Indian fans jump, sing along: Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal

Samarth Goyal, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, June 13, 2013

Guitarist Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal, Lead Vocalist Axl Roseand DJ Ashba of Guns 'N' Roses performs during a concert in Mumbai. PTI Photo

The lead guitarist of American rock band Guns ‘N’ Roses, Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal, who will be performing in the Capital today, says he absolutely loves performing in India, thanks to the gusto in the crowd. “There’s one thing about India. The fans are a lot more passionate and energetic here. They jump, sing along and are awesome. There are only a few places in the world where I actually like to play and India is one of them,” says Ron, who performed in Hyderabad on June 11.

“After our Hyderabad performance got over, someone from the crowd yelled, play Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin! I saw one of the people in the crowd with an acoustic guitar. I called him on stage and we played Stairway ... together. It was great. I really don’t remember the last time I did something like this,” he adds.

The 44-year-old also admits his love for Indian food. “I’m from New Jersey and the place has a large number of Indians who make good, authentic food. So, I am familiar with Indian cuisine and love biryani, kebabs and the chicken curries. In fact, I think the food available in India is a lot less greasier than that available in America.”

Ron’s Bumblefoot

Ron Bumblefoot Thal, the guitarist of the legendary American band Guns and Roses, who’s playing in India now, says that there has been a significant change in the band’s music over the years. “Chinese Democracy (2008) and Appetite For Destruction (1987) are both very different albums. The change or the difference is because of the time span, the technology and of course the line-up changes,” says Ron who joined Guns and Roses in 2006.

“Chinese democracy, I personally think, was more industrial, more gritty with a lot of riffs involved, and that brought the sound of it a lot closer to the sound of the band,” says Ron. The 44-year-old guitarist, who was recommended to the band by the guitar legend Joe Satriani, also shares the story of how he got into the band.

“We had played together, jammed together and I guess he liked my style of playing the guitar. And then I got a call and played with the band, and well, the rest is history,” says Ron, who will be playing at the Hard Rock Cafe in Delhi along with the Dubai- based rock band Point of View.

Speaking about musicians who inspire him, Ron says, “It’s a tough choice, but if I have to name someone, then I would say that Gene Simmons (Kiss), Brian May (Queen), Angus Young (ACDC), and Jimi Hendrix are the people who inspired me. Also, a special mention for Eddie Van Halen, who I fell in love with ever since I heard his first song when I was 12. I really like Beatles a lot too, musically. I think they were great.”

Legend of Bumblefoot

“Actually, I got this name 20 years ago when my wife, who was my girlfriend back then, was studying veterinary science. I learnt that Bumblefoot is a disease caused by bacterial infection in birds’ feet. I really liked the word, and with time, it just turned into a nickname,” shares Ron about his name.

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