Bumblefoot, POV to rock Dubai

GN’R guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal to share the stage with local band Point Of View; will launch Middle East’s first outlet of American chain Classic Rock Coffee and also introduce his line of hot sauces

By Sarat Singh, Chief Sub Editor / July 30, 2014

  • On fire: Ron will launch his line of hot and fiery hot sauces in Dubai at Classic Rock Coffee on July 31, 2014

Dubai: In a 2011 interview to Guitar World magazine, his fellow Guns N’ Roses guitarist DJ Ashba described Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal as “just insane on guitar”. Listen to his track Q Fever from his 1995 debut studio album The Adventures of Bumblefoot or his fretless solo in Rhode Island Shred on guitar guru Guthrie Govan’s 2006 album Erotic Cakes, and one gets a sense how “insane” he can get. He has just wrapped up the 2014 Guitar Gods Tour of North America sharing the bill with none other than guitar maestro Yngwie Malmsteen, and this Friday he plays Dubai’s Music Room with local outfit Point Of View.

Ron is no stranger to the UAE. He has performed at Yas Island twice with GN’R – December 2010 and March 2013 – but what has caught the attention of music fans and the industry in the region is his endorsement of Dubai-based hard rock band Point of View. Ron flew down to Dubai in October 2012 to play at POV’s debut album (Revolutionize the Revolutionary) launch gig at Hard Rock Café. Subsequently, Ron and POV toured India together. And this weekend, Dubai fans have much to look forward to as they come together again and with POV set to introduce new material from their next album.

This time around, however, Ron has a packed schedule. Apart from the gig with POV on August 1 he will be launching the Middle East’s first outlet of Classic Rock Coffee in Dubai on July 31. He will also be introducing his award-winning Bumblefoot line of hot sauces exclusively at the outlet. Then on August 2 he will conduct a guitar workshop, also at the same venue. Ahead of all that action, XPRESS managed to get Ron talking on topics ranging from what fans can expect at the gig to what’s new with GN’R to his all-time dream band.

Excerpts from the interview:

What will fans get to hear at your gig with Point of View at the Music Room in Dubai? While the audience will obviously scream for GN’R songs, will you be playing be stuff from your solo projects as well?

It’s always a good feeling together with the Point Of View guys, looking forward to getting together again! We’ll be playing a combination of POV songs, Bumblefoot songs, some GN’R songs. I have 20 years of releases of my own music, and I want people to know my music – I want to connect with everyone with my music. We’ll have a moment in the show to do this, as well as during the guitar workshop the next day; I’ll play some of my crazier instrumental songs to backing tracks.

You have released a series of singles in the recent past. Are you working any new solo album now?

I’m in the studio right now laying down ideas to a new song, for the next Bumblefoot album. I’ve been writing songs throughout the year, and recording every chance between touring... (http://instagram.com/p/nwWUwLEX3g/ ~ video clip of recording ideas at the studio).

What’s happening on the GN’R front? Any hints on when the next album is due? How much work has been done?

We just released Appetite For Democracy 3D, the first official live concert film since 1992’s Use Your Illusion concert video. It’s a 3D concert from a 2012 show in Las Vegas, just released July 1. It includes the GN’R band performing one of my original songs Objectify (from the Bumblefoot Abnormal album).

Which is your favourite GN’R song to play live? And why?

I always liked the song Shackler’s Revenge off the Chinese Democracy album. I play a bigger role in this song, I’m playing my own guitar parts I wrote and recorded for the song, on fretted and fretless guitar, while singing a good bit of backing vocals live. It keeps me busy on stage, fun song to play.

You shared the bill with Yngwie Malmsteen during the Guitar Gods Tour 2014. What was it like playing with Malmsteen? What’s your take on critics who think he’s overrated?

Yngwie is an absolute “powerhouse”. Phenomenal player with an incredible band. Enjoyed the conversations and jams we had.

Any chances of bringing the Guitar Gods Tour to the Middle East in the near of far future?

I don’t know what the future will bring, but I certainly want to come back as soon as my new album is finished...! I’ll be back one way or another.

Staying with Guitar Gods, what’s your view on shredding? Some say it’s devoid of emotion while others say its appeal suffered a major blow in the 90s with the rise of grunge and nu metal. Is it here to stay?

Popular trends will always change as technology changes; and as conditions of society change, people need a musical voice that will speak for them, say what they want to say. And this changes over time. But nothing goes away, there is still an audience for ‘shred guitar’ music, same as jazz, blues, funk, punk, metal, EDM, hip-hop, everything. All styles exist for the select people who enjoy them.

From the history of rock music, which vocalist, bassist and drummer would you pick as bandmates for your dream band?

Always a difficult question… would be a band of 50 people where I don’t play – I just sit back and watch them, haha. OK, I’ll pick people I haven’t played with... vocals – Eric Adams (Manowar), drums – Neil Peart (Rush), bass – Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers).

The double-neck guitar (one fretless, the other fretted) has become synonymous with you. Do you feel restricted in your expression when you are not playing your double-neck Vigier?

I’ve been using the fretless so much more now that I have the double-neck and don’t have to choose between a fretted guitar and a fretless guitar, I do miss that second fretless neck when it’s not there.

Your thoughts on these guitarists: Derek Trucks, Shawn Lane and Guthrie Govan (we hope you play your Rhode Island Shred solo at the upcoming gig).

Derek Trucks: He takes slide guitar and turns it into the most beautiful soul singer. His fingers truly have a magical voice.

Shawn Lane: Mind-boggling technique.

Guthrie Govan: My friend, of whom I continue to have the utmost respect for and am always inspired by, the best at what he does, whom I miss, wish well, and hope to see soon!


Located at Dubai Healthcare City, Building 33, Oud Metha, Classic Rock Coffee promises to be the most chilled out place for lovers of classic rock music – and fresh coffee. The Classic Rock Coffee management says it specialises in fresh coffee, roasted and perfected to one’s taste using a handmade manual machine, and all Classic Rock Coffee outlets roast their coffee fresh at the store. Café attractions at a glance: Monthly live gigs, classic rock merchandise, LP stations, classic rock library, classic rock compilations and lots more.


Ron has developed a line of Bumblefoot hot sauces that are all natural, contain no preservatives, gluten free, peanut allergy safe, with flavours ranging from mild cherry bourbon “Bumblicious!” to sweet and fiery “BumbleBabe”. Proceeds from the “BumbleBabe” sauce are donated to women’s health organisations. All hot sauces are available online from the BumbleStore, shipped worldwide, and now exclusively at Classic Rock Coffee.

Event Details:

  • July 31, 7pm: Classic Rock Coffee launch by Ron Thal followed by Meet-N-Greet, acoustic gig featuring Ron Thal and POV
  • Where: Dubai Healthcare City, Oud Metha
  • Entry: Free
  • Call: 050-656 0113
  • August 1, 9pm: Ron Thal with POV. Also featuring Behold the Locus
  • Where: Music Room, Dubai
  • Tickets: Dh100
  • Call: 04-359 8888/050-113 9873
  • August 2, 6pm: Guitar workshop featuring Ron Thal, McDaddy, KV & Rohit Joseph. An impromptu jam amongst attendees would be the grand finale for the night
  • Where: Classic Rock Coffee, Dubai Healthcare City
  • Entry: Free
  • Call: 050-656 0113
Ron on POV’s second album

Nik, the frontman of POV, tells XPRESS what’s it like playing with Bumblefoot and more:

You guys have toured with Ron in the past. Tell us what is it like sharing the stage with one of the world’s top guitarists? Do you feel intimidated or does he just play like one of the guys?

POV: Thanks to the awesome guy that Ron is, he has never let us feel intimidated. Yes, we do feel nervous as it’s the mighty ‘Bumblefoot’ on stage with us after all. But most of all we feel inspired and loved.

This is your third gig with him in Dubai. What new should fans look forward to at this concert?

We know his songs, he knows our songs and we all know GN’R songs. So it’s a party at the end of the day. Point Of View is also showcasing a new song from the new album. The song is called Miss Divine.

Will you be touring again with Ron Thal? When and where?

Bahrain seems like an early possibility.

When is POV’s second album coming out?

Early 2015.

Does Ron feature in it?

He is definitely there in the album. We are already working on a track.