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Paul Sidoti

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  1. Bernie is correct. 'Fearless' was released in 2008 and received honors last calendar year. The cutoff date for this years' Grammy's was in September with 'Speak Now' being released on October 25th. She will be eligible for next years' awards. She is up for a bunch of ACM awards though. Billy is right, I am in Tokyo right now. Just got back to my hotel room from an unforgettable night at Budokan. I still watch on a regular basis, KISS' record-setting shows in Japan in April 1977 that was the very first concert filmed and aired on HBO. The entire show exists on the first volume of KISSOLOGY DVD. The screaming, clapping, cheering, singing was exactly like the KISS show if not louder. Same as the Cheap Trick live album. It was the most surreal feeling walking onstage looking out at the seats knowing that The Beatles had left their mark there as well. I had goosebumps all day. It's such a cool place too because the seating is very much on top of you. I gotta say, that when the lights went down and the start of the show began, it was like cranking those old shows up to 11 in my ears. The hair on my arms stood up and I got chills everywhere. The audience went ballistic. Tomorrow night we get to do it again. PS.. we just HAD to soundcheck with "I Want You To Want Me" as I did my best Robin Zander/Rick Nielsen. It was awesome... Take care all.. Paul
  2. Happy Birthday to a very dear friend! I am happy for you beyond words. Looking forward to hanging out in NYC very soon!! Have a great day. Paul
  3. My aunt had retired from VC Star not long after the L.A. show. And just to clarify, I actually didn't play guitar on the new single. I will let you know which track I played on when the album hits October 25th. It's my favorite uptempo on the album, not just because I played on it.
  4. I'll list my top 5 shows in this order: 1. State Theater 2. Chicago 3. Cleveland (opening night) 4. B.B. King's NYC (2nd show) 5. Sunset Strip (1st show) I have to go with State Theater because at the time we had just dialed in our in-ear monitors perfectly. For those of you who might not know the technology behind it, they are the alternative to using the big wedge monitors you're used to seeing. You're able to mix all instruments into a comfortable, studio-sounding environment. You can have your vocal up as loud as you need and sing with a lot more finesse, subtleties, and power as well. It also eliminates the source of ringing feedback and stage volume that so often plagues a band that had as many inputs and live mics on stage as we were using. I felt that having a few shows under our belt with the new system, we listened to each other so well. We played off each other as a unit and the talent and musicianship had really shown through. I had an amazing mix where I could hear everyone perfectly. We could customize mixes for each song, such as putting a beautiful nice reverb on Eric's vocal on "All By Myself" with big reverb tom fills from Jim's drums. Everyone sang great too but I think the most noticeable was Wally. He sounded great. There were many moments in that State Theater show that were bittersweet for me because I knew what was ahead with the Taylor Swift gig. I had taken the position and this would be my last show with Raspberries. Everyone in the band is like family and I looked over at everyone that night many times and took it all in. I cherished every minute onstage that night and I couldn't have been more proud to be a part of such a great ensemble. Chicago just wailed. It was a full out rockin' show. HOB is a great venue and we had a blast that weekend. Cleveland's opening night, like Eric said, was special because it was the first. We had rehearsed and worked so hard to make that a great night for the fans and we all knew how much was riding on it. Eric's great attention to detail, patience, and professionalism laid the groundwork of what followed. B.B. King's was another great weekend. Doing the VH1 Classic episodes to kick it off had everyone juiced up to slay NYC. I think the intimacy of that room was very cool where we were basically on top of the audience. Those shows usually end up being some of the most memorable. And it didn't hurt that a teenage idol of mine, Jon Bon Jovi, was grinning ear to ear the entire night. And Sunset Strip because we recorded it and captured what the band was in search for for so long. Something that really sounded like them on a recording. All the bombast and glory pouring out of the speakers. My parents flew out for the show as well as my relatives being there from California. But most of all, probably two of my biggest heroes, Rick Springfield and Paul Stanley were in attendance sitting next to my family upstairs. Getting a compliment from Rick after the show was amazing. I performed "Jessie's Girl" when it first came out in my 5th grade talent show. It was the first time I ever performed on stage. And well.. you all know my adulation for all things KISS. I'm in Osaka right now, had a great huge festival show where we opened for Stevie Wonder. On to Tokyo tomorrow with the same lineup. Hope you all are well! Miss the Berries fans.. Take care, Paul
  5. To one of the most special people in the whole world.. Happy Birthday Barb!! Have a great one and see you soon.
  6. Wow, where to start.. Okay, I've been a season ticket holder since '99. Start by refunding my entire season ticket package for the overpaid millionaires who cannot score an offensive touchdown to save their lives. Inexcusable lack of performance. If all of us performed poorly at our jobs (let alone 10 years and counting), the company would cut us all and save money. Quite the opposite in sports. The company still makes their millions off all us fans while continuing to put a poor product on the field. Now to the rebuilding. GM and Head Coach. It would have to be football men first and foremost with a proven track record of success at evaluating talent. It's a short list but most of the organization's focus and dollars should be spent in acquiring the right people that can lead. My theory in the head coach department is it should be someone who has played the game to some level of success. (i.e. Jeff Fisher, Mike Singletary, Mike Ditka, Chuck Knoll, Bill Cowher, Marty Schottenheimer, etc..) These are coaches who have the ability to command the respect of their players having been in the trenches themselves. Since Randy Lerner feels the need to be in touch with our Cleveland roots to an extent, I will play along with that sentiment and offer these candidates. But having Cleveland ties doesn't necessarily make you the best man for the job. I do believe since he has the funds to back the team, Randy just needs the guidance of folks around him to make the right hires. My candidates for GM: Ernie Accorsi- was the GM during the Browns heyday of the "Dawgs", which by the way I think should be put to rest. That era has since long been gone, even during the Belichick era. It was a special time in our Browns history that is being tarnished by every losing season on the field. It represented a tenacious enthusiasm exuded by it's stellar secondary in Frank Minnifield and Hanford Dixon. Ozzie Newsome - lure him away from Baltimore with big dollars and more responsibilities. Give him a new challenge. Jimmy Johnson - an amazing track record in Dallas, he turned a 1-15 team into a multi Super Bowl champion through his savvy draft day trades and talent evaluation. He is not a candidate for head coach as he has stated how much he dislikes the cold weather. I believe with a hefty amount of money thrown his way, he'd be up for turning around one of the cornerstone organizations in the NFL. My candidates for head coach: Bill Cowher - I don't care what it takes, this is THE man for the job. Having played here and coached here in the 80's, he knows what it means to have a winning football team in Cleveland. Having coached Pittsburgh it may weigh on his legacy there but if I were him, I'd be up for the challenge. Jon Gruden - I know he just signed a multi-year deal with MNF in the broadcast booth but this guy is a football man and should be coaching on the sidelines. His passion for the game is infectious and his no-nonsense approach to the game would light a fire under a passive go-through-the-motions team we've had since coming back to the league. Mike Ditka - he may be a bit older but he still has that passion for coaching. He knows what it means to Cleveland fans to have a tough, hard as nails team on the field. He recognizes this is a hard-working blue-collar town and would convey that message to his players. Always liked this guy, except don't let him trade the farm for one player (Ricky Williams) I could line up some quick coaching staff candidates: Bernie Kosar - QB's coach and assistant offensive coordinator. While not having the league experience necessary to handle all the duties of offensive coordinator, he could assist in being that creative spark the Browns need in play calling. Nobody read defenses better than BK. Brian Schottenheimer - Offensive coordinator. Cleveland ties, and would work well with Bernie Kosar side by side. Anthony Munoz - Offensive line coach. One of the best to ever play the game. Cris Carter - Wide receivers coach. A Buckeye and an amazingly talented All-Pro who was a precise route runner and tough across the middle. No-nonsense approach of "play the game, don't show off, and act like a professional". Kevin Mack - Running backs coach. This guy was tough as nails and would play in excruciating pain at times. His performance in the Jets OT game in '86 was a defining moment of his career. Romeo Crennel - Defensive coordinator. Romeo had the respect of his players, just not the right time for him to be a head coach. The Browns talked about bringing him back in some capacity. A true good guy and great at what he specifically did (defense coordinator), put him in his most comfortable environment and I believe we'd see some great results. Howie Long - Defensive line coach. Bring him out of the Fox broadcast team and onto the field where he can be recognized for the great lineman he was by instilling that philosophy to a new generation of players. One of the greatest pass rushers of all time. Clay Matthews - Linebackers coach. Need I say more? Having played 16 stellar seasons with the Browns he hardly ever missed a game and was a great student of the game as well. Hanford Dixon - Cornerbacks coach. Hard-edged toughness would be the perfect ingredient missing in our most important position defensively. That's my Christmas wish list for rebuilding the Browns. First off, they need to build lines on both the offensive and defensive fronts before any position players. I don't care if you have the best wideout, QB or running back available in the draft. If you can't protect them, make holes for them, rush the passer or stop the run, the entire team will be playing from behind. All the time. Look at all the teams who have plugged in mediocre to good backs/receivers into teams that had already established their lines and that will tell you the story. Good luck Randy Lerner. You'll need it. Paul
  7. 1. KISS - Opening Night Reunion Tour - June 28, 1996 Tiger Stadium Detroit, MI 2. Van Halen - 1984 Tour March 14, 1984 Richfield Coliseum Richfield, OH 3. Van Halen - 5150 Tour July 25, 1986 Richfield Coliseum Richfield, OH 4. Huey Lewis and the News - Sports Tour July 16, 1984 Blossom Music Center Cuyahoga Falls, OH 5. Rick Springfield - Tao Tour August 14, 1985 Blossom Music Center Cuyahoga Falls, OH
  8. Hey all, those who are wondering, we will be performing about a dozen shows this year with Keith Urban starting in June. We're all stoked about it. We have been in Australia for two weeks and just played in front of about 40,000 people for Sound Relief, a benefit for victims of the recent floods and fires. Barry Gibb came back to say hi to us. What a thrill it was meeting him. He's an incredibly sweet guy and was so complimentary of us. Looking forward to coming back to the States tomorrow. Hope you are all well and safe.. Take care, Paul
  9. Happy Birthday to one of my dearest friends. You're one in a million buddy. Have a great day and look forward to seeing you again sometime soon! Paul
  10. Hey all, back from the new year festivities and in bed nursing a major chest cold. It was all very well worth it though. It was a night I won't ever forget. The gusts of wind, up to 40 mph, got the temperature down to near zero. We had to walk the streets of NY because no cars were allowed in the area. It was only a block and a half to the stage but it was a long walk given the conditions. But once you got to the main area in Times Square with the lights and people, adrenaline quickly took over and the excitement and buzz was euphoric. We did a test run around 9 p.m. and came back at 10 p.m. to perform. On our way back to the stage holding guitars in hand, people cheered and high fived us all along the way. It really felt like we were rock stars, it was very cool. Once we got onstage, it was an incredible sight to look in both directions and see those huge blue balloons and streamers everyone was waving. We could hear the audio feed from Ryan Seacrest when he introduced us and when he did, it felt like 80 degrees outside. I was so pumped up to be playing on a show I've dreamt about playing on since I was a kid. I couldn't believe it was really happening. After we were done, we walked back to ABC studios to warm up. We all then walked back to our hotel and dropped off our instruments and returned to watch the ball drop right next to the platform where all the stars were standing. The countdown was incredible. When it hit 2009, all of us teared up and hugged each other and watched the thousands of pounds of confetti and balloons raining upon us as "Auld Lang Syne" and "New York, New York" blared through the speakers. We had so much to reflect on for 2008, the wild ride we have all been on and the excitement for 2009 as Taylor headlines her first tour to look forward to. We went to a couple after parties, one hosted by Ryan Seacrest who is a really nice guy and very personable and Kellie Pickler who is Taylor's best friend and who co-hosted the show. She's hilarious. So.. our next performance is next Saturday night. I'll leave you to guess what it is. It's going to be pretty awesome. Stay warm everyone! Happy New Year! Paul
  11. Hey all, it is absolutely freezing cold here in New York City but the thrill of playing on Dick Clark's NYE show is something I won't ever forget. Ever since I was a kid, I would stay up late with my parents and watch the countdown and watch my favorite musical acts perform. The reality that I get to do the very same thing with Taylor Swift is still a shock to me. For years, I've wanted to make the trek to NYC to be in the streets of close to a million people they say to witness the ball drop. As we pulled in last night, we could see the 2009 sign and ball high atop one of the buildings here in Times Square. It's only hours from now that we'll be playing in bone-numbing temperatures. I want to wish everyone a Happy and safe New Year and all the best for 2009. I have much to be thankful for, people and friends here on the message board among them. All the best, Paul
  12. Show will premiere November 7th. Check local listings for times.
  13. Hi Daisy, I think Joe's quote speaks volume of who he is and it is very indicative of the band. They are extremely humble for having sold almost 80 million records in their career. In conversations with them, they STILL have the point of view that they're just a bunch of 'brothers' who have known each other all their life who happen to play music and love what they get to do. There wasn't an ounce of ego, status, or an element that they were 'better' than any one person in any room. Paul
  14. I have personal footage of rehearsals and I believe there was an official photographer/videographer capturing all of the rehearsals, production rehearsals and the taping.
  15. Yes, we performed the entire set together. All 12 of us onstage the entire time. It was a surreal experience. Having grown up with their music since I was in junior high, to play with some of my heroes was probably the biggest moment in my career to date (along with Raspberries reunion!). Not to mention, to a man, these five guys were some of the most down to Earth, incredible musicians and human beings I've ever been around. We all hung out for five days and the stories I could tell would last for hours. One of the coolest moments for me is the start of the show. That's all I'll say. Tune in to CMT November 8th (I believe, or the 7th, can't remember but the ads are starting already). A side note.. A thrill for me was after the taping we all went to a private bar (minus Taylor of course) where I was on guitar, Joe Elliot played drums as well as Rick Allen. We jammed for 4 hours until almost 6 a.m. playing nothing but British invasion hits. Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Who, as well as almost an hour and a half of AC/DC (Bon Scott era only!). Joe sang most of the time. I hope when everyone sees the show that they can see the love and admiration we all feel towards one another because I think it will be obvious. We all became a very close family. And the Def Leppard guys are as much of Taylor fans as we are to them. Take care and P.S. Tim, I really wish I could have seen you in WI. Next time, we'll definitely hook up. Paul
  16. Happy Birthday Amigo!! Can't wait to see you in a couple weeks at Blossom. Hope you have an awesome day and I miss ya... Love, Pauly
  17. Happy 50th Birthday Cuz! Here's to many more. Have a great day. Love, Paul
  18. Ernie, Adrienne and the entire Kassoff family. My deepest condolensces during this difficult time. Love, Paul
  19. Danny is my dear family member and we're totally cool. He's a wonderful person who would give you the shirt off his back and open his home to a complete stranger in need. I respect him beyond words. So with that, we have already been throwing back and forth our favorite quotes from 'Easy Money' and 'Caddyshack'. All is good. Come back Danny, they all love ya here! Paul
  20. Some of you may recognize Ringo's fiddle/acoustic player as the girl that plays with us in Taylor Swift's band. She got the gig through Dave Stewart of Eurythmics and will be on Regis, Letterman, Craig Ferguson, and Rachel Ray. She's finishing up her committments with them this week. Paul
  21. Hey everyone, a note that our Ellen Degeneres appearance may air on Thursday since we are taping Wednesday. I know here in Nashville it airs at 11 a.m. which means it wouldn't be possible for it to air on Wednesday. Check your local listings on both days. Paul
  22. Hey all, thanks for the well wishes. Things are going great. We just finished rehearsals and they went very well. It's going to be a very busy and exciting year for me. I'll give you a quick story on how I ended up with Taylor. A very good friend of mine who has actually done dates with us in Tequila Sunrise (Colin Whinnery, originally from Willoughby/Mentor, OH) referred me for the gig. We have been terrific friends for the last three years and he had also recommended me to play bass for Bryan White which I did in 2007 around Raspberries dates. He mentioned my name to the band leader who I had actually jammed with on NYE of last year when he filled in for the drummer in Colin's cover band here in Nashville. I had gone up and jammed 'Sweet Child 'O Mine' and sang it (wearing my red bandana, evidently). When I spoke to him on the phone this past Sept. he asked if I had a myspace page. I sent him the link and he called me and said, "Dude, I recognize you with the red bandana. We jammed together!" I said, "Really?" He goes, "Yeah, NYE didn't you come up and sing Guns and Roses?" I said, "Yeah" and that was one of many funny stories leading up to getting the job. It was quite the challenge finding a time to audition around Taylor's busy schedule. It ended up being the Monday before our State Theatre show and I quickly realized that I had NO equipment in Nashville. No amps, no pedal board, and most importantly no guitars! Everything was in Cleveland because I had played HOB with Tequila Sunrise and stayed up there for Raspberries rehearsals. So, I flew back to Nashville with my only guitar I could take on the plane which was my Taylor acoustic. They told me they had a Fender Twin at SIR so the amp situation was covered. When I looked in my closet the ONLY guitar I had in there was a custom built 5150 Eddie Van Halen guitar that I painted to replicate the guitar he used in the mid 80's on the 1984 and 5150 tours. For guitar players out there, if you were to see it, you'd think it was the real thing right down to the space tape, Floyd Rose tremolo and Kramer logo on the headstock and of course the red and white stripes in all the right places. I had met the guys in the band in September at a Brad Paisley concert and they were all very cool and huge Van Halen fans. So I showed up to the audition with just that guitar and a Tube Screamer distortion pedal, the only real stomp box I had. As soon as I arrived I told everyone, I swear to all of you this is the only guitar I had in my closet because all my gear is in Cleveland. When they saw it, they all flipped out, especially the other guitar player who is an Eddie Van Halen freak. He idolized him so he really dug it. After we ran through the first song, I smell an odor of smoke. It was the Twin, it had blown up and we all had a laugh because we figured the amp couldn't handle the guitar.. hehee.. That in a nutshell was how I got the gig. I'd like to say thanks to all of you for the great support and kind words and especially to Eric, Wally, Dave, Jim, Billy, Jennifer, Ernie, Adrienne, Kirk, Al, Denise, Barb, Rusty, and Dugie for making me feel part of a great family. It was such a bittersweet day when I got the news because unfortunately my schedule now doesn't allow for any other projects as her schedule can change on a moments' notice. I hope to someday share a stage with Raspberries again. But until then, I will hold all those incredible memories of joy, laughter, friends, and tremendous music close to my heart. I can't think of a better way to go out than the State Theatre show. To me, it was the Carnegie Hall of the 21st century. It was absolutely flawless and magical. I love you all and be safe... You'll be with me in spirit next week on The Tonight Show and Ellen Degeneres. If I could, I'd put a big Raspberries scratch and sniff sticker on the front of my guitar! ; ) Take care and much love, Paul
  23. I've just listened to the disc a few times and some of it is growing on me. "How Long" is pretty much a follow up to "Already Gone" but is pretty catchy. I'm really not digging the Steuart Smith thing at all quite honestly. He can play Nashville-style licks on tunes which is cool in a way but not for me on an Eagle record. Don Felder is sorely missed on the entire record as there are no 'signature' or memorable solos to speak of. Part of the genius of the inner workings of the Eagles were Henley's lyrics with Frey's music and Don and Joe working out amazing memorable solos and lyrical guitar work. The vocals still sound great and the songs by outside writers seem to be the strength on the album. My prediction for the next single will be the Timothy B. Schmit vocal and Paul Carrack written tune, "I Don't Want To Hear Anymore". That's the one song that I could play on repeat. For those of you in Cleveland on November 24th, House Of Blues, we will be adding a couple 'new' songs to the set and may have some guests in the house that night... Paul
  24. Sixwire is a great band and I'm friends with some of the guys in the band. They played as a trio every Thursday night at a place called Tin Roof that I've played at before with the trio being called Small Time Rock Stars. Chuck Tilley, Steve Mandile, and John Howard. They were also the part of the house band for Nashville Star. They do amazingly accurate versions of a lot of great 80's music w/some keyboard tracks. Andy Childs is a great guy who does corporate gigs on the side and John and Chuck have toured with the likes of Faith Hill and Richard Marx among others. Paul
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