Kara Gordon from Kara Gordon and The Wreckage has had some amazing opportunities to open/play with for many different international acts including many musical heroes. Most recently Slash but also Ozzy Osbourne, Joe Satriani, and Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple – basically my heroes. He’s had an amazing year touring NZ, Aussie, Europe and England and has found some great friends in Alabama 3. He’s also released the self titled debut album Kara Gordon and The Wreckage. Here are five albums he’s loving right now…
1 – Steel Panther, Balls Out: I know these guys have had a bit of backlash here and there but I think it’s cool that the dudes are obviously past it so they think, let’s start an 80s pisstake band. The songs are catchy, and hilarious. The dudes can really play. It’s just a bit upsetting that it takes a pisstake band to bring back rock n roll debauchery – we plan to change this slowly but surely. The funny thing is I kind of used these guys and Motley Crue and Van Halen (David Lee Roth) as a basis for my rock-star training (adopting their attitude) before I played Sounds Aotearoa and met Alabama 3 who stubbed their rollies out on that attitude and gave me a whole new one to play around with.
2 – Jimi Hendrix, Electric Ladyland: This was the main album I’d have playing every night before I went to bed as a kid. Jimi was the first great guitarist I saw as a kid, and I wanted to be like him. He’s had a major influence on me as an artist and guitarist. This is the album where Jimi was at a fully experimental stage coming out with sounds never heard before. In terms of sonic scope on sound he was miles ahead of everyone. If we were talking advancement in firepower, most his contemporaries had basic muskets, and he had alien laser death ray that blows up planets.
3 – Van Halen, Van Halen: This is another one that has had a major influence on me. Eruption singlehandedly changed the way guitar was played. Eddie invented techniques and pioneered the shred movement. My brother Joe convinced me it’s all about being a bitching shredder like Eddie Van Halen as a kid and never mind that grunge crap. Ha ha! Turns out he was on to something. As for David Lee Roth, the sleaziest and greatest showman/frontman ever, Runnin’ With The Devil’s vocals are just genius and one of the greatest opening lines in a rock n roll song from Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love “I heard the news baby, all about your disease, you may get what you want baby, but I got something you need”. Bloody brilliant. Absolute geniuses that know how to have fun and not take themselves so seriously.
4 – Alabama 3, Shoplifting For Jesus: Ok, my mates from Alabama 3 are just complete nutters! The biggest rock n roll debaucheries ever, who stand for all things political, messy times and an ironic humour that kept me rolling on the floor everywhere I went with them. This is all reflected big time in their music and Larry’s genius lyrics. Playing with these guys, listening to their record, and hanging out with them (which is as comical as hanging out with Monty Python on steroids.) has taught me so much. I can get away with what I want to say (most of the time), we ain’t always there to please but are there to stand for something, on stage it’s about kicking ass not licking ass, and how to use your pulling power effectively. They are ass kicking rock n rollers with an in-depth knowledge and appreciation for blues, country and techno styles (which they have shown me a bit of too), who live by their word – like me for them it’s about living life like there’s no tomorrow, about not taking yourself so seriously, which is why we get on like a house on fire.
And I gotta agree I blame Kurt Cobain too – ha.
5 – Black Country Communion, Afterglow: I dig this band a lot. Awesome riffage from Joe Bonamassa. Glenn’s a hell of a vocalist (one of the best gigs ever for me, playing with that dude!). Jason Bonham is basically rock n roll royalty, plays drums like a demon possessed (or at least possessed by his father) ….. and the keyboard dude has some nice parts in there too. Playing with Glenn Hughes is what essentially pushed me beyond my comfort zone of singing midrange, Jim Morrison/Jimi Hendrix-esque (I still do love it), and made me branch out into pushing myself to sing high range ala Purple-Zep-Maiden ‘terror’-tory (ha ha terror).To me this band and album are a sweet pairing of one of the greatest rock singers/bass players of all time. Joe Bonamassa, who has definitely earned his stripes as a blues man (sitting in with BB King at 12 is pretty cool), has an impeccable tone, feel, and real groovy riffs. And with Jason Bonham at the helm you can’t go too wrong. I love the style of funky blues rock with a bit of country. One of my favourite super groups to come along in a while.
So yeah these are my top five records at the moment, I love these records and songs however I have also learned a lot from them too, so I guess these are really a big part of my shreducation – ha ha.