Rusty Anderson, lead guitarist of The Paul McCartney Band, wants fans going to Sir Paul’s July 13 concert to know something about the live show: “It’s very interactive. We improvise. It’s not the same every time.”
Anderson has spent nearly a decade in McCartney’s band and says his boss is excited about performing in Utah for the first time. Anderson is equally pumped to play alongside McCartney — not because of his legendary status, but because of the creativity he and the former Beatle share.
“I’ve always been attracted to musicality,” Anderson said. “There’s a cerebral side. I gravitate towards things that are explorative. Things that take you on a journey.”
Anderson had a successful career before joining McCartney, having co-written megapopular pop songs such as Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” and Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca. The bandleader allows Anderson time to continue solo efforts including “Born on Earth,” his second solo album, due out Aug. 3.
The album, in part, comes from spending increasing amounts of time in airports, traveling around the world. It is about “the mind-blowing aspect of being alive in the 21st century,” with technology changing everything, Anderson said. “You open the box and you can’t go back.”
Anderson, 51, grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles and created his first band at age 13. The hard-rocking group was called Eulogy, a reference to the many deaths in Anderson’s early life.
“I was at four funerals before I was 10,” he said. “I wouldn’t recommend that for anyone.”
Eulogy band members were immature, but had success, opening for The Police, Van Halen, Quiet Riot and The Motels.
After Eulogy broke up, Anderson joined — and left — several bands, in the process becoming a composer of many popular songs. He also became an in-demand session player for musicians such as Fishbone, Matthew Sweet, Neil Diamond, Animal Logic, Little Richard and Carole King.
It was in those sessions with high-profile musicians that Anderson meet McCartney, who ultimately invited the guitarist to join his touring band.
Anderson said it was difficult to explain why he was chosen, but he is thrilled to get the chance.
“It goes beyond analyzing,” he said. “It’s not for me to question.”
Joining McCartney has allowed Anderson to perform in venues unimaginable for most musicians.
In June, for example, McCartney and the band performed at the White House when President Barack Obama presented McCartney with the third Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
During the trip, Anderson was given permission to examine some of George and Ira Gershwin’s possessions and song drafts. The library is the world’s pre-eminent resource for the legacy of the Gershwin brothers, containing manuscripts, printed music, photographs, correspondence, business papers, scrapbooks, George’s piano and desk and Ira’s typing table and typewriter.
It was a thrill, as the Gershwins have always been among Anderson’s heroes.
“That was a magical experience,” he said.Last Updated: 07/12/10 10:23