December 02, 2012
A self-confessed loner, this Guns ’N’ Roses guitarist talks to Bangalore Mirror about his music, band, and a wee bit about his life
At the age of five he read encyclopaedias for fun. At 10, he read 3,000 pages of world history and wrote a 300-page summary. He was saddened when his family moved from Brooklyn to Staten Island; he felt like an outsider for the next 20 years. That’s where he learnt to enjoy his own company.
The neighbourhood kids were older to him and they listened to Rolling Stones and Ramones. He did too. Then he heard KISS Alive! Bang!... he wanted to be a musician too... a drummer, but his older brother was a pro at it. So, Ron Jay Blumenthal chose the guitar.
Years later, he came to be known as Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal, lead guitarist of the legendary band Guns ’N’ Roses (GNR). He was recommended by guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani when GNR guitarist Buckethead left the band.
Ron adopted the moniker Bumblefoot, which is the name of bacterial infection, when he was helping his wife research the disease for her veterinary exams. Well, genius musicians are a strange lot!
Ahead of the GNR debut concert in India, Ron Bumblefoot, opens up to Bangalore Mirror in an exclusive e-mail interview.
“While I was strumming for GNR, I also had my own Bumblefoot band and released albums, toured, wrote music for TV, films, videogames and I was also teaching music at a college in New York; conducted guitar workshops internationally, wrote articles for magazines...yeah, those days, I was very busy.
“ The first few years was a difficult juggling act; trying to keep doing everything I did, plus touring the world with GNR. Everyone's lives are filled with juggling and choices. We just have to have faith and do our best.”
GNR: Then and now
Life ain’t a bed of
“Currently, I'm working on an acoustic album with Tony Harnell, he's doing a fan-funding campaign instead of dealing with record labels. It's always a different batch of music and people I'm making it with...everything always takes its own course. I've learned to work quickly and trust my instincts, and value any time I have.”
The gig in India
On Indian music
Catch Guns ’N’ Roses Live at Bharatiya City on December7
Posted at: www.bangaloremirror.com/article/97/2012120220121202003315896b3f68c8f/Strumming-%E2%80%98Bumblefoot%E2%80%99.html