. July 11, 1998. Retrieved October 17, 2021.
- "Rig Rundown - Waddy Wachtel". YouTube. February 14, 2017. Archived from the original on December 13, 2021. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- "Rig Rundown - Waddy Wachtel". premiereguitar.com. February 8, 2017. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- "Gibson Custom: Collector's Choice™ #14 1960 Les Paul "Waddy Wachtel"". Gibson.com. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- Patrick Doyle (July 24, 2013). "Waddy Wachtel Reflects on Working With Warren Zevon, Keith Richards". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
- "Waddy Wachtel Band". Waddywachtelinfo.com. January 1, 1980. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
- "Waddy Wachtel Band: Photos of Special Guests appearing with the Waddy Wachtel Band". Waddywachtelinfo.com. January 1, 1980. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
- "The Immediate Family: James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt Session Vets Launch New Band". June 11, 2020.
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