Warren Cuccurullo | Roadrage

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Rock: Instrumental Rock Rock: Modern Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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by Warren Cuccurullo

Legendary guitarist Warren Cuccurullo(Zappa/Missing Persons/Duran Duran) blazes through this 9-song set featuring drummer Joe Travers and bassist Wes Wehmiller among others. Features Zappa's "Transylvania Boogie," Duran's "Ordinary World" and more.
Genre: Rock: Instrumental Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Road Rage
8:30 $0.99
2. Transylvania Boogie
4:53 $0.99
3. Suddenly Spring
3:39 $0.99
4. Whatever You Say, Mac
7:34 $0.99
5. The Beating
1:54 $0.99
6. Willie the Pimp
8:57 $0.99
7. In-Flight Entertainment
3:14 $0.99
8. Ordinary World
7:23 $0.99
9. A Little Exit Music
2:03 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Interview with Warren Cuccurullo by Chris Opperman

VENICE, CA -- Although not a household name (except in guitar circles), Warren Cuccurullo, a recipient of the MTV Lifetime Achievement Award, has made undeniable contributions to the worlds of pop and rock music through his work in Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage-era band (where he gets a shout-out in "Catholic Girls"), 80's new wave band Missing Persons, and the revamped 90's version of Duran Duran where he helped pen such classics as "Ordinary World" and "Come Undone" (although my personal favorite is probably "Too Much Information"). Also, the Duran Duran song "Electric Barbarella" was the first song sold on the Internet.

In addition to those contributions, Warren Cuccurullo is quite an accomplished guitarist (which was a serious prerequisite to getting into Zappa's band!). Throughout the last decade, Warren has released several solo albums featuring his guitar playing that have sadly fallen out-of-print...until now.

Over the next year, Warren will be re-releasing his solo works through iTunes and other digital media services. First up is 2001's Roadrage album which features Warren blasting through a set which includes several of Warren's guitar works in addition to covers of a couple songs by Frank Zappa ("Transylvania Boogie" and "Willie the Pimp"), and instrumental versions of "In-Flight Entertainment" by Missing Persons and "Ordinary World" by Duran Duran.
Speaking with Warren in his Venice, CA home, I had the opportunity to ask him some questions about his latest endeavors.

Q. What inspired you to call your album "Road Rage?" Is it because no one walks in L.A.?

WC. We [Warren/Joe Travers/Wes Wehmiller] were on the road for 3 whole days in 1996..this was our 1st time playing together! we rehearsed once in new york, played 2 shows the next day, then flew to la & played 2 shows...the bulk of the material was from the new york midnight show & the la tower records midday performance...also, these shows were being played in support of the thanks 2 frank cd, so i wrote some extra riffs so that we could do some raw jamming together to fill out the show a bit, & they became the 1st time, definitive versions of those songs...the track roadrage was called, at that time, all4aBackstage pass...when i compliled this stuff from the live soundboard DAT's for release, there were tracks from new jersey, la, new york, london, spanning 2 years... i came up w/ the title for the disc & renamed the opening track...

Q. Listening to your version of "Transylvania Boogie" is quite shocking since it is essentially note-for-note what Frank and his band played in 1971, albeit recorded with updated technology. What made you decide to take this route with your version?

WC. back in 94 i was called to do a gibson night of 100 guitars event for the prince charles prince's trust at wembley...when i got off the phone i turned stereo on...zappa's chungas revenge cd was in there & the 1st track is transylvania boogie...when it came on it was like i was hearing it in wembley arena...that was it...we had to recreate it exactly...i think this piece really exemplifies franks unique guitar style... i've been performing it ever since....

Q. "Suddenly Spring" is one of the most beautiful solo guitar compositions I have ever heard. Where was it written? Also, is your writing process different when creating a solo piece as opposed to a band piece?

WC. glad you like it...i was asked to do a virgin radio solo performance in london...i'd done so many with simon lebon singing but this would be very different....

so i adapted the piece thanks 2 frank, & it was sweet, but didn't have the emotional dynamic & intensity of the original live electric version...so, i needed a piece to showcase different techiques ( tapping, alt tuning, harmonics) that would emphasize melody & have an element of rythmic chordal comping with one player...i'd been really into indian music for most of my life ( thanks George [Harrison]... RIP),

so i whipped out my best ravi shankar tribute... reminiscent of the piece hey zawinul on my thanks to frank cd...suddenly spring was written in my great friend annie's garden in london...this live recording was the 2nd performance of it.

Q. Of the dozens of songs you wrote as a member of Duran Duran, "Ordinary World" seems to be the one that you hold closest to your heart. What is it about that song that makes it so important to you?

WC. 1st of all, it made a big connection...thats all we can hope for with our music...someone else gets to hear it & hopefully enjoy it...now, i don't agree with pop radio programming in any way, so to have been fortunate enough to have been somehow plugged into that stream doesn't validate the fact that o. w. [Ordinary World] became 1 of those songs played ad nauseum on radio at the time...so many other great songs by other talents were not able to get a shot at being aired because of narrow minded frightened people playing the same batch of songs over & over...enough ranting....

i still love the song...it's a great example of a succesful collaboration at a time (1991) when we (duran) were just discovering how much we could do together in a home studio...

Q. I really like the drawing on the album cover. Is that one of your drawings?

WC. i love that drawing...that is none other than the astoundingly graphically inclined mr nick rhodes...when not conceiving, producing, writing, performing, doing crossword puzzles, or his makeup, nick does loads of doodling...when i told him what i was naming this collection he just whipped that out in a sec...very captain beefheart of him...all in all he is a major creative force & 1 of the people i enjoy working with most...keep your ears open for our 1st release from us as TV Mania...it's the 11 year anniversary since it's completion...that must be a record! (not of the vinyl persuasion).
Q. You dedicated "Whatever You Say, Mac" to your father. Is that something your father used to say a lot?

WC. funny...it is something he said alot, but only late one new years eve in rio de janeiro in 1995 while talking to the drunken security guard at the condominium complex...un fuhgettAboutit abull...

Q. How was "A Little Exit Music" created?

WC. my usual set up...2 lexicon jamman loopers & a digitech whammy2 pedal...

Q. After "Roadrage," what's next on your agenda?

WC. well it's the 25 year anniversary of missing persons & i have 2 must have cds for fans of new wave music...late nights early days & lost tracks will be available for download in the next few months as well as the blue, my colloboration with indian violin genius, shankar....




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Arthur Lincoln

It's always a real treat to hear something from this guy that is not in the main
It's always a real treat to hear something from this guy that is not in the mainstream. Most may not know what an amazing songwriter/producer/multi instrumentalist/sonic painter he is, not to mention an absolute guitar master and virtuoso. As a guitar player/songwriter, I listen to him and quicky realize that I have no business even owning a damn guitar!