Waddy Wachtel (Robert Wachtel)
BiographyJackson Heights, Queens, New York City, New York, USA
Legendary rock'n'roll session guitarist par excellence Robert "Waddy" Wachtel was born on May 24, 1947 to Harry and Rhoda Wachtel in the Jackson Heights section of Queens, New York City. He acquired his unusual nickname "Waddy" when he was a teenager and took guitar lessons from teacher Gene Dell from ages nine to fourteen. Wachtel started out performing in local bands around the New York area. In 1970 Waddy moved to Los Angeles, California to work as a composer and producer for the Cowsills. Read more... to be a guitarist in the backing band for the Everly Brothers. Wachtel got his first major album credit on the 1972 Everly Brothers album "Stories We Could Tell" and subsequently went on tour with the famous duo. Waddy soon amassed a huge list of credits as a session guitarist, composer and producer who's contributed to hundreds of albums and singles; among the many folks he's worked with are Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, Bonnie Raitt, Kim Carnes, Maria Muldaur, the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, Carly Simon, Bryan Ferry, Tom Waits, Jackson Browne (he does the fiery guitar solo on Browne's big hit song "Running On Empty"), Bog Seger, Iggy Pop, James Taylor, Don Henley, Cher, John Prine, J.D. Souther, Melissa Etheridge, Rosanne Cash, Joe Walsh, Adam Sandler, and Linda Ronstadt (he appears on stage with Ronstadt performing the Warren Zevon song "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me" in the comedy film "FM"). Wachtel is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Zevon; he co-produced Zevon's first two albums and even co-wrote Zevon's hit song "Werewolves of London." In 1980 Waddy formed the band Ronin; the group's self-titled debut album alas turned out to be a commercial flop. Among the artists he has toured with are Stevie Nicks (he has often worked with Nicks as a guitarist, band leader, and musical director, plus has been featured on all of her solo albums), Cher, James Taylor, the Everly Brothers, and Adam Sandler. He appears as the guitarist in the rock band in the classic 1972 disaster picture "The Poseidon Adventure." Wachtel has composed the scores for the movies "The House Bunny," "Strange Wilderness," "The Last Request," "The Bench Warmers," "Grandma's Boy," "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star," "Joe Dirt," and "Up in Smoke." Waddy Wachtel regularly performs every Monday night with his group the Waddy Wachtel Band at the Joint in Los Angeles.