With 18 years of touring, Virginia’s rocker, Pat McGee (of Pat McGee Band), has been around the block. After writing his first song, “Rebecca,” in 1994, the rock-pop and country-folk artist quickly signed with Warner Bros. Records subsidiary Giant Records. The band has performed on NBC’s Last Call with Carson Daly and released an iTunes-only release of Live From the Southland in January 2009. The recording was made at Eddie’s Attic...and charted at No. 5 on the iTunes Rock Chart. Having produced seven critically-acclaimed albums, the band has collaborated with artists like The Who, Fleetwood Mac, The Allman Brothers, James Taylor, Jimmy Buffet, Willie Nelson, and Bob Dylan. He joined us for our 5GB series:
What’s the first gig you’ve ever attended?
Well technically the first “gig” was a backyard BBQ for my then bassist’s friend. I was 16 and I still remember it like it was last week. The excitement over which tunes to play-the answer was obviously ALL of them. We split $50 between 4 guys. We sipped warm beer in the back of our guitarist’s pickup truck (with a cab on it) in the sweltering VA summer heat. I still have photos of it, I knew right then I was hooked. That feeling of being at a real “gig,” being able to tell my friends and family, we had a gig, there simply is nothing cooler. Oh how I wish I had video footage!
What is the best gig that you’ve ever played/performed?
Well that really is hard to answer. Each gig is truly special for many reasons. Getting to different benchmarks of our career every time we would move up the ladder of success in the touring world it was a thrill. But the biggest venues were not always the best shows, sometimes it was that small club in buffalo, where the band had the perfect mix of feeling way overtired, slightly buzzed, had a great hang that day, whatever the variable is, musically we just nail it for all of 37 people. Then there are the nights were the stars align and we have massive crowds AND play well…I can recall playing with Alanis Morrisette at On The Bricks in Atlanta, they estimated the crowd at 100,000. It was truly amazing to play to a sea of people. Touring with my lifetime heroes, The Allman Brothers Band was truly a mind blowing experience. Opening for James Taylor and getting a chance to chat with him (that guitar I had him sign still hangs on the wall). Playing The Gorge in Seattle with The Who–truley I am not worthy, Nashville with Bob Dylan and Memphis with Willie Nelson. I still can’t believe these things actually happened. Again though it’s our own shows in the smallest of towns that lead to amazing unforgettable musical and emotional moments that are the true golden memories.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
Best “gig” I went to? I assume you mean concert that I wasn’t playing at…? If that’s what your referring to I will also answer the first question properly I suppose…Robert Plant was my first real deal concert. The kind where you go with your friends and drink beer in the parking lot, smell weed for the first time in mass amounts and leave with a bad ass overpriced t shirt. I worshipped Led Zeppelin and this was the closest I was going to get to hearing that music live! He rocked as I knew he would and I was sold! I wanted to go to more concerts immediately. What a feeling. Sigh…
Gig you would most like to play?
Well, I suppose it would a Bonaroo type gig where we went on right before the headliner and proved to people that we belong there. Musically, my band has always been able to appeal to al sorts of different types of music fans. I grew up loving on Dead Kennedy’s, Sex Pistols, Devo and early B52’s. But also connecting with Jackson Browne, CSN&Y, even old Jimmy Buffett. That type of mix I really feel peeks its influential head out in our shows. I credit my brother and sister for opening my ears to ALL sorts of great music.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
Well the perfect gig for me? I feel very fortunate that I have had so many epic experiences but if your askinge to make one up with my musical gods, then it would have to be a bill with: Eric Clapton with guest Duane Allman of course, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Ray Charles, Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin could close the show right after The Beatles. But if we are talking possible reality…I’d love to open for Bonnie Rait. She is just perfect. We met at the Grammys one year and she was the kindest, sweetest person on top of being a full blown bad ass. Oh and Vince Gill is on that Bonnie show as well…
Catch Pat McGee tomorrow night April 14 at Eddie’s Attic