Behind The Mic: RIGGS

Static Live Magazine November 2019


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Hello again, friends! Since Thanksgiving is upon us, I thought it would be a good time to assess the MUSIC things I am thankful for. In no specific order, here’s the list …

I am thankful for Static Live Magazine for keeping mu­sic top of mind and allowing me to contribute my mus­ings (always good to suck up right outta the gate).

I am thankful for the guitar solo.

I am thankful for John Sykes for creating many of my fa­vorite guitar solos, from Thin Lizzy’s “Thunder & Light­ning” LP to the Whitesnake 1987 record. His work on “Crying In the Rain” and “Is This Love” should have its own Hall Of Fame. And not to mention the epic vocals of David Coverdale.

I am thankful for the music of the late, great Gary Moore. While his later blues work was stellar, his solo rock records are master classes on guitar playing and songwriting. I once saw him at Hammerjacks in Bal­timore and had to have my jaw replaced ‘cuz it kept hitting the floor.

I am thankful for Bullet For My Valentine for making mu­sic that gets me so pumped that when it shuffles up on my iPod, I feel like I want to punch through a brick wall.

I am thankful for Toto. Yup, the band, not the toilet man­ufacturer. I think Steve Lukather is an icon and though the band has run through several singers, they always manage to make perfect rock / pop music.

I am thankful for The Duke of Metal, Rich Ward, for his friendship and career. From the rap metal goods of ahead-of-their-time Stuck Mojo to his Sick Speed melodic hard rock project, and his current success with Chris Jericho and Fozzy. His songs current and riffs are the blood of life for my ears.

I am thankful for Pantera for literally changing the game. And I am thankful for Dime and his one-of-a-kind axe work. And while the Pantera riffs are legendary, equally thankful for the early Pantera melodic metal records for helping make the ’80s a glorious time for rock.

I thank Kiss for being my rock and roll welcome mat. The makeup, the movie, the Kiss radio … they were all part of the frenzy. But I always love a good Paul Stan­ley studio vocal. That dude knows how to pull emotion out of a song. And I am thankful for the opportunity to meet Kiss post-makeup and see that they were still fan-centric. Also thankful for an interview moment with Gene Simmons where he uttered the epic phrase “not on camera … only questions about Kiss”. I will bring that full story another time.

I thank Ronnie James Dio, about whom I have written in a previous issue. His songwriting was superb and his stage presence will never be matched. But his per­sonal kindness and unsurpassed vocal texture are the things I am truly thankful for experiencing.

I thank Night Ranger for a lot of great music moments in my life, from Brad Gillis’s guitar gymnastics to the free shampoo I got at their Big Life sponsored tour.

I thank Robin Zander for making Cheap Trick the lon­gest-running quality rock show in the game.

I thank Dokken and Disturbed and Chevelle and Break­ing Benjamin and Queensryche and Scorpions and Sevendust and Shinedown and Earshot and Story of the Year.

I am thankful for cherry chip cake and I am thankful for pepperoni pizza. Always.

I am thankful for my 12 years of retail record store duty at Turtles Records in GA. Were it not for that sweet employee discount, who knows how limited my music horizons might have become?

I am thankful for Lzzy Hale and Halestorm. I am thank­ful for Corey Taylor & Stone Sour and Slipknot. I am supremely thankful for the epic riffs and metal music journeys of Iron Maiden.

I am thankful for Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters. Meet­ing Dave when they opened for Red Hot Chili Pep­pers (imagine that) was sublime and I inexplicably told him a private not-totally-true story about how my sing­ing his tune “Hey, Johnny Park!” to my then girlfriend made her climax. Odd choice, and while I prefer the rocking Foo tracks, his unique compositions are as infectious as Lyme dis­ease.

I am thankful for Godsmack and their brand of gut-punching, melodic and growling hard rock.

I am thankful for the rare blend of power and beau­ty that is Alter Bridge. Mark Tremonti gnaws through like massive chunk riffs while Myles Kennedy’s voice soars I’d listen to that dude sing the freakin’ phone book.

And YES! I am THANKFUL for Nickelback. Those Canadian brothers have forged their own road and please my auditory senses along the way. Their brand of hooks and melody hits my sweet spot. Emotional, gritty, pary, chunky riff rocking…. They do it all with their signature sound. I once caught a size small t-shirt launced from Chad Kroeger’s canon during “beer:30” at on of their shows. It was a proud moment.

I am thankful for Ariana Grande for possessing the dy­namic voice of an angel. Though when I see her in those Disney Channel reruns my 1O year old watches, it feels a lil’ weird.

I am thankful for the leftover Count Chocula that l am eating dry as I write this.

I thank Winger for being amazing musicians and Kip Winger for a poolside video interview I did where he was eyeballing my then-girlfriend’s thighs below her shorts. And since I later discovered she sucks, it’s all good AND I got an autographed denim Winger jacket out of the deal.

I thank Steel Panther and Psychostick for allowing me to laugh while I rock.

I thank Metallica for keeping my attention all these years.

I thank the upcoming National Record Store Day for draining my checking account as I chase rare and un­released vinyl and CD gems.

And I thank 95.7 The HOG for allowing me to play music for YOU for a living… whether it’s the core AC/DC, Led Zep & Ozzy or your favorite hard rock and metal tracks on SATURDAY NIGHT LOUD, it is a pleasure to put a song in your head that triggers a good emotion. I know all the above have done the same for me so I am happy to pay it forward. Most of all, I’m thankful to YOU for reading this magazine!


Read Riggs' article from Static Live Magazine November 2018 edition

Read Riggs' article from Static Live Magazine November 2018 edition